9 Best Above Ground Pool Vacuums for Automatic Robotic Cleaning

Owning an above ground pool is one of the dreams of every household. It offers the perfect setting to relax during summers and also creates the opportunity to bond with family members and close friends.

With use, however, the pool will eventually accumulate things like dirt, leaves, pebbles and other debris that are not only unsightly but can also be unsanitary.

To restore the swimming pool’s water to its crystal clear state, cleaning it well with the best above ground pool vacuum cleaners is necessary maintenance activity.

Top 3 Choices

Rather than tiring yourself by window shopping or reading hundreds of reviews for the best pool vacuums for above ground pools out there, we’ve already done the job for you.

This list of automatic above ground pool cleaners reviews contains a few of the best above ground pool vacuums for above ground pools the market has to offer.

We’ve also included the best pool vaccums from different price ranges so you’ll find one that fits your budget.

Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Cleaner (Top Pick)

If your pool maintenance budget allows for the help of a pool cleaning machine in the $200-300 range, then the Aquabot Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner is perfect for you.

This Aquabot's auto shut off timer function as well as its built-in 2 micron fine reusable filtering bag are just a few of the reasons why we’ve included this Aquabot cleaner in our top-rated automatic pool cleaners round-up for 2019.

The 40-foot floating cable of Aquabot makes the robotic pool cleaner ideal even for medium-sized above ground pools, thanks to the extended cable range.

While this Aquabot pool vacuum cleaner is sturdy and durable, it is not heavy at all as it is made mostly out of plastic, which means you won’t have any problem at all taking it into or out of the above ground pool.

Moreover, this Aquabot automatic pool cleaner vacuum sports extra-wide non-marring wheels capable of rolling over any surface which is a good thing because the unit can clean and remove the dirt to any type of above ground pools very well.

The Aquabot robotic pool cleaner rover is powered by a single pump motor which gives it its jet-drive propulsion as well as its vacuum suction power.

Meanwhile, you will surely love Aquabot's 2-hour timer feature which is heaven-sent for forgetful users who are prone to totally forgetting about their above-ground pool cleaners hard at work in keeping their pools spotless from debris and raking up their power bills in the process. You can basically turn it on and forget about it.

This automatic above ground pool vacuum or pool cleaner might be the greatest design on the market today!

Aquabot in action cleaning a pool
PROS
CONS
  • Easy to use robotic pool cleaner
  • Timer feature ensures using it worry-free even for forgetful pool owners
  • Highly capable pool vacuum cleaner for above ground pools
  • Bag for filtering needs to be cleaned after every use to prevent clogging/rotting

Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly Pool Cleaner (Budget Pick)

The Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac comes from a well-established brand in the above ground pool maintenance segment. With the reliability and the time-tested design of this above ground pool vacuum cleaner, it definitely earned its place in our robotic pool vacuums guide for 2019.

This pressure robotic pool cleaner has a patented Flapper mechanisms which make instances of clogging less frequent when using it compared to diaphragm style suction ones. In addition, it also comes with a Patented bumper strap that protects the robotic pool cleaner and prevents it from knocking against the walls or steps which increases its lifespan.

The Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac pool cleaner is cleverly designed in that it only has one moving part – the flapper. What one moving part means to above ground pool owners is that with no wheels or gears to break down no matter how many times you are using it, maintenance will be less frequent.

Considered as one of the best above ground pool vacuums, it is capable of delivering a long and dependable service. Its skimming valve, which automatically regulates water flow, ensures that the right above ground pool cleaning speed is maintained. They make the vacuum device to have a random pattern coverage for a thoroughly vacuumed pool floor.

Safety is also not an issue with this robotic pool cleaner. Using it is perfectly safe even if there are swimmers in the pool. If you are looking for a good automatic pool cleaner, this is certainly one of the best robotic ground pool cleaners out there.

The package includes 32 feet of hose. However, the manufacturer does not recommend the pool cleaner to be used in pools with less than ¾ pumps.

