Outside Roomba, Roborock and Ecovacs are two of the more popular robot vacuum options available.
In this comparison, we’ll be looking at their latest offerings, the Roborock S7 and Ecovacs N8 Pro+.
Both have an auto-empty base station, a feature growing in popularity. Each offers a unique facet the other doesn’t possess, and I’m sure you’ll find these interesting as you read through the article.
I’ve spent many days testing these robots individually and have crunched the numbers to help you understand which option is better? There’s a lot to unpack in this comparison, so let’s get into it.
Let’s start with a quick overview of each variant.
- Airflow: 13.91 CFM
- Deep cleaning: 78.85%
- Mopping: Yes
- Auto empty: Yes
- Bag capacity: 3-liters
- Navigation: LIDAR & SLAM
- Map saving: Yes
- Number of maps: 4
- Containment: Yes
- Selective room cleaning: Yes
- Recharge & Resume: Yes
- Dustbin capacity: 420ml
- Water tank: 300ml
- Side brush: One
- Battery: 5200 mAh Li-ion
- Run time: 180 mins
- Noise: 69.8 dB
Ecovacs N8 Pro Plus
- Airflow: 22.29 CFM
- Deep cleaning: 66.16%
- Mopping: Yes
- Auto empty: Yes
- Bag capacity: 2.5-liters
- Navigation: LIDAR & SLAM
- Map saving: Yes
- Number of maps: 2
- Containment: Yes
- Selective room cleaning: Yes
- Recharge & Resume: Yes
- Dustbin capacity: 420ml
- Water tank: 230ml
- Side brush: Two
- Battery: 3200 mAh Li-ion
- Run time: 110 mins
- Noise: 64.4 dB
Introduction to the Roborock S7 and Ecovacs N8 Pro Plus
These two brands are the more popular options outside Roomba and slowly catching up thanks to their innovative features not seen in iRobot.
The S7 is Roborock’s flagship and recently released its auto-empty dock to compete with other brands like Roomba, Ecovacs, and DreameTech: all of which have self-emptying robots.
In comparison, the DEEBOT N8 Pro Plus is Ecovac’s “budget” alternative to the more expensive DEEBOT T8 AIVI.
This variant has a smaller 3200 mAh lithium-ion battery that slashes the run time down to 110 minutes.
Best in Class Mopping: Roborock S7
Roborock introduced another game-changing technology when they launched the S7 with a brand new technology they call “VibraRise.”
We’ll focus first on the “Vibra” terminology, which refers to the vibrating mopping pad – an industry-first technology.
A vibrating element in the middle moves a portion of the mopping pad up to 3000 times per minute.
It’s not the whole pad vibrating, but only the middle part.
This added agitation element helps the Roborock S7 clean dried stains better than any robot vacuum hybrid I’ve tested.
The vibrating pad disintegrates stains and reduces the time needed to mop.
I’ve read build quality concerns if this feature will hold up over time.
The S7 weighs considerably more than the S5 Max and S6 MaxV, so this tells me that Roborock put in heavy-duty components, and it should last for years.
But you’ll have to do your part and wash the pad after every mopping cycle to reduce unnecessary friction.
Next, we’ll look at the “Rise” terminology, referring to the lift feature, where the pad rises five millimeters if it detects carpet.
It’s not a significant lift, and the pad will touch a thick pile or fluffy carpet, so it’s not a full-proof design.
Other upgrades in the S7 include the new brush roll with fins spiraling around the roller. It’s Roborock’s version of the iRobot’s bristle-less extractors, but it’s a single brush design.
Even with less airflow than the S5 Max and S6 MaxV, the S7 was decent in deep cleaning tests (78.85%).
So this proves, the new brush offers better agitation.
Finally, the auto-empty dock adds a hand-free convenience of not having to empty the dustbin manually.
Right now, it’s an add-on, so adding up the price of the robot + dock, you’ll have to spend
3D Obstacle Avoidance: Ecovacs N8 Pro
Ecovacs adds another variant to their growing product line: the N8 Pro.
It’s a cheaper alternative to the T8-series with a smaller lithium-ion battery (3200 mAh vs. 5200 mAh), shorting the run time down to 110 minutes (from 180).
