Best Pool Cleaners

Best Pool Cleaners

Have you found yourself wanting to take a dip in the pool on a hot day but can’t bring yourself to get in because you don’t want to remove debris first? Pool cleaners are here to save the day!

There are a few different types of pool cleaners available, from suction side cleaners to pressure side cleaners to regular nets.

The best pool cleaners, in terms of ease-of-use and power, are usually the pressure side cleaners… but everyone’s needs are different! So, let’s figure out exactly how much help we need to clean pools in different environments.

Brand/Model Key Features Ratings More Information
Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure side pool cleaner
31-foot hose
Best for in-ground pools
4.9 out of 5

For more information, click here!
Baracuda G3 W03000 Suction side pool cleaner
36-foot hose
Best for in-ground pools
4.8 out of 5

For more information, click here!
Zodiac Ranger Suction side pool cleaner
32-foot hose
Best for above-ground pools
4.7 out of 5

For more information, click here!

How to Pick the Right Pool Cleaner

First of all, before we toot one type’s horn too much, there are a few things to consider.

Not all pool cleaners are the same and some pools won’t need as much cleaning as others.

Certain environments inevitably create excess debris for pools while others don’t seem to cause much of a problem at all for other pools.

Following is our checklist of things to consider before purchasing any pool cleaners.

  • What kind of pool do you have?
    • An inground pool? An above-ground pool? One that’s in between?
    • Some pool cleaners are designed specifically for inground pools while others can be used wherever and however they need to be used.
    • If you have a large pool, you’ll want a powerful tool that can cover a lot of ground (or water) quickly.
    • If you have a smaller pool, you might not need a big, bad robot.
  • What kind of environment do you live in?
    • Certain pool cleaners cannot function properly for long periods of time without a bit of assistance.
    • Some models can handle a lot of bulky debris like leaves, twigs, and grass clippings while others are only meant to target dust and dirt.
    • If you live in a dusty area, you’d benefit from something with a lot of suction that doesn’t empty into a mesh net.
    • If you live where leaves and grass always find their way to your pool, as well as dirt and grime from rain and such, a powerful cleaner with an appropriate filtration system should work.
  • How often do you want to use or clean out the pool cleaner?
    • Some models are meant to run all day long while others are only meant to function for short periods of time.
    • Your environment matters most in this case because cleaning can become a chore.
      • Suction side cleaners aren’t great in our neck of the woods because they require a lot of emptying in order to function properly.
      • If you have a good water pump, we’d recommend pressure side pool cleaners due to their sheer power and performance capabilities, regardless of environment. They’re less hands-on!
  • What does your budget look like?
    • This is always important to consider!
    • If you’re only interested in spending $100 or less, a suction side cleaner is the best way to go (unless you spot a good pressure cleaner that’s affordable).
    • If you can afford to spend more than $100, we urge you to look into pressure side pool cleaners.

What are the differences between the two main types of cleaners?

  • Pressure side pool cleaners control the water around the cleaner, making it move up and around.
    • Once the water moves, it appears to work much like a regular vacuum would, catching debris in a net or other canister.
    • These models also tend to have “tails.” The tail is meant to move from side to side, working as a broom alongside a vacuum.
    • The tail helps smaller particles move in the right direction, usually toward a drain and pump. Dust and dirt wouldn’t stay in a mesh net, after all.
    • If your pool is your pride and joy during the summertime, these pool cleaners are sure to suit your needs and keep your pool’s finish pretty for years to come.
    • These are great for in-ground pools because they usually have long hoses and are usually programmed to travel several feet before turning itself around.
  • Suction side cleaners work similarly to small vacuums and are best for pools that aren’t exposed to bulky debris.
    • They’re usually the best option for above-ground pools.
    • They’re meant to bring dirty water to the pump, making it ideal for sandy or dusty area.
    • They are, unfortunately, nightmarish for users whose pools are set up anywhere near a tree or where a lawnmower runs.
    • If you have the patience of a saint and plenty of spare time on your hands, never say never, though! They can work pretty well in any environment if they’re tended to appropriately.

