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The Best Pool Cleaner

Last updated on August 4, 2020

We looked at the top 12 Pool Cleaners and dug through the reviews from 81 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Top Ten Reviews, Pool Done, Pool Cleaner Lab, Smart Smarter Smartest, Robotic Pool Cleaner and more. The result is a ranking of the best Pool Cleaners.

Best Pool Cleaner

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Our Picks For The Top Pool Cleaners

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Easy Clean Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

Dolphin

Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner

Overall Take

Efficient CleanerA high-tech pool cleaner that uses sensors to map the most efficient path.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus BestReviews, The Spruce, Pool Cleaner Hub, Pool Cleaner Blog, Setting It Smart, Pool Cleaner Reviews and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" A top-selling robotic model that provides multiple cleaning techniques in one – filters debris, scrubs the pool, and vacuums particles."
Cons
"What it won’t do is scrub the waterline."

Hayward W3PVS20JST Poolvergnuegen Automatic Pool Cleaner

Hayward

Poolvergnuegen Automatic Pool Cleaner

Overall Take

Maximum PowerThis pool cleaner with two-wheel drive is able to clean pools of up to 16 by 32 feet.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus Pool Cleaner Hub, Pool Cleaner Lab, BestReviews, Intex Pool Pumps, Pool Care Guy and 1 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Hayward’s Poolvergnuegen is a great suction-side pool cleaner that comes with self-adjusting turbine blades to overcome one drawback of suction-side cleaners, which is that they often have a minimum horsepower threshold to reach before they operate correctly."
Cons
"Limited capacity for the collection of large amounts of debris."

Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

Polaris

Vac-Sweep Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

Overall Take

Triple JetsYou won't need a booster pump with this pool cleaner, as it operates on a circulation pump.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus BestReviews, Top Ten Reviews, Pool Done, Pool Cleaner Lab, Smart Smarter Smartest, Robotic Pool Cleaner and 3 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Powerful suction. High-pressure water pump cleans all surfaces well. 31-ft hose is long enough for most inground pools."
Cons
"It lacks treaded tires for extra grip while cleaning."
  The Best Value

Zodiac W03000 Baracuda G3 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner

Zodiac

BARACUDA G3 Automatic Pool Cleaner

Overall Take

Lightweight DesignBecause of its lightweight design, this cleaner can easily climb the stairs and walls of the pool.

Experts Included
DWYM Outdoor and Garden Experts plus BestReviews, Pool Cleaner Hub, Pool Cleaner Guides, Chief Pool, Birdeye, Robotic Pool Cleaner and 2 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Works equally well w/high- and low-pressure pumps."
Cons
"What it has a hard time handling, are large pieces of debris like leaves and twigs."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
19

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the pool cleaners available to purchase.
12

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

81

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: BestReviews, Top Ten Reviews, Pool Done, Pool Cleaner Lab, Smart Smarter Smartest.

52,114

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart and 7 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 12 Pool Cleaners and also dug through the reviews from 81 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Top Ten Reviews, Pool Done, Pool Cleaner Lab, Smart Smarter Smartest, Robotic Pool Cleaner and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Pool Cleaners.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Easy Clean Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

Our Expert Score
9.7
7 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.8
1,039 user reviews
Our Take

Double scrubbing brushes make this pool cleaner more efficient than other pool cleaners at tackling stubborn stains. It uses sensors to map the best cleaning path, making it more efficient in the long run. A built-in swivel keeps the cord from tangling, reducing the number of times you'll find it stuck.

What other experts liked
A top-selling robotic model that provides multiple cleaning techniques in one – filters debris, scrubs the pool, and vacuums particles.
- BestReviews
The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is an intelligent, thoughtful cleaning device that will leave your pool virtually spotless.
- HouseholdMe
The Dolphin 99996403-PC cleaner is one of the most advanced cleaners that uses a smart design to float, climb, and roll all over your pool.
- The Spruce
December 24, 2018 | Full review
It will use onboard sensors to scan your pool and figure out the fastest way to clean the entire pool and will get it done in about two hours.
- Pool Cleaner Hub
October 23, 2018 | Full review
Another notable feature of Nautilus CC is the superior navigation system called Active Scrubbing Brush.
- Pool Cleaner Blog
May 3, 2018 | Full review
Like your vehicle’s GPS, Dolphin Nautilus Plus' IntelliScan software learns your pool, and it automatically formulates a cleaning plan that best suits your pool.
- Setting It Smart
The swivel device prevents the cable from twisting and coiling, which can be a huge relief, especially with longer cables such as this.
- Pool Cleaner Reviews
What other experts didn't like
Occasionally gets stuck, but this is a common issue of robotic pool cleaners.
- BestReviews
Their complaints mostly covered their dissatisfaction with their warranty or customer service granting them a replacement.
- HouseholdMe
What it won’t do is scrub the waterline.
- Pool Cleaner Hub
October 23, 2018 | Full review
It might experience some problems collection large debris such as leaves.
- Pool Cleaner Blog
May 3, 2018 | Full review
However, this might not be a good option if you are on a tight budget.
- Setting It Smart
We are disappointed in the lack of instructions that Maytronics provide with their pool cleaners.
- Pool Cleaner Reviews

