The best water vacuum cleaner can be either a traditional cylinder design, or an upright version, and both should provide comparable results when it comes to cleaning. Many devices can perform both wet and dry cleaning and come with numerous accessories to make cleaning various items easier.
Water vacuums may look a lot like traditional vacuums, and the water filtration is often hidden inside of the device but can be removed easily for cleaning. These machines also tend to have common features like retractable cords, and wide cleaning radiuses common with traditional filtration vacuums.
Experts Picks: Top 5 Water Filtration Vacuum Cleaner
- Water Filter Vacuum Buying Guide
- The Top 9 Water Vacuums
- 1. 2.5 gallon, 2 peak HP, utility wet/dry vacuum by Armor All
- 2. 5 gallon, 4.5 peak HP stainless steel wet/dry vacuum by Shop-Vac
- 3. BISSELL Vac and Cleaner 1977E
- 4. 12 gallon 5 peak HP, wet/dry vacuum with detachable blower by Vacmaster
- 5. 6 gallon, 4 horsepower wet/dry vacuum by Stanley
- 6. Team Kalorik Vacuum Cleaner with Anti-Allergy Water Filtration
- 7. Thomas Pet & Family Aqua+ 788569 Vacuum Cleaner
- 8. Thomas 786522 Aqua Anti-Allergy Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner
- 9. Arnica Bora 5000 Award-Winning Vacuum Cleaner with Water Filtration
- Comparison Table
Water Filter Vacuum Buying Guide
Water vacuums are also called water filtration vacuums due to the use of water that forces dirt through a filter in the machine. There are several water vacuums available on the market, but if you are new to this type of device, our frequently asked questions can help you get started.
1. What is a water vacuum cleaner?
Water vacuums or water filtration vacuums have become more popular lately for their exceptional filtration abilities. These vacuums use water to trap debris such as pet hair, pet dander, pollen, dust, and dirt so that it can’t get blown back into your house or escape when you empty the canister.
These vacuums have a filter and use special motors to move water and debris through the mechanism. The water is the cleansing agent in most cases, but some machines allow you to add different cleansers or perfumes for a pleasantly scented experience.
There are also water vacuums that do steam cleaning, and these can work either with or without cleanser. These devices are thought to capture the debris better, which makes them ideal for those with allergies.
2. Why should I get a water vacuum cleaner?
Water vacuum cleaners are at least as popular as Hepa filter machines for the simple reason that they quickly filter out debris that may otherwise end up in the air.
These microscopic particles are often released back into your home by vacuums that don’t have fine filters, and this can mean more irritants in the air and on surfaces for those with asthma or allergies.
If you are looking for a device that offers an optimal level of filtration, it’s possible to get one that has both water filtration and a Hepa filter, but it’s not necessary. If you want to be able to steam your floors, there are water vacuums that have this function and use a built-in water heater.
Water vacuums still need a filter to operate correctly, but the filters don’t need changing as often as other filter types. Some devices also have washable filters so that you get the most life it of each filter before replacement.
Water vacuums may be more substantial than other types of vacuums, but they are more versatile and able to clean more deeply than different types of cleaning devices that don’t use water.
Many households find these machines vital to keeping their furniture looking newer longer, and also save time cleaning their hard floors and stairs that they would otherwise clean by hand.
3. Are water vacuum cleaners common?
Water vacuums are a relatively new product that began to gain traction in the last few years. Older versions of these vacuums exist, but they lacked the ease of use and functionality that modern units have.
You’ll find water vacuums or water filtration vacuums in environments where they want to keep allergens to a minimum and also in homes with pets. For those that have allergies or respiratory conditions, a water filtration vacuum can cut down on a significant amount of dust and other irritants that can lower their quality of life.
Water vacuums are also used in high traffic areas of the home where dirt can collect quickly or in flooring that is difficult to clean by hand. Some types of natural stone flooring require regular mopping. Performing this cleaning with a vacuum that can suck the dirty water off the floor without leaving any behind in tiny crevices found on the surface is best.
