The answers I have seen for the ESP8266 is 4 or 5. And that depended on if it was a tcp or udp connection.
From the Painless Mesh Wiki "There is a limit of 4 station nodes per AP for ESP8266 and 10 for ESP32."
This is consistent with what I have seen in some of the code documentation. There are a few places that set the limit. Not all of them will have an affect. In the end it all depends on how much memory is available for each connection.
I tried the ESP8266/Arduino Mesh example a couple of days ago but I was not able to get it to run with the current release framework. A few years ago I had help with the testing of easymesh, the origin of painlessmesh. I have an application right now that I would like to use mesh with.
I am interested in Bluetooth Mesh. Espressif has made a version for the ESP32, but there does not seem to be any activity with it for the last seven months. https://github.com/espressif/esp-idf/tr ... -mesh-v0.5
I have been looking at Bluetooth Mesh and it looks like it can be a very capable system. I just wish I knew if Espressif will support it properly in the future. So at this point I am going to design in the ESP32 and use WiFi. Multiple access points with a standard WiFi network. But I hope to have the ability to upgrade the existing systems with Bluetooth mesh in the future.