Roborock S5 Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jul 10, 2020 at 08:19 am
Roborock S5 Picture
8.2
Bare Floor
6.4
Low-Pile Carpet
6.4
High-Pile Carpet
8.5
Pets
6.1
Stairs
5.8
Cars
Vacuum Type
Robot
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
Yes
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
Yes

The Roborock S5 is an overall decent robot vacuum. While it's similar in design and automation to the Roborock S4, this little vacuum has an added mop attachment, but we don't currently test for it. It does a great job cleaning up all kinds of debris on bare floors but it struggles more on low and high-pile carpets. That being said, it's small enough to go under tables and couches without a problem, and it's light enough to pick up to take with you to another floor. Although it has demanding maintenance requirements, its design makes it easy to replace each part, and its companion app makes it easy to know when each accessory needs maintenance, which is a very nice feature.

Our Verdict

8.2 Bare Floor

The Roborock S5 is great for bare floors. It does an outstanding job of cleaning pet hair and small debris efficiently. While it also cleans large debris, it can have a harder time fully capturing it as the dirt compartment fills. That being said, although we don't test for it, it has a mop feature that can take care of the occasional wet spill. However, this vacuum requires a lot of maintenance but luckily, the app can let you know which accessories need maintenance and when.

Pros
  • Effective smart pathing feature.
  • Outstanding performance on bare floors.
  • Mop feature is available.
Cons
  • Many recurring costs, as it requires ongoing maintenance.
6.4 Low-Pile Carpet

The Roborock S5 is adequate for low-pile carpet. It does an overall okay job cleaning large debris but it struggles to pick up smaller debris like baking soda. It has great maneuverability, though, and its dirt compartment is decently sized. On the downside, this vacuum requires a lot of ongoing maintenance.

Pros
  • Effective smart pathing feature.
  • Picks up most pet hair on all surface types.
Cons
  • Many recurring costs, as it requires ongoing maintenance.
  • Struggles with small debris.
6.4 High-Pile Carpet

The Roborock S5 is adequate for high-pile carpet. It can climb onto thick, shaggy carpet but it struggles to clean small and large debris. It has a decently-sized dirt compartment. However, it requires ongoing maintenance.

Pros
  • Effective smart pathing feature.
  • Picks up most pet hair on all surface types.
Cons
  • Many recurring costs, as it requires ongoing maintenance.
  • Struggles with small and large debris.
8.5 Pets

The Roborock S5 is excellent for cleaning up pet hair. It does an excellent job cleaning up pet hair on bare floors as well as low-pile carpet. While it struggles a bit more on high-pile carpet, it still manages to do a great job. However, there's a lot of recurring costs as this vacuum requires significant ongoing maintenance. Luckily, the app keeps track of the needed maintenance for each accessory.

Pros
  • Effective smart pathing feature.
  • Picks up most pet hair on all surface types.
Cons
  • Many recurring costs, as it requires ongoing maintenance.
6.1 Stairs

The Roborock S5 isn't designed to be used on stairs.

5.8 Cars

The Roborock S5 is a robot vacuum and it's not designed to be used to clean cars.

  • 8.2 Bare Floor
  • 6.4 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 6.4 High-Pile Carpet
  • 8.5 Pets
  • 6.1 Stairs
  • 5.8 Cars

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Roborock S5 has a similarly great build quality as the Roborock S4. It's made of a dense, hard plastic with a glossy black finish on its top, while its rubber wheels can slightly lift up the vacuum to get on high-pile carpet. There are two sets of speakers to tell you the status of your vacuum and update you on your cleaning job. It has a power button on top as well as a left button, which can be used to send the vacuum back to its dock. There's also a right button that can do a spot clean. There's a laser distance sensor on top, and its side brush uses three arms instead of five. You can even turn this vacuum into a mop, thanks to its water container attachment, although we don't currently test for this.

This vacuum is really easy to set up. All you need to do is connect it to the Mi Home or Roborock apps, and set it up with the charging dock.

5.5
Design
User Maintenance

The Roborock S5 is somewhat difficult to maintain as a lot of its parts require ongoing maintenance. Luckily, it's designed to access and clean each part.

  • Brushroll: The brushroll is easily removable since you just need to take off the plastic cover underneath the vacuum. The S5 comes with its own cleaning tool that has a brush on one end and a hook blade on the other end so that you can remove hair tangled around the brushroll. It needs to be cleaned once or twice a week, depending on your usage.
  • Side brush: You need a screwdriver to remove this brush and to screw it back into place. It needs to be cleaned once a month.
  • Dirt compartment: The dirt compartment is easy to remove. It needs frequent emptying due to its size but you can wash it out with water. Just remember to make sure it's dry before using it again.
  • Filter: The filter is found inside the dirt compartment and you just need to unclip it from the compartment to remove it. The HEPA filter needs to be washed every two weeks and eventually needs to be replaced every three to six months.
  • Wheel: The omnidirectional wheel located at the back of the vacuum can be removed but it requires a lot of force to get it out. It has to be cleaned once a month, and it helps your vacuum move more smoothly.
  • Sensors: If there's dust and debris building up on the sensors, you can clean them with a dry cloth.

