Best Pool Cleaners 2018 – Reviews & Buying Guide
- Best Robotic Pool Cleaner Picks
- Best Pressure Pool Cleaner Picks
- Best Suction Side Pool Cleaner Picks
- Factors to Consider When Buying a Pool Cleaner
During the hot summer months, there’s nothing more refreshing than a dip in a pool. While the beautiful blue sky and shining sun is the perfect setup for a summer day, the heat can sometimes be too much. Luckily, you have your pool filled with cool and refreshing water. Unfortunately, the pool isn’t going to clean itself. Your pool can become dirty thanks to debris and other factors. One option is to clean the pool with your own two hands but that can take a lot of work. Or you can do a quick clean with the best pool vacuum. Fortunately, there are pool cleaners on the market that make the process easier. We’ve done all the hard work for you. See our top picks in our pool cleaner reviews below. With this information you will quickly be able to find the best pool cleaner for your needs.
Best Robotic Pool Cleaner Picks
|Dolphin Premier Robotic||$$$$|
|3 years||24 x 20 x 15 inches||4.7/5
Our Top Pick
|Hayward RC9990GR TigerShark||$$$$|
|3 years||20 x 20 x 22 inches||4.4/5|
|Dolphin 99996403-PC Nautilus Plus||$$$|
|2 years||16 x 10 x 16 inches||4.3/5
Best For The Money
An effective tool to clean your pool is a robotic pool cleaner. A robotic pool cleaner is one of three options pool owners can choose for their pool cleaning needs. It’s the perfect product to use to get your pool completely clean by the summer months.
#1 Dolphin Premier Robotic – Our Top Pick
The newest model is made by Maytronics and is the best automatic pool cleaner. It has a groundbreaking design and next level efficiency. It features cutting-edge grade DC motors as well as a filtration system that is Multi-Media, which increases efficiency while cutting back on the amount of energy used. This robotic pool cleaner has four media types, allowing you to choose the amount of cleaning your pool needs. If you want to clean the fine debris from the water, you can use the micro-filter. If you have clumps of leaves floating around, use the oversized debris bag.
- It’s equipped with an advanced navigation and mapping feature. It’s the same technology that’s used with Roomba vacuums, allowing you to map and cover the entire bottom of your pool.
- The Dolphin Premier Robotic can climb out of the deep end and up the pool steps. Combined with the large debris bag, the thoroughness of the device allows you to accomplish the utmost state of cleanliness.
- This pool cleaner comes with a longer warranty than most. The Dolphin Premier Robotic comes with a three-year warranty, which is longer than most other products of its kind on the market.
- As a pool cleaner, it’s extremely energy efficient. This fact is especially true when compared to its competitors. It’s one of the best pool vacuums around.
- If you want control over its movements then you have to pay more. The Dolphin Premier Robotic moves automatically on its own but if you wish to control it on your own, you have to purchase a remote control.
- The unit is pretty heavy. If the device isn’t able to get enough traction then it will only be able to get halfway up the pool walls.
#2 Hayward RC9990GR TigerShark – The Runner-Up
Hayward’s Tigershark models have been praised for forty years for their energy efficient cleaning. It uses a pattern to clean the whole bottom of the pool plus the sides. It’s easy to operate. All you have to do is plug it in, and it’s ready to go. It’s cleaning routine has a 3-hour run, and it automatically shuts off when it’s finished. You can program the Hayward RC9990GR to clean every size pool available and clean every inch including the steps. It’s unique in that it doesn’t have bags to collect the debris but instead a cartridge element that is easy to clean.
- The device can be used on big pools. The Hayward RC9990GR TigerShark can clean pools that are as big as 20 feet by 40 feet.
- There’s no need to get buy additional features. While other pool cleaners might need the purchase of a pump, the TigerShark comes with one installed.
- The price tag isn’t as steep as some others. The price tag is decent when compared to the other devices that often break the thousand-dollar mark.
