All robot vacuums I’ve tested so far utilize a bagless system where a container holds debris for disposal. The advent of auto-empty robots removes this task and offers a bagged system to make it more hygienic, which is my preference.
The ILIFE B5 Max is the first robotic vacuum that offers a bagged dirt disposal option, along with the bagless dustbin.
How good is this robot? I’ve spent many hours testing this robot to find out.
First Robot Vacuum to Offer a Bagless and Bagged Dirt Disposal System
ILIFE B5 Max Review
Yes, that’s not a typo – the ILIFE B5 Max offers consumers two ways of dirt disposal – a traditional bagless container and bagged system.
It’s a similar design to the
But this variant has WIFI, and folks can pair it with the ILIFE Home app for remote access.
The B5 Max’s default navigation is random, and though it offers the more predictable S-shape pattern, it will miss spots and don’t have the same thoroughness as a smart navigating robot.
- One of the cheaper robot vacuum options
- Low profile design will easily go under low profile furniture
- Compatibility with Alexa and ILIFE Home app
- Large dustbin capacity (600-ml for the standard container and 1000-ml for the bag)
- It doesn’t have a brush roll and relies solely on airflow to pick up debris
- The absence of agitation means it’s not usable on carpet, only on light area rugs
- Fast-spinning dual side brushes will scatter debris
Introduction to the ILIFE B5 Max
The B5 Max is one of ILIFE’s latest robot vacuum options and with more features than previous variants like the V3S Pro and V5S Pro.
One upgrade is its WIFI connectivity, making it compatible with Alexa and the ILIFE Home app.
Please note that it’s only compatible with 2.4GHz networks and not 5G – keep that in mind.
The B5 Max retains the same round frame as all ILIFE options. It has the same minimalist interface with a single button.
With the app compatibility and remote, there’s no need to add more buttons.
It has a top door that reveals the dustbin (more below) and the slide switch, enabling users to turn the robot on or off.
This is a departure from the side button switch found in older variants.
Underneath, you’ll see it has two side brushes and a narrow suction inlet minus the brush roll.
Behind it is a slot for the mopping pad, enabling this robot to vacuum and mop simultaneously.
Dustbin design and capacity
The B5 Max dustbin loads from the top, and it’s one of a handful with a cyclonic system, keeping most debris away from the filter above it.
I like the generous opening, making it easy to empty and clean if the need arises. Capacity is another strong suit at around 600 milliliters.
If you opt to use the bag, that capacity increases by 400-ml to 1000 milliliters – great if you don’t want to empty the dustbin continually.
One issue with the bag is it’s somewhat hard to slide the cardboard piece down the slot. You’ll have to push it down to secure it in place firmly.
Another issue is that the bag doesn’t seal itself when you pull it out, so the opening must be facing upward to avoid spills.
Another improvement over the older ILIFE V5S Pro is the electronic water tank. The B5 Max’s water tanks and mop bracket are one piece, so you could use this robot to vacuum and mop simultaneously.
One downside with the integration is it cuts down the water volume at only 50 milliliters.
It won’t mop a big room efficiently with the low capacity and random navigation, but it’s excellent at dispensing water – more proficient than a gravity tank.
Unfortunately, using a cleaning solution inside the tank is discouraged as it can erode the internal components.
How does the ILIFE B5 Max navigate?
By default, the ILIFE B5 Max has a random navigating pattern that continually runs until the battery reaches 20% then tries to recharge.
There’s an optional “S- shape” cleaning where the robot navigates in straight lines. In this mode, the robot starts by cleaning the edges before the middle portions.
But the issue with the S- shape is its lack of thoroughness. During the coverage test, it missed several spots in a small room.
The default cycle offers better thoroughness, but its randomness will also result in missed spots as well.
It’s not an ideal option for cleaning multiple rooms because it can’t track location. There’s no LIDAR or optical sensors for such.
Robots with these features like the Roborock S5 Max, Roomba I3+, and Yeedi Vac Station will cost more.
Navigation through tight zones is decent as it did well, not getting wedged between office chair legs – a struggle for most random navigating robots.
Only once did it wedge itself between the office chair legs, but it traversed well around the maze in most of the tests.
It does have a somewhat aggressive algorithm and may bump into objects with a soft thud, but not as aggressive as a Roomba 675 or E5.
Though the B5 Max comes with a remote to access basic features, I’d recommend downloading the ILIFE Home app for the best user experience.
Search for “ILIFE Home” in your favorite app store of choice or scan the QR code on the manual to download.
The ILIFE Home app feature list is basic, but it’s plenty for a budget robot vacuum, and I’ll enumerate them down below.
1. Main interface and live map
The app’s main interface provides easy access to essential features like the default cleaning mode, dock, and remote.
Tapping on the hamburger icon (upper right) will provide access to all the settings and features we’ll look at below.
While the interface has a live map (in S-shape mode), it’s quite useless and doesn’t draw an accurate layout.
One helpful feature with the S-shape moe is it provides info with the cleaning area and cleaning time.
