Robot vacuum cleaners have come a long way in just the last few years.
No longer a funny little niche product that did a halfway decent job of cleaning our spaces, today’s robot cleaners are far more advanced, far more consistent, and far more reliable.
At the same time, though, there are more robot vacuum cleaners available for sale today than ever before.
This means you’re going to be swimming in choices.
Roborock in specific makes a couple of different models, and picking between their two top-of-the-line choices – the Roborock S5 and the Roborock S6 can feel a little daunting.
But that’s why we have put together this detailed breakdown.
By the time you’re done with the inside information below you’ll know exactly which of these two Roborock robot vacuums are best for you, your needs, and your budget.
You’ll be able to get yourself a quality robot vacuum that makes cleaning your home a lot easier than it would have been otherwise, all totally hands-free!
Let’s dig a little deeper into this Roborock S5 vs S6 review, shall we?
Breaking It Down
As mentioned a moment ago, Roborock has definitely become a major player in the world of robot vacuums in the last few years.
Finding a way to shoehorn some of the most advanced robot vacuum technology into a slim, compact, and portable form factor that looks very fresh and very modern, there’s a lot to like when it comes to these robot setups.
At the same time, choosing between their two flagship models – the S5 and the S6 – can sometimes feel like a bit of an uphill battle.
On the one hand, these two robot vacuum cleaners have a lot in common.
They feature a similar design language, take advantage of similar telemetry systems, and have comparable vacuuming capabilities as well.
On the other hand, though, there are some major differences between these two models – and that’s what we really dig deeper into throughout the rest of this breakdown.
So let’s get right into it!
The Roborock S5 is often described as one of the most versatile robot vacuums you’ll find on the market right now, a vacuum that has absolutely no trouble whatsoever moving from hard floors to soft surfaces and then back again – all without losing suction power or vacuuming capabilities.
On top of that, this is one of the few robot vacuums that actually pulls off being both a vacuum and a mop at the same time as well and it does.
A lot of other “hybrid” units out there fail spectacularly in both areas whereas the S5 really delivers the goods in both categories.
This is thanks to a proprietary two-stage cleaning system that uses a “sweeper” with the vacuum configuration as well as a water tank and a microfiber cloth mopping system when it is charged with doing a bit of wet cleanup.
This combination is a game-changer, making sure that you have an opportunity to get the squeaky clean floor surfaces you are after without having to mop or vacuum manually yourself.
The navigation and mapping capabilities of the Roborock S5 are also spectacular, with built-in telemetry programming that allows this robot vacuum to learn the lay of the land every time it vacuums.
This basically means that every time you turn this device on it is going to bounce around your home, mapping out the floor surfaces that it covers and creating more and more intelligent routes every single time out.
After half a dozen or more times cleaning your floor surfaces this robot vacuum is going to have more than enough data to map out the most efficient route possible.
From there it will continue to collect information to refine its pathway, but it doesn’t take long for this robot vacuum to get things right – and to get your home cleaned in a hurry.
Interestingly enough, the telemetry programming built into this robot vacuum is also designed to have better detection of furniture and objects that are placed down on the floor outside of the mapping parameters.
This means that toys, shopping bags, shoes, or pets that are in the middle of a floor that is getting clean will not throw all the telemetry and mapping all that much, even though the robot will navigate its way around the obstacle without causing any issues along the way.
That’s pretty impressive stuff for a robot vacuum at this price point!
Designwise, the Roborock S5 is a relatively compact unit that measures just slightly under 14 inches in diameter and is only about 4 inches tall.
It looks a lot like an oversized hockey puck, cruising around your floor surfaces while cleaning up and making sure that everything is nice and tidy.
The overall look of this unit is spectacular, if not a little bit on the more minimalist kind of things, but it definitely has a futuristic bent to it.
One problem with the design of the Roborock S5, however, is that the laser telemetry sensors are put right in the middle of the unit itself.
This isn’t a huge deal unless you are going to be relying on your robot vacuum to fit under your furniture, especially if there are clearance issues.
Furniture pieces that don’t sit at least 4 inches up off of the ground are going to be impossible to clean with this robot vacuum, just because there’s no extra headspace to work with.
In the usability department, you’ll be glad to know the user interface on top of this robot vacuum is very simple and straightforward to use.
A couple of buttons allow you to control most of the functionality of this vacuum without any issue, with a spot clean button, recharge/power button, and an indicator light that lets you know how much battery you have left.
Cleaning out the vacuum is simple and straightforward, too.
All you have to do is pop the top, remove the waste bin, and dump out any of the dust, dirt, and debris that this vacuum has collected. You can do the same with the mop compartment, pouring out the dirty water and adding fresh water to the reservoir without much issue.
