Compare Roborock Models: S4, S5, S5 Max, S6, and Xiaowa Series

By Natalie Red·Updated: Dec 11, 2019· 19 min read

Roborock is a relatively new robot vacuum cleaner manufacturer who becomes famous two years ago when released their first robot vacuum cleaner (together with their partner and investor Xiaomi Inc.) called the Xiaomi Mi Robot. One year later, Roborock launched the second generation of its product: an improved model called the Roborock S5. The company positioning Roborock as a robot vacuum cleaner brand on its own, so that's why they remove mention of Xiaomi from their product names (Roborock Xiaowa and S5).

All Roborock models

At this moment, Roborock made 5 different models of robot vacuum cleaners (sorted by release date):

  1. Roborock S5
  2. Roborock Xiaowa (also known as the Roborock Xiaowa E2 and E3)
  3. Roborock S6 (check out our latest review)
  4. Roborock S4 (our hands-on review)
  5. Roborock S5 Max

Some people confused by different model names of Roborock products. For example, the Roborock S5 can also be named by sellers as the Roborock S50, S55, S501, S551, etc. However, there are no differences between them, except color and plug type; it is the same S5 Series. The number behind "S5" represents the color. Sometimes sellers can add a third number to the model name, for example, Roborock S501, which means Roborock S5, White color, FCC (US) version. The Roborock S5 can also be called as the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum second generation; however, as I mentioned before, the correct name is the Roborock S5. Recently we made a full Roborock S5 review, so you can check it for more info about this robot vacuum.

In 2018, Roborock launched a new product, the Roborock Xiaowa Lite, a budget robot vacuum with strong suction and random cleaning pattern (currently is no longer available to buy). A little bit later they improved this model and called it the Roborock Xiaowa (without "Lite" ending). The Roborock Xiaowa has stronger suction, gyroscope navigation, and wet mopping function.

The Roborock Xiaowa series also can be named as Xiaowa E2, E20, or E25, which is the same model, the difference is only in color, is available in white and grey colors.

The Roborock Xiaowa E3 (or E35) is a third generation of the Xiaowa series and has strong suction of 2,000 Pa.

Roborock also released the newest model - the Roborock S6 in May 2019. It is an improved version of the Roborock S5. Luckily we managed to test both: the Roborock S5 and the Roborock S6.

In September 2019, the company launched the latest model — Roborock S5 Max. It has a bigger water container, some additional features, and promises to provide an even better cleaning experience.

In September, 2019 the company released a new budget model for those who do not necessarily need mopping — the Roborock S4.

The Roborock S4, S5, S5 Max, and Roborock S6 use LDS (laser distance sensor or Lidar) for mapping and navigation when the Roborock Xiaowa E2 and E3 use a dual-gyroscope positioning and navigation system. The LDS is more precise than the gyroscope, so the Roborock S5 and Roborock S6 have a better navigation and create a more accurate map than the Roborock Xiaowa series.

Let's talk about similarities and what is different between each robot vacuum of the Roborock model line.

Roborock robot vacuums comparison

Features Roborock Xiaowa E2
Roborock Xiaowa E2
Roborock Xiaowa E3

Roborock Xiaowa E3
Roborock S4
Roborock S4
Roborock S5
Roborock S5
Roborock S5 Max
Roborock S5 Max
Roborock S6
Roborock S6
Suction power (Pa) 1,800 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000 2,000
Battery life (min) 100 150 180 150 180 150
Mapping yes yes yes yes yes yes
Map saving no no up to 3 maps 1 map up to 3 maps up to 3 maps
Navigation System Inertial (gyroscope) Inertial (gyroscope) LDS LDS LDS LDS
Battery size (mAh) 2,600 5,200 5,200 5,200 5,200 5,200
Dustbin volume (ml) 640 640 640 480 480 480
Water tank volume (ml) 150 150 - 150 280 150
Climbing ability (in / mm) 0.79 / 20 0.79 / 20 0.59 / 15 0.79 / 20 0.79 / 20 0.79 / 20
Noise level (dB) 55 55 68 68 N/A 55
Rated power (W) 54 57 58 58 58 58
Virtual boundaries / Blocked areas no no yes yes yes yes
No-mop zones no no - no yes no
Zone cleaning no no yes yes yes yes
Room recognizing / Scheduling by room no no yes no yes yes
Mopping scheduling no no - no yes no
Mopping yes yes no yes yes yes
Carpet identification yes yes no yes yes yes
HEPA filter type washable washable washable washable washable washable
App Mi Home Mi Home Mi Home / Roborock Mi Home Roborock Mi Home / Roborock
Scheduling yes yes yes yes yes yes
Cleaning modes Silent, Standard, Strong, Max Silent, Standard, Strong, Max Silent, Standard, Strong, Max Silent, Standard, Strong, Max Silent, Standard, Strong, Max Silent, Standard, Strong, Max
Cliff / obstacle sensors yes yes yes yes yes yes
Auto-recharge yes yes yes yes yes yes
Recharge & Resume cleaning yes yes yes yes yes yes
Amazon Alexa / Google Home support yes yes Alexa yes yes yes
Release date Jun 2018 Jun 2018 Sep 2019 Oct 2017 Sep 2019 May 2019
Warranty (months) 12 12 12 12 12 24
Price $299.99 $350 $399 $439 $499.99 $549
Video Review Watch Watch Watch Watch Watch Watch

