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.

One of the biggest pros for picking up a water filtration vacuum cleaner is the fact that, by design, wet and dry messes can easily be picked up. This sets water filtration vacuums apart from many canister vacuums 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.

Top 5 Best Water Filtration Vacuum Cleaners

  • Lots of attachments make it easy to clean wall-to-wall, on the ground and far above it
  • Deodorizing fragrances make it easy to pull deep-seated smells from your carpet
  • The Sirena Power nozzle is trigger activated and protects hardwood from damage
  • Includes a 10-year limited warranty

  • The two-speed motor design allows for gentle curtain cleaning and deep carpet debris removal
  • High-quality Hurricane Motor is well warranted and designed to last indefinitely
  • Tons of high-quality included attachments with dozens of others available from the manufacturer
  • Comes with a 4-year warranty on parts & accessories and an 8-year motor warranty

  • Onboard timer shuts off the vacuum after purifying a room
  • Air purification feature is quiet and multifunctional
  • Included leaf blower feature is powerful and keeps versatility high
  • Comes with a 5-year full warranty

  • Built-in heater allows for hot water carpet cleaning
  • Included wet cleaning feature is great for picking up new messes
  • Three-stage filtration is highly effective on pet hair
  • Includes a 1-year limited warranty

  • Full indicator takes the guesswork out of when it’s time to refresh the tank
  • Included 2-in-1 brush effortless adjusts to almost any flooring
  • Built-in blower feature brings shop vac convenience to the home
  • Comes with a 1-year limited warranty

Designed as a clear competitor to the always-popular Rainbow System vacuum cleaner, Sirena’s Total Home Cleaning System covers just about everything you could 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.

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.

At just over 20 pounds, the Sirena Total Home Cleaning System is the heaviest vacuum on our list by a considerable margin. It’s larger size and weight may 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 one of our most expensive picks. 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.

Pros

  • Effective attachments
  • Great for carpets
  • Water + HEPA filtration
  • Trigger-operated system
  • Pet-owner friendly

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Bulky
  • Weak warranty

It’s impossible to talk about water filtration vacuum cleaners without going into the Rainbow System.

In many ways, the Rainbow System was the original water filtration vacuum cleaner. Growing from a modest direct selling model into one of the most popular (and expensive) vacuum cleaners of all time, the Rainbow Cleaning System certainly earns the “system” aspect of its name with some of the offerings.

The Rainbow System comes with an extensive line of accessories, including wands, brush rollers, parquet tools, and many more–and Rainbow offers many, many more through their online store.

Otherwise, features found on other water filtration vacuums–such as an internal tank, shop vac-like design, and onboard LED headlights can all be found here. However, where other water filtration vacuum cleaners innovated on design and lowered costs, the Rainbow System has focused on premium materials–at the cost a premium price.

While Rainbow is a bit mum on the subject of their pricing, it’s well-known that a brand new Rainbow system can cost anywhere from one to several thousand dollars. The price can be especially prohibitive, even when compared to other premium options in the water filtration market. Secondhand options are widely available, but Rainbow won’t be honoring any warranties for products purchased outside of their system.

Overall, the Rainbow System is one of the best built, sturdiest, and long-lasting vacuums not only in this category but in all others as well. However, cost and a lack of innovative features, like a brush roller that can turn off or air purification features, keep us from fully committing to the hype.

Pros

  • Premium build quality
  • Great warranty
  • Highly versatile
  • Powerful motor
  • Great for all surfaces

Cons

  • Prohibitively expensive
  • Somewhat antiquated
  • No way to turn off brush roller

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. This design choice is fairly common amongst other water filtration vacuum cleaners as well.

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.

Likewise, the smaller size comes at the cost of capacity, which means you’ll be dumping brown water into your sink more often than you may have initially expected. The brush roll is also of concern, and since it’s not adjustable and doesn’t turn off, 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.

Pros

  • Highly versatile
  • Adjustable power settings
  • Unique functionality
  • Lightweight
  • Long hose

Cons

  • Small debris capacity
  • Loud
  • Weak brush roll

It’s no coincidence that major players like Bissell, Shark, and Dyson Vacuum Cleaners tend not to enter the water filtration market. Water filtration markets can be seen by some as novel and tend to run far more expensive than their standard counterparts. Despite this, Bissell’s unique entry into the water filtration world is perhaps the perfect solution for pet owners.

The Bissell Big Green Home Cleaning System 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.

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.

Bissell Big Green is also 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 for best results.

Pros

  • Deep carpet cleaning
  • 3-stage filtration
  • Easy to maneuver
  • Great attachments
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Limited functionality
  • Heavy
  • Weak warranty

Small, blue, and unassuming, the Kalorike Pure Air hardly looks to be up to snuff with the other water filtration vacuums on our list. Kalorike’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 or 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.

Kalorike offers a 1-year limited warranty that will keep you save 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 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.

