Banish condensation and streaks with the best window vac for cleaning your windows, mirrors and more
Removing condensation or dirt from your windows is no easy job but the best window vac will make things a whole lot easier. You could spend a weekend struggling with buckets and towels, but investing in a good window vacuum allows you to do a better job in a fraction of the time.
Handheld window vacuum cleaners are designed to remove dust, dirt and water from windows and other shiny surfaces, leaving them squeaky clean and streak-free. They can also help with things like condensation on old windows and in conservatories.
Here, we’ve rounded up the best window vacs you can buy in 2023, taking into account factors such as battery runtime, portability and cleaning efficiency. Our quick buying guide below will help you to make an informed decision on the best window vac for your needs, while our mini reviews go into more depth on our favourites.
Alternatively, check out our at a glance list below for direct links to our top picks.
Best window vac: At a glance
|Best all-rounder||Karcher Window Vac WV5 (~£72)||Check price at Amazon|
|Best lightweight||Vileda WindoMatic Power Window Vacuum (~£22)||Check price at Amazon|
|Best budget||Beldray Window Vacuum Clean (~£25)||Check price at Amazon|
|Best extendable||Monzana Window Vacuum Cleaner (~£38)||Check price at Amazon|
|Best for conservatories||Leifheit Window Vacuum Cleaner (~£44)||Check price at Amazon|
How to choose the best window vacuum for you
You will notice a surprising range of features and extras when shopping around for a window vac but there are only four factors that really matter:
1. Cleaning efficiency: It doesn’t matter how long a window vac’s battery can last if it’s not cleaning your windows. Suction should be strong enough to remove dust, dirt and water quickly and evenly, all the way along the suction nozzle, so it can clean right to the edge of your window. One model, the Vileda WindowMatic, has a ‘Max’ setting for extra suction when needed. This runs down the battery faster, but it’s a clever option that we would like to see on more models.
2. Leak-proof suction: Window vacs suck wastewater into their tanks, rather than dry dirt like a standard vacuum cleaner. That can get messy, especially if you’re working with odd-shaped windows in hard-to-reach places. You don’t want gunky water running down into your armpit. So, we looked for models with good leak-proofing, and tanks that were easy to empty on the go.
3. Battery runtime (and charge time): Windows vacs only run for about half an hour per charge. That may sound miserly but it’s usually long enough to clean your car or blitz condensation on a chilly morning. However, to avoid having to give up halfway through more extensive cleaning missions, check that you can recharge the battery quickly and conveniently. Most models take around three hours for a full recharge.
4. Weight and capacity: A kilo may not feel like much at first, but after half an hour of holding the unit at arm’s length it will start to hurt – especially when it fills up with 300ml or so of dirty water. The bigger the tank, the more cleaning you can do without having to stop and empty it, but the heavier it will get. So, tank size is less important than leak-proofing and easy emptying.
What extra features and accessories are worth having?
Interchangeable suction heads: Most window vacs come with a 280mm suction head as standard, but many include an additional smaller head for fiddly jobs such as leaded windows and front door panels. Pivoting suction heads can also help to get into awkward spots.
Extra chargers and batteries: All our featured window vacs come with a standard DC mains plug and cable. Some models add convenient backup options such as removable batteries (and the option to buy a spare), and USB and in-car chargers.
LED charge indicator: Useful for revealing how much longer the battery will last before it needs a recharge.
Extendable pole: A few models on our list come with, or are compatible with, telescopic or multi-section poles to help you reach high windows and skylights without wobbling up a ladder. On the downside, a pole can make the vac hard to control, especially if it’s heavy.
Cleaning extras: Many window vacs come with cleaning bottles, microfibre pads and even their own branded cleaning spray. While useful, these extras are unlikely to perform any better than the stuff you already have in your cleaning cupboard.
READ NEXT: The best window cleaner to buy
The best window vacs you can buy in 2023
1. Karcher Window Vac WV5: Best all-round window vacuum cleaner
Price when reviewed: £80 | Check price at AmazonThe Karcher WV5 is about as pricey as window vacs get. It’s still cheaper than paying a human window cleaner, though, and its power, features and efficiency are the best you will find in a window vac designed for home users.
