Best Pool Vacuum 201​8
Buying Guide and Resource

Let's face it nobody wants and likes leaves, dirt, and slime in their pool. A good pool vacuum can make your life much easier, and most products should handle cleaning both in-ground and aboveground pools without any fuss. There are a few different options when it comes to pool vacuums, four main types to be exact. The main distinguishing difference is that pool vacuum cleaners can come in manual and automatic. Automatic pool vacuums are more popular than manual vacuums; however, if you’re a fan of the manual cleaner need not dismay! One product has managed to sneak into my top 5.

I’ll keep this simple; I’ll give a quick run through of the different types of pool vacuums before giving you the main features to look for when choosing the best pool vacuum for you. Let's get started.

Best Pool Vacuums 2018

1. Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner - Best Pool Vacuum 2018

Easily one of the most trusted and popular brand of pool vacuum cleaners, it does come at a price but for most this is a well worth investment. It’s quality and longevity has created a dedicated following by many pool owners. It’s hard not to find customers who have given rave reviews and recommend not only this product but this brand in general. Dolphin is credited with being a pioneer in pool vacuum robots with its very first model released in 1983. This product is well worth the $$ for pools big and small, in-ground and aboveground.

Here are some key features that this product boasts.

  • 60 feet hose with Dolphin’s signature anti-tangle swivel cable​
  • Filters pool in 3 hours
  • No installation, plug in and clean
  • Revolutionary self-programmed scanning
  • 12-month warranty spare parts and labor

Zodiac is well known for all things pools, pool cleaners but pool chemicals, pumps and automation options for all pools. Originally a company who produced inflatable boats and is now a multi-international pool specialist who strives to innovate all things pools. Many pool owners will have used one of Zodiac’s products and hence has created a cult following. Zodiac has combined several acquired companies to ensure its products are specialized and hence the creation of the Zodiac Polaris. This high power pressure vacuum has received rave reviews and for good reasons.

This product boasts:

  • 31 feet hose to reach both ends of your pool with ease.​
  • No booster pump required.
  • Triple Jet for high power suction.
  • The ability to sweep, scrub and vacuum bottoms and walls to provide a detailed clean.

No surprises another Zodiac product has made an appearance in my top 5 best pool vacuums. As this product is a suction cleaner, it is more efficient in targeting small to medium debris straight into the pool filter. This product is not only versatile but very useful in cleaning both in-ground and aboveground pools of all shapes, sizes and materials. The only downside of this product is that this vacuum cannot cope with large debris if you have overhanging trees and pebbles by the pool this is not for you. This product can be left on, and good news can work under the pool cover!

Key features:

  • Sweeps floor, walls, and steps​
  • Easy installation (two step)
  • Compatible with single or two-speed pump
  • Large hose length 39 feet with the ability to clean small to large pools

A newcomer to the pool industry, however, this brand is well established in all things electrical including home and garden appliances. This product has broken through the pool market by it’s well established following with its high-quality garden and home products which have set the bar for its pool products. At a very modest price, many existing XtremepowerUS customers have referred this brand and word has spread fast. Which has translated in rave customer reviews, many of them I might add. This Kreepy Krauly is simplistic yet very effective; many experienced pool owners would have had a Kreepy Krauly at some stage, and this product has stayed true. XtremepowerUS has re-invented the Kreepy Krauly that can compete with the newer more popular automatic pool cleaners.

Key features are:

  • No electricity required​
  • Simple DIY Installation
  • Ideal for medium to large pools up to 16ft x 32ft
  • Can clean floor and walls
  • Attaches to filtration
  • Perfect for small powered pumps

No surprise that a Water Tech product has made it into my top 5 best pool vacuum list. With over 40 years experience in developing and manufacturing pool vacuums, you wouldn’t expect anything less. The Pool Blaster series was released in the early 2000’s, and it’s popularity and demand has ensured the ongoing innovation of this model, the Catfish is one of the most modern releases. This product is for the perfectionist, an electrical, cordless pool cleaner that allows you to get into every corner of your pool. Perfect for those who don’t mind rolling their sleeves up. This product boasts 45 minutes of ongoing battery life and the ability to pick up dirt, leaves, and gravel due to its modern Max Cone Technology.

Key features:

  • Cordless vacuum making your clean tangle-free​
  • Rechargeable and energy efficient
  • Interchangeable vacuum heads for your individual needs.
  • Reusable Filter

Many will be surprised that this well-known brand hasn’t appeared in my top 5 best pool vacuum list, this has no reference to its quality only it’s customer popularity. This product can navigate steps, requires no installation, is energy efficient and can clean a pool in an impressive 90 minutes.

Another Hayward product, this pool vacuum is quite popular although due to it’s limited application to the aboveground pool only it trickled down my list. This product has easy installation, features bumper rings for damage-free clean and it’s signature turbine/gearing system for constant balanced water flow.

Another Water Tech product, this minimalistic manual vacuum is again an option for the perfectionist who wants to reach those tricky spots. This product is also popular for those who want an additional vacuum for those troublesome spots. This product has a reusable filter, requires no installation, easily attaches to any pool pole, cordless and operates on regular “D” batteries.

