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 and chemicals 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.

Read our detailed post for a more detailed explanation on why pool robots aren’t effective solutions to removing algae.

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.

An automatic pool cleaner is a great find. Cleaning a pool is a time-consuming thing, and this can help you get a few minutes of your busy day back. However, all devices need to be cared for, and a pool robot is no exception.

There is a lot of confusion about a pool cleaner’s needs. Your question is probably something along the lines of, “It’s meant to be in the water, so what if I just kept it there?” But there’s a lot you need to know about your equipment to ensure you get the most of your investment.

Here, we’re going to answer all of the questions you might have about when your device should be in the pool and for how long. Then, you’ll never worry about whether you’re caring for your equipment properly again.

What is a Pool Robot For?

If you’re not sure whether you already own a pool robot or if the equipment you’re purchasing falls under this category, let’s cover what this equipment is that we’ll be discussing.

A pool robot is designed to take over the time-consuming (and not always reliable) job of a net. You don’t have to micromanage it. You can just leave it in the water and go on about your business. It will find its way around the pool naturally, and by the time you get back home for the day, the job will be finished, and you’ll have a clean pool.

You can compare how it operates to how a vacuum cleaner works on the floor. It pulls in all of the dirt and debris that naturally gets into a pool through its suction piece to clean and prevent any health problems from contaminated water. After each session, you will need to empty its contents and rinse its vacuum out. This way, it will stay nice and fresh throughout its use.

How Long Should I Leave My Pool Cleaner in the Pool?

This varies by the situation. It needs long enough to give the entire area a thorough cleaning along each side. Most of the time, this will take between two and six hours, depending on the size of your pool and how much it needs to clean.

Many want to know if it’s safe to swim while the cleaner is still in action. Nothing is likely to happen if you do this, but it isn’t advised. The water gets tossed around when you swim, as will the device. This will make it much more difficult for it to do its job. During this time, it is best to make yourself otherwise occupied.

What Happens if You Leave It in Overnight?

Leaving your pool robot in the water over a long period is not recommended.

The biggest reason is that it exposes the device to the chlorine in the water. While this may not have an effect immediately, if you keep doing this over time, the cleaner will start to shut down. The first sign is that the cleaner will begin to change color. If this has happened, your device has already suffered damage. If it is left for long enough, essential parts of it will begin to break down. If left in the pool, it can also become overworked, causing the machine to break down faster.

We understand how easy it is to leave a cleaner in the pool. Everyone does it from time to time. You’ve had a long day, and it feels like just another tedious thing to do. But the few minutes it takes to take it out and put it away will increase its longevity. This means you won’t have to buy new ones as often, putting money back into your pocket.

Damage to a pool cleaner is not reversible, so if you have noticed color changes and a difference in its parts, it’s time to get a new one. And this time, you’ll know how to make it last.

Can You Get Electrocuted by a Pool Robot?

It is possible to get electrocuted. We’re not telling you this to frighten you. We want you to show how important it is to handle this with great care and put your safety first.

The most common factor in electrocution cases is voltage. The device was operating at maximum capacity. Just because a machine can be switched to that level doesn’t mean it should stay there. The highest voltage should be saved for specific circumstances, and it should only go on for a little while.

Many people are surprised to learn that pool robots can pose a serious electrocution hazard. In fact, there have been some horror stories of people being shocked or even killed after coming into contact with a pool robot. However, it’s important to remember that these incidents are extremely rare.

Manufacturers of pool robots take safety very seriously, and they go to great lengths to ensure that their products are safe for use. In most cases, the risk of getting electrocuted by a pool robot is no greater than the risk of getting electrocuted by any other type of electrical appliance. So, while it’s important to be aware of the potential hazard, there’s no need to worry unduly about it.

Caring for Your Pool Robot

Now that you know the dos and don’ts of leaving your equipment in the pool, you can take advantage of this incredible gadget while increasing its lifespan. When you care for your little robot, it will care for your pool for many years to come.

Keeping your pool clean year-round on your own is a draining ordeal. A pool robot will speed up the process and produce better results! The question remains: how often do you run your robotic pool cleaner throughout the year? What are the best times to do it, and how long can the cleaner operate for?

In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about how to run your robotic cleaner, so you can maintain the quality of your pool year-round, no matter where you live.

How Often Should I Run My Pool Cleaner in the Summer?

In the warmer months of the year, you’re more likely to utilize your pool for events. This means you’ll need to keep up with the maintenance more regularly for a fresh-looking pool environment. You’ll want to clean out any debris from the bottom out with the vacuum, which means putting the robot to work.

Depending on what your water looks like, you may need to vacuum it more often. For screened areas, you’ll want to vacuum the pool once a week to clean out any debris that may have collected over time. For outdoor pools, depending on the layout of your yard and how many trees may be around, you’ll want to clean them out more frequently.

Can I Run My Pool Robot in Winter Months?

In the winter, the water is less likely to be used, but debris and dirt can build up if you don’t keep up with regular maintenance. The process to winterize your pool can be scheduled to minimize the headache. You’ll need to remove everything from the water and drain some of it. You won’t be able to clean the pool through the frosty months, but you can do a deep clean before you close up for the season!

If you live in a place that’s always warm and sunny, like Florida, you can run your robotic cleaner like you would at any other time of the year!

When is the Best Time of Day to Run My Pool Robot?

If you’re having guests over or plan on enjoying the afternoon in the water, you’ll want to run your robot the day before, whenever you’re able to. Running the cleaner during the warmest hour of the day is ideal, but it may cause your energy bill to go up due to increased energy consumption.

