Best Pool Cleaner

To find out the best pool cleaners available in the market today, we tested out several different types, brands, and models for a collective 24 hours. We selected those that could clean at least a standard 16ft x 32ft rectangular swimming pool as quickly and efficiently as possible. We factored out the ones that were too inefficient or too difficult to install, and favored the cleaners that had a reliable hose length and filter capacity.

Our top pick, the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus, rose above the rest because of its advanced scanning system, strong scrubbers, and energy-efficient design that could guarantee an easy and care-free pool cleaning. To know more about our best pool cleaner and 6 other picks, check out our list below.

Top 7 Best Pool Cleaner Compared

 #1  Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus – Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: Our #1 pick has a range of efficient features that can clean your swimming pool in no time, such as an automatic cleaning system with programmed schedules, making it perfect if you want a hands-free pool cleaner.

Pros
  • Cleans in just 2 hours (50’ pool)
  • Powerful dual scrubbers
  • 8x energy efficiency
Cons
  • Gets stuck on stairs

The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is an automatic pool cleaner with an advanced CleverClean system that takes full advantage of its powerful dual scrubbers and large filters. It can clean leaves, dirt, and debris right off of the walls and floor of any swimming pool up to 50ft in size within two hours. The Nautilus CC Plus can be scheduled to automatically clean your pool, and with just a single button press, it can get to doing what it does best.

The anti-tangle swivel cable ensures that this pool cleaner won’t ever be held back by its power cable. Just be sure that it starts cleaning from the far side of your pool so it doesn’t get stuck on the steps of your pool stairs. The Nautilus CC Plus comes with a 2.5-year manufacturer’s assurance. There’s nothing like a dip in the pool after a tough day using the best electric lawn mower. This cleaner makes sure you enjoy it.

 #2  Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner – Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Polaris Vac-Sweep can clean up dirt and debris efficiently while also circulating pool water to keep the temperature balanced and ultimately maintain water quality.

Pros
  • Maximizes pool circulation
  • Strong pressure cleaning
  • High-capacity filter bag
Cons
  • Requires proprietary booster pump

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 uses a pressure cleaner to wash away dirt from the walls and floor of any in-ground swimming pool and straight to its large, high-capacity filter bag. Its powerful debris intake uses dual venturi jet vacuums and an opening that’s large enough to capture leaves, acorns, pebbles, and other forms of debris. The Vac-Sweep also circulates warm water around your pool to keep the temperature of the water well-balanced.

It’s ideal for 30ft-long swimming pools, which it can finish cleaning in roughly three hours. The Vac-Sweep requires Polaris’ proprietary booster pump to function. A pool cleaner is as essential for your yard space as the best landscape lighting.

 #3  Hayward Poolvergnuegen Automatic Suction Pool Vacuum – Best Coverage

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Hayward Automatic Suction Pool Vacuum uses a 2-wheel design with patented self-adjusting systems that let it maneuver through swimming pools to ensure total coverage.

Pros
  • Self-adjusting turbine vanes
  • Programmed for maximum pool coverage
  • Optimized for efficient cleaning
Cons
  • Somewhat loud

The Hayward Automatic Pool Vacuum is a great option if you want a pool cleaner that won’t ever get stuck. It’s designed to be able to move efficiently regardless of the flow of water thanks to its self-adjusting turbine vanes. Plus, it has pre-programmed self-steering sequences to make sure your entire pool’s surfaces are clean.

It’s great for swimming pools up to 16ft x 32ft in size, and it has a 1-year warranty that covers any defects. The Hayward Automatic Pool Vacuum can be a tad too loud when it’s doing its job, so try not to wake anyone up unintentionally with it. You may also want to read about the best pool vacuum robot.

 #4  VINGLI Pool Vacuum Cleaner – Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: Convenient and reliable, the VINGLI Pool Vacuum Cleaner is our best affordable option in this list that’s easy to use and has great cleaning potential. You can leave it alone without having to worry about it getting stuck or malfunctioning.

Pros
  • Reliable & easy setup
  • Great suction power
  • 1-year warranty
Cons
  • Slightly slow cleaning time

The VINGLI Pool Vacuum Cleaner is a mounted pool cleaner for in-ground pools that’s easy to set up and cleans effectively. It’s a quick and convenient pool vacuum once you get it installed. It hardly ever jams or gets stuck, and it’s very quiet to boot. It also has a 1-year warranty in case something goes wrong, but in our experience, the odds of this breaking down are rather low.

It has great suction power for picking up debris, and it comes with extra hoses to extend its reach. The VINGLI pool cleaner is also relatively simple to set up and disassemble for maintenance. It feels like it can last for quite some time before it needs to be replaced. Speaking of pool, check out the best kiddie pool for the young ones.

 #5  Zodiac Baracuda Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner – Best Quality

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Zodiac Baracuda is a powerful suction cleaner that’s perfect for sucking up debris and cleaning all of the surfaces on your pool. It’s efficient, convenient, and compatible with even low-speed pumps.

Pros
  • Quiet yet powerful
  • Automatically regulates water flow
  • Durable, high-performance design
Cons
  • Gets stuck on stairs

The Zodiac Baracuda is a powerful pool cleaner that’s perfect for getting rid of dirt and debris in your pool. It can regulate water flow with its FlowKeeper valve and move easily even along tight corners with its 36-fin disc and wheel deflector.