On the underside of the vacuum cleaner, you’re going to find the main vacuum brush, the side brush, the swivel wheels, the fall detection sensors, and the contact mechanisms for charging your robot.
Aside from that, everything else is pretty much self-explanatory!
The Roborock S5 (just like the Roborock S6) has been engineered to work with mobile applications for both iOS and Android operating systems.
Immediately after powering your device on you are going to be able to connect and synchronize it with your smartphone or your tablet.
The application allows you to set different parameters, allows you to manually map out your floor spaces or correct the route of your vacuum, and even gives you the ability to “schedule” where and when the robot switches from vacuum mode to mopping mode – and then back again!
Roborock products connect to your Wi-Fi network for a stronger connection than what Bluetooth delivers, not only allowing you to interface directly with the vacuum cleaner itself through your mobile device but also downloading automatic software updates that improve the effectiveness of this vacuum cleaner at the same time.
The overall application experience is pretty solid, though sometimes the S5 can be a little bit buggy with how it interacts with this mobile environment.
You’ll also have a joystick (a virtual joystick anyway) built right into the mobile application that lets you take over manual control of your new robot.
This is a lot of fun, especially if you want to zip around your home with total control of the new robot appliance, but it does get a little bit old overtime. Most folks that invest in a robot vacuum are hoping that it will do the bulk of the heavy lifting of cleaning for them.
Even still, you can use the manual control joystick to create more efficient routes in the mapping program than what the robot has come up with on its own.
You’ll also be able to fine-tune and edit the cleaning pathway (switching from the mop to vacuum and back again, as highlighted above) with this joystick – offering a more granular level of control than what you would have had otherwise.
All in all, there’s a lot to like when it comes to this robotic vacuum cleaner.
There are some downsides – the mobile experience is a little buggy and sometimes the vacuum is too tall to fit under tight spaces – but none of these issues are deal-breakers.
- Top-of-the-line suction and cleaning capabilities
- Includes a built-in mopping attachment right out of the box
- Very impressive telemetry and navigation capabilities, with smart “virtual barriers”
- One of the longest-running battery life options of any robot vacuum
- Completely compatible with both Android and iOS operating systems
- Works well with Amazon Alexa as well as Google Home products, too
- The waste bin is a little bit on the smaller side of things and needs to be cleaned out with some frequency
- The mobile application experience can be a little bit buggy and slow at times
- The overall height of this robot vacuum cleaner may not allow it to get underneath certain pieces of furniture
Think of the Roborock S6 as the “big brother” of the S5, and further refinement of everything that the folks at Roborock did to produce one of the very best robot vacuum cleaners money can buy right now.
Capable of going toe to toe with some of the more expensive (and arguably more famous) robot vacuum cleaners, especially the iRobot line of products, there’s a lot to fall in love with when it comes to the Roborock S6.
For starters, the suction capabilities of this robotic vacuum cleaner are second to none.
As we highlighted a moment ago with S5, vacuum-cleaning suction has never been a problem with anything from the folks at Roborock.
All of their robot vacuum cleaners have very powerful, very consistent, and very reliable suction capabilities – but the S6 takes things to even higher levels.
You’re going to be able to pull more dust, more dirt, and more debris out of your floors (especially out of soft surfaces, like carpet) than you would have been able to in the past. This is on par with many of the most popular pet vacuum cleaning options on the market today.
Secondly, the navigation and telemetry features of the Roborock S6 are significant improvements on the already very impressive options from the S5.
The mapping tools are better, the sensors are upgraded and more accurate, and the efficiency of this robot is improved every single time it makes a clean pass in your home.
Combine that with a solid mobile application interface, great battery life, and all the bells and whistles you would expect from a robot vacuum cleaner in 2020 and beyond and you have found a top-tier piece of technology here.
Let’s dig a little bit deeper into all that the Roborock S6 brings to the table.
From a pure design standpoint, there isn’t all that much of a difference between how the Roborock S5 and the Roborock S6 look.
Truth be told, you have a difficult time telling them apart at all!
They both have the same sort of footprint, they both have the same kind of style, and they both have a little bump on the top for the telemetry laser sensors – an issue that still causes this vacuum to have a tough time sliding under shorter pieces of furniture.
The design aesthetic remains the same across the board with almost all Roborock products.
You get something that is very minimalist, something that is very futuristic looking, and something that has a stark white paint job. Honestly, the Roborock robot vacuums (both of them) look like they could have been cooked up by folks at the Apple laboratories.
