Top above-ground pool cleaners in 2023

Above-ground pools are a common and inexpensive way to add summertime fun to your backyard, but they still need regular maintenance to stay clean and functional for as long as possible.  In contrast to pools …

Top above-ground pool cleaners in 2023 |
Top above-ground pool cleaners in 2023 |

Above-ground pools are a common and inexpensive way to add summertime fun to your backyard, but they still need regular maintenance to stay clean and functional for as long as possible. 

In contrast to pools that are built into the ground, above-ground pools do not have a filtration system that is built into the ground. So, they have to use external, passive filtration and portable electric pool vacuums to get rid of the debris that will always end up in the water. 

To automate swimming pool care and save money on a cleaning service, an above-ground pool vacuum is a necessary piece of pool cleaning equipment. Without having to drain the pool first, these vacuums can quickly and effectively sweep or even scrub the inside of a pool.

  • Robotic pool cleaners: the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is our top pick.
  • The Zodiac Ranger has the best automatic transmission. Automatic Side Suction Swimming Pool Cleaner for an Above-Ground Pool
  • Most effective electric vehicle: the Dolphin Escape Robotic Cleaner for an Above-Ground Pool
  • Pool Blaster Max is the top battery-operated choice.
  • Price-wise, the XtremepowerUS 75037 Climb Wall Pool Cleaner is the best bet.

What's inside

When shopping for an above-ground pool vacuum, what factors should you take into account?

A passive pool cleaning and filtration system, while effective, is not a foolproof method of removing debris from a pool. A pool’s continuous filtration system is great for getting rid of smaller debris and particles all the time. 

However, an automatic pool vacuum is better for getting rid of leaves and trash. This is especially true when debris from outside the pool sinks to the bottom or edges and gets stuck. Regular filter systems rely on weak water currents that may not be strong enough to move the debris.

You can get one of the best above-ground pool vacuums that also has a scrubber for the walls and floor to get rid of the fine dirt and debris that can accumulate there if you don’t. For above-ground pools, an automatic pool vacuum can be a good swimming pool maintenance investment because a manual pool cleaning with a professional crew requires draining all of the water, which is expensive and takes a lot of time.

Most pool vacuums today are either powered by the pool’s own pump and suction system or by a small amount of electricity. The ones that are powered by water tend to be cheaper, but they require more filter cleanings after use because the waste they collect has to go through the pool’s filtration system. Electric pool cleaners and pool robots can scrub away debris as well as vacuum it, but they cost more to buy up front.

Automatic vs. manual

Automatic pool cleaners are convenient since they eliminate the need for constant maintenance on the part of pool owners; all they have to do is link up the cleaner, place it in the water, and retrieve it when it’s done. 

If you do it on a regular basis, this non-intrusive cleaning method will keep your pool sparkling for much longer. If you want an easy-to-use and affordable automatic pool cleaning for your above-ground pool, think about getting one that uses suction.

Automatic pool cleaners and vacuums powered by suction are attached to the pool’s filtration system and run on low-speed pumps, allowing for a methodical, hands-free cleaning. The most effective automatic pool vacuums in this category have tight suction on the pool’s surfaces to produce maximum cleaning pressure, and they typically employ a flexible rubber disc or similar design to do this. To prevent any scratches to the pool’s walls and floor, search for a design that makes use of pliable materials.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of electric versus battery-powered devices?

Larger above-ground pools and permanent installations benefit more from the reliability and consistency of electric pool vacuums than those that rely solely on water power. This is because electric pool vacuums have features like active scrubbing and timed cleanings that are simply not possible with water-powered models. 

Electric devices often cost more than suction-powered types; nevertheless, their comprehensive feature sets and increased degree of control may be suitable for your demands and habit.

It’s important to choose an electric pool vacuum for an above-ground pool that has a smart navigation feature to provide active pool cleaning if you want to get the most out of your investment. Thanks to this function, your electric pool cleaner can navigate without hitting any walls or obstructions, which uses onboard scanners to map out the optimal course. 

Electric pool cleaners use this function more efficiently because they don’t wander aimlessly like their water-powered counterparts do.

Unlike their non-electric counterparts, many electric pool vacuums can actively climb and scrape the walls of your above-ground pool, leaving it spotless. In the same way that walls can collect algae and other detritus, a wall-climbing pool vacuum can provide a more thorough cleaning than a water-powered type.

