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iRobot’s latest Roombas can vacuum and mop for cheaper

But you’ll need to swap out their bins when it's time to switch modes.


iRobot announced two new combo vacuum / mop combo robots today. The Roomba Combo j5+ and Combo i5+ provide some of the dual-mode features of the $1,1099 Roomba j7+ but for more affordable prices. However, there are some tradeoffs in selling these models for $799 (j5+) and $549 (i5+), including having to swap out their bins when it’s time to switch between vacuuming and mopping.

One of the biggest differences between the two new models is that the Roomba j5+, the higher-end one, can identify “No Mop Zones” to avoid rugs and carpeted rooms and learn your overall cleaning preferences. In addition, only the j5+ has advanced obstacle avoidance and can steer clear of “over 80” common floor hazards, including solid pet waste. The more expensive model also adds iRobot’s P.O.O.P. promise, which vows to replace your device if it fails to avoid pet messes.

Closeup marketing photo of the iRobot i5+. The robot vacuum has a gray / black appearance and is on a hardwood floor.
Closeup marketing photo of the iRobot i5+. The robot vacuum has a gray / black appearance and is on a hardwood floor. (iRobot)

Apart from those differences that make the i5+ $250 cheaper, the two have much in common. They both run iRobot OS, provide control through the iRobot Home app and have self-emptying dustbins / charging stations. Each will automatically switch between vacuuming and mopping when you attach the corresponding bin. (According to The Verge, they have 360ml dustbins and 210ml mopping tanks.) The machines also work with voice assistants, letting you control them with Alexa, Siri or Google Assistant devices. And although the cheaper i5+ won’t learn specific carpeted / rugged areas, you can still label room names and program it to target specific ones.

The $799 Roomba Combo j5+ and $549 Roomba Combo i5+ are available for pre-order today in North America on iRobot’s website ahead of retail availability on September 3rd. Meanwhile, European customers can buy the i5+ today, with the j5+ arriving in September. iRobot says it will roll out to other international markets throughout 2023 and into early next year.