iRobot Roomba E5 Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 02:29 pm
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 is a basic robot vacuum. It does a reasonable job of cleaning bare floors, though it can struggle with pet hair on this surface type and has trouble clearing bulky debris like cereal as its dustbin fills up. Performance on low and high-pile carpet is also only mediocre. Still, it feels well-built, maneuvers itself decently well, and charges very quickly. Unfortunately, there are quite a few parts that need maintenance, and it incurs high recurring costs.

Our Verdict

6.5 Bare Floor

The iRobot Roomba E5 is an okay choice for cleaning bare floors. It cleans small and bulky debris like rice or cereal easily, though it can struggle with the latter as its dustbin fills up. It also may take an extra pass to fully clean pet hair on this floor type. While its battery life isn't especially long compared to some alternatives, it charges very quickly. It also feels impressively sturdy. Unfortunately, many parts need regular cleaning or replacing.

Pros
  • Sucks up debris on bare floors when dirt compartment is empty.
  • Great build quality.
  • Decently-sized dirt compartment.
Cons
  • Many parts need to be cleaned regularly.
  • High recurring costs.
  • Struggles with pet hair on bare floors.
6.4 Low-Pile Carpet

The iRobot Roomba E5 is passable for low-pile carpet. It has no issue clearing pet hair and sucks up most large debris like sand, but it can have a very hard time with finer material like baking soda. That said, it does have a dirt detection feature that allows it to focus on areas with an especially high concentration of dirt or debris. However, it's worth noting that 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
  • Many parts need to be cleaned regularly.
  • Struggles with fine debris.
  • High recurring costs.
6.4 High-Pile Carpet

The iRobot Roomba E5 isn't a bad option for high-pile carpet. It has no problem cleaning hair on this surface, but it may take another pass to clear larger debris like sand, and it struggles with fine material like baking soda. It automatically adjusts its head height and power suction depending on the surface it's on, enabling it to maneuver on high-pile carpets and rugs. Unfortunately, many parts require regular maintenance or replacement.

Pros
  • Cleans hair easily on carpet.
  • Great build quality.
  • Decently-sized dirt compartment.
Cons
  • Many parts need to be cleaned regularly.
  • Struggles with fine debris.
  • High recurring costs.
7.2 Pets

The iRobot Roomba E5 is a decent choice for dealing with pet hair. While it has a hard time cleaning pet hair on bare floors, it sucks up this kind of debris on low and high-pile carpets without too much difficulty. Its twin rubber brushrolls are removable, making it easier to clear hair wraps, and it's equipped with a HEPA filter to trap allergens as it cleans. 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.
  • Equipped with a HEPA filter.
Cons
  • Many parts need to be cleaned regularly.
  • High recurring costs.
  • Struggles with pet hair on bare floors.
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
  1. Updated Apr 20, 2021: Corrected input errors in 'Power Adjustment' and 'Remote Controller' fields.
  2. Updated Jul 13, 2020: Review published.
  3. Updated Jul 07, 2020: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.0
Design
Build Quality

The iRobot Roomba E5 is impressively well-built. It's made out of a mix of glossy and matte-finish hard plastic, which feels solid for the most part. While its dustbin feels like it could crack if dropped, it's still sturdier than the dirt compartment on other vacuums. There are three buttons on top of its body that allow you to manually start a cleaning session, initiate 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.

Out-of-the-box assembly is simple, requiring only that you set up its docking station.

5.5
Design
User Maintenance

The iRobot E5 has many parts that need to be taken care of. Luckily, they're all easy to access.

  • Dirt compartment: The dirt compartment can be removed by pressing the release button on the back side of the vacuum. Once you empty it, you can clean it with water, unlike the iRobot Roomba 675's dustbin, but make sure that it's completely dry before putting it back in place.
  • Brushrolls: The rubber brushrolls are easy to take out, requiring only that you remove the brushroll guard. You can remove any tangled hair, but the brushrolls aren't the easiest to put back as you need to align them back in place. iRobot suggests cleaning them once or twice a month, depending on whether or not you have pets.
  • HEPA filter: The HEPA filter is located inside the dirt compartment. Since you can't clean it under water, you have to gently tap it on the side of a garbage can to remove any debris. You should clean it once or twice a week, depending on whether or not you have pets.
  • Side brush: You need a screwdriver to remove the side brush. You should clean it once or twice a month, depending on whether or not you have pets.
  • Front caster wheel: 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

The iRobot Roomba E5 has high recurring costs.

