Best Pool Cleaners – Ultimate Buying Guide

As the temperature outside rises, nothing can compete with a day spent lounging by the pool. But public pools can be overcrowded and filthy, a pool all to myself is more my style.

Of course, a lot of responsibility comes with a pool. It is very important to keep your pool clean and free of gunk. Which is why I have compiled a list of the top pool cleaners on the market.

Dolphin 99996403-PC with filters

Pool Cleaner Name

Our Rating



 ** Best Pool Cleaner All Round **

Baracuda G3 W03000 Pool Cleaner

Kreepy Krauly Pool Cleaner

Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner

Zodiac MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

Dolphin Escape Robotic Pool Cleaner

Water Tech Pool Blaster Catfish Pool Cleaner

Water Tech Pool Blaster Max Pool Cleaner

 Best Above Ground Pool Cleaner

Intex Auto Pool Cleaner

Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale Pool Cleaner

Hayward Aquabug Automatic Pool Cleaner

Best Robotic Pool Cleaner

Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner

Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40i

Dolphin Nautilus Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner

Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen Robotic Pool Cleaner

Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner

>> skip to recommendations <<

Benefits of Buying a Pool Cleaner

The benefits of buying a pool cleaner are seemingly endless, some of them are pretty obvious, and others are more subtle. The first benefit of buying a pool cleaner is that your water will be clean. No one wants to swim in green and gunky water, which is exactly what the cleaner takes care of. Another benefit is that it makes your life much easier. Using a pool cleaner can greatly reduce the amount of time you spend doing maintenance. Using a pool cleaner can also help reduce the risk of some diseases.

Types of Pool Cleaners

There are three main types of pool cleaners to choose from, suction, handheld, and robotic.

Suction cleaners are an inexpensive option that stick to the suction line of your pool’s plumbing system.

Robotic cleaners are practically an all in one, automated cleaner. They have a self-contained filtration system and doesn’t add any additional burdens to your pool equipment.

Handheld pool cleaners are almost like a vacuum for your pool and you use it similarly.

Tips for Choosing a Great Pool Cleaner

To help you choose the best pool vacuum for your needs, I have come up with a few tips and tricks to help you as you shop. First off, decide what kind of pool cleaner you want. I have only provided a very brief description of each one, it would be best for you to do some more research after you finish reading this. Next you will want to look around and compare prices so that you can get the best deal. Lastly, never settle. There is no need to settle for a pool cleaner that you don’t love. If it doesn’t have all the features you want, then keep looking until you find the right one.

Best Pool Cleaner


Winner: Baracuda G3 W03000

Key Features:
Devours Debris: This suction pool cleaner will devour debris of almost any size. It goes along the ground and sides of your pool to make sure it is debris free.

Quiet: Instead of having a cleaner that sounds like a powerful generator, you can have one that makes practically no noise.

FlowKeeper Valve: The unique FlowKeeper valve automatically regulates water flow. This allows even low horsepower pumps to maintain peak performance at all times.

36 Fin Disc: The one of a kind 36 fin cleaning disc provides you with unrivaled suction and prevents your cleaner from getting caught up on drains and such.

Baracuda G3 W03000 Pool Cleaner

Pros: One of my favorite things about this cleaner is that it only has one moving part. This eliminates the need for wheels and makes maintenance super easy and cheap. It also just seems way safer, in my opinion, than a cleaner with lots of moving parts to get stuff stuck in.

Cons: The only downside of this pump is that it does cause wear on your pool pump. This is pretty standard for suction cleaners however, and if you are not willing to wear out your pump a little bit, then a suction cleaner probably isn’t right for you.

Alternatively, read our full review here.

Runner Up: Kreepy Krauly Climb Wall Pool Cleaner

Key Features:
No Tools: You do not need any tools or special skills to install this suction pool cleaner, it is very easy and can be done in just a few minutes. It took me about 15 minutes to set mine up and it was my very first time.

Superior Suction: It is hard to find a pool cleaner with better suction than the Kreepy Krauly. This superior suction allows the cleaner to get a thorough and complete clean for your entire pool.

Bag Free: The Kreepy Krauly uses a cartridge filter rather than a bag, which is easy to clean and replace. It is also much cleaner than using bags, which are prone to ripping and spilling.

Easy to Use: The Kreepy Krauly doesn’t have a thousand buttons or settings that are impossible to adjust. It is very easy to use and can be done by pretty much anybody.​​​​

Kreepy Krauly Climb Wall Pool Cleaner

Pros: One thing I love about this cleaner is how good of a job it does cleaning algae. I hate when algae starts to build up on the sides of my pool, but using this cleaner that is something I never have to worry about.

Cons: Unfortunately, I haven’t found this cleaner the best when it comes to picking up large debris, such as leaves. However, leaves are usually pretty easy to just skim off the surface, so this isn’t too much of a disadvantage.

Alternatively, read our full review here.

Runner Up: Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner

Key Features:
Lightweight: Usually a really good robotic pool cleaner is pretty heavy. However, this one is surprisingly lightweight, which makes it easy to store and take care of.

Effective: This robotic cleaner from Dolphin is incredibly hardworking and effective. It can clean pools as long as 50 feet in just a few hours.

