Buyers guides

Dyson Submarine: An honest review of the brand’s first wet-dry vacuum

Does it sink or swim?

Ahh, the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine – a vacuum cleaner designed to do the job of several in one handy tool.

Frankly, as someone who’d much rather be sipping wine and watching TV than battling dust bunnies, this wet/dry vacuum‘s claim to cut cleaning time was music to my ears – and something I had to jump on immediately.

But does it do everything it says it will? Is it worth the expensive price tag? I decided to find out once and for all by putting Dyson’s new vacuum to the test.

Let’s dive into the depths of its capabilities…

Side note: The Dyson Submarine is currently $552 off ($997 down from $1549) at The Good Guys following the Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales. Get in quick because you won’t see a bargain like this again any time soon!

How I tested this product

I took one for the team by letting my apartment get a bit dirtier than usual, simply so I could put the Dyson Submarine through its paces. My dedication to this research led to an ‘accidentally’ messy apartment – purely for the sake of this Dyson Submarine review, of course.

What is the Dyson Submarine?

In case you missed it and haven’t (yet) been swept up in the hype, Dyson recently rolled out its latest game-changer in cleaning tech – the Dyson V15s Detect Submarine. With its promise to revolutionise your cleaning routine by effortlessly banishing dust, spills and stains, this wet/dry vacuum claims to redefine how you tackle cleaning days.

It comes in two variations: the widely available Dyson V15s Detect Submarine ($1549) and the exclusive Dyson V15s Detect Submarine Complete ($1649), which I took for a spin to give my apartment a much-needed tidy up.

The main difference between the two is that the base model is identical to Dyson’s V15 Detect but comes with two cleaning heads – the Digital Motorbar and the Submarine roller.

The Complete version resembles the Gen5detect handstick – with an integrated crevice tool – and ships with a freestanding charging dock, as well as the newly designed Fluffy Optic (in addition to the other two heads).

Key features

Before I dive into my Dyson Submarine review, here’s a rundown of the main features and tech specs you can expect.

  • Up to 60 minutes’ runtime
  • 0.77L bin capacity
  • 4.5 hours charging time
  • Three cleaning modes: Auto, Eco and Boost
  • LCD screen displays particles removed during cleaning, remaining runtime and enables mode switching
  • Single power control
  • Wet roller leaves floors damp without excessive wetness
  • Designed to clean tiles, wood, laminate, ceramic, stone and vinyl floors
  • Features a multistage, fully-sealed filtration system that captures microscopic dust while releasing purified air
  • No-touch bin emptying mechanism
  • Anti-tangle conical brush bar removes hair, moving it into bin to prevent clogging
  • Automatically adjusts suction power for stubborn debris
  • Fluffy Optic cleaner head illuminates hidden dust, dirt and dander
  • Floor Dok Multi allows recharging and accessory storage
  • Click-in battery design for extended runtime

What attachments does the Dyson Submarine come with?

Dyson 15 Detect Submarine Heads
The three attachment heads (Credit: Better Homes & Gardens / Tiarne Blackwell)

The device arrived with three Dyson Submarine heads the Wet Roller, fluffy optic cleaner and digital motorbar cleaning head. It also came with a range of accessories, including the combination tool, hair screw tool, built-in crevice tool, floor dok multi, drip tray and charger.

I found transitioning between attachments to be fairly quick and easy. The device itself was lightweight, flexible and great at effortlessly reaching tricky spots like under the couch, under my bed, the corners of the stairs and even the pesky gap between the fridge and the wall! Feats not easily achieved either; past vacuums and mops have tried and failed more than once.

WET ROLLER HEAD

Dyson Wet Roller Head
There’s nothing like a bit of barbecue sauce on the floor (Credit: Better Homes & Gardens / Tiarne Blackwell)

Dyson’s new wet roller head was the star of the lineup, being the first Dyson attachment to handle wet spills. The powerful motorised microfibre design certainly outperformed my traditional soggy mop, which always seems to spread dirty water around (no matter much I wring it out)…

This is all thanks to its 300ml clean water tank and separate 360ml compartment, designed to prevent grime transfer and keep the roller fresh. This means the roller extracts the contaminated water and empties it into the waste water tray so that you’re always mopping with fresh water.

So, how does it stand up? Let’s just say muddy paw prints, questionable mystery marks, dried honey and even that barbecue sauce I deliberately flung across the floor for the purpose of this review are no match. The roller head effortlessly slurped and mopped everything up, leaving my white tiles pristine.

