Roomba 981 vs i7 – Review and Comparison

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In this Roomba 981 vs i7 comparison, we will be looking at two of the most popular Roomba models. iRobot is one of the leading companies in highly-efficient sensors that can detect almost anything that allow their line of RoboVacs called Roomba to smoothly clean floors autonomously and safely. They recently began aggressively innovating and marketing their new RoboVacs in 2021, and this article will go through two of their flagship models. 

The Roomba 981 and i7 are very similar in shape and size, with the i7 looking sleeker and premium. They both come in similar thicknesses at around 3.6 inches, and their dimensions are also similar, with the Roomba 981 at 13.9 inches x 13.9 inches and the Roomba i7 at 13.34 inches x 13.26 inches. 

There are also very considerable features that you would need to be knowledgeable about in terms of capability, efficiency, and portability to really decide which RoboVac is for your needs and budget. 

See Also – Roomba I7+ Review & Roomba 981 Review

Battery Life

Battery life can be a game-changer for most people since this basically dictates how long your RoboVacs can run in one go. It will depend on your floor area, of course, since bigger ones naturally take longer to completely clean, and the opposite goes for smaller areas.

The Roomba i7 can run for 75 minutes long with one charge, and this is a bit below average compared to other vacuums that can run for at least 100 minutes. The battery itself is much smaller, which causes the whole body to be lighter at around 3.4 kilograms. 

Roomba 981
The Roomba 981 Can Last 45 Minutes Longer.

Heavier at 4 kilograms, the Roomba 981 has a bigger battery and can run for around 120 minutes for the same charging time. This is undoubtedly much better for people with bigger floors, or who just don’t want the hassle of having to charge the RoboVac frequently. Either way, the Roomba 981 is definitely the better choice

Tank Capacity

The tank capacity is indicative of how much dirt and dust a vacuum can hold for a period of time. Once it’s full, you would, of course, have to throw out the content to let the vacuum run again. This is a very time-consuming process for a lot since cleaning dust off is a bit uncomfortable and tedious. 

The Roomba i7 has a pretty standard tank capacity of 400ml. But, if you get its upgraded model, Roomba i7+, you wouldn’t have to worry about this feature at all since it has an auto disposal feature, which enables it to automatically clean the dust out whenever it’s full. This way, you would never have to even think about it, but still, it comes at a higher price. 

On the other hand, the Roomba 981 has an above-average tank capacity of 600ml. That’s around 150% of the Roomba i7. If you want all the features that the Roomba 981 provides, then it’s still the overall best option for you. 


Various types of floors have different abilities to hold dust and different particles. For example, carpeted floors often hold onto the dust well, which makes them “stickier” for the vacuum. This would need more suction power and time to clean, and more often than not, the vacuum might not even be able to suck it up. 

So, you have to consider how well the RoboVacs can use under different circumstances. The Roomba 981 has its carpet boost technology that allows it to automatically change the suction power and pressure, helping it suck up even the smallest particles on your carpets. Not just that, it can detect any type of floor under it, changing the settings by itself. 

Unfortunately, the Roomba i7 does not have this feature, making it only efficient with bare floors. You can manually adjust the suction power yourself, but it’s difficult to gauge if you aren’t that experience. So, it’s really best to just go with the Rooba 981 for its boost technology


The RoboVacs’ navigation features are really important factors to consider since these are autonomous; you would need to trust them almost completely to work on their own. Both the Roomba 981 and i7 also have their own “minds” that allow them to map out an area. 

This feature will make them go through an already-planned path whenever they clean. The Roomba 981 has the iAdapt 2.0 navigation technology that allows exactly this. But, the Roomba i7 has an upgraded version, iAdapt 3.0, that does the same and more. 

Roomba I7
With Selective Room Cleaning, you have total cleaning control.

The Roomba i7 is also equipped with selective room cleaning. Through an app, you can literally map out any area you want the Roomba i7 to clean, and you can also dictate which are off-limits. This adds quite a lot of room for efficiency and control on your end, which makes it the best choice for us in terms of navigation!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do Roomba 981 and Roomba i7 Come with Voice Control?

Both the Roomba 981 and Roomba i7 have voice control, which you can access through the app. With this feature, you can control your RoboVacs from anywhere around your home without having to use a remote control. Just relax and “talk” to your Robovacs. 

Which Model is Better? Roomba 981 vs i7?

While the Roomba i7 has an edge with its navigation features, the Roomba 981 is certainly still the best option since its tank capacity and boost technology really make your experience more efficient and less time-consuming. It’s more capable of cleaning your homes by itself!

What Are the Main Differences between Roomba 981 vs i7?

The main difference between them is the carpet boost technology since it will considerably change the way your RoboVac cleans your home. The Roomba 981 can automatically change its suction settings according to the type of floor under it, while the Roomba i7 can not. 

Roomba 981 vs i7: Which Is More Portable?

There isn’t much difference between the two in terms of dimensions as they come in the same height, and there’s barely any difference in diameter. But, their weights are undoubtedly something to consider when traveling since the Roomba 981 is around 4 kg while the Roomba i7 is 3.4 kg, making the latter more portable. 

Final Verdict – Roomba 981 vs i7

Both RoboVacs certainly have their benefits and disadvantages, but the Roomba 981 takes our pick with its enhanced carpet boost technology, better battery life, and larger tank capacity. All these features will make your cleaning experience much smoother, and you wouldn’t have to be as hands-on with it as you would with the Roomba i7. 

We hope this article has helped you understand the differences in the Roomba 981 vs i7 comparison.