12 Best Above Ground Pool Vacuums in 2017

Getting a pool clean and keeping it that way is not an easy task. There are many different steps you need to take and all of them can be very time-consuming without the right tools.

Having the best above ground pool vacuum is a must if you are going to keep your pool safe and clean while also saving yourself some time and energy in the process.

Not sure which model to pick? Our guide will highlight the top 12 models and explain what key features and details you need to pay attention to when shopping for one.

Top 12 Above Ground Pool Vacuums Ultimate Chart

DesignNameAutomatic or ManualSuction StyleRating (1-5)
  1. Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale Above-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner Automatic Filter 32-foot hose 3.9
  2. Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner Automatic Filter 32-foot hose 3.9
  3. Water Tech Pool Blaster Max Li Pool and Spa Cleaner Manual Bag and in-built motor. 3.7
  4. Aquabot Junior NXT Robotic Pool Cleaner Automatic Bag and in-built motor. 3.7
  5. Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 Pressure Side Automatic Pool Cleaner Automatic Filter 24-foot hose. 3.6
6. Poolmaster 27514 Clear-View Triangular Vinyl Liner Vacuum Manual Hose not included. 3.6
7. Intex Auto Pool Cleaner Automatic Filter 24-foot hose. 3.5
8. Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner Automatic Bag and in-built motor. 3.5
  9. Pentair 360100 Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark Above Ground Pool Cleaner Automatic Filter 30-foot hose. 3.4
  10. POOL ROVER S2 40, US, JET, 115VAC/48VDC Automatic Bag and in-built motor. 3.4
  11. Water Tech Pool Blaster Max HD Manual Pool Vacuum Cleaner Manual Bag and in-built motor. 3.4
  12. Smart Pool 4i Floor and Cove Pool Cleaner Manual Bag and in-built motor. 3.1

Pool Cleaning Made Simple

Deciding to invest in an above ground pool vacuum means you are more than ready to take your pool cleaning seriously.

Not only does this mean more effective cleaning but it can also mean that you save money on energy costs, use fewer chemicals and often save time, especially with the automatic models.

To make sure the pool cleaning really is easier with the product you choose, follow the advice of our experts and consider only the most important specs.

NOTE: When searching for pool cleaners, ‘above ground’ can mean two different things, the pool is:

  • soft sided or
  • permanently installed.

Before buying a vacuum, ensure it is suited to the type of pool that you have to prevent any damage to the surface.

First Things First: Automatic vs. Manual

  • Automatic – This kind of vacuum will save you time as you can set it to clean and forget about it. Most models even have a feature that shuts them off after a few hours of use to ensure you do not waste energy. These can come in rover-style machines or suction to the side of the pool.
  • Manual – This is the best above ground pool vacuum for precision cleaning. This is an option that gives you more control, though it will require more of your time to operate.

Types of Vacuums

There are two kinds of vacuums for above ground pools; those that attach to a filter and those that have built in motors.

  • Attach to the Filter – These are the machines that come with hoses attached to the filter. For this type of model, you need to determine if the hose length is enough to allow the vacuum to reach all areas of the pool.
  • Have built-in Motors – These models will have a filter system and motor inside the machine and will be often powered by a power cord. Consider the size of the bags as well as how often the filter needs to be replaced or if it is reusable.

There are also the vacuums that are specifically dedicated to cleaning the bottom of the pool or the side of the pool. The bottom-cleaners are more effective at cleaning larger particles, as this is where they will settle while the side cleaners are better for precise cleaning and maintenance.

Details to Look For

  • Lightweight – The vacuum should come out of the water easily and should not be difficult for you to get set up because it is too hefty.
  • Easy to Store – Whether you have a pool house or not, you do not want the vacuum to take up a lot of space when it is not in use. This will also take up some of the off-season storage space.
  • Long Cable or Hose – In order for the vacuum to be effective, it needs to reach all corners and areas of the pool.
  • Strong Cuction – A vacuum that does not pick up the dirt and sand at the bottom of the pool is useless. It needs to be able to suck up the debris without damaging softer linings. This is something that can more easily be assessed from reading expert reviews.

