Eleven best pressure washers and pressure cleaners to buy in 2021

Pressure washers - Buyer's Guide

If you’re planning to spruce up outdoor areas in desperate need of a clean, a pressure washer could save you a great deal of hard work.
Investing in a garden power tool like a pressure washer can be a great way to save water, as they use less than a garden hose, and get through tiresome cleaning tasks such as washing the car or decking quickly and effectively.

Choosing the right pressure washer for your garden will depend on the size of your space, how quickly grime builds up and, of course, your budget. We’ve collated a list of eight of the best pressure washers that we’ve tested, which should cover a range of price points and suit a variety of gardening tasks, surfaces and garden sizes.

We’ve also included three pressure cleaners in this round up, because if you’re not able to hook up to a mains water supply, these portable pressure washers offer complete flexibility.

To make the buying process as painless as possible, we’ve also put together a buyer’s guide filled with advice on key features to look out for, how much you should be spending and suggestions on which models are best to clean a car and patio.

If you’re looking to invest in more power tools and machinery, read our reviews of the best hedge trimmers and cordless lawn mowers.


With Black Friday and Cyber Monday just around the corner, there will be great deals on some of your favourite pressure washer brands – check out our Black Friday Pressure Washer deals for 2021 to get the latest updates and offers. We’re also keeping an eye on the best Black Friday deals on lawn mowers, so if  you’re looking to invest in a new machine, you’ll find all the information you need on our Black Friday Lawn Mower deals for 2021.

Our experts have also put other power tools and machinery to the test, read our reviews of the best hedge trimmers and best cordless lawn mowers.


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Pressure washers – Buyer’s Guide video

Many thanks to Rosie Yeomans for making this video.


How to choose the best pressure washer

There are a number of things to consider before buying your washer, as outlined in our video guide. The tougher the job, the more power you’ll want from your machine. The smaller or more delicate the area, the less power you’ll need.

Three factors determine the power of your machine:

  • Wattage of the motor – measured in watts
  • Water pressure – measured in bars
  • Maximum water flow rate – measured in litres per hour

The higher the power, the harder the machine will be able to work on tough areas, but some surfaces may require a lighter touch.

If you have smaller surface areas, wooden decking or block paving, a lower flow rate should be able to clean effectively without damaging the surface. For large paved areas such as a driveway, a higher flow rate will be more effective.


Attachments and add-on equipment

There are lots of different models for different tasks as well as a range of attachments and optional extras available. These include:

  • Patio cleaner attachments
  • Brushes for cars and glass
  • 90° nozzles for cleaning under cars
  • Drain-blasting hoses

Some models come with attachments included while others will be available to buy as add-ons. Make sure you consider which attachments you’ll need to suit the surface you’re cleaning. Adjustable settings are also useful to tailor the cleaning power to different areas.

In our video guide, we outline all of the above points and demonstrate how to use a pressure washer on both vulnerable, easily damaged surfaces and larger areas, such as paths and patios.

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How much should I spend on a pressure washer?

Pressure washers range in price from around £70 for a budget model, useful for lighter work, and rise to as much as £700 for expert level machines suitable for heavy duty cleaning. How much you spend depends on what you need the machine for.


Types of pressure washer

Budget pressure washers

A basic, lower powered machine is best for smaller garden tasks such as cleaning gardening equipment and washing down bikes. If you’re planning to tackle a lot of built up grime on rough surfaces, this isn’t the machine for you.

For a lower powered, budget model you’ll be looking at a lower flow rate plus:

  • Motor wattage – 1200 to 1600 watts
  • Water pressure – 90 bar or under

While budget brands are more likely to fit this price-tag, some mid-range manufacturers also offer a basic model:

The distinctive yellow Karcher pressure washers range from around £100 up to full kits in excess of £400, but they do have a “K2 Basic” model for around £70.


Mid-range pressure washers

These pressure washers are ideal for most households. Machines in this range should be able to cope with cleaning paving and garden furniture as well as cars.

For a medium powered model you’ll be looking at a reasonable flow rate plus:

  • Motor wattage – 1600 to 2000 watts
  • Water pressure – 90 to 130 bar

Models cost between £100 and £200 or slightly more, depending on the accessories and attachments included and there’s lots to choose from. Even the biggest names have a pressure washer model in this price bracket.

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Top of the range and semi-professional pressure washers

If you’ve got a large or commercial area to clean or some seriously built up grime, you’ll be looking for a high powered pressure washer. These pressure washers should be able to clean large areas of paving as well as vehicles, such as 4x4s and caravans.

For a top of the range machine, you’ll want a high flow rate plus:

  • Motor wattage – 2000 to 2500 watts
  • Water pressure – 130 to 150 bar

For high-end machines, prices range from £200 to £700 for a professional standard washer.


