The 10 Best Above Ground Pool Cleaners

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This wiki has been updated 14 times since it was first published in May of 2019. No matter the size and shape of your above-ground pool, a good cleaner will help keep your water crystal clear by removing dirt, leaves, bugs, algae and more. They come in affordable, handheld models as well as automated ones that save you time and effort. Our list features selections of both types, all of which are reliable, so you’re sure to find the right one for your needs. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Dolphin Escape

2. Pentair Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark

3. Aquabot Pool Rover Junior

Editor's Notes

September 11, 2020:

Anyone who owns a pool knows how much work they can be to keep that water sparkling. Luckily, there are a number of things that can make your life a bit easier. For example, chlorine tablets take away the hassle of dealing with the messy, noxious liquid, and salt chlorinators require very little hands on maintenance. Another vital item for above ground pool owners is an efficient cleaning system, such as those on this list.

To ensure there is something to suit every budget and pool size, we included both manual and automatic models. In the former category we have the Intex 28620E, Pool Supply Town Mini Jet, and Pool Blaster Max Li. All of these attach to a pole so you can push them around the bottom, and have an integrated catch chamber of some kind. Of these, the Pool Supply Town Mini Jet is the best for pools that often have a lot of leaves and other debris, since it has the biggest collection bag. That being said, we recommend you buy a pole separately because the one that comes with it is prone to bending.

The latter category contains both smart, robotic models that create an efficient cleaning path and feature some kind of obstacle avoidance system, as well as those that just move around the pool randomly and use your pool's current pump and filtration system to power their movement. The Dolphin Escape and Dolphin E10 are our two favorites in the robotic category. They are very efficient, since they won't be repeatedly running over the same areas again and again, and are both powerful enough to suck up large debris. That being said, the downside to these models is their inability to crawl up the walls, so you'll still be left scrubbing those manually. If you prefer to avoid that, you can opt for the Baracuda Zodiac Ranger W01698. While this travels along a random path, it has the ability to climb the walls, so it actually offers a more thorough cleaning.

May 07, 2019:

For an affordable way to clean your pool, look to a handheld vacuum, several of which made our list. The Bestway Aqua Powercell is an easy-to-use selection that weighs less than 5 pounds, and it’ll remove dirt and debris quickly while filtering the water.

If you’re tired of vacuuming your pool the old-fashioned way, you might be ready to invest in an automated, robotic device instead. The Dolphin Escape Robotic made top spot on our list, since dirt doesn’t stand a chance when its around, thanks to its sturdy scrubbing bristles and powerful motor. Its sturdy track helps it to make its way over all surfaces with ease. Models such as this do not tax your filtration system, and they conveniently feature a self-contained repository that's simple to empty.

Alternately, a turbulence-based cleaner applies pressure to dislodge dirt, and then filters it out. The Polaris Vac-Sweep features this design and can be trusted to capture debris before it even makes its way into your pool’s filtration system.

No matter which system you choose, make sure it’s compatible with the size and shape of your above-ground pool.

Special Honors

Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40i Featuring a patented directional guidance locking pin, the Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40i can clean any almost any above ground pool of 35 feet or less than two hours, no matter its configuration or surface type. It rarely ever gets itself stuck, so you can turn it on and go about your business without worry whether or not the job will get done.

Water Tech Volt FX-4Li The Water Tech Volt FX-4Li is a compact model that can be handheld or operated at the end of a pole. Its small head makes it ideal for hot tubs, and, because it doesn't require connection to a separate filtration system, it can be used on inflatable pools that don't have a pump of any kind.

4. Baracuda Zodiac Ranger W01698

5. Hayward W900 Wanda the Whale

6. Dolphin E10

7. Intex 28620E

8. Pentair Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac

9. Pool Supply Town Mini Jet

10. Pool Blaster Max Li

Brett Dvoretz
Last updated by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as in front of a laptop screen, Brett can either be found hacking away furiously at the keyboard or, perhaps, enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He has been a professional chef, a dog trainer, and a travel correspondent for a well-known Southeast Asian guidebook. He also holds a business degree and has spent more time than he cares to admit in boring office jobs. He has an odd obsession for playing with the latest gadgets and working on motorcycles and old Jeeps. His expertise, honed over years of experience, is in the areas of computers, electronics, travel gear, pet products, and kitchen, office and automotive equipment.

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