Neato D3 vs D5 | Which Botvac is the Best for you?

neato d3 vs d5

If you’re looking for a new robotic vacuum cleaner that nicely fits into your budget and still gets the job done, then you must have come across the Neato BotVac D-connected series. The Neato D3 Connected and D5 Connected are mid-range robot vacuum cleaners with many exciting features, these robots have many similarities, but they are essentially different gadgets.

While we have recently taken a look at the whole Neato Botvac range, in this Neato D3 vs D5 comparison article, we’ve focussed on the two models to explore their similarities and differences. Take the next few minutes to find out which botvac is better suited for your needs.

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Neato Botvac D3 vs D5: Which Should You Buy?

Both Neato D3 and D5 are mid-range robotic vacuum cleaners with very similar design features. They basically do the same thing, but as you’d expect, they have their differences both in design features and performance. 

Of the two botvacs, the D5 is the advanced robot with better features, and it obviously performs better than the D3. The two robots have the same sweeping brushes, but the D5 comes with an extra side brush for better edge cleaning, the D5 also has an upgraded filtration system for filtering off allergens from the air and better with pet hair. 

Neato D3 has a runtime of 60 minutes while the Neato D5 runs for up 90 minutes on a single charge. Neato D5 is the better robot for large multi story houses as it comes with multi-floor mapping features, and it generally outperforms the D3 and makes for a better buy.

Product Overviews

Quick Neato D3 Review

Neato Botvac D3 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum, Works with Smartphones, Alexa, Smartwatches

The Neato Botvac D3 is the first model in the Neato D Connected series. It combines the unique D-shaped design, a combo brush roll and strong suction for a great cleaning performance. It features a Laser Smart technology for mapping your home and moves in straight lines to clean every corner of the floor. 

The D3 has a 2600mAh lithium-ion battery which gives it a runtime of 60 minutes, after which it returns to the charging base for a quick recharge and automatically resumes cleaning. This botvac features Wi-Fi and smartphone connectivity, and from the Neato mobile app, you can schedule it to clean every day or every other day. The D3 is also compatible with Amazon Echo and Google Home. 

Neato Botvac D3 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum, Works with Smartphones, Alexa, Smartwatches
  • LaserSmart technology intelligently navigates and maps your home, cleaning in straight lines instead of a random pattern.

Last update on 2020-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Quick Neato D5 Review

Neato Botvac D5 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum, Pet & Allergy, Works with Smartphones, Alexa,...

The Neato D5 is a mid-range robot vacuum cleaner designed for large multi story houses. It has the patented Neato D-shape design and a LaserSmart technology for intelligently navigating and mapping your home. Instead of a random movement pattern, the Botvac cleans in straight lines.

The Neato D5 uses a large core brush, a side brush and a strong suction to sweep up pet hair and debris from different surface types. With the D-shape design and side brush, this botvac perfectly cleans out edges and corners of walls. The D5 also features an ultra-performance filter which captures up to 99% of tiny dust mites and allergens. You can connect the robot to the Neato app to schedule cleanings daily, every other day, or on a schedule that works for you.

Neato Botvac D5 Connected Laser Guided Robot Vacuum, Pet & Allergy, Works with Smartphones, Alexa,...
  • LaserSmart technology intelligently navigates and maps your home, cleaning in straight lines instead of a random pattern.

Last update on 2020-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How The Neato D3 and D5 work

The Botvac D3 and Botvac D5 have very similar modes of operation. They both use a combo brush with soft blade-like bristles to sweep up dirt particles from both hard floors and carpets and trap these particles in a 700 ml dustbin. A LaserSmart navigation algorithm enables them to create digital maps of their environment for smartly avoiding obstacles and cleaning more efficiently. 

These robots first leave their charging dock, flip on the laser navigation system, and move back and forth to scan the room, satisfied they move to a corner and continue methodically from there. 

The robots move in straight lines from one corner of a room to another, this systematic pattern of movement ensures that every inch of the room is swept. While cleaning, they use two wheels to seamlessly transition from hardwood to tiles and carpets. Both botvacs feature the automatic recharge and resume, and are compatible with the Neato mobile app for remote control. For extra convenience, both robots are also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Neato D3 vs D5 — Key Features

Laser Sensors For Smart Navigation

Neato Botvacs D3 and D5 both have laser sensors and the S.L.A.M. algorithm for smartly navigating the rooms in your home. With this feature, the robots map a room and ‘know’ exactly where the furniture and objects are placed, so they clean without colliding with any objects.  

Auto-recharge And Resume

During a cleaning cycle, if the batteries of either of the robots drop to 15%, they head back to the charging base for a recharge after which go back to continue cleaning from where they stopped. These botvacs are also equipped with a quick boost charging feature which determines the exact amount of charge the robots need to complete a cleaning when they’re running low on battery mid-cleaning, so the robots charge just the amount needed to complete the job, thus saving time. 

Brush rolls

They both have the same combo brush, which is the major brush these gadgets use for sweeping up dirt particles from all floor types. However, the D5 comes with an extra side brush for special edge sweeping and picking all debris along the baseboards. 

