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Best window vacs for getting rid of condensation

Pulling back the curtains and coming face to face with condensation running down the window panes can make your heart sink. Fear not, a good window vac will sort the problem out in seconds.

By Laura Cooke | Last updated Jan 26, 2024

For those living in older houses or a property with single-pane windows, condensation is a recurring problem over the winter months.

Although a good mop with a towel or two can remove the moisture, you’re then left with a wringing wet towel to put on your heated clothes airer - which isn’t ideal when you are trying to prevent excess moisture from getting into the air.

Investing in the best dehumidifier can help, but it may not solve the problem completely. Leaving condensation in situ is not an option as it can damage windows and furniture and cause black mould to appear, which can make you and your family seriously ill.

So what’s the answer to fast and effective condensation removal? Enter, the window vac.

These nifty little gadgets work by simply vacuuming up the moisture that forms on the inside of windows, walls, mirrors, shower doors, worktops - basically any flat surface.

A daily going-over with a window vac can save time, money and help keep your household healthy during the colder months. Little wonder, then, why Mumsnetters love them so much.

But which one to choose? We scoured the Mumsnet forums (which have around 8 million unique users each month), collating tried and tested recommendations on the best window vacs that users rate and would happily recommend to others. We’ve also investigated the views of experts and consumer champions Which? Before scrutinising wider consumer reviews to learn more about the products on our shortlist.

So, without further ado, here are the best window vacs to buy in 2023.

1
Best overall window vac
What we like
  • Affordable

  • Great for those new to window vacs

  • Easy to use

What we don't like
  • Lacking accessories compared to other Kärcher WV models

Key specs

Price on writing: £40 | Vacuum nozzle width: 250mm | Capacity: 100ml | Battery run time: 25 minutes | Battery charge time: 100 minutes

What Mumsnet users say
Gingenius · Tried & Tested
“It’s strangely satisfying to use to the point that DH even does it! Quick ‘vac’ after each shower and no polishing/ scrubbing needed.”
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Cookit · Recommended
“I love my Karcher window vac. Used it on windows a few times but mainly used it on glass table tops and things, it was the only thing to get rid of streaks and clean in a few seconds.”
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Our verdict

Tested by MNHQ: Read our in-depth Karcher Window Vac review

Let’s face it, there was only ever going to be one winner. The Kärcher WV 1 Window Vac is Mumsnetter’s favourite window vac by a country mile. 

Although it is the most basic model, the VW1 still does the job, removing moisture without leaving any streaks behind, but without some of the bells and whistles that can be found on other models. Thanks to its cheaper price, it’s a great buy if you are new to the wonderful world of window vacuums. Those who have prior window vac experience may find having just the one blade size limiting, but if you aren’t bothered by the lack of fancy accessories, then this sturdy machine is a great buy.

Read next: Best budget dehumidifiers: keep your home damp-free for under £100

2
Best budget window vac
What we like
  • Affordable

  • Great for cleaning grime off windows

What we don't like
  • Reservoir needs to be kept upright to avoid leaking

  • Smaller tank than other window vacs

Key specs

Price on writing: £26 | Vacuum nozzle width: Not stated | Capacity: 60ml | Battery run time: 30 minutes | Battery charge time: 2-3 hours

What Mumsnet users say
Stefoscope · Tried & Tested
“I've got the Beldray one which cost about £20 I think. Bought originally for sucking condensation off the windows in winter, which it does well enough. The main downside is you have to keep the water reservoir upright otherwise it leaks, so cleaning the bottom of windows can be a bit difficult. I've used it to clean my windows a few times and it does leave a few lines, but these are easily wiped off. Overall I'd say it helps get them cleaner a bit faster and with less mess than when I used to use soapy water and a cloth.”
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Our verdict

If you don’t want to join the cult of Kärcher and are looking for a budget alternative, then this window vac from Beldray comes highly recommended.

With its squeegee head, the Beldray is not only great at hoovering up troublesome condensation and spills, but with a dash of cleaner it can help keep your window panes sparkling clean too. Just be aware that some previous reviewers say the water tank has a tendency to leak if the vac is turned upside down, so it may not be the best choice if you are tackling windows or surfaces with awkward corners or angles.

