Roborock vs Roomba 2021 [Comparisons & Buyer Guides]

written by Nil Harris
part of Robot Vacuums
created on January 23, 2021
updated on January 17, 2022

With dozens of Roombas and Roborocks being sold, it can be hard to know which one to choose since they share plenty of similarities in specs, features, and even pricing.

You’re in the right place if you want to make better decisions while maximizing value on select Roborock and Roomba vacuum cleaners.

Long post ahead! Use the Table of Content below to skip to products of interest.

Roborock vs Roomba Reviews

Below are popular models from iRobot and Roborock reviewed with quick and concise verdicts, and per your budget, lifestyle, needs, and home layout.

Roborock S7 Plus vs. Roomba S9 Plus vs. Roomba i7 Plus vs. Roomba j7 Plus

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Roborock S7 Plus
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Roomba S9 Plus
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Roomba i7 Plus
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Roomba j7 Plus

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So assuming you don’t mind their price  (the Roomba i7 Plus being the cheapest at around $700), any of the Roborock s7 Plus, Roomba s9 Plus, i7 Plus, or j7 Plus should suffice if you’re big on performance and/or specs. Also, if you’ve got mixed floors in a multi-level house with pets.

If you plan on doing a lot of mopping in a home with mixed floors, though–and have a large house–consider the Roborock s7. It has a mechanical part underneath that lifts in mopping mode to allow for better reach and coverage while doing enough to avoid soaking carpets.

Still talking about the Roborock s7, its laser eyes don’t only support vacuuming at night or under low light conditions, but also helps in path-finding; consequently, it rarely locks itself up and avoids wasting battery power or getting stuck on nothing or everything. The s7 mops. Plus, there’s some kind of scrubbing to its mopping that comes in handy for stains like coffee and tomato juice. The water reservoir at 300 ml is adequate, with options to adjust water settings.

What’s more, with the s7, cleaning is faster and convenient too since it can handle all the rooms in one full cycle (can run up to three hours on a single charge while covering an area up to 3000 sq ft) thus helping to reduce the noise you’d have to endure–which particularly makes sense, especially if you’re a remote worker. On top of it, the Roborock s7 has better navigation (gentler and more precise) and app and receives regular software updates.

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Roomba s9 Plus
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Roomba i7 Plus
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Roomba j7 Plus

As for the iRobot models, they’re just as capable for general floor cleaning but particularly for carpet vacuuming. Pet hair vacuuming too, given Roomba i7’s & s9’s powerful motor and dual brush design that works together for effective pickup of human and animal hair while also resisting hair tangle and minimizing maintenance. What’s more, the iRobot i7 Plus, j7 Plus & s9 Plus (main units w/ the self-emptying tower) know when to self-evacuate, plus the actual evacuation is thorough and complete.

iRobot i7, j7 & s9’s navigation, though, (compare irobot roomba s9 and i7) can use some improvements. Another downside to the camera-guided navigation of the i7 and s9 involves difficulty working at night or under low light conditions.

The j7 however has a led light in the front that helps with pathfinding under low light conditions, plus a camera for obstacle avoidance similar to the Roborock s6 MaxV automatic floor cleaner. Consider therefore the Roomba j7 Plus If you’d like to clean at night, have a busy house with kids or pets that could make a mess, or if you don’t want to clean before cleaning.

Find out: Is Roomba j7 worth it?

Roborock S7 vs iRobot Braava Jet M6

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Roborock S7
irobot_braava_jet_m6_robotic_mop
Braava Jet m6

Talking about their similarities, both mops–and very well too. There’s some sort of agitation to their mopping: the mopping plate of the Roborock s7 vibrates, with the iRobot Braava jet m6 robot mop moving forth, back, and forth–kind of mimicking a human with a bucket and mop. Given this, either should suffice if you have mostly tiles, laminates, hardwood, or other hard floor types.

Assuming you have a mix of hard floors and carpets, though–or pets that shed or love to play outside–the Roborock s7 is an ideal choice given key highlights including VibraRise, automatic dirt disposal system (sold separately), and the all-rubber roller design with detachable ends.

For homeowners who already have a robot vacuum or a Roomba–and maybe budget conscious–the Braava is quite affordable (currently under $400) especially when you consider that the Roborock s7 is around $700 (exclusive of the self-emptying station).

If you’re concerned about reliability, though, I recommend the Roborock s7. It was released in 2021 (versus the m6 that has been selling since 2019) but so far has worked as advertised for most users. That is, no streaking or other performance-related issues of the iRobot m6.

