Roomba J8+ Review (Is the iRobot J8+ Worth It?)

Cleaning your floors is not a fun task, but thanks to our robot vacuum and mop it makes this weekly chore much more manageable.  I just prepare the area and click the app to send the robot out to clean.  Our iRobot Roomba i4 went went kaput after a few years and we upgraded to the Roomba J8, of course purchased at Costco.  I thought I would write up a post comparing the i4 and the J8.  After using it for a few months, here’s my iRobot J8 review.

Roomba J8 Review

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Roomba J8+ Review

What is the Roomba J8?  It is the Roomba J7 but in the Costco form.

Both the J7 and the J8 is a self-emptying model of the Roomba.

If you weren’t aware the J8 are the same roomba models as the iRobot Roomba J7, just that for Roombas sold exclusively at Costco they created a separate name and number for them. Just like the Roomba i3 is the same as the Roomba i4 at Costco.

Roomba J8 vs i4: Design Comparison

What’s the difference between the i4 and the J8? The J8+ has a lower base (or charging dock) and has a elegant looking leather pull tab so you can open the dirt disposal.

J8 Front Facing Camera

The J8+ has a front-facing camera whereas the i4 does not.

The both have a self-emptying dock.  They both have filters.  The J8+ comes with an extra dirt disposal bag (that you can put in the robot vacuum).

Here’s my Roomba i4 review if you are interested.

Positives about the J8

In this Roomba J8 review, here are some of positive aspects about the J8 that I have seen so far.

Front-Facing Camera. The J8 has a front-facing camera so you can see what went wrong or what it got stuck on. The front-facing camera kind of has a Blair Witch Project vibe with the black and white picture but maybe that’s just me.  It does seem to do an okay job of obstacle avoidance.  Pet owners can rejoice as it will recognize your pet’s bowls and take a picture of it if it is affecting the path.

Longer Battery Life. There’s a larger battery with the J8 so it takes less time to vacuum and it doesn’t need to recharge for a few hours between runtime. It runs for about 90 minutes before recharging.  It finishes cleaning faster and doesn’t need to recharge and resume.

iRobot Home App Maps well. The map creation is quite solid on the J8 with the companion app as it learns the layout over time. It was nice to be able to just vacuum up the dried up dirt from the front entry after messy snow dump we had a few weeks ago.  It seems to be able to clean specific rooms more easily and even provides some further suggestion for labelling based on your home’s layout.

In addition, the wi-fi connectivity was a breeze and it automatically connected.

Finally the App has a reminder to show you how many hours you have left before you need to replace something like the dirt disposal bag or the high efficiency filter.

Roomba App Reminders

Works well with the Braava Jet mop. The J8 seems to work better than the i4 with the Braava jet M6, the transition seems more seamless with the robot mop.

There’s an extra dustbin capacity for the back up dirt disposal bag.  Not really a big deal but kind of nice if you need to replace the bag, you just open up the lid and grab the new bag (instead of rummaging in your storage for a new bag).  The internal dustbin and self emptying feature are great, I would say the claim for it holding 60 days’ worth of debris is accurate.

Extra Dust bin Storage J8

Automatically Empties Function.  The i4 also had the self emptying function but this makes a robot vacuum a robot vacuum in my opinion and is an indispensable feature.

Downsides about the J8

It moves when you move it.  With the i4, I would carry the robot vacuum from upstairs to downstairs and vice versa. With the J8 the robot vacuum tries to move (even though it is unplugged) when I do this and it makes me nervous each time when I am carrying it on the base while transporting down the stairs that the actual robot vacuum will move and fall off the base and onto the floor and shatter. This is probably the biggest pet peeve I have. I end up doing two trips (one for the vacuum and one for the base) when I am moving them from different floors.

The cost. It’s one of the more expensive iRobots available but the larger battery size makes it worth it.

Caster wheel and brushes seem to collect hair more.  The dual multi-surface rubber brushes seem to collect hair or get stuck with hair more than the i4 from what I have seen so far.  It will still vacuum with no issues but you have to clean out the brushes and caster wheels more frequently.

I am having to rescue it more.  Compared to the i4, I am having to rescue it more.  It gets stuck or needs to have the dust bin manually emptied (gross) without the option for the “empty bin” button on the app.

You’ll still need other vacuum cleaners.  Specifically something that can spot clean quickly or reach hard to reach places (e.g. with a small nozzle).  The J8 does not work on stairs.

Loud self-emptying.  Similar to the i4, the self-emptying model of the J8 is loud.

Is the iRobot J8+ Worth It?

Self-emptying robot vacuums  and robot mops are worth it especially if you aren’t a fan of vacuuming and mopping.  Is the J8+ worth the extra cost?

The battery life is worth it especially if you have a larger area for your robot vacuum to work on.  You won’t have to wait an hour between a charge for your robot vacuum to finish vacuuming your floor, and it should be able to complete it in one go (at least it does for us now, with about 1200 square feet of space).

Roomba J8

There are a few reasons why a robot vacuum would not be for you.

It goes without saying that cluttered homes would not work well with the robot vacuums.

Bare floors, hardwood floors, would work best with the Roomba vacuums in my opinion.

Dirt and debris are no match for the J8 and Roomba.

In addition to the long battery life compared to the Roomba i4, the iRobot Roomba J8 is preferable to the iRobot Roomba j7 because of Costco’s excellent return policy in case your J8 did not match up to your expectations.  There are a number of robot vacuums on the market, there will likely be something that will fit your family.

Hopefully this Roomba J8 review was helpful.

Do you have the J8+? What is your Roomba J8 review?

 

 

 

 

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