The Mi Home app lets you know which parts need to be replaced based on the total hours used. This is only for when you need to buy a new part and not clean a specific piece.

5.0
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number
No bag
Filter Part Number
E11
HEPA Filter Part Number
E11

The S5 has a few recurring costs. Its companion app has a 'Maintenance' tab that tells you the status of each accessory and when they need to be replaced, which is nice. If every part is cleaned regularly, Roborock recommends changing its washable HEPA filter as well as the sidebrush every three to six months. The main brushroll needs to be replaced every six to twelve months as well. If you need to replace things, each part is sold from Roborock's store on Amazon.

8.9
Design
Storing
Height
3.98 in (10.1 cm)
Width
15.35 in (39.0 cm)
Depth
16.93 in (43.0 cm)
Cord Storing/Management
Not Needed
On-Board Tool Storage
Not needed
Vacuum Rack/Station
Yes

The S5 is extremely easy to store. It mounts onto its charging station by itself and it has a plastic base that you can attach to the dock so that the vacuum rests upon it. Its charging cable also comes with a Velcro strap which can help with cord management.

6.8
Design
Dirt Compartment
Dirt Compartment Volume
0.11 gal (0.42 L)
Full Dirt Compartment Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The Roborock S5 has a decently-sized dirt compartment for a robot vacuum. However, it needs frequent emptying, and since it doesn't have a physical dirt compartment indicator, its companion app reminds you to empty it after running several cleaning jobs.

Design
In The Box

  • Roborock S5 vacuum
  • Charging dock
  • Charging cable
  • 2x HEPA filters
  • Main brushroll
  • Dirt compartment
  • Brushroll guard
  • Main brushroll cleaning tool
  • Water container
  • 2x Mopping cloths (one already located on the water container)
  • 6x Water filters (two already placed inside the water container)
  • User guide

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

The Roborock S5 has an unlimited range as long as it still has battery life. However, it can't go up or down stairs.

7.9
Design
Portability
Total Weight
7.82 lbs (3.55 kg)
Weight In Hand
0.00 lbs (0.00 kg)
Carrying handle
No

This vacuum has good portability. Without its water container, it's somewhat light. However, it doesn't have a carrying handle to make it easier to carry up to another floor.

9.1
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
112 min.
Maximum Battery Life
195 min.
Recharge Time
173 min.
Recharge Dock
Yes
Battery Life Indicator
Yes
Removable Batteries
No

The S5 has excellent battery life. On its most powerful 'Max' mode, it lasts almost two hours, and when brought down to its least powerful 'Silent' mode, it lasts over three hours. On the downside, once the battery reaches low power at either setting, it won't do any cleaning task at all, and instead tries to find its charging dock. If you want to have a rough idea of its battery status, its power button changes colors: above 20%, the light is white, and below it, the light is red. Its battery life is slightly shorter than the Roborock S4, but this may vary between units.

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

The Roborock S5 has a few handy features to improve its cleaning abilities. This vacuum can adjust its power depending on the surface type and it has four different suction modes: Silent, Balanced, Turbo, and Max, which can all be adjusted manually or automatically. The brushroll also has automatic spin control depending on what area it's cleaning. When it's cleaning near walls, it also spins faster so that it can pick up debris, and when it's in the middle of a room, it moves more slowly to keep debris from flying around.

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 S5 robot vacuum and mop comes with both a main brushroll as well as a side brush that helps it to pick up debris from its blind spots. There's also a small brush cleaning tool to help detangle hair wrapped around the brushroll. Unlike the Roborock S4 or Neato Botvac D7, this vacuum also has two mop mats that attach to the water container to mop the floor. However, it has to clean the floor three times with its vacuum before it can mop. That being said, we don't currently test the mopping feature.

Design
Alternative Configuration

There are no alternative configurations for this vacuum.

Performance
9.3
Performance
Bare Floor (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
99 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
100 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
67 %
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)
100 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
100 %
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 "Balanced"

The Roborock S5 has an outstanding performance on bare floors. As it uses a three-armed side brush, it pushes less debris to the side than the Roborock S4's five-armed side brush. As a result, it doesn't have trouble cleaning up small debris or pet hair at all. However, while it can easily clean large debris like cereal when its dirt compartment is empty, as it fills, cereal gets dragged around or doesn't get picked up. For better large debris-clearing capability on bare floors, check out the Roborock E4.

6.0
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
99 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
71 %
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
70 %
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
0 %
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)
32 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
21 %
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 "Max"

The Roborock S5 is just passable on low-pile carpet. It does an excellent job capturing pet hair, but it struggles with cleaning small debris like baking soda, and it even slightly loses performance as its dirt compartment fills up. However, it does an okay job overall with large debris. If you like the look of this vacuum, but you want something with a slightly better performance on low-pile carpet, check out the Roborock S6.

6.2
Performance
High-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
81 %
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
45 %
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)
21 %
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
21 %
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 "Max"

Unlike the Roborock S4, the S5 can climb onto high-pile carpet and move around on it. It does a great job picking up pet hair, although its small and large debris cleaning leaves something to be desired. While it does a passable job with large debris, but it struggles cleaning up small debris.

