Most homeowners are familiar with canister and upright vacuum cleaners, but did you know that some vacuums rely on water to hold debris and filter dirt particles from the air? Made popular in recent years due to “As Seen on TV” style adverts, water filtration vacuum cleaners make bold promises of a clean home without bags, filter cleanings, or messy bins. These vacuums also claim to be great for those who suffer from allergies from pet hair or other environmental factors.
Water filtration vacuum cleaners work by pulling sucked-up debris through a small amount of water. The water particles pick up the debris and thereby filter the dirt particles out of the air. Beyond this capacity, many of these vacuums operate like shop vacs or canister vacuums, which rely on a hose and a variety of attachments to clean around the home. One of the biggest pros for picking up a water filtration vacuum cleaner is the fact that by design, (insert comma) wet and dry messes can easily be picked up. This sets water filtration vacuums apart from many canister and upright models that promise similar functionality.
This niche category of vacuum cleaner is both lauded and criticized. The polarizing reaction often comes from a tight control over the secondhand market, high prices, and direct selling style implemented by many manufacturers. All that being said, how effective are these vacuums when compared to standard models? We’ll be taking a look at the top four water filtration vacuum cleaners, and after overviewing each, considering the pros and cons of going water-only for your cleaning needs.
21ft cord | Bagless | Water + HEPA Filtration | 21 lbs | ✓ Brushroll | 6ft Hose
The Sirena Total Home Cleaning System is a top-of-the-line water filtration vacuum with a top-of-the-line price. A generous amount of attachments, fragrances, and warranties are included with this product, but the model’s overall heavy weight might prevent it from being the top pick for some.
- Effective attachments
- Great for carpets
- Water + HEPA filtration
- Weak warranty
- Sirena Power Nozzle
- Deodorizing Fragrances
- Attachments: Crevice tool, upholstery tool, inflation tool, floor brush, turbo brush
- Warranty: 10-year Limited
Designed as a clear competitor to the always-popular Rainbow System vacuum cleaner, Sirena’s Total Home Cleaning System covers just about everything you would want in a vacuum cleaner. After filling the internal tank with a certain amount of water, you can use one of Sirena’s multiple included attachments and long hose to reach crevices, stairs, cobwebs on the ceiling, and pet hair on the floor.
Water filtration vacuums as a whole tend to struggle with thicker carpets, but Sirena’s Power Nozzle can alleviate any fears carpet and pet owners may have for its performance. A trigger-operated system lets you spin your brush roll on your carpets and then stop it once you move over to hardwood floors.
There’s little to criticize when it comes to the capacity of Sirena’s water filtration vacuum. Most issues with this product come rather from how it accomplishes these feats. For example, at just over 20 pounds, the Sirena Total Home Cleaning System is the heaviest vacuum on our list by a considerable margin. It’s large size and weight make it difficult for homeowners that need to clean multiple stories, and with few spaces to store attachments on the machine itself, you may be required to head back and forth to replace attachments
The other major issue with the Sirena comes in cost. Despite being several orders cheaper than the Rainbow System, the Total Home Cleaning System is our most expensive pick. Sirena also employs a direct selling system and a myriad of authorized retailers for their products. While the 10-year warranty is almost unheard of in home cleaning products, it won’t be something you can access unless you purchase this product new and from an authorized seller.
Overall, the Sirena Total Home Cleaning system is perfect for homeowners with multiple surfaces that want a home free of debris and allergens. Combined with a washable HEPA filter, the water filtration will pick up dirt particles and allergens better than most other vacuums of any category. If you can afford it and seek out an authorized dealer near you, this vacuum may be worth its price tag.
Corded | Bagless | Water Filtration | 12 lbs | ✓ Brushroll | 10ft Hose
Quantum Water Filtration Vacuum can pretty much do it all. Featuring wet/dry pickup, standalone air purification, and even works as a left blower, there’s a lot to love in this sleek, small package. A spotty brush roll and small water basin can be a bit of a pain, but this vacuum doesn’t come with any real deal breakers.
- Highly versatile
- Adjustable power setting
- Unique functionality
- Small debris capacity
- Weak brush roll
- On-Board Timer
- Air Purifier
- Attachments: Hard surface broom, dusting brush, crevice tool, upholstery brush, brush roll
- Warranty: 5-year Full
If the Sirena Total Home Cleaning System is the powerful and bulky alternative to the Rainbow System, then the Quantum Water Filtration Vacuum is their younger, sleeker cousin. At half of the weight and half of the price as Sirena’s offering, the Quantum vacuum looks and acts rather futuristic. A built-in timer and adjustable power setting allow the Quantum vacuum to most effectively approach the needs of the individual home.
