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Roomba e6 Review

The Roomba e6 is the fraternal twin of the Roomba e5— the same parts on the inside with a slightly different look on the outside. It’s budget-friendly and with great cleaning performance.

So how is it different and is it the right choice for you? Let’s find out!

Great Value for Roomba with Accessories

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Roomba e6

The Roomba e6 is the updated version of the Roomba e5. It has the same power, run time, and specs, but includes two virtual walls and an extra filter. It has wifi connectivity, wireless control, scheduled cleanings, and a run time of up to 90 minutes. Navigation is a bit basic, but if you’re looking for the best deal, the e6 is solid. Check Price

Pros

  • Wifi-connectivity makes it easy to control from your phone or schedule cleaning cycles
  • Offers a powerful cleaning performance and a mix of neat features.

Cons

  • No on-board camera so navigation is a bit sporadic
  • Does not have Recharge & Resume so may have limited capability for large floor plans

Roomba e5 vs. e6: What’s Different?

  • Virtual wall: The Roomba e5 does not come with any virtual walls, but the e6 comes with two virtual walls.
  • Filter: The Roomba e5 comes with a pre-installed filter while the Roomba e6 includes the pre-installed filter as well as a single replacement filter.
  • Color: The Roomba e5 is all black, while the Roomba e6 has a black and tan, two-tone color scheme.

Roomba e6 Design

The Roomba e6 is the updated version of the Roomba e5. It has a new two-tone aesthetic with tan and black accents, but most of the same specs under the hood like run time, brushroll, power, etc.

Roomba e6 robot vacuum

The Controls

On top of the e6, you have the same controls that you’ll find on the e5.

Controls include:

  • Home button: sends the e6 back tot he charging station
  • Spot clean: the vacuum navigates in small circles over a small area with the circle getting wider until the cycle is complete and the area is clean
  • CLEAN: starts or pauses a cleaning cycle without going through

Brushrolls & Brushes

The bottom of the e6 has a green dual brushroll in the middle of the vacuum between the two central wheels. The two rollers spin in opposing directions, which pulls debris into the vacuum instead of allowing it to wrap around the axle and cause clogs or tangles.

RELATED: Click here to read our guide — Best Roomba for Pet Hair

There is one side spinning brush that helps to capture debris from along edges and corners.

The bottom of the e5 contains the rolling brushes, wheels, spinning brush, and dustbin
The bottom of the e5 and e6 contain the rolling brushes, wheels, spinning brush, and dustbin

There is no digital mapping technology or on-board camera, so it tends to drive around loosely bumping into obstacles and navigating in a bit of a zig-zag pattern.

When the cleaning cycle is complete, the e6 will drive itself back to the dock and juice up.

Despite the random navigation, cleaning performance should match that of the Roomba e5 since they are functionally the same vacuum.

New brushrolls used on the e5 - one is used to lift while the other is used to loosen
New brushrolls used on the e5 and e6 – one is used to lift while the other is used to loosen

Size & Dimensions

The size of the Roomba e6 is comparable to that of other Roomba vacuums.

How big is the vacuum?

The Roomba e6 is:

  • 13.3″ diameter
  • 3.6″ tall
  • 7.2 pounds

Here is a photo of the Roomba e5 for comparison, since their specs are identical.

Size and dimensions of the Roomba e5
e5 / e6 dimensions

Accessories & Parts

The Roomba e6 includes the following parts and accessories:

  • Charging base
  • 2 virtual walls
Charger included with the Roomba e5 robot vacuum

CHARGING BASE | The charging base included with the Roomba e6 is the same basic one included with other models. It has two charging pins that align with the pins on the underside of the vacuum.

After the e6 is done with a cleaning cycle, it will automatically drive back to the charging station and juice up before the next cleaning run.

Wall barrier included with the Roomba i7+ robot vacuum

VIRTUAL WALL | The virtual walls with the E6 model is definitely somethign that separates the e6 from the e5, as not all models of the e5 come with a virtual wall. This dual-mode barrier can block off areas using two different methods.

  1. Halo Mode: blocks off a 4′ radius around the placement of the virtual wall; good for pet areas or sensitive furniture
  2. Linear Mode: blocks off up a 10′ linear path; good for hallways or entryways

Features

Features of the Roomba e6 are a well-rounded mix of efficiency, effectiveness, and value. Some of the most popular features include:

  • Scheduled cleaning cycles
  • App control
Roomba e6 robot vacuum cleaning

Scheduling

To schedule a cleaning on the Roomba e6, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Pair the e6 to your smartphone using the iRobot Home app
  2. Use the app to “Create an Event”
iRobot Roomba scheduling setup
Interface to setup Roomba scheduling

You can specify certain days of the week you want the vacuum to clean. Also, you can schedule one-time cleanings on-demand or weekly cleanings ahead of time.

