Best pressure washers - our 6 top-rated tools for cleaning outdoors, reviewed

Armed with one of the best pressure washers, restoring your garden, patio and outdoor furniture has never been easier

Our best pressure washer, the Karcher K4 on a pink background
(Image credit: Future)

With the help of the best pressure washers, freshening up your garden just in time for summer couldn't be easier. These essential outdoor cleaning tools are the perfect way to banish set-in dirt and grime from a range of surfaces, especially when helped along with some of the best patio cleaner.

Our reviewers have used the top-rated pressure washers in this guide on everything from motorbikes and cars to sheds, walls and patios, giving you an insight as to how versatile these buys are. Using high-pressure water, these tools can achieve the same effect as hours of scrubbing might, saving you time and guaranteeing convenience. 

If your chosen set of the best garden furniture is looking a bit grotty, then one of the best power washers can turn things around just in time for alfresco dining this summer too.

And if you don't have access to an outdoor tap or mains, then there's no need to go elsewhere, as we've also included our favourite cordless pressure washers below, some of which you can fill from any nearby bucket, or even use with a water bottle attached for portability. With the help of these pressure washers, your post-winter clean up operation is about to get much easier.

Best pressure washers - the quick list

Best pressure washers – tried and tested reviews

Why you can trust Ideal Home Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Best pressure washer overall

Karcher K4 Pressure washer with two attachmentsproduct badge

(Image credit: Karcher)
The best pressure washer overall

Specifications

Size: 40.2 x 30.6 x 58.8 cm
Pressure (max): 130 bar
Flow rate (max): 420L/hr
RRP: £399.99

Reasons to buy

+
Accessories for home and car included
+
App support to help with set up 
+
Easy hose storage 
+
Straightforward to use with pressure level display

Reasons to avoid

-
A heavy choice 
-
Not as convenient as cordless

Max out on power and capability with the Karcher K4 Premium High-Pressure Washer, which aced our at-home tests. This super versatile pressure washer is fully equipped to deal with a range of problems that might arise after a winter in the UK - we're talking lacklustre garden chairs, clogged gutters and sad-looking BBQs.

To tackle these tough jobs, our reviewer powered through the three pressure settings on the K4, using each of them to blast through dirt and grime and get surfaces back to their original colour. When using this pressure washer, our expert found the trigger handle display which clearly shows which setting you're on especially useful. 

This sturdily-built washer is kitted out with everything you need to sort out both your garden and your car, and enabled our reviewer to easily clean her glass patio doors, car, stone patio and wooden sleeper pathway. With an RRP of £399.99, we know that this is a real investment, but if you want a pressure washer built to last that can take on practically any of your surfaces, and make your car gleam too, then you're onto a winner.

Read our full Karcher K4 Premium High Pressure Washer review for more information.

Best multipurpose pressure washer

Nilfisk Excellent 160 High Pressure washer Blueproduct badge

(Image credit: Nilfisk)
The best multipurpose pressure washer

Specifications

Size: 8.5 x 24.5 x 9.2 cm
Pressure (max): 160 bar
Flow rate (max): 440L/hr
RRP: £379.99

Reasons to buy

+
Tackles everything from garden furniture to cars
+
Induction motor with metal pump - low noise and longer-lasting 
+
10m Ultraflex hose - reducing the risk of kinks and knots 
+
Multipurpose Gun & Lance 
+
Quick and easy change of accessories

Reasons to avoid

-
It's heavy, weighing 22.7kg

Unlike the other pressure washers in this round-up, we haven’t yet tested Nilfisk's Excellent 160 pressure washer, but we’ve included it in this list because it’s a competitive price and regularly gets good reviews from verified purchasers across a multitude of websites.

Including a multipurpose gun and lance, Nilfisk's Excellent 160-pressure washer can tackle anything from cars and bikes to garden furniture and barbecue grills with its arsenal of handy tools. With its Power Foam Blaster you can create a rich lather to get a pristinely clean car, while the Mid Patio Cleaner will make small work of cleaning large areas such as patios, driveways and wooden decks. 

