The 10 Best Suction Pool Cleaners

Updated May 24, 2018 by Richard Lynch

10 Best Suction Pool Cleaners
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As well as eliminating the backbreaking work of manually cleaning your swimming pool, these suction pool cleaners can also reduce the need for excessive chemicals, by decreasing the number of algae left floating and pushing other contaminants through your filtration system. Even hard to reach spot become a breeze with the help of one of these useful machines. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best suction pool cleaner on Amazon.

10. Poolmaster 27402

Ideal for removing debris from both fiberglass and vinyl-lining, the Poolmaster 27402 includes a stainless-steel tension spring handle that keeps the cleaner submerged underwater and perfectly level with the floor. However, the unit is a bit on the small side.
  • swivel-function hose adapter
  • 2 adjustable air relief valves
  • clogs more often than competition
Brand Poolmaster
Model 27402
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

9. OAI SkimmerMotion

The OAI SkimmerMotion offers whirlpool suction action for picking up almost any type of debris a pool could accumulate, including dust, pollen, twigs, and small leaves. This design also assists in recycling your surface water back into the filtration system.
  • attaches to automatic pool cleaners
  • crown system collects large debris
  • occasionally tends to trap air
Brand OAI
Model SKM-10
Weight 2.9 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

8. XtremepowerUS X5043

The XtremepowerUS X5043 is compatible with both above ground and in-ground swimming pools and easily hooks up to your existing skimmer or vacuum without the need for any additional installation tools. But it will require a minimum 3/4-horsepower pump.
  • quiet operation
  • unit comes pre-assembled
  • plastic components are rather cheap
Brand XtremepowerUS
Model X5043
Weight 12 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Pentair Kreepy Krauly

The Pentair Kreepy Krauly has a dive float directional system built to guide the unit from the water line right to the floor. Its roller strap can also maneuver the cleaner around steps and ladders to ensure the most consistent cleaning coverage possible.
  • no extra wheels or gears to replace
  • cleaning wings for channeling leaves
  • assembly is a bit cumbersome
Brand Pentair
Model 360042
Weight 19.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Zodiac MX6

The wall climbing Zodiac MX6 is able to reach all of those hard to get areas with ease. It patrols the water, picking up every single scrap of debris in sight, saving you time and effort that could be better spent relaxing in the sun.
  • can maneuver around stairs
  • rarely gets stuck on large obstacles
  • cannot use 3rd party hoses
Brand Zodiac MX6
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

5. Intex Auto

Designed for pools with a diameter of 24ft and less, the Intex Auto will get the job done. Its included hoses can be attached can be attached to a filter pump with a flow rate between 1,600 and 3,500gph, and all you'll need to do is sit back and wait.
  • easy to clean after use
  • stops moving to indicate its full
  • not designed for in ground pools
Brand Intex Auto
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Hayward PoolCleaner

The Hayward PoolCleaner is available in either 2 or 4-wheel drive versions and uses your pool's existing pump and filter as its own power source. Its adjustable roller skirt will help to improve the unit's suction on almost any uneven surface.
  • self-adjusting turbine vanes
  • durable tire treads for climbing
  • pre-programmed internal steering
Brand Hayward
Model PV896584000013
Weight 16.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

3. Dolphin Premier

Designed to reach deep inside corners, the Dolphin Premier delivers a unique swiveling system that provides full 360-degree rotation as it vacuums up dirt. Its smart-nav software also calculates the optimal cleaning pattern for your pool's surface.
  • multimedia filtration system
  • powerful built-in dc motor
  • controlled by a microprocessor
Brand Premier
Model pending
Weight 36.2 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

2. Polaris F9450

Thanks to its combination of vortex vacuum technology and top-access, large filter canister, the Polaris F9450 is capable of collecting more than four times the debris load of other cleaners in its class. Its 4-wheel drive system can cover almost any type of terrain.
  • covers pools up to 50 feet in length
  • 7-day programmable cleaning cycle
  • pleated scrubbing brush
Brand Polaris
Model 9450
Weight 43.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Zodiac Baracuda G3

The Zodiac Baracuda G3 is a quiet and powerful suction cleaner with a patented flow keeper valve that automatically regulates water flow to maintain peak performance. It is also compatible with single, two-speed, and variable-speed pumps.
  • wheel deflector for tight corners
  • scuff-resistant long-life hoses
  • 36-fin disc improves pool adhesion
Brand Zodiac
Model W03000
Weight 19.7 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

A Brief History Of Suction Pool Cleaners

While swimming pools came to mainstream popularity in the West during the 20th century, the first swimming pool was likely dug in Pakistan between 3000 and 2000 B.C.E.

With respect to form, it was similar to any large contemporary community pool, but the Great Bath was probably used in religious ceremonies, according to historians.

