The best pool cleaner is a must-have piece of kit to keep your swimming pool clean and ready to use. Even though the filtration system is effective at removing day-to-day debris, you will still need to give the pool a regular clean to remove sand, dirt, leaves or anything else that falls into it. The occasional clean of the pool walls is necessary to avoid scum buildup. The pool’s chlorine, cyanuric acid and pH levels must also be monitored. Also, the total alkalinity must be checked to make sure the pool is safe and clean to swim in.
Any pool that lacks a regular cleaning schedule can soon become a breading ground for harmful bacteria that makes the pool unsafe for swimming. The pool water soon starts to lose its clarity and becomes cloudy with the buildup of contaminants, and leaves it looking very uninviting.
A neglected pool will in time fall prey to physical damage. The scum buildup leads to a corroded pool lining while also overwhelming the capabilities of the filtration system. A filter can easily burn out with too much to do and can cost hundreds to have repaired. So, a reliable pool cleaner helps to maintain the swimming pool and ensure it stays usable for the long-term.
High-quality pool cleaners cut back on the work needed to maintain your swimming pool. There are plenty of choices and this article will review the different types and models to help make the right buying decision.
What type of pool cleaner is right?
The automatic pool cleaner is a popular choice with plenty of different models that independently clean the pool once installed and setup. Automatic pool cleaners are split into three groups: pressure-side and suction-side cleaners (relies on the pool’s power systems) and robotic cleaners (self-contained with own power).
The suction-side pool cleaner is much-like a vacuum and powered via the pool pump. It is made up of a filter bag, cleaning unit and hose. The hose connects to a pool pump skimmer or even a separate suction line. Once installed, this cleaner is designed to randomly move across the bottom and side surfaces of the pool. Any debris collected is placed in its filter bag.
This type of pool cleaner is most practical in the screened in pools that are mostly impacted by debris like dirt or sand, as well as minimal leaves. The flow rate of the filtration system must be maintained to keep this pool cleaner running. The preferred filter horsepower is 3/4-HP or more, but it can benefit to contact the filter manufacturer to ensure the required flow rate is possible.
- Easy to install with only a need to attach the hose to an appropriate outlet
- Its built-in filter basket means less stress is placed on the pool’s main filter
- A booster pump is a practical extra to up the cleaning power and pressure
- A very cost effective option for the home
- This cleaner only operates when the pool pump is active
- Energy expenses can increase with the need to have the constant operating pump
- The filter will require more frequent maintenance or back washing
- It is not the most efficient at cleaning the wall surfaces and sucking up small debris
The pressure-side pool cleaner is made up of a filter unit and hose. The hose connects to the filtration system via the skimmer or through the side-intake for the pump filter. This cleaner is driven by using pressure from the water that is pumped in the swimming pool. The hose has the function of sucking up dirt and debris, while larger particles are caught by the skimmer basket or pump basket. Fine debris is captured by the filter. The tail has a role much like an agitator to push small particles from the floor for easier vacuuming.
This type of pool cleaner puts extra pressure on the pool’s pump, so make sure to check with the manufacturer to ensure it is suitable for your setup. Alternatively, a booster pump may be necessary.
- Relatively easy to install using the supplied connection hose – no extra parts are necessary
- Filtration bag is included so a lot less stress is put on the pool’s filter system while cleaning
- More cost-effective to run compared to the alternatives
- Will be more expensive to use if a booster pump is required
- The filtration system needs to be cleaned and back washed more frequently because of the added load to the filters
- This cleaner uses more electricity because the pool’s pump must be active while cleaning
The robotic pool cleaners have a built-in pump, control unit with processor and internal motor. This means they operate entirely independent of the pool’s own filter system. It is highly efficient since it is able to learn the shape and size of the pool. Plus, it is either powered by rechargeable batteries or from an outlet.
This type of robot is instructed to clean the pool using a predetermined cycle. Once the cleaning program is complete, it automatically shuts off. Certain models have a remote control unit for easier operation. This cleaner sucks in pool water and filters debris and dirt, and then returns the water to the pool. Any debris is kept trapped in its filter bag.
