No doubt, the best automatic pool cleaner helps to keep your in-ground and above-ground pool sparkling clean and tidy. However, not all automatic pool cleaners are worth the candle. Some can make you pass through the hassle of constant repairs and falling parts.
In order to help you make the right choice, we’ve scoured through the market and have reviewed the 5 Best Automatic Pool Cleaners for In-Ground And Above-Ground Pools that are different from the average, due to their outstanding features.
With that said, let’s dive right into the review.
Best Automatic Pool Cleaners for In-Ground and Above-Ground Pools
Last update on 2023-09-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Detailed Product Reviews
1. Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-013 – Our Editor’s Choice of the Best Automatic Pool Cleaner
The Hayward Poolvergnuegen happens to be our editor’s choice due to its 4-wheel drive, which moves and turn in every 14 feet to clean up any pool size and uneven surfaces without getting stuck in a corner or by a main drain.
As an Automatic Turbine Suction Cleaner, the four-wheel drive ensures that the cleaner gets to every nook and cranny of the pool to give it a thorough and random clean.
Well, that’s not the only trick up its sleeve, as the Hayward also sports pre-programmed internal steering systems, which allows the left wheel to reverse periodically, and pivot itself towards different directions that need cleaning.
While most top rated automatic pool cleaners failed woefully in climbing walls, the Hayward Poolvergnuegen seemed to dwarf its competitor offering an adjustable skirt and raised treads, coupled with the programmed steering to make wall climbing and obstacle maneuvering a breeze.
Cleaning Efficiency. When it comes to cleaning efficiency, the Hayward is the only automatic pool cleaner on our list that holds the credential of featuring 3 interchangeable throats to easily devour larger debris even at different speed pumps.
That said, another of its cutting-edge feature is the impressive self-adjusting turbine vanes, which act as a horsepower to efficiently suck off debris and long palm tree frond at any given flow speed.
Surface Types. The while the Hayward holds the record in cleaning Pool Surface Gunite, Fiberglass, Vinyl, Fiberglass, pebble and Tile, sadly enough, it wasn’t built to climb steps, which seems to be one of its major downsides.
- Self-adjusting turbine vanes give maximum power to both low and high ﬂow
- The setup is incredibly easy and straightforward
- Great speed and pick up power
- Patented tire treads optimize enhanced climbing
- Great for cleaning uneven surfaces
- Perfectly designed to last longer
- Doesn’t climb to clean stairs
2. BARACUDA G3 W03000 – Best Automatic Pool Cleaner for Cleaning Steps
There isn’t direct competition to BARACUDA G3 when it comes to cleaning of steps. Of course, this unique feature alone placed the G3 step above its competitors.
Pool Coverage. In addition to excellent features, the G3 has a wheel deflector that allows for smooth movement and also ensures the cleaner navigates through tight corners without getting stuck.
The drawback of this cleaner is that it wears out with time after continuous use. And this includes parts such as the foot, skirt and the bladder. The good news is that most of the parts can be replaced within 10-15 Minutes.
Cleaning Efficiency. As an In-Ground cleaner, the G3 was able to edge its competitors by housing a self-adjusting Flow Control valve to help regulate the water flow for optimal performance.
This in-ground cleaner also shines brighter by providing a scrubber brush that does a brilliant job of sucking up algae, cleaning up high walls and devouring any speck of dirt in pools with a shallow end.
But our little gripe with this is that it will clog if the pool has a lot of pine needles and large leaves. So get prepared to clear the head of the debris occasionally when this machine meets up with heavy-duty work.
The best part is that, it also increases adhesion and prevents getting hung-up on lights, fittings, drains covers, and a host of other pool features.
As if that isn’t enough, this in-ground cleaner also offers a scuff-resistant Hose, which can easily eliminate scuff on different pool surfaces.
However, we did notice that if the hose is bent, the cleaner will start to loop on itself. The solution to this is to buy a hose hanger, which will get the Hose straightened.
- Perfectly devour leaves, dirt, debris, sand, bugs, twigs and pebbles
- Simple operations
- Low maintenance cost
- It works with low-speed pumps for efficient cleaning
- Solid construction
- The hose gets bent quickly
- Parts wear out in time
3. XtremepowerUS Automatic Suction Vacuum – The Best Automatic Pool Cleaner with all the needed Kits
Pool Coverage. With the included 10 hoses to clean pools up to 30 inches in size, the XtremepowerUS also features an adjustable cleaner and a diverter that helps the unit to climb through walls and easily maneuver obstacles.
