The Dyson Submarine merges mopping and vacuuming into one appliance - we tested it to see if it can make everyday cleaning easier

The new Dyson V15 Detect Submarine vacuum and mop combo makes dealing with wet messes as easy as can be

Dyson V15 Detect Submarine
(Image credit: Dyson)
Ideal Home Verdict

The Dyson V15 Detect Submarine is the 2-in-1 innovation for mopping that fans of this vacuum brand have been waiting for. It's as easy as one click to attach it to the main body of the V15 Detect, which is an excellent vacuum in itself thanks to the wonderful laser floor head for finding all the dust and grime you can't see on your hard floors. As well as cleaning with water, the Submarine head can also deal with wet debris and lift trodden-in stains. It's an efficient all-in-one system for everyday cleaning.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Fluffy Optic head reveals layer of hidden dust and grime

  • +

    Submarine head is great for everyday cleaning

  • +

    Can deal with liquid as well as wet messes

  • +

    Switching heads is easy, and holder prevents spillages

  • +

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    The cleaning process is a little cumbersome

  • -

    Holding down the trigger mechanism can be easily tiring

  • -

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Dyson is a brand whose reputation proceeds it, especially in the vacuuming realm, but until now, it hasn't released a product to combat wet and dry cleaning. Enter the Dyson V15 Detect Submarine, which includes three different floorheads that join forces intending to replace the best vacuum and mop in your home. 

The Submarine floorhead is the real star of this launch and can be easily attached to the stick element of the vacuum and operated via a trigger mechanism. It has a fairly sized water tank and can deal with liquid spills and wet messes, with the roller head continuously depositing clean water onto your hard floors.

I think mopping in its current form can be extremely inefficient, and before I tried the Submarine I preferred a spray mop, but still found washing the mop head after every use to be a bit tiring. So, I had high hopes for this release to save space in my home and streamline my cleaning routine.

Dyson V15 Detect Submarine product specifications

Dyson Submarine wet floor cleaner and vacuum

(Image credit: Dyson)
  • Weight: 4.1kg
  • Max. run time: up to 60 minutes 
  • Bin volume: 0.77 litres
  • Charge time: 4.5 hours
  • Modes: Eco, Auto, Boost
  • In the box: Submarine wet roller head, Fluffy Optic cleaner head, Digital Motorbar cleaner head, hair screw tool, combination tool, crevice tool, docking station, charger

Unboxing the Dyson Submarine and setting up

The Dyson V15 Detect Submarine comes in a fairly big upright box, which is unsurprising given the three different cleaning heads included with this device. Add in the five different attachments for vacuuming and the box is pretty jam-packed.

Importantly with the Submarine, you'll also receive everything you need to wall-mount your unit, which comes in handy when dealing with the wet floorhead and avoiding spilling dirty water across your floors. The Submarine head is also enclosed within a tray, so you won't have dripping when the device isn't on.

Testing the Dyson V15 Submarine Detect

(Image credit: Future)

Setting the vacuum up to charge is very easy. All in all, it takes 4.5 hours to get the device to full battery, which is another reason why installing the wall mount and hooking the charger up to that is the easiest way to go, so that it's charging as it's stored.

The controls of the vacuum are easy to get to grips with, with a large LCD screen and one button to dial through the different modes. Somewhat controversially, this unit uses the trigger mechanism to operate when vacuuming or mopping, something that was swapped out in the latest Dyson release, the Dyson Gen5detect as it proved to be unpopular. 

Operating the Dyson V15 Detect Submarine

(Image credit: Future)

While I'm personally not a fan of the trigger mechanism, as I found my finger gets tired quite quickly, I can see how it might be the more effective control for mopping, so that you can apply more water to areas which need it. It also helps to save battery when vacuuming, if you often find yourself running out of power halfway through a clean.

Vacuuming with the Dyson V15 Detect Submarine

Dyson recommends vacuuming any hard floors first that you plan on cleaning with the Submarine head afterwards, which means that there is quite a bit of reliance on the Fluffy Optic head with this unit. 

