Pool Accessories

9 Best Above Ground Pool Vacuums for 2021

best above ground pool vacuums

Are you looking to buy a pool vacuum for your above ground pool?

After tens of hours of research and years of using different pool vacuums, I’ve come up with the list of the best above ground pool vacuums.

I also recommend you check out the end of this article, where I give tips on choosing a pool vacuum that will best suit your pool.

Let’s get started.

What is the best above ground pool vacuum?

Here is the list of 9 best above ground pool vacuums.

Dolphin E10 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

Dolphin E10 Robotic pool cleaner is the popular choice among pool owners for its exceptional quality and convenience.

The product is suitable for above ground pools up to 30-feet in diameter, and it’s designed to only clean floors. The cleaner works fine for any pool surface types, whether it be vinyl, concrete, or fiberglass.

The cable length is nearly 40-feet, so it will never have any issue reaching every part of your pool.

The suction rate of 4,000 gallons per hour (GPH) means you will attain a sparkling clean pool within just a couple of hours, depending on your pool size.

It’s as simple as plugging in your cleaner and dropping it inside your pool to start the cleaning process. There’s no need for a booster pump, extra hoses, nor any installation.

If you’ve ever tried carrying around a few gallons of water, you know how heavy it starts to feel in just a few minutes. The cleaner alone weighs nearly 14 lbs, which isn’t exactly a lightweight for some people. 

Luckily, the water release feature makes it easy for you to empty the water from the cleaner and carry it around without needing a lot of physical strength.

But most importantly, not many cleaning products compare to the Dolphin E10 cleaner when it comes to trapping debris for maintaining flawless pool water.

I personally don’t have too many things to complain about this product. If I had to be nit-picky, I’d say you may want to purchase a fine filter for an even better cleaning result.

The cord tangles up every now and then, which can be a mild annoyance. Otherwise, it’s one of the best cleaning equipment for above ground pools.

Polaris Vac-Sweep Pressure Side Automatic Pool Cleaner

Polaris is another powerhouse in the pool industry. This Vac-sweep pressure side cleaner is appropriate for all types of above ground pools up to 5-feet deep. It can also clean pools that are up to 24-feet round with its hose length. The weight is around 14 lbs, which isn’t too heavy compared to other pool vacuums.

The installation process is painless and easy and takes merely a few minutes. The vacuum gets the power from the pressure of the water returning to your pool, allowing your filter and skimmer to remove contaminants freely.

In just 3 hours or less, the vacuum will clean the bottom and sweep the sides of your pool. Moreover, the patented jet sweep assembly will force the water against the pool wall to scrub away debris in areas that are difficult to reach.

The unique filter bag that comes with the vacuum ensures that larger wastes don’t reach your pump, protecting your filtration system from incurring damage.

I find the cleaner works well for the most part, but it does get stuck every now and then. When that happens, you’ll want to move it manually for it to start working again.

You can also trim the hose to match your pool’s size so the cord doesn’t get tangled easily. Make sure you follow the instruction manual carefully.

Pentair Kreepy Krauly Suction-Side Above Ground Pool Cleaner

Pentair Kreepy Krauly is a powerful pool vacuum with its superior hydraulic design and works well for any above ground pools.

Unlike many other automatic pool vacuums, this vacuum doesn’t have wheels or gears. In fact, it comes with only one moving part, making it easy to maintain and replace. 

I also like how the vacuum connects to the skimmer line, and it’s fueled by the pool pump and filter for extra efficiency.

I noticed the vacuum works well even for a deep, large pool thanks to its 32-feet long hose.

The vacuum tends to get stuck on the stairs and ladders at times, which isn’t too difficult to deal with but can still be annoying at times.

Also, if you have too many leaves in your pool, they might get stuck in the vacuum and make it difficult for it to move around freely. So, you’d want to check your vacuum periodically to ensure it’s functioning correctly.

Intex Auto Pool Cleaner

If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative that gets the job done, then you’ll probably like Intex auto pool cleaner.

You need to keep in mind a few things before you buy this auto cleaner, however.

