Dyson V15 Detect Review
You know you're an adult when you're excited about a vacuum cleaner. But no matter your age, Dyson's latest cordless stick vacuum, the V15 Detect, is likely to turn heads. Featuring more suction power than any of its predecessors, an LCD that shows particle counts in real time, and a new cleaner head attachment that shines a green laser on your hard floors to reveal debris otherwise invisible to the naked eye, it's perhaps the smartest and most capable cordless stick vacuum on the market. It also comes with a host of accessories to quickly transition from vacuuming your floors, to sucking up trash from the inside of your car, to dusting various surfaces throughout your home. And new anti-tangle attachments prevent hair from becoming wrapped around the brush roll, cutting down on maintenance duties. At $699.99, you're paying a hefty premium for all of these features, but the Dyson V15 Detect not only offers top-notch cleaning performance, it makes an otherwise mundane chore fun.Our Experts Have Tested 125 Products in the Smart Home Category in the Past YearSince 1982, PCMag has tested and rated thousands of products to help you make better buying decisions. (See how we test.)
With its wand attachment, the V15 Detect measures 49.6 by 10.5 by 9.8 inches (HLW). It weighs 6.8 pounds, which feels a bit heavy compared with my old 5.63-pound V8, but it's still easy to hold and use. Like the V10 and V11, the V15 Detect has a 0.2-gallon dustbin, up from the V8's 0.14-gallon capacity.
The V15 Detect features a Dyson Hyperdymium motor, which the company says generates up to 230 air watts of suction, and a five-stage filtration system that promises to capture 99.99% of dust particles down to 0.3 microns. It delivers more suction power than than the V10 and V11, which top out at 151 and 185 air watts, respectively, in Boost mode.
Dyson also makes a version of this vacuum called the V15 Detect+, which features an upgraded filtration system that can capture particles down to 0.1 microns, such as pet dander and diesel soot. That model costs $749.99, and is only available for purchase on Dyson's site.
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The V15 Detect comes with a number of attachments. In the box, you get a Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head (for hard floors), an anti-tangle High Torque cleaner head (for all floors), an anti-tangle hair screw tool (for long hair and pet hair), a crevice tool (for edges and narrow gaps), a stubborn dirt brush (for floors and furniture), a mini soft dusting brush (for delicate surfaces and fabrics), a combination tool (with a brush and wide nozzle you can switch between), plus a 25.75-inch wand (the stick part) that attaches to the vacuum and all the accessories, so you don't have to bend down. Also included is a wand clip that lets you store the combination and crevice tools on the vacuum for easy access, a docking station that can be mounted on the wall, and a charger.
The V15 Detect+ model includes all of the previously mentioned accessories, plus a low-reach adapter to help you clean under furniture. It also comes with a multi-purpose combi-crevice tool, instead of the standard crevice tool you get with the V15 Detect. The multi-purpose tool features a brush you can slide up and down to quickly switch between cleaning and dusting.
(Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)
If you already own a Dyson V8, V10, or V11, you'll be able to use any of its attachments with the V15 Detect, and vice versa (not including the laser head, which is engineered specifically for the V15). The Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head, which is new to the V15 range, features a green laser diode, which is positioned at a 1.5-degree angle around 0.3 inches from the ground, to illuminate your hard floors, revealing dust particles you can't usually see. It reminds me of one of those CSI lights that show blood, except here it's dust and dog hair.
Like the V11, the latest model features a small LCD, located on the rear end of the machine. On the V15, the display shows particle counts in addition to your selected cleaning mode, the remaining runtime, filter maintenance and blockage information, and the battery level when it's charging.(Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)
Within the V15's bin inlet is a piezo sensor that counts and measures the size of dust particles. As you're vacuuming, the LCD shows a graph of the particles being picked up, ranked into four sizes. The yellow bar indicates the density of particles greater than 10 microns (µm) in size, including allergens and pollen. The orange bar represents particles greater than 60µm, including microscopic dust and skin flakes. The pink bar represents particles greater than 180µm, including dust mites and fine sand. Finally, the purple bar represents particles greater than 500µm, including sugar granules.
After every cleaning session, the graph shows how much dust you've removed. To reset the graph, charge the vacuum for 30 minutes or remove the battery for 15 seconds. Dyson says the graph can help you determine when you're done cleaning.
