Nobody wants to dive into a dirty pool, that’s why you should spend your time cleaning your swimming pool. But how do you know the best pool cleaners on the market today? This is why we spent our time to compile this guide to help you get the best pool cleaner for your pool.
How to Choose the Best Pool Cleaner
You don’t just hit the market and get the first pool cleaner that you come across. You need to keep these points in mind:
- Assess your pool – Before you even go to the pool stores, you need to first take a keen look at your facility to assess its needs. You see, different pool cleaners are effective in different types of debris and dirt, so you need to ensure you get the right one for your pool. Look in your swimming pool to see what you want to clean. Take note of all types of leaves, twigs, dirt, and any other kind of debris that might be found in your facility. This will enable you to determine what you really need when you visit the stores later.
- Determine your pool size – While still assessing your pool, figure out the size of your swimming pool. Different cleaners are constructed for pools of various sizes. The kind of cleaner you purchase needs to be able to clean your entire pool. If you buy a smaller unit, it will need to work extra to keep your facility clean and it might break down after a while.
- Determine your budget – Next, you need to know your budget. Swimming pool cleaners are expensive and they vary in price. Some units go for as low as $100 while other go for over $3,000, depending on the kind of cleaner, its features, and what is made to remove from your swimming pool. Look at your bank account and determine how much you wish to spend in your facility before you consider the type of cleaner you want to buy.
- Automatic or manual pool cleaner – The next step is to determine what types of cleaner you want. Manual pool cleaners are made for the perfectionist. They are great for the budget conscious person but they consume your time because you need to handle them when cleaning your pool. On the other hand, Automatic pool cleaners are the nicest cleaners out there and are quite expensive. The move around your swimming pool picking up dirt without your intervention.
- Type of cleaner (Robot, Pressure, or Suction) – You also need to determine the type of cleaner you want. They are usually three major types (we will discuss them later).
- Other factors to consider – Other factors to consider when buying the best pool cleaner include adjustability, hose length, ability to clean steps, and pool covers.
Best Pool Cleaner For Money
We ranked our cleaners based on their types (Robotic, Pressure, or Suction cleaner) and the features they provide.
Best Robotic Pool Cleaner
Here we have the highest number of cleaners.
Dolphin Nautilus Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner
Dolphin 99996403-PC features a cartridge filter with an effective spring cleanup option. Other Nautilus pool cleaners come with filters but the one of this product has been modified so it has higher capacity. The filter should be cleaned regularly in order to last longer.
A swivel cable is added, similar to the one found in other Nautilus pool cleaners. A common issue with robot cleaners that have long cord is they get knotted up but Nautilus cord minimizes this occurrence. This cord is especially useful as it enables the unit to clean all around the pool making it ideal for walls, floor, stairs, and steps.
The cleaner is perfect for swimming pools up to 50 ft. long and takes just 2½ hours to remove all the debris. In addition to vacuuming, the Dolphin Plus expands, enabling it to do the more demanding cleaning. It operates on its own and hence doesn’t increase the operating cost like other cleaners that run on pool’s system. These cleaners also happen to be complicated which isn’t the case with Nautilus Plus.
Another notable feature of this device is the IntelliScan technology. This tech is an upgrade over that found in ordinary robot pool cleaners. With this tech, the unit is able to scan the pool and clean the parts that need cleaning. Its suction works in such a manner that it picks up all the debris while enhancing water flow and filtration. This makes it perfect for leaves, dirt, and other materials floating around the pool.
Furthermore, the cleaner features a special design that enables it to climb rings and brushes so it’s able to maneuver any pool no matter the shape or size. The manufacturer offers a 2 years warranty to ensure that the buyer gets replacement or maintenance in case it gets damaged before that time.
The other great features of this pool cleaner are the specially constructed software that helps to detect the area and GPS-like function that scans the pool in advance to take measurements, edges, shape, and corners of the pool so it can choose the right setting.
Dolphin Premier Robotic In-Ground Cleaner
2017 Dolphin Premier Cleaner is more rugged than other robot pool cleaners on the market today. This model comes with reinforced motor belts and upgraded tire treads. That is why probably the manufacturer felt okay with offering it a three years warranty. But quality isn’t cheap. This cleaner for inground pools is expensive.