You can run it overnight if you’d prefer, but it’s more beneficial to run it during the day to reduce the risk of algal blooms.

When Should I Start Running My Pool Cleaner?

Whenever you notice debris collecting in your pool, it’s a good idea to start running the vacuum. Since the full cleaning cycle takes a few hours, you should start running the cleaner a little before the height of the day to maximize the effectiveness of the cleaning cycle.

Should I Run My Pool Cleaner Every Day?

Running your pool robot every day will allow it to filter out any dirt and debris that finds its way into the water. This is especially important if there are a lot of trees around the area, or if storms pass through frequently. You need only allow the robot to complete the cycle once a day to maintain the integrity of the water.

How Long Should I Run My Pool Robot?

You should allow the cleaner to successfully clear the floor and walls of the pool. You don’t need to operate the cleaner all day long, as every model will have its own set duration for a cleaning cycle. Remember not to leave the robot in the water overnight as it will wear down with prolonged exposure to chlorine and shock.

How Many Hours a Day Should I Run My Pool Cleaner?

Depending on the model you own, the time cycle varies. Cleaning the surface and filtering the water takes time, approximately 4-5 hours, and cannot be rushed. It’s important to plan the timing of your cleaning cycle according to the needs of your environment. You don’t want to miss a spot and risk the algae growing back along the walls.

Assess the state of your water to plan accordingly, making sure that there is adequate cleaning throughout the day to keep it clear.

Enjoy Your Pool Year-Round With a Robotic Pool Cleaner

It can be confusing to know how to best operate your automatic cleaner, but with these guidelines it should be a little easier to manage. Every body of water is different, but proper cleaning is essential to enjoying your pool year round.

Pool cleaners and other machines and robotic technologies have one major function in common: they exist to make our lives easier. With a quality pool vacuum installed, you can enjoy the comforts and benefits of a sparkling pool without the time-consuming labor of scrubbing it yourself, at a fraction of the cost of hiring professionals to come and clean it for you.

However, machines and robots can sometimes malfunction, and troubleshooting your pool vacuum can be daunting without a basic understanding of the inner workings of your specific machine. Fortunately, most pool vacuums are relatively simple machines with only a few moving parts, making it reasonably easy to diagnose any problems they may be having.

If you’re experiencing issues with your pool cleaner, don’t get frustrated or give up too soon on your mechanical helper. Keep reading for a list of solutions to some of the most common problems homeowners experience with their pool vacuums.

Common Pool Cleaner Issues and Their Solutions

As with any malfunctioning product, the first step you should take is to look at your owner’s manual for detailed instructions on troubleshooting your pool cleaner. Not all pool vacuums are created equally. The manufacturer’s guide is your best bet for specifics on how your model operates and how to address the various issues you might experience with it.

However, if you’re aligned with the overwhelming majority of consumers who don’t care to read user manuals, here’s a run-down of the most common problems pool cleaners tend to run into and strategies for addressing each issue.

1. Pool Vacuum Doesn’t Move

The reasons why your vacuum isn’t moving can vary depending on the style of pool cleaner you’re dealing with.

For instance, if you have a suction vacuum cleaner that isn’t moving, the reason usually has something to do with the cleaner hose. First, check to make sure the hose is tightly connected to the rest of the vacuum. Once you’ve done that, check for any air leaks or holes. Finally, clear out any clogs or obstructions inside the hose.

A pressure pool cleaner that won’t move may have a problem with its booster pump or filter pump. If those two pieces seem to be operating, your next order of business should be to check the hose for rocks and other obstructions. You should also make sure the pressure cleaner’s connection to the wall is intact. A third possibility to explain why your pressure cleaner isn’t moving is a malfunction in the power train.

For a robotic vacuum that isn’t moving, check the cord to make sure there aren’t any issues with the power supply, such as rips or tears or being plugged in improperly. If that’s not the problem, or if you’re dealing with a cordless vacuum, the problem may lie with the drive motor; if that’s the case, you’ll likely need a new drive motor for your vacuum.

2. Pool Vacuum Moving Slowly

A slow or sluggish cleaner usually has a dirty filter or a clogged pump basket. This happens most commonly in pools that receive a lot of debris, such as leaves from overhanging trees, or in pools that don’t get cleaned very often. Removing the trapped debris and cleaning your pool and vacuum regularly should alleviate this problem.

If that doesn’t seem to be the issue, you might be dealing with holes in your cleaner hose, which cause air to get sucked into the hose instead of water. Inspect the hose carefully for any signs of punctures or tears. Any holes in the hose will need to be patched, or you may need to replace the hose entirely.

3. Pool Vacuum Doesn’t Have Suction

If your pool vacuum has lost its suction power, the most likely culprit is the hose. Check to ensure the hose is properly connected to both the vacuum head and the skimmer or vacuum plate, with no air escaping around the edges.

If that isn’t the problem, it could be that there’s excess air in the vacuum tube, which prevents the pump from working correctly. If this is the problem, you should hear a loud noise when the pump tries to operate.

Failing those two options, the final possibility is that the hose has a leak or is blocked. Lay the hose out on the ground and examine it carefully for obstructions, holes, or tears.

4. Pool Vacuum Has Too Much Suction

At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are times when a pool vacuum’s suction to the bottom of your pool will be too strong, causing the vacuum to get stuck or cause damage to your pool liner. If this is the case, check the brushes on the bottom of the vacuum head. If the brushes are too worn down, the space between the head of the vacuum and the bottom of the pool is reduced, creating stronger suction than is required to clean your pool.

Another potential solution to keep your vacuum from getting stuck to the bottom of your pool is to add a flowkeeper valve to the hose. This valve helps regulate the flow of water going through your vacuum, decreasing the likelihood that too much suction will be generated.