Instead of an above-ground pool vacuum, pool owners who value portability and convenience may want to consider purchasing a battery-operated pool vacuum. The chambers in these designs catch dirt since the designs function via suction. The manual steering necessary to run these designs is substantial, but the time and effort saved by not having to connect them to a water supply or electrical outlet make them ideal for rapid cleanups of tiny spaces.

When looking for the best battery-operated pool vacuum, choose a model with interchangeable heads so you can switch between cleaning large parts of the pool and small, hard-to-reach spots like corners and the bases of steps. Pool vacuums that run on batteries must be light and easy to move so that the user can control the cleaning process. It’s best to pick a device with a battery life of at least an hour so you can keep going without having to stop and recharge.


Because pool cleaning equipment is so specialized, it can be hard to find an affordable above-ground pool vacuum. Nonetheless, there are some fantastic choices if you know what you’re doing. Due to their mass, power, and automated nature, suction-powered designs can be a cost-effective alternative to electric ones if you’re willing to make some sacrifices in your search for the best inexpensive above-ground pool vacuum.

When searching for the best low-priced above-ground pool vacuum, you should pay attention to the length of the hose and the construction materials of the foundation. If the hose is too short, the cleaner won’t be able to reach the far end of the pool, and if it’s too long, it’ll get twisted and be useless. If the base is made of a softer material, it will be easier to make good contact and suction with the pool bottom, and certain designs will even allow for further bending against the base of the pool walls, resulting in a small amount of wall cleaning.

Top-Rated Above-Ground Pool Vacuums — Your Ultimate Buying Guide in 2023

Natural or man-made, pools are vulnerable to the same kinds of environmental stresses as any other body of water outdoors, such as temperature swings, sunlight, plant and animal life, and human activity. Above-ground pools need to be cleaned and maintained regularly and thoroughly to keep algae and dirt from building up and making the filtration system work harder or turn into the muck that needs to be scrubbed away with harder, more labor-intensive methods.

When searching for the best vacuum for your pool, it’s important to consider the pool’s size and location. A suction type that is connected to your pool’s filtration system doesn’t need any extra power to run. However, its erratic movement and weaker scrubbing power may mean that it takes longer to clean. If your home is close enough to your pool to have easy access to electricity, an electric model is the best option for convenient, hands-free cleaning.

If you have reliable electricity near your pool, an electric model is your best bet because it will clean your pool without you having to do anything but plug in the cord.

The blue and black Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus robotic pool vacuum: the best option for an above-ground pool.

Top above-ground pool cleaners in 2023 |

The selection committee liked that you can tell the Dolphin Nautilus when to run and then leave it alone.

Specifications of Dolphin Nautilus CC

Product Dimensions16 x 10 x 16 inches
Item Weight19 pounds
ManufacturerMaytronics – Pool
Item model numberNautilus CC Plus

Technique: Mechanically Effective


  • Having powerful suction, great traction, covering the pool thoroughly, and easily removable cartridges makes for a great pool cleaner.
  • Fully revolving, automatically scheduled events
  • It’s simple to clean.
  • Easy to operate
  • Worked alright for cleaning


  • Heavy
  • Expensive

The Dolphin Nautilus is a top-of-the-line pool vacuum that works well in both above-ground and in-ground pools because it only has one cable and can be set to run on a certain schedule. The Nautilus has two scouring brushes to get rid of dirt well, a large twin-cartridge filter to catch trash of all sizes, and a 60-foot wire that can turn 360 degrees and doesn’t get tangled. During its two-hour cycle, the Nautilus cleans your pool thoroughly by following a path that is set by a scanner on board.

Zodiac’s Ranger Suction Side Automated Above-Ground Pool Cleaner: the best automatic cleaner.

Top above-ground pool cleaners in 2023 |

An upright vacuum cleaner with a white tail, a blue body, inscribed “Ranger,” and a purple disc underneath. This pool cleaner made the cut because its deflector keeps it from getting tangled on swim-up bars and other obstacles.


Product Dimensions16 x 9.5 x 40.5 inches
Item Weight15 pounds

Technique: Mechanically Effective


  • Silent Deflector rim
  • It successfully blocks out dust and other tiny particles.
  • Simple installation


  • Hose could be a little longer for a 30-foot-round pool.

The Zodiac Ranger is a skimmer-powered pool vacuum that is safe and won’t slip when used in above-ground pools, even those with dished-out bottoms up to 72 inches in depth. The vacuum has a special deflector wheel that keeps it from getting caught on pool steps, lights, and other obstacles, and its base disc makes it easy to move the device around the pool’s bottom and up its edges. It is one of the best automatic pool cleaners since it functions with only one moving part, so it is remarkably quiet and doesn’t make the pounding or flapping sounds that are typical of this type.