First and foremost, this pool cleaner is ideal for a pool with a filter pump with a flow rate between 1,600 to 3,500 gallons per hour.

Also, it’s mostly only suitable for Intex above ground pools that are 24-feet or smaller and with one-and-a-half hose fittings. If your pool is much larger than that, I recommend you look for other options.

Having said that, it’s a great pool cleaner for those who own a smaller-sized above ground pool. The cleaner is made of durable materials for longevity.

Another cool feature that comes with the product is that it automatically reverses direction when it reaches the pool wall, so it’s quite hands-off to operate for the most part.

This auto pool cleaner moves around the pool quite fast, so it fails to pick up some debris from time to time. But it does a pretty good job of cleaning the entire floor surface of your pool.

If you want to keep your pool squeaky clean, you’ll likely need to do a bit of manual cleaning on top of using a pool cleaning machine.

Hayward Poolvergnuegen Pool Cleaner

If you’ve been a pool owner for a couple of years, then you probably recognize the Hayward brand. Hayward Poolvergnuegen is the most premium above ground pool vacuum from the company with its multiple patented technologies.

The cleaner comes with a 2-wheel drive, which cleans pools up to the size of 16-feet by 32-inch.

Its self-adjusting turbine banes operate at a full power capacity at any flow, ensuring all large debris is promptly eliminated. And its patented tire treads allow the cleaner to climb and move around obstacles freely. The tire treads also come with tread wear markers that show when the tires need to be changed.

The adjustable roller skirt helps the cleaner maintain a great suction capability even when operating on uneven surfaces.

Furthermore, the machine is pre-programmed with multiple internal steering sequences, making sure the cleaner doesn’t miss any spots in the pool. Specifically, it comes with five different programmed turns that range from 90 to 450 degrees, allowing the pool cleaner to cover both deep and shallow ends.

I would say this pool cleaner is nearly flawless if it weren’t for the fact that it gets hung up on the stairs every once in a while.

It’s not an overly big deal since you just have to go out to your pool and move it slightly.

It can also occasionally get stuck in areas where the bottom of the pool meets the wall if there’s no curved transition.

Paxcess Suction Pool Cleaner

Paxcess suction pool cleaner works for both inground and above ground pools, although it’s more suitable for above ground pools.

The vacuum comes with a powerful suction side and the automatic wall climbing capability, which provide the vacuum with power and efficiency. This pool vacuum is more than capable of keeping your pool free from a wide range of unwanted materials, such as leaves, stones, sands, hairs, and debris.

The pool cleaner is very simple to operate and readily attaches to your pool filtration system. The vacuum hose is nearly 31-feet long, making it suitable for even large-sized above ground pools.

The guideline from the product’s description says that your pool pump needs to pump at least 1,000 gallons of pool water per hour for the vacuum to work effectively. But I recommend a pool pump that pumps at least 1,300 to 1,500 gallons per hour.

You will get a 12-month warranty for the product, so you can be confident that the company will promptly handle your problem if something goes wrong with your pool vacuum.

The vacuum is not ideal if you are looking for something that can clean right-angled walls and stairs. But it does a good job of cleaning the slopes ones.

Also, it doesn’t do a stellar job of picking up leaves, so it’ll require a bit of extra work on your part to clean up the leaves.

Aiper Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

Aiper robotic pool cleaner is another good choice for those looking for an effective pool cleaner with a slick design. This robotic cleaner can clean an above ground pool that is up to 50-feet in size, and it’s relatively lightweight at 30 lbs compared to other heavier robotic pool cleaners.

The vacuum utilizes sponge brushes instead of TPE brushes. This feature allows the vacuum to grip the surface strongly and eliminate stubborn wastes in your pool. The vacuum can also climb and clean your pool wall, and its anti-rollover technology ensures it doesn’t fall off the wall during the process.

If you are busy and find it difficult to routinely check your pool throughout the day, you’ll love the scheduling feature of this robotic cleaner. The feature lets you schedule your vacuum to clean every one to three hours.

The top-loading filter basket collects all types of garbage. To clean the basket, you just need to empty it in the waste bag and wash it off with water.

