Roomba e6 Review – What is This Elusive Robot?
The 2018 releases of the Roomba robots saw the introduction of the Roomba i7, i7+, e5 and Roomba e6. While we have covered the i7 series and the e5 in detail, a lot of questions have arisen about the e6. What is it? Where can I get it? How come it isn’t for sale on the iRobot website?
This article has all the answers you are looking for (and then some!) So read on, weary consumers of elusive robots, read on. We will discover, together, how to get your hands on the Roomba e6 and find out if it is even worth it.
- 1 Who the Roomba e6 is for
- 2 Who the Roomba e6 is not for
- 3 The Roomba e6 in Detail
- 3.1 Is the Roomba e6 Different From the Roomba e5?
- 3.2 You will Find More Items in the Roomba e6 Box, Though
- 3.3 The Biggest Difference is Where You Purchase the Roomba e6
- 3.4 The Roomba e6 Filtration is Perfect for Pet Owners
- 3.5 The Navigation, iAdapt, is Better Than Previous Entry-Level Models
- 3.6 The e6 has a Sporadic Pattern Because There is no Camera
- 3.7 There are Three Control Options Available
- 4 Specifications Chart
- 5 Alternative Options
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 In Conclusion
- 8 In a Nutshell
Who the Roomba e6 is for
Let’s face it; not every model of Roomba will be a good fit for every home. The budget-friendly e6 might be a perfect fit for you if you fit the list below:
- You need a vacuum that will capture in-home allergens.
- The use of mobile apps and voice commands for control options suits you.
- You would like the ability to schedule cleaning cycles.
- Easy maintenance is a priority.
- The need for all the bells and whistles is lower than the need to save money.
Who the Roomba e6 is not for
You may be on the fence or considering if the Roomba e6 is a good match. You can cross it off your research list if you fit the following categories:
- The idea of navigation methods that aren’t strictly controlled isn’t alluring.
- You require a machine that can cover more than 1100 square feet in a single charge.
- A robot that won’t resume cleaning after a battery charge isn’t for you.
- You have multiple floor plans that need cleaning regularly.
The Roomba e6 in Detail
There are a lot of features in the e6 that most entry-level and budget-friendly models do not have. While it won’t compete with the 900 series or the i7 series, it will hold its own against most other Roomba models and most other competitors as well. Let’s take a look at why.
Is the Roomba e6 Different From the Roomba e5?
The short answer is a hard no. When it comes to the vacuums themselves, there is hardly any difference at all. So why are there two models that are near identical? Simple: iRobot teams up with specific vendors to sell models with varying additions, or bonus items for discounted prices. The e6 is one such model.
The only difference in the actual robots between the e5 and e6 are the colors. The Roomba e5 is black on black and the Roomba e6 is tan on black. As far as functionality, use and parts, the two models are the same.
You will Find More Items in the Roomba e6 Box, Though
What the Roomba e6 offers are bonus items. When you open the box of the Roomba e6, you will get the robot, power cord, charging station and instruction manual.
However, you will also find a second high-efficiency filter inside. This will save you time in your maintenance and a little cash up front when it is time to change the filter out. Normally it is recommended to replace the filter every four to six months, depending on use. In a perfect world, you won’t have to purchase another filter for an entire year.
You will also find that there are two Dual-Mode Virtual Wall Barriers included. These are Roomba’s battery operated towers that prevent the robot from passing by. As the name suggests, there are two modes: linear and halo modes.
In linear mode, the tower produces an infrared beam that goes straight our up to 10 feet. It is used to block off access to rooms, hallways, or portions of rooms (such as in front of the Christmas tree. In halo mode, the tower will produce a four-foot diameter ring. This protects things like pet dishes, floor lamps or planters.
The Biggest Difference is Where You Purchase the Roomba e6
iRobot partners with a lot of vendors. You can find their complete list of approved vendors on their website.