A quick look at the Dolphin Premier spec table will show that it comes with efficient DC motors. The traditional cleaners used to come with an AC motor – they are stronger but uses lots of power. Again, most people think that robotic cleaners use up lots of power because they are bulky and big. However, this is a misconception especially when it comes to this cleaner. It doesn’t use much power at all.
This version comes with 2 different types of filters. It has a bag filter for taking out big material like big leaves and a microfilter for taking out small particles. The microfilter collects the tiny elements, algae, dirt particles, and dangerous microorganisms. This ensures that the pool is in a solid condition as it scrubs and filters everything.
Another great feature of Dolphin Premier is the SmartNav brain feature which enables it to cover all parts of a pool. This is enhanced by powerful brushes that remove grime and dirt to provide a sparkling clean facility. Furthermore, its cleaning abilities are enhanced by the patented dual air valves that enable it to float to the top of the swimming pool edge and clean areas that other cleaners cannot reach.
Like most other robot pool cleaners, the Dolphin Premier is pretty smart. It uses its advanced sensor modules and microcontroller brain to determine the area of the pool before it gets to work. Some “dumb” cleaners don’t have brains – they clean the same spots a hundred times. The last notable feature of this unit is the 360-degree swivel cord that prevents it from getting tangled up.
Polaris Sports Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
With its shiny blue, black sidewall wheels, and gray finish, the Polaris F9550 Robot Cleaner looks more like a mini sports car than a pool cleaner. It features a double-insulated plastic chassis that measure 16.9H x 18.9W x 10.6D inches and weighs only 21 pounds. The 9550 is able to clean swimming pools of up to 60 ft. in length and comes with a head unit, which powers and controls the unit to enable clean leafy pools.
It also comes with a 70 ft. cable that connects it to the head unit and a caddy for hauling it around and for storing. The cable is quite flexible and tangle-free, which makes it simple to wrap up and store in the caddy when cleaning is done. Additionally, the head unit is fixed to the caddy and there is a cradle for the remote control. The caddy doesn’t require any tool to assemble and has a firm 33 inches long handle as well as a hook for the cable.
The robot pool cleaner uses a 4-wheel drive system to move around and climb the walls to clean waterline and sides. 2 gray scrubbers on the front part of the unit works together to dislodge dirt, which is then collected using Zodiac’s Vortex Vacuum Technology.
This cleaner for fine dirt features a useful feature called Lift System. Pressing this system informs the robot pool cleaner to stop what it’s doing and return to the poolside – pressing and holding this system will determine which side the robot will go. It will then get up the wall and wait for the user to remove it using the handle – don’t use the cord.
Once the owner starts to pull it from the pool, it will expel the water from the filter back into the swimming pool, which will make it easier and lighter to haul out. During this time, there will be an LED panel showing LIFT.
Dolphin Triton Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner
The 2017 Dolphin Pool Cleaner with Bluetooth and PowerStream is a force to reckon with. It is expensive but it has all the features to justify the cost. Every feature, from the smart navigational software to the filter system, has been designed for optimal performance and offer value for money. The unit will thoroughly clean a pool while using very little power.
People looking for an intelligent and powerful inground pool cleaner should consider getting the Dolphin Triton Plus. It has lots of features not found in ordinary robot cleaners such as a smartphone app, Bluetooth remote control, and other features for vertical cleaning. In terms of cleaning, there is a unique feature which sets it apart from the rest – PowerStream.
PowerStream was designed specifically to enhance the cleaner’s vertical climbing ability, thus enabling it to reach and clean the waterline and the wall. This feature is activated when the unit starts its vertical climb. Different powerful water jets are produced in various directions, pressing the cleaner strongly against the wall.
The extra-strong grip enables Triton Plus to move vertically and reach all spots on the wall, without tipping over or getting confused, as other robot cleaners do. With this unit, people don’t need to finish the cleaning on their hands as it doesn’t a great job in a single pass.
Dolphin Triton doesn’t just rely on PowerStream when cleaning, however. Another great feature is the amazing brushing system. A huge brush spins at twice the speed of the cleaner, ensuring that all dirt is removed. This brush is especially useful if the pool hasn’t been washed for a while and has lots of grime stuck on the walls and floor.
