If you are looking for the best pool cleaner, this guide can be a great starting point. We understand that this can be a major investment, so we have done extensive research to help you out.
Below you will find the best sellers, budget options, and high-end cleaners as well as cleaners for all types, sizes, and shapes of pools. More importantly, these are the pool cleaners highly rated by our readers. In other words, many pool owners just like you are already using these devices to keep the water in their pools crystal clean.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Choose the Right Pool Cleaner?
- 2 Robotic Vs. Suction Vs. Pressure Pool Cleaners
- 3 Here Are the Best Pool Cleaners On the Market for 2018 (H2)
- 3.1 Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner
- 3.2 Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
- 3.3 BARACUDA G3 W03000 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner
- 3.4 Dolphin Nautilus CC Robotic Pool Cleaner
- 3.5 Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40i Pool Cleaner
- 3.6 Zodiac Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
- 3.7 Dolphin Premier In-Ground Pool Cleaner
- 3.8 Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport pressure side pool cleaner
- 3.9 Hayward RC9990CUB TigerShark Robotic Pool Vacuum
- 3.10 XtremePowerUS Vacuum-Generic Cleaner
- 4 What is a Pool Cleaner?
- 5 How to install a Pool Cleaner? (h2)
- 6 The benefits of Using a Pool Cleaner?
- 7 Pool cleaner FAQs
- 8 What You Need to Open a Swimming Pool
- 9 Conclusion
How to Choose the Right Pool Cleaner?
Your decision of choosing a pool cleaner will be driven by the size and shape of your pool, your budget, and the type of debris your pool gets.
You probably already know the size of your pool and the type of debris it gets. However, there are some other factors that can also play a role.
Here are a couple of questions you can ask yourself:
- What type (above or in-ground) of pool do you have? Likewise, a great cleaner for vinyl pools might not be the best for concrete pools.
- What type of debris do you get normally?
- Are you planning on replacing or upgrading your cleaner?
- What are your favorite features in pool cleaners?
- How much monthly running cost can you afford?
- What is your budget? Pool cleaners can cost between $100 and $3,000
- Do you want a robotic cleaner or you don’t mind putting in some manual effort?
Robotic Vs. Suction Vs. Pressure Pool Cleaners
These are the three major types of pool cleaners. Each has its own pros and cons. You can significantly narrow down your choices by deciding the type of cleaner that will best fit your bill.
Let’s quickly talk about each of them.
Suction Side Pool Cleaners
These cleaners are attached to the dedicated suction side of your pool circulation system. Suction side pool cleaners utilize the force generated by suction to propel around your pool. While doing so, they also scrub the pool surface and can be ideal for pebble tec, leaves and other sediment removal.
- Your pool pump needs to be running for these cleaners to work, thus increasing the cost
- Your filter undergoes more wear and tear
- Affordable price
- Easy maintenance
- Long lasting and easy to repair because of fewer moving parts
Pressure side cleaners
Also called booster pump, these cleaners are attached to the pressure side of your pool’s circulation system. The water that comes back to your pool pushes them around so they can catch the dirt and debris.
However, some of the cleaners require an additional booster pump. The good thing about these cleaners is that they do not rely on your pool filtration system. Instead, they come with a filtration bag to collect any debris.
- Just like suction side cleaners, pressure side cleaners only run when your pool pump is running
- Some all these cleaners may require an extra booster pump
- Don’t put any additional pressure on your pool filter
- Affordable price
- Easy to maintain and repair
Robotic pool cleaners
These are the plug & play pool cleaners, powered by electricity. They take any pressure off of your other pool equipment and offer convenient cleaning without very little manual intervention.
Unlike the other two cleaners, some models can also clean walls, stairs, and even the waterline of your pool. They reduce the wear and tear of your pool equipment as they run on their own.
- Comparatively expensive
- More moving parts can require more maintenance
- Requires you to clear the filter frequently
- Superior, hassle-free cleaning with very little user input
- Energy efficient
- Can clean floor, wall, cove, and stairs
- Reduce wear and tear of your pool circulation equipment
Read More:Best Robotic Pool Cleaners 2018
Here Are the Best Pool Cleaners On the Market for 2018 (H2)
Let’s quickly review the top ten cleaners by some of the very best brands.
