Last updated on February 12th, 2022
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Regular vacuums are okay to handle but what happens when you need to clean up a liquid mess? This is where wet and dry vacuums come in handy. Wet and dry vacuums are designed to handle both dry and wet messes under the same roof. Some models even come with additional features like a blowing function. There are many models available on the market, however, only a few can be rated as the best wet and dry vacuum cleaners.
Finding a high-quality wet and dry vacuum cleaner means having adequate information on all the features that are offered. We have gone ahead and compiled all the possible information you may need to make a successful purchase. We pulled together the top-rated wet and dry vacuums that may cater to your needs. Feel free to go through the in-depth review of each product and buying guide before making your final decision. Meanwhile, you can gaze over to our best pick and discover what makes it the ideal product for most people.
Our Buyer’s Guide
Cleaning ability should be your primary concern, aside from all the other fancy improvements involved. Whether you’re looking for a model for home use or to use in a workshop or building site, here are the things to look for before buying a wet and dry vacuum cleaner:
Size of the unit
Size always depends in relation to power and storage capacity. Larger models tend to be quicker, more powerful and more thorough in their cleaning. They can, however, be more bulky and difficult to transport and store. Smaller models are better in relation to storage for places shy of space. There have also been improvements to give power to modern models in accordance with the compact design.
The vacuum’s internal capacity is measured in how much dirt or sludge it can absorb before the internal float rises and further suction is blocked. It is measured in litres. Most brands usually overstate their capacity levels. Subsequently, the higher the capacity, the better the vacuum because it will hold more dirt and waste liquid before you need to empty it out. We found that 15-20 litres were a good size overall for most jobs.
The sound is measured in terms of decibels. The recommended level is 85 decibels before you are required to wear ear protection from ear damage. These vacuums have a tendency of being loud. So when you are shopping for one, ensure you know the level of noise you can handle.
This is specifically in relation to suction and airflow.
- Sealed Pressure (SP) – This is the measurement of the inches of water that the vacuum will lift up a glass tube. In case this seems very complex, anything above 75 is good enough.
- Cabin Feet per Minute (CFM) – Whenever you are sucking up dirt, small debris and dust, you need a machine that will maximise the airflow so that the vacuum cleaner can achieve the best possible suction. The higher the CFM rating, the better the vacuum.
- Air power (AP) – When picking up larger debris, the amount of power needed for the suction is measured in AP ratings.
BEST CORDLESS PICK
This combined with the other features, it gives you a good cordless experience without the need of a cord when you simply don't have access to power sockets. Overall a great model for anyone on the move travelling from job to job.
The type of dirt you are planning on collecting is crucial. If you plan on having large, medium, fine and wet debris, you will need a filter that has a general medium filtration level or better, a fine filtration level and for the wet part, a foam filter. A vacuum with a foam and paper filter is better. With advanced models, you will not need to switch between the two because it will do it on its own.
There is always a delicate balance between the suction power and length of the hose. The longer the hose, the lower the suction power. However, the shorter the hose, the more restriction you have with movement while you vacuum.
Larger debris requires wider inch hoses and finer debris require a smaller hose. Vacuums that come with different hoses as accessories are even better.
If you have a lot of hard to reach areas or you just want to get rid of the accumulating pile of leaves, a detachable blower is very handy. It is almost like buying two tools at the same time, sucker and blower.
There is an opening on the vacuum cleaner that makes it easier to pour wet debris out of the vacuum. This is known as the tank drain. This additional feature will come in handy when using the wet feature, especially with larger vacuums.
Type of Tank
There are two major types of tanks, plastic and stainless steel. Plastic tanks are lighter and dent-proof. The stainless steel tanks are more durable and easy to clean. It is up to you to decide which section is better for your needs.
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Most models come with different types of nozzles from the utility for bulky debris, crevice for tight spots, special nozzles for car interiors and inserts for dusting brushes. Finding all these accessories will maximise the use of the vacuum cleaner.