What is the difference between the Xiaomi Mi Robot, Roborock S5, Xiaowa Lite C1, Xiaowa E2, and E3

Main differences between the Roborock robot vacuum model line

Mapping and navigation technology

The Roborock Xiaowa E2 and E3 have dual-gyroscope positioning and navigation system. They clean in straight zig-zag shaped lines while systematically incorporating edge cleaning. The gyroscope is not as accurate and efficient as the LDS though it is better than random cleaning in therm of battery saving and cleaning efficiency. Gyroscope-based robots finish cleaning 2-3 times faster than those with a random cleaning pattern, and they don't miss any spots.

mapping vs. random cleaning pattern

All the robots in the model line remember your floor plan

The Roborock S5, S4, and S6 have the LDS (laser distance sensor or Lidar) navigation system. It scans the surroundings to build an accurate map of your home layout. After that, the robot vacuum calculates the most efficient way of cleaning following the created map until it covers all the area. The LDS system is the most accurate and efficient navigation technology nowadays. Robot vacuum with the LDS can finish cleaning ~2 times faster than robot vacuums with a gyroscope and 3-4 times faster than robots with a random cleaning pattern.

The Roborock S6, S5 Max, and S4 can directly clean one or a few rooms

The Roborock S6, S4, and Roborock S5 Max has an improved navigation pattern that allows finishing cleaning faster by adjusting to narrow spaces (see the pics down below).

The Roborock S6 & S5 Max

Each of the Roborock and Roborock Xiaowa Series has a "Recharge and Resume" feature, or breakpoint cleaning, which means if the area is too large for a one-time cleaning, the robot automatically returns to the charging dock, recharges, then returns to the breakpoint to continue cleaning. Also, if you manually suspend or move the robot during cleaning, after returning it to its original position, it can continue cleaning without repeating the previously cleaned areas.

The Roborock S6 stores up to three maps and is suitable for multi-story houses

Cleaning mechanics

Roborock robot vacuum cleaners underneath

All the units use the exact same cleaning mechanics. Side sweeper catches debris and dust along walls and corners; the main self-adjusting brush collects dust that it gets from the side brush and agitates it into the suction path of the vacuum motor. The dust and debris are housed inside the dustbin.

The Roborock S6, S4, and S5 Max, by the way, have a rubber side brush, something we have not seen before. 

Wet Mopping

The Xiaowa E2, E3, Roborock S5, S5 Max, and Roborock S6 are equipped with a water tank for mopping. Fill it with water, attach the mopping cloth and insert the water tank underneath by sliding it until it clicks. The Roborock models can do mopping, sweeping, mopping and sweeping (Since we have tested the Roborock Xiaowa Lite, Roborock S4, Roborock S5 and S6 we are not sure about the only mopping option in the Xiaowa E2 and E3). In mopping mode, the vacuum also follows a back-and-forth pattern based on a created map.

The Xiaowa E2, E3, Roborock S5, S5 Max, and Roborock S6 are perfect for homes with bare flooring

The manufacturer claims, amount of water the container contains is enough for about 50 minutes of cleaning, in our cases, it lasted for about 30 minutes only. You can fill it with water again and let the vacuum continue cleaning until the battery runs out of energy.

The newest Roborock S5 Max has a bigger (280 ml) water tank that is enough to cover a 200 square meters area. In addition to this, you can control the level of water flowing in the Roborock app. Also, it has got a new smart feature — no-mop zones. These zones keep the robot from carpets when it’s mopping leaving them dry.

Because of the upgraded mopping system, the Roborock S5 Max performs the best on bare floors

The Roborock S6 water tank has a switch that controls the amount of water you need depending on your cleaning needs. It comes with 2 microfiber pads and 10 disposable wipes while others have two microfiber cloths in the box. The Roborock S6 performs the best on bare flooring being able to soft even stubborn stains.

