iRobot Roomba E5 Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jul 13, 2020 at 07:53 am
iRobot Roomba E5 Picture
6.5
Bare Floor
6.4
Low-Pile Carpet
6.4
High-Pile Carpet
7.2
Pets
6.3
Stairs
6.3
Cars
Vacuum Type
Robot
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
Yes
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
Yes

The iRobot Roomba E5 isn't a bad overall robot vacuum, but there's nothing that really stands out about it. It automatically detects the surface it's on, adjusting its suction power and height accordingly, so you don't have to. It does an outstanding job with cleaning small and large debris on bare floors, but it quickly loses its performance as the dirt compartment fills. On both low-pile and high-pile carpet, it easily cleans all hair and struggles with finer debris. It's a well-built robot vacuum that has an outstanding battery life, a decently-sized dirt compartment, and its two brushrolls are rubber, which helps reduce the amount of hair that gets tangled. Unfortunately, there are quite a few parts that need maintenance and it has more parts that you need to replace than most other vacuums.

Our Verdict

6.5 Bare Floor

The iRobot Roomba E5 is alright to use on bare floors. It cleans most small debris like rice and large debris like cereal easily, but it struggles as the compartment fills. It's also not good with cleaning hair on this surface. This vacuum automatically adjusts its power if it detects an area with more dirt. Unfortunately, there are a lot of parts that you need to replace regularly.

Pros
  • Sucks up debris on bare floors when dirt compartment is empty.
  • Great build quality.
  • Decently-sized dirt compartment.
Cons
  • Loses performance as dirt compartment fills on bare floors.
  • A bit difficult to maintain.
  • A lot of parts that you need to replace over time.
6.4 Low-Pile Carpet

The iRobot Roomba E5 isn't bad to use on low-pile carpet. It cleans all hair and picks up a great amount of large debris like sand, but sadly, it doesn't pick up much fine debris. It has an automatic surface type adjustment that adjusts its head and suction power. Unfortunately, it's a bit difficult to maintain as there are a lot of different parts you need to clean.

Pros
  • Cleans hair easily on carpet.
  • Great build quality.
  • Decently-sized dirt compartment.
Cons
  • A bit difficult to maintain.
  • Doesn't suck up most debris on carpet.
  • A lot of parts that you need to replace over time.
6.4 High-Pile Carpet

Not bad for high-pile carpet. The iRobot Roomba E5 has no problem cleaning hair on this surface, but it doesn't do a good job with either small or large debris. It automatically adjusts its head height and power suction depending on the surface it's on, so you don't have to manually adjust it. Unfortunately, it's somewhat difficult to maintain.

Pros
  • Cleans hair easily on carpet.
  • Great build quality.
  • Decently-sized dirt compartment.
Cons
  • A bit difficult to maintain.
  • Doesn't suck up most debris on carpet.
  • A lot of parts that you need to replace over time.
7.2 Pets

The iRobot Roomba E5 is decent to use if you have pets. It sucks up almost all hair on low-pile and high-pile carpet, but it doesn't clean up much hair on bare floors. It has two rubber brushrolls that are both removable if there's any hair tangled around them. It's well-built, but sadly, there are quite a few parts you need to regularly replace.

Pros
  • Cleans hair easily on carpet.
  • Great build quality.
Cons
  • A bit difficult to maintain.
  • A lot of parts that you need to replace over time.
6.3 Stairs

The iRobot Roomba E5 isn't designed to be used on stairs.

6.3 Cars

The iRobot Roomba E5 isn't designed to clean cars.

  • 6.5 Bare Floor
  • 6.4 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 6.4 High-Pile Carpet
  • 7.2 Pets
  • 6.3 Stairs
  • 6.3 Cars

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.0
Design
Build Quality

The iRobot Roomba E5 has a great build quality. It's made out of hard plastic, which is glossy on top and a bit on the bumper, and the rest has a matte finish. The vacuum feels sturdy, and while the dirt compartment feels like it could crack if dropped, it's more solid than the dirt compartment on other vacuums because it's partially made out of hard matte plastic. There are three buttons on the top to start a cleaning session, do a spot clean, or return to the dock. There are also light indicators for the battery, Wi-Fi connection, and the status of the vacuum all above the controls. The brushrolls are also rubber, which isn't something we see on vacuums very often, and they help reduce the amount of hair that gets tangled. Like most robot vacuums, you don't need to assemble this before using it.

5.5
Design
User Maintenance

The E5 is a bit difficult to maintain because there are a lot of parts that you need to take care of. Luckily, they're all easy to access.

  • Dirt compartment: The dirt compartment is easy to take out. Once you empty it, you can clean it with water, unlike the iRobot Roomba 675, and it must be dry before you use it again.
  • Brushrolls: The rubber brushrolls are easy to take out as you just need to remove the brushroll guard. You can remove any tangled hair, but they're not the easiest to put back as you need to align them back in place. iRobot suggests to clean the brushrolls once a month and twice a month if you have pets.
  • Filter: The filter is located inside the dirt compartment. As you can't clean it with water, you have to gently tap it on the side of a garbage can to remove any debris. It should be cleaned once a week or twice a week if you have pets.
  • Side brush: You need a screwdriver to remove the side brush. Clean it once a month, or twice a month if you have pets.
  • Wheels: The omnidirectional wheel in front can be removed. You should clean it every two weeks.
  • Sensors: The sensors on the vacuum should be cleaned once a month with a dry cloth.

