Welcome to the Vacuum Wars review of the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine cordless vacuum. It’s Dyson’s first vacuum that can be used as a mop as well. The standard V15 is one of the best Dyson cordless vacuums, so we had high hopes for the V15s.
We bought one and put it through all kinds of tests this week, and in this review, we’ll go over everything you need to know about it – both the good stuff and the bad.
About the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine
Dyson’s mopping variant of the V15 is available in two different packages: the V15s Detect Submarine and the V15s Absolute Submarine. The main differences being that the Absolute version has a slightly better filter which is blue instead of purple, and it has the built-in dusting and crevice tool option.
The non-absolute version is basically the same as the original Dyson V15 Detect. We’ll start off by talking about the Dyson V15s Submarine as a normal cordless vacuum.
The V15s is really similar to Dyson’s previous V15 (see our review), which is a good thing because the V15 is still one of our favorite cordless vacuums ever.
Suction and Airflow
For example, the V15s Submarine has very similar suction and airflow numbers as the original V15.
As a cordless vacuum, it’s right up there with the best of the best. Its suction, features, and dry attachments are literally state of the art. As a mop, it’s uniquely good with the most important stuff…
In fact, pretty much all of its performance metrics are comparable to the previous V15. Its debris pickup, arguably its main job, was incredibly good on both hard floors and carpeting.
V15s Submarine Suction And Airflow
|V15s Detect Submarine
It comes with two dry vacuum heads: the new Digital Motorbar cleaner head, which is a combination head meaning that it can be used for both hard floors and carpets, and it did excellent with both surface types in our tests.
The Motorbar head has adjustable gates on the front and Dyson’s new anti-hair tangle system which removes hair from the roller as you vacuum, which we found to be very effective in multiple tests.
Fluffy Optic Cleaner Head (with Laser)
The so-called Fluffy Optic cleaner head is a soft roller head designed exclusively for hard floors, but it’s really good for hard floors. It picks up fine debris, pet hair, and even large debris with incredible ease.
It also has a green laser mounted on the side, which is pointed at a precise angle to reveal dust on the floor that you can’t normally see.
We’ve used versions of this cleaning head when doing our review of the V12 Detect Slim as well as the V15 and Gen5 models. We’ve really enjoyed using it, though it does make us realize exactly how much hair cats shed.
Automatic Suction Adjustment
The word “detect” in its name also refers to the fact that it has a built-in particle counter. This enables two important features. The first is that the V15s will automatically adjust its suction power up or down depending on how dirty the floor is.
This vastly improves battery efficiency and performance over vacuums that don’t have it. Second, it also enables the ability to see the sizes of particles that the vacuum picks up, displayed on its LCD screen.
The LCD screen also displays real-time remaining battery life numbers which change depending on which attachment and which power level you’re using.
Speaking of battery life, the V15s Submarine seems to have the exact same battery specifications as the previous V15, which we found to be incredibly efficient – way higher than average in most respects.
Dyson V15S Submarine Battery Runtime
Dyson says it can get 60 minutes on low power. It has an easy-to-remove battery as well, in case you wanted to buy extras.
The V15s comes with a wall mount, a combo dusting brush, a crevice tool, as well as a motorized upholstery brush which also has an anti-hair tangle system. If you have the Absolute version, it will also have the built-in crevice tool dusting brush, which can be really handy for quick above-floor cleaning tasks.
Here’s everything that came with the V15s Detect Submarine we purchased for this review:
In the Box
The V15s Submarine’s filtration is extremely good. It has Dyson’s whole machine HEPA filtration, which is only available on high-end cordless vacuums like this. As we mentioned before, the Absolute version does have a slightly upgraded HEPA filter.
Let’s move on to the star of this particular show, the new Submarine Wet Roller Head.
Submarine Wet Roller
The Submarine Wet Roller Head is a standalone electric mopping attachment in which you fill a small reservoir with water, and it will dispense the water onto the spinning soft roller so that you can mop the floors.
