Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum 201​8
Comprehensive Buyer's Guide

Nothing is more appealing than a sparkling, crystal clear pool on a hot sunny day. Of course if you own a pool, you know that sparkling clean water does not come about by chance.

Without maintenance, a pool can become like a murky swamp in a short period time. There are a variety of things you need to keep your pool clean. One essential item is a good pool vacuum.

There are different vacuums for in ground and above ground pools. In this article, we will be discussing above ground pool cleaners.

Before making your purchase, you will first want to decide which type you want and you should know the key features to look for. We will discuss those things and also give you a list of the top 10 best above ground pool vacuums.

Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum 2018

1. Hayward 500 Aqua Bug - Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum 2018

This automatic vacuum does not just come in at number one just for its cute appearance. Featuring Hayward’s exclusive SmartDrive program steering, you can be assured that the Aqua Bug won’t miss any spots when cleaning your pool.

Designed to clean the bottom of all different shapes and sizes of pools, this pool vacuum makes pool cleaning easy by doing all the work for you.

The Aqua Bug works off of your pool’s existing filtration system to get the job done. Its unique turbine/gearing system allows for constant balanced water flow. This ensures quiet and smooth operation as it moves along the bottom of the pool.

The bumper ring minimizes friction so that it can move away from walls with ease and get back on
track to its programmed steering program.

You can get this pool vacuum installed in just 10-minutes without any extra tools.

2. Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen

Designed for floor-specific cleaning, this robotic vacuum has intelligent navigation and does not rely on the walls to know when to change direction.

It has a revolutionary lightweight design which allows it to move easily around the pool floor.

The SmartKleen provides all surface cleaning for concrete, vinyl liner, and fiberglass pools.

Featuring a quick drain system, this vacuum provides lightweight removal from the pool.

It has a 40-foot power cord and an extra large filter bag capacity. It automatically shuts off after 2-hours, so you can just let it do its job without having to worry about coming back to switch it off

Featuring a hydraulic design, this suction-side cleaner provides superior vacuuming power. Instead of following the same pattern all the time, it randomly selects a different pattern to make sure that no spots are missed- providing a thoroughly cleaned floor.

It hooks up to your skimmer line and is powered by your pool’s pump and filter to get your pool clean.

The free-skimming valve automatically regulates water flow to ensure optimum cleaning speed while simultaneously skimming the surface debris while vacuuming.

Since this pool vacuum only has one operational moving part, it is more dependable because there are no wheels or gears to replace or get fixed.

Featuring an AG disc, the Ranger glides smoothly around your pool. It doesn’t miss spots as it cleans the floor, the sides, and steps of the pool.

The unique deflector wheel allows it to move around steps and ladders without getting stuck.

The FlowKeeper™ valve and Insta-Skim Compact self-adjusting flow control valve allow automatically regulates water flow, ensuring the vacuum is always functioning at peak performance.

With only one moving part, it doesn’t make any annoying sounds while cleaning. It functions quickly and smoothly.

To make things even easier for you, the Zodiac Ranger comes pre-assembled and includes 32-feet of
feed hose.

5. Pentair GW8000

With a dual band of bristles as well as a powerful vacuum action, the Pentair GW8000 is sure to get your pool squeaky clean. The bristles loosen dirt and the vacuum whisks the dirt away.

It has five different cleaning paths to ensure it covers every inch of your above ground pool.

Cutting a 10-inch path, it cleans your pool quickly and efficiently no matter the shape or size of your pool.

Featuring just one movable part, you are sure to get years of use out of this vacuum without having to replace any parts.

The cool design just tops off this pool vacuum.

If you are looking for a great budget-friendly option, this could be the one for you. The strong built-in Ni-MH rechargeable batteries allow for a powerful suction to get your pool sparkling again. It comes with 2 brush heads and a 94-inch telescoping aluminum shaft.

This suction side vacuum connects directly to skimmers and includes 30-feet of feed hose to clean all of the hard to reach areas of your pool. The Zodiac W70482 Baracuda works in all above ground pools.

Just hook this vacuum up to you pool skimmer or vacuum line to start cleaning your pool. It requires a minimum flow of 1600 ga/h or a pump of minimum ¾ hp to work properly. Included is a 32-foot hose. It has one single moving part and comes pre-assembled.

Equipped with a 24-volt pump motor, this robotic vacuum can clean your pool in just 1-hour. It comes with 40-feet of floating cable, a built-in 2-micron fine reusable filter bag and a power supply transformer. The 2-hour automatic shut off timer helps reduce chemical, water, and energy costs.

