Best Above-Ground Pool Cleaner Reviews: Our Favorite Systems

Man holding an equipment for cleaning swimming pool

In order to enjoy your pool on a warm day, you’ll want to have clean water available to sit or swim in when the time is right. To make sure that clean water is available, you’ll want one of the best above ground pool cleaners that is available on the market today. Whether you feel like taking care of this chore manually or you want a robot to do it for you, it has never been easier to keep a pool clean thanks to new innovations and the modern equipment in the industry today.


Some pool cleaners are great value purchases. Other above ground pool vacuum and cleaner options are unreliable and inconsistent. The best pool cleaner reviews can help you find the right product for your above ground pool today. This chart is a great place to get started.

PictureNameOur RatingHose LengthPrice
Xtreme Power Automatic Vacuum Kreepy Krauly4.0
20 feet
Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale w/ Pool Skimmer Filter4.1
30 feet
Intex Deluxe Wall Mount Surface Skimmer4.1
No Hose $
Intex Cleaning Maintenance Swimming Pool Kit4.2
Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner4.3
60 feet
Poolmaster Air Relief Vinyl Liner VacuumaPoolmaster Clear-View Triangular Vinyl Liner Vacuum
Head Only
Baracuda G3 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Cleaner4.3
40 feet
New In/Above Ground Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner4.0
32 Feet
Arksen Automatic Pool Cleaner4.4
34 Feet
Water Tech Pool Blaster Speed Vac Cleaner4.0
Head Only
PictureNameOur RatingHose LengthPrice


Pool cleaners are great to own because they reduce the amount of time you’ve got to spend on pool maintenance. The problem is that this benefit can only be achieved when the right type of pool cleaner has been purchased for the pool. There are three different types of above ground pool cleaners that are available today.

  • Suction side pool cleaners
  • Pressure side pool cleaners
  • Robotic or automatic pool cleaners

Suction side cleaners will work with the suction line of your above ground pool. It scrubs the surface to remove dirt, debris, and organics, but does require you to have a pool pump installed and running for it to operate.

Pressure side cleaners use the pressure side line to clean the pool outside of your filtration system. They run the water through their own filtration bag or net to catch dirt and debris and then put the clean water back into the pool.

Robotic cleaners are about as easy as it gets. You just place the robot into the pool and it cleans the floor and sides all on its own. Some need to operate off of your filtration system, while others simply do all the work on their own and need their dirt/debris catcher emptied periodically.

Without one of these above ground pool cleaners, your pool will develop a “water line.” Organics, oils, scale, and other contaminants will float on the surface and eventually attach themselves to the side of the pool. As the water level reduces in the pool from use and evaporation, a “ring” around the pool will develop.


The #1 benefit of owning an above ground pool vacuum or cleaner is that you lessen the workload required of you to maintain your pool. Clean water keeps your chemistry levels balanced more consistently and you won’t need to manually scrub the sides of your pool in order to keep it clean.

These cleaners also reduce the amount of wear and tear that your pool faces. They are specifically designed to limit wear as they clean, which means you can extend the life of your pool simply by running your cleaning equipment on a regular basis.

There is also the benefit of not needing to swim in debris, oils, or algae. Who wants to take a swim when there are a bunch of fallen leaves and dead bugs floating in the pool?


For the above ground pool, many designs make it difficult to let a robotic cleaner loose within the water. The rounded sides of the pool can make it difficult for the robot to cling to the sides, so it may just run around the bottom of the pool.

Many above ground pools also have vinyl liners, which may not be able to support the weight of the robot or withstand the cleaning process. Having an automatic cleaner is great until you wake up one morning to a giant hole in your vinyl liner and a mostly empty pool.

This is why many above ground pool owners are looking at pool vacuums as a viable option. They work with your pool pump to scrub the vinyl surfaces clean of organics, oils, and other common pool debris. The water is pushed through your filtration system or, depending on the model you choose, you may be able to use a vacuum-based filter instead to lessen the load on your pump.

With the right vacuum head, you can clean the rounded corners of your pool. You can clean the steps or ladders that give you safe access into the pool. In 45 minutes or less, you can clean even the larger pools in this category with relative ease simply because you’re using a vacuum that is specifically designed to meet your needs.


The issue with many pool cleaners is that they force you to use your filtration system to maintain a clean water environment. This puts pressure on your filters to perform and a filter can only do so much. If the filter is dirty and you’re trying to clean your pool, all you’ll end up doing is creating a clog within your system.

And that can be a costly repair.

So for this reason, you’ll want to have a high quality pool filter that is easy to swap out and clean so you can maintain a sanitary pool. Look for filter 6-packs to save on this cost and give you some spares in case something unexpected happens during the cleaning and maintenance of your pool.