Warranty: With the Nautilus, you get a really great warranty agreement. It is a pretty comprehensive 12 month warranty, which is more than a lot of pool cleaners come with, it covers spare parts and labor. To me, this shows me that Dolphin is really committed to quality and customer satisfaction.

Cartridge Filter: No need for messy bags since the Nautilus has an easy to clean cartridge filter. This keeps maintenance to a minimum and makes your life much easier.

Dolphin 99996323 Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner

Pros: I love that this robotic cleaner is programmed to scan your pool and find the most effective path to take. You never have to worry about whether or not it missed a spot, because it will scan the pool, leaving no surface uncleaned.

Cons: The only downside of this cleaner is that it is on the pricier side.

Alternatively, read our full review here.

Runner Up: Zodiac MX8 Suction Side Cleaner

Key Features:
Cyclonic Vacuum: The unique cyclonic technology of this cleaner allows the MX8 to get greater suction and a wider cleaner path. All this, means you get a deeper clean for your pool.

X-Trax Tires: The X-Trax tires make climbing walls and navigating around tight corners a breeze. They maximize maneuverability so that the MX8 can get every inch of your pool.

Non Damaging: Since this cleaner is robotic and does not attach directly to your pool’s pump, it does not wear out your pump or damage any part of your pool.

Warranty: The Zodiac MX8 also comes with a 12 month warranty, so it is almost risk-free to purchase.

Zodiac MX8

Pros: Not only is this cleaner great for in ground pools, it also is great for all pool surfaces. Whether your pool is vinyl, tile, fiberglass, or anything in between, the Zodiac MX8 can clean it all. This also means you can take your pool cleaner with you if you ever move without having to worry about whether it will work on a new pool.

Cons: My least favorite part of this cleaner is the maintenance that it requires. It is not a lot of work to take care of, but it is important that you take care of it. I haven’t found a cleaner that requires no maintenance, so this is something that is common among all pool cleaners and does not take away from its performance overall.

Alternatively, read our full review here.

Runner Up: Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner

Key Features:
Bag Free: No bags, no worries. Although bags do have their advantages, cartridges will almost always be easier to clean and replace.

Hypergrip Continuous Grasp: The Dolphin hypergrip allows the cleaner to achieve maximum traction and keeps the back wheels from getting the newly clean area dirty again.

Dual Brushes: Its unique dual brushes allow the cleaner take on tough debris and algae without skipping a beat.

Scanner: The built-in scanner will scan the surfaces of your pool and find the best route to take. The scanner also ensures that every article of debris is removed and that your pool is squeaky clean.

Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground

Pros: A huge advantage, for me at least, is how freaking light it is. Somehow, it only weighs 14 pounds. This makes it incredibly easy to store and tote around when you are not using it. It does not cause user fatigue or anything.

Cons: You’re probably thinking, “well all that sounds great, but what’s the catch?” The only downside of this cleaner is its price. I have not been able to find it anywhere for below $500. I paid a little over $500 for mine and I don’t regret it at all, but I know this is outside of some peoples budget.

Alternatively, read our full review here.

Runner Up: Water Tech Pool Blaster Catfish Pool Cleaner

Key Features:
Lightweight: Weighing in at just 3 pounds, this handheld pool cleaner will not wear you out or make you feel like you just spent 2 hours at the gym.

Cord Free: It is also cord free, which is great news if you’re like me. I hate getting cords tangled, or getting tripped up on them while I’m cleaning, but that wasn’t even a concern of mine when I used this cleaner.

Rechargeable: Since there is no cord, it is battery powered. Thankfully though, the battery is rechargeable, so you don’t have to shill out hundreds of dollars a year on batteries.

Effective: The Pool Blaster is capable of picking up debris of all sizes. It can also clean 33 gallons of water per minute, without relying on the pools filtration system at all.

Water Tech Pool Blaster Catfish

Pros: I know I’ve been bashing on bags, but I actually really like the bag that this one uses. It has a reusable filter bag, that is easy to empty, so you don’t have to continuously buy replacements.

Cons: When you buy this cleaner, it does not come with a telescope pole to help you reach far away places, like the very bottom of the pool. However, this can be purchased separately pretty inexpensively.

Alternatively, read our full review here.

Runner Up: Water Tech Pool Blaster Max Pool Cleaner

Key Features:
Storage Notch: The notch on the Pool Blaster Max is incredibly useful when you are not using it and trying to store it. Instead of just leaning it up against the shed, or cramming it in the closet, you can hang it wherever you have a free hook.

Telescopic Pole: This cleaner also comes with a telescopic pole, which will help you get hard to reach places, like corners and the very bottom.

Clip On Accessories: Clip on the included wheels if you have a concrete pool. Or, if you have a vinyl pool. You can clip on the included brushes. These clip on accessories are what makes this cleaner perfect for every type of pool.

Dent Proof: Perhaps best of all, this one-hand cleaner is also fade proof and dent proof. Meaning it will look as good as new for a very long time.

Water Tech Pool Blaster Max Pool Cleaner

Pros: The Water Tech Pool Blaster Max comes with a one year warranty that will protect you from defective cleaners and ensures that you are not wasting your time and money.

Cons: The bags that this cleaner uses to store the captured debris just does not suit my taste. The cleaner itself still works great, I just loathe maintenance on this cleaner because I personally do not like bags.

Alternatively, read our full review here.