And although the iRobot Braava m6 doesn’t have reliability in its favor, it’s your only choice if you want to use cleaning liquid (for tidier & fresher floors) as it ships with a bottle that’s also available as an accessory.

By following the 6 caps-full recommendation, however, and with 2 to 4 weekly uses, that’s approximately one bottle every month or ~$100 on a floor cleaner in one year. Check out these three Braava Jet M6 cleaning alternatives if you have some ground to cover and are looking for something that lasts longer. Or if you don’t have enough cash to spare or don’t want to spend as much on a floor cleaner.

Find out: Is Braava m6 worth it?

Roborock s6 vs. Braava Jet m6 

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Roborock s6
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Braava Jet m6

Talking about their similarities, both the Roborock s6 and Braava m6 are advanced, feature-rich, and hardworking cleaning assistants.  Either suffices in a large house (~2500 ft²) with mostly tiles, laminates, hardwood, or other hard floor types.

Assuming you have a mix of hard floors and carpets, however–or pets that shed or love to play outside–the Roborock s6 is an ideal choice given key highlights including 2000Pa suction power, center & corner brushes, up to three hours of run time, and a gravity effect mopping system.

For homeowners who already have a robot vacuum or a Roomba–or plan on doing a lot of mopping–the Braava is the perfect choice considering it’s a dedicated automatic mopper with a cleaning mechanism that works exceptionally well for stubborn stains.

If you’re keen on usability/reliability, though, don’t mind wet dusting, but want to wake up to a clean floor, I recommend the Roborock s6. It was released in 2019 and so far has worked as advertised for most users. That is no streaking, inability to cross thresholds, or other performance-related issues of the iRobot m6. Further, the m6 is LIDAR-based (as such has no trouble finding its way in the dark) and is one of the quietest droids around (60dB max–which particularly makes sense if you work from home).

Although the iRobot Braava m6 doesn’t have reliability in its favor, it’s your only choice if you want to use cleaning liquid (for tidier & fresher floors) as it ships with a bottle that’s also available as an accessory.

Braava Jet m6 vs s5 Max

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Braava Jet m6
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Roborock s5 Max

As in the Roborock s6 versus Braava m6, the s5 Max vacuum and mop while Braava m6 is a mop-only model.

To avoid unnecessary repetition seeing as much of the information regarding the Braava m6 vs s6 also applies here since the Roborock s5 Max is essentially the Roborock s6 with advanced mopping and a slightly better carpet cleaning ability.

That mentioned, and while the s5 Max still drags a wet cloth along, a larger water tank (297ml vs 180ml of the s6) ensures prolonged mopping and some personalizations in the app (water adjustment per room/area, for example). Another interesting feature that isn’t available in the m6 or s6, involves the s5 Max’s ability to mark carpeted areas (in mopping mode) as off-limits.

Putting it together, get the Roborock s5 Max if you…

  • Want the vacuuming and mopping feature
  • Want a robot with a superior navigation ability
  • Want to clean at night
  • Want efficiency and convenience
  • Have mixed floors (with fewer carpeted areas)
  • Have fewer obstacles
  • Live in a large and/or multi-level home
  • Want to get the most bang for your buck

The Braava m6 is a better choice if…

  • You already have a vacuuming robot
  • You’re looking for a feature-rich, advanced dedicated automatic mopper
  • You want to tackle stubborn stains in a mid-size home with fewer obstacles
  • You don’t mind the price (typically selling $500)

Roborock S6 MaxV vs. Roomba s9 Plus vs i7 Plus vs j7 Plus 

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Roomba S9 Plus

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Roborock S6 MaxV
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Roomba i7 Plus
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Roomba j7 Plus

For your information…

  • Roborock s6 MaxV is the s7 w/ twin front cameras (for obstacle avoidance and live streaming) but w/o the auto-clean base.
  • Roomba j7 is the i7 w/ a front camera (for obstacle avoidance and pathfinding) and a shorter auto-clean base.
  • Roomba i7 smart home vac is a cheaper and more reliable Roomba s9 with reduced motor power.

At about the same price, the Roborock s6 MaxV, Roomba j7 Plus, Roomba i7 Plus, or Roomba s9 Plus suffices if you don’t mind paying extra for intensive, convenient cleaning in a mid to large house with mixed flooring.

Roborock s6 MaxV or Roomba j7 Plus is perfect in a 2000+ sq ft busy home with a complex floor plan where things get left behind.

For a house with a simple layout, primarily hard floorings, and fewer pets and kids–check out the i7 Plus.

Consider the Roomba s9 Plus if you live in a home (~1500 sq ft) with lots of carpets and heavy shedding pet breeds.