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner
- Easy to clean because of a top load filter cartridge
- Equipped with a patented swivel cable
- Ultra-fine filters for exceptional cleaning
- A 2-year limited warranty
- Replacement parts can be a bit expensive
- Customer support is not very impressive
Advertised as the best in its class, Dolphin Nautilus Plus is an affordable robotic pool cleaner with some impressive features. The cleaner comes fully assembled and is extremely easy to use. It serves you great when your pool is around 50-ft. In addition to vacuuming and scrubbing the floor of your pool, it’s also efficient at cleaning the walls and waterline.
Dolphin Nautilus’s performance depends heavily on its inbuilt IntelliScan software. The software determines the size and shape of your pool. It then makes it work on your pool’s floor, walls, and waterlines in the most optimal manner.
The presence of a patented swivel cable saves you from the hassle of untangling the cable while working. It makes robotic cleaner technology more effective by ensuring that the cable spins and rotates at a full 360-degree angle.
In other words, you can go on about your day while your pool is getting cleaned.
The addition of two types of filters further enhances its performance, making it easier to remove coarse and fine debris. For finely textured debris, you can use its pleated polyester fine mesh filters. Its coarse mesh is ideal for leaves and large textured debris.
Take good care of your unit because the cleaner works great, but its replacement parts are a bit expensive.
With a 60-ft swivel cable, easy to clean filters, and a number of self-programming features, Dolphin Nautilus Plus is certainly one of the best, if not the best options available on the market.
Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
- Good design that makes handling easier
- Equipped with a complimentary storage bag
- Unique filter to keep pebbles from damaging the machine
- A powerful engine for improved suction
- Valve requires regular maintenance.
- May find it difficult to clean the ladder of the pool
If you are looking for the most powerful yet reasonably priced pool cleaner, look no further than the Vac-Sweep 280. It comes equipped with a twinjet engine. It is powerful enough to clean an average swimming pool in no more than 4-6 hours.
Its integrated handles allow for a better grip on the machine, and a 31-ft feed hose adds to its usability. It is quite lightweight, so you can use it to clean the floor as well as the walls and the stairs. However, you may find it a bit difficult to use it on the stairs of your pool.
It relies on a reverse back-up valve system, which works to improve the lifespan of the machine. A specially designed filter protects the inside of the cleaner from pebbles and large, harmful debris. You can use it to for inground pool surfaces, including fiberglass and vinyl. It does a satisfactory cleaning job, but you may have to invest in the rear-sweet tail accessory to clean corners and crevices.
The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 is a mid-priced model with a highly powerful engine, impressive design, unique filter, and reasonably good cleaning ability. It lacks advanced features though.
BARACUDA G3 W03000 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner
- A powerful yet extremely quiet automatic cleaner
- Wheel Deflector to work around tight corners
- Works flawlessly on drain covers without hanging up
- Extremely easy to install
- Warranty could be longer
- Long leaves may cause problems
Baracuda G3 Wo3000 is a powerful suction cleaner mainly known for its quiet operation, thanks to its low-speed pumps. It has the potential to devour all types of debris. It can clean walls, floor, and the ladder of the pool in no time.
The presence of lower horsepower pumps may look like a problem. However, it has FlowKeeper Valve that works automatically to regulate water flow and ensure peak cleaning performance. This scuff-resistant machine comes with wheel deflector that allows it to clean tight corners with authority.
It offers good results also because of its 36-Fin Disc that improves adhesion to pool surface. The availability of one-moving-party-technology makes it much more convenient to use. However, it does require regular maintenance, especially after a cleaning session. The reason is that it sometimes finds it difficult to handle long leaves.
Moreover, you need to be a bit careful when using it on an elevated anti-vortex main drain. Nevertheless, it works reasonably well, especially considering its affordable price tag.
Features like one-moving-part-technology, long-life diaphragm, FlowKeeper valve, and 36-Fin Disc makes Baracuda G3 Wo3000 a valuable purchase. Opt for something else though if you can maintain it regularly.
Dolphin Nautilus CC Robotic Pool Cleaner
- Large capacity with top load filter basket
- Clever Clean Technology for efficient cleaning
- Active brush for high-quality scrubbing
- Weekly timer for the ease of use
- Some consumers find it a bit on the expensive side.
- It comes with a short warranty of 1 year.
