Pool Vacuums Buying Guide: Types, Factors to Consider, Popular Brands


Are you tired of spending countless hours cleaning your pool, only to still see debris floating around?

Choosing the right pool vacuum can make all the difference in keeping your pool looking sparkling clean. Not all pool vacuums are created equal, and finding the one that best fits your needs can be overwhelming.

That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you choose the best pool vacuum for your specific cleaning needs, pool type, and budget.

Why Use a Pool Vacuum?

A clean pool not only looks great, but it’s also essential for maintaining proper water balance and preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and algae. While a skimmer is useful for removing surface debris, a pool vacuum is necessary for removing dirt and debris that sink to the bottom of the pool.

Using a good pool vacuum can save you time and money in the long run by reducing the need for costly pool maintenance and repairs.

Manual vs Automatic Pool Vacuum

Manual pool vacuums are a more affordable option and provide more control over the cleaning process, but they require more physical effort and is time-consuming. On the other hand, automatic pool vacuums are easier to use and require less physical effort, but they are more expensive and may require additional maintenance.

Automatic pool vacuums are superior in terms of cleaning and ease of use, as they can automatically and thoroughly clean your pool without requiring manual effort from you.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pool Vacuum

Pool Type

When considering a pool vacuum, it’s important to take into account the type of pool you have. Above-ground pools are generally smaller and less complex than in-ground pools, requiring less powerful pool vacuums.

In-ground pools are larger and more complex in design compared to above-ground pools, requiring a more advanced and powerful type of pool vacuum to effectively clean them.

Pool Vacuums for Above-Ground Pools

For above-ground pools, a basic suction cleaner or robotic pool cleaner can typically handle cleaning the pool floor effectively. Manual pool vacuums are also an option for those looking for a more affordable cleaning solution.

Pool Vacuums for In-Ground Pools

In-ground pools are larger and more complex in design, requiring a more advanced pool vacuum to effectively clean them. A pool vacuum with scrubbing capabilities to clean walls and floors may be necessary for thorough cleaning. Robotic pool cleaners with multiple cleaning functions and customizable settings are often the best choice for in-ground pools.

Cleaning Coverage

If your pool is primarily dirt and sand, a suction pool cleaner can work well, but you’ll need to add a leaf canister to handle leaves effectively.

Pressure side pool cleaners are a better option for leaves, as they come with a bag that collects them. Robotic pool cleaners are great for all types of cleaning, including dirt, sand, and leaves, and they scrub the floor and walls to remove algae buildup.

Higher-end models are designed to provide a thorough cleaning of your pool, including the waterline, making them a great choice for larger pools.

Noise Level

Consider the noise level of the pool vacuum you’re considering. Some pool vacuums, like suction side pool cleaners, require your pool pump to be operating to use that can be noisy. On the other hand, robotic pool cleaners are much quieter and can run at all hours without disturbing your neighbors.

Energy Usage

If you’re concerned about energy usage, consider investing in a robotic pool cleaner. These pool vacuums are designed with energy-efficient motors that use less power than other types of pool vacuums.

Budget and Price Range

When it comes to choosing a pool vacuum, your budget is an important factor to consider. There are options available for all budgets, from basic manual vacuums to high-end robotic cleaners. While more expensive pool vacuums may have more advanced features and better cleaning capabilities, there are still affordable options that can effectively keep your pool clean.

You’ll want to find a balance between cost and cleaning effectiveness to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money.

Pool Vacuums Types

Automatic Pool Vacuums

When it comes to automatic pool vacuums, there are three main types: robotic pool cleaners, pressure side pool cleaners, and suction side pool cleaners.

Robotic Pool Vacuums

Robotic pool cleaners are a high-end option for those who want a thorough and efficient pool cleaning. They use advanced sensors and navigation technology to create a customized cleaning plan for your pool. Robotic pool cleaners are also energy-efficient and do not require a connection to your pool’s filtration system, making them ideal for those who want to save on energy costs.

Pressure Side Pool Vacuums

Pressure side pool cleaners use water pressure to move around the pool and collect debris. They typically require a booster pump to operate and are effective at cleaning larger debris such as leaves and pebbles. Pressure side pool cleaners are ideal for those who have large pools with a lot of debris.

Suction Side Pool Vacuums

Suction side pool cleaners use your pool’s filtration system to create suction and collect debris. They are effective at cleaning smaller debris such as dirt and sand, but may struggle with larger debris such as leaves. Suction side pool cleaners are typically more affordable than other types of pool cleaners and are a good option for those who want a budget-friendly solution.

Manual Pool Vacuums

Manual pool vacuums require you to move the vacuum around the pool to clean debris. They are typically the most affordable option, but require more effort and time to use. You can use a vacuum head and hose as an attachment for the pool’s filtration system to manually vacuum your pool.

