I’ll be introducing a new robot vacuum to you today – the Dreame (or DreameTech) D9. It’s their first smart robotic vacuum cleaner, and I’ve put it through a grueling series of tests to check how well it performs and more.
They have some lofty claims, and one is the 3,000 Pascals of suction. I don’t have a proper test for it yet, but we’ll find out how much airflow it’s got and how it compares with the top brands.
Dreame D9 Review
The D9 is DreameTech’s first LIDAR-based navigating robot with high-end features such as no-go zones and invisible wall to keep it out off-limit areas. Not many robots in this price range offer these two features. Navigation is a strong point with efficiency, thanks to the LIDAR sensor. It was decent in cleaning tests, but it could be better – I’ll expound more in the cleaning performance section.
- Reasonably priced LIDAR-based robot vacuum
- Above-average dustbin capacity (570 milliliters)
- Long 150-minute run time
- One of the least expensive options with the invisible wall and no-go zones combo
- Efficient navigation
- Doubles as a robot mop
- No map saving feature
- Passes weren’t as clean as other premium brands like iRobot and Roborock
- Only a max of two passes, so it lacks thoroughness
- 1 Mid-Price Smart Navigating Robot w/High-End Features
- 2 Introduction to the Dreame D9 robot vacuum
- 3 Design
- 4 How does the Dreame D9 navigate?
- 5 App features
- 6 How much power does the Dreame D9 have?
- 7 Cleaning Performance
- 8 Mopping
- 9 How noisy is the Dreame D9?
- 10 How long with the Dreame D9 run?
- 11 What comes in the box?
- 12 Availability of Parts
- 13 Maintenance
- 14 Product Specifications
- 15 Where can I buy the DreameTech D9?
- 16 Does the Dreame D9 provide excellent value?
- 17 The Verdict: Great for Mopping, Average with Vacuuming Floors
Introduction to the Dreame D9 robot vacuum
DreameTech first contacted me to review their product with the V10 a few months back. Now, it’s the S9 smart robotic vacuum.
This robot has shades of Roborock in its design, which isn’t surprising since it is a Xiaomi product.
It aims to compete with (the likes of) Roborock and 360 in the space of robot vacuums between $300 and $400. The spec sheet is impressive: 3.0 LIDAR, smart navigation, 150-minute run time, 270-ml water tank. But how does it cope up in a real-world scenario?
First, we’ll go through the features.
3.0 LDS Laser System + SLAM
Dreame put in the latest LDS sensor technology in the D9 – they call it the “new 3.0 LDS laser system”.
It scans the room at a rate of 2080 points per second with high accuracy. Combine this technology with SLAM, and you’ll have a highly efficient navigating robot capable of traversing through a maze of rooms without getting lost.
LIDAR’s advantage is it doesn’t require any light – you can run this in pitch black conditions.
Two-in-one robot and vacuum
Like the Roborock S5 Max, the Dreame D9 can vacuum and mop, with the latter being the cheaper option.
I was surprised it has a 270 ml capacity since it had a flattish design similar to the Roborock S6 Pure.
It’s good at dispensing the right amount of water on the pad to keep it damp but not soaking wet (more of this in the mopping section).
The Dreame D9 only comes in one color (for now) – a glossy white (and matte) finish. Above the LIDAR cover are three buttons – spot, clean, and dock.
I don’t think you’ll use these buttons as much since it has an app, which I’ll talk about in another section.
Below the LIDAR is the storage for the dustbin and brush cleaning tool. Like Roborock, Dreame’s dustbin loads from the top. Minus a bulky water tank enabled Dreame to use a larger dustbin with a 570 ml capacity.
It’s bigger than the Roborock S4 Max and S5 Max (only 460 ml), so it holds more dirt.
Underneath, it has a single side brush and a combo brush, again similar to a Roborock. The D9 has an interesting design with rubber flaps in front of the brush and a rubber seal behind it.
I’m not sure why Dreame put these flaps, and I’m guessing it hurt cleaning performance since it hindered debris from going directly into the brush.
Behind the brush is a slot where you can slide in the mopping water tank/pad.
With LIDAR and SLAM, the D9 navigates almost like a Neato and Roborock. It starts cleaning the edges before moving towards the middle portions in straight lines.