How We Reviewed
To find the best water vacuum, we looked at several recommendations from experts online and reviewed user feedback. Our recommended products also reflect the overall performance of each device, features, and the quality of the construction.
Overall Price Range
Water vacuum cleaners tend to be a bit more expensive than traditional vacuum cleaners with bags for filtration, but they are priced similarly to vacuums that have Hepa filters. Many of these water vacuums will cost between $120 to $300, but the exact cost will vary from one product to another.
The Top 9 Water Vacuums
If you are looking for the best water vacuum cleaner, you’ll want to check out one of the machines on our list. Many of them vary in size and price, but they all use water for filtration or cleaning.
1. 2.5 gallon, 2 peak HP, utility wet/dry vacuum by Armor All
- 2.5 Gallon Polypropylene Tank
- 2 Peak HP Motor
Anybody who wants a wet/dry vacuum that is ideal for both a small room as well as on the run will get a lot out of Armor All’s water vacuum cleaner. Although it is cordless, that does not mean it can’t perform well.
Containing a 2.5 gallon tank, it is possible to use Armor All’s wet/dry vacuum for virtually any room in the house as the capacity allows for a surprisingly large amount of cleaning. Combine that with the fact that it can pick up wet and dry debris and you have the closest thing to an all purpose water vacuum cleaner.
The cordless feature of Armor All’s water vacuum cleaner is nice, but it is less than suitable to take on long trips if you intend to use it during said trip. Why is this? It is impossible to charge Armor All’s wet/dry vacuum cleaner in your automobile. If you plan to use this water vacuum for a long term trip, you’ll need to charge it completely before going or find places to charge it.
2. 5 gallon, 4.5 peak HP stainless steel wet/dry vacuum by Shop-Vac
- POWERFUL & PORTABLE: This wet/dry vacuum has a 5-gallon stainless steel tank & a 4.5 peak horsepower motor. Maneuverable full circumference dolly, & top & side carry handles enhance its portability.
- ACCESSORIES INCLUDED: This wet/dry vac includes 1.25 " diameter accessories: 7-foot hose, 3 extension wands, crevice tool, gulper nozzle, floor nozzle, plus cartridge filter, foam sleeve & filter bag.
A lot of wet/dry vacuums and standard shop vacs are made of reinforced plastic. While this seems like a negligible fact, it can be troublesome in some environments.
Something about Shop-Vac’s water vacuum that stands out is that it is made of stainless steel. This makes it much more durable than most other standard shop vacs as well as wet/dry shop vacs. If you are planning to use a water vacuum constantly, you should consider Shop-Vac’s water vacuum.
Even though it is smaller than most of its larger counterparts, Shop-Vac’s water vacuum is still just as powerful as the larger 12 gallon capacity wet/dry vacuums, operating at a max of 4.5 horsepower. Combine this with the stainless steel frame and its compact size and you have a water vacuum that you can take wherever you need.
One thing that would have made Shop-Vac’s water vacuum perfect is cordless capability. Even though it is smaller in size, you will still need to plug it in for power. While this is common among any wet/dry shop vac, the fact that similar sized ones are cordless takes away from the total value of Shop-Vac’s water vacuum.
3. BISSELL Vac and Cleaner 1977E
The Bissell Vac and Cleaner 1977E features an upright design that is lightweight and has controls that are easy to manipulate. The mop pad tray is one of the only ones available with a quick release, and the device comes with two washable mop pads.
- Cyclone action for picking up debris
- Steam cleans floors while removing debris
- Digital controls with Easy Touch technology
- Dirt cup is easily removable with the quick release lock
- The steam is chemical-free
- Not the best for removing tough stains
- Users will need to buy additional mop pads
This vacuum is one of the few that offers chemical-free steaming, and the ability to remove both wet and dry debris simultaneously. This device also has a dirt cup instead of a bag, and this cup is easy to empty thanks to the quick release lock.
