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Roomba i3+ vs e5 (2020): Which Robot Vacuum Is Right For You?

Robot vacuums are convenient devices that allow you to automate the cleaning of your home. If you are looking for one, there are quite a few models to choose from. Some are far more advanced than others, but come at a hefty price tag. Older models are more affordable, but they lack some quality of life features.

In this article, we will compare the more expensive Roomba i3+ to the more budget friendly Roomba e5. Should you go for the more feature-packed, but expensive i3+, or is the cheaper e5 more than enough for your home? Read on to find out.

Roomba i3+ vs e5 Comparison Chart

ModelRoomba i3+Roomba e5
 iRobot Roomba i3+ (3550) Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal Disposal - Empties Itself, Wi-Fi...iRobot Roomba E5 (5150) Robot Vacuum - Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair,...
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Suction Power10x the Roomba 600 series5x the Roomba 600 series
Cleaning 3-stage cleaning system3-stage cleaning system
NavigationSmart NavigationiAdapt 1.0
MappingYesNo
Smartphone AppYesYes
Voice AssistantAlexa and Google AssistantAlexa and Google Assistant
Clean Base Automatic Dirt DisposalYesNo
Recharge and ResumeYesNo
Dimensions 13.26 x 3.63 inches13.3 x 3.6 inches
Weight7.44 lbs7.2 lbs

Design

They are similar when it comes to build quality.

The Roomba i3+ (left) and the Roomba e5 (right).

Both the Roomba i3+ and e5 come in a round form factor that iRobot has been using for their robot vacuums. As for the dimensions, the e5 is 13.3 by 3.6 inches, while the i3+ is 13.26 by 3.63 inches. The e5 weighs in at 7.2 lbs. and the i3+ is at 7.44 lbs. The e5 sports a glossy and matte finish while the i3+ has a more textured look.

At the bottom, they are also pretty much the same, the only difference is that the i3+ features an automatic dirt disposal slot for use with its self-emptying charging base. They both feature dual multi-surface brushes, edge sweeping brushes, three wheels and a washable dust bin.

One of the differences between these two models is the charging base that comes with them. The Roomba e5 comes with a standard charging base while the Roomba i3+ comes with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal. Once the i3+ is docked, the base will automatically suck all the contents in the dust bin into an AllergenLock Bag. You don’t have to worry about manually emptying the dust bin for a long period of time.

Cleaning

The Roomba i3+ has twice the suction power of the Roomba e5.

The underside of both the Roomba i3+ and the e5 are also the same, with the exception of the dirt disposal slot that can be found on the i3+

When compared to the Roomba 600 series, the Roomba e5 has five times more power suction. On the other hand, the Roomba i3+ can produce 10 times the suction power, making it more effective in hard to clean areas such as carpeted rooms.

Aside from the suction power, they are pretty much the same. Both feature Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushrolls that work in tandem to effectively pull dirt and debris in. These rubber brushrolls are very effective for homes with pets, as hair is less likely to get tangled, resulting in more efficiency.

For cleaning corners and edges of rooms and furniture, they both feature an edge sweeping brush to reach those areas.

Both robot vacuums are very effective when it comes to sweeping different floor types. However, if your house has plenty of carpeted rooms or rugs, the higher suction power of the i3+ will be more handy.

Navigation

iRobot’s Roomba e5 has an adaptive navigation system, while the Roomba i3+ features a smart navigation system.

The Roomba i3+ has a Resume and Recharge function. Both feature iRobot’s Dirt Detect technology.

The Roomba i3+ and e5 use different navigation technologies to clean your home. Both rely on sensors to navigate through obstacles in your house so that they won’t get stuck on furniture or fall off stairs or ledges.

The Roomba i3+ has a smart navigation with digital mapping that allows it to clean in systemic straight lines to cover a wide area. Its mapping capability is only temporary though, so it won’t be saved internally for future use. One feature that it has over the Roomba e5 is its Recharge and Resume function. When the battery is about to be drained, it will return to its base to charge. Once fully charged, it will resume cleaning where it left off, ensuring that your entire house is cleaned.

As for the Roomba e5, it features the iAdapt 1.0 Navigation Technology. It is a less advanced technology that basically lets the robot vacuum clean in a random pattern. The sensors are still used to navigate around obstacles so that it won’t get stuck and its Cliff Detect will prevent it from falling off ledges or stairs. Roombas with iAdapt 1.0 do not have a Resume and Recharge function.

Both models feature iRobot’s Dirt Detect technology, so both will focus more on dirtier areas.

Controls

There’s not much difference between the Roomba i3+ and the Roomba e5 when it comes to controls.

Here’s a look at the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal that comes with the Roomba i3+.

At the top of both robot vacuums, you will find three buttons. The big one is the clean button and you can just press it to power on the device to start cleaning. At the left and right of the clean button are the home and spot clean buttons. The home button commands the vacuum to return to its base and charge while the spot clean button orders the robot vacuum to clean a specific area. Both are also compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa, so you can just give voice commands if you want to.

Just like other iRobot models, both the Roomba e5 and i3+ offer scheduled cleaning through the iRobot HOME app. Setup is very easy and it doesn’t take a genius to do it. You can schedule both devices for daily or weekly cleaning, as well as for a one-time cleaning job. This automation feature ensures that your robot vacuum will clean your house whether you are there or not.

Verdict

If you want a robot vacuum on a budget, the Roomba e5 is the easy choice as it is the cheaper model. However, if you want a more powerful vacuum with better automation features, the Roomba i3+ is very much worth the higher price tag.

The Roomba i3+ is definitely the better of the two, but it comes at a significantly higher price tag. It is more powerful and it has a lot of automation features that allow it to function on its own, without supervision. Some notable features are its Resume and Recharge function and its self emptying base.

On the other hand, the Roomba e5 is still a great choice if you don’t mind a more hands-on approach when it comes to maintenance. It is a lot cheaper than the Roomba i3+ and it will still do a good job when it comes to cleaning your floors.

FAQs

๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the difference between Roomba e5 and i3+?

There are a lot of differences between the Roomba e5 and the Roomba i3+. The Roomba i3+ has twice the suction power of the Roomba e5, it has resume and recharge functionality, it comes with an automatic dirt disposal base and more.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Roomba i3+ have mapping?

Yes, it has mapping capabilities. However, it is only temporary.

๐Ÿ“Œ Does the Roomba e5 have mapping?

No, the Roomba e5 uses iAdapt 1.0 and it does not have mapping.

๐Ÿ“Œ Will the Roomba e5 fall down stairs?

With its Cliff Detect feature, the Roomba e5 will not fall down stairs.

Last update on 2020-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Carlo Salvador
Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.