Vacuuming your pool regularly is important to keeping it clean and your water well-balanced.

There are quite a few great pool robots to consider that can help automate this process. But, pool cleaners can get expensive. And in some cases, they might not do the job perfectly (or fast enough).

I know I’ve been in a pinch and had people on their way over to my house with a pool full of dirt. Talk about anxiety!

For these cases, vacuuming your pool manually is the best method.

To make sure that you vacuum your pool properly, it’s important to know what setting you should vacuum your pool on. This guide will help you understand what setting to use and when.

In General

If you’re regularly staying on top of cleaning your pool, and there’s only a little bit of debris at the bottom of your pool, you can vacuum on “Filter”.

This is the most common setting that you will use with your pool for everyday maintenance. And you can use it for vacuuming too.

Essentially, when you vacuum to filter, you suck dirt up from the bottom of the pool and pass it into your skimmer basket. The skimmer basket should filter out most of the debris. Anything else will pass through your pump basket before going into your actual filter.

Bonus Tip: After you are done vacuuming on filter, turn off the system. Make sure to clean out your skimmer and pump baskets. Then, switch your multi-port valve setting to “Backwash” and turn the system back on. It’s always a good idea to backwash after vacuuming because it helps clean your filter. I also like to “rinse” the filter after a backwash to make sure all the dirt and debris is flushed out.

For Bigger Jobs

When your pool is a hot mess, running your pool vacuum on filter isn’t the best idea.

For example, when seasonal pool owners open a pool, they’ll likely find it littered with bugs, leaves, and other large pieces of debris. This is definitely not the time to vacuum on filter!

In cases like this, you want to use the “Waste” setting.

The waste setting bypasses your filter completely. This is important because you don’t want to clog your filter with all that junk.

Anything that you vacuum up will go straight out the waste line. Keep in mind that when you do this, you will actually be dumping water from your pool. So, keep an eye on your water level as you’re vacuuming. If you see it drop significantly, switch the system off and add a hose in. As a general rule of thumb, you want your water level to be halfway above your skimmer. This keeps the pump from sucking air and damaging itself.

Bonus Tip: Like when you vacuum on filter, keep an eye on your skimmer and pump baskets. If these get full, you will lose pressure in your vacuum. When they get full, you’ll want to turn the system off and clean them out. Then, start again.

Do you have a pool? If so, do you ever get tired of cleaning it? Well, there is no need to worry about that anymore! With a robotic pool cleaner, all you have to do is sit back and relax while your cleaner does all the work for you. But how does it work? Keep reading to find out.

What Are Robotic Pool Cleaners?

Robotic pool cleaners are, as the name suggests, robots that clean your pool for you. All you have to do is drop them in and let them do their job. They will clean your pool’s floor, walls, and even the water itself!

They differ from other pool cleaners such as suction and pressure cleaners in that they are autonomous. This means that you do not have to be there to operate them – you can simply set them up and let them get to work.

How Do Robotic Pool Cleaners Work?

Robotic pool cleaners employ powerful motors, which allows them to run smoothly and effectively without consuming too much power.

Debris in the pool is collected by the robot and sucked into a separate filter bag attached to the device. These bags are removable and can be cleaned after use.

The main distinction between these kinds of pool cleaners and other automated pool cleaners is that they employ digital technology with a variety of functions. While the robotic technology differs between various models and price points, most come with several cleaning modes to help you personalize your clean.

Cleaning your pool may be as quick or as thorough as you want it to be. You can choose a fast clean, a more thorough clean, cleaning at different times, or a specific section of your pool to be cleaned depending on the type of robot you have.

Robotic cleaners include sensors that can identify the pool’s form and waterline, allowing for more informed cleaning. Many robotic cleaners come with extra capabilities such as remote-control operation so you can move your robot to where you want it without lifting a finger. Other models may be controlled via an app on your phone, allowing you to operate your robot from anywhere.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Are Pool Cleaning Robots Powered?

Pool cleaning robots are powered by electricity. Most robotic pool cleaners come with a power cord, which can vary in length based on model. This cord is attached to a power and control box, which is in turn plugged into an outlet.

Some pool robots, however, are cordless. These models typically come with a rechargeable battery. Once the battery is depleted, you will need to plug it in and allow it to recharge before using it again.

How Does a Robotic Pool Cleaner Know Where to Go?

Robotic pool cleaners typically use one of two navigation systems – random or programmed.

Random navigation is exactly what it sounds like – the cleaner will move around your pool in a random pattern, covering as much ground as possible. This method is usually used for larger pools.

Programmed navigation, on the other hand, is more precise. The cleaner will move in a specific pattern, covering your entire pool methodically. This is the more common type of navigation system for smaller pools.

Some robotic cleaners come with advanced navigation systems that use sensors to map out your pool and create a cleaning plan accordingly. This ensures that every single area of your pool is cleaned thoroughly.

Homeowners with pools know how important it is to keep the water clean, sparkling, and inviting. And as the summer approaches and the pool party and outdoor cookout season begin, this will be even more important.

The best way to keep your pool spic and span is to invest in a high-quality swimming pool vacuum. As an essential instrument for keeping your pool clean and free of dirt and debris, and with so many options to choose from, we understand it can become a little overwhelming. However, if you want the vacuum that will give you the least trouble, a cordless option is the way to go for hassle-free cleaning.

So, just for you, we’ve rounded up the 5 best pool vacuums (cordless, of course). Now, you don’t have to spend any unnecessary time trawling the internet when you could be relaxing in a clean waterside environment. If cordless is a must for you, check out our top choices and see which one may be best for you.

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Best Cordless Pool Vacuums

Our picks for the best cordless pool vacuum cleaners are:

If you’re looking for a way to reduce your maintenance and keep your pool spotless while saving money, then read on below to get our picks for the best cordless pool cleaners.

1. AIPER Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner

Best Robotic Model

It’s the word robotic for us. If we can sit by the pool with a piña colada while the job gets done for us, we’re already sold. And in our experience, this model is already up there on the star scale due to its range of top-notch features. We also love how easy it is to clean, how easy it is to use, its value for money, and its suction power.

It also offers you peace of mind when it comes to cord damage and entanglement, and it just makes the whole pool cleaning experience so much smoother than other cleaners.

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  • Cleaning range: Pools up to 538 sq/ft.
  • Cleaning time: 50 minutes.
  • Weight: 4.47 Kilograms


  • Easy to transport.
  • It has touch and reverse technology. (This means it will reach one pool wall and automatically reverse its cleaning direction.)
  • It’s rechargeable and long-lasting.


  • If you’ve got a bigger pool, the charge time might not last a full clean.
  • It has to be fully charged before use.

Final Verdict

If the idea of sitting by a clean pool with a cocktail is your idea of heaven, you’ll want to grab one of these ASAP!

2. Pool Blaster Water Tech Catfish

Best Value

Ideal for smaller pools, spas, and hot tubs, this pool cleaner has it all. Cordless, of course, this model has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which means it is perfect for a quick and easy clean with no messing around. In terms of pool types, it’s best used with above-ground pools and small in-ground, soft-sided ones.

In our experience with the Pool Blaster cleaner, we found it extremely easy to operate due to its push-button operation and how lightweight it is. You can either attach it to a pool pole or use it by hand – it purely depends on your preference. Also, it includes a removable 7.5-inch vacuum head that allows you to easily clean it and expose the nose to get to tricky spots.

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  • Item dimensions: 16.75 x 7.5 x 7 inches.
  • Cleaning time: 45 minutes.
  • Weight: 2.90 lbs.


  • Convenient handle.
  • Re-useable filter bag and micro-filtering.
  • It’s very powerful!


  • It’s not ideal for larger pools.
  • The suction power could be stronger.

Final Verdict

After a vacuum that offers versatile cleaning for small pools? This one’s for you.

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3. Intex 28620EP Handheld Rechargeable Spa Vacuum

Ideal for Small Pools

Small pool people, we’ve got the perfect vacuum for you! Perfect for those with spas and super small pools, this compact model has many benefits that will make you want to add to your basket and click the checkout button ASAP!