Dolphin Nautilus CC pool cleaner is a popular robotic cleaner because of its lightweight and amazing features. It has the ability to clean the walls, floor, and the waterline in a short time. With its top load filter basket, you get large storage space to handle debris and leaves with ease.
It uses an active brush to scrub and clean the walls as well as the floor of your pool. Interestingly, these brushes spin twice as fast as the speed of the robot to get rid of any stuck-on contaminants. Its unique design also ensures that it never hangs up while working. It does not come with a swivel on the cable because it uses a special software controlled anti-tangling system.
This intelligent pool cleaner uses Clever Clean Technology to find the most efficient path for proper cleaning. The presence of features like weekly timer and smart navigation makes it extremely user-friendly. The weekly timer feature allows you to make your cleaner run its programmed 2-hour cycle without any intervention.
It is a unique robotic cleaner with impressive navigation and anti-tangling system. It works efficiently too, but may not be the most affordable robotic cleaner out there.
Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40i Pool Cleaner
- Suction power over 80 gallons per minute
- Suitable for above-ground pools
- Effective for vinyl liner pools and other pool surfaces
- No assembling needed
- Difficult to clean walls
- Relatively short cable
Designed to clean smaller in-ground and residential above-ground pools, the Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40i effectively removes debris, dirt, and contaminants from the pool floor. This suction side cleaner connects to suction line or skimmer to function.
It comes with an efficient filter bag filtration system that offers easy top access. The Aquabot pump is capable of filtering more than 80 gallons in a minute, mainly due to its highly powerful pumps. Interestingly, it is powerful enough to trap debris of 2 microns in size, which is too small to be seen through the naked eye.
It comes equipped with a 40-inch cable, but some would argue that it would have been better to have a longer one included. With its efficient filtration and better water circulation, it helps you save on water and chemical usage. It moves easily through the pool, thanks to its Patented “Hydrorobotic Technology.” The use of this technology allows for fewer repairs and fewer parts (no need for drive motors).
With its industry-leading suction power and Patented Hydrobotic Technology, the Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40i is worth every penny. The cable could be longer, but it rarely causes a serious problem.
Zodiac Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
- Aqua-Trax tries to work on all pool surfaces
- ActivMotion Sensor technology for exceptional navigation
- Vortex Vacuum Technology to remove larger debris
- 7-day programmable timer with handheld remote
- The flotation device finds it hard to climb high up on the wall.
- It comes with a high price tag.
The presence of Vortex Vacuum technology enables the Polaris 9550 to deliver amazing cleaning performance. It is suitable for pools up to 60′ in length. 4-wheel drive maneuverability allows it to overcome any obstacle while cleaning.
It works equally well to clean the waterline and walls with the help of its solid-blade scrubbing brush. The rear water propulsion system ensures that it cleans hard-to-reach areas, including pool stairs with ease.
The availability of a remote control makes it even easier to use. You will also love its 7-day programmable timer that comes with customizable cleaning cycles. By using different modes, such as a “waterline only mode,” you can make it focus only on removing dirt from the tile line.
Another upside of buying the Polaris 9550 is that it saves you from cable tangling, thanks to its tangle-reducing swivel. Its watertight, low-torque swivel works efficiently to prevent any tangling during operation. While it works reasonably well, it might find it difficult to reach high up your pool walls.
The presence of 4WD drive maneuverability and a motion-sensing remote makes the Polaris 9550 one of the finest and most advanced cleaner out there. It is hard to beat it in terms of navigation. A good investment, indeed!
Dolphin Premier In-Ground Pool Cleaner
- Amazing navigation due to the availability of SmartNav scans
- HyperGrip dual tracks to ensure optimum grip while climbing walls
- Cleans debris, leaves, as well as green algae
- Oversized bag included
- Availability of multiple media types
- It does not come with a caddy.
- The price tag is relatively higher than other similar cleaners.
Dolphin Premier In-Ground cleaner is a popular option, thanks to its groundbreaking design and energy efficiency. The addition of highly efficient (3,000 RPM) DC motors makes it a capable cleaner. It cleans quickly while reducing your energy consumption by up to 87%.
One interesting feature is the availability of different media types. You can opt for its micro-filter mode to clean fine debris as well as algae. You can opt for its oversized debris bag to remove a bushel of leaves. With its dual scrubbing brushes, you can clean hard to reach areas with more authority. The presence of SmartNav Pool surface scanning ensures exceptional cleaning, as the software can calculate the optimal pattern quickly. Moreover, microprocessor control ensures efficient coverage every time you use the machine.