Build quality with this vacuum cleaner is fantastic, though, and it’s clear that Roborock up their game a little bit to improve the overall durability and reliability of this setup.
A lot of this vacuum is made up of high-quality plastics and synthetic materials, though there are metal components all over the unit (mostly aluminum, but some steel components as well) that add more strength and durability to the mix.
The rubber wheels work very well on all surfaces, giving just enough traction to get this robot vacuum moving along on your floors without leaving any marks at the same.
The five-pronged side brush is made out of silicone and plastic on the S6 (a difference from the S5), making it slightly more effective at sweeping dust, dirt, and debris into the vacuum cleaning component than the previous model was able to do.
The brush roller is completely removable (new to this model), making it easy to break down, clean, and maintain. This is something you should be doing once or twice a week depending on how often you run the robot, and it’s something that guarantees you get sparkling clean floors every timeout.
The dirt compartment trap is really easy to remove, even easier to remove than on the S5.
All you have to do is lift a lever, flip open the compartment, remove the bin itself and empty it and you are off to the races again.
Two internal filters help you to keep things cleaner than you would have been able to with the S5 as well. Both of these filters are HEPA filtration systems (100% removable, reusable, and washable) and are going to help you get more dust, dirt, and debris up out of your floors than you would have been able to in the past, too
All in all, though, you’re really not going to find all that much to be unhappy with when it comes to this particular model.
Remember, the S6 is the next iteration of the S5, and everything that the previous version did well the S6 has improved upon!
The application experience with the S6 is definitely an improvement over what it was with the S5, though there are still some hiccups and “bugs” that you are going to have to deal with when you are using this interface.
To start off with, you will still be able to connect your new robot vacuum cleaner to your Android or iOS device without much difficulty just by downloading the Roborock mobile application to your phone or tablet.
Connecting your two devices together is even easier.
The second that your robot vacuum has been powered on it’s going to search for Wi-Fi networks and devices that have the mobile application set up. Connect everything through the application and you’ll have total control over your vacuum cleaner in about three minutes!
After you have connected through the mobile application you’ll be able to schedule how often you want your robot to run, you’ll be able to custom tailor the mapping experience of the robot vacuum, and you’ll even be able to take over with manual control through a virtual joystick setup.
All of this is really neat and easy to access directly through the mobile app interface, but every now and again there are going to be bugs and crashes that either wipe out your progress completely, force a restart of the application, or just transmit the wrong information to your little robot vacuum cleaner.
One neat feature that the Roborock S6 has that the Roborock S5 did not is the ability to “color code” different spaces in your home on the mapping software.
Each color-coded space can then have its own unique cleaning profile applied to it, giving you more granular level control over how your vacuum cleaner runs even when you aren’t home.
Think about it like this, for example:
You set up a couple of different color-coded areas in your home to represent all of the spaces in your first floor.
You might color code certain areas of your first floor as “red areas” – the kitchen, the dining room, the living room, for example – and then set these areas to be cleaned two or three times a week because they see so much extra traffic.
Blue areas, on the other hand (the den, the spare bedroom, the home office, etc.), may not get as much traffic and may not need to be cleaned quite as often. You’ll be able to set those to have a cleaning schedule every other week.
From here on out, your robot vacuum will know exactly what to do and exactly when to clean different spaces.
This will keep everything nice and efficient, so help you save battery in a big way, and guarantee that you aren’t cleaning spaces more often unnecessarily compared to high priority areas that need attention more often.
It’s a really cool addition for the Roborock S6 and it’s something that a lot of other robot vacuum cleaners should probably start to implement as well.
As far as cleaning performance on the S6 goes, you are looking at one of the most high-performing vacuum cleaners money can buy – especially when it comes to this size, form factor, and it’s “hands-free” robot nature.
Four individual vacuum power profiles are built right into the S6, with the default profile set as “Balanced” (the second least powerful of the power settings).
You can allow the robotic AI in the S6 to determine when to change gears and use more power on different floor surfaces, but you can also go into the mobile application and set different power settings for different color-coded spaces as we mentioned above as well.
The S6 does have automatic carpet detection capabilities that let it know when it’s over softer services that need a little more power, though. It will instantly respond to these kinds of surfaces with stronger vacuum power, pulling dirt, dust, and debris out about the floor giving you a spotless clean every timeout.
Thanks to the built-in efficiency monitoring and mapping technology (as well as the redesigned side brush) there isn’t a square inch of your floor that won’t be vacuumed up nicely by this robot cleaner.
The Roborock S6 moves fast, taking about 45 minutes or so to vacuum your average first-floor space – and it does so (relatively) quietly so that you can continue to go about your day without having to worry about a bunch of interruptions.
