DreameBot L20 Ultra is a very smart, efficient robovac/mop (cleaning review)
The DreameBot L20 Ultra is among the smartest, most efficient, user-friendly robovac/mops with a self-empty dustbin and mop cleaning/drying station. One extra feature makes it unique – good edge cleaning.
Competition in the Gen 5 robovac/mop world is heating up – literally. The latest addition is hot air mop drying and you will find it in Ecovacs (Gen 4.5 T20 and Gen 5 X2 Omni) and more, but you pay for the privilege – most are between $2000-3000.
Let’s define Gen 5 robovac/mops
We give a full explanation in our guide Five Tips for Choosing a Robovac/mop, but basically, there are five generations offering ever-increasing features, AI and abilities.
- Generation 1 ‘Dumbots’ (<$500, bump/pattern cleaning, no intelligence easily identified by no top LiDAR turret).
- Gen 2 ‘Dimbots’ (<$1000 2D LiDAR mapping, bumper obstacle avoidance, preprogrammed cleaning patterns, and cliff detection).
- Gen 3 ‘Averagebots’ (<$1500 with 2D LiDAR mapping, basic IR obstacle detection, basic AI navigation, Basic App). This is what most people end up buying the second time.
- Gen 4 Brainybots’ ($1500+ 2D Mapping, extra sensors, AI navigation, Comprehensive App, Voice control and beginnings of one-pass clean). We added this new category because there was too much gap between Averagebots and Smartbots. The main difference is that there is no AI camera.
- Gen 5 ‘SmartBots’ ($2000+ with AI cameras, extra sensors like ToF, higher levels of AI like object recognition, cleaning stations, better mopping systems and more). We consider the ultimate test to be whether it can do a whole-of-home clean on a mix of hard and carpet floors with minimal home preparation.
Gen 5 robots combine several types of mapping: 2D and 3D LiDAR, dToF (Time-of-Flight) IR sensor, with multiple obstacle avoidance (camera, IR, sensors, AI detection) advanced AI (auto-suction levels, floor type identification, and furniture types). The hard part for potential buyers will be to justify spending well north of $2000. Let me tell you, if you want one-pass whole-of-home cleaning, these are the only ones to get.
Australian review: Dreame DreameBot L20 Ultra
|AU Website||Australian site |
|RRP Price||$2,799, but shop around|
|From||Dreame online, Harvey Norman|
|Elevator pitch||Smarter than your average robovac|
|Country of Manufacture||China|
|About the company||Dreame (Est 2015) is a member of the Xiaomi Ecological Chain, as the driving force and leading enterprise of smart household cleaning appliances (at least in China). It focuses on high-end cleaning appliances by leveraging astrodynamics technologies (the study of ballistics and celestial mechanics).|
|More||You can read more robot vac/mop reviews here.|
We use Fail (below expectations), Passable (meets low expectations), Pass (meets expectations), Pass+ (near Exceed but not class-leading) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. You can click on most images for an enlargement.
First Impression – Pass+
Like all Gen 5 bots with cleaning towers, the DreameBot L20 Ultra is quite big. The robot is 350 round x 103.8mm high x 4.4kg – solid. The cleaning tower is 606.5 x 426 x 499mm x 13.3kg plus about 5kg of water – huge. It presents well in white with gold highlights.
Like all robots (we will use this term instead of robovac/mop), it needs a clear area of 1.5m in front and 5cm on each side of the tower for the robot to exit and enter. It also needs 240V power.
Interestingly, the tower (self-empty, mop clean/dry station) has the option of a water hookup kit for auto-refilling and draining. We cannot find anything on its Australian availability, but it would require water, drainage, and power!
Its secret sauce is that it can kick out its right mop pad to the width of the robot, enabling almost perfect edge cleaning.
Sensors in excess – Exceed
The DreameBot L20 Ultra is a true Gen 5 robot with 3D LiDAR, AI camera and various IR and presence sensors. It has:
- 3D LiDAR (called the LDS – laser distance sensor).
- LED fill lights (important for use in dark areas and for the camera).
- Camera for AI object identification and avoidance.
- 2 x Front IR laser line sensors (object avoidance).
- 1 x Right side IR edge sensor *edge detection on the right side).
- 4 x cliff sensors.
- Carpet/hard floor ultrasonic sensor.
- Automatic vacuum boost sensor.
- Dust/water capacity sensor.
- 180° Bumper.
- Microphones for Google, Alexa and Siri voice commands.
Add to this Dreame’s Pathfinder Smart Navigation (ensures no missed spots) and AI that recognises 55 different types of objects to avoid, and it is a very smart robot.