8.0
Performance
Maneuverability
Under The Couch
Excellent
Under Low Table
Excellent
On Furniture
Not Possible
Rug With Tassel
Bad
Electric Cord
Bad

The S5 robot vacuum and mop has great maneuverability. Its laser sensor navigation is effective, and it uses smart pathing technology so that it can learn to be more efficient with each cleaning job. Thanks to its small size, it can easily fit under couches or tables. However, like most other robot vacuums, it has a problem with tassels and electrical cords, and it can pull them around or it can get stuck. Luckily, you can set up barriers to keep it from encountering these tricky terrains by using its companion app.

Automation
8.7
Automation
Automation (Robot Vacuum)
Remote Controller
Yes (App only)
Automatic Bag Emptying
No
Automatic Recharging
Yes
Schedule Programming
Yes
Boundary Markers
Yes
Random Pathing
No
Smart Pathing
Yes
App Name
Mi Home

The S5 robot vacuum has excellent automation features. You can use the Mi Home app to draw boundary maps for it so that it cleans in one specific area. You can also see the replacement time of each of the accessories that need maintenance, your cleaning history, and you can remote control the vacuum to reorient it. The vacuum also returns to its charging dock by itself.

If you don't want to use the app, you can also control the vacuum by using the buttons located on its top. However, you won't get as many control options as the app.

Differences Between Sizes and Variants

There's a variant of this vacuum called the Roborock S5 Max. It's extremely similar to the Roborock S5 but it has a slightly larger water tank capacity for mopping floors. It also uses what Roborock calls an Adaptive Route Algorithm, which is designed to calculate the most efficient way to clean a given room, and you can set different levels of suction power per room.

Compared to other vacuums

The Roborock S5 is a small vacuum robot. Unlike the Roborock S4, it has a mop attachment for cleaning bare floors, and it can also climb on high-pile carpet, although it struggles to clean it as well as a stick or canister vacuum. Its battery performance stacks up to other heavy-hitting robot vacuums such as the iRobot Roomba 675, though, and it has better maneuverability.

Roborock S6

The Roborock S6 is a slightly better robot vacuum than the Roborock S5. The S6 has a similar mopping feature but it comes with disposable mopping cloths, so you don't have to worry about it dragging messy spills around the house. In terms of performance, it also does a better job with small and large debris as well as pet hair on any surface type. It has slightly better maneuverability, and it feels a better built. That being said, both vacuums have very similar battery life.

Roborock S4

The Roborock S5 is a bit better overall than the Roborock S4. They both have similar performance on bare floors and low-pile carpet but the main difference is that the S5 is able to clean high-pile carpet while the S4 can't. Besides that, they each require the same maintenance needs, have the same dirt compartment, and the batteries are similar.

Roborock E4

The Roborock E4 and Roborock S5 are fairly evenly-matched robot vacuums, though the E4 holds a slight advantage. The E4 has a larger dirt compartment, a lighter construction, and superior performance on all surface types. That said, the S5 has a LIDAR navigation system that allows for more efficient cleaning patterns. The S5 comes with a mop attachment for cleaning wet messes while such a feature is an optional add-on for the E4, though we don't currently have a test to measure the effectiveness of either.

iRobot Roomba 960

The Roborock S5 is better to clean bare floors, while the iRobot Roomba 960 is better for carpet. The Roborock has outstanding performance on bare floors, the battery life is longer, and it's easier to maintain. On the other hand, the iRobot performs a bit better on high-pile and low-pile carpet, the dirt compartment is slightly bigger, and the battery takes less time to charge.

eufy RoboVac 30C

The Roborock S5 is much better than the eufy RoboVac 30C. The Roborock cleans much more debris on any type of floor and it has a smart pathing feature that helps it clean a room. It also has a better build quality and it has a better battery. 

Neato Botvac D7

The Neato Botvac D7 is a slightly better robot vacuum for cleaning both low and high-pile carpet than the Roborock S5. The Neato is more effective at picking up small and large debris on these carpeted surfaces, it has removable batteries which make it easier to replace, and its overall maintenance is easier. However the Roborock has a mop attachment for cleaning wet spills, and it has better maneuverability.

iRobot Roomba 675

The Roborock S5 is much better than the iRobot Roomba 675. The Roborock performs much better on bare floors and carpets. It also has a bigger dirt compartment and it has more automation features. On the other hand, the iRobot has a better battery since it takes much less time to recharge.

Samsung POWERbot R7040

The Roborock S5 is better overall than the Samsung POWERbot R7040. It has much better performance on bare floors and its performance on carpet isn't bad. The Roborock has better battery life and a bigger dirt compartment too. On the other hand, the Samsung is a bit easier to maintain and there aren't any recurring costs.

iRobot Roomba S9

The iRobot Roomba S9 is a better overall robot vacuum than the Roborock S5. The Roomba is better-built, charges faster, and performs much better on carpeted floors. That said, the Roborock is easier to maintain, has lower recurring costs as well as longer minimum battery life, and performs slightly better on bare floors. It also features a remote piloting app in its companion app.

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