An Honest Review of the iRobot Roomba e5 vs. the iRobot Roomba 960 Wi-Fi

Review of the iRobot Roomba e5 Series vs. the iRobot Roomba 960 Wi-Fi

I waited way too long to buy one of these vacuums. I’ve wanted one for a good while now. I didn’t, however, want to pay the hefty price for one. In the past year, the prices have come down, so we decided it was time to buy a Roomba. Boy are we glad we did. I had no idea what a help it would be (especially with two kids and a cat). I’ve used two different Roomba models, iRobot Roomba e5 and the iRobot Roomba 980, and I’ll be sharing all about both.

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A friend found a STEAL of a deal on Facebook Marketplace on a iRobot Roomba 980.

We offered it to my mother in law and she gladly took it. We picked it up and kept it for a few weeks while they were away. She graciously let me “break it in.”

In the rest of this post I’ll share my review of the iRobot Roomba e5 vs. the iRobot Roomba 960 Wi-Fi.

iRobot Roomba 980
iRobot Roomba 980

A couple quick notes about this robot vacuum:

  • It has a built in camera that can “survey your house.” It has something called Smart Mapping and vSLAM® technology where it can map out your home layout in order to know where it’s cleaned so it won’t clean over the same spot twice. This is a great thing, but can also be a little alarming. Since it connects to your wifi, there will always be a security issue. You can, however, run the vacuum WITHOUT connecting to your wifi.
  • The great thing about the smart technology is that it maps the room before it begins to vacuum and cleans in rows.
  • This Roomba will also send a picture to your phone of the “map” it made of where it cleaned. This is awesome because you can see if it missed anything, like the narrow areas under the couch that it couldn’t reach.
  • This particular model comes with TWO virtual wall barriers, while the Roomba e5 only comes with one.
  • It runs up to 120 minutes and then automatically recharges and resumes where it left off.
  • It has a power boost which increases cleaning performance on carpets. This is really helpful if you have a lot of carpet or thick carpet.

After we gave it back to my mother in law, it wasn’t long until we purchased one of our own. The iRobot Roomba 980 retails for around $900. We couldn’t spend this much. Instead, we opted for the iRobot Roomba e5 which we found on major sale for $300.

iRobot® Roomba® e5
iRobot Roomba e5

A couple things to note about this robot vacuum:

  • Does not have an onboard camera to map out your house so it has to feel it’s way around the room.
  • Does not have the ability to recharge and resume.
  • Has wifi capabilities that allow you to control it from your phone.
  • Does not have the “carpet booster.”
  • Came with one virtual wall barrier.
  • Will run up to 90 minutes.

On paper the Roomba e5 seems like a simple base model. Even though it doesn’t have all the extra’s that the 980 has, it was just what we needed.

If you are looking for a robot vacuum for heavy carpet, or you have a lot of carpet, I would definitely suggest a model like the 980 that has a carpet booster. Most of our house is luxury vinyl tile, so we did not need this.

How do the two robot vacuums compare when it comes to performance?

Honestly, they both seem to do about the same level of cleaning. The biggest difference I’ve noticed (besides the carpet booster) is that the e5 feels its way around the room and tends to vacuum over the same spots multiple times. This can be annoying as I have noticed that I pick it up more to move it to a certain spot. Also, I have noticed that the 980 will clean a room faster and more thoroughly.

Review of the iRobot Roomba e5 Series vs. the iRobot Roomba 960 Wi-Fi

My overall opinion of the e5 vacuum vs the 980 vacuum is that it all comes down to price. The 980 is a lot more efficient, but if you can’t fork out the $900, but you still want a very effective robot vacuum, then the e5 might be then next best thing.

Review of the iRobot Roomba e5 Series vs. the iRobot Roomba 960 Wi-Fi
Review of the iRobot Roomba e5 Series vs. the iRobot Roomba 960 Wi-Fi
Review of the iRobot Roomba e5 Series vs. the iRobot Roomba 960 Wi-Fi

I hope you’ve found this post helpful!

Lindsey**


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