The V15 Detect is Dyson’s flagship cordless stick vacuum. We tested one for a week and there’s quite a lot to talk about. There’s a lot of cool new features with the Dyson V15 Detect, and we really had fun putting it through all kinds of tests to measure its performance.
Spoiler alert: we’re big fans of the V15, but there are a few things to criticize about it as well.
Dyson V15 Detect Review
The Dyson V15 Detect performed great in all of our tests on both hard floors and carpeting. It comes with any attachment you could possibly imagine and while we thought some might be gimmicks, they turned out to be truly useful. It is expensive, but if you’re shopping for a premium cordless vacuum, the V15 should be on your short list.
Performance - 9.9/109.9/10
Features - 9.9/109.9/10
Ergonomics - 9.7/109.7/10
Value - 7.9/107.9/10
- Excellent performance
- Every attachment imaginable
- High tech features
Dyson Cordless Vacuums Overview
The Dyson V15 Detect came out on March 24th of 2021. Before it, there was the V11 series with the V11 Animal and the V11 Torque Drive, which were very similar with minor differences. Then there was the V11 Outsize, which was released much later but was like a new model. It was more powerful then the other V11s, had a huge dustbin and a huge floor head, but it was still called a V11.
And then we have the V15, which went back to the V11 Animal and Torque Drive in terms of size. In fact, the V15 weighs virtually the same as the V11 Animal and Torque Drive, and it has the same smaller size cleaner head.
Related: See our Dyson V15s Detect Submarine Review!
The V12 Detect Slim was actually released after the V15 Detect. That’s a whole different story, and we have a full V12 Detect Slim review (view) if you’re curious about that model.
Another kind of macro thing to know is that Dyson brought back the popular soft roller or Fluffy hard floor attachment for the V15 Detect. It wasn’t included in any of the V11 packages in the US initially, though it’s now being retroactively offered on some models. That soft roller head proved valuable in our recent ranking of vacuums for tile floors, too. It’s something we think brings a lot of value to the table with the V15, and we’ll discuss it later in the review.
Power Tests and Metrics
Starting off with power, we tested the V15’s suction and airflow in various places on the vacuum and in all of its power settings. We found that in key metrics like sealed suction and airflow at the cleaner head, it was exactly the same as the V11 Outsize.
It did have a little more power than the Outsize in some of the other tests, like unsealed suction and airflow at the wand. This is consistent with Dyson specs, which say it has just a touch more power than the Outsize. So, we feel comfortable saying it’s more powerful than the Outsize, but it was very close.
To put it all in context, though, at the time of our initial review, it was the most powerful cordless vacuum we had tested. The model it took that status from was the other Dyson, the Outsize. As far as size goes, the V15 retains the smaller form factor of the V11 Animal and Torque Drive, which we actually prefer over the larger Outsize.
Moving on to more practical tests, we put the standard head through its paces. We tested it on both hard flooring and carpet to see how well it could pick up debris of various sizes. The standard head has an adjustable gate on the front, which we typically keep all the way open for maximum versatility. As far as the tests went, the V15 Detect did amazingly well with debris of all shapes and sizes.
We think Dyson’s Torque head design, which showed up on the V10 series, is a really good design. You really don’t need to change it out when moving from hard floors to carpet because it strikes a better balance than just about any other head out there. For the V15 they’ve named it the Digital Motorbar, but it is essentially the same thing.
Carpet Deep Clean Tests
It did excellent with the deep clean test, too. In that test we embed sand into carpet and weigh the bin before and after a set amount of time vacuuming. The V15 scored a perfect 100, which is common with premium vacuums. Though we will say that with the front gates all the way closed, it can be very hard to push on carpet, especially on max power.
Hard Floors Tests
If you have mostly hard floors in your house, you’re in luck with the V15 Detect because of that fluffy roller. The official name is the Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head and it has been redesigned from previous versions. It’s a bit smaller in diameter, and from what we can tell, it handles better than the older version too, which tended to be a little jerky in our opinion.
In our tests the Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head did an amazing job picking up debris from small to extra-large. This is something that traditional floor heads just don’t do well with at all, especially when vacuuming hard floors.
Soft rollers aren’t just about large debris, though. In fact, we think their real value comes from a kind of dusting of hard floors. And that brings us to the first new tech on the V15 Detect: the laser reference in the Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head.
Laser Slim Fluffy Cleaner Head
The laser on the soft roller is positioned in a way to highlight dust and hair on hard floors. We were prepared to call this feature a gimmick. I mean, how much better could a green laser be than one of the many vacuums out there with LED headlights?
