Best Pool Vacuum Cleaner Consumer Reports

Are you looking for an Above Ground automatic pool cleaner? Well, before you buy let’s talk about them. There are many options out there. But how do you decide which are the Best Above Ground Pool Vacuums?

If you are a pool owner, you are well aware of the importance of keeping the pool’s stairs, wall and floor clean. While this task seems daunting, there are certain machines on the market that specializes in cleaning pool waters. Only the best vacuum for above ground pool can deliver the desired cleaning that you want. Since the market offers hundreds of them, the purpose of this guide is to find the ideal match for your pool.

In a Hurry? Check Our Top Picks of Automatic Pool Cleaners

[table id=56 /]

There are different cleaners for different pool sizes. They have their own benefits and drawbacks. Since you are here, that means you are looking to buy an above ground pool cleaner.

Some cleaners work well with your existing filter while others will be a self-contained unit. Some will work well on all pool surfaces while others might damage delicate areas of your pool.

Follow the buying guide at the end of this article if you are new to all of this. If you already know what you are getting, try out our recommendations.

7 Top Rated Above Ground Pool Cleaners

1. Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner

Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool CleanerMost of the robotic pool cleaners are pretty expensive, but Dolphin Escape is an exception. Not only does this robot has a sleek design, but it also performs relatively well. It is a self-contained unit which means no messy bags, no need to use any filters. The large in-charge oversized debris cartridge can hold 60% more debris.

Instead of wheels, this unit moves around the pool using tracks. Not only does it provide more grip and traction, but it also prevents scratching and damaging the surface material. They call it the Hypergrip Continuous Tracks. A cool name for a cool set of tracks. These bulldozer-like tracks allow the unit to keep in contact with the floor at all times.

Next feature I want to talk about is its scrubbing brush. The patented HyperBrush™ scrubbing mechanism offers more speed, better dirt collection capacity than of most competing brushes. Which means, it can easily pick up even the toughest particles and sediments.

Up next is the SmartNav 2.0™ scanning system. This feature optimizes the cleaning patterns like pool surface coverage and cleaning time. This high-tech state-of-the-art robotic vacuum weighs only 14 lbs.

Highlighted Features

  • 90% more efficient than AC-powered vacuums.
  • Runs on dual 24 Volt DC motors.
  • Largest top load filter.
  • Uses tracks instead of wheels.


2. Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Side Pool CleanerPolaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

If you are worried about damaging the liners of your pool, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 pressure side pool cleaner can be a good alternative. This suction side cleaner can easily handle large debris like leaves and pebbles. For the best results, it is highly recommended that you use both automatic and manual vacuums.

The Polaris Vac-Sweep works well with your high/low-pressure pumps. The 36-fins works well and improves the adhesion to pool walls, floors, and stairs. The best part of this design is that it won’t leave scuff marks on the surfaces as a wheeled cleaner does.

This automatic pool cleaner is suitable for all above ground pools up to 5-feet deep. It is easy to install and very energy efficient. This tool runs on water pressure from your pool which means the skimmer and filter can keep on doing their job.

It is able to sweep the sides and the bottom in less than three hours. This cleaner uses the pump and filtration system of your above ground pool. The patented jet sweep blows water into hard-to-reach places to loosen up debris, and then it sweeps them. The debris is then collected into an easy-to-remove filter bag.

Highlighted Features

  • It has a quiet operation.
  • The unit is durable and easy to maintain.
  • Uses the power of your pools pool’s filtration system.
  • Detachable and efficient debris bag.


3. Zodiac BARACUDA G3 W03000 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool CleanerZodiac Baracuda G3 W03000 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner

The Zodiac BARACUDA G3 W03000 is the best suction type vacuum pool cleaner in this list. If you are eyeing for a suction side cleaner, this is the one. It’s reliable, quiet and very powerful. Some of the most noticeable features of this vacuum are wheel-deflector and quiet operation.

