This new Ultra Robot Vacuum from Dreame includes one option that I have wanted for years. This is the latest from Dreame – the L20 Ultra, which takes the meaning of an ultra Robot Vacuum to the next level and features self-removing mopping pads.
That’s not all, though. Just take a look at this long list of impressive features, which, to date, might make this the very best top-tier Robot Vacuum on the market. But, of course, there are always some gotchas, so in this Dreame L20 Ultra review article, I’ll be sure to point out all the good and bad stuff that comes along with owning the L20 Ultra.
Let’s start by looking at the robot itself. Up front, we have AI Action, which is the object avoidance system that includes an RGB camera, dual structured light sensors, and a pair of LED lights so it can see better in dark areas and rooms. Up top, we have your standard home power and spot cleaning buttons, along with a safety switch to protect the Light Art system.
Around back, we have a pair of charging contacts and the refill port for the rather smallish 880ml integrated water tank, which does get refilled when it goes back to the dock. The L20 has a fully removable lid held on magnetically, and we notice a new font Dreame is using for their logo. Under is a QR code to download the app, a Wi-Fi reset button and indicator light, and also a 350ml dust bin.
On the underside, things are standard with a set of cliff sensors, a single side-spinning brush, front-mounted wheel, and a single ultrasonic carpet detection sensor. The all-rubber roller brush with removable ends is a carryover from the L10S Ultra.
The mopping pads are a different material and feel a good bit softer. You will notice one of the mopping pads is mounted on a swing arm so the L20 can mop closer to your walls and furniture.
Moving on to the dock, where the theme is everything is just bigger. In the base, we have a removable dock tray that you will need to remove every so often for cleaning. Up front, we find the removable lid that is hiding the 3.2 L dust bag included as a spare bag inside the dock, which is a nice touch.
The bag is easily removed, and while an industry-standard size, I do wish it was a lot bigger than the 3L bag found in the older L1S. On top of the dock, we have a set of dedicated multi-function dock buttons, which are backlit. Under the lid, we have an included storage area for the dock’s cleaning brush and a place to put the included 450ml detergent tank for detergent injection, which is one of my favorite features on the older L10S Ultra.
L20 Best features
Now I want to dive into some of the features that make the L20 Ultra stand out from the crowd. The first is with the mopping pads that can rise a full 10mm to clear a low pile carpet. The results were that my carpet stayed dry in my testing.
The bigger news is for those of us who have thicker carpets – the L20 has an option to mop the floors first and then return to the dock to remove the mopping pads before heading out to vacuum those carpeted areas. This is honestly the most groundbreaking feature on this robot, at least for people with a single-story home.
The next biggest news is with the swing-out mopping pad, and when enabled, it will get as close as 2mm to walls and furniture. It works well, but it is not without drawbacks. In my testing, it tends to ride up on my floor molding, and it also has a tendency to bump into things as the robot rotates, which can’t be good for the longevity of the swing arm.
The last big news item is the fact that you can now set the robot to auto-empty each time it returns to the dock when the mop pads are being washed, which will be huge news for pet owners. One smaller change is a 20% larger-than-average 6400 milliamp battery and a dock that supports fast charging.
Carpet pick test
Moving on to the test, starting with the vacuum test where I scatter 54g of colored rice on my medium-pile carpet and set the robot out in Max Plus vacuum mode to unleash all 7,000 pascals of vacuum power.
Tile Floor Vacuum Test
It was able to pick up 54g of rice, which is very impressive. Next, on tile floor, I sent the robot out to pick up 130g of scattered cat litter, and once again, the robot was set to Max Plus vacuum mode and given one pass to pick up as much as possible.
It was able to pick up 121g or 93% of the cat litter. Moving on to the mopping test, which I ran with room temperature water without detergent. The water output was set to the highest level and given two passes to mop up as much as it could. I must wonder if the softer mopping pads might be holding this machine back some, as in this test, it did miss some of the hot sauce.
In the end, the L20 has a very impressive object avoidance system that Dreame calls AI Action. As you can see in my testing, it works extremely well, staying clear of all the objects and even in the dark rooms with its dual LED lights so it can see the objects better.
Overall, it is a top-of-the-line object avoidance system. However, at times, I found it could misidentify some objects like the corner of a wall and the edge of a rug, so they still have some fine-tuning to do. This AI Action system also includes the ability to remote view the camera with two-way audio.
Dock Performance Tests
Looking closely at the dock performance, I tested the ability of the dock to empty out the internal dust bin of the robot with its dual boost technology. It worked extremely well and always emptied out all the contents of the internal dust bin.
I found the dock did a fine job of scrubbing the mopping pads as they always came out clean. It was also able to completely dry the mopping pads after just 3 hours. I do wish Dreame made the dock tray out of a one-piece solid design without holes, kind of like they did with the Robot Rock Qrio.
This means you have to clean the tray separately and then scrub the inside of the dock base. I think this was a missed opportunity to further simplify a machine designed to automate the cleaning process of your home.
See more: The best vacuums
Unfortunately, I can’t forget to talk about the navigation, which for an ultra Robot Vacuum of this cost should be nearly perfect, but it is not. When I first got the L20 Ultra, it refused to navigate at all on carpet, even with carpet detection turned off.
I thought I must have a bad unit until I reached out to Dreame, and they supplied me with a beta firmware that totally resolved the problem. So if you have this issue today, I recommend contacting Dreame now. Even though the firmware update solved the navigation issue on carpet, it still has less than ideal navigation quirks, which made my testing very challenging at times. It spins in circles, appearing confused, and along some of the walls, it would pingpong along, defeating the purpose of the swing-out mopping pad. I would totally expect these things to be resolved by Dreame through future firmware updates.
Amazon: Buy Dreame L20 Ultra
I really think Dreame has proven itself in the Robot Vacuum Market as a leader in innovation, tech, and value. Dreame is normally known to be a value leader in the market, and while the L20 is not cheap by any means with a retail price of $1,500.
When you compare it to the features of other comparable models from other brands, you will quickly see it is an incredible price for a fully featured, fully automatic Robot Vacuum with across-the-board top-tier cleaning performance, acing all of my tests, including the object avoidance test, which is something very few robots can do. The L20 Ultra is bigger and better in almost every single way when compared to the older L10S Ultra.
Where I think Dreame needs to improve is around the internal testing and quality control surrounding software glitches and navigation, especially at product launch. The L10S Ultra was the same way at launch, and eventually, Dreame ironed out many of the software issues.
Buy Dreame L20 Ultra (Amazon)