- It can clean a wide area of the pool. This pool cleaner can clean the bottom of a pool, the walls, and the steps. It’s also effective in cleaning different materials in a pool as well.
- It’s not remote controlled. This unit also does not come equipped with a remote control, which can be inconvenient for those who do want control.
- It could use more checks. You should go through safety checks to make sure it’s properly plugged in and such before putting it to work.
#3 Dolphin 99996403-PC Nautilus Plus – Best for the Money
Another Dolphin product by Maytronics, the 99996403-PC Nautilus Plus by Dolphin is an affordable option for those who are looking for a reliable pool cleaner that operates on robotics technology. It features CleverClean technology, which allows it to clean all areas of a pool, including pools that are 50 feet in length. The filter is top access and is large, making it extremely accessible. This pool cleaner also has 360-degree suction that filters water as it collects debris, which can improve your pool’s water circulation and filtration. The Dolphin Nautilus Plus saves your money and time as well as conserving energy. It’s equipped with the same pool scanning technology as the Dolphin Premier Robotic, allowing it to clean your pool no matter the shape and size. Its standard cleaning routine takes 3 hours. With an appealing price tag the device effectively cleans your pool and comes with a 2-year warranty.
- Its filtration method is very effective. It does a great job siphoning debris and dirt from the pool.
- This pool vacuum is considerably quiet when compared to others on the market. The Dolphin Nautilus Plus does not make much noise when it runs. Others tend to make a considerable amount of noise and that can be annoying for a lot of people.
- It performs as well as other competitors on the market. When it’s compared to other, more expensive pool cleaners, this Dolphin pool cleaner does just as well as the others.
- It’s easy to setup and use. There’s nothing for you to install plus there’s no connection needed to your pool.
- It’s lighter than other models. Pool cleaners tend to be heavy so that they sink, with many of them weighing in between 20 to 25 pounds. The Dolphin Nautilus Plus is only 17 pounds but it still heavy enough to stay down.
- It’s not great at picking up larger debris. There have been reports that the device isn’t great at picking up larger debris like leaves.
Best Pressure Pool Cleaner Picks
|Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900||$$$$|
|2 years||24 x 11 x 24 inches||4.4/5
Our Top Pick
|Polaris Vac-Sweep 360||$$|
|1 year||20 x 10 x 23 inches||4.3/5
Best For The Money
|Pentair LL505G Kreepy Krauly Legend||$$|
|1 year||24 x 24 x 11 inches||4.1/5|
Pressure pool cleaners are some of the most popular pool cleaning tools around because they are great tools to reduce cleaning time and maintenance costs. They’re great to hook up to your pool’s system and use while you’re away from home. Here are the best pressure pool cleaners reviews.
#1 Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 – Our Top Pick
The Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 has vacuum power that is unmatched on the pressure pool cleaner market. It has features that have given the Polaris company its reputable name plus features that give it increased durability, reliability, and efficiency. It produces the maximum amount of vacuum power and is equipped with drive torque, which allows for a quicker cleaning as well as fewer issues. It also features a PosiDrive system that’s all-wheel with a durable drive chain that is stainless steel. It delivers 50% more torque, allowing for maximum performance and speed.
- The debris bag it comes with is very large. It features a detachable dual-chambered bag that filters a great percentage of debris and waste, big or small, which makes cleaning up more efficient and faster.
- It’s an extremely powerful cleaner. The Vac-Sweep 3900 is designed with intense vacuum power with its 50% more torque and three Venturi jets. It’s able to make cleaning speedy and more efficient.
- It has improved stability thanks to its system that has four-wheel drive. The four-wheel drive gives it better traction to properly cover the whole bottom of the pool as well as go up the walls of the pool.
- It’s not able to clean hard to reach places. While it can clean walls and floors, this pool cleaner is not able to clean pool steps.
- You have to buy a booster pump to hook up to it. To function the pool cleaner does need a booster pump that doesn’t come with the purchase of the cleaner. The booster pump powers it up.
