A wet and dry vacuum cleaner is a useful cleaning tool to have around. Not only can you vacuum your carpets and hard floors, but you can also wash your carpets with the same machine. Most wet/dry vacs also have the handy ability to clean up any spills that occur on your floors.
The best wet and dry vacuum cleaners will have powerful suction, a large capacity, and a range of tools and accessories to help you clean your home. You know that a wet and dry vacuum will make your life easier, but which one should you buy? There is a huge choice of multifunction vacuums available, ranging from budget models to very expensive ones.
In this guide, I hope to make your choice a little easier. I have looked at lots of vacuums, read reviews of them, and analysed them to decide what the best models are. These three wet and dry vacuum cleaners are consistently praised, and the number of positive reviews for each of them is one of the reasons why I have chosen them.
Read on as I review each of the vacuums in full, and provide all of the features and benefits to you. At the end of the article, you should be fully equipped to make a decision on what the best model is for you.
Top-Rated Wet and Dry Vacuums 2019
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Numatic George GVE370
Karcher WD4 Premium
Numatic George GVE370
Numatic George GVE370 is part of the Henry Hoover range. He is one of the most expensive models in this range, but that is because he has been designed to deal with every cleaning situation you come across in your home.
George is a wet and dry vacuum cleaner with a powerful 1060 watt motor. This gives you ample suction power whether you are dry vacuuming or wet cleaning. One of the best aspects of using George to clean your carpets is that the powerful suction will leave your carpets touch dry. Other wet and dry vacuums leave the carpet soaking, which will lead to mould growth. As you can imagine, mould is not good for your carpet or your health.
George really is an all-in-one cleaner, and he can deal with any cleaning task with ease. He can vacuum your floors, wash your carpets and hard floors, clean upholstery, clean your car seats and interior and deal with any spills. He can even unblock your sink thanks to his blow function.
Tools and Accessories
Because George can do so many different cleaning tasks, he needs a lot of tools to do them with. George comes with more tools and accessories than most other wet and dry vacuums on the market.
The tools included for dry vacuuming are dusting brush, crevice tool, all-purpose nozzle which includes a detachable brush, a stainless steel wand that comes in 3 pieces to adjust the size, a dry hose, soft dusting brush and an upholstery tool.
For wet cleaning, you get the following tools: wet hose, a fishtail tool which is the main cleaning head, wand solution hose with a trigger, tile and hard floor cleaning tool, wet upholstery tool, and a wet float which prevents the water from reaching the motor.
As I said before, Numatic has really thought of everything when it comes to cleaning tools, and you will struggle to find something that George can’t clean. This makes a huge difference when compared to other models and really makes it so much easier to clean.
Read More: Full review of George GVE370
Capacity and Filtration
George has a huge 15-litre dry capacity, which is bigger than most standalone vacuum cleaners. For wet cleaning, you get a 6-litre clean water tank capacity and a 9-litre dirty water capacity.
George is easy to change from dry vacuuming to wet cleaning. If you are using the vacuum in dry mode, then you simply take the top off and remove the dry filter and the dust bag. You then fill the inner tank with cleaning solution and insert the water float filter. Attach the spray hose connector and any cleaning tools, and you are ready to go! To change from wet to dry, simply remove the inner tank and float filter, dry the inside, and insert the bag and dry filter.
The dry filter should never be used when using George as a wet cleaner. The float filter is designed to stop water from reaching the motor, and the dry filter will not do that. Also, do not use the float filter when dry vacuuming. The dry filter is designed to capture as much dirt and debris as possible, which prevents it from clogging the motor. If you use the float filter, there will be no protection of the motor.
Good wet and dry vacuum cleaners have separate tanks for clean and dirty water, and George is no different. Other models have only 1 water compartment, which means you will be cleaning your carpets with dirty water. This is another benefit of George.
Numatic George GVE370 certainly ranks among the top wet and dry vacuums, and he is a lot cheaper than most commercial cleaners. He really stands out thanks to his huge capacity, a wide range of tools, and his ability to clean any surface in your home.
Vax 6131T Carpet Cleaner
While George GVE370 is known for his smiley face and colourful body, the Vax 6131T carpet cleaner has more of an industrial look to it. First designed in the 1970s’, the appearance hasn’t changed much in the present day.
Don’t let the bright orange colour and basic design fool you; the Vax 6131T is a powerful machine that will vacuum, clean your carpets, and clean up any spills. It is a bagged vacuum cleaner with a huge dirt capacity and water tank, and it is very easy to switch between cleaning modes.
