Skip to Content

[2023] Shark IQ vs Roomba i3: Which Robot Vacuum Is Better?

Shark IQ Vs Roomba I3

Looking for a robot vacuum can be confusing.

Especially with so many different brands and models out there.

For sure, 2 good models are the Roomba i3 and the Shark IQ.

But 1 is better than the other.

Wanna know which one?

Keep reading to find out:

  • The difference in their main brushes.
  • How they use different boundary markers.
  • What the benefits of having a self-emptying dust bin are.
  • 6 biggest differences between the Shark IQ and Roomba i3.
  • And lots more…

Shark IQ vs Roomba i3: Which robot vacuum is better?

The Roomba i3 is better than the Shark IQ. It has a longer runtime and faster recharging period. It also has an onboard dust bin with bigger capacity. Overall, the Roomba i3 does a better job in cleaning with the help of its patented dual multi-surface rubber brush.

Shark IQ vs Roomba i3: 6 biggest differences

#1: Cleaning quality

Hard floors (wood, tiles, laminated, etc.) and carpets are better cleaned by the Roomba i3.

The Shark IQ still does a good job on hard floors.

It easily collects pet hair and other small debris.

But on carpets, it struggles with things like sand or cereal. 

The Roomba i3 has a stronger suction power which benefits the cleaning quality.

Plus, the model is not far off in terms of cleaning quality compared to expensive Roombas like the i7 or S9.

#2: Difference in measurements

The Roomba i3 and Shark IQ are different in size, weight, and height.

Plus, their dust bin is different in capacity.

That said, here’s a table with the different measurements and dust bin capacity of both robot vacuums:

ModelRoomba i3Shark IQ RV1001AE 
Weight7.4 lbs (3.4 kg)5.9 lbs (2.7 kg)
Height 3.6 inches (9.1 cm)3.5 inches (8.9 cm)
Diameter13.3 inches (33.8 cm)12.9 inches (32.8 cm)
Dust bin capacity0.11 gal (0.40 L)0.04 gal (0.16 L)

The Roomba i3 is a bit longer in diameter and is also heavier than the Shark IQ. Around 1.5 lbs (0.7 kg).

The weight of different Roomba models is an important factor to think about if: 

  • You live in a house with multiple stories.
  • You need to carry it up and down the stairs.

Moreover, a filled dust bin can add roughly up to a pound to its total weight.

At #4 I talk more about dust bins and features such as self-emptying capabilities.

#3: Navigation

Both robots come with similar navigation features. 

I listed a few that are worth mentioning in this table:

ModelRoomba i3Shark IQ RV1001AE
Smart mappingYesYes
Cleaning patternStraight lines back and forthStraight lines back and forth
Boundary markersVirtual Wall Barrier Magnetic boundary tape 

Both robot vacuums come with smart mapping.

Meaning, they create a digital map of your home and save it.

This feature is very handy when you don’t want your robot vacuum to mindlessly clean everywhere.

Because with smart mapping, you can send the robot to clean only a specific area.

’’So both robot vacuums have smart mapping. But I thought this article was about their differences?’’

Yes, here’s the thing: the Roomba i3 initially didn’t have smart mapping.

See, Roomba released a firmware update in early 2022.

Which finally included a smart mapping feature.

Hopefully in the future, they’ll release more updates to improve their vacuums.

And when it comes to boundary markers, the Roomba i3 uses Virtual Wall Barriers.

This keeps the Roomba in the room that you want to be cleaned and nowhere else.

Plus, it has a special feature called Halo Mode

This creates a Keep Out Zone of 4 ft in diameter. 

It’s very useful if you want to protect certain items away from the Roomba i3.

On the other hand, the Shark IQ uses magnetic boundary tape to mark the borders. 

You can simply place the tape where you don’t want the Shark IQ to come and done.

But there’s a downside to this…

The tape is there to stay.

Which can ruin the appearance of the room or area where you place it.

For example, if you have an opening from 1 room to the other around 6 ft (1.82 m) wide. 

Then you’ll also need to tape that distance with the magnetic boundary tape.

So, keep that in mind when considering the Shark IQ.

#4: Design

As said, the Roomba i3 is a bit longer in diameter and a bit heavier in weight.

But there are more design differences.

For instance, they’re slightly different on the bottom side.

Here’s a table specifying those features: 

ModelRoomba i3 Shark IQ RV1001AE
Directional wheels11
Side brushes12
Navigational wheels22
Main brush1 Dual multi-surface rubber brush1 Spiral brush

The Roomba i3 main brush is their patented dual multi-surface rubber brush.

The specialty of that brush is that it has 2 brush rolls that counter-spin toward each other.

As a result, they loosen and pick up more dirt and debris than the Shark IQ’s single brush roll.

However, the Shark IQ uses 2 side brushes.

But the Roomba i3 only has 1.

Yet, the side brush of the Roomba i3 is a bit more aggressive and picks up more dirt on the edges.

As a result, it still collects more gunk and debris than the Shark IQ. 

You might also want to know: Are Roombas Worth It? 17 Advantages & Disadvantages

#5 Self-emptying dust bins

Both robot vacuum cleaners come with self-emptying dust bins.

This is very convenient if you suffer from dust allergies.

Or simply don’t have time to constantly empty it yourself.

That said, here’s a table presenting the models’ differences in terms of dust bins:

ModelRoomba i3Shark IQ RV1001AE
Dust bin capacity (internal)0.11 gal (0.40 L)0.04 gal (0.16 L)
Self-emptying dust bin capacity0.66 gal (2.5 L)0.48 gal (1.8 L)
Amount of cleaning sessions before emptying the self-emptying dust bin30 cleaning sessions 30 cleaning sessions
Height of the self-emptying dust bin19 inches (48.3 cm)19.5 inches (49.6 cm)

The internal dust bin of the Shark IQ is smaller than the Roomba i3.

Since it’s smaller, it also fills faster. 

But when it comes to the self-emptying dust bins, they’re quite alike.

Yes, the Roomba i3 again has more capacity… 

But it has the same amount of cleaning sessions as the Shark IQ before you need to empty it.

So, you won’t notice that much of a difference.

And did you know it’s quite easy to maintain dust bins?

Here’s a helpful video that shows you how to efficiently use your Shark IQ self-emptying dust bin:

#6: Battery life

Both the Roomba i3 and Shark IQ come with a docking station.

After a cleaning session, they go automatically to the docking station and charge.

Here’s a table presenting the models’ differences in terms of battery:

ModelRoomba i3Shark IQ RV1001AE
Runtime75 minutes60 minutes
Charging time90 minutes300 minutes

As you can see, the Roomba i3 has a bit more runtime. 

Also, the charging time is much shorter than the Shark IQ.

The difference in battery life is important to consider if you have a big house or apartment.

See, if the robot vacuum can’t finish the job in 1 go, it goes for recharging.

If that takes too long and you’re in a hurry…

You’ll need to wait it out.

And when that happens, it’s a source of frustration.

That’s why it’s important to have good battery life for your robot vacuum.

You might also want to know: 7 Fixes: Shark Robot Vacuum Not Charging