This model has the TrueDetect front-3D laser sensors, which I prefer over the camera sensors used in the DEEBOT T8 AIVI.
These lasers offer more precision and remove any privacy concerns by some consumers with the camera spying in their homes.
Based on my tests, it avoids obstacles better, especially wires, than the T8 camera.
The DEEBOT N8 Pro Plus, which I tested previously, has the auto-empty dock I’m a big fan of since it offers hands-free convenience of not having to empty the robot’s dustbin by hand.
The N8 Pro shares many components as the T8 AIVI, using the same side brush and combo brush.
Each has the same navigation, except for the front obstacle avoidance sensors.
This robot also has a rear-mounted water tank and mopping pad, so like the Roborock S7, it doubles as a robot mop.
There are two N8 Pro options – the plus and non-plus alternatives.
The N8 Pro Plus is more expensive but comes with an auto-empty dock, adding a hands-free convenience, so there’s no need to touch the robot for weeks.
The N8 Pro (non-plus version) is cheaper but doesn’t have the auto-empty dock.
Similarities between the Roborock S7 and Ecovacs N8 Pro Plus
Even if these robots have many cosmetic differences, there are several similarities, which we’ll look at below.
1. LIDAR Cover
The most obvious similarity is the LIDAR cover on the upper middle portion that houses the laser sensor: the primary navigational sensor for these robots.
Utilizes LIDAR has many benefits, and the most significant is its precision, working even in pitch black conditions.
Mapping is another strength as LIDAR first signals around its surroundings in a 360-degree pattern and draws maps more accurately than a camera-based SLAM (or VSLAM) robot.
2. Smart navigation
Continuing with the navigation benefits of LIDAR, both brands have smart navigation, so each moves in straight lines.
One difference is Roborock can do up to three passes, while Ecovacs maxes out at two passes.
Another is Roborock has the crisscross pattern for both the vacuuming and mopping cycles.
Ecovacs doesn’t have the crisscross pattern and seems to go on the shorter route.
Check out this screenshot to see what I mean.
On a rectangular area, it finds the shorter distance end to end and uses that path.
Using LIDAR also means excellent efficiency, which I’ll cover later in this review.
These robots have containment features, namely invisible walls, no-go zones, and no-mop zones, providing users some alternatives to block off-limit areas.
However, you won’t use the no-mop zone feature since each variant uniquely avoids mopping carpeted areas.
The Roborock S7 utilizes the “Rise” feature to lift the mopping pad if it detects carpet, while the Ecovacs N8 Pro avoids carpet with the mopping pad attached.
4. Map Saving
Thanks to LIDAR and SLAM, users can save maps for both models.
One difference is how many maps each can save: the S7 can save up to 4, while the N8 Pro saves up to 2.
Roborock, though, is more user-friendly as it has a quick-start-type method in creating new maps.
Ecovacs doesn’t have this wrinkle, and users have to run the robot a new cleaning cycle to create the new map.
Folks can manually add partitions at each map level, but with LIDAR, these divisions are pretty accurate, especially for Roborock, and in most cases, only minor edits are needed.
Multiple containment zones are allowed at each level as well for added convenience.
5. 2-in-1 Functionality
These robots are 2-in-1 robot vacuum hybrids that can also mop floors.
The pad’s placement behind the main brush means it’s possible to mop and vacuum simultaneously.
One variation is the S7’s vibrating element, providing better stain cleaning results than the N8 Pro.
Roborock also has a larger water tank (300 ml vs. 240 ml), enabling it to cover a larger area.
6. Auto-Empty Dock Provision
Both variants have provisions for the auto-empty dock, meaning you can use each with the self-emptying base station.
Another similarity is both docks utilize a bagged system for storing debris. Roborock’s bag is bigger at 3 liters versus Ecovac’s 2.5-lite capacity.
Both options have round frames, which is a standard frame used by most brands.
The big puck-shaped cover you see is the LIDAR sensor cover.
Underneath the cover is the door that reveals the top-mounted camera.
Each has a brush/blade tool for cleaning the dustbin and untangling hair caught on the brush.
Behind each robot is the electronic water tank.
Differences between the Roborock S7 and Ecovacs N8 Pro Plus
Next, we’ll look at the difference between these robots, and there are plenty.