Dustbin (in robot) – Pass
It has a 350ml internal dustbin that does not need to be emptied, as this occurs at the tower into a 3.2L disposable bag. The internal dustbin has a filter that needs regular manual cleaning.
Note: This is a dry vacuum and wet mop only. You cannot vacuum up liquids, or it will damage the suction motor. If you wish to mop small wet spills, you can set it to mop only.
Mop water capacity – Pass
It has an internal 80ml tank, which is adequate as it is refilled when it returns to the 4.5L clean water container in the tower. It returns to the tower every 15m2 (can be set from 10-20m2 or by room/zone) or when the mop is dirty or the reservoir is low.
Dreame claims that the tower can provide enough clean water for 300m2 mopping.
Cleaning Solution – Pass except for the price
The tower accepts a 450ml Dreame Multi-surface floor cleaner cartridge that costs the extraordinary price of $99.95. French perfume costs less but does not clean as well😁. It avoids waste because it only injects a few millilitres into the onboard tank. It certainly seems to have the grease-cutting ability compared to water.
But our test panel immediately grew cold when they heard the price without any stats on how much is used for every mop wash. We note that Amazon has two bottles for $98, including shipping (the same for the Dreambot L10 version), which softens the blow a little.
Our engineer test panellist reports that it contains Alcohols C12-14 Ethoxylated (non-irritant, non-ionic surfactants), Polyether modified polydimethylsiloxane (grease cutting and reduces water surface tension), Coconut diethanolamine (foaming agent), Ethoxylated Isotridecyl alcohol (bio-degradable cleaner), 1,2 Benzisothiazolin-3-one (preservative) – a largely harmless cocktail to cut grease and leave a light sheen on hard floors.
He adds that if he were using it, he would probably drill a hole in the top of the cartridge and refill it with a compatible floor cleaner😮. We can’t recommend that.
Setup – Pass+
Download the Dreamehome App for Android or iOS and follow the prompts.
If you enable voice control, your data protection is that of Google, Alexa or Siri.
App settings – Comprehensive Pass+
While the DreameBot L20 Ultra CleanGenius default settings are fine, we found that the best vacuum/mop setting was standard vacuum power (Quiet, Standard, Turbo and Max) and balanced mop pattern (you can select light, balanced or deep for really dirty floors). There is no setting for multiple passes – only simultaneous vacuum and mop or mop after vacuum; however, CleanGenius detects dirty areas and makes as many passes as needed.
There are also settings for the tower where you can adjust return triggers (small, medium, and large homes), 45° mop drying times, etc. It is very comprehensive but you need to look for specific settings.
Quick Map is rapid and accurate
Quick Map covers about 10m2 per minute and is very accurate. For this run, you should complete a comprehensive home prep (see our guide). Then, you set boundaries, no-go zones, and room names.
Once the map is complete, it will update it with any new areas it finds and report via the cleaning history log.
Voice control – Google, Alexa, Siri – Pass(able)
There are very few commands and no custom room commands. The usual commands include the watchword and
- Start/stop/pause/resume vacuuming/cleaning.
- Clean the named room (does not work with custom names).
- Return home.
In comparison, Ecovacs has developed a Yiko voice assistant that goes well beyond generic Voice Assistants. If this is important, then Ecovacs is way ahead here.
Battery Life – Pass+
The 14.4V/6.4A/92W (6400mAh) battery life depends on the cleaning mode – vacuum and mop, vacuum only, mop only, number of repetitions and suction levels.
In theory, on Quiet settings, it will get 180 minutes (3 hours) in combo vacuum and mop. In vacuum or mop only, that extends to 260 minutes (4.33 hours). But that is not real life.
You will get 90-120 minutes of typical use. Charge time at 20V/2A/40W is about 4.5 hours (slightly faster than the average).
Power use during charging is <100W, mop clean and dry is 80W, and during dustbin empty can reach 1000W.
Cleaning speed – Pass
On the Quiet settings, it can clean at about 1m2 per minute (average for all brands). With our custom settings, it was 1m2 per 1.3 minutes.
Ecovacs X2 is faster due to a wider brush.
Vacuuming efficiency – Pass+
While it advertises 7000Pa (about 875 Air Watts) that is on the Max mode. Quiet is about 2000Pa, Standard about 3500Pa, Turbo about 5,500Pa, etc. The Ecovacs X2 has 8000Pa, but frankly, both are way overkill for the average home.
Our tests involve using a Dyson Dyson Gen5detect – the evolution continues to see how much detritus is left over. The test is in standard mode. Turbo and Max settings increase effectiveness by a few percent.
