Roomba 891 vs e5: Which Robot Vacuum Is The Better Buy?

On first glance at their specs and list of features, it seems there’s hardly any difference between the Roomba 891 and the Roomba e5. This makes deciding between these two models unnecessarily difficult, so we’ll save you the effort with this side-by-side comparison. Read on to see whether the Roomba 891 or the Roomba e5 is the better robot vacuum to get for your home.

Roomba 891 vs e5 Comparison Chart

ModelRoomba 891Roomba e5
iRobot Roomba 891 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard... iRobot Roomba E5 (5150) Robot Vacuum - Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair,... 
PriceCheck Price Check Price 
Rating
 

 
Dimensions13.9″ x 13.9″ x 3.6″13.45″ x 13.39″ x 3.65″
Weight8.4 lbs7.23 lbs
BrushrollBrushlessBrushless
Smart NavigationYesYes
Dirt DetectAdvancedYes
High Efficiency FilterYesYes
Suction Power5x Suction5x Suction
Runtime90 minutes90 minutes
Bin Capacity200 ml500 ml
Full Bin IndicatorYesNo
Washable BinNoYes
Voice ControlYesYes

Design

The Roomba 891 looks slightly more sophisticated than the Roomba e5.

Roomba 891 vs e5 Design
The champagne-colored ring on the Roomba 891 (left) seems a nice touch compared to the solid black of the Roomba e5 (right).

Of course it should hardly matter, but you’ll probably find the champagne accent on the Roomba 891 to be a bit more appealing along with its tighter contours. Still, you’re considering one of these for their performance and not their looks, and their overall designs reflect that focus on function. Aside from this minor detail, the Roomba 891 is a bit larger and heavier than the e5, though it’s not enough to affect portability.

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Some differences include the separation of buttons on the Roomba e5 and the pull-out mechanism of the bin being moved underneath. Their undersides are similarly designed, too, sporting the same AeroForce technology of rubber brushes along with the Edge-Sweeping Brush.

Mapping and Navigation

Both Roombas rely on similar sensors to navigate.

Roomba 891 vs e5 Navigation
Like other new Roomba models, the Roomba 891 can maneuver around and under furniture.

The Roomba 891 and Roomba e5 both use the same iAdapt 1.0 technology that allows these robot vacuums to find their way clear around the house. Using sensors that detect cliffs and gauge impact received by its bumpers, these Roombas can avoid falling down stairs and knocking down objects.

Both will move in pseudo-random directions in search of spots to clean, which some might scratch their heads at. However, left alone they’re able to cover as much ground as they can move through, especially on simple and spacious floor plans.

Without visual navigation and smart mapping like more advanced Roombas, there’s still only so much these budget-friendly models can do. You’re well-advised to keep your floors free of anything that might get tangled in the machine’s brushes. Also, you might find some areas being left untouched especially if getting there isn’t straightforward for the Roomba.

Cleaning Power

The Roomba 891 has a more advanced dirt detection system than the Roomba e5.

Roomba 891 vs e5 Cleaning Power
Once it finds an area with a lot of dirt and debris, the Roomba 891 goes into Spot Clean mode.

With the same AeroForce technology powering them, the Roomba 891 and Roomba e5 offer comparable cleaning performance. They use dual Multi Surface Rubber Brushes to agitate dirt and lift it up to where its suction can trap them in. Both are listed with 5X the air power of the 600 series, and they can clean up carpets just as well as hardwood floors.

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There’s a slightly more advanced Dirt Detect system on the Roomba 891 though, combining acoustic and optical sensors to spot debris. Both will spend more time going over dirtier areas until they’re satisfied before moving on to other parts of the floor. Handling the brushrolls are an Auto Adjust cleaning head which matches its height to whatever type of surface the Roomba is on, so it’s able to tell whether it’s on a carpet or on harder floors.

Assisting this cleaning mechanism is an Edge Sweeping Brush that peeks out over the round profile of both Roombas. Its 27-degree angle has been designed to sweep particles hugging walls and corners into the maw of the machine. Overall, both Roombas will do an excellent job of regularly keeping floors clear of dust and dirt.

Smart Features

Both Roombas are mobile app and voice control ready.

Roomba 891 vs e5 Smart Features
Remote controlling the Roomba e5 is easier than ever.

iRobot has brought Wi-Fi connectivity to all of the robot vacuums they currently offer. This means you can easily control both Roomba 891 and e5 using the company’s HOME app on either iOS or Android. The mobile app also lets you set cleaning schedules once per day for seven days, so the option of automatic regular cleaning is possible.

You can also just vocally command either robot to clean, with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant support. It will require a separate voice control device though, such as an Amazon Echo Dot. The other welcome smart feature to note is the auto-recharging capabilities of both Roombas. Once its battery starts running low, it will home in on its charging dock so it can recharge and be ready for the next cleaning job.

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Pets and Maintenance

The Roomba e5 requires less maintenance than the Roomba 891.

Roomba 891 vs e5 Pets
iRobot designed the Roomba e5 and later robot vacuums to be better at cleaning up after pets.

Both Roombas have been designed to be ideal for homes with pets. The new Multi-Surface brushes are more capable of handling pet hair. Its brushless design means fewer strands getting tangled, unlike older models with bristle-type brushrolls. The addition of high-efficiency filters that capture dog and cat allergens, along with mold, dust mites and pollen, make both robot vacuums a good choice if you have furry friends at home.

What makes the Roomba e5 a bit easier to maintain though is that it has a larger bin capacity than the Roomba 891. Moreover, its bin is easy to pop out and is washable to boot, so you can clear out the compartment with ease. While the Roomba 891 does have a Full Bin indicator, you’ll find that it will light up much more often, and that you’d have a less easier time cleaning it out instead of simply placing it under a faucet.

Verdict

The Roomba e5 is our recommendation over the Roomba 891.

Considering that the cleaning performance of both Roombas are close and that they offer pretty much similar features, the one that’s just a bit more affordable wins out. The Roomba e5 is simply more cost-effective than the Roomba 891, capable of delivering the same results at a lower price. In addition, it’s a bit easier to maintain too.

You might prefer the Roomba 891 if you like getting a reminder whenever you need to empty its bin out, since robot vacuums are generally less efficient when they’re full. It’ll make an even better buy though if you manage to catch the model at a sizable discount.

Last update on 2020-02-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API