5. Pool Vacuum Making a Loud Noise

Some pool vacuums, such as the suction side models, are notorious for making a loud thumping sound that travels through the ground and into people’s homes through the floors. This is a normal, if potentially disruptive, sound. It can be mitigated through the use of flow control valves or by choosing a quieter model of pool cleaner.

However, you should take it as a sign that something is wrong with your pool cleaner if you hear it making any of the following sounds:

  • a high-pitched whine or “scream”
  • an unusually loud hum
  • a knocking or grinding sound
  • a low-pitched growl

If your vacuum is making a loud noise that is out of the ordinary, the most likely explanation is that something has lodged somewhere within the machine. Check the hose for obstructions that could be restricting the flow of water through your pool cleaner.

A high-pitched whine could also indicate a problem with the restrictor. Try removing the restrictor to see if that alleviates the problem.

6. Pool Vacuum Gets Stuck

If your machine is getting stuck in corners, the problem may be that the hose is too short. Install a longer hose and see if that alleviates the issue. Alternatively, if the hose keeps getting coiled or kinked and preventing the vacuum from reaching as far as it needs to, you may need to change the way you store the hose when not in use.

The main drain of an in-ground pool is one of the most common places for automatic pool cleaners to get stuck since the suction of the main drain works in opposition to the vacuum’s suction. The easiest solution to this problem is to turn off the main drain while your robot is doing its job. Another possible answer is using the pump controls to adjust the main drain’s pressure.

Stairs and ladders can be insurmountable roadblocks for your pool cleaner as well. Not all pool cleaners are designed to work well around stairs or ladders and are likely to get stuck when they encounter these obstacles. If you notice this happening to your machine, check the user manual to ensure the model you’ve purchased is designed to be used in pools with ladders and stairs.

Another possible solution to prevent your pool vacuum from getting stuck on ladders is to invest in a pool twister. This device works to power-steer your cleaning machine by automatically rotating itself about three times per hour, helping to detangle the hose and keep your vacuum from getting stuck in one place for too long.

7. Pool Vacuum Going in Circles

If you notice your pool vacuum going in circles, the most likely explanation is that the hose has “learned” to curl itself in a spiral. This happens to plastic when it cools off after being warm, and it most likely occurs when your pool cleaner is left in the pool around the clock. Try to only run your pool vacuum for up to 8 hours at a time, and give it plenty of time to “rest” between cleanings.

Do you have a robotic vacuum that keeps spinning around in circles? If so, there may be a problem with an internal mechanism, most likely the gears. Check inside the machine to see if the gears have become obstructed by debris or become so worn down with use that they need to be replaced.

A vacuum that has seen a lot of use may wear down one of its feet more than the other over time, causing the vacuum to list to one side. This can eventually lead to your pool cleaner going in a circle rather than completing its usual rounds.

8. Pool Vacuum Floats

Suppose your pool cleaner is drifting fruitlessly on the water’s surface rather than scrubbing the bottom like it’s supposed to. In that case, the most likely explanation is that something is wrong with the hose, allowing air to seep in instead of water and causing your vacuum to float. Check the hose connections to make sure they’re tight, then take the cleaner and hose out of your pool to test for leaks.

If air is leaking into your cleaner, but the hose seems to be intact, you could be dealing with a worn or damaged O-ring. O-rings are components that keep water from escaping from your cleaning system while preventing air from entering. They’re found in just about every element of your pool, including the pump, filter, heater, and booster pump. If one of these rings is damaged, you’ll need to replace it to stop your cleaner from floating.

The Bottom Line

While pool cleaners make the lives of homeowners much easier, it can be frustrating and a great inconvenience when they stop working. There are many reasons why your vacuum may not be doing its job as expected. In fact, there are as many possible malfunctions and explanations for those malfunctions as there are different types of pool cleaners, if not more.

No matter what type of issue you’re dealing with, your first move should always be to consult your vacuum’s user manual for guidance on what to do. You can also reach out to your local pool maintenance experts for advice or take the machine back to the store where you bought it if you can’t figure out what’s wrong.

Pool cleaning is an essential, non-negotiable activity. There are no ‘off weeks’ when vacuuming your water. To keep the proper chlorine and pH levels, homeowners need to clean it weekly.

Investing in a high-quality pool vacuum cleaner makes this chore easier. But because not all pool vacuums are created equal, you need to know what to look for. Here are three questions to consider to help you choose the right pool vacuum.

Three Questions to Help You Choose a Pool Vacuum

1. What Type of Pool Do You Have?

Do you have an inground or above-ground pool? What’s its size, shape, and material? Answering these questions will help you determine what type of pool cleaner you need.

The main difference between the two is the design. Inground pool vacuums are made to reach deep ends and go to depths of up to eight feet. Above-ground vacuums can’t do this.

Moreover, if your pool is curved, you need a vacuum that’s suitable for its shape. If it has steep stairs, go with a cleaner designed to target these hard-to-navigate areas. And, when it comes to materials, choose a vacuum that can clean the specific material without causing damage.

2. What’s Your Filter Set-up Preference?

Manual pool cleaners are connected to existing filtration systems, while robotic vacuums come with their own filters. This puts less strain on your pool’s filtration system, making robotic options convenient.

3. What’s Your Budget?

The nice thing about these devices is there’s one for just about any budget. Maintaining crystal clear waters doesn’t come cheap. However, a quality cleaner will make the cleaning process more manageable.

Plan to spend anywhere from $50 to upwards of $2,000 on a pool vacuum. Manual options are the least expensive because they require the most work. However, while robotic models are the most expensive, they’re also hands-free solutions for weekly maintenance.