Per our pool cleaning experts, this vacuum is incredibly good at maintaining pools of this size, ensuring the water is fresh and clean and that dirt and debris are eradicated. It’s got two brush heads that are interchangeable as well as a USB cable for charging, and its automatic shutoff turns it off when it’s not underwater. The IPX8 waterproof switch is also a great feature, as it provides the vacuum with more protection. Spa owners everywhere, you NEED this rechargeable vacuum in your life!

Note: This vacuum will only work when it’s completely underwater!

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  • Cleaning range: All pure spas and above ground pools up to 18” Diameter
  • Weight: 6.54 lbs.


  • A telescoping pole to get into those tight nooks and crannies without getting yourself wet.
  • A Ni-MH battery that is rechargeable. 50 minutes and your pool cleaner is ready to go!


  • You have to manually clean your pool with it.
  • Not ideal for massive pools.

Final Verdict

Need to keep your small pool or spa clean this summer? You know what to do!

4. AIPER Smart Cordless Robotic Cleaner

Top Features

Tech lovers need to check out this cordless pool cleaner. It’s made with smart technology, which means it’s self-parking – it will stop after completing a cleaning or to alert you that it needs charging.

This cordless pool vacuum is compatible with pools up to 35ft in size that are in-ground and off-ground models. It also offers an alternative, safer cleaning method to vacuums with cords. In our experience, using this model is much easier – you don’t have to worry about cord entanglement or the risk of cutting out mid-clean because you accidentally pulled the plug out from the wall.

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  • Speed: 52.5 ft/min.
  • Dual motors which means incredible suction power.
  • Cleaning time: 50 minutes.


  • It comes with a one-year warranty.
  • There’s worry and hassle-free customer service.
  • It has an advanced filtration system – the two suction doors allow any dirt particles to head straight to the filter tray.
  • It’s cost-effective – it uses less than (on average) 0.03 kWh per time with a total yearly electricity cost of about $1.


  • The battery duration and performance can be affected if the water temperature is below 41F to 95F.

Final Verdict

If you’ve always wanted a robotic cordless cleaner, what’s stopping you? Grab one for yourself and enjoy the results.

5. Ofuzzi Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner

Lightest Robotic Model

This pool vacuum came out on top for running time. Operating for a whopping 120 minutes, the rechargeable battery lets the vacuum continue working for a seriously long time, which is great if you want to give your pool a real deep clean. This obviously means it takes longer to charge – we’re talking 5 to 6 hours as opposed to 50 minutes, but the results are well worth it.

This one has also got self-parking technology, so it will alert you when the battery’s low or it’s finished its cleaning cycle. When it stops, you can pull the vacuum out to the water surface with the floating handle. You can then grab the handle on the machine to lift it out of the pool.

It also has a filter tray to collect leaves, sand, pet hair, and any other debris that lands in your pool!

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  • Max cleaning area: 1076ft² for pools above or half ground and pools up to 6.6ft deep.
  • Weight: 12.2lbs.
  • Two powerful motors, therefore using less battery power.


  • It can climb slopes of 15°.
  • It has a smart route.
  • The IPX8 waterproof batteries allow you to clean your pool without the help of a filter or pool pump.
  • Excellent efficiency.


  • It can’t climb walls.

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a model that has a long running time, this is the vacuum for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you use a cordless pool vacuum?

Charge up your vacuum for the maximum time it states in the manual. Then, depending on your model, assemble as the manual states. Place your cordless vacuum in the pool and turn it on as instructed. Whatever the cleaning time, your vacuum will clean your entire pool for you. If you have a robotic vacuum, it will clean your pool without you having to do anything.

What are the most important features of a cordless pool vacuum?

Not sure what to look for in your cordless vacuum? Here are some considerations for your decision:

  • Battery time
  • Cleaning time
  • Rechargeable battery
  • Efficiency
  • Materials and durability
  • User-friendly

Are cordless pool vacuums better?

Cordless pool vacuums minimize fuss because they do not need to be plugged in at the mains. This makes them more versatile and convenient, especially if your pool is at the bottom of your garden far away from a plug socket. This prevents you from needing to dust off extension leads and bring them into the garden, which can be dangerous if there’s a lot of water around. Essentially, cordless pool vacuums are much easier to work with.

Are cordless and automatic pool vacuums worth it?

100%. You don’t have to spend hours manually cleaning your water when an automatic one can clean your pool in as little as 50 minutes. (Keep in mind that the larger your pool, the longer it will take for the cleaning process.)

While you’ll still have other cleaning tasks on your to-do list, not needing to guide the vacuum or at least not worrying about getting tangled or too far from an outlet will make the entire process easier and faster.


Now you have all the information on the top cordless vacuums — what are you waiting for? Use this guide to find the perfect choice for you to invest in so you can enjoy a spotless pool without cord tangling. You’ll have the cleanest water in the neighborhood!

If you’re the proud owner of a pool, you want to keep it as clean as possible year-round. You’ll need a good vacuum, but finding the right one for you can be hard when there are so many options on the market.

This list contains some of the best pool vacuums on the market with features that set them apart. One of them just might be the right fit for you. Check out what our pool experts had to say about each of these top picks so that you can purchase your next vacuum with confidence.

PV Pool Cleaner is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Best Robotic Pool Vacuums

Our picks for the best robotic pool vacuum cleaners are:

If you’re looking for a way to reduce your maintenance and keep your pool spotless while saving money, then read on below to get our picks for the best robotic pool cleaners.

1. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

Best In-Ground Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is a robotic pool cleaner perfect for in-ground swimming pools of 50 feet or less. This cleaner can get the job done in up to 2 hours without you having to lift a finger because of its superior twin cartridge filtration system. We found that the dual brushes for scrubbing were able to remove all the impurities off the surface walls better than any other in- ground model.

The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is an independent cleaning machine that doesn’t require large pumps or hoses that require more energy and space like some of its competitors. It comes with three convenient setting options: every day, every other day, and every third day, so all you have to do is touch a button to get the hassle-free cleaning started.

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  • Cleaning range: 50 feet
  • Weight: 19 pounds
  • Weekly Cleaning Timer Features Available


  • Cleanings can be scheduled for your liking using the setting options.
  • Cartridges are easy to clean and replace.
  • The strong suction power makes it easy to clean the floor and walls.


  • Some experts report that it can get stuck on ladders or steps.
  • The power cord could be longer to make usage more efficient.

Bottom Line

This compact robot offers superior cleaning capabilities with customizable programming. This straightforward machine is ideal for new pool owners.

2. Dolphin Nautilus CC Supreme

Best Wi-Fi Connected Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Dolphin Nautilus CC Supreme is a superior robot cleaner with powerful motors, three brushes for scrubbing, and extra-large twin cartridges to clean every part of the pool, including the waterline. This interactive, premium cleaner connects to WiFi, so you can quickly set the cleaning schedule, the cycle, and even direct spot cleaning from anywhere, as long as you have your phone with you.

The Dolphin Nautilus CC Supreme can be set up to do a quick cleaning, standard cleaning, or clean a specified area, depending on how much time you want to dedicate to cleaning that day. In our opinion, having this much control over our pool cleaner without having to do the cleaning makes the higher price worth every penny.

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  • Cable Length: 60 feet of Tangle-Free Cable
  • Weight: 24 pounds
  • WiFi Connectivity with the MyDolphin Plus Mobile App


  • It cleans every part of the pool thoroughly.
  • The setup is super easy.
  • Controlling the robot with the app works very well.


  • Connecting it to the WiFi can be tricky depending on your device or service.
  • It doesn’t come with a physical owner’s manual.

Bottom Line

This premium cleaner is ideal for owners who love using their phone to manage their household tasks. You’ll never forget to clean your pool again.

3. Polaris P825 Sport Automatic Robotic

Best Cordless Polaris

The Polaris P825 Sport Automatic Robotic provides a premium cleaning performance. It relies on cordless suction technology to navigate every part of your pool’s surface without losing its grip. Our pool experts can guarantee you will never have to touch debris again because of the robot’s Push’N’Go filter canister. All you have to do is shake it and spray it.