Dolphin Pool Cleaners are famous for their huge filter cartridges. This unit is no different. It features an over-size top access basket that enables it to collect all kinds of dirt in one go. The product also comes with 4 ultra-fine and 4 fine filters. The user can choose which filter to use depending on what they are cleaning and their need is. For example, the ultrafine filters are perfect for sand and tiny algae. For bigger particles, leaves, and twigs, the fine filter is better suited for this task.
The other amazing feature of Dolphin Plus is the CleaverClean Scanning. The moment the cleaner is put in the pool, it starts to wander around with no reason or rhyme – so it seems. But by the second time, it will have developed a plan for the pool. This is made possible due to the CleverClean Scanning system. It features lots of sensors and Al software to map the pool’s size and shape.
Hayward TigerShark Plus Auto Robotic Pool Cleaner
Hayward RC9955 TigerShark features a wireless remote control. It provides the same great features as the original TigerShark but with a preset cycle and seven hours cleaning and remote control navigation around the swimming pool bottom where a complete cleaning isn’t necessary. The unit comes with a three years warranty.
Tigershark is the first robot cleaner to feature an easy clean Armed Cartridge filterability; it comes fitted with the smart computer as well as sensors that enable it to adapt to any size, shape, and type of a pool. The unit scrubs, brushes, vacuums, and filters the entire pool to remove all dirt and is perfect for algae.
Hayward RC9955 110v/24-VDC cleaner is the only device with two fine porosity reinforced filter cartridges and a great debris bag. It also features a wireless hand-held remote control that users may use to command it to do the job. It is perfect for a large pool of up to 20 ft. by 40ft. and doesn’t mess bags when cleaning the pool. It is a great unit for cleaning big, medium, and small pools.
Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner
The Dolphin Escape is among the most affordable robotic pool cleaners on the market today. Produced by Maytronics, just like other Dolphin cleaners, this device is simple, affordable, and features dozens of advanced features such as advanced filtration, advanced HyperBrush scrubbing, continuous rubber tracks, and a smart scanning system. All these features ensure that the cleaner thoroughly and quickly cleans every corner of a pool.
Best for above ground pools, the unit comes with dual motors which are made to be as effective as possible, using little energy than other robotic pool cleaners. In short, the product represents the latest technology in an affordable product.
The unit comes with a 40 ft. the long cable which doesn’t tangle easily to ensure that it reaches all parts of the swimming pool. When it is placed in a pool, it begins to scans the surface using its onboard mapping and scanning system, SmartNav. As it moves, this scanner guides it to cover all parts of the pool and avoid cleaning one area over and over again. This makes for more thorough and faster cleaning versus other pool cleaners at this price, which often relies on random cleaning.
To ensure that no dirt or debris remains, Dolphin Escape comes with a rapidly-spinning brush called a HyperBrush. As it moves over the area of the pool, the brush dislodges bacteria, algae, and stuck-on particles from swimming pool surfaces. From here, loose debris and dirt are passed via the units advanced filtration system. The superb ultra-fine filters in this cleaner will catch all the dirt from the smallest of algae to the biggest twigs and leaves, leaving the pool surface clean and nice.
Filtered dirt is then put in an oversized filter. With the oversize capacity, the Dolphin Escape cartridge is able to handle lots of leaves and debris and enable the unit to run for a long time without the need of being emptied.
Best Pressure Pool Cleaner
Here we will look at 2 models of pressure pool cleaners.
XtremePowerUS Auto Vacuum-generic Kreepy Krauly Pool Cleaner
XtremePowerUS is best for inground pools and is designed to work in pools of all shapes and surfaces, including Intex pools, and cleans pools of up to 32 ft. long. Complicated pool cleaners are not the best for ordinary homeowner, who only requires a straightforward unit that gets the cleaning done. This is why this cleaner was developed to be a toll-free installation unit. The user simply needs to attach it and place it in the pool to get the job started.
What is even amazing is that ExtremePowerUS works well with an existing filtration system. It attaches to the pool system for power, which means there is no additional power required. All that is required is a ¾ horsepower pump and the machine is ready to go.
Some pool vacuum or suction cleaners are great for cleaning the bottom of the pool but they lose the points when it comes to cleaning the waterline and the walls. However, this is not the case when it comes to XtremePowerUS Pool Cleaner because it is able to climb those walls and clean them thoroughly, just as well as the surface.
Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
The Vac-Sweep 280 Pool Cleaner comes with a 3-wheel base and is light enough to clean not only the floor and the walls but also the stairs. It features dual jets that shoot debris and dirt up into the filter bag – which is large. The unit is compatible with all inground pools surfaces including fiberglass and vinyl pools and it connects quickly to the set suction line and cleans pools in 2 hours or even less.
Although it doesn’t feature a rear sweep tail, this feature can be bought separately and fixed, helping to clean up more dirt from the crevices and corners in a pool. The kit comes with a 31 ft. hose, which is ideal for most swimming pools. However, it is possible to add an addition hose length if need be. A backup valve, which is also bought separately, automatically fires to make sure that the pressure cleaner will clean the entire swimming pool surface.
As this is one of the oldest models in the market, it has a long history of performing well and is quite durable. This mid-priced version offers a basic pressure cleaning design which is easy for first-time users. The unit requires a booster pump to work effectively and it should be timed to run during the regular pump cycle or it might burn out.
Polaris Vac is fairly light, so the owner should ensure that the hose length is sufficient to avoid tangling and flipping over during the cleaning process. Some new versions of this cleaner come with a 4-wheel design to ensure the vacuum is steady. As with all older models, this unit is missing some key features of the latest version, such as extra internal turbines and bigger intake valves. Note that most of these features can be bought and installed easily. All in all, this is an efficient pressure pool unit with a great history and is perfect for plaster pools as well.
Best Suction Pool Cleaner
Under this category, we will look at BARACUDA G3 and Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-020 pool cleaners.
BARACUDA G3 W03000 Advanced Suction Side Auto Pool Cleaner
BARACUDA G3 features a FlowKeeper Valve that promotes water flow effectively even when the water pressure is low due to low horsepower pump. It intelligently determines when to regulate and conserve water flow so that a low horsepower pump can be utilized to its max ability.
Another great feature of this gunite pools cleaner is the wheel deflector. This deflector is another great innovation from Zodiac and boosts efficiency by making sure that the cleaner doesn’t get stuck in a corner, but can free itself and go on with its cleaning chores. A cleaner doesn’t do any good if it damages the pool’s surface. This is why BARACUDA G3 comes with a Scuff-resistance Long-life hose to prevent scuffs so the pool, as well as the hose, maintain their design.
Because G3 W03000 is a suction-based swimming pool cleaner, proper adhesion is critical for maximum functioning. The 36 fin disc is made to enable the cleaner to better adhere to floors so it can make the best of its suctioning power. In addition, the fin prevents the unit from getting tangled in common cleaner traps and entanglements, enabling it to operate more efficiently.
What makes this cleaner interesting is its long-life diaphragm. Consumer reports state that this is one of the greatest innovations of the Zodiac G3 inground swimming pool cleaner. It ensures that the unit becomes a single-moving-part and doesn’t require gears, wheels, and other noise-producing parts, and hence moves a lot faster than other pool cleaners.
Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-020 Pool Cleaner
Hayward Poolergnuegen features patented tire treads, which are one of the best innovations on this unit. With deep grooves, these tires function like a Martian rover to move over obstacles in their way and enable the unit to keep working without downtime. The cleaner also comes with a patented adjustable roller skirt that is designed to add efficiency when moving on the pool’s surface and maximize suction over the surface with various surfaces making it perfect for fiberglass pool.
Another great feature of this unit is the patented self-adjusting turbine vanes which optimize power output so that the cleaner can do its job and remove all big leaves and debris. It also comes with preprogrammed steering sequences which enable it to cover all parts of the pool’s surface – they command it to maneuver and turn at key moments for full coverage.
The other notable feature of Hayward Poolergnuegen, which also happens to be great for pebble tec pools, is the 3 changeable throats which have different sizes whole so that the user can choose which one to use according to the amount of suction required.
What is a Pool Cleaner?
A pool cleaner is a vacuum device that is designed to collect sediment and debris from a pool with human (for manual pool cleaners) or no human (for automatic pool cleaners) intervention. These devices evolved from 2 areas of science: early cistern cleaners and development of the water filter.
