10 Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum Cleaners in 2018

Having a relaxing time at the pool during those hot summer afternoons can be satisfying, right?

If you own a pool at home, you most definitely know that one of the best practices is to keep it clean at all times. Since it can be challenging to do that with the regular cleaning supplies, you can take the advantage of the above-ground pool vacuums.

The above-ground pool cleaners utilize a specific suction power that will suck up the dirt, leaves, and other debris from your pool. Others can also help to boost the water circulation in the pool, as well as save water and chemical usage.

So, how do you find the best above ground pool vacuum?

I’m here to help you. I’ve spent time testing and reviewing some of the best above ground pool cleaners, and I will be sharing my findings with you. I’ll also give you tips on how to shop for the perfect cleaner for your above-ground pool.

Some of the pool cleaners are ideal for small pools, while others are perfect for commercial/professional use. Either way, you’ll be sure of finding your ideal above-ground pool cleaner.

Let’s kick it off, shall we?

Name

Weight

Warranty

Specifications

Where to Buy

Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly EZ

14.05 pounds

1 Year

  • automatic pool cleaner
  • 32 ft. hose
  • superior cleaning power

Zodiac Ranger Auto

15 pounds

1 Year

  • moving part technology
  • Unique Deflector Wheel
  • 32 feet of feed hose

Dolphin Escape Robotic Pool Cleaner

9.88 pounds

1 Year

  • No messy bags
  • Hypergrip Continuous Tracks
  • Robotic Scanning

Hayward 900

18 pounds

1 Year

  • turbine/gearing system 
  • Deluxe bumper ring
  • Automatic

Aquabot Pool Rover Hybrid Robotic

10.5 pounds

1 Year

  • Customizable & automatic
  • 19-quart micro filter bag
  • guidance system

Hayward 500 Aquabug

15.9 pounds

1 Year

  • Unique turbine/gearing system
  • Deluxe bumper ring
  • automatic cleaner  

Pool Blaster Water Tech Catfish

3.05 pounds

1 Year

  • Lithium Powered
  • Up to (45) minutes continuous run-time
  • Easy push-button

Water Tech Poolbustercg Vacuum

5.65 pounds

1 Year

  • Lithium Ion battery technology
  • Up to (60) minutes continuous run-time
  • Multilayer Filter

Intex Auto Pool Cleaner

15.3 pounds

-

  •  filter pump
  • 1-1/2” hose fittings
  • designed just for Intex pool

Aquabot Pool Rover

22 pounds

1 Year

  • Robotic
  • 40' kink free, EZ swivel cable
  • Powerful Suction

10 Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum Cleaners - Reviews

1.   Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly EZ

Our first contender is the Pentair K50600, which is also known as the Kreepy Krauly. As the name suggests, this above ground pool cleaner will move in some creepy motion – almost like a sea creature.

It is an automatic vacuum that has an advanced hydraulic design to offer the needed suction power. The large round flapper is the only moving part that will help to pull out the debris from your pool. Well, that’s not the only advantage. Rather, you will also experience low maintenance with the single moving part.

There’s a free skimming valve that will regulate the flow of water automatically to ensure there is an optimum cleaning speed. As it regulates the flow of water, it will also skim the surface debris. It moves in a random pattern coverage to ensure every part of the pool floor is cleaned.

PROS

  • Ideal for small pools
  • Low maintenance design
  • Strong and durable construction
  • The random movement to cover the entire pool floor
  • It regulates the flow of water

CONS

  • Initial set up might be tedious
  • It can be loud
  • Doesn’t move well on steps or ladders

2.   Zodiac Ranger Auto Pool Cleaner

This is another reliable above-ground pool cleaner that can be a great choice for beginners. It comes with a very simple design, but able to do an amazing job in your pool.

The pool cleaner comes pre-assembled, so you won’t really have a difficult job when getting started with it. It might do well on above-ground pools, but it is not the best choice for soft-sided or Intex pools. This is another pool vacuum that comes with a single-moving part technology for low maintenance.

Are you worried about the vacuum getting caught on the ladder, steps, or in the corners? You shouldn’t be because it features a deflector wheel to prevent that. There’s also an AG Disc that lets the machine to move swiftly on the floor, steps, and walls.

I was impressed by the Insta-Skim self-adjusting flow mechanism and the Flowkeeper Valve. The Insta-Skim feature will control the valve automatically as it regulates the flow of water in the pool.

