Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum: 2022 Top Picks + User’s Guide

14 Sep 2022 Goods
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Even if it is effective, a passive pool cleaning filtration system is not a foolproof way to maintain water clear of debris like leaves, twigs, and other unpleasant things you don't want to meet with while swimming. A pool vacuum is far better adapted to collecting larger debris, such as leaves, and trash, in a controlled and specified manner than continuous filtration systems are for regularly eliminating small items and particulates from pools. This is especially true if foreign things accidentally fall into the water and attach to the pool's bottom or walls because standard filter systems rely on mild water currents that might not be strong enough to remove trapped material.

The ability to physically scour the walls and floors of your pool is another feature that some of the best above-ground pool vacuums have to offer. This feature helps to remove minute dirt particles and debris that, if ignored, could accumulate on those surfaces. Any above-ground pool owner can benefit from investing in an automatic pool vacuum because hiring a professional team to clean their pool thoroughly needs the water to be completely drained — a costly and time-consuming process.

What to Think About When Choosing the Best Above-Ground Pool Vacuum

In the realm of pool vacuums, the majority of designs are either propelled by a low-voltage electrical current or by the pump and suction system of the pool. Although water-propelled designs are frequently less expensive, they require more filter cleaning after usage because they need to send the gathered particles through the pool's filtration system. Although electric pool cleaners and pool robots are more expensive up front, they are able to actively scrub the debris out of your pool in addition to vacuuming. They also operate independently of your pool's water system.

  • Battery-charged or electric-based?

Larger above-ground pools and long-term installations benefit from the use of electric pool vacuums since they provide predictable and consistent results with the help of features like active scrubbing and timed cleanings that are not accessible in purely water-powered designs. Although electric devices often cost more than suction-powered models, depending on your demands and routine, their rich feature sets and the superior level of control they offer may be perfect for you.

  • Manual or automatic?

Automatic pool cleaners work differently than manual sweepers because they are set-and-forget devices. Pool owners can simply connect the cleaner, submerge it in the water, and then retrieve it later. This passive method of cleaning keeps pools clear of buildup for longer periods of time when done regularly. If price and simplicity are top priorities for you while looking for the best automatic pool cleaning for your above-ground pool, try a suction-powered device.

The filtration system of your pool is connected to suction-powered automatic pool cleaners and pool vacuums, which use low-speed pumps to clean your pool slowly but deliberately. The best automatic pool vacuum designs in this class have tight suction on the pool's surfaces to offer maximum cleaning pressure; to create a snug fit, flexible rubber discs or similar designs are frequently used. To avoid your pool cleaner scratching the walls and floors, look for a design that makes use of soft materials.

  • Do you need a pump or a skimmer basket?

If robotic pool vacuums aren't your thing, you'll need to choose between using the pool pump or the skimmer basket to run the vacuum. Pool vacuums with suction sides attach to the pool skimmer and suck trash into the filtration system utilizing the force of the suction. This is a cheap alternative that can be suitable for your pool if the skimmer is simple to access.

A pressure-side pool vacuum, which collects dirt and debris in a vacuum bag or cartridge, is a wonderful option if the system already has a powerful pump or if you're prepared to pay the money to install an additional pump. This reduces the strain on the filtration system.

  • What is the shape and size of your Pool?

If you don't already know the size of the pool, go outside and take a measurement before choosing an above-ground pool vacuum. For accuracy in the measurements, take note of the pool's precise shape. An above-ground pool will often be either round or oval in shape. Measure the length, breadth, and height of an oval pool, as well as the diameter or radius and height of a circular pool.

It may initially be cheaper to use a pool vacuum designed for a smaller pool, but the vacuum won't be able to keep up with the demand, leaving you with a dirty pool. Additionally, it's possible that battery-powered pool vacuums can't clean the entire pool on a single charge. In contrast, pool vacuums rated for larger pools are superfluous for smaller pools and, if the vacuum is excessively heavy, could potentially damage the walls.

  • Hose and cord - what kind do you need?