Top 5 Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum Reviews

1. Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale

In addition to being incredibly cute, the Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale is one of the most effective pool vacuums on the market. The first thing to note is that installation is very easy. The process requires no additional tools and takes about 10 minutes.

This cleaner is one that pulls water from the bottom of the pool. So rather than just cleaning the surface of the water, the entire pool is getting clean. This also ensures longer-lasting results and can reduce the need for chemicals.

The hose that this vacuum comes with is 32 feet longer, which is normally more than enough for most above ground pools. Due to this length and the size of the vacuum itself, this product is better suited for smaller pools. This smaller vacuum even comes with a program that ensures the entire bottom of your pool gets cleaned and not just one area.

2. Zodiac Ranger Suction Side

The Zodiac Ranger Suction Side is superior for cleaning above ground pools, including dished-out bottoms as well as soft-sided pools too. This kind of versatility alone makes this product more appealing as it will be suitable even if you upgrade your soft-sided pool, for example.

In terms of operation, this vacuum has been made to self-adjust to regulate the flow of water. This means that the vacuum is able to operate as effectively as possible without much need for interruption or intervention by you. The deflector wheel that means the vacuum will not get caught and stopped if it bumps into a ladder or pool accessories further assists the independence of the product.

The product comes pre-assembled and there is minimal effort needed in the installation process so you can get this product and have it cleaning your pool in a matter of minutes. You can also count on this vacuum to clean the entirety of your pool including the sides, around the steps and in the corners.

3. SmartPool NC22 SmartKleen Robotic

The SmartPool NC22 ccRobotic is the best above ground pool vacuum for specifically cleaning the floor of your pool. This is a lightweight product that navigates itself around the bottom of your pool to clean the entire surface.

Whether you have vinyl lining or concrete pool surfaces, this powerhouse vacuum can clean it quickly and effectively. This vacuum is designed for smaller pools, which is one of the reasons it is so perfectly suited to above ground pools. Even if your pool is full of debris and is starting to turn green, this vacuum will help restore it to a lovely, clean blue color in no time.

If you want to make an investment in the maintenance of your pool that will more than pay for itself in the long run then this is the best option. It is a reliable and durable vacuum system that will work for many summers.

4. Aquabot Junior NXT

If you are looking for a system that will clean your above ground pool quickly, then the Aquabot Junior NXT is one of the best options. It has even been shown to clean smaller pools completely within just a few hours, if not less.

This is a vacuum system that can be used with any shape pool and you can rest assured that it will clean the entire thing and not just the open, middle areas. Using this vacuum doesn’t just keep the pool clean but it also reduces the need for chemicals and keeps energy costs low due to its effectiveness.

The vacuum is convenient as it comes with a 50-foot floating cable and has a built-in filter bag that can be used again and again. You simply need to follow the straightforward instructions to set up this vacuum and then you set it in the pool, knowing that the timer will shut it off within 2 hours so you don’t have to worry about forgetting it.

5. Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 Side

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 65 6-130-00 Side is incredibly easy to install so you can order it and get to clean your pool in no time at all. This is a system that vacuums the bottom of your pool but will also sweep the sides to ensure all bacteria and dirt are removed in the cleaning process.

This vacuum generally takes 3 hours or less to complete an entire clean. While many other systems work for the same amount of time to clean only the bottom of the pool, this one does it all. It is also suitable to use on vinyl and fiberglass pools too.

One of the best things about this product is that it has a jet sweep system that blows water away from hard to reach places so the dirt that is collecting there can be sucked away. Areas such as corners and the area under the ladder will not be forgotten by this device.

Suction is Key

While all aspects of convenience and effectiveness are important, once you have found a suitable model to fit your needs, suction is the most important feature.

This will determine how well the vacuum is able to clean your pool and collect all of the materials that are lessening the quality of the water.

Even if the vacuum is not able to access all areas of your pool, having stronger suction will pull nearby debris in to be collected.