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Zodiac W03000 Baracuda G3 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner

Our Expert Score
8.8
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.2
1,769 user reviews
Our Take

With its lightweight design, this pool cleaner can easily climb the stairs and walls of your pool to clean every inch. Its powerful suction capabilities result in a deep cleaning of your pool. It tackles small and mid-sized debris with ease and can even maneuver around corners.

What other experts liked
Works equally well w/high- and low-pressure pumps.
- BestReviews
The G3 will clean your pool as quietly as a mouse in church, allowing you to sit next to it and get some valuable time off for relaxation.
- Pool Cleaner Hub
October 24, 2018 | Full review
The Baracuda G3 suction-side automatic inground pool cleaner is an affordable, easy-to-install alternative to the more expensive pressure-side or robotic pool cleaners.
- Pool Cleaner Guides
Baracuda G3 by Zodiac is a quiet pool cleaner which is powerful and can work with pumps which are slow and will still clean with best efficiency.
- Chief Pool
Simple and effective solution for a pool cleaner. I had to add an extra section of hose because my pool is large. I followed the instructions with regards to setting the hose length which are easy to follow.
- Birdeye
The Zodiac G3 is an automatic pool cleaner that is best described by these two words:- Efficient and Affordable.
- Robotic Pool Cleaner
The other great feature of this product is its self-adjusting flow valve that comes with a feature of effortless adjustment.
- Pool Cleaner Blog
May 12, 2018 | Full review
The Baracuda G3 was surprisingly effective at cleaning debris.
- Ultimate Pool Guide
What other experts didn't like
Sometimes needs guidance into shallower parts of pool.
- BestReviews
What it has a hard time handling, are large pieces of debris like leaves and twigs.
- Pool Cleaner Hub
October 24, 2018 | Full review
It has some minor issues such as its tendency to get stuck on top of a raised main drain and problems with handling large leaves.
- Pool Cleaner Guides
The G3 is able to pick up smaller acorns, but the larger one get stuck in the diaphragm. I have to grab the cleaner off the bottom and use a dowel to push the acorn through the diaphragm.
- Birdeye
It tends to get stuck once in a while, especially if it is not positioned properly.
- Robotic Pool Cleaner
Does clean pool steps
- Pool Cleaner Blog
May 12, 2018 | Full review
It also doesn't clean the steps as advertised which is a bit of a bummer.
- Ultimate Pool Guide

Our Pool Cleaner Findings

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Easy Clean Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

What We Liked: Double scrubbing brushes make this pool cleaner more efficient than other pool cleaners at tackling stubborn stains. It uses sensors to map the best cleaning path, making it more efficient in the long run. A built-in swivel keeps the cord from tangling, reducing the number of times you’ll find it stuck.

Hayward W3PVS20JST Poolvergnuegen Automatic Pool Cleaner

What We Liked: With its patented self-adjusting turbine vanes, this pool cleaner is able to deliver maximum power. It comes with a long 32-foot hose and is able to draw in large debris without getting backed up. The pre-programmed internal steering sequences also do all of the hard work for you.

Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

What We Liked: This pool cleaner is designed for use with in-ground pools. Pool owners will appreciate that the cleaner is able to sweep and scrub both the pool’s floor and walls. It has triple jets for extra power and is able to automatically free itself if it gets cornered.

Zodiac W03000 Baracuda G3 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner

What We Liked: With its lightweight design, this pool cleaner can easily climb the stairs and walls of your pool to clean every inch. Its powerful suction capabilities result in a deep cleaning of your pool. It tackles small and mid-sized debris with ease and can even maneuver around corners.

Dolphin Premier Dual Scrubbing & Multiple Filter Robotic Pool Cleaner

What We Liked: One of the easier pool cleaners on the market to use, this model is robotic and does all the hard work for you. It works in pools of up to 50 feet and uses a single button plug. The dual scrub brushes work hard to remove dirt and debris and keep cleaning time to three hours or less.

Our Pool Cleaner Buying Guide

Keeping a swimming pool clean is hard work, but it’s well worth it for the hours of fun every summer. With the right automatic pool cleaner, you can cut down on those hours of work, grabbing any dirt and debris and keeping all surfaces clean.