To land the best pool cleaner, you need to consider pool type, filter set-up, and pricing. Do you prefer a manual option or a hands-free one? The answer to this will narrow down the selection process significantly.

Are you getting tired of watching your monthly bills creep up only to be reminded of that pool cleaning service you desperately need? Nobody wants a dirty pool. It’s not appealing to look at, and it doesn’t make you want to get in. Let alone your guests. And what’s a pool for, if not entertaining?

If you can relate to this scenario, it’s time to consider a pool robot. How much do they cost to maintain? Are they effective compared to an in-person service? Our guide covers everything you need to know.

What Does a Pool Robot Do?

These robots are diligent members of your household staff. They perform tasks such as:

  • Sifting debris from the water
  • Brushing the floors and walls
  • Improving water quality with fine filtering systems

How can a little robot do all this? With brushes, a suction hose, and a filter bag that gets emptied periodically – pretty much the same way as a professional cleaner. The difference is that the robot:

  • Runs automatically
  • Costs substantially less
  • Is available whenever you need it
  • (Usually) maintains a professional attitude when your significant other is sunbathing

Interested? Of course, you are. But how much do these things cost?

How Much Do Pool Robots Cost?

An automatic or robotic pool cleaner will generally set you back between $300-$700 as an initial investment. Pool robots are a classic case of “you get what you pay for” – while there are some excellent automatic cleaners at the lower end of the range, in terms of durability and efficiency, the higher-end models tend to be superior.

Of course, there’s always the chance that you’ll find a retailer selling a top-quality automatic cleaner at a discount price or on a special offer – keep an eye on our list of top cleaners and monitor those flash sales!

It can be cheaper to choose a suction cleaner or pressure washer than a robotic model. However, the huge advantage that robots have is that you can program them to clean routinely with no additional effort (except changing the filter bag and charging them when necessary). But you can perform these tiny maintenance tasks at your leisure; the cleaning time can be scheduled hours before you have guests over or first thing in the morning without you needing to get out of bed.

Some models come with intuitive apps that let you instruct them to start cleaning with a couple of clicks. If time is money, consider how much difference this makes compared to scheduling appointments with your local cleaning service. That’s before we get to hard cash – keep reading to find out what a difference a pool robot makes to your budget.

How Often Do You Need to Replace a Pool Robot?

Most high-quality pool robots last for 4-5 years. Some may last longer with regular maintenance, although it’s normal to witness a slight decline in performance if you’re getting those extra years. Essentially, they’re vacuum cleaners designed for underwater – the lifespan of the suction mechanism is somewhat similar. You could replace internal parts, but it’s often cheaper to simply get as much mileage as you can from your robot while it’s doing a great job, and then purchase an up-to-date replacement.

We’ll keep you updated on the best cleaners as they come onto the market. As more people realize what great alternatives robots are to conventional cleaning services, brands are ramping up their offerings – you can check out our regular guides to find out what’s new and hot.

Buying from a reputable manufacturer typically means you’ll get a better warranty, so we’d always recommend choosing a household name. You might save a few bucks by buying an off-brand robot, but it’ll typically be covered by a shorter warranty (or none at all) and last for less time. This means that in the long run, you’ll be spending more – a pool isn’t a short-term investment, and you shouldn’t treat your cleaning solutions as short-term goals!

How Much Does it Cost to Maintain a Pool Robot?

Here are your basic considerations when maintaining a pool robot:

  • Scrubbing brushes
  • Vacuum bags
  • Hoses (if they get damaged)
  • Energy costs
  • Battery replacements if the charge volume declines

The first 2 are reasonably cheap. You’ll always need to buy new vacuum bags for your robot, as it fills them up with debris it’s filtered out from the water. It’s best to buy bags from the same manufacturer as your robot for the best results, but even on-brand bags typically cost $5-$10 per bag. It takes a while to fill a bag, so that’s not a major investment per cleaning cycle.

Brushes don’t need to be replaced very often. They’re generally in the lower $$ range, though this depends on the brand and the model you choose. Again, it’s worth purchasing brushes from the brand instead of knock-offs – otherwise, you risk impacting your cleaner’s performance.

A replacement hose might be more expensive, but this is rarely needed. Cleaning a hose is fairly straightforward, and you’ll typically only need a replacement if it’s been damaged in an accident.

Cleaners will become less energy-efficient over time, but this is true of all machinery. The decline also tends to be very gradual and won’t make a significant impact on your bills – if it does, you’ll know it’s time for a replacement.

Cost of Hiring a Pool Cleaner vs. Buying a Robot

Now let’s consider the cost of hiring a regular cleaning service vs. purchasing a pool robot. Let’s note up-front that the cost of hiring a professional service for a one-time job runs at around $250. A regular, scheduled service might cost less – but not that much less! Plus, there’s even more to consider.


If you’re lucky enough to have a pool cleaning service that can turn up at a time that always suits you and get the job done without any hassle, that’s great! Many of us aren’t so lucky and need to be around to arrange access. Meanwhile, professional cleaners aren’t always available when you need them at short notice.

By contrast, a pool robot is ready to go whenever you are, provided it’s been charged. Whether you wake up at 6 AM thinking “I’d like a swim later” and click a button on your phone or set a regular schedule, it’s always ready to get to work.


Your pool cleaner might not use any electrical equipment to filter the water in your pool. They might do everything by hand. More likely, they’re using a pool cleaning tool themselves. This is fine, but they’re either using your energy to power this, or they’re charging you for their energy costs.