The thing I like most about this pool cleaner is that it can generate powerful suction power while working with low-speed pumps. This cleaner can suck up small to medium-sized debris. It can clean walls, steps, and floors with ease. It is designed with a single moving part technology to minimize maintenance cost.

To maintain peak cleaning performance while working with a lower HP pumps, it utilizes the FlowKeeper Valve to automatically regulate water flow. The combination of its 36-Fin Disc and Wheel Deflector allow better mobility around tight corners and avoids getting on drains cover, lights, fittings and other feature that you might have installed in your above ground pool.

The long hose eliminates scuffs and increases the overall lifespan of the hose. The in-line cyclonic debris collector vibrates on a pseudo-random pattern to collect debris efficiently. This is possible because of its 18-inch rubberized pattern.

Highlighted Features 

  • Quiet and efficient pool cleaning performance.
  • Durable and long-lasting unit.
  • Low maintenance cost and runs well on a lower speed pump.
  • Good mobility and better adhesion to the pool surface.


4. Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac Suction-Side Above Ground Pool CleanerPentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac Suction-Side Above Ground Pool Cleaner

The Pentair kreepy krauly e-z vac suction side pool vacuum from Pentair is a cost-effective tool for DIY pool owners. This small and efficient tool comes from a well-established brand in the pool cleaning maintenance segment. It has a similar design to the Zodiac BARACUDA G3 except it lacks the power. Not so that it will be totally useless.

To keep optimum vacuuming power, it features hydraulic design valve, and its patented flapper mechanism features true random pattern coverage to clean every inch of your pool. It makes sure the floors are thoroughly cleaned. It has only one moving part which means you will get longer and reliable service time out of this unit.

The feature I really like most about this cleaner is its ability to skim the surface while vacuuming takes place. To assure proper cleaning, the water flow, and the skimming speed is automatically regulated. If you want to get the best results, you need to have perfect pool condition without any obstacles along the way.

You need to have ¾ pumps to run this unit. It comes with 32 feet long and safe enough to use even when there are swimmers inside the pool. It has an all-time low maintenance cost, and that’s why it is considered as a cost-effective solution amongst pool owners.

Highlighted Features

  • Hydraulic design for powerful vacuuming power.
  • Suitable for smaller pools.
  • Only a single moving part.
  • True random pattern to cover the entire pool.


5. Aquabot Pool Rover Hybrid Robotic Pool CleanerAquabot Pool Rover Hybrid Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Aquabot Pool Rover is the first robotic roving filter system that can be used on all above ground pool floors as well as most in-ground pools. It is very easy to use. Just drop the cleaner and push the button; it is that easy. This American made cleaner pays for its self. It can reduce chemical, water and energy cost.

You don’t need to connect this to your pool’s filtration system or with any hose. This is a self contained pool vacuum unit which means the filter is inside the vacuum. It can remove everything from algae as small as 2 microns to large leaves. The 9-quart micro-filter bag is easy to clean and reusable.

The jet-propelled system cleans pool floors in less than an hour. It can even clean the slopes of a 24-foot-diameter pool. Thanks to its extra-wide non-marring tires, it can easily roll over ripples and printed vinyl pool bottoms. You can easily set up the guidance system of this pool rover to clean any shape of above ground pools.

This robotic pool cleaner features their patented SimplyReliable™ single onboard pump motor. It eliminates the maintenance cost of wear and tear on parts and frees you from hassle. It is also durable and lightweight. The 41 ft floating cable allows the cleaner to easily clean 36 ft long pools.

Highlighted Features 

  • Lower maintenance cost.
  • Self-contained powerful filtration system.
  • Ultra-wide non-marring wheels.
  • Energy-efficient.


6. Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale Suction Above-Ground Pool CleanerHayward 900 Wanda the Whale Suction Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

Hayward offers three unique and iconic suction side pool cleaners. The Aquabug, Penguin and the Wanda the Whale. I’ll be picking Wanda for this list. Right of the bat, I would like to talk about its patented and unique turbine/gearing system. It provides gentle movement across the entire pool surface while providing a constant and balanced water flow.