Pool cleaners have so many features, though, it can be easy to feel a little overwhelmed as you start shopping. Your first concern will no doubt be efficiency. After all, a pool cleaner that doesn’t actually clean anything isn’t worth having. One thing that factors into how well your pool cleaner performs is pressure. Just as a pressure washer can power off stains on your home’s exterior, the right amount of pressure can blast away all of that grime on your pool’s surface.

Large debris is another challenge your pool cleaner will face. This generally comes down to suction. The stronger suction your pool cleaner has, the more likely it will be able to collect those more stubborn items, particularly leaves. Some cleaners have parts you can interchange on those days when you notice larger debris in the pool.

In order to maneuver around your pool, though, your cleaner will need to be lightweight enough to scale walls and climb stairs. It will also need to have sensors built in that can determine exactly which areas of your pool need to be cleaned on any given day. The more automatic this process is, the less time you’ll have to spend worrying about keeping your pool clean.

Even with the best pool cleaner, though, you may find it will occasionally get stuck. Pay close attention to these problem areas, and make sure you check in on your pool during the warm months of the year to ensure your cleaner isn’t stuck.

Certain pool cleaners can also tend to damage the pool’s surface, particularly if your pool is made of more sensitive materials. In some cases, you’ll be able to buy special wheels that will ensure your pool remains in great shape without sacrificing any cleanliness.

DWYM Fun Fact

There are many myths surrounding pools and cleanliness, including the misconception that chlorine kills all germs. While the right combination of chemicals will get rid of germs, this process takes time. That means, that, unfortunately, some germs can survive even in a well-treated pool for days. In addition to keeping your pool surface clean using a pool cleaner, you also need the right pH balance and chlorine to keep it healthy. If you own your own pool, you should be testing the water every day before your first swim to make sure the levels haven’t dropped to an unsafe range overnight.

The Pool Cleaner Tips and Advice

  • Pressure plays a big role in how efficient your pool cleaner is. Some models are powered by double jets. They not only dislodge the most stubborn debris, but they also do so in three hours or less. The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus’s double scrubbing brushes also do a good job, but they do sometimes have difficulty cleaning the waterline.
  • Even the best pool cleaners can struggle to capture larger debris, like leaves. The Hayward Poolvergnuegen Automatic Pool Cleaner lets you change out the suction throats to make sure it gets those larger pieces.
  • If you have steps, you may want to go with a more lightweight model, like the Polaris Vac-Sweep Pressure Side Pool Cleaner or the Zodiac BARACUDA Automatic Pool Cleaner. Both are lightweight enough to handle the sides of your pool and your step.
  • Today’s cleaners use GPS to move around a pool. The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus has built-in sensors that scan your pool and find the best route to take. This makes sure it gets the work done in the most efficient way possible. The Hayward Poolvergnuegen Automatic Pool Cleaner has a patented steering system that helps it get around the walls, stairs and other curves found in a pool.
  • In addition to pressure, suction is an important feature in a pool cleaner, helping you get those more stubborn items that other models won’t. Some pool cleaners have a three-jet suction design that helps them both capture bigger debris and resist clogging.
  • Your pool cleaner will work with your pump, which you should already have in place. For best results, you’ll need to make sure your cleaner is compatible with the pump you have. The Zodiac BARACUDA Automatic Pool Cleaner works just as well with a high-pressure pump as it does with a low-pressure one.
  • One thing you may not think about until you’ve had your pool cleaner for a while is cable tangles. The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus has a swivel to keep the cable from twisting and coiling while it works. When a cable is longer, that’s a valuable feature to have.
  • As convenient as pool cleaners can be, they can be a pain if they get stuck often. The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus does occasionally get stuck, as does the Zodiac BARACUDA Automatic Pool Cleaner. The Zodiac BARACUDA Automatic Pool Cleaner can be especially prone to sticking around raised drains. It may also sometimes need to be redirected to the shallow end of the pool.
  • When ease of use is a priority, the Zodiac BARACUDA Automatic Pool Cleaner delivers, serving as a welcome alternative to other pool cleaners. It’s easy to set up and has a self-adjusting flow valve. The Hayward Poolvergnuegen Automatic Pool Cleaner is easy to install and low maintenance, which means you’ll be able to put it in place and let it do its work.
  • Energy efficiency is another consideration. The unique design of the Hayward Poolvergnuegen Automatic Pool Cleaner makes the most of the water coming through it, reducing wasted energy.
  • The wheels on the Hayward Poolvergnuegen Automatic Pool Cleaner can cause damage to your pool liner. If you have vinyl or fiberglass, you’ll also want to consider tape tires to protect the surface of your pool.

About The Author

Alicia Bodine
Alicia Bodine 

Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in gardening. She enjoys spending time learning about the latest gadgets that make designing, planting and maintaining a garden a breeze. With more than 15 years of experience, her work has appeared on leading home improvement publications.