RELATED: Want to set up zoned cleaning cycles for particular rooms? Check out the Roomba i7.

App Control

The app is useful for scheduled cleaning, but has a few additional features as well. Using the app, you can:

  1. Start, pause, or schedule a cleaning cycle from anywhere.
  2. Register and/or name your vacuum.
  3. Change the spoken language of the robot.
  4. Product Support and FAQ
  5. Receive automatic software updates
  6. Turn on push notifications to receive real-time alerts about the e6.
iRobot Roomba smartphone app
iRobot Roomba smartphone app

Cleaning Performance

While we haven’t personally tested the cleaning performance of the Roomba e6, we can assume that it will be virtually identical to that of the e5.

These two vacuums are identical when it comes to performance since they have the same:

  • Power capacity
  • Run time
  • Brushroll
  • Dust bin
  • Wheels
  • iAdapt 2.0 navigation system

To evaluate the cleaning performance of the e5, we tested it against four debris types, and on three different floorings.

We ran tests using— cereal, rice, kitty litter, and sugar. We tested those debris types on hardwoods, low pile carpet, and high pile carpet.

Here were the results:

Overall

99%

Hardwood

100%

Low Carpet

99%

High Carpet

99%

OVERALL: The cleaning performance was excellent across all floor types and against all debris types. Results were 100% for cereal, rice, and kitty litter and between 98-100% for sugar.

These results are almost unprecedented for a robot vacuum at this price point and makes the Roomba e6 (and Roomba e5) an excellent value.

Roomba e6 robot vacuum cleaning under furniture
e6 cleaning under a sofa

Hardwood Floor Cleaning

All four debris types were easy to clean during our hardwood tests—simply a flawless performance.

Cereal

100%

Kitty Litter

100%

Rice

100%

Sugar

100%

Roomba 890 robot vacuum hardwood cleaning test
e5 hardwood floor testing results

In addition to overall performance, the Roomba e5 was pretty efficient and quick to clean. It does have a random zig-zag pattern, but the end results were good.

Low Pile Carpet Cleaning

Performance on low pile carpet was almost identical to the hardwood floor. The results were 100% flawless performance against cereal, kitty litter, and rice. Sugar was barely a nose behind with 99% cleaning performance.

Cereal

100%

Kitty Litter

100%

Rice

100%

Sugar

99%

This small dip in sugar performance feels a negligible and I was still impressed on all of these low carpet tests.

When we ran the sugar test again, the e5 was able to capture that last 1% of remaining sugar.

Roomba 890 robot vacuum low carpet cleaning test
e5 low pile carpet testing results

High Pile Carpet Cleaning

High pile carpet tests had a consistent cleaning pattern as the performance on low pile carpet and hardwoods. Cereal, kitty litter, and rice scored 100% while sugar was only slightly behind at 98%.

Cereal

100%

Kitty Litter

100%

Rice

100%

Sugar

98%

In many cases, high pile carpet is where robot vacuums tend to struggle since it can be difficult to generate the suction power and brush roll agitation needed to clean deeply into the carpet fibers.

Roomba 890 robot vacuum high carpet cleaning test
e5 high pile carpet testing results

This is not the case with the Roomba e5 and since performance specs are the same on the e6, we wouldn’t suspect the e6 to struggle at all with any of these flooring types either.

MORE: Want more tests? Click here to read our full selection of Robot Vacuum Reviews

Usability

The overall usability of the Roomba e6 vacuum breaks down into two categories:

  1. Initial Setup
  2. Day-to-Day Operation

How long does setup take?

The initial setup of the e6 is simple and takes less than 5 minutes. Unbox the vacuum, charge it up, and let it clean.

The Roomba e6 does come with a battery 50% charged up so you could clean right away after unboxing. That being said, performance is better when it has a full charge.

With a full battery, the Roomba e6 can run for up to 90 minutes.

Using the App

For a hands-free setup, you can install the iRobot Smart Home app and pair the vacuum to your phone using a local WiFi network.

The app allows you to control the robot vacuum from anywhere using your smartphone.

The pairing process takes just a few minutes and in-app prompts guide you through the installation and the whole thing is pretty pain-free.

What is the day-to-day like?

