It’s no secret that cleaning a driveway can be an absolute pain. The same goes for cleaning the exterior of your home. Tough stains can easily form on both surfaces, and standard cleaning equipment can only get you so far. That’s why pressure washers are a godsend for anyone needing to erase stains that are weeks or even months old. It’s recommended that you proceed with caution when using these bad boys, though, because their powerful stream of water can cause injury or unnecessary damage to your property if you’re not careful.
Not only are pressure washers (also called power washers) incredibly powerful, they can also be very expensive. Because of this, we’ve categorized our picks for the best power washer that’s both affordable and high-quality. Be sure to do your own research and understand which PSI and GPM levels you need to get the job done. If you’re not sure what either of these things are, don’t worry – we’ll get into these specifics later on in this article! For now, let’s take a look at our top picks.
Best Pressure Washer under $200 Reviews
Here is our list of the best pressure washers under 200 dollars that you can find on the market today:
1. Sun Joe SPX3000 – Best Overall Pressure Washer
If you’re looking for a power washer that’s both powerful and versatile, then the Sun Joe SPX3000 is the power washer for you. Its 1800-watt motor is ready to take on any tough task whether you’re cleaning the side of your home, RVs, boats, decks, patios, driveways, and more. This model is purely electric meaning you won’t have to worry about fueling it with gasoline – just plug her in and get to washing! It comes with removable detergent tanks allowing you to be able to quickly switch between different cleaning solutions depending on what you’re washing.
The only downside to this particular model is that it doesn’t come with a foam cannon while their XT1 model does. However, if this doesn’t bother you, then this model is definitely worth picking up. All in all, it’s easily the best pressure washer we’ve seen that’s both affordable and powerful.
- Removable tanks allowing different types of detergent to be easily switched out
- Automatically shuts off when idle to save energy
- Extremely versatile and able to clean virtually anything at home
- Lacks a foam cannon that other models have
- Hose coupler has cheap plastic which may cause issues long-term
2. WHOLESUN 3000PSI Electric Pressure Washer – The Runner Up
This electric pressure washer from WHOLESUN is a must-have for anyone needing to remove tough stains. Thanks to its high-pressure foam cannon, you should expect to be able to loosen deep stains with ease. Its powerful 1600-watt motor can generate up to 3000 PSI (though this max PSI is only attainable with the zero degree nozzle) which is an absolute must-have for decks, siding, cement, pavement, pools, etc.
If you’re concerned about potential leaks, this power washer comes with a professional metal hose connector that is almost guaranteed to not produce any sort of leak. We also love their total stop system which will automatically shut off the device when left idle to save energy and prolong the life of the pump. All in all, it’s a great pressure washer which is why we’ve listed it as the runner-up option.
- Has a high-pressure foam cannon
- High PSI up to 3000
- Safely shuts off when idle to save energy
- Can be difficult to assemble
- Max PSI seems to only attainable with zero degree nozzle
3. Karcher K1700 – Best Budget Pressure Washer
For your budget options, the Karcher K1700 is easily the best pick. While it’s on the lower-end price-wise, don’t think this means that it’s also lower in quality. A smaller, more portable option that’s incredibly easy to assemble, this power washer has a max of 1700 PSI which is great for cleaning grills, bikes, or vehicles. It also comes with a handy on/off footswitch that makes cleaning that much easier.
If you are needing something to clean your deck, home, or driveway, then you’ll probably need a power washer with higher PSI. This is its main downside in that it’s not meant for heavy-duty jobs that require higher PSI. However, for type of cleaning that requires a low PSI, this is the best option for you. Plus, it’s the cheapest option we could find that doesn’t sacrifice quality.
- Smaller and more portable than other options
- Easy to assemble
- On/off footswitch for ease-of-use
- Lower PSI
- Complaints of leaks after multiple uses
4. Paxcess Portable Pressure Car Washer
A powerful flow of water allowing you to easily clean your car, grill, or bike is what this Paxcess power washer can provide you for the right price. A slightly higher max PSI than the Karcher model we discussed above, but still a lower PSI than other models meant for heavy-duty projects, this is a great option for people searching for a portable power washer. The washer will also automatically shut off when idle to avoid using excess energy – which is great in our book!
The major selling point with this washer, though, is its ability to use a bucket as its water source – yes, you read that right! But is this actually possible? When digging into this claim further, however, it appears that doing this requires a little more work than you would expect. In other words, it’s not as simple as filling up a bucket and placing the hose inside it – you have to make sure the hose is level which requires some extra work you may not wish to do. Still, even if you use a standard water source for this model, it’s a great option for cleaning your car.