"When lots of dust is being vacuumed, the graph rises quickly," Dyson says. "But as less and less dust is picked up, it slows down, letting you know you've achieved a thorough deep clean."(Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)
Beneath the display is a selection button that lets you cycle through the vacuum's modes. The V15 Detect has three modes: Auto/Medium (the recommended mode), Eco, and Boost. Eco mode offers the longest battery life for big jobs, but the lowest suction power (26 air watts). Boost mode offers the most suction power (230 air watts) for intensive spot cleaning, but should only be used occasionally as it drains the battery quickly. Most of the time, you'll probably just want to use Auto/Medium, which delivers 47 air watts, balancing suction power and runtime. In comparison, the V11 and V10 offer 45 and 33.8 air watts on Medium mode, the most commonly used setting. The older V8 only offers 22 air watts in Normal mode, and 115 air watts in Max mode.
In Auto/Medium mode, the V15 Detect will automatically adjust its suction power based on the level of dust detected by the piezo sensor, though this feature only works when you're using one of the cleaner heads or the hair screw tool.
Setting Up and Using the V15 Detect
The V15 Detect doesn't come with a full physical manual, just a quick start guide that outlines the steps to set it up. The full manual, as well as ASMR-inducing how-to videos outlining the setup process, are available online.(Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)
Setting up the V15 Detect is easy. You just unbox the unit and all its accessories, then plug it in and wait for it to fully charge before you use it for the first time. The vacuum charges from dead to 100% in 4.5 hours. Dyson says it needs to be fully charged before its first use to accurately calculate its remaining running time, so don't skip this step.
The first time you use it, the vacuum will ask you to select your language. English is the default selection, so just hold the selection button for three seconds to set it. When you see a green check mark on the screen, you're good to go.
To start cleaning with the V15 Detect, simply snap on your preferred attachments, use the selection button to set the mode (it's set to Auto by default), then pull the trigger.(Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)
Something that may or may not annoy you about the V15 Detect—and most of Dyson's other stick vacuums including the V8, V10, and V11—is that there is no continuous on feature, meaning you have to hold the power trigger the whole time you're vacuuming.
I'm generally unbothered by this issue because I primarily rely on robot vacuums for my floors, and only use the V15 Detect (and my older V8) for touch-ups as well as cleaning my couch and car. If you plan to use the V15 Detect as your primary vacuum, this limitation may annoy you, especially if you have a large home.
A Dyson spokesperson said the trigger "ensures you’re not draining extra battery and run-time, while also allowing you to quickly move furniture or other debris you see, while vacuuming."
V15 Detect Battery Life and Cleaning Performance
Aside from having to press the trigger the entire time you're cleaning, the V15 Detect is easy and, dare I say it, fun, to use. My dog Bradley could care less about robot vacuums, but always perked up with excitement when I grabbed the V15 Detect for testing. "This isn't your toy," I told him as he followed me around, pawing the vacuum. "It's mommy's toy."(Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)
The V15 Detect's attachments offer tremendous variety, letting you quickly switch from vacuuming your floors to dusting other surfaces. The accessories are easy to attach and remove, and make a satisfying clicking sound when locked into place.
In terms of battery life, the V15 Detect has a maximum 60-minute running time, which will vary depending on the power mode, dust level, floor type, and attachments used. It offers the same battery life as its most recent predecessors, the V11 Animal, the Cyclone V10 Absolute, and the Cyclone V10 Animal. In comparison, the older V8 Absolute and V8 Animal last up to 40 minutes on a charge.
In testing, the V15 Detect offered more than 34 minutes of power when set to Auto/Medium mode. In that time, I was able to vacuum my roughly 1,300-square-foot home using the Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head on laminate and tile, and the anti-tangle High Torque cleaner head on carpeting, with battery life to spare. After cleaning my floors, I used the anti-tangle hair screw attachment to vacuum the living room sofa where Bradley likes to hang out, then switched to the mini soft dusting brush to vacuum my TV stands, bedside tables, desk, lamps, and ceiling fan blades. Finally, I popped on the crevice tool to vacuum wall edges and other hard-to-reach places.
If you have a large home and plan to use the V15 Detect as your primary vacuum, you might want to consider purchasing an extra battery.(Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)
The Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head works as advertised, revealing dust on hard floors that would otherwise be invisible. I couldn't believe the amount of dust it showed under my dining room table, where robot vacuums have a hard time reaching; had it not been for the laser, I might have overlooked this spot. Dyson says the laser is safe for pets and humans, but you should avoid looking directly into the beam. You can easily turn the laser on and off using a slider on the cleaner head.
The anti-tangle hair screw tool, also new to this generation, is another standout attachment. It features a cone-shaped brush bar that "spirals hair off and into the bin." Dyson says it tested the tool to ensure it prevents both human and pet hair from becoming wrapped around the brush bar. Combined with the V15 Detect's strong suction power, this attachment easily lifted dog fur from couch cushions and pillows, far surpassing the performance of my older V8. All of that fur was successfully transferred to the bin, with not a single piece left behind on the brush bar.