PROS
CONS
  • Affordably priced
  • Perfect for smaller swimming pool
  • Cleans efficiently
  • Hose provided restricts its usage to medium-sized pools
  • A bit heavy and loud

In The Swim Hayward 500Y Aqua Critter Cleaner (The Cute One)

All pool owners want a vacuum cleaner that is not only efficient but is also easy-to-use and do not require additional expenses for booster pumps for it to operate. In The Swim Hayward 500Y Aqua Critter Automatic Pool Cleaner Pool Skimmer Savers 5-Pack - 2 Item Bundle is perfect for the job earning it a spot on this list.

How does a suction pool cleaner work? This cute Hayward pool cleaner easily connects to existing pump and filtration system of your above ground pool without the need to buy an additional booster pump, which can be quite expensive.

Removing bugs, sand, dirt and debris won’t be a problem for this hard-working Hayward critter as it’s specifically designed to automatically clean for both dished-out or flat floors.

This is made possible by its patented SmartDrive technology clearing pattern that provides the unit with constant water flow via its gearing/turbine system. Quiet but efficient, it can do a complete suction pool sweep in two hours.

Hayward comes with reusable filtering Saver nets which you can slip over skimmer baskets to catch small bugs, leaves, pollen, dirt, and debris which not only cuts the time it takes to clear your pool but also extends the equipment’s lifespan. The set includes 5-pack filter savers, 32 feet of hose sections and skimmer cone.

The Hayward Aqua Critter is very easy to install and can be done in just 10 minutes. However, this Hayward model is not recommended for use in pools with pumps below ¾ horsepoewer as it may not be able to do its pool cleaning job efficiently.

PROS
CONS
  • Affordably priced
  • Watching the critter suck debris and dirt in action is entertaining
  • Easy to use
  • Might not work properly in wrinkled and uneven bottom of the pool

Intex Above Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner (Best Brand)

Intex above ground pools are becoming more popular these days. They are very easy to install and, with just a few bucks, the entire family can enjoy a refreshing dip in their very own Intex pool right at their own backyard.

It’s a no-brainer then that the Intex Auto Pool Cleaner will make it to this list. After all, it’s also manufactured by the same maker so you are assured you’ll only be getting the best cleaner for these types of pool.

Specifically designed to vacuum Intex pools, the cleaner requires a filter-pump with a flow-rate between 1,600 to 3,500 gph. It comes with a 24 feet hose which fits perfectly with 1-1/2” hose fittings. With a compact brush under the base, it cleans debris in the above ground pool bottom efficiently, as long as the surface is smooth.

Remember that since the four plastic wheels are not powered, any wrinkle at the Intex's bottom might stop the cleaner from moving to other locations. Having said that, this is definitely a good automatic ground pool cleaner for Intex pools.

PROS
CONS
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Very affordable
  • Works best with Intex products
  • Might not work well with non-Intex models
  • Might get stuck by wrinkles at the pool’s bottom

Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Cleaner

The Zodiac Ranger Automatic Suction Above-Ground Pool Cleaner is a cleverly designed cleaner with its one moving-part technology. This makes it very quiet yet very efficient earning it a spot here.

The Baracuda Zodiac Ranger comes pre-assembled so installation won’t be a problem. The package includes a 32-feet hose which makes it ideal for small pools. This Zodiac automatic pool cleaner won’t get caught on steps and corners because of its deflector wheels.

While the Zodiac manufacturer says suction automatic pool ground cleaners won’t get stuck even with ladders around, it is probably best if you remove them while cleaning the pool or buy a ladder guard instead.

While the pool rover is very efficient in making your above ground swimming pool squeaky clean, Zodiac does the job silently and without much noise. This is made possible because it only has one moving-part so noise from flappers or hammers is non-existent.

Water flow is automatically regulated with its Flowkeeper valve and insta-skim compact self-adjusting flow control valve. This ensures that the vacuum unit cleans up the entire floor evenly and efficiently.