But there’s a limitation: the XtremepowerUS would not clean a shallow end that is less than 3 ft deep.
Cleaning Efficiency. Regarding the cleaning efficiency, the XtremepowerUS will clean all sorts of dirt, and debris that is thrown at it. The inclusion of an automatic Relave valve and springs is indeed a brilliant idea, as these features ensure the pump doesn’t run dry since the suction is opened.
The best part is that dirt won’t get stuck in this cleaner–thanks to its removable flapper that prevents debris from lodging inside the cleaner.
But the downside to this feature is that the flapper is susceptible to dirt getting stuck in it. The best way to avoid this is to clean the flapper on a regular basis to pave the way for optimal and efficient cleaning.
Also, the XtremepowerUS’ superb filter system enhances its experience. The filter helps to prevent debris from affecting the flow of the water while cleaning.
However, we did notice that when the filter fills up, the flow of the water slows down, making the frequency to decrease. Consequently, the cleaning performance of the machine drops.
The right step to tackle this problem is to backwash the filter once or twice in a week to enhance its efficiency.
Floor Types. Also, the XtremepowerUS seems to be brimming with its Silicone ripple cleaner, that comes with a flat-even surface seal to clean up concrete, vinyl, tile, and fiberglass finish pool.
It also wields an adjustable hose length with extra sections for better cleaning and also to reach the end of the pool.
But, care must be taken not to get any air in the Hose as this might hamper its efficiency. The best way to go round this is to leave the cleaner inside the pool for a while; let’s say a couple of minutes so that the water can push out the air in the hose.
- Works pretty fast and powers over everything
- 10 hoses to give a thorough clean
- Superb filter system enhances its productivity
- The removable flapper prevents debris from lodging inside the cleaner
- The flapper poses a lot of problems
- Not suitable for sucking up leaves
- The Hose is dead heavy
- It won’t clean a shallow end pool than 3 ft deep
4. Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner – Best Automatic Pool Cleaner With The Fastest Cleaning Ability
The Zodiac MX8 was able to make it to our too list due to its dual cyclonic suction system that can clean large areas of pools half the time other cleaners will do the job.
Pool Coverage. Don’t underestimate its coverage ability; this cleaning beast can put many top rated automatic pool cleaners to shame. When it comes to pool coverage, the Zodiac MX8 can hold its own against the big guys like the Poolvergnuegen and G3.
With an X-tire technology, that allows the machine to clean through corners and side walls, our research shows that the pool coverage capacity of the MX8 is comparable to high-end automatic pool cleaners.
Cleaning Efficiency. Picking up different size of fine debris with this cleaner is a piece of cake- thanks to its adjustable debris intake. Once this is set up, this unit moves into action to start ripping off hidden dirt and debris.
Also, the flow regulation valve feature is a game changer here. What it does is to allow the cleaner to bypass excess water in high condition, so the machine doesn’t get damaged easily.
While some Suction-side pool cleaners depend on the pool pumping system to power them, the Zodiac MX8 seemed to beat the competition by offering a flex power turbine for ultra-efficient cleaning operation, even when the pool is pumping at a lower pressure.
Floor Types. Regarding floor types, the MX8 can work on all pool surfaces. Be it concrete, vinyl, tile, and fiberglass finish pool; the flex power turbine feature ensures that the cleaner carry out an ultra-efficient cleaning operation on them all.
- A flow regulation valve helps bypass excess water in high condition to prevent machine damage
- The flex power turbine allows an ultra-efficient cleaning operation even at very low pressure
- The adjustable debris intake system sets up the pool cleaner to pick up fine debris
- Can pick up medium to bigger size debris pick up
- A twist lock hose makes setting up the cleaner a breeze
- It’s hard for the MX8 to clean narrow stairs
- No scrubber to remove algae
- The current flow regulator isn’t as good as desired
5. The Hayward Wanda pool cleaner – A Vacuum with a Class
The Wanda offers a stellar performance, and it’s one of the best automatic pool cleaners that can make use of your existing pool pump power to work efficiently. So, no need to worry about buying a particular pump or a power system for it.
Pool Coverage. Just like its elder brother-the Poolvergnuegen, the Wanda is also designed to clean every nook and cranny of the pool. It offers the same sweet pre-programmed internal steering systems for easy maneuvering of the wheel to clean walls and hard to reach places.
Cleaning Efficiency. The cleaner also sports a patented SmartDrive technology, which is a preprogrammed gearing system that lets the cleaner to work smoothly and collect debris quietly from the pool floor.