Read next: Best budget washing machines as recommended by families

3
Best window vac with accessories
What we like
  • Comes with different sized blades to tackle different surfaces

  • Can be used horizontally and vertically

  • Good value

What we don't like
  • Quite chunky

  • Long charge time

Key specs

Price on writing: £67 | Vacuum nozzle width: 13.3cm | Capacity: 100ml | Battery run time: 30 minutes | Battery charge time: 3 hours

What Mumsnet users say
luckymagnoliatree · Tried & Tested
“I decided to shake things up and try the Bosch one instead and it's brilliant, quieter than the karcher, not quite as big, which makes it easier to get to the bottom of the window & I prefer the blade on it. It is more like the blade you get on a windscreen wiper, I find it doesn't drag on the glass anywhere near as much. I do prefer the karcher spray to the Bosch one, it seems to spray better. I use mine for shower glass door, windows, glass doors, mirrors, table glass and it's also brilliant for cleaning the high gloss kitchen cupboard doors too! Would be lost without it.”
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Our verdict

From conservatory windows to bathroom tiles, the Bosch Cordless Window Vac is a great all-rounder to rid your home of excess moisture.

The vac comes with two different sized blades, which are similar to windscreen wipers, to ensure a streak-free finish, whatever the size of the window pane. It easily measures up to the Kärcher WV 1 in terms of runtime and tank capacity, but it does take considerably longer to charge. It also costs more than the WV1, but the Bosch comes with a great range of accessories, including a wrist strap, spray applicator, two microfibre cloths, a micro-USB charger and the aforementioned two wiper blades.


Read next: Best tumble dryers 2023: heat pump and condenser dryers for every budget

4
Best window vac for battery life

Vileda Windomatic Power Window Vacuum Cleaner

What we like
  • Water tank can be cleaned in the dishwasher

  • Lightweight

  • Long battery life

What we don't like
  • Pricey

  • Water can escape if you use the vac upside down when almost full

Key specs

Price on writing: £95 | Vacuum nozzle width: Doesn’t state | Capacity: 100ml | Battery run time: 40 minutes | Battery charge time: Doesn’t state

What Mumsnet users say
Minttee · Tried & Tested
“Get a window vac op. I spent years p*ssing around with towels every morning. It's so much easier, I've got the Vileda one. It's crazy how much they fill with water.”
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Our verdict

Mumsnetters rave about the Vileda Windomatic, and if you like your vac with some added va-va-voom, then the souped-up Vileda Windomatic Power is the gadget for you. 

With two speeds and enough battery life to clean up to 120 panes of glass in one charge, this is a powerful gizmo that will make light work of surface water. Unfortunately it doesn’t come with the variety of accessories that you get with the Bosch, and does have a tendency to spit water if held at certain angles if the water tank is almost full. But in terms of cleaning results, you will not be disappointed.

Read next: Best steam irons to buy for crease-free clothing

5
Best window vac for condensation

Tower Cordless Window Cleaner

What we like
  • Large water tank

What we don't like
  • Long charge time

Key specs

Price on writing: £51 | Vacuum nozzle width: Doesn’t state | Capacity: 150ml | Battery run time: 30 minutes | Battery charge time: Three hours

What Mumsnet users say
Calmdown14 · Recommended
“We bought one about a decade ago for old windows. We put in new windows there and have since moved and replaced windows but it has still been an excellent purchase. We don't pay a window cleaner so use it to clean the windows. I think the 'why spend money on tat' comments are off the mark. If you have a lot of condensation (we did when we bought ours) it stains the woodwork. We were sanding and revarnishing every year [...] We used it in the bathroom too to wipe down after showers which cut down on a lot of moisture. My current house vents better so it's now only used for window cleaning but I'd still say it's one of the most cost effective items I have bought.
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Our verdict

Show your windows a little TLC with the Tower Cordless Window Cleaner which washes, vacuums and dries all in one! Whether you are tackling condensation indoors or removing grime on the outside of the window, the Tower vac has got you covered. The silicone squeegee sucks surfaces dry, leaving nothing behind but a clean and streak-free finish. Add a spot of detergent for the best results.

On the downside, the Tower does take longer to charge than comparable window vacs, but those who have invested in one say it is worth the wait. We love the bigger tank size which means you can go for longer without having to empty the reservoir.

