Top Pool Vacuums: Reviews & Guide

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by pool vacuum options, we’ve got you covered! Here are our reviews and buying guide for the best pool vacuums.

Best Pool Vacuum Quick Answers:

  1. The best inground pool vacuum
  2. What is the best suction-side pool vacuum?
  3. The best pressure-side pool vacuum
  4. What is the best robotic pool vacuum?
  5. The best above-ground pool vacuum
  6. The best manual pool vacuum
  7. The best pool vacuum for leaves
  8. The best pool vacuum head

Every swimming pool owner knows that removing dirt, leaves, and bugs is an essential part of pool cleaning and pool maintenance. But constantly skimming out debris on your pool surface or pool floor by hand can be time-consuming – and in some cases, ineffective. That’s exactly why you need a pool vacuum. A well-built, reliable model will keep your pool clean, clear, and ready for swimming with zero stress or hassle when it comes to removing small debris or large debris.

So what’s the best pool vacuum cleaner on the market? The answer really on what type of pool you have, what you’re looking to achieve with a swimming pool cleaner and your budget. From inground pool vacuums and above ground pool cleaners to manual models, suction-side cleaners, pressure-side cleaners, and robotic vacuums, there are many options to choose from. 

If you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by the options, we’ve got you covered! Here’s the Pool Calculator guide to buying the perfect pool vacuum. You can also read our buying guides for the best pool shock and best pool algaecide if you plan on using either of these chemicals after you vacuum your pool. 

The best inground pool vacuum

Hayward Poolvergnuegen PoolCleaner

a light blue blue inground vacuum with dark blue wheels
This product has 4.3 stars on Amazon and 1,193 reviews

If you’ve got an inground pool and are looking for a dependable, highly rated pool cleaner, consider the Poolvergnuegen Pool Cleaner from Hayward (model W3PVS20JST). The super-powerful Hayward Poolvergnuegen is a pool cleaner with: 

  1. Self-adjusting turbine vanes

These patented vanes provide maximum power at practically any flow, and their capability to move allows considerable debris to easily pass. 

  1. A steering system

This steering system has multiple pre-programmed internal steering sequences for complete pool coverage and thorough cleaning. 

  1. Robust tire treads

These threads give the vacuum increased climbing ability and enhance how well it can maneuver obstacles.

  1. An adjustable roller skirt

The patented adjustable skirt allows the vacuum to sustain excellent suction on irregular surfaces and when coming across obstacles.

  1. Optimal suction at almost any flow

Three interchangeable throats improve the passage of debris and the performance of suction; this makes it quintessential if you have a variable-speed pool pump.

In other words, it’s equipped to maneuver around your entire pool to pick up leaves and other large debris, no matter the surface or obstacle. This is the best inground pool vacuum in terms of suction, reliability, and overall performance.

What is the best suction-side pool vacuum?

Suction pool cleaners are essentially just an automatic version of a manual vacuum. The most significant difference is that they move around the bottom of the pool by themselves, saving you time and effort. When you use suction, automatic cleaners, it’s all about convenience. You won’t need to brush, vacuum, or skim the pool by yourself. Pools that are filled with smaller particles are most suited for suction-side vacuums.

XtremepowerUS Pool Cleaner

a light blue automatic pool vacuum with a circular suction and long hose next to an inground pool
This product has 3.7 stars on Amazon and 4,243 reviews

For pool owners, an suction-side automatic pool vacuum is a no-brainer. Our pick is the XtremepowerUS Automatic Suction Vacuum (model 75037). The adjustable cleaner automatically moves around to clean your pool, climbing up walls and covering up to 12 feet a minute. While it isn’t equipped to clean stairs, this automatic pool cleaner includes ten different hoses to reach the walls and floors of pools up to 30 feet deep. This is the best automatic pool system for cleaning dirt, dust, bugs, algae, and other small particles.

Zodiac Baracuda

a blue suction pool vacuum with no wheels and a circular suction with spikes on the side of the suction plate
This product has 4.2 stars on Amazon and 2,297 reviews

The efficient Zodiac Baracuda G3 (model W03000) is an automatic vacuum with a smart design with only one moving part and offers powerful suctioning. It can pick up both small and medium-sized particles and debris on the floor, walls, and even the steps of your swimming pool. This suction cleaner easily moves around tight corners and won’t get caught on drain covers, lights, and jets. With an automatic flow keeper valve, the Baracuda is designed to regulate water flow for maximum efficiency and performance on low-speed pumps.

Pentair Kreepy Krauly

: a suction pool vacuum with a bright blue suction plate and a black vacuum rod
This product has 3.9 stars on Amazon and 336 reviews

The Kreepy Krauly suction side, automatic inground pool cleaner from Pentair (model 360042), is a universal vacuum designed to provide deep cleaning while maneuvering around steps, ladders, and other pool fixtures. Similar to the Baracuda, this auto pool cleaner regulates water flow to the ideal speed for your pool. The heavy-duty suction can pick up leaves, dirt, and debris of various sizes – and with only one moving part, you’ll never have to replace any wheels or gears.

The best pressure-side pool vacuum

One pro to pressure-side cleaners is that they have their own filter bag to reduce the wear and tear on your pool filter. However, most pressure vacuums require a separate booster pump to work efficiently, which some might find to be a hassle. 