If you purchase a Roomba from anyone not on this list, you won’t get the iRobot warranty and it isn’t promised that the unit you buy is actually made by iRobot.
The Roomba e6 is a special model made for specific vendors off of that list. Costco and Amazon are among the top vendors that sell the Roomba e6. In fact, you cannot purchase the e6 from the iRobot website at all.
Other vendors may carry the e6 in limited supply or for limited times, such as Sam’s Club. You will need to verify with the list and visit or call your local dealers to find out if they have it in stock.
If you want to know all about the Roomba e5 as it compares to the Roomba e6, you can read the comparison review article here.
The Roomba e6 Filtration is Perfect for Pet Owners
For those that have pets or allergies, the Roomba e6 comes with a high-efficiency filter. This filter will capture up to 99% of in-home allergens. Everything down to three microns in size.
This means all of the pet dander, mold and mildew spores, pollen and dust mites that are in your carpeting and flooring will be suctioned up, captured in the filter and removed from your floor and air.
The filters are HEPA quality; they just no longer have the HEPA certification. A few years ago iRobot and a few other major vendors, stopped obtaining the certification for their filters. However, the “high-efficiency” filter that is installed in the e6 is the same filter that was once certified.
iAdapt is the navigation control center for the robot. It controls all of the sensors and movements of the robot. When you first see it in action, if you have never watched a robot vacuum the floors before, it can be a bit funny.
The robot will race off in various directions until it comes to an obstacle. These can be walls, furniture it doesn’t fit under or the dog (cats usually get out of the way). When an obstacle is detected, it is done by acoustic and infrared sensors mounted around the robot.
When the robot approaches, it will slow down a bit and gently bump into the object. This is to see if it is something the robot can pass through (think curtains or bed skirts). If the object moves, the robot continues forward. If it cannot (a wall, table leg, etc.), the robot will change directions and scoot off again.
The cleaning pattern is pseudo-random and sporadic. And if you pay close enough attention, you will learn that the robot will cover the entire floor, just not always on the same cleaning cycle.
The e6 has a Sporadic Pattern Because There is no Camera
When I mention this, people tend to get a little wary. What happens is that without proper guidance the robot doesn’t really know where it is, or where it has come from. Because of this random movement, the robot won’t actually cover every square inch every time.
What it will do, though, is cover all the open and high traffic areas. It will also get along the walls and baseboards and cover most of the floor space. On the second cleaning cycle, it will cover all the main areas again and different spots that weren’t covered the first time around.
If you schedule a cleaning cycle for every day, your entire floor—every square foot—will be cleaned a little more than twice a week. This means less time for you to have to pull out the 50 pound beast of an upright in your closet.
There are Three Control Options Available
When it comes to controlling your robot you have three main options to choose from: local controls, mobile app or voice commands.
The local controls are quite limited. You will find only three buttons on the machine itself. The large, center button is the cleaning button. You will press this to wake the robot and again to send it off to clean.
You can press the home button to send the robot back to the charging station as well. Keep in mind you will need to press the clean buttons once more to pause the cycle and alert the robot another command is coming.
Finally, you can press the spot clean button, where the robot will spin in a three-foot outward spiral. This concentrates the clean to a specific area or a quick spill that needs attention. Pressing the clean button first, like with the home button, is needed.
Your next option is the iRobot Home app. This is most likely going to be your go-to option. A free download from your respective app store (Android or iOS) will have you up and running in no time.
The app is highly intuitive and receives rave remarks for its user-friendly interface. You can give a name to your robot, start and stop cleaning cycles and create schedules. Everything the robot is capable of is controlled by the mobile app.
The third option is to use an Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant enabled device with voice commands. You can get most of the same things done with your voice as you can with the mobile app, including scheduling and starting or stopping cleaning cycles.
The main difference is that you have to be home and within ear-shot of your Alexa device. With the mobile app, you can control the robot from anywhere.
