© Karlis Dambrans / Shutterstock.com

The iRobot Roomba i4 and i3 are two popular robot vacuum models, but the i4 outperforms the i3 in several aspects. For instance, the Roomba i4 offers superior cleaning performance on low and high-pile carpets without needing an external dirtbag, saving recurring costs. Plus, its Dual Virtual Barrier Device lets users mark areas for the vacuum to avoid while cleaning.

On the other hand, the i3 works better on bare floors thanks to its larger dirt compartment as well as an external dustbin attached to its dock station, which automatically empties its contents. Both models are cordless and self-propelled with removable brush rolls but have different specifications.

Let’s break down these two market-leading robot vacuums to give you the full picture.

Roomba i3 vs. i4: Side-by-Side Comparison

Roomba i3Roomba i4
Height19.09 inches (48.5 cm)3.94 inches (10.0 cm)
Width13.39 inches (34.0 cm)13.39 inches (34.0 cm)
Depth16.54 inches (42.0 cm)15.75 inches (40.0 cm)
Volume0.70 gal (2.65 L)0.08 gal (0.30 L)
Total Weight7.05 lbs (3.20 kg)7.03 lbs (3.19 kg)
Minimum Battery Life87 min100 min
Recharge Time94 min90 min
Best for Larger Homes
iRobot Roomba i3 EVO (3150) Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum
$244.99 ($244.99 / Count)
  • iAdapt navigation maps your home and utilizes sensors to avoid obstacles and prevent accidents
  • Features the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal system
  • High-efficiency filter can capture up to 99% of pollen, dust particles, and other allergens
  • Compatible with voice control assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant
  • The powerful motor provides ten times more suction power


We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/04/2023 05:06 pm GMT
Awesome for Carpets
iRobot Roomba i4 (Renewed)
$189.99
  • Renewed
  • Wi-Fi Connected Mapping
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • Ideal for carpets, pet hair
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/21/2023 03:47 pm GMT

Roomba i3 vs. i4: What’s the Difference?

The Roomba i3 and i4 robotic vacuums share many similarities in terms of design, navigation, and cleaning technology. However, there are some key distinctions that might influence your decision when selecting which model to purchase. Let’s break them down below.

Cleaning Performance

The iRobot Roomba i3 and i4 can handle various surfaces, such as hardwood floors, tiles, and carpets. However, their cleaning performance varies, particularly on carpets. The i4 has a stronger motor with superior suction power, making it more effective at picking up dirt, dust, and debris from low and high-pile carpets. Conversely, the i3 is less powerful and needs help to clean high-pile carpets effectively.

Additionally, the Roomba i4 is equipped with a high-efficiency filter that captures up to 99% of allergens, pollen, and dust mites, making it an ideal option for individuals suffering from allergies or asthma. Unfortunately, the i3 does not feature such a filter so it may not be suitable for allergy sufferers.

Dirt Compartment and Automated Dirt Disposal

Another distinguishing difference between the iRobot Roomba i3 and i4 is their dirt compartment sizes and how they handle the disposal of dirt. The i3 has a larger capacity at 0.70 gallons (2.65 liters), meaning it can hold more dirt before having to be manually emptied. On the other hand, the smaller i4 compartment measures just 0.08 gallons (0.30 liters), necessitating more frequent emptying.

The iRobot Roomba i3 has an external dustbin attached to its docking station that can automatically empty when full, eliminating manual emptying between each cleaning session. Unfortunately, the i4 does not come equipped with such a bin, necessitating you to empty its dirt compartment manually.

Dual Virtual Barrier Device

The iRobot Roomba i4 comes with a Dual Virtual Barrier Device, which is not available with the i3. This allows you to create virtual walls or boundaries which the robot vacuum will not cross while cleaning. This feature can be useful if you want to restrict their access to certain areas of your home such as rooms with delicate items, pet bowls, and play areas for children.

With the Dual Virtual Barrier Device, you can create two virtual walls or one virtual wall and halo. The virtual wall blocks access for robots, while the halo creates circular boundaries around an object or area. On the contrary, the iRobot Roomba i3 does not come equipped with this feature, meaning you cannot set up virtual walls or boundaries to restrict their movement.

Accessories

The Roomba i3 and i4 come with different accessories. The i4 has a Dual Virtual Barrier Device that enables you to mark areas where you don’t want the robot going. This is ideal if you have delicate items or specific spots you wish the robot not to explore. Unfortunately, the i3 lacks this feature, so users must rely on physical barriers or manual control to keep their robot away from certain areas.

Another key difference is the dustbin size. The i3 has a larger compartment that can accommodate up to 0.7 gallons of dirt. Furthermore, an external dustbin attached to its docking station allows the robot to automatically empty its dirt compartment — an efficient feature as it reduces manual bin emptying times.

On the other hand, the i4 has a smaller dirt compartment that can only hold 0.08 gallons of debris. However, it is a bagless robot vacuum, meaning there is no external dustbin or bags needed for disposal, making it more cost-effective in the long run since you won’t need to purchase replacement bags.

Largest robotics companies
The Roomba i4 has a feature that allows you to set spots in your home you want your Roomba to avoid, but the i3 has a larger dustbin compartment.

©Grzegorz Czapski/Shutterstock.com

Battery Life and Charge Time

One of the key aspects to consider when purchasing a robotic vacuum cleaner is its battery life and recharge time. The Roomba i4 offers better battery life at 100 minutes, while its counterpart only lasts 87 minutes.