1. Auto Empty Dock Design
The first difference is the auto-empty dock design. While both utilize a ramp-style and bagged system, the similarities end there.
Roborock has a single port connecting to the dustbin’s inlet.
Ecovacs has two smaller ports connecting to the dustbin’s bottom two slots.
I’ve tested both extensively with various debris types and found that Ecovac’s design is better all around.
It did well emptying various debris types from a full bin of quaker oats, hair, dust and other daily contaminants picked up from my other home vacuums.
Roborock’s auto empty dock also did well but struggled with a full bin of quaker oats, even after several attempts.
However, one advantage of the S7’s front-facing port is it cleans dust particles from the filter cover better.
It also has a fail-safe feature where it shuts off the base station motor if you try to empty it consecutive times.
Roborock’s dock also has two filters, in addition to the bagged system. I think that feature is in place because some non-US S7 versions will be bagless.
2. Brush Design and Layout
Switching our focus to the robots and one noticeable difference is the brush design.
Roborock has done several upgrades since releasing its first product – the S5.
All-rubber side brush [Roborock S7]
The first upgrade is the all-rubber single-side brush, which was introduced in the S5 Max.
I like this change since utilizing a rubber component instead of bristles increases its durability.
One issue with bristled-type side brushes is their tendency to bend, which was the case with Ecovacs – at least the N8 Pro after putting it through its paces.
Other brands like Roomba may offer better durability, maybe because it uses better bristles.
I’ve done many cleaning tests with the S7, and the side brush has held up well. Another advantage is it’s easier to clean.
Bristle-less rollers [Roborock S7]
The next upgrade Roborock introduced is the bristle-less extractors with fins all around. It ditches the combo design you’ll see in other brands.
This new all-rubber brush improves agitation and makes it easier to clean hair wraps, though it doesn’t altogether avoid them.
Not having bristles improves its longevity and makes maintenance clean-ups easier.
Another upgrade in the S7 is the floating brush assembly that allows “multiple planes of movement.”
It helps the brush stay connected on the surface, even on transitions.
Twin side brush [Ecovacs N8 Pro]
Ecovacs utilizes a more traditional side brush design with its twin side brush system, utilizing bristled tips.
Using two side brushes increases the risk of scattering debris two-fold, but it also improves its edge cleaning performance, as you’ll see later on.
Combo brush [Ecovacs N8 Pro]
The N8 Pro uses the same combo brush as the T8 with blade and bristles. While this brush picks up debris decently, it lags behind Roborock with agitation, evidenced by the lower averages.
3. Dustbin Design and Volume
Though both have a top-mounted dustbin, the design varies.
Roborock doesn’t have any outlet ports for the base station but utilizes the inlet where debris exits to the auto-empty dock.
It has one port on the side, but it acts as a release valve to stead the outward flow of air.
The N8 Pro’s dustbin is similar to the T8, with the rear door to empty. It has these two ports underneath (for the plus version), connecting to the auto-empty dock.
Roborock and Ecovac’s dustbin have the same volume at 420 ml.
But with the self-emptying base station, dirt capacity shouldn’t be much of a deciding factor since the base station empties it for you.
4. Mopping module
I mentioned earlier. Both variants can mop floors; their mopping modules are different.
Roborock has a separate mopping motor behind the brush assembly, responsible for the side-to-side movement on the mapping bracket.
This gadget adds to the weight and why Roborock couldn’t add bottom ports as other brands utilize.
The vibrating element provides better agitation and better overall mopping performance.
Ecovacs doesn’t have any motor, so it doesn’t have any agitation but only drags a wet pad on the surface.
Another difference is how you attach the mopping bracket.
Roborock’s pad easily slides underneath, while Ecovac’s uses tower ports, so you’ll have to either flip the robot or remove the water tank to attach.
App features of the Roborock S7 and Ecovacs N8 Pro
Both robot vacuums have smartphone apps to enhance usability. To access all the features, users will have to download their respective apps, available on your app store of choice (Android and IOS).
We’ll look at their features in this section.
1. Live map [Both]
One of my favorite features for both is the live map. It shows the current location of the robot and the status of the cleaning cycle.