Luckily it's easily one of Dyson's best innovations ever. Seriously, just one once-over with the lasers on the Fluffy head will make you desperate to mop your floors afterwards, as the lights illuminate all of the dust, grime and stuck-on mess that you can't see with the naked eye, but which lurks beneath the surface.

Testing the Dyson V15 Detect Submarine at home

(Image credit: Future)

This is especially true in my kitchen. I have an open-plan living, dining and cooking space, and my tiny kitchen units see a lot of footsteps every day. That means that there's a lot of debris and footprints to deal with, all of which are illuminated in the cold, hard light of day with the laser floorhead. 

Testing the Dyson V15 Detect Sumbarine at home

(Image credit: Future)

Though you won't be using the Submarine head on them, the Dyson V15 Detect is also kitted out for carpets too, thanks to the Digital Motorbar cleaner head, which extremely effectively sucks up dust and dirt. 

The floorhead for carpets is also excellent thanks to the row of teeth that keeps any hair from tangling, whether pet or human hair. You'll never have to take a pair of scissors to your vacuum again when you come to clean it, which is very, very welcome news to me. 

Testing the Dyson V15 Detect Submarine at home

(Image credit: Future)

On carpets, the V15 will auto-adjust its suction depending on the floor type too, which was most obvious to me during testing when it came to going over the rugs in my bedroom. You can hear and feel the suction amping up, which is all due to the tech in the vacuum reading how much dust it's dealing with and acting accordingly. Rugs and high-traffic areas are prone to more dust, so it's great that this vacuum does the level adjusting for you.

When it comes to attachments, the V15 Detect is properly kitted out. My personal favourite is the hair screw tool, which is an absolute godsend when it comes to cleaning a mattress. It clicks onto the main unit of the vacuum so easily and is the perfect shape to drag back and forth across your mattress to pick up dust and hair. 

The video shows just how excellent this small tool is for dealing with hair, and if you have pets then it's another reason the Submarine would make a fantastic addition to your home, as you can go over sofas with it so easily.

Another attachment included is the small combination tool, which has retractable bristles for when you need to tease stains out of carpet or upholstery, and the crevice tool, which I love for going around skirting boards and getting up high in my flat. 

Mopping with the Dyson V15 Detect Submarine

It's the verdict that we've all been waiting for: is the Submarine any good at actually mopping?

First things first, this cleaner just uses water on the rotating brush head to refresh floors. There's no included detergent from Dyson, though the brand advises that if you do wish to use detergent, you should avoid applying it to the tank without diluting it. 

To fill the tank on the Submarine, you press the red button on the head, and the tank will be freed from the main unit. You then take the bottle to your sink and fill it to the marked line. It's not an especially large tank, but with the size of the roller head being so large, you can see that they had a lot to cram into the design of the floorhead.

Testing the Dyson V15 Dyson Submarine

(Image credit: Future)

I found sliding the filled water tank back into the main unit trickier than it needed to be, and even after consulting videos on YouTube and the user manual, I was still baffled as to why the parts weren't fitting together. 

After a short period of agonising, I realised there's a raised element on the tank part that needs to fit into the top of the floorhead before you slide the rest of the attachment on. Once I'd cracked this, assembling and disassembling got a lot easier. Still, I feel like I would have appreciated an illustration of how the pieces slot back together.

From here it really couldn't be easier to attach the floorhead to the main stick. Once you hear that 'click' sound you know the two parts have come together and all you need to do is press down on the trigger.

Testing the Dyson Submarine on hard floors

(Image credit: Future)

The motion of the Submarine pulls you away with it from the first time you try it, which makes it so easy to push around the floor. There's essentially no need to push it along, and by pressing down on the trigger you get a steady, even continuous flow of clean water on your floor.

The amount of water that the Submarine deposits hits a perfect middle ground between making your floors too soaked and not depositing enough. The water dries quickly too, at least on my floors, which means you don't have to block off the area you've just cleaned for too long afterwards.

I tried the Submarine out at Dyson's office in Malmesbury last year, and the test they ran with it that impressed me the most was with instant coffee. The grounds that they scattered were both whole and mixed with hot water, so it was very much a wet mess, and the Submarine head dealt with both elements easily. 

