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Roomba e5 vs. e6

In the market for a budget-friendly Roomba that has up-to-date hardware and modern specs, but a basic interface? Enter the Roomba e5 and Roomba e6 robot vacuums.

Roomba e5 vs. e6 comparison

These two robot vacuums are quite similar so let’s hit the highlights and see what you need to know about these robots.

Roomba e5
  • Cleaning: 99%
  • Runs: 90 mins.
  • Virtual Wall: No
  • Digital Mapping: No
  • Color: Black/Black
Roomba e6
  • Cleaning: 99%
  • Runs: 90 mins.
  • Virtual Wall: Yes
  • Digital Mapping: No
  • Color: Black/Tan

What’s Different?

From a high level, the main differences between these two robot vacuums come down to two (relatively) minor specs.

  1. Color: The Roomba e5 has an all-black body style while the Roomba e6 has a black and tan body.
  2. Tools: The Roomba e6 comes with an extra filter as well as two virtual walls. Most versions of the e5 do not come with a virtual wall and only one filter (may vary based on the retailer.)

What’s the Same?

Aside from the minor differences listed above, these two Roomba robots are nearly identical. They have the same:

  • Run Time: 90 minutes
  • Battery Capacity: 1,800 mAh
  • Navigation: iAdapt 1.0
  • Brushroll: Rubberized; dual
  • Size: 13.3″DIA x 3.4″H
  • Wifi Connectivity: Yes

Design

The design of both of these Roombas is based on a round body style with simple controls on top and wifi connectivity for wireless access.

Buttons on the top are for:

  • Clean: starts or stops a cleaning cycle
  • Home: immediately sends the robot back to the charging station
  • Spot: cleans small areas in a circular pattern to treat small spots

Under each of these vacuums is the same setup. It has the centrally located dual rubberized brushrolls. The brushroll sits between the two larger wheels and captures debris as the robot rolls over it.

RELATED: Looking for a Roomba with an edge-to-edge brushroll? Check out the Roomba S9+.

The bottom of the e5 contains the rolling brushes, wheels, spinning brush, and dustbin
Roomba e5 brushroll and underside

Below the brushroll is the spinning side brush, which is located to the side of the vacuum. This little tool is designed to capture debris along corners and edges and pull them into the cleaning path of the central brushrolls.

Cleaning along edges and corners - Roomba e6
Roomba e6 cleaning along edges

Edge sensors at the perimeter of both the e5 and e6 keeps each Roomba from driving over edges, stairs, or other lofted spaces.

Wireless Control

When comparing the Roomba e5 vs. Roomba e6 wireless connectivity is a big deal. Robot vacuums with this feature can be paired with the iRobot Home app and you can control the Roomba from anywhere.

Both the e5 and e5 have wireless control.

iRobot Roomba smartphone app
iRobot Roomba smartphone app

Navigation

These two Roombas have the iAdapt 1.0 navigation system which uses a bump-and-continue approach to zig-zag their way around the room.

iRobot iAdapt 1.0 cleaning navigation paths
Cleaning pattern on less advanced Roomba models

More advanced Roombas, like the Roomba 960, uses the iAdapt 2.0 navigation, and the most advanced Roombas, like the Roomba i7, uses iAdapt 3.0 navigation.

Newer versions of the iAdapt technology promotes cleaning cycles with straighter lines and obstacle detection.

That being said, navigation does not always translate equally to cleaning performance, as suction, brushroll style, and run time are also factors to consider.

Run Time

Both Rooms have a run time of 90 minutes.

Roomba e5

90 mins

Roomba e6

90 mins

More advanced Roombas offer Recharge & Resume, which drives the robot back to the charging station in the middle of cleaning to juice up and resume cleaning. But these two Roombas do not have this feature for extended run time.

How big is the e5 vs. e6?

Both the Roomba e5 vs. e6 are the same size vacuums. For exact specs, they are:

  • Diameter: 13.3″ wide
  • Height: 3.6″ tall
  • Weight: 7.2 lbs
Size and dimensions of the Roomba e5

What comes in the box?

