Best Vacuum for Above-Ground Pools for 2020

Having a good pool vacuum cleaner is a very important thing for maintaining pool's crystal blue water and having safe and pleasant swim at home.

Above-ground pool vacuum cleaner must be able to clean both tiny particles as small as bacteria and as large as fallen leaves, it must be simple to use and maintain and it must be cost-effective - even if the initial investment is perhaps slightly higher, over time good pool vacuum cleaner should save money, energy, chemicals, time etc.

Published: January 21, 2020.

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On this page:

- Features and Specifications of Above-Ground Pool Vacuums

- Top 5 Above-Ground Pool Vacuums:

1. Dolphin Escape Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

2. Hayward W3900 Wanda the Whale Above-Ground Pool Vacuum

3. Baracuda W01698 Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

4. XtremepowerUS 75037 Automatic Suction Vacuum Climb Wall Pool Cleaner

5. Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

- Long Story Short         


Features and Specifications of Above-Ground Pool Vacuums

Above-ground pool vacuums differ just like any other vacuum cleaner in size of the vacuum, size of the pool to be cleaned, pool material, vacuum's power source, filtration features, navigation system, etc.

Pool vacuums in general must be able to collect and filter out debris the size of the fallen leaves, but also as small as algae and bacteria.

Filtration systems differ greatly - some above-ground pool vacuums are simply connected to the pool's skimmer and use pool's filtration system, while some carry filtration basket onboard the vacuum and collect the debris just like any other vacuum cleaner.

Pool materials of above-ground pools differ greatly - some above-ground pools are made from soft materials, with the pressure of water providing the actual pool's shape, while other above-ground pools are made using gunite (shotcrete, sprayed concrete), plaster, fiberglass etc. and feature rigid bottom and walls.

As the power source, above-ground pool vacuums use water flow (measured in Gallons per Hour - GPH) or electric power via extension cords.

Note: electricity and water don't go well together. Regardless of the model, before the very first use, it is of utmost importance to read the manual/instructions first and get accustomed to your new unit.  


Top 5 Above-Ground Pool Vacuums

With so many pool vacuums that may be used for vacuuming/cleaning debris from above-ground pools, it may be hard to pick 'the best' ones.

However, we have picked 'the best 5' that perform the best in most common situations - you can agree with us or not, but since we all have different requirements, be sure to choose according to your own needs and preferences.


1. Dolphin Escape Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

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Dolphin Escape Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner is pool robot vacuum cleaner, featuring a pair of 'Hypergrip Continuous' tracks for improved traction, onboard debris cartridge with water filter, 'Hyperbrush Active Scrubbing' brush that helps scrub hard to remove dirt and 'SmartNav 2.0 Robotic Scanning' navigation system for optimized cleaning pattern.

Dolphin Escape weighs only 14 pounds (~6.34 kg) and it comes with 1 year warranty.

Filtration system is able to filter out fine particles, but not as small as algae and bacteria - some chemicals should be used to prevent the buildup of algae and bacteria in the pool.

After the vacuuming, user has to empty the dirt cartridge and clean the cartridge and water filter - for exact maintenance procedures, be sure to check the manual.

Dolphin Escape is simple to use and maintain robot pool vacuum, suitable for pools up to 30 feet (~9 m), one of the best buy models on the market.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).   


2. Hayward W3900 Wanda the Whale Above-Ground Pool Vacuum

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Hayward W3900 Wanda the Whale Above-Ground Pool Vacuum is one of the most cost-effective and affordable above-ground pool vacuums.

Despite looking as if it just came from the cartoon, Hayward Wanda is turbine cleaner designed for cleaning of above-ground pools of all sizes and shapes.

The reason for such acceptable price is that Hayward Wanda relies on the pool's filtration system for power, with its unique turbine/gearing system provides constant water flow ensuring gentle and smooth operation.

Steering system is based on the patented SmartDrive system, ensuring coverage of entire pool floor - this system works great, but it is possible that some spots are left uncleaned, which is not of an issue for the regularly cleaned pools.

Hayward Wanda may be installed in ~10 minutes without tools.

One of interesting features is bumper ring that minimizes friction, steering the unit away from the walls.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Hayward W3900 Wanda the Whale Above-Ground Pool Vacuum Amazon link (link opens in the new window).    


3. Baracuda W01698 Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

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Baracuda W01698 Zodiac Ranger is one of the simplest autonomous above-ground pool vacuum cleaners - it features only one moving part, practically eliminating annoying hammer or flapper noise, ensuring that the unit works quickly and quietly.

Baracuda W01698 Zodiac Ranger features AG cleaning disc which allows the vacuum to glide effortlessly across the bottom of the pool, even up the sides and around steps, cleaning completely the whole pool - of course, with such design, missed spots are inevitable, but this should not be of an issue for regularly vacuumed/cleaned pools.

Also, deflector wheel prevents the unit from being caught in corners or by steps/ladders.

Zodiac Ranger comes almost fully assembled with 32 feet (~9.8 m) of feed hose and may be used in no time - just connect it to the pool's skimmer.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).  


4. XtremepowerUS 75037 Automatic Suction Vacuum Climb Wall Pool Cleaner

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XtremepowerUS 75037 Automatic Suction Vacuum Pool Cleaner is another above-ground pool vacuum cleaner that relies on the power of pool pump. But, it is light, efficient and very popular pool vacuum that has its shortcomings, just like any other similar pool vacuum.

XtremepowerUS 75037 pool vacuum requires at least 1 HP or 1600 GHP pool pump to function properly - it simply attaches to the existing filtration system via 10 included hoses for up to 30 feet (~9.15 m) long reach.

When set properly, XtremepowerUS 75037 should be moving across the pool's bottom at rate of 8 to 12 feet per minute (2.44 - 3.66 m per minute).

Note: XtremepowerUS 75037 features more parts than Zodiac Ranger that should be adjusted for proper operation, including the length of the hose (too short and the unit will not clean the whole pool, too long and it may get tangled), seal clips, eye-ball flow diverter etc. But, when set properly in few minutes, it gets its job done - hence it is one of the most popular above-ground pool vacuums on the market.

XtremepowerUS 75037 is recommended for pools up to 16 x 32 feet (~5 x 10 m).

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check XtremepowerUS Automatic Suction Vacuum Climb Wall Pool Cleaner - 75037 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).   


5. Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

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Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior is designed as fully automatic robotic pool vacuum that cleans any shape, flat-surface pool in 1 hour or less without pulling hoses around the pool.

Unit comes with 40 feet (~12.2 m) of floating cable, with the collected dirt being stored in reusable filter bag, being able to capture 2-microns or larger particles.

Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior uses non-marring wheels for locomotion over the pool's bottom, while E-Z swivel device ensure, at least in theory, tangle-free operation.

Note: Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior features 2-hour automatic shut off timer.

Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior uses 24 water pump for creating water flow, but it is also, via so-called 'Hydro-Robotic Technology' used for propelling the unit - there are no complex drive motors that may increase complexity and price.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner Amazon link (link opens in the new window).   


above groud pool vacuum mLong Story Short: Above-ground pool vacuums are used for keeping the pools' water clean and safe for swimming by collecting various types of debris, including leaves, twigs, hair, pollen, but also, if possible, algae and bacteria.

Good pool vacuum can decrease the use of chemicals, and decrease the pool's maintenance costs.

Since requirements for these units differ significantly, be sure to choose according to your own personal needs and requirements - after all, we are all different and so are the pool vacuums' requirements.

Again, whatever you do, be sure to do according to the manual/instructions that came with your unit.