Those who have bought this above-ground pool cleaner say it’s very easy to use, efficiently cleans and a very silent worker too. You get a very good deal for its price and certainly a top automatic pool cleaner for above ground pools.

PROS
CONS
  • Quiet, no flapping noise
  • Easy installation
  • High Quality and Efficient cleaner
  • Good value for its price
  • Not recommended for Intex and other soft-sided pools
  • Bigger leaves might clog up the unit and cause performance issues

XtremepowerUS Automatic Suction Cleaner

If you look for versatility, then the XtremepowerUS Automatic Suction Pool Vacuum-generic Climb Wall Pool Cleaner is perfect for you. The package comes with 10 hoses which makes it capable of vacuuming up to 30’ pools.

The above ground pool sweeper is one of the most versatile equipment currently available on the market and an affordable one at that. The unit is capable of cleaning all kinds of pool surfaces like concrete, vinyl or fiberglass.

While the equipment can handle a 30’ pool, it is advisable to attach only the necessary number of hoses to sufficiently cover the pool area. If you attach all 10 vacuum hoses even if the pool isn't large, there is a tendency for the unit to get tangled while cleaning. Conversely, if don’t use enough number of hoses, it may result in some areas being out of reach from the unit’s cleaning radius.

There is no need to use tools and the best above ground pool cleaner does not even need electricity to function. However, you need to attach it to your pool’s existing filtration system. The requirement is that the pool pump should be at least 1 hp or 1600 GHP for the unit to operate in its maximum performance.

Remember that above ground swimming pool chemical might corrode the cleaner’s parts. It is therefore recommended that the unit must be taken out of the pool when not in use and that it should be properly rinsed and cleaned before storage.

PROS
CONS
  • Very affordable
  • Easy to install and use
  • Can easily climb pool walls
  • The flow rate is sometimes slow
  • Hose length might not be sufficient for the large models

Pentair 360100 Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark Cleaner

The Pentair 360100 Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark Best Above Ground Pool Cleaner has been around for quite some time but this is the new and improved model.

With the machine's dual-band of bristles coupled with its powerful vacuum, no debris is spared giving it the qualification to be included in this top-rated pool robots guide for 2019.

The cleaner machine cuts a wide 10-inch path which ensures that cleaning your pool will be less hassle and quick. With quicker cleaning time, you’ll get more time to enjoy the pool.

What even more amazing is that with its programmed cleaning feature, Lil Shark will eat all the dirt and debris away without missing a spot, unlike other pool cleaners that leave behind multiple missed spots.

Since you are sure that it would thoroughly clean your above ground pool, you don’t have to worry about it too much, freeing you to do other tasks more important than watching if your automatic inground pool cleaner is doing its job right.

Lil Shark is one tough unit thanks to its simple design with only one moving part. This makes operating it very simple as there is no assembly required.

More importantly, the simple design means that it is extremely durable with a long lifespan; it will continue to faithfully guard your pool against debris for many years to come, which isn't the case with all pool cleaners.

PROS
CONS
  • No assembly required
  • Works great with Intex pools
  • Ideal for smaller pools
  • There are complaints about their units preferring to stick close to the walls while cleaning

Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for (Above-Ground and In-Ground) Pools

As you might have noticed, we’ve also included a sand filter pump in this guide. The reason for this is that while owners want their pools spotless and dirt-free, they also want the water to be as clean and as refreshing as possible.

Fortunately, the machine Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools, 16-inch, 110-120V with GFCI is just perfect for this.

One can always use chemicals to treat their pool waters but a growing number of owners want to solve the issue with a natural approach.

With Intex sand filter pump, you’ll be able to get top-notch water filtration without the need of using chemicals or other pool cleaners.

Sand is known as one of the best natural filtration material around. Sand not only clears the water of algae, but it also softens it making it more refreshed and sanitized. The unit has a 6-function control valve to filter, backwash and rinse, recirculate, drain and close the system.

