Having a high-value pool cleaner makes a difference; with an automatic cleaner, you can relax with a cool drink by the pool, or without a cleaner, you can struggle with chemicals and nets to clean it.
The best automatic pool cleaner systems will perform cleaning quietly, continuously, and efficiently. When the prices of excellent machines can be similar to ordinary items, it is important to get the most for your money.
Automatic pool cleaner reviews can help consumers avoid low-value purchases of mediocre equipment. Our top choice is an excellent example that will take on the heavy cleaning work.
You can avoid excessive costs while enjoying fresh, clear, and inviting pool water. The purpose of these reviews is to provide facts, information, and insights into the features and capabilities of these marvelous, labor-saving devices and systems.
The goal is to make each reader an informed buyer who can make selections of the best pool cleaning systems that match their situations.
Automatic Pool Cleaners: My Top Picks
Zodiac MX6 Automatic Suction-Side Pool Cleaner Vacuum for In-ground Pools
The MX6 is a technologically advanced device; it is one of the best pool cleaners for inground pools. The unit accelerates performance with a unique cyclonic suction system. The MX6 offers particular advantages for owners with two-speed pumps.
The low-flow design can work with the speed levels of the pump. The MX6 climbs slopes and walls, and the strong treads keep it on course and do not stop when crossing drain covers and other in-pool obstacles.
Zodiac Automatic in Ground Pool Cleaner | MX6 has articulating turbine blades to help the unit climbs walls. By using pool suction, the machine does not add electrical costs.
The built-in flow regulator controls the water flow, and users do not have to adjust the skimmer. The swiveling hoses use quick connect for assembly and adjustment of the length.
Zodiac Automatic In-Ground Pool Cleaner | MX6 ranks well in the list of best automatic pool cleaners for inground pools. The aggressive wall climbing is a strong point and the flexibility to handle several levels of water flow matches this unit to nearly all pool pumps. The unit has high-value features and a competitive price.
- The unit has strong wheels and gripping treads for thorough cleaning and wall climbing.
- Some users reported difficulty in understanding and using the assembly instructions.
Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure-Side In-ground Pool Cleaner
The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 is our best automatic pool cleaner. It is the best pressure side pool cleaner for inground pools with dimensions of about 20 feet by 40 feet and standard depths. It is a pressure side system that uses the force of the return to power the cleaner and move it around the pool area.
The Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 will reduce the time needed for manual cleaning. Users can loosen algae build-ups and stubborn wall areas and let the Sweep-Vac do the rest.
The design has three traction wheels, and it uses a long (31-foot) hose. The unit can climb some slope and step areas. It has a backup valve to move it away from areas in which it may get temporarily stuck.
The tail has a scrubber and a jet to loosen dirt on the walls and bottom. The Sweep-Vac 280 works with a booster pump. The three-drive wheel design offers excellent traction and wall-climbing capability.
The Polaris Pool Cleaner is a powerful automatic in-ground pool vacuum cleaner. They match the best zodiac pool cleaner systems for features and value. The unit comes with a long hose to clean pools in the range of 20 feet to 40 feet.
Priced to meet nearly every budget, this Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 will clean in a random pattern and handle some wall, shelf, and step areas. It is a durable well-constructed machine that its manufacturers designed for years of service.
If you have an in-ground pool with trees and shrubs nearby, then this may be the best selection for you.
- The unit ships with 31 feet of feed hose.
- The net captures dirt, fine particles, leaf pieces, and larger debris.
- The fine screen captures small particles, but users must stop the cleaner and empty it from time to time.
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Vacuum Cleaner
Robot pool cleaners offer advanced technology to clean the pool automatically. This model ranks high on the list of best robotic pool cleaners for above-ground pools; it has the advantage of operating on electric power and with a smart clean navigation system for complete surface coverage.
Easy usage is a key factor when considering what is the best robotic pool cleaner for your large or shaped in-ground pool. The advanced system has easy-access filters with fine filtering to catch small particles and dead algae. The navigation system works with pool shapes and coves to get the entire surface of steps, walls, curves, or custom-shaped pools.
The filter has a top-loading door for easy installation and removal for cleaning. You can empty the filters, rinse them with a garden hose, and replace them for continuous cleaning action.
The robot operates independently of the skimmer and return. It adds to the cleaning power of the total filtration system. The unit is lightweight and easy to place in the pool or remove. It has a one-button operation and can complete most pools in two to three hours.
The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner is an excellent selection for large in-ground pools, and pools with curved or irregular shapes. It is a durable, capable, and versatile cleaner.
- No pump is needed to power the unit; it uses electric power.
- The long cord accommodates pools longer than 50 feet.