Get the Roborock S6 MaxV if you’re interested in mopping, top-of-the-line navigation, and stable performance. It also suffices if you live in a large home or aren’t interested in the auto-dirt disposal function.

Check it out: S6 MaxV review

Roborock S5 Max vs. Roomba i7 (w/ auto empty dock)

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Roborock S5 max
irobot_roomba_i7_plus_vacuuming_robot
Roomba i7 Plus

Both the Roborock s5 Max and Roomba i7 excel in transitioning, mobility (Roborock s5 max does better job pathfinding and negotiating around obstacles), and actual vacuuming (Roomba i7 have a specially designed brush that improves pick up performance on carpets and ensures easier hair detangling). The i7 if it helps to add supports automatic dirt emptying.

The Roborock s5 Max spot the redesigned mop attachment and a bigger, electronically controlled water tank. The cleaning methodology of the s5 Max which entails dragging the wet disposable or washable pad across the length and breadth of a room, while not the most effective, is however adequate for removing wet spills.

Roomba i7 when paired with the Braava Jet m6 (iRobot’s dedicated mop) via the Imprint Technology can replicate the mopping experience of the s5 Max considering its back-and-forth movement that kind of mimics a human with a bucket and mop stick. And that’s on top of the reservoir of the m6 which holds 480 ml of water and supports the use of a cleaning liquid. Water flow is adjustable in the app. You can also keep the Braava away from carpeted areas or select rooms (kitchen or bathroom) or zones (dining area) for mopping.

Related: top iRobot robot mops

Get the Roomba i7 and Braava m6 if you:

  • Have significant carpeted and hard floor areas to cover.
  • Have hair problems from animals and humans.
  • Live in a multi-level home with fewer obstacles.

The Roborock s5 Max smart robotic vacuum is a perfect choice if you: 

  • Live in a huge, multi-level home with fewer obstacles.
  • Have mostly hardwood, vinyl, or tile.
  • Have pets with short, thin hair.
  • Want the mopping feature or a 2-in-1 bot.

Product titlesProduct imagesPurchase links
Roborock s5 max robot vacuum
Roborock_s5_max
Roborock s5 max robot vacuum
Check current price on Amazon
iRobot i7 robot vacuum
iRobot_i7_robot_vacuum
iRobot i7 robot vacuum
Check current price on Amazon
iRobot i7 self-emptying bin
iRobot_i7_self-emptying_bin
iRobot i7 self-emptying bin
Check current price on Amazon
iRobot i7 Plus (total package)
iRobot_i7_Plus
iRobot i7 Plus
Check current price on Amazon
iRobot Braava Jet M6 robot mop
iRobot_Braava_Jet_M6_robot_mop
iRobot Braava Jet M6
Check current price on Amazon

Roborock S4 Max vs Roomba i7 (with auto empty dock)

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Roomba i7 Plus
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Roborock S4 Max

Think of the S4 Max as the S5 Max without the mopping functionality.

Related: Roborock S4 vs S4 Max

At about the same price, the Roborock S4 Max or Roomba i7 should is ideal in a multi-level home with mixed floorings and fewer obstacles.

The Roborock s4 Max is perfect in a 2000+ sq ft home with a complicated floor plan. More so, if you want excellent navigation and stable performance. Likewise, the s4 Max suffices if you have a mix of hard floors and carpets or aren’t interested in the auto-dirt disposal function.

Consider the Roomba i7 Plus (the bundle that ships with the self-empty base station) if you live in a home (~1500 sq ft) with mostly carpets and heavy shedding pet breeds.

Roborock S4 vs S4 Max vs Roomba i3 (w/ auto empty dock)

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Roborock S4
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Roomba i3 Plus

Considering much of the information regarding the iRobot i7 vs Roborock S4 Max as highlighted above also applies in the iRobot i3 vs Roborock S4 Max (S4 is the S4 Max with decreased traversing ability), since the iRobot i3 (i3 Plus is the bundle with the self-emptying base) is essentially the iRobot i7 w/ basic navigation and with w/o the mapping function or personalization.