The Polaris P825 Sport comes with a 50ft cable, a 4L debris canister, and a caddy for convenient transport and storage. The caddy feature is highly sought after by customers, but few competitors come equipped with one when you order their robot. Your pool will be immaculate within 1.5 hours. Just activate the dual-cleaning cycle using the one-touch on-demand cleaning option, and it does the work for you.

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  • Cable Length: 70 feet
  • 50’ Floating Cable
  • Premium caddy


  • It cleans and scrubs the walls efficiently.
  • The caddy cart improves the user experience and makes storage easier.
  • The debris canister picks up large debris and is easy to remove with its transparent lid.


  • The suction can cause the robot to get stuck on stair mats.
  • The price is on the high end.

Bottom Line

This automatic robot gets the job done with just one touch of a button. The premium caddy included makes cleaning day more efficient than ever.

4. AIPER Orca 1300 Automatic

Best Automatic AIPER Pool Cleaner

The AIPER Orca 1300 Automatic comes with two roller brushes that can do twice the amount of cleaning at half the time. This automatic robotic pool cleaner uses PVC rollers for superior absorption and grip capabilities. It can climb walls to scrub every surface, including the waterline. There are three cleaning modes with preset durations to choose from.

The AIPER Automatic Pool Cleaner comes with a 2-year warranty plan to guarantee you get the best experience possible. The robot comes with a safety rope that you can tie to the power box to prevent it from falling into the water. The 50ft anti-tangle cable also prevents it from getting caught around obstacles like the ladder as it cleans every surface of your pool.

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  • PVC rollers for absorption and grip
  • Tangle-free Safety Rope
  • 1-hr Quick Clean Mode


  • The double roller brush cleans faster and more efficiently than cleaners with a single brush.
  • The safety rope prevents unnecessary trouble between the robot and the power supplier.
  • It comes almost ready to go as soon as you take it out of the box.


  • A few of our experts have reported that the Orca 1300 doesn’t pick up sand well.
  • Some of the movement functions can be improved.

Bottom Line

This cleaner is perfect for every hands-off owner. Your in-ground pool will be spotless without the need for supervision.

5. Polaris 9650iQ Sport

Most Powerful Automatic Pool Cleaner

The Polaris 9650iQ Sport is the most intelligent cleaner, perfect for pool owners who want a quick and efficient in-ground robotic cleaner. In our experience, this device offers a premium cleaning performance that is unmatched in the market. The 4-wheel drive capability lets it climb over obstacles without getting stuck, a common problem with similar cleaners.

The Polaris 9650iQ Sport comes with a 70ft cable, a tangle-reducing swivel, and an extra-large 5L debris canister. This will pick up all the dirt, debris, and leaves after a storm or pool party without having to change the cartridge. You can clean your entire pool using the iAquaLink app that lets you control the robot and even alerts you when the canister is dirty.

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  • iAquaLink App to control from anywhere
  • Dirty Canister Indicator
  • 4WD Capabilities


  • Perfect for in-ground pools of all sizes and surfaces up to 60ft.
  • The 4-wheel drive and low-torque watertight swivel prevent cleaning interruptions.
  • It includes a wall brush for superior cleaning capabilities.


  • This robot is heavier than the average cleaner, which may not be ideal for all users.
  • The price is on the high side.

Bottom Line

This intelligent cleaner is a 4WD powerhouse that cleans every surface of an in-ground pool. If you want a robot that removes every speck of debris, this one is for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which pool robot is the best?

There is a number of high-quality pool robots available on the market. As you can see from this post, choosing the best pool robot can depend on the type of pool you have, how big it is, your budget, and the number of bells and whistles that you’re looking for.

Based on my personal experience, I think the best pool cleaner is the Dolphin Nautilus CC. I absolutely love it. But keep in mind, that the Nautilus CC is really geared for in-ground pools. Overall, I think Dolphin is the leader when it comes to pool robot technology. They have additional products for above-ground pools as well.

What features should I look for in a robotic cleaner?

The most important features to consider before purchasing a new robotic cleaner are:

  • Cleaning power
  • Filtering capacity
  • Range
  • WiFi capabilities

Whichever model you choose, it should be able to clean all the debris covering the floor, walls, and waterline. If you want to automate the entire task, having a WiFi connected robot will streamline daily or weekly cleanings for you.

Is there a difference between an in-ground and above-ground robotic cleaner?

Yes! Some cleaners are better suited for in-ground pools while others are best suited for above-ground pools or even both. Make sure to check out the product description of your model for the best results.

Can I leave my robotic pool vacuum in the water all the time?

Pool robots are not intended to be in the pool at all times. The preset schedules make it easy for the cleaner to start and finish running whenever you want. Leaving it in at all times can increase harmful exposure to corrosive chemicals in the water that can break it prematurely. For more information on why you shouldn’t leave your pool robot in the pool, click here.

Why should I invest in a robotic pool vacuum?

There are a few benefits you can enjoy with any robot cleaner:

  • Shorter cleaning time
  • Less involvement in the process
  • Less debris remaining after a cleaning
  • Automated features

Each vacuum has special features and a different price point to match, but they all help get the job done for you. Investing in a robotic cleaner means less time cleaning the pool and more time enjoying the sparkling fresh water. They even get to the hard to reach places. All you have to do is set it up and they get the job done for you.

How Does a Robotic Pool Cleaner Work?

Ever wonder how these nifty little pool robot cleaners do their job? Well, it’s actually quite simple.

Most robotic pool cleaners work by using a motor to drive a set of tracks along the bottom and sides of the pool. The tracks are lined with bristles or brushes that help to loosen dirt and debris.

At the same time, a suction device collects the debris and deposits it into a filter bag or canister.

Some models also feature rotating brushes that provide a deeper clean.

Regardless of the type of brushes, all models rely on the suction power of the motor to move debris through the system and keep it from clogging the brush head.


Investing in the right pool cleaner for your needs is essential in keeping the water safe and pristine. And with all the various features, you’ll have to decide which ones are most important to you.

No matter how difficult it is to choose, the model with the right features for every home and budget is out there. Use this guide to find your favorite cleaning tool so that you can start the summer right with a brand new robotic cleaner that will make your pool look fresh all season long.

As a homeowner, you know that keeping your pool clean and clear can feel like a full-time job. By investing in a quality pool vacuum, you can significantly cut down the time needed for hands-on maintenance. But with so many products out there, which is the best one to buy for your needs?

Our cleaning experts have tested the vacuums from one of the top lines — Polaris. We’re here to share their findings so that you make an informed choice. Here, we break down the pros and cons of five of the best Polaris pool cleaners and share our experiences using them. 

If you’re looking to save time and money on your pool maintenance, check out the best pool vacuums from Polaris.

PV Pool Cleaner is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Best Polaris Pool Vacuums

Our picks for the best pool vacuum cleaners by Polaris are:

If you’re looking for a way to reduce your maintenance and keep your pool spotless while saving money, then read on below to get our picks for the best Polaris pool cleaners.

1. Polaris P825 Robotic Pool Cleaner

Best robotic option

From what we’ve seen, the P825 will deftly climb walls and clean right up to the tile line. With its cyclonic vacuum technology, the cleaning action of this machine will exceed expectations.

Cyclonic vacuum technology lets the machine maintain suction power consistently throughout the pool when cleaning. The well-designed debris canister is also simple and convenient to use.

While the product is in the higher price range, we loved the modern features and felt that the cost is justified for the quality you’re getting.

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  • Automatic function
  • 50 ft cable
  • 4L Push’N’Go debris canister
  • Patented cyclonic vacuum technology
  • AA premium-quality caddy for transport and storage


  • Cleans and scrubs thoroughly
  • Handles debris expertly without losing suction power
  • Push’N’Go filter canister removes debris without touching it
  • Simple to operate and clean
  • Energy-efficient


  • Relatively expensive
  • May get stuck in oddly shaped pools

Final Verdict

The P825 is perfect for those looking for a hassle-free way to pick up stubborn debris. The Push’N’Go filter canister allows you to dispose of it without having to touch it with your hands. Overall, this is a solid pool cleaner worth investing in!

2. Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Side

Best pressure side option

Powered by water pressure coming from the return line of the pool, we love that this in-ground cleaner doesn’t need a booster pump.