The Dolphin Escape Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner is the best electric option.

Top above-ground pool cleaners in 2023 |

The pool vacuum was chosen since its operation does not require the use of dirty bags.


Package Dimensions22.44 x 17.8 x 13 inches
Item Weight14 pounds

Technique: Mechanically Effective


  • Strap-on grips
  • a rate of suction that is quite high


  • When changing directions, it performs wheelies.

The Dolphin’s Escape pool cleaner is one of the best electric pool vacuums because it has a lot of useful features and is priced reasonably. This device is a must-have for anyone who likes to go underwater. Its wheels have hyper-grip continuous tracks for better grip and maneuverability underwater, and the top filter can be lifted off for easy cleaning without bags. 

This model’s combination of active scrubbing, smart navigation, and a suction rating of 4000 gallons per hour makes it a great choice for cleaning above-ground pools. It weighs no more than 14 pounds and has a suction rating of 4000 gallons per hour.

Favorite rechargeable: Max Blue Pool Blaster Super powerful cordless pool vacuum, the Pool Blaster Max

Top above-ground pool cleaners in 2023 |

The handheld mode sealed the deal since it allows you to keep swimming while you clean up the pool.


Product Dimensions15.5 x 6.5 x 7.5 inches
Item Weight5.5 pounds
DepartmentPatio and Garden
ManufacturerWater Tech Corp


  • You don’t have to hook up any vacuums or power cords.
  • Simple navigation
  • It takes an hour to deplete the battery’s stored energy.


  • As a result of their design, lower flow zones and rounded corners are more difficult to keep clean.

The Pool Blaster Max is one of the best battery-powered pool vacuums on the market. It has a vacuum head that can be taken off, which makes it easy to clean the whole pool, and a small nose cone that is great for picking up small pieces of debris. It can clean for up to an hour straight on a single charge thanks to its lithium-ion battery, and it can be attached to any regular pool pole for portability. This equipment is great for quickly cleaning smaller pools or hot tubs because it is small and doesn’t need extension cords or suction feeds.

XtremepowerUS 75037 Climb Wall Pool Cleaner is the best bet

Top above-ground pool cleaners in 2023 |

A high-powered sky-blue vacuum with a built-in swimming pool. For less than $100, you can have a sparkling pool with zero trouble.


  • A dozen pounds.
  • The product measures 40.5″ wide by 5.5″ deep by 17.5″ high.

Technique: Mechanically Effective


  • Low electric consumption
  • Large-area cleaning capability 


  • It will be some time before your pool is entirely clean again.
  • Weight distribution is a tricky thing to get right.

One of the best low-cost ways to clean above-ground pools is with the automated suction wall-climbing vacuum from Xtremepower. This pool cleaning equipment is powered by your pool’s pump and is made to move at a rate of 8 to 12 feet per minute. It picks up trash and moves it to your pool’s filtration system without the need for extra wiring or electricity. You’ll need to leave this pool vacuum in the water for longer periods than is optimal to achieve the best results, but it’s great for basic cleaning of the pool floor and lower walls.

Is it better to filter my pool or use a vacuum to remove debris?

Cleaning an above-ground pool is best done through a combination of filtration and vacuuming. A filter is a crucial part of any pool’s infrastructure since it passively maintains water quality, but a vacuum is also necessary because it removes debris and static buildup from the water that a filter cannot reach.

If you have a pool, how often do you recommend vacuuming it?

To achieve the best possible results, pools should be cleaned anywhere from once every three days to once every day. Daily cleanings will almost ensure that your pool requires fewer deep scrubs and keeps gleaming for longer, while this number can vary based on the weather, time of year, and frequency of pool use.

Inquiring minds want to know: How long do pool vacuums typically last?

More advanced and costly pool cleaning equipment, such as robotic pool vacuums, can last anywhere from three to five seasons before needing to be replaced, while simple suction units and less expensive pool vacuums are meant to last up to two seasons.

Considerations for the Future When Choosing an Above-Ground Pool Vacuum

Although it may seem daunting, the best above-ground pool vacuums on the market can make quick work of the chore of keeping a pool clean on a regular basis. If you want to return home to a clean pool without exerting much effort, an automatic pool cleaner is a way to go.

However, a battery-powered pool vacuum may be more practical for people who need a quick and easy way to clean their spa or other smaller pool on an as-needed basis. When maintaining a pristine above-ground pool, the best pool vacuum is essential, regardless of the pool’s size or depth.

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