Compared to other vacuums in this list, the Baracuda stands out thanks to its amazing quality. Its ability to perform at max efficiency even when used with low-powered pumps is perhaps its greatest feature. It can move around and clean your pool by itself without getting stuck on drain covers or pool fittings, but you want to keep it away from stairs if you plan on leaving it unattended. And keep it away from the best outdoor swings for kids.

 #6  Water Tech Pool Blaster Max – Best Battery Powered

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Water Tech Pool Blaster Max is a convenient, hand-held pool cleaner that’s powered by a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that can last up to one hour of non-stop cleaning. It’s an excellent pool cleaner that’s easy to use and comfortable to grip that’s best used for smaller swimming pools.

Pros
  • Built-in rechargeable battery
  • Easy to use and assemble
  • Excellent cleaning power
Cons
  • Small bag capacity
  • Not ideal for large pools

The Water Tech Pool Blaster Max is a battery-operated pool vacuum that’s meant for cleaning smaller swimming pools. It’s powered by a rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that can run for up to one straight hour of cleaning, and a small filter bag to store all of the dirt it picks up. The Power Blaster is a great tool to have if you want to take matters into your own hands.

The small bag capacity and the lifespan-per-charge of its battery mean it’s best used on small swimming pools. Feel free to use it on 16ft x32ft pools or larger if you want to do a quick cleanup, but you’ll be better off using other pool cleaners for those. Speaking of this time of year, the best compost bin for outdoors is another useful yard item.

 #7  Dolphin Nautilus CC Automatic Robot Pool Cleaner – Best Automatic Cleaner

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Dolphin Nautilus CC is an automatic pool cleaning robot that efficiently picks up dust, dirt, and debris from the bottom of your pool thanks to its intuitive design and advanced features. This pool cleaner is the predecessor of our top pick, the Nautilus CC Plus, and they share very similar features with only a few differences between them.

Pros
  • Doesn’t require pool pump
  • Built-in high-speed scrubber
  • 8x energy efficiency
Cons
  • Cord occasionally tangles up

The Dolphin Nautilus CC is a robotic pool cleaner that automatically crawls around the floor and walls of your swimming pool, picking up dirt and debris along the way. It has an advanced CleverClean scanning system that lets it roam towards dirt instead of using repetitive cleaning patterns in other automatic pool cleaners. Its high-speed scrubber clears up even the toughest of dirt patches with incredible efficiency, and its top-loading filter bag makes sure nothing leaks out.

The Nautilus CC is made for pools up to 33ft in size, which it can clean in two hours or less. It can also be set to automatically start cleaning depending on your preference and chosen frequency. It would be best if you supervised the Nautilus while it works to make sure that its power cord doesn’t get all tangled up. We have the lawn and garden items you need as well as outdoor gear.

How We Decided

There are many different types of tools you can use for your swimming pool, so we tried to pick the best pool cleaner in each category so you can have a wide range of options to choose from. From manual pool vacuums to robotic options, we evaluated our top picks based on their ability to gather dirt and debris without having to worry about extra problems like durability and reliability issues.

We chose pool cleaners that can reliably clean the standard 16ft x 32ft-sized swimming pools and their many styles and variations. Robotic cleaners can automatically head towards spots that require cleaning, while our other picks are versatile enough to cover all parts of a pool thanks to modular extension hoses and well-rounded cleaner head designs.

The pool cleaners that we didn’t include in this list are ones that either break too easily or ones that don’t clean as well. We encountered some pool cleaners that had filter bags that leaked out all of the dirt they captured, which basically defeated the point of using them. So needless to say we eliminated those.

Best Modern Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Filter Capacity
    The size of a filter is important for robotic cleaners. The best pool cleaner has a high-capacity filter that can store as much dirt as possible. This is handy, especially if you plan on doing something else while the pool cleaner does its job.
  2. Hose Length
    Make sure that the length of your pool cleaner’s hose can reach one side of the pool to the other to maximize its reach.
  3. Filtration Rate
    This affects how fast a cleaner can tidy up your pool.
  4. Pool Size
    The type of pool cleaner you get should depend on how big your pool is. Some pressure side or suction cleaners can only reach so far, and not all robotic cleaners are suited for very large swimming pools.

FAQs

  • What are the different types of pool cleaner?
    There are three different types of pool cleaner: suction, pressure-side, and robotic.
    Robotic pool cleaners run on electricity and are powered by an integrated computer that dictates how it operates. Suction cleaners use the suction generated by your filtration system to gather dirt into a skimmer box. Meanwhile, a pressure side cleaner attaches to the pressure side of your pool and uses that pressure to function.
  • How often should I clean my pool?
    Once a week should be fine, but it ultimately depends on how much dirt gets on your pool on a regular basis.
  • Can I leave my pool cleaner in the pool?
    Yes, you can leave it in the water after use. Some manufacturers, however, recommend taking out the pool cleaner after every cleaning cycle.

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Geri Mileva

Based in Prague, CZ, Geri is a freelance writer with nine years of experience. Technology, marketing and finance are among her favorite topics to write about. She's also a strong advocate of plant-based and ethical living.

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