Roomba e5 vs 690 (2020): Which is the Ideal Roomba For Your Home?

iRobot’s cutting-edge cleaning technologies have consistently placed it as one of the most trusted robot vacuums in the market. The highly-rated Roomba e5 and the Roomba 690 robot vacuums have recently seen price slashes on Amazon, thanks to the release of newer Roomba models. If you’re on the fence on which is better, our in-depth review below compares them side by side to help you choose your next robot vacuum.

Roomba e5 vs 690 Robot Vacuum Comparison Chart

ModelRoomba e5Roomba 690
iRobot Roomba E5 (5150) Robot Vacuum - Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair,... iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets,... 
PriceCheck Price on Amazon Check Price on Amazon 
Height3.6″3.6″
Weight7.2 lbs7.8 lbs
Suction Power5x the suction power of the Roomba 600 Series600 Pa
BrushesDual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes, Edge-Sweeping BrushDual Multi-Surface Bristle Brush, Edge-Sweeping Brush
HEPA FilterYesNo
Extra FilterNoYes
Dual Mode Virtual Wall BarrierSold Separately1
Runtimeup to 90 minutesup to 90 minutes
Charging Time180 minutes180 minutes
SchedulingYesYes
Automatic Docking and ChargingYesYes
Bin Capacity500 mL300 mL
Washable DustbinYesNo

Major Differences

The Roomba e5 and the 690 have different designs, brush rolls, filters, suction power, dustbin capacity, and accessories

You can tell the e5 and the 690 apart by their faceplate colors

As the Roomba e5 was released later than the 690, it offers more features. However, the 690 also comes with accessories that the e5 doesn’t have. We’ll discuss their similarities and differences in detail throughout this comparison, but here are their differences in a nutshell:

  • They have different colors and overall design. The Roomba e5 has a more updated look than the 690 and its buttons are farther apart for easier control.
  • The Roomba e5 has dual rubber brush rolls while the 690 still uses the old brush roll design
  • With 5x more suction power than the Roomba 690, the Roomba e5 can pull in dirt and hair better.
  • The Roomba e5 has a washable dustbin with high-efficiency filters while the Roomba 690 only has the regular Aerovacs filter.
  • With 500 mL dustbin capacity, the Roomba e5 can store more dirt than the 300mL dustbin capacity it the 690.
  • The Roomba 690 comes with one virtual wall barrier, an extra filter, and one flat cleaning tool.
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Design

The Roomba e5 has better brush rolls and its larger dustbin is washable; the Roomba 690 comes with an extra filter

roomba e5 vs 690 robot vacuum review
With a more updated rubber brush roll design, the Roomba e5 (left) can handle hair better than the 690’s bristles (right)

iRobot’s patent dual brush rolls are equipped in both the Roomba e5 and the 690. However, the e5’s brush rolls are both rubber while the Roomba 690’s consists of one rubber and one bristle brush rolls. The e5’s dual rubber brush rolls can handle hair better than bristles. They further avoid the hair from getting tangled around the brush and makes cleaning significantly easier.

Their dustbins are also different. The Roomba e5 has a larger 500mL dustbin capacity and its lock mechanism is found on the side and not on the faceplate, unlike with the 690. Another win for the Roomba e5 is its high-efficiency filter that works best for homes with pets. High-efficiency filters can block off pet dander, dust mites, and other allergens. Meanwhile, the 690 includes an extra regular Aerovacs filter with your Roomba.

roomba e5 hepa filter and washable dustbin
Homes with pets will benefit from the high-efficiency filter of the Roomba e5

In addition to better filters, the Roomba e5’s dustbin is also washable. You can easily slide off the dust collection bin out of the robot vacuum. This makes it easier to clean the dustbin for more optimal cleaning. Just make sure you remove the filter before running the dustbin under the sink.

Cleaning Performance

The Roomba e5 boasts 5 times more suction power than the Roomba 690

roomba e5 vs 690 cleaning performance
Both Roombas can roll over one surface to another and move around furniture without issues

Both the Roomba e5 and the 690 are equipped with iRobot’s essentials. They are equipped with the following iRobot cleaning technologies:

  • Three-stage cleaning system: their dual brush rolls and edge-sweeping brush work together to loosen, lift, and suck in dirt
  • Dirt Detect: when the Roomba detects that a particular area has more dirt than usual, it will keep cleaning around that area until it’s completely cleaned the surface
  • Cliff Detect: the Roomba e5 and the 690 have sensors that can detect if they’re approaching stairs or the edge of an elevated area. Something this struggles with though is the Roombas, and most smart vacuums in the market, tend to think that black carpets or flooring are “cliffs” so they tend to avoid cleaning these areas.
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Even as an entry-level Roomba, the 690 can effectively clean most surfaces. However, since the Roomba e5 has stronger suction power, it can pull in more dirt, hair, and smaller particles better, especially when working on carpets and hardwood floors.

Mapping and Navigation

The Roomba 690 comes with one virtual wall barrier

roomba e5 vs 690 virtual wall barrier
If there are areas you want to contain, the virtual wall barriers (left) of the e6 will come in handy.

iRobot’s intelligent navigation allows the Roombas to navigate your floor area, work around your furniture, and clean most surfaces thoroughly. However, the Roomba e5 and the Roomba 690 clean areas randomly and not in straight lines unlike the top-of-the-line Roombas that clean methodically. They may take a while longer than the top-end models, but they still clean most surfaces well.

For mid-tier and entry-level Roombas, their mode of containment is through virtual wall barriers. These tiny accessories let you set boundaries around areas that you don’t want the Roomba to enter. The Roomba 690 comes with one virtual wall barrier while the Roomba e5 can be set up with one, but you have to buy them separately. If there are areas in your home with sensitive furniture, pet feeding area, or those with cables and wires that your Roomba might get tangled, the virtual wall barriers will come in handy.

Additional Features

Both the Roomba e5 and the 690 can be connected to smart home assistants and can run for up to 90 minutes

roomba e5 vs 690 special features
With Alexa or Google Assistant (left) you can use the Roomba e5 or 690 hands-free

If you prefer to connect your devices to your smart home assistant, either the Roomba e5 or the 690 will work for you. They are compatible with either Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa so you can ask your Roomba to clean without lifting a finger. Meanwhile, if you want to schedule cleaning while you’re away or view cleaning history, you can do so through the iRobot HOME app.

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Both the Roomba e5 and the Roomba 690 have a runtime of up to 90 minutes at full charge. They will automatically navigate back to their charging dock once they are running low on battery or have finished cleaning. Their cleaning time will depend on your floor size, but 90 minutes is more than enough to clean a smaller room.

Verdict

The Roomba e5’s better suction power and more updated internals make it a more worthwhile purchase

With all the upgrades found in the Roomba e5, the small price difference from the Roomba 690 becomes insignificant. With the Roomba e5, you get stronger suction power, better rubber brush rolls, a high-efficiency filter, larger dustbin capacity, a washable dustbin, and a more updated look. While the 690 is still a solid robot vacuum choice, it pales in comparison to the Roomba e5. Interestingly, even as the newer Roomba, the e5 has a lower price tag at the time of writing as it is on sale. Even if you bundle a virtual wall barrier with the e5, it’s still reasonably priced.

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Rhodaline Escala-Phelps
Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.