The product also comes with a 2-year warranty, so there’s virtually no risk on your part.

Although I haven’t personally had any issue with the product, one of the customers had a problem with the vacuum cleaner’s drive belt.

When she contacted the company for support, they quickly sent her a replacement part for free. So, it appears Aiper is on top of its game when it comes to customer support.

Poolwhale Portable Pool Vacuum

The Poolwhale portable pool vacuum is your answer if you want the cheapest pool cleaner that’ll get the job done.

All this vacuum needs to operate is water pressure from your garden hose. The vacuum creates the suction effect with the water that comes from the hose. This sucks in all the dirt and debris on its way into the nylon mesh collection bag. The mesh bag is removable, so you can easily clean it without a hassle.

With this portable vacuum, you don’t need a pump or filter to operate, helping you save your water cost. Additionally, the package comes with clear instructions, and assembling a product takes only a few minutes.

Overall, it’s not a bad pool vacuum if you use it to clean small pools, spas, ponds, and fountains.

But I’d highly recommend you purchase an automatic pool cleaner unless you enjoy the process of manual cleaning.

The obvious drawback of this pool vacuum is that it’s really only meant for kiddie-sized pools.

You also have to physically get inside the pool to clean. That is unless your pool is tiny, so you can easily reach everywhere while standing outside of the pool.

Having said all that, I’d say it still offers great value for its price.

Intex Handheld Rechargeable Vacuum

This is another very popular pool vacuum from Intex, as evidenced by nearly 4,000 ratings on Amazon.

Intex handheld vacuum is a powerful vacuum that contains built-in nickel-metal hydride rechargeable batteries for efficient, robust cleaning.

The product is designed to work with above ground pools that are up to 18-feet in diameter. And it comes with a feature that automatically turns off the pump when not inside the water. Besides, you don’t have to worry about water damage since the vacuum is protected with the IPX8 waterproof switch.

The package comes with two interchangeable brush heads, a USB cable, a 94-inch lightweight telescoping aluminum shaft, and a shaft adapter.

Lastly, it’s important to ensure that the vacuum is immersed in the water before it can properly operate.

The vacuum fills up relatively quickly, which means you’ll have to empty the bag more frequently.

I also like that it does a good job of getting rid of sand at the bottom of the pool.

All in all, I’d certainly rate this product as one of the top manual pool vacuums.

Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum Buyer’s Guide

Let’s talk about the most important things to consider before purchasing above ground pool vacuums.

Price of Pool Vacuum

In general, high-quality automatic pool cleaners tend to be more expensive than manual pool vacuums.

If your budget doesn’t allow you to spend three to five hundred dollars on pool cleaners, you may have to sacrifice a bit of convenience for a cheaper-priced manual vacuum.

The pool vacuums’ price can range from less than 20 dollars to more than 500 dollars. So make sure you do proper research before you buy one since each one has its advantages and disadvantages.

Different Types of Pool Vacuum

Just because the vacuum is manual doesn’t necessarily mean it’s inferior to automatic. In fact, you may even prefer a manual vacuum if you enjoy the process of cleaning your pool manually.

Furthermore, you have more control over cleaning using a manual vacuum. This is because you know exactly where you need to clean your pool. If you observe a spot in your pool that’s particularly dirty, you can spend more time cleaning that area. For the same reason, you can decide to spend less time cleaning areas that are relatively clean.

That said, it’s hard to beat automatic pool cleaners if you are always busy and don’t have the time to spend a significant amount of time cleaning your pool.

Requirements

Some pool vacuums require your pool filter pump to have a certain level of flow rate. If the vacuum specifies that your pump filter needs a flow rate of 2,000 gallons per hour, and your flow rate falls below that, your vacuum will fail to perform to its standards.

Also, some vacuums can only clear the pool floor while others can climb and clean the walls and stairs.

So make sure you check these specifications on the product page. This will help you reduce the hassle of returning the item because it’s not the right fit for your pool.

Conclusion

There are many different options available. And finding the best pool vacuum for your above ground pool can be a confusing process.

I hope this guide was at least somewhat useful in helping you with this process.

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