We can confidently recommend the Kalorike Pure Air vacuum cleaner as a perfect introductory model into this niche and unique vacuum category.

Pros

  • Large debris capacity
  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Full basin indicator
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Limited functionality
  • Weak brush roll
  • Questionable build quality

Comparison Chart

FEATURESSirena Total Home Cleaning SystemThe Rainbow Cleaning SystemQuantum Water Filtration VacuumBissell Big Green Home Cleaning SystemKalorike Pure Air
Corded/BatteryCorded | 21ftCorded | 25 ftCordedCorded | 18ftCorded
Bagless
FilterWater + HEPAWater + HEPAWater OnlyWater + HEPAWater + Foam
Weight21 lbs19 lbs12 lbs18.7 lbs14.3 lbs
Brush Roll
Hose6ft7 ft10ft8ft10ft
Dimensions25.3 X 23 X 16.515.5 X 11.75 X 15.7510 X 10 X 1613 X 24 X 54.512.4 X 12.4 X 20.1
Warranty10 yrs4/8 yrs5 yrs1 yr1 yr

Water Filtration Vacuum Cleaners Buyers Guide


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.

More Than A Vacuum? More on Water Filtration

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 way to clean 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.

The design of these vacuums–often compared to that of a Shop Vacuum Cleaner–allows for the greater versatility–as air is passed through the system as opposed to simply ending at the bin.

We know there’s a lot to consider when looking into Water Filtration Vacuum cleaners. The unique sales system (more on this later) can be confusing and make it easier to skip this category entirely. That’s why we think you should keep the following pros and cons in mind before making your decision:

ProsCons
Water Filtration Vacuum Cleaners
  • Cleans wet and dry messes
  • No recurring costs through disposable bags
  • Air purification capable
  • Easy waste disposal
  • Low maintenance
  • Highly versatile
  • Durable & long-lasting
  • High cost
  • Direct sales method can be frustrating
  • Fickle warranties
  • Hard to find replacement parts
  • Somewhat older vacuum designs

The Unique Popularity of Water Filtration Vacuum Cleaners

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.

What You Need to Know About 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, Rainbow, Quantum and Sirena specifically are more interested in a face-to-face meeting between the prospective owner and a representative of 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 an unauthorized 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.

FAQ

Does my water filtration vacuum cleaner need water loaded into it before I turn it on?

Absolutely! Water filtration vacuum cleaners almost always require a minimum amount of water to work. Otherwise, air may pass through the system unfiltered–which will release all picked up debris back into your home’s air supply.

Keep an eye out for the minimum water line fill in your water filtration vacuum cleaner. Make sure to hit this point and empty whenever the basin fills to the maximum line. To clean out the vacuum of debris, simply dispose of the used water and fill the basin back to the minimum fill line.

It’s a little unintuitive and different than most vacuum cleaners you’ll find on the market, but many owners prefer this simple method of debris disposal over messy dry bins and costly disposable bags.

Should I pick a water filtration vacuum cleaner over an upright option? How about another canister?

Knowing which category of vacuum to go with is one of the hardest decisions to make when replacing your current model. And while not everyone will benefit from a water filtration vacuum cleaner, we think any one of these five picks are best for homes that need low appliance maintenance and both wet & dry messes to worry about.

Water filtration vacuum cleaners tend to work best for multi-surface homes, so those with all carpeting may want to consider an upright or a Canister Vacuum Cleaner, which may be better at deep cleaning carpet fibers. Likewise, those with lots of harder surfaces may want to consider a Vacuum for Hardwood Floors, such as a cordless stick option.

At the end of the day, water filtration vacuum cleaners are best served where they can clean multiple surfaces for years at a time.

Can I buy a water filtration vacuum cleaner without dealing with the direct sales process?

With the exception of the Bissell Big Green and Kalorike vacuum picks on our list, many water filtration vacuum cleaners, as well as the other picks on our list, are sold via a “direct sales” process. However, due to the long-lasting nature of these vacuums, it is common for many of the options on our list to pop up through online retailers and second-hand markets.

While you’re perfectly within your rights to purchase a water filtration vacuum cleaner through these means, much like when you purchase a product at a garage sale or thrift shop, there is no guarantee that the product will continue to work. Should you run into any issues, companies like Rainbow and Sirena will most likely deny any claims to the warranty, which is owned only by the original purchaser.

We recommend considering used vacuums of any type in any category very carefully. Purchase with discretion, and at your own risk.

Final Thoughts

Generally, water filtration vacuums are good investments, but each of our five 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 home. 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 Rainbow Cleaning System is a household name for a reason–and carries quite a bit of reputation and some impressively versatile features despite its age. The price is our number one concern, but provided you’re comfortable paying it, you’ll have a wonderful floor-to-ceiling solution for just about any mess.

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’s Big Green provides.

Finally, 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 home. A water filtration vacuum, as novel as it may seem, can be a powerful cleaning solution for the 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.