To improve faster movement and better cleaning performance, the Wanda comes with a deluxe bumper ring at the bottom of the cleaner. This minimizes friction between the bottom of the cleaner and the pool floor to aid better mobility.
The Pool Filter Skimmer savers are big features here. These are reusable nets which will slip over your pool skimmer basket to catch all debris, muds, leaves and sits. The best part is that it is easy to install within 10 minutes.
However, as much as we have wished for, the Wanda does not have any system to help propel it when the pump pressure becomes low. And as such, it is not recommended for use in a pool with pumps smaller than 3/4 horsepower.
Floor Types. Just like the Poolvergnuegen, the Wada also does a great job in cleaning surfaces like pebble and tiles, Vinyl, fiberglass, and Gunite. However, the brand still maintains the disappointment of not climbing steps.
- Reusable nets will slip over your pool skimmer basket to catch all forms of dirt
- A SmartDrive technology allows a smooth and quiet cleaning operation
- It makes use of your existing pool pump power to work efficiently
- It constantly moves to the pool to clean hard debris off the floors and walls
- Does not have any system to help propel it when the pump pressure becomes low
How to Choose the Best Automatic Pool Cleaners for In-Ground and Above Ground Pools
To help you save ample time searching through hundreds of cleaners, we have outlined a useful guide that will help make your buying decision very easy.
So, here are a few factors to consider to help you purchase the best automatic pool cleaner.
Examine Your Pool
Before running to buy an automatic pool cleaner, the first thing you want to do is to assess your pool. You need to determine the elements of your pool to be able to ascertain the quality or type of cleaner you need.
You want to buy the perfect type of cleaner as they all have different efficiencies against the kinds of debris and dirt they can collect.
To do this effectively, you will have to look right in your pool and take good notes of the twigs you see, the types of dirt, and other debris that you can find in your pool.
If you have a pool that has large quantities of debris, these could become a problem for simple, smaller automatic cleaners.
However, these simple, smaller automatic cleaners have been said to be the best if your pool has fine particles. By doing and understanding this, you can make a good judgment on what type of automatic pool cleaner you should buy when at the pool store.
You should know that the size of your pool can influence the type of pool cleaner you buy. The cleaner you purchase should have enough ability to handle your pool.
If you buy a pool cleaner that is deemed too small for your pool, there is a little doubt that you will work so much harder in an attempt to ensure that the pool is kept clean.
More so, it is highly doubtful that the cleaner will take long before being replaced.
Simply put, robotic cleaners make your work easier compared to suction models.
What is Your Budget?
Many might take this as the last consideration, but it is equally important as any other factor you have to keep in mind when buying an automatic pool cleaner. Just like every other item, you have to think about the monetary aspect when considering to buy the best automatic pool cleaner.
To ensure that you don’t overpay for any cleaner you finally choose to buy; you need to determine how much you are willing to spend. Also, you might create an additional budget just in case you find a good one that is a little more than your original budget.
The truth is that pool cleaners vary in price the way they differ in utility. You can find those whose price is around the $100 mark. As well, there are several pool cleaners whose prices are closer to $3,000.
This depends on the features, the cleaner type, as well as those things the cleaner is designed to remove from the swimming pool.
Style of Pool Cleaner
You have read about the type and style of the pool cleaner, but what exactly does this mean? Some consumers prefer to consider this as the first thing they need to decide on.
What matters the most is reaching an objective judgment.
Automatic pool cleaners are usually in four categories:
- We have the suction side cleaners that mainly rely on the hose and filtration system.
- There are the pressure side cleaners that are concerned with dislodging dirt.
- You have the robotic cleaners that have motors and microchips.
- Then, the solar-powered cleaners are also on the market.
- While they all have their unique strengths, ensure you go for the one that suits your swimming pool.
Yes, automatic pool cleaners are designed to make your job easier. However, some maintenance and setup procedures are involved despite the fact that they are intended to work mechanically.
As it is with any other automatic device, automatic pool cleaners will take some of your time in maintenance.
You have to do this to prolong the lifespan of your pool cleaner. Therefore, choosing the cleaner that will require the least maintenance time should be on your mind when shopping for a pool cleaner.
That said, let’s take a look at how you can efficiently use and maintain your automatic pool cleaner, so it lasts you for a long time.
How to Effectively Use a Pool Cleaner
No one wants to swim in a stagnant pool no matter how much chlorine you add to it. Keeping your pool moving is part of what keeps it clean.