Yet another interesting feature is the availability of a patented 360-degree anti-tangle swivel. It ensures tangle-free operation for maximum efficiency. It is important to remember that though it comes with an oversized bag, the package does not include a caddy.
Dolphin Premier In-Ground cleaner is a reasonably good purchase with its over-sized debris bag and Multi-Media filtration system. It ensures optimum efficiency but may be a bit expensive for some buyers.
Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport pressure side pool cleaner
- Suitable for all in-ground pools
- Works just fine with a 1.5-inch pressure cleaner line
- A black feed hose of 31 feet is included in the package
- All-wheel PosiDrive system for increased torque
- Exceptional sweeping action with TailSweep Pro
- The quality of the hose connections is not up to the mark.
- It may get stuck in the steps in the pool sometimes.
The Polaris 3900 Sport is considered one of the best pressure side cleaners for its superior performance. It features an all-wheel PosiDrive system that produces more torque for exceptional cleaning with fewer hang-ups.
It works efficiently in all in-ground pools, but you need a booster pump for optimum results. Its 2.5-inch vacuum inlet enhances its performance, and 3-jet suction design makes it even better. Its design allows for additional filtration to capture large debris without clogging. Its dual-chamber zippered SuperBag can store a large amount of debris. Moreover, the use of innovative auto-reverse technology helps it get back to work when it gets stuck.
It comes equipped with an advanced sweep hose enhancement, called the TailSweep PRO to remove debris from all corners of the pool. It also features a 31-ft hose kit, but the quality of hose connections could have been better.
The Polaris 3900 Sport efficiently cleans all in-ground pools but requires a booster pump. It offers additional filtration without clogging. Look for a different model if more concerned about cleaning pool steps.
Hayward RC9990CUB TigerShark Robotic Pool Vacuum
- Fast and impressive90-minute clean cycle
- Not depending on the pool’s filtration system
- No need for extra hookups, hoses, or pumps
- A highly efficient 24-volt motor for energy efficiency
- Customer service is not that impressive
- May find it difficult to clean over the drain
Thanks to its impressive microprocessor-based technology, Hayward TigerShark is capable of cleaning all pool surfaces effectively. It uses two cleaning speeds to clean pool walls, floors, and coves in 3 hours. You can also use its special feature to start a quick 90-min cleaning cycle.
Unlike many other automatic pool cleaners, it comes equipped with a pump that ensures energy-efficient operation. Interestingly, you do not need additional hookups, pumps, and hoses with this unique cleaner. Maintaining Hayward TigerShark is easy with its reinforced polyester filter cartridge. You just need to open the lid, remove the cartridge, and clean it as you like.
It is extremely easy to handle this unit, and you can make things even easier by opting for a caddy cart. The optional caddy cart also lets you store power supply, cleaners, and cord. It comes with a 3-year warranty, which is another thing going in its favor. The only issue is that the customer service is not as responsible as you might like.
With its 3-year warranty, 90-minute quick clean cycle, and unique cartridge filter system, Hayward TigerShark certainly offers a good return on investment.
XtremePowerUS Vacuum-Generic Cleaner
- Steps up quite efficiently
- Easy to assemble and use
- Quite portable with 12lbs of weight
- Works with your existing filtration system
- Hoses are not of great quality
- Do not expect it to climb walls efficiently
A nice cleaner to tackle different pool surfaces, including fiberglass, vinyl, and concrete, XtremePowerUS Vacuum-Generic is a popular cleaner delivering efficient performance. It comes with nice build quality, but keep in mind that parts are not replaceable. Fortunately, it does not require much maintenance or repair anyway.
You need to connect it to your pool’s filtration system to make it work. It does help clean the walls, but you may find it get stuck at times. It may also find it a bit difficult to clean large leaves. But again, it is a basic model with a low price tag. It is still a reasonably good choice for small pools of up to 16′ and 32′. Try a different model if you are interested in advanced features, like smart navigation, weekly timer, etc.
Suitable for most pool surfaces, XtremePowerUS Vacuum-Generic cleaner has a good design and affordable price tag. It performs efficiently, but it does not come with a pump. It may also find it difficult to climb walls.