Roomba e5

  • Roomba e5 robot vacuum
  • Spinning side brush
  • Rubberized brushroll
  • Filter (x1)
  • Charging base
  • User manual

*Some, but not all versions of the e5, will also come with a virtual wall.

Roomba e6

  • Roomba e6 robot vacuum
  • Spinning side brush
  • Rubberized brushroll
  • Filter (x2)
  • Virtual wall (x2)
  • Charging base
  • User manual

NOTE: If you have the Roomba e5 already, but want to add a virtual wall, you can purchase a standalone unit here.

Cleaning Performance

When we’re looking at cleaning performance, again, there’s a lot of overlap. What are some of the main factors that effect cleaning performance?

  • Navigation
  • Suction power
  • Run time
  • Brushroll
Roomba e6 robot vacuum
Roomba e6 cleaning performance

With both the Roomba e5 and e6, all four of these factors are identical so you can expect cleaning performance to be basically identical also.

While we haven’t been able to test out the e6 in person, we did run our full range of cleaning tests on the Roomba e5, and here’s what we found.

Overall

99%

Hardwood

100%

Low Carpet

99%

High Carpet

99%

For the most complete performance testing, we tested against four different debris on three different floor types.

  • Debris includes: cereal, rice, kitty litter, and sugar
  • Flooring types include: hardwoods, low pile carpet, high pile carpet

Hardwood Floor Cleaning

Cleaning hardwoods was a flawless performance, where the e5 was able to collect 100% of all debris types we tested.

Cereal

100%

Kitty Litter

100%

Rice

100%

Sugar

100%

Roomba 890 robot vacuum hardwood cleaning test

Low Pile Carpet Cleaning

Similar to hardwoods, performance on low pile carpet was also exceptional. The e5 was able to collect basically 100% of all debris types (99% for sugar).

Cereal

100%

Kitty Litter

100%

Rice

100%

Sugar

99%

Roomba 890 robot vacuum low carpet cleaning test

High Pile Carpet Cleaning

Finally, we tested on high pile carpet and results continued to be consistently good—100% for cereal, kitty litter, and rice… 98% for sugar.

Cereal

100%

Kitty Litter

100%

Rice

100%

Sugar

98%

Roomba 890 robot vacuum high carpet cleaning test

Final Verdict: For a robot vacuum, especially one at the price point of the e5, these results are exceptional and we could expect the same performance out of the e6.

Setup & Usability

Setup is straight forward…basically.

Unbox it, plug it in, setup the app, press clean button. That’s it.

Roomba e5

Easy

Roomba e6

Easy

Periodically you’ll need to clean out filters and the dust bin, and replace filters a few times a year. If you have long hair pets or humans in your home you also may need to occasionally cut hair away from the brushroll.

Beyond that, there is virtually no maintenance.

Roomba e5 vs. e6: What’s the better value?

Strictly looking at value, the Roomba e6 is the winner here. Although it is only offered through a few direct retailers, it comes with more tools than the e6 for basically the same price.

Since all the other specs are virtually the same, that small difference is enough to edge out the e5.

That being said, if you don’t have access to a retailer for the e6, the value of the Roomba e5 plus a standalone virtual wall could be better simply in terms of convenience.

Side-by-Side Specifications

SpecificationsRoomba e5Roomba e6
Roomba e6 robot vacuum
TypeRobotRobot
ManufactureriRobotiRobot
ModelRoomba e5 (5150)Roomba e6 (6198)
Length13.3"13.3"
Width13.3"13.3"
Height3.6"3.6"
Weight7.2 lbs.7.2 lbs.
Floor TypeAll (indoor) All (indoor)
Battery1,800 mAh1,800 mAh
Dust Bin Capacity~0.5 L~0.5 L
iAdapt NavigationYesYes
Imprint Smart MappingNoNo
Washable Dust Bin (on-board)YesYes
Virtual WallVariesYes; 2 included
FilterYes, 1 includedYes; 2 included
ReturnsYes (usually), Varies by retailerYes (usually), Varies by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited1-Year limited
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Questions?

Still not sure if you should buy the e5 or e6? Let us know your questions in the comments down below.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

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