iRobot Roomba e5 vs. i3 Complete Comparison

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Created as the 8th generation of Roombas, both the Roomba e5 and Roomba i3 are often compared to one another because of their similarities. Released in 2018, the Roomba e5 is known for its excellent battery life, while the Roomba i3 was built two years later as a lower cost alternative to the Roomba i7.

Roomba e5 vs. i3 comparison: The biggest difference between the iRobot Roomba e5 and i3 lies in the navigation system. While the Roomba i3 moves in neat rows, the Roomba e5 changes course when it bumps into objects. Moreover, the Roomba i5 has double the suction power of the Roomba e5.

However, does the better navigation system and stronger suction power of the Roomba i3 justify its higher price over the Roomba e5? After all, you may have different preferences. In this post, we review the iRobot Roomba e5 vs. i3 comparison to help you decide which one is most suitable for you. Let’s get started.

Roomba e5 vs. i3 Comparison:

Quick Overview

Roomba e5

Reliable battery life and tangle-resistant brushes.

  • Movement: Random Pattern
  • Suction Power: 5x than 600 Series 
  • Brush: Rubber (Tangle-Resistant)
  • Runtime: 90 Minutes
Roomba i3

Excellent for pet hair and dark floors.

  • Movement: Organized Rows
  • Suction Power: 10x  than 600 Series
  • Brush: Rubber (Tangle-Resistant)
  • Runtime: 90 Minutes

Before we dive into the Roomba e5 vs. i3 comparison, let’s quickly go over their similarities. Both the Roomba e5 and i3 have Wi-Fi connectivity, giving you control over them via the smartphone app. Additionally, both are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can voice command them.

One important similarity between the two is the tangle-resistant rubber brushes. These new-and-improved brush extractors, found only in newer Roomba versions, do well to pick up dirt while reducing the risk of getting tangled with hair and carpet fibers. With that said, let’s move into the comparison.

1. Navigation System

Roomba e5

The Roomba e5 uses adaptive navigation, which means it gently bumps into obstacles and then changes its course to find a better route. This also means that it cannot create a map of your house and you cannot command it to clean a specific area of your home. Put simply, it moves around randomly.

While it moves in an unpredictable pattern, the Roomba e5 will eventually cover your house (or until the battery dies, in which case you need to recharge it first). Because of this, the Roomba e5 cannot recharge and resume cleaning. As long as your house has a simple layout, the Roomba e5 is good enough for the job.

Roomba i3

On the other hand, the Roomba i3 features intelligent navigation. It has the ability to create a map of your home, allowing the Roomba i3 to navigate multiple rooms within the home and clean in neat rows. Unlike the 9th generation Roombas however, the Roomba i3 does not allow specific room cleaning.

Because the Roomba i3 moves in an organized manner, you can expect better cleaning efficiency, which results in a more optimized battery usage. If the robot's battery runs low, the Roomba i3 will automatically recharge in its dock and resume cleaning until the job is complete. Now that’s excellent navigation!

WINNER: The Roomba i3 is far better when navigating around your house than the e5. Thanks to a more advanced navigation system, the Roomba i3 is able to move around neatly and efficiently, as opposed to the Roomba e5 that moves in a random pattern. If your floor plan is more complex, the i3 is more suitable for you.

2. Cleaning Performance

Roomba e5

The Roomba e5 features tangle-resistant rubber brushes. It comes with up to 5x the suction power of Roomba 600 Series.

When it comes to cleaning performance, you can expect the Roomba e5 to get the job done. It comes with tangle-resistant rubber brushes, along with high-efficiency filters to keep harmful allergens at bay. The rubber brush extractors work well to minimize any hair and carpet fibers from getting stuck and tangled.

Moreover, the Roomba e5 delivers up to 5x suction power than the Roomba 600 series. We tested the Roomba e5 on low-pile carpet and it picked up a substantial amount of powder we sprinkled, thoroughly cleaning the carpet. The combination of the brushes and excellent suction power were clearly working well.

Roomba i3

Just like the e5, the Roomba i3 features tangle-resistant rubber brushes. However, it comes with a whopping 10x the suction power of Roomba 600 Series.

Just like the Roomba e5, the Roomba i3 has all the bases covered with tangle-resistant rubber brushes to reduce tangled hair, and high-efficiency filters to minimize redistribution of dangerous particles into the air. Honestly, you shouldn’t worry too much about robot vacuum filters as all of them are not HEPA anyway.

One important aspect to mention is that the Roomba i3 delivers up to 10x suction power than the Roomba 600 series. This means that the Roomba i3 has double the suction power of the Roomba e5. If the Roomba e5 can pick up dirt from carpets well, you can expect the Roomba i3 to do the same, and then some!

WINNER: Once again, the Roomba i3 beats the Roomba e5, this time in cleaning and suction power. With twice the suction power of the Roomba e5, it’s clear that the Roomba i3 can suck more dust from dirty areas of your home. The Roomba i3 is more ideal for you if your house gets dirty often, especially from pets.

3. Other Notable Features

Roomba e5

The Roomba e5’s battery is set to last for up to 90 minutes before the robot automatically returns to its dock. However, the exact battery life will depend on the type of surface it cleans and obstacles the robot meets. Typically, we can get between 60 to 90 minutes of run time on hardwood floors using the Roomba e5.

Similar to the 6th generation of Roombas, the Roomba e5 is not compatible with the self-emptying base. In our opinion, this is a big drawback because the ability to clean up after itself is what makes robot vacuums worth investing in. With the Roomba e5, you need to clean it up after a few cleaning runs.

Roomba i3

The Roomba i3’s battery life is pretty much the same as the Roomba e5. It can run for up to 90 minutes before recharging itself. However, because it has a smart mapping feature, the Roomba i3 can resume cleaning once the battery is fully charged. It will continue where it’s left off. For us, this is a huge convenience.

Thanks to the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal, the Roomba i3 can empty itself. When it docks, the Roomba i3 empties its dustbin into the internal disposable bag. We’ve tested it and found that it can empty the Roomba's bin up to 30 cleaning cycles, so you can relax and let the Roomba i3 clean up after you, and itself.

WINNER: The Roomba i3 has better features than the Roomba e5. It’s very clear. With recharge and resume capabilities, the Roomba i3 provides better convenience for you. Moreover, the self-emptying feature also gives you less time to worry about your Roomba, and more time to sit back and relax. 

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Final Verdict

FINAL WINNER: iRobot Roomba i3

It’s no contest. The Roomba i3 is simply better than the Roomba e5 in every way conceivable. The only advantage the e5 has over the i3 is the price. But even with the slight difference, the Roomba i3 is well worth its higher price. So if you’re considering between the Roomba e5 or the Roomba i3, just go with the Roomba i3.

Roomba e5

Reliable battery life and tangle-resistant brushes.

  • Movement: Random Pattern
  • Suction Power: 5x than 600 Series 
  • Brush: Rubber (Tangle-Resistant)
  • Runtime: 90 Minutes
Roomba i3

Excellent for pet hair and dark floors.

  • Movement: Organized Rows
  • Suction Power: 10x  than 600 Series
  • Brush: Rubber (Tangle-Resistant)
  • Runtime: 90 Minutes

And there you have it, the complete Roomba e5 vs. i3 comparison. Our team had an amazing time researching and testing both 8th generation Roombas to help you decide which one is best for you. While both Roombas are simply excellent in their own right, the result is clear that the Roomba i3 is far superior than the e5.

See also: Robot Cleaners