In our experience, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 can pick up larger debris types better than other cleaners before they cause trouble with the filter and pump basket. This helps your filtration system last longer.

We’ve found this model is ideal for inground pools of most shapes. It’s also suitable for several pool materials, including fibreglass, vinyl, tile, and more.

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  • 31 ft feed hose
  • Single-chamber filter sack
  • Superior sucking power tech


  • Affordable
  • Simple to install
  • Functions well without a booster pump
  • Picks up larger debris than other machines
  • Good suction power


  • Can get stuck in trickier areas like pool stairs
  • Debris bag may be cumbersome to clean when it is damp
  • Instruction manual is a bit unclear

Final Verdict

With its design that leaves no need for a booster pump, its affordability, and being so easy to install, we can recommend this machine to inground pool owners. You’ll also love how it picks up larger debris, allowing you to take a less hands-on pool cleaning role.

3. Polaris Vac Sweep Pro 3900 Sport

Best for in-ground pools

From what we’ve seen, this model has superior pressure power for cleaning compared to other designs in its class. It’s best suited for inground pools and comes with modern technology that will make cleaning stubborn dirt a breeze.

We also really liked that you have a choice of three colors with this design. This means you can color-code the machine to suit the theme of your pool area.

The Pro 3900 is also extremely versatile. It can be used to clean many pool bottom types, so there’s no need to worry about what material your pool is made of.

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  • 32 ft hose.
  • 5 L dual chamber bag for debris
  • All-wheel PosiDrive tech
  • Triple venturi jets technology for optimal vacuum ability


  • 3 colors available
  • Easy to clean and use
  • Good suction strength
  • Great value for your money


  • The machine needs slightly more frequent maintenance
  • May struggle to get around curved pools

Final Verdict

This superior model is suitable for inground pools of almost any material. You won’t regret this purchase.

4. Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner

Best technology

The Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic pool cleaner is at the top of its class. It’s ideal for larger inground pools. With five cleaning modes, this robotic cleaner will keep your pool water clean year-round.

The design also makes use of several other modern features for optimal performance. We loved the motion-sensing remote control! It’s also great that the machine indicates when the debris canister needs to be emptied.

Our experts found the Polaris 9550 is perfect for inground pools of up to 60 litres. While in the higher price range, we feel its features and performance justify the price point.

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  • Five cleaning modes
  • Motion-sensing remote-control device
  • Vortex vacuum tech
  • 5 L debris canister
  • 70 ft cable
  • Storage and transport caddy


  • Great suction power
  • Debris basket is easy to clean
  • Has the most tech features
  • Nice long cable.


  • In a higher price range, but the machine’s quality well warrants it

Final Verdict

With premium quality features, several cleaning modes, and the capability to handle larger pools, this model’s well worth the spend!

5. Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 Pressure Side Automatic Pool Cleaner

Best for above ground pools

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 works fast from what we’ve seen, cleaning the entire pool in a maximum of three hours. This machine is designed for pools that are 5-feet in depth or less and above-ground.

The cleaner’s pressure is created by the clean water coming back into the pool, which we’ve found leaves the skimmer and filter freer to get rid of pollutants.

This automatic cleaner also has a unique jet sweep ability and filter bag technology to help handle debris more effectively.

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  • Designed for above-ground pools of up to 5-feet deep
  • Unique jet sweep tech
  • Modern filter bag


  • Great suction power
  • Easy to set up
  • Patented jet sweep system for removing debris in tricky places
  • Unique filter sack to handle larger debris


  • More setup is required to get started
  • May sometimes need a little more directing than the more advanced models

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for an above-ground model, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 Pressure Side Automatic Pool Cleaner may well be the answer.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of Polaris pool cleaner do I need for an above-ground pool?

One of the best pool cleaners for an above-ground pool is the Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 Pressure Side Automatic Pool Cleaner. It’s suitable for systems 5-feet in depth, offers great suction power, and is affordably priced.

What kind of Polaris pool cleaner is best for inground pools?

We think the Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner comes top of its class for inground pool care. Its five-mode cleaning tech helps keep systems spotless. This cleaner also has superior pressure power, resulting in better cleaning, when compared to other similar designs.

How long should I run my Polaris robotic pool cleaner?

It typically takes around three hours for Polaris pool cleaners to do a thorough clean. This may vary, however, depending on how much debris is in your pool.

If there’s a lot for the machine to do, it may take your Polaris pool cleaners longer to complete the job. It can take up to six hours for an effective clean if you have a larger pool.

How should I store my Polaris pool cleaner?

It’s best to remove your vacuum from the pool, put it in a storage container, and leave it where it won’t get too hot or too cold, as extreme temperatures can damage it.

The Polaris cleaners usually come with a premium-quality storage caddy when you purchase. If it doesn’t, place it in a storage container after every use. It needs to be put away in an area that’s not too hot or too cold as extreme temperatures can damage it.

Also, while leaving it in your pool won’t immediately damage it, the chemicals in the water may slowly break it down, making it less effective. So while you may leave it in the pool every now and again, its permanent home shouldn’t be in the water.

Create a space dedicated to storing your vacuum, so it’s easy to set aside and find again. Don’t like pulling the vacuum out frequently? Opt for the Polaris 9550 Sport with an easy lift system.

How often should I use my Polaris pool cleaner?

If it’s high summer and everyone is swimming often, you should run your Polaris pool cleaner every day. This will ensure the pool is kept in the best running order.

Otherwise, you should run it once a week.

How often should I backwash my Polaris pool cleaner’s filter?

If you’re using the pool regularly, you should do a backwash every four to six weeks. However, you may need to do this more often, depending on the kind of debris around your pool.

You may also need to backwash more often in the summer, when the pool is being used more. This will ensure the system is being sufficiently cleared out. Regular backwashing will ensure Polaris pool cleaners do their job to the level of your expectations.


It’s essential to remember to buy the right pool cleaner for your type of system and individual requirements. The models we’ve discussed above are each designed to target a particular cleaning scenario. Be sure to consider the type of pool you have and your specific cleaning needs before you commit to purchasing your new cleaning machine.

By carefully considering your needs and purchasing accordingly, you can avoid disappointment and having to return the cleaner and have to start the search all over again.

When buying pool cleaners, it can be a challenging experience to find the most bang for your buck, leaving you out in the deep end. An above-ground pool and an in-ground pool can require different cleaning strategies. So, what do you look out for when looking for one that suits your pool?

With the Dolphin line, you get some of the best pool vacuums on the market. And to make the choice even easier, we’ve developed a list of our favorite Dolphin products to help narrow down your choices. We tested out their top pool vacuums, and we’re ready to share our findings so that your summer cleaning has never been easier.

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Best Dolphin Pool Vacuums

Our picks for the best pool vacuum cleaners by Dolphin are:

If you’re looking for a way to reduce your maintenance and keep your pool spotless while saving money, then read on below to get our picks for the best Dolphin pool cleaners.

1. Dolphin Nautilus CC Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

Best In-Ground

The powerful Dolphin Automatic Pool cleaner is the ideal scrubber for smaller pools. With the Nautilus automatic pool cleaner, you won’t have to rely solely on your pool filter or pump to finish the job. The brushes will deal with breaking down any debris.

Another benefit of the Nautilus is its low use of energy. So, you won’t have to tackle high energy bill costs after each use. Its rotating sprockets allow it to efficiently climb and clean all aspects of the pool. This is also a light-weight model with its ability to release water quickly after every session.

Dolphin Nautilus CC Cleaners are among the best pool vacuums available and include a hassle-free cleaning solution that clears algae, leaving a sleek new shine.

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  • Easy-to-clean filter system
  • Light-weight and easy-to-use brushes
  • 30-foot non-tangle system


  • Programmable control unit
  • Low energy use
  • Rotating sprockets


  • A light-weight body can lose some traction
  • Maximum range of 30 feet

Final Verdict

Our cleaning experts recommend Dolphin Nautilus as a starter product for novices just breaking into automatic pool cleaning products.

2. Dolphin E10 Robotic Pool Vacuum Cleaner

Best Above Ground

In our experience, Dolphin E10 Robotic Pool Cleaner is a top-tier choice for most above-ground pools. If you don’t have a lot of time for those easy cookout days, the Dolphin E10 is a quick and efficient solution to get your pool ready in no time.