I’d say it has its quirks. One is the wider overlap when it turns. It shouldn’t be an issue for regular clean-ups since it only has to deal with dust and hair.
By default, the D9 will only go around twice, and it doesn’t have the option to go further than two. I hope Dreame will increase this to three in future app roll-outs to compete with the likes of Roborock.
Invisible wall, no-go zones, and no-mop zones
Dreame is one of the least expensive options I’ve tested, with access to the invisible wall, no-go zones, and no-mop zones.
I believe these features are essential in any robot vacuum. It provides you a tool to block the robot from going into off-limit zones. So it takes away the need to block the robot physically. Trust me. Every home has these areas.
An invisible wall is a line that prevents the robot from going past it. You can set straight or diagonal lines – there are many options on what areas to block.
The no-go and no-mop zone are similar in that it blocks a square or rectangular area.
Does the Dreame D9 scuff furniture
The D9 is excellent at avoiding objects, even in the middle of the room. To test, I placed an alcohol dispenser and a smaller alcohol bottle to see how much the robot pushes it.
It barely moved the alcohol dispenser and avoided it in subsequent passes. And while it pushed the alcohol bottle, it wasn’t hard enough to fall.
So this means the D9 will slow down and not bump into furniture hard.
The Dreame D9 is compatible with the Xiaomi Home app. I’ll run through the features.
The D9 app has a live map where you can see, in real-time, where the robot is on the map, the size of the area, battery status, and more.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any map saving capability. So it’s suitable for single level homes. Those living in a multi-story residence may have to opt for a Roborock S4 Max unless you’re okay with the robot having to redraw the map and you having to set the invisible wall or no-go zones when it cleans another floor level.
Users can assign names to each section of a map, but there’s no custom naming feature. You only select from a preset of names provided by the app.
Selective room cleaning
There’s also the option to select areas to clean. This is done by tapping on an area on the map (only after you’ve set partitions). You can set the order by which these rooms are cleaned and the corresponding power and water levels (if the mop is attached).
The D9 is the cheapest robot vacuum so far I’ve tested with this feature.
It has the carpet boost feature, where the robot will automatically increase suction when it detects carpet. I like this feature because it helps extend the run time to its max without micromanaging.
So you can leave it as a lower setting and rely on the carpet boost to increase suction only on carpet.
Invisible wall, no-go zones, and no-mop zones
I’ve already touched on these features above. But I’ll quickly review what each function does. An invisible wall is straight lines you can set vertically, horizontally, and diagonally to block select areas you don’t want the robot to enter.
No go zones and no-mop zones are square and rectangular zones that are off-limits to the robot. These features, I believe, are essential features that all robot vacuums should have.
Dreame also adds unlimited scheduling to the D9. This means you can schedule unlimited runs per day. It’s something not available with mid-level Roomba options like the 980. It provides users with more options when running the robot, with the corresponding power mode that will suit the time.
So you can ask the robot to run at night at any of the lower settings, and it won’t disrupt most activities.
Recharge and resume
Users also can turn on the resume feature, which instructs the robot to recommend cleaning after recharging if it doesn’t finish the task previously.
Power and water settings
There are four power settings and three water level settings in the Dreame D9. The water level setting will only appear when the water tank is attached.
It shows you the previous cleaning cycles along with the corresponding maps. This tab also gives users an overview of the total usage numbers – hours, area, and total runs.
This tab provides a heads up to users when to change the filter, side brush and main brush. But don’t rely on this exclusively. Always check these parts regularly to see if it needs cleaning or replacing.
Some features I wish the D9 had
Unfortunately, Dreame omitted some features that I feel they should add. The obvious one is the inability to save maps. You cannot save maps with the D9 app. If you’re moving the robot to another level, the map needs to be reset.
There are several disadvantages to this. First is the need to repeatedly created inviable walls and no-go zones if you continuously need to relocate different floors.
Next is the inability to name rooms.
While these are all downsides, it’s an easy fix since it is a software issue.
Lastly, it can only do two-pass runs.
How much power does the Dreame D9 have?
Dreame claims the D9 has as much as 3000 Pascals of suction. Right now, I’m still trying to figure out how to measure suction, so I cannot confirm it.
To measure airflow, I use an anemometer at the main brush.
Here are the results for the Dreame D9 in its four power settings.
