Swimming in a pool is fun, but keeping it clean is just the opposite. That’s why it’s worth investing in the right equipment to keep your swimming pool clean, so you can spend more time enjoying it and less time cleaning it. One worthy tool is a pool cleaner or pool vacuum, which allows you to clean the floor and walls of your pool. Pool vacuums can be a substantial investment, which is why it’s worth exploring the different options before deciding on the one that works best for you.
What to Consider Before Buying a Pool Cleaner
There are three major types of pool cleaners, which vary widely by price. Manual pool cleaners are the most affordable option. These hook up to your pool’s filtration system, and you manually move them around your pool to clean it. Automatic pool cleaners are a step up in price and convenience. These still connect to your pool’s filtration, but they move around on their own. Finally, robotic cleaners are the most advanced and expensive, and they offer the greatest convenience. They don’t need to connect to your pool’s filter; instead, they move around independently.
How We Chose the Best Pool Cleaners
Because of the range in features (and price), we wanted to highlight a variety of options, ranging from more affordable cleaners to premium robotic cleaners. We mostly focused on automatic pool cleaners, because they’re convenient, but not as expensive as robotic cleaners. We looked to trusted brands with lengthy experience in the industry such as Hayward, Dolphin and Pentair. We also looked for cleaners that could handle walls, as well as cleaners that suit different pool materials.
Read on for our selections for the best pool cleaners.
1. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner
Dolphin’s cleaners are some of the most impressive options if you’re looking for a robotic pool cleaner. They’re an investment, but they offer incredible cleaning and convenience. The Nautilus CC is capable of climbing walls and is designed for pools up to 50 feet. The easily accessible filters ensure that cleanup is a breeze, and the dual scrubbing brushes make for a deeper clean.
Pros: Capable of climbing walls for a complete clean. Programmable, so it’ll automatically clean on a schedule. Energy-efficient.
Cons: Can struggle on pool steps.
2. Pentair Kreepy Krauly Pool Cleaner
The Kreepy Krauly from Pentair is an automatic option that connects to your pool’s suction to automatically clean your pool. The drive float directional system is designed to ensure complete coverage of your pool. Pentair designed the Kreepy Krauly with simplicity in mind — there’s one moving part, meaning that the unit costs less and is less likely to break.
Pros: Simple design means there’s less to break. Automatic cleaner for greater convenience. Simple setup.
Cons: Some options are more powerful.
3. Pool Blaster Battery-Powered Pool Cleaner
This Pool Blaster cleaner is a unique option that uses a rechargeable battery, making it easy to clean your pool without connecting a hose or cables. In effect, its operation will be fairly similar to a standard cordless vacuum, except it’s designed for your swimming pool. It can run for up to an hour, and it’s designed to catch different kinds of debris that might be in your pool.
Pros: Convenient option that works independently of your pool’s pump. Cordless, making it easy to run.
Cons: Attaches to a standard pool pole, which is not included.
4. Zodiac Baracuda Automatic Pool Cleaner
The Zodiac Baracuda Automatic Pool Cleaner is a powerful suction cleaner that works well with low-speed pumps. It comes with a FlowKeeper Valve that regulates the water flow to maintain a consistent cleaning performance. It’s able to easily move around the tight corner and steps of your pool with its wheel deflector and 36-fin disc without getting stuck on lights and drains. This cleaner is compatible with all pool surfaces; vinyl, tile or concrete.
Pros: Easy installation, compatible with different pool surfaces.
Cons: Angles can trip up the cleaner.
5. Hayward PoolVac XL Pool Vacuum
This pool vacuum from Hayward is an automatic cleaner that connects to your pool’s skimmer or suction port. A 40-foot hose is also included, meaning you can set this cleaner up in mere minutes. It’s designed to cover walls and the pool’s floor, and it’s an effective cleaner for pools up to 20′ x 40′. It’s also designed to run quietly, meaning it won’t interrupt your relaxing day by the pool.
Pros: Runs quietly. Large hose capable of cleaning big pools. Unique wing design catches more debris.
Cons: Not as effective at cleaning pool walls as some other options.
6. Polaris Vac-Sweep Side Pool Cleaner
The Polaris Vac-Sweep Side Pool Cleaner is a powerful pressure cleaner that can easily clean the grounds and walls of any in-ground pool. Its 280 pressure vacuum intensely sweeps up and scrubs the grime off your pool’s surfaces. It easily connects to any pressure line without hassle. It also has a powerful debris intake that lets it suck up high quantities of leaves, acorns and other debris.
Pros: Inline backup valve frees it if it gets stuck. Powerful debris intake.
Cons: Some options may be more economical.