Compatibility with power tools
Some models can be attached to power tools for collecting dust and wood chips whilst cutting and used as a dust extractor. Some models even have a power socket on the vacuum to plug the power tool into, and the vacuum works when the power tools are switched on, automatically. A great feature for wood workshops.
A vacuum cleaner can be powered by either the main electricity supply or battery. The corded vacuum cleaners are powered by electricity and have a power cable. This means you have to figure out how to store the cable, whether it is retractable, has a hook or you need to wrap it around the cleaner. A cordless vacuum cleaner has a battery and charger. Most models do not come with the battery and charger included and you will need to purchase them separately. Cordless models are generally less powerful but often still adequate, however, they have limited run times.
Top 6 Wet and Dry Vacuum Reviews
1. Numatic GVE370-2GREEN George Bagged Cylinder 3 in 1 Vacuum Cleaner
The Numatic GVE370-2GREEN George Bagged Cylinder 3 in 1 Vacuum Cleaner is instantly a family friend and a great model for using around the home, making it a great choice for domestic home use or in offices etc. Commonly known as George, this vacuum cleaner has a comical face and wonderful green colour that simply implores you to make it a part of your family.
Adorable face aside, George is literally an all in one multipurpose vacuum cleaner. The multipurpose section is seen in its five cleaning options namely dry, wet, scrubbing and drying hard floors, cleaning carpets and cleaning upholstery. It can deep clean a carpet brilliantly and unblock a sink just as fast, making it a very versatile vacuum for the home.
It embraces modern technology by having a TwinFlo’ bypass vacuum motor and a Powerflo’ pump system that gives you professional cleaning standards. Its ergonomic design ensures you can work with it for long hours without discomfort.
All this combined with the HepaFlo’ dust bag make George such a lovely and effective machine. Dust can be vacuumed with a refined floor nozzle up to 99.97%. It boasts 230V with 15 litres of solid dirt and 9 litres of liquid waste capacity. The 1200W has a 28.6-metre cleaning range with a long hose and cable.
Its dimensions are 35.5 X 35.5 X 51.0cm with a weight of 8.8kg making it seem like George is a wonderful little addition to the family. It comes with a two-stage design that improves performance, life and ensures it produces a low sound.
- It is multipurpose for vacuuming, scrubbing, cleaning carpets and upholstery.
- The Twinflo’ and Powerflo’ system gives you professional cleaning standards.
- It has an ergonomic design that gives you comfort whilst you use it.
- The HepaFlo’ technology vacuums 99.97% of dust particles making it very efficient.
- It has a pretty good shampoo function for use with the deep cleaning of carpets and upholstery.
- It has a flimsy plastic hook for cable storage that doesn’t hold the cable in place very well.
- Not suitable for workshops or connecting to power tools.
We think that the Numatic 3 in 1 vacuum cleaner would make a fantastic addition to your home and is probably the best choice for someone looking for a model for use around their home or office.
It also has brush bristles that make it good for domestic use without using a lot of effort. It makes use of advanced technology to ensure you get the best experience.
We would recommend the Numatic GVE370-2GREEN George Bagged Cylinder 3 in 1 Vacuum Cleaner for a family in need of one. It is also good for small projects and home refurbishing. It’s a little on the expensive side but we feel it offers a lot, so it still offers you excellent value for money.
2. Nilfisk Multi ll 30T Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner
The Nilfisk Multi ll 30T Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner comes with a 1400W motor that supports a variety of functions. Whether you are cleaning indoors or outdoors, the vacuum cleaner provides adequate room for dirt collection. The 2,400 l/min air rate model offers a 22-litre capacity to collect dry dirt and 18litres dedicated to collecting wet dirt.
Other than performing the wet/dry vacuum function this can also be used as a leaf blower or an air pump for your mattress. This gives the model additional uses increasing the value for money you get. Additionally, the vacuum cleaner possesses a filter that prevents dirt from clogging up the motor and causing an obstruction while working. This model comes with an indicator that alerts the user that the filter needs to be cleaned.
