If you have an above-ground pool, cleaning duties can be a daily occurrence, whether you use it or not. Automatic cleaners are the modern way of getting the job done! However, like anything automatic, the range between quality and crap is large, so which one should you pick?
Fear not! We are pool & cleaning fanatics and have reviewed the five best pool vacuums available this year. Let’s check them out!
Our Top Above Ground Pool Cleaner List
Last update on 2022-09-24 at 18:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
1. Dolphin E10 Robotic Cleaner for Above Ground Pools
This pool cleaner works well in depths of 30 feet and below, and it can clean your pool in under two hours without leaving any dead spots. It has excellent floor scrubbing and filtering capabilities that allow you to get a clear pool each time you run it, and it can move effortlessly around obstacles without getting stuck. It’ll pick up debris while getting rid of any stuck-on gunk like algae from your pool walls and floor.
There are no additional hoses or pumps required for this unit to work, and this is an extremely energy-efficient option that costs cents per hour to run. It comes backed by more than 35 years of experience, and you get a full two-year warranty with each purchase to protect you from damage.
- Debris Basket – Yes with top load technology
- Depth – 30 feet
- Warranty – Two years
- Has a full two-year warranty
- Cleans the pool in 1.5 hours
- Very energy-efficient design
- Debris basket is 30% larger
- Cord can tangle as it works
2. Dolphin Escape Robotic
This compact device gives you unmatched performance when it comes to keeping your pool clean and clear. There are no messy bags to worry about with this cleaner because it uses a large top-load cartridge that can hold up to 60% more debris. In turn, this means that it can run longer between cleans, and you can use it on slightly larger pools. It weighs in at 14 pounds, and it has an energy-efficient motor.
The wheels of this cleaner have Hypergrip Continuous Tracks installed that helps it maneuver around your pool walls and floor without getting stuck. There are dual scrubbing brushes on this unit that quickly scrubs away contaminants and anything tough stains that could ruin the look of your pool. This comes equipped with SmartNav 2.0 Robotic Scanning capabilities that help it move around the pool and not get stuck.
Dolphin Escape Takeaways
- Debris Basket – Yes, up to 60% larger
- Depth – 35 feet
- Warranty – One year
- Continuous tracks reduce slippage
- Smart navigation ensures it doesn’t get stuck
- Has a very large debris basket
- Doesn’t pick up fine particles well
3. Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale
This cute pool cleaner comes painted to look like a small whale, and you can easily install it in less than 10 minutes without using any additional tools. It comes with a unique gearing system that ensures this device operates quietly because it gets a constant flow of balanced water. This water flow also ensures it moves quickly but neatly across the pool floor when you have it on.
There is a contoured head design on this system that lets it steer and turn without a problem, and this pattern results in faster cleaning time. There is a deluxe bumper ring on this setup that minimizes friction and ensures that it moves away from the walls without scuffing them. It has a full year warranty attached from the date of purchase that protects you from defects or damage.
Hayward 900 Takeaways
- Debris Basket – No, hooks to your filter system
- Depth – 25 feet
- Warranty – One year
- Bumper ring prevents scuffs
- Contoured head for precision steering
- Has a cute look
- Doesn’t work well with low pressure
4. Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Cleaner
This cleaner can effectively work in above-ground pool setups that have normal and dished-out bottoms up to 72 inches. It uses one moving part technology that reduces the things that could potentially break on this machine, and this also eliminates the noise that comes with multiple moving parts. There is a deflector wheel that stops this cleaner from accidentally getting stuck on ladders, steps, or in corners.
You’ll get 32 feet of hose with this unit that allows it to move all over the pool, and it comes pre-assembled and ready to go out of the box. There is an AG Disk that helps the cleaner glide along the pool’s bottom and creates a seal that allows it to suck up any debris. The self-adjusting control valve will automatically regulate how much water flows through it to ensure it works at peak levels.
