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Top five pressure washers

By Victoria Pearson

We round up the top-scoring pressure washers in five different categories to help you find the best one for your garden.

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Buying a new pressure washer can be very confusing. There are usually several models in each manufacturer's range, with different types of motors and impenetrable model numbers which mean that useful accessories are either included in the price, or have to be bought extra.

To help you find the pressure washer for your needs, we've rounded up the top-scoring models in five different categories, as well as some less impressive models that we think are best to avoid. And because they've all gone through rigorous Which? lab testing, you can rest assured that no matter which of these Best Buy pressure washers you go for, they will tackle your tough outdoor tasks.

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Best pressure washer for cleaning cars

Karcher K4 Compact
Today's best price £172.79
Which? score 74%
Reviewed May 2017
Cleaning ability:
4 out of 5
Convenience:
5 out of 5
Ease of storage:
4 out of 5
Noise:
3 out of 5
Output water pressure:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive
Pressure hose length:
Member exclusive

The pressure washer has a good length of hose for cleaning around your car and does a good job. It can give you poweful or gentle cleaning sprays to take good care of delicate windows or bodywork and gives you two options for applying detergent.

Best pressure washer for cleaning in the garden

Nilfisk E130.3-9 PAD X-TRA
Typical price £237.00
Which? score 83%
Reviewed Jan 2016
Best Buy
Cleaning ability:
5 out of 5
Convenience:
5 out of 5
Ease of storage:
4 out of 5
Noise:
3 out of 5
Output water pressure:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive
Pressure hose length:
Member exclusive

This pressure washer offers a high water pressure and water flow rate and a long hose, so you can reach across a long patio or deck and shift tough grime. It includes a patio cleaner accessory too.

Best pressure washer with patio cleaner

Nilfisk C130.1-6 PX-TRA
Today's best price £189.99
Which? score 83%
Reviewed Feb 2014
Best Buy
Cleaning ability:
5 out of 5
Convenience:
4 out of 5
Ease of storage:
3 out of 5
Noise:
4 out of 5
Output water pressure:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive
Pressure hose length:
Member exclusive

Many pressure washers are available in basic lance-only versions or include additional accessories such as brushes, car kits and angled lances. This Best Buy is available in three different versions. The patio cleaner provided in this version means less stooping to clean floors. It has a plastic cover over the water jets to stop dirty water flying around.

Best pressure washer for hard-surface cleaning

Nilfisk C130.1-6 X-TRA
Today's best price £154.99
Which? score 82%
Reviewed Feb 2014
Best Buy
Cleaning ability:
5 out of 5
Convenience:
4 out of 5
Ease of storage:
3 out of 5
Noise:
4 out of 5
Output water pressure:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive
Pressure hose length:
Member exclusive

You can save a few pounds by opting for this version of our Best Buy, which does not include a patio cleaner in the price. An on-board reel makes it easy to store the hose tidily. A wide range of extra brushes and patio cleaners is available, but you might not need them because it is excellent at cleaning concrete, paving slabs and block paving using only the lance.

Cheapest Best Buy pressure washer

Karcher K4 Full Control
Today's best price £166.99
Which? score 78%
Reviewed May 2017
Best Buy
Cleaning ability:
4 out of 5
Convenience:
5 out of 5
Ease of storage:
4 out of 5
Noise:
4 out of 5
Output water pressure:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive
Pressure hose length:
Member exclusive

Great pressure washers don’t come cheap, but this model is great value for money. It gives you plenty of spray options for cleaning really grimy or delicate surfaces quickly and well. A great product!

Some of the worst pressure washers

The only way to tell if a pressure washer is any good is to clean a range of different surfaces with it, which is why Which? does exactly that in our independent lab tests. We use each power washer on squares of concrete, paving slabs, blockpaving, decking, stone wall and some rather filthy cars to find out how well they clean. 

Not all pressure washers are great, here are just four models that could leave you feeling underwhelmed, either by their uninspiring cleaning ability or because they are tiresome or noisy to use.

But avoid these mediocre models

Bosch AQT 33-11
Today's best price £49.00
Which? score 62%
Reviewed Jan 2016
Cleaning ability:
4 out of 5
Convenience:
4 out of 5
Ease of storage:
5 out of 5
Noise:
1 out of 5
Output water pressure:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive
Pressure hose length:
Member exclusive

The short hose and lack of options for the strength of spray are the Achilles heel of this pressure washer. It's awkward to clean large areas or a car without picking it up and moving it all the time, and the jet lacks power to clean really quickly or to shift tough stains.

Bosch AQT 33-10
Today's best price £54.99
Which? score 58%
Reviewed Feb 2014
Cleaning ability:
3 out of 5
Convenience:
4 out of 5
Ease of storage:
4 out of 5
Noise:
2 out of 5
Output water pressure:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive
Pressure hose length:
Member exclusive

This rather mediocre pressure washer is the cheapest model in one of the major pressure washer manufacturer's ranges. It's light to carry and won't take up much shed space, but it doesn't clean very thoroughly, is noisy and using it for a long time may make your hand ache.

B&Q OPP 1400W
Typical price £50.00
Which? score 58%
Reviewed Jan 2016
Cleaning ability:
3 out of 5
Convenience:
4 out of 5
Ease of storage:
4 out of 5
Noise:
2 out of 5
Output water pressure:
Member exclusive
Weight:
Member exclusive
Pressure hose length:
Member exclusive

Although you'll be able to lift a bit of dirt with this little washer, it doesn't have the power to completely remove grime and the short hose is a bit awkward to use. It's not a Best Buy.

We review more pressure washers than anyone else

We test around 3,300 products every year, from washing-up liquid to cars. When testing pressure washers in our labs, we assess cleaning effectiveness on a range of different surfaces, including block paving, walls and cars. We measure noise, and assess ease of use and how easy it is to store, too.

Why not visit our pressure washer reviews? We have test results for Karcher, Stihl, Bosch, Nilfisk, Vax and Mac Allister pressure washers.

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