The only downside is that you have to manually change the water tank every 16 minutes before it needs to be refilled. Because I live in a one-bedroom apartment, this wasn’t an issue for me, but it might be worth keeping in mind depending on your individual circumstances.

FLUFFY OPTIC CLEANER HEAD

Dyson Fluffy Optic Cleaner Head Submarine
I swear my house isn’t usually this dirty (Credit: Better Homes & Gardens / Tiarne Blackwell)

The Fluffy Optic cleaner head, designed for hard floors, apparently excels on carpets too – although I can’t confirm because I don’t have any. However, it did a brilliant job on my laminate floorboards, easily tackling fine debris, dog hair and large pieces of mysterious fluff that show up every now and then.

So, what sets it apart from other cleaning heads? Well, it comes with a green laser that pretty much turns your floor into a scene from CSI. While it was a bit harrowing watching this contraption shine a light on everything in my house that I personally thought was clean, it did help identify where to target my vacuuming.

Dyson Submarine LCD Screen
The LCD screen keeps you on track at all times (Credit: Better Homes & Gardens / Tiarne Blackwell)

Cleverly, Auto mode adjusted the vacuum’s suction power depending on how dirty the floor was, saving precious battery. I could also see the size of the particles I was picking up on the LCD screen, as well as the remaining run time.

DIGITAL MOTORBAR CLEANER HEAD

Dyson Digital Motorbar
The Digital Motorbar in all its glory (Credit: Dyson)

The Digital Motorbar cleaner head is the same Motorbar cleaner head offered in the Gen5detect, although it has a slightly different width.

I found it to be extremely powerful and was thoroughly impressed watching it smoothly glide over and clean my floors. Just like with the other heads, it easily swivelled into the snug corners of my apartment – areas I usually overlook due to past machine failures.

Is the Dyson Submarine any good?

I would definitely recommend the Submarine to anyone looking to give their home a quick or deep clean. I loved the three levels of suction power offered v most notably Auto mode which worked intuitively to give my laminate floors and tiles a brilliant clean.

Another game-changer was the anti-hair tangle tool – a huge saviour for long-haired folks like me who tend to leave dark strands all over their very light floors. Designed to prevent the wrapping of hair around the brush bar, the conical brush and angled bristles enable hair to ‘migrate’ down the brush bar easily, sliding off the tip and into the bin.

I’m not lying when I tell you I’ve gone through my fair share of vacuum cleaners, simply because they stop working after sucking up so much of my hair. Yes, I do clean them regularly, and yes they do still break. So while this isn’t exactly a new tool for Dyson, I was still excited to give it a whirl.

The only very minor complaint I have about the Submarine is that you can’t mop and vacuum at the same time you need to vacuum first with one of the vacuum heads, and then come back with the wet roller. You also have to thoroughly wash the wet roller by hand when you’re finished mopping, which can be a bit unpleasant if you’re handling smelly spills.

Can you use detergent with the Dyson Submarine?

The Submarine is designed for water cleaning, but you can add a gentle, common house-hold detergent if you follow Dyson’s dilution ratio, with no bleach or high-foaming formulations.

Can the Dyson Submarine replace your mop?

Yes, it can replace your mop for many cleaning tasks. The motorised wet roller head picks up liquids, debris and stains, and continuously extracts them from the roller with each rotation. It also has a transparent clean water tank so you can see how much water is remaining.

While a mop is better suited for cleaning large areas of hard floors, the Dyson Submarine is more effective at cleaning up light messes and removing debris. It is also faster and easier to use than a mop.

What is the difference between the Dyson v15 Detect and Submarine?

The Dyson V15 Detect and Dyson V15 Detect Submarine are both powerful cordless vacuum cleaners with advanced filtration and laser dust detection. However, the V15 Detect Submarine has wet and dry cleaning capabilities, as well as a soft roller bar. 

The V15 Detect is a good choice for those who need a powerful vacuum cleaner for cleaning both hard floors and carpets, while the V15 Detect Submarine is a good choice for those who need a vacuum cleaner that can also cleans up wet messes.

Where can you buy the Dyson Submarine?

There are a few different retailers to purchase the Submarine from. Here are your best options:

You might also like:

Dyson releases its first wet vacuum cleaner attachment, the Dyson Submarine

Best robot vacuum cleaners and mops from $325 to keep your floor looking spotless

11 of the best mops for tiles, laminate and wooden floors

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