Battery life on the Roborock S6 is spectacular, too.
You’re looking at three solid hours of cleaning power every single time you have a 100% battery charge on this unit. Better than that, though, is the S6 including quick charging capabilities that will take a 0% battery to 50% in about 15 minutes – keeping you cleaning when other robot vacuums would have been down for an hour or more while they recharged.
The floor mopping components of the Roborock are redesigned as well, engineered to do a solid job of using the microfiber cloth, the wet water reservoir, and the suction power of the S6 vacuum to get a deeper clean on hard surfaces.
Sometimes the cleaning capabilities of the mopping solution are a little bit hit or miss (depending on the kind of surface you are cleaning), but the S6 does just as good a job mopping as the S5 did.
All in all, the Roborock S6 is definitely a “next-generation” robot vacuum with the bells and whistles you’re likely looking for – and at an affordable price tag.
There’s a lot to like when it comes to this little robotic helper.
- Very powerful suction capabilities with four individual levels of suction possible
- Advanced navigation and telemetry components, as well as manual mapping, overrides
- Interacts and interfaces with Android and iOS devices
- Can connect to and be controlled by Google Home and Alexa from Amazon
- Includes a built-in mopping system that works reasonably well
- Battery life is second to none, with quick charging capabilities that are really impressive
- The mobile interface still leaves a little bit to be desired when it comes to bugs and crashes
- The mapping software could use a little more polish, especially if you are using manual joystick mode
- Still a little bit tall (though shorter than the S5) and may not fit comfortably under all pieces of furniture
Winner – Roborock S6
Trying to settle in on a winner here is a little bit of a chore, if only because there’s a lot of value in the less expensive S5 compared to the slightly more feature-rich S6.
When it comes to dustbin capacity, though, the S5 has a (slightly) smaller configuration. You’ll only be able to hold 460 mL of dust, dirt, and debris compared to the 480 mL you can carry in the S6.
This means you’re going to be dumping out and emptying the S5 more frequently than the S6.
The custom mopping zones on the S5 are fantastic and for some reason do not show up at all with the mobile interface for the S6. You can sort of “override” those cleaning configurations by setting different color-coded areas and giving them mop orders through the application, but it would have been nice to see those features that carried over.
The mop’s fluid-carrying tank capacity is identical across both the S5 in the S6, with 140 mL of space available. That’s a push right there.
As far as automatic scheduling and overall ease-of-use is concerned, the Roborock S6 definitely has a little bit more polish compared to the S5. If you want a real “set it and forget it” kind of solution, then the odds are good that you’re going to want to lean towards the S6.
Zone cleaning capabilities are significantly better with the Roborock S6, too.
Not only are you going to be able to color code different areas in your home, but the telemetry and navigation system is a little bit better on this unit as well. That allows for more accurate mapping, more accurate zone cleaning designations, and (at the end of the day) more accurate and consistent results.
As you can see, both of these units have pros and cons and both of them have slight advantages over the other.
At the end of the day, though, the Roborock S6 is just a little bit better and a little bit more polished.
When you get right down to it, the price point between these two units really isn’t enough to sway people towards the older Roborock S5 when they could get the new and more feature-rich Roborock S6.
Absolutely loaded top to bottom with next-generation robotic vacuum cleaning technology as well as all the bells and whistles you’d expect from much more expensive units, there’s just a lot of versatility and a lot of utility coming out of this small home appliance.
Sure, the mobile application interface isn’t always as well executed or as smartly implemented as most would hope.
Yes, it’s going to frustrate you every now and again with bugs and crashes that seemingly come out of nowhere.
Thankfully though, the Roborock team is very responsive to these issues, is constantly updating their mobile application experience on Android and iOS, and is committed to making it a more polished solution going forward.
On top of that, all of those updates, 100% free of charge after you have purchased the Roborock robot vacuums!
So what are you really getting when you buy the Roborock S6?
One of the most advanced robot vacuum cleaners available with vacuum and mopping capabilities, for individual cleaning modes, custom mapping and zone cleaning configurations, and so much more.
You’re also getting one of the most reliable products available from a company that you know you can trust. The warranty on this vacuum cleaner is top-tier, giving you the peace of mind to invest in this next generation of technology.
Check out the Roborock S6 today!
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I’m Jason Moe Roberts, an appliances expert and blogger. I’ve worked at Walmart for more than 15 years, in the house appliance department. I love to use home equipment and I spend a lot of time testing the best products and reviewing them. My family and friends also recommend me as a caring person, a great dad and a loving husband.