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Dreame H11 Max Wet and Dry Vacuum review: Slick design with modern conveniences

Dreame H11 Max Vacuum
Dreame H11 Max
MSRP $500.00
“Powerful, sleek, and easy to use, the Dreame H11 Max vacuum is equipped to handle hard floor messes.”
Pros
  • Powerful suction
  • Sleek, attractive design
  • Adaptive suction
  • Simple interface
Cons
  • A little pricey
  • Doesn't clean carpets

As someone who hates Swiffers and is far too lazy to mop regularly, I was downright chuffed to take the Dreame H11 Max Wet and Dry Vacuum for a spin. This cordless vacuum boasts 36 minutes of runtime, a self-cleaning roller brush, and a svelte profile. As the name implies, it’s a 2-in-1 combo vacuum that can tackle both wet and dry messes. Is it enough to clear my admittedly low bar? Probably! Let’s dig in.

Out of the box

The Dreame H11 Max is a breeze to put together. All you really need to do is attach the handle which clicks in place. It is adorned with buttons to turn it on, switch modes, and initiate self-cleaning. The handle orientation was a little strange, as it loops from the shaft outwards towards the front of the vacuum, rather backward towards the user. The mystery of this design decision eludes me to this day.

Dreame H11 Max Vacuum in a corner.
Simon Sage / Digital Trends

Otherwise, the H11 Max looks pretty good overall. It’s got smooth and sharp lines that set it apart from a lot of vacuums. I could leave this out in the open, unlike my current vacuum which remains shamefully hidden from view.

When the charging base is plugged in and you drop the vacuum in for its initial five-hour warm-up, you’re greeted by an audio prompt confirming that the charging has started. The audio can be jarring, but luckily, there’s a button on the back to banish the audio prompts altogether. The stand has room for the included spare roller and cleaning brush, but there’s no spot for the included extra filter. Dang.

From here it’s a simple top-up of the 0.23-gallon clean water container. Once the vacuum is activated, the water will run through the brush, then through the filter before landing in the 0.13-gallon dirty water container.

Performance

What Swiffer pads have in convenience, they lose in cleaning power. Busting out the mop is a huge hassle. After doing a pass on my laminate kitchen floor with the Dreame H11 Max, I was pleasantly surprised by how little water it used in comparison to traditional mopping while also lifting a significant amount of filth. The 200W brushless motor was doing its work and provided sufficient traction that I was relieved of much of the manual drudgery that mopping entails. Dreame says it includes its proprietary detergent in the box. Even though mine didn’t, the H11 Max still managed to clean just fine. In the long haul, I may not be able to resist the temptation to use another party’s more readily-available detergent.

Closeup of vacuum attachment on the Dreame H11 Max Vacuum.
Simon Sage / Digital Trends

Some wet vacs work on carpets, but this one doesn’t. My hopes of clearing out some closet space by ridding myself of a much larger vacuum have not only been dashed but they’ve been fully reversed. I would need to make room for two monstrous appliances in my life to take care of all the floors in my condo. That’s a strike.

For all of its power, I didn’t find the H11 Max that loud at all.

At 10.1 pounds, the H11 Max might not have the maneuverability or light weight of something like the Dyson OmniGlide, but it does have good power and runtime. That said, my cleaning regimen is lax to the point of horror, so the 36 minutes of use afforded by the Dreame H11 Max’s six 4,000 mAh batteries is largely wasted on me. Dreame claims that there’s enough water to clean 2,152 square feet, but only in my haziest fever dreams will I ever own that much hardwood floor, never mind have the wherewithal to clean it all in one go. A lighter model may actually be better for something you’re only busting out for occasional spills rather than the full-home wipe-downs that some weirdos apparently embark upon. For all of its power, I didn’t find the H11 Max that loud at all.

LED display of the Dreame H11 Max Vacuum.
Simon Sage / Digital Trends

The LED interface keeps users abreast of everything. Besides power levels, there’s very little to keep tabs on. You can switch between auto and a slurpy mode that sucks up spills. Various error indicators will light up when things go awry. The outer colored ring acts as a real-time dirt indicator, which could help you find especially troublesome areas. This vacuum adjusts suction to deal with new mess types on the fly, and you can hear it fire up in problem areas to scrub extra hard.

Price

The H11 Max’s $500 price tag is in the right ballpark for new wet/dry vacuum cleaners, if on the slightly high end. You can certainly find cheaper ones closer to the $200 mark, but they tend to be wired.

Our take

The Dreame H11 Max vacuum has proven to be powerful, sleek, and easy to use. A decently-sized water tank and strong battery life make it a viable option for larger homes. Unfortunately, without support for carpeted surfaces, the H11 Max is unlikely to be able to handle every floor in every home. You’ll need to gauge whether you want to have a second vacuum for rugs and carpets in the home.

Is there a better alternative?

Bissell has a few upright cordless wet/dry vacuum cleaners that work on both hard and carpeted surfaces, and for a little cheaper, too. I would consider the Bissell CrossWave before taking the leap on the Dreame H11 Max. I still give the H11 Max a notch for a more modern design. For dry spills, the alternative solution is as cheap as a broom.

How long will it last?

Dreame provides a one-year warranty, so you’ll be covered at least for that long. Since this vacuum is designed for larger homes, it may see greater wear and tear. The lithium-ion batteries are likely to lose charge before anything mechanical, though. Batteries might last between three and five years, depending on usage.

Should you buy it?

Homeowners with a lot of floor to cover and zest for cleanliness could make use of the Dreame H11 Max’s big battery and ample water supply. It may be overkill for folks that are happy to settle for the occasional broom sweeping to take care of their hard floors.

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