The vacuum cleaner is made of polypropylene material which is easy to keep clean. The 10.3kg model measures 69 x 40 x 40cm and comes with a handle to make transportation from one location to the next easier. This bagless model is accompanied by a 2-year warranty. Read the terms and conditions to know if the warranty is valid in your country.
- Features durable wheels and a comfortable handle for easy transportation.
- Can be used to do other activities like pumping air into a mattress or leaf blowing.
- It comes with a filter to keep dirt from obstructing, creating an optimal performance.
- Features a filter cleaning indicator to alert the user that the filter needs cleaning.
- It comes with all the cleaning attachments required for a successful cleaning procedure.
- Accompanied by a 2-year warranty for peace of mind.
- It is a bit loud.
- Needs better assembly instructions.
The Nilfisk Multi ll 30T Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner is a multipurpose machine that you can purchase. Other than the basic function of dry/wet vacuuming, this model has a plug for electric tools therefore, people with workshops should find this feature appealing. It also has a blow function that you could use for outdoor cleaning purposes like leaf blowing. In short, this is a dependable model that works well for both domestic and light professional settings. We would recommend this model to those who need a model that performs well, has decent features and doesn’t cost a lot of money.
3. Bosch Advanced Vac20 Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner
Whenever you hear the Bosch name, a certain level of quality comes to mind. The Bosch AdvancedVac20 Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner doesn’t fall short of the brand reputation. The blowing and suction vacuum is good for any DIY projects and can even be attached to power tools as a dust collector.
The box comes with one vacuum, brush insert, rubber lip insert, two extraction pipes, filter and pre-filter, extraction adaptor, a crevice nozzle, a floor nozzle, a paper bag and a removable handle. This model is ideal for outside use and the brush has stiff bristles with an unbroken edge that make it harder to move through a carpet. It is, however, easy to use in large open houses because it is large and can bump around in a smaller space. With 240V, this vacuum can hold up to 13.5 litres of liquid but has a total capacity of 20 litres when collecting dust etc. It also has onboard storage for attachments and the 2.2-metre hose wraps on the sides and top for neat storage.
The AdvancedVac20 has a universal adapter hook and elastic bands to store the hose and accessories. They help to secure the hose easily and this makes it easier to carry them around without misplacements. It also makes it better for storage purposes. This vacuum also features a 20-litre impact-resistant non-rusting container for the storage of both the wet and dry dirt. The rust-proof quality enhances the life of the vacuum cleaner.
This model has been made with advanced technology in terms of the antistatic hose. When using a vacuum cleaner, more often than not, there is a build-up of electricity in the hose that causes the build-up of dirt particles and it can be a frustration to clean. The antistatic hose prevents this build-up during vacuuming.
Another unique feature of this model is the auto on/off switch button. This function is synchronised with the power tool function. The AdvancedVac has a power tool socket for added convenience and whenever the power tool is connected and switched off, the vacuum cleaner will switch itself off automatically. With a power take-off socket, the plug power cable turns the electric power tool into vacuum power.
The dimensions of this model are 53.6 X 46.8 X 40.1cm and a weight of 7.6kg. With a drainage valve, the emptying of the container of water waste is easy and efficient. The vacuum cleaner has a power of 1200W for suction and 300W for blowing.
- The automatic remote switch helps with the synchronised use of power tools making it easier to use.
- The blower function comes in handy, especially when using a saw or during autumn.
- The presence of a drainage valve makes easy of liquid waste disposal.
- The antistatic hose minimises excessive electrical discharge.
- It has onboard accessory storage for easy transportation and storage.
- The removable carry handle makes easy for mobility.
- There is increased flexibility due to the narrow crevice nozzle and long hose.
- The instruction manual is difficult to follow and is especially tedious when assembling.
Whether you need it for blowing those stubborn autumn leaves or when clearing the sawdust from your shed whilst working on a project with a saw, the Bosch AdvancedVac20 Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner is indeed a multifunctional machine. This is one of its stand out features.
We think that it would do well for someone with the urge to start on a home hobby. It is also pretty good for construction, electrical and woodworking jobs. It is easy to use and will ensure it gives you multiple ways to use and clean your workspace.