#2 Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 – Best for the Money
The Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 cleans all types of inground pools and does so without a booster pump to operate it. The advanced cleaning technology in the Vac-Sweep 360 is powered by triple jets. The pool vacuum also has all-wheel drive to better clean surfaces. This pool cleaner is connected to a pressure line, allowing it to scrub, vacuum, and sweep every surface of the pool. The one chamber filter bag that it comes with catches large debris, like pebbles and leaves, before it reaches your pool’s filter or pump basket.
- The Vac-Sweep 360 operates on the pool’s circulation pump. Many other models require the purchase of a booster pump as well as the cleaner to operate it. Not having to buy one really allows you to save money.
- It does more than just vacuum the pool. The Vac-Sweep cleans any size pool completely by sweeping, vacuuming, and scrubbing every surface.
- The Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 is very efficient thanks to the triple jets that power it. It also is equipped with all-wheel drive, which allows it to thoroughly clean every and all surfaces.
- The single chamber filter is great for picking up large debris. Other models don’t have such a big bag to capture leaves and pebbles.
- Individual parts for this cleaner are quite expensive. The Vac-Sweep is not as expensive a product when compared to other models but, if a part breaks or the unit needs repair, it will be an expensive fix. The filter bag and the tail scrubber will probably need to be replaced once a year.
#3 Pentair LL505G Kreepy Krauly Legend
The Kreepy Krauly Legend uses water pressure to completely clean your pool within one to three hours. It’s equipped with front wheel drive, which helps in preventing it from tipping over and gives it maximum traction to help clean every part of the pool. It has an intake throat that is quite large, enabling it to get all kinds of debris. There’s a backup valve built in that’s activated every 3.5 minutes. This valve allows for maximum pool coverage. Another built-in feature that this pool cleaner has is a pressure release valve. This valve assists in regulating the water flow and maintaining a consistent speed for reliable cleaning performance.
- This pressure pool cleaner is lighter and easier to handle. Weighing in at a little over 22 pounds, the Kreepy Krauly Legend is simpler to use and easy to handle.
- When equipped with a booster pump, it performs at high speeds. This pool cleaner is efficient and can clean the pool in less than three hours with a booster pump.
- It can store high quantities of debris in its cleaning bag. The cleaning bag holds large amounts of large debris. Maintenance is made easy as the bag has a dynamic mechanism for locking.
- The front-wheel-drive allows it to clean many surfaces. The super traction that the pool cleaner creates allows it to clean surfaces that are inclined in the pool.
- Suction is not very powerful. It still gets the job done, but the suction on this could be more powerful to really get rid of the debris in the pool.
- It is not designed with proper balance. The front-wheel design on this appliance is not properly balanced, so it can occasionally tip over.
Best Suction Side Pool Cleaner Picks
|Hayward PHS41CST Aquanaut||$$$|
|2 years||11 x 14 x 9 inches||4.4/5
Our Top Pick
|Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000020||$$|
|2 years||41 x 13 x 13 inches||4.3/5|
|BARACUDA G3 W03000||$$|
|2 years||42 x 8 x 18 inches||4.3/5
Best For The Money
Suction side pool cleaners get the job just as well as the other two types. It is another cleaning device that’s connected to your pool’s filtration system. It travels along the base of your pool and sucks up debris and dirt.
#1 Hayward PHS41CST Aquanaut – Our Top Pick
Hayward’s Aquanaut provides a complete pool cleaning with variable vanes that are self-adjusting. These vanes are known as V-Flex technology and assist in providing maximum power with any flow and allows large bits of debris to be captured. The device comes pre-programmed to allow for internal steering sequences, ensuring the model covers all areas including both shallow and deep ends of the pool. Maintenance and servicing are simple processes but you can rest assured that the Aquanaut is durable and won’t need much servicing.
- It handles large debris without clogging. The V-Flex technology allows bigger debris to pass through the self-adjusting variable vanes. It does so easily, resulting in pool owners not having to worry about clogged cleaners.
- It navigates any surface expertly. The pool cleaner is equipped with tire treads that are robust and patented. These treads allow for the best climbing ability on any surface and maneuverability around obstacles in pools, including main drains.