Pools retained this strictly ceremonial role for at least 2,000 years, before the Greeks and Romans began using them for sports and nautical military training. Romans were the first to realize the leisure potential of the pool, and a number of personal swimming pools were built by members of the wealthy set.

The first heated swimming pool was built around 100 B.C.E. by the Roman aristocrat Gaius Maecenas, who notably for the time used the pool for recreation, rather than bathing alone. Maecenas' pool was kept warm by a series of fire pits situated under its floor.

Swimming pools assumed their modern form and function in mid-19th-century Britain, where they were promoted for their health benefits.

After several drownings in an English river, the Maidstone Swimming Club was established in 1844. Today, it is the world's oldest surviving swim club. Numerous other swimming clubs popped up in England in the years that followed the drownings, and by the time the 19th century was over many of the country's indoor baths had been converted to swimming pools.

Swimming continued growing in popularity in the early 20th century, and in 1907 the first swimming pool was installed aboard an ocean liner, and the world's first above-ground swimming pool was built by a Philadelphia racquet club.

A turning point for swimming came a year later in the form of the 1908 Olympic Games — the first modern version of the event. The games pushed swimming from trendy activity to mainstream pastime in England and the United States.

Pittsburgh resident John M. Davison invented the earliest recorded swimming pool cleaner in 1912, calling it a "Cleaning Apparatus For Swimming Pools and the Like." The first suction-side pool cleaner was invented by Chicagoan Roy B. Everson in 1937. Everson called his device, which consisted primarily of a mechanical scoop and filter, simply a "Swimming Pool Cleaner."

After both the First and Second World Wars, returning soldiers used their income and free time to install increasingly affordable personal pools. This was particularly true in the United States, where the market for home swimming pools exploded in the 1950s.

As the home swimming pool industry expanded, so too did the pool maintenance industry. Mid-19th century cleaning tools consisted mostly of either metal or natural brushes and non-specialized brooms, to go along with an array of clumsy suction cleaners. For decades, consumer choices were limited and ineffective.

Finally, in 1967 a so-called robotic cleaner that used electricity was invented by Robert B. Myers of Boca Raton, Florida. Many of today's suction cleaners share a number of traits with Myers' device. Five years later the famed Polaris Pool Cleaner was released. The Polaris paired pressurized, water-dispensing hoses with the automatic functionality of earlier inventions, making it the most effective pool cleaner of its time.

Swimming Pools And Children

Owning a pool is a pleasure, but it is also a serious responsibility, especially when children are in the household.

Among children under age 15, drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death, according to The National Safety Council.

The good news is that the risk of drowning can be drastically reduced by following a few simple safety tips.

First and foremost, never leave a child unattended in or around the pool. Accidents in residential pools and spas account for 80 percent of the 7,000-plus drowning deaths in America annually. Vigilance and, where possible, the employment of a lifeguard can truly save lives.

Whether you own a pool or not, teaching your children to swim is an excellent idea. Aside from the obvious health benefits, swimming can come in handy — and potentially mean the difference between life and death — anytime your child is near a body of water. There are numerous affordable and free public programs on offer by local civic organizations and governments. Similarly, cardiopulmonary resuscitation techniques are taught for free across the world. To find a class near you, visit the American Red Cross website. The quicker CPR is administered to a drowning victim, the better shot they may have at survival.

Your pool's surroundings are also relevant to its safety. When building your pool, refer to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commissions guidelines, and build a fence that is at least four feet tall, with alarms at its gates.

Finally, whenever you have guests over, give them a quick safety rundown, and remind them to avoid drains and suction outlets, which can pull in bathing suits or hair. If your drain covers are damaged or missing, do not swim until they are repaired or replaced.

Suction-Side Versus Pressure-Side Cleaners

Today there are primarily two categories of pool cleaning devices: suction-side and pressure-side.

Suction-side cleaners use only the water pulled out of the pool by its pump to provide suction and movement. This is regarded as the most popular and affordable pool cleaning technology. While energy-efficient compared to other technologies, most suction-side cleaners can still increase electricity costs by decreasing the effectiveness of a pool's pump, which it uses to filter dirt and leaves from the water.

Pressure-side cleaners use an external pump to pressurize water inflow, which kicks up pool-floor silt and debris. What isn't sucked up by the cleaner itself can then be pulled into the pool's own filtration system.

Because it makes use of a secondary pump, the pressure-side cleaner is on average far less efficient than a suction-side cleaner.

Be aware that either technology can add a burden to your pump, decreasing its lifespan and overall capacity.


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Last updated on May 24, 2018 by Richard Lynch

Richard grew up in the part of New York state that doesn’t have any tall buildings. When he’s not writing, he spends most of his time reading and playing video games. A massive fan all things sci-fi, he’ll happily talk with you for hours about everything from the deserts of Arrakis to the forests of Endor.


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