Total Home Cleaning System
The Vax 6131T Multifunction carpet cleaner is marketed as a total home cleaning system, and it doesn’t disappoint in any department. The 1300 watt motor is powerful enough to give you great suction when dry vacuuming, and it has enough power to leave your carpets almost dry when wet cleaning.
One of the benefits of this Vax is the fact that it has separate tanks for clean and dirty water. This is essential when cleaning your carpets as if you only have one tank, you will be cleaning your carpets with dirty water.
Read More: Full review of the Vax 6131T
Dust and Water Capacity
The Vax 6131T has an extremely generous 10-litre dust capacity when it is used as a dry vacuum. It uses removable bags which are cheap to buy, but you won’t have to change the bags much anyway. Depending on how dirty your floors get, you will probably only need to change the bag 3 or 4 times a year.
When used as a carpet cleaner, the Vax 6131T gives you a 4-litre tank for the cleaning solution and an 8-litre tank for the dirty water. Again, this should be more than enough capacity to ensure you can cover every carpet in one sitting.
It is easy to change between cleaning modes when using this Vax carpet cleaner. If it is in vacuum mode, all you have to do is remove the filter and the dust bag, and fill the water tank with a cleaning solution. You then place the water tank into the vacuum canister, attach the cleaning hose, and you are ready to go.
To switch back to vacuum mode, simply remove the cleaning solution tank, empty the canister, and dry it. Insert the dirtbag and the filter, attach the vacuum hose, and you now have a powerful vacuum cleaner.
Accessories and Tools
For an all-in-one carpet cleaner that is priced as low as this, the Vax 6131T comes with an impressive range of tools to help you whether dry vacuuming or wet cleaning. There is also onboard storage, meaning you don’t have to hunt in the cupboards when you need a tool.
For carpet cleaning, there is a Fibreflow wash head, a smaller wash tool, and a washing hose to attach to the machine. You also get a free bottle of carpet cleaning solution so that you can get started as soon as you receive it.
For dry vacuuming, the included tools are main cleaning head with adjustable brush bar, two extra cleaning poles, upholstery tool, soft dusting brush, and a crevice tool. The Vax also ships with 3 spare dust bags, enabling you to vacuum for up to a year without needing to buy replacements.
The Vax 6131T is a no-frills multifunction carpet cleaner that has powerful suction and a large capacity. It has everything you need to ensure your carpets and hard floors are clean and dirt-free, all at an affordable price.
Karcher WD4 Premium Wet and Dry Vacuum
Karcher is perhaps best known for their high-performance pressure washers, so it’s no surprise that they have come up with a decent wet and dry vacuum. The Karcher WD4 Premium has a powerful 1000 watt motor, and it will have no problem sucking up dirt and debris from your floor.
It is a robust and well-built machine, with the canister made from stainless steel and surrounded by a plastic casing. It has a long reach hose, and while the 5-metre power cord could have been longer, it still has an acceptable 8-metre reach.
With a mammoth 20 litre capacity and optional dust bags, the Karcher WD4 is more than capable of cleaning all of the surfaces in your home, with minimal effort.
Designed for Ease of Use
While the WD4 has powerful suction and all the features you would expect from an all-in-one vacuum cleaner, Karcher has also done a great job ensuring it is as easy to use as possible. It is ergonomically friendly, and you will have no problem moving it from floor to floor.
The Karcher WD4 sits on four swivel caster wheels for easy steering. It also has an ergonomic carry handle at the top, making it easier to carry up and down stairs, for example. The long reach cleaning hose has been designed so that you don’t need to bend down to clean, preventing injury.
This Karcher vac is also the easiest to switch between dry and wet cleaning. Simply remove the dirtbag if using, press the switch, and attach the washing head. The filter is housed in a special filter box, so there is no need to remove it when wet cleaning. This also makes it easy to clean the filter and replace it if necessary.
Accessories and Tools
While the Karcher WD4 doesn’t have as many tools as the Numatic George, it has enough for most cleaning jobs you will come across.
It has a suction hose for dry vacuuming and two suction tubes for wet cleaning. There is also a floor tool and a crevice tool, along with the main cleaning head and removable filter. There is space on the vacuum to store the tools, adding to the ease of use.
The lack of additional tools is what lets this machine down and although you can buy extra accessories and tools to use with it, at this price you would really expect a few more extras. It also doesn’t ship with any dust bags, although these are optional. Again, with the price you are paying even one or two bags would have been nice.
The Karcher WD4 is a well-designed wet and dry vacuum cleaner that has been built to last. It has a powerful motor, powerful suction, and the huge 20-litre capacity is the largest out of the three vacuums I have reviewed.