Its automatic cleaning system is ideal for above-ground pools averaging 30 feet. It possesses a powerful filtration system, with a 3-stage system that cuts off in time to prevent overfilling.

The Dolphin E10 takes a little over one hour to clear out a decently sized 30-foot above-ground pool, adding maneuverability with speed. In addition, none of the cleaners require additional servicing, such as pumps or hoses. However, the cord isn’t super long, ranging about 40 feet. So, make sure it can cover the distance, as cleaner cables should stretch at least 12 feet away from the pool.

Like the Nautilus, the E10 is also an energy-saving product, using minimal power to clean the entirety of the pool. At only 5 cents an hour, you’ll be sure to save money by cleaning up the pool.

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  • 22 x 17.5 x 13 inches
  • Cable Length 40 ft.
  • Single Front High-Speed Scrubber


  • Quick water release
  • 4000 GPH Suction Rate
  • Cleans all pool surfaces


  • No water line cleaning
  • Manual schedule input

Final Verdict

We recommend this more low-key item for users that may have a smaller to a mid-sized pool that needs a quick yet effective cleaning.

3. Dolphin Nautilus Supreme CC Supreme Robotic Pool Vacuum Cleaner

Most Thorough Clean

If you’re looking to take the next step into building the perfect pool setup, you may want to look into the Dolphin Nautilus Supreme Cleaner. This is for those that want to step up their game and acquire a powerful and intuitive automatic pool cleaner.

This machine is equipped with an enhanced filtration system, three scrubbing brushes, and a powerful motor to run it all. It has a Wi-Fi connection that allows the user to set various functions. For instance, you can regulate a cleaning schedule, delay start-time, and switch between cleaning cycles.

There are three cleansing systems you can implement when working with the Nautilis Supreme:

  1. You can render a quick scrub that focuses primarily on the floor of the pool. Similar to a quick one-hour cycle for a dishwasher.
  2. The standard cleaning option allows you to break down the waterline, floors, and walls.
  3. The enhanced feature grants extra time for cleaning. The scrubbing features will work at maximum capacity to provide a thorough scrub.

The user functionality can be connected to the MyDolpin Plus app on a user’s smartphone.  So, you can depend on the app to regulate the Nautilis Supreme’s system’s functions away from home.

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  • Dual brushing system
  • 60 ft. tangle free chord
  • Connects to MyDolphin App via Wi-Fi


  • For pools up to 50 ft.
  • Energy efficient


  • Heavier unit – 24 pounds

Final Verdict

This is ideal for people using a larger in-ground pool over 40 feet with the desire to enact a more advanced remote scrub.

4. Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner

Best for Larger Pools

The Dolphin Premier Cleaner holds a few unique features that provide a compact yet powerful cleaner. This is an ideal candidate for owners of pools that stretch over 50 feet. Using advanced algorithms, the Premier Robotic Cleaner can cover the entirety of the pool’s surface area. 

The dual-brush system gives reinforced brushing to help break down debris. In just under 3 hours, your pool will have an immaculate appearance from the fortified brushes. The swivel cable system allows the cable to move without disruption. So, you can feel confident in leaving the cleaner to do its job without stress from an unexpected incident or entanglement.

In addition, the Premier holds several filtering systems to help clear out unwanted particles from the pool. These filters include:

  1. An Oversized Fine filter bag that carries extra debris
  2. An ultra-fine filtering bag
  3. A bottom-load fine cartridge filtering bag

Similar to the Nautilus Supreme, this pool cleaner can catalog weekly pre-determined cleaning schedules. Once you set up the system, you can allow the system to work every day, every other day, or even every 3rd day of the week.

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  • Dual brushing system
  • Waterline, wall, and tile scrubbing
  • Scheduled weekly timer


  • Advanced MyDolphin app optimization
  • Deeper scrub for pools around 50 feet


  • On the expensive side, but excellent value

Final Verdict

This cleaner is for busy individuals looking for a high-grade, high-performance automatic cleaner for their larger in-ground pools.

5. Dolphin Sigma Robotic Pool Cleaner

Best Mobility

The Robotic pool cleaner is the peak example of prime automation for your pool cleaner. It delivers excellent results, and it’s easy to use with a gyroscope system for enhanced mobility that allows tilting and improved rotation. This powerful cleaner packs a punch, allowing a free-range motion for distances of up to 50 feet. In addition, it also includes an anti-swivel cable to help reach those distances without issues.

The Sigma Robotic includes a fine-tuned dual-brush system to help break down grime and debris as well. The Sigma Robotic has a top-of-the-line smart navigation system to cater to the most efficient cleaning route.

In addition, it holds Bluetooth smartphone connectivity. This can allow users to spot-check cleaner progress away from home.

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  • A larger radius of up to 50 feet
  • Automated Scheduling
  • Smart navigation with gyroscope


  • High maneuverability
  • MyDolphin Bluetooth connection
  • Triple motor for a deeper clean


  • Higher price tag
  • Heaviest model

Final Verdict

This highly innovative system offers deep cleaning for larger in-ground swimming pools of up to 50 feet and adds smartphone connectivity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Dolphin Products Work Well With Above-Ground Pools?

The Dolphin E10 is a compact model that works well with above-ground pools. However, E10 is a non-Bluetooth system, requiring manual delivery into the pool.

However, some models aren’t limited to in-ground or above-ground designs, like the Dolphin CC. Because the Dolphin CC works for both, this will be an excellent choice for an above-ground pool.

Which Dolphin Products Work Well With In-Ground Pools?

If your pool is larger and requires a more frequent and intricate cleaning process, we recommend upgrading to the higher-grade models.

Models such as the Dolphin Sigma and the Dolphin Premier work well with these larger pool cleanings. The multi-functioning motor systems allow them to reach into the deeper crevices of the pool.

If you’re under a complicated schedule, pick up an automatic cleaner that you can control remotely while you’re gone.

Can MyDolphin App Help Me With Automatic Cleaning?

Yes, you can set automatic schedules for cleaning with the MyDolphin App. Depending on your vacuum model and pool size, a typical cleaning cycle can typically last anywhere between 1 to 3 hours.

Through the MyDolphin app, you can set up cleaning schedules. Download the app through the iPhone app store or Google Play and pair it with the Dolphin Cleaner to control its settings.

You can control the system settings remotely and schedule cleanings for up to a month in advance.


Whether you’re working with a smaller above-ground or an in-ground pool 50 feet in length, you can find a Dolphin model that’s the perfect fit. Be sure to pick one up before you start your summer vacation!

Any homeowner with a pool knows that they need one of the best pool vacuums available to keep it clean. With so many to choose from, how do you know which one is best for you? We’ll show you our top 5 Hayward pool cleaners to look over so you can decide.

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Best Hayward Pool Vacuums

Our picks for the best pool vacuum cleaners by Hayward are:

If you’re looking for a way to reduce your maintenance and keep your pool spotless while saving money, then read on below to get our picks for the best Hayward pool cleaners.

1. The Hayward Poolvergnuegen (W3PVS40JST)

Most Powerful

In our experience, the Hayward Poolvergnuegen effortlessly picks up debris from the floor of your pool. The self-adjusting turbine vanes are guaranteed to get the most power at any flow, eliminating clogs and jams. From small to large debris, The Pool Cleaner can handle it all.

Additionally, the Hayward Poolvergnuegen comes preprogrammed with multiple sequences so that it can clean the entirety of your pool floor, providing complete coverage while maintaining optimal suction every step of the way. Three interchangeable throats can help move debris of various sizes through without clogging the system.

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  • Self-adjusting turbine vanes
  • Preprogrammed sequences
  • Three interchangeable throats


  • Effortless pick-up
  • Interchangeable throats
  • Complete pool coverage


  • Struggles to climb steep steps, which may require additional clean up
  • Not the quietest of the Hayward lineup, but this much power can’t always stay silent

Final Verdict

As per our pool cleaning experts, the most powerful debris cleaner for your pool is the Hayward Poolvergnuegen.