The Roborock S4 does not have mopping but it is suitable for homes without carpets too.

Suction power

The Roborock Xiaowa E3, Roborock S5, S4, S5 Max, and S6 have one of the strongest suction in the industry for the price (2,000 Pa). Each of the robots is able to provide deep cleaning on thin and some thicker carpets by picking up small things and pet hair of carpet and bare floor.

Carpet identification

The Roborock models are equipped with an intelligent carpet recognizing. Once the robot "knows" it is on carpet/rug, the maximum suction is automatically turned on. Standard suction is automatically restored after leaving the carpeted area.

Carpet identification helps the robot to provide better cleaning performance on carpets and rugs

Mi Home App & Roborock

For all the robot vacuums you can do the following things: switch between modes, schedule the cleaner, start and stop cleaning, watch cleaning history, manually control your robot like a radio car, upgrade the robot firmware, see when the accessories need to be replaced, etc.

The Roborock S6, S4, and S5 Max come with the newest Roborock app that has all the same features you can find in the Mi Home and new additional options.

There is an option to track your robot vacuum in real-time. This is every model in the line. You can see how the vacuum is building a map, which rooms it finished and where it cleaned.

The Roborock S4, S5, S5 Max and Roborock S6 support zoned cleaning

The most useful part of the Mi Home/Roborock apps is the virtual blocked areas and zone cleaning which is available only for the Roborock S4, S5, Roborock S5 Max, and Roborock S6. If you don't want your robot vacuum to cross some rooms, you can just set virtual boundaries (supported by the Roborock S4, S5/S5 Max and S6). Thanks to the accuracy of the LIDAR technology, it works perfectly. In case some high-traffic rooms need to be vacuumed more often, draw a rectangle on the map and let the robot clean within it.

Let the Roborock S4, S6, and S5 Max work in the kitchen by using the Selected Room Cleaning feature

The newest Roborock S4, S6, and S5 Max support room cleaning. The Roborock divides the map into separate rooms once it finishes cleaning. Once the map is saved, you can merge or divide it into separate areas to make it easier to clean within each further.

When the robot knows where each room is, you can make it work within a particular room or two or even schedule the robot to work in the living room at a specific time.

The latest Roborock S5 Max supports no-mop zones that allow keeping the robot off carpets. Once the mopping tools are turned off, the no-mop zones are gone. You can also mix them up with no-go lines (for vacuuming). The S5 Max also can be scheduled to mop in a specific room or two.


Can the Roborock robot vacuum cleaners be a Roomba killer

Underneath all the machines have the same design. One side brush, one cleaning brush that is a mix of bristles and rubber, two large wheels.

The Roborock vacuum cleaners are safe for asthma and allergy sufferers thanks to the HEPA filtration

The Xiaowa series look the same. There are three buttons on the top: spot cleaning, start/stop, return to the dock. Under the lid, you will find a 640 ml dustbox with a washable HEPA filter that lasts longer than a regular one. The Xiaowa Lite is only available in white color when the Xiaowa E2 and E3 come in black and white colors.

The Roborock S5 has a "Head" with the LDS moved closer to center, three buttons evoke start/stop cleaning, spot cleaning mode, and recharging. The Roborock S6 has a side brush made of rubber, one solid line of three buttons and the cleaning brush that has detachable parts which make untangling hair easier. The Roborock S5 Max looks very similar to the Roborock S6 with a few changed details.

Thanks to the newest cleaning brush, the Roborock S6 and S5 Max is the best for pet hair

The Roborock robot vacuums are claimed to be tangle-free, and it is partially correct. Thanks to the cleaning brush that is specially designed for picking pet hair, the robots are suitable for these purposes, but you still will need to spend some time to untangle hair.

The new Roborock S4 look different from other models. It has a semi-transparent lid through which you can see a dustbin and HEPA filter.

What is each of the Roborock robot vacuum cleaners best for?

Best Budget Pick

Roborock Xiaowa E2

One of the best cleaning ability for the price

Can do mopping and sweeping, equipped with a gyroscope for better navigation. Ideal for small to average homes with carpets and bare flooring.

Buy the Roborock Xiaowa E2 if you:

  • Live in a small or medium-sized house. 100 minutes of battery life and recharge & resume makes it suitable for smaller and medium homes
  • Have a pet. Strong suction, big container, and the cleaning brush are ideal for picking up pet hair
  • Want efficient navigation. Gyroscope navigation reduces a chance to redo the same areas that were already cleaned
  • Want a mopping feature. This model is equipped with a water tank and mop cloth
  • Your home is covered with carpets mostly. Carpet boost, strong suction, and excellent climbing ability work together to ensure deeper cleaning on carpets
  • Want a powerful robot vacuum cleaner that does not make lots of noise
  • Your home is about bare floor.