The lack of accessories and tools, along with no supplied dust bags are what let this Karcher down. It would have been a more complete cleaning solution had there been more tools, but even with what is supplied it still has enough in the tank to keep your floors clean and fresh.
How to Choose the Best Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner
When it comes to wet and dry vacuum cleaners, there is a lot of choice on the market. The right model for you will depend on your needs, and here we will go through some of the important points to consider.
Requirements and budget
First of all, you need to decide what your requirements are. If you need a wet and dry vacuum just for cleaning up spills occasionally, then you probably don’t need a model with a huge capacity. On the other hand, if you plan to use it to regularly clean large areas of carpet then a vacuum with a small tank means you will have to refill it more often.
Another thing to consider is whether it will replace your main vacuum cleaner. Wet and dry vacuum cleaners tend to have powerful suction and large capacity, making them ideal for daily use.
As with all buying decisions, the price will play a factor in your choice. If you are on a tight budget then you may have to sacrifice a few features or accessories and go for a cheaper model. It’s best to know exactly what your budget for a wet and dry vacuum is, and then you can look at models in that price range.
Wet and dry vacuum cleaners tend to have greater suction power over their dry counterparts. Part of this is due to the fact that wet and dry vacuum cleaners do not come under the EU regulations that limit vacuum cleaner power. This makes wet and dry vacuum cleaners an attractive solution for using as the main vacuum cleaner.
Even though wet and dry vacuum cleaners have more power than most other types of vacuum, it’s important to point out that more power does not always equal more suction. The two generally go hand in hand, but it’s important to read reviews from other buyers to get a feel for what kind of suction power they provide.
Do you have the space to store it?
Because they have a larger capacity and more accessories and tools, wet and dry vacuums tend to be bulkier than other types of vacuum. You need to ensure that you have the space to store it, especially if you already own another vacuum cleaner.
Wet and dry vacuums can also get a bit mucky if you use it as a carpet cleaner so you may not want to store it in a cupboard where you hang your coats. An outside shed or workshop is usually a good place to store a wet and dry vacuum.
Check the hose length and cleaning reach
The cleaning reach of the vacuum is another essential aspect that you need to check. The cleaning range or radius is the length of the power cord plus the length of the hose and any attachments that are being used. This will give you the area that you can clean without having to change power sockets.
Again, this really comes down to what you will use the machine for. Cleaning up a quick drink spill every so often won’t require a large reach, but if you are regularly cleaning carpets and floors then a larger reach will be a benefit. A longer hose will also enable you to clean stairs with ease.
Wet and dry capacity
There are usually two different capacities listed on a wet and dry vacuum – the dry/dirt capacity and wet tank capacity. The best wet and dry vacuum cleaners have the wet capacity split between a clean water tank and a dirty water tank. This is essential if you plan on using the machine as a carpet washer, otherwise, you will be cleaning your carpets with dirty water.
Due to the larger canisters, the dry/dirt capacity tends to be larger on wet and dry vacuums. Most of them use bags to capture the dirt, and on some models the bag is optional. Make sure that you understand the capacity of the machine you are buying, or you could end up with a smaller size that doesn’t meet your needs.
Tools and accessories
There are a number of tools and accessories available to help make your job easier. Some wet and dry vacuums come with more than others, and these tools can include washing tools, crevice tools, dusting tools, and upholstery tools.
Check to see what tools come with the model you are looking at and you will have no use for most of them, it may be a good idea to get a cheaper vacuum that has fewer tools.
Best Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner: Final Thoughts
A wet and dry vacuum cleaner is a handy tool to have in your cleaning arsenal, and they can be a good investment. They generally have more power than a regular vacuum cleaner, and the larger capacity makes them ideal for cleaning large areas of a carpet.
The Karcher WD4 is the cheapest vacuum we have looked at, and it has the largest capacity of all three. There is a lack of tools with this model, but it is still a good machine for the price.
The Vax 6131T is a great mid-range option. While it doesn’t have as big a toolset as George, the large capacity and powerful suction mean it will leave your carpets clean and fresh.
All three of the models on this page will do a great job, but the one that stands out after our research is the Numatic George GVE370. He has all the qualities that you would expect from a Numatic vacuum: powerful suction, large capacity, and good filtration.
Where George stands out from most other wet and dry vacuums is his carpet cleaning abilities. George is a carpet cleaner as well as a wet and dry vacuum, meaning he will shampoo your carpets and then use powerful suction to dry them. He also has one of the largest range of tools and accessories of any wet and dry vacuum cleaner.