Automatic pool vacuums suck up leaves, debris and other items that fall into the pool, reducing the hassle of cleaning it by hand. Pool vacuums may rely on the pool pump’s water flow, electricity or on board solar panels to run. Some pool vacuums have a high degree of onboard intelligence to ensure it gets every inch of the pool while others wander in a random pattern but cost far less. The best pool vacuum depends on your budget, your pool layout and circumstances in which it operates.
What are the Best Automatic Pool Vacuum Models for Inground Pools?
XtremepowerUS Automatic Pool Cleaner
This pool vacuum costs less than a hundred dollars at full price, which makes it one of the best selling models on this list. This is a suction pool cleaner. One of its strength is the ability to vacuum any size or shape of pool, making it popular for those with exotically curved pools or drop offs that trap other pool cleaners. It is considered ideal for pools up to sixteen feet by thirty two feet; larger than that and it won’t reach all parts of the pool regularly enough to keep debris cleaned up. This pool sweeper doesn’t require tools to use. It can attach to an existing filtration pool. And it comes with the hose sections and hose weights that let you connect it to the pool pump and not have the hose float up and lift up the pool cleaner.
The inground pool vacuum doesn’t require an electric connection, but it does require at least a three quarter horse power pool pump or 1600 gallons per minute in order to operate. This means it won’t work in all pools without an equipment upgrade. Remember that if you have anything else powered by the pool pump like a skimmer, this reduces the power available to run the pool cleaner. You can adjust the water pressure to the unit to run it slower or faster.
One factor to consider before buying this unit is that it lasts about two years – and it is cheaper to replace than repair.
BARACUDA Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner Model G3 W03000
This automatic pool cleaner costs a little over two hundred dollars. One of the advantages of this pool cleaner is its ability to climb the sides of the pool and address slanted and elevated surfaces. This is the best automatic pool vacuum that will be able to clean all of the steps, drop offs and tight corners in your pool. It has a wheel deflector specifically to let it negotiate tight corners while suctioning debris out of them; most other automatic pool sweepers will miss the corners because they cannot get in there or get trapped in them. Its weakness is getting caught on raised anti-vortex pool drains.
This pool cleaner can run off lower power pool pumps. However, lower power settings mean it is more likely to get debris stuck in the water flow instead of passing it to the bag. At higher water pressures, it cleans the pool of small and large debris, but you need to clean the filter on the pool vacuum more often.
Hayward Aquanaut 400 4-Wheel Pool Cleaner with 40 Feet Hose Kit Model PHS41CST
This is an expensive pool cleaner, coming it at a little over five hundred dollars. This cost is partially offset by the long forty foot hose kit that comes with the unit, allowing it to clean pools up to forty feet long that other pool vacuums cannot. Replacement debris canisters cost around sixty dollars.
This pool cleaner can also clean the bottom of diving pools with steep drop offs that others can’t reach.
There are both four wheel and two wheel models, but this review is only for the four wheel version. The unit can work with variable speed pumps that others cannot.
This pool cleaner can handle any type of terrain or debris. It will roll over anti-vortex drains without a problem while sucking up rocks, bark pieces and nuts that have fallen into the pool. However, it doesn’t climb the sides of a pool, so you may need a separate wall cleaner vacuum if you buy this unit if you have a deep pool.
This pool cleaner is intelligent. It has pre-programmed steering sequences you can select from to ensure that the pool is clean.
Pentair GW9500 Kreepy Krauly Great White
This in-ground pool vacuum costs around six hundred dollars at full price, but you can find it for a third less when it is on sale. Replacement leaf canisters for the automatic pool cleaner are around forty dollars.
It is not a good choice for irregularly shaped pools with spots where it is likely to get stuck, though you can help get it out of those jams by turning up the water pressure. It performs best if it has a dedicated pump to supply pressure that it doesn’t get shared with other devices like a pool skimmer.
The pool cleaner goes straight for about ten feet before turning and changing direction. It tends to stay in the deep end, especially if the pool has a steep drop off. It sometimes gets stuck on anti-vortex drains.
This pool vacuum is considered safe for vinyl pools, gunite and fiberglass.
This unit is a good choice if other types of pool cleaners may damage your pool liner.
The Poolcleaner 2X Suction PoolCleaner for Concrete Pools Model 896584000013
This pool cleaner comes in at less than five hundred dollars at full price, but it costs less than four hundred dollars on sale. This unit is the 2X suction model, whereas the 4X suction model costs more than this one.
This pool cleaner is intended for smaller inground pools. It needs a dedicated suction line or use in conjunction with a skimmer.
This unit can’t clean pool walls and it sometimes has trouble making it back up to the shallow end after moving to the deep end. You can offset this by starting the pool cleaner in the shallow end every day or relocating it as necessary.
This pool cleaner does not work well with fragile pool liners; if it gets stuck in the corner as it tries to follow the edge of the pool’s steps, it gets trap and can rip up a pool liner.
Kreepy Krauly Automatic In Ground Pool Cleaner Model 360048
This pool cleaner costs around three hundred dollars. This pool vacuum does a better job than some of the others on this list for cleaning tile lines and pool walls. It doesn’t do a good job reaching pool benches and upper steps. It is prone to getting stuck in small corners and niches.
This pool sweeper comes with forty feet of hose so it can clean relatively large pools. Its large intake allows it to take up leaves others may miss.
This unit can attach to an existing filtration system if that has enough power to run the unit.
This pool vacuum shouldn’t be used in pools with a maricite finish or vinyl, since it will rip the material up if it gets caught in a corner.
Hayward PoolVac XL Model 2025ADC
This is a great automatic pool cleaner for making sure it cleans every inch of the bottom of the pool. This is a quiet pool cleaner, too. It connects to the existing pool filtration system, and you can connect it to either the skimmer or the suction pump.
The weakness of this unit is that it doesn’t pick up pebbles as well as it does other debris. It sometimes has problems picking up water logged debris. If the unit breaks down, getting it serviced is a challenge, as is getting replacement parts. The manufacturer suggests shipping it at your expense to an authorized service center, which costs as much or more than many replacement parts.
ARKSEN Automatic Swimming Pool Cleaner Vacuum
This automatic pool cleaner can connect to an existing filtration system. Note that it needs at least three quarters horsepower to run, and it won’t run reliably if connected to a variable speed pump or shares the pump with a skimmer or other pool equipment.
It can work with almost any size and shape pool. It is more durable than some of the cheap pool cleaners on this list that come in at under a hundred dollars.
This unit doesn’t use wheels but a suction head. This is the best budget pool cleaner for those with delicate pool liners. Its soft, padded seal doesn’t damage pool liners.