An issue that makes an above-ground pool vacuum unaffordable may be the length of the hose. Measure the hose to make sure it reaches every part of the pool before connecting the vacuum. Consider buying an additional hose that you can attach if there is a worry that the length is too short.

Despite not needing a hose for suction or pressure, some robotic pool vacuums contain power wires that could cause the same issue. Before buying that particular vacuum, be careful to check the length of the cable to make sure it is suitable for your pool.

  • Wall climbing function - do you need it?

Robotic pool vacuums that have the ability to climb walls can be useful, but only when utilized to clean inground pools. These swimming pool vacuums might try to climb the above-ground pool walls, but the 90-degree angle is frequently too severe for them to handle, causing the vacuum to slip off the wall.

Although some pressure-side pool vacuums can scale walls, above-ground pools are not a good fit for these devices. This is not to argue that wall-climbing pool vacuums are a poor choice. In reality, they frequently need a lot of traction and suction, which is good for cleaning the pool's bottom. However, it shouldn't come as a surprise if they fail to scale the wall of your above-ground pool.

  • What is your budget?

Due to the specialized nature of pool-cleaning equipment, finding an efficient above-ground pool vacuum on a budget can be challenging, but there are still some excellent options provided you know what you're getting into. Due to their size, strength, and automated nature, electric versions are mostly off the table when looking for the best inexpensive above-ground pool vacuum. However, if you're willing to make some concessions, a suction-powered design can be a good option.

  • Bonus features?

An above-ground pool vacuum's primary purpose is to remove dirt and debris from the pool's bottom. Many manufacturers do, however, make an effort to make their products more user-friendly by providing extras like remote control, a hose swivel, and a scheduling option.

When choosing an above ground pool vacuum, it is important to consider the size and shape of your pool, as well as what kind of hose or cord you need. It is also important to decide if you need a vacuum that can climb walls. Additionally, be sure to budget for your purchase. Some features that are nice to have but not necessary include a remote control, hose swivel, and scheduling option.

Types of Above Ground Pool Vacuum

Here is the list of the main types of pool vacuums in detail.

  • Pressure-side cleaners run a vacuum over the bottom of your pool in a random cleaning pattern using the water pressure from your return jet. The amazing thing about this is that the mesh filter bag they use to collect the debris does so independently of your filtration system. Therefore, it won't potentially harm anything.
  • Robotic cleaners use the water pressure from your pump and pool filter to operate a mesh filter bag inside of them. However, an electrically powered motor inside the apparatus is what generates that pressure. The fact that you don't have to run your complete filter system to power the vacuum is thus even better. While the pool's filter system is off, you can clean it! Even the water circulation is enhanced.
  • The best features of automatic vacuums are combined in robotic pool cleaners. Suction-side cleaners, for instance, are cheap but difficult to set up (we'll talk about them later). mostly because they attach to your pool's skimmer in a manner similar to a manual vacuum. Additionally, if the cleaner suctions up any rocks, your filtration system may be harmed.
  • Manual vacuums are the simplest and cheapest type of cleaner. You run them over your pool's bottom with a pole like you would a regular vacuum cleaner. The suction pulls the debris inside, where it becomes trapped in a mesh bag. The entire process is done without any water circulation or filtration, so it's very gentle on your system.

How Often Should I Vacuum My Pool?

When creating your pool cleaning routine, there are a few things to keep in mind at all times. Pool vacuuming is primarily done for four reasons: spot cleaning, seasonal cleaning, excessive usage, and routine maintenance.

  • Spot vacuuming is done when needed, such as following a summer storm or a day when there is a lot of wind and debris is likely to fall into your swimming pool.
  • Being "seasonally ready" might entail activities like opening for the season or getting ready for winter storage. Your requirement for pool vacuuming upon opening in the summer will decrease the more meticulously you close your pool for the winter.
  • Massive usage of your pool will undoubtedly result in more filth and debris entering the water. For instance, after a big party or after a week of nonstop pool use, there would be excessive usage. In the end, the more feet that are stepping into and out of the swimming pool, the more dirt will be tracked in.
  • For seldom use, regular maintenance should only be done once a week. Pool vacuuming operations will go much more quickly thanks to the weekly cleaning schedule, which will also prevent algae blooms.