Users will also know the battery status, something absent in the remote.
I’m not a fan of this feature, but one practical aspect of it is the quick access to other modes like edge and spot cleaning.
The remote function itself is pretty useless and clunky. If you want to control the robot manually, using the remote is a better option.
The app offers a scheduling feature, and the current setup allows for a single run per day. Unfortunately, unlimited runs aren’t supported.
For folks looking for a budget robot with unlimited scheduling, they can look at the Yeedi K650 that supports such.
4. Suction and water usage settings
Unlike other brands with a fixed number of suction settings, the B5 Max offers a range between 1 and 100%.
Since it relies solely on airflow, I’d keep it in the high 90s or 100 for the best results.
There are three water usage settings, depending on the need. For light mopping tasks, the best setting is the middle setting, but for mopping stains, use the strong setting for optimal results.
5. Cleaning history
This tab shows the previous cleaning cycles with the corresponding dates, cleaning area, and duration.
6. Parts maintenance
Shows a bar graph of the consumable parts – side brushes and filter, when to replace them to be specific.
It’s a time-based system, so it’s better to check these components visually if it needs cleaning or replacement.
How much power does the ILIFE B5 Max have?
ILIFE says this robot has around 2000 Pascals of suction, which is standard for many budget robot vacuums.
But not all manufacturers use Pa, so I use an anemometer to measure airflow to gauge how each brand differs from another.
Here are the results for the ILIFE B5 Max
- 1%: 9.33 CFM
- 50%: 10.87 CFM
- 100%: 11.91 CFM
The 11.91 CFM figure is in line with other budget robot vacuums (11.79 CFM average), but the lack of a brush roll hinders its performance, especially on carpet.
Next, we’ll look at how well the non-existence of a brush roll affects the B5 Max’s cleaning performance.
I’ve tested it on stuff like quaker oats, coffee grounds, quinoa, pet litter, sand, and hair.
- Overall: 69.53%
- Hard floor: 85%
- Sand on hard floor: 83.7%
- Carpet: 87.27%
- Deep cleaning: 22.15%
The scores above represent the lowest average score of all robot vacuums I’ve tested, and there are two issues based on experiments.
First is the narrow cleaning path without the brush roll. This omission hampers the B5 Max’s potential pick-up and makes it inefficient per pass.
Second is the fast-spinning dual side brushes, scattering debris to a larger radius.
The random navigation plays a factor, but other brands like the entry-level Roombas utilize it and still picked up much more.
But I did notice this robot avoiding missing spots even in the small test area.
Hard floor results
- Quaker oats: 97.4%
- Coffee grounds: 93.8%
- Quinoa: 80.8%
- Pet litter: 68%
The hard floor results paint a picture of what to expect. It did well with light debris like quaker oats and coffee grounds but struggled with heavy pet litter.
The low quinoa score results from the side brush scattering a good chunk of it, which isn’t the case on carpet (scroll down).
Sand on hard floor
Cleaning sand is challenging even with a motorized brush, and that challenge is further exacerbated without it.
Despite not having a motorized brush, the B5 Max picked up 83.7%, below-average versus other budget robots.
The fast-spinning side brushes are the primary reason it didn’t pick up more, but the brush-less design is another reason.
Hair wrap test
Before testing, I thought that the absence of a brush roll means zero maintenance, but I missed one crucial aspect – the small size of the inlet.
While it’s less maintenance, large quantities of hair can clog the inlet and wrap on the side brush.
You could see hair sticking out the dustbin – a symptom of the weak airflow.
I wouldn’t recommend this for people who have heavy shedding dogs or cats.
With one gram (1.21 g to be exact) of five-inch hair, the ILIFE B5 Max only picked up 19%.
I didn’t bother doing the seven-inch test because of the poor five-inch result.
One plus with the twin side brush design is its performance cleaning the edges.
In the before and after photo above, you could see that it picked up most of the debris scattered, definitely better than a round-shaped Roomba.
I did the same tests on low and mid pile carpet, but I wasn’t expecting much. Surprisingly, it picked up more than anticipated, at least for surface debris.
Low pile results
- Quaker oats: 98.2%
- Coffee grounds: 86.6%
- Quinoa: 94.8%
- Pet litter: 74%
It did well with quaker oats and quinoa, picking up above 90%, which is impressive given its lack of a brush roll.
The scores for coffee grounds and pet litter weren’t surprising because of the lack of agitation. Still, it’s a decent pick-up for a robot without a brush roll.
Mid pile results
- Quaker oats: 93.8%
- Coffee grounds: 88.8%
- Quinoa: 96%
- Pet litter: 66%
The results on mid-pile carpet nearly mirror that of the low pile. It did well on light debris like quinoa and quaker oats but struggled with pet litter and fine coffee grounds.
These scores are actually impressive, considering it doesn’t have a roller brush to aid with agitation.
Deep cleaning results
Not having a brush roll affects deep cleaning performance the most, and it’s evident with this test where the B5 Max only picked up 22.15%.
