Having an inground or above-ground pool at your home is a great way to exercise, spend time outdoors in hot weather and socialize with friends and family. But pools are also a major investment that take up time, money, and space. Maintaining a pool, including replacing filters, liners and plumbing, comes with a big price tag. Thankfully, the item pool owners use the most often is also the least expensive. When it comes to removing large and small objects from your pool waterr, a pool skimmer is an easy-to-use and cost-effective method.
Pool skimmers come in a variety of sizes and models but they all share a common goal — helping pool owners remove unwanted items from their pool. Leaves, bugs, stones, and other items that should not be doing laps in your pool are easy to remove with an affordable skimmer that is either handheld or connects to the side of your pool. Pool skimmers also provide a convenient way to retrieve toys and other items from the bottom of your pool. Keeping your pool free from debris means your filters can function better and last longer. Plus, there’s less chance of debris scraping and puncturing your pool’s liner, which can come with a major repair bill.
What To Look For When Buying A Pool Skimmer
What are you cleaning? The pool is the obvious answer, but do you have an in-ground pool that requires an extended telescopic pole or an above-ground pool or hot tub that could be cleaned with a handheld skimmer?
How often are you cleaning your pool? If your pool requires daily maintenance, a skimmer with an oversized net that is durable means fewer passes through the pool and less time stopping to empty the net.
What’s your budget? Pool skimmers are typically inexpensive, but there are some automated options that take out the leg work — for a cost.
How We Chose The Best Pool Skimmers
For a product that is going to take a lot of abuse from the sun and chlorine, it needs to be durable. We only included pool skimmers that have a proven track record with buyers and are consistently rated high. We also included options that come with a pole, as well as those that don’t, which allows users to buy the exact length of a skimmer pole necessary for their pool needs.
If you’ve got a pool, you need the best pool skimmers on hand. Check out our favorite options below.
1. Swimline Professional Heavy Duty Deep-Bag Pool Rake
Collect a large amount of debris in one swoop with the Swimline Professional Heavy Duty Deep-Bag Pool Rake. The large bag makes it easy for users to quickly clean their pool without having to continually empty their skimmer bag. A durable molded frame can handle years of use and the flat bottom of the rake makes it ideal for skimming the bottom of the pool. The universal design of the Swimline makes it’s a great fit for most poles. We also like that the skimmer is designed with curved edges to ensure that it won’t snag, scrape or damage the lining of a pool, allowing users to graze the walls without having to worry about a puncture.
Pros: Extra large bag for less frequent empty, durable plastic frame, flat bottom for easy skimming.
Cons: The Swimline rake does not come with a pole and users will have to purchase one separately.
2. Rongbo Deep-Bag Pool Rake
If you’ve got two pools to keep clean or like to have a variety when it comes to skimmers, we recommend the Rongbo Deep-Bag Pool Rake set. The set includes one deep pool bag rake that is ideal for full-sized above or inground pools. The set also includes a smaller shallow pool rake that can also be used for swimming pools or for removing debris from hot tubs. Both skimmers are made using high-quality durable plastic and strong netting that will capture even small pieces of debris. Both skimmers have straight sides that are designed to easily scrape the sides of pools to ensure all debris and dirt is captured.
Pros: Two size options, strong netting for large and small debris, straight sides for scraping edges.
Cons: You have to purchase a pole to use with the larger net in the set.
3. Sunnyglade Swimming Pool Cleaner
For a reliable pool skimmer that will last for several pool seasons and make easy work out of cleaning debris, there’s the Sunnyglade Swimming Pool Cleaner. The Sunnyglade is made with a high-quality, thick plastic frame that won’t bend or warp from chlorine or warm weather. The strong netting makes it easy for users to glide through the water while still collecting debris that has fallen into their pool. Collect large items like leaves and rocks or small insects with the skimmer, which provides an oversized 17.5 by 11.8-inch collection space. The skimmer comes with a large handle that allows users ample room to grip and has a connector for poles. Its size makes it great for above-ground and in-ground pools as well as smaller spaces, like hot tubs, ponds, and inflatable pools.
Pros: Heavyweight design, glides through the water, affordable.
Cons: Customers will have to purchase a pole for the Sunnyglade separately.
4. Aquatix Pro Pool Skimmer
If you want to be your own pool boy, you need a skimmer that can handle a professional quality job. Enter, the Aquatix Pro Pool Skimmer. Aquatix makes their pool skimmer in three levels and we’ve opted for the high quality but still affordable commercial grade model. The skimmer has a large 19.5-inch-wide opening that means fewer passes in the pool and no debris too big for the Aquatix to handle. The fine mesh net material grabs debris both big and small and stays firmly attached to the telescopic pole thanks to a strong and sturdy attachment. Ideal for both in-ground and above-ground pools, the Aquatix has a pole that can be adjusted between 4 and 12 feet, meaning no more jumping into the deep end to retrieve fallen toys or debris.
Pros: Large opening on the net, telescopic pole, works for above-ground and in-ground pools.
Cons: The pole may bend slightly when fully extended.
5. POOLWHALE Pool Leaf Rake
Make fewer passes in your pool and pick up pieces of large and small debris at the same time with the POOLWHALE Pool Leaf Rake. The professional-quality pool skimmer is perfectly weighted to provide the balance needed to effortlessly glide through the water and turn with ease. The large, 18-inch opening on the net means users can easily pick up even big pieces of debris. With an impressive extended 17-inches of space and two layers of coverage, the durable net can handle up to 50 pounds at once, making it easy to clean the entire pool without having to stop and empty the skimmer. The aluminum frame of the net is designed to retain its shape even after several seasons and the structural molded leaf rake is perfect for both above ground and in-ground pools. We also like that the Poolwhale is designed with an EZ clip handle to help attach to just about any pool pole.
Pros: Double layered, large net can handle 50 pounds, aluminum frame retains shape, works with most poles.
Cons: Customers must purchase a pole separately.
6. Intex Basic Pool Maintenance Kit
Keep your above-ground pool clean with the Intex Basic Pool Maintenance Kit. The kit includes a 94-inch telescoping aluminum pole, the longest on our list, which can be used with the skimmer rake or vacuum head included in the kit. The skimmer rake has flat sides for gliding along the side and bottom of the pool and helps remove medium to large pieces of debris without puncturing the lining of the pool. The vacuum head attaches to the pole and comes with a connector for a garden hose, making it easy to give your pool a deep clean and get rid of any built-up grime and creating a power washer for the bottom of the pool and helps to remove ground-in dirt.
Pros: Convenient telescoping pole, flat-sided skimmer rake, vacuum head for a deep clean.
Cons: The skimmer isn’t designed to pick up fine debris like sand.
7. Instapark Betta Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
If you’re tired of the constant manual skimming your pool requires, we have a splurge-worthy solution. The Instapark Betta Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner gets rids of debris floating on the surface of your pool water, including leaves and bugs, without any effort on your part. The Instapark is UV resistant and runs completely on solar power with a built-in backup battery that makes it possible to use the pool skimmer on overcast days or at night. A wireless remote makes it easy for users to direct the Instapark to areas that need extra attention, and the pool skimmer can be left on auto mode to swim around the pool and collect debris. An underwater brushless motor drives the thruster and creates a powerful swimming skimmer. When it’s time to empty the Instapark, users simply lift out the large capacity debris basket, shake it out and replace it.
Pros: Minimal effort for users, doesn’t require a battery, charger, or gas, includes a wireless remote.
Cons: High price.