In a perfect world, you’d be able to test drive pressure washers to see if they suit your needs. But life isn’t that easy. That’s why we’ve taken the time to find the best pressure washers across several budgets and use cases.
Update, 3/15/22: Verified products and links still good.
Before buying a pressure washer, you should consider what you’ll be using it for. Do you want an electric or gas pressure washer? Will you be using it to clean your driveway, deck, fence, or your home’s exterior? How often do you plan on using it? In most situations, there’s no reason to grab the most powerful pressure washer on the market for routine cleaning. Additionally, avoid buying a pressure washer that’s too big to easily store in your garage or shed.
As a side note, we’re leaving hot gas pressure washers out of this article because they cost upwards of about $3,500. They’re worth renting if your house is in really bad shape, but we wouldn’t suggest buying one (unless you’re planning to start a pressure washing business). If the dirt and grime is serious enough, you may want to find a professional to do the job for you.
You should also know the difference between electric and gas pressure washers—here’s a brief overview of both:
- Electric Pressure Washers: These washers are incredibly cheap and they don’t require a ton of maintenance. They may not be as powerful or durable as gas pressure washers, but they’re ideal for most routine cleaning jobs and are small enough to fit in a closet.
- Gas Pressure Washers: Your everyday gas-powered pressure washer can cut through any cleaning job. While their prices range from “affordable” to “self-induced bankruptcy,” but even the cheapest gas pressure washers are more powerful and durable than electric washers. Just keep in mind that they require extra maintenance (especially for winter storage), they’re bulkier than their electric counterparts, and they weigh between 70-150 pounds.
If you’re looking for an affordable, compact, powerful pressure washer, then you should check out the Sun Joe SPX3000 electric washer. It pushes out water at a force of 2,030 PSI, and it even has a built-in water heater that can warm water to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (a feature that’s usually reserved for $3,500 commercial-grade power washers).
Despite the Sun Joe’s compact size, it comes with a 20-foot hose, and it’s built with two detergent tanks and five nozzle attachments for different cleaning jobs. This thing’s a fantastic compromise between a portable electric pressure washer and a powerful gas washer.
Sun Joe SPX3000 2030 Max PSI 1.76 GPM 14.5-Amp Electric High Pressure Washer, Cleans Cars/Fences/Patios
At 2,030 PSI, the Sun Joe SPX3000 is a powerful, affordable electric pressure washer. It's a great choice for anyone who wants to mix the power of a gas pressure washer with the convenience of an electric pressure washer.
The Stanley SHP1600 electric pressure washer costs less than $100 and boasts a decent 1,600 PSI. Being small and lightweight, it’s easy to store in the garage or bring inside for some indoor cleaning. It also comes with a 20′ hose attachment and has an adjustable hose nozzle, so you can reach and clean a variety of surfaces.
If you only need a pressure washer for routine cleaning, this one’s a no-brainer. It may not be as powerful as other electric pressure washers (and it doesn’t hold a candle to gas washers), but it’s strong enough for routine cleaning jobs and small enough to tuck away when not in use.
Stanley SHP1600 Electric Pressure Washer with Vari-Spray Nozzle, Wand, 1600 PSI, Yellow
The Stanley SHP1600 electric pressure washer boasts 1,600 PSI, which is perfect for most routine cleaning jobs. For less than $100, this is the ideal pressure washer for most homeowners.
The Simpson MSH3125 is a fantastic 3,200 PSI gas pressure washer. Running on a Honda GC190 engine, it’s built with a durable steel frame that should survive a decade of regular use. Not to mention this pressure washer is surprisingly mobile (you can thank those giant tires), and it has five quick-connect nozzles and a 25′ hose for any cleaning situation.
Of course, it’s worth noting that the Simpson MSH3125 is almost as big as a lawnmower. If you’re concerned about storage, you may want to get a smaller gas pressure washer or an electric pressure washer.
SIMPSON Cleaning MSH3125 MegaShot 3200 PSI Gas Pressure Washer, 2.5 GPM, Honda GC190 Engine, Includes Spray Gun and Extension Wand, 5 QC Nozzle Tips, 1/4-in. x 25-ft. MorFlex Hose, (49-State)
The Simpson MSH3125 is a fantastic 3,200 PSI gas pressure washer. It is built with a durable steel frame and is surprisingly mobile despite its size.
You don’t have to shell out $400 to get the power of a gas pressure washer. The WEN PW3100 gas pressure washer costs about as much as a premium electric pressure washer, but it boasts a decent 3,100 PSI, comes with five quick-connect nozzles, and even includes a 30′ hose.
The WEN PW3100 is a lot smaller than most gas pressure washers (about 2′ by 2′), so you don’t have to worry too much about storage. But it’s mostly made of plastic and lightweight metal, so it may not last as long as some other gas pressure washers.
WEN PW3100 3100 PSI 2.5 GPM 208cc Gas Pressure Washer, CARB Compliant
The WEN PW3100 3,100 PSI gas pressure washer is surprisingly affordable and compact, and it has all the features that you'd expect from an expensive gas pressure washer.
Looking for an extra powerful pressure washer? The Generac 6565 gas pressure washer is designed specifically for commercial use, and boasts an amazing 4,200 PSI of cleaning power. Made with great, durable materials, it comes with five quick-connect nozzles for different cleaning situations and has a ridiculously long 50′ hose that’s strong enough to handle years of abuse.
The Generac 6565 offers more power than most people need. If you’re looking for that kind of power (this is your job, you have a lot of property, etc.), then this is the pressure washer for you. But if you just want to wash down the side of your house a few times a year, it might be smarter to go with a cheaper (maybe electric) pressure washer.
Generac 6565 Pressure Washer
At 4,200 PSI of cleaning power, the Generac 6565 is ideal for professional use. It is super strong, super durable, and can turn big cleaning jobs into cakewalks.