Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum Cleaner For 2022
Having a good pool vacuum cleaner is very important for maintaining the pool's crystal blue water and having a safe and pleasant swim at home.
The above-ground pool vacuum cleaner must be able to clean both tiny particles as small as bacteria and as large as fallen leaves, it must be simple to use and maintain and it must be cost-effective - even if the initial investment is perhaps slightly higher, over time good pool vacuum cleaner should save money, energy, chemicals, time, etc.
Above-ground pool vacuums range from manual pool vacuums featuring long pole and pool vacuum heads to high-tech WiFi-enabled and smartphone App controlled devices, so be sure to choose according to your own needs and preferences.
Updated: September 12, 2022.
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Features and Specifications of Above-Ground Pool Vacuums
Above-ground pool vacuums differ just like any other vacuum cleaner in size of the vacuum, size of the pool to be cleaned, pool material, vacuum's power source, filtration features, navigation system, etc.
Pool vacuums in general must be able to collect and filter out debris the size of the fallen leaves, but also as small as algae and bacteria.
Filtration systems differ greatly - some above-ground pool vacuums are simply connected to the pool's skimmer and use the pool's filtration system, while some carry a filtration basket onboard the vacuum and collect the debris just like any other vacuum cleaner.
Pool materials of above-ground pools differ greatly - some above-ground pools are made from soft materials, with the pressure of water providing the actual pool's shape, while other above-ground pools are made using gunite (shotcrete, sprayed concrete), plaster, fiberglass, etc. and feature rigid bottom and walls.
As the power source, above-ground pool vacuums use water flow (measured in Gallons per Hour - GPH) or electric power via extension cords.
Note: electricity and water don't go well together. Regardless of the model, before the very first use, it is of utmost importance to read the manual/instructions first and get accustomed to your new unit.
Top Above-Ground Pool Vacuum Cleaners
With so many pool vacuums that may be used for vacuuming/cleaning debris from above-ground pools, it may be hard to pick "the best" ones.
However, we have picked several "the best" models that perform very well in most common situations - you can agree with us or not, but since we all have different requirements, be sure to choose according to your own needs and preferences.
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Vacuum Cleaner with Wi-Fi
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Vacuum Cleaner with Wi-Fi is more suited for large in-ground pools, but it can be used to clean above-ground pools, as well.
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is WiFi enabled unit and can be controlled via smartphone MyDolphin Plus App, including setting cleaning schedules and getting proactive tips on the unit and how to use and maintain it.
The maximum recommended pool length is 50 feet (~15m) - with its 60 feet (~18m) tangle-free cable, the unit can easily move around the pool and it can even climb the most types of walls.
Note: Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus features a power supply unit that is water resistant (not waterproof) and should be placed at least 10 feet (3m) from the edge of the pool - safety first, always!
The suction rate of the unit is ~4500 GPH (Gallons per Hour) and with 2 hours cycle time, Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus can thoroughly clean a rather large pool.
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus features dual scrubbing brushes and twin, easy-access cartridge filters.
The unit can be kept in the pool for up to a week(!), especially if the weekly cleaning scheduler is being used. However, it is highly recommended to take the unit out of the pool after each cleaning task, empty the dirt, check the filters and rinse the unit.
Note: for the exact cleaning and maintenance procedures, please check the manual.
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus doesn't come by default with the caddy, but the caddy can come in very handy when storing and transporting the unit, so it is a highly recommended piece of equipment.
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is an excellent robotic pool vacuum cleaner, but it could be considered overkill for smaller above-ground pools.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Vacuum Cleaner with a Wi-Fi Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Intex 28620EP Handheld Rechargeable Spa Pool Vacuum Cleaner
Intex 28620EP Handheld Rechargeable Spa Pool Vacuum is a manual cordless vacuum cleaner intended for vacuum cleaning above-ground pools up to 18 feet (~5.5m) in diameter.
It is a simple and easy-to-use (and maintain) unit, very popular with many owners of smaller pools.
