Roomba E6 vs Roomba 985 – Review and Comparison

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In this article, we will talk about two very popular robotic vacuums – Roomba e6 vs 985.

Robotic vacuums are getting more and more popular nowadays, thanks to constant technological improvements. Each year, the products become more affordable and popular among the household owners – this, of course, has created a new problem which is picking the right robotic vacuum.

Today, we will look at two very common choices – Roomba E6 vs Roomba 985. There are a few major differences between those two products, however, firstly we would like to address, that they are alternatives to the standard Roomba E5 and Roomba 980.

The Roomba E5 is basically the same unit as the Roomba E6 (which is the Costco version of the E5 version). The same goes for the Roomba 980 and Roomba 985 (which is the Costco version of the 980 version). The only differences are in the included extras, therefore, we recommend considering the 980 and e5 models as well.

Although, today we will talk about the differences between Roomba E6 and Roomba 985. Based on the opinions online as well as our own experience, we will give you a thorough review of each product. At the end of the article, you can also see a winner of this comparison.

Without further ado, let’s get into the proper part of the comparison.

Roomba E6 vs Roomba 985

NAME:Roomba e6Roomba 985
SIZE:13.3 x 13.3 x 3.6 in.13.8 x 13.8 x 3.6 in.
WEIGHT:7.43 lb.8.5 lb.
CAPACITY:0.5 l. (17 oz.)0.5 l. (17 oz.)
UNIQUE FEATURES:One more virtual barrierSmart navigation with mapping, recharge and resume, clean map reports
BATTERY LIFE:90 minutes120 minutes

Main differences

In the beginning, we would like to address, that both products get the job done. What’s more, we are convinced that either one of those should be sufficient for most of the beginners to robot vacuums. However, there are few key differences, that you should keep in mind.

The first major difference is the suction. The Roomba e6 can produce up to 1700 Pa while the Roomba 985 has the maximum suction of 1900 Pa. In most scenarios, the more suction a particular unit has, the better it will clean. It’s the most noticeable on carpets or when cleaning pet hair.

Another important dissimilarity is the navigation system. Even though, both units have virtual barriers, that allow you to keep the vacuum out of a particular area, only one of them has a mapping system. The Roomba 985 is much more advanced, thanks to its “iAdapt 2.0 Navigation with Visual Localization”.

What’s more, the mapping system also provides additional benefits besides enhanced efficiency. Those are cleaning reports or recharge and resume feature. The competitor, unfortunately, doesn’t have the features mentioned above, due to a lack of a mapping system.

There are also few smaller differences like the number of virtual walls – The Roomba E6 has two beacons, that can act as a virtual wall while the Roomba 985 has only one beacon. The Roomba E6 also has 30 minutes shorter battery life and a slightly lower noise level.

Based on the factors above, you can already choose a vacuum, that is more suitable for your household. Although, we would highly recommend reading the rest of the article, in order to learn more well-detailed information.

Cleaning performance

Cleaning performance is one of the most important aspects when choosing a new robotic vacuum. By this, we mean how well a particular unit does compare to other models from a similar price range. Both vacuums from this article get the job done, however, there are few major differences.

The Roomba 985 performs better, thanks to the advanced navigation and mapping technology. The vacuum analyzes your house with the special camera and then chooses the most efficient cleaning path. The included mapping also allows for more features such as cleaning reports.

They allow you to see the map of the cleaned area, as well as the total time and total area in ft. Thanks to the mapping, the vacuum also has a “recharge and resume” function. If the vacuum runs out of battery, it allows the unit to recharge and continue cleaning from the place it stopped.

Those features aren’t available in the Roomba E6 due to the lack of mapping. This vacuum operates by bouncing randomly around the room until the whole area is covered. While this may seem inconvenient, it actually gets the job done.

Of course, there are basic sensors just like in every robotic vacuum, those are cliff detect sensors, dirt detect sensors, and much more. Thanks to those, your Roomba won’t hit your furniture or fall down the stairs.

Therefore, it’s a good vacuum if you are not looking for anything fancy or advanced. It has all the essential features including virtual walls, that can be set up using special beacons. You get two of those with the Roomba E6, and only one with the Roomba 986.

The area around those beacons won’t be entered by the vacuums. Unfortunately, there is no other way to set up more precise virtual walls.

Both units also have an auto-adjust cleaning head, that allows them to flawlessly change the currently cleaned surface. Both units shouldn’t have any problems when going from carpets to bare floors. However, depending on the suction, the cleaning performance on those surfaces may slightly differ.

The brushes in Roomba’s vacuums were also made to not tangle during pet hair cleaning. The vacuum stays in constant contact with the surface while the high-efficiency filters trap 99% of cat and dog allergens.

Those are pretty much all the important aspects in terms of cleaning performance. Of course, there are many more factors that can alter the cleaning performance indirectly, however, we will talk about those in the latter part of the article.