The Roomba i3 robotic cleaner is therefore ideal if you:

  • Can prep the floor beforehand
  • Have hair problems from animals and/or humans
  • Live in an apartment home with fewer obstacles, carpets, or rugs
  • Want the self-emptying feature (available separately or as a bundle)
  • Want to clean at night without leaving the lights on 
  • Don’t want the mopping or mapping feature

Roborock S4/S4 Max is a better choice if you:

  • Live in a large, multi-level home with fewer obstacles
  • Have mostly hard floors and/or low through medium pile carpets
  • Have pets with short hair
  • Care for some personalization (keep out zone, room/zone cleaning, etc.)
  • Want to clean at night without leaving the lights on
  • Want the mapping feature
  • Want to clean during the day or night without interrupting sleep or conversations
  • Don’t want the self-emptying feature

Roborock S5 Max vs Roomba e5

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Roomba e5
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Roborock S5 Max

Compared to the S6 MaxV, the Roborock S5 Max is a Roborock S6 MaxV without the ‘V’ (‘V’ being the front camera vision for obstacle detection and avoidance). As for the Roomba e5, you can think of it as a cheaper Roomba i3 with random navigation, and without support for the auto-clean dock.

Related: Roomba e5 review

 

 

Talking about the relationship between the Roborock S5 Max and Roomba e5, both are well-built, capable machines intended for different users and cleaning situations.

For homeowners living in apartments–who only care about results (and not the process leading to the result), have reasonable expectations, some time to spare, and maybe budget conscious–the Roomba e5 is perfect.

On the other hand, consider the S5 Max if you’re keen on efficiency and convenience, live in a large, multi-level home, and/or want mopping/personalization.

Watch this Vacuum Wars in-depth review of the Roborock S5 Max smart vacuum cleaner:

 

Roborock S4/S4 Max vs Roomba e5

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Roborock S4 Max
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Roomba e5

Just so you know, the Roborock S4 is the S4 Max with decreased traversing ability. The S4 Max is the S5 Max without the mopping functionality.

You can’t go wrong with the Roomba e5 if you only care about results (and not the process leading to the result), have reasonable expectations & time to spare, and maybe budget conscious.

 

On the contrary, consider the S4 or S4 Max if you’re keen on efficiency and convenience, live in a large, multi-level home with mixed floors, and/or want mopping/personalization.

Roborock E4 vs Roomba e5

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Roborock E4
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Roomba E5

So with the Roborock E4 or Roomba e5–while you’ll miss out on mapping (can’t save maps) and personalization (can’t create in-app barriers or select rooms for cleaning)–on the upside, you’ll get value for money.

Roborock E4–for $300 or less–self-recharges and resumes, runs for more than two hours, vacuums in straight, efficient lines, plus the mopping module is available as an accessory. Affordable, capable, and practical, it’s the one most suited to general floor cleaning.

 

Still talking about value, the iRobot Roomba e5, despite its limitations in mobility and features, is one of the few robot vacuum cleaners in the $200 – $300 price range with consistent and reliable pick-up, traversing, and hair resisting abilities.

Related: best value roomba

Roborock E5 vs Roomba e5

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Roborock E5
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Roomba e5

Per the information regarding the Roborock E4 vs Roomba e5 that also suffices in the Roborock E5 or Roomba e5–that is, no support for mapping and personalization but you’d save money and your investment would pay off in saved time and perpetually clean floors. 

Roborock E5–for $300 or less–self-recharges and resumes, runs for more than three hours, vacuums and mops, follows a coordinated path, added to a 640ml dustbin to reduce the frequency of emptying. Capable, affordable, and practical, it’s the one most suited to general cleaning.

Still talking about value, but this time in the context of the iRobot Roomba e5. And despite its limitations in mobility (random navigation) and features (no Carpet Boost or auto-resume, can’t save maps, create in-app barriers, or select rooms for cleaning)–the e5 still remains one of the top auto vacuum cleaners in the $200 – $300 price range with consistently effective pick-up (has dirt detect), traversing (climbing limit up to 0.8in), and self-cleaning abilities (full bin sensor & rubber brush rolls). This is the one most to homes with hard floors and hair (human & animal) problems.

Roborock S4 vs Roomba 675

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Roomba 675
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Roborock S4

Considering much of the information regarding the iRobot e5 vs Roborock S4 Max also applies in the iRobot 675 vs Roborock S4 (S4 Max is the S4 with increased traversing ability) since the Roborock 675 is a cheaper e5 with reduced brainpower and old hardware.

Regardless, you can’t go wrong with the Roomba 675 if you only care about results (and not the process leading to the result), are budget conscious, or have reasonable expectations, zero pet, and some time to spare.

On the contrary, consider the Roborock S4 smart home robotic cleaner if you’re keen on efficiency and convenience, live in a large, multi-level home with mixed floors, and/or want mopping/personalizations.

Roborock E4 vs Roomba 675

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Roborock E4
irobot_roomba_675_robot_vacuum_cleaner
Roomba 675

For quick and easy understanding, think of the Roborock E4 as a capable and affordable Roborock S4.