- This cleaner is energy-efficient because it runs on its built-in motor and the main pool pump does not need to be active.
- It doesn’t rely on the pool’s filter system for cleaning, so a lot less stress is placed on this component and the functioning of the skimmer is not interfered with.
- It is easily programmed to clean all surfaces of the pool, including the walls and steps
- A long extension cord is necessary if running on a DC motor
- The initial cost is higher than alternatives because of the more advanced technology
- It is necessary to regularly remove the robotic cleaners from the pool to clean out the filter bag (other types can be left in the pool)
What to consider when buying a pool cleaner
The best pool cleaner often relates to personal preference. But, there are still a few critical factors to consider in the buying process. This helps to get the right cleaner to match the specific type of pool.
- Type of pool debris – the pressure-side cleaners are a practical option for removing large debris such as leaves, while the suction-side model is more useful for removing small particles like dirt and sand.
- Size of the swimming pool – the pressure-side and suction-side cleaners with the hose setup are the preferred choice for small pools because of the limitation of the hose length. The robotic cleaners are the practical choice for large pools.
- Running costs – the most cost-effective unit is the robotic pool cleaner because it isn’t necessary to keep the pool pumping active. The low running costs and energy bills may help offset the high cost of buying this type of cleaner.
Best Above Ground Pool Cleaner Reviews
Hayward 500 Aqua Bug Above-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner
The 500 Aqua Bug by Hayward is one of the finest pool cleaners to use on the above-ground swimming pool. It is a simple solution to avoid cleaning the pool manually. The installation process is completed in about 10 minutes and requires no extra parts or tools – everything needed is packaged with the pool cleaner. It’s built to be energy-efficient and makes use of the main filter system to remove the need to use a high-energy booster pump. Its patented gearing/turbine system means it runs quietly.
The Hayward 500 is designed to operate using the SmartDrive steering system to make sure the pool is given a 100% clean in the shortest time possible. Water is efficiently pulled from the bottom and water circulation is improved. The Aqua Bug is fitted with a bumper ring to avoid friction in the event of hitting the wall surfaces and continues its programmed route with minimal disruption.
The Hayward 500 Aqua Bug is given a positive vote for not only the complete ease of use, but also the low-maintenance needs. It isn’t even necessary to swap out the filter bags.
Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
This suction-side pool cleaner is an excellent worker and even cleans pools that don’t have perfectly flat bottoms. A great quality is its ease of use with just the one moving piece which helps to guarantee the near silent operation while in use. This above-ground pool cleaner is received pre-assembled and ready to install the moment it is taken out of the shipping box. It is supplied with 32 inches of hose and no tools are needed throughout the installation process.
This above-ground pool cleaner is practical for pools at a depth of up to 72 inches and with dished-out bottoms. It is built with a deflector wheel to avoid getting trapped in the corners when cleaning areas like the steps or ladders.
The single moving part is the diaphragm which removes the need for flappers, gears and wheels to make operation simple and easier maintenance. But, it is necessary to clean your pool filter or backwash immediately after cleaning.
Also, the water flow is self-regulated with the help of an automatic flow control valve to ensure the cleaner continues to run at peak performance.
The Zodiac is given a positive vote for its ability to work on even the toughest cleaning jobs, such as the long-term neglected pools.
XtremepowerUS In/above Ground Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner Vacuum Suction Climb Wall 32ft Hose
The Xtremepower US pool cleaner is a high-quality vacuum model that certainly gives value for money. It is one of the most cost-effective units on the market and effectively cleans your pool. The setup process is easy and designed to automatically clean the floor and wall surfaces of your pool of dead insects, pebbles, sand, dirt and leaves. Installation takes just a few minutes and no extra tools are needed. This pool cleaner is packaged with 32 feet of hose.
This Xtremepower US is built with just a single moving part for efficient and quiet operation while also keeping repair costs and maintenance time to a minimum. The main body is delivered pre-assembled. It is just a case of connecting the disc and the hose and it’s ready to use. However, for the most efficient operation, it needs to rely on a ¾-HP or 1600 gal/h pump to work correctly.
