Best pressure washer: 6 powerful jet sprayers to clean your outdoor spaces

Dirt, mud, and stains won’t stand a chance against the best pressure washers

Best pressure washer
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(Image credit: Future)

Have your home looking the best on the block with a the best pressure washer. A high quality pressure washer can help you can clean off dirt and grime that’s coating your siding and patio furniture, or remove stains from your driveway and moss from your stone walkway. They make light of the work you would otherwise need to do with hose and broom, saving time and effort.

But how do you choose? Electric or gas? How many nozzle options are necessary? What kind of PSI do you need for certain jobs? We answer all these questions and more in this top pressure washer buying guide. You’ll surely find a pressure washer for your home and cleaning needs – no matter your budget.

Pick your favorite below and make your home spick and span this season. They are perfect for patios, so check out the best lawn mowers to keep the rest of your yard neat and tidy.

The best pressure washers 2021

Stanley SHP2150 best pressure washer

(Image credit: Stanley)

1. Stanley SHP2150 Electric Pressure Washer with Spray Gun

Best overall pressure washer

Specifications

PSI: 2150
Nozzle options: 4; 0-40 degrees
Weight: 25.57lbs
Dimensions: 14.57 x 13.58 x 26.77 inches
Hose: 25 ft
Cord length: 35 ft

Reasons to buy

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2150 PSI can handle most jobs
+
Four different nozzle spray options
+
Detergent bottle connects to the spray gun

Reasons to avoid

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The pressure isn’t capable of heavy-duty stain removal 

The Stanley SHP2150 Electric Pressure Washer pulls out all the stops for most cleaning jobs around the house. Let’s start with the design. It’s compact and vertical, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space. The telescopic handle extends so it’s easier to maneuver on the back two wheels. With a 35-foot cord and 25-foot pressure hose, you shouldn’t have to plug and unplug constantly. 

So what kind of projects can this Stanley pressure washer take on? Quite a bit. With 2150 PSI, this pressure washer can remove stains and clean siding, pavement, pools, cars, ATVs, furniture, and more. A detergent bottle that connects to the washer gun allows you to begin the cleaning process with high pressure foam. Wash the soap off with four different quick-connect nozzles that provide four different spray degrees (0-40 degrees). 

Ryobi 1600 psi electric pressure washer

(Image credit: Ryobi)

2. Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer

Best low pressure washer

Specifications

PSI: 1600
Nozzle options: 3; soap, 15 degrees, and Turbo Nozzle
Weight: 25.57 lbs
Dimensions: 14.57 x 13.58 x 26.77 in
Hose: 20 ft
Cord length: 35ft

Reasons to buy

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Compact and easy to move around
+
Includes a one-quart on-board detergent tank
+
Three nozzle settings, including a Turbo Nozzle

Reasons to avoid

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Low PSI limits the number of jobs it can do

A pressure washer doesn’t have to be big to make an impact. The Ryobi 1,600 PSI 1.2 GPM Electric Pressure Washer is great for those who want something lightweight to carry between the patio, deck, driveaway, and alongside the house. 

This pressure washer is equipped with a 13-amp electric motor and 1600 PSI, so it’s not going to rid your fence or garage floor of stains, but it can clean off mud and dirt and have your home and patio furniture looking fresh and clean. With a 1-quart on-board detergent tank, you’ll be able spray soap and clean it off with a simple nozzle adjustment. The nozzle has three settings – one for soap, another for a 15-degree water spray, and the last is for a quick-connect Turbo Nozzle, which offers 50% more spray power. 

With the roll-cage frame, this baby is easy to carry around and won’t tip over when you set it down. The 20-foot hose and 35-foot cord will allow you to clean a good chunk of area before you have to unplug and carry the pressure washer to the next spot.

Simpson Cleaning MegaShot MSH3125 -S Cold Water Pressure Washer

(Image credit: Simpson Cleaning)

3. Simpson Cleaning MegaShot MSH3125 -S Cold Water Pressure Washer

Best heavy pressure washer

Specifications

PSI: 3200
Nozzle options: 5; 0-40 degrees and soap
Weight: 66 lbs
Dimensions: 34 x 21 x 24 in
Hose: 25 ft
Cord length: none – gas powered

Reasons to buy

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Easy to move around 
+
Strong enough to do most jobs around the home
+
Runs on gas so you don’t need an outdoor outlet

Reasons to avoid

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No onboarding detergent tank

If you need mega power to clean your outdoor spaces, look no further than the Simpson MegaShot MSH3125 Pressure Washer. This machine has a gas-powered HONDA GC190 engine meaning it’s easy to start, one of the lightest in its class, quieter than most, and designed to be fuel-efficient. 