Virtual No-go lines 

This is another feature common to these two Neato Botvacs. With the virtual no-go lines which are found in the mobile app, you can create virtual walls and prevent your Botvac from accessing some parts of the room where there may be a danger of the robot getting stuck or falling off.

Wi-Fi and smartphone connectivity

These smart gadgets both come with Wi-Fi and smartphone connectivity for remote control. Each of the robots is also compatible with voice control devices such as Alexa or Google Home. This feature makes for remote control and better convenience. 

Bin Size

Both robots have the same bin size of 700ml or 0.7 liters. These robots can trap lots of hair and fiber in this bin, and it’s one of the largest bin sizes you’ll find among robot vacuum cleaners.

Neato D3 vs D5 — Key Differences

Battery Life And Runtime

The Neato Botvac D3 comes with a standard Lithium-ion battery which runs for up to 60 minutes before needing a recharge while the Neato Botvac D5 uses a high-capacity Lithium-ion battery and has a runtime of about 90 minutes, before it goes back to the charging dock. With their respective batteries, each robot can recharge twice for 3 full cleaning cycles. 

Filtration system

Another difference between these gadgets is seen in their filtration systems. The D3 has a standard filter while the D5 uses an ultra performance filter. At first glance, these labels mean very little, but in essence, it means that the D3 can only capture up to 90% of dust particles while the D5 can filter off much tinier particles (up to 99%) from the air. The former is obviously suited for just dirt particles while the latter works better for allergens and pollen which only matters for people with pets and allergies. 

Brush Rolls

These two Botvacs actually have the same primary sweeping brush rolls, but the D5 has a special side brush for sweeping up dirt particles from the edges and corners of rooms. Despite the inventive D-shape of the robots which gives them better orientation for cleaning edges, the primary sweeping brushes do not extend past the corners of the robots therefore, the extra side brushes on the D5 gives it a much better edge cleaning performance.

Boundary Marker Tape

This is similar to the No-go lines feature available in the Neato mobile app for both robots, but it’s a magnetic strip for making boundaries in your room to prevent the robot from driving into areas of the room you do not want it to. It essentially contains the robot within a certain area of the room, just like the virtual walls do. The D5 comes with a boundary marker tape while the D3 doesn’t but it’s very much compatible with it, and the boundary marker can be purchased as an extra accessory for the D3.

Neato D3 vs D5 — How Do They Perform?

These robots are designed to clean both hardwood floors, tile, and carpets, and they do so beautifully well. They are both able to trap all dirt and debris on hard floors and most of the dirt particles on carpets, however they may struggle a little on thick pile carpets because the rubber spikes of the sweeping brushes may get caught in the long fibers of the carpet.

For edge cleaning, the D5 performs much better because it comes with an extra side brush especially fitted for cleaning corners and edges. The D5 also comes with a high quality ultra-performance filter for getting out ultra fine air contaminants including pollen and allergens. 

Another feature that enables the D5 to perform better than the D3 is the 2X Spot Clean feature, with this the D5 can focus on a given spot and crank up its suction force to deliver more powerful cleaning. Of the two, the D5 is no doubt the more advanced and better performing robot.

Ease Of Set-up And Use

Although the robots have only a few buttons, mainly the “Power” button, they are very easy to set up and control. Both robots need to be connected to the Neato mobile app from where you can access all programmable features including daily scheduling, virtual no-go lines, multiple floor plans, spot cleaning, etc. 

The mobile app has an intuitive user interface and lets you program your robot to suit your cleaning needs. Because the user interface is app-based, you can always upgrade to a new technology when they’re released and enjoy newer features with your older model.  You can also control these robots using the Alexa or Google Assistant.


At the very core, the design feature of these two gadgets are basically the same. They follow the same systematic cleaning pattern and seamlessly move around avoiding obstacles on their part. 

At 3.9″ tall, these robots are small enough to smoothly squeeze under most furniture, but they do get stuck a few times and when they do, you’ll get a notification via the mobile app to come lend your little cleaning guy a hand. You can trust these gadgets to do your cleaning job, they work pretty well

Ongoing Maintenance And Extra Costs

The D3 and D5 require very similar maintenance procedures to enable optimal performance at all times. The bins should be emptied as often as possible, and the main sweeping brushes have to be cleaned frequently to prevent them from getting tangled up with hair and debris. Next, the filters have to be cleaned at least every one or two weeks. 

To keep the robots running perfectly, Neato recommends that the combo brush rolls should be changed every 6 to 8 months, the filters changed every 1 to 2 months, the batteries replaced every 1 to 2 years. And the side brush on the D5 replaced between 6 and 12 months. Maintenance for each of the robots will cost about $100 each year.

Neato D3 vs D5 — Final Thoughts

These two Neato robots are designed to do the same thing with similar features, and they both perform quite well. However, Neato Botvac D5 is clearly ahead of Neato Botvac D3, the former has more advanced features making it more efficient and faster than the latter.

Therefore, we recommend the Neato D5 as the better buy option. The D5 also cost slightly more than the D3, but this shouldn’t discourage you from making the extra investment. If you want a robotic vacuum cleaner that will absolutely clean out every corner of your home, including corners and edges, go for the D5.

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About the Author: Matt Hulland