We like that it comes with a good-sized hose and the built-in power socket is a great feature for professionals and DIY enthusiasts who may use it connected to power tools such as table saws. This is a good alternative to the Bosch Dust Extractor we also reviewed recently.
Overall because this model is very versatile, we think it’s the best wet and dry vacuum cleaner for most people. It really is a brilliant model with plenty of suction. Not sure this model is for you, the model by Karcher (further down) is worth taking a look at.
4. Vacmaster Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner
Introducing the Vacmaster Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner that is affordable and designed to operate in different environments. It may be the workshop or at home regardless, the lightweight model is able to clean up well. It features a 1250W motor that is able to supply 200AW of suction. The suction provided together with the polymer tank allows the model to handle light to hard jobs with ease.
On top of having a 1750W power take-off switch, this model comes with the option to be bagged or bagless. Whatever you decide, be sure that this dry/wet vacuum will not leave you disappointed. When delivered, you will find several cleaning attachments that will be your assistant as you clean through different surfaces. The cleaning attachments provided include a crevice tool, three suction extension tubes, a universal floorhead, a dusting brush, a power adaptor and a 2.5m hose.
The 20litre capacity tank model is easy to carry around thanks to the top handle and steady wheels. It is also accompanied by a 2-year warranty that will allow you to rest easy knowing that the quality is dependable.
- It fulfils more functions that just wet/dry vacuuming, like blowing.
- Features a strong 1250W motor that supports adequate suction.
- It can be used bagless or bagged.
- Comes with all the cleaning attachments needed for a successful cleaning mission.
- A lightweight model with a top handle for easy manoeuvrability.
- Sold at an affordable price.
- Comes with a 2-year warranty for quality assurance.
- The plastic attachments look flimsy.
- A bit noisy.
The Vacmaster Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner is very affordable and this makes it even more appealing. If you have a workshop at home or you need to do some domestic cleaning, this model could work. Although it is a bit noisy, this model will perform the wet or dry function without any problems. It is lightweight and it comes with wheels for easy mobility making it user-friendly. It may not be top of the line, but this wet/dry vacuum is worth the purchase. It is dependable and you get value for money.
5. Karcher WD4 Premium Tough Vac Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner
When we think of a powerful, efficient, light and reliable vacuum cleaner, we automatically have the Kärcher WD4 Premium Tough Vac Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner in mind. This German machine is a multipurpose vacuum that can suck sawdust, sludge and spill as easily as it would dust. It is also great for using outdoors for cleaning up patios and paths as well as inside the car. It is practical with a compact size and shape.
This Kärcher has indigenous tool storage capacity on the vacuum itself. This makes it way easier and time-saving to store those accessories. With a 1600W motor, this machine is extremely powerful. Better yet, it has a 1100w energy-saving option when you do not require a huge amount of energy.
When you order one of these, it comes with a vacuum, a floor tool, a crevice tool, a cartridge filter, four wheels and a manual. These accessories can be stored safely on the machine. This comes in handy when you are working in a large shed and you wouldn’t want a few pieces going missing here or there. The narrow nozzle reaches hard places and the clip floor nozzle has two rubbers and two brush strips for optimal pickup of all dirt.
Equipped with a special cartridge filter, it is versatile and easy to use. It also boasts of a liquid pickup that will effortlessly unblock that stubborn kitchen sink, which is a great use of the product. This is made possible through the 2.2-metre suction hose, a 2x suction tube and a wet and dry floor tool. The filter box is quickly removed by folding it thereby having no contact with dirt. The pull and push locking system ensures the quick, easy and safe opening of the container.
With impressive storage of 20 litres in a stainless steel container, it comes with an ergonomically formed carry handle that will enable you to carry this 10.3kg machine with ease. The long handle also helps in improving your working posture.
This model comes with a fleece filter bag. It can, however, be used bagless, especially when using it on soaking wet or damp surfaces. However, do not forget to put it back when vacuuming fine dust to prevent clogging the convenient filter cassette easily. It does not, however, have a full bag indicator.