4.0
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number
No bag
Filter Part Number
4639161
HEPA Filter Part Number
4639161

Sadly, there are a lot of recurring costs associated with the Roomba E5. You need to replace the HEPA filter every two months, and the brushrolls, side brush, and front wheel every 12 months. You can buy a replacement kit on iRobot's website that includes side brushes, brushrolls, and HEPA filters. If you want a similar vacuum with a bit less recurring costs, check out the iRobot Roomba 960.

9.0
Design
Storing
Height
3.94 in (10.0 cm)
Width
13.39 in (34.0 cm)
Depth
15.75 in (40.0 cm)
Cord Storing/Management
Not Needed
On-Board Tool Storage
Not needed
Vacuum Rack/Station
Yes

Excellent storing capabilities, which is expected from a robot vacuum. The E5 doesn't take up much space and it mounts onto the charging dock by itself.

6.0
Design
Dirt Compartment
Dirt Compartment Volume
0.08 gal (0.30 L)
Full Dirt Compartment Indicator
No
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The E5 has an adequately-sized dirt compartment for a robot vacuum. Sadly, it doesn't have a line indicator for when it's full and since you can't see well through the dirt compartment, you have to constantly monitor it. iRobot suggests to empty it after each cleaning session so you don't have to worry about it for the next use. If you want a robot vacuum with a bigger dirt compartment, check out the eufy RoboVac 30C.

Design
In The Box

  • iRobot Roomba E5 Vacuum
  • Charging dock
  • Charging cable
  • HEPA filter
  • 2x rubber brushrolls and bearings
  • Dirt compartment
  • User guide

10
Design
Range
Cord Length
N/A
Hose Length
N/A

The E5 has an unlimited range as long as it still has battery life left, but it isn't able to go up stairs.

9.0
Design
Portability
Total Weight
7.28 lbs (3.30 kg)
Weight In Hand
0.00 lbs (0.00 kg)
Carrying handle
Yes

The Roomba E5 is extremely portable. It has a carrying handle for when you need to bring it to another floor.

9.2
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
97 min.
Maximum Battery Life
97 min.
Recharge Time
96 min.
Recharge Dock
Yes
Battery Life Indicator
Yes
Removable Batteries
Yes

The E5 has outstanding battery life, but it's less than the iRobot Roomba 675. It lasts over an hour and a half of use and it takes as long to charge. Since the vacuum automatically adjusts its power according to the surface it's cleaning on, which you can't change manually, the total battery life may change depending on your floor type. There's a battery indicator light on top, and it turns red when the battery is low, but it doesn't specify the battery percentage. The mobile app also notifies you when the battery is low.

Design
Quality Of Life Features
Rotating Head
No
Power Adjustment
Yes
Self-Propelled
Yes
Headlights
No
Easy On/Off
Yes
Surface Type Adjustment
Automatic

The E5 has a few extra features. It automatically detects the surface it's cleaning and it senses how much dirt is on the floor too. With this, it changes its power and height adjustment according to the surface, and you can't manually adjust either of these settings.

Design
Tools And Brushes
Brushroll
Yes
Brushroll On/Off
No
Removable Brushroll
Yes
Turbo Brush
No
Crevice Tool
No
Upholstery Tool
No
Soft Bristle Brush
No
Hard Bristle Brush
No
Extension Wand
No
Ceiling Fan Tool
No
Pet Grooming Tool
No

The iRobot Roomba E5 has two removable rubber brushrolls and a side brush that helps push debris into the cleaning path of the robot.

Design
Alternative Configuration

There's no alternative configuration for the iRobot Roomba E5.

Performance
6.5
Performance
Bare Floor (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
48 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
88 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
24 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
98 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
78 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Clean"

The Roomba E5 is just okay on bare floors. It struggles with hair but it doesn't have many problems with large debris like cereal and small debris like rice when the dirt compartment is empty. Sadly, it quickly loses its performance as the dirt compartment fills. Both hair and debris get stuck in the tunnel between the brushroll and the dirt compartment, so when you remove the dirt compartment, the dirt falls because it's in the tunnel before the compartment. If you're looking for a robot vacuum with better performance on bare floors, check out the Roborock S5 or Roborock S6.

6.2
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
98 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
81 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
82 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
18 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
19 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Clean"

The iRobot Roomba E5 isn't bad on low-pile carpet, especially for a robot vacuum. It easily cleans hair and does a great job with larger debris like sand. Unfortunately, it's bad with small debris like baking soda but on the upside, debris doesn't get stuck in the tunnel before the dirt compartment like on bare floors.

