The hyporheic zone of river ecosystems provides a habitat for a diverse macroinvertebrate community that makes a vital contribution to ecosystem functioning and biodiversity. How- ever, effective methods for sampling this community have proved difficult to establish, due to the inaccessibility of subsurface sediments. The aim of this study was to compare the two most common semi-quantitative macroinvertebrate pump-sampling techniques: Bou- Rouch and vacuum-pump sampling. We used both techniques to collect replicate samples in three contrasting temperate-zone streams, in each of two biogeographical regions (Atlantic region, central England, UK; Continental region, southeast France). Results were typically consistent across streams in both regions: Bou-Rouch samples provided signifi- cantly higher estimates of taxa richness, macroinvertebrate abundance, and the abun- dance of all UK and eight of 10 French common taxa. Seven and nine taxa which were rare in Bou-Rouch samples were absent from vacuum-pump samples in the UK and France, respectively; no taxon was repeatedly sampled exclusively by the vacuum pump. Rarefac- tion curves (rescaled to the number of incidences) and non-parametric richness estimators indicated no significant difference in richness between techniques, highlighting the capture of more individuals as crucial to Bou-Rouch sampling performance. Compared to assem- blages in replicate vacuum-pump samples, multivariate analyses indicated greater distinc- tion among Bou-Rouch assemblages from different streams, as well as significantly greater consistency in assemblage composition among replicate Bou-Rouch samples collected in one stream. We recommend Bou-Rouch sampling for most study types, including rapid bio- monitoring surveys and studies requiring acquisition of comprehensive taxon lists that include rare taxa. Despite collecting fewer macroinvertebrates, vacuum-pump sampling remains an important option for inexpensive and rapid sample collection.