The vacuum machine also features a 24-hour timer so you can just start the cleansing process and forget about it. For additional peace of mind, the pool pump as a safety feature called Ground Circuit Fault Interrupter (GCFI) which senses any abnormality and automatically cuts off the power to avoid any accidents.

For a natural filtration system, the Intex Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump is surprisingly low maintenance. You only need to change the sand every five years.

PROS
CONS
  • Very low maintenance
  • 24-hour timer feature
  • A natural way of retaining the freshness of your above ground swimming pool water
  • This is a heavy pump machine (because of all the sand)

Polaris Vac Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

Lightweight and versatile, the Polaris Vac Sweep 280 Pressure Side Ronotic Pool Cleaner is one of the most popular types among above ground swimming pool owners.

It works effectively with all kinds of the pool so we have to include it in this pool cleaner round-up.

Its main distinction is that it has a three-wheel base, which makes the equipment lightweight enough so it can be easily used to clean not only the pool bottom and walls but also the stairs.

Its versatility also extends to the different types of pool surface, the Polaris Vac Sweep 280 has no problems cleaning around fiberglass and vinyl surfaces.

It’s also a very fast and efficient worker as it usually gets the work done in 3 hours.

PROS
CONS
  • Lightweight enough, suitable for cleaning walls and stairs
  • Powerful cleaner with extra features
  • Also works on in-ground pools
  • A bit on the expensive side

Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner

The challenge for owners of large above ground swimming pools is to find the right equipment that is capable of cleaning the entire area. Thankfully, the Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner with Dual Scrubbing Brushes is specifically designed for such scenarios that it can even clean pools of up to 50 feet in size.

Compared to Dolphin Escape robotic above ground pool vacuum model, it’s a more robust automatic pool cleaner. With its dual scrubbing brushes, dirt, particles and any debris have no chance of escaping. The Dolphin is also a cut above the rest in terms of how it cleans the pool, and it uses smart navigation to clean the pool more efficiently whether it's a large pool or small.

The pool cleaner has its own filter and internal pump system so there is no need to connect it to the pool’s existing filtration system.

This robotic pool cleaner does not use filtering bags to separate coarse and fine debris, which are very easy to remove and clean.

PROS
CONS
  • Advanced filtration system with easy to remove cartridges
  • Cleans the pool silently
  • Tangle-free robotic pool vacuum operation
  • A bit heavy so it would be a challenge to get the vacuum out of the pool

Factors to Consider When Shopping for an Automatic Pool Cleaner

intex auto pool cleaner best above ground pool vacuum

Not all pool cleaners are created equal. There are those that will do the job better than the others under certain conditions. Thus, buying decisions should take into account certain factors before finalizing the deal.

Pool Size

Obviously, pool size matters. There will always be limitations on the range of cleaning radius for different types of automatic cleaners or pool vacuums.

Buying a pool cleaner that can’t handle the size of your pool might mean that you’ll have to do manual cleaning on missed out areas every day.

Power Consumption

There is usually a battle between the power consumption of a product and also the speed it gets the job done. When you want the pool cleaned in the shortest time possible, you’ll have to choose the best power requirement of the robotic pool cleaner.

Just remember that the higher the power consumption of pool vacuums, the bigger your power bill will get when you vacuum your above ground pool.

Ease of Use

There are best pool vacuums that require very little input or manual effort from their owners to finish a quality job. For instance, there are those which have timers on them so you can just turn them on and forget about them for a while. Generally, a robotic pool cleaner excels in this area.

Meanwhile, there are also pool vacuums that tend to get stuck to corners, steps, and ladders so if you don’t want to intervene too much in the cleaning process, better start reading the vacuum reviews and customer experiences of these products.

Choosing the best above ground pool cleaner will ultimately depend on you as the pool owner.

Just make sure you read the specs of the product (ground pool cleaners) you are interested in and verify it with the store or manufacturers beforehand. You can read more ground pool vacuum reviews online. You can also check the product's review on Amazon.com.

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