The iRobot Roomba e5 vs 960: Which Vacuum Cleaner to Buy?

Wouldn’t it be nice if someone else could do your vacuuming chores for you? Of course, you can have that now. It’s not actually a someone, but it is a something. Maybe it’s time for you to get a robotic vacuum cleaner.

There are plenty of robo-vacs out there nowadays. But many of them have very little suction. Some have poor navigational capabilities. There are a lot of problems that can come with one. But we want to help you choose the best iRobot Roomba model.

We were happy to get our hands on these two. And we spared no time or expense in putting them through the paces.

We pur together a chart for people who are in a rush and want to see all the specific features quickly. But be sure to read the individual reviews below to see how the differences make a difference.

Let’s jump right in and check these two awesome robotic vacs out.

iRobot Roomba e5 vs 960: Robot Vacuum Cleaners Сomparison

Roomba 960

  • Sensor technology: Infrared, sonic and camera
  • Control: via app, Google Assistant and Alexa
  • Good for pet hair: Yes
  • Floor types:All
  • Battery life : up to 60 minutes
  • Suction: High
  • Navigation: Mostly parallel lines
  • Brush type : Brushless roller
  • Dust capacity:0 6 liters
  • Noise level: Slightly higher
  • Filtration: High efficiency 10-micron
  • Automatic docking and recharge: Yes

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Roomba e5

  • Sensor technology: Infrared and sonic
  • Control: via app, Google Assistant and Alexa.
  • Good for pet hair: Yes
  • Floor types:All
  • Battery life : up to 90 minutes.
  • Suction: High
  • Navigation: Somewhat random pattern.
  • Brush type : Brushless roller
  • Dust capacity:0 6 liters
  • Noise level: Low
  • Filtration: High efficiency 10-micron
  • Automatic docking and recharge: Yes

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iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum Review

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  • It internally marks its stopping point when its battery runs out of juice and it has to return to the charging dock, but the e5 resumes cleaning using the charging dock as a new starting point.
  • The onboard camera allows the vacuum to create a more accurate map or your home, while the e5 relies on infrared and acoustic sensors.
  • iAdapt 2.0 mapping technology creates a running pattern that is mostly parallel lines, not a random route like the e5.
  • The efficient cleaning pattern means that it can clean an entire level of an average home on one charge. The e5 often has to recharge to get a whole level clean.

The iRobot Roomba 960 is a feature-laden robotic vacuum cleaner that is independent and cleans your floors just like you would. It may be for you if you are willing to spend the extra money to get the top robot vacuum.

After the initial programming, all you really have to do to it is empty the collection bin when it gets full. Other than that, it does its job with a minimum amount of time required from you.


  • It picks up right where it left off after it fully charges, which makes for a more efficient use of its battery.
  • Advanced software allows it to follow a more predictable pattern, just like you would vacuum. You’ll always know how far into the job it is and how long it has left to finish cleaning
  • The new mapping technology keeps it from vacuuming the same spots more than once and pretty much eliminates missed spots


  • It now comes with a smaller battery than it did when it was first introduced. That brings its run time down from 90 minutes to about 60 minutes
  • The dust collection bin is not removable, so you can’t wash it. This can allow grime to accumulate in the dust bin
  • It is more than a pound heavier than the e5, which is not good news for older folks who may have to carry it up stairs and to other areas of their homes

What Customers Are Saying

People really respond to the high technology they find here.

Those who have owned other robotic vacuums with mapping capability cast their vote and made the iRobot Roomba 960 the best floor vacuum robot.

One of the most popular features seems to be the memory that brings it right back to where it leaves off when it has to take a break to charge.

Another thing people talk about in robotic vacuum reviews is the way it gets so close to furniture and walls without bumping into them.

Overall, the stellar reviews from customers has made iRobot the most popular robot vacuum brand.