It can quickly and efficiently clean your above ground pool, and it has a tool-less installation process that takes less than 10 minutes. This is achieved because of its advanced, countered head design. It can complete the steering pattern quickly.

This is an economical solution to keeping your pool sparkling with pristine water because it uses your existing filtration system.

The cartoonish-looking head is a huge hit with the kids. Under that funny looking hood, it features a SmartDrive® program steering system. Since it works with your existing filtration system, you don’t have to worry about emptying or replacing the debris bag.

At this price point, it is hard to beat something like this. Keep in mind that you can’t use this for Intex or other soft-sided pools. It is recommended to be used only on permanently installed above-ground pools or on the ground such that you can’t easily disassemble it.

Highlighted Features

  • Easy to install and trouble-free operation.
  • Works well on permanently installed pools.
  • Contoured head design for less cleaning time.
  • Deluxe bumper ring for minimized friction and easy movement.



7. Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40 AJET121 Above Ground Robotic Swimming Pool Cleaner

The Aquabot Pool Rover from Aqua Products is a new and improved above-ground robotic swimming pool cleaner that not only looks cool but costs half of what robotic vacuums cost. It is suitable for both in-ground and above-ground pools as long as the configuration is up to 30-feet long.

It is very efficient, and the sleek design allows for better maneuverability through the pool. The adjustable suction ports can remove dirt from hard to reach spots and even the small dirt particles. This wheel-based model features NeverStuck rollers which easily overcomes imperfect pool bottom and main drains.

On top of that, this small but powerful unit features two large-capacity filter bags. They can easily capture dirt particles down to about 50 microns. In an hour it can filter up to 5000 gallons of water.

It can easily detect above ground dished out the bottom as well as in groundhoppers. Not only that, 40-feet long thermoplastic rubber-coated Kevlar cord and the 110V power supply provide an uninterrupted power supply with one- or two-hour options.

Highlighted Features

  • Wheel based design that can navigate with ease.
  • Suitable and safe for all pool types.
  • Adjustable suction ports for powerful suction and excellent filtration.
  • It can clean any pool in 1 hour.

A Definitive Guide to Choose the Best Above-Ground Pool Vacuum Cleaner

what is the Best Above the Ground Pool Vacuum

There are no single best automatic pool cleaners out there. Some can handle only a certain type of pool floors while others can work on any surface material. Both powered and manual options available. Depending on the pool size, water type, floor surface, etc. the decision will vary.

The right pool vacuum can extend the life of a pool, but a wrong choice of cleaner can result in costly damage after the first season. That’s why it’s important to go with the right type of pool cleaner from the start.

Here, we discuss some of the factors and benchmarks to keep in mind when you go for an above ground floor.

Types of Pool Cleaners – Which one to Choose?

The first consideration is the types of pool cleaners. Every class has an individual feature with its advantage and disadvantage. After knowing, it’s easier for you to which type you want to buy.

There are mainly three types of above ground pool cleaners.

  1. Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

This is among the most popular option on the market for pool owners. Some highly recommended ones include the ones from Polaris and Dolphin brand.

A pressure side cleaner uses the water from your pump and filter system to power the cleaner and some cleaners do require an extra pump to power the cleaner. Now, when the cleaner run around the pool that’s powered by water pressure, and so is the water vortex that it creates to lift debris off the ground and into a filter bag located on the cleaner itself.

I would highly recommend pressure side pool cleaners for a few reasons. First of all, they have the ability to clean up large debris pretty easily. They have a low maintenance cost. And they are very durable. They don’t move the dirt into your filter system. It’s all in a self-contained unit.

  1. Robotic Pool Cleaners

The second type is the robotic pool cleaners. They are by far my favorite type of pool cleaner on the market because they don’t use your pump and filter system to clean your pool.

In fact, they use a type of low voltage transformer that you plug into an outlet. You drop the cleaner in, and the cleaner has its own motor to drive the wheels and its own pump to lift debris off the ground and into a filter basket.

