Roomba e5 vs Roomba e6 - What Are the Differences?

Roomba e5 vs Roomba e6 – What Are the Differences?

The Roomba e5 quickly became the go-to mid-tier, budget-friendly Roomba. Shortly after, the Roomba e6 was spotted, though without much fanfare from iRobot. What is the story behind the e6? Is it better than the e5? Which one should you buy?

Deal Alert

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Roomba i7+ (normally $999)

Pros: Best suction, good for pets/long hair, logical navigation, self-emptying!

Cons: Usually expensive

This is the i7 plus the docking station that empties the vacuum's dust bin automatically. 

See the Roomba i7+ deal on Amazon Good deal.


Roomba i7 (regularly $699)

Pros: Same as the i7+ (but no self emptying docking station)

Cons: Does not empty itself.

See the Roomba i7 deal on Amazon Good deal. 


Roomba 960 (normally $649)

Pros: Great suction, hair doesn't get stuck in brushless rollers, logical navigation.

Cons: Does not empty itself.

See the Roomba 960 deal on Amazon Good deal.


Roomba e5 (regularly $379)

Pros: Brushless rollers mean hair doesn't get stuck, good for pets and long hair.

Cons: Navigation is random (bump-then-turn style).

See the Roomba e5 deal on Amazon 

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This article will compare the two machines and answer all of your questions. Come along as we take a thorough, albeit brief, look at the two models and compare them, side-by-side. By the end, you will be able to decide for yourself which model to purchase. Hint: you will want to choose the Roomba e6.

Differences between Roomba e5 and e6

There are a few differences between the two models, though they aren’t as prominent as you may think.

  • The Roomba e5 comes with one high-efficiency filter preinstalled. The Roomba e6 comes with a high-efficiency filter installed and a replacement filter.
  • You will not get any containment options with the e5 included; the e6 comes with two virtual wall barriers.
  • You can purchase the Roomba e5 anywhere Roomba models are sold; the Roomba e6 is available at select retailers only.
  • Even with the additional accessories, the Roomba e6 has a retail price that is less than the listed price of the e5.
  • The e6 uses a two-tone, tan on black color scheme where the e5 is black on black.

Similarities between the Two Robot Vacuums

The two machines are identical, except for the colors as mentioned above. All internal parts, pieces, sensors and details are the same. To list their similarities would be redundant.

The e6 is the e5, just made specifically for different vendors.

The Specifications Chart

To get an idea of what we mean when we say they are identical, here is a side by side comparison chart.

  Roomba e6 Roomba e5
Size 13.3×13.3×3.6 inches 13.3×13.3×3.6 inches
Weight 7.2 pounds 7.2 pounds
Navigation iAdapt 2.0 iAdapt 2.0
Color Tan on Black Black on Black
Battery 3300mAh lithium-ion 3300mAh lithium-ion
Runtime Up to 90 minutes Up to 90 minutes
Charge Time 3 hours 3 hours
Automatic Recharge Yes Yes
Entire Level Clean No No
Filter High-efficiency (2 included) High-efficiency (1 installed)
Drop Sensors Yes Yes
Bump Sensors Yes Yes
Dirt Detection Sensors Yes Yes
Camera Navigation No No
Wireless Communications Yes Yes
Mobile App Yes Yes
Voice Controls Yes Yes
Floor Types All All
Collection Bin Capacity 0.7L 0.7L
Washable Collection Bin Yes Yes
Side Brushes 1 Side Brush 1 Side Brush
Containment 2 Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers None included
Warranty 1 year 1 year
Price Check Price Check on Amazon

Comparing the Roomba e5 and e6 in Detail

I will be honest here; there isn’t much to detail and compare with these two particular models. Instead, this section will focus mainly on their differences and why you should pick one over the other (there actually is an argument for both sides).

The Virtual Wall Barriers Make a World of Difference

As you are aware by now, iRobot uses battery operated towers for their containment method. They are clean, efficient and you don’t have to cut pieces of tape or plug-in electrodes like some other manufacturers’ methods make you do.

The dual mode barriers are the third iteration of the containment system that started with a single mode tower that was always on. It then switched to a lighthouse that allowed the robot to pass by only after a certain amount of time.

The newer form of containment allows you to select how it is used. In linear mode, you can block off entrances and exits or select areas of a room. The tower will produce an infrared beam that extends straight out up to 10 feet.

In halo mode, the tower makes an infrared ring that has a four-foot diameter. This mode protects things on the ground like top-heavy end tables, pet food dishes or the Christmas tree.

The Roomba e5 doesn’t ship with any of these towers, so you will have to purchase them separately. You can usually find them for about $80 per pair. However, the Roomba e6 comes with two barriers included and ready to go.

Bottom Line: The Roomba e6 wins. Saving you time and money by including two towers is a huge win.

The Filtration is Among the Best and With the e6 You Get Even More

The Roomba e-series uses the patented high-efficiency filtration. This removes in-home allergens from your floors and prevents their return into the air during exhaust.

The filters will capture particles down to three microns in size, effectively removing up to 99 percent of all mold, mildew, pollen and pet dander.

Both machines come with a high-efficiency filter installed and are great for homes with allergy concerns or multiple pets. However, the e6 has a second filter in the box that you can use when it is time to replace the installed filter.

Purchasing filters is something you will have to do regularly. It is expected maintenance that should be performed every four to six months. With the extra filter included you can go up to a full year without having to buy replacements from iRobot. This saves you time and money.

Bottom Line: The Roomba e6 wins again. Additional filters can be purchased in bulk, but having an extra one to start is a money saver.

Are the Two Models Really the Same?

The short answer here is yes. The long answer is yeeeesssssss (feel free to extend as long as you need).

Except for the color of the machines, the two robots are identical. When you go to buy replacement parts, you will purchase those listed for the e5. The operations are the same; the motors are the same.

You will use the same mobile app and voice commands for control. Literally, the only difference is the price, the color and what is included in the box. The final difference is where you can buy them.

Bottom Line: This round is a tie. It is the same robot; one is just dressed fancier than the other.

Where Can You Buy The Robots?

The Roomba e5 is simple. If you have a brick and mortar or online vendor (including the iRobot store) that you prefer to use, and they sell Roomba robots, they will have the Roomba e5.

On the other hand, if you are looking for the Roomba e6, you will have to find one through a select list of third-party vendors. While the full list is quite large, the e6 is only available at a select few. We do know that it is in Costco, and at one point was at Sam’s Club.

The Roomba e6 is also available at Amazon in the US market. You will have to call your local shops to find out if they are stocking it or not before you head out. And if you don’t have a retailer nearby, this is the one reason you would want to go with the e5 model.

Bottom Line: The Roomba e5 wins. It is available nationwide, readily available.

Learn More

If you want to learn more about the specific models, you are in luck. You may find our complete review of the Roomba e5  right here.

Likewise, if your interests lie with the Roomba e6, we also have a full review written for you right here.

In Conclusion

When you take all of the facts, it is a clear and easy choice to go with the Roomba e6. Both models are perfect for homes with pets or allergy concerns. Each will have simple maintenance and a large capacity collection bin.

However, the Roomba e6 has all the extras to make the purchase worth it, let alone a lower price tag in general. You get the extra high-efficiency filter along with not one, but two, virtual wall barriers. The only reason to choose the Roomba e5 is that the e6 isn’t available in your area.

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