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Roomba i3+ vs e6 (2021): Which Is The Better Beginner Robot Vacuum?

If you’re looking to upgrade from a traditional vacuum to a robot vacuum, two models you may want to consider are iRobot’s Roomba i3+ and Roomba e6 robot vacuums. The Roomba i3+ is more powerful and packs more features than the Roomba e6 but is also the more expensive model between the two. In this article, we’ll compare the design, performance, and features of these two robot vacuums to help you decide whether the feature-packed i3+ or the budget-friendly e6 is right for you.

Roomba i3+ vs e6 Comparison Chart

ModelRoomba i3+Roomba e6
 
PriceCheck Price at AmazonCheck Price at iRobot
Control ButtonsClean, spot clean, and homeClean, spot clean, and home
Dual Multi-Surface BrushesYesYes
Edge-Sweeping BrushYesYes
High-Efficiency FilterYesYes
Reactive Sensor Navigation TechnologyYesNo
Cleaning PatternNeat rowsRandom
Suction Power10x more than Roomba 600 series5x more than Roomba 600 series
3-Stage Cleaning SystemYesYes
Dirt Detect TechnologyYesYes
Roomba Clean BaseYesNo
Alexa-EnabledYesYes

Design

When it comes to design, the Roomba i3+ and e6 are quite similar save for their top faces and the i3+’s additional Clean Base

The Roomba i3+ (left) and e6 (right) are quite similar in design

The Roomba i3+ and e6 have the same circular shape with almost the exact same size and weight. The i3+ measures 13.26-inches in width, 3.63-inches high, and weighs 7.44lbs while the e6 measures 13.4-inches in width, 3.6-inches high, and weighs 7.2lbs. 

The edges on both robot vacuums are lined with plastic bumpers to protect them from bumps while cleaning. The top face is where these vacuums really differ in design. The Roomba i3+ has a grey top face with a cloth-like material that goes around the core of the vacuum and three buttons that sit above the Roomba logo at the center. The Roomba e6, on the other hand, has a smooth golden plastic ring that goes around the core of the vacuum. At the center are three buttons: the home button, clean button, and spot clean button, the same three buttons found on the Roomba i3+. 

When you flip these vacuums over you will hardly be able to tell the difference. Both vacuums have multi-surface rubber brushes and tangle-resistant edge sweeping brushes which are part of Roomba’s Premium 3-Stage Cleaning system. You will also find the navigation wheels, sensors, and dustbins underneath these vacuums.

Cleaning

Both the Roomba i3+ and e6 are equipped with Roomba’s patented 3-Stage Cleaning System with the i3+ having a bit more suction power than the e6

The Roomba i3+ (left) has five times the suction power as the Roomba e6 (right)

When it comes to cleaning, both vacuums are equipped with Roomba’s patented Premium 3-Stage Cleaning system. This cleaning system loosens, lifts, and suctions dirt, dust, hair, and large debris on carpet and hard floors using its dual multi-surface rubber brushes, edge sweeping brushes, and powerful suction motor. Unlike bristle brushes that bend and can easily miss larger debris, the Roomba’s multi-surface rubber brushes are quite flexible and will hug all types of floors to give you a very thorough cleaning. Under the hood, these robot vacuums come with high-performance suction motors. The Roomba i3+ has the more powerful motor with 5x more suction power than the Roomba e6 and 10x more power than the Roomba 600 series, Romba’s baseline robot vacuums. 

Both vacuums have an automatic height adjustment feature that keeps your robot close to the ground for effective cleaning whether you have high-pile carpet or hardwood floors. They are also equipped with Roomba’s trademark Dirt Detect Sensors that alert the machine when there are concentrated areas of dirt and prompts it to do a more thorough cleaning in those areas.

Navigation & Mapping

The Roomba i3+ comes with superior navigation technology compared to the more affordable Roomba e6

The Roomba i3+ (left) cleans in new rows while the Roomba e6 (right) cleans in random patterns

Navigation and mapping are where the Roomba i3+ really shines above the e6. The Roomba i3+ is equipped with state-of-the-art Reactive Sensor Technology that tells the machine where it can and cannot go. This lessens the chances of your robot vacuum getting stuck under furniture or falling down a flight of stairs. The Roomba i3+ will map out your house and clean in neat rows so no spot is missed. In addition, whenever your Roomba i3+ is low on battery, it automatically heads to its charging base for a charge and resumes cleaning right where it left off when the battery is full. 

The Roomba e6, on the other hand, is equipped with intelligent sensors that tell the machine when its running into a wall or furniture and guides it in a different direction. The e6 cleans in random patterns but will eventually cover the entire space you leave it to work on. The Roomba e6 does not have Reactive Sensor Technology but instead comes with two separate devices that work as invisible walls. You can place the invisible walls by the staircase or near your pet’s feeding area to keep your Roomba e6 from going there. The invisible walls can be configured as straight walls or keep-out zones.

Other Features

The Roomba i3+ comes with a handful of additional features but the Roomba e6 has the more attractive price tag

The Roomba i3+ (left) comes with an automatic dirt disposal base while the Roomba e6 (right) comes with the new Roomba washable dustbin

The plus (+) on the Roomba i3+ indicates that it comes with a Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal base. Once the Roomba i3+ is full, it will automatically head over to its base to unload the dust and debris it collected and then continue cleaning where it left off. The Clean Base can hold up to 30 full loads of dust and debris before you need to empty it out. This means you can completely forget about vacuuming for months. The Roomba i3+ is also Alexa-enabled so you can make voice commands to get your robot vacuum to start and stop cleaning. It will also learn your cleaning habits and make cleaning schedule suggestions on the iRobot Home app. 

The Roomba e6 is also Alexa-enabled so voice commands with your e6 works like a charm. However, it does not come with an automatic dirt disposal base so you’re going to have to manually empty your Roomba e6‘s dustbin whenever it’s full. The Roomba e6 comes with the new Roomba washable dustbin so emptying and cleaning it won’t be a difficult task. Despite lacking a few very useful features that are available on the i3+, the e6 is a lot more affordable and still does its job really well.

Verdict

The Roomba e6 falls a bit short of the i3+’s superior performance and features but costs almost half the price of the i3+

Roomba i3+

Feature-packed

Roomba e6

Budget-friendly

Both the Roomba i3+ and Roomba e6 are great beginner robot vacuums that keep the floors in your home sparkling clean all day. The Roomba i3+ has the advantage when it comes to navigation, suction power, and additional features like its Clean Base and smart cleaning suggestions that make things more convenient. The e6, however, comes with a very attractive price tag that makes it the perfect robot vacuum for those on a budget.

FAQs

📌 Are the Roomba e6 invisible walls sold separately?

When you purchase a Roomba e6, you get two invisible walls with it. You may purchase additional invisible walls if you need to.

📌 Which iRobot robot vacuum cleans better, the i3+ or the e6?

Both robot vacuums use the same cleaning technology. However, the Roomba i3+ has a more powerful suction motor. This means faster cleaning and fewer chances of your vacuum leaving behind stubborn dirt.

📌 Do the Roomba i3+ and e6 have smart mapping?

Unfortunately, the Roomba i3+ and e6 do not have smart mapping. They can map out your home and clean it thoroughly but you won’t be able to save maps and use it to build custom cleaning schedules.

📌 How much more expensive is the Roomba i3+ over the e6?

You may check the latest prices on these two robot vacuums at Amazon or at iRobot’s website.

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Manolo Martinez

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about music, film, and DIY projects.