PROS

  • Simple design
  • Easy to use
  • Comes pre-assembled
  • Operates quietly
  • Low maintenance design

CONS

  • It can clog easily with large debris
  • Not ideal for large pools

3.   Dolphin Escape Robotic Pool Cleaner

This above-ground pool cleaner from Maytronics makes it in our list as well. It is definitely one of the best robotic above ground pool vacuums that come with the sleekest design.

Are you questioning its ability to clean your pool effectively? Well, how does the design of an army tanker sound? The wheels/broom of this cleaner will rotate and crawl effortlessly throughout the pool. It also has the ability to crawl on the pool walls, which is an added advantage. The rubber tracks ensure a close contact with the surface, hence delivering efficient cleaning.

It features the innovative HyperBrush scrubbing mechanism that is twice the speed of most pool vacuum brushes. This speed means that the vacuum can eliminate any tough sediments or particles it comes in contact with.

What’s more, there is a SmartNav 2.0 scanning system that lets the cleaner cover the entire pool. Also, this will identify the untouched areas.  To prove to you that the pool vacuum will do an amazing job, the company offers it with a 30-day money-back guarantee. So, you don’t have anything to lose.

The features and design are also backed by a year-long warranty.

PROS

  • Rubber tracks ensure spotless cleaning
  • SmartNav technology covers the whole pool
  • Fast-running brushes for better cleaning
  • No supervision needed
  • Plug-and-Play Installation

CONS

  • The fine particles filters are sold separately
  • It can be lifted up when moving

4.   Hayward 900 Wanda Whale Suction Auto Pool Vacuum

The best above ground pool cleaner must come with a professional-looking design, right? Well, not really – and the Hayward 900 Wanda proves that.

This pool cleaner comes with a cartoonish-look, but don’t be fooled by that. It is also one of the most affordable cleaners for above-ground pools, and definitely among the top performers.

This silly-looking vacuum cleaner features a turbine mechanism, along with a SmartDrive steering system. It is important to mention that the SmartDrive steering system is very much programmable. It will also utilize the existing filtration system of your pool, which helps to save you money.

As simple as it looks, it’s also easy and effortless to assemble and get started with it. The vacuum operates quietly, and it can enhance the water flow in the pool. Oh, there’s also an outside bumper ring that prevents the vacuum from bumping into the wall. This also helps to maintain its programmed path.

PROS

  • Simple and easy to use design
  • Easy to assemble
  • Programmable steering
  • Bumper ring to prevent wall crushing
  • Operates quietly

CONS

  • The pump strength will weaken with more debris
  • It can easily tip on the sides

5.   Aquabot Pool Rover Hybrid Robotic Pool Vacuum

Who is not a fan of manual pool vacuum cleaners? Here is a vacuum for you.

This robotic pool cleaner comes with a car design that makes it easy to crawl into your pool. This vacuum comes with a 40-inch long cable that simplifies the ability to work even on large pools.

The design is also backed by a strong suction power. One thing that makes this vacuum interesting is the fact that it is customizable. It runs on a jet-propelled system and can handle a 24-ft diameter pool in less than 60 minutes. How about that!

Whether you have large leaves, algae, or even small microbes in the pool, this champ will eliminate them effortlessly. There is a 19-quart microfilter bag that is reusable and very easy to clean. The vacuum runs on a guidance system that you can set according to the size or shape of your pool.

Can we fail to talk about the wide non-marring wheels? Of course, not. These wheels let the rover to roll over ripples and printed vinyl pool floors.

PROS

  • Decent suction power
  • Customizable movement
  • Strong and sturdy construction
  • Cleans pools under 60 minutes
  • Eliminates any size/type of debris

CONS

  • Doesn’t do well on the walls
  • The auto shut-off is faulty

6.   Hayward 500 Aquabug Above-Ground Pool Vacuum

If you thought the Hayward 900 is the silliest looking above-pool vacuum, you need to look at this Hayward 500.

This one comes with a bug design, but it also does a decent pool cleaning job. One positive thing about the design is that it is child-friendly.

It also features a turbine/gearing system that offers a stable water flow in the pool. The vacuum has been designed to work quietly as it eliminates the debris in your pool. I loved the countered head design that simplifies the steering pattern.