Pressure washers vs pressure cleaners

The main difference between a pressure washer and pressure cleaner is that pressure cleaners are portable, meaning they don’t need to be attached to the mains water supply. Instead, they are self priming and can draw water via a suction hose from any source, including a bucket, pool or even a river. However, most pressure cleaners also feature a hose adapter, which can be connected to the mains tap, offering the best of both worlds. They’re also cordless and powered by lithium-ion batteries, so you will be limited by their run time, but the batteries are usually part of a wider range of power tools within the brand’s range, which can save you money. As with pressure washers, pressure cleaners also come with multi-spray nozzles, and depending on the model, can be bought with a range of accessories, like a foldable bucket, brush and soap bottle, or these can be purchased separately. Pressure cleaners offer a moderate flow rate, around 120L per hour, with 22 bar pressure from 20V power.


What’s the best pressure washer for a patio?

To clean a paved patio, you’ll need at least a mid-range, medium power pressure washer, although a lower pressure machine is more suitable for block paving or wooden decking. The three pressure cleaners we tested will also cope well with this type of task, just bear in mind their battery run time.

To make it easier to clean larger areas, look for a long hose that will be kinder on your back and opt for a washer with specific patio cleaning attachment tools. Similar to an indoor floor cleaner, the brush head and rotating jets diffuse the pressure across the surface to clean flat surfaces evenly, rather than concentrating the water in a single stream at a time, as a hose would.
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What’s the best pressure washer for cars?

For a standard car, a mid-range pressure washer should do the job. 4x4s that see a lot of heavy duty use, caravans or commercial vehicles may need a higher end model. All, the pressure cleaners we tested are designed to clean cars and camper vans, as well as bikes when you’re out and about. You will need to keep in mind the run time and possibly charge more than once for larger vehicles.

Specific car cleaning attachments are also available, including angled tools for reaching beneath the body of the car and brushes to softly clean the bodywork.


How to use a pressure washer

A pressure washer can be used for a whole host of cleaning tasks and this will affect which attachments and settings you use.

Before you buy, check you’ve got the attachments you need, such as a patio cleaner or car tools. Some models come with them included but others will require you to purchase them separately. Each model has different settings which vary the power and spray of water. Using a powerful setting on a delicate surface like wooden decking, could risk causing damage, so adjust your settings to suit the job. The instructions should explain which setting is the right one.

The pressure washer will need to be connected to a water source such as an outdoor tap. Pressure cleaners will need a water supply, either in a bucket or from a natural source like a river, or a tap if they have a hose connector.

Finally, consider how water will drain away when you’re working and remember not to use a pressure washer in freezing temperatures.


Best pressure washers and pressure cleaners at a glance


Eight of the best pressure washers to buy in 2021

From budget models to top-of-the-range machines, here is our selection of the best pressure washers.

1

Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 Pressure Washer

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 pressure washer review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 Pressure Washer

Pros:

  • Simple, with no nozzles to swap
  • Comfortable to use
  • Powerful, effective cleaning
  • Excellent stability

Cons:

  • Accessories expensive

Ideal for bigger gardens, the Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 Pressure Washer has a long hose reach of seven metres. It has sturdy wheels and two handles that make it easy to move around the garden as you clean and the upright handle folds down for easy storage. The pressure washer is supplied with three nozzles – pencil, jet and fan nozzle – and additional accessories such as a wash brush or patio cleaner can be bought, although they are a little expensive.

Read the full Bosch Universal Aquatak 135 Pressure Washer review.


2

Greenworks G30 Pressure Washer

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

 

Greenworks G30 pressure washer review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Greenworks G30 pressure washer review BBC Gardeners’ World magazine

Pros:

  • Good features and accessories
  • Fast cleaning
  • Solid and stable
  • Handy extension arm

Cons:

  • Wheels fiddly to attach

This Greenworks pressure washer has a six metre house and comes with a variety of accessories including two nozzles, a wash brush, an extension lance and a patio cleaner. It is one of the heavier models we tested but the sturdy wheels and trolley handle make it easy to manoeuvre and we did find it to be powerful, making light work of algae on garden furniture.

Read the full Greenworks G30 Pressure Washer review.


3

Karcher K3 Home Pressure Washer

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

Karcher K3 Home pressure washer review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Karcher K3 Home Pressure Washer

Pros:

  • Powerful patio and surface cleaner
  • Comfortable to use
  • Integrated detergent feed
  • Good choice of sprays

Cons:

  • Needs more assembly than many

This pressure washer is lightweight and has wheels and two handles to make it easy to move around the garden. It has a powerful 1600w engine and its patio cleaner had no problem clearing any dirt in our test. There is an integrated detergent tank and onboard storage in the body of the pressure washer to tuck away the cable, hose and lances. A range of accessories are available including a dirt blaster spray and an extension lance to limit the strain on your back.