Intex 28620EP Handheld Rechargeable Spa Pool Vacuum comes with:
- two interchangeable brush heads,
- USB cable for recharging,
- 94 inches (~240 cm) long lightweight telescoping aluminum shaft,
- shaft adapter to fit longer/wider telescoping aluminum shafts.
The operation is very simple:
- recharge the unit using a USB charger (USB charger not included) for 8-10 hours (unit comes with NiMH batteries),
- connect the unit to the telescopic aluminum shaft and clean your pool (battery lasts up to 40-50 minutes),
- after cleaning the vacuum, empty the debris, and clean and recharge the unit.
Note: for exact procedures, check the manual.
Intex 28620EP Handheld Rechargeable Spa Pool Vacuum features an automatic shutoff switch that turns the unit off when the unit is not submerged.
If You are looking for a simple, yet effective solution on how to keep your pool clean, consider this unit - it doesn't feature extra strong suction, but it does its job well.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Intex 28620EP Handheld Rechargeable Spa Pool Vacuum Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Dolphin Escape Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
Dolphin Escape Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner is a pool robot vacuum cleaner, featuring a pair of "Hypergrip Continuous"' tracks for improved traction, an onboard debris cartridge with water filter, a "Hyperbrush Active Scrubbing" brush that helps scrub hard to remove dirt, and "SmartNav 2.0 Robotic Scanning" navigation system for optimized cleaning pattern.
Dolphin Escape weighs only 14 pounds (~6.34 kg) and it comes with a 1-year warranty.
A filtration system is able to filter out fine particles, but not as small as algae and bacteria - some chemicals should be used to prevent the buildup of algae and bacteria in the pool.
After the vacuuming, the user has to empty the dirt cartridge and clean the cartridge and water filter - for exact maintenance procedures, be sure to check the manual.
Dolphin Escape is a simple to use and maintain robot pool vacuum, suitable for pools up to 30 feet (~9 m), and is one of the best buy models on the market.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Hayward W3900 Wanda the Whale Above-Ground Pool Vacuum
Hayward W3900 Wanda the Whale Above-Ground Pool Vacuum is one of the most cost-effective and affordable above-ground pool vacuums.
Despite looking as if it just came from the cartoon, Hayward Wanda is a turbine cleaner designed for cleaning above-ground pools of all sizes and shapes.
The reason for such an acceptable price is that Hayward Wanda relies on the pool's filtration system for power, with its unique turbine/gearing system providing constant water flow ensuring gentle and smooth operation.
The steering system is based on the patented SmartDrive system, ensuring coverage of the entire pool floor - this system works great, but it is possible that some spots are left uncleaned, which is not an issue for the regularly cleaned pools.
Hayward Wanda may be installed in ~10 minutes without tools.
One of the interesting features is a bumper ring that minimizes friction, steering the unit away from the walls.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Hayward W3900 Wanda the Whale Above-Ground Pool Vacuum Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Baracuda W01698 Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
Baracuda W01698 Zodiac Ranger is one of the simplest autonomous above-ground pool vacuum cleaners - it features only one moving part, practically eliminating annoying hammer or flapper noise, ensuring that the unit works quickly and quietly.
Baracuda W01698 Zodiac Ranger features an AG cleaning disc that allows the vacuum to glide effortlessly across the bottom of the pool, even up the sides and around steps, cleaning completely the whole pool - of course, with such design, missed spots are inevitable, but this should not be of an issue for regularly vacuumed/cleaned pools.
Also, the deflector wheel prevents the unit from being caught in corners or by steps/ladders.
Zodiac Ranger comes almost fully assembled with 32 feet (~9.8 m) of feed hose and may be used in no time - just connect it to the pool's skimmer.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
XtremepowerUS 75037 Automatic Suction Vacuum Climb Wall Pool Cleaner
XtremepowerUS 75037 Automatic Suction Vacuum Pool Cleaner is another above-ground pool vacuum cleaner that relies on the power of the pool pump. But, it is a light, efficient, and very popular pool vacuum that has its shortcomings, just like any other similar pool vacuum.