Furthermore, with its shorter recharge time of 90 minutes compared to 94 minutes for the Roomba i3, it can clean more area per cycle and requires less time to recharge for subsequent sessions, making it more suitable for larger homes or rooms with heavier carpeting.

With these advantages in place, the Roomba i4 becomes even more efficient when cleaning larger areas such as those found in larger homes or rooms with more carpeted areas.

Dimensions and Weight

The Roomba i3 and i4 differ in their dimensions as well as weight. The Roomba i4 measures only 3.94 inches (10 cm) tall, 15.75 inches (40 cm) deep, and 13.39 inches (34 cm) wide, all while weighing only 7.03 lbs (3.19 kg), making it much lighter than its counterpart model.

Comparatively, the Roomba i3 measures 19.09 inches (48.5 cm) in height, 16.54 inches (42 cm) in depth, and 13.39 inches (34 cm) wide. At 7.05 lbs (3.20 kg), it weighs slightly more than the Roomba i4, so it may be more challenging to maneuver around tight spaces and obstacles.

Full Bin Indicator

The Roomba i3 vacuum comes equipped with a helpful feature called the Full Bin Indicator, which alerts you when the dirtbin is full and needs emptying. An indicator light on the vacuum will illuminate when this task is necessary, saving time by preventing suction loss due to overfilled bins. This handy feature helps save energy and prevents vacuums from missing suction due to full dirt bins.

Unfortunately, the Roomba i4 does not feature a Full Bin Indicator. Instead, it relies on its automatic dirt disposal system to keep the bin empty, so you don’t need to worry about it. However, if something goes awry with this system, you will know if there’s too much dirt inside, leading to decreased suction and poor cleaning performance.

Roomba i3 vs. i4: 7 Must-Know Facts

  • The i4 offers superior cleaning performance on low and high pile carpet than the i3. Plus, this model has no external dirtbag, meaning fewer recurring costs.
  • Furthermore, the i4 comes equipped with a Dual Virtual Barrier Device which marks areas for vacuums to avoid; unfortunately, the i3 does not feature this feature.
  • The i3 does a better job cleaning bare floors than the i4.
  • The i3 has a larger dirt compartment than its counterpart, and comes with an external dustbin attached to its docking station that allows automatic emptying of its compartment.
  • Both vacuums are cordless and don’t need cord storage or onboard tool storage.
  • Both vacuums come with a rack/station for convenient vacuum storage.
  • The i4 has a smaller dirt compartment volume of 0.08 gal (0.30 L), while the i3 offers more volume at 0.70 gal (2.65 L).
Best for Larger Homes
iRobot Roomba i3 EVO (3150) Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum
$244.99 ($244.99 / Count)
  • iAdapt navigation maps your home and utilizes sensors to avoid obstacles and prevent accidents
  • Features the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal system
  • High-efficiency filter can capture up to 99% of pollen, dust particles, and other allergens
  • Compatible with voice control assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant
  • The powerful motor provides ten times more suction power


We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
04/04/2023 05:06 pm GMT
Awesome for Carpets
iRobot Roomba i4 (Renewed)
$189.99
  • Renewed
  • Wi-Fi Connected Mapping
  • Compatible with Alexa
  • Ideal for carpets, pet hair
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/21/2023 03:47 pm GMT

Roomba i3 vs. i4: Which One is Better for You?

After analyzing the iRobot Roomba i3 and i4, it is evident that the i4 is superior. The i4 offers better cleaning performance on low and high-pile carpet, making it the ideal choice for households with carpets. Furthermore, its Dual Virtual Barrier Device-absent in the i3-allows users to mark areas they wish the vacuum to avoid while vacuuming. Plus, lacking an external dirtbag requires less recurring costs for users.

The i3 performs better on bare floors, making it ideal for households with hardwood or tile flooring. In addition, its larger dirt compartment allows it to store more dirt and debris before needing emptying. Again, an external dustbin attached to its docking station automatically empties its dirt compartment, eliminating user involvement in this task.

Overall, the iRobot Roomba i4 stands as the superior robot vacuum due to its advanced features and superior cleaning performance on carpets. On the other hand, those with bare floors may prefer the i3 due to its larger dirt compartment and external dustbin. Ultimately, your choice of robot vacuum depends on your cleaning needs and preferences, so be sure to think about what features you’d prefer most!

Roomba i3 vs. i4: Which Robotic Vacuum is the Better Buy? FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Which Roomba model is better for carpets, the i3 or i4?

The iRobot Roomba i4 offers superior cleaning performance on low and high-pile carpets than its counterpart.

Does either the Roomba i3 or i4 have an external dirtbag?

The Roomba i4 does not feature an external dirtbag. On the other hand, the Roomba i3 has a dustbin attached to its docking station, allowing it to empty its compartment when not in use automatically.

Which Roomba model offers lower recurring costs?

The Roomba i4 has fewer expenses since it doesn’t need an external dirtbag, while the Roomba i3 includes a dustbin attached to its docking station that must be emptied periodically.

What is the volume of the dirt compartment in Roomba i3 and i4?

The Roomba i3 features a larger dirt compartment with 0.70 gal (2.65 L), while the Roomba i4 has only 0.08 gal (0.30 L) capacity.

Does the Roomba i3 or i4 come with a Dual Virtual Barrier Device?

The Roomba i4 features an enhanced Dual Virtual Barrier Device that lets you mark areas for the vacuum to avoid while cleaning, while the i3 lacks this feature.

Which Roomba model has a faster recharge time?

The Roomba i4 offers an accelerated 90-minute charge time, while the i3 has a recharge time of 94 minutes.

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