The Bottom Line

Is this the best floor vacuum robot for you? It may be if you want the smartest one with the most impressive navigational capabilities. You’ll enjoy watching it clean, knowing that it takes care of itself and asks almost nothing of you.

But you should be aware of the trade offs. You’ll pay more for this one. And you’ll notice that it’s a little heavier, if that matters to you.

But the biggest drawback, other than the price, is that it is very difficult to clean the dust bin. That is a deal breaker for some. Maybe future versions of the 960 will feature a removable dust collection bin.

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iRobot Roomba E5 Robot Vacuum Review

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  • This one weighs in at just over seven pounds, compared to the 960 that comes in at closer to nine pounds.
  • This lighter vacuum has a run time of up to 90 minutes, which is a full half-hour longer than the 960.
  • The e5 makes use of two different sensors for navigation, in addition to the dirt sensor, and does away with the camera navigation system.
  • It’s just a bit smaller in diameter, but that small difference can be big when it comes to squeezing into tight spaces between furniture
  • A removable dust collection bin makes keeping it clean easy

This Roomba is mostly made for those who are looking for a mid priced robot vacuum. This is still a quality robot vacuum, but there are some differences that were necessary to save on the cost.

None of these differences affect the level of clean that your floors get. They mostly have to do with the navigation and efficiency.

Also you can choose robot vacuum from our selection of best low-budget robot vacuum cleaners.


  • The different navigation system reduces collisions with temporary obstacles, like people.
  • The lighter weight translates into more efficiency, which can save you some money on your electric bill
  • Being able to remove and clean the dust bin keeps air moving through the vacuum more steadily for a longer period of time. That can add to the life of the vacuum cleaner and may allow it to have more suction.
  • The somewhat random cleaning pattern may not be the most efficient, but it is fun and entertaining to watch it.


  • The random cleaning pattern can cause missed spots.
  • The navigation system causes it to constantly bump into furniture and other things in your house, although it is just a slight bump that can’t hurt anything
  • After automatically recharging, it begins vacuuming again at the dock instead of going back to where it stopped.
  • It often has to recharge in the middle of its chores. Recharging takes three hours, so that can add greatly to the amount of time it takes to vacuum one level of your home

What Customers Are Saying

Those who’ve bought this model were looking for a good deal above all else.

And according to robot floor sweeper reviews, they feel like that’s exactly what they got. There are a lot of brags about the great price.

Many also talk about how amazing it is that it can run for an hour and a half on a single charge.

But on the other hand, they also gripe about how it can take over four hours to get their floors vacuumed when it has to recharge in the middle of cleaning.

All in all, people are happy with their purchase and would make the same decision again.

The Bottom Line

Do you need a highly functional robotic vacuum at a price you can afford? If you’re on a budget, you may do well to get the e5. It cleans just as well as the 960, but it often takes longer to get it done. It’s also more fun to watch.

There is actually one benefit with this model that the more expensive 960 doesn’t have. You can easily remove and clean the dirt collection bin to clean it. That’s a big plus, and it’s actually the reason that some fans of this robotic vacuum chose it over the more high-tech 960.

View at Amazon!

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The Wrap Up

We’re wrapping up this post, but hair won’t get wrapped up in either of these cool robotic vacuum cleaner’s cleaning bars. They’re brushless. There are many other similarities between these two models, but the differences are where your decision lies.

The 960 has the higher quality of the two. It does everything for you. All you have to do is empty the collection bin when it gets full. That’s it. It will save you so much time.

The e5 offers the best value. You’ll have to give up the impressive and efficient symmetrical cleaning pattern, but you’ll save a bunch of money.

Are you ready to make your choice? All the time you’ll save on your vacuuming chores is waiting on you.

Jeffery Gonzalez

I am a working-from-home dad and have always been interested in finding ways to make my home life easier and more efficient. I started Household Vision as a way to share the tips, tricks, and tools that I have found helpful in my own home. I hope that my readers will find my blog helpful and informative.