- Short pile carpet – 87% – This is above average.
- Medium Pile carpet – 85% – average.
- Long pile – 82% – average.
- Hard floors – close to 98% and up to a grain of rice size. Larger particles may be flicked sideways by the whisker brush. It is a higher percentage due to the excellent edge clean.
It has a 17cm brush (13-17mm is typical of all round robots), where the Ecovacs square has a 200mm brush. That means it needs to do more overlapping passes to vacuum the floor. In comparison to the Ecovacs X2, the results were very close.
Mop clean efficiency – Pass+
We prefer the DreameBot L20 Ultra rotating mop pads over a static platen mop pad. Dreame doesn’t specify rotation speed or downward pressure, but it is pretty effective.
Overall, it passed our dried split milk and coffee stain removal tests by detecting that it needed to reclean the area. As you can set light, balanced or deep mopping (in essence, increases the mop overlap on each pass), it can provide a better-than-maintenance standard, streak-free mop.
One issue we found was that MopExtend sometimes left an unmopped narrow channel (between the rotating mop pads), but it generally went back and cleaned the area.
Edge and Corner Clean mop – the secret sauce – Exceed
The key thing for the DreameBot L20 Ultra is that the right mop rotor can extend out to the edge of the robot (MopExtend). It cleans closer than any robot tested to date.
But corner clean still suffers the same fate as all round robots. The Ecovacs X2 has a square front and crabwalk edge clean pattern that performs better.
Carpet lift – Pass+
As it auto-detects carpet, you don’t need to set no-mop zones. However, you can set a carpet zone where it will return to the tower and auto-remove the mop pads to vacuum the higher pile carpet.
Most home carpets are 5-7mm, although longer piles can be up to 10mm. The mop pads lift 10.5mm over the carpet and stop rotating with water cutoff (Ecovacs X2 is 15mm). Carpets were not damp (tested by a Klein moisture meter), but the edges of 10mm or thicker rugs showed some moisture.
Sill negotiation – Pass+
It had no issue with 20mm sills (X2 is 22mm).
Under furniture – Pass
It is relatively high at 105mm, limiting its use under furniture and some cupboard overhangs. The 95mm high X2 gets under more furniture and overhangs.
Obstacle Avoidance – Pass+
Home Prep is largely unnecessary, although the more you do, the better it will be able to clean. For example, if you lift dining chairs, it does under the table. If you leave them, it tries to clean around the legs and can miss spots under the table.
The AI camera, aided by the twin LED lamps, recognises 55 different obstacle types and will take a picture of known and unknown obstacles. We don’t know what those 55 types are, but we do know it has a pet mode that allegedly can recognise ‘solidish’ pet poo and avoid it.
It worked well with Lego blocks, shoes, and cables (although we don’t recommend leaving them around).
Camera mode – Pass+
It can act as a sentry or take a video of your clean. It also helps with 3D mapping. It has automatic LED lighting for darker areas.
Noise – Pass+
Depending on the mode, it is quiet, ranging from 60 to 76dB. The cleaning station gets to 80dB in dustbin empty.
Build quality – Exceed
The DreameBot L20 Ultra is a premium product with a premium build and a three-year warranty.
Maintenance – Pass
Apart from the unknown number of washes contained in the $99 cleaning solution, replacement accessories are a tad expensive. In addition, you need to clean the Ultra tower mop bath, ramp and clean sensors.
|Clean water tank||After each use|
|Clean water Silver Ion filter||Not specified||$49.95|
|Wastewater tank||After each use|
|Cleaning solution||Every three months||$99.95 450ml|
|Dust bags||3.2L claimed 75 days of use||$39.95 3-pack|
|Mop pads||Every 1-3 months – washable||$49.95 4-pack|
|Dustbin filter||Every 3-6 months – washable||$49.95 2-pack|
|Side brushes||Every 3-6 months||$39.95 2-pacl|
|Roller brush||Every 6-12 months||$49.95|
|Ultra kit||6 mop pads 2 filters 2 side brushes 2 dust bags 1 Roller brush||$199.95|
CyberShack’s view – DreameBot L20 Ultra is a very smart, efficient robovac/mop
The DreameBot L20 Ultra has withstood the rigours of four test panellist households and mine. Two of the panel were involved in the Ecovacs Deebot T20 and X2 Omni reviews.
#1 – “Damn you for providing yet another Gen 5 robot that does an excellent job on hard and carpet floors. I may have to buy one. (To be fair, she said that about the X2 Omni, too)”.
