vacuum
Wet and dry vacuum cleaners come equipped with multi-surface brush rolls so they can suck up both wet and dry messes in a single movement. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Not all messes are dry, and not all are wet. Some are a gross mix of both, which is why wet-dry vacuum cleaners make so much sense.

These multi-purpose vacuum cleaners originated from their industrial counterparts – shop vacs – and perform in similar ways. They eliminate an entire cleaning step (mopping) for you, and also reduce the amount of cleaning equipment you have to stuff into a closet or corner in your home.

We spoke with Fazal Imam, founder of servicing and repair company, Dubai Repairs, whose team has extensive experience servicing appliances, about whether wet-dry vacuum cleaners are worth buying – scroll down to read his advice. Based on his recommendations, and top-rated reviews on Amazon, we curated a list of the best wet-dry vacuum cleaners, only picking those that rated extremely well in terms of effectiveness, manoeuvrability, noise level, ease of emptying, capacity, and other important factors.

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1. Best Overall: Bissell Crosswave Multi-Surface Vacuum Cleaner 

Pros

  • Three-in-one cleaning capability
  • Digital fingertip control
  • Two-tank technology
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Noisy
  • Feels bulky and difficult to manoeuvre

This three-in-one appliance from Bissell successfully vacuums, washes and dries floors, helping you reduce time spent in cleaning. Separated twin tanks hold dirty and clean water – up to 800ml of it – and the Crosswave’s microfibre-nylon brush roll gives floors a thorough clean. Its powerful 560-watt suction offers streak-free cleaning on carpets, and you can use the smart touch control on the handle to swap between rugs and hard floors. Reviewers say the wet-dry vacuum cleaner doesn’t leave any streaking or water spots on the floor, and is excellent for daily or weekly clean-up. However, they complain that it can be very noisy, and isn’t as lightweight as it appears to be.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh73.25 for 12 months with select banks. Book an in-home product demo and set-up for free.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh52, and two-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh73.

2. Best Tank Capacity: Kärcher WD3 Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner 

Pros

  • Strong suction
  • Easy locking system
  • Large 17-litre capacity
  • Includes a blower

Cons

  • Bulkier than most counterparts

Unlike most wet-dry vacuum cleaners, Kärcher uses an internal cartridge filter to suck up wet and dry dirt at the same time. In canister form, this gives it the advantage of an enormous 17-litre collection capacity, so you can use it for a long time without having to clean it out. Imam recommended the brand, stating: “Renowned for quality cleaning equipment, Kärcher offers robust and reliable wet-dry vacuums.” The WD3 uses powerful 1000W suction to ensure thorough clean-up. Its suction is so strong, you can use it in the garage or even the garden if you’d like to switch to the blower function. Reviewers with pets and kids say the vacuum cleaner saves them time and effort, since it handles all kinds of messes instantly.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh23, and two-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh33.

3. Best Smart Vacuum: Tineco Floor One S5 Smart Wet Dry Vacuum Cleaner 

Pros

  • Effective, smart suction
  • Easy to manoeuvre
  • Relatively quiet at 78 decibels
  • Strong battery life
  • Self-cleaning function
  • Accessories and handvac included

Cons

  • Expensive

Using its iLoop Smart Sensor technology, Tineco edges ahead of other wet-dry vacuum cleaners by automatically managing suction, water flow and brush roll speed when it encounters different kinds of messes. The vacuum cleaner comes with a handheld vacuum and a number of useful accessories that you can attach to quickly remove dry messes. The Floor One S5 itself is lightweight at 3.8kg and features swivel steering, self-propelled wheels and an ergonomic handle for easy manoeuvrability. It also has enhanced edge and corner cleaning, thanks to its unique brush head design, so it’s perfect for hard-to-reach corners. Reviewers especially appreciate its hands-free, self-cleaning function, which automatically flushes the inner tubing and brush roller. Although pricier than the rest of the items on our list, it’s a solid investment for a clean home.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh234.08 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh171, and two-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh242.

4. Best Handheld Vacuum: Black+Decker Dustbuster AdvancedClean Cordless Wet-Dry Handheld Vacuum 

Pros

  • Lightweight, easy to use
  • Easy to clean
  • Squeegee makes for efficient clean-up
  • Includes wall mount

Cons

  • Just 15 minutes of runtime with each charge

If you’d rather opt for a handheld wet-dry vacuum cleaner for the occasional cereal spills or pet hair, consider Black+Decker’s Dustbuster. This cordless handheld vacuum cleaner has a push-in squeegee that picks up spills up to 236ml – you can check its see-through dust bin to ascertain when it’s filled up. The device is light, at just 900g, and perfect for quick clean-ups, since the washable bowl and filter can be easily rinsed out in the sink after use. The handheld vacuum comes with a wall mount for easy storage, and a charger, since it runs on a lithium ion battery. Do note that while it’s cordless, the vacuum only offers a modest 15 minutes of runtime per charge.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh29, and two-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh41.

5. Best Cordless: Dyson V12S Detect Slim Submarine Wet and Dry Vacuum Cleaner 

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Laser reveals microscopic dust
  • Includes Hepa filter and useful attachment heads
  • Intelligently optimises suction and run time

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Requires gentle mopping

Dyson’s first cordless all-in-one vacuum cleaner does exactly what you expect it to. Imam said: “Known for innovative technology, Dyson's wet-dry vacuums combine performance with durability.” This lightweight appliance, which weighs only 2.2kg, has a run time of up to 60 minutes and effectively works to suck up debris and mop the floors, giving it a deep-clean every time. Reviewers say the Dyson V12S uses just enough water to mop the floors, leaving them dry almost instantly. The vacuum cleaner comes with a Hepa filter (high-efficiency particulate air filter), and several useful attachment heads, like the detangling head, and the popular laser-enabled Fluffy Optic cleaner head, which allows you to see invisible dust on hard floors.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh183.25 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh125, and two-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh178.

Is a wet-dry vacuum cleaner worth buying for home use?

You might already own a vacuum cleaner, and store a number of mops for wet spills. So, is it worth replacing them with a single appliance that can handle both kinds of messes?

Our expert, Fazal Imam, founder of servicing and repair company Dubai Repairs, said these kinds of vacuum cleaners are incredibly convenient: “Investing in a wet-dry vacuum cleaner for home use is worthwhile. Their versatility in handling wet spills and dry dirt makes them highly effective on carpets and uncarpeted floors, offering a comprehensive cleaning solution.”

He added that while they are neither inherently better or worse than upright or canister vacuum cleaners, they offer unique capabilities that cannot be found in regular vacuum cleaners.

What features should I look for when buying a wet-dry vacuum cleaner?

Once you’ve decided on a budget, there are several factors to consider before making a purchase, according to Imam. He highlighted a few of them:

  • Capacity: Ensure the tank size aligns with anticipated cleaning requirements. A two-litre tank would be adequate for an apartment, for instance, while a larger capacity would be required for bigger villas and houses.
  • Power and suction: Opt for models with sufficient power and suction capabilities for thorough cleaning.
  • Filtration system: A high-quality filtration system ensures effective trapping of fine particles.
  • Versatile attachments: Look for various attachments to accommodate different surfaces and cleaning scenarios.

Even as you shop, Imam advised paying special attention to a few factors, since they’ll help you avoid issues in the future. He said: “Consider models with reliable filters for optimal performance. Always choose from reputable brands with a track record of durability and reliability.”

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.