- This pool cleaner provides constant suction. Another patented feature on the Aquanaut is its adjustable roller skirt. The roller skirt ensures that suction is never lost even when the surface is uneven or it encounters obstacles.
- The Aquanaut provides optimal suction, no matter the flow. The pool cleaner has three throats that can be interchanged to fit the flow of water. These throats allow for suction at lower rates of flow while letting debris that is larger through. The Aquanaut is an ideal candidate to use with pumps of variable speeds.
- The gears aren’t serviceable. The gears located inside of the pool cleaner are covered so you won’t be able to reach them yourself. Luckily, the model is durable and many of the exterior parts are serviceable.
#2 Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000020 – The Runner-Up
Another Hayward invention is the Poolvergnuegen, more commonly referred to as the Pool Cleaner. It’s a suction cleaner that you can buy in either two- or four-wheel drive that allows a fit for any pool. It’s equipped with many patented features, including adjustable turbine vanes that allow for the most power at any flow. An adjustable skirt and tire treads with programmable steering creates an excellent clean. It can climb walls, avoid obstacles, and maximizes pool coverage.
- The self-adjusting turbine vanes are worth the buy. Equipped on every model of the Pool Cleaner, the vanes are flexible and ensure maximum flow. The optimal movement of this pool cleaner allows for the easy filtration of large debris.
- The patented tire treads allow for better movement across all types of surfaces. The grooved tire treads provide traction across all surfaces of the pool. It is capable of avoiding objects and drains. The tires allow the Pool Cleaner to be used in pools of all shapes and sizes.
- The steering system allows for complete coverage of the pool. These internal steering sequences allow it to reverse, turn around, and move in different directions.
- The flow can be changed with three throats. There are three interchangeable throats to optimize your pool cleaning experience. Changing the throat can affect flow as well as the size of the debris passed.
- It takes quite a bit of time to clean large pools. While other pool cleaners can clean large pools in three hours or less, the Pool Cleaner can take up to six hours cleaning a large pool. You are also unable to program it to stop at a different time.
- The opening to the bag that collects debris is velcro. The material made for the Pool Cleaner bag is made of velcro, which has a tendency to collect debris. If you plan on using chemicals or any substance in your pool, you have to take this pool vacuum out as the substance can harm the device.
#3 BARACUDA G3 W03000 – Best for the Money
The BARACUDA G3 promises to thoroughly clean your inground pool from floors to walls. It ensures that it will remove any type of debris big or small such as bugs, dirt, pebbles, leaves, and twigs. There is just one part of the G3 that is operational, and that’s the Long-Life Diaphragm. It doesn’t have any of the wheels, flappers, or gears that other models of pool cleaners have, which means it’s the simplest to use. While it’s extremely easy to use, it still provides the maximum power available and has maintenance that is low cost. It’s a great pool cleaner with little hassle and comes at a reasonable price.
- This is a great option if you’re looking to get mostly small- and medium-sized debris from your pool. The BARACUDA G3’s design is optimal for pools that get just a little debris. While it struggles a bit with bigger pieces, it’s still capable of even getting larger debris.
- It cleans all surfaces of the pool from floor to walls. The G3 does not just clean the base of the pool—it’s also capable of cleaning the wall all the way up to its waterline.
- This pool cleaner is one of the most affordable models out there. The BARACUDA G3 is one of the cheapest pool cleaners on the market including pressure pool cleaners, robotic cleaners, and suction cleaners. The maintenance cost is also low. You really get the bang for your buck with this product.
- It doesn’t perform all the cleaning that it advertises. This pool cleaner claims to clean every part of the pool including the steps but fails to actually clean the steps.
- While cleaning, the G3 tends to get stuck. This simple pool cleaner doesn’t come with a navigation system or even wheels so it can get stuck while performing its duties.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Pool Cleaner
Buying a pool cleaner is a highly subjective activity. What you want is based completely on your needs and the environment that surrounds your pool. While there are many pool cleaners that can do the job very well, the one that fits your needs or preferences might not be the most fancy or expensive. To choose the best pool vacuum for you, there are a few things you must consider before committing to a model.