Read the full Karcher K3 Home Pressure Washer review.


4

Nilfisk Core 140 Pressure Washer

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

2048-1365-gw-pressurewasher-nilfiskcore140

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Responsive trigger gun
  • Compact design for easy storage
  • Solid and sturdy

Cons:

  • Limited accessories

A fast, efficient pressure washer, which tackled my patio, decking, furniture and car with ease. Three different power levels, combined with two nozzles provide plenty of variation to suit delicate tasks as well as those tougher jobs. Small and compact, it has great storage features, while sturdy wheels and handle make it conveniently portable.

Read the full Nilfisk Core 140 Pressure Washer review.


5

Ryobi RPW110B Pressure Washer

Our rating: 4.5 out of 5

Ryobi 110 bar pressure washer review BBC Gardeners' World magazine
Ryobi 110 Bar Pressure Washer

Pros:

  • Light and compact
  • Storage space
  • Cleans well
  • Choice of sprays
  • Great value and warranty

Cons:

  • No wheels
  • Lacks safety button

A good option for lighter cleaning, this Ryobi pressure washer is small and compact. With a five metre hose, the model comes with a selection of accessories including a variable fan spray and a pencil jet. More accessories including a wash brush and patio cleaner are also available for an additional cost. There are no wheels but it’s light enough to lift and move around the garden as needed.

Read the full Ryobi RPW110B Pressure Washer review.


6

Stihl RE100 Pressure Washer

Our rating: 4.25 out of 5

Stihl RE100 Pressure Washer – BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine
Stihl RE100 Pressure Washer

Pros:

  • Powerful cleaning
  • Quiet
  • Good storage features

Cons:

  • Heavy to move and lift
  • Accessories expensive

A good option for large areas, the Stihl RE100 cleans well and quietly. It’s stable when in use and although it was a little heavy to move, it does have a trolley handle and wheels to help. With in-built storage features, the accessories and cable fit nicely onto the main body.


7

Yard Force EW U15 Pressure Washer

Our rating: 4 out of 5

Yard Force EW U15 Pressure Washer – BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine
Yard Force EW U15 Pressure Washer

Pros:

  • Good cleaning power
  • Long hose reach
  • Useful features including winding hose reel

Cons:

  • Vibrations uncomfortable
  • Heavy
  • Sprays hard to change

The Yard Force EW U15 is a compact pressure washer with two carry handles. It has a number of storage features including a hose reel and it has a good choice of sprays. It needs very little assembly to set up but sprays can be difficult to adjust and cause some vibrations. Best suited for small areas and quick jobs.


8

Makita HW111 Pressure Washer

Our rating: 4 out of 5

Makita HW111 Pressure Washer – BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine
Makita HW111 Pressure Washer

Pros:

  • Cleans well
  • Compact and stable
  • Handy hose reel

Cons:

  • Lacks accessories
  • Lance feels short

A good option for cars, fences and driveways, the Makita HW111 is compact, stable and has wheels to help make manoeuvring easy despite its weight. The pressure washer is relatively simple but cleans well and is supplied with a choice of sprays, integrated hose reel and foam sprayer.


Three of the best pressure cleaners to buy in 2021

Here’s our selection of the best pressure cleaners.

9

Worx 20V Powershare Hydroshot Pressure Cleaner, WG620E

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

2048_1365_Worx_WG620E_pressure_cleaner
Worx pressure cleaner WG620E

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Multi-spray nozzle with five settings
  • Compact for easy storage
  • Comes with an extension lance
  • Connects to mains tap
  • 30 minutes run time on single charge
  • Battery level indicator display
  • Compatible with other 20V and 40V (2x20V) tools in WORXS’ PowerShare battery system
  • Three year warranty

Cons:

  • Limited accessories
  • 3 to 5 hours charge time
  • Unsuitable for jobs that require very high pressure

A BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Budget Buy, this cordless pressure washer from WORX is a super option if you don’t have an outside tap for a garden hose or would find a portable pressure cleaner useful. Self-priming, it can draw water from a bucket, pool or river rather than requiring a mains supply – it has a water inlet filter on the end of the hose to prevent debris from clogging up the system. It comes with a multi-spray nozzle, which features five settings – 0°, 25°, 40°, shower and mist, an extension lance, as well as a 6m hose. Lightweight, weighing just 1.7kg, it operates at 22 Bar pressure, which delivers 120 litre per hour water flow rate. It uses a 20V 2 AH MAX lithium-ion battery, and we like that there’s a battery level indicator to show how much charge is left. While it doesn’t come with the range of accessories that the WORX WG629E.1 and the Yard Force Aquajet, it’s part of the WORX Powershare family, which means the battery can be used across the other power tools in this range. It comes with a two year warranty.

