A few years after Roborock launched their first product, the S5, they now finally have an upgrade – the S5 Max.
This is a different model from their other two products – the S4 and S6, with most of the improvements focused on its mopping capabilities.
Other enhancements that we’ll look at include the new side brush that does away with the bristles. It has a bigger water tank and no-mop zones that keep it away from areas you designate where it can’t mop.
The app also gives users the option to lower the power output of the vacuum motor and prioritize mopping – a feature not available with the Roborock S5.
Is the Best Robot Vacuum/Mop Hybrid?
The No-Mop Zones Feature is Handy
Roborock’s enhancements with the S5 Max are primarily focused on how it mops. It has a bigger water tank than the S5 and S6 and an option in the app to adjust the flow of water (4 different modes). I tested the mopping feature extensively with wet and dry messes, and it was quite useful. It won’t replace a traditional mop, but the performance is above-average versus other robot vacuum and mop hybrids. If you’re looking for a vacuum and mop combo that can mop surfaces like tile or hardwood, this is an excellent option.
- The new electronic water tank is superb at controlling water flow and effective at removing stains.
- Upgrades with the navigation software make it more efficient than the Roborock S5.
- It will run for up to 150 minutes at the lowest setting.
- No-go and no-mop zones bring a lot of convenience to the user.
- Small dust cup with only a 490 ml capacity.
- It doesn’t come with an extra pad or side brush.
- Quite expensive.
Introduction to the Roborock S5 Max
The S5 Max is Roborock’s latest product that has similar specs with the previous S5 model. Both variants have the same power rating at 2,000 Pascals, but the S5 Max has better mopping abilities with its new electronic water tank and upgraded software with the Roborock app.
It gives you the option to adjust how much water flows through and the ability to power down the vacuum motor for tasks that only require mopping.
There are some differences between the S5 and S5 Max’s button layout, but everything else remains the same. Below the two buttons are the LIDAR Laser Distance Sensor (or LDS) that is precise in mapping out its environment.
Under the LDS sensor is a door that provides access to the dust cup, WiFi status, and reset button.
There’s also a brush and blade combo tool stored inside that’s useful for removing hair that may wrap around the main brush.
The S5 Max retains the same design as the Roborock S5 with the single side brush and combo brush. What’s different between the two is the side brush design.
With the newer Max, the side brush has an all-rubber construction without any bristles.
Behind the main brush is a rubber seal that helps funnel dirt towards the suction chamber and into the dust bin.
New Water Tank
The most significant improvement with the S5 Max over the S5 is the new water tank. In the S5, the water tank and mop bracket are a single piece, so it has a smaller liquid capacity.
It only relied on gravity for the water to seep through the two openings going to the pad.
This design didn’t have a feature that will stop water from dripping when the robot is not in use. So if you forget to remove the water tank, it will leave a puddle of mess underneath.
That isn’t the case with the S5 Max’s water tank which is electronically controlled that won’t drip unless it’s running.
I tested this by placing my hand under the water tank, and it won’t leak unless you tilt it sideways.
Having the water tank as a separate piece makes it possible to increase the capacity – up to 290 ml.
The electrically controlled mop does an excellent job of keeping the pad damp without getting it soaking wet, which is an issue with gravity tanks.
Also, it’s got a spring-loaded system that maintains a constant pressure of 300 grams throughout the mopping cycle.
This feature helps increase the coverage area without having to replace the pad.
Four Mop Settings
Another improvement is the ability to adjust the amount of water flow using the app.
There are four different “water level” options:
- Off/Only Once: Lowest amount of flow if the mop is attached.
- Low: Next lowest setting and the mode I’d recommend for picking up liquid messes.
- Medium: Middle setting that works great for cleaning dried stains.
- High: Has the highest water flow and great for mopping off hard to remove stains like juice residue.
For cleaning wet messes, I would suggest using the “only once” or “low” mode while the “medium” and “high” settings are best for dried stains that require a damper pad.
The app also has five “cleaning mode” options:
- Gentle/only once: Lowest setting and the choice I’d use if you only want to mop.
- Silent: Excellent setting to use for vacuuming at night.
- Balanced: This setting balances power and run time – great option on hard surfaces.
- Turbo: More airflow than the balanced setting for cleaning carpet.
- Max: The highest power setting just in case there is a need to deep clean carpet.