  • Brushrolls: The brushrolls should be replaced every 12 months.
  • HEPA filter: The HEPA filter has a surface life of two months.
  • Side brush: The side brush should be replaced every 12 months
  • Front caster wheel: The omnidirectional wheel should be replaced after 12 months of use.
  • All components can be purchased individually on the manufacturer's website. In addition, there's also a 'Replenishment Kit' that includes three side brushes, an additional pair of rubber brushrolls, and three HEPA filters. If you want a similar vacuum with lower recurring costs, check out the iRobot Roomba 960.

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

    The iRobot E5 has superb storage capabilities. It 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 iRobot E5 has a reasonable dirt compartment. It's relatively large, but unfortunately, it lacks a fill line indicator and is made mostly from opaque plastic, so you can't check its fill status at a glance. iRobot suggests emptying 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 iRobot E5 has an unlimited range as long as it still has sufficient charge and enough room left in its dustbin, but it can't go up or down 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 iRobot Roomba E5 is extremely portable. Unlike the Ecovacs DEEBOT OZMO T8 AIVI, 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 iRobot E5 has outstanding battery performance. While its approximately 100-minute runtime is notably shorter than the battery life of alternatives like the Shark IQ Robot, it recharges much faster. In addition, since the vacuum lacks a manual power adjustment feature and instead automatically adjusts its power according to the surface it's cleaning on, the total battery life may change depending on your home's 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
    No
    Self-Propelled
    Yes
    Headlights
    No
    Easy On/Off
    Yes
    Surface Type Adjustment
    Automatic

    The iRobot E5 has a few extra features. Its head height automatically changes depending on the surface type that it's on. Its onboard dirt sensor also detects dirtier areas, allowing the vacuum to automatically focus on cleaning on a specific area. However, there's no way to adjust these features manually.

    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
    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 iRobot Roomba E5 is just okay on bare floors. It struggles with pet hair, but it doesn't have many problems with bulky debris like cereal or small debris like rice when the dirt compartment is empty. However, it quickly loses suction performance as the dirt compartment fills up. In addition, pet hair and some solid debris can sometimes get stuck in the tunnel between the brushroll and the dirt compartment, so when you remove the dirt compartment, the dirt falls out. If you're looking for a robot vacuum with better performance on bare floors, check out the iRobot Roomba 981.

    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. It easily cleans hair and does a great job with larger debris like sand. Unfortunately, it's bad with fine debris like baking soda. Thankfully, it doesn't exhibit the same issue with debris and hair getting stuck in the tunnel before the dirt compartment as it does 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"

    The iRobot Roomba E5 delivers passable performance on high-pile carpet. It easily clears pet hair and cleans a fair amount of larger debris like sand, though it may need to make another pass to clean it all. It also really struggles with finer debris like baking soda. While it's much better than the iRobot Roomba 675 on this surface type, it doesn't perform as well as the iRobot Roomba i4.

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

    The iRobot E5 has decent maneuverability. The automatic head height adjustment allows it to climb onto high-pile rugs, though it can sometimes drag obstacles like electrical cords. While it doesn't have a smart-pathing feature, it should still manage to cover most of its cleaning area. It's also small enough to move under tables and couches without getting stuck.

    Automation
    6.7
    Automation
    Automation (Robot Vacuum)
    Remote Controller
    Yes (App only)
    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 has a reasonable selection of automation features. You can pause the vacuum's cleaning progress, 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 have an unreliable internet connection at home, you can use the buttons on the top of the vacuum to give it commands, without the need for an internet connection or a companion app.

    If you want a vacuum with more advanced automation features, take a look at the iRobot Roomba 981.

    Differences Between Sizes And Variants

    The iRobot E5 is only available in one color variant: 'Black'.

    Let us know in the discussions if you come across another variant of this vacuum.

    Compared To Other Vacuums

    The iRobot Roomba E5 5150 robot vacuum is fairly basic. It feels well-built, has a HEPA filter, and charges very quickly, but it doesn't offer the same range of automation features as newer alternatives, like the Wyze Robot Vacuum. It also has a harder time clearing debris from carpets compared to pricier models, like the iRobot Roomba S9 or the Neato D8.

    If you're looking for an alternative, see our recommendations for the best robot vacuums, the best budget robot vacuum cleaners, and the best robot vacuums for pet hair.

    iRobot Roomba i3+

    The iRobot Roomba i3+ is a better vacuum than the iRobot Roomba E5 for most uses. The i3+ has a significantly better performance on bare floors and picks up more debris from high-pile carpets. It's also better at maneuvering itself and has an automatic dirt disposal feature. On the other hand, the E5 clears more pet hair from carpets and has a slightly longer battery life.

    Roborock E4

    The Roborock E4 is better than the iRobot Roomba E5. The Roborock incurs lower recurring costs, has a larger dustbin, maneuvers itself more effectively thanks to its smart-pathing navigation system, and delivers better performance on all surface types. However, while the Roborock also has a longer battery life, the iRobot takes considerably less time to recharge.