Here are the features and options that the Roomba e6 offers you.
|Runtime||Up to 90 minutes|
|Charge Time||3 hours|
|Entire Level Clean||No|
|Filter||High-efficiency (2 included)|
|Dirt Detection Sensors||Yes|
|Collection Bin Capacity||0.7L|
|Washable Collection Bin||Yes|
|Side Brushes||1 Side Brush|
|Containment||2 Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers|
As always you may find that the Roomba e6 isn’t right for you, or you want to compare it to similar models. Here are a few that you should consider.
Just like the e6, the Roomba e5 is a budget-friendly machine that will do its job very well. Because of the additional options (filter and virtual wall barriers), it is recommended to get the e6 if possible. However, if you don’t have a Costco or aren’t a member of Sam’s Club, the e5 is a suitable replacement.
Unlike the e6, you can purchase the Roomba e5 direct from iRobot, or any other vendor that sells the Roomba line. We have a full review of the Roomba e5 for you to read here.
Another option is the Roomba 890. This robot is the predecessor of the e5 and e6 models. It has the same features and options with some slight differences. For example, the motor isn’t offset and doesn’t provide as much suction power. The collection bin isn’t washable and isn’t as large.
However, the king of the 800 series is a decent replacement option for the newer e6, and with the latest models coming out the price continues to fall. You can read the full Roomba 890 review here.
bObSweep PetHair Plus
If you have a lot of pets (or pets that shed a lot), the bObSweep model is worth considering. It has HEPA certified filtration, a decent sized collection bin and is a beast when it comes to collecting pet hair.
It has some downfalls that the Roomba e6 doesn’t, such as the inability to clean carpeting that is medium or high-piled. However, if you have mainly hard flooring or low-pile carpet, the bObSweep PetHair Plus is a worthy option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some questions about the model continuously come up time and again. I will answer the most common of these here. However, if you still have questions, please use the comment section below.
Q. What is the battery life of the Roomba e6?
A. The e6 comes with a 3300mAh battery pack that is user-changeable. The average life expectancy of the battery is about five years. This should cover about 3000 charging cycles or more before it starts to die out and quit holding a charge.
While in use, the battery will provide up to an hour and a half of runtime which will cover most floor plans up to 1100 square feet.
The recharge time for a dead battery is about three hours, so you may have to wait between cleaning cycles. However, a daily cleaning schedule will provide enough power and time to clean your entire floor at least twice a week without missing any spots.
Q. What is so special about the collection bin?
A. The first thing that is nice about the collection bin is its capacity. The bin will hold 0.7L of dirt, dust and debris. This is larger than most other Roomba models who had capacities between 0.3L and 0.5L.
The second thing to note is that the collection bin is washable. This means you can run it under the faucet to get it completely clean. It is not dishwasher safe, so don’t put it in there. However, you can run it under warm water (with or without soap) to get the gunk and build-up that accumulates in the corners.
The Roomba e6 is a versatile and handy robot cleaner to have around. It isn’t top of the line without the camera-based navigation and it does have some drawbacks that prevent it from being an elite machine.
However, for those on a tighter budget, or just getting into the robot vacuum market, there aren’t many options that are better. It has excellent filtration, tangle-free extractors that are easy to maintain and enough suction to handle all carpeting types. If you are considering the Roomba e5, it is recommended you seek out the Roomba e6 instead.
Because the e6 has an extra filter, comes with two virtual wall barriers and a smaller price tag, the choice is easy between the two models.
In a Nutshell
The Roomba e6 makes a wise choice for the budget-friendly, entry-level market. Those just starting out with home automation won’t find a better model to begin with than the e6.
What I Like About the Roomba e5
- Large capacity, washable collection bin.
- Multiple control options including one of the best mobile apps in the industry.
- Two containment barriers and an extra filter included.
What I Don’t Like About the Roomba e5
- The battery could be more efficient.
- Sporadic navigation patterns mean more work for the robot.