The filter can also be removed for cleaning but will need to be replaced periodically depending on how often you use the vacuum. This machine also has a unique plunger attached to the dirt cup, which allows all of the debris to be pushed out quickly without leaving any behind.
This vacuum is priced lower than many of the others on our list and is a good value for those looking for a budget device.
4. 12 gallon 5 peak HP, wet/dry vacuum with detachable blower by Vacmaster
- Easily Convert from Wet/Dry Vacuum to 210 MPH Handheld Blower
- 19-Foot Cleaning Reach with Hose and Power Cord
If you are interested in a water vacuum cleaner that can replace the old shop vac that you possess, consider Vacmaster’s wet/dry vacuum. It has all the features of any given shop vac: It holds up to 12 gallons, operates at up to 5 horsepower, and contains all the attachments that you would see in any other shop vac.
Another thing that Vacmaster’s wet/dry vacuum has is a detachable blower. This is really useful if you are using this water vacuum outside or in a really big space. It is also something that is not typically seen in a common shop vac, so it is a welcome addition. The speed of this blower is impressive, being around 250 miles per hour.
It is easy to transport Vacmaster’s water vacuum as well, as it comes with wheels. This makes it easy to transport to wherever you need to, as you can just roll it out to wherever you need.
Despite the fact that it can do everything that a common shop vac can do except it can also pick up wet and damp materials as well as dry materials, there is nothing very special about Vacmaster’s water vacuum cleaner.
The only thing that really stands out with it is the detachable blower, and even that is included in most shop vacs nowadays. Vacmaster’s water vacuum can replace a shop vac, but that is about it. Do not expect anything different.
5. 6 gallon, 4 horsepower wet/dry vacuum by Stanley
- ❤【LARGER CAPACITY】Stanley SL18116P Wet / Dry Vacuum has a larger capacity over 22 L, makes small clean-up jobs a breeze for you as you don’t have to empty the bucket frequently any more
- ❤【VERSATILE & POWERFUL】Thanks to the 4 peak HP motor, this vac offers powerful enough suction needed to almost any cleanup jobs in vehicle, jobsite, workshop, garage, basement, van, house, etc
Sometimes you do not have a need for a massive wet/dry shop vac that weighs a lot and takes up a lot of space. The smaller wet/dry shop vacs can also be problematic, as it can be a chore emptying it out constantly.
In a lot of cases, you would probably benefit the most from a medium sized water vacuum cleaner, and that’s where Stanley’s wet/dry vacuum comes in. Having a 6 gallon capacity, it is not as massive as the bigger 12 gallon vacuums, but you will be able to use it for a long time and not need to keep emptying it like you would need to with the small 2 gallon vacuums.
Stanley’s wet/dry vacuum contains everything that a standard shop vac does: Dozens of attachments that make cleaning jobs easy, nozzles, wands, and others. Another nice thing about Stanley’s vacuum is that it comes with replacements for these attachments, and they are easy to connect.
It is very unfortunate that Stanley’s water vacuum isn’t cordless, because its size allows it to be cordless. While it is easy to carry around because of the swivel casters and the handle, you’ll still need to physically carry it from location to location and this can get inconvenient.
6. Team Kalorik Vacuum Cleaner with Anti-Allergy Water Filtration
- Traps all dust and dirt particles in water
- No bags or dusty containers to empty
The Team Kalorik vacuum may be larger than some of the other models on our list, but it features a filtration system with multiple phases to prevent dirt from blowing back into your home. There is also an automatic safety shut off to prevent overflow.
- Transparent water container
- Lower noise level than other units
- 2- stage water filtering and a foam filter
- Multi-Directional wheels
- 4.5-liter water capacity
- Larger than other units
- The plastic hose may come loose or break too easily
- Requires cleaning solution or it smells bad
This vacuum cleaner comes with several accessories including an extendable metal tube that connects to brush attachments like the floor brush, crevice tool, and round brush. This unit has a larger capacity for water than most which means you can clean more without having to replenish the water and cleaning agent.