Polaris Vac-Sweep 360

a white suction pool vacuum with 4 wheels and a debris collector on top
This product has 4.2 stars on Amazon and 2,999 reviews

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 is an advanced pressure-side, automatic pool vacuum with powerful jets that’s suitable for all inground pools, regardless of size or shape. It operates on a pool circulation pump and comes with a 31-foot vacuum hose, scrub, and sweep the deepest pool floors and walls. Plus, it has a large opening with strong suction power to vacuum up small rocks, leaves, and even debris as large as acorns.

What is the best robotic pool vacuum?

If you’re like a lot of residential pool owners, you might be wondering, Are robotic pool vacuums worth the price? For those looking for a truly hassle-free solution for cleaning your pool, we definitely recommend getting a robotic pool vacuum. The modern cleaning machines are exceptionally efficient and easy to use, and you can vacuum your pool as often as you’d like without the need for any elbow grease. They have three benefits that outweigh the higher price:

  1. Save on power

The robots work independently, eliminating the need to pump water through piping for filtration.

  1. Save on water

The robots filter the water themselves.

  1. Save on chemicals 

The robots remove dirt and debris instead of storing them in a pool’s filtration system.

Of course, some robotic pool cleaning models are much better than others. When it comes to the best pool vacuum robot, we’re partial to the Aquabot Pool Rover Junior and the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus.

Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior

a blue, rectangular robotic pool vacuum with four wheels
This product has 3.5 stars on Amazon and 982 reviews

The Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior is an entirely automatic vacuum suitable for any shape of above-ground or inground swimming pool. It has a 24-volt motor and comes with a 40-foot tangle-free floating cable, allowing it to clean most pools within an hour. The extra-wide treaded wheels can roll over any pool floor to pick up dirt, sand, leaves, and other larger debris. Best of all, the powerful suction is activated with the touch of a button, and it’ll automatically shut off after two hours.

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

a black robotic pool vacuum
This product has 4.3 stars on Amazon and 1,827 reviews

For an effective vacuum cleaner that allows you to sit back and relax while dirt, sand, leaves, insects, and other debris are removed from your pool, consider the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus automatic robotic pool cleaner. This very highly rated robotic cleaner is the best pool vacuum for extra-deep pools, as it can reach floors up to 50 feet in depth. Not only that, but it can clean large swimming pools in as little as two hours. What really makes the Nautilus CC Plus stand out is its cutting-edge filtration capabilities. It can pick up all types and sizes of debris and gently scrubs your pool surfaces for an impressively clean finish.

The best above-ground pool vacuum

Hayward Wanda the Whale

a circular above ground pool vacuum that has the face of a blue whale on it
This product has 3.8  stars on Amazon and 1,893 reviews

Do you have an above-ground pool? Hayward’s Wanda the Whale (model 900) is an excellent automatic suction pool cleaner for above-ground swimming pools from Intex and other manufacturers. It has a contoured head and a unique gearing system designed to continuously balance water flow as it cleans. This means quiet operation and gentle movement across all surfaces.

Also, Wanda the Whale works with your existing pool filter, and it can be installed in under ten minutes without the need for any tools. Best of all, this above-ground pool vacuum acts as a moving drain, which improves your pool water circulation. As a result, you won’t need as many chemical sanitizers to balance your water chemistry.

The best manual pool vacuum

Manual vacuum cleaners are effective and the least expensive option. However, they are very time-consuming compared to automatic and robotic vacuum cleaners since you will have to do all the work.

Water Tech POOL BLASTER Catfish

a blue manual pool vacuum with a rectangular vacuum head
This product has 3.4 stars on Amazon and 3,124 reviews

What is the best manual pool vacuum? In terms of handheld pool cleaners, the Water Tech POOL BLASTER Catfish stands out among the competition. The cordless vacuum runs on a rechargeable lithium battery for up to 45 minutes. It’s ideal for quick touch-ups for small swimming pools and hot tubs and can clean up to 33 gallons of water per minute. The Water Tech Catfish comes with an easily removable vacuum head that can pick up dirt, sand, leaves, twigs, and even acorns.

The best pool vacuum for leaves


 a blue pool vacuum that is handheld
This product has 4.1 stars on Amazon and 1,775 reviews

Water Tech also makes the best pool vacuum for leaves, the POOL BLASTER Max. Similar to the Catfish, the Max is a cordless, rechargeable handheld pool vacuum that can be used to quickly remove leaves and other larger debris in inground pools, above-ground pools, and hot tubs. When you take off the vacuum head, you can use the cone-shaped nozzle to pick up leaves, twigs, grass, or rocks in hard-to-reach areas. 

The best pool vacuum head

Milliard Sea-Thru

a blue, triangular vacuum head
This product has 4.2 stars on Amazon and 857 reviews

Speaking of vacuum heads, the best one on the market is the Sea-Thru pool vacuum head from Milliard. With a universal fit, this top-rated product can attach to any standard pool cleaner hose. The Sea-Thru also has a weighted design, which allows it to effortlessly sink to the bottom of your swimming pool. It’s easy to maneuver and can swivel around corners, stairs, and other hard-to-clean areas.

Testing and balancing your pool chemistry

Choosing the right pool vac can make owning a pool simpler, easier, and less stressful – whether you’re a first-time pool owner or are simply looking for a vacuum cleaner upgrade. That being said, regularly testing your water and balancing its chemistry is still a crucial component of swimming pool maintenance.

At Pool Calculator, we make balancing your pool water a snap. Once you find the best pool test kit for you, our handy app, you can check your chemistry and find out exactly how much of each chemical and stabilizer you need to get your levels where they should be. Get the Pool Calculator app on your desktop, Android, or iOS mobile device to get started.

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