When it comes to cleaning your pool, you have two options – either cleaning it from the;
- Pressure side
- Or the Suction side
Suction Side Cleaner
The Suction side is the part of the pool filtration system that pulls water out of the pool. There are lots of Suction side cleaners you can use. They are most useful for picking up medium-sized debris and are less expensive too.
Once the Suction cleaner is hooked up to the pool skimmer, it rolls around the bottom of the pool picking up debris.
It doesn’t require any particular power system as the force of the water being pumped in is sufficient for its mobility.
If you’re using this type of cleaner, it’s crucial you submerge the cleaner as well as the hose so it can fill up with water.
The Pressure Side Cleaner
The pressure side cleaner uses the force of the incoming water to propel itself around the pool floor.
Most pressure cleaners come with wheels, sweep hose, filter bags, and a return hose jet. Pressure cleaners move about the pool using its wheel rotation. You may want to measure the rotation per minute (RPM) of the wheel to ensure its functioning correctly.
Whether you are using the pressure side or the Suction side cleaning, you may want to clean your pool regularly, at least once a day every week to keep debris and algae out.
How to Maintain Your Pool Cleaner For Effective Results
Maintaining your pool cleaner is not the most laborious task. It requires just a few minutes every day, and you’ll probably love each minute spent doing it.
Clean the Filter Bags Always
Most pressure side cleaners come with a filter bag. This filter bag stores debris collected by the cleaner. Once out, you can remove the filter bag and allow it to dry in the sun and then dust after it dries.
Always Empty Your Canister
Suction side cleaners come with a canister for collecting debris. Ensure you empty them regularly for better pool cleaning.
Always Check Your Cleaner Parts
Regularly check your cleaner parts and see if they require a replacement. Depending on your type of cleaner, this may involve checking of brushes, filter bag, wheels, etc.
It is essential you replace worn out parts with spare parts recommended by manufacturers.
Clean the Hose
You may want to check the hose also for debris and clean out if present with a stream of water.
To prevent kinks in the hoses, ensure you store them flat. You may also straighten it by letting it lie under the sun for a few minutes or pass hot water to soften it.
When it comes to automatic pool cleaners for in-ground and above-ground pools, you can’t afford to compromise quality over price. The wrong pool cleaner can easily give you a less satisfactory result.
But with the right automatic pool cleaner, you can have a sparkling clean pool. You can go with any of the above automatic pool cleaners without fear, they all come with outstanding features that you’d be satisfied with.
The Hayward Poolvergnuegen is our top pick for you if you’ve not made a choice already. The Hayward Poolvergnuegen with its 4-wheel drive suits the size of any pool and can ideally do a thorough job on time.
In addition to the above, the Hayward Poolvergnuegen also offers other impressive features like:
- A self-adjusting turbine vane that powers the machine to work at any flow effectively and sucks off debris and palm tree fronds.
- The Adjustable skirt and raised treads coupled with its programmed steering make wall-climbing, and obstacle maneuvering a breeze.
- An efficient and random cleaning pattern to clean every nook and cranny of the pool.
- 3 interchangeable throats that allow larger debris passage at different speed pumps.
- It cleans uneven surfaces without getting stuck.
Thank you so much for taking out time to read through this review and guide to the end. I hope you’ve found this info very useful in helping you to choose the best automatic pool cleaner for both in-ground and above-ground pools.
Did I Miss Your Favorite pool cleaner? I know there are still a lot of great hidden gems out there. If there is any significant pool cleaner I missed that you feel needs to be added, let me know in the comments. I’ll check it out. And if it makes the cut, I’ll add it to the post.
If you have any feedback about this list or want to know why I chose one pool cleaner over another, drop your comments. They are open!
Hi! I’m Markus Robertson, and water is my passion.
Five years ago, I graduated from the University of California-Los Angeles and was going to become a professional marine biologist. However, my fate had other plans for me, and due to family problems, I had to find a more stable and well-paid job. I had only one wish for my job to be connected with water.
During this period of my life, I worked as a sales manager at Olympic Pool & Spa Supplies. The job helped me learn everything about swimming pools and related pool equipment, as well as how to choose the best option and what to pay attention to.
Having worked there for three years, I decided to start my own blog about pools, where I can tell people about the best new pool equipment models and share my knowledge and experience.
A marine biologist by education, I became a pool blogger by trade. Now I’m glad I can help the guests of my store and the visitors of my blog know a lot of exciting things about pools, their types, best pumps and filters, necessary equipment maintenance, and so on.
I welcome all people who want to choose a proper basin and the stuff to my blog! Hope you’ll find this information interesting and useful!