6.3
Performance
High-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
95 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
49 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
44 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
19 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
13 %
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Clean"

Passable on high-pile carpet. Like on low-pile carpet, it cleans all hair and is bad with finer debris. On this surface, it's also not good with large debris like sand as it gets stuck in the tunnel before the dirt compartment. Also, it slightly loses its performance as the compartment fills. Overall, on carpet, it's much better than the iRobot Roomba 675.

7.0
Performance
Maneuverability
Under The Couch
Good
Under Low Table
Good
On Furniture
Not Possible
Rug With Tassel
Ok
Electric Cord
Ok

The E5 has decent maneuverability. The automatic head height adjustment makes it easier to clean a room with varied surfaces, but it doesn't have a smart pathing feature, so it randomly moves around the room. Still, it's effective at cleaning the entire space. It moves underneath tables and couches easily and it doesn't get stuck often on rugs or carpets. If it does, it notifies you to move it to another place.

Automation
4.0
Automation
Automation (Robot Vacuum)
Remote Controller
No
Automatic Bag Emptying
No
Automatic Recharging
Yes
Schedule Programming
Yes
Boundary Markers
No
Random Pathing
Yes
Smart Pathing
No
App Name
iRobot HOME

The iRobot HOME app doesn't give you many extra features and controls compared to the physical buttons on top of the E5. You can schedule cleaning sessions, do a spot clean, ask it to return to the dock, or get notified of the battery status. It's also compatible with Google Home and Alexa, but this isn't something we test for. If you don't want to use the app, the vacuum doesn't need an internet connection if you just want to use the controls on top.

Compared to other vacuums

The iRobot Roomba E5 5150 robot vacuum isn't bad overall and it's more well-rounded compared to the iRobot Roomba 675, which is from another vacuum series in iRobot's lineup. However, it struggles on bare floors compared to the Roborock S4 or Roborock S5. Also see our recommendations for the best vacuums, best robot vacuums, and best robot vacuums for pet hair.

iRobot Roomba 675

The iRobot Roomba E5 is a bit better overall than the iRobot Roomba 675. The two robot vacuums are very similar and have the same features. The E5 performs much better on both low-pile and high-pile carpet, and it also has a bigger dirt compartment. However, the 675 is a bit better on bare floors and its battery lasts longer.

Roborock S4

The Roborock S4 is a bit better overall vacuum than the iRobot Roomba E5. The Roborock easily cleans any type of debris on bare floors but it starts to struggles on low-pile carpet, and it doesn't work at all on high-pile carpet. The iRobot is better to use on carpet because of this. The Roborock has a bigger dirt compartment, a much longer battery life, and there are a bit less recurring costs.

eufy RoboVac 11S

The iRobot Roomba E5 and the eufy RoboVac 11S are similar vacuums. The iRobot is easier to maintain and there are less recurring costs. It does a better job at vacuuming on both low-pile and high-pile carpet, and its battery takes a much shorter time to charge. On the other hand, the eufy has a bigger dirt compartment and it performs better on bare floors.

Roborock S6

The Roborock S6 is a much better robot vacuum overall than the iRobot Roomba E5. It has a better build quality, less recurring costs, and its dirt compartment is larger. Its battery lasts longer on a single charge, and you can adjust its surface type strength either automatically or manually, which is nice. It also does a better job overall and all surface types cleaning small and large debris as well as pet hair, and it can maneuver much better too. There's even a mop feature for cleaning wet spills, although we don't test for it, and there are even more automation features available using its companion app.

Samsung POWERbot R7040

The Samsung POWERbot R7040 is a much better robot vacuum on bare floors as it does a great job with any type of debris. On the other hand, the iRobot Roomba E5 is somewhat better on low-pile carpet and it has significant improvement on high-pile carpet. The battery on the iRobot lasts longer and the vacuum itself has a better build quality. However, the Samsung is easier to maintain and there are virtually no recurring costs.

iRobot Roomba 960

The iRobot Roomba 960 is much better overall than the iRobot Roomba E5. The two vacuums are similarly-built and have virtually the same maintenance needs, but the E5 has more recurring costs. The 960 performs better on bare floors and carpet, it has a smart pathing feature, and the dirt compartment is bigger. However, the battery on the E5 lasts longer, but takes more time to charge.

eufy RoboVac 30C

The iRobot Roomba E5 is much better overall than the eufy RoboVac 30C. The iRobot performs better on any type of surface, especially carpet, as the eufy doesn't clean much on carpet. The iRobot is also better built and it has longer battery life. The eufy has a bigger dirt compartment and its companion app offers more features, such as boundary markers.

iRobot Roomba i7+

The iRobot Roomba i7+ is a somewhat better robot vacuum than the iRobot Roomba E5. While both vacuums are well-built, the i7+ has an automatic dirt disposal feature so it can empty its dirt compartment into a larger dirtbag stored in the charging dock. It has a better performance on all surface types and it's more maneuverable. However, the E5 has fewer maintenance needs and its recurring costs are somewhat lower as it doesn't have a disposable dirtbag.

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