Dyson V15s Detect Submarine
The Dyson V15s Detect Submarine is a modified V15 Detect that takes its new Submarine mopping head. You can’t use it on other Dyson vacuums.
Those mods include a bigger battery, and the vacuum function turns off when the Submarine is attached. Otherwise, you can read our review Dyson V15 Detect vacuum – sees dust you can’t (cleaning review) that covers the vacuum part. Note that the V15 has been superseded by the Dyson Gen5detect – the evolution continues, and the Dyson Gen5outsize – dust busting gets serious.
We went straight to our consumer testing panel to try it on various surfaces – laminated timber, 100% timber, ceramic tiles, and vinyl floors. The review is about the Submarine head. The panel loves it when we test cleaning appliances, as yours truly ends up doing most of the work😒.
Specifically, we look for:
We have reviewed products from LG, Tineco, Eufy, Ecovacs, Samsung, Karcher, Roborock, Robot My Life (Ultenic, Hobot), Hizero, and others.
Read – Five tips for choosing a robovac/mop (2023 cleaning guide).
We use Fail (below expectations), Passable (meets low expectations), Pass (meets expectations), Pass+ (near Exceed but not class-leading) and Exceed (surpasses expectations or is the class leader) against many of the items below. You can click on most images for an enlargement.
A reminder that this is specifically about the Submarine head. It is a teal blue polycarbonate head with a big, fluffy, dark blue microfibre, motorised roller and a transparent 300ml water tank.
It attaches like other Dyson heads to the wand and vacuum body. Once attached, the vacuum is disabled, and the read-out shows the submarine head and clean water percentage. This brings us to the number one observation – it is heavy at 2.4kg, plus the Submarine head at nearly 2kg for a total of 4.5kg.
Add approx. 300ml of water to the clean water tank. You can use diluted floor cleaner (not polish or wax), but take care that it does not clog the pump or leave a residue on the fluffy roller.
The lack of water control was a concern for the laminate floor owner, as too much can lead to edge curl. They have been warned against using most mops – just a damp cloth.
In my opinion, Dyson’s non-adjustable water control is fine for most hard surfaces, but we respect that owners of laminated wood and faux wood found in modern homes need to be careful.
Ceramic tiles were fine. The rotating head fibres were long enough to clean some grouting.
Vinyl (Lino) flooring was fine. Initially, there were no water streaks, but there were edge streaks towards the end of the test.
The 100% timber flooring was fine, but there were some edge water streaks.
It was fine on light liquid spills but messed up with cooking cream and eggs that it simply spread around. The roller needed an immediate and thorough hand cleaning.
Without fail, the Submarine head could not, in one pass, remove light staining from dried milk, coffee, etc. These stains required little effort to remove using a hand sponge. In fact, the Submarine did manage to remove some dried stains after 20 passes!
The Panel’s third observation is that it provides a maintenance level mop clean on floors in good condition.
It has a clean water level readout but does not indicate when the dirty water tank is full. Perhaps Dyson expects it will be emptied when the clean water tank is refilled (see maintenance later).
Dyson claims up to 110m2 of coverage. Over five tests, the 300ml tank covers approx. 50m2 of area. There is no water flow adjustment. The Panel observation is that this is adequate, and refilling is easy, but as you will see in Cleaning and Maintenance, it is a more convoluted process.
Remember that it is not a simultaneous vacuum/mop for one-pass cleaning. Dyson states, ‘Removes dry, wet debris, fine dust, and stains’.
As you will see from the photos, it does collect dirt and dust, but anything over that size can and is thrown out of the rotating brush. This was most evident with fine string and tiny polystyrene beads, and it will not pick up larger particles.
The Panel observed that you must vacuum first and mop separately, doubling the workload over one-pass devices.
The panel has already commented on the 4.5kg weight, which may be an issue for older people.
One minor change from the V15 to the Gen5 was to remove the power-on trigger and replace it with a power button. It was considered onerous to hold the trigger on, and some users reported blisters on the trigger finger.
It went under cupboard overhangs and cleaned reasonably closely to the edge.
While the rotating head helps in forward motion, it impedes in reverse. While quite manoeuvrable, it does take effort. The panel all felt higher levels of exertion in approx. 50m2 test areas.
When lifting the device, the panel experienced several dirty water spills, especially from one stair tread to the next. The dirty water reservoir is not sealed.
About 20% of the battery is used per 50m2.
The roller is squeegeed as it rotates to lift off excess water and detritus and place it in the dirty water tank. It collects about 100ml from the 300ml clean tank – the rest is in the roller and the floor.
Detach the Submarine from the wand and place it in the drip tray (inbox). Keep it level, or the dirty water leaks everywhere.
Remove the roller assembly, roller and dirty water receptacle. It can all be rinsed clean except for the wand neck connection.
The roller needs particular attention, requires hand-washing, and allowed to air-dry over 24 hours. If you put it back wet, it could go mouldy and smell between uses.
The panel felt that the self-cleaning programs on the Karcher FC7 Mop, Eufy Mach V1 Ultra and Tineco S5/S7Pro one-pass were faster, less messy and gave a better result.
The question to the panel was simple. Would you buy it? (if money were no object).
The unanimous answer was that all appreciated the Dyson over-engineering and its superior vacuum power, but none would buy it solely for the Submarine mop head. This group variously owns Dyson V7 to V15 Detect and has tested the Gen 5.
I think it is a good idea, but Dyson needs to be careful in promoting it as a ‘wet and dry’ vacuum. It is a dry vacuum and a wet mop. It must also state that the vacuum functions like ‘Counts and measures dust particles. Captures hair without tangling’ applies only to the vacuum function.
The panel has assisted with reviews for competitive products, including:
The unanimous vote was for the Tineco Floor One S7 Pro (and its smaller version, the S5 Pro) for true one-pass vacuum and mopping. The Tineco S7 Pro has powered wheels and does an excellent job (better than maintenance mopping level). It also has a self-cleaning program and requires far less post-clean-up.
The Eufy Clean Mach 1 Ultra was voted the best one-pass cleaner due to its steam clean, but it is not for all floor types.
As a straight mop, the $829 Karcher KC 7 wins hands down for an excellent motorised mop and self-cleaning program.
Its main competition is the LG A9 and Samsung Bespoke vacuums with rotating mop heads and adjustable water levels (you can buy them as accessories). These are not wet/dry one-pass vacuums either (like Dyson), as the liquid would damage the vacuum components.
Please note that the rating is only the Submarine head – the Dyson V15s which is an excellent vacuum cleaner.
Dyson V15s Detect Submarine, Dyson V15s Detect Submarine