Best Pool Vacuums 2023 – Forbes Vetted

Having a pool at home is a luxury — but it’s a luxury that requires regular maintenance. Among the most important tools you need for maintenance: a reliable pool vacuum. The best pool vacuums are designed to vacuum up dirt and debris from your pool’s water and surfaces, making the cleaning process a little less labor intensive, extending the life of your personal swimming hole. Our top pick for most homes is the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus for its smart navigation and ease of use, but there are plenty of other great pool vacuums on this list to consider.

If you’re new to pool ownership, here’s what you know: A quality pool vacuum is essential to have a good swimming experience. “All pools need vacuuming,” says JustAnswer pool and spa expert Randy Huckstadt. “The process of vacuuming keeps chemicals working at their best. Vacuuming is necessary to pick up the dirt and debris that has found its way to the bottom of the pool.”

So which type of pool vacuum is right for you? Before you start shopping, “consider the type and size of your pool,” says Mallory Micetich, home expert at Angi. “For example, automatic and robotic pool cleaners [often] require a pool with a circulating filter pump and are a more popular choice for in-ground pools.” The size of your pool also matters. “If you have a smaller pool, you can probably get away with a manual option,” adds Micetich.

To save you the time and headache of sorting through hundreds of vacuums, we’ve rounded up what we think are the eight best pool vacuums currently on the market. (And while you’re at it, check out our list of the best beach towels.)

vacuum type: robot | Pool size: Up to 50 feet long | Weight: 19 pounds | Additional functions: Top load filter, anti-tangle swivel

Our top pick for more pool owners, the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is a powerful set-it-and-forget-it machine that can get the job done in two hours or less. Thanks to its intelligent CleverClean navigation system, this robot vacuum cleaner doesn’t miss a single spot on the floor or walls of the pool, while its double brush function removes even the most stubborn dirt and grime. Operation couldn’t be easier: all you have to do is plug it in and throw it in the pool. (It has a 60-foot tangle-free cord.) Plus, this robotic cleaner is easy to clean and maintain thanks to its top-load filters.

vacuum type: Manual | Pool size: Up to 30 feet long | Weight: 12 pounds | Additional functions: Connects to existing filtration system, no electricity required

As long as you’re willing to put in a little brute force, you don’t need to spend a bundle to get your pool clean. Case in point: Amazon’s best-selling Xtremepower Premium Vacuum Cleaner, a manual vacuum for less than $100. While you must push it around your pool at an ideal speed of 8-12 feet per minute to operate it, it can service pools up to 30 feet in length. To use it, simply connect to your existing filtration system, submerge the vacuum head and hose in the pool and get to work. Although this vacuum is not designed to clean stairs, most pool vacuums are not. Overall, it’s a breeze to maneuver.

vacuum type: robot | Pool size: Up to 60 feet long | Weight: 21 pounds | Additional functions: Controllable via app or Alexa, blows debris off stairs

While vacuuming your pool will never be fun, the Polaris 9650iQ Sport makes the process feel like a less of a chore. This vacuum cleaner is smart so you can control and monitor the action on your phone through the Polaris app or Alexa. The vacuum has four-wheel drive to comfortably scale walls all the way to the waterline, and thanks to its generous 70-foot cord, this machine can cover a large area. Meanwhile, a rear jet of water helps blow dirt and debris off stairs and out of tight corners — a feature most other vacuums don’t have. When it’s time to empty the bin, take advantage of the vacuum’s easy-lift removal system, which displaces water for a convenient lift.

vacuum type: robot | Pool size: Up to 33 feet long | Weight: 13.8 pounds | Additional functions: Top load filter, high speed scrubber

The Dolphin Explorer E20 is similar to the brand’s hugely popular Nautilus Plus CC. While this cheaper version covers a slightly smaller area (pools up to 33 feet long), it has many of the benefits of the Nautilus Plus CC (it can clean your pool in two hours or less). You can also program it to run on one of three regular cleaning schedules: every day, every other day, or every third day. To operate the cleaning robot, simply plug it in and drop it into the pool. When the job is done, a quick release button drains the water while retaining all debris.

vacuum type: suction side | Pool size: Up to 30 feet long | Weight: 1 pound | Additional functions: One moving part, cleaning disc with 36 slats

Designed to remove small to medium sized debris, suction side pool cleaners rely on your pool’s filtration system to function and are ideal for those looking for something budget friendly in the market. Right now, your best option is the Zodiac G3, which features a 36-rib disc head that securely attaches to the bottom, walls, and steps of your pool; In addition, its wheel deflector helps it maneuver around tight corners. To use the Zodiac G3, simply connect its hose to your existing filtration system and let it work.

vacuum type: pressure side | Pool size: Varies | Weight: 6.2 pounds | Additional functions: Garbage bag, twin nozzles

If you’re on the market for something that can remove larger debris, pressure side pool vacuums connect to your pool’s pump – and this option from Polaris adds the power of dual nozzles to clean your pool in three hours or less. The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 features a unique filter bag that catches debris of all sizes before it gets into your pool’s filter or pump basket and can be used in in-ground pools of all shapes and sizes. This agile vacuum cleaner can even squeeze into tight corners where dirt lurks.

vacuum type: Manual | Pool size: Varies | Weight: 5.5 pounds | Additional functions: Cordless and tubeless

If you prefer to clean your pool by hand, the Water Tech Pool Blaster is an economical option that’s free of cords and hoses. The machine works much like a stick vacuum: simply charge it before use, then manually run it over your pool’s surfaces, including the steps. A high-capacity dirt chamber helps capture larger particles for the vacuum to absorb, while allowing the filter bag to be cleaned and reused. While the vacuum requires a bit more work than a robotic version, it’s a good choice for cleaning smaller pools. And unless you take it into a large pool, it’s unlikely to die from you: the vacuum has enough power to clean for about an hour before needing to be recharged.

Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above Ground Pool Cleaner

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vacuum type: suction side | Pool size: Up to 6 feet deep | Weight: 15 pounds | Additional functions: idler wheel, a moving part

Above ground pools are not required Exactly the same maintenance as their in-ground counterparts. That said, you still need a top-of-the-line vacuum like the Zodiac Ranger, which is rated for above-ground pools up to 6 feet deep. The vacuum cleaner has only one moving part so it works quickly and quietly, while a deflection wheel prevents it from getting caught on steps and steps. A self-regulating flow control valve helps this vacuum perform at its best. Just attach it to your skimmer and let it get to work.

How we picked the best pool vacuums

To determine the best pool vacuums you can buy right now, we spoke to two pool experts to get an insight into the category and the top factors to consider when shopping. We then identified the best pool vacuums on the market and analyzed each model by type, construction, weight and additional features. Reviews from real pool owners have also been included to get a better sense of how these vacuums perform in the real world.

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