You can expect the energy bill from a robotic pool cleaner to be equivalent to or lower than the energy costs you’ll incur by hiring an in-person service.


Your pool robot doesn’t cost much for a once-over. Your pool cleaning service charges by the hour. If you want your pool in tip-top shape whenever you’re about to invite guests over, there’s only one winner here.

The initial purchase price makes some homeowners balk, but the amount you save for regular pool cleaning compared to hiring a professional service is eye-watering. As in, “who ramped up the chlorine” levels of eye-watering. Professional services will also charge a premium for a short-notice call-out – your pool robot treats every job the same.


Some days, you just want to relax in your pool without having to see or speak to anyone. That’s inconvenient because it needs a clean before you can enjoy some quality time outdoors. Calling a cleaner would mean speaking to a person. Tapping the button on your app that activates your pool robot? Now we’re (not) talking. Perfect.

So Is It Better to Buy a Pool Robot or Hire a Pool Cleaner?

There are so many things that make a pool robot more convenient and cost-effective than a professional service. But is it as thorough? That’s the question that makes so many people begrudgingly fork out for routine maintenance – they don’t know if they can trust the robot.

Check out our guides. Invest and see it for yourself. Pool robots are incredibly efficient cleaners when it comes to scrubbing. In terms of filtration, they’re more effective than filtering by hand – professional services often use a mechanical cleaner for this part of the job.

Buying a high-quality pool robot from a top manufacturer is the most cost-effective, convenient way to keep your pool water sparkling and clear. All that’s left is knowing how to choose the right one.

Choosing the Most Cost-Effective Pool Robot

Let’s sum up with a brief guide to choosing a pool robot that is perfect for your needs.


The most efficient and thorough pool robots tend to come at a slightly higher price. They can range up to $700 or even higher – however, you can expect to get a high-quality product for around $300-$400 as long as it’s from a trusted manufacturer.

Remember that higher-end models tend to last for longer, so you won’t need to replace them as regularly. You’ll have your pool for many years to come, so you can measure the cost of a new unit as a long-term investment.

Energy Efficiency

With energy prices rising, it’s vital to find a unit that uses as little energy as possible when you set it to work. As a key advantage of pool robots is that you can set them to clean whenever you want, energy-saving units can bring you significant savings.

How Often Will You Use It?

Check how often a unit should be used, and how often its battery will need charging. Knowing how often the bag typically needs replacing is another consideration – if you’re planning to use your cleaner very regularly, you might want to choose a model with a higher storage capacity and a longer battery life.

Pool Size

Some robots have a greater range than others. If you have a large backyard pool, you’ll want a unit that is adept at handling corners and curves and has a good range for its suction hose. Of course, you can always redeploy it if you’ve got time – this can be a great way to make the most of a more affordable pool robot.

Buying a Pool Robot vs. Hiring a Cleaner: Final Verdict

There’s every reason to invest in a new pool robot. They’re simply more convenient and cost-effective than professional services. Believe it or not, they’re also just as charming. Check out our guides and make your choice today.

If you’re the proud owner of a pool, one of the best ways to show it off is to keep the water crystal clear.

Pool vacuums come in different shapes and sizes and feature a wide variety of functions to meet the needs of different pool types. How they get the job done can vary depending on their unique features, but they get every part of the surface spotless quicker and more efficiently than if it’s done manually.

This blog will give you the scoop on how a pool vacuum can help you save time, money, and water each month compared to if you do it manually with more equipment. If you want to know if purchasing a vacuum is worth all the buzz online, keep reading.

How Much Time Should It Take to Clean My Pool?

Vacuuming your pool is a necessary maintenance task that keeps it free of contaminants like dirt, debris, and algae that can change the water’s pH balance. If you notice that the water isn’t clear, it’s time for a cleaning.

Using a pool vacuum will significantly reduce the time it takes to get the water and surfaces spotless. Every vacuum should come with various cleaning duration options that suit the level of debris present in the water. Cleaning with a vacuum can take between 20 minutes to three hours. This time is easily doubled when doing it manually.

How frequently and how long it should take typically depend on the size and amount of debris in the water. It’s sometimes necessary to schedule a quick cleaning after a storm or a party to get rid of an excess of debris in between a thorough weekly cleaning.

Will Owning a Pool Vacuum Help Me Save Money?

Having your pool cleaned by someone else is almost as lovely as diving into the refreshing water. Using a vacuum cleaner allows you to enjoy the benefits of having the water sparkling and clean without doing the work yourself. You also won’t have to spend hundreds on maintenance each month if you regularly keep your pool in good condition with an automatic vacuum.

A pool vacuum eliminates the tedious work that you would do once a week by scrubbing the floors and walls with just the touch of a button. Cleaning equipment can be costly, and so are the energy bills you receive in the mail each month from the electricity needed to run the equipment.

Many vacuum cleaners have power-saving options that allow you to cut back on the energy you use from the house. They also work independently of the pool’s filtration system so that you can run the pump at a much lower speed. A vacuum will help make regular maintenance cheaper and much more efficient.

How Does it Help the Filtration System?

Cleaning your pool on a regular basis with the help of a pool vacuum can prevent issues with the filtration system because it doesn’t have to work as hard to remove debris. The vacuum can more easily get to hard-to-reach places like the floor and the walls. You won’t have to struggle to fish dirt out of the water ever again.

It’s recommended that your pool be cleaned at least once a week to ensure it’s thoroughly taken care of and reduce the frequency of adding chemicals. Your filter will stay cleaner longer with a pool vacuum, requiring less backwashing. Less backwashing also means using fewer chemicals.

