Review: Dyson V15x Submarine wet head vacuum provides satisfaction - and disappointment

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine.
The Dyson V15s Detect Submarine is an all-in-one wet-and-dry cordless vacuum. Photo credit: Newshub.

I've been a big fan of Dyson stick vacuums for many years now, but one thing that's always been missing from their range is a wet head or mop attachment.

The green laser and LED lights attached to the fluffy head on Dyson's stick vacs for the past few years have been a real game-changer for hard-floor cleaning, but it can't be used for messes of the wet sort. Nor can any other previous Dyson product.

But this one can. The V15x Submarine has recently been released in New Zealand with the costly RRP of $1650.

I had two weeks trialling the Submarine and while I'm impressed with how it performs, I also found myself disappointed.

This unit is almost the same as the V15 that came out a couple of years back, but with the Submarine wet head mop attachment. By far the biggest disappointment is that Dyson isn't selling the Submarine separately. It also won't work with any other stick vac released by the company so far, even if it could be sold separately.

There are legitimate compatibility reasons for this, but consumers won't care about those - it's just plain annoying.

It's also annoying that if you are upgrading to a new vacuum and want to invest in a high-quality Dyson offering, you must choose between the company's most modern, most powerful vacuum to date - or the one with the company's most advanced attachment to date.

That annoyance aside, just how good is the Submarine? Unsurprisingly for Dyson, it works brilliantly. It's fantastic for cleaning up the kitchen floor and quicky and efficiently mopping up any messes.

It's easy to put water and detergent into and super light and easy to push around as it does the business. In my household we wasted a fair bit of tomato sauce by intentionally spilling it just to test out the Submarine's capabilities mainly for the enjoyment of a rather cleaning-obsessed four-year-old, but also for professional reviewing reasons, of course.

Apologies for the grossness here, but the Submarine worked out great when it came to cleaning up cat sick, too. Just a couple of back-and-forward motions and the vomit was gone.

I will say that as good as the mop is, it doesn't give the same wow factor as using a Dyson stick vac from the first time when upgrading from a cheap, low-grade alterative. There is still wow factor - just less of it.

The only stuff it had trouble picking up in the kitchen were hairs, weirdly, and the occasional very thin item that would stick to the floor like a small bit of paper. It picked up everything else and always left the floor clean and yes, a little wet, but it didn't leave big puddles.

It was also very good at cleaning the bathroom and shower floor, but unfortunately you can't do the walls with it as the Submarine has to stay flat on the ground to operate.

Dyson V15s Detect Submarine cleaning up a messy kitchen.
Photo credit: supplied/Dyson

The water tank only allows for up to about 20 minutes of mopping before it needs a refill and when you do, you also need to empty the dirty water tank.

Then comes more disappointment.

Taking the Submarine unit off the vac, you've got to carefully walk it to a sink - the laundry sink, preferably, because you're about to gross that sink up and probably don't want to do so in the kitchen or a bathroom basin. It's relatively easy to spill water out of the Submarine if you don't keep it level on the way to the sink, too.

Once there, you might want to put on plastic gloves as you disassemble the Submarine - which is very easy to do - but then you've got to clean the icky head by hand, as well as rinse out the dirty water reservoir, which also has all the food scraps and whatever else it's picked up.

There's just got to be a better way and Dyson is likely to design one in the not-too-distant future. This is a first-generation product, so it will be improved upon in the coming years - ideally with a dirty water tank that doesn't spill and a device that can clean the mop head that isn't your hand.

In hindsight, I should have read the instructions more carefully before I first operated this thing too. I thought as a Dyson veteran I'd pick it up immediately, but I found out the hard way when it came to spilling dirty water on my freshly mopped floor.

Beyond the Submarine, all the normal vacuum bits-and-bobs are just as good as you'd expect for a vacuum of this calibre - and this expensive. My review of the V15 (sans 'S') runs over those other features.

Despite the disappointments, the Dyson V15x Submarine is one of the best stick vacuums on the market, with the bonus of a wet head attachment that makes it a really, really good mop. It's a shame you can't use that attachment on other models - and patient folks may well want to wait for the inevitable improved version that will be out in no time.

Newshub was supplied a Dyson V15x Submarine for this review