To use a manual pool cleaner, you manually move the vacuum head around the pool, while the hose sucks up debris and sends it to the filtration system. This type of pool vacuum requires more effort and time, but it can be an effective and affordable option for those who are willing to put in the work.

Other Types of Pool Vacuums

In addition to suction, pressure, and robotic pool cleaners, there are also handheld pool vacuums and pool leaf vacuums available on the market.

Handheld pool vacuums are a great option for small pools or spot-cleaning, as they are easy to maneuver and provide a more targeted cleaning solution.

Pool leaf vacuums, on the other hand, are specifically designed to remove leaves and other large debris from the pool, making them great option for pools surrounded by trees or in areas with heavy foliage.

Types of Pool Vacuums Based on Your Specific Cleaning Needs

When it comes to pool maintenance, finding the right pool vacuum is crucial. Depending on your specific cleaning needs, you’ll need a pool vacuum that can handle different types of debris.

Pool Vacuum for Leaves

If you have trees and foliage around your pool, a suction side pool cleaner can work, but it may require a leaf canister that can fill up quickly. A better option is to go for a pressure side pool cleaner or a robotic pool cleaner.

Pressure side pool cleaners have a bag that can collect large amounts of debris, while robotic pool cleaners have a large basket for debris collection. These options are more efficient and require less maintenance than using a suction side pool cleaner with a leaf canister.

Pool Vacuum for Sand and Dirt

For removing sand and dirt from your pool, robotic pool vacuums are the best option, thanks to their powerful motors and advanced filtration systems. However, it’s worth noting that for effective removal of small particles, an ultra-fine filter upgrade may be necessary.

Pool Vacuum for  Algae

To effectively remove algae buildup from the walls and floors of a pool, it is important to choose a pool vacuum with powerful scrubbing and brushing features. Robotic pool cleaners are often considered the best choice as they come equipped with built-in brushes and scrubbing mechanisms that are specifically designed to effectively dislodge and remove algae from your pool

Top Pool Vacuum Brands by Cleaner Type

When it comes to pool cleaning vacuums, there are several top brands to consider.

Robotic Pool Vacuums:

  • Dolphin by Maytronics: Widely regarded as the leader in robotic pool cleaners, offering a wide range of models with advanced features.
  • Aiper: A newer player in the market but has quickly gained popularity with their cordless robotic pool cleaners.

If you’re interested in checking out the best cordless robotic pool cleaners available, be sure to take a look at our guide. It covers a variety of top models, including the popular cordless pool cleaners from Aiper.

Suction Pool Vacuums:

  • Zodiac: A trusted name in suction pool cleaners, known for their powerful and efficient models.
  • Hayward: Another popular brand for suction pool cleaners, offering a range of options for different pool sizes and needs.
  • Pentair: A trusted brand for high-quality suction pool cleaners, owns Kreepy Krauly, a popular line of automatic pool cleaners with a range of models to fit different pool types and budgets.

Pressure Pool Vacuums:

  • Polaris: A leader in the pressure side pool cleaner category, with their Polaris 360 and 380 models being particularly popular automatic pool vacuums due to their durability and effectiveness.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Pool Vacuum

To ensure that you get the most out of your investment in a pool vacuum, there are several steps you can take.

These tips can help you maintain your pool cleaner and extend its lifespan:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific pool vacuum model to ensure proper use and avoid any potential damage.
  • Regularly clean and maintain your pool vacuum by removing any debris and checking for any signs of wear and tear.
  • Check and clean your pool’s filter regularly to improve the efficiency of your pool vacuum and ensure that it is working effectively.
  • Store the pool vacuum in a cool, dry place when it’s not in use to protect it from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures. This can help prevent any potential damage or deterioration.
  • Review the warranty of your pool vacuum to see if any repairs or replacements are covered. This can save you money in case any issues arise with your pool vacuum down the line.

By taking these simple steps, you can ensure that your pool vacuum runs smoothly and efficiently, saving you time and money in the long run.

How to Choose Your Pool Vacuum

Investing in the right pool vacuum can save you time and money in the long run, while also ensuring that your pool stays clean and healthy. Whether you opt for an automatic pool vacuum, a robotic pool cleaner, a pressure side pool cleaner, or a suction side pool cleaner, choosing the right one will make all the difference in maintaining a clean and sparkling pool.

Don’t settle for a dirty pool any longer. Use the information in this guide to find the best pool vacuum for your specific cleaning needs, and take the first step towards a healthier, cleaner, and more enjoyable swimming experience.

Take action now and invest in the best pool cleaner for your pool!

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Staff Writer

SPP is committed to simplifying pool care with expert advice and valuable tips for stress-free pool maintenance and ownership.