XtremepowerUS 75037 pool vacuum requires at least 1 HP or 1600 GHP pool pump to function properly - it simply attaches to the existing filtration system via 10 included hoses for up to 30 feet (~9.15 m) long reach.
When set properly, XtremepowerUS 75037 should be moving across the pool's bottom at a rate of 8 to 12 feet per minute (2.44 - 3.66 m per minute).
Note: XtremepowerUS 75037 features more parts than Zodiac Ranger that should be adjusted for proper operation, including the length of the hose (too short and the unit will not clean the whole pool, too long and it may get tangled), seal clips, eye-ball flow diverter, etc. But, when set properly in a few minutes, it gets its job done - hence it is one of the most popular above-ground pool vacuums on the market.
XtremepowerUS 75037 is recommended for pools up to 16 x 32 feet (~5 x 10 m).
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check XtremepowerUS Automatic Suction Vacuum Climb Wall Pool Cleaner - 75037 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior is designed as a fully automatic robotic pool vacuum that cleans any shape, flat-surface pool in 1 hour or less without pulling hoses around the pool.
Unit comes with 40 feet (~12.2 m) of floating cable, with the collected dirt being stored in a reusable filter bag, being able to capture 2-microns or larger particles.
Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior uses non-marring wheels for locomotion over the pool's bottom, while the E-Z swivel device ensures, at least in theory, tangle-free operation.
Note: Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior features a 2-hour automatic shut-off timer.
Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior uses 24V water pumps for creating water flow, but it is also, via so-called "Hydro-Robotic Technology" used for propelling the unit - there are no complex drives motors that may increase complexity and price.
For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).
Above-Ground Pool Vacuums Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Here are some of the most common Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about vacuuming above-ground pools and pools in general.
How do you manually vacuum an above-ground pool without a skimmer?
Personally, manual vacuuming of above-ground pools should be done using a rechargeable pool vacuum cleaner - take the vacuum, hop in the pool and clean it.
If the water is too cold or anything similar, such a vacuum cleaner can be attached to the pole, allowing the user to clean the pool while standing outside.
Also, in-ground pools can be quickly cleaned using such a vacuum - if You notice a pile of dirt or anything similar, just grab the rechargeable pool vacuum and quickly clean the mess.
Which above-ground pool vacuum is best?
It is very hard to say which one is the best since pools differ and actual users' requirements differ significantly - for larger pools robot vacuums can save a lot of time but for smaller pools pool vacuum heads and/or rechargeable pool vacuums can save both money and time.
What is the easiest way to vacuum an above-ground pool?
The easiest way is to connect a good pool vacuum head with its hose(s) to the pump and clean the pool or to take the rechargeable/cordless pool vacuum cleaner and clean the pool.
Also, for cleaning large(r) pools one should use a more autonomous cleaning solution in the form of pool robotic vacuums.
Can I use a robot vacuum in an above-ground pool?
Yes, there are robot vacuums that can be used in above-ground pools as well. They may be overkill for smaller pools but can save plenty of time in keeping the large pools clean.
How do you remove sediment from the bottom of the pool?
It all depends on what this sediment is - if it is just accumulated dirt, then use a good pool vacuum cleaner to remove the dirt.
If the sediment is more brownish, it is possible that there is an issue with brown algae which may be very resistant to chlorine - in that case, one may try to remove them mechanically by scrubbing the pool's floor, or by using chemicals intended for such algae.
Note: often after scrubbing such algae or after the use of chemicals, one also has to use a water clarifier and clean pool filters. Also, any chemicals must be used as instructed by their manufacturer!
Few Final Words
Above-ground pool vacuums are used for keeping the pools' water clean and safe for swimming by collecting various types of debris, including leaves, twigs, hair, pollen, but also, if possible, algae and bacteria.
A good pool vacuum can decrease the use of chemicals, and decrease the pool's maintenance costs.
Since requirements for these units differ significantly, be sure to choose according to your own personal needs and requirements - after all, we are all different and so are the pool vacuums' requirements.
Again, whatever you do, be sure to do it according to the manual/instructions that came with your unit.