An inground pool is a big investment, and cleaning it is an important responsibility. However, it doesn’t have to be a laborious task when you have a top-quality inground pool cleaner to rely on.
To help you make the best choice, we’ve tested the best pool vacuums for all purposes. These are the vacuums that stood out as the most effective for inground pools, especially – any option on this list will do a terrific job of keeping your inground pool shiny and clean. Read on to discover more.
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Best Inground Pool Vacuums
Our picks for the best inground pool vacuum cleaners are:
- DOLPHIN Nautilus CC Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner – Best robot
- Hayward The Pool Cleaner – Best suction
- AIPER Automatic – Best cordless
- Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 – Best pressure
- Polaris 9650iQ Sport Robotic Cleaner – Best automatic
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 inground pool cleaners.
Best Robot Pool Cleaner
The Dolphin Nautilus CC is our top choice for a robotic pool cleaner. Maintenance is no effort at all with this nifty robot – it can get your pool cleaned up in under 2 hours. With a range of 33 feet, it’s a superb choice for smaller pools and backyard applications.
It’s up to 8x more efficient than most suction and pressure options, which is great news for homeowners. Maintenance often doesn’t come cheap, so the more you can save on energy, the better. Its scrubbing and filtering systems are also very impressive – we inspected for spots and water purity after the Dolphin was done, and we were amazed at how thorough it is.
For such a cute little cleaner, this is a high-performance unit and a must-have for any small-to-medium inground pool. Perhaps the thing we loved most is that you can schedule the Dolphin to get to work every 1-3 days – it’ll simply wake up and get the job done by itself. Minimum effort, maximum satisfaction.
- Cleaning Range: 33 feet
- Weight: 13.8 pounds
- Weekly Cleaning Timer Features Available
- Great for small and medium-sized areas
- Energy efficient
- Superb cleaning power
- Automated schedule
- Leading brand
- High-end product – somewhat expensive
A cute little robot with a lot to offer. Great programming options and superb cleaning capacity.
Best Suction Pool Cleaner
The Hayward Pool Cleaner is a powerful suction cleaner from a top manufacturer. It has an impressive range, covering swimming areas of up to 20′ x 40′ – it can handle almost any backyard pool with ease. We found that it ran extremely smoothly, which has often been an issue with suction cleaners in the past. This Hayward model has intuitive pre-programmed steering sequences that eliminate the risk of missing a spot.
Its tire treads are well-designed for climbing without missing corners. They also cope exceptionally well with drains – how annoying is it when a pool cleaner and your main drain don’t get along? That won’t be an issue with this powerful suction cleaner, which also features 3 interchangeable throat types. It works optimally with all types of pumps.
Its filter bag is easy to remove and empty, and the price is excellent compared to most competitors that offer similar suction power and efficient programming. This is a top choice for homeowners and first-time inground pool owners everywhere.
- Cleaning Surface: 20 x 40 feet
- Hose Length: 40 feet
- Weight: 6.6 pounds
- Pre-programmed steering ensures full coverage
- Affordable price
- Good choice for home pools
- All-terrain tire treads
- Works with variable speed pumps
- Not ideal for larger pools
An all-terrain powerhouse with well-designed traction and excellent features. Perfect for first-timers.
Best Overall Cordless Pool Cleaner
Need an extra bit of range? The AIPER Cordless Cleaner is just what you’re looking for. We set this little workhorse loose and were astonished by how fast it could cover a wide area. The AIPER model can clear out a 538 sq ft pool in around 50 minutes, making it one of the best choices for backyard inground pools. Of course, it can take care of smaller areas even faster.
It’ll also let you know when it’s tired and stops at a convenient location. When the battery is running low, the machine will take itself to a shallow area by the wall, so you can lift it out and charge it up without needing to dive in and rescue it. We’re relieved to report that it consistently found an appropriate berth in our tests, and we could hook it out of the water without a struggle. It weighs only 6.6lbs, so it’s easy for anyone to retrieve.
Its lithium battery simply needs you to plug it into a 110v outlet to charge – it’s much more energy-efficient than you might imagine, and we were impressed by how long the battery lasted. Its twin brushes make light work of most soiling on the walls and floor. Of course, another benefit of any cordless model is that it’ll never get itself in a tangle. However clever their programming, corded options can find a way to double back on themselves and get their power line – or worse, their suction hose – snarled up. No such risk here.