Marketed as a 6-in-1 device, the Quantum vacuum promises to clean your floors, purify the air, release aromas, inflate air mattresses, clean wet spills, and even work as a leaf blower. Its design seems to take after the popular shop vac, which can push air just as fast as it can pull it in.
Homeowners will be attracted to the water-only filtration system. Emptying and filling the water basin promises to be the only maintenance you’ll need to provide the Quantum vacuum, which also comes with a comprehensive 5-year warranty.
Much like it’s Sirena competitor, however, there is a fully-comprehensive direct selling strategy to consider. Secondhand shoppers will need to buy at their own risk, and consider that the 6-in-1 functionality doesn’t make it a master of everything. For example, the air purifier and deodorizer features are certainly available, but leaving a vacuum on for thirty minutes at a time isn’t exactly quiet or discreet. The leaf blower feature may work for smaller homes, but these settings often feel more like gimmicks than actual selling points. Likewise, the smaller size comes at the cost of capacity, which means you’ll be dumping brown water into your sink more often then you may realize.
The brush roll is also a concern, and since it’s not adjustable and doesn’t turn off, it can tear up carpets over time. The Quantum vacuum is better for hardwood homes or those who were hoping for the lightest vacuum possible. With adjustability and a host of attachments, these homeowners can expect and receive a lot of value from their Quantum vacuum cleaner.
18ft cord | Bagless | Water + HEPA Filtration | 35 lbs | ✓ Brushroll | 8ft Hose
A water filtration vacuum from a trusted brand like Bissell is a powerful combination, and the Big Green Home Cleaning System proves to be perfect for carpet cleaning and pet hair removal. However, it’s more of a cleaner than a vacuum, which can hold back some customers from using this as their primary floor cleaning product.
- Deep carpet cleaning
- 3-stage filtration
- Easy to maneuver
- Limited functionality
- Weak warranty
- Deep carpet cleaner
- Built-in heater
- Attachments: Tough stain tool, bare floor tool, crevice tool, dusting brush, TurboBrush tool, 4” tool
- Warranty: 1-year Limited
It’s no coincidence that major players like Bissell, Shark, and Dyson tend not to enter the water filtration market. Water filtration markets can be seen by some as novel, and tend to cost on the higher end of the market. Despite this, Bissell’s water filtration offering is perhaps the perfect solution for pet owners.
The Bissell Big Green Complete Deep 7700 is styled much like other Bissell canister vacuums. It is their 3-stage filtration and wet carpet cleaning functionality, however, that sets it apart from both canister and water filtration vacuums. It can not only clean up wet and dry messes (as well as accidents from your pets) but can also leave carpets smelling fresh.
The Big Green is on the heavier side, but the canister design allows homeowners to easily push it around on wheels. Likewise, this is the only vacuum on our lineup that has enough storage to hold each of the included attachments. The reduced price in comparison to the Quantum as well as the Sirena is a huge plus, and the lack of direct seller control means that Bissell’s (admittedly weak) 1-year warranty is good no matter where you purchase the product from.
Unfortunately, the focus on carpet cleaning also means that this vacuum is stronger as a cleaner than a vacuum. The brush roll, attachments, and hardwood tools are there, but you may need to pair this up with a stick vacuum to experience the deep clean you were going for.
The product is also easily maneuverable around a ranch-style home but can be heavy and awkward to lift up and down stairs. Those with weak backs may prefer the unibody design of some of our other water filtration vacuum picks.
However, the Bissell Big Green is the only vacuum on our list from a brand that’s known for quality and consistency. The affordable price and deep cleaning functionality make it a low risk, high reward product for pet owners. Just be sure to do a once-over with a stick or upright vacuum before using the Big Green.
Corded | Bagless | Water + Foam Filtration | 14.3 lbs | ✓ Brushroll | 10ft Hose
The Kalorike Pure Air has all of the features you want in a water filtration vacuum leagues under the typical asking price. Its light on features and isn’t much to look at, but this workhorse of a vacuum cleaner is perfect for homeowners wondering if a water filtration vacuum can live up to the hype.
- Large debris capacity
- Limited functionality
- Weak brush roll
- Questionable build quality
- Full indicator
- Attachment storage
- Attachments: 2-in-1 floor brush, dust brush, crevice tool
- Warranty 1-year Limited
Small, blue, and unassuming, the Kalorike Pure Air hardly looks to be up to snuff with the other water filtration vacuums on our list. Kolarike's decision to cut back on features and accessories and focus on pure cleaning, however, seems to have paid off in the most affordable vacuum on our list.
