Water filtration vacuum cleaner technology seems to be all the rave at the moment. However, you’ll be forgiven to think that this is new technology. The first water vacuum cleaner was invented back in 1906, but it didn’t get as popular, perhaps due to the need for a lighter and easily maneuverable cleaner.
Over a century down the line, vacuum cleaners that use water are still bulky and heavy compared to their filter-based competitors. However, thanks to technology advancement, water based vacuum cleaners are much more powerful and versatile than typical filter-based units. This is why they are often considered as “new players.”
If you’re hearing about this technology for the first time, hang on as we’ll be answering all your questions from how water vacuum cleaners work to how to choose the best water filtration vacuum cleaners in 2020 in a moment.
What is a water filtration vacuum cleaner?
A water filtration vacuum is a type of cleaner that uses water as its main filtration kit. This is unlike a traditional vacuum cleaner that relies on a bag and air filter to clean your floors.
A water suction vacuum works just like a typical cleaner. It has a brush roll that agitates the dirt and dust on your floors and a motor-powered fan that sucks air in. However, the dirty air is forced through a compartment with water that traps all the contaminants. This means that the water gets dirty as you suck in more air and will, therefore, need to be replaced.
Here is a summary of how a water vacuum cleaner works;
Stage 1: Motorized fan pulls dirty air through the brush bar
Stage 2: The dirty air is pushed through a canister with water. Here, the dust, dirt, and tiny particles in the air are removed and left in the water.
Stage 3: Moist air goes up the tank and through a series of spiraling plastic plates where the water droplets attach and then drip back into the tank.
Stage 4: Clean air is vented out through a port at the top.
As it stands out so far, the key difference between a water filtration vacuum and a filter-based cleaner is the mode of filtration. With a filter-based vacuum cleaner, you’ll need to purchase and replace the filter every couple of months. On the other hand, a water vacuum cleaner uses water as the filtration medium, so there are no expensive filters to replace. All you do is replace the water as it gets dirty.
Best Water Filtration Vacuum Cleaners Reviews
Sirena S10NA Vacuum Cleaner
Sirena is known for always pushing the edge of the envelope on what an affordable water vacuum cleaner can do. On that note, if you’re looking for an inexpensive and reliable water vacuum cleaner, the Sirena S10NA should top your list of considerations.
This is a canister-style vacuum cleaner that is mainly marketed to pet owners and individuals living with asthma and allergies. Reason? The Sirena S10NA is a dual-filtration device with a water-based filter that traps 99.9% of contaminants. The cleaned air then goes through a washable HEPA filter that blocks most of the pollutants that make it through the water bath. This combination is what makes this machine one of the best water filtration vacuum cleaners for pets.
The Sirena S10NA has 2 cleaning modes. The first is the top speed that you’ll be using to blast dust and dirt trapped in your carpets, couches, and mattresses. The second is a quiet mode that you can use as an air purifier. Interestingly, there is an option to add a deodoriser of your choice into the water, and this vacuum will spread it around your room gently.
This vacuum cleaner comes with 6 different attachments to let you clean everything from your hard floors to your carpets and mattresses. These include a wet/dry hose, floor brush, upholstery brush, and a crevice tool.
- Size- 20 x 20 x 12 inches
- Weight- 19.8 lbs (with water)
- Filtration technologies- water filtration and HEPA filter
- Recommended surfaces- Hard floor and carpet
Rainbow e2 Vacuum
Rainbow is considered as one of the pioneers of modern water filtration vacuum cleaning systems. So, it’s not surprising that its machines are among the best water vacuum cleaners in 2020.
The Rainbow E2 is a versatile unit that brings premium features at a premium price tag too. Similar to the Sirena above, the E2 has a HEPA filter that boosts its air cleaning capabilities. This vacuum cleaner has 2 cleaning modes also. The high-speed setting is what you’ll mostly use during thorough vacuuming and cleaning. The low-speed setting, on the other hand, is ideal for delicate surfaces.
This water based vacuum has plenty of convenient features that you’d wish for, including onboard LED headlights. You’ll also get it as a Total Home Cleaning System, that is, with all the necessary attachments.