Read next: Best moisture absorbers to keep damp at bay

6
Best Kärcher window vac

Kärcher 16332220 WV 6 Plus N Window Vac

What we like
  • Excellent battery run time

  • LED battery indicator

  • Large water tank

What we don't like
  • Pricey

Key specs

Price on writing: £86 | Vacuum nozzle width: 280mm | Capacity: 150ml | Battery run time: 100 minutes | Battery charge time: 170 minutes

What Mumsnet users say
Apollonia1 · Recommended
“I've had a Karcher window vac for years, and swear by it! I keep it in the bathroom and clean the shower and mirrors and windows after a shower and then open the window to let the rest of the condensation out. It's amazing for cleaning windows to a streak-free shine! [...] I've a condensation problem downstairs, so bought the Karcher WV6.”
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Our verdict

If you are ready to go all-in with window vacuuming, then the Kärcher 16332220 WV 6 Plus N Window Vac is the creme de la creme. It boasts a huge 100 minute run time, probably giving you plenty of juice to tackle your windows several times over. The handy LED display shows exactly how many minutes remain before you run out of power.

The dirty water tank on the Kärcher WV 6 Plus is 50% larger than on previous models and the vac comes with 280mm and 170mm exchangeable suction heads, premium spray bottle with microfibre cloth and a sachet of 20ml window cleaning concentrate - everything you need to hoover your way to shiny, condensation-free windows.


Read next: Best cleaning products to get your house clean and sparkling

How do you use a window vac?

Whichever brand you go for, all window vacs essentially work in the same way. A motorised suction-squeegee, all you have to do is switch the window vac on and run the head of the vacuum down the window pane. A removable tank collects all the excess water to be emptied into the sink or drain.

What else can you clean with a window vac?

Despite its name, the window vac can tackle moisture on any smooth, flat surface, not just windows. Mumsnetters use their window vacs for removing water from shower screens, bathroom tiles, mirrors, car windows, glass table tops and even mopping up spillages from kitchen worktops. Depending on the make and model of the window vac, they can even be used on grubby exterior windows.

Related: The best water softeners for hard water areas

What to consider when buying a window vac

There are several things that you should consider when looking to buy a window vac:

  • What are you going to use it for? As mentioned above, a window vac can be used for a wide range of purposes, so you should consider what you are planning to do with your window vac. Do you want one that can be used outdoors to clean a filthy conservatory? Drying out a bathroom or wet room? Or are you looking for a cheap and cheerful model to use for a quick daily whizz around to remove condensation from interior windows?

  • Which make and model? Without a doubt, Kärcher is king of the window vacs. But just because the brand has its army of devoted fans that will attest to its efficiency and longevity, this doesn’t necessarily mean it is the best choice for you. And before you pay out for a top-of-the-range latest model, ask yourself if an older model with fewer accessories may be better suited to meet your needs.

  • What’s your budget? Always, always think of your budget! The window vacs on our list start from around the £25 mark, but you can easily spend £100-plus if you end up purchasing an expensive vacuum and loads of accessories, such as specialist cleaner and extension poles. 

What is the best window vac?

Mumsnetters love the Kärcher WV 1 Window Vac for its ability to suck up unwanted excess moisture quickly and efficiently. It’s a sturdy gadget that will give you many happy years of window vacuuming. And for just £40, it’s quite a bargain to boot.

How we chose our recommendations

Recommendations from real Mumsnet users 

First, we sought out the trusted opinions of Mumsnet users, to get their feedback on the window vacs that they rate, recommend and use in their own homes.

We also looked out for any negative reviews, where Mumsetters highlighted products that they felt were poor quality, inefficient or underperformed. 

Expert opinions

Next up, we considered reviews and feedback from trusted industry experts. We want to be confident that the products we recommend are fit for purpose, so we looked out for award-winning products or those that were well regarded in the marketplace, including those recommended by experts and consumer champions such as Which?.

Authentic consumer reviews

Finally, to bring you our definitive list of the best window vacuums on the market, we thoroughly investigated genuine, in-depth customer reviews on retailer sites such as Amazon, to get wider consumer experiences regarding the products on our shortlist. 

About the author

Laura Cooke is a Content Editor at Mumsnet, with a special focus on home care content.

Laura started writing Swears By articles for Mumsnet in 2021, writing buyers guides, including what to consider when buying a robot vacuum cleaner, cleaning articles and product reviews, including the Russell Hobbs Fresh Air Mini Compact Dehumidifier and Black + Decker 3 Tier Heated Airer, to help Mumsnetters make informed choices when it comes to parting with their pennies.

Laura is also a freelance journalist and has written articles for publications including the Daily Mirror, the i, Metro, Stylist and Happiful magazine.

Why you should trust us

We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust and we spend hours scouring the Mumsnet forums and online bestseller lists to find products that real parents rate.

Transparency is really important to us and that's why we're always upfront about where we find our recommendations. We write about products that we feel offer the best value to most parents – the ones that our users would recommend to their own friends and family.