Powered by a low-noise, 2100W induction motor and a longer-lasting metal pump, it's super easy to move about with its telescopic handle and trolley. Its 10m long Ultraflex hose reduces kinks and knots and is easily wound up inside the machine after use.

Best cordless pressure washer

Black and orange cordless Worx pressure washerproduct badge

(Image credit: Worx)
The best cordless pressure washer

Specifications

Size: 8.5 x 24.5 x 9.2 cm
Pressure (max): 22 bar
Flow rate (max): 120L/hr
RRP: £199.99

Reasons to buy

+
No tap or power cable necessary 
+
Draws water from bucket or attached bottle
+
Lightweight, portable 
+
Easy to get started with and charge up

Reasons to avoid

-
Not suited to cleaning huge patio areas 
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If you need high pressure then look elswehere

Do you think you need to have an outdoor tap or nearby plug socket to use one of the best pressure washers? Think again. This pressure washer from Worx makes cleaning outdoors much more accessible thanks to the portability features that make it a totally 'ingenious' buy, according to our reviewer.

In short, you can fill it up using a nearby bucket or water butt, and battery power eradicates the need to be dictated by a plug or cord length. Even better, you can actually use a draw hose and soda bottle with this washer, and take it wherever you need to clean up outdoors.

This is a lightweight, compact tool, and while it is perfect for smaller jobs (especially in larger gardens), it won't quite hit the mark if you need a heavy-duty pressure washer for big patio cleaning jobs, for example. If you already own Worx products, you'll be happy to know that this tool is part of the Worx PowerShare system, so that you can use the battery across other garden tools. Our reviewer and garden expert Rhoda Parry found that the battery lasted for around 30 minutes of pressure washing, which is plenty enough for smaller jobs.

Read our full Worx 20V HydroShot Cordless Pressure Washer review for more information.

Best small pressure washer

Karcher K2 pressure washer with attachmentsproduct badge

(Image credit: Karcher)

4. Karcher K2 Pressure Washer

Best small pressure washer

Specifications

Size : 24.6 x 28.0 x 58.6 cm
Pressure (max): 130 bar
Flow rate (max): 360L/hr
RRP: £119.99

Reasons to buy

+
Convenient to unpack for small jobs 
+
Small, compact, easy to store 
+
Other Karcher attachments are compatible
+
Still has a fair amount of power 
+
Brilliant for dealing with mud

Reasons to avoid

-
Not well equipped power-wise for big jobs

This versatile, compact pressure washer is not only budget-friendly, but also a total all-rounder. Ideal Home's Editor Heather Young has been testing the Karcher K2 out for some time now, saying that while it's 'small and compact, it doesn't compromise on power.' 

Heather loves using the K2 in her garden as part of a clean-up operation after gardening work - especially after wet weather. Her patio has been cleared of mud thanks to this pressure washer, and the compact nature of the K2 means it's a breeze to get out and pack away again, even for small jobs. Heather says that she's more inclined to use the K2 than her full-sized pressure washer, thanks to just how convenient it is. 

Pet owners can also trust the K2 to help them get rid of pesky muddy paw prints across the garden, as well as for smartening up their car or garden furniture. For portability, look no further than the built-in wheels, five-metre cable and extendable handle. 

 While this is a great value choice for smaller jobs and gardens, it has to be said that the K2 probably isn't the most capable choice for expansive patios or walls. For quick and easy use though, it's a total star.

