The Best Above Ground Pool Cleaners in 2022

Bryan Katiewick
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Want to keep your above ground pool clean and sparkling?

Then you should consider getting an above ground pool cleaner. There are a variety of cleaners to choose from, how you care for your pool and previous experience with similar kinds of cleaners will guide you in your choice.

We chose several different kinds of above ground pool cleaners based on a lot of criteria, like price, performance and ease of use.

Some of them may look a bit complicated to use, but in the end, you’ll know which ones work for you.

NameCategoryProduct
Dolphin E10 Automatic Robotic Pool CleanerBest OverallDolphin E10 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac Suction-Side Above Ground Pool Cleaner Blue/WhiteBudget PickPentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac Suction-Side Above Ground Pool Cleaner Blue/White
Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool CleanerUpgrade PickDolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner

1. Dolphin E10 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

Our rating: 9 / 10

Dolphin E10 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

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Pros:

  • Reviews say it is much more powerful than it’s competition and it’s easier to clean
  • Smooth design, fairly lightweight

Cons:

  • Doesn’t work well on solid surfaces such as concrete
  • Some people claim the automatic function didn’t work properly

The Dolphin E10 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner is a highly specialized machine that’s ideal for use on above ground swimming pools of medium size. It’s one of the top performers and offers the best cleaning action as compared to other cleaning models.

The Dolphin E10 is a mid-range robotic pool cleaner that has a larger than average filter bag. It’s easy to install, maintain, and it features an intuitive programming. The E10 is a lot cheaper than it’s competition. It picks up the dirt better than other models and the quality of the filtering system is also superior.

2. Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner

Our rating: 8 / 10

Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner

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Pros:

  • Very small and compact
  • Powerful suction
  • Cleans pool floor, walls, and waterline
  • Does not use a filter
  • Easy to empty

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive
  • Can only be used in pools that are 8 ft deep or less

(N/A for in Ground)

The Dolphin Escape robotic cleaner is a revolutionary product from Dolphin. It is the first in the market to have the capability to clean the water line, as well as the entire pool floor, walls, and waterline.

The compact cleaner comes with a 1-year warranty, and is designed to clean all types of in-ground or above-ground pools, irrespective of their type.

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

Our rating: 7 / 10

Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

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Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Cleans well even though the pump uses less power
  • Minimal setup time
  • The design is simple and intuitive
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty

Cons:

  • Battery runs out quickly
  • Doesn’t always scrub the pool floor

The Zodiac Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner is an affordable and user-friendly way to keep your pool looking its best all season long.

This automatic above-ground pool vacuum is very easy to use, with only three plug-and-play pieces. It uses minimal power to give you excellent cleaning action without the high cost of operating a more powerful pump. Its simple, straight design makes it easy to keep it running, even for the most novice pool cleaners.

The Zodiac Ranger is equipped with a wireless remote to provide ease-of-use, and the LED control lights make it safe for evening use.

4. Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale Suction Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

Our rating: 5 / 10

Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale Suction Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

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Pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Long lead hose
  • Automatically maneuvers the pool
  • Designed and manufactured by top industry brand
  • Comes with a 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • No large debris bag
  • Size is on the larger side

If you are looking for an inexpensive above ground pool cleaner, which does not drain your pool’s water or require any installation, then we recommend The Hayward 900 Wanda the Whale Suction Above-Ground Pool Cleaner.

To use it, you will just need to place it in the pool and turn it on. The cleaner will automatically maneuver the pool using its unique spiral design and can even climb the interior walls.

The Hayward Wanda the Whale does not come with a large debris bag, but it does include a large-capacity debris container you can detach and clean under the tap. This helps reduce the amount of time you spend on cleaning.

5. Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac Suction-Side Above Ground Pool Cleaner Blue/White

Our rating: 5 / 10

Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac Suction-Side Above Ground Pool Cleaner Blue/White

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Pros:

  • Very effective; the only real way to vacuum your pool by hand
  • Equally efficient in small and large pools
  • Extremely durable
  • Suction and floating design
  • Corded and cheaper than most
  • Easy to use

Purchasing a suction or pressure pool cleaner is one of the best investments you can make if you want to keep your pool clean without all the manual labor. Vacuuming an entire pool by hand requires a lot of effort and can take a week or more to complete.

This is something the Kreepy Krauly pool cleaner machined can help you with.

Our top pick is the Kreepy Krauly vacuum-side pool cleaner from Pentair. It features a suction and floating design and is engineered to safely remove dirt and debris from your pool.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What are the best above ground pool cleaners?

A regular above ground pool needs to be cleaned from time to time. Cleaning it yourself is actually quite easy and with the right pool cleaner, you can concentrate on other things that are far more important.

Above ground pool cleaners are ingenious devices that can filter the water in your pool with very little effort on your part. Even small pools can take hours to scrub clean, but a pool cleaner can take care of this quickly, often in an hour or less. They can also be somewhat expensive but it's worth the price if you are often busy and can't spend time cleaning your pool. For more information, read our best above ground pool cleaner reviews.

What is the best robotic pool cleaner for above ground pools?

Above ground pools can be prone to solar degradation. The sun beats down on the pool's surface causing the pool walls to crack causing a ton of damage. To prevent this from happening in the first place, you will want to get a pool cover. The reason that I have this point ranked so high, is because if you have an above ground pool that you want to be completely protected you need a cover.

If you do not have a cover you could use an automatic pool cleaner, but you would have to scrub your pool on a weekly basis. The automatic pool cleaner will do the bulk of your cleaning on its own. There are a few pool cleaners that made our list that aren't automatic and work hand-in-hand with a skimmer to get your pool looking perfect. The automatic ones will do everything for you, you'll plug it in and come back a few hours later and your pool will be completely clean.

What is the best automatic pool cleaner on the market?

So, what is the best automatic pool cleaner? We've reviewed many brands and models, and our recommendation for mid-size automatic pool cleaners is the Hayward TigerShark. This is the best mid-size option because it offers a good balance of price and performance.

If budget isn't a big concern, then we'd recommend considering the Hayward Navigator, which has an above average performance for its size.

For small above ground pools, you have two bigger options, the Dolphin Premier and the Dolphin Escape. The Premier is a great choice if you prefer premium performance, but you might find the price to be prohibitive. If budget constrains, then we recommend the Escape, which continues to be a favorite in its size category.

What is the best thing to put around an above ground pool?

If you're the lucky owner of an above ground pool, you're probably also getting tired of having to get in and clear the filter and skimmer basket of leaves and debris.

But fear not, there are many solutions, ranging from DIY fixes to handy pool maintenance products.

The first thing to do is understand what you're working with. Most above ground pools come with a tough but easy to remove skimmer cover. With just a few quick pulls, the entire basket is free from the water and ready to be raked or hosed out.

It's also helpful to have a net on hand. Fortunately, there is no shortage of "netting" that can be wrapped around the pool and clipped into place. This is a pretty simple solution which keeps debris away from the filter basket and skimmer, allowing them to flow freely so your pump doesn't have extra work to do.

Conclusion

These above ground pool cleaners were all Graded A by our team based on a detailed analysis. They are all suitable to their intended use and do a quality job of cleaning your pool. Each one comes with its own characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. Each one could be a good fit for you depending on your pool and lifestyle. We’ve outlined all the things you need to know to find out which one could be best for you and make the most out of your purchase.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Dolphin E10 Automatic Robotic Pool CleanerBest OverallDolphin E10 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
Pentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac Suction-Side Above Ground Pool Cleaner Blue/WhiteBudget PickPentair K50600 Kreepy Krauly E-Z Vac Suction-Side Above Ground Pool Cleaner Blue/White
Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool CleanerUpgrade PickDolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner