Last updated: August 5, 2021

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Are you looking for a window vacuum cleaner? Our window vacuum test 2021 will help you find the right device. Because cleaning windows seems to be a real art. Don't you think? Then bring up the topic at the next party, usually a lively discussion about methods or even no-go's develops.

Who doesn't enjoy rooms flooded with light and elegant conservatories? But a dirty glass front not only spoils the view, but also the feeling of living. Especially if you keep leaving streaks and smears behind. The solution: a window vacuum cleaner. This can often be used alternatively, e.g. on tiles.




Summary

  • Function: Window vacuums are a pleasant alternative to manual window cleaning: The integrated water tank prevents droplets from forming and helps to keep windows dry and streak-free.
  • Time-saving: Cleaning and drying take place in parallel, saving at least one work step. Especially in houses with many glass surfaces, the application is worthwhile.
  • Choice: There are many different versions of window vacuum cleaners. So there is the right device for everyone. For people who don't like to lift or are physically limited, for example, a suction robot is suitable.

The Best Window Vacuum Cleaner: Our Choices

Buying and evaluation criteria for window vacuums

In the following sections you can read about the options available and find out which of them is particularly important for you.

Handling

Not all window vacuums are the same. Most models belong to the category of 2-in-1 devices, they combine a squeegee and a suction function. Before use, the windows are moistened or treated with glass cleaner. Often a spray bottle with integrated microfibre cloth comes with the device, so you don't have to buy anything extra.

3-in-1 models combine three functions: Cleaning, polishing and vacuuming. This saves you even more time. Most of these devices have two tanks, one for the mop water and one for the dirty water. Of course, you have to fill the fresh tank before each use and refill it depending on the tank volume.

The window vacuuming robots are the least work, because they are simply attached to the desired surface. The devices can be controlled by remote control or app. Here you don't have to lift for a long time. This is not only convenient, but can also be helpful for people with physical limitations.

Equipment

Most devices come with the most important accessories. Microfibre cloths, spray bottle or attachments do not have to be purchased additionally at the beginning. Depending on the room height, it makes sense to extend the vacuum with a telescopic handle. This extension can be purchased cheaply, but is sometimes already included.

The squeegee lips and microfibre cloths are usually replaceable. So you can wash them or buy new ones when they are worn out. We strongly recommend this, because even the best window vacuum loses its efficiency as soon as it gets dirty or abrasion forms on the squeegee.

Battery

Battery life varies from unit to unit. There are also a few models that work with a mains adapter. Depending on the size of the surface, a battery with a low runtime or a battery with a particularly long application time can be useful here. The runtime of the individual devices varies from 20 to 100 minutes.

Depending on the device, the battery lasts from 20 to 100 minutes. The charging time is 2 hours on average.

The charging time is also relevant for many people. Especially in commercial areas or large houses, the vacuum cleaner should be up and running again quickly. For most devices, you should plan on a charging time of about two hours. Some units have an emergency battery, but this is not the norm.

Weight

The weight of the individual window vacuum cleaners depends a lot on the type of device. While vacuum robots are significantly heavier overall, 2- or 3-in-1 models are usually in the range of 0.6 to 1.5 kilograms. Depending on physical condition, desired cleaning time and surface size, any of these forms can be useful.

If you are still unsure, you can read what we have summarised for you under Handling. You should also bear in mind that accessories can make a lot of things much easier. A telescopic handle can make a big difference. We have also written a subsection on possible equipment.

There are vacuum cleaners that weigh less than 0.6 kilograms. Although the heavier devices are usually easy to hold, a lighter product can be much more comfortable, depending on the individual's constitution and preferences.

Area of application

A window vacuum cleaner can be used for more than just windows. Glass surfaces such as table tops, doors, shower walls or display cabinets can also be cleaned.

Window vacuum cleaners can often be used for other glass surfaces or tiles.

Many models are also suitable for tiles or other surfaces. Sometimes certain attachments are needed for this, so that you can also clean joints and narrow corners, for example.

By preventing droplets, you no longer need to worry about your wooden floor or carpet. The vacuum dries the windows without leaving any marks. You can find more details about the function in the guide below or here under Handling.

Volume

The volume varies greatly from one machine to another. If you want to clean in offices or classrooms during the day, you should check how loud the device is before you buy it. There are often various videos on YouTube about how to use it. There you can listen to whether the noise level is acceptable for you.

Many device manufacturers explicitly point out a particularly quiet suction function in their product descriptions, so a good selection should not really be a problem.

Decision: What types of window vacuum cleaners are there and which is the right one for you?

Window vacuums all work in a similar way: they suck the wiping water from the glass surface without leaving streaks. However, they differ in the way they are handled. Depending on the model, battery life or suitable surfaces also vary. There are different types of devices:

type of device advantages disadvantages
combi-solutions at least 2 functions in one device,
Time saving,
uncomplicated use
usually separate wiper
Window vacuuming robot controlled by app or remote control, time saving partly high noise pollution,
high price

Each of the options has its advantages and disadvantages, so you should make your decision based on your intended use. Price, function and effect should be in reasonable proportion. We present the individual forms in detail and summarise the positive and negative aspects for you.

Robot vacuum cleaner

Robot vacuum cleaner

Good vacuum robots (like hoover robots) are rather expensive. On the other hand, they work almost independently because they move without constantly holding, pulling or pushing. Many of the devices can also clean surfaces that do not have a frame.

A nice feature is that window cleaning robots can be easily attached to vertical surfaces. For high windows, this has the effect that you don’t need a ladder or extension. You lift the vacuum cleaner, place it at a comfortable height and it can be conveniently controlled via app or remote control.

Advantages
  • smallest possible amount of work
  • no manual mopping necessary
  • control via remote control/app
Disadvantages
  • quite expensive to buy
  • depending on the device, quite loud

Due to their high price and size, robotic vacuum cleaners are particularly worthwhile for large rooms and window fronts. Working here is particularly convenient, because you save yourself the strenuous wiping motion.

Caution: Some robotic vacuum cleaners only work up to a certain glass thickness. If you have multiple panes of glass, you should urgently make sure that the device is suitable and can find a grip.

2-in-1 window vacuum cleaner

2-in-1 window vacuum cleaner

2-in-1 window vacuum cleaners are the most popular type of device. They combine a dry and a squeegee function, which saves a lot of time. However, the glass surface must first be moistened manually.

Often a spray bottle with a removable microfibre cloth is included. This makes the wiping motion more pleasant and saves further time. Many people swear by kitchen roll when cleaning windows. This is omitted here, which makes the application even more resource-friendly.

Advantages
  • Time-saving
  • uncomplicated to use
  • expandable
  • resource-saving
Disadvantages
  • separate spray bottle with wiper
  • accessories only partially included

For high windows, it makes sense to use appropriate accessories. For example, there are telescopic handles. These can be easily attached to the unit to reach high areas comfortably. Such an extension is included with some models, for other window vacuums it is available as an accessory.

Many of the devices can also be used on other surfaces, such as tiles.

3-in-1 window vacuum cleaner

3-in-1 window vacuum cleaner

3-in-1 window vacuums combine a wiper, squeegee and streak-free drying. This type of appliance therefore usually has a two-tank system. One tank is for the extracted dirty water and the other for moistening the surface.

Unfortunately, only a few good appliances with this function can be found; test results and recommendations show shortcomings. Those who nevertheless value a 3-in-1 function should therefore invest more money.

Advantages
  • Wiping function included
  • little work, saves resources
Disadvantages
  • little choice
  • high-quality devices are rather expensive

For people who work commercially in the cleaning sector, who regularly want to clean large areas or who have room for improvement in terms of price, this device can still save a lot of time and provide a stress-free cleaning experience.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about window vacuum cleaners answered in detail

What is a window vacuum cleaner?