Since each utilizes LIDAR, you’ll see lines within the map showing how far the robot is into the run.
Roborock’s version has better stability as the lines are always visible.
Ecovac’s live map fluctuates and doesn’t show these lines as consistently.
Using LIDAR also provides better accuracy at drawing maps.
Since the laser sensor continually fires 360-degrees signals around the robot, it captures the perimeter walls better than a camera-based option like Yeedi and Roomba.
2. Map saving [Both]
Aside from the live map, both apps can save multiple maps.
Roborock is the winner in this category since it can save up to 4 map levels.
Ecovacs can only save 2.
The Roborock app also has a quick-start, step-by-step map creation process absent in Ecovacs, so it’s more user-friendly.
Users can use custom names for each level to help users identify these areas quickly.
3. Map customizations [Both]
Once the maps are created, it’s possible to customize them.
There are several customization options:
- Divide areas: Adding partitions for different rooms or zones.
- Merge: Combine areas if the default partitions are incorrect.
- Containment: Add invisible walls, no-go zones, or no-mop zones.
LIDAR is pretty accurate at creating these divisions, especially for areas with doors.
Roborock, in particular, based on my experiments, is excellent at this, and there’s no need to do it manually.
Still, the app has that option, which is a fail-safe in case it does not.
4. Room naming [Both]
After partitions are set, it’s now time to name these zones.
However, only the Roborock app has the custom naming feature, which means you can use any name for the room, adding more flexibility.
Ecovacs does not, and users will have to settle for items listed.
5. Containment [Both]
Folks can add containment at each map level. I’m not sure about the limit, but it’s probably around 10 of each.
These containment zones (no-go zones and invisible walls) are handy at blocking the robot from going to off-limit areas.
Most homes have these areas, and it’s something handy versus using a magnetic tape that’s more tedious to deploy.
6. Selective room cleaning [Both]
Another benefit of map saving is that users can select a room they want to be cleaned.
Roborock’s zoned cleaning.
Ecovac’s zoned cleaning.
This is helpful, especially inside large homes where it’s not practical to let the robot clean the whole area at once.
7. Zoned cleaning [Both]
A variation of selective room cleaning is zoned cleaning.
Instead of selecting the whole room, users can zero in a smaller area within.
For instance, you want to clean a smaller zone inside the living room. This feature will come in handy.
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to save these areas. The only app I’ve seen with this capability is the iRobot Home app.
8. Scheduling [Both]
Each app has a scheduling feature, which magnifies the self-emptying abilities of both robots.
Ecovac’s scheduling feature.
Roborock’s scheduling feature.
This automates the vacuuming process, and there’s no need to touch the robot, except for maintenance for weeks.
It’s also possible to schedule multiple runs per day without any minimum gap requirement, which is the case for the iRobot and SharkClean apps.
Users can also select a specific room to clean at a specified time, further adding to their automation.
9. Carpet boost [Both]
One issue with continually using the max setting is battery drain.
Folks can minimize this issue by turn on the carpet boost, so it only utilizes the max setting when it detects carpet.
Next, we’ll look at how well the Roborock S7 and Ecovacs N8 Pro navigate, and there are some similarities.
These robots utilize the same navigational sensors – LIDAR and SLAM, so it traverses similarly, starting on the edges before going towards the middle portions.
But Roborock has the crisscross pattern absent in Ecovacs. This feature helps with thoroughness for Roborock as it has makes tighter turns.
Ecovacs doesn’t have the crisscross pattern but only goes in one direction. I noticed it looks for a shorter distance from end to end and goes in that direction.
Aside from testing how robot vacuums navigate, I also test how much debris it picks up in a test area.
The Roborock S7 is better per pass and overall versus the Ecovacs N8 Pro.
What’s impressive is that it did this despite having less airflow. Passes were cleaner at the middle and edges, with fewer trailing debris.
The Ecovacs N8 was decent, but it left more debris after the two-pass run.
Another wrinkle I put in the coverage test is efficiency or how long it finishes a two-pass run.
Ecovacs wins this comparison by around three minutes as it completed the run in 17 minutes versus the Roborock S7’s time of 20 minutes.
I guess taking the shorter end-to-end route is better, at least for this test.
