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Best Automatic Pool Cleaners of 2022

Tired of keeping your pool clean by hand? An automatic pool cleaner takes the effort out of cleaning a pool and our top picks are the best on the market.

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Best Automatic Pool Cleaner Reviews of 2022

Best in class
Dolphin Nautilus

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

Best robotic pool cleaner

Automatic robotic pool cleaner does the hard work while you sit back and unwind.

Check price on Amazon

1 Dolphin Nautilus Review

Cleaning the pool after a full day of fun will stop being a daunting task with the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus. It might be expensive, but it will make you worship every buck you spent as soon as you see how performing it is.

Just ditch it in the pool, plug it in, press the on button, then pour yourself a cocktail and relax. You won’t have to attach tubes to the skimmer nor worry for anything else than robot maintenance. The Dolphin will do the dirty work for you and thanks to the efficient suction and pressure it delivers, it will leave your pool floor spotless.

It’s perfect for pools of up to 50 feet and is designed to capture all debris, from leaves to fine sand particles. Thanks to intelligent algorithms, it even learns the shape of your pool and provides complete coverage in just two hours.

Best value
Hayward 896584000-013

Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-013 The Pool Cleaner Automatic Suction Pool Vacuum

Best suction side pool vacuum

Small but mean automatic pool vacuum attaches to the return of your pool and finishes the job in a breeze.

Check price on Amazon

2 Hayward 896584000-013 Review

The Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-013 might be small, but it packs high power and can tackle almost all pool sizes in a breeze. It attaches to the pool’s suction port or the skimmer and uses its pump and filter for power.

Its compact dimension packs many advantages; this automatic pool vacuum can clean in shallow or deep water alike. It can even climb steps and handle odd corners and comes with either 2 or 4 wheels.

A host of patented features allows it to handle debris of all sizes, climb on walls, manage obstacles, and optimize suction depending on the surface, not to mention that the pre-programmed steering sequences ensure it always achieves full pool coverage.

Also great
Polaris Vac-Sweep 280

Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

Best booster pump pool cleaner

A powerful pool vacuum sweeper that works in all ground pools, provided you have a booster pump.

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3 Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Review

Another of those ditch-in-the-pool-and-let-it-be models, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 is another pool cleaner that’ll give you all peace of mind. It works in all ground pools and ensures enhanced results, but this workhorse requires a boost pump which is not in the pack.

Back to its features, this is one of the best pool vacuums you can get your hands on. It’s powered by double jets and can clean the surface in up to 3 hours. A single chamber filter bag removes big debris before it reaches the filter, prolonging the system’s life.

Included is also a 31-foot feed hose which has just the perfect length for an average size pool. Compact, rugged, and powerful, this pool cleaner delivers satisfaction.

Best budget
Zodiac Baracuda G3

Zodiac Baracuda G3 W03000 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner

Best budget pool cleaner

Quiet, powerful, and easy to use pool cleaner designed for homeowners on a budget.

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4 Zodiac Baracuda G3 Review

If you don’t feel like spending a fortune, the Zodiac Baracuda G3 W03000 lives up to the expectations. This is an efficient pool sweeper that uses your pool’s skimmer to deliver powerful suction.

Although small, it still has plenty of impressive features. The one we like best is the FlowKeeper valve which regulates the flow automatically and maintains peak performance even with weaker pool pumps.

A wheel deflector allows it to tackle around tight or odd corners. It might not handle large debris, but it still cleans the pool effectively, needs little maintenance and comes at a price that appeals to homeowners on a budget.

Types of automatic pool cleaners

The easiest way to clean the pool without any effort from your side is with the help of an automatic pool cleaner. There are three types to choose from:

  • Suction side pool cleaners: Are designed to connect to the suction line or skimmer of your pool and use the pool’s suction force to remove dirt and debris from the pool floor. They are the automated variant of the manual pool cleaners, have few components, and boast simple maintenance.
  • Pressure side pool vacuums: Don’t attach to the skimmer or suction line of the pool but to a booster pump. Thanks to this feature, they are ideal for pools with a weaker pump. A bag attached to the vacuum gathers debris in a fashion similar to that of an electric floor sweeper or vacuum cleaner. Many pressure side pool cleaners are very compact and come with wheels that allow them to reach tight corners and climb stairs or walls.
  • Robotic pool cleaners: Are undoubtedly the most efficient type. Despite their heftier prices, these models are very popular due to their simplicity of use. Robotic pool vacuums run on electricity and are ready to use straight out of the box. They come with a power source unit than converts 120V alternating current into very low voltage current, a trait that makes them submergible. You will only have to plug in the robot, put it in the water, and press the power button on the power source. The machine will do its trick without requiring you to attach it to a skimmer or pump.

