If you’re looking for a new vacuum cleaner, have you considered a wet dry vacuum? You may be wondering whether this type of vacuum will work in your situation and if so what is the best wet dry vacuum for home use.
You’re probably like me, I’d never thought about buying a wet and dry vacuum but when I had a burst pipe in the kitchen I wished I had.
5 Home Wet Dry Vacuums
DeWALT DXV06P 6
Vacmaster 3 Peak HP 5 Gallon
Shark VM252 VACMOP
BISSELL SpinWave Wet Dry Robot Vacuum
What to look for in a Wet Dry Vacuum for Your Home
There are a lot of wet and dry vacuum cleaners available and they might be more suitable for different areas. For example there are cleaners which are powerful and can easily pick up builders dust and debris or major spills, the shop vac type.
This is great if that’s what you’re looking for but it might not work as well for you if you’re picking up normal house dirt and wet spills because the suction might be too much for making it easy to move across your standard home floor. So the first thing you need to decide is..
Where you are going to be using this vacuum.
You may be wanting a vacuum that can work well in a shop environment or a garage. You may be doing structural work in your home and need a stronger vacuum to deal with this kind of dirt and debris.
Are you going to be using it primarily for the wet suction or the dry or both equally.
Is it going to be used in an industrial setting, can it cope with the kind of dirt you want to pick up.
Are you just looking for something that can cope with small spills and standard dust collection like in the home.
The reason for this is so you can choose the right type of vacuum with the right suction and the right size container for the area it’s going to clean.
Some of these vacuums can be quite powerful and with that extra power it creates quite a lot of noise. This is ok if you’re in a large workshop but in a small home the noise can be oppressive and make it uncomfortable to use.
You also have to be aware of the size and how easy it is going to be to store when not in use and how easy it will be to move around and empty.
These wet dry vacuums tend to have a solid dirt container because it’s going to be used for dust or dirty liquid so it has to be easy to clean out. You can leave dust in it but not dirty water as it will start to smell quickly.
Styles of Wet Dry Vacuum
There are some different styles of wet and dry vacuums. Depending on the area you’re cleaning you might be able to choose the style you want.
These are usually lightweight vacuums that can suck up dirt but also have a separate washing function which has a dirty water collection container so you can also pick up spilled food and keep it away from the clean water used for washing the floor. These vacuums don’t have large waste containers but are easy to use at a moments notice.
Canister wet and dry vacuums are the most common type. They usually come on wheels with the motor and everything electrical in the lid part which is removed to access the container that collects the dirt or water.
It usually has a long hose with different attachments to make the cleaning as easy as possible. They come in different sizes and with different suction power so you can match the size to the size of the place you want to clean.
These vacuums are very versatile and can be used in most areas whether that is an industrial area, shop, garage or your home.
They can be a bit bulky so you’ll need to think of storage for the unit and accessories. Vacuum cleaners can be loud anyway but these type of wet dry vacuums can be even louder.
The new kid on the block is the robot vacuum with floor washing capabilities. It’s not quite in the league of the above vacuum cleaners. Most of these types of robot vacuums can wash the floor but aren’t really designed to suck up spills, they tend to work on the ability to wet the floor and mop that liquid up with an absorbent pad which is either single use or washable.
DeWALT DXV06P 6 Gallon Wet/Dry Vac
The DeWALT DXV06P is our no1 choice for your home. So why did we pick this particular wet dry vacuum?
We looked at certain features that we think you would require to be able to use this in your home. That’s not to say you can’t use it in the garage or the yard because that’s the benefit of these vacuums.
This vacuum comes in at 15.50 x 19.50 x 16.50 inches which is not too large to be able to store in a low cupboard and is only 14.5 lbs. It has a capacity of 6 gallons which is more than sufficient for most jobs around the home. There is a 10 foot cord which is a reasonable length to stretch in a normal sized room but might be short if you have a large area to clean.
You do have the extended length of a 7 foot hose and a couple of extras like the crevice tool to fit on it. The hose can be stored around the top of the vacuum with a strap to keep it in place and the cable stores around the handle. There are castor wheels on the base so it’s very easy to manoeuvre around the room whether indoors or out.
This is a 3 in 1 vacuum with a 4 peak HP motor, which means that you can dry vacuum, wet vacuum and change it to blow too. It comes with a dust collection bag which filters the dust from the air and you can buy extras too. There is an air filter included too.
When you need to use the wet vacuum it collects in the bucket and can be drained with the included plug which means you don’t have to lift it to drain when it gets heavy with water. The switch is waterproof so no worries when you’re working around water. The blower can be used for the garden or any other place where the vacuum can’t access. Although this has a powerful motor it’s not any louder than a standard vacuum cleaner.
This is not the most expensive vacuum of the 5. You can buy accessories if you require them but as a vacuum it functions well on carpet or hard floor.
- 3 in 1 Wet/Dry/Blow
- 6 gallon capacity
- Built in drain
- Problems reported with hose connection
- Some issues with switch not working
- Requires a bag for dust collection
Vacmaster 3 Peak HP 5 Gallon
This Vacmaster Wet Dry Vacuum is our value choice. It’s almost half the price of the DeWalt so it’s a good choice if you’re on a budget.