- Compact and lightweight
- Automatically shuts off when idle to avoid excess energy use
- Ability to use a bucket as the water source (sort of)
- Low max PSI of 1750
- Using a bucket as the water source can be finicky (this review explains)
5. Homdox Electric Pressure Washer
Last, but certainly not least, we come to the Homdox Electric Pressure Washer. We like this model for its sleek design that’s both compact and incredibly powerful. With a max PSI of up to 3000 and a powerful 1800-watt motor, this is a great model for anyone needing to take out tough stains on virtually any hard surface. As with most of the options on our list, this model also comes with a TSS (total stop system) that activates when the washer is idle in order to save energy (and ultimately money for you!). It has 4 different interchangeable nozzles that allow for a variety of different levels of pressure washing.
The only complaints we’ve heard about this model are that it can sometimes leak and the plastic spray wand seems to be made with cheap plastic. The leak problem doesn’t seem to be widespread, with only a handful of people complaining about this which could be a sign that these individuals unknowingly didn’t tighten things properly. Still though, it’s worth mentioning as we noticed a pattern amongst low-star reviewers. Regardless of these complaints, this pressure washer has received glowing reviews among most people that purchased it.
- Up to 3000 PSI
- Has 4 interchangeable nozzles
- Will shut off when idle to save energy
- Complaints of leaking
- Cheap plastic used on spray wand
Pressure Washer Buying Guide
Now that we’ve given you our top picks for the best affordable power washer on the market, let’s look at what makes these babies tick. Here are important factors you need to keep in mind before purchasing your very own pressure washer.
PSI, or pounds per square inch, is how the water pressure is measured within your power washer. Simply put, the tougher the stain the more PSI you’ll need to get it out. Consumer power washers typically have a PSI anywhere between 500-4000. Anything higher than this is usually reserved for professionals since higher PSI equates to higher risks if you’re not careful.
GPM stands for gallons per minute and, just as the name sounds, it is the measurement of how much water flow your pressure washer has. With a higher GPM number, your pressure washer will be able to clean more of a surface per minute.
Most standard power washers use cold water, but there may be jobs where hot water is required to get the job done. Make sure you understand what temperature of water you’ll need for your cleaning project, and ensure your power washer can accommodate.
Cleaning units, or CU, are found by doing a little bit of math. Take the PSI of a pressure washer and multiply it by its GPM. This will give you the pressure washer’s CU or, as it’s sometimes called, cleaning speed. This is a quick and easy way of determining exactly how effective a pressure washer’s cleaning will be.
Belt Driven vs Direct Drive
Belt driven pressure washers are great for commercial use washers as they allow the pump to last longer than 20 hours per week. This is due to the internal pump spinning at a much lower RPM which constitutes a longer lifespan for the pressure washer. Direct drive washers are best for people who don’t plan on using the pressure washer more than 20 hours per week, as the internal pump spins at a much higher RPM. Direct drive units also tend to be more affordable, so we recommend going with a direct drive model unless you own a pressure washer company that requires 20+ hours of use throughout the week.
Power Washer FAQs
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we hear about pressure washers:
Electric vs Gas-Powered: Which is Best?
Typically, gas pressure washer models are considered best for heavy-duty projects that require higher PSI. However, most electric models, such as the ones we list above, are more than enough to get the job done for the average consumer looking to clean their driveway or home siding. Since high-PSI gas-powered pressure washers are usually more expensive, we recommend going with electric models if you’re looking to save money and only need to do standard home maintenance.
Can You Power Wash a Rug?
Simply put, yes! You definitely can power wash a rug if the standard soap and water aren’t helping get a stain out. The trick is to only use cold water and a PSI level between 1600-1800 to get the job done. Start with the lower PSI and only notch it up if you feel it needs a bit more power, but I wouldn’t recommend going past 1800.
Can You Pressure Wash a Car?
Yes. However, you’ll want to use a PSI of around 1500 to ensure you have enough power to clean while also not using too much power to damage your vehicle. If you’re unsure what your pressure washer’s PSI is, check with the manufacturer so you won’t risk damaging anything.
What is a Good PSI for a Pressure Washer?
This ultimately comes down to what kind of cleaning project you’re using it for. For grills, bikes, and vehicles 1500 PSI is usually enough to get the job done. Decks and docks need a little higher levels around 2600 PSI, while boats, driveways, and the siding of a home need around 3000 PSI.
Find the Best Affordable Power Washer That’s Right for You
Power washers are certainly some of the best tools out there to give your driveway, deck, or house a good cleaning. As we’ve highlighted, they must also be handled the right way to avoid damaging property or serious injury. Always make sure you have the right PSI and GPM for your project, and always do your own research to find the best product for you. We hope this list of affordable pressure washers was helpful, and feel free to let us know if you have a specific model you like that we didn’t mention!
Jake is a tool guy – think Tim Allen from Home Improvement but with a much drier sense of humor. He lives in the great state of Ohio and plays the guitar on his downtime. He also spends his time writing on all things tools and DIY-related as this is his passion.