- Quiet: 8.8 CFM
- Standard: 11.05 CFM
- Strong: 13.39 CFM
- Turbo: 15.97 CFM
The airflow results are decent but not stellar, and the deep cleaning results confirm the airflow levels as it picked up an average of 65.55% after a two-pass run.
Airflow is a factor for deep cleaning, but other aspects also come into play, such as brush roll design and seal.
I put the Dreame D9 through a series of tests to check how well it picks up various debris and tried it on stuff like quaker oats, coffee grounds, quinoa, pet litter, sand, hair, etc.
First, here are the scores.
- Overall: 87.01
- Hard floor: 95.9%
- Carpet (surface): 95.92%
- Deep cleaning: 65.55% (2nd run: 74.2%)
- Sand on hard floor: 90.7% (2nd run: 98.9%)
The scores above are from a single, two-pass run, which is the max Dreame D9 offers. I did a second two-pass run for the sand on hard floor test and deep cleaning test (results in parenthesis).
Despite having nearly identical results on hard floor and carpet, I feel the D9 is better suited for cleaning carpet.
The lack of a third pass and wider turns hurt its potential clean-ability. When I say wider, it means there are almost zero overlaps between rows. So if debris sits between the overlap, chances are, the robot will miss it.
Hard floor results
- Quaker oats: 97.2%
- Coffee grounds: 96.6%
- Quinoa: 94.4%
- Pet litter: 95.4%
The scores were decent but lag behind other brands like Roborock and iRobot.
Despite the above-average airflow, the D9 didn’t pick up debris cleanly. There was visible debris after the initial pass.
I suspect the flaps were the culprit, so I use scotch tape to get it out of the way. But the results were still the same.
The lack of overlap and the two-pass only run also hurt its cleaning potential on this surface.
Another concern during the cleaning tests scattering issue with the side brush. It spun faster than I expected, and it spread out debris to a broader zone.
Sand on hard floor test
One of the most challenging items to clean on hard floor is sand. To check how well the D9 picks up, I scattered 50 grams on a test area.
It picked up 90.7% after the first two-pass run and left a noticeable patch. So I did a second run, and the score went up to a more respectable 98.9%.
There were traces of sand left, so it’s not something I would recommend for cleaning sand regularly.
I scattered coffee grounds on one corner of the room to see how much of it the D9 picks up.
Here’s a before and after photo.
The D9 did a very decent job picking up most of it after two passes. However, the round frame hampered its reach and didn’t get to every bit of crumb.
I tested the DreameTech D9 on both low and mid pile carpet using the same set of debris.
The eye test reveals the D9 did better on carpet than on hard surfaces. There was minimal scattering with the side brush because it has more friction. Passes were cleaner, but it will struggle to pick up a large quantity of fine debris like coffee grounds.
- Quaker oats: 98.6%
- Coffee grounds: 86.4%
- Quinoa: 100%
- Pet litter: 100%
The D9 got a 100% with quinoa and pet litter and struggled the most with coffee grounds. Airflow isn’t the issue here, but agitation and perhaps the seal behind the brush.
- Quaker oats: 98%
- Coffee grounds: 84.4%
- Quinoa: 100%
- Pet litter: 100%
The mid-pile results mirror the low pile test; it also got 100% with quinoa and pet litter, but only 84.4% with coffee grounds.
Deep cleaning test
For the deep cleaning test, I rubbed 100 grams of fine sand on mid-pile carpet.
The D9 picked up an average of 65.55% after the first two-pass run.
I did a second run, and the score improved to 74.2% – a decent result, but it’s not replacing an upright or stick vacuum for cleaning embedded dirt.
Hair wrap test
To check how well the D9 resists hair tangles, I tested it on one gram of five and seven-inch human hair then weighed the bin’s contents and strands around the brush.
The results for both five and seven-inch strands are identical.
- 5-inch test: 0.4 grams inside the bin (40%) and 0.6 grams around the brush
- 7-inch test: 0.4 grams inside the bin (40%) and 0.6 grams around the brush
Part of the maintenance should include untangling hair. The D9’s anti-tangle system isn’t enough to keep long strands of hair out of the brush.
The DreameTech D9 is one of the least expensive options I’ve tested with an electronic water tank. It looks small with the flat design, but it has a 270 ml capacity. But you can’t use any detergents or cleaners since these can damage the rubber and electronic components inside.