Zodiac Ranger Takeaways
- Debris Basket – No, hooks to the skimmer
- Depth – Six feet
- Warranty – One year
- Very easy to connect to the skimmer
- Glides around your pool’s walls and floor
- Has a very quick cleaning cycle
- Can be too lightweight
5. Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly
This pool cleaner comes with a super hydraulic design that gives it excellent vacuuming power to help it suck up both small and large debris. The flapper is the only operational moving part, and this means you don’t have to worry about maintaining or replacing any gears or wheels. It has a simple design that allows it to move effortlessly over your pool’s floor and walls when you switch it on, and it is very energy-efficient.
The skimming valve on this machine will automatically adjust and regulate the water flow as it moves to ensure it cleans at the highest levels. It gives you random pattern coverage to ensure every inch of your pool gets vacuumed and cleaned when you have it running. It won’t leave any dead areas for you to worry about and have to wash by hand.
Pentair K50600 Takeaways
- Debris Basket – No, attaches to the pump
- Depth – 15 feet
- Warranty – Two years
- Uses single-part technology
- Has a random pattern to cover the whole pool
- Very energy-efficient
- Hose can twist or tangle
Verdict & Review
Our pick for the best above-ground pool vacuum cleaner is the Dolphin E10 because it can effectively clean pools up to 30-feet deep in under two hours without leaving dirty spots. The filtering and scrubbing capabilities help it pick up both loose debris and stains each time it passes over them for clean water.
We liked that it cost a few cents per hour to run because it is very energy-efficient, and you don’t have to have any additional hoses to worry about. It sets up in minutes, and the debris catches in a larger filter system at the top of the unit. These reasons pushed it to the top of our list.
Above Ground Pool Cleaner Buyer’s Guide
What should you look for when you start shopping for a pool vacuum for your above-ground pool? There are several things you can make a note of and use them to compare the various models and reviews. This way, you get an easy way to narrow down your choice until you find the one that best suits your needs.
Pick a Type
The first thing you want to do is decide on a type of pool cleaner. Doing this first will help you narrow your choices down straight away, so you’re not overwhelmed. There are three broad categories to consider, and we outlined them below for you.
- Pressure – Pressure side pool cleaners are unique because they float on the midway in the pool and create a vacuum effect that sucks up debris. It pulls water in through the filter to catch any debris in your pool. Some need a booster pump, and they have a higher running cost associated with them.
- Robotic – Robotic pool cleaners run under the water to clean your pool without any input from you. They come equipped with tiny motors that scrub the pool’s interior when you set it to run. They can go up the sides, and many of them come with tracking features to ensure it doesn’t get stuck.
- Suction – Suction pool cleaners come in manual and automatic varieties, and both of them attach to your pool’s pump system to filter out debris and things like sand. You can install them in minutes, and many of them come with a single moving part that makes it last longer.
Most pool cleaners will advertise the pool size they’re capable of cleaning. You want to get a cleaner that has enough power to cover your entire pool effectively. If it’s not powerful enough, it could leave areas uncleaned that could spread debris throughout your pool. Double-check the recommended pool size before on the packaging before you buy. If possible, get one that is slightly more powerful than you need.
The cleaning time will depend on how large your pool is and the vacuum’s power. Some can clean a larger pool in under two hours, but some cleaners can take up to six to make it to every part of your pool. The manufacturer will usually list the average cleaning time on the box, and you can use it to determine how long it’ll need for your pool from start to finish.
Installation and Setup
How challenging will it be for you to set up or install your new pool cleaner? Some models come ready to use straight out of the box with no input from you. Other models require you to connect them to your existing system, and they may need more tools.
Above Ground Pool Cleaner FAQs
How often should you vacuum your above-ground pool?
This can vary from pool to pool. However, a general rule of thumb is to vacuum your above-ground pool at least once a week. If you notice a lot of debris floating around, you may want to increase this to two or three times. If you use it more, you’ll have to vacuum it more.
How long should the vacuum run?
Most of these pool vacuums clean in two hours or less. However, you can let it run between two and six hours to ensure it hits every area of your pool. Check and see if there are debris left when you turn it off. If there are, you may have to run it for long periods or overnight. This is especially true in larger pools.
What are reputable brands for above-ground pool vacuums?
There are several well-known brands available that have a history of producing high-quality vacuums for your pool. Examples include Hayward, Zodiac, Xtreme Power US, and Polaris. These brands are generally easy to get in touch with if you have issues, and they use high-quality materials in each vacuum.