So, you’ve made the decision to purchase a robotic vacuum cleaner and you’re wondering which one is best for you. We’re here to help you out. Today, we’ll take a look at the Roomba e5 and Roomba e6 vacuums to see which one is the best. The Roomba e-Series is a mid-tier vacuum with strong suction power.
As it turns out, the Roomba e5 and Roomba e6 are basically the exact same robotic vacuum cleaner. They have the same motor, suction power, brushes, and run time. However, we feel Roomba e5 is better because of the higher cost performance you get when purchasing. Especially when you consider pricing, Roomba e5 comes off as the better value.
Both vacuums are excellent at both hardwood floors and carpets. Both models are very good with pet hair and dander. But what attachments come with the e6 and why should you purchase that model? We’ll detail all the attachments of both models and give you the pros and cons of the machine. Read on for an in-depth analysis.
Roomba e5 vs Roomba e6: Attachments
The Roomba e5 comes with the following attachments:
- Charging Station
- Extra High Efficiency Filter
- Extra Side Brush
While those accessories are nice, the Roomba e6 comes with all of those attachments plus these:
- Three Extra High Efficiency Filters
- Two “Virtual Wall” Devices
The Roomba Home Base charging station is built to remain plugged in. You should keep it on a level surface in an uncluttered area with at least 4 feet of space around it. This is available with all Roomba vacuums.
The station features an RCON sensor on top, an IR sensor window, and charging contacts. The RCON sensor is native to Roomba and allows your vacuum to detect compatible accessories, like the virtual walls. The IR (infrared) sensor detects walls and obstacles and allows the Roomba to clean and avoid stairs and drop-offs.
Extra High Efficiency Filter
The high efficiency filter on a Roomba filters out air allergens. If you’re like a lot of people, you occasionally are afflicted by sneezing or irritated eyes. Many times these allergies are caused by minuscule dust or mold in our homes. Triggers for these can include:
The best way to soothe your allergies is to get rid of the allergens causing them. The Roomba filters will do that. They’ll even remove mold and dust mites from carpet. They remove 99% of pet allergens. While you love your pets, you don’t have to suffer for them.
The filters are replaceable and interchangeable between the two models. It is recommended you change the filters once a month. You can get 12 of these filters for around $30 on Amazon.
Extra Side Brush
The Roomba has a nifty tool that allows the vacuum to sweep dust, cobwebs, and debris from the edges and corners of a wall into the direct path of the vacuum. This is really handy in a pet household, when hair can become trapped in the corners of your home.
“Virtual Wall” Devices
The most impressive attachments that come with the e6 are the virtual wall devices. Virtual wall devices shoot an infrared beam up to 10 feet. The e5 does not come with the devices but it is compatible with them. Two of the devices will set you back about $90 at Amazon.
The cool thing about the virtual walls is that it comes with two modes. In virtual wall mode, the infrared beam projects a straight line to create a wall barrier the Roomba will not cross. This is useful if you want to keep the Roomba from entering one room or section of the house. You can also use it to keep the Roomba cleaning in only one room.
The other mode is a “halo” mode. This mode creates an infrared beam circle up to four feet across. This mode is best used if you want to keep a certain area in a room from being accessed by the Roomba. It’s great for pet food bowls or water dishes.
Pros of e5 and e6
Both the e5 and e6 are powerful vacuums with plenty of suction for that class of Roomba. Both have several good qualities:
- Strong Suction
- Long Battery Life – 90-minute Runtime
- Designed to Pick Up Pet Hairs and Allergens
- Dirt Detect Technology
- Smart Navigation
- Washable Dust Bin
- WiFi Connectivity for Linking the Vacuum to the HOME app for both Android and iOS devices
The Roomba E Series is 5 times more powerful than the Roomba 600 series, as iRobot continues to build on the power of the vacuums. Because of this, both vacuums can pick up pet hair, dust, and debris that previous versions of the Roomba would miss.
Long Battery Life
The E Series uses a lithium ion battery. You should fully charge the battery once every two days. When it’s fully charged, the battery should give you up to 90 minutes of run time, which should cover up to 1,100 square feet.
Designed To Pick Up Pet Hair
With the E Series, iRobot powered up the machines. They use a special 3 stage cleaning system to rid your home of pet hair, dandruff, debris, and the allergens that are in the air you breathe.
First, the e5 and e6 have a side cleaning brush to move the dust and dirt from the sides to the suction path. Then, two counter rotating brushes scoop up dirt and debris. Finally, the improved suction power of the vacuum pulls it into the bin.
These vacuums have significantly more power behind them than the 600 series, iRobot’s previous models of vacuums. They’re designed especially to pick up all the pet hair and dander from your home and their price makes them a good addition for household chores.
Besides the E Series, the Shark NV370 is also excellent at picking up pet hair and dander, especially from hardwood floors. It’s similar to the mid-range e5 and e6 as a solid robotic vacuum.
