Best pressure washer: 5 top buys for efficient outdoor cleaning

Our pick of the best pressure washers will make cleaning cars, patios and decking a lot simpler. From small models for speedy cleans to bigger machines that blast through grime, see our pick of top-rated pressure washers

Included in this guide:

Best pressure washer: Karcher
(Image credit: Karcher)

Owning the best pressure washer has so many uses in the garden, from cleaning your patio or drive to prepping old furniture for restoration. Pressure washers are powerful yet easy and safe to operate, and the best ones come with a variety of attachments for different jobs. So, before you pick the first one you spot at your local DIY store, read this useful guide to compare the features on offer, as well as their different price points to see what you can get for your money.

When you've chosen a pressure washer and have your outdoor space sparkling clean, be sure to take a look at our roundup of the best garden hoses.

Best pressure washers

Best pressure washer you can buy: Kärcher K2 Premium Full Control Car and Home Pressure Washer

1. Kärcher K2 Premium Full Control Car and Home Pressure Washer

Best all-round and patio pressure washer: lightweight but powerful, this one’s the best all-round washer you can buy, perfect for patios, decking, paving, cars, caravans and bikes

Specifications
Best for: Everything you need to blast-clean outside the house
Max. pressure: 110 bar
Hose length: 6m
Weight: 4.6kg
Reasons to buy
+Delivers detergent straight from the washer+Comes with accessories+Easy to use and control
Reasons to avoid
-Hose may be hard to fit-Possibility of water leaks-Wheels not great quality

One of the leading names in the industry, this Kärcher pressure washer is a full control system, which is simple to use as it guides you through which pressure to use on which task you’re dealing with at the time.

How to use

This one is extremely easy to use and an ideal buy for those who’ve never used a pressure washer before.  As it’s a full control system, it tells you which pressure to use – simply twist the Vario Power spray lance to change the pressure - while the quick connect hose and detergent tank are a doddle to put together. We also love it because it’s lightweight, so carrying it round while you get on with the cleaning isn’t too much of a pain, and it has wheels too, so even better.

Power output

There are four settings to choose from. Mix is the lowest, used for the application of detergents; soft is a wider, less powerful spray for more delicate materials such as wood; medium is the most commonly used while Hard is a narrow, targeted spray for built-up dirt on patios and driveways.

Additional features

It comes with four settings, from a detergent option to a flat spray jet, as well as a dirt blaster lance perfect for tackling stubborn stains on paving, patios and decking. Pour detergent into the tank and your surface will be ultra-clean. It’s great for all areas outside the home including cars, and is easy to store after use as the telescopic handle collapses down and the attachments can be stored on the device itself.

Best pressure washer for high quality: Nilfisk D-PG 140.4-9 Xtra 140

2. Nilfisk D 140 BAR PRESSURE WASHER WITH POWERGRIP™ CONTROL

Best pressure washer for sturdy design: a great high-pressure washer with a hardwearing design

Specifications
Best for: All kinds of cleaning tasks thanks to seven pressure levels
Max. pressure: 140 bar
Hose length: 9m
Weight: 13.8kg
Reasons to buy
+Seven pressure levels+High-quality model+Good control
Reasons to avoid
-Quite pricey for a pressure washer-Heavier than other models-Hose may be too long for some

We’ve picked this pressure washer as it’s built really well so you know it’s going to last the course and though it’s pretty heavy, it’s easy enough to move around thanks to its handle and wheels.

How to use

Recommended for frequent or larger cleaning tasks, this model delivers powerful pressure washing with seven levels to choose from. The PowerGrip™ also gives you fine control as well as allowing you to save energy and water when you don’t need that higher pressure.

Power output

Its 140 bar pressure combines with powerful water blasts perfect for dealing with ground-in dirt. But you can also use the reduced power for more delicate surfaces such as car bodywork and decorative paving.

Added features

A telescopic handle and hose reel make it easier to store away after use. The bright blue casing is made from recyclable plastic and it’s impact-resistant, so is protected from dirt and damage while in use, which means you can be a bit more rough without worrying about causing it to break down. Extra benefits include auto start-stop, a long-lasting motor, on-board accessory storage and an anti-twist swivel function for fast and easy handling of the hose.

Best multi-tasking pressure washer: Bosch UniversalAquatak 130 High Pressure Washer

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Bosch UniversalAquatak 135 High Pressure Washer

Best pressure washer for multi-tasking: this one’s a great piece of kit to have around the home, as it deals easily with small and large surface areas

Specifications
Best for: Delivering detergent quickly where it’s needed
Max. pressure: 135 bar
Hose length: 7m
Weight: 7.9kg
Reasons to buy
+3-in-1 nozzle with pencil jet for better cleaning+High-pressure detergent accessory+No assembly needed
Reasons to avoid
-High price tag-The base can be a little fragile-Nozzle also fairly sensitive

We’ve chosen this pressure washer as it copes easily with all sorts of outdoor cleaning thanks to its 3-in-1 nozzle with pencil jet and powerful 135 bar pump.

How to use

You’ll be able to blast clean everything from outdoor furniture to paving, patios, driveways and cars in no time with this Bosch model. Detergent application is quick and easy while the push-fit connections only take seconds to sort. For those who want to draw water for washing from a container or tank, there’s a self-priming pump that automatically draws up water so it’s energy efficient as well as easy to operate.

