Cleaning your pool is one of the most important aspects of any pool owner's house holding duties. When you buy a new house, or get a new pool installed from scratch, you will most likely not have the benefit of it coming with an automatic pool cleaner. This is where you will have to do your research and find out which pool cleaner can not only clean the best, but do so without breaking the budget.
Here we have listed 5 of the most popular brands today, along with a brief overview of their positive and negative features.
*Please note that all pool cleaners listed are for IN GROUND pools, unless otherwise stated.*
1. Polaris 280 Pressure Side Vacuum pool cleaner
The Polaris pool cleaner and pump works by sending high pressured air through the hose the Polaris is attached to, thereby spinning the wheels and moving the cleaner. Every few minutes a switch mechanism activates and reverses the pump direction to prevent it from getting stuck in any one area.
Polaris offers four current models of their eponymous pool cleaner, the 280, 360, 380, and the 3900. Despite what you may think, the 280 has been shown to be the most durable as well as the most cost effective of the Polaris line up. It is also the easiest to clean.
Buying a Polaris 280 will cost you about $350-$400 dollars, if you buy it online. If you chose to buy it in a retail store you may end up paying upwards of $420. This markup is commonplace among most pool cleaners.
Users have given the Polaris generally favorable reviews, and praise its innovative zigzag patterns, pump system, and large filtration area.
2. Dolphin Pool Cleaner
The Dolphin is a much more complex cleaner than the Polaris 280, but is also more prone to breaking down. The robotic Dolphin not only pumps debris into a filter, but also scrubs the bottom of the pool, the walls, and filters microfiber contaminants out of the water. There is also an on board software program which monitors the progress of the pool clean and can automatically shut itself off. The Dolphin also comes with a remote control so you can activate and control the device at a distance.
The Dolphin cleans by using a rotating drum with a brush on the end. While the cleaning motion is effective, it is not very durable.
Many users have reported mechanical failures with the Dolphin and a frequent need to buy spare parts. This is on top of the Dolphins already heavy price tag, which tops out at almost $1,000 dollars.
3. Hayward 2025 Pool Vac XL
The Hayward Pool Vac has the added benefit of being powered by your own filtration system and not needing any secondary pump. There are no bags to use, and the crawler sends debris directly from the machine to your filter.
The Hayward's main selling point can also be its main downside. Many users have reported that any hard and small debris that has gotten into their pool has clogged the system. This could range from things as small as rocks, such as those common in yards across Arizona, to larger "items" such as dead birds, lizards, or mice. If one of these gets stuck in the system you will have to open it up yourself and pull it out.
Other than that, the Hayward does a thorough job of canvassing pools and ensuring that every area is vacuumed and cleaned.
The Hayward usually costs about $400 online and $450-$500 in-store.
Hayward 2025 Pool Vac XL
4. DirtDevil WhisperVac
While Dirt Devil is known for offering out of water vacuums in the home, they also offer a selection of pool vacuums as well.
This particular device looks much like an external attachment for a vacuum and cleans any in ground pool automatically. It canvasses walls, floors, and steps without getting stuck.
The main benefit of the WhisperVac is that it only has one moving part. There are no wheels or gears, just a singular moving device. The only part that may wear down is the inner rubber panel that separates the hose from the suction. These run about $20 and will unfortunately stifle the machine if a tear occurs.
Like the name implies, the Whispervac is unusually quiet, unlike some of its more expensive competitors.
The WhisperVac retails at about $145 after an $85 dollar mail in rebate.
5. Pentair Kreepy Krauly 9500
The Kreepy Krauly line has been a staple of in ground pool owners for many years, and for good reason. Their products are usually dependable and generally fare better than other cleaners at the same price range.
The Krauly comes with an optional attachment for a dedicated cleaner port, a pole attachment so that it can be used manually, and a flow gauge to continually monitor the cleaner’s progress. It also has a brush on the end of the suction for added cleaning power on walls and floors.
The Kreepy Krauly's price varies, but usually retails for about $300-$350.