Upgraded Pick

Roborock Xiaowa E3

Strong suction and long-lasting battery

Does mopping and sweeping. Has strong suction power and great climbing ability. Ideal for bigger homes with carpets and some bare floor area.

Get the Roborock Xiaowa E3 if you:

  • Need extra suction. The Xiaowa E3 has one of the strongest suction in the industry. Only flagship models usually deliver 2,000 Pa of suction
  • Have a few pets. Because of a big container, the robot holds more of pet hair, so you don't have to empty it in the middle of the cycle
  • Live in a bigger household. 150 minutes of battery life + recharge & resume make the vacuum perfect for big homes
  • Need mopping
  • Want efficient navigation. Thanks to the gyroscope, the E3 doesn't go over the same spots again
  • Have carpets all over your place. The Xiaowa E3 performs excellently on a carpeted surface
  • Have occasional carpets and mostly bare flooring.

Best Under $400

Roborock S4

Budget robot vacuum for bare flooring

Capable of cleaning bare floors and carpets no thicker than 15 mm (0.6 in). Strong suction and a brush that is designed to handle pet and long human hair. 

Get the Roborock S4 if you:

  • Do not need mopping
  • Want to schedule the robot to work in a certain room while you are not at home
  • Live in a multiple-level house
  • Have a pet. Because of the newest cleaning brush, the Roborock S4 is ideal for pet owners
  • Have more than one pet because of the bigger dustbin
  • You don’t have thick carpets
  • Want to have a restricted area feature
  • Have an Amazon-enabled device or Google Home
  • Live in a big house
  • Don’t want to spend more but need a flagship robot at a reasonable price.

Why buying the Roborock S4 over the Xiaowa series?

The Roborock S4 builds a high-precious map, allows interaction with the map by setting no-go zones, zoned cleaning and sending the robot to clean a particular room. The Xiaowa Series only shows a map in the cleaning history, you can’t do anything with it. 

If you need mopping, go with the Roborock Xiaowa.

If you don’t have thick shaggy carpets or tall thresholds and not necessarily need mopping, but want to have a high-end robot with smart features, accurate map, and best navigation, buy the Roborock S4.

Best Mid-Range

Roborock S5

Best mid-range

Has one of the most efficient navigation in the industry. Supports blocked-off areas that can be drawn as a rectangle or a tape. Also has zoned cleaning for messy areas.

Buy the Roborock S5 if you:

  • Have a pet. The Roborock S5 does a superb job at picking up pet hair
  • Live in a big home
  • Have thin and thicker carpets and want a robot that would provide a deeper cleaning
  • Need mopping
  • Your home is about bare flooring
  • Need extra power
  • Want a flagship machine for a reasonable price
  • Need additional features such as restricted areas and zoned cleaning.

To sum up:

Do not need mopping and thick carpets but want smart features, have a pet and want a powerful robot vacuum? Go with the Roborock S4. Because of a big container, this is the best model among the three for pet owners.

Do not care about the lacks of some smart features such as selected room cleaning and multimap support? Go with the Roborock S5.

Want smart features, mopping, quiet operation, multimap support and have a pet? Live in a big house with more than one floor? Go with the Roborock S6.

Our Pick

Roborock S6

Advanced mopping, improved navigation

The most efficient navigation in the industry. Lasts up to 180 minutes on one charge. Stores up to 3 different floor maps. Supports room cleaning which means can vacuum directly in a particular room. Ideal for multi-level houses with carpets, pets, and some bare floor areas.

Get the Roborock S6 if you:

  • Need a robot with efficient mopping
  • Want to schedule the robot to work in a certain room while you are not at home
  • Live in a multiple-level house
  • Have a pet. Because of the newest cleaning brush, the Roborock S6 is ideal for pet owners
  • You have many carpets
  • Want to have a restricted area feature
  • Have an Amazon-enabled device or Google Home
  • Live in a big house
  • Want a high-end robot vacuum for a reasonable price.

Best Mopping

Roborock S5 Max

Avoids carpets in mopping mode

Supports no-go zones in vacuuming mode and no-mop zones when mopping. Equipped with a big water container that covers a medium to a big house. Runs for the whole 3 hours and knows how much power it needs to finish the job so it does not have to recharge to its full capacity.