Intex is more known for its pools than it’s vacuum cleaners and many with Intex pools have established its popularity. Many non-Intex pool owners have purchased adaptors and swear by this simple aboveground pool vacuum. This vacuum, however, is only compatible with a pump flow rate 1500 – 3500 gph.

Aquabot is credited with creating one of the first robotic cleaners in 1982 that surprises me why this product is not as popular with consumers, in particular for the modest price tag. This pool vacuum robot does not skimp on quality and features boasting to provide a complete clean in 1 hour or less, high energy efficient and including 2-hour automatic timer to top it off.

Pool Vacuum Buying Guide

Features to consider when choosing the right pool vacuum for you.

  • Pool Type: Look for a vacuum that can cope with different pool materials such as tiles, fiberglass, and concrete. Look for a pool vacuum with the ability to clean both in-ground and aboveground pools.​
  • Pool Size: The vacuum hose needs to reach from one end of your pool to another. For those with large pools, some vacuums may have the option of extender hose attachments.
  • Pool Shape: For those who have a pool with stairs choose a product that can navigate stairs. Some high-tech pool vacuums use spatial mapping to navigate the pool and ensure every corner is reached more suited for those tricky shaped pools.
  • Pool Covers: This is important especially for winter maintenance. Some pool vacuums have the ability to clean while the pool cover is on. Which makes sure your pool is ready to use as soon as the pool cover comes off.
  • Budget: How much are you willing to spend? Many may see a pool vacuum especially those towards the higher end of the price scale as an investment. If you have a large budget, a well-known brand, which offers no doubt the high quality is a smart move. Many well-known brands have options towards the smaller side of a budget; cheaper pool vacuums may require more work (manual or emptying of filter and skimmer box). Which for some is a little price to pay?

Types of Pool Vacuums

Manual Pool Vacuum Cleaners

Pretty self-explanatory here, this type of pool vacuum will usually be hand-held and usually on the lower scale of the price list. If you have spare time and don’t mind rolling your sleeves up, then this may be for you. Depending on your experience you can go for the most basic hose and vacuum head set-up or the more advanced powered vacuum cleaner. Manual pool cleaners are best for complex pool shapes, and unlike automatic cleaners can target algae directly.

Automatic Pool Vacuum Cleaners

Suction Cleaners

Suction cleaners are attached to the skimmer; they utilize suction created from the filtration system to attach to the bottom floor of your pool. They have the ability to scrub walls, which reduces the number of times you need to vacuum your pool. This type of pool vacuum is best at cleaning fine particles such as dirt and sand as they are sucked directly into the pool filter, meaning they are more efficient than pool cleaners with bags. They are left in the pool, and you need to monitor the skimming box and empty as required. Not watching your pool filter and skimming box can create a strain on your pool pump and in the long run, can reduce its longevity.

Pressure Cleaners

Pressure cleaners are more powerful than suction cleaners; they use the water pressure coming from your pool pump to propel wheels of the vacuum around the pool. This type of pool vacuum can be more on the priciest especially when repairs and replacement parts are needed. Most good pressure cleaners will come with an additional pressure pump to ensure that there is no extra strain on your main pool pump. Unless you have a super powerful pool pump, I wouldn’t advise getting one without a pump. The bonus of this type of pool vacuum is that the debris captured are captured by the vacuum bag instead of clogging up your pool filter meaning no need to always empty your pool filter (less work for you!)

Robotic Cleaners

This type of vacuum is best for large pools; robotic pool vacuums would have to be the most versatile with the ability to clean all dirt, leaves, sand off both pool walls and the pool floor. Robotic pool cleaners do not need to remain in the pool constantly which increases its longevity, all you need is an electricity port near your pool. Robotic pool cleaners are the most pricey on the market but can be a good investment depending on your pool size. The main downside of this type of pool vacuum is that it most likely will require servicing at some stage, and more than likely you will need to mail it off to a service center. If this doesn’t faze you than a pool vacuum robot is the way for you.


Let’s quickly review everything I have covered:

  • Types of pool vacuums: the good, bad and the ugly.​
  • Top 10 best pool vacuums: features, reviews and brand history.
  • Buying guide: features to consider when finding the best pool vacuum for you.

I have included a mini summary from by my buying guide as you can see in the table below. In my top 10, I have included at least one option from each of the vacuum types and depending on your pool and budget some may be more relevant for you. You may have noticed that I have included only two pool vacuums within my top 10 that are specifically for aboveground pools. Although most good pool cleaners should have the ability to clean both aboveground and in-ground pools, those specific for aboveground pools usually have extra measures to reduce damage. Aboveground pools usually have a more sensitive lining which is more prone to tears than In-ground pools.


Pool Size


Can remain
in pool?




Small - Medium




$30 - $140


Small - Large

Small - Medium



$60 - $400


Medium - Large




$75 - $725


Best for Large




$299 - $999

No matter what pool or budget you have, you should be able to find at least one or two options for you. If not you should at least have gained some useful background information and be armed with all the information you need to choose the best pool vacuum for you!

Remember regular pool cleaning will reduce the overall maintenance of your pool and increase its longevity.

Happy cleaning!

Product images sourced from​

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