- Occasionally, the treads can easily remove black scuff marks from rubbing against the sides of the pool
Zodiac G3 Automatic Suction-Side Pool Cleaner Vacuum for In-ground Pools
BARACUDA G3 W03000 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner is one of the most affordable automatic pool cleaners. It is a versatile in-ground cleaner that can double as a skimmer. The unit is designed to climb walls and clean every surface.
The simple operations are effective for leaves, dirt, and all types of pool debris. Using one moving part technology, the Barracuda Automatic Pool Cleaner can clean all kinds of pool debris; the filter system has an easy access door for quick emptying and cleaning.
The BARACUDA G3 W03000 has one moving part technology and has a simple type of operation. The hose connects to the pool suction system and adapts to the various levels of suction to remain energy efficient.
The BARACUDA G3 W03000 is a top-rated Suction Side Pool Cleaner for in-ground pools; it has a price that is reachable for nearly every budget. This model ranks high when listing the best suction pool cleaner for leaves, and overall it is one of the best above-ground automatic pool cleaner models in the budget category.
- It does not require a booster pump and works with high or low-level suction.
- The unit does not scuff the walls or bottom.
- The model connects to a skimmer or a dedicated suction line.
- Navigation is random, and the unit can miss spots.
- The long hose can kink and interfere with operations.
- Replacement diaphragms can be relatively expensive and add to the long-term costs of the unit.
Hayward Poolvergnuegen Suction Pool Cleaner for In-Ground Pools
The Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-013 The Pool Cleaner Automatic Suction Pool Vacuum is an excellent choice for pools with curved, rounded, and custom-shaped sections. Using the pool suction, the Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-013 can cover intricate shapes and corners without stalling or stopping.
The standard sequence turns the unit every 14 feet to create a complete coverage pattern rather than a random movement that can leave spots.
The two-wheel model climbs walls and hugs curves to clean pools of all shapes. The strong tires and deep treads hold to walls and bottoms to let the rotating vanes move water and suck up debris. The unit adjusts to the levels of suction, and the provided nozzles fit high medium, and low suction systems.
The Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-013 Automatic Suction Pool Vacuum ranks among the best automatic pool vacuum cleaners. The two-wheel compact frame was designed to be the best pool vacuum for dirt, leaves, and debris in deep, custom-shaped pools.
The user can select among several automatic steering sequences; the programmed movement starts and stops the drive wheels to make turns and create a pattern to ensure complete pool coverage and thorough cleaning.
- The unit is compact and durable with a simple mode of operation.
- The programmed sequences let users select the best automatic pattern.
- Many users add a floating trap canister to hold debris and protect the system filter; the canister is an extra accessory.
Pentair 360042 Kreepy Krauly® Suction-Side Inground Universal Pool Cleaner
The Pentair 360042 Kreepy Krauly Suction-Side Inground Universal Pool Cleaner (Pleated Seal) is the remodeled version of the traditional Kreepy Krauly that has enjoyed a large following of users for many years.
In the Pentair 360042, the designers tried to invent the best Kreepy Krauly pool cleaner possible based on years of successful usage. They wanted to make the best pool cleaner for leaves, large pieces of debris, and fine materials.
Based on the criteria of these automatic pool cleaner reviews, they have kept the traditional strengths and also made some outstanding improvements.
The Kreepy Krauly has a regulator valve that adjusts the water flow for the ideal cleaning speed to ensure thorough cleaning of the entire surface. The Kreepy Krauly operates reliably and with low energy usage and low operating costs.
With one moving part, it does not require replacements and repairs for wheels, diaphragms, and gears as most other types of pool cleaning machines.
The Kreepy Krauly 360042 adds features and capabilities to the previous models and still remains in a price range that can fit nearly every budget.
These high-value machines maintain the simple operating technology of the prior models and improve overall performance and efficiency. This is a machine that can work well with all types of inground pool surfaces.
- With only one moving part users save on repairs and routine replacements.
- No booster pump is needed and that saves on equipment and energy.
- The suction delivers leaves and debris into the pool filter system which can cause clogging and the need for frequent debris removal.
XtremepowerUS Premium Automatic Suction Vacuum-generic Climb Wall Pool Cleaner Sweeper In-Ground Suction Side + Hose Set
This is the ultimate low-cost solution for automatic pool cleaning The Xtreme operates through the suction side of the filtration system. It uses suction power to pick up large and small pieces from the pool bottom and sides. The unit has ten hose sections that users can join to form a length of up to 31 feet.
The Xtreme does not use electricity, and there are no additional costs beyond the normal electrical usage by the pump and filtration system. The model is effective on large debris such as leaves and tiny items like dead algae and insects.
The Flapper section traps large debris pieces, and users can empty them from time to time to increase pressure and effectiveness. Emptying the flapper reduces the burden on the pool filtration system. The user can customize the cleaning pattern and add wall climbing by adjusting the diverter.