Above ground pool cleaners can run anywhere from $50 to $750. The lower priced options are for manual equipment. You’ll take a net out on the water to remove surface debris, a brush to the sides of your pool, and add the necessary chemicals to maintain a balanced pH. The higher priced options are for robotic cleaners that can work unsupervised for long periods of time.

Most above ground pool vacuums and vacuum heads are priced in the $100-$250 range.



If edges and corners aren’t the issue with a pool vacuum, then the amount of suction or type of debris that you can pull out of your pool tends to be a problem. You just can’t find many speed vacs that can pull out all types of debris. This one is able to do so quickly and effectively. Nothing was left behind when testing out this vacuum. It removed sand, large leaves, large bugs, and even algae without difficulty. In less than an hour, you can completely clean most above ground pools that are available today with minimal effort We loved using it and so will you.

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This automatic swimming pool cleaner arrives fully assembled. You just need to inspect the unit to make sure it is in a proper working order before placing it in your pool to begin cleaning it. You don’t even need an adaptor to use it with many above ground pool sand filters, which is a definite advantage in this product category. It even removed gravel from the driveway that we threw in there on a whim. Sand and dirt were not an issue at all. The manufacturer states it can remove twigs as well – we decided not to test our luck with our liner on that one.

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There’s a wheel deflector that helps this product be able to move around tight corners with ease. This also means you can clean the steps and walls of your pool in addition to the floor without feature changeovers, yet the cleaning process still remains consistent. The diaphragm design is also something that should be considered with this pool cleaner. It’s made from one-part moving technology so there is a lower overall risk of breakdown occurring with this product. That keeps maintenance costs down while still being able to effectively clean pools of almost any size.

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The main thing to keep in mind when using the Poolmaster 27514 is that it only has one place for suction – in the middle of the head. The brushes bring debris to the center, but you need to work slower than you naturally want to work in order to effectively clean the pool. If you move too fast, then you’re going to see more dirt being pushed around than being sucked up by this vacuum head, especially with the smaller hose.

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This robotic pool cleaner does not require users to hook up the system to their pool’s filtration system. It is a completely independent cleaner that is self-programmed for optimal pool scanning. There isn’t a pre-installation routine you need to complete whatsoever. Just turn it on and let it get to work. It’s really the only true “plug and play” system that is in this product category. If you’re looking for a system that will take care of the heavy lifting for you, then this is the above ground pool cleaning option you’re going to want.

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As for the vacuum head, it really is the star of this cleaning kit. The nozzle can be pointed toward the net so you create a noticeable sucking experience that picks up most items. A small brush helps to provide you with consistency during this cleaning process. You do need to make sure that you prime the lines before use – otherwise you will get very little suction and a disappointing experience when using this cleaning kit.

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The quality of the plastic is about what we would expect it to be. Made from polypropylene, there aren’t any issues that develop with this product when working with your water chemistry. Although we don’t have a way to test multi-year chemical exposures with this product, there are no ongoing durability complaints from long-term users. And let’s not forget the cost advantage: this product is often priced at $25 or less, so you have a very affordable solution.

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There are two items that come with this package: the suction-side pool vacuum and a 5-pack of pool skimmer filters. We did discover that this above ground pool cleaner does not like an incline at all. If the pool bottom is not absolutely flat, then it is not going to clean the pool very well. It will also not clean the sides of the pool unless you hold it in place and move it around. It could navigate a few small surface bumps, but anything more than about 0.5 inch in size will negate the advantages of this unit.

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This vacuum is rated to clean pools regardless of their size, shape, or construction. Although you do need to have a 0.75 HP pool pump or 1,600 ghp for the vacuum to operate properly, in return you’ll have a no-tools experience to enjoy. It attaches to your existing filtration system and doesn’t even use electricity to get the job done. As long as your equipment setup is powerful enough to support this automatic pool cleaner, then you’re good to go no matter what type of pool that you own. That’s one of the primary benefits of this product – it is very versatile.

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This automatic pool cleaner gives you a lot of bonuses. It begins with the pool testing kit that comes standard with this cleaner. Then there’s the fact that there are no wheels that get jammed up on this cleaner, no gears that will break down, or a diaphragm that needs to be replaced. No matter what the size your pool happens to be, this vacuum will work with your existing filtration system to get the job done. If you demand the best, then this is the above ground pool cleaner for you.

Click here to look at prices on Amazon and get the best deal.

The best above ground pool cleaner reviews will make sure your pool can stay as sparkling at the end of the year as it is the day you first filled the pool with water. Find the system which makes sense for you, make the investment, and your cleaning or maintenance chores will become a whole lot easier.

1 thought on “Best Above-Ground Pool Cleaner Reviews: Our Favorite Systems”

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