The Dyson v15s Detect Submarine Is Almost Exactly What You Wanted

The Dyson v15s Detect Submarine Is Almost Exactly What You Wanted
At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

Cleaning is, obviously, super important. No one wants to be the unhygienic weirdo whose house is sticky and full of mice if they have other options. But, at the same time, cleaning requires effort and who even has any elbow grease left, in this economy? It’s why we’re always looking for the quick fix – the robot vacuum cleaner, the robot window cleaner, the AI-powered washing machine. Anything to make the tasks required of being human a little easier.

The Dyson Submarine has a cool name that implies that it could be a halfway decent way to see the Titanic. Alas, it’s just a vacuum cleaner that comes with a mopping attachment, which is still cool, but not as cool.

I’ve spent a few weeks using the Dyson Submarine to clean my apartment, and I have a lot of thoughts about this device.

What is the Dyson Submarine? (And other frequently asked questions)

The Dyson v15s Detect Submarine is a Dyson v15s vacuum cleaner packaged with all the usual attachments, plus a brand-new mopping attachment.

Already this raises a lot of questions, most of them with slightly disappointing answers.

The most obvious being, “If I already have a v15 Dyson vacuum cleaner (which was first released in 2021, so a lot of people probably already have one), can I just buy the Submarine attachment?” The answer is, unfortunately, no. The Submarine attachment will only work with the v15s, which has a chip to recognise the Submarine.

You might also be wondering why it’s bundled with an older model, like the v15, instead of the newer Gen5 Detect, which is the latest Dyson vacuum cleaner that Dyson engineers spruiked as being the most powerful and thus bestest ever only last year. I am also wondering this. Seems weird to force people to choose between the best and most powerful vacuum cleaner, and the one with the latest attachments.

Especially when you would also need to consider V11 Outsize owners, who presumably have larger floor areas and thus more of a need for a good mopping attachment, but there is no v15s Outsize that I’m aware of, so I guess you just need two vacuum cleaners?

However, that said, the v15s is still an excellent and extremely fancy vacuum cleaner. I reviewed the “complete” edition of the Dyson v15s Submarine, and there are lots of accessories included: Digital Motorbar cleaner head, Fluffy Optic cleaner head, Submarine wet roller head, combination tool, Built-in crevice tool, charger, drip tray and hair screw tool. Plus, it has a really nice and sturdy stand (Floor Dok Multi) to hold them all. I’m extremely impressed with this charging stand, there’s a lot of clever design in there.

Once you remove my irritation with the lack of backwards (and forwards, presumably?) compatibility from the equation, it’s a good upgrade for people who want a Dyson that can mop and either haven’t had one before, or haven’t upgraded since the v8.

OK, but is the Dyson Submarine a good mop?

Dyson Submarine on its stand with its drip tray attached
Image: Alice Clarke/Gizmodo Australia

Yes. Yes it is. It puts down just enough water that you can be confident that the floor has been cleaned, but not so much that there are puddles.

The brushbar that we all recognise and love from other Dyson vacuum cleaners can now wet itself and deposit the dirty water in a separate reservoir. The spinning brushbar means that it does most of the elbow grease for you, but also I found it was so powerful that it dragged my arm around a bit.

That power meant that no stain was a match for it. Mystery sticky goo that may once have been either golden syrup or honey, but has been staring grossly up at me from under the kitchen counter? It’s gone now.

Tomato sauce I deliberately spilled on the floor to test? Gonzo. Sugar? Flour? Milk? Soap scum in the shower? They’re all gone quickly and easily.

It mops exactly as well as you’d expect a fancy motorised mop to mop. Dyson might have had a couple of uncharacteristic functional missteps recently, but the company is the monarch of all that is stick vacuums for a reason.

The only downsides were that it’s not a wet/dry vacuum cleaner – it’s a mop or a vacuum cleaner, depending on which head its wearing, and wet stuff should never touch the dry bits. And also, that it really only holds enough water for around 15 minutes of mopping. That’s fine if you’re just mopping the kitchen or the bathroom, or a spill. But it’s not going to cut it if you have a home of hard flooring that you want to do all of. It’s a gesture towards convenience without going all the way.

Other features

Dyson Submarine on its stand in the corner of a room with windows
Image: Alice Clarke/Gizmodo Australia

Of course, the Dyson v15s Detect Submarine Complete doesn’t just come with the Submarine mopping head. There’s the fancy Detect fluffy head that makes your floor look like a CSI crime scene while you clean it in the dark. This is, unironically, the best Dyson innovation in years and has made a huge difference to how I clean.

The v15s also has a replaceable battery, so if you have a big house, you can switch out batteries every 60 minutes to have non-stop cleaning for hours. Yay? But given lithium batteries are likely to die before any other component of the vacuum cleaner, being able to easily replace them is fantastic, assuming Dyson continues to make compatible batteries for a while (which is not guaranteed).

And I know I mentioned the stand earlier, but I still love just how good it is. It makes the vacuum cleaner something you wouldn’t be ashamed to have on display.

What’s the catch?

There are two things I really don’t like the Submarine, one of which might be a dealbreaker.

The first, more minor complaint, is that it goes back to the trigger of old. Having to hold down the trigger whenever I’m cleaning can make my hand cramp up a bit after a couple of rooms. I was really pleased when they made it just an on/off button on the gen5 Detect, and I’m not sure why they took a backwards step on the v15s.

The deal breaker, though, is that you have to thoroughly wash the mop roller by hand. I use a mop so I don’t have to touch the gross stuff from the floor. I want to keep as much space between me and whatever gross thing that was on the floor as possible. Otherwise, I’d just get down on hands and knees and use a cloth instead of a $1,649 fancy mop.

On a steam mop I can just take off the mopping pad, hold it by the edge, and throw it in the washing machine. On the Submarine I have to take the roller off, hold it in both hands and rub it suggestively under the tap, making sure I touch as much grossness as possible.

It seems like a really weird design oversight. Especially given that you have to wash it every time you use it, lest it get mouldy or congealed (depending on the level of gross). Perhaps it’s designed for rich people to buy and give to their house cleaners?

Either way, it’s something to keep in mind.

Would I recommend the Dyson v15s Detect Submarine?

Dyson Submarine on a wet hardwood floor
Image: Alice Clarke/Gizmodo Australia

Yes? No? Maybe? Kinda. It’s a very good vacuum cleaner and mop, I’m really impressed by its performance and how easy it is to use.

There are niggles though, like the trigger, the older tech still going for such a high price in a new kit, and the lack of ease of cleaning the mop roller.

I also wouldn’t recommend it for people with weaker upper body strength, because the mop really does want to move away from you and can be a bit unwieldy. Like, I wouldn’t be getting it for a frail order person, or someone with balance issues.

But, if you’re strong-ish of body, and tough enough of mind to handle hand washing a mop roller, and don’t have room for a Dyson gen5 Detect vacuum cleaner and a separate steam mop (This is not a steam mop. I love my steam mop), then this is a very good choice. It’s not perfect, but it does what it says it will do powerfully and efficiently, and sometimes that’s enough.

Where to buy the Dyson v15s Detect Submarine?

Dyson Australia $1,549 | The Good Guys $1,549 | Bing Lee $1,549 | JB Hi-Fi $1,549

The ‘Complete‘ version will set you back $1,649

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

It’s the most popular NBN speed in Australia for a reason. Here are the cheapest plans available.

At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.