2. Hayward PoolVac XL (W32025ADC)

The Most Affordable

The Hayward PoolVac XL is a great option for those on a budget! Not only does it boast superior pickup skills when it comes to debris, but it also eliminates hose tangles with preprogrammed steering patterns that cover the entirety of your pool floor.

Tired of emptying debris bags? This model is low maintenance, rarely needing to be cleaned out. No tools are required for the Hayward PoolVac XL’s installation. You only need to connect it to the skimmer or suction port, which takes less than 10 minutes! Additionally, the PoolVac XL comes with a silent operation mode, giving you a peaceful environment as it cleans.

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  • Preprogrammed sequences avoid hose tangles
  • Silent mode
  • Automatic suction


  • A great low budget option
  • Low maintenance
  • Quiet cleaning mode


  • Coiling the hoses alters the memory of the preprogrammed patterns
  • Struggles to climb walls and steps without assistance

Final Verdict

This affordable option is perfect for anyone looking to get a great pool cleaner on a budget! As a low-maintenance model, you’ll find pool cleaning to be a breeze.

3. Hayward Navigator Pro (W3925ADC)

Lowest Maintenance

With its unique wing design, as per our pool cleaning experts’ recommendation, the Hayward Navigator can maneuver around the floor of your pool with ease, collecting debris. The cleaner is already powered by a filtration system, meaning there’s no need to invest in a booster pump!

In addition to a silent setting for cleaning, the Hayward Navigator is easy to assemble and maintain. Once it’s in the pool, watch it go to work and clean the floor with ease. It’s designed to free itself, should it get stuck, and maintain a peaceful environment for your pool.

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  • Powered by an existing filtration system
  • Designed to free itself
  • Quiet setting for cleaning


  • Unique wing design
  • Silent cleaning mode
  • No need to external booster pump


  • The hose length may not be as long as other models
  • May sometimes get stuck on drains, but typically frees itself

Final Verdict

For a pool cleaner that will be easy to leave alone, the Hayward W3925ADC Navigator Pro is the perfect low maintenance machine.

4. Hayward AquaNaut 400 (W3PHS41CST)

Best Maneuverability

The Hayward AquaNaut, in our experience, expertly navigates the surface floor of your pool without any trouble. Not only can it cover the entire floor, but it can also handle large debris without clogging the hose thanks to powerful turbine technology. With its enhanced steering capability, the AquaNaut’s preprogrammed sequences will cover the entire pool with optimal suction — including on uneven surfaces!

The adjustable roller skirt ensures constant suction at all flow levels so that your pool can be optimally cleaned every time. The AquaNaut is easy to assemble and comes with a hose and wall attachment for your convenience. The four-wheel drive enables the AquaNaut to move around with superior traction, allowing it to get across every part of the floor.

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  • Powerful turbine
  • Four-wheel drive
  • Adjustable roller skirt


  • Superior suction cleans every part of the pool floor and climbs walls
  • Enhanced steering navigation
  • Handles large debris better than other models


  • The hose is only 40ft long, so extensions may be required depending on your pool
  • Pricier than other models, but still affordable

Final Verdict

For a pool cleaner that will cover the entirety of the floor, the Hayward W3PHS41CST AquaNaut 400 will clean every corner of your pool thanks to its innovative design features.

5) Hayward TigerShark QC (W3RC9990CUB)

The Fastest Option

Our pool cleaning experts recommend the Hayward TigerShark for its quick clean cycle and easy installation. The cycle cleans your entire pool in less than 90 minutes, covering every part of the surface floor to give it a polished look.

There’s no hassle in the setup, either! It runs independently of the pool’s filtration system, so you won’t need any additional hoses, tools, or pumps to keep it running.

With Hayward’s 80 years of experience, the TigerShark is its fiercest model yet. Using an onboard pump, the TigerShark utilizes intense suction to collect all debris at the bottom of your pool. It’s easy to empty the cartridge as well! Just open the cleaner and rinse the cartridge out with a hose to clear it out.

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  • Runs independently from filtration system
  • Onboard pump
  • Easily accessible cartridge


  • The quick clean cycle is completed in less than 90 minutes
  • Intense suction from the hoses that collect debris
  • Easy assembly and cleanup


  • One of the more expensive models
  • May get stuck, so you’ll want to keep an eye out
  • Replacement parts can also be expensive

Final Verdict

For the fastest cleaning Hayward vacuum, go with the TigerShark QC. You’ll be just as impressed as we were!

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a Hayward pool cleaner last?

Hayward pool cleaners are made to last. If properly maintained, they can last anywhere from five to seven years.

Keep an eye out for any debris that might damage the system. Larger sticks or rocks can get stuck and knock the internal mechanisms out of place. Leaving it underwater 24/7 or failing to perform regular maintenance will also shrink its expectancy exponentially.

When in doubt, contact customer support for questions about your Hayward pool cleaner warranty. If you experience any recurring problems, get the vacuum serviced to keep it in optimal running condition.

Will a Hayward pool cleaner work under a pool cover?

Absolutely! Hayward models work whether you use a pool cover or not. The cleaners are designed to clean the pool floor. This means it won’t be at risk of getting caught on the pool cover. Users can set the vacuum to start a cycle and leave it on under the pool cover to prevent further debris from entering the water while it works.

Further, a cover will not disturb your Hayward pool cleaner, as the devices come preprogrammed with cleaning cycle patterns. These sequences guide the device and keep it from getting tangled up, so there’s nothing to worry about.

How often should a pool be vacuumed?

For the cleanest water possible, vacuum your pool once a week. This will help keep the pH balanced and controlled. If your pool has been used excessively or there’s been a recent storm, you’ll need to vacuum it sooner to remove large debris and dirt.

Can I swim while a Hayward vacuum is working?

While Hayward vacuums are built with safety features, we recommend never swimming with a running pool vacuum. Not only is it easy to lose track of the vacuum while swimming (putting you and loved ones at risk of injury), but swimming may interrupt the pre-programmed sequences in the Hayward vacuum.

If the tubes are moved, the device may become confused and tangle itself up while working. This can damage the cleaner and lead to pricey replacement costs that could have been avoided altogether. Therefore, it’s better to be safe and prevent your Hayward vacuum from getting damaged by NOT swimming while it’s working.

Is a Hayward pool cleaner worth it?

Hayward pool vacuums are an investment and should be treated as such. They save time, money, and energy that would otherwise be used vacuuming pools manually. The machine takes care of all the cleaning, leaving you with extra time on your hands. If this convenience sounds like something you’d benefit from, a Hayward pool cleaner is completely worth it.


With this information in mind, you’ll be able to make an informed Hayward pool cleaner buying decision. The right one for you depends on the features and benefits you’re looking for.

Best of luck, and happy swimming!

What’s better than enjoying a warm summer’s day in your own swimming pool? That’s okay… we’ll wait!

This is a rewarding way to spend time with family and friends. That is, until you walk outside expecting to jump in the water and find your swimming pool is dirty and discolored.

Pool vacuums make the process of maintaining a clean swimming pool year-round easy and convenient. With this equipment, pool owners will turn this daunting chore into a simple habit (an enjoyable one at that!).

How does a pool vacuum work? We’ll cover this and more. Let’s dive in!

The Importance of Vacuuming a Pool

Vacuuming is crucial to fighting algae and keeping the chemistry of your water balanced. If you don’t vacuum weekly, you’re allowing dirt and debris to build up. With time, algae will start to form, requiring special (and expensive) treatment.

Algae is introduced to your pool when wind or rain brings algae spores into it. It can grow very quickly, becoming visible in a matter of hours. Essentially, algae is the reason the water turns green. It’s not recommended to swim in a pool with algae, even if there’s only a small amount present. The harmful bacteria in algae can present health risks like fevers or skin irritation.

To prevent algae from forming, you need to keep your pool balanced and clean. Vacuuming is an essential part of proper pool maintenance. It will keep it looking great and available for swimming.

How Does a Pool Vacuum Work?

Pool cleaners work similarly to a standard vacuum; they use suction to collect debris and dirt. Instead of sucking in air though, they suck in water. From here, they’ll filter the dirt out and release clean water.

The exact mechanics of the vacuum depend on the type of pool vacuum you’re using. Manual vacuums for instance, operate much differently than robotic ones. Understanding how different types work will help you determine which is best for your pool and your budget.