The new anti-tangle High Torque cleaner head features 56 polycarbonate teeth that prevent hair from tangling around the bristles. In testing, this attachment was also free of hair after a thorough pass over my carpeting. If you have long hair or live with someone who does, this anti-tangle attachment is a big plus.
On ceiling fan blades, night stands, TV stands, and similar surfaces, the V15 Detect's mini soft dusting attachment offers similar results to a Swiffer. My mom, who when visiting will run a finger over a lampshade or TV stand to check my cleaning efforts, would probably say it's not comparable with a good old-fashioned dusting using spray, a cloth, and elbow grease. But it's a lot easier, and probably good enough for most.(Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)
As you clean, you can see the clear dustbin fill up. Around 15 minutes into my first test run with the V15 Detect, the bin was completely filled with dust and dog hair.
In testing, the piezo sensor worked without issue, reliably reporting the size and quantity of collected particles on the V15 Detect's built-in LCD. After one brief cleaning session, the V15 Detect said it picked up more than 1 billion µm>10 particles. Dyson says this feature offers "real time scientific proof of a deep clean," but, to be honest, I find it a bit gimmicky. While it's interesting to see the breakdown of what you're picking up, I didn't find this information all that useful in testing.
It would be better if the V15 Detect could connect to the Dyson Link app and keep a record of your cleaning sessions, including information from the piezo sensor. As it stands, the graph resets after every use, and there's no way to go back and look at your data from previous sessions.(Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)
The V15 Detect's ability to automatically increase its suction power when the piezo sensor detects a high concentration of dust is a useful feature. In testing, it worked like a charm: When the green laser on the Fluffy cleaner head revealed a great deal of dust and debris, I could feel and hear the V15 Detect's suction power increase. When I passed over spots I had already vacuumed, the suction power went back down.
Emptying the Bin and Maintaining Your Machine
To empty the V15 Detect's bin, you must remove any accessories attached to the vacuum, hold it over a trash can, point the nozzle downward, then firmly push the red bin release button down, taking care to avoid pressing the trigger while doing so. The bin will then slide down, its lid will open, and the contents will fall into the trash. When you empty the bin, a cloud of dust and debris comes out.
If you're allergic to dust, there's an easy solution to this problem: Dyson recommends tightly covering the bin with a plastic bag, and emptying it into that. In testing, I found this method significantly cut down on my exposure to dust.(Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)
With the V10, Dyson changed the design of the dustbin from a vertical to a horizontal orientation. The V11 and V15 retain this design. I actually find the bin release mechanism on the older V8 a bit easier to operate. For starters, on the V8, you don't have to remove your attachments when emptying the bin. And because the bin is positioned vertically, you don't have to awkwardly point the nozzle down when emptying it. This is a small gripe, but if you're upgrading from a V8, it will likely take a few tries to get used to the V15 Detect's bin release mechanism.Top to bottom: Dyson V8, Dyson V15 Detect (Photo: Angela Moscaritolo)
If necessary, you can also completely remove and clean the bin with a damp cloth. Just be sure it's completely dry before you put it back on the unit.
To maintain optimum suction power, Dyson recommends washing the V15 Detect's filter at least once a month. You simply twist the filter off by turning it counterclockwise, then gently tap it into your trash can to remove loose dust and debris, and wash it with warm water. Make sure it's completely dry before replacing it.
The Laser Slim Fluffy cleaner head features a washable brush bar. You just remove the brush bar from the attachment, hold it under running water to remove any lint or dirt, then let it completely dry before replacing it. You'll also want to regularly check the High Torque cleaner head and hair screw tool for blockages or obstructions and, if necessary, clear them.
A Notch Above the Rest
Dyson's cordless stick vacuums are among the most versatile on the market, with attachments for hard floors, carpeting, edges, and dusting. The $699.99 V15 Detect outshines its predecessors with several notable upgrades, including a bump in suction power, a laser that reveals dirt on hard floors, a sensor that counts and measures particles in real time, and new anti-tangle accessories that prevent hair wrapping.
The V15 Detect's extra battery life and suction power make it a compelling upgrade from the V8 and earlier models. But if you own a V10 or V11, you're probably fine sticking with it for now. And if a Dyson model isn't right for you, there are scores of alternatives, including the $499 Samsung Jet 90, the $499 Roborock H7, and the $149.99 Wyze Cordless Vacuum, which we're in the process of testing. If you can afford the V15 Detect, however, it's well worth the price.
Dyson V15 Detect4.0See It $699.99 at TargetMSRP $699.99
The Bottom Line
It might induce sticker shock, but the Dyson V15 Detect delivers stronger suction power than any of its predecessors and comes with lots of useful accessories, including a laser-equipped cleaner head that reveals dust you wouldn't otherwise see, making it the ultimate cordless stick vacuum for clean freaks.
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