Roomba e5 vs 980: What are the differences?

Roomba e5 vs 980

iRobot has released endless technologies that are integrated into their varying Roomba models, making it hard to sometimes understand their differences. This comparison of the Roomba e5 vs 980 will compare a newer Roomba against a slightly older one in order to show you their main differences. Looking at their design, navigation technology, cleaning motor and more, you will understand the key feature of these Roombas and how they can fit into your home.

Comparison Chart: Roomba e5 vs 980

DesignRoomba 980roomba e5
iADAPT 2.0iADAPT 1.0
(10x Stronger)
(5x Stronger)
Resume Cleaning
Automatic Dirt
Bottom LineGood on
Pick for
budget option
AvailabilityCheck PriceCheck Price

1. Design & Measurements

roomba e5
Roomba e5
Roomba 980
Roomba 980

Both the Roomba e5 and 980 have a similar circular shape and similar dimensions too. There are a couple of differences in the design of each Roomba, as the e5 has a black color scheme and the 980 is a dark brown. The layout of the Home, Clean and Sync buttons are horizontal on the e5 and vertical on the 980. Each Roomba measures out too and weighs:

  • Roomba e5 – 13.3×13.3×3.6 inches & 7.2 lbs
  • Roomba 980 – 13.8×13.8x 3.6 inches & 8.7 lbs

Also Read: Roomba e5 vs 960

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2. Navigation Technology

roomba 980 navigating

One of the biggest differences between the Roomba e5 and 980 is the navigation technology used within each robot vacuum. The Roomba e5 uses iRobot’s older iAdapt 1.0 whilst the 980 uses the more modern iAdapt 2.0. Beyond this, there is only one more, iAdapt 3.0, which the Roomba i7 and S9 use.

The Roomba e5’s iAdapt 1.0 uses an array of sensors to navigate in a relatively random manner. As the e5 maneuvers around, these can identify obstacles and furniture and accordingly avoid them. Dirt Detect technology identifies areas with high levels of dirt and applies more cleaning attention to that location.

Upgraded iAdapt 2.0 uses a camera on the top of the Roomba 980 which maps out the user’s home creating what is known as a Smart Map. This technology is known as Smart Mapping & VSLAM. When navigating around the home, the 980 remembers the exact layout of the home and where obstacles and furniture are located. The AI in the Roomba plans out the perfect cleaning path to undertake in a systematic way. The more advanced iAdapt 2.0 is a must-have for larger homes as the cleaning route efficiency is far superior.

smart map

The Roomba 980 can also Self-Recharge and Self-Resume cleaning as part of iAdapt 2.0. Smart Mapping & VSLAM allows the 980 to restart cleaning from exactly it left off, which in theory gives the device an indefinite clean time. Roombas that have iAdapt 1.0, including the e5, do not have this feature. 

3. Cleaning Technology

3 stage cleaning system

Cleaning performance is another area where the Roomba 980 trumps the e5, thanks to its more powerful cleaning motor. The Roomba 980 has iRobots Gen 3 Motor which is the second most powerful you can get in a Roomba. Only the i7 has the same whilst the S9 has the Superior 3 Stage Cleaning Motor which is four times stronger. Compared to the Roomba 600 series 3-Stage Cleaning Motor, the Gen 3 Motor is ten times more powerful.

For comparison, the Roomba e5 has the Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning Motor, which is the level below the Gen 3. The Aeroforce cleaning system is five times stronger than the Roomba 600 series 3-Stage Cleaning Motor and therefor half as powerful as Gen 3. Both of these Roombas suction power will be more than adequate for hard floors, but the 980 will certainly outperform the e5 on rugs and carpets. If your home is especially carpet you will want the Gen 3 Motor at the least, but in some situations with heavy thick carpets, the Superior 3-Stage Cleaning System of the S9 may be more preferable.