Best Above Ground Pool Vacuums: Our Top Picks

When it comes to cleaning your pool, there are a few different options to choose from. Here is a list of the best above-ground pool vacuums, each with its own unique benefits and features.

Top Cordless Option: Pool Blaster Max


Because it runs on a lithium battery, you can use it wirelessly. This makes cleaning up around the ladder and the rough areas of the walls simple. To make sure the pool doesn't have any exposed debris, it uses an excellent multilayer filtration system to eliminate debris. Both large and tiny trash is collected by this multilayer filter.

In just one hour, the cordless, rechargeable Max pool vacuum can completely clean above-ground pools. A tiny mesh is present in the filter basket. It also includes a nasal cap, body cleaner, vacuum head, filter bag, and charger for lithium batteries.


  • Easy installation.
  • Has a prolonged battery life thanks to a high-power lithium-ion battery.
  • Effective.
  • An automated wireless sanitizer.
  • Slim design.
  • The pool's multilayer filtration system.
  • Fine mesh is present in the filter basket.


  • It might not be the ideal tool for removing small stones and acorns.

Most Efficient Pick: DOLPHIN Nautilus CC Robotic Pool


Up to 33 feet in length, this Dolphin Nautilus robotic pool vacuum can be used in above-ground or in-ground pools. A 50-foot waterproof electrical wire that attaches to the top of the vacuum helps prevent tangling or kinking while providing power for it. Users should remove and empty the vacuum's collection basket and internal filter on a regular basis to maintain the vacuum's peak performance. Additionally, it features a handle that makes lifting it out of the water simple.

The cycle must be reset after one week if the user chooses to set it for every other day or every three days. Users are encouraged to clean the vacuum and empty the filter basket between uses thanks to this brief scheduling window. The duration of one cleaning cycle is around two hours.


  • A complete cleaning cycle took two hours.
  • Slim design.
  • An extensive waterproof power cord.
  • Weekly auto-cleaning timer.


  • The filter and basket must be emptied frequently.
  • Costly.

Hot Automatic Choice: Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner


The Ranger from Zodiac is a skimmer-powered pool vacuum created for above-ground pools, including models with dished-out bottoms up to 72 inches deep, and is built for safe and skid-free functioning. The vacuum is outfitted with a special deflector wheel that's intended to keep it from being trapped on steps, lighting, and other pool elements. Additionally, the base disc of the vacuum enables easy passage up the sides, in tight spaces, and along the bottom surface. One of the greatest automatic pool cleaners in its class, it is extremely quiet and doesn't make the typical banging or flapping noises associated with this design because it only has one moving portion.


  • Possibilities for side travel.
  • Quiet.
  • Wheel deflector.


  • Unable to function in pools deeper than 6 feet.

Best Cleaning: Poolvergnuegen automatic suction pool cleaner


One of the best suction pool cleaners with exceptional efficiency is The Poolvergnuegen Pool Cleaner. It has cutting-edge Derbys management technology, which enables you to remove all kinds of filth and debris from the pool. This pool cleaner is quite controllable, however, if your pool is full of debris, it might not be as effective.

It has a flexible turbine van set and two wheels on each side. Pool owners can easily modify the turbines so that they don't become obstructed by big particles by the floor environment of the pool. This will save you time and the aggravation of having to alter the vans.

To ensure that the cleaning is effective, it contains several steering cycles. It can work in any pool size and volume because to the sturdy tire treads, which also give it a climbing ability to scrub the walls. Large debris can be cleaned thanks to the three replaceable mouths.


  • Possesses strong tire threads.
  • Low cost of maintenance.
  • Has automatic-adjust turbine vans.
  • Capable of sanitizing pools of all shapes and sizes.
  • A system for controlled steering.
  • The debris management system is simple to use.


  • Bulky.
  • Not the greatest for cleaning up a lot of debris.

Budget Find: U.S. Pool Supply 16" Weighted Pool Vacuum Head


Connect this low-cost manual above ground pool vacuum from U.S. Pool Supply to a 1.25-inch or 1.5-inch hose to borrow suction from the filtration system. One end of the hose attaches to the top of the vacuum head while the other sits in the pool skimmer, allowing dirt and debris to be

If the suction is too strong and makes it difficult to move the vacuum, adjust the suction with the two air-relief valves on the top of the vacuum head. If the suction is too weak, close the air valves. The vacuum has a 16-inch weighted head that sits comfortably on the bottom of the pool and maintains strong suction while the nylon side and bottom bristles scrub stuck-on debris.


  • Easy to use.
  • Suction power adjustment valves.
  • Side scrubber brushes that work.


  • Requires suction from a filtering system when connected.
  • Pool vacuum with automatic suction from ExtremepowerUS.
  • Hose and pole not included.
  • Manual work is necessary.

Easy Maintenance: XtremepowerUS Premium automatic


Because of its straightforward design and construction, the XtremepowerUS Premium automatic suction side pool vacuum is one of the best above-ground pool vacuums that are still reasonably priced. Unlike other above-ground pool vacuums, you won't need tools or electricity with this pool vacuum because it is powered using its own pump, which is designed to move in the pool water at a speed of 8–12 feet per minute.

Unfortunately, since it doesn't scrub the surfaces or plan its course, you'll have to leave the pool vacuum in the water for a lot longer to get the best results even though it's specifically designed to function in an inground pool regardless of the pool form and size.


  • An automatic pool vacuum that is compatible with a variety of pool surfaces, including fiberglass, concrete, and vinyl.
  • No need for a booster pump or tools.
  • Climb the pool's suction side wall.
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Scrubs the sides and bottom of an above-ground pool.
  • Connects without electricity directly to the pool's water pressure and filtration system.
  • Specifically made to function in both above-ground and in-ground pools, regardless of the size, shape, or structure of the pools.
  • Have a set of garden hoses included.


  • The construction is not as robust.
  • If the pool's filtration system is dirty, it won't function.
  • Works best on smaller pools; otherwise, you'll need a lot of hoses to reach the difficult-to-reach areas.
  • This automatic suction side pool cleaner may become trapped in corners when cleaning, as is the case with most suction side pool vacuums.

Sand Buster: Catfish Ultra Vacuum Cleaner


The finest above-ground pool vacuum for cleaning a pool with a lot of sand is the Pool Blaster Catfish ultra vacuum cleaner, which is generally made to trap a variety of waste, including acorns, leaves, twigs, dirt, or sand.

If your pool requires a thorough deep cleaning, the outcomes from this cleaner will not disappoint.


  • A unique canister that is simple to empty and has a dual-cam lever attachment for mess-free emptying.
  • Applicable to both above-ground and in-ground pools.
  • Two head options: a 10.5-inch head for swiftly cleaning the entire floor or a vacuum nozzle for cramming into nooks and crannies.
  • Top cleaner for dirt, sand, acorns, leaves, and branches.
  • Rechargeable battery, which makes it simple and practical to use.
  • Easy-to-use cordless design.
  • Lasts up to 45 minutes, which is plenty for most swimming pools.
  • Capable of both deep cleaning and spot cleaning.


  • Because the debris container is not very large, it clogs easily.
  • Lightweight vacuum handle.

Most Versatile: The Hayward W900 Wanda the Whale Above-Ground Pool Vacuum


This suction-side pool vacuum from Hayward can move around the pool on its own using nothing but the suction from the filtration system. Connect the vacuum to the included 32-foot suction hose, and place the other end of the hose in the pool skimmer. Then, observe as the vacuum starts moving around the bottom of the pool, gathering dirt and debris in its path. This vacuum is suitable for use with any size or type of pool with an accessible pool skimmer.