A window vacuum cleaner is a battery- or mains-powered device that is used for cleaning windows. Since at least two work steps are combined here, you save a lot of time and effort if you use a high-quality device correctly.

Fenstersauger-1

Households with many windows in particular benefit from the time saved by a window vacuum cleaner (Image source: pixabay.com / manfredrichter).

There are 2- and 3-in-1 solutions as well as vacuum robots. At the very least, they include a squeegee and suction function: you save polishing. 3-in-1 devices can also mop. Robot vacuum cleaners usually belong to the 3-in-1 solutions. They can be controlled by remote control or app.

Who is a window vacuum cleaner suitable for?

A window vacuum cleaner is suitable for anyone who wants to clean glass surfaces in a labour- and time-saving way. The appropriate model should be chosen according to the surface (window glass, mirror, shower or even tiles?). Physical condition, budget, environment and surface size also play a role.

Fenstersauger-2

Robot vacuum cleaners are simply attached to the window and then controlled via app or remote control. This is particularly helpful for older people and the physically impaired (Image source: pixabay.com / congerdesign).

For people with physical disabilities, a robot vacuum cleaner is particularly suitable, because it only needs to be attached to the window for a short time and can then be controlled by an app or remote control without any further force. Particularly for older people, vacuum robots are a good help in maintaining independence.

A window vacuum cleaner saves at least one work step. The exact handling differs depending on the type of device.

What alternatives are there to a window vacuum cleaner?

Of course, you can also clean your windows with tried and tested methods. But steam cleaners are also an option. Below you will find a brief overview of both of these options. We have also summarised the whole thing in more detail below.

Window vacuum cleaner alternatives Advantages Disadvantages
Steam cleaner You don't need any cleaning agent because the device only works with water. Even stubborn dirt can be removed Only for window cleaning it is not absolutely necessary to buy a steam cleaner, because a normal window vacuum cleaner also works very well here.
Cleaning by hand Cleaning by hand does not require any financial investment. Cleaning cloths, squeegees and cleaner are usually available at home. For small surfaces such as bathroom mirrors, no device is necessary The cleaning process takes longer. The individual work steps take time and are physically demanding, especially for people with physical disabilities and/or in houses with particularly large glass surfaces.

In the following, we present the alternatives in more detail and explain why we ultimately recommend the window vacuum cleaner.

Cleaning by hand

Most people follow this or a similar sequence:

  1. Removing coarse dirt from windows
  2. Clean the windows with water/cleaner
  3. Remove the water with a squeegee
  4. Polish with a microfibre cloth

In principle, a window vacuum cleaner does nothing else, but it is much faster than we humans because it combines at least two steps. As a reminder: 2-in-1 models combine the squeegee and polishing functions, while 3-in-1 models can also wipe.

Cleaning windows with a steam cleaner

The term steam cleaner is also used by some suppliers as a synonym for window vacuum cleaner. All-round steam cleaners are actually intended more for floors, but can also be used for windows.

To generate steam, the appliance must heat up strongly, which takes time. It also has to cool down before refilling with water. It is therefore advisable to use units that have a reserve tank for refilling. For windows, a specific attachment usually has to be purchased for all-round appliances.

So you see: There are alternatives to the window vacuum cleaner. However, due to the time lost through heating, cooling, refilling, lack of accessories and subsequent cleaning, we recommend using a vacuum cleaner. This makes cleaning by hand easier, saves time and delivers the best results.

Fenstersauger-3

Steam cleaners are not only suitable for cleaning floors and surfaces, but can also be used for windows. However, there are a few things to bear in mind (Source: pixabay.com / peeonelove).

What does a window vacuum cost?

There are very different price categories for window vacuums and window vacuuming robots. Depending on the equipment, battery life and type of device, you can find a good product very cheaply. The price increases for long and extensive use, or for the smallest possible amount of work or special brand products.