The XtremepowerUS Automatic Suction Vacuum-generic Climb Wall Pool Cleaner might be called the best cheap automatic pool cleaner, but that might mislead buyers. The hose sections have a quick connection and provide flexible hose lengths to avoid tangles and kinks.
The unit is well-made and holds up to regular usage. The price is among the lowest on the market, and it rates well on the ranks of best automatic pool cleaners for small pool owners.
- The unit handles sloping walls with ease.
- This model does not climb steps, and users will have to clean such areas manually.
- This unit cannot operate in less than three feet of water.
- Users must wash the unit after each use to avoid chemical corrosion.
Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner
Zodiac Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner has advanced technology and convenience features that put it on the shortlist of the best automatic inground pool cleaners. The robot cleaner offers the user a wealth of controls and options.
The unit has several pre-programmed navigation choices, and it can handle up to seven days of program selections, users can focus on spots, curved areas, or waterline cleaning.
The unit has a powerful four-wheel drive using strong gripping Aqua-Tex tires. It has plenty of power for walls and waterline cleaning. The machine can get an extra boost from the rear propulsion system when working in corners, curves, or under ladders.
The machine has a seven-day capacity for programmed operations, and users can direct the machine by pointing with the motion-sensing feature on the remote control.
The Zodiac Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner rates among the best swimming pool robotic cleaners. The advanced technology and wide array of user controls put pool owners in total control of the cleaning operations.
They can point to missed spots, and the machine will follow they can focus on waterlines or curves, and the machine can perform these specific routines.
The price is not among the low range of cleaning machines, but the advanced technology and user controls add a new dimension to the pool ownership experience; the Zodiac Polaris F955o offers a new level of convenience and custom control.
- Users can focus on specific areas or tasks such as corner cleaning or the waterline.
- The long cable is ideal for oversized and free-form pools.
- The unit weighs 43 lbs. and more when filled with water.
Dolphin Nautilus CC Robotic Pool Vacuum Cleaner
The Dolphin Nautilus CC Robotic Pool Cleaner with Top Load Filter Basket Ideal for Pools Up To 35 Feet is an easy-to-operate, advanced technology pool cleaner. The unit has sophisticated software that automatically carries out many essential operations.
The robot cleans floors and walls using its Clever Clean technology scans the pool area and develops an efficient plan to clean the entire pool area. This system works especially well with large pools and custom-shaped pools.
Convenience is high on the list of important facts in automatic pool cleaner reviews. The Dolphin Nautilus robot offers a weekly automatic program that performs a regular two-hour cleaning.
The cleaner has an effective front brush that spins at twice the speed of the robot and scrubs and cleans the surface completely.
The Dolphin Nautilus is an excellent selection for automatic pool cleaning. It is powerful and convenient, and it uses advanced software; this model ranks near the top of the list of best robotic pool cleaners for vinyl pools, and other types of pool surfaces.
- The unit has a software program that directs the motion of the robot in ways that resolve and avoid line tangles.
- The unit operates independently of the pump system and saves money over systems that use pump suction or pressure.
- The unit uses a regular and fine filter. The fine filters can require frequent changes.
Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner
The Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner is an excellent all-around cleaner; It works with in-ground pools and nearly every type of pool surface. Also highly rated as the best automatic above-ground pool vacuum group.
It has a unique anti-tangle system to protect the cable while in operation. The unit efficiently collects leaves, pollen, algae, and small debris. The flexible filtration options can handle the hazards and issues of a particular location such as sand, soil, or insects.
The robot runs on the direct current which requires about ten percent of the comparable power of an AC motor. This system saves on energy costs. The multimedia filtration systems add flexibility; users can select the type of filter that works best with their location and the season.
The Dolphin Premier Robotic In-ground Pool Cleaner has Smart Nav to get the job done quickly and completely. The unit has anti-tangle swivels that keep the line in the proper alignment. This Dolphin Premier robot is among the leaders in the best automatic above-ground pool vacuum category.
It is light enough to place and remove from the pool without effort. Users can customize their cleaning action to suit their needs and change the settings and filters as the season brings new challenges.
- This unit works well with curves and custom-form pools
- The model has a choice of bags and filters to meet the needs of the user and location.
- The large capacity bag holds leaves and debris, but it is an extra accessory.
Tips on Choosing
Above or below-ground pools may require different types of cleaners. The surfaces of above and below-ground pools may be similar, but the resistance to friction and traction are quite different.
Some cleaners work equally well on above or below-ground pools.
Users must clearly ask or research the question to match the cleaner with the type of pool that they have. Users must match in-ground pools with in-ground cleaners and above-ground pools with cleaners that work with those types of pools.