Best affordable pressure washer

Bosch Aqatak Corded Pressure Washer with accessoriesBudget buy badge

(Image credit: Bosch)

5. Bosch Aquatak Corded Pressure washer 1.3kW 3600HA7F01

Best affordable pressure washer

Specifications

Size : 37.5 x 40.0 cm
Pressure (max): 110bar
Flow rate (max): 330L/hr
RRP: £59.00

Reasons to buy

+
Super affordable 
+
Comes with accessories and patio cleaner 
+
Suited to small jobs 

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't have a full kit to clean your car 
-
A little more limited than other options

If you want to tackle your patio or decking on a budget, then the Bosch Aquatak 110 might just be the ideal remedy to your dirt and grime problems. For under £60, this small corded pressure washer can help you clean up your driveway without issue, even if it's not fully equipped for bigger jobs (like freshening up your home's exterior or car).

Yep, if it's small jobs you need to complete, then that's where the Bosch Aquatak excels. This model is currently being tested by our garden expert and reviewer Rhoda Parry, but user reviews online are mostly positive about this washer. On B&Q, it scores 4.5 stars out of a possible five, generated from 46 user reviews. While there are some reports of a lack of quality, on the whole, customers are happy with their purchase. 

One reviewer comments that 'This machine had good reviews and lived up to them.  This is for our decking and patio/drive. So no large jobs. The instructions are good. Easy to our together and light to use. I have mobility issues, so ideal'. Our full review of this washer is coming soon, but for now, this washer sounds like a solid bargain buy. 

Best heavy-duty pressure washer

STIHL RE 120 Pressure Washerproduct badge

(Image credit: STIHL)
The best heavy duty pressure washer

Specifications

Size : 65.2 × 36.9 × 36.9 cm
Pressure (max): 125 bar
Flow rate (max): 480
RRP: £420.00

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastically capable 
+
Equipped with everything you need
+
So powerful 
+
Easy to move around

Reasons to avoid

-
Not great for cleaning dark coloured cars

The Stihl RE 120 Pressure Washer is an admittedly expensive buy, with a price tag of £420.00 (though you can find it elsewhere for less) but our expert reviewer Linda Clayton stands by the fact that it's a value-for-money buy if you can afford it. This ultra-capable pressure washer aced almost every test Linda threw at it - she's confident that it can transform any outdoor space. 

She used it across her home to bring various areas back to life, including her patio, slate slabs and steps, outdoor furniture, glass divider, and stone brick pathway. The user-friendliness of this pressure washer was one of Linda's highlights, with small details going a long way to make using the Stihl RE 120 more enjoyable. She was especially keen on the RA 90 Surface Cleaner attachment from the brand, which sparked her enthusiasm to clean almost every surface in her back garden. Of all the pressure washers she's tested, Linda also found that connecting and disconnecting this model was easier than the rest. 

The one test the STIHL RE 120 Pressure Washer fell down on was cleaning Linda's dark-coloured car, with some smear marks being left over. This aside, the STIHL RE 120 Pressure Washer proved itself to be an unmissable pressure washer if you've got a long list of outdoor jobs to get on with, and a bigger budget.

Read our full Stihl RE 120 PLUS Pressure Washer review for more information. 

How we tested these pressure washers

As part of our commitment to how we test the products we recommend to you at Ideal Home, we've made sure to test every single option you see here extensively. Across several weeks, our expert testers have tried these pressure washers on a range of surfaces - from cars and motorbikes to patios, wood, concrete and even sheds and other buildings. 

Crucial factors that we were looking for as we tested these pressure washers included ease of assembly, how each one was to use, and the all-important factor of performance. There are a variation of washers available to you in this guide, from lightweight cordless options which can be used portably, to heavy-duty models. Each were tested to see if they lived up to the claims of their manufacturers. Below you can learn more about each of our expert testers.

Rhoda Parry
Rhoda Parry

Rhoda Parry is the former Editorial Director of Ideal Home, the UK’s best-known media brand, and its sister titles, 25 Beautiful Homes and Style at Home. She is also former Editorial Director for Gardeningetc, Amateur Gardening and Easy Gardens. 

As an experienced Interiors and Gardens journalist, she’s spent her career tracking the trends, interviewing the experts and reviewing the best products for inside and outside living spaces. 