Types of Pool Vacuums

Your pool vacuum choice is based on the amount of time and money you’re able to invest in keeping your swimming pool clean. There are two main types of vacuums: manual and automatic.

Manuals are considerably cheaper than automatic vacuums but require more time and effort. When using a manual vacuum, you’ll need to clean the pool yourself. Many pool owners share that it causes fatigue and strain to their backs.

For automatic vacuums, there are a few varieties: side suction, side pressure, and robotic. They all operate distinctly which we’ll go over in this guide. However, they’re popular options because they require significantly less of your attention and time to clean. You can leave an automatic vacuum completely unattended while it cleans your pool. Sounds nice, right?

The biggest disadvantage is they’re more costly when compared to manual vacuums.

Let’s explore each type of vacuum more in depth.

Manual Vacuum

Manual Pool Vacuum

Manual vacuum cleaners are the original and most common type of pool vacuum. They are the most affordable and most straightforward to operate.

They consist of a vacuum head, a vacuum hose and a telescopic pole. The hose is connected to and powered by the pool’s water pump.

The pump sucks up water through the vacuum head and hose into the skimmer. Then, a filter collects debris and dirt. Lastly, the pool’s pump pushes the filtered water back into the pool.

To hook up a manual vacuum cleaner, start by attaching the vacuum head to one end of a telescopic pole. You will likely already have a telescopic pole. They usually have a skimmer net or brush attached to it. Most manual pool vacuum heads are a universal fit.

Next, attach one end of the hose to the head of the vacuum. The vacuum head should have clear places to insert the telescopic pole and the hose. Insert the end into the water with the pole and make sure the other end of the hole is out of the water.

Read our guide for more information on how to vacuum a pool manually.

Then, attach the open end of the hose to the water intake nozzle. This has many names and you may be familiar with calling it the skimmer plate or vacuum plate. It is on the inside wall where water enters the pool. Remove the skimmer basket before doing so.

Once you attach the hose there, it will send water through it. Air bubbles will exit through the vacuum head and once all the air is out of the hose, suction will be created.

Switch the filter nozzle to intake mode and you may begin vacuuming. Using the telescopic pole, push and pull the head against the walls and floor and you will see dirt being sucked up.

The dirt and debris will be collected in the pool’s filtration system. Therefore, you will need to clean out the skimmer and backwash the filters after each vacuum.

Suction Side Vacuum

Suction Side Vacuum

One type of automatic pool vacuum cleaner is the suction side. It’s the most common type of automatic pool vacuum and largely operates the same way a manual vacuum does. It also uses your pool’s water pump to power it.

What’s the main difference between a suction side vacuum and a manual version? Instead of you pushing the vacuum head with a telescopic pool, it moves around the pool on its own. It uses the suction from the pool pump to propel itself through the water.

Of automatic pool cleaners, suction side vacuums are the most affordable. They’re simple to install and operate. Suction side vacuums are best for finer and smaller debris and may have difficulties with large debris.

Moreover, some suction side models are equipped with their own filter bag. If not, you will need to clean out the skimmer and filters after each use, like a manual vacuum.

Suction side pool vacuum cleaners do not need to run constantly; a few hours each day will be effective. Many people choose to keep automatic vacuums in the pool whenever the pump is on to optimize cleanliness. They’re installed the same way as manual vacuums but without the telescopic pole.

As a reminder, always remove your automatic vacuum before adding chemicals, especially shock, as it can damage it.

Pressure Side Vacuum Cleaners

Pressure Side Pool Vac

The second type of automatic vacuum cleaner is called a pressure side or booster pump vacuum. They are attached to the return side (the pressure side) of your pool’s water pump.  Essentially, they attach to the pool jet and use the water passing through to propel them.

Pressure side cleaners are equipped with their own filter bag so you don’t have to clean out the skimmer or backwash your filters after each vacuum. They’re generally more costly than suction side vacuum cleaners because you need to purchase a booster pump to operate them properly. Many pool owners talk highly of pressure side cleaners since they reduce wear and tear on their water pump compared to other vacuums.

One slight disadvantage of pressure side vacuum cleaners is that most pools are plumbed to be compatible with suction vacuums or pressure vacuums, but not both. Therefore, if you want to install a pressure side, you may need to install additional plumbing.

The installation process can be lengthy and unless this project is in your wheelhouse, professional help is encouraged. This installation will add a booster pump to your existing pool pump system and a cleaning line. The booster pump will connect to and power a dedicated cleaner line which will then send water to the vacuum.

Once the proper plumbing is in place, attach the vacuum hose to the connection port for the dedicated cleaner line. Pressure side vacuums have wheels and the RPM of the wheels is used to calculate the right amount of pressure. Proper functioning pressure will create 28 to 32 RPMs.

Depending on the size of your pool and how frequently it is cleaned, a pressure side vacuum should take about 1 to 3 hours to do a thorough job.

Robot Vacuum

Pool Robot

Robotic vacuums are the least time-consuming and require the least effort of all pool vacuums. That being said, they are the most expensive option. As the newest option for pool vacuums, they are completely self- contained. Therefore, they have their own power source, filtration system, and filter bag.

Robot pool vacuum cleaners have a small electric motor as their power supply. It does not hook up to your pool’s pump, only a standard outlet with a grounding port. Some models use a rechargeable, wireless battery versus an outlet plug-in. This is more energy efficient than other pool vacuums and puts no strain on your pool equipment. It’s best to turn off your pool’s water pump while the robotic vacuum is cleaning.

Moreover, robotic vacuums are compatible with all pool types and require no in-depth installation or integration into your pool’s plumbing. They have a few parts that allow them to function autonomously, including:

  • Power Supply: typically 110 volts of electrical supply.
  • Transformer: this controls the amount of suction power.
  • Filtration System: the internal system collects dirt and debris in the vacuum. It will need to be cleaned out periodically depending on the size of the collection bag and how dirty the pool is.
  • Remote Control: robot vacuums are controlled using a remote with various functions depending on the model. Many include: on and off, speed, mode setting, and timer.

Robotic vacuums are best for daily maintenance. They achieve a high standard of cleaning and are ideal options to keep your water looking its best every day.

Final Thoughts

A clear blue pool requires a lot of cleaning and knowledge to keep the water chemistry in balance. You have to keep debris out, manage the water filtration system, and clean the floor and walls with scrub brushes and a pool vacuum.

An effective way of doing this is by investing in a pool vacuum. Since they don’t all work the same, you need to decide which type is best for your needs. However, after this guide, you should have a better understanding of how each works and the right one for you.

The most important takeaway for choosing a swimming pool vacuum is that any vacuum is better than none. Invest in a quality pool vacuum cleaner and enjoy all the benefits it’ll bring!

Automation is here to make our lives easier – right? But how often have you bought a new piece of technology and discovered it doesn’t do the job as well as you used to do it by hand? If you’re going to invest in an automatic solution, you need a guarantee that you’ll be getting a good return on your money.

Pool robots fall into this category. What do they struggle with, and are they effective compared to other vacuum methods? We’ve worked through case studies, consumer reviews, and our own experience of pool cleaning robots and examined where they perform best and where they fall short.

How Does a Pool Robot Work?

How Does a Pool Robot Work?

Pool robots tend to have three main functions – scrubbing, vacuuming, and filtering. Some models run on battery, while others use a cord to connect to the main power. Battery-powered models are often preferred because there’s no risk of the cord knotting, although an advantage of cord power is that it’ll always be at full tilt – there’s no risk of impaired performance when the battery gets low.

Unlike handheld vacuums that typically draw debris out of the water through a hose, pool robots typically store debris in an internal bag, much like a household vacuum cleaner. As they get about by themselves, this reduces the risk of the hose becoming snarled unexpectedly. They typically have rotating brushes to scrub the floor and internal filters to siphon small debris from the water.

The suction performs a dual function – it allows them to sift and filter water, but it also helps them climb surfaces like walls and stairs. This means that blocked filters can impair their ability to climb.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s address performance.

How Well Does a Pool Robot Clean Your Pool? Case Studies

How Well Does a Pool Robot Clean Your Pool?