Consider, therefore, the iRobot Roomba 675 if you care more about the vacuuming outputs (than the process leading to it), have reasonable expectations, zero pet, some time to spare, and maybe budget conscious.

 

 

On the contrary, consider the Roborock E4 smart home robotic cleaner if you want value for money, have hard floors and mid-pile rugs, and/or live in a mid-size home with fewer pets/obstacles.

Roborock S6 vs Roomba e5

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Roborock S6
irobot_roomba_e5_robot_vacuum
Roomba e5

For quick and easy understanding, think of the Roborock S6 as a quiet, cheaper S4 Max or an S5 Max without the advanced mopping system.

It turns out, you can’t go wrong with the Roomba e5 if you mostly care about results (and not the process leading to the result), are budget-conscious, and have reasonable expectations, some time to spare.

 

 

On the contrary, consider the S6 if you’re keen on efficiency and convenience, live in a large, multi-level home with mixed floors, and/or want an affordable, capable floor robot to clean during the day or night without interrupting sleep or conversations.

Roborock s6 vs Roomba s9

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Roborock s6
Roomba_s9_robotic-vacuum_cleaner
Roomba s9

With the ability to self-recharge, self-resume, clean methodically, map & save floor plans, and command/practice customized cleaning being jointly shared by the Roborock s6 and Roomba s9, understand one performs these functions better than the other. Can you guess which one?

The Roborock s6, of course.

Besides selling at half the price of the Roomba s9, the floor mapping is functional and navigation is gentle and precise. You can clean at night (regardless of the lighting situation) or day (very quiet and won’t interrupt sleep or conversation). What’s more, the s6 transverses strips and cleans tile, vinyl, hardwood, and low-pile carpets like a champ. Up to three hours of run time, the s6 is well-built with stable software and a user-friendly app. You also get wet-dusting on top.

The Roborock s6 robotic floor cleaner, it turns out, should suffice if you…

  • Live in a multi-level house with fewer obstacles, kids & pets (no auto-empty or obstacle avoidance function).
  • Have mostly vinyl, tile, laminate, or hardwood floors.
  • Want to run your droid on a schedule.
  • You’re interested in advanced tech or want some personalization (room selection, keep-out zones, room scheduling, smart cleaning suggestions, etc.)
  • Are looking for the best value for your money.

The iRobot Roomba s9 self-emptying floor cleaner, on the other hand, is the one to get only if…

  • You’ll be vacuuming during the day.
  • You won’t be running on a schedule or completely unattended.
  • You don’t mind splurging.
  • You live in a multi-level house with lots of pets and fewer obstacles.
  • You have mixed flooring or an extended carpeted area.
  • You’re interested in advanced tech or want some personalization (room selection, keep-out zones, room scheduling, smart cleaning suggestions, etc.)

Recommended: iRobot Roomba s9 review

Roborock S6 vs. Roomba i7

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Roborock S6
Roomba_i7_robot_vacuum
Roomba i7

Faced with a decision between these two I’d say it depends on your situation or needs as you’ll soon see. Nonetheless, both models are solid performers (in the unlikely event of a defective unit), as such worth it in my opinion.

The Roomba i7, a vacuum-only bot, deep cleans carpets, with an uncommon ability to handle pets and thick long human hair given its dual brushless rollers and auto-empty dirt station.

Roborock s6 on the other hand vacuums and mops (albeit the mopping feature recommended for light-duty tasks). Not only that, the Roborock s6, just like the i7 is also smart and versatile, acing cleaning on hard surfaces with the ability to track floors more precisely while carefully negotiating obstacles. It’s very quiet (55dB), too, and supports cleaning in the dark thanks to its LIDAR technology. 

As for price, without discounts or the auto-empty tower of the Roomba i7, they’re typically selling for $600.

Continue reading: Full review of the Roomba i7 smart vacuum

Roomba i7 robotic cleaner is therefore ideal if you:

  • Have significant carpeted and hard floor areas to cover 
  • Can prep the floor beforehand
  • Have hair problems from animals and/or humans
  • Live in a multi-level home
  • Can’t deal with emptying the dustbin multiple times
  • Don’t want the mopping feature

Roborock s6 is a better choice if you:

  • Live in a large, multi-level home with fewer obstacles
  • Have mostly hard floors and/or low pile carpets
  • Have pets with short hair
  • Care for some personalization (keep out zone, room/zone cleaning, etc.)
  • Want to clean at night without leaving the lights on
  • Want to clean during the day without interrupting sleep or conversations
  • Don’t care too much or at all for mopping

Roborock S6 vs. Roomba i3 (w/ auto empty dock) 

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Roborock S6
roomba_i3_plus_vacuuming_robot
Roomba i3 Plus

For quick and easy understanding, the iRobot i3 (i3 Plus is the bundle with the self-emptying base) is essentially the iRobot i7 w/ basic navigation but w/o the mapping function.