    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.

    iRobot Roomba 694

    The iRobot Roomba E5 is a better vacuum than the iRobot Roomba 694. The E5 clears pet hair much more easily and has a better cleaning performance overall on low-pile carpet. That said, the 694 has a better performance on bare floors and its battery lasts longer.

    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.

    iRobot Roomba 981

    The iRobot Roomba 981 is a better vacuum than the iRobot Roomba E5. The 981 delivers better performance on all surface types, especially bare floors. It also has fewer recurring costs, a bigger dirt compartment, and better automation features. On the other hand, the E5 is slightly smaller and lighter, making it a bit more portable and easy to store.

    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.

    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.

    iRobot Roomba 614

    The iRobot Roomba E5 is a better vacuum than the iRobot Roomba 614 for most uses. The E5 clears more pet hair from all surface types, delivers better overall performance on carpets, and works with an app that allows you to schedule cleaning times. On the other hand, the 614 clears more debris from bare surfaces like hardwood or linoleum flooring and has longer battery life.

    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.

    iRobot Roomba 692

    The iRobot Roomba E5 and iRobot Roomba 692 each have their own advantages, and one may suit you better than the other depending on your needs. The E5 is easier to maintain, comes equipped with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, struggles much less with pet hair on all surface type, and cleans low and high-pile carpets more effectively. Conversely, the 692 has lower recurring costs, a slightly longer battery life, and does a much better job of dealing with bulky debris like cereal.

    Shark IQ Robot RV1001

    The Shark IQ Robot RV1001 and the iRobot Roomba E5 have different advantages. The Shark performs better on all surface types, has a larger dirt compartment, and longer battery life. The iRobot is better-built, easier to maintain, and charges substantially faster. It also has a HEPA filter to trap allergens as it cleans.

    iRobot Roomba i4

    The iRobot Roomba i4 is a slightly better vacuum than the iRobot Roomba E5. The i4 does a better job of cleaning bare floors and high-pile carpet, and its suction performance doesn't decrease as much as the dirt compartment fills up. It also follows an efficient cleaning route, whereas the E5 follows a random path. However, the E5 doesn't get caught on rug tassels or electrical cords as easily. 

    Roborock S6 MaxV

    The Roborock S6 MaxV is better than the iRobot Roomba E5. The Roborock is better-built, incurs lower recurring costs, has a larger internal dustbin, maneuvers itself more effectively, has a more advanced suite of automation features, and performs much better on bare floors. It also comes with a mopping attachment for clearing sticky messes on bare floors. The Roborock lasts longer on a single charge too, though this can vary in the real world, and it's also worth noting that the iRobot charges much faster. The iRobot also performs better on low-pile carpet.

    eufy RoboVac G30 Edge

    The iRobot Roomba E5 is better than the eufy RoboVac G30 Edge. The iRobot is better-built, less demanding in terms of maintenance, has a larger dustbin, and delivers better performance on low and high-pile carpet. Conversely, the eufy has a more advanced set of automation features, most notably smart-pathing and manual surface and power mode adjustment. It also includes a set of physical boundary strips that can be used to prevent the vacuum from entering certain areas.

    Ecovacs DEEBOT OZMO T8 AIVI

    The Ecovacs DEEBOT OZMO T8 AIVI is a slightly better robot vacuum than the iRobot Roomba E5. The Ecovacs is better built and performs better on all surface types. It's more maneuverable and has a lot of automation features available too. It also has a mop attachment, although we don't currently test for this. However, the iRobot is easier to maintain and has a larger dirt compartment.

    Shark ION Robot R77

    The iRobot Roomba E5 is a better vacuum than the Shark ION Robot R77. The iRobot is a sturdier vacuum that has a better performance on all surface types, and it picks up pet hair especially well on carpeted surfaces. While neither vacuum uses smart pathing, the iRobot is better at cleaning an entire space. It also has fewer parts that need regular maintenance. However, the Shark has much longer battery life.

    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.

    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.

    Shark ION Robot 2020

    The iRobot Roomba E5 and Shark ION Robot 2020 each have their own advantages, and one may suit you better than the other depending on your needs. The iRobot is better-built, easier to maintain, more maneuverable, and struggles noticeably less on low-pile carpet, especially in regards to pet hair. Conversely, while it charges much faster than the Shark, it has much shorter battery life. The Shark also has a larger dirt compartment and superior overall performance on bare floors.

    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.

    Coredy R500+

    The iRobot Roomba E5 is a better robot vacuum than the Coredy R500+. The iRobot is better-built, easier to maintain, and has fewer recurring costs. It also has a better performance on all surface types and has better maneuverability. However, the Coredy comes with a remote control, which is nice if you want to direct it somewhere else or have it change its cleaning behavior.

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