Take note that both the mop and power modes complement one another.
So, for example, if the only need is mopping, set the power mode at the lowest setting with the mop setting at Medium or High.
Combining mopping and vacuuming is also possible by adjusting both settings accordingly.
You won’t get this type of option with the S5 or the S6. While the Roborock S4 does not have a mop, so it is the best option if you only want the vacuum feature.
The design of the Roborock dust cup remains the same as the older S5. It can only hold up to 490 ml of dry dirt, which is decent, but nothing to get excited about.
Behind the dust cup is a HEPA filter that helps keep allergens inside the bin. The opening is quite narrow, so emptying can be a little tricky. I would suggest tapping the HEPA filter on a solid object like the trash bin to dislodge any dirt that may wedge between the bends.
How does the Roborock S5 Max navigate?
One of the biggest strengths of Roborock products is the smart navigating system that relies on a Laser sensor.
All Roborock robot vacuums use LIDAR, which is a similar technology used by Neato BotVac products.
The S5 Max has Roborock’s latest navigation technology they call the “Adaptive, Dynamic Route Planning,” where the robot selects an optimal cleaning route depending on the shape of the room.
So this means it doesn’t just on in one fixed direction. As the laser is scanning the room, it will go in the most efficient direction based on the outline of the room, as you’ll see in the graphics by Roborock above.
But wait, there’s more.
Invisible Wall and No-mop Zones
If you think that the “Adaptive, Dynamic Route Planning” feature is cool, here’s something better.
Roborock has two features that are essential in every robot vacuum, in my opinion.
The first is the Invisible wall that allows users to draw multiple lines on the map that block the robot from going into areas it isn’t supposed to.
This feature essentially replaces the virtual walls or magnetic strips of tape that has the same function.
I like the Invisible wall better because it saves money and time. There’s no need to waste time rolling out a magnetic tape or buy extra strips of it if you have to block off numerous areas.
Another cool feature is the No-mop zones that have the same function as the No-go lines.
But instead of just drawing lines, the No-mop zone feature lets you draw a box (or more) that block off a specific area that the robot shouldn’t mop, such as rugs or a carpeted area inside the home.
There’s no need to remove rugs or physically block the path of a robot.
Take note that the No-go zone has the same function as the No-mop zone.
Selective Room Cleaning
The app also allows users to select a specific area to clean at a slated time. Not only that, you can select a pre-determined the mop and power setting for each zone.
Take note that this feature is only accessible once the robot draws the map of the whole house, and you need to create “zones” for each area on the map.
Unfortunately, the S5 Max does not have the exploratory feature that Roomba has that tells the robot to navigate with the vacuum motor off to maximize the run time.
How does the Roborock S5 Max Clean?
At first glance, the Roborock S5 Max only looks like a refresh based, but it’s more than just that.
While it has the same battery and power output, as well as design, all the other features are different.
Most of the improvements with the S5 Max are focused on how it mops, starting with the water tank that electronically controls water flow through the app.
Unlike the older S5 that uses gravity, the electronic water tank is more precise with water disbursement.
In the tests I did, it was able to clean dried and pick up wet spills with almost zero streaks as the floor dries up a few minutes after the robot docks.
This feature, combined with the custom controls that the Roborock app provides that allow users to adjust the mop and power settings and make the S5 Max the best robot vacuum/mop hybrid I’ve tested.
You can use the mop and vacuum simultaneously or adjust the settings as such, so the robot only mops – something that isn’t possible with the Roborock S5 or S6.
The side brush also is upgraded and has an all-rubber construction that I think will hold up better over time.
During the cleaning tests, I noticed that the side brush spins at an accelerated pace when cleaning the edges and slows down a bit when it moves to its zigzag motion in the middle of the room.
However, it still scatters debris around, but it isn’t as bad as the Roomba 690.
The main brush remains the same as the S5 with the blade and bristle combo.
In the initial tests I did on the carpet, long strands of hair (over 5”) will wrap on it, but with the brush cleaning tool, removing it won’t be an issue.
To test how the Roborock S5 Max cleans different surfaces, I use four different types of debris – coffee grounds, Quaker oats, pet litter, and Quinoa.
I weigh the bin empty and full, with the difference being the amount picked up. Realize that there is a margin for error in these tests, but it will be a good gauge on how well a robot does.