Dirt Detect Technology
There are going to be some areas of your house that are cleaner than others. For this problem, iRobot developed a Roomba with Dirt Detect Technology. When your Roomba detects an area of your home where dirt is more concentrated, the technology will kick in and the E Series will go over that particular patch of the floor until the Roomba notes less dirt.
All Roomba vacuums are programmed with Smart Navigation. The Smart Navigation programming keeps track of where the Roomba has been and sensors keep track of obstacles in the suction path. When the vacuum is finished, or when it finds itself low on the battery charge, it will navigate back to the home base and recharge.
Washable Dust Bin
Older Roombas, such as the 600 series, are not equipped with the washable dust bin but iRobot changed that, starting with this E Series. These new ones can be taken out and rinsed under running water without ruining any components of the vacuum. Once dried, just pop it back into the vacuum and you’re good to go.
Starting with the E Series, iRobot introduced the HOME app. This app, available for iOS and Android devices, lets you program your cleaning to kick off on certain days and times even when you’re not home.
You first download the app and register with IRobot. Then, pair your phone or tablet with the vacuum. iRobot offers a user friendly screen and you can navigate through the cleaning schedule. You can also set the vacuum up to clean at any time.
Cons of e5 and e6
While a solid machine, the E Series vacuums do have some drawbacks. They include:
- No mapping of rooms
- Doesn’t resume cleaning after charging
The loudness of e5 and e6
While the iRobot Roombas are not as loud as traditional, corded vacuums, they still make noise and the amount of noise they make is annoying to some people. The average noise made by a Roomba e5 or e6 is slightly louder than a normal conversation. At their very loudest, the E Series is as loud as an average washing machine.
The Roomba is going to be louder on carpets than on harder floors. On carpets, the Roomba needs to be switched to detailed or custom clean, the maximum setting. Once at that setting, the Roomba increases the suction power and the sound increases accordingly. You can change this preference in the settings but you may not get the suction you desire on your carpets.
No Mapping of Rooms
The E Series vacuums are a scaled down version at an excellent price. With that price comes some limitations. High-end Roomba models collect data as they clean, identifying furniture and walls so they won’t crash into those things next cleaning. The E Series does not have that feature so the vacuum is not going to know where your couch is during any cleaning until it uses the attached sensors.
This may not be much of a detriment. After all, the e5 or the e6 can use those sensors and know not to crash into your dining room table. With the e6, you also have the additional virtual walls to let Roomba know where and where not to go. If it doesn’t map your home, it also can’t store that information online and that is a concern in today’s technological world.
Doesn’t Resume Cleaning After Charging
Perhaps the biggest customer complaint about the Roomba E5 or e6 is that, once it gives out of battery life, it will not continue to vacuum after recharging. This means that, if you’re not home and the Roomba cleans half your home before going to recharge, it’s not going to come out to clean the other half of your house until you instruct it to do so.
Many customers like the continue cleaning after recharging feature and it saves them from having to think about scheduling the vacuum for another cleaning session that day. However, with the price of these particular Roomba, it’s not surprising that it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the more expensive models.
Compared to Other Roomba Vacuums
So we’ve determined that both the e5 and e6 are good, solid vacuums for a reasonable price. They both have the same cleaning power and the only difference between the two vacuums is the color they come in. However, how do they stack up to comparable robotic vacuums?
The E Series is a vast improvement over the iRobot 600 series, simply in terms of suction power. For a thorough clean, choose the E Series over the older Roomba models.
Against the newer i7 Roomba models, the E Series does not perform as well. While the i7 has a shorter run time than the e6, the i7 has auto dock/ auto resume feature that allows cleaning after recharging. The i7 also has smart mapping for your home so it knows where the furniture and walls are after one vacuuming session. With this technology, you can label your rooms by name and have your i7 clean only one room, if you like. For these reasons, the i7 has an edge on the E Series of vacuum cleaners.
Recently, iRobot came out with the 880, followed by the 980. These models share the same 3 stage cleaning system and the same powerful filter. They have WiFi connectivity and can get up to 2 full hours of run-time. Both models have been discontinued but were great machines in their day and you can still find them at third party vendors. While they had more bells and whistles than the e5 or the e6, the E series compares favorably in terms of suction power, battery life and high powered filter.
What’s the price on these machines?
You can get the e6 only at select locations, like Costco and Sam’s. You can order the e5 easily through Amazon or the iRobot website. The e6 will set you back $400, while the e5 cost about $299, you will save about $80 on Amazon.
What happens if I need a part for my Roomba?
It’s easy to swap in a new part at home. Just buy it from Amazon. iRobot keeps extra spare parts for every vacuum it has ever made.
Will the e6 or e5 fall off my stairs?
These robots come with a cliff detect sensors system to keep the vacuums from tumbling down the stairs.
Because you get fewer attachments with the e5(You can buy them separately) but because the price point is lower, we’re going to go with the Roomba e5 over the e6 as our recommendation. The machines are basically the same unit, so go with the cheaper model. Happy Cleaning!