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There is much more to owning a pool than simply outfitting it with inflatable floats and toys, and splashing around in the water for fun. Maintenance is required, and that includes the best suited pool vacuum. While handheld pool cleaners, like nets and skimmers, are great for removing daily debris, robotic pool vacuums are essential when it comes to deep cleaning, but how do you choose the best one for the job? According to the experts we asked at Leslie's Pool, there are three types of vacuums designed for cleaning pools: the suction side pool cleaner, pressure side pool cleaner, and robotic pool cleaner.
Suction cleaners work with the dedicated suction line in your pool or connect to your pool's skimmer; they use the filter pump's suction to propel the cleaner through the pool, vacuuming and cleaning the pool surface to eliminate dirt and debris. Pressure cleaners don't use your pool's filtration system to filter out dirt and debris; instead, they use a filtration bag, which relieves pressure and wears on your filtration system. And if your pool is heated, pressure cleaners help distribute the heat. Robotic pool cleaners are perhaps, more costly than other models, but they have high energy efficiency, reduce maintenance, and rely on your home's power, not your existing pool equipment.
When it comes to choosing the best pool cleaner for your setup, consider your pool's size and design, either as an above-ground pool or in-ground pool.
Best Overall: Dolphin Nautilus CC Robotic Pool
Best for Small Pools: Zodiac Baracuda G3 Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner
Best for Large Pools: Polaris P39 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
Best for Above-Ground Pools: Dolphin E10 Robotic Automatic Pool Cleaner
Best for In-Ground Pools: Aqua Products EVO604 Evo 604 Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
No matter which type of pool vacuum cleaner you opt to purchase, keep safety in mind before powering on any piece of equipment. The experts at Leslie's Pool suggest to start by vacuuming the bottom part of your pool with an automatic pool cleaner to remove fine dirt and dust particles, working from the shallow end toward the deep end. To help keep your drains and filters clear, they recommend vacuuming waste directly. When the cleaning job is completed, brush the pool surfaces and remove any dirt on pool walls, run the vacuum again. Repeat this process until the pool is sparkling clean.
In just two hours, this robotic pool cleaner can clear debris from an entire pool. It's suitable for all swimming pools (both above or in-ground) up to 33 feet long, and it works on all types of surfaces including gunite, tile, and vinyl.
Shop Now: Dolphin Nautilus CC Robotic Pool, $749, amazon.com.
Best for Small Pools
If your pool is 39-feet long or smaller, consider this suction-side pool cleaner. It's ideal for in-ground pools and works well with a variety of surfaces. It will vacuum and clean the pool floor, walls, and navigate obstacles like steps.
Shop Now: Zodiac Baracuda G3 Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner, $243, amazon.com.
Best for Large Pools
The pressure side vacuum is a powerful machine. It has all-wheel PosiDrive with a stainless steel chain that has WideTrax tires, and a dual-chamber SuperBag debris bag.
Shop Now: Polaris P39 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner, $899.99, amazon.com.
Best for Above-Ground Pools
If you have an above-ground pool up to 30 feet, consider this vacuum. The E10 model doesn't require any additional pumps or hoses to get the job done, which takes less than two hours.
Shop Now: Dolphin E10 Robotic Automatic Pool Cleaner, $599, walmart.com.
Best for In-Ground Pools
The Aqua Products Evo 604 Robotic Pool Cleaner is referred to as "the muscle behind a clean pool." Small yet mighty, this blue and yellow robotic pool vacuum will scrub your in-ground pool, removing debris and scum.
Shop Now: Aqua Products EVO604 Evo 604 Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner, $719, amazon.com.
This suction poolside vacuum is meant to clean the bottom of all pool varieties ranging in shape, size, above ground, and in-ground-and it's cute, to boot.
Shop Now: Hayward W3900 "Wanda the Whale" Above-Ground Suction Pool Cleaner, $199, amazon.com.