You can use the 25-foot pressure hose and five quick connect nozzle tips (0°, 15°, 25°, 40° and soap application) to clean your siding, driveway, or fence. With 3200 PSI, this pressure washer is equipped to rid your spaces of stains and prepare walls for paint. The hose is designed to be non-marring, flexible, and abrasion resistant. 

Even though it has a steel frame, one person can move the MegaShot on their own thanks to 10-inch premium tires and a weight of only 66 lbs. Take note that there is not an onboarding detergent tank. Rather, Megashot provides tubing that can be connected from the pressure washer to a separate soapy solution. 

Sun Joe SPX1000 1450 PSI 1.45 GPM 11.5-Amp Electric Pressure Washer

(Image credit: Sun Joe)

4. Sun Joe SPX1000 1450 PSI 1.45 GPM 11.5-Amp Electric Pressure Washer

Best budget-friendly pressure washer

Specifications

PSI: 1450
Nozzle options: 2; 0 and 45 degrees
Weight: 11.7 lbs
Dimensions: 12 x 9.8 x 19 in
Hose: 20 ft
Cord length: 35ft

Reasons to buy

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Safety lock on the trigger
+
Small, lightweight, and easy to store
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Great for cleaning a car, small patio, or outdoor furniture 

Reasons to avoid

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No soap dispenser
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Only has two nozzle settings

You’ve got a small patio, windows that need to be cleaned, or a car you’d like to wash at home, but you’d rather not have a loud or big pressure washer. Let us introduce the Sun Joe SPX1000 pressure washer. This small and affordable pressure washer runs on an electric 11.5-amp motor that generates a maximum of 1450 PSI (although the rated pressure is 1150 PSI). It’s not equipped to remove stains from different outdoor materials, but you can use it for light cleaning jobs. 

The power cord is 35 feet, the hose is 20 feet, and the wand is 33 inches, so you can easily move around and leave the pressure washer in one spot. A drawback is that the nozzle only has two settings -- a zero-degree jet spray that offers more pressure than the 45-degree spray. 

Don’t overlook the Total Stop System technology on this pressure washer. It’s a trigger safety lock that prevents the trigger from accidentally engaging and shuts off the pump, so you save energy and prolong the pump’s life. 

Worx power share cordless pressure washer

(Image credit: Worx)

5. WORX WG625E Cordless Hydroshot Portable Pressure Washer

Best compact pressure washer: for easy cleaning on the go

Specifications

PSI: 450
Nozzle options: 4; 0-40 degrees
Weight: 5.11lbs
Dimensions: 40.2 x 4.72 x 7.72 inches
Hose: 20ft
Cord length: None – battery powered

Reasons to buy

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Lightweight
+
Cordless 
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Great for those on the go cleaning bikes and boots
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No power or water supply restrictions
+
Compact and easy to store

Reasons to avoid

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 Lower cleaning pressure than corded models

If you can never reach what you want to clean because of power or water supply issues, a cordless power washer like this could be for you. It doesn't have as much power as most corded options, but you can use it anywhere you need to, including out and about and at the edges of the biggest yard.

It is battery powered, using Worx's PowerShare batteries, but how does it get water, you wonder? It can be fixed to a hose pipe if needed, but for ease, you just need to fill the collapsable bucket with water and drop the hose that is provided into it to siphon up water. It also comes with a container for detergent as well as a brush attachment that is great for washing your car, or muddy shoes. 

While the pressure is admittedly lower than our other options, it is enough for cleaning patios, garden furniture, cars and windows. It also has 30 minutes battery life so it plenty for most quick outdoor cleaning tasks. You just need to be prepared for lots of bucket refills.

Finally, without the big power unit, it is compact to store and comes with a mesh accessory bag to hang everything up to dry.