The Pure Air water filtration vacuum cleaner isn’t worried about air purification of leaf-blowing. The large-capacity water basin and simple tools allow it to clean rooms without needing constant water replacement. It also means that the Pure Air vacuum cleaner can just about replace any shop vac, and the caddy design makes taking this product up and down stairs a breeze. Additional functionality includes noise dampening to keep the Pure Air from disturbing pets and children. The floor brush and crevice tool aren’t exactly powerful, but the telescoping handle and hose length mean that they can get to just about any surface.
Kalorike offers a 1-year limited warranty that will keep you safe from manufacturer defects—which, unfortunately, is more likely with this product than the others. However, the level of mobility around the home and simple-yet-brilliant features like the indication of a full basin make this product a very easy to use as a water filtration vacuum.
The Pure Air is alright on both carpets and hardwood and does an effective job at picking up most debris. We can confidently recommend the Kalorike Pure Air vacuum cleaner as a perfect introductory model into this niche and unique vacuum category.
The Pure Air proves that, no matter how expensive or affordable the vacuum, water filtration is efficient, effective, and requires far less maintenance than other categories of vacuum cleaners. That’s why the Kalorike Pure Air is our Budget Choice.
While these water filtration vacuums are top contenders for anyone considering a water filtration vacuum, not all of them will be able to meet your individual needs. Water filtration vacuums are usually designed with a certain type of home in mind, and there are several considerations to be made before setting up a presentation and seeing one in action.
Not many manufacturers are producing water filtration vacuum cleaners. These products tend to command higher prices, and with such a minimal amount of general audience awareness, information on water filtration vacuums can be hard to come by. What is clear, however, is that through “As Seen On TV” marketing and direct selling, certain companies have carved out a considerable name for themselves with the water filtration vacuum cleaner. Brands like Rainbow, Quantum, and Sirena especially are focused on transforming the water filtration vacuum into a one-stop shop for all home cleaning needs.
Warranties & Direct Selling
Part of that lack of audience awareness comes from the focus of many of the above companies on direct selling. Instead of manufacturing their products and handing them off to distributors, Quantum and Sirena specifically are more interested in a face-to-face meeting between the prospective owner and the manufacturer. This method relies on customers either heading to licensed distributors or setting up an appointment with a salesperson, who will come into the home and pitch the product.
This method of sales has generally faded with the advent of the Internet and E-commerce, but there’s another reason for these companies to stick to their guns on their sales vehicles. Water filtration vacuums, more than most other categories of vacuum cleaners, have comprehensive warranties that last for years or even decades. Keeping a tight handle on the distribution process means that these companies can know who bought their vacuums from the primary market and which ones picked their vacuum up from a reseller.
Water filtration vacuums tend to last several years, and purchasing one from a trusted friend or reseller is an avenue worth considering. Don’t expect your warranty to be honored, however, should something go awry.
More Than A Vacuum?
As we’ve mentioned before, versatility is the strong suit of the water filtration vacuum. Remember that one of the biggest pros of the water-based design is that it allows for wet messes to be picked up without fear of damaging the device. These products can also inflate air mattresses and release aromas into the air.
Furthermore, fans of aromatherapy and essential oils will greatly appreciate a vacuum cleaner that can double as an air purifier. This filtration method is a simple and powerful method of cleaning out dirt and debris from incoming air, which is often why pet owners and anyone concerned about air quality can be drawn to a water filtration vacuum.
Generally, water filtration vacuums are good investments, but each of our four picks is aimed at a specific type of buyer.
The Sirena Total Home Cleaning System is our go-to pick for anyone with tons of carpet in the house. Water filtration vacuum cleaners tend to struggle on high-pile carpets as a rule, but the Sirena vacuum seems to have no issue tackling thick carpets.
The Quantum vacuum is a good all-around solution for those who know that a water filtration vacuum is right for them. The extra features in the 6-in-1 design can be a bit gimmicky, but can always be helpful in a pinch.
The Bissell Big Green is a good option for wet carpet cleaning and is the only water filtration vacuum cleaner on our list that comes with this functionality. Pet owners will be happy with water filtration vacuums no matter which they choose, but those with furry friends that tend to shed of make accidents in the house will greatly prefer the deep clean that Bissell Big Green provides.
Finally, the Kalorike Pure Air is an introductory-level water filtration vacuum that costs little and delivers a lot in return.
Be sure to consider the points outlined in our Buyer’s Guide and think about the kind of vacuum you need in the house. A water filtration vacuum, as novel as it may seem, is a powerful cleaning solution for your home. Take your time when considering options, and you’ll land on a product that fits your cleaning needs. And the best part? No more bags, no more bins. Just pour the water out and keep on cleaning.