- Size 15.5 x 11.8 x 15.8 inches
- Weight 19 lbs
- Filtration technologies- HEPA and water-based filter
- Recommended surfaces- hard floors and carpets
Quantum X Upright Water Vacuum Cleaner
If you find the Sirena and Rainbow above prohibitively pricey, perhaps the Quantum X is what you need. At almost half the price of the Sirena, this cheap water vacuum cleaner is among the most recommendable units for people on a budget.
To begin with, this is an upright vacuum cleaner. If you’ve used this type of vacuum cleaner before, you’ll probably know that it’s much better than a canister-style when cleaning pet hair and dander. In addition, this is the type of cleaner that you need if your floors are a combination of hard flooring and carpet. The Quantum X uses a fully motorized powerhead that automatically adjusts to accommodate sudden changes in floor heights.
The other great feature of this vacuum with water tank is that it combines a 180-degree rotating body with an 18-inch telescopic head. These 2 features allow you to reach pretty much everywhere around the room, including under furniture. What’s even more appealing is that this vacuum is engineered to pick-up both dry and wet messes.
HYLA GST WATER FILTRATION VACUUM
- Size 35 by 44 by 35 inches
- Weight 12.25 lbs
- Filtration technologies- water-based filter only
- Recommended surfaces- all surfaces
Hyla is not a brand that you’ll hear about too often, but its water vacuum cleaners are getting a very good press out there thanks to their user-friendly design and reliability. What we have here is the GST, which was introduced in 2011, but it’s still going strong almost a decade later.
The Hyla GST is a 2-speed vacuum cleaner that comes with an extensive range of attachments. These include a hard floor head and power head (each with a separate hose), brush attachment, and a crevice tool. Basically, your purchase will come with everything you need to take care of hardwood or tiled floors and carpets as well as couches, pillows, and beddings. Removing cobwebs on the ceiling and door frames won’t be an issue too thanks to the included extension.
Setting up this machine is breezy. A LED light in the water basin will keep you posted on the condition of the water filter. Another feature that we find interesting is being able to switch the device ON/OFF from the pump unit itself or the handle. A bright LED on the cleaning heads will again illuminate all dark areas and corners for effective cleaning.
- Size 37 x 15.5 x 13 inches
- Weight 16.93 lbs
- Filtration technologies- water-based filter only
- Recommended surfaces – all surfaces
Bissell Big Green 7700
We rarely come across common vacuum cleaner manufacturers, such as Dyson and Miele in the world of water filtration vacuum. However, Bissell seems keen on carving a niche for itself in the department of CHEAP water filtration vacuum systems as the Big Green 7700 proves. Although this water vacuum could use some improvements in a few areas, we believe it’s going to make an excellent choice for lightweight vacuuming needs.
The Big Green 7700 uses the canister design that most water vacuum machines employ. However, unique from other models in these reviews, this model has a 3-stage filtration system that consists of a water bath, a washable foam filter, and a HEPA media filter. This complex filtration system targets allergens, specks of dust, and other air pollutants. Interestingly, this cleaner’s interiors are coated with Microban- a patented anti-microbial spray that inhibits mildew, mold and bacteria growth.
Besides trapping contaminants, this is one of the best water filtration vacuums for cleaning carpets. On this note, the Bissell Big Green 7700 has a unique steam cleaning mode that minimizes carpet drying time. It’s suction isn’t the best, though. As such, you may want to pair it with a stick vacuum cleaner when deep cleaning sealed hardwood floorings, tiles, and laminates.
- Size 13 x 24 x 54.5 inches
- Weight 34.9 pounds
- Filtration technologies- water, washable foam filter, and HEPA
- Recommended for deep cleaning carpets
Should You Buy a Water Filtration Vacuum Cleaner?
Water vacuum cleaners are slowly but steadily growing in popularity. However, similar to a typical vacuum cleaner, these models have their fair share of strengths and weaknesses. Before investing in one, we highly suggest that you understand the pros and cons first, so you know whether the device will have a positive impact in your cleaning routine.
Bye Bye Filters
Filter replacement is the major maintenance requirement for a typical vacuum cleaner. Although you replace the filters every 3-6 months, the cost can add up quickly, especially if your device uses more than one filter. With most water-based vacuums, water is the only filtration medium that you’ll ever need. No expensive filters. Another benefit of water filtration vacuum cleaners is that you’ll never deal with the inconveniences of unavailable filters.