A high-quality vacuum reduces the time needed for filtration, which helps you save water. You can save thousands of liters of water a year. This also makes maintenance more eco-friendly. You can enjoy the benefits of swimming in crystal clear water and take some burden off the environment by investing in an energy-efficient cleaner.

Why It’s Worth It to Invest in a Pool Vacuum

Without vacuuming your pool, the water will get dirtier and force the chemicals to work harder to keep it as clean as possible. Relying on the chemicals to keep the water clear will require more time and money to make up for the work that a simple weekly vacuuming can do. Using a pool vacuum is necessary if you want to keep the water in your pool clean and fresh without having to spend a significant amount of time and money getting the job done.

If you’re ready to invest in the perfect vacuum, we’ve already done the research for you. We’ve compiled a list of the best pool vacuum cleaners to help you find the one that suits your needs. Find your next cleaning equipment today.

Are you looking for an automatic pool cleaner? Selecting one of the best pool vacuums can be a tough nut to crack. There are thousands of automatic pool cleaning models on the market today. How do you figure out which one will serve you best?

This post will cover our top 5 robotic cleaning models and answer some of the most common questions our experts get from pool owners. Find your next convenient cleaning method here.

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Best Automatic Pool Vacuum

Our picks for the best automatic 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 automatic pool cleaners.

1. Polaris P965iQ Sport

Most Tech Features

You cannot mention pool cleaning robots without referring to the Polaris P965iQ Sports Robotic Pool Cleaner. The P965iQ is unlike any robotic cleaner our cleaning experts have tested on the market. The tool comes complete with Wi-Fi capabilities that enable you to instruct the vacuum using the iAquaLink app. The app allows you to see when the filter needs cleaning and create a schedule for it to follow.

The P965iQ model takes cleaning to the extreme with its four-wheel drives, which clean walls, floors, and the waterline. It also comes equipped with a system that blows debris off the stairs and off hard-to-reach corners to suck it up.

It cleans even the deepest and largest in-ground pool, courtesy of its 70-foot cable length. It even has its own removal system to make picking up your vacuum easy. It sends the robot up the wall to make it easy to grab it out from the water.

Only the P965iQ Polaris Sports Robot cleaner comes with an Alexa-enabled voice assistant. Surely, the designers of this high-end robotic cleaner were bragging at this point.

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  • Hose length: 70 feet
  • Weight: 41 pounds
  • App compatibility


  • Ideal for pools of all shapes and size
  • Effective wall brush feature
  • Wi-Fi and Alexa assistant enabled
  • It has a tangle-reducing cable system
  • Includes caddy


  • Relatively expensive
  • On the heavier side. The weight might be an issue for some people.

Final Verdict

A brilliant robot that can do every bit of pool cleaning for you as you control it remotely. No doubt, your pool will benefit greatly with the Polaris P965iQ.

2. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

Easiest to Use

The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is another excellent robotic tool for cleaning pools. It can be used with pools of 50 feet in length that are in-ground, although we’ve also found that it works excellently in above-ground pools. You won’t lift even a finger with this tool as it scrubs the walls and floors. Moreover, it does this in under two hours.

When testing this tool, we found it super easy to set up. In fact, setting up is as easy as turning on the machine and dropping it into the pool. The Dolphin robot scans and maps for more efficient cleaning. The tool comes with tangle-free swiveling cables, which prevent the device from getting stuck while cleaning.

Now, when it comes to cleaning, the cleaner did an impressive job, picking up all kinds of grime and dirt in the pool for an excellently completed task. We found the automatic schedule feature on this machine to be great as well. You don’t have to turn it on manually when cleaning.

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  • Hose length: 60 feet, tangle free
  • Weight: 19 lbs
  • Weekly schedule


  • Automatic scheduling feature
  • Strong suction power
  • Extremely easy to use


  • Not the best tool for cleaning the pool staircase. We found that it tends to get stuck on ladders and steps.
  • The company’s customer service has room for improvement.

Final Verdict

A cool robot with excellent smart features – you won’t even have to turn it on for it to start cleaning. Simply use the automatic scheduling feature and you’re good to go!

3. AIPER Cordless Robotic Cleaner

Best Cordless Vacuum

AIPER is one of the top cordless cleaners on the market today. This feature alone eliminates the problem of cord entanglement and damage, which is a massive problem for pool cleaners today. The cleaner operates efficiently, cleaning at a rate of 538 square feet in less than an hour.

In addition, the cleaning process is smoother than that of other pool cleaners.

This cordless tool can work on any pool size. It also comes complete with an intelligent system that ensures every bit of debris is scrubbed and cleaned up. Its lightweight design is also a plus for the robotic cleaner and enables easier and faster transportation from one area to the next.

With the AIPER cleaning tool, you’ll spend more time actually swimming than cleaning.

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  • Moving speed: 16 meters/minute
  • Cleaning surface: 538 square feet
  • Weight: 11.5 pounds


  • Cordless, making it perfect for all pool sizes
  • Easy to lift and transport
  • AIPERs innovative cleaning ensures faster scrubbing


  • Relatively more expensive compared to other models on the market

Final Verdict

A lightweight cordless pool cleaner that can work on any pool size. Its fast cleaning ability makes it a must have.

4. Polaris Vac-Sweep 280

The Most Affordable

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Cleaner is another top model pool cleaner. It’s one of the most lightweight models on the market today, only weighing 17.2 lbs, making it great for cleaning pool walls.

It has a reach of 31 feet, which should be okay for most pools. The Vac-sweep model is compatible with the Polaris booster pump, which boosts pressure, giving you even more power for the toughest jobs.