What is a Pool Cleaner?
Nobody wants to dive into a dirty pool. But keeping your pool water clean can be tricky. However, an ingenious piece of equipment known as pool cleaner can come in handy.
It is basically a vacuum device, that can be either manual or provided, specifically designed to collect debris, leaves, twigs, and other sediment from your pool.
Interestingly, two other technologies, i.e., cistern cleaners and water filter paved the way for the invention of swimming pool cleaners.
Cistern cleaners were used to clean a cistern which is a waterproof container for holding liquid, usually rainwater.
The very first device that paved the way forward for the modern pool cleaners was a tank and sister cleaner. The cleaner was invented and patented by John E Pattison back in the early 1980s. His device used suction of the water pressure to catch any sediment without having to drain water.
This cleaner evolved into what we know as the modern-day pool cleaners.
How to install a Pool Cleaner? (h2)
Depending on the type of pool cleaner you have, the instructions to install it will vary. However, no matter which type of cleaner you have, it is important to start with a clean body of water. Also, make sure to clean the pool filter and the pump basket.
For suction pool cleaners, turn down the turn line fittings, set the hose up and connect it with the dedicated filter line. Then submerge it into the water, and wait until it gets filled up. Remember, holding your hose in front of the return line will fill it up faster.
Get your skimmer ready for the connection. Make sure there is no air in the hose and then connect it to the flow gauge. Now test and adjust the flow according to your liking.
Your next step is just to stick the cleaner into the water and wait for the bubbles to stop coming out. Now you should be able to connect the hose and the cleaner through the quick connector.
Installing a robotic cleaner is normally easier. They don’t stress your circulation system, and all they need is to be properly set up, connected to a power outlet, and submerged into the water.
Remember that depending on the model of your cleaner, the instructions to install could be different. So make sure you carefully read and follow the instructions in the user manual.
The benefits of Using a Pool Cleaner?
Each type of pool cleaners has their own benefit. However, here are some of the common benefits:
- Crystal clear water makes your pool look very beautiful and also improves the hygiene to makes sure your family stays healthy
- Reduces loss of water
- The automatic pool cleaners can save energy as well as need very little human input
- The manual pool cleaners ensure a very low to no monthly operational cost
- If you have a pool cleaner, you do not need professional cleaning services which can cost a lot more
Pool cleaner FAQs
How often should I clean my pool?
It’s ideal to clean the pool every week, but that can be hard. Depending on the size of your pool, amount of debris it gets, and type of your cleaner, you should at least clean the pool ever 2-3 weeks.
Are robotic pool cleaners better than manual cleaners?
They definitely offer more convenience and better value for the money, but the best pool cleaner depends on your pool size, type, and your expectations.
How often should I drain my pool?
Again it depends on various factors. For instance, public pools are drained twice a year. a medium sized in-ground pool in your backyard should be drained every 4-7 years. For above ground pool, you may do it every 2-3 years.
How long should I run my automatic pool cleaner?
Keep track of how long your cleaner takes to clean the entire pool the first time you run it. Fair enough, it might miss a spot here and there. So, if you think more than 95% pool area is clear of any debris, it might be time to guide your cleaner to the spots that were missed. Run the cleaner for the same amount of time in future.
What You Need to Open a Swimming Pool
The necessary supplies for opening your swimming pool are probably already stored somewhere in your pool’s shed; except your pals, of course. Please don’t store your pals in the shed if you want to keep them as pals for long.
Here are the things you will need:
- An above ground pool or inground pool
- Salt water chlorinator
- Chlorine tablet
- Pool testing kit
- Pool shock
- Pool pump
- Pool heater
- Pool filter
- Pool cover
- Pool Skimmer
- Pool algaecide
All in all, the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner is by far the best of the lot. The cleaner will give you the best bang for your buck. It can clean most types of debris, with little to no human input, and doesn’t cost a ton of money.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t consider other options. While Nautilus is the best product overall, there might be areas where other cleaners beat it to the punch.
In other words, make sure you know your pool size, type, and the type of debris you get, and then choose the brand and model that seem to fit your bill.
We’ve put a lot of effort into researching and writing this guide and hope it will help you find the ideal cleaner for your pool. We have only chosen the very best cleaners – based on our research as well as our readers’ feedback. You can’t go wrong with any of these.