Some users have reported that this unit is quieter than some others that they have used, but it requires a cleaning solution in the water, or smell may come from the machine that is unpleasant.
This vacuum is one of the lowest in price on our list, and it’s comparable to the Bissell vacuum but with slightly different capabilities and sizing.
7. Thomas Pet & Family Aqua+ 788569 Vacuum CleanerThe Thomas Pet & Family Aqua+ features a design well suited for homes that have pets or children. This vacuum cleaner uses water filtration to suck up and trap dirt and other debris, and it can capture pet hair that would clog other vacuum cleaners.
- Specially designed to clean up after pets
- Suitable for carpet and hard flooring
- Washes the surfaces, removes pet hair, and cleans up other debris
- Water filtration works to trap dust and other fine particles
- Turbo brush included for harder to remove stains and dirt
- Requires cleaning fluid intended for vacuum cleaners
- Does not steam surfaces or heat the water
- Only does an Ok job on laminated flooring
This vacuum comes with several accessories to help you clean crevices, upholstery, carpet, and hard floors. It is also useful on stairs, and the accessories include a turbo brush for hard to remove stains and a dusting brush for light debris.
This Thomas Vacuum is on the higher end price-wise but is comparable to other units that specialize in cleaning up after pets.
8. Thomas 786522 Aqua Anti-Allergy Bagless Cylinder Vacuum CleanerThe Thomas Aqua Anti-Allergy vacuum cleaner has the classic styling of a conventional cylinder vacuum, but this one has far greater suction and cleaning ability with two large tanks for water and debris collection. This unit is made in Germany and comes with a two-year warranty.
- Patented easy to use water filtration
- Removes 100% of pollen that it vacuums up
- Easy to roll along and lightweight design
- Comes with several attachments including a rotating and flexible head for flooring
- Eleven-meter working radius around the machine
- Can be used to clean mattresses
- Difficult to clean the machine
- Complicated assembly is required before first use
- Not all of the debris gets pushed through the water container
- The UK adaptor is of poor quality
This bagless vacuum cleaner has an eight-meter-long cord and comes in multiple colors. The telescopic tube can connect to accessories such as a crevice tool, floor tool, or round brush. You can park this unit in two positions which makes it easier to store, and the accessories have storage space on the vacuum for easy access.
This vacuum can clean hard flooring, and carpet, and does both wet and dry cleaning. The air filter can remove very tiny particles, and is washable. The suction power has three stages, and also features an ECO control option. The liquid tank on this vacuum can hold up to 1.8 liters, and the dust container holds an additional 1.8 liters.
This unit is not cordless, but it does have an automatic cord winding mechanism to make your life easier. The bright coloring of this unit also makes it easy to spot so you don’t trip over it, and you can choose from light grey, blue, or purple.
This product is on the higher end of the price range, but costs less than many other models.
9. Arnica Bora 5000 Award-Winning Vacuum Cleaner with Water FiltrationThe Arnica Bora 5000 vacuum cleaner is another traditionally styled canister vacuum with some unique aesthetic details and red accents on the deluxe edition. This vacuum uses water to clean the air that passes through the machine, and the filtration is adjustable.
- Excellent for removing allergens, debris, fine dust, and pollen
- Suitable for households with pets and children
- More powerful than other vacuums
- More energy efficient than other machines
- Patented filtration that washes the air that passes through the device and binds the particles in water
- May draw too much power for some households
- Not made from the highest quality materials
- Difficult to clean the tanks
- The cord is too short
This vacuum comes with a wide assortment of accessories including multiple brushes and cleaning utensils. There is also a turbo brush for hard to remove stains, and users have reported that adding the included scented oil to the water helps fill your house with a pleasant scent.
This unit has an air washing mechanism that imitates rainfall and cleans pollutants out of the air by trapping them in the water. There is also a Hepa filter on board if you want to dry vacuum, and an upholstery attachment is one of the tools for cleaning the furniture.