But factoring in the efficiency result, Roborock is better overall since it picked up more dirt.
One tool I use to measure power is an anemometer to provide my readers a more consistent spec.
An anemometer measures air flow at the nozzle. Please note that these aren’t official results but only findings from my tests.
Ecovacs N8 Pro+
The Ecovacs N8 Pro easily has more airflow at every power setting, topping out at 22.29 CFM in the Max+ setting, nearly 10 more than the S7’s 13 CFM.
I like the usable power in the two middle settings, so it’s possible to use these modes to extend the run time.
Unfortunately, Ecovac’s high airflow doesn’t translate well in the cleaning tests as it didn’t do as well.
Ecovacs N8 Pro+
|Sand on hard floor|
|Carpet (Surface Pickup)|
|Carpet (Deep Cleaning)|
The results above are the rare instance where higher airflow doesn’t translate to better cleaning performance.
Roborock was better across the board on both surface and deep cleaning tests.
One significant factor why the S7 did better is the new extractors providing better agitation.
Not only was it better on the measured tests, but the eye test also confirms the score as it made cleaner passes.
The slower rotating single-side brush is another reason why it did better, scattering less debris.
Which is better on hard floors?
One barometer I like to use for hard floor cleaning is sand. The Roborock S7 is slightly better than the N8 Pro+ (99.8 vs. 99.5%).
Here’s a before and after shot of the Roborock S7.
The Ecovacs N8 Pro wasn’t too bad in this test, making almost as clean a pass. But losing to the S7 with lower airflow is a disappointment.
The S7 also picked up more debris on other surface debris, with a 99.7% pick-up, which is excellent.
Edge cleaning comparison
One advantage of the N8 Pro’s dual side brushes is its performance on edges, where it picked up more than the S7.
The Roborock S7 was actually decent for a round, single-side brush robot, but it left more debris, even after the thee pass run.
Hair wrap comparison
Ecovacs N8 Pro+
The lack of an active anti-tangle system hurts both models as it left a considerable amount of hair after the five and seven-inch experiments.
Roborock was slightly better, with the five-inch test picking up 5% more.
However, both were sub-par in the seven-inch test, picking up in the mid-40s.
One advantage for Roborock is it is easier to remove tangles without using any scissors as it comes off easily.
The N8 Pro doesn’t have the same convenience as you’ll need scissors to remove longer strands.
Which is better on carpet?
Again, the Roborock S7 was better all-around on carpet, consistently picking up more across the board.
It did better on surface and deep cleaning tests, picking up an average of 98.9% and 78.85%, respectively, versus Ecovac’s score of 97.75% and 66.16%.
The results here prove that Roborock’s new brush design works!
Last, for the cleaning section, we’ll look at how these robots compare mopping floors.
Let’s look at the before and after shots of the Ecovacs N8 Pro+.
And the Roborock S7.
You can see some remnants with the N8 Pro+ that needed a second run to clean thoroughly.
The Roborock S7 didn’t need a second run with red wine stains, as it cleaned most of it after the first pass.
I also tried it on sugary stains like tomato and grape, and while it did well, I wouldn’t recommend using any robot mop because it leaves a sticky residue afterward.
Roborock is clearly the better mopping robot between these two options, thanks largely to the vibrating mop.
Run Time Comparison
Roborock, again, has the advantage in this category thanks to its 5200 mAh lithium-ion battery.
It will run for up to 180 minutes in the lowest power setting.
In comparison, the Ecovacs N8 Pro+ only lasts for up to 110 minutes in large part due to its smaller 3200 mAh lithium-ion battery.
Having recharge and resume help alleviate this limitation for Ecovacs, but it may be an issue for owners of large homes since it may take longer to finish the cleaning cycle.
Ecovacs N8 Pro+
Ecovacs is a winner in this category by a lot. I’m impressed by how well they kept noise levels below 65 decibels despite having over 20 CFM of airflow.
It’s perhaps the least noisy option of all robot vacuum alternatives I tested with over 20 CFM.
A critical aspect of robot vacuum ownership is maintenance. Keeping these machines clean helps them last longer. Remember that any friction will cause unnecessary wear, which in turn reduces its lifespan.
