Above ground pools allow swimmers to enjoy a nice cool swim on a hot summer afternoon and do it at a fraction of the cost of an in-ground pool. However, they can also be somewhat of a pain to clean, as anyone who owns one can attest to, especially without a good vacuum for the pool. An above ground pool vacuum is definitely a necessity if you own one of these pools.

Finding the best vacuum for your particular above ground pool can be somewhat of a challenge because it seems like there’s a million of them available. And that’s why we’ve decided to do some research and find out which of these vacuums are actually the best. We then rated them according to their quality, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Best Above Ground Pool Vacuums

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10Pentair Kreepy Krauly EZ VAC K50600


This automatic above ground pool vacuum is designed to make the job of cleaning the pool a whole lot easier. It’s easy to set up and use, so the pool owner doesn’t have to spend as much time setting it up as they may have to do with other automatic pool cleaning systems. Although it does use a random cleaning pattern to clean the pool, it’s still surprising quick and seems to get the job done quite efficiently. And since it only has one operational part, this unit isn’t subject to the same malfunctions and breakdowns that other pools tend to have.

9Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Cleaner


Although some people may find its design imposing, it’s actually made in a way that makes it more efficient at picking up pool debris. Without having to use any bags, this unit is able to pick up and hold up to 60% more debris than comparable pool cleaners. It has Hypergrip Continuous Tracks that give it improved traction on the pool’s floor, and its scrubbing brush is capable of removing even stuck-on debris. Using its patented Smart Navigation System, this unit is able to optimize its cleaning patterns according to the size of the pool, so it gets done quicker.

8Poolmaster Big Sucker Swimming Pool Vacuum


Leaves in the pool are a thing of the past thanks to the Pool Master Big Sucker pool leaf vacuum. This 15-inch diameter vacuum is designed with a large central opening that allows it to quickly and effectively remove large sections of leaves at one time. It also has a handle that can be attached to a pole for ease of operation. Another innovation found on this vacuum is its reusable mesh leaf bag that is easy to remove and easy to empty. Since this model also comes with a quick-disconnect adapter, it’s also easy to attach to any standard sized water hose for quick operation.

7Zodiac Ranger Suction-Side Cleaner


Although the Zodiac Ranger is a suction-side pool vacuum that’s not meant to be used with soft-sided pools, for other types of above ground pools its an absolute dream to operate. This model comes preassembled, so the pool owner can immediately begin to use it, and it comes with a full 32-feet of feed hose for convenience. This product has fewer moving parts than other pool cleaners, so homeowners don’t have to worry about that annoying flapper noise that’s associated with some cleaner models. And it’s also easier to operate and maintain than some other models.

6Hayward 900 Wanda The Whale


Hayward is a company that doesn’t want their customers to have to deal with handheld vacuums, so they created Wanda The Whale. This whimsical above ground pool cleaner is designed to be installed in 10-minutes or less, and all without the use of tools. This means that the pool owner can get it and press it in service as quickly as possible. Once it’s in service, this unique vacuum will use its Smart Drive Technology to steer it around the pool, so it cleans faster than any vacuum that cleans the pool randomly. And when it has done its job, all the pool owner has to do is remove it from the pool.

5Aquabot Pool Rover Junior Robotic Cleaner


Although this robotic pool cleaner may look like a toy, it’s actually a powerful robotic pool vacuum that can clean any above ground pool quickly and efficiently. This model comes with 40-feet of floating cable and is capable of cleaning any round, rectangular or oval above ground pool in an hour or less. And it can do it without the need for hoses. This little robot is powered by a single-pump motor that provides the unit with both drive propulsion and with its vacuum suction. Another feature found on this unit is its automatic shut-off times which shuts off after 2-hours and therefore reducing energy and chemical costs.

4Pool Rover S2 40 Robot Vacuum


This robotic pool vacuum is designed to relieve the pool owner the burden of having to vacuum out their pool on a regular basis. This unit is designed to be set up, placed into a pool and then allowed to do its job. This product comes with a 40-foot kink-free EZ swivel cable and can clean pool floors, partial walls and coves quite easily. It’s also equipped with filter media that can be accessed through its top so that it’s easy to clean. And since this robot can filter up to 85-gallons per minute and can filter particles as small as 2-microns, it will leave any pool crystal clean.

3Bestway Aqua Handheld Pool Vacuum


The Bestway Aqua Powercell is a handheld pool vacuum that’s designed to suck up the debris in your above ground pool. It comes with a 5 section pole that gives the user a full 87-inches of reach and has 2 different interchangeable heads that can be used for different jobs. Its first head is used to clean surfaces and its second head is designed to get into hard-to-reach corners. This unit is powered by a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery that allows it to run for up to 40-minutes on a single charge. And to keep it charged, it even comes with its own charger. All of this makes this a useful vacuum for any above ground pool.

2Pentair Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark


Vacuuming the pool can be a tedious process, and no one knows this fact more than the manufacturers of this above ground pool vacuum. This model is designed to be placed in the pool and completely let loose so it can clean your pool on its own. It’s capable of doing this job because it’s programmed with the best cleaning routines for efficient pool floor coverage, and it also has a dual-band of bristles that scrub debris loose as it vacuums sucks it up. This unit is able to clean a 10-inch wide path across the pool and because its made with an extremely simple design, it’s less likely to break down than other automatic pool vacuums.