I tried it on dried red wine stains (I left overnight), and the results were comparable to the more expensive S5 Max.
For this experiment, I used the highest water flow setting. I used the middle setting during the first pass, but it didn’t saturate the pad enough.
But after moving to the max flow level, it did well at removing the stain without leaving much residue.
It left tire marks initially, but it quickly dissipated since the floor was only damp. If mopping is an essential criterion for you, then the DreameTech D9 should be on your shortlist.
How noisy is the Dreame D9?
I used a sound meter to check the noise levels of the D9, and here are the results.
- Quiet: 59.1 dB
- Standard: 60.5 dB
- Strong: 62.8 dB
- Turbo: 64.7 dB
The results were similar to the Roborock S5 Max, also under 65 decibels. In the lower settings, it’s quiet enough to use without disrupting the conversation. But the lowest setting isn’t very usable aside from cleaning dust, but it’s perfect for mopping.
How long with the Dreame D9 run?
The D9 will run for up to 150 minutes in its lowest setting. Run time shouldn’t be an issue with the D9 since it has recharge and resume. So even if it doesn’t finish cleaning the area, it will resume cleaning after recharging at the site it left previously.
What comes in the box?
You’ll get these items out of the box.
- Dreame D9 robot vacuum
- Charging station and plug
- Manual and quick start guide
- Water tank plus microfiber pad
Availability of Parts
Since the D9 is a new product, there isn’t much in terms of parts availability. Hopefully, components like the side brush, main brush, and filter will be available.
Upkeep is critical for the longevity of any robot vacuum. I’ll enumerate the components you have to clean and replace periodically.
- Primary brush: This part takes the most beating at it’s responsible for cleaning debris and hair. Check this component regularly for hair and dust accumulation.
- Side brush: Inspect this part for any hair wrapping on the base. The D9’s version doesn’t have a bolt holding it, so it’s easier to detach.
- Dustbin: Empty the contents after every cleaning cycle to prevent dust mites from breeding inside.
- Filter: Dreame says that the HEPA filter is washable. My recommendation is to tap it on a solid surface to dislodge any debris sticking on it. Use a handheld with a brush attachment as part of its maintenance.
- Sensors: Wipe the drop sensors underneath with a clean microfiber towel.
- Wheels: Use a clean towel to wipe the side and caster wheels.
|Battery||5,200 mAh Li-ion|
|Run time||Up to 150 mins.|
|Water Tank Capacity||270 ml.|
|Dirt Capacity (dry)||570 ml.|
|Recharge and Resume||Yes|
Where can I buy the DreameTech D9?
You can buy this robot from Amazon. Check the link below for the latest pricing.
- Dreame D9 on Amazon.
Disclaimer: I will earn a commission if you buy through the link above, but at no extra cost to you, so it’s a win-win for us!
Does the Dreame D9 provide excellent value?
Dreame offers a feature combination that makes it a compelling option to folks looking for a more affordable robot vacuum.
It’s the least expensive I’ve tested with an electronic water tank, no-go zones, no-mop zones, and an invisible wall.
This robot will mop as well as something more expensive, like Roborock. But it doesn’t vacuum floors as well.
The quirks with navigation and cleaning dynamics hamper it with the latter, but it should hold up well for daily cleaning tasks.
The Verdict: Great for Mopping, Average with Vacuuming Floors
After spending several days testing this robot, the results were somewhat underwhelming. I was expecting more with navigation and cleaning performance, but it didn’t perform as well as brands like Roborock and Roomba.
Passes weren’t as clean and while the navigation is efficient, it lacks the thoroughness I was looking for in a robot vacuum.
The mopping feature was a pleasant surprise, but DreameTech has to improve with navigation and cleaning dynamics if they want to compete with the household brands seriously.
Mid-Level Robot Vacuum with High-End Features
Navigation - 94%
Surface Cleaning - 94.17%
Deep Cleaning - 65.55%
Quality - 95%
Design - 94%
Value - 97%
I had high hopes for Dreame, and it delivered to a degree with the mopping functionality. However, it underwhelmed in the cleaning tests. Passes weren’t as clean as I hoped it would, and the navigational quirks hampered it further. But it’s hard to nitpick with the price and features it brings to the table. If you don’t mind the issues, give this product a look.