Among its many included accessories are a smaller 170mm suction head for hard-to-reach areas and a microfibre attachment to spread detergent on your windows. There’s a built-in LED battery indicator and you can buy additional batteries so that you’ve always got a fully charged one ready to go.
None of that would matter if the Karcher didn’t clean windows brilliantly – and that’s where it really excels. Suction is strong and efficient right across the nozzle, so you can clean and dry into the silicone seal around your windows. The finish is about as streak-free as a window vac can achieve, although you may want to give your glass a final buff with a dry kitchen towel.
Key specs – Weight: 1.1kg; Battery runtime: 35 minutes; Cleaning area: 105m² per charge; Accessories included: Additional small suction nozzle, microfibre cleaning head, extra spray bottle (with 20ml branded detergent), charger
2. Beldray Window Vacuum Cleaner: Best budget window vac
Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at Amazon
Coming in under £30, Beldray’s handheld window vac is considerably cheaper than the other models on our list, and also somewhat less powerful. It can only be used in a vertical position, so while it does a good job of cleaning and drying windows, mirrors and shower screens, it won’t help you with spills on worktops or grimy skylights.
But it’s cheap and lightweight (partly down to the small 60ml tank, which needs emptying rather frequently), so it’s a good spare vac to keep handy for quickly dealing with condensation or whizzing over the car windows.
Key specs – Weight: 921g; Battery runtime: 30 minutes; Cleaning area: Not given; Accessories included: Charger
3. Bosch GlassVAC Cordless Window Vac: Best window vac with USB charging port
Price when reviewed: £60 | Check price at CurrysIf you want your window vac to look like a serious power tool, this Bosch is the one for you. It feels wonderfully robust and offers the same wiper technology used by the car industry to achieve a streak-free finish on windscreens. We also love that you can charge it via USB using the included micro-USB charger – an increasingly convenient option for drivers. Like the Karcher, the Bosch has a battery indicator to let you know when it’s running low.
Suction power is excellent and you get oodles of extras in the box, including a smaller head and microfibre attachment. However, what pushes the Bosch behind the Karcher and Vileda in our list is its failure, reported by some users, to clean quite as well to the very edges of your windows.
Key specs – Weight: 700g; Battery runtime: 30minutes; Cleaning area: 105m² per charge; Accessories included: Additional small suction nozzle, microfibre cleaning head, extra spray bottle, USB charger
4. Vileda WindoMatic Power Window Vacuum: Best lightweight window vac
Price when reviewed: £56 | Check price at AmazonVileda’s minimalist window vac runs the Karcher a close second in our rundown. It’s about half the weight of the Karcher (until the large 300ml wastewater tank fills up, anyway) and is the only vac in our list to have an additional turbo power level.
Switch to ‘Max’ mode to boost the WindowMatic’s power by 50% (and drain the battery faster, of course). It’s a real help when cleaning tenaciously grubby surfaces, and generally speeds up the process. The Vileda also has a flexible neck, ideal for hard-to-reach places, and the tank is easy to remove for emptying and sticking in the dishwasher.
Key specs – Weight: 640g; Battery runtime: 40 minutes; Cleaning area: 120m² per charge; Accessories included: Charger
5. Leifheit Window Vacuum Cleaner: Best for condensation removal
Price when reviewed: £44 | Check price at AmazonLeifheit’s lightweight model is the Spider-Man of window vacs, able to operate efficiently at all angles. So if you’re struggling to clean and dry your skylights, conservatory roof and weirdly positioned mirrors without ending up covered in gunk, this leak-free model is the vac for you. Convenient design touches include a stopper that lets you drain the tank without needing to remove it (although you can remove it for cleaning). It’s a great little vac, although its suction power could be stronger at the edges.
Key specs – Weight: 739g; Battery runtime: 45 minutes; Cleaning area: Not given; Accessories included: Charger (telescopic handle available separately)
6. Monzana Window Vacuum Cleaner: Best extendable window vacuum
Price when reviewed: £38 | Check price at AmazonClean entire walls of tiles with ease using this extendable window vac. The unit itself is light enough to remain manageable even when the telescopic pole is fully extended, although a few users have experienced water leaking out both ends of the silicone nozzle blade.
Key specs – Weight: 680g; Battery runtime: 30 minutes; Cleaning area: ‘Up to 30 windows’ per charge; Accessories included: Telescopic extension pole, microfibre cloths, spray bottle, charger