Operating the Roomba e6 day in and day out is very simple and straight forward. It lacks some advanced features like digital mapping and Recharge & Resume, but it provides a quality clean at a great price.

Cleaning along edges and corners - Roomba e6
Spinning brush does a great job of capturing debris along edges and corners

Some of the features that add to this robot’s usability include:

  • Scheduled cleanings: schedule any day or time within the next 7 days
  • In-app control: link up the robot to your smartphone for wireless control
  • Washable dush bin: rinse away any dirt or debris left behind
  • Cliff-detect sensors: helps the Roomba to detect edges or stairs as it cleans

Is the Roomba e6 a Good Value?

So all things considered, is the Roomba e6 a good deal?

Answer: Absolutely.

The price point of this robot vacuum is nearly half the price of higher-end Roombas (ie: Roomba i7 or Roomba S9).

Despite the price difference, the Roomba e5 (and presumably e6) are workhorses when it comes to cleaning performance, scoring 99% overall against the same debris we tested for the higher-end models.

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

The main thing you give up with the e6 over those fancier models is advanced navigation and digital mapping. There is no onboard camera, no zoned cleaning cycles, and basically no method to the madness when it comes to the way it cleans.

But it does clean… and well at that.

MORE: Best Cheap Robot Vacuum

As long as you aren’t looking for those straight vacuum lines and don’t need specific rooms cleaned on specific days, the Roomba e6 would be a great option.

Roomba e5 vs. Roomba e6: Which is the better value?

Strictly concerning value on the Roomba e5 and e6, the e6 takes the cake here. The main difference between these two modes is:

  1. Color
  2. Accessories

The e6 comes with TWO virtual walls and an extra filter. Not all models of the e5 come with any virtual walls, much less two.

Aside from the color and accessories, the only other difference is where each model is sold. The Roomba e5 tends to be available more broadly at a larger variety of retailers, while Roomba e6 has very limited availability and is only available at Wal-mart and a couple of others.

Roomba e6 Specifications

For a full list of the Roomba e6 specifications, check out the table below:

SpecificationsRoomba e6
Roomba e6 robot vacuum
TypeRobot
ManufactureriRobot
ModelRoomba e6
Length13.3"
Width13.3"
Height3.6"
Weight7.2 lbs.
Floor TypeAll (indoor)
Battery1,800 mAh
Dust Bin Capacity~0.5 L
iAdapt NavigationYes
Imprint Smart MappingNo
Washable Dust Bin (on-board)Yes
Includes Virtual WallYes; One
ReturnsYes (usually), Varies by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited
PriceCheck Price

Who Should Buy the Roomba e6?

The e6 is a nice balance of price, performance, and specs. It is reasonably priced to not break the bank, but the inclusion of wifi connectivity and the upgraded rubberized brushroll make it a solid choice for many people.

I would recommend the Roomba e6 if you’re looking for the following features in a robot vacuum: 

  • Want virtual walls: The Roomba e6 comes with two virtual walls which is a really nice feature if you’re looking to break up cleaning cycles into different areas. By comparison, not all versions of the Roomba e5 include this accessory.
  • Great cleaning performance: Cleaning is a breeze with this e6 robot. On all floor types and against all debris we tested, this vacuum did superb, capturing 98-100% of all debris tested.
  • Want basic navigation: If you don’t care how the vacuum cleans and just want something that gets it done, the e6 is solid. The navigation pattern tends to be a bit sporadic as it works its way around the room like a pinball.
  • Want a good value: The value of the Roomba e6 is excellent when you compare it against other models and look at the price point.

For more information on the Roomba e6, see here.

Value Packed Roomba
  • 95%
    Design - 95%
  • 99%
    Performance - 99%
  • 93%
    Quality - 93%
  • 94%
    Usability - 94%
  • 96%
    Value - 96%
95%

Summary

The Roomba e6 is a budget-friendly robot with a 90 minute run time and wifi connectivity. It scored well in our tests, removing an average of 99% of all debris. The e6 is a minor upgrade over the e5, including a few additional accessories. However, functionally it’s hardware and software are identical to the e5. In any case, the e6 is a great value packed robot vacuum.

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.

Need Help? Ask Your Question Below

    • I came across this article after I just purchased the e5 from Sam’s and immediately returned it to get the e6 from Walmart (for the virtual walls) and quickly learned upon set up that the e6 didn’t have the walls, but the one sold through Costco does have the walls in package so third times a charm.

    • Sorry about the confusion, Bridge.

      It seems that each of these retailers have their own special version of the e5 / e6, which may or may not include the walls.

      Glad you finally found a version that included it!

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