As it mops, it sort of squeegees dirty water into its internal reservoir to be emptied later. Dyson says the Submarine can mop 1,000 square feet per tank of water.
Important for standard V15 Owners: The Submarine head cannot be used with previous Dyson models, not even the previous V15. It’s a programming issue, which is why Dyson does not sell this attachment separately since it only works with the V15s Submarine.
The Submarine head does not vacuum per se – there is no airflow or suction and no opening at the end of the head, so it doesn’t suck water all the way up to the handle. All of the mopping is done mechanically, if you will.
We tested this in a variety of ways and found that it was really excellent for tough dried-on stains, which in our opinion is the real job of an electric mop.
Here, the Submarine head did not disappoint, mopping up most of these really tough dried-on stains in one or two back-and-forth passes, which is really good.
We also found that it did well in the real-world tests. We really liked its maneuverability – its swivel and small size make it really easy and even kind of fun to use.
Dry Debris Pickup and Large Wet Spills
However, we would say that the Dyson Submarine Wet Roller Head should be used after vacuuming your floors. In other words, we think it should be a two-staged process: vacuum first, then attach the mop head and mop.
This is because, at least in our tests, it was not very good with picking up dry debris or large wet spills.
It really doesn’t seem to have a good way to process a lot of debris, or even small amounts of debris. There just isn’t enough space between the roller and the housing by design, so only the smallest debris even makes it into the dirty water reservoir. So, vacuuming first is a must in our opinion.
We also didn’t think it was great for large wet spills. It can process a small amount of liquid fairly well, but the bigger the spill is, the more likely it is to get overloaded and leave streaks behind the head that are hard to pick up.
The Submarine head is fairly easy to clean. One of the big downsides of full vacuum and mop combos, in our opinion, is that they get really dirty all throughout the machine – like the hoses and every nook and cranny – and have to be thoroughly cleaned after each use.
Dyson V15 Detect vs Dyson V15s Submarine
The Dyson V15 Detect and V15s Detect Submarine are, from what we can tell, the save base vacuum.
There are three important differences between the V15s Detect Submarine and standard V15 Detect:
First, and most obvious, is that that only the V15s comes with the Submarine Wet Roller Head and has a mopping function. Second, and less obvious, is that only the V15s works with the Submarine Wet Roller Head, meaning you cannot purchase it separately and use it with the standard V15 Detect model. Third and finally, the V15s is about a pound and a half heavier.
What happens if you put the Submarine head on the standard V15 Detect? The Submarine Wet Roller Head is not backwards compatible. When the Submarine Wet Roller Head is attached to the standard Dyson V15 the vacuum does not recognize it and it does not function.
The similarities between the original V15 Detect and the V15s Submarine model are just about everything else. Of note are that both have the same 240AW of suction, a .2 gallon dirt bin size, whole-machine filtration, and a maximum run time of 60 minutes.
Our takeaway with the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine is that, as far as value, it’s expensive, but it’s currently the same price as the Dyson Gen5detect, which is very similar to the V15s Submarine except that the Gen5 doesn’t come with a Submarine wet roller. So in our minds, it seems like a really good value.
As a cordless vacuum, it’s right up there with the best of the best. Its suction, features, and dry attachments are literally state of the art.
As a mop, it’s uniquely good with the most important stuff, such as scrubbing dried-on stains and generally mopping floors, and it’s incredibly easy to use. But it does not process large wet spills very well, and it wasn’t good at all at picking up debris. So once again, we recommend vacuuming before mopping, and you’ll be just fine.
Dyson V15s Detect Submarine Specs
|Cordless Vacuum & Mop
|Vacuum bin capacity
|0.76L / 0.8 qts.
|Maximum battery life
|Converts to handheld
|Clean Water Tank
|.3L / .32 qt.
|Dirty Water Tank
|.36L / .38 qt.
|Laser (Fluffy Head Only)