The above-ground pool vacuum also has a whimsical whale exterior that's fun for kids to watch and swim in the pool. It has a bumper ring around the outside to reduce the impact and friction between the walls, steps, or ladders in the pool, helping to guide the vacuum away from those areas.


  • Only suction is required to move.
  • Impact-reducer bumper ring.
  • A kid-friendly design.


  • The pool places could be missed.
  • Will become blocked by huge debris.

Top Manual: Milliard See-Thru Pool Vacuum


To help keep it at the bottom of your pool, this inexpensive vacuum option works with a 1.25-inch or 1.5-inch hose and a 2-pound vacuum head.

With angled brushes on the triangular vacuum head tip, this above-ground pool vacuum can also clean inground pools. This feature makes it simpler to clean and scour dirt off corners, and it also helps clean where the walls and the bottom meet.

Also, keep in mind that this vacuum just comes with a vacuum head, so you'll need to buy the hose and extension pole separately. This vacuum eliminates and directs the dirt into the suction hose with the help of nine brushes on its bottom.


  • Nine sets of brushes for additional cleaning.
  • Triangle-shaped design that works well for pool corners.
  • Relatively inexpensive.
  • Perfectly weighed for simple movement.
  • Effective for in-ground and vinyl swimming pools.


  • The extension pole and hose must be purchased separately.
  • Does not include side brushes.

Hottest Electric: Dolphin Escape Robotic Vacuum Cleaner


The Escape pool cleaner from Dolphin is one of the best electric pool vacuums on the market thanks to its feature-packed design and reasonably low price point. Its wheels are outfitted with hypergrip continuous tracks for unparalleled traction and easy underwater maneuvering, and it sports a lift-off top filter for easy cleaning access without the need for bags.


  • Tracks with hypergrip.
  • A rapid suction rate.
  • Intelligent navigation.


  • Pops wheelies when changing lanes.

Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum: Drawing The Line

When choosing an above-ground pool vacuum, it is important to consider the size and shape of your pool, as well as what kind of hose or cord you need. It is also important to decide if you need a vacuum that can climb walls. Additionally, be sure to budget for your purchase. Some features that are nice to have but not necessary include a remote control, hose swivel, and scheduling option.

Our top pick for an automatic cleaner is the Pool Blaster Max, which runs on a lithium battery and is cordless for easy maneuvering.

If you're looking for an efficient and powerful robotic pool vacuum, the Dolphin Nautilus CC Robotic Pool Vacuum is our top pick.

The Ranger from Zodiac is a great skimmer-powered pool vacuum created for above-ground pools, including models with dished-out bottoms up to 72 inches deep.

The Pool Blaster Catfish Ultra Vacuum Cleaner is the finest above-ground pool vacuum for cleaning a pool with a lot of sand.

A very versatile Hayward suction-side pool vacuum is a great option for anyone with an above-ground pool. It's easy to use and comes with a 32-foot hose, so you can move it around the pool on its own. Plus, the fun exterior will keep kids entertained as they watch it clean the pool.

Manual pool vacuums are typically less expensive than automatic ones, and the Milliard See-Thru Pool Vacuum is a great example.

Finally, if you're looking for an electric pool vacuum that's sure to get the job done, check out the Dolphin Escape Robotic Vacuum Cleaner. With hypergrip continuous tracks and a lift-off top filter, this powerful machine will leave your pool clean in no time.

Above-ground pool vacuum cleaners can be a great help in keeping your swimming area clean. There are a variety of different types to choose from, each with its own unique benefits and features. We've listed the best above-ground pool vacuums here, so you can find the perfect one for your needs. Whether you're looking for a cordless option or something that is easy to install, we have you covered. Be sure to vacuum your pool regularly for optimal results!

Erica Hendricson

Erica Hendricson is a true tech enthusiast! With a New Hampshire origin and a strong technical background, she loves sorting things out.

Let her guide you to the correct shelf in picking the perfect devices and gadgets for you.