The Vac-Sweep cleaner has very high ratings among pressure pool cleaners because of its thorough input and filter bags that can collect lots of debris before getting into the pool filter. As per our experts, Vac-sweep cleans in less than 3 hours, which should be good by any standards.

The 2-year warranty on this model is the icing on the cake. But you’ll probably not need it as it’s built well to last more than two years.

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  • Hose length: 31 feet
  • Weight: 17.2 lbs
  • Has a unique filter bag that removes debris before reaching the pump


  • Lightweight design makes it ideal for cleaning
  • The filter bag protects the pool’s filter
  • Powerful double jets
  • 2-year warranty


  • Requires some add-on purchases like the rear sweep tail for full functionality

Final Verdict

A great piece of engineering from a reputable firm in the industry of smart robotics.

5. Polaris P825 Sport

Best for large debris

The Polaris P825 Sport Robotic Pool cleaner is another smart in-ground surface pool cleaner with a unique triangular look. The P285 series from Polaris cleans every inch of the pool, including stairs, coves, and even down to the waterline – it scrubs it all.

Polaris P285 was designed for pools of 40 ft or less that are in-ground. The machine utilizes a smart technology known as a cyclonic vacuum system that enables the tool to trap debris with ease without losing its suction power.

One of the design features that we liked about this model is the transparent lid –a really thoughtful feature that enables you to look at the debris canister and know when it needs emptying. And in case you want to get rid of the filter content, the model has a Push’N’Go emptying mechanism that keeps you from touching the filter content.

The P285 model is one of the few that sucks large leaves up with ease due to its large intake area.

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  • Smart cyclonic vacuum technology
  • Hose length: 40 feet
  • Push’N’Go filter canister


  • The oversized intake is a plus as it can take large debris
  • Cleans coves, stairs, and even the waterline effectively
  • It has an easy-to-empty mechanism


  • The cord can get twisted and inhibit the cleaning abilities

Final Verdict

The smart features like the wall climbing and cyclonic vacuum technology on this tool make difficult pool cleaning tasks seem like a walk in the park.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are automatic pool cleaners worth it?

Absolutely! They are some of the best pool care investments you can make. If you’d rather be swimming, than cleaning, consider an automatic pool cleaner. They’ll clean your pool in less than three hours, depending on your pool’s size. Plus, you won’t have to move a muscle.

How much does an automatic pool vacuum cost?

Robotic cleaners cost an average of $500 and $1,200. However, you may find a more pocket friendly model with a budget of about $200-$300. Just keep in mind, it will be limited in features and cleaning capacity.

Do automatic pool vacuums work?

Yes, they do.

There are three types of automatic pool cleaners: pressure, suction, and robotic. They may have different mechanisms for operation, but all function with the same goal in mind – to collect dirt and debris for you, so you can keep your pool clean without hardly lifting a finger.

How often should I run my automatic pool cleaner?

If you’re swimming every day, our cleaning experts recommend running at least once a day. If you’re not a regular swimmer, use the cleaner once a week or twice a month.

How long do robotic pool cleaners last?

Robotic cleaners last at least five years, depending on quality. Of course, the better the quality, the more durable it is. Expensive cleaners are usually more durable. Whatever the case, proper care and maintenance of your robotic pool cleaner will increase its lifespan.


Investing in the right pool cleaner is essential for having sparkling water that you and your family want to jump right into. When shopping, use these pros and cons to weigh your options carefully. This way, you can choose the cleaner that best suits your needs, so you can worry less about cleaning and focus on enjoying your pool.

Before you and the kids can get to splashing around, you’ll need to give your pool a little TLC in the form of a good deep cleaning.

With so many pool cleaners on the market, it can be paralyzing trying to choose the right one for your needs. Luckily for you, our experts have extensively researched and tested the best pool vacuums out there. Check out our list of the top five best vacuums for above-ground pools.

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Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum

Our picks for the best above ground 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 above ground pool cleaners.

1. Dolphin E-10

The Best for Hands-Off Cleaning

Our recommendation for the best above-ground pool vacuum on the market is the Dolphin E-10 Robotic Pool Cleaner. This compact unit offers a 3-stage filtration system with a durable zippered bag, which our pros found easy to empty and clean.

It also features energy-efficient technology and a shutoff timer to safeguard against accidental overfilling. The Dolphin E-10 is one of the easiest vacuums to use, making it ideal for new pool owners and people who want the most straightforward and efficient option for cleaning their above-ground pool.

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  • Powerful suction motor
  • Large single click basket filter
  • High-speed scrubbing brush in the front


  • Easy to use and clean
  • Powerful suction, even on uneven surfaces
  • Energy efficient


  • Maximum range of 30ft may be unsuitable for larger pools
  • High price tag

Final Verdict

The Dolphin E-10 is an excellent choice for pool owners who want to be minimally involved in the cleaning process and don’t mind spending a little extra to have their own robotic helper.

2. AIPER Seagull 600 Cordless

The Best Cordless Design

For those looking for a cordless robotic cleaner for their above-ground pool, the AIPER Seagull 600 is the way to go. The AIPER can service a pool of up to 30 feet in diameter and has a battery life of about 50 minutes, which our experts found to be plenty of time to clean a well-kept pool.

Since you won’t have to worry about finding an outlet or de-tangling cords, this unit is one of the most versatile and convenient robotic cleaners. All you have to do is drop it into the water and walk away. It’s also extremely lightweight, making it easy to transport and store.

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  • Cordless
  • Two bottom scraper brushes
  • Dual drive motors
  • Self-parking


  • Highly versatile thanks to the cordless design
  • Smart cleaning system avoids redundancy and waste
  • Portable and lightweight


  • May not clean as effectively as other vacuums
  • On the expensive side

Final Verdict

In our opinion, the Aiper Seagull 600 is the best choice if you’re looking for a cordless robotic pool cleaner.

3. Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00

Best Pressure Side Vacuum

This above-ground-specific model blasts the sides and bottom of your pool with water to flush debris out of hard-to-reach crevices, working in conjunction with your pool’s built-in pump and filtration system. This makes it an ideal solution for cleaning a bunched-up nylon floor.

The Polaris Vac-Sweep can be installed in minutes and works automatically, leaving you free to do other things. It can serve a depth of up to five feet, and its hose stretches to a maximum of 24 feet, so you may wish to choose another model if you’re working with a larger surface area.

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  • Jet sweep assembly
  • Removable filter bag to catch debris
  • 24-foot float hose


  • Once installed, it operates automatically with no need for supervision
  • More affordable than other models
  • Able to clean out crevices that other vacuums may not reach


  • Takes a long time (about three hours)
  • Overall cleaning may not be as effective as other models

Final Verdict

Our pool cleaning experts find the Polaris Vac-Sweep to be the best performing pressure side automatic above-ground pool cleaner on the market and recommend this model to anyone whose pool has a lot of hard-to-clean crevices.

4. Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z

The Most Affordable

Don’t let this product’s quirky name weird you out. In our opinion, the Kreepy Krauly is the best suction side vacuum available for above-ground pools. In addition to being one of the more affordable models out there, the Kreepy Krauly’s simplified design means a longer lifespan and less risk of expensive repairs or part replacements down the line.

Our pros found this unit quick and easy to install. It’s also quieter, meaning you can run it overnight without disruptions.

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  • Free-skimming valve to regulate water flow
  • Adjustable suction
  • 32-foot hose


  • Only one mechanical moving part, lessening the risk of wear and tear
  • Easy to assemble and install


  • Not compatible with every above-ground pool brand
  • May not clean ladders effectively
  • Takes a long time (about three hours)

Final Verdict

This model is an excellent choice for above-ground pools that don’t have ladders and owners who don’t mind a longer cleaning time.

5. Pool Blaster Max

Most versatile

This model is a great choice for pool owners who don’t mind manually cleaning their pools but want their vacuum to do just a little bit of everything. The Pool Blaster Max comes with different attachments depending on whether you need a full deep clean or a quick spot cleaning session, and it can run for up to one hour before the lithium-ion battery needs to be recharged.

Having a cordless model is essential with a manual vacuum. It increases the unit’s versatility and makes it much easier to maneuver while cleaning. Attach the Pool Blaster Max to your telescopic cleaning pole to reach the bottom of your above-ground pool with ease.

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  • Removable vacuum head
  • Nose cap for cleaning corners
  • Reusable multilayered filter bag
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery


  • Cordless design for convenience and versatility
  • Great value for the price
  • Lightweight and durable


  • Not automatic
  • Suction may not be as powerful as other models

Final Verdict

The Pool Blaster Max is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a manual vacuum that is easy to use and will allow them to clean their above-ground pool quickly and efficiently.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Vacuum Do I Need for an Above-Ground Pool?

The best vacuum for your above-ground pool depends on your specific needs and your pool’s design.

If your pool has many tiny crevices or wrinkles that trap dirt and debris, a pressure-side vacuum may be the best choice. If you have a busy schedule and want your pool cleaned without supervision, choose a robotic or automatic vacuum.

What’s the Easiest Way to Vacuum an Above-Ground Pool?

The steps for clearing your above-ground pool vary depending on the type of vacuum and how frequently you clean the water. Here’s a basic rundown of the measures you should take for maximum ease and efficiency.

  1. Remove any large objects or debris, such as toys and branches. Check the pump and filter system to make sure everything is functioning correctly.
  2. Inspect your vacuum. If it’s a manual model, make sure you have all the necessary attachments; if it’s automatic, ensure it’s working correctly; if cordless, make sure it’s fully charged.
  3. Connect your vacuum to the filtration system. The method for doing this varies depending on the type of vacuum you’re using. Make sure you save the included guide from your model for reference.
  4. If using a manual machine, use long, slow strokes, keeping the vacuum flush with the bottom of the pool to maintain suction. If using an automatic model, sit back and wait for the cleaner to run through its cycle.
  5. Rinse and dry your vacuum, then store it in a safe place to be ready for next time. Taking care of your machine will increase its lifespan and ensure your cleaner is always ready when you need it.

How Do You Take Care of a Pool?

During the summer months, it’s a good idea to stay on top of your pool’s cleaning and maintenance by regularly running your vacuum, especially if you and your family are frequent swimmers. This will help prevent algae growth, ensuring your family stays healthy.

Keeping your pool covered when not in use will go a long way toward keeping the water clear and giving your vacuum less work to do, which will help prolong the life of your unit.

How Long Does It Take to Vacuum an Above-Ground Pool?

Our experts have generally found that vacuuming a smaller, well-maintained pool can take as little as 20 minutes. A larger or particularly dirty pool may take closer to 45 minutes. Of course, some automatic models like the Kreepy Krauly take much longer; their advantage is that you can leave them running without supervision.

The Bottom Line

Owners and enjoyers of above-ground pools, rejoice! There are many great vacuums for every budget and pool design. If you’re still feeling paralyzed by all the choices, don’t panic; you can’t go wrong by choosing one of these 5 cleaning units hand-picked by our experts. Whether you’re looking for a manual vacuum or a robot to clean your pool automatically, you’ll find what you’re looking for on this list of the top 5 best above-ground pool vacuums.