These four represent four types of dirt that the S5 Max cleans daily. I also do a large debris test where I test how a robot vacuum does at cleaning stuff like Fruit loops or Cheerios.
Carpet (Surface Pickup)
Carpet (Deep Cleaning)
Next is the mixed test where I scatter stuff from the other vacuums I use to clean my home and see how the robot does on carpets and hard floors.
Hard Floor Cleaning Test
First, let’s look at the results of the cleaning tests on hard floors. You’ll see a series of before and after photos (coffee grounds, Quaker oats, pet litter, and Quinoa) to give you an idea of how the S5 Max did.
The results were superb which is reflected by the scores as the S5 Max was able to pick up everything in its path. It doesn’t matter if it’s as fine as coffee grounds or hard such as Quinoa, the main brush didn’t have any issues with debris pick up.
One issue is the side brush that scattered debris in its way.
It’s nothing major as the robot eventually picks up the scattered stuff in the second go around.
This robot was able to pick up a majority of the debris on the first pass, which shows me that the seal works very well.
Large Debris Test on Hard Floor
To see how well the Roborock S5 does on large debris, I scattered a handful of Fruit loops on a test area and let the robot run one cleaning cycle to see how much it picks up.
I didn’t weigh the Fruit loops because it’s so light and 50 grams worth will not fit the small dust cup.
Here’s a before and after shot.
You’ll notice in the photo that the Roborock S5 was able to pick up most of the Fruit loops scattered. I said most, not all because there were two pieces that didn’t go inside the dust cup.
As you’ve seen in the photo above most of the Fruit loops went inside the bin (left side of the photo), and there were two pieces left that didn’t go through the brush roll. Considering the amount it had to clean, this was impressive.
Carpet Cleaning Test
For all the carpet cleaning tests in Cordless Vacuum Guide, it’s separated into three categories – low pile, medium pile, and the deep cleaning test done on a mid pile carpet.
Again, I used coffee grounds, Quaker oats, pet litter, and Quinoa for the tests.
The S5 Max scored lowest when cleaning fine stuff such as coffee grounds, but it still scored in the high 90s. Again, the results are indicative of how well this robot vacuum does on low pile carpets.
One advantage that a smart robot vacuum has over a traditional vacuum is its ability to do the task autonomously.
Again, there was a scattering issue with the side brush, but the S5 Max was able to pick up those in subsequent passes.
The scores on this test were almost similar to that of the low pile carpet cleaning test. It struggles most with fine bits of dirt like coffee, but the score was still in the high 90s, so these are excellent results.
Take note that the stain you see on the photos comes from the coffee grounds that I rubbed on during the deep cleaning tests, which we’ll look at next.
Large Debris Test on Carpet
I did the same test on the carpet as I did on hard floors. I scattered a handful of Fruit loops to see how much of the mess the S5 Max will be able to pick up.
It did better on low pile carpet as all of the pieces of fruit loops went inside the dust cup. There was none left beneath the main brush.
This test shows that the S5 Max is capable of handling even large bits of dirt. The only limiting factor would be the size of the bin.
Deep Cleaning on Mid Pile
The last test I’ll share with you is the deep cleaning test. For this experiment, I rubbed 50 grams of coffee grounds on medium pile carpet then let the robot run a single cycle to see how much of the embedded dirt it can pick up.
To honest, I’m blown away by the results, as the S5 Max was able to pick up 93.9% of embedded coffee grounds with its normal cleaning cycle on the highest power setting. The results show the capability of this robot to pick up embedded dirt at least on medium-pile carpets.
The test results above reveal how well the S5 Max is able to clean hard floors and carpets well regardless of the size of debris. It was able to pick up fine to large stuff without any issues and it was also excellent at cleaning embedded dirt at least on a mid pile carpet. The only limiting factor would be the average size dust cup that you’ll need to empty after every run. It lacks the auto empty system of the Shark IQ IR101AE and the Roomba I7.
The mopping performance is perhaps the most significant improvement that the S5 Max has over the S5.
This model has a new electronic water tank that is precise at how much water flows through the pad.
It won’t leak when the robot isn’t in use, which is a big plus for me.
Unlike the S5, where the water tank needs to be emptied after every use, that won’t be the case with the S5 Max.