#2 “It is very good, but at (expletive) $2,799, it would (expletive) well want to be. Don’t get me started on the $99 floor solution. It and the X2 are the only two that have been able to do a one-pass clean (vacuum and mop) on my multi-story home. Although it can record four maps, if you want to mop hard floors on each, the multi-floor feature requires lifting a heavy base station upstairs (like the X2).
#3 “I loved that it identified carpets and lifted the mop. It made one pass cleaning a reality for my single-level home”.
#4 (Pet owner): “I tried the Pet setting, and it did indeed identify cat faeces. I do hope Thomas does not do runny ones. He took several swipes at the robot before becoming disinterested, and the robot avoids him nicely”.
#5 As the final reviewer, I must repeat the same tests for each robot. It and the Ecovacs X2 are true Gen 5 robots. The X2 Omni has a slight edge in everything other than MopExtend. I would be happy with either.
DreameBot L20 Ultra rating
- Features: 95 – everything you could want – even things you did not know you needed
- Value: 90 – $2799 is pricey (shop around), but you get exactly what you pay for.
- Performance: 95 – better than average mopping, mop lift on the carpet, MopExtend edge clean, and terrific on hard floors.
- Ease of Use: 90 – The App is comprehensive but not as intuitive as Ecovacs. Some features are not clearly identified.
- Design: 90 – Round means it must make more passes than the Square Ecovacs X2, which makes it slower. As far as a round robot goes, it is top drawer.
Can do one-pass, whole-of-home clean with minimal prep.
Excellent MopExtend edge clean.
Strong vacuum power for hard floors.
Mop does more than a maintenance clean.
Excellent obstacle avoidance.
Cleaning time is 30-40% longer than its competitor.
Large, heavy base station (if you want to move it).
Corner cleaning is still a round robot issue.
Summary table – Dreamebot L20 Ultra.
|Shape||Round||Effectively addresses the ‘round’ issues with MopExtend edge cleaning but still has typical round corner cleaning issues.||Pass+|
|Lidar||3D||Rotating turret to Gen 5 standard||Pass+|
|Sensor||IR||Two forward IR sensor helps to avoid obstacles||Pass+|
|Camera||Yes||Forward AI camera aids in 3D mapping and obstacle avoidance. Option to enable live view||Pass+|
|Maps||4||You must take the base station to each level.||Pass|
|Map edit||Yes||All the usual, including mop and no mop zones||Pass+|
|App||DreameHome||Google Play Store or Apple App Store|
Meets all typical needs. Modes include vacuum, mop or both, suction, water volume, battery level and cleaning diary, area clean, navigation pattern, schedules, etc. Real-time tracking.
|Voice||Yes||Google, Alexa and Siri but very basic commands||Passable|
|Edge||Yes||It gets closer to edges (2mm) than round-robovacs||Exceed|
|>82-87% on carpet and >95% on hard floor|
It depends on the carpet type – use a stronger suction setting and repeat clean patterns.
DreameBot L20 Ultra Continued
|Other Sensors||All||Forward bumper sensor.|
The cliff detector stops it from going down the stairs
IR Edge detectors
|Dustbin||320ml||Adequate given 3.2L self-empty function||Pass+|
|Water internal||80ml||It returns to base every 15m2 (can be adjusted 10-20m2)||Pass+|
|Battery life||Realistically, 90-120 minutes, depending on vac/mop and power levels||Pass+|
|Battery||6400mAh||14.4V/6.4A/92W and 4.5 hour charge||Pass+|
|Wi-Fi||2.4GHz||Same as most robot vacuums/mops.||Pass|
|Size||350 round x 103.8mm high x 4.4kg||Pass|
|Dock||606.5 x 426 x 499mm x 13.3kg plus about 5kg of water|
Recharge time is about 4.5 hours
3.2L dust bag
4.5L clean water
|Inbox||1x Base Station|
1x Side Brush
2x Mop Pad (pre-installed)
1x Power Cord
2x Mop Pad Holder
1x Cleaning Brush
1x Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner 450ml
2x Dust Collection Bag (replacement)
1x User Manual
Dreme DreameBot L20 Ultra robot vacuum and mop$2799 but sho around
- Can do one-pass, whole-of-home clean with minimal prep.
- Excellent MopExtend edge clean.
- Strong vacuum power for hard floors.
- Excellent obstacle avoidance.
- 36-month warranty.
- Cleaning time is 30-40% longer than its competitor.
- Large, heavy base station (if you want to move it).
- Expensive consumables.
- Corner cleaning is still a round robot issue.