Skimmers are good for gathering dirt as it collects on the surface of the pool. If you want to keep your pool in tip-top condition from dawn till dusk, make sure the skimmer can meet your expectations.

If only it were as easy as using a skimmer or a net you hold by hand, we wouldn’t need self-propelled pool cleaners in the first place! Sure, you can take the hard way out and stay on top of the cleaning yourself but pool cleaners make our lives so much easier.

Let’s take a look at our favorites!

Powerful Pool Cleaners

Since we like having options, we decided not to dedicate this entire post to pressure side pool cleaners. Instead, we did our best to find the bestseller of each kind.

Make no mistake, though, if you want the daily task of cleaning your pool to be as hands-off as possible, you’ll definitely want a powerful pressure side cleaner instead of a suction side one.

We’d also like to point out the fact that many models that are designed for in-ground pools can still be used in above-ground pools.

You just might need to upgrade your water pump and/or filtration system, use a booster, or hook the hose feed up to something so it doesn’t get tangled. There are many fabulous articles out there that can guide you in the right direction for a DIY project like that.

If you don’t really care, then research both types and find the one you like best!

Polaris Vac-Sweep 360

  • The Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 is definitely the best of the best for in-ground pools.
    • Polaris has been one of the most predominant pool names for almost half a century.
    • For the power, the price tag didn’t make us flinch, which is a huge plus in our book.
  • Has a 31-foot-long hose feed, making it able to clean large pools easily.
    • Features a backup valve that keeps it from being trapped in one spot for too long.
  • Is able to scrub, sweep, and vacuum all types of pool floors and sides, regardless of their shape.
    • Can catch large debris with ease, including rocks and small twigs.
  • Doesn’t have to be used with a booster pump.
  • Polaris is known for their top-notch debris-catching technology, which helps lessen the load on your filtration system overall.
  • Can be used with the Tail Sweep PRO for superior cleaning.
  • Relatively lightweight upon initial setup, weighing less than 20 pounds. Almost anyone can start this puppy up!

Baracuda G3 W03000

  • The Baracuda G3 is by far the most efficient, powerful suction side cleaner we’ve come across!
    • It is recommended for in-ground pools but, with the right adjustments, it can be used on above-ground pools.
    • At first glance, the price might seem a little steep, but we were able to breathe again once we witnessed its performance. It’s quite unlike most other models in its class.
    • Did we mention the fact that it can pick up bugs, small rocks, and twigs?! It can!
      • It obviously can’t suck up incredibly large debris but it can pick up more than the average alternative.
  • Features a 36-foot hose which gives it even more room to roam than the Polaris has.
  • This particular model should come with a scrub disc, which keeps the floors and walls nice and shiny.
    • Instead of offering a tail like most pressure side cleaners, this is a nice addition.
  • We were happy to just plug and play with this model, as it came pre-assembled.

Zodiac Ranger

  • The Zodiac Ranger was our favorite suction side cleaner specifically made for use in above-ground pools.
    • It’s affordable and efficient, being able to handle wide-bottomed pools.
    • This isn’t meant to be used in soft-sided pools, though. That’s basically the only thing we have to complain about with this model.
  • Has a 32-foot hose and a self-adjusting control valve, making it easier for you to kick back and relax while it does the hard work.
  • Features a deflector wheel, making it less likely to get stuck in a weird spot.
    • The disc cleans the bottom, sides, and even manages to get around steps!
  • Works best alongside a skimmer.

Pondering on Pool Cleaners

The two options we listed at the top are most certainly sure to please just about anyone’s pool-cleaning needs!

Obviously, there are many more models to choose from. Some are made specifically for above-ground pools, some are only meant for hard surfaces, and some are versatile as can be.

It all depends on your needs, the horsepower of your pump, and the flexibility of your wallet. We encourage you to look at your options, as those are the two that gave us the results we wanted.

We wanted models that would scrub grime off walls as well as floors, suck up relatively bulky debris, and navigate itself around obstacles.

If none of that interests you, though, there are many simplistic models available.

As always, thank you for learning about pool cleaners with us, and we hope you find one you like!

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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