And yes, the vacuum is very easy to assemble. It took me less than 10 minutes to set it up. No tools or any other assembly supply needed. It can work on any type of pool including tiles, fiberglass, vinyl, or concrete pools.

The deluxe bumper ring reduces the friction and keeps the vacuum away from the wall to maintain the programmed path. This pool cleaner will perfectly cover every area of your pool with ease.

PROS

  • Simple and kid-friendly design
  • It improves water flow/circulation
  • Deluxe bumper ring prevents damages
  • Smart drive/steering system
  • Easy to install

CONS

  • It won’t work well on soft-sided pools
  • It is susceptible to clogging

7.   Pool Blaster Water Tech Catfish

This is one of the best above ground manual pool vacuums, and it runs on battery power. The battery is rechargeable, so you won’t have to buy new sets frequently.

This manual pool cleaner can work on any size of the pool. The Lithium battery will take around four hours to charge fully. However, this will run for up to 45 minutes of continuous use. That is not as reliable as such, but it can be dependable when working in small pools.

It features an easy push-button control system. A simple push of the button will either turn it on or off. The vacuum comes with a minimum operating depth of 9 inches, and at an angle of 45 degrees. The filtration ability of this unit is impressive, and you can be sure of having a spotless cleaning experience.

The smart charger features a smart sensor technology to let you know if the battery is fully charged or not. The unit is also lightweight, so you won’t experience fatigue when using it.

PROS

  • User-friendly
  • Low-priced
  • It can handle any type of pool
  • Loaded with good scrubbing brushes
  • You won’t miss a spot since it’s manual

CONS

  • Working with it for long can be tiresome
  • The suction power is not the best
  • Limited battery run-time

8.   Water Tech Poolbustercg Vacuum

For those that enjoy the manual cleaning of the pool, this is another unit that would serve you well.

It is considered the strongest residential cleaner that does a great job at keeping your swimming pool clean. The vacuum also runs on rechargeable battery, but this one has a longer run time compared to his brother the Pool Blaster Water Tech Catfish. You can enjoy a run-time of 60 minutes with continuous use.

The design is simple, and you only control it with a single push-button. I loved the standard skimmer pole that eases the pool cleaning experience. Also, there is an extra sand silt bag that collects more debris.

Furthermore, there is a multilayer filter system that helps in eliminating the debris from different layers in the pool. Typically, it can clean the surface of the pool, middle, as well as the floor area.

The independent vacuum feature is another thing worth pointing out. It won’t need any battery or hose to do its job.

PROS

  • It is lightweight
  • The runtime is decent enough
  • No hoses or extra batteries needed
  • It is easy to use
  • It cleans different layers of the pool

CONS

  • The suction power could be stronger
  • Manual cleaning can be tedious

9.   Intex Auto Pool Cleaner

This automatic above-ground pool cleaner does a great job at getting rid of the debris in your pool.

You can be done with the pool cleaning process in the shortest time possible, even without much supervision. Since it is an automatic pool cleaner, it also needs some accessories for it to function properly.

First off, you will need a filter pump that comes with a flow rate of around 1600gph to 3500gph. The vacuum will attach to the inlet connector in the pool with the regular 24’7” hose. If you are working on Intex above ground pools, ensure that you use the 1.5” hose fittings.

Obviously, this pool cleaner is not suitable for the in-ground pools. You must ensure that the vacuum is assembled properly for it to run efficiently, and check that the air pockets are removed from the cleaner hose. This will help to boost the performance.

Without any doubt, this is one of the best above ground pool vacuum for Intex pools.

PROS

  • It has a durable construction
  • Easy to use
  • Automatic cleaning saves time
  • Ideal for Intex Pools

CONS

  • Can get stuck on lumpy pools
  • Doesn’t work with the intake port

10.   Aquabot Pool Rover

If you are a fan of SUVs, you might want to get this Pool Rover. With the design of an SUV car, this pool vacuum will do an incredible job at keeping your pool clean and hygienic.

The robotic mechanism eases the effort needed to clean your pool. The suction power is strong enough to suck up just about any debris. Regardless of the shape or surface of the pool, this robot will do its thing with ease.

The vacuum can clean the floors, walls, as well as coves. What’s amazing about the cleaner is that it can filter 80 to 85 gallons of water in a minute. Now that’s power. You get a free 40-inch EZ swivel cable for easy cleaning too.