Featuring a patented jet sweep assembly, this pressure side vacuum blows water against the pool wall to loosen debris in hard-to-reach areas. It then sweeps the debris into a filter bag that is easy to remove. The filter bag is designed to remove larger debris like twigs and pebbles before they reach your pump, prolonging the life of your filtration system

Above Ground Pool Vacuum Buying Guide

Purchasing a pool vacuum can be a bit of an investment depending on which one you decide to buy . Before making your purchase, here are some important things to keep in mind:

Pool Size- Make sure that the vacuum is big enough to cover enough area to clean your pool without taking an unreasonable amount of time. Also make sure that any hoses or poles are long enough to reach every part of your pool.

If you have a small pool, you can go for an inexpensive manual vacuum and it will work fine. If you have a larger pool, you should think about getting an automatic pool vacuum to make the job easier.

Pool Material- You will notice that some pool vacuums are specified for use on a particular type of material. Make sure the one you get is suitable to use on your pool.

Pool Pump- Many above ground pool vacuums work with the existing filtration system on your pool to function. If your pump is not strong enough, the vacuum will not function very well. Make sure your pump is powerful enough so that the vacuum can work efficiently.

Pool Shape- Pools come in all shapes so make sure that the vacuum specifies it can accommodate the shape of your pool. Vacuums that can move around without getting stuck in corners or by ladders and steps are the best choice.

Type of Debris to be Removed- If you get a lot of large debris in your pool like leaves, the vacuum needs to be able to handle cleaning that up. Wind and storms bring debris into the pool. If your pool gets a lot of dirt and large debris, robotic cleaners are highly recommended since they clean so efficiently.

Keep in mind that suction side cleaners do not clean up large debris. If you get large debris in your pool and have a suction side cleaner, you will end up doing a lot of manual cleaning.

If you don’t get much debris in your pool, a suction side vacuum can work just fine.

Cost- Of course this is on everyone’s mind who is looking to purchase something new. If you can fit it into your budget, robotic vacuums are some of the best cleaners. If you want a more budget-friendly option, you can get a suction-side cleaner and get some extra accessories to make it more efficient.

Types Of Above Ground Pool Vacuums

There are 2 main types of pool vacuums- manual and automatic. These 2 types can then be broken down into subtypes.

Manual Vacuums

There are 2 types of manual vacuums- vacuums with a telescoping pole, and handheld vacuums.

Manual Vacuums with a telescoping pole consist of 3 different parts- vacuum head, a hose, and a telescoping pole. The pole allows you to reach the deepest parts of your pool with ease.

Handheld Vacuums look similar to the vacuums you use inside your home. You operate them similar to a regular vacuum as well to clean the pools surface.

Manual vacuums will take you longer to clean the pool and it can be a bit of a workout to get the job done, but they are still a budget-friendly choice.

Automatic Vacuums

Robotic pool vacuums are one of the most popular type of vacuums because they are so easy to use and very efficient.

Robotic vacuums are self-contained systems that clean the pool on their own without having to be operated by you. You just switch them on and let them do their job. Most have an auto shut off feature.

Robotic pool vacuums can pick up large debris like leaves but also are good at picking up small particles such as sand.

Robotic vacuums run along the bottom of the pool, the sides, and the steps to thoroughly clean your pool. They have a filter bag to carry the debris. The debris gets sucked in and then it is collected into the bag.

They are very efficient and get your entire pool clean in a short period of time.

They are more pricey but make pool cleaning so easy.

Pressure side pool vacuums are on wheels to move easily around the bottom of a pool. They propel themselves along using water pressure. Pressure side vacuums focus only on collecting larger debris while leaving behind small debris.

This is a good option if you get a lot of large debris in your pool. But although they are powerful, they don’t handle sharp corners well.

You can make them more powerful by adding a booster pump. Pressure side vacuums are cheaper than robotic vacuums but don’t clean as thoroughly.

Pressure side vacuums are good for large pools with a booster pump

Suction side pool vacuums are usually the cheapest kind of automatic pool vacuums. They aren’t as powerful as pressure side vacuums. They use the power from your pool’s pump and filtration system to move around and collect debris.

Suction side cleaners are quite efficient and can clean around every corner. They are best to be used for small pools and do not clean up heavy debris.

Since they rely heavily on your pool’s pump and filtration system, if your system is weak, the suction vacuum will not work well. You will also need to change your filter more often since the vacuum will pulling debris into it.


Investing in a good pool vacuum is essential for keeping your pool clean. If you have a small pool and don’t want to spend a lot of money, a manual cleaner will work just fine.

If you have a larger pool, using a manual cleaner will be quite tiring. Investing in a good automatic cleaner will prove to be worth your while.

Keep in mind the type of debris that is commonly found in your pool since some are suitable for cleaning up large debris, while others are not.

Be sure to check out the warranty information of the pool vacuum you are interested in, since there’s a chance of even a good vacuum malfunctioning.

Once you get the best pool vacuum for your pool, you will be sure that your pool will always be sparkling clean whenever you want to take a dip.

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