The capacity is the second most limiting factor when it comes to the maximum cleaning time, right next to the battery life. This is something to consider if you own a big household or you have a large area to cover, otherwise, the capacity should be more than sufficient.

The capacity in both units is the same, allowing for up to 0.5 l of dirt and debris. This roughly translates to 17 oz. Most of the robotic vacuums can be found with the capacity of 10 to 20 oz., therefore it’s a pretty good score.

Noise level

The noise level is something, that many people don’t pay attention to. While we don’t measure the noise in upright vacuums, in robotic ones it’s something that we keep an eye on. After all, they were created in order to free up our time, so a noisy background can be quite distracting.

The Roomba E6 has a slightly lower noise level, producing approximately 65 dB. This noise level can be compared to a standard conversation or an operating microwave. The Roomba 985 isn’t much louder, producing around 67 dB. Those noise levels are rather typical for robotic vacuums.

Remote control features

The manufacturers often include multiple remote control features, that are meant to make using their products more convenient. The same situation is present in Roomba’s products – There are more than enough ways to control your new unit without getting out of your bed.

Both units can be controlled using an official “iRobot Home” app, that was created by the manufacturer. It’s the place where you can set up your new unit, see the reports and schedule the cleaning process. You can also switch between cleaning modes or start and stop the cleaning process.

Another way to control your new vacuums is using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. With a few simple voice commands, you will have access to all the basic features. This makes it even more convenient than using your smartphone.

Some basic functions can also be turned on using the display on the unit itself.

Battery life

Battery life is the main limiting factor when it comes to the maximum cleaning time. If you want to cover a large area or you own a big household, it’s the first thing you should look at. There is a slight difference between the models, therefore we advise taking it into consideration.

The Roomba E6 can last for a total of 90 minutes, however, the Roomba 985 can last for up to 120 minutes. The score of the 985 model is quite impressive, considering the enhanced navigation system and more powerful suction. You should also keep in mind, that this model has the “recharge and resume” feature.

It’s up to you to decide which one will be more suitable for your household. You may not need the 120 minutes if your house is rather small.


Design is a crucial part when creating a robotic vacuum as they need to fit under and around most of the furniture. Additionally, the design has to remain convenient and easy to use, so everyone can easily figure out how to run a robotic vacuum.

Fortunately, both robotic vacuums from this comparison meet the requirements above. There are multiple ways to operate those vacuums, they easily fit in hard-to-reach spots, and they are fairly good at removing dirt and debris.

If you would like to learn some more technical information, the Roomba E6 measures 13.3 x 13.3 x 3.6 in. and weighs 7.43 lb. The Roomba 985 measures 13.8 x 13.8 x 3.6 in. and weighs 8.5 lb., so as you can see it’s noticeably heavier. Though, it shouldn’t matter most of the time.


The price is one of the most important features when choosing a new cleaning device. However, it’s also usually the first thing people check when picking a new unit. Nonetheless, we still decided to talk about this aspect as it’s essential.

The Roomba E6 (or its alternative E5) can be found on Amazon for the price of $299.99 (Click here to see the current price!). The Roomba 985 can also be found on Amazon for the price of $599.99 (Click here to see the current price!).

We highly recommend double-checking the price, as it tends to fluctuate a lot.

Necessary maintenance

Maintenance is another thing, that people usually don’t pay attention to, which in our opinion is a big mistake. In order to keep your new robotic vacuum operating at the desired level and prevent permanent damage, you have to take proper maintenance steps.

We won’t be getting into details, as it would simply make the whole article too long. We will, however, give you a couple of basic tips, that should work for most of the robotic vacuums.

In order to keep your new robotic vacuum operating at the desired level, you should:

  • Regularly clean/rinse all the brushes
  • Regularly check the brush roll and side brushes for any stuck dirt and/or debris
  • At least once a week clean the cover of the vacuum/wheels
  • Replace any used or damaged elements as fast as possible
  • Regularly empty and check the vacuum’s dustbin for any stuck dirt or debris

Once again, we need to address, that those are only a couple of basic maintenance steps. If you want to learn all the essential details, you will have to read the user’s guide.


In conclusion, both robotic vacuums are great units, that get the job done. Either one of them should be sufficient for simple everyday cleaning, however, there are a few major differences, that you need to know about before making the final decision.

Some of the most important differences are the suction power (Roomba 985 is more powerful), navigation system (Roomba 985 has a more advanced navigation system with mapping), battery life (longer in Roomba 985), and noise level (lower in Roomba E6).

Based on the factors above, we would say, that the Roomba 985 is a winner of this comparison. There is no doubt, that this unit is more advanced and more powerful, however, the Roomba E6 shouldn’t be written off so easily. It still gets the job done and provides reliable performance.

It’s up to you to decide which one is more suitable for your household. If you don’t need all the extra features, the Roomba E6 is definitely something to consider.