As well as big, obvious messes, I found that using the Submarine for the first time helped me to lift stains that I would otherwise have to use my steam cleaner for, which means that this device can do a lot more than a normal mop with a lot less effort.

Once I got more confident with using the Submarine, I moved on to adding a splash of Zoflora into the tank, which is one of the Ideal Home team's favourite cleaning products. This added a great fragrance to my mopping and meant my floors felt a little bit cleaner. If you'd prefer to use the head without detergent, however, I think it would work just as well.

Maintenance

Cleaning the Submarine head is a bit of a lengthy process, which I'd say is where it loses marks. Hopefully, in the future, Dyson will make a self-emptying element to the Submarine to make it much more efficient.

For now, though, you need to detach the head while it's sitting in the drip tray to prevent leaks. Make sure to keep both of them entirely horizontal as you lift the tray into your sink, otherwise, you'll end up with an almighty mess. 

Cleaning the Dyson Submarine head

(Image credit: Future)

From there, press the red button to detach the different elements, and pour out the dirty water that has accumulated in the tray. Then rinse with cold water and move onto the brush roll, which will also need to be rinsed. 

I also wring the brush out with my hands, but you'll definitely want to wear gloves while you do this. I found there to be quite a bit of debris picked up as part of the wet clean, and you don't want to be touching that with your hands.

All of the parts then click back together as they did when you filled up with water. Make sure to give your drip tray a once-over every time you empty it too.

How does it compare to similar models?

In terms of vacuuming only, I've found the Dyson V15 Detect Submarine to be very similar to the Dyson Gen5detect, which is Dyson's newest vacuum release. Sure, the Gen5detect has more tech to help you with working out which parts of your home need to be cleaned, but on the whole the suction and general use are very similar.

Testing the Dyson V15 Detect Submarine at home

A side by side of the Dyson V15 Detect Submarine and the Dyson Gen5detect.

(Image credit: Future)

On that note, I do find it frustrating that the Submarine head from the V15 cannot be attached to my Gen5detect, which means I'll need to make a choice about which one I keep. 

We haven't tested too many 2-in-1 mops and vacuums here at Ideal Home (yet!) but the closest comparison I can think of is instead investing in one of the best steam cleaners. Our number one choice is the Vax Steam Fresh Combi S86-SF-C, which is a capable cleaner that comes in around the £100 mark and is great for hard floors. 

While it's a lot more affordable, it can't deal with wet messes in the same way the Submarine can, so it's all about what you think your day-to-day usage of a machine like this would be.

Should you buy the Dyson V15 Detect Submarine?

If you're in the market to buy a Dyson vacuum cleaner, which I'd say is the superior brand out there, then I think it's worth paying the extra to add the Submarine floorhead into your purchase. 

The ability to switch between the heads so easily means I've definitely done more mopping in the time I've been testing it, sometimes multiple times a day. The other elements you get with the Dyson V15 when it comes to vacuuming are also so impressive, both on hard floors and carpets. 

My main issues with this vacuum and mop combo is the time it takes to carry out the maintenance on the Submarine head and the trigger mechanism when vacuuming, which easily becomes tiring. Those things aside, I have to say that I'm a new Submarine fan.

Molly Cleary
Kitchen Appliances Editor

Molly is Ideal Home’s Kitchen Appliances Editor and an all-around baking and cooking enthusiast. She joined the team in September 2022 as an Ecommerce Editor after working across Real Homes, Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She's been reviewing products for 4 years and now specialises in weighing up kitchen essentials' pros and cons, from air fryers to bean-to-cup coffee machines. 

She's always been a keen reader, so after graduating from the University of Exeter in 2020 she was thrilled to find a way to write as a full-time job. Nowadays, she spends her days at home or the Ideal Home test facility trying out new kitchen innovations to see if they’re worth a space on your worktop. Her most beloved and hard-working appliance is her Sage coffee machine though she also takes the title of Ideal Home’s in-house air fryer expert after writing about them religiously over the past few years.

When she's not thinking or writing about kitchen appliances, she loves getting around London exploring new places, going for a dip at the Ladies’ Pond and consuming every bit of pop culture she can get her hands on.