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I tested a $1,900 robot vacuum and mop for a month. Here's why it's worth it

The Dreame X40 Ultra is a high-end robot vacuum that's priced for the stars. But is it worth its hefty price tag? Here's what I think after testing it.
Written by Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Dreame X40 Ultra robot vacuum and mop
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Dreame X40 Ultra is available for $1,900, with a $120-off coupon available on Amazon now.
  • The X40 Ultra is a high-performing robot with excellent mapping capabilities and strong 12,000Pa suction. It performs exceedingly well on carpet and hard floors, with great object avoidance and high customization power.
  • Though it can recognize and show snapshots of obstacles, it sometimes gets tangled in cords and loses one or both mop pads. I also found some connectivity issues with the app.

As a robot vacuum and mop fanatic, I always look for the next big thing in home cleaning robotics. The Dreame X40 Ultra may just be it. 

Also: 5 things I do to keep my robot vacuum in good health (that you might be forgetting)

This robot vacuum and mop combination has so many features that keeping up with them during testing was challenging. Unboxing the Dreame X40 Ultra was a joy, mainly because the robot looks nicer than most eyesores. The base station features a grooved front and gold accents, while the robot looks sleek and simplistic. 

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Setup was quite a breeze -- you download the Dreamehome app and follow the instructions to add it to your Wi-Fi and set up your preferences. After setting it up, I found some issues with the app connecting to the Dreame X40 Ultra, making me wait a few minutes or force-quit the Dreamehome app to relaunch it. A month later, I found this still happens occasionally, which is disappointing as I don't have that issue with other robots.

Also: The best robot vacuum mops of 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

The robot features market-leading suction power at 12,000Pa, making it excellent for carpeted homes or homes with pets. It's efficient and fast, easily cleaning across my floors and navigating obstacles while staying true to its map. 

One of my two favorite features of the Dreame X40 Ultra robot is its great object avoidance feature. This is one of two robots in my home that doesn't require me to pick up every object from the floor before running it. This means I can send it out to clean on a schedule or when I'm away from home and rely on it to consistently deliver a clean home without getting stuck on a kid's sock under the coffee table. 

My second favorite thing about it is that it has magnetic mop pads that not only lift to avoid getting carpets wet but can also be set up in the app to have the robot leave the mop pads at the base, vacuum the carpets first, and then vacuum everything else. Then, it returns to the base to reattach its mop pads and mop the entire house, avoiding the already clean carpets.

Dreame X40 Ultra robot vacuum and mop
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

The X40 Ultra's mop pads lift to about 10.9 mm, not enough to keep my living room's medium pile carpet dry. This means I have to set that rug as a no-go zone for robot vacuum and mop combinations like the Yeedi M12 PRO+, which lifts its mop pads to 9 mm. The X40 Ultra's ability to detach its mop pads at the base station and clean carpets first is a game changer. The app also lets you enable intensive carpet cleaning, where the robot slows down and cleans carpets twice by cross-walking. 

Also: I test robot vacuums for a living - the Narwal Freo X Plus is the best you can get for $400

The Dreamehome's app has so many customizations that it reminds me of everything you can do with the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra, a direct high-end competitor with many of the same features. Like the S8 MaxV Ultra, the X40 Ultra takes photos of obstacles and can take photos of your pet in passing if it spots them. 

Dreame X40 Ultra robot vacuum and mop
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Dreame uses AI for visual recognition to identify and add objects to your map. Of course, this isn't always accurate, which is why my toddler was mistaken for a pet, but it's pretty entertaining and useful that the robot lets you see the obstacles it finds in its path. You can also drop into the camera's feed, seeing what the robot sees using your smartphone. 

The X40 Ultra's camera can detect stains on hard floors and rev up the robot's mopping power to scrub up the stains. When this happens, the side brush automatically lifts to avoid getting wet or spreading wet messes. When the built-in turbidity sensor detects too much dirty water, the robot returns to the base station to rewash its mop pads and resumes its cleaning session.

Dreame X40 Ultra robot vacuum and mop
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

So, how is this robot not perfect? To address the elephant in the room, the Dreame X40 Ultra is one of the most expensive robot vacuum and mop combinations I've seen, at $1900. The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is priced at $1800, and I already find that to be steep. Spending almost two grand on a robot that will roll around your dirty floors isn't an easy purchase. 

Also: The best robot vacuums for pet hair of 2024: Expert tested and reviewed

It's also simply not perfect because nothing is. I found that the X40 Ultra often tries to go over some extension cords rather than avoid them, which almost always results in one or both of its mop pads coming off and the robot getting stuck without them. This is a bigger inconvenience when I've left it alone to clean the house and come back to see it surrounded by dirty floors in a corner.

ZDNET's buying advice

When it comes down to it, the Dreame X40 Ultra is the smartest robot vacuum and mop I've ever tested. 

One simple example: If you've ever had robot vacuums, you've likely experienced them aimlessly roaming around when it's time to return to the dock, only to pause two feet away to say it can't find the charging station. 

This Dreame X40 Ultra never does that. As a robot vacuum reviewer, I decided to bring out 11 robot vacuums in a group to take photos of them. After the photos, the X40 Ultra accidentally got bumped when someone tried to walk over the robot labyrinth and began returning to the dock. After expertly navigating through 10 of its pals, weaving to and fro like a cyclist through a traffic jam, it went straight to the charging dock and began charging. I tried this with three other robots, but none found their charging docks. 

The fact that I have three little kids making as many messes as summer break allows, and I don't have to worry about this robot getting its roller brush stuck makes the Dreame X40 Ultra one of the best robot vacuum and mops I've ever tested.

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