It turns out, the Roomba i3 robotic cleaner is therefore ideal if you:

  • Can prep the floor beforehand
  • Have hair problems from animals and/or humans
  • Live in an apartment home with fewer obstacles, carpets, or rugs
  • Want the self-emptying feature (available separately or as a bundle) 
  • Don’t want the mopping or mapping feature
  • Don’t care for mopping

Roborock S6 is a better choice if you:

  • Live in a large, multi-level home with fewer obstacles
  • Have mostly hard floors and/or low pile carpets
  • Have pets with short hair
  • Care for some personalization (keep out zone, room/zone cleaning, etc.)
  • Want to clean at night without leaving the lights on
  • Want the mopping or mapping feature
  • Want to clean during the day or night without interrupting sleep or conversations
  • Don’t want the self-emptying feature

Roborock S5 vs. Roomba i7

Roomba i7 is essentially a more reliable Roomba s9 WITH decreased suction and airflow while the Roborock s5 is Roborock s5 max WITHOUT the advanced mopping

Talking about performance, carpet vacuuming, in particular–you can trust the i7. Its navigation, obstacle recognition, and avoidance, however, can use some improvements. And, from previous experience, new firmware updates, while it can improve usability and/or fix bugs, also tend to break some functionalities.

As for the Roborock s5, while it does as well receive updates, these do more improving functionalities than breaking one. Also, its laser eyes give it an edge in path-finding and obstacle recognition and avoidance, so that it rarely locks itself up, wasting battery power in the process, or getting stuck on nothing or everything as noticeable in the i7.

The s5 mops if it helps to mention. If you’re choosing the s5 be informed the mop attachment is very modest in its offerings: The water reservoir is only 140 ml without the option to adjust water settings; you can’t use a cleaning solution, either. Plus, there’s no scrubbing effect (just a wet cloth being dragged around). It’s the cheaper of the two though especially since it’s an older model.

Roomba i7 robotic cleaner is ideal if you: 

  • Have significant carpeted and hard floor areas to cover 
  • Can prep the floor beforehand
  • Have hair problems from animals and/or humans
  • Live in a multi-level home
  • Can’t deal with emptying the dustbin multiple times

Roborock s5 smart robotic vacuum is a perfect choice if you: 

  • Live in a single-level home with fewer obstacles
  • Have mostly hardwood, vinyl, or tile
  • Have pets with short hair
  • Don’t mind mopping
  • Don’t have a deep pocket or are unwilling to splurge

Roborock s6 vs. Roomba 980

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Roborock S6
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Roomba 980

Faced with a decision between these two I’d say it depends on your situation or needs as you’ll soon see. In any case, both models are well built and do brilliant jobs (in the unlikely event of a defective unit), as such worth it in my opinion.

The Roomba 980, a vacuum-only bot deep cleans carpets. Added to an uncommon ability to handle pets and thick long human hair given its dual brushless rollers and auto-empty dirt station. With the 980 you’ll miss out on no-go zonesroom cleaning, room scheduling, auto-empty station, and map editing/saving

Roborock s6 on the other hand allows you to edit created maps (3 supported) so that you can edit or name rooms, select rooms for cleaning, or block off areas you don’t want it in. Further, the s6 vacuums and mops (albeit the mopping feature recommended for light-duty tasks). Not only that, but the Roborock s6 is also agile and versatile, acing cleaning on hard surfaces with the ability to track floors more precisely while carefully negotiating obstacles. It’s very quiet (55dB), too, and supports cleaning in the dark thanks to its LIDAR technology.

As for price, without discounts, the Roomba 980 and Roborock s6 are typically selling for $500.

Roomba 980 robotic cleaner is ideal if you: 

  • Live in a single-level home
  • Have a huge area with carpets and hard flooring 
  • Have pets that shed or a wife and/or daughters with long hair
  • Don’t care for personalization (exclusion zone, room level cleaning, or zone cleaning)
  • Don’t mind emptying the onboard dustbin as many times as required 

Roborock s6 smart robotic vacuum is a perfect choice if you:

  • Live in a large, multi-level home with fewer obstacles
  • Have mostly hard floors and/or low pile carpets
  • Have pets with short hair
  • Noise and navigation are big factors
  • Care for some personalization (keep out zone, room, or zone cleaning)
  • Don’t care too much or at all for mopping

Roborock S5 vs Roomba 980

Roborock_s5_robot_vacuum
Roborock S5
Roomba_980_robot_vacuum
Roomba 980

Given the Roomba 980 is essentially the Roomba i7 WITH limited functions (digital barriers, room cleaning, room scheduling, auto-empty station, and map editing/saving), similar to how the Roborock s5 is the Roborock s6 WITHOUT multi-floor support. Regardless, both devices are worth it for their sheer cleaning ability and overall functionality.