What Is a Robotic Pool Cleaner?
Robotic Pool Cleaners are electronic and completely independent from the pool’s system, meaning it doesn’t have to be connected to a pump or anything. It usually has two small motor within: one sucks in the water and runs it through a self-contained filter bag, and the second motors uses brushes and rubber to remove particles from the pool’s surfaces. The electricity source for robotic pool cleaners is typically a set-down transformer that has to be kept close to the pool.
These types of pool cleaners are often equipped with features that help guide it. Most have microchips that power on the cleaner and allow it to reverse and change direction. Some models also have sensors to help detect which direction it needs to go.
The major pro to having one of these to clean your pool is that they’re highly efficient for time, cleaning ability, and energy.
The big con of these products is that they tend to have a hefty price tag with the majority of them ranging from $500 to $2000.
What Is a Pressure Pool Cleaner?
Pressure Pool Cleaners use the pool water inflow and pressurizes it to create motion. This motion is generally created by a second booster pump. These appliances suck the debris from the water. The turbulence in the water created by the pressure redistributes the dirt of the pool so that the main filter can pick it up. Some of the debris is also sucked into the bag that’s attached to the pool cleaner.
Since it requires a booster pump to function, this type of pool cleaner uses the most electricity out of the three types of cleaners. When purchasing this type of pool cleaner, you need to take in the cost of the cleaner itself as well as the cost of the booster pump you’ll have to purchase. The cost of these types of machines varies from $200 to $700, without including the pump. The booster pump will add another couple hundred dollars to the price tag.
The major pro to having one of these to clean your pool is that it’s effective in removing debris that’s the size of a pore.
The big con of these products is that they are difficult, and they’re a drain on electricity.
What Is a Suction Side Pool Cleaner?
Suction Side Pool Cleaners have water pumped out of the pool. Using the pool’s drains and skimmers, these create motion as well as debris suction. It has the added bonus of being returned to the pool after filtration. These devices track a random course and are usually attached to the pool by a 1.5-inch hose. The pool’s pump provides suction action and pushes the pool cleaner to traverse the walls and floor.
This type of pool cleaner was used when automated cleaners first came out. It’s still the most popular type, and it’s the most affordable. The cost purchasing one of these cleaners is between $100 to $300.
The major pro to having one of these is that they’re easy to use as they’re powered solely by the pool’s main pump and the filtration system can do its job removing debris.
The big con of these products is that they tend to increase the cost of electricity in your house and require the filter system and main pump be filtered more frequently. Luckily, it doesn’t need much maintenance.
Which Type of Pool Cleaner Suits Me Best?
Now that you have all the information from these pool cleaner reviews, you can make a decision about your pool cleaner. Remember though that the best inground pool cleaner for you is one that meets all your needs no matter the price tag. Keep in mind your pool size, how much electricity you’re willing to use, the environment you live in, and, of course, the budget to spend.
As you go on the hunt for the best pool, keep these reviews of pool cleaners in mind. There’s a lot to consider and you don’t want your abundance of choices to overwhelm you and cause you to get a cleaner that’s a bad fit for your pool.
If you’re looking for the best overall pool cleaner then consider the Dolphin Premier Robotic, which can clean your pool amazingly and is extremely energy efficient. For the model that gives you the most for your money, the BARACUDA G3 is perfect for you. While it doesn’t have fancy features that assist in navigation, it’s extremely simple to use and gets the job done.
There are so many makes and models for pool cleaners with varying prices that a pool owner can get discouraged. That doesn’t mean that they have to take out each leaf from their pool by hand. With what’s been provided in this review of pool cleaners, you’ll be able to find the pool cleaner you’ve been looking for.
Note that the products mentioned in this guide are made for in-ground pools. But, don’t forget that there’s also models designed for above ground pools.