The forerunners of present-day pool cleaners were the amazing cistern cleaners. A cistern is simply a waterproof item for holding liquids, often water. These units are still used to catch and preserve rainwater.
In the 1880s, John E. Pattison filed an application for a “Tank and Cistern Cleaner” and this patent was issued in 1884. It swept and cleaned the bottom of a tank or cistern, and through a combination of manipulation and suction of the water pressure, it was able to separate and eliminate sediment without draining the water. Over the years, this invention was improved and has become the present day pool cleaner.
What Types of Pool Cleaners Are There?
There are three major types of pool cleaner out there: Robot, Pressure, and Suction cleaners. The hardest question is determining what is the best pool cleaner on the market among the three?
Robotic Pool Cleaner
Robotic pool cleaners are also called Electric Self-propelled Cleaners. They operate on electricity so you will need a power supply near your swimming pool.
Pros of Robotic Pool Cleaners
- They are suitable for large pools.
- They are very effective in cleaning.
- They tend to last long – depending on how you maintain it.
- They use less power.
Cons of Robotic Pool Cleaners
- Probably the most expensive among the three types of automatic pool cleaners.
- They don’t tend to filter water while cleaning the pool.
Pressure Pool Cleaners
They are more powerful than the suction pool cleaners. Most versions work with an extra booster pump which requires separate hose connection in your swimming pool wall. They can be quite expensive to retrofit, so you should consider getting another model if your facility doesn’t have one. Additionally, they can put a strain on your pool pump system when connected to the filtration system.
Pros of Pressure Pool Cleaners
- They can reach very tight corners.
- They collect everything from rocks to sand to leaves.
- They are faster than suction pool cleaners.
Cons of Pressure Pool Cleaners
- They are more expensive than suction pool cleaners.
- They often require more maintenance than the other two types.
Suction Pool Cleaners
They attach with a pipe to your pool’s skimmer box and use the force created by the filtration system to pick up grime and dirt. The majority of pool cleaners that you will find on the market are suction models.
There are usually two kinds of suction pool cleaners:
- Inertia driven suction cleaners – They clean in a random manner. Although they cover all parts of your swimming pool, they often take a lot of time to do this. They work effectively in pools with no sharp corners and with curved walls.
- Geared suction cleaners – They clean in a preset pattern and will wash your swimming pool surface in a very short time. They easily get into tight and sharp corners which makes them perfect for small pools with a lot of sharp edges and steps. These units feature more moving sections than the inertia driven cleaners, so they will need more maintenance.
Pros of Suction Pool Cleaners
- They are the cheapest type of pool cleaners.
- They are easy to install and clean.
Cons of Suction Pool Cleaners
- They often fill up the skimmer box leading to more the pump being strained.
Click to read more about Suction Pool Cleaner.
How do Pool Cleaners Works?
We will look at how each type of automatic pool cleaner works. You may also watch this video to understand how these cleaners work.
Robotic Pool Cleaner
A transformer is plugged into a power source and a 50 ft. (will depend on the cleaner) the cord from the cleaner plugs into this transformer. This transformer takes 110v from your power source and turns it or steps it down to 24v, which is much safer around the water.
The low voltage operates the pool cleaner by powering 2 DC or stepper brushless motors; a drive motor which drives the device around your pool, and a pump motor which collects debris into the cleaner’s filter. The pump motor brings the water from under the cleaner and releases it at the top of your cleaner.
As well as vacuuming your pool, the pump motor ensures that the unit is pressed tightly against the wall or floor. The drive motor moves the robot pool cleaner over your pool surfaces. It’s connected via a gear train to power the tracks and belts, which rotates 2 transverse cylindrical rollers to scrub and brush your pool surface.
More advanced robotic pool cleaners use sensor bars or computer chip or infrared scanners to move around and avoid hitting the wall. Others can climb the walls and clean the waterline as well as tiles. Other comes with a radio remote control so you can navigate them when cleaning your pool.
Pressure Pool Cleaner
The water that gets into these cleaners split into 3 directions; the thrust jet, the venturi, and the sweeper tail. The sweeper tail is fixed to the rare of the unit and functions like a tiny stirrer-upper, which aids to get the fine dirt off the floor and walls and into the suspension where it then moves into the filter.