Both the 980 and s5 are older models though. Meaning they might not be as commonly available for purchase. Thankfully, s5’s parts like brush and filters are interchangeable with the s6 and s6 pure. And while the 980 parts aren’t compatible with other Roomba models, they’re readily available and quite affordable too.

The 980 bot doesn’t receive routine firmware updates which speak to its reliability. The s5 still receives firmware updates but the software engineers at Roborock have been able to ensure updates mostly improve usability/fix bugs rather than break functionalities. 

Roomba 980 robotic cleaner is therefore ideal if you:

  • Live in a single-level home
  • Have a huge area with carpets and hard flooring 
  • Have pets that shed or a wife and/or daughters with long hair
  • Don’t care for personalization (exclusion zone, room level cleaning, or zone cleaning)
  • Don’t mind emptying the onboard dustbin as many times as required 

The Roborock s5 smart robotic vacuum is a perfect choice if you 

  • Live in a single-level home with fewer obstacles
  • Have mostly hardwood, vinyl, or tile floors
  • Have pets with short hair
  • Don’t mind mopping
  • Don’t have a deep pocket or are unwilling to splurge
  • Don’t mind emptying the onboard dustbin as many times as required
  • Care for personalization

Roborock S6 vs. Roomba 960

Roborock_s6_robot_vacuum
Roborock s6
Roomba_960_robot_vacuum
Roomba 960

The Roomba 960 being a Roomba 980 WITH reduced power and battery life, just as the Roborock s6 is the s5 max WITHOUT the advanced mopping feature.

It turns out the reduced suction and battery life in the 960, relative only to the 980, still prove adequate for thorough vacuuming of hardwood, tile, laminate, marble floors, etc. with spare power for deep cleaning low, medium, and high pile carpets.

The Roborock s6 excels in cleaning, too, particularly on hard floors, except its suction, airflow, and brush design does it a disservice with long pets and human hair and on anything but low pile area rug or carpet.

While the 960 track floors and clean in logical straight lines (the s6 does as well), floor maps can’t be edited. You also can’t create exclusion zones or do selective cleaning.

The s6 if it helps to mention allows you to divide or name rooms having successfully generated a map, with support for two additional maps.

As far as pricing, you can’t get the Roomba 960 for around $300 with the s6 typically selling within the $500 price mark.

Roomba 960 robotic cleaner is therefore ideal if you: 

  • Live in a single-level home
  • Have a huge area with carpets and hard flooring 
  • Have pets that shed or a wife and/or daughters with long hair
  • Don’t care for personalization (no-go lines, room level cleaning, or zone cleaning)
  • Don’t mind emptying the onboard dustbin as many times as required 

The Roborock s6 smart robotic vacuum is a perfect choice if you:

  • Live in a large, multi-level home with fewer obstacles
  • Have mostly hard floors and/or low pile carpets
  • Have pets with short hair
  • Noise and navigation are big factors
  • Care for some personalization (keep out zone, room, or zone cleaning)
  • Don’t care too much or at all for mopping
  • Don’t mind emptying the onboard dustbin as many times as required
  • Want a quiet machine that doesn’t disrupt sleep or conversations

Roborock S5 vs. Roomba 960

Roborock_s5_robot_vacuum
Roborock s5
Roomba_960_robot_vacuum
Roomba 960

The Roomba 960 being a Roomba 980 WITH reduced power and battery life, just as the Roborock s5 is the Roborock s6 WITHOUT multi-floor support.

It turns out the reduced suction and battery life of the 960, relative only to the 980, still prove adequate for thorough vacuuming of hardwood, tile, laminate, marble floors, etc. with spare power for deep cleaning low, medium, and high pile carpets.

The Roborock s5, too, excels in cleaning, particularly on hard floors, except its suction, airflow, and brush design puts it at a slight disadvantage with long pets and human hair and on anything but low pile area rug or carpet.

With the 960’s ability to track floors and clean in logical straight lines (Roomba s5 do this as well), floor maps can’t be edited. You also can’t create exclusion zones or do selective cleaning. The s5 if it helps to mention allows you to divide or name rooms having successfully generated a map, with one backup version which CAN’T be engaged.