- Primary brush: The most abused robot vacuum component since it’s responsible for debris pick up. Check and clean once a week to remove any accumulated dust and hair around the roller and axles.
- Side brush: Next most abused part is the side brush. Like the main roller, check for hair build-up on the arms or axle once a week and clean to reduce unnecessary friction.
- Dustbin and filter: Check the dustbin twice a month for debris accumulation, even with the auto-empty dock. Take out and check the filter once a month and tap on a solid surface to remove any contaminants sticking in the folds – this helps extend its service life. Replace the filter once every three to four months.
- Drop sensors: Clean these sensors once a month using a clean, dry microfiber towel to prevent an error code firing and disabling the robot.
- Wheels: Over time, dirt sticks on the side and caster wheels. Again, clean these once or twice a month to prevent them from scuffing the floor’s surface.
- Robot body: Wipe the robot body once a month to remove fingerprints and dust to keep it tidy.
- Auto-empty dock: Make sure to keep the ports free from any obstruction that can clog them. Replace the bag if it’s full. For the Roborock S7, check the filters once a month and clean if dirty.
Availability of Parts
I’d give the slight edge to Ecovacs since it’s been around a little longer; thus, more third-party brands sell its components.
Users have more brands to choose from with consumable parts such as side brushes, the main brush, and bags.
However, none of these can compete with a Roomba for more obscure parts availability like the battery, side brush motor, etc., on Amazon.
You’ll have to check online stores such as eBay if these are available.
Ecovacs N8 Pro+
Washable E11 Rated Air Filter
5200 mAh Li-Ion
3200 mAh Li-Ion
|Recharge and Resume|
|Number of Maps|
|Auto empty capacity|
|Water tank capacity|
22.29 CFM (Max)
Where can I buy these robots?
The Roborock S7 and Ecovacs N8 Pro+ are available in online stores like Amazon. Check the links below for more information.
- Roborock S7 on Amazon
- Roborock S7 Auto Empty Dock on Amazon
- Ecovacs N8 Pro (no auto-empty dock) on Amazon
- Ecovacs N8 Pro+ (w/ auto-empty dock) on Amazon
Disclaimer: I will earn a commission if you purchase through any of the links above, but at no extra cost to you, so it’s a win-win for us!
Which is the better option, the Roborock S7 or Ecovacs N8 Pro+?
There are a lot of considerations between choosing these two robots.
I’ll help you decide by enumerating several reasons why you should choose each one.
5 Reasons to choose the Roborock S7
- Superior cleaning performance: The S7 picked up a higher percentage across the board, both surface and embedded dirt, despite having less airflow.
- Better mopping results: Another reason to opt for the S7 is it offers better mopping performance thanks to the vibrating pad.
- More thorough navigation: This robot can go around up to three passes versus the N8 Pro’s two-pass run.
- Saves two more maps: The Roborock app can save up to four map levels, two more than Ecovacs.
- Large auto-empty bag: Roborock’s bag is larger; thus, it can hold more dirt and last longer before needing replacement.
4 Reasons to choose the Ecovacs N8 Pro+
- Less expensive option: If price is a deciding factor, the Ecovacs N8 Pro+ is the no-brainer option. It’s easily a few hundred dollars cheaper than Roborock.
- Excellent self-emptying design: The N8 Pro’s dock consistently emptied the dustbin in various tests.
- Still decent at cleaning debris: The N8 Pro+ is above average at surface debris pick up despite having worse results.
- Better obstacle avoidance: This robot has Ecovac’s TrueDetect 3D sensor, making it the better option at avoiding obstacles like wires.
The Verdict: Roborock S7 Is The Costlier But Better Performing Robot
Even with the higher price tag, the Roborock S7 is the better option between the two if you prioritize vacuuming and mopping performance.
I did many tests, and the S7 consistently outperformed the N8 Pro+ in cleaning and mopping tests.
But the biggest downside is its higher cost.
The Ecovacs N8 Pro+ is still above average (at least) for surface debris but lags at cleaning embedded dirt.
And while it’s slightly more efficient, finish the run faster, the S7 picked up more per pass.
Aside from the high-end obstacle avoidance and lower cost, Roborock beats Ecovacs in most tests and is one of the better performing robot vacuums overall.