Pressure side or suction types of cleaners each rely upon the pump to supply power. The suction type will generally send the leaves and debris back into the filtration system, and this can add to the wear and tear on the filter when compared to pressure-side cleaners.
The pressure type has separate filters and mesh bags to trap debris, and the user can empty them rather than relying on the pump and filter.
The Shape of Your Pool
Walls, waterlines, curves, corners, and steps require attention from pool owners, and these are often the areas that cleaners either miss or cannot reach.
The ability to climb walls is an important factor in the efficiency of a pool cleaning machine.
Nearly every machine on the market can cover the bottom of a square or rectangular pool. The wall-climbing feature sets many machines apart whether robots, suction, or pressure types of machines.
In a similar way, many machines cannot clean steps, corners, and rounded areas.
When selecting a cleaning machine, the shape of the pool is a vital factor. Many machines that can clean gently sloping walls may not have enough power to climb 90-degree walls. Users must match their selections to the type of form; large pools, curved shapes, and deep walls require machines designed for these tasks.
Factors to Consider
The level of effort that pool maintenance requires can be a burden on pool owners with little time or little interest in manually cleaning their pools.
Robots have the greatest capacity for automatic operation without owner assistance.
Some of these machines have microprocessors and complex software that creates cleaning patterns, scheduled cleanings, and the ability to focus cleaning on a particular part such as water line cleaning.
With advanced robot machines, some owners can simply program their machines and do very little except empty a filter compartment or electronically point to a missed spot.
Energy conservation is a requirement in some states like California * and many pool owners wish to use as little power as possible for economic as well as environmental concerns. Robotic pool cleaners are the most energy-efficient.
They use a direct electrical connection at 110V but step down the voltage through a transformer to very low wattage. Those machines that convert power to Direct Current can use as little as tens of 10 percent of a comparable AC-powered machine.
Suction machines use the pump’s suction, and the pump must run while they clean.
Suction devices also pass debris through the filtering system. Pressure-style pumps add to the electric costs through the use of the booster pump. The booster runs in addition to the pool pump.
Costs of Operation and Maintenance
The costs of a pool cleaning machine go beyond the purchase prices; the costs must also include needed equipment, parts, replacements, and repairs.
When the prices of a suction machine and a pressure side machine are similar, then one must remember that the pressure machine requires a booster pump.
Further as above the booster pump will use electricity. Many suction models have diaphragms that help capture debris and require frequent replacement. Robots may have lower operating costs but the highest price tags.
Why Are Replacement Parts so Expensive?
Many pool owners make similar statements on online threads and pool cleaning websites. They may have a burned-out motor, a worn diaphragm, or a damaged scrubber blade and find that the costs of replacement are higher than expected and perhaps hard to get.
The costs of replacements and repairs are inevitable as the machines endure heavy usage, and parts will wear. These include wheels, treads, gears, hoses, and connectors.
One way to minimize the impact is to ask or research the question of repairs and parts when selecting your machine. You may make the same excellent choice but with full knowledge of the range of repair and replacement costs. Another approach involves a preference for models with few moving parts. Some models have one or a few moving parts.
Some Machines are Low in Price, under $100; Can these Machines Really Clean My Pool?
The price is a factor for most buyers, but it should not be the only factor. The type and size of the pool are more important considerations. Many of the less expensive cleaners can work quite well on the size and type of machine an owner might have.
The goal should be to match your needs by size, pool type, and the amount of time you wish to spend cleaning the pool. Some machines require very little additional effort from the owner while others have limits that the owner must fill.
I have a Large Custom Pool with Slanted Sides, Curves, and Steps; What Kind of Cleaner is Best for Me?
Many machines can handle square or rectangular shapes but will have difficulty with curves, uneven bottoms, and steps. Further, many machines have limited capacity in terms of pool size. The size of the pool is an important factor.
The length of hoses, cables, and navigation systems depends on the pool size. You will have to select among models with long cords, and powerful pumps to manage the size. The shape has additional challenges, and you will need a machine that can sense the area and cover the entire pool by climbing walls, planted areas, and steps.
Depending on how much of the work you wish to do manually, you can select a machine that does some or all of these areas. The latest robot technology has computerized navigation that can scan and map the poo areas and are ideal for large, custom-shaped pools.
Making the Decision
The primary benefit of automatic pool cleaner reviews is a better decision when selecting a pool cleaner for your situation, needs, and preferences.
You can review options with the confidence of knowing the questions to ask and the features that matter most.
You have the facts and information needed to focus on the cleaning machines that work with the size, shape, and type of pool that you want to clean. Have the insights needed to balance the costs, features, and the amount of time that you want to spend on maintenance?
You are ready to buy a pool cleaner improve the condition of your pool and add hours to the time you have to enjoy the sparkling waters with guests, loved ones, family, and friends.