The venturi is usually the port on the bottom side where leaves and dirt are sucked up into the bag, as the device rolls around your pool. An in-line back-up valve located in the feed hose usually reverse the flow every few seconds to change the washing pattern and remove the unit from possible obstacles.
The thrust jet is a small jet on the rare of the unit that aids to propel and direct the cleaner movement. Just like a car exhaust, this jet is the exit area of water that has gone via the Water Management System – this is a series of gears and ports that drive the cleaner around your pool in a random manner.
Suction Pool Cleaner
With the hose fixed and the filter pump operating, suction is formed underneath the pool cleaner. The unit moves randomly but automatically around your swimming pool with motion formed by a gadget that gives a start/stop pulsing of water.
As the cleaner travels, dirt and debris are sucked up via the neck and then the pipe, past the suction port, via the hose, and stops at the pump strainer bag, while tinier dirt passes via to the pool filter.
What are the Benefits of Using Pool Cleaners?
There are a lot of benefits of owning and using an effective pool cleaner, the most obvious ones include:
- A pool cleaner can scrub the walls and surface of your swimming pool to leave a cleaner, more hygienic finish – These units are not only easy to install but some more advanced models can even be used to treat your pool with chemicals. They usually come in different models and sizes to ensure that you get the right one for your cleaning needs.
- It is a superb energy saver – The units are self-programmable with a computer chip which enables them to move around your swimming pool by themselves. This means that the pool remains clean without the need to use your effort and time dragging cleaning apparatus through the water.
- It is very effective at sanitizing the pool – While manual cleaning takes an average of 3 hours, a pool cleaner could clean your pool in about 1 hour and sanitize it. This ensures that your facility is well and effectively cleaned very fats, which is ideal for impromptu parties or gatherings.
- It is very effective – These cleaners can clean different types of dirt and debris from your pool including algae, twigs, leaves, and other particles. Most of these products are quite effective at cleaning dirt regardless of the size or volume of the particles. They are also able to clean different crevices in the steps, floor, or walls of your facility. This usually prevents the build-up of dirt which could lead to damage to the reputation of your pool.
- Other benefits – Some models come with remote controls which make it easier to control them and ensure that your pool is cleaned thoroughly without needing to leave the comfort of your chair. This provides you more time to relax as you watch the pool cleaner do its things.
Some Items You May Need for Your Swimming Pool
Pool Filter – A filter consists of a huge tank, made of metal, concrete, or fiberglass, containing a bed of special-grade material, which features a squarish shape.
Pool Pump – This is basically the heart of your swimming pool circulation system. It pulls water from your pool via the skimmer and primary drain, pushes it via the filter, and returns it to your pool via the main returns. The pump consists of three main parts: Impeller, Hair and Lint Trap, and The Motor.
Pool Heaters – A pool heater makes the pool more comfortable during the cold season. From extending your swimming activities during the fall and spring to heating the water after a cold night, these heaters come in different types including gas heaters, solar heaters, and propane heaters to make you swim throughout the year.
Pool Cover – This is a cover that is used to cover pools and rest on the lip of your pool – it is not a floatation cover. It is used as a barrier to bathers and swimmers and for thermal protection and maintenance. Pool covers are made of different materials such as polypropylene, vinyl, and UV-stabilized polyethylene. They can be opaque or transparent. They can also be dark or light colored. One of the most affordable covers made for pools is the bubble cover.
Solar Cover – A solar cover is a cover that when put on the water’s surface of your pool increase its temperature by trapping and transmitting solar radiation. It also prevents windborne debris from falling into the pool and reduces evaporation.
Chlorine – It is any kind of chlorine elements that is used to disinfect a swimming pool or to kill, control, or destroy algae and bacteria. Furthermore, it oxidizes nitrogen and ammonia compounds caused by swimmers.
Sanitizers – They are chemical elements designed to kill algae, bacteria, and other living organisms. They also protect the pool form the effects of the hot sun.
Above Ground Pool – This is a facility that is temporarily installed on the ground to act as a swimming pool. They are limited in terms of shape, size, and depth.
Inground Pool – This is a facility that is permanently installed on the ground. This can be constructed in different varieties when it comes to size, shape, and extra features.
There you go; we hope you have enjoyed this comprehensive guide to the best pool cleaner on the market today. As always, you may leave a comment or ask any question about pool cleaners.