This above-ground pool cleaner has received a positive vote and makes a practical choice for pool owners operating on a budget that wants the basics, but it gets a negative vote for the pool owners that demand a lot of features.
Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
The robotic above-ground pool cleaner by Aquabot is a practical choice for pool owners that prefer to avoid heavy hoses. This autonomous unit runs on a 24-volt motor and does not need a direct connection to the pool’s filter system, which cuts your electricity costs. Plus, it has a very efficient filtering capacity to further save money by lowering chemical usable necessary to keep the pool water safe.
The Aquabot PoolRover is built to be fast and efficient at cleaning the pool with a total completion time in the region of 60 minutes. The programmable guidance system is reliable in any pool shape, while the extra-wide wheels avoid issues with getting caught up in ladders or corners. A 2-hour shut-off timer safety feature is included.
Even though the Aquabot pool cleaner has scored mixed reviews, it is still able to pick up a positive vote due to ease in use and the convenience it gives to sensible pool owners.
Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 Pressure Side Automatic Pool Cleaner
The Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 by Polaris is a practical unit to use in pools with uneven floor surfaces up to 5 feet in depth. It has a 1.5 foot threaded return line and 24 feet of float hose to give complete ease in setup. This pool cleaner is designed to connect to the existing filtration system.
The pool cleaner is built with a proprietary design that makes it possible to shoot a powerful jet of water to make it easier to clean the encrusted dirt in difficult to reach areas, such as corners. Plus, it has its own removable filter bag that easily accepts large debris like pebbles and leaves before it is possible to reach the filter. This helps to extend the usable life of the system because hard debris is quickly removed.
Polaris Vac-Sweep is a further unit with a relatively average/low customer rating, but it still achieves a positive vote for its complete ease in maintenance and use.
Best Inground Pool Cleaner Reviews
BARACUDA G3 W03000 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner
The Baracuda G3 is among the finest inground pool cleaners in the market. It has a simple, yet effective design that works well to clean the pool. Plus, it is a practical choice for pools with lower horsepower pumps. This pool cleaner is built to be tough and easily sucks up large debris like leaves, twigs and pebbles.
It has a single moving part, the diaphragm, which helps to make it run with less flow and highly efficiently. A built-in wheel deflector helps to clean and navigate tight spaces. Also, the scuff-resistant hose is useful to avoid marking the pool surface while cleaning takes place.
The 36-Fin Disc further helps to enhance the performance of the Baracuda G3. This feature helps the cleaner follow the shape of the pool and avoids obstacles like light fittings or other features.
The Baracuda G3 automatic pool cleaner is given a positive vote for its ease of use and simplicity in design. These qualities have made it a favorite choice in the market.
Hayward PHS21CST Aquanaut 200 Suction Drive 2-Wheel Pool Cleaner
The Hayward Aquanaut 200 has the ability to work with pumps at different speed while providing consistent performance. The installation process is quick and simple and this particular pool cleaner is easy to use.
It is built with V-Flex technology to ensure it functions efficiently with most debris without experiencing issues with blockages. It will continue to operate at full power no matter the action performed. There is an option to select one of the pre-programmed cleaning sequences to make sure the swimming pool is given a proper clean. It can even climb the side walls. In addition, a special adjustable roller skirt is featured to help clean the pool surfaces that aren’t flat.
The Aquanaut 200 has been able to achieve a positive vote for its reliability and durability, as well as ease in operation. It has the potential to keep the pool sparkling clean for the long-term.
Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
The Vac-Sweep 280 by Polaris is a fast and efficient pool cleaner with the ability to complete the job in the shortest time (usually 3 hours or less). Its double jets help to increase the vacuuming power and it is quickly installed thanks to the dedicated pressure line. The model is one of the best in the market with its high durability and compact design.
The Vac-Sweep 280 is packaged with 31 feet of feed hose and a chamber filter bag. The single filter bag is spacious enough to accept large debris like pebbles or acorns. This stops large pieces reaching the pump basket or filter which can potentially cause damage. However, this pool cleaner relies on a booster pump to operate (sold separately).