Read the full Worx Pressure Cleaner WG629E.1 review


10

Yard Force LW C02 Aquajet Cordless Pressure Cleaner

Our rating: 4.8 out of 5

2048_1365_YardForce_Pressure_Cleaner
Yard Force LW C02 Aquajet Cordless Pressure Cleaner

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Multi-spray nozzle with three settings
  • Two position rotary rear handle
  • Compact for easy storage
  • Eco mode
  • 20 minutes run time
  • Fast one hour charge
  • Battery level indicator display that shows percentage of power left
  • Accessories, including extension lance, a soap bottle and brush
  • Compatible with other Yard Force tools within the CR20V range
  • Three year warranty

Cons:

  • Heavier than the WORX pressure cleaners, at 3.7kg
  • Unsuitable for jobs that require very high pressure

A BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Value Buy, this cordless pressure cleaner is compact, yet powerful enough to handle washing the car, patio and garden furniture, as well as watering the garden. Self-priming, it draws water from a bucket, pool or river rather than the mains supply and comes with a water inlet filter on the end of the six metre hose to prevent debris from clogging the system. We really loved that you can also adjust the angle of the handle, so it’s comfortable to operate. The multi-spray nozzle features three settings – Jet, for a wide fan shaped spray, Low pressure, for a lighter clean and Turbo, for a higher pressure spiral spray. It operates at 22 Bar pressure, which delivers a flow rate of 160 litres per hour through the six metre hose, which is more than the WORX models. The Eco Mode allows you to quickly switch to using less water and power for a lighter clean and also helps conserve the battery life, and we love that the battery light indicator shows the percentage levels remaining. It uses a 20V 2.5Ah lithium-ion battery, which gives a 20 minute run time from a fast one-hour battery charge, It can also be used across the other power tools in the Yard Force cordless range. It comes with a foldable 10L water bucket, soap bottle and brush, as well as a three year warranty.

Read the full Yard Force LW C02 Aquajet Cordless Pressure Cleaner review


11

Worx 20V Powershare Hydroshot Pressure Cleaner, WG629E.1

Our rating: 5 out of 5

Worx Pressure Cleaner WG629E.1
Worx 20V Powershare Hydroshot Pressure Cleaner WG629E.1

Pros:

  • Easy to assemble
  • Multi-spray nozzle with five settings
  • Compact for easy storage
  • Two settings – high and low pressure
  • Accessories, including an extension lance, a foldable water bucket, soap bottle and brush
  • 10m hose
  • Connects to mains tap
  • 30 minutes run time on single charge
  • Battery level indicator display
  • Compatible with other 20V and 40V (2x20V) tools in WORXS’ PowerShare battery system
  • Quiet at 87dB
  • Three year warranty

Cons:

  • Three to five hours charge time
  • Unsuitable for jobs that require very high pressure

A BBC Gardeners’ World Magazine Best Buy for Performance, this cordless pressure cleaner from WORX comes into its own if you don’t have an outside tap for a garden hose. It’s self priming, which means it can draw water from any source, including a bucket, pool or river. It also comes with a water inlet filter on the end of the hose to prevent debris clogging up the system. The multi-spray nozzle features five settings – 0°, 25°, 40°, shower and mist, and we like that it also has two pressure modes – high pressure for tackling stubborn stains, and low pressure for gentle cleaning and watering the garden. What’s more, it has a turbo setting, which delivers a 360° jet of rotating water that covers a broader area – we found this was most effective when used with the high pressure setting. It’s compact, and features three accessories – a brush, soap bottle and foldable bucket – to help effectively wash cars, garden furniture and bikes, as well as water the garden. Operating at 22 Bar pressure, it delivers 120 litre per hour water flow rate and comes with a 10m hose, which was the longest in the group we tested and gives plenty of freedom. It has a 30 minute run time, takes between three to five hours to charge and features a battery level indicator, which is really useful. Part of the WORX Powershare family, the 20V 2 AH MAX lithium-ion batteries can be used across the other power tools in this range. It comes with a three year warranty.

Read the full Worx 20V Powershare Hydroshot Pressure Cleaner WG629E.1


For tips and advice check out how to clean a greenhouse, or watch these video guides to find out the best way to clean decking and how to clean a greenhouse with Monty Don.

Our experts have also tested the best leaf blowers and leaf vacuums, which come into their own when you’re tidying up the garden. And, if you need to update your watering kit, check out our tests of the best garden hoses and best garden hose spray guns.

For more cordless garden tools, read our best hedge trimmers, best cordless mowers and best robotic mowers guides.

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