Rhoda tested the Karcher K4, Worx Hydroshot and Bosch Aquatak for us at her home is Sussex. She was most impressed by the K4, which came with an extensive range of accessories for cleaning her car and garden shed, among other things.

Linda Clayton
Linda Clayton

Linda is a freelance interiors journalist specialising in interior design and home and garden tech. She is a serial renovator, currently on her fourth project, and has tested many home appliances, DIY tools, garden equipment and mattresses in the last 20+ years.

She's one of Ideal Home's expert reviewers, and tested the Stihl RE 120 PLUS Pressure Washer at her home in Devon to give us her verdict on whether it's a star buy. 

How to choose the best pressure washer

How to choose a pressure washer for your home

Getting a grip on exactly what you want from your new pressure washer can be challenging, especially if this is the first time you'll be using one. Broadly, you need to be thinking about what kind of surface you'll be using it on, how regularly it needs cleaning, and how dirty the area is, to begin with.

As you might have guessed, pressure washers can be pretty technical, which is why Paul Hicks, pressure washer expert and Marketing and Product Manager at STIHL GB, advises you to look at the water pressure and flow rate of any potential models first. You can use these to help figure out how much water your pressure washer uses, too.

'Look out for a pressure washer that provides both good pressure and a high water flow rate,' says Paul. It’s easy to get high pressure (like when you put your finger over the end of a hosepipe) but pressure and water flow together give the best cleaning effect.' 

Accessories are important to consider too. You should shop for a pressure washer with attachments that can handle the jobs you need it for, with Paul adding that you should always 'check that the right nozzle is being used for the job – for instance, rotary jet nozzles are not recommended for wooden surfaces, as directing high-pressure water jets directly at the surface could cause damage.' 

The pressure washer to suit you will also need to fit in any storage space you have available. Compact models are also likely to be a bit cheaper, if your budget isn't massive.

cleaning patio table

(Image credit: Future)

FAQs

When should you use a pressure washer?

If you're considering buying a pressure washer, but you're not sure you would get the return on investment that you need, then the short answer is that you can use your washer all across your outdoor space to great effect.

Paul Hicks, Marketing and Product Manager at STIHL GB thinks that pressure washers are a 'great way to quickly and effectively clean a patio, decking, barbecue, garden furniture or bins, amongst other tasks.' He adds that while most pressure washers can clean cars too, you should always 'carefully follow the manufacturer’s guidance and advice.' Importantly, you should 'always keep a reasonable distance from the car to avoid damage, and consider using a dedicated cleaning solution to help remove dirt from the car too.'

What makes a good pressure washer for a beginner?

If you need an entry-level pressure washer, look out for models with lightweight designs and easy-to-use controls, so that you can focus on the task at hand. These smaller machines will be perfect for quickly refreshing your patio, decking or set of garden furniture. 

Molly Cleary
Kitchen Appliances Editor

Molly is Ideal Home’s Kitchen Appliances Editor and an all-around baking and cooking enthusiast. She joined the team in September 2022 as an Ecommerce Editor after working across Real Homes, Homes & Gardens and Livingetc. She's been reviewing products for 4 years and now specialises in weighing up kitchen essentials' pros and cons, from air fryers to bean-to-cup coffee machines. 

She's always been a keen reader, so after graduating from the University of Exeter in 2020 she was thrilled to find a way to write as a full-time job. Nowadays, she spends her days at home or the Ideal Home test facility trying out new kitchen innovations to see if they’re worth a space on your worktop. Her most beloved and hard-working appliance is her Sage coffee machine though she also takes the title of Ideal Home’s in-house air fryer expert after writing about them religiously over the past few years.

When she's not thinking or writing about kitchen appliances, she loves getting around London exploring new places, going for a dip at the Ladies’ Pond and consuming every bit of pop culture she can get her hands on. 

With contributions from