Since it is necessary to invest in a separate booster pump for the Vac-Sweep 280 to work, it gets a negative vote. But, for those pool owners that are willing to invest in the extra piece of equipment, this unit has the potential to provide one of the finest pool cleaners available.
Dolphin 99996356 Dolphin Triton Robotic Pool Cleaner
The Triton Robotic Pool Cleaner by Dolphin is highly rated for its ability to clean the large pools at 50-feet in length. The cleaning time is still only about 3 hours for larger pools. This robotic pool cleaner is ready to go as soon as received and requires no installation. It simply needs to be plugged in (60-ft of cabling included). With no need to connect to the pool’s systems it is very affordable and energy-efficient to run.
In addition to the tri-function Dolphin Triton vacuuming and scrubbing the pool, it also has the ability to filter the water for greater sanitary. A porosity cartridge filter is used to gather the debris. It is self-programming to ensure complete pool coverage. Plus, it is packaged with a useful caddy for easy transport and storage.
The Triton Robotic Pool Cleaner gets a positive vote for its ease of use and ability to operate autonomously in the inground pool.
Hayward RC9950GR TigerShark Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
The TigerShark robotic pool cleaner by Hayward is an energy-efficient solution to clean the swimming pool. It runs on a lot less electricity compared to similar pressure-side cleaners with the potential to save up to 94% on electricity costs. There is no time-consuming installation and it operates on a 24-volt DC motor. Just plug in the cleaner and it is ready to go.
This robotic pool cleaner operates on smart technology to give the pool an in-depth clean. The built-in computer has the ability to calculate the pool size and then determine the best cleaning pattern. The cleaning cycle takes about 3-hours to complete. It has the ability to brush and scrub the pool surfaces, including difficult to reach places like steps and corners. Debris is gathered in a removable filter cartridge for ease in cleaning.
The TigerShark gets a positive vote for its efficient cleaning practices even though it has a high ticket price.
2017 Dolphin Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
The Dolphin Premier Inground Pool Cleaner is incredibly advanced and gives a wide range of practical options with non-installation robotic cleaning. In addition, it is very energy-efficient with the ability to cut the energy cost by nearly 87%. It operates on a 24-volt DC motor and relies on 90 percent less electricity compared to the alternative models that need a booster pump.
A major quality of this Dolphin pool cleaner is the long list of cleaning options. For instance, there is a choice of media to match a particular application. An oversized debris bag is practical for large debris like leaves and twigs, while a micro-filter is more effective with fine debris and removing contaminants like algae. The power cable has 360° swivel to avoid issues with tangling while cleaning. The Dolphin Premier is also built with Smart-Nav technology to help calculate the most efficient cleaning pattern.
The Dolphin Premier is rated with a positive vote because of its feature-rich set up, but it does have a hefty price tag.
Aquabot Junior Automatic Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner
The Aquabot Junior by Aqua Products is a robotic pool cleaner intended to clean the pool at 40-ft or less. It works on all surfaces or configurations. The pool cleaner is simple to operate with a simple touch of a button. The pool cleaning cycle is completed within a period of 2-3 hours. In addition to cleaning the pool it is also designed to filter and purify the water to eliminate contaminants to leave it safe to use. With less chemical and energy use, this pool cleaner has the potential to cut costs by nearly 50%.
This is a self-reliant robotic cleaner that is entirely independent of the pool’s filtration system. The capacity of the built-in filtration system is 34-quarts to easily accept large debris. The rate of filtration is 4,500 gallons per hour. It is designed to clean wall surfaces and climb up to 90°. Its filtration system can also clear small contaminants at 2 microns. For long reach, the robotic cleaner has 51-ft thermoplastic power cord.
The Aquabot Junior has achieved an easy positive vote with its advanced features that are easily able to outweigh the hefty price of this unit.
This article helps to identify the best pool cleaners in the market and the things a pool owner needs to make the right buying decision. We trust the information provided was useful and leads to you making the correct decision and finding the automatic pool cleaner that matches the specific needs.