The dimensions are 13.00 x 13.00 x 19.00 inches, so again not too large for storage and light in weight at 10.47 lbs. It has a little bit less capacity of 5 gallons, but that’s quite enough for most homes. The cord and the hose are slightly smaller with an 8 foot cord and a 6 foot hose.
You can wrap the hose around the top along with the cable for storage although it doesn’t have any strap to hold it in place there are depressions to locate it. There are a few accessories to add to the hose which can be stored on the lid. There are castors on the base to make it easy to move around.
This is also a 3 in 1 which means you can vacuum the floor, vacuum up water or change the hose around to blow out too. It’s a little less powerful with a 3 peak HP motor. There is a washable cloth filter for dry vacuuming and a sponge one for when you want to suck up water. It’s not overly loud, much the same as a standard vacuum.
It’s easy to use, is a little bit smaller in most areas to the DeWalt but that is also reflected in the price. There are too many good reviews to dismiss this compact vacuum. Definitely worth considering.
- 5 gallon capacity
- 3 in 1 Dry/Wet/Blow
- Hose is small gets blocked easily
- Filter seems flimsy
- Cable too short
Stanley SL18116 Wet/Dry Vacuum
This Stanley SL18116 Wet/Dry vacuum is a smart looking piece of kit. It’s a little cheaper than our no1 choice but it also doesn’t offer quite so much in features.
It’s dimensions are 13.4*13.4*20.8 inches with a weight of 15.4lbs. That probably won’t be noticeable while you’re using it as it’s on castors. This has a capacity of 6 gallons and has a cable length of 10 feet. The hose is only 6 feet in length so a little shorter but depending where you’re going to use this it might not be a problem for you. There are tools that are supplied with this vacuum and they store neatly around it so that is a plus.
This comes with 4 peak HP motor so it’s not lacking there and with the option of dry/wet and blow it can be very versatile. This does have filters to use for the different options. There is a washable cloth for the dry vacuum and it also uses a vacuum bag to collect the dust. For the water suction there is a washable foam filter. There is no drain for the water so you might not want to fill it too full.
This has a strong handle for lifting and moving and attachments that will be useful in the house or car wherever you might need them. It can be a little on the loud side so expect that. All in all a good choice.
- 6 gallon capacity
- onboard tool storage
- stainless steel tank
- Needs bags
- Hose attachments narrow
- Hose is a bit short
Wet and Dry Alternatives
If you’re not sure you want the standard type of wet dry vacuum we’ve got a couple of alternatives that might be more suitable for you
Shark VM252 VACMOP Pro
This vacuum is a more lightweight type that you might find easier to use, but it’s only for hard floor areas. At only 5lbs in weight it’s easy to lug around if you need to but the reason we picked this as an alternative is that it can mop up small spills with the disposable pads.
The pads have a container attached so as you vacuum the floor it will pick up the dirt while the pad allows you to wash the floor too at the same time. There is a water tank that is attached on the back of the vacuum which you fill with your solution and you spray as you go with the pad absorbing the liquid.
This vacuum is also cordless so you charge it up, add the pad and you’re ready to go. You get approximately 3 hours of run time on one charge. You can just vacuum or just mop by pressing a button on the handle but the main selling point on this vacuum is the fact that you don’t have to touch anything, just press the button on the side and the pad will drop off straight into the bin.
You have to weigh up the convenience of cleaning with the expense of the pads but it’s a great tool to keep your floors clean.
- Vacuum and wash at the same time
- No dirty water collection
- Only collects small amounts of dirt
- Only suitable for hard floors
BISSELL SpinWave Wet and Dry Robot Vacuum
Our second alternative is the BISSELL SpinWave Wet and Dry Robot Vacuum. Most robot vacuums that have the mopping function tend to just include a pad on the back which stays wet by wicking from a small tank, moving behind the vacuum function. This one had spinning pads for a more thorough clean but it can only be used with the water tank attached. You can add cleaning solution to the tank too.
It’s clever enough to sense rugs or carpeted areas and move away from them but the cleaning action is random which means it should cover the whole floor but may miss bits. The newer mopping robot vacuums like the iRobot Braava Jet M6 use laser to map the room so that it cleans in a more efficient manner but they are more expensive.
This robot vacuum will clean carpets and hardwood floor if it has the dry vacuum system installed and you have the option of setting up the timer for it to vacuum automatically. You can also control it with a remote control.
This robot vacuum will vacuum your floor and it gives you the option of mopping it, but it can’t deal with large spills. It does make cleaning more automatic but it’s also more expensive.
- 2 tank system
- Spinning mops for removing grime
- Remote control
- You can either mop or vacuum not both
- It can get stuck on the wet floor
- No mapping function just random cleaning
In this post we were looking for the best wet dry vacuum for home use so we didn’t pick the largest options which probably could work as well but might be louder too. Although you can use our no1 choice DeWALT DXV06P 6 Gallon Wet Dry Vac in the garage or workshop we wanted vacuums that would work well in the house. Our choices are no louder than a standard vacuum and are reasonably priced. Worth buying even as a spare if you have the storage for it.