However, if you’re not using the mop for an extended period, I would suggest emptying it, especially if you’re using tap water as it can crystallize and damage the electronic components.
Roborock does not recommend using cleaners inside the water tank as it can damage the internal components that adjust the water flow.
I’ve gotten questions about it, and this closeup photo of the note on the water tank makes it clear.
A minor issue
One complaint I have is the plastic mop rack that relies on double-sided tape to secure it in place.
If you don’t use the tape, the mop rack will move out of place when the robot passes over it.
I prefer the S5 rack where it slides on the charging dock base and won’t move as easily.
Next, we’ll look at how the S5 Max mops.
I did two tests with the S5 Max – a wet mess and dry stain test. For both experiments, I used coffee and red wine.
How it does on wet messes
The first test I did was on wet messes on linoleum.
For this experiment, I scattered coffee and red wine and let the S5 Max mop the mess with the vacuum mode at “gentle/only once” and the water flow set at “low.”
The results were surprising because it was able to pick up all of the liquid without any visible streaks.
Sure, there were some stains left for both tests, but it was almost invisible.
The floor was dry a few minutes after the robot went back to recharge, and I didn’t see any visible tire marks.
One concern for using a robot mop is the potential risk of water trickling through the exhaust and damaging the vacuum.
Some liquid seeped through the dirt canister, main brush, and brush guard, but the area under the dust cup didn’t have any accumulation at all except for the seals, which was impressive.
The test revealed that you could use the S5 Max for small spills, but I wouldn’t advise using it on large ones because of the risk I just mentioned above.
How it does on dried stains
The next test I did with the S5 Max is on dried stains.
This perhaps is the litmus for any robot mop as the all of the hybrid mop/vacuum options I’ve tried failed mainly because all relied on gravity mops that do not regulate water flow as well the electronic tank in the S5 Max.
For the test, I used a combination of coffee and red wine, let it dry overnight to see how well this robot can clean stains.
To make it even tougher, I scattered Quaker oats on top of the stains to see how well this robot can vacuum and mop simultaneously.
It took two runs, but the S5 Max was able to clean most of the stains. The results weren’t perfect, but considering the sheer volume of stains, it was still remarkable in my opinion.
It was also able to pick up all of the Quaker oats I scattered, which shows how well this robot can mop and vacuum at the same time.
How long does the Roborock S5 Max run?
According to Roborock, the S5 Max will run for up to 150 minutes in the eco setting. So this robot is ideal for cleaning large homes thanks to the combination of efficiency, smart navigation, and range.
Features of the Roborock App
You have two options with regards to the app. There’s the Xiaomi home app and the Roborock app.
After fiddling with both, the features of the two are the same.
My preference would be to use the Roborock app because it’s primarily focused on its robot vacuum line.
The app is lightweight and quite responsive based on my tests.
The interface is easy to use. All the vital information, such as battery status are on top while the shortcuts to the most frequently used functions are at the bottom of the map.
You can access the no-go and no-mop zones by tapping on the bottom left icon. Or select the cleaning and water level settings tapping the bottom right icon.
The three icons below it provide access to the different room functions, such as dividing different areas of the map.
However, it lacks the option of naming each section. It only permits users to tap the area in the map, schedule when to clean and set the vacuum and mop settings for each zone.
The app also provides the status of the critical components of the vacuum, such as the filter, side brush, main brush, and sensors.
To be more specific, it tells you when to replace the consumable parts or clean the sensors beneath.
It also logs how many times you’ve used the robot, tracking how long it has been used and the total area it has cleaned.
The app also saves the map and gives users the option to toggle between different plans. But this option isn’t turned on by default, which is a minor gripe. You’ll have to go to the settings menu and turn on the “Map saved mode (Beta)” option.
How much noise does the S5 Max produce?
To measure noise levels for the S5 Max, I used a sound meter a few feet away to test the loudness level at each power setting.
- Gentle/Only Once: 54.4 dB
- Silent: 58.2 dB
- Balance: 59.3 dB
- Turbo: 61.2 dB
- Max: 62.4 Db
Even at the max power setting, the S5 Max only produced 62.4 decibels, which is equivalent to listening to a normal conversation. I’m impressed by how well Roborock was able to muffle the exhaust noise. At it’s the lowest setting, you can barely hear the motor running.
What comes in the box?