But, when we took it home, we found that it did seem to make a difference. Even in decent lighting, we could see stuff that we don’t think we would have otherwise been able to, especially under furniture in some of those darker places. We have to say it did make vacuuming hard floors more satisfying. And, “satisfying” is the right word. Just a quick note: the laser is only on the fluffy head, not on the regular torque head.
Auto Suction Adjustment
Another feature we liked was the auto suction adjustment combined with the real-time battery life readout on the LCD screen. Auto mode was introduced on the V11 series. When using auto mode on the V11, the vacuum will adjust the suction up or down depending on if you’re vacuuming hard floors or carpets. We really love the feature and it really does optimize battery life.
For the V15, Dyson took it a step further and added a dirt sensor that also adjusts the suction based on how dirty the floors are. If it senses dirt being heavier than normal in a given area, it will adjust the suction up or down based on that.
This is another new feature that we think is very important because it results in a better overall cleaning job with better overall battery optimization. You don’t have to think about anything. You just put it in auto mode.
Battery Life and Performance
Speaking of battery life, we should first mention that the V15 comes standard with a removable battery, so you can replace it or buy extras if you need to. It has the same real-time LCD display that we saw on the Outsize and the Torque Drive, which changes depending on what power setting you’re using as well as what attachment you’re using. We think it’s one of the best features in the cordless vacuum world. It’s not necessary by any means, but it is something that you really want to have once you’ve tried it.
Since its battery is the same one used on the Outsize, it’s no surprise that the battery life is about the same. But these numbers are some of the best in the business, especially when you consider how much power you’re getting on each setting.
In auto mode, you could probably see numbers in between the medium and high power settings, depending on your house’s carpet to hard floor ratio as well as some other factors. We’ll do a full test on its auto mode battery life very soon.
Anti-Hair Tangle Technology and Attachments
Dyson came out with two new anti-hair tangle technologies on the Dyson V15 Detect. We were really impressed with one, which is the new motorized hair screw tool. First, we should say that the attachment set, in general, was excellent for a premium vacuum. We especially appreciated the new mini soft dusting brush, which is great for upholstery and delicate surfaces.
But back to the hair tangle technology. We tested the V15 Detect with the new handheld motorized tool, which is designed with a unique comb-like system to keep hair from getting tangled in the brush. We put it up against 1, 5, and 7-inch human hair and found that it did a fantastic job preventing hair tangles. Even with 7-inch hair, which is very long, we saw very little wrapping around the brush, and what did wrap came off very easily.
The second new hair tangle technology is on the primary torque drive cleaner head. It’s designed with new spiral bristles, which are intended to keep hair from wrapping around the brush. In our tests, it did better than the older model, but it didn’t perform as well as the handheld motorized tool. We still found some hair wrapping around the brush, but it was certainly an improvement over previous models.
The list of V15 Detect attachments is long:
- Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head
- Digital Motorbar
- Hair screw tool
- Crevice tool
- Combination tool
- Mini soft dusting brush
- Stubborn dirt brush
- Wand clip
There’s also a docking station which mounts to the wall and, of course, a charger. Attachments do vary based on where you buy the V15, so definitely double check what you’re getting.
What doesn’t the V15 Detect have?
There’s only one standout accessory the Dyson V15 Detect doesn’t have that other premium cordless vacuums do: an auto-empty bin. Haven’t seen one? Read our Samsung Bespoke Jet Review (view). It’s Samsung’s answer to the V15.
Dyson has always been known for excellent filtration, and the V15 is no exception. With a sealed system and a HEPA filter, it’s suitable for people with allergies or asthma. In our tests, we found that it captured even the smallest particles.
Overall, we were very impressed with the Dyson V15 Detect. It’s packed with new features, and while some may initially seem gimmicky (like the Laser Slim Fluffy head) they do add value to the vacuuming experience.
The auto suction adjustment and dirt sensor technology make it incredibly easy to use, while the anti-hair tangle technology and excellent filtration make it a solid choice for pet owners and allergy sufferers alike.
The V15 isn’t cheap, but if you’re looking for a premium cordless vacuum that excels in performance and convenience, it’s definitely worth considering.
Dyson V15 Detect Specs
|Vacuum bin capacity
|0.76L / 0.8 qts.
|Maximum battery life
|Converts to handheld
|Laser (Fluffy Head Only)
Frequently asked questions
The Dyson V15 Detect is better than the V11. While both cordless vacuums are well made and share similar battery life the V15 cleans a bit better and includes new technology the V11 model line lacks.
The V15 Detect is better at handling hair of all lengths when compared with previous models. In our tests the V15 Detect attachment that performed the best with hair was the Hair screw tool.
Yes. The V15 Detect’s battery can be removed with the push of a button. The vacuum ships with one battery, but spare batteries can be purchased.