The size of this machine is 38.5 x 36.5 x 52.6cm and it sadly comes with a manual cable retraction system. The only way to start this machine is through a rotary twist on/off knob. This fairly quiet vacuum comes with a 2-year guarantee.
- Perfect for nearly any cleaning task, from cleaning around the home to using it in a workshop to keep everything clean and tidy.
- The four castor wheels swivel meaning it is unable to get stuck to doors while vacuuming.
- It has a higher capacity that can suck water easily and efficiently.
- The bags are more expensive than usual but they last way longer making them a worthy investment.
- The light wand tubes are easy to handle and use.
- The combination Vacuum Floor Tool is lighter to use than most models out there.
- The accessories are stored directly on the vacuum and are easily accessible through extraction making it a time and space saver.
- 2 year warranty for full peace of mind.
- There is no power tool socket.
- No blow function.
- You need to purchase an attachment to use it with power tools.
The Kärcher WD4 Premium Tough Vac Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner is great for the garage, workshop, hobby rooms, cellars, interior car surfaces, just about anywhere you can think of.
This model is designed more for heavy home use, such as when renovating a house and DIY project works, than it is for domestic use. It tends to be better on bare floors than carpets because it has a habit of toppling over. It, however, has a parking position that helps when you are interrupted in the middle of use.
We would recommend this model for any handyman who is looking for a good piece of equipment to add to their collection. This model is a good alternative to our ‘Best Pick’ for anyone who doesn’t need the power socket output for plugging power tools into, or the auto on and off switch when used with power tools. You can use the Karcher WD4 with power tools but you need to buy the additional attachment which is around £15-£20, but remember, it has no built-in socket or auto feature which the Bosch model does. If you don’t intend to use it with power tools this model is just as good as the Bosch.
6. DeWalt DCV582-GB Cordless & Corded XR Wet & Dry Vacuum
BEST CORDLESS PICK
If you’re looking for an easy to transport cordless vacuum cleaner, the DeWalt DCV582-GB Cordless and Corded XR Wet & Dry Vacuum might be the cleaner for you. It also has a corded option so it’s very versatile because you get the best of both worlds, it also comes with a 2-metre hose. This in combination with the crevice tool and the wide nozzle makes it easy to use. It is compatible with the 14.4V and 18V XR Li-ion batteries.
It features a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter trap that sucks 99.97% of dust as fine as 0.3 microns in size. It provides a three mechanism trapping system interception, impaction and diffusion to provide the highest percentage of efficiency available.
For convenience, the hose, cord and accessories have onboard storage. Its power is 300W with a 240W main supply with a half-decent capacity of 7.5 litres. Its dimensions are 31.4 x 43.8 x 32.6cm with a light weight of 5.6kg, which means it is easy to carry from job to job. This vacuum is ideal for either onsite or workshop use.
As we have pointed out, it is relatively small, making it compact and easy to transport. It doubles up as a blower with a one-hand switch and carries for versatility and ease of use. It comes with a HEPA filter, a crevice tool, a wide nozzle and a mains power cable. The battery or charger are not included in the pack and need to be bought separately unless you already have them from other DeWalt power tools you may own.
- Can be used as a vacuum for clearing up debris and dust, used connected to power tools or used as a blower.
- It has an input power of 300W making it very powerful and efficient to use for its size.
- The capacity of the tank and the max airflow of 15.9 litres per second give it a great volume for storage of dirt.
- It has two power sources making it extremely useful in transportation detail and also in power deprived areas.
- The HEPA filter traps 99.97% of dust making it very capable in its vacuuming tendencies.
- The blower function acts as a plus in its industrial and general use.
- It is an extremely robust and versatile machine benefitting from the latest technological advantages.
- The onboard storage for accessories makes it easy to store and transport.
- 3 years warranty for full peace of mind.
- It has a smaller filter cone than most vacuum cleaners which means there needs to be frequent cleaning of the filter.
- Doesn’t last any longer than around 30 minutes when used with a 5Ah battery.