It’s one of the lowest scores of all robot vacuums I’ve reviewed, which isn’t surprising since it doesn’t have a motorized brush.
One underrated feature of the ILIFE B5 Max is its mopping capability. It comes with a 50-ml electronic water tank that’s better than gravity tanks in dispensing water.
I tested it on red wine stains, and it did excellent, nearly mopping off every blemish.
The lack of a smart navigating system hinders its efficiency, but it’s easily one of the better budget robot vacuum options at mopping floors.
However, the small 50-ml capacity limits its range. ILIFE says around 30 square meters max, but if you use the strong setting, it goes down to around half since it’ll use more water.
How noisy is the ILIFE B5 Max?
Noise is often overlooked when shopping for a robot vacuum. I use a sound meter to check noise levels, and here are the results for this robot.
- 1%: 62.4 dB
- 50%: 66.9 dB
- 100%: 71.2 dB
It breached 71 decibels at 100% or the highest setting, but that number goes down under 67 decibels at 50% or less.
I’d keep it at 80% or more for the best cleaning results since it doesn’t have a motorized brush.
How long will the ILIFE B5 Max run?
ILIFE says the B5 Max will run up to 120 minutes in its lowest setting. But with the max setting, it goes down close to 60 minutes.
Since it doesn’t have a brush roll, you’ll have to use a higher setting, so expect it to last close to the 60-minute rather than 120 minutes.
What comes in the box?
- ILIFE B5 Max robot vacuum
- Three bags
- One extra filter and side brush set
- Manual and quick start guide
- Dock and power cord
ILIFE has been around for a while, so there’s good parts availability. Consumers can purchase parts such as the filter, side brush, and even the battery from Amazon. The B5 Max being a newer variant, its battery may not be available from third-party brands, but filter and side brush supply should be abundant from ILIFE and other brands.
A critical aspect of robot vacuum ownership is maintenance, and I’ll show you which components to replace or clean below.
- Side brush: Long strands of hair will wrap around the arms and base. Check it once a week for any accumulation and clean as needed.
- Dustbin and filter: Empty the dustbin after every run and clean it if there’s enough build-up. The cyclone filters underneath the high efficiency reduce dirt sticking on it. But it’s advisable to check once a month and clean if needed. You’ll need to change the filter once every two to three months to maintain performance.
- Drop sensors: Underneath the robot are sensors that prevent it from falling from cliff points (hint stairs). Wipe these using a clean, dry microfiber towel to prevent an error code from firing.
- Exterior: Over time, dust and fingerprints will accumulate on the surface. Use a clean microfiber towel to wipe the robot’s body.
- Dock: Vacuum any debris accumulation on its base and clean the two metal charging points that connect to the robot.
|Model||ILIFE B5 Max|
|Run time||Up to 120 mins.|
|Water Tank Capacity||50 ml.|
|Dirt Capacity (dry)||600 ml. (dustbin)
1000 ml (bag)
|Recharge and Resume||No|
Where can I buy the ILIFE B5 Max?
You can buy this robot from online stores like Amazon. Check the link below for the latest pricing information.
- ILIFE B5 Max on Amazon
Disclaimer: I will earn a commission if you purchase from the link above, but at no extra cost to you, so it’s a win-win for us!
Is the ILIFE B5 Max worth it?
That would depend on its price. I’d consider this option if the price is under $180. Anything above that range makes it too excessive.
While it has intriguing features like the bagged system and app compatibility, the core features are basic, and you can purchase similarly priced variants with better navigation and cleaning performance.
So it’s hard to recommend this if it’s below a certain price threshold.
4 Reasons to buy the ILIFE B5 Max
- Excellent mopping performance: Its ability to mop floors is perhaps the B5 Max’s best feature, leaving an almost dry surface with hardly any residue.
- Less maintenance: Not having a brush roll means fewer tangles to clean.
- Cheap: Only if you can get it under $180. If it’s above that range, it’s not a good buy.
- Low profile: Easily goes underneath low profile furniture with a 3.5” clearance.
The Verdict: Sub-Part Cleaning Performance, Excellent Mopping
After spending hours testing this product, the cleaning results were underwhelming due to the low airflow, lack of a brush roll, fast-spinning side brush, and random navigation.
One saving factor for this is its above-average mopping – one of the best budget alternatives for such.
Don’t expect much from it with vacuuming as it isn’t efficient and only works well with light debris like dust and small quantities of hair.
First Robot Vacuum with a Bagless and Bagged System
Navigation - 90%
Surface Cleaning - 85.32%
Deep Cleaning - 22.15%
Quality - 94%
Design - 93%
Value - 94%
Though the cleaning results were disappointing, this robot is decent for light-duty vacuuming and mopping tasks. It has enough airflow to pick up debris like dust and small hair quantities decently. But don’t expect it to clean large messes like other higher-end brands like Roomba or Roborock since it lacks smart navigation and a brush roll to do it efficiently. The mopping feature is a pleasant surprise, leaving an almost streak-free surface after the red wine test. Again, I’ll only recommend this it you can get it under $180.