Roborock didn’t include a lot of extras with the S5 Max. Aside from the robot and charging dock, the other items that you’ll get will be the mop rack, mopping pad, bracket, and cleaning brush, which is already inside the robot. You won’t get any extra HEPA filter or side brush, so it is pretty bare.
- S5 Max vacuum
- Mopping pad + bracket
- One HEPA filter
- One side brush
- Charging dock
- Mop rack
Like any other electronic product, robot vacuums need proper upkeep to maintain its performance over the long haul.
The critical components that you should regularly check include the filter, side brush, main brush, and sensors all around the robot.
One feature that makes this task easier is the Roborock app that tells you when to replace these parts. It also shows you the life span (in hours) when it needs to be replaced or cleaned (in the case of the drop sensors).
But there are things that you can do to extend the service life of the filter, main brush, and side brush.
For the filter, I would suggest using a good handheld vacuum or a stick vacuum that turns into a handheld such as a Dyson V7, V8, or the Tineco Pure One S12 that has enough suction to clean particles that stick on the HEPA filter.
Also, check the side brush for any hair that may wrap at its base. For the sensors, if the app indicates that it needs cleaning, use a clean cotton bud to gently wipe.
|Model||Roborock S5 Max|
|Battery||5,200 mAh Li-ion|
|Run time||Up to 150 mins.|
|Water Tank Capacity||290 ml.|
|Dirt Capacity (dry)||480 ml.|
|Recharge and Resume||Yes|
Does the Roborock S5 Max offer excellent value?
Being a new product, the price of the S5 Max is a bit steep, but it is cheaper than the Roborock S6 that has an inferior mopping system with less power.
This is the first hybrid mop and vacuum I’ve tested that works as advertised. The electronic water tank is exponentially better than the gravity tanks that the Roborock S5 and S6 utilize and doesn’t leave streaks.
The tests I did show how well this vacuum mops and picks up dirt. It scored highly in surface pick up tests and surprisingly, great with cleaning embedded coffee grounds on the medium-pile carpet.
The upgrades with the navigation make it more efficient and give consumers more options in terms of blocking areas that the robot should not mop, or it shouldn’t go.
One gripe I have is the lack of an extra pad or side brush. For the premium price, it should at least come with an extra of any of these two items.
The Verdict: This Robot is the Best Robot Vacuum/Mop Hybrid I’ve Tested
At first, I was skeptical about whether the upgrades in the S5 Max will make a difference in how it mops, but the new electronic water tank proved that it could handle wet spills and dry stains.
It’s not perfect, but the upgrades make it more practical to use on dried stains without leaving puddles of streaks.
The cleaning performance is also excellent with surface and embedded dirt. So it brings a lot of versatility to the tables for homes that need a robot that can vacuum and mop with efficiency.
5 Reasons you should buy the Roborock S5 Max
- Excellent mopping capabilities: Tests show that the S5 Max is a very capable robot mop that can clean wet and dry stains.
- Doesn’t leave wet streaks: The electronically controlled water tank does a superb job at keeping the pad damp enough to mop out stains without leaving the floors soaking wet.
- Smart navigation: Roborock put in an upgraded software with the “Adaptive, Dynamic Route Planning,” where the robot selects the most efficient route depending on the shape of the area it is cleaning.
- Invisible wall and No-mop zones: Another app feature worth mentioning are these two that inform the robot of areas it shouldn’t go.
- Also great at cleaning hard floors and carpets: This robot also excels at cleaning floors regardless if it is carpet or hard surfaces. It will get the job done.
Click here to check the latest price and to learn more about the Roborock S5 Max.
Maybe the Best Robot Vacuum/Mop Combo Right Now
- Usability - 96%96%
- Cleaning - 99.65%100%
- Deep Cleaning - 93.9%94%
- Quality - 95%95%
- Design - 94%94%
- Value - 91%91%
An Excellent Two-in-One Robot Vacuum/Mop Option
The Roborock S5 Max blew me away with it’s vacuuming and mopping performance. It’s the first hybrid product that does both tasks well thanks to the new electronic water tank. The mop will clean up wet spills and dry stains without leaving streaks or a puddle of water. The vacuum motor also did very well in nearly all of the cleaning tests, even the deep cleaning test, where it scored an average of 93.9% on two tests. If you need a robot vacuum that can mop effectively with smart navigation, this is an excellent but pricey option.