Whether you need a vacuum for domestic use or industrial use, the DeWalt DCV582-GB Cordless/Corded XR Wet/Dry Vacuum might be just the ideal machine for you.
We find its cordless feature is a great sales point for those looking for a mode they can use with other cordless tools where you don’t have electricity. Subsequently, the two sources of power give it that modern versatile twist that will bring a contented smile to your face.
We would highly recommend this model because it is not only a well-built vacuum cleaner (as you would expect from DeWalt) for homeowners, but it is also good for contractors, woodworkers and any DIY project embracers. Overall, a great cordless and corded model that is easy to move from job to job.
7. Draper 13785 W/D 20L Vacuum Cleaner
BEST BUDGET PICK
The Draper 13785 W/D 20L Vacuum Cleaner is a cheap and efficient vacuum cleaner. With a stainless steel tank, combined with a blower function for those hard to reach places, this model works well for home workshops, cleaning around the garage, general cleaning around the home and garden experiences.
The Draper vacuum comes with a foam filter, cloth filter, paper dust bag, 1.5-metre flexible hose with hand grip and air control, approximately 3.5-metre cable so you have plenty of reach, three extension tubes, floor brush, crevice nozzle and an air blower.
The Draper has a carpet attachment with the fluid insert to help with the deep cleaning of the carpet and upholstery. The 1250W gives it the blower and suction the power it needs for the job at hand.
Its dimensions are 32.8 x 47.6 x 32.8cm with a weight of 5.92kg so it’s fairly lightweight. The weight and the design of the vacuum cleaner makes it stable on its wheels and easy to move around while you work.
- Great for cleaning workshops, garages and around the home.
- It comes at an affordable price.
- It has a foam filter and carpet attachment that assists with the deep cleaning of the carpet.
- It is stable and doesn’t topple over easily due to the good balance.
- It is made of cheap plastic, together with the accessories, make it less durable.
- It is extremely noisy.
The Draper 13785 W/D 20L Vacuum Cleaner is a cheap and effective vacuum cleaner that is ideal for someone on a lower budget. We think this wet and dry vacuum is worth its price because it provides you the power and efficiency with basic features.
If you do not need a heavy-duty vacuum cleaner, the Draper 13785 is a great choice for you because it’s best suited for light applications. If you have a busy workshop we would recommend spending a little more and investing in our ‘Best Pick’ or Karcher model.
How does a wet and dry vacuum work?
Wet and dry vacuums are tools that are designed to collect both dry and wet elements into separate collection systems. These machines have motors that air suction to pick up both dry and wet elements. The vacuum has filters the materials that have been funnelled through into collection buckets for disposal.
What is a wet and dry vacuum cleaner used for?
These machines are used to remove both dry and wet dirt from surfaces. For example, they can clean floors, shampoo carpets, clear clogged sinks, clean out fireplaces, clean up liquid spills and help in dusting furniture/curtains.
Do wet and dry vacuums clean carpets?
With the right attachments yes, wet and dry vacuums can be used to shampoo and clean out carpets. There are many tutorials online on how to use these machines to clean different kinds of carpets and the stains they have.
How do you use a wet and dry vacuum?
Here are a few tips on how to use a wet and dry vacuum.
- Check the hose to clear any obstructions that may prevent effective suction.
- Choose the right cleaning attachment for optimal results depending on the surface you are cleaning.
- Ensure that the right filter is set to deal with either the wet or dry vacuuming function.
- Empty the collection bucket after you are finished to prevent dirt build-up.
- It is important to replace old filters to prevent the re-integration of dust into the air.
Wet and dry vacuums are important to have around your office and home because they make work much easier. Although some of the models may cost less than others it doesn’t mean they are inferior. Work within your budget and get a model that has all the features that you may require to complete your cleaning missions. If you want a model that will last longer, you will have to spend a little more. Our best pick is only a taste of what the marketplace has to offer. If you want you can get top of the line models without breaking a sweat. The question is, are you willing?
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Last update on 2022-03-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API