Pool vacuum performance

The performance of an automatic pool vacuum is determined by two things, the compatibility with the pool and the type of debris it can handle.

Pool compatibility

The type of pool floor you have depends on whether you have an aboveground or inground pool.

  • Aboveground pools: Are typically modular pools suitable for DIY installation. They usually have a PVC or resin floor which is incompatible with some automatic pool cleaners. Suction side models are usually incompatible with this type of pool because the pool pump is usually too weak to ensure cleaning performance. Pressure side and robotic pool vacuums could be a better fit, but check the unit’s compatibility with the floor material before buying.
  • Inground pools: Are usually made of concrete or tiles. Some of them may be covered with vinyl layers, but the type of vinyl employed is different than the one used for aboveground pools. These materials are usually compatible with all automatic pool cleaners, but there are other factors that must be considered before deciding which is the best automatic pool cleaner for you.

Besides the design, you must also weigh in the shape of the pool. If it is a standard, rectangular pool, any vacuum could do.

Pressure side vacuums have a great performance in pools with intricate shapes and tight corners due to their small size. Because they have wheels, they can also climb easily on steps and slopes, and some models may even climb on walls.

Robotic pool cleaners are perfect to use in pools of all shapes and sizes. They come with long power cords and use intelligent algorithms to calculate the fastest route and best cleaning pattern. They can also climb on steps and most models have an impressive performance on cleaning the walls.

What kind of debris can a pool cleaner handle?

Another element that defines performance is the type of debris the pool cleaner can actually remove.

  • Suction side pool cleaner: Can usually handle all types of debris, but its performance depends on how powerful your pump is. If you have a weak pump, its performance will be scarce.
  • Pressure side pool cleaner: Does a great job in removing large debris, but the filter bags are usually ineffective in retaining smaller particles such as sand. Although there are some exceptions, don’t expect such a unit to shine if you live by the seaside.
  • Robotic pool cleaner: Is the king of them all and can handle all debris, including sand. Their performance doesn’t depend on an external pump, and they usually have impressive suction power.

Cleaning speed

How fast the automatic pool cleaner works depends on many factors, such as the size of the pool and its shape. If you aim to get it clean as fast as possible though, the best automatic pool vacuums are the robotic ones.

Other things to consider

There are a few other things you should consider before making your final decision.

  • Maintenance: Although automatic pool cleaners do everything by themselves, they will all need maintenance. This usually consists of cleaning the filters and periodical checkup, but it is recommended to check what the specific model you like requires in terms of maintenance before buying.
  • Filter quality: Some automatic pool vacuums come with poor quality filters that need constant replacement, while others come with filters that can last for over a year if maintained properly.
  • Special features: Some pool vacuums are designed specifically for pools with steps, intricate shapes, or to climb on walls.
  • Hose/cord length: Although the ideal length depends on the size of your pool, we always recommend getting a cleaner with the longest possible hose or cord.
  • Remote control: Some automatic cleaners, especially the robotic kind, come with remote controls that allow you to direct the vacuum to an area of the pool that has not been cleaned properly.
  • Energy consumption: Lastly, consider how much running the cleaner will cost you. While homeowners may be tricked into believing that suction and pressure side models don’t consume electricity, remember that the pumps that power them can drain much more energy than you can imagine. Robotic pool vacuums, on the other hand, are extremely energy-efficient.

Best Automatic Pool Cleaner for the Money

Best value
Hayward 896584000-013

Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-013 The Pool Cleaner Automatic Suction Pool Vacuum

Best suction side pool vacuum

Small but mean automatic pool vacuum attaches to the return of your pool and finishes the job in a breeze.

Check price on Amazon

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