Power output

Whether it’s giving flowerpots a quick scrub or blasting a driveway that has seen better days, this pressure washer deals with anything. Its 135 bar pressure and powerful 1900W motor deliver strong jets of pressure washing, exactly where you need it.

Added features

It’s easy to store after use as its height can be adjusted and the hose and washer container can be attached to the main body of the unit. Another benefit is that it’s been designed with significantly reduced noise, which is great when you want to use it on a quiet Sunday afternoon!

Kärcher K7 Premium Smart Control pressure washer

(Image credit: Kärcher)

4. Karcher K7 Premium Smart Control Pressure Washer

Best smart pressure washer: an effective and guided clean

Specifications
Best for: App control
Max. pressure: 180 bar
Hose length: 10m
Weight: 17.8kg
Reasons to buy
+App assistance guides you through the clean+Smart control of pressure+T-Racer head covers large areas with ease
Reasons to avoid
-Not for those on a tight budget-Quite weighty

If you know you will be using your pressure washer a lot, the Karcher K7 Premium Smart Control is worth the spend. 

How to use
This power washer is app controlled though you can use it manually, too. We wondered how an app could possibly help with a pressure washer too, but our reviewer found it was really handy for getting the most out of the cleaner. The app guides you through each step for cleaning everything from your patio to your car, and adjusts pressure accordingly as you go. It also recognises when you have the detergent bottle affixed and dispenses that as required. 

Power output
This is a very powerful cleaner. Sure, it costs a fair bit more than the K2 but for the price difference you get app-controlled cleaning to speed up the job, a much longer hose for greater range and higher pressure. That's why we think it is worth every penny if you need to use it a lot as it will cut the time and effort.

Additional features
Great for homes with lots of paving If you have a large drive, patio or lots of paths, this pressure washer will make the job so much easier. Like the K2, it has a T-Racer surface cleaner – a big head for cleaning large areas. Simply sweep over the surface for a powerful, yet even, clean. You can switch to the 3-in-1 Multi-Jet head for cleaning everything else, including windows, cars and furniture.

Best compact pressure washer: Bosch EasyAquatak 110 High Pressure Washer

5. Bosch EasyAquatak 110 High Pressure Washer

Best portable pressure washer: perfect for smaller tasks around the garden, this mini version of the Bosch 130 model is handy for the little jobs

Specifications
Best for: Cleaning awkward nooks and crannies
Max. pressure: 110 bar
Hose length: 3m
Weight: 3.8kg
Reasons to buy
+Really lightweight+Compact and portable+Easy to store 
Reasons to avoid
-Short hose-Not super powerful, reserve for use on smaller jobs-Not as durable as other models

If you don’t need the full-on power of the aforementioned Bosch Universal Aquatak 130, this mini version is less powerful but ideal for smaller tasks.

How to use
Once you get it out of the box, it’s quick and easy to get started as it comes with user-friendly push-fit connections as well as variable power and rotary nozzles for deeper cleaning. Compact and versatile, this handy piece of kit is well built and deals with all sorts of outdoor cleaning chores, from bikes to bins.

Power output
Thanks to its high-pressure detergent nozzle, it saves on cleaning time by swiftly applying the soap and with an auto-stop system, it only delivers power when it’s needed so it’s energy efficient, too.

Added features
The high-pressure lance can be attached to the holder on the tool body, making storage even easier while the nozzles that come with it are suitable for all sorts of tasks. For instance, the rotary point jet nozzle is great for stubborn stains while the foam nozzle will apply detergent and the flat jet nozzle works well on bikes.

  • Buy the Bosch EasyAquatak 110 High Pressure Washer

Which is the best pressure washer?

We’ve picked the   Kärcher K2 Premium Full Control Car and Home Pressure Washer, as it comes with a selection of handy attachments as well as being really easy to use and it’s super-light so very easy to carry around too. Read on below for our full review along with details of our other favourite best buys this year and how to choose the best model for your needs.

How to choose the best pressure washer

When it comes to picking the most suitable product for your needs, it comes down to more than just price. While we all love a bargain, you often get what you pay for and splashing out just a little extra can mean you get a washer that will last longer and do the job better.

Pressure

Take a look at the pressure to see if the pressure washer will tackle the tasks you need it to with ease. A smaller model with around 100 bar pressure should be fine for cleaning mud off bikes or bits of moss and dirt off garden tables and chairs. For patios and guttering you want more of a mid-range model while for ground-in dirt, go for something around the 120 bar pressure mark.

Cable size

Check how long the lead is, as well as the length of any hose or attachments in order to make sure it will do the tasks you want it to. Does it need to reach high up to tackle the roof of the car for instance? Is it easier to have something that can reach round the side of the house to clean the front path or drive without having to unplug and re-start? By knowing what you want your pressure washer to do, this will help you determine the right length of cable and hose that you need.

Design

Have a look at the body of the pressure washer – does it look or feel cheap or is it more robust? Do the attachments look durable enough? If it comes with a range of add-ons, do you really need them or are you paying for things you won’t use on a regular basis? A good design is simple to put together, easy to use and hardwearing enough to cope with all weather conditions.

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is Consumer Editor across Future's home brands. She moved to the world of interiors from academic research in the field of English Literature and photography. She is the author of London Writing of the 1930s and has a passion for contemporary home decor and gardening.

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