The Roborock S5 Max is the best if you:

  • Need a robot with efficient mopping
  • Want to schedule the robot to work in a certain room while you are not at home
  • Want to let it mop when you are not at home
  • Need a robot that would not leave your carpets wet after mopping
  • Have a big area with no carpets
  • Live in a multiple-level house
  • Have a pet. Because of the newest cleaning brush, the Roborock S5 Max is ideal for pet owners
  • You have many carpets
  • Want to have a restricted area feature
  • Have an Amazon-enabled device or Google Home
  • Live in a big house
  • Want a high-end robot vacuum for a reasonable price.

The Roborock models are among the best high-end robot vacuum cleaners in the industry. They are indeed champs when it comes to cleaning performance, app features, and battery life. Most of them are suitable for all floor types, pet hair and any size of homes. If you are ready to spend some extra for a powerful robot vacuum cleaner - go with the Roborock S6. It is a smart machine that might cost a little bit more than other robots in our list yet it is not expensive compared to similar robot vacuums from other manufacturers.

Comments ()

  1. xfz
    #      +1
    Climbing 20cm? Thats about a foot for you people still measuring things in badger’s kidneys.
    1. Natalie Red
      #      0
      Whoops, thanks for pointing out, fixed that :)
    2. FJR
      #      +1
      Fantastically detailed and so helpful; what a superbly constructed analysis.

      I have purchased an s50 max as a result!

      Thank you!
      1. Natalie Red
        #      0
        Thank you for the kind words :)
        Glad you went for the S5 Max, should be an amazing model for hardwood and carpet.
        1. Massimo
          #      0
          Salve, volevo chiederti se S5 sarà aggiornato per individuare le singole stanze come gli ultimi robot prodotti. Grazie
          1. Natalie Red
            #      0
            Unfortunatelly, I don't know if the S5 will get the room recognition feature in the near feature.
      2. Cristian R
        #      +1
        Great review,almost exhaustive.Thank you very much.
        All I wanted to know about these Roborock/Xiaomi vacuum robots with almost same shape but different names or codes confused me. In my country,Romania,Roborock S5 is sold by the name of Xiaomi RoboRock 2 and I had to do some research and found nothing really usefull until now.
        One more thing I wanted to know,if you are going to update the review sometime may be usefull for anyone who reads the review,if those brushes are intercheangeable,I mean one brush fits all models or each model has it's own kind of side brush,cleaning brush.Is it possible to put the new brush made of rubber and the new cleaning brush that has detachable parts to the older models or not.
        Sorry for the long comment and thank you again.
        1. Natalie Red
          #      0
          Hello, Cristian!

          Thanks, we try to make less confusion about naming because many people think Roborock is Xiaomi which is not true.
          The article updates regularly and thanks for giving an idea of what have I missed here.

          I have never tested the Roborock Xiaowa E2/E3, I only had the Roborock Xiaowa Lite which is no longer on the market. Since I don't have it anymore, I'm not sure about this model, as far as I remember, it had the same brush as the Roborock S5.

          The Roborock S4, S5, and S6, however, have the same brush except for the S5 which brush is solid and has fewer bristles. You can switch the brushes of the S6 to the S5 if you want to. Same goes for the side brush and filters. The S5 and S6 even can share the same container, the Roborock S4 has a bigger one but the brush and filter fit into other models.

          Fell free to ask more questions :)

        2. Giuseppe Gallo
          #      +1
          I have a Roborock S4, that is great, but it is not compatible with Google Home. I suggest to update the article :))
          1. Michael Fisher
            #      0
            It supports Google Home and Alexa, but only with the Mi Home app, since the Roborock app doesn't work with voice assistants currently. However, it seems like Roborock already testing Google Home and Alexa skills for the Roborock app, check out this Facebook post.
            1. Giuseppe Gallo
              #      +1
              Have you a Roborock S4? Because I have it on Mi Home app (like many other devices) and I linked the Mi Home service to Google Home app, but noone S4 is showed on Google Home app.
              Did you manage to do it maybe? I would like it so much!
              1. Michael Fisher
                #      0
                I just tried to use the Roborock S4 with Google Home and was not able to find it in the device list. Sorry for the misleading info, I thought that if the S5 and S6 work with Google Home, then the S4 should work as well. Just asked Roborock support about it and received this response:
                We are sorry to tell us S4 doesn't support google home at present and we are working to make it support. Hope you can wait with patience.
                1. Giuseppe Gallo
                  #      +1
                  Yes, ok. It matches now :))
                  I hope they will make it compatible with GH soon.
                  To be honest, my first request is that the rooms cleaning was possible also through Mi Home scenes. It would be really useful.
                  Thank you so much for the info you got and shared.

          Share via: