Roborock was once one of the robotic vacuum manufacturer underdogs. However, they have quickly climbed the ranks, and the name Roborock is gaining household recognition. If you haven’t seen one of their models in action, you’re missing out. Currently, there are four must-have Roborocks on the market – the S4, S5, S5 Max and S6.
Each model offers a unique array of features. The Roborock S4 is smartphone-compatible and focuses solely on vacuuming. The Roborock S5 brings voice control and a bionic mopping system to the table. Precise water flow and a longer mopping time are some of the S5 Max’s main features while the Roborock S6 has an enhanced navigation algorithm and a more efficient brushroll.
With the S4, Roborock introduced LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology, which is also found in self-driving vehicles. Delivering pulsed laser emissions, LIDAR can calculate the S4’s distance from obstacles in its vicinity. Roborock also integrated LIDAR into the S5, S5 Max and S6.
Another change introduced with the Roborock S4 occurred within the drivetrain. Unlike previous Roborock robot vacs, the S4 and its successors are able to move with more stability and less wobbling. When they find themselves in a sticky situation, the extra throttle helps them back out.
Even though each robotic vacuum has robust wheels, the S5, S5 Max and S6’s wheels give them enhanced climbing ability – up to 2 centimeters. All four measure 13.8 inches wide and 3.8 inches tall, making them rather large in comparison to other robot vacuum brands.
Software algorithms keep these robots on a Z-patterned path while front and rear sensors offer around-stairs protection. However, the S5 Max and S6’s algorithms are more advanced, allowing them to clean faster and avoid objects better. With every model, Roborock added a new sensor, and the S5, S5 Max and S6 even slow down to prevent collisions.
Conclusion: Advanced algorithms make the S5 Max and S6 the superior navigators. They also have the greatest number of infrared sensors – 13 and 14, respectively. These two robot vacs plus the S5 have stronger wheels, but all four robots use LIDAR technology and move with a methodical purpose.
In many respects, the S4, S5, S5 Max and S6’s brush sets are the same. Each Roborock is equipped with an anti-tangle brushroll that intertwines bristles with rubber blades. The brushroll also floats to adjust to the floor’s height.
These four robotic vacuums have an impressive side brush. Consisting of five fins, the side brush automatically adjusts its rotating speed. If the robot is vacuuming open floor, the brush rotates at a speed of 130 rpm to prevent debris from scattering. The speed increases by 200 rpm when edge cleaning to whisk away stubborn dirt.
Still, a few adjustments were made to the brushroll and side brush along the way. The S6 brushroll’s bristles are thicker, which means the S6 can lift debris and sweep hard floors better. Unlike the S4 and S5’s bristled side brush, the S5 Max and S6’s side brush are made of tangle-resistant, durable silicone.
Conclusion: Roborock offers some of the most efficient brushes you’ll find on a robotic vacuum. The brushroll tangles less than others, and its self-adjusting. The side brush switches speed automatically and consists of five, not three, fins. However, the S5 Max and S6 have an enhanced side brush, and the S6 has a thicker brushroll.
The suction strength that each Roborock robot produces does not vary, topping out at 2,000 pascals, but the S6 is a few decibels quieter. All models but the S4 offer an automatic suction-boost function. Using a pressure sensor to identify carpeted floors, the S5, S5 Max and S6 kick up the suction to help the robots lift ground-in dirt.
In total, there are four cleaning modes designated just for vacuuming. Balanced mode is the default mode – It keeps the suction strong without draining the battery fast. Turbo mode offers more powerful suction, and Max mode is the strongest. There’s also Quiet mode, which is ideal for bare floors.
Conclusion: Four vacuuming strengths and a top suction speed of 2,000 pascals make every Robovac capable on medium-pile carpets and unstoppable on hard floors. Those who live in homes with wall-to-wall carpeting will appreciate the S5, S5 Max and S6 for their automatic suction increase feature.
Three of the four robots also wet mop when you engage the separate Mopping mode. The reservoir slides onto the bottom of each robot, and clips keep it securely in place. While the S5 and S5 Max come with two reusable microfiber pads, only the S6 comes with 10 disposable cloths in addition to one microfiber version.
When it comes to water capacity, the S5 and S6 hold 140 milliliters. The S5 Max’s reservoir is twice the size with a 280-milliliter capacity. For the S5 and S6, Roborock implemented a bionic system that steadily releases water when in motion and stops the water output when the robots aren’t moving.