As you may have noted from this review post, there are a few water filtration vacuum cleaners, for instance the Sirena S10NA that have a secondary filter in their design. More often than not, this filter is placed after the water filtration stage, so it won’t require regular replacements.
Water is a much better filter
Vacuuming regularly indeed helps in minimizing dust and allergens, especially if you’re armed with one of the best HEPA filter vacuum. However, new research findings show that traditional vacuum cleaners can release allergens and tiny dust particles in the air where they can inflame allergy symptoms and breathing difficulties.
Compared to the tiny holes on a typical air filter, the space between water molecules is almost non-existent. Essentially, water is a much more efficient filter and will remove air contaminants that are a hundred times smaller than what an air filter can block.
Takes dry and wet messes head-on
Most canister and upright vacuums are designed for dry carpets and surfaces only. Unless the device is rated for both dry and wet vacuuming, picking liquid spills with it could damage the filter or the motor at worst. Even with a wet/dry vacuum cleaner, you’ll still need to remove the filter and make some changes on the attachments before picking up messes. The ability to suck up dry objects and all spills without the need for adjustments is what sets water filtration vacuum cleaners aside.
Water vacuum cleaners are generally pricier than their filter-based alternatives even when sold second-hand. All in all, the price depends on the size of the unit plus the features available.
They are heavy and bulky
A machine that is engineered to use several liters of water as its filter is going to have some heft to it, that’s for sure. It gets even heavier when you add water. This weight not only makes going up and downstairs a challenge for most people, but it also inhibits maneuverability. For that reason, these devices are best left for people with physical brawn, and not for the kids or seniors.
The design of water vacuum cleaners also makes them very cumbersome. This won’t be a big deal for homeowners with lots of space to spare. However, it can be a complete put-off if every inch of space counts in your home.
Regular water replacements
Lastly, remember that the water in the canister acts as the filter and the dust collection bag at the same time. So, it’s going to get dirty and demand replacement quite a lot depending on the amount of vacuuming that you’re doing. In that case, it will pay to have several water points nearby to make water replacements easier.
Best Water Filtration Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide- What to Look For
Type- Canister or Upright
Similar to traditional vacuum cleaners, water based machines come in upright and canister options too. Upright vacuums are lighter and relatively easy to maneuver. However, as you may have realized from the reviews above, there aren’t many of these.
Canister-style water vacuums are the most popular. The significant advantage of these devices is that there are no limitations on engine size. These models offer higher suction levels and terrific flow-rates. Secondly, the design of canister water vacuum cleaners allows you to connect a wide range of attachments. This makes them very versatile and convenient to use.
Your types of flooring
The type of your surfaces also matters a lot when determining the best hydro vacuum cleaner for your needs. If you have wall-to-wall carpeting, for instance, you’ll want to gravitate towards a canister vacuum cleaner with a motorized cleaner head. A machine with multiple height adjustment options will also come in handy when cleaning different pile carpets.
If you have a combination of carpets and hardwood or tile carpets, go for a machine with convenience features, including suction control, on/off brushroll control, and height adjustment. This way, you can give your carpets and area rugs a deep clean and switch to a mode that is safe for your Marple wood floor in a breeze and without damaging your floors.
Consider your budget
The best water filtration cleaner is going to leave a dent in your savings. So, ensure that you’re getting the best value possible for your money. First, determine how much you want to spend. The cost of these devices ranges from a few hundred dollars to well over 2 grand. Determine how much you want to pay first, then consider a machine that fits the most convenient features and modes within your budget.
Are water filtration vacuum cleaners better?
Yes and No. The best water filtration vacuum cleaners have the upper hand not only in vacuuming your floors but in cleaning your air too. Again, compared to filter-type cleaners, these machines are less likely to release and re-suspend air contaminants in your room. However, keep in mind that these units are heavy and a tad hard to maneuver. Also, they require you to replace the water often.
Do I have to empty the canister after each use?
Yes. This is one of the major disadvantages of water filtration vacuum cleaners. Unlike a bagged filter-type cleaner where you can leave the bag half-empty, you’ll need to empty and clean the canister after each cleaning session.
Can I use a water vacuum cleaner without water?
No. Water is the main filtration medium and a sort of ‘dust bin’ in these machines. If you choose to run your device without water, you’ll only be spreading dust and dirt around the house.