This device is moderately priced and is similar in cost to other brands with comparable features.
Below is a comparison table with helpful information about each of the recommended vacuum cleaners.
|Title/Name||Thomas Pet & Family Aqua+ 788569 Vacuum Cleaner||Team Kalorik Vacuum Cleaner with Anti-Allergy Water Filtration||BISSELL Vac and Cleaner 1977E||Thomas 786522 Aqua Anti-Allergy Bagless Cylinder Vacuum Cleaner||Arnica Bora 5000 Award-Winning Vacuum Cleaner with Water Filtration|
|Weight||8.25 Kg||5.9 Kg||4.4 Kg||8 Kg||8.78 Kg|
The Thomas Aqua Anti-Allergy vacuum cleaner is our top pick when it comes to water vacuum cleaners as it combines the best functionality for the price. This device is also one of the higher quality units, and it’s made in Germany and comes with a generous two-year warranty.
This vacuum has several features that put it above the rest in this price range, including one of the lightest weights in cylinder vacuum design. This machine also has a considerable working radius so that you don’t have to move where the device is plugged in as you clean in multiple rooms.
The larger tanks on this device for both the water and the debris collection are another bonus, and the ease of cleaning this machine and throwing away the debris is another plus. All of the accessories are stored onboard this vacuum, so you don’t have to go looking for them, and it can be stored in two positions to help save space.
There are also several attachments for this vacuum which make it more versatile when it comes to cleaning all parts of your home. The round brush can clean more delicate items like keyboards, curtains, shelving, and small items, while the flexible floor attachment can be used on all kinds of flooring to both suck up debris, and wash the surface.
There is also a crevice tool for getting into small spaces, and this vacuum can clean both upholstery and mattresses.
How to Choose an Water Vacuum
Just like rooms in your home or office come in many shapes and sizes, so too do wet/dry vacuums.
Because of this, there isn’t really a “one size fits all water vacuum cleaner that you can use for all purposes.
While there do exist some water vacuum cleaners that are, in fact, designed for all purposes, it is much more common for them to have specific purposes.
Here are some things to think about before buying a water vacuum cleaner.
The first thing you should probably consider is, of course, how big your room is. These vacuums come in all kinds of shapes and sizes, and while it may seem obvious, matching up the size of your vacuum to a room is often overlooked.
This leads to the next thing, which is the size of the water vacuum itself. Some vacuums are massive and are designed for whole homes and offices. Some of them are a little smaller and are designed for optimum cleaning for separate rooms.
There also exist vacuums that are incredibly small and are the most effective when cleaning. Most of these are cordless, which can be very convenient at times. Most cordless water vacuums are much smaller than ones that need to be plugged in, as they are designed to be carried around.
Keep these things in mind when exploring this list of water vacuum cleaners.
Choosing the best water vacuum cleaner may depend on how much money you want to spend, and what type of items you will be cleaning. Some devices will need to be cleaned more frequently than others, so if you are looking for a lower maintenance device, you’ll want to keep this in mind.
Once you have a price range in mind, you’ll want to consider what shape of vacuum you want to have. Some stick vacuums have a space-saving design, while other canister style vacuums can hold more water and debris that you don’t have to push around as you clean.
Knowing what wet/dry shop vac or water vacuum cleaner to get may seem like a minor or negligible decision to make, but seeing that these kinds of appliances are designed to be kept for the long term, you need to be at least somewhat informed before deciding on one.
Never forget that water vacuum cleaners come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and with their own particular features and specializations. Although the purpose of a water vacuum is to clean floors, how they do this is important, and that is why you need to pay attention to what any given water vacuum cleaner has.
It’s also worth noting that many vacuums don’t require that you use cleaner, but it’s often more pleasant if you do. Some machines also provide steam cleaning which does not have the same need for cleaner as other units that only use water filtration cleaning.