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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.
Great for those new to window vacs
Easy to use
Lacking accessories compared to other Kärcher WV models
Price on writing: £40 | Vacuum nozzle width: 250mm | Capacity: 100ml | Battery run time: 25 minutes | Battery charge time: 100 minutes
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.
Great for cleaning grime off windows
Reservoir needs to be kept upright to avoid leaking
Smaller tank than other window vacs
Price on writing: £26 | Vacuum nozzle width: Not stated | Capacity: 60ml | Battery run time: 30 minutes | Battery charge time: 2-3 hours
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.
Comes with different sized blades to tackle different surfaces
Can be used horizontally and vertically
Long charge time
Price on writing: £67 | Vacuum nozzle width: 13.3cm | Capacity: 100ml | Battery run time: 30 minutes | Battery charge time: 3 hours
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.
Vileda Windomatic Power Window Vacuum Cleaner
Water tank can be cleaned in the dishwasher
Long battery life
Water can escape if you use the vac upside down when almost full
Price on writing: £95 | Vacuum nozzle width: Doesn’t state | Capacity: 100ml | Battery run time: 40 minutes | Battery charge time: Doesn’t state
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
Large water tank
Long charge time
Price on writing: £51 | Vacuum nozzle width: Doesn’t state | Capacity: 150ml | Battery run time: 30 minutes | Battery charge time: Three hours
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
Kärcher 16332220 WV 6 Plus N Window Vac
Excellent battery run time
LED battery indicator
Large water tank
Price on writing: £86 | Vacuum nozzle width: 280mm | Capacity: 150ml | Battery run time: 100 minutes | Battery charge time: 170 minutes
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.
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.
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.
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.