Some robotic pool vacuums are really smart. They have computer chips inside them that actually monitor your cleaners’ activities to make to robot more efficient. Now, as technology evolves, these robotic cleaners are becoming more affordable and more efficient. The things I like most about them are they clean up large debris and small debris pretty efficiently. They scrub the tiles and walls of your pool and even the stairs.

They are self-contained units. They do not require your filter system to run, and they also filter the water when your system is not running. Which means that you are getting that extra filtering power.

  1. Suction Pool Cleaners

This type of cleaner requires your pool’s pump and filter system to run. It moves the cleaner along the bottom and the sides of your walls to clean debris off the ground and into your filter system.

I will only recommend a suction side pool cleaner if you are on a budget and you are just looking to get something to get started.

So, that’s all of the different types of automatic pool cleaners that are out on the market. There are different brands, and some of them are really good, and some are not.

Now, the question remains, how do you choose the best for you?

How to Choose the top rated Above Ground Pool Cleaner?

Let’s say you are a DIY guy and have made an above ground pool. You just want something super simple, super easy to use and maintain. If that’s the case, I would recommend going with a pressure side pool cleaner.

If you don’t have the luxury to afford that, or you are a little bit more budget conscious, you can go with a suction side pool cleaner. If you are just getting started, the suction type is definitely the way to go.

But if you have the budget to work with and looking for something more energy-efficient, more modernish looking, then I would highly recommend going with a robotic pool cleaner.

  • Hose length- must be enough

If you are buying a suction-based pool cleaner, don’t overlook the hose length. It should be sufficient length to reach all the depth and edge of your pool. Otherwise, it will not be working even though it comes with the powerful suction.

  • The filter and filtration rate

It’s essential to know about the filters activity. Since it can ensure what the cleaner can do in terms of cleaning various types of dirt. The fact is, the more filter it has, the more kinds of dirt it can face, probably the more expert it is.

The well filtration rate basically starts from the 70 gallons of water per minute. It indicates excellent and proper cleaning. Also, determine the better quality of the pool water. So, don’t forget to check out these features.

  • Identify dirt types

You should finally know what kind of dirt is very often gathering in your pool. Is it sand, small debris, or something larger like leaves or anything else? It will be a smart decision if you parches after knowing the dirt you have to clean. For example, a robotic pool vacuum is better to clean up larger debris than suction pool cleaners.

Maintenance Tips for Pool Cleaners

The job of a pool cleaner is to clean the water. But certain water condition can make it a whole lot difficult for the cleaner to its job properly. Follow these maintenance tips if you want to get the most out of your tool.

  • Maintaining Water Quality

While pool cleaners won’t affect the pH level of your water, but the water quality can directly impact the cleaner’s job. The optimal pH level for pool water is 7, at least it is considered to be. The problem is, a lot of pool owners add a lot of acidic and other basic chemicals to maintain a steady pH level.

But excessive use of chemicals isn’t good for the water. The process of adding these chemicals can make the water too acidic or alkaline. This also increases the potential growth for algae or mildew. If these outbreaks occur, some pool cleaners will have a really hard time doing a proper cleaning job.

For example, a pressure side pool cleaner doesn’t make contact with the surface of the pool. And for this reason, it won’t be much effective.

  • Minimize Debris

There are some precautions you can take to keep the debris at a low. Skimming leaves and sticks will sink to the bottom, and this becomes a job for the cleaner to take them out from the water.

If you have seed-bearing trees beside your pool, you should cut back the branches to prevent sticks and leaves from falling. You should also encourage the swimmers to clean their feet before diving in the pool.

You can also place a lightweight pool mesh cover to prevent the accumulation of foreign materials. This lightweight cover is easily stretchable and catches airborne debris. It also discourages algae growth.

Final Thoughts

This concludes our guide about best above ground pool vacuums. These are certainly a great machine to have if you own an above ground pool. Having an automatic cleaner might cost a little, but you will end up saving a lot of money and time. This list has products for every type of pool owner. Go for the one that is easy on your wallet.

Similar Posts