We’ve examined a couple of case studies into pool robot design and utility to help you understand more about where they perform best, where they struggle – and why.

Case Study #1: A Study for Cleaner Pool Robot Design

A 2014 study considered different aspects of pool robot design, which sheds some light on why they perform some tasks more effectively than others.

Wheel design is one of the most significant considerations, as the robot needs to be able to deal with corners. While the study is focused on redesigning robots to make them more affordable, it acknowledges that wheel design is a major issue for automatic cleaners in an environment that includes sharp corners.

The study also acknowledges the limitations of the suction mechanism, as this is used for locomotion as well as filtration. If the filters become significantly blocked with larger debris, the cleaner won’t be able to get around as easily or climb walls, which will impair its ability to clean properly.

Some pool robots partly address this by including four-wheel drive, which improves their general locomotion. However, as they still need suction to move up vertical surfaces, heavy debris presents a major issue because it will clog the filters.

Case Study #2: Fully Automatic Cleaning of Pool Bottoms

A 2022 study of a Swiss brand that was used for commercial pool cleaning found that the robots dealt very well with the typical daily debris in a commercial swimming pool. It recommended that the robot worked most effectively when programmed to clean around 3 hours after the last swimmers had left the pool. This enabled the debris to settle, and the cleaner could more effectively filter out impurities.

As the pH and debris levels are very consistent in commercial indoor pools compared to an outdoor home pool, the results of this study should be understood as equivalent to cleaning an outdoor pool every day in Spring/Summer. Fall brings heavy leaf drop, which can affect the pH balance of the pool and also creates much more debris than an indoor robot would ever have to face.

Pool Robot Case Studies: Conclusions

The case studies tend to support the idea that pool robots are well-designed for lighter cleaning and filtration. Their design features also mean that they’ll sometimes struggle to cope with corners, walls, or instances of heavy soiling.

What Affects a Pool Robot’s Performance?

What Affects Pool Robot Performance

The most significant issues affecting robot are:


Performance drops when the filters or bags fill up. Clogged filters are especially concerning, as these reduce the ability to cling to surfaces through suction.


Especially if they’re getting full, corners are hotspots for little eddies of debris. Square corners are also difficult to navigate using a 4-wheel drive system and so are often left slightly soiled.

Walls, Stairs & Ladders

Some models struggle to climb and clean walls, stairs, and ladders. Climbing is often dependent on suction, but the style of wheel also makes a difference – some tracks are better at gripping these surfaces than others.

Chemical Issues

Robots don’t deal so well with pH balance issues. This means that heavily soiled water should be treated manually before you set the robot to work for routine maintenance.

They also struggle to treat algae, as it clogs the filters and isn’t pleasant to remove by hand. Algae should be treated with a powerful suction hose rather than a crawling robot.

Pool Size

Check the maximum range of a robot before purchase – try to get one that can comfortably manage your pool, or you’ll get unscrubbed spots.

What’s a Pool Robot Best For?

What's a Pool Robot Best For

Robots seem like an excellent choice for regular cleaning and purifying water. They’ll struggle with heavier debris – having to replace the bag routinely slightly defeats the point of the “automatic” cleaner.

This makes pool robots much less effective when it comes to “big cleans”, like opening up your pool in Spring or addressing debris after a Fall vacation. Another factor affecting their performance in these situations is that fallen leaves can alter the pH of your water and allow algae growth: robotic cleaners struggle to deal with this.

If you’ve left your pool for more than a week or 2 and notice significant debris, it’s generally worth doing a quick once-over with a net to remove heavier debris before setting them to work. Otherwise, you’ll be changing bags all day and the robot won’t be able to do an effective job.

How Well Does a Pool Robot Work vs. a Manual Pool Cleaner?

Pool Robot vs Manual Cleaning

We’d say that robots tend to perform very well in day-to-day filtration compared to handheld cleaners. They’re also brilliant at scrubbing, and the technology that tells them where to go is very impressive; they barely miss a spot.

Keep an eye out for your corners. Like your lawn’s edges, they may need some TLC by hand to keep them sparkling. In terms of overall performance and how much time and energy they save for regular maintenance? Pool robots perform very well compared to most handheld or manual models.

Final Verdict

Pool robots are very good at scrubbing surfaces thoroughly to ensure they remain sparkling clean for your next swim. They filter water effectively when only small debris is present, which makes them an excellent choice for routine cleaning.

We wouldn’t task them with clearing out a pool full of leaves, and they’ll struggle to cope with heavily soiled water, e.g. water that has had its pH balance altered by rotting leaves and algae growth. You’ll need to do some manual cleaning before setting them to work if it’s been a while since the last deep clean.

So, while you may still need to occasionally pick up some manual tools after purchasing a robot, the job they do will take a lot off your plate.

Has algae invaded your pool for the first time, and you’re not sure if your vacuum is fit for the job? The sight can be unappealing and means there are particles in the water that your filter is unable to clean out alone. This can affect the lifespan of your filter, stain your pool, and make it unsafe to swim in.

Will you pool vacuum pick up algae? Keep reading to find out.

The Short Answer

Algae tends to form when there’s a chemical imbalance or a lack of sanitizer in the water.

Even the most advanced vacuums aren’t equipped to remove it completely from your swimming pool.

You can use a pool vacuum to remove some of the spores, but it won’t get to the root of the problem. The algae will continue to come back unless you treat the water with the proper chemicals and fix the water imbalance.

Types of Algae and Solutions

There are four main types of algae that can build up in your pool. They require different solutions to permanently remove because of where they grow and their texture.

Consider adding a flocculent to the water to help the spores coagulate or clump up. It’s similar to a clarifier and makes it easier to remove. Be careful when using a flocculent because the clumps can damage your filter. Sinking the clumps to remove them will make them much easier to clean out.

Green Algae

This is the most common type of algae found growing in the water of swimming pools. It can grow within a day in the summer months without warning. It often resembles a slimy stain on the surface of the water. Or, it can color the entire pool with a green tint. If it goes untreated for too long, it can grow so thick it covers the bottom and steps.

The solution: Brushing will remove it temporarily but won’t destroy it. A shock treatment will sanitize the water that may be resistant to normal chlorine. Regularly maintain the water during the summer and keep chlorine levels within the ideal range to prevent an outbreak. Read our detailed guide for more information on how to clean a green pool fast.

Yellow Algae

Yellow or “mustard” algae is another form of green algae but is more difficult to remove. It almost always grows on the surface in shady areas. If you spot slimy yellow-brown spots in the water, it’s time to grab your pool brush to break up the top layer.

The solution: Brushing will not remove it but it will expose the algae hiding under the top layer of slime. Superchlorination and regular maintenance will take care of the rest.

Black or Blue-Green Algae

These two colors identify the same type of algae that can be found in contaminated pools. A colony always grows on the surface, starting small and then rapidly growing into an invasive mass. The spores will cling to porous surfaces as they invade the pool shell.

The solution: Use a stainless-steel brush to crack the shell of the growth. This will help the sanitizer penetrate the spores. Do this as soon as you see signs of it to prevent a spread that invades the plaster and concrete of your pool.

Pink Algae

Pink algae is a relatively uncommon bacterium that appears as a reddish-orange slime often found around the pool’s water line. It’s also commonly found around PVC surfaces, like piping. Of all the types that grow in pools, this is the easiest to remove.

The solution: Simply brushing and sanitizing the pool will keep this bacteria at bay. If it has spread out of control, remove it and then use a calcium hypochlorite shock.

How to Keep Your Pool Free Of Algae

If you are concerned about an algae problem in your pool, the best plan of action is to prevent it from forming in the first place. The best practices to prevent the growth of algae are to keep your filter clean, balance your chemistry, and use algaecide proactively. Maintaining your pool every week will keep it safe from debris and bacteria that can be harmful to the body.

If you’re having trouble keeping your water clean, it might be time to upgrade your pool vacuum.


Thankfully, having dead algae in your pool is a curable problem. A pool vacuum won’t help you pick it up, so knowing what type of algae you’re dealing with will help you choose the right procedure to keep it from coming back. Your water will be crystal clear once again with the right treatment and regular preventative care.