To filter minerals and control the water flow, the reservoir on the S5 and S6 is equipped with a pair of capillaries. On the other hand, the mop-centric S5 Max relies on a squeeze pump and a sensor to adjust the water flow to the specific floor material.
Conclusion: If your house is predominately covered in hardwood or tile flooring, the S5 Max is the robot for you since it has the largest reservoir and a smarter water-release system. Those whose hard floors are limited to the kitchen and bathrooms will be more than satisfied by the Roborock S5 and S6.
The S4, S5, S5 Max and S6 are Wi-Fi equipped and virtual assistant-compatible. Via the smartphone app, you can handle a multitude of tasks such as setting a schedule, starting and stopping a cleaning session, manually driving the robot, adjusting the suction, choosing a specific room to clean and creating no-go zones.
You can even monitor these robotic vacuums through the app. Roborock offers in-app tools like a battery tracker, an on-map robot location and a maintenance scheduler. While each one allows you to save a map, the S5 Max and S6’s quad-core processor can remember as many as three. You may also set a schedule and adjust the suction by room.
The S5 Max offers ingenious mop functions in the app. You can select zones the S5 Max can pass through but not clean or choose areas they cannot access at all. There are even functions that let you set a schedule just for mopping and control the water flow. Plus, all of them pair with Alexa and Assistant devices.
While the Roborocks do offer non-Wi-Fi controls, those functions are limited. Dock, start and spot clean are available onboard every robot except the S5 Max – It lacks a spot-clean button. To adjust the S6’s water flow, you must toggle a switch on the reservoir. Only the S4 comes with a remote, which has a nifty point-and-go feature.
Conclusion: Most of the controls are the same on each of the four robots. Out of all the Roborock models, the S5 Max offers the greatest number of ways to customize how the robot mops. The S4 is the only robot vac that offers a remote, but every robot works with a smartphone app and a virtual assistant.
The dirt bins on these robo vacs are rather sizeable with a capacity of 16.2 ounces. Each one is see-through, allowing you to check the fill level without removing it. When you get ready to empty the bin, you’ll find it’s easy to reach as it loads from the top instead of the side.
Like any other robot vacuum, the S4, S5, S5 Max and S6 have a filter. For these robots, Roborock chose an E11 cartridge filter, which has a 99.2-percent capture rate for allergens as small as 0.3 microns. The filter is also rinsable, so it’ll last a while with proper care.
Conclusion: Dirt and allergen collection are the only areas where Roborock stayed consistent. Every robo vac contains a near-HEPA E11 filter, which is contained inside the dirt bin. The bin itself is large compared to standard robotic vacuum bins, and top-loading access makes it easier to remove and empty the bin.
Roborock is one of the few brands that uses a 5,200 mAh lithium-ion polymer battery. The battery in the S4 and S5 provides an insanely long runtime of 150 minutes when in Balanced mode, but the S5 Max and S6 can go for 180 minutes. When mopping, the Roborock S5, S5 Max and S6’s working time is cut in half.
At most, each robot can cover 2,600 to 2,700 square feet per run. When the battery is low, the robots automatically dock and recharge up to 80 percent. Then, they resume cleaning. This quick top-off lets them finish a cleaning cycle in the shortest time period possible.
Conclusion: These four models arguably have the most powerful battery available for robotic vacuums. The S5 Max and S6 have a longer runtime, but the 2.5-hour working time of the S4 and S5 is anything but shabby. Plus, the top-off dock-and-resume feature minimizes downtime.
Money Well Spent
No matter which Roborock you choose, you won’t be disappointed by any of these advanced robot vacuum cleaners. LIDAR navigation, Wi-Fi connectivity, voice control and a high-capacity battery come standard on all four robots. If you want an infrared remote as a backup or mainly have carpeting in your house, go with the Roborock S4 Robot Vacuum.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a vacuum-mop combo but care more about the mopping features, the Roborock S5 Max is the better choice. The S5 and S6 offer an excellent balance of vacuuming and mopping capabilities. In particular, you’ll find the Roborock S6 to be perfectly compatible with spacious homes.
Read our article: Are Roborock Robotic Vacuum Mops Worth the Money?
|Best of the Best!||Best For Tight Spaces||Budget Pick (< $200)|
|Continuous||100 min||110 min|
|12.2 x 12.2 x 3.5 in||17.8 x 13.7 x 4.8 in||33 x 33 x 7.8 in|
|20 pounds||5.73 pounds||7.05 pounds|