Type of appliance price range
3-in-1 window vacuum cleaner 50 to 250 €
2-in-1 window vacuum cleaner 30-70 €
Window vacuuming robot 120 to 450 €

If you clean your windows once or twice a year, you don't need an expensive robot vacuum cleaner. However, physically handicapped people can benefit from such devices. However, other solutions can also be found for the household, e.g. a cleaning assistant. You could get them a window vacuum cleaner.

Window vacuum cleaners should be selected with regard to costs and benefits.

Depending on the desired duration of use, the size of the surface and the nature of the surface, one model or the other is more suitable. When cleaning, people have their own wishes and priorities.

Be aware of yours and then see if the price is worth it or if you can do without one or the other function.

How do I prevent streaks and smears when using a window vacuum?

The manufacturer Kärcher gives valuable tips on how to achieve streak-free results:

  • Remove old cleaning agents
  • When moistening, pay attention to uniformity
  • do not apply too much pressure
  • Clean the rubber lip regularly and replace it when worn out
  • do not clean in bright sunlight (drying too quickly)

Fenstersauger-4

With a window vacuum cleaner, you save yourself at least the annoying polishing, two or more work steps are combined
(Image source: 123rf.com/ Grytsku).

Streak-free cleaning is a challenge for many people, even without a device. Give yourself time to get used to the vacuum and follow the appropriate tips and manufacturer's instructions. Your device should be of high quality, if you have saved money at the wrong end, you can consider buying a new one.

Is a window cleaner only suitable for glass or also for other surfaces, e.g. tiles?

A window vacuum cleaner can be used on all kinds of glass surfaces. Table tops and car windows should not be a problem. Tiles are often a challenge because of the joints. However, most window vacuums can also be used on them or offer a tile-friendly attachment.

Window vacuums are versatile.

When buying, always pay attention to the manufacturer's specifications and think about what you want to use the device for in the end. One thing in advance: robotic vacuum cleaners often don't find a foothold on tiles, so always pay attention to the exact mode of operation.

Which cleaning agent should you choose for using a window vacuum?

Most manufacturers of window vacuum cleaners naturally recommend their in-house cleaning agent.

However, glass cleaners from other suppliers can also be used. It is important that these hardly foam or do not foam at all (risk of streaks!).

It is possible to use conventional cleaning agents.

In addition to its own brand, the Kärcher company recommends a product with less than 10% alcohol concentrate. There are some cleaners that do not contain any alcohol at all. However, this is often not recommended, as alcohol can also dissolve oily and greasy residues.

Can the window cleaner also be used horizontally or upside down?

First of all: Yes, in most cases it can. Because whether you can use the window vacuum horizontally or upside down depends on the manufacturer. Most devices today are optimised for such use.

To be on the safe side, you should always read the description and inform yourself thoroughly before buying. Think about what you want to buy the device for and only then check what is on offer and whether you want to invest.

How long does a window vacuum cleaner need to be charged?

Of course, the charging time also depends on the device and battery type. Devices with a particularly long runtime tend to take longer to charge.

However, most good window vacuums manage with a charging time of 100-200 minutes. As a rough average, we have been able to determine a full charge within 2 hours.

What accessories are available for window vacuums?

Window vacuums often come with a number of accessories when they are first purchased. Depending on the type of device and the reason for use, the following can be useful:

  • Spray bottle with integrated microfibre cloth
  • Telescopic handle for extension
  • Microfibre cloths and peel-off lips as replacements
  • Attachments for narrow areas
  • Attachments for or special surfaces (e.g. tiles)
  • special glass and window cleaner

Depending on the scope of the device and individual planning, it may well be that you hardly need any spare parts. The microfibre cloths can be reused by washing and the squeegee lips are only replaced when worn.

Where can I find the operating instructions for my window vacuum cleaner?

If you have lost the instruction manual for your window vacuum cleaner, you can find it for free on the internet. We recommend the DE operating instructions database, which we have linked to under point 3 in the sources.

Here you can sort by manufacturer and find your device. You can also start a Google search. Enter the name of the device and "operating instructions" in the search.

Image source: Wisniewska/ 123rf.com

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