- Moving Speed: 16m/minute
- Charging Time: Approximately 3.5 hours
- Cleaning Surface: 538 square feet
- Cleans very quickly
- Easy to retrieve when the battery is low
- Charges quickly (3-4 hours)
- No cord to get tangled
- Slightly more expensive
- Less powerful brushes than some corded models
A smart machine that requires almost no maintenance. Its fast, easy charging makes it a must-have.
Best Pressure Pool Cleaner
The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 demonstrates why pressure washing is here to stay for inground pools. It combines high-power underwater jets with intensive brushwork to get your floor and walls to a high sheen while filtering out debris from the water. It also comes at a reasonable price compared to many other high-end models – it’s an ideal choice for first-time owners.
The feed hose is 31′, so you might need to adjust where it’s connected if you have a larger pool. However, this is so easy, and you won’t need to monitor the cleaner to find out if it’s running the length of its cord – simply redeploy it in another area, and it’ll clean from wall to wall. Its powerful brushes combined with the pressure hose did a better job removing dirt than almost any other model we tested, and it’s great at filtering out heavier waste like leaves.
Polaris is a top brand, and you’ll see the difference when you shop with this manufacturer. A beast of a cleaner.
- 2 Jets
- Debris Bag
- Weight: 6.2 pounds
- Superb cleaning and filtering action
- Extremely thorough
- Suitable for all pool types
- Great for outdoor use
- Reputable manufacturer
- The hose could be slightly longer
Powerful, efficient, and great for those heavy-duty pools that lightweights might struggle with.
Best Automatic Cleaner
The Polaris Sport Robotic Cleaner is a sleek, sophisticated automatic pool cleaner. It’s full of fancy features, and some of our team were a bit skeptical that it might sacrifice its most important function – effective scrubbing and filtering. We’re pleased to report that this is not the case.
Along with an impressive 60′ range, this robot has powerful scrubbing rotas and low torque, making it great at handling all types of terrain. Its filtering system is very effective, and it has a dirty canister indicator, so you’ll know when to change it.
In terms of the fancy stuff, it uses the iAquaLink control app to connect to your phone – you can turn it on from your bed! It’ll let you know how long is left, and all its information is displayed in the interface. It also boasts 4-wheel drive, giving it greater maneuverability in tight spots.
- App Compatibility
- Cleaning Range: 60 feet
- Weight: 44.3 Pounds
- Great scrubbing capacity
- Large canisters with dirt indicator
- Intuitive phone app
- 4-wheel drive
- A top brand with a sleek design
- Fully automatic
- Somewhat expensive
This little robot can do it all. Being able to control and monitor it remotely is a brilliant feature.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of vacuum do I need for an in-ground pool?
The most important features will always be:
- Cleaning power
- Filtering capacity
Whatever type you pick, ensure it can cover the entire floor and remove any debris that frequently ends up in your water.
What is the best way to clean an in-ground pool?
Any type of electric cleaner is more efficient than cleaning by hand. It saves you so much valuable time and effort.
What is the most effective pool cleaner?
Many people prefer automatic or robotic cleaners as they require minimal attention. Others argue that pressure washers are more effective. The best policy is to buy from a reputable manufacturer.
Are pool vacuums worth it?
Yes! Save yourself hours of hassle and only get wet when you want to go for a swim!
Are robotic pool cleaners better?
Robotic cleaners minimize fuss, although they can be slightly more costly.
Can you use an above-ground pool cleaner in an in-ground pool?
Some cleaners are suitable for above-ground and in-ground pools alike – check your product before purchase.
The best inground pool cleaner will do a fantastic job of scrubbing your walls and filtering your water with almost no effort on your part. If you have an inground pool, getting a top-quality vacuum is essential. Check out the options above and make your purchase with confidence.
About the Author
Stefan Schulz is the founder and owner of PV Pool Cleaner. He spent his college years working at Niagara Pools and Spas, one of the largest Swimming Pool and Hot Tub Dealers in the Eastern United States.
Today, he utilizes his background, experience as a pool owner, and the resources of his digital marketing agency, Orpical Group, to generate informative and engaging content for pool owners everywhere.