The sleek design of the vacuum lets it maneuver through the pool effortlessly.

PROS

  • Robotic cleaning mechanism
  • Plug-N-Play operation
  • Filters up to 85 gallons of water in a minute
  • Steady and durable design
  • Strong suction power

CONS

  • Not ideal for large pools
  • It is susceptible to clogging

Guidelines in Buying a Best above ground pool vacuum


Now that you have a clue of the good above ground pool vacuums, it would be fair to also share with you the necessary buying tips. What should you look out for before you decide to buy a specific above-ground pool? Here are some factors you should consider;

•    Manual or Automatic/Corded or Cordless?

First off, you need to consider if the pool cleaner you want is manual or if it is auto. Manual cleaners give you the chance of monitoring your pool as you clean and you can decide where to clean specifically. On the other hand, automatic cleaners are effortless, but some might miss a spot.

If you are going for the electric cleaners, decide if it is cordless or corded. Corded cleaners are limited in terms of movement and coverage compared to the cordless. However, the cordless units are also less reliable in terms of run-time.

Consider what you need and your pool requirements before you decide.

•    Ease of use

Nobody wants to use a delicate pool vacuum, regardless of how good it is at cleaning the pool. For that, ensure that you inspect the user experience. Ideally, the vacuum should come with an easy to understand user manual. The initial set up should also be effortless.

•    Suction power

Whether it is manual or automatic, the pool vacuum must have enough suction power. The suction power determines the ability of the vacuum to suck in the debris. The higher the suction power, the better the spotless cleaning ability.

•    Coverage

This is a factor you should consider, especially if you will be going for an auto or robotic pool cleaner. Here, you need to know if the pool cleaner will cover every area of the pool without much supervision. Always choose one that has a smart navigation system to avoid missing some spots.

•    Filtration System

The machine should be able to clean the pool effectively, but it should also not clog easily. The filtration system should be efficient enough to eliminate the debris from the pool for a long time. Here, you should also consider if you want a bag or a bag-less system.

A bagless system will come with some sort of filters that are allocated in a designated section. Here, the machine will trap all the debris in that filter, where you only need to remove and clean/change when need be.

On the other hand, a unit with a bag will suck up all the debris (without filtering) where you will then empty the back once you are done. Choose a vacuum cleaner with the filtration system of your choice. But you should be aware of the positives and negatives of each type.

•    Warranty/Return Policy

Any product must be offered with a warranty by the manufacturer. All the vital parts should be covered by a warranty. If you find a product that comes with a money-back guarantee, it is worth buying.

Above all, ensure that you go for a product that you can afford, along with one that is easy and affordable to maintain. Some pool vacuums will need additional accessories, so you should inquire about them before you buy.

frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q: How Often Should I Vacuum My Pool?

It is good to keep your pool clean, but it isn’t necessary to clean it too frequently. Even once a week can be too frequent and might exhaust some cleaners. Ideally, clean the pool after every two to three weeks, based on how it is used.

Q:  Is a Robotic Cleaner Better than a Manual Cleaner?

Honestly, it is not fair to give a plain answer to this question because every swimming pool has its specific needs. One robotic cleaner can be the best choice for a small pool, while another manual cleaner would do well with a large pool. It depends on the size and needs of your pool.

Q: When Should I Change/Empty the Filters/Bag?

This should be done as soon as you are done cleaning the pool. Leaving the debris in the bag or on the filter for too long can corrode the surface. This might also wear down the pool vacuum. For that, ensure that you empty the bag or clean the filter once you are done. Don’t forget to replace them when necessary.

Q: What should I do if the Cleaner is Not Working?

If the pool vacuum is faulty and doesn’t switch on, ensure that you unplug it or switch it off, and contact a professional before you try anything. Never at any point try to open up the vacuum. Instead, let the professionals handle it accordingly.

Final Notes


So there you go. You now have a list of the best above ground pool vacuums. And if you don’t find any that pleases you on the list, you can still use the buyer’s guide to shop wisely. As you shop, remember to go for a pool cleaner that can match the needs of your pool.


It should be able to manage the size, shape, and the depth of water in your pool without any problem. Don’t forget to inquire more about the product before you buy it. Choose a well-reputable brand to be sure of a reliable customer support in case of any problem.


So, which above-ground pool cleaner will you be going for? The ball is now in your court.
10 Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum Cleaners in 2018
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