Updated October 10, 2020 by Karen Bennett

The 10 Best Above Ground Pool Vacuums

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This wiki has been updated 6 times since it was first published in March of 2019. You'd rather be swimming than performing daily maintenance, so to get back in the water faster, you'll need one of these above-ground pool vacuums. They'll get rid of bothersome debris with less effort than manual scooping, leaving you with time to relax. We've included a variety of robotic and non-electric models, so there's one for everyone, no matter the pool or budget. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. If you'd like to contribute your own research to the Wiki, please get started by reviewing this introductory video.

1. Dolphin Escape

2. Water Tech Pool Blaster Max

3. Poolmaster Big Sucker

Editor's Notes

October 07, 2020:

If you’re looking for a vacuum for your above-ground pool, you’ve got a lot of options, from affordable handheld models to powerful, high-tech designs. Our list features something for every pool size and budget. Today we added in the Hayward SP1068, which is a good choice for anyone replacing the head on an existing vacuum. It consists of only the head, which is equipped with a convenient see-through design that makes it easy to view the area you’re trying to clean. It sports a triangular shape that can reach into corners without any problems. It replaces the similar Milliard See-Thru Triangle, which some users say is difficult to push in that it requires a lot of elbow grease. If you’re looking for a handheld pool vacuum, it’s hard to go wrong with the highly-rated Water Tech Pool Blaster Max. You won’t need to bother with any cords, since it’s powered by a lithium-ion battery. It charges fully in four hours, and will run for up to 60 minutes per charge, which should be ample time to provide a thorough cleaning. Its thoughtfully designed multilayer filter can handle rocks, coins, twigs, and other debris of various sizes.

We’re still partial to the Dolphin Escape, a robotic pool cleaner, which boasts a smart navigation system that scans your pool and creates an efficient cleaning path. It’s a bit of an investment, but will provide the convenience of a high-tech model that does all of the work for you. It features a large debris collection container and brushes that effectively remove algae, and is backed by a one-year warranty. If you’re looking for a much more affordable device, however, check out the Poolmaster Big Sucker, which is a good choice when you’ve got a lot of trees with leaves that frequently make their way into your pool. It’s 15 inches in diameter and features a durable handle, eight water-jets, and four wheels. Note that for this one, you’ll have to buy a 1/4-inch pole separately, as well as the required standard garden hose. For a fun choice the kids will love to watch as it does its job, look to the Hayward Aquabug, which is easy to install and runs on your existing filtration system. You can choose from among designs that include a ladybug, a penguin, and a whale.

April 08, 2019:

No one wants to swim in dirty, debris-filled water, but most folks don't really love cleaning the pool. That's why we looked for above ground pool vacuums that offer uncomplicated and relatively fast operation. For most, the top choice will be the Dolphin Escape, as it's light, quick, and efficient. The Aquabot X4 is comparable, although it doesn't seem to be made quite as sturdily. Both are something of an investment, though. For a more budget-friendly choice, we'd recommend the Water Tech Pool Blaster Max or the PoolSupplyTown Mini Jet Vac. They don't offer tons of cool robotic features, but they're also easier to store, don't require any complicated assembly, and won't send your budget into deep water. Finally, we decided to add the Hayward Aquabug after some deliberation. It's perhaps the most fun option you'll find in terms of design, but it just doesn't seem to have the durability of many other models.

Special Honors

Dolphin W20 This low-profile robotic cleaner is designed for smaller pools with a minimum depth of eight inches. It’s equipped with a tangle-free cable that allows it to clean the floor without obstacles getting in the way. Its high-quality filter keeps the water sparkling clean, and its simple plug-and-play design takes the work out of pool cleaning. maytronicsus.com

4. PoolSupplyTown Mini Jet Vac

5. Baracuda Zodiac Ranger

6. Pentair Kreepy Krauly

7. Hayward Aquabug

8. Aquabot X4

9. Hayward SP1068

10. Aura Paradise


Karen Bennett
Last updated on October 10, 2020 by Karen Bennett

Karen Bennett lives in Chicago with her family, and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found practicing yoga or cheering on her kids at soccer games. She holds a master’s degree in journalism and a bachelor’s in English, and her writing has been published in various local newspapers, as well as “The Cheat Sheet,” “Illinois Legal Times,” and “USA Today.” She has also written search engine news page headlines and worked as a product manager for a digital marketing company. Her expertise is in literature, nonfiction, textbooks, home products, kids' games and toys, hardware, teaching accessories, and art materials.


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