Also Read: Roomba e5 vs 690

iRobot Roomba E5 (5150) Robot Vacuum - Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard, Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum, Black
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4. Battery Life

The Roomba e5 has a battery life of 90 minutes whilst the 980 has a full 2 hours. Not only this, the Self-Recharge and Self-Resume feature effectively makes the 980 last indefinitely. For small to medium-sized cleaning areas the e5 will suffice, but if you have a large home you will undoubtedly want to have a Roomba with iAdapt 2.0 or higher.

5. iRobot Home App

irobot home app

Both the Roomba 980 and e5 are WiFi connectable and work with the companion iRobot Home app. This recent development with both Roombas and other brands of robot vacuums has fundamentally changed the range of features and controls you can access. Smart Maps generated by the Roomba 980 are available to see in the Home app, of course, this isn’t possible with the e5. Here are the rest of the accessible features:

  • Schedule cleaning
  • Pause and Resume cleaning
  • View cleaning statistics
  • Receive real-time notifications
  • Voice Assistant access – Alexa, Home & more

6. Main Differences

There are many differences to consider when comparing the Roomba e5 and 980. It is clear from the following list that the 980 is quite a bit more advanced:

  1. The Roomba e5 has a black finish whilst the  Roomba 980 is a dark brown.
  2. The Roomba e5 is slightly smaller.
  3. The Roomba e5 has iAdapt 1.0 whilst the Roomba 980 has iAdapt 2.0.
  4. The Roomba e5 has 90 minutes of battery life while the Roomba 980 has 120 minutes.
  5. The Roomba e5 has the Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning Motor whilst the Roomba 980 has Gen 3 Motor which is twice as powerful.
  6. The Roomba 980 has Smart Mapping & VSLAM.
  7. The Roomba 980 can Self-Resume cleaning after Self-Recharging.

7. Main Differences

Here are the remaining features from iRobot that the Roomba e5 and 980 share:

  1. Both the Roomba e5 and 980 have HEPA filters.
  2. Both the Roomba e5 and 980 work with the iRobot Home app.
  3. Both the Roomba e5 and 980 have Dirt Detect.
  4. Both the Roomba e5 and 980 have Cliff Detect.
  5. Both the Roomba e5 and 980 have voice control options (Alexa, Home and more).

Final Word

When comparing the Roomba e5 against the 980, you can see that there are quite a few differences between the two. Undoubtedly, the 980 is a more advanced robot vacuum that would suit bigger homes with more carpets and rugs thanks to the Smart Mapping & VSLAM technology as well as the powerful motor. In a small home with more hard floors and a couple of rugs, the e5 will likely be as capable at a cheaper price. We also recommend reading our Roomba 980 vs i7 article if you are thinking about getting Automatic Dirt Disposal.


In this section, we will answer some of the main questions that are asked about the Roomba e5, 980 and how the two compare against each other

Is the Roomba e5 or 980 better?

The Roomba 980 is an older but relatively more advanced robot vacuum than the e5. This is due to having a more powerful motor (twice as strong), Smart Mapping technology, iAdapt 2.0 an the ability to self recharge and resume cleaning after the battery level gets low.

Which is better on carpets and hardfloor?

The Roomba 980 will be relatively much better on carpets compared to the Roomba e5 due to having a more powerful motor. Each of these will be more evenly matched on hardfloors as those surfaces tend to be easier to clean and a less powerful motor will do a solid job.

Do the Roomba e5 and 980 map your home?

The Roomba 980 has Smart Mapping technology which is part of iAdapt 2.0, a navigation technology. This technology uses a camera to build a map of a home which includes the size and shape of the rooms as well as objects within it, such as furniture. Smart Maps are available to view in the iRobot home app and are used to calculate the most efficient cleaning routes. The Roomba e5 has the more basic iAdapt 1.0 which uses sensors to navigate in a relatively random manner.

Photo of Rupert Pople

Rupert Pople

Rupert is the founder of this website and a smart home tech enthusiast fascinated by the power of connected devices. Within his Business Management (BSc) degree at the University of Nottingham, he studied the technological impact of the Internet of Things.

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