As far as pricing, and considering both are older models, $300 should get you one of these.

The Roomba 960 robotic cleaner is ideal if you: 

  • Live in a single-level home
  • Have a huge area with carpets and hard flooring 
  • Have pets that shed or a wife and/or daughters with long hair
  • Don’t care for personalization (no-go lines, room level cleaning, or zone cleaning)
  • Don’t mind emptying the onboard dustbin as many times as required
  • Don’t have a deep pocket or are unwilling to splurge

The Roborock s5 smart robotic vacuum is a perfect choice if you: 

  • Live in a single-level home with fewer obstacles
  • Have mostly hardwood, vinyl, or tile floors
  • Have pets with short hair
  • Don’t mind mopping
  • Don’t have a deep pocket or are unwilling to splurge
  • Don’t mind emptying the onboard dustbin as many times as required
  • Care for personalization

Roborock S4 vs. Roomba 960 

Roborock_s4_robot_vacuum
Roborock s4

Roomba_960_robot_vacuum
Roomba 960

With speed-sensitive side brushes for proper cleaning along walls and to avoid scattering debris in open areas. That’s on top of their ability to clean in a back and forth pattern while automatically recharging and resuming cleaning missions.

The Roborock s4 and the Roomba 960 don’t disregard commands by going into troubled zones/unwanted places (the latter uses beacons for restriction). 

And because they’re intentional in their movement, they don’t get lost, confused, or mindlessly ram into objects, resulting in a decreased tendency of getting stuck and less babysitting.

Moving on to their differences, the s4 allows map saving (4), plus you can divide or name rooms. You can schedule rooms for cleaning, command the bot to clean a specific spot, or restrict it from unwanted places. Roborock runs longer too at around 150 minutes on low power, compared to 75 minutes on the Roomba 960. Even so, is the upgraded processor and constantly updated software of the s4 that minimizes errors while allowing for efficient and convenient cleaning. 

The Roborock s4 has one major drawback though which is carpet cleaning. With a 15mm max climbing height the s4 often struggles to clean anything but low pile rugs. The Roomba 960 does a better job here, thick carpets even, considering its strong suction, airflow, and silicone rubber rollers.

Related: Full review (including pros and cons) of the Roborock s4 robotic vacuum cleaner

The Roborock s4 robotic cleaner is ideal if you: 

  • Live in a big (~2000sqft), multi-level house with a complicated layout and/or fewer obstacles
  • Have mostly hard floors (wood, tile, stone, laminate) or a mix of hard floors and low pile carpets
  • Have pets or people with short hair
  • Want a robot that cleans systematically and is less hands-on
  • Want a quiet machine that supports nondisruptive conversations or sleep
  • Want to clean at night without leaving the lights on

The Roomba 960 robotic cleaner is a perfect choice if you: 

  • Live in a single-level home 
  • Have a huge area with carpets and hard flooring
  • Have pets that shed, or wife and daughters with long hair
  • Don’t care for personalization (keep out zones or room level cleaning)

Roborock E4 vs Roomba i3 (w/ auto empty dock)

roomba_i3_plus_vacuuming_robot
Roomba i3 Plus
roborock_e4_automatic_floor_cleaner
Roborock E4

So with either model, while you’ll miss out on mapping and personalization with any of the Roborock E4 or Roomba i3, you’ll save money while relishing fresher, cleaner floors.

For $300 or less, you’ll get a cleaning assistant that

  • Self-recharges and resumes;
  • Runs for more than two hours;
  • Vacuums in straight, efficient lines; and
  • Has comparable pick-up, traversing, and hair resisting abilities.

The Roborock E4 (mopping module available as an accessory) is the one to get if you have mostly hard floors.

iRobot i3’s motor, brush design, and automatic dirt disposal base support mixed floors and hair situations.

Is Roborock better than Roomba?

I’d say it depends on what “better” means to you. To put it simply, iRobot Roomba bots are solid performers on carpets and the most ideal for pets and human hair, whereas Roborock is the king of navigation and value.

Talking about the reviews, I went for brevity. In other words, only key highlights of the featured items were summarized. This is to allow for quick decision-making. That way when you make your choice of a brand or product, you may then proceed into reading an in-depth version (links provided) where benefits and limitations are discussed in greater detail. 

Suffice to add there’s no one complete robovac (yet). While it depends on what you want or what you’re willing to forgo–which in any case was clearly highlighted as much as possible in the reviews–the Roomba s9 is the only item from the list that I wouldn’t recommend given the disparity in price and performance.