1Polaris Vac Sweep Auto Pool Cleaner


Designed for use on only fiberglass and vinyl above ground pools, this automatic pool vacuum installs in only a few minutes and does a great job at removing debris. Since it’s powered by the return of clean water to the pool, it frees up both the skimmer and the filter to eliminate contaminants. Using its special jet sweet assembly, this product blows water against the sides of the pool to hasten the loosening of stuck-on debris, and it sweeps the floor debris into a filter bag. Its unique filter bags remove the debris and are easy for the operator to remove when they need to dump it out.

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How To Buy An Above Ground Pool Vacuum

As can be seen from our top ten list of the best above ground pool vacuums, there’s a pretty good selection of models available for the consumer to choose from. There are suction-side cleaners, pressure-side cleaners, and robotic cleaners. There are even ring vacuums or framed vacuums to choose from. And this presents somewhat of a dilemma to some of our readers. With so many excellent choices available how can anyone choose the one that’s best for them? Well, we heard our reader’s concerns and have decided to address them with this guide. In this guide, all of our readers will be able to find the best vacuums for their above ground pools. So, let’s get right into it and get started.

Types Of Above Ground Pools

Before anyone can decide on what type of pool vacuums are available for their above ground pool, it’s helpful to first address the types of above ground pools available, so that we can all get our definitions right. When it comes to these types of pools, there are two types available: Ring Pools and Framed Pools. Let’s take a closer look at each of these pool types, so we can get a better understanding of their pros and cons. This is not only helpful for our readers who are just doing their initial research trying to find a new pool but is also useful for people who already own one of these pools. That’s because if you know the limitations of your particular above ground pool, then it’s easier to decide on a new vacuum for it and to avoid the vacuums that might not be right for your pool.

Ring Pools

These pools are inflated and are generally one of the first options people gravitate towards when they buy a pool for the first time. That’s because they come in a variety of different shapes, are easy to fill and empty, and have both a limited depth and softer sides. And when the summer season is over, they can easily be stored away. The downside of these pools is that they don’t come with a pump (that has to be purchased separately) and they don’t handle the wear and tear very well. And when they do spring a leak, they can be difficult to patch. And that makes them ill-suited for several pool vacuums that scrape the sides of the pools are have rigid parts.

Framed Pools

As most people probably realize, framed pools are a little more durable and have more structure than ring pools. The frame that surrounds this pool is usually made of metal, wood or some type of highly durable plastic, so these types of pools hold up to use and weather better than ring pools. They also have well-supported sides, have a larger depth than ring pools, and have a longer life than ring pools. That means that just about any type of pool vacuum made for above ground pools can be used with them.

Types Of Above Ground Pool Vacuums

Yes, we realize that by looking at the above top list for the best above-ground pool vacuums that it looks like there’s a whole lot of different types of vacuums, and that makes some people anxious when they’re trying to choose the best one for their pool. However, that’s just an illusion because just about all of these vacuums can be sorted into one of just three different categories. These categories are Pressure-Side Pool Vacuums, Suction-Side Pool Vacuums, and Robotic Pool Vacuums. Once that fact is realized, choosing the right vacuum begins an easy process. Having said that, let’s take a closer look at each of these three different types and find out more about them.

Pressure-Side Pool Vacuums

These pool vacuums have derived their name from the fact that they use the pool’s return jets to power them. They’re hooked up to the water return jet with a hose and the pressure is what moves the cleaner about the pool. Because these vacuums are usually equipped with some sort of brush, this action loosens and “sweeps” debris from the walls and floor of the pool. This debris is then picked up by the cleaner’s skimmer bag. The main benefit of these types of pool vacuums is that they don’t place a burden on the filtration system, and it also does a good job of cleaning. The downside of this type of vacuum cleaner for above ground pools is that it can’t be left completely unsupervised. That’s because the skimmer bag has to be emptied regularly, and these cleaners sometimes tend getting caught on something during the cleaning process. And if it gets hung-up, then it stops cleaning, so pool owners should monitor them occasionally to make sure they’re still operating.

Suction Side Pool Vacuums

These vacuums are some of the more inexpensive above ground cleaners for pools and therefore, they’re some of the most popular among pool owners. This vacuum is powered by the filter pump, either the pump that came with the frame pool or an external pool pump bought for a ring pool. Their low-cost isn’t the only benefit they deliver to a pool owner, however. They also do a great job of cleaning debris from the pool’s floor. And because they use the pool’s filter to remove this debris, they’re no messy bags to use. The downside of this type of vacuum, unfortunately, is that it has to be manually operated, but that’s not usually a big deal for most consumers.

Robotic Cleaners

These pool vacuums are more expensive than either pressure-side or suction-side vacuums, but they offer the consumer a wide range of benefits. These units don’t require being attached to the pool filter or the pump, so they’re self-contained. Another benefit of using these robotic cleaners is that they can be programmed, so they’re autonomous and require little supervision. Another benefit is that these robotic cleaners are usually equipped with a variety of cleaning tools that help to loosen debris from the walls and floor of the pool. The robot will then collect this debris and store it into a bag. All of these features make these great pool vacuums despite their increased cost.

Putting It All Together

The above is everything the consumer needs to know to buy the best above-ground pool vacuum for their pool. However, there is one more thing the consumer should think about before proceeding with their purchase. They should find out what hoses or accessories are needed for the operation of the vacuum and whether or not the one they’re interested in buying comes with it. Once that’s done, they can then buy their vacuum with confidence.