Dewalt4200 PSI 4.0 GPM Gas Pressure Washer Powered by HONDA

(Image credit: Dewalt)

6. Dewalt 4200 PSI 4.0 GPM Gas Pressure Washer Powered by Honda

Best extra-heavy duty pressure washer

Specifications

PSI: 4200
Nozzle options: 4; 0-40 degrees and soap
Weight: 157 lbs
Dimensions: 28 x 26.5 x 24.5 in
Hose length: 50 ft
Cord length: None – gas powered

Reasons to buy

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Gas-powered pressure washer
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Four different nozzles, including soap option
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Can handle the toughest cleaning jobs

Reasons to avoid

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Very expensive
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No onboard soap dispenser tank
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PSI is too strong for most residential home cleaning projects
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Greedy for storage space

Most people don’t need an extra heavy duty pressure washer, but if you do, spend your money on a brand and a pressure washer you can trust to get the job done: the Dewalt 4200 PSI 4.0 GPM Gas Pressure Washer. As the name implies, it runs on gas and has a Honda GX390 motor that can deliver a super high performance water pressure to clean equipment (especially industrial), wood structures, driveways, and vinyl siding. The PSI is a bit too strong for cars or paint prep. 

The heavy-duty frame has 13-inch premium pneumatic tires which is good because it’ll be a little easier to move the 157lb machine around. With a 50-foot hose, hopefully you won’t have to move the pressure washer around too much and you can focus on the cleaning job at hand. 

The spray gun is outfitted with five quick-connect nozzles (0, 15, 25, and 40 degrees), including a soap nozzle that you can use after preparing your own soap mix and connecting it to the included detergent siphon tube. 

How to choose the best pressure washer

Before you hit the “buy” button on your favorite pressure washer, make sure you ask yourself these critical questions. 

Do I have plenty of outdoor electrical outlets? 

If you’re going to buy an electric pressure washer, you better have outdoor outlets. You may also need more than one on the exterior of your home. If the cord is 35 feet, the hose is 20 feet, and the only outdoor outlet is 60 feet away from the area in which you need to use the pressure washer, you’re out of luck. 

If you don’t have a lot of outdoor electrical outlets, you may consider a gas-powered pressure washer. The amount of gas you’ll need to use in a gas-powered pressure washer shouldn’t be that costly. 

If you are just cleaning a patio right behind your home, reach may be less of a problem, but gas or cordless is the way to go if you need to roam further.

What are the weight and dimensions of the pressure washer?
Before buying a pressure washer, make sure you check the dimensions. If you don’t have a lot of storage space, you may need to forgo the larger heavy duty pressure washers and get something smaller.

Weight is also a worthy consideration. Even though many pressure washers have wheels, some can weigh more than an adult human and you might need assistance moving it around. Also, if the pressure washer is lighter and smaller, perhaps you can store it on a high shelf in the garage so that it’s out of the way. 

Is there an integrated soap canister? 

It can be very easy to overlook whether or not a pressure washer has a soap canister. Some soap canisters are integrated into the pressure washer itself so all you have to do is unscrew the cap and pour soap in. This is by far the most convenient design. 

Others include a soap canister that you have to screw and unscrew to the bottom of the pressure washer wand. Then there are a few pressure washers that only provide a tube and filter to place in a separate bottle. This can be somewhat of a cumbersome task, but better than a pressure washer that doesn’t allow you to use soap at all. 

How many nozzle options are there?  

Low-budget pressure washers will only have one or two nozzle options – usually a direct stream and one that is 30 degrees. The more nozzle options you have the better you can attack an outdoor cleaning job. If you see the words ‘quick connect nozzles,’ this just means that you’ll have to manually change the nozzle each time you want to increase or decrease the degree of the spray.

How much PSI do I need? 

When buying a pressure washer, the PSI is arguably the most important factor in the purchase because it determines which cleaning jobs you can and can’t do. Here is an easy chart to reference. 

Light (1500–1900 PSI): If you only have an apartment or condo with a small porch, sidewalk, and patio furniture, this is a good choice for you. It’s best used to rid items of dirt or mud, rather than deep cleaning.

Medium (2000–2800 PSI): Does a decent job cleaning patio furniture, concrete, siding, cars, and fences. It’s not going to remove every stain, but if it reaches the high end of the PSI, it could remove most. 

All-Around (2800–3000 PSI): Does a good job on everything, except paint prep. Gas-powered pressure washers in this category usually perform better than electric pressure washers. 

Heavy Duty (2900–3200 PSI): Great choice for every cleaning job no matter the surface, especially stain removal. 

Extra Heavy (3200+ PSI): Perfect for cleaning industrial equipment or super heavy stains. Too strong for cleaning cars or boats as it will ruin the paint job. 

For more advice on finding the right power for the jobs you need to do, read our guide on how to use a pressure washer.