Best Above Ground Pool Cleaners 2017 – Comprehensive Guide

NOTE: This guide is for Above Ground Pool Cleaners. We also have an In Ground Pool Cleaner Guide.

Practical. Clean. Bacteria-free. This is what we aim our above ground pools to be. If you don’t want to swim with algae, leaves, and debris, then you’d love a pool cleaner. Above ground pools, unlike in-ground pools, are easier to operate and maintain. Maintaining them is a must. Your kids won’t take pleasure in a pool with water that looks disgusting. Don’t ruin your summer with filthy pool water.

Cleaning the above ground pool in your backyard is time-consuming and may be a bit dull. If you don’t have a budget for a professional pool cleaner, that’s another problem. But that’s when pool cleaners come in. They allow you to swim in clean, sparkling water without worrying about algae build up and green water. In order to trap dirt, leaves, and other debris in the filter bags, you need a pool cleaner. They offer a great amount of help as they clean every inch of your pool—from the walls, stairs, to the waterline. So if you want more time to swim instead of spending most of your summer afternoons manually cleaning your pool, then get a pool cleaner that will work with your existing pool’s pump and filter.

Pool cleaners allow you to save energy, chemical, and water. They are efficient in cleaning and can be installed easily. You don’t even need to upgrade your pump. You can just leave one in the pool and continue your house chores or whatever it is you need to do. Aside from that, they are easy-to-maintain, and they have warranties.

Hayward 500 Aqua Bug Above-Ground
Hayward 500 Aqua Bug Above-Ground
Suction Side1 Year4.1/5$$
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Our Review
Zodiac Ranger Suction Side
Zodiac Ranger Suction Side
Suction Side1 Year4.0/5$$
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Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover JuniorAquabot APRVJR Pool Rover JuniorRobotic1 Year3.7/5$$$$
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Top Above Ground Pool Cleaners Reviewed

There are various choices to choose from and you can even get a stylish pool cleaner with a limited budget. If you’re asking, “Out of all the products, what is the best above ground pool cleaner?” Then you’re on track. This guide will help you choose the best one for your budget—limited or unlimited—by presenting you above ground pool cleaner reviews.

#1 Hayward 500 Aqua Bug Above-Ground

Hayward 500 Aqua Bug Above-Ground

There are other pool cleaners that declare how amazing they are. But if you’re really looking for the most amazing one there is, then it is definitely the Aqua Bug. With a unique gearing system, an advanced head design, and a deluxe bumper ring, this pool cleaner is undoubtedly worth your $132. It’s one of the best above ground pool cleaners for the money.

Its unique turbine system provides constant balanced water flow without being loud. It moves gently across the bottom of your pool, as well, so it only cleans and not damages. The advanced, contoured head design allows the steering pattern to finish in no time. And its deluxe bumper ring minimizes friction for easy movement away from walls. It also prevents the programmed steering pattern from beginning again. Plus, you can install this without tools in under 10 minutes! All these features plus its one year warranty make it worthy to be on our list.

However, even the most renowned products still have flaws. For instance, the Aqua Bug, according to some customers, tends to clean a single area over and over again. Others also mentioned that aside from it being slow, it also gets clogged easily.

#2 Zodiac Ranger Suction Side

Zodiac Ranger Suction Side

This dependable pool cleaner effectively removes dirt, leaves, twigs, debris, pebbles, and small insects from your pool, including dished out bottoms up to 72 inches. It features a unique, large deflector wheel that prevents it from getting caught on pool stairs and corners. Eliminating flapper noise from most pool vacuum cleaners is also possible because of its one moving part technology. It’s actually one quick and quiet pool cleaner.

The Ranger comes pre-assembled and has a 32 feet extra hose. It also highlights its unique AG Disc that allows the cleaner to glide effortlessly across the base of your pool,  even up to the sides and around steps. Its Flowkeeper Valve and Insta-Skim Compact self-adjusting flow control valve is another worth mentioning feature. It regulates water flow and ensures top performance of the Ranger. This pool cleaner is easy to maintain and operates simply as well.

On the other hand, let me be honest with you by telling you that it may arrive with some parts missing. Other customers also noticed that it does not clean their entire pool evenly, as it misses large spots dirty. You can redirect it by hand, of course, but that would be a tedious thing to do after every 15 minutes.

#3 Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior

Aquabot APRVJR

With a power supply transformer, a 40-feet floating cable, and a built-in 2-micron fine reusable filter bag, the Aquabot Pool Rover Jr. is unquestionably the best above ground pool cleaner on the market. Priced at $280, it’s powered by a 24-volt pump motor that provides vacuum suction and jet-drive propulsion. You’ll be amazed by how it works with only a touch of a button.

What’s more, it’s fully automatic robotic cleaner vacuums an above ground pool in any shape, may it be oval, circle, or rectangle. Without heavy and long hoses, it can still leave your pool spick and span in less than an hour! What makes it even better than other products is its 2-hour automatic shut-off timer that reduces water, chemical, and energy costs. What kind of pool owner wouldn’t want that?

BUT even this one has cons. For one, new models tend to miss some spots preventing a completely clean pool, unlike the models they’ve sold way back 2000. The motor may also undergo corrosion that will leave brown residue on the filter bag. Also, the 40-feet floating cable is not durable and some customers mentioned that it tangles almost always.

Above Ground Pool Cleaner Buying Guide

There are a lot of factors to consider when buying the Best Above Ground Pool Cleaner. Refer to the ones below to help you choose.

  1. Price and Brand
  • You must first determine how much you’re willing to spend for a pool cleaner.
  • It’s easier to choose when you know your price range.
  • If you have an unlimited budget, money won’t be an issue.
  • The more prominent the pool cleaner’s brand is, the more you have to spend because the features will be much better than those with lower quality.
  1. Type of Pool Cleaner
  • Pool cleaners may be manual or automatic.
  • Manual cleaning requires more time from the pool owner. It needs a pool vacuum, a pool skimmer, and a pool brush.
  • Automatic pool cleaners can be suction, pressure, or robotic.
  • Suction cleaners attach to your skimmer box through a hose. They use the suction created by your filtration system to suck up dirt. Suction cleaners are cheaper than the other two and are easy to install. Most pool cleaners today are suction types.
  • Pressure cleaners are more powerful than suction cleaners and are more expensive as well. They connect directly to your pool’s filtration system and use the filter’s power to shoot jets of filtered waters at the sides and bottom of your pool. They can reach tight corners; collect sand, pebbles, and leaves; and can be faster than suction cleaners.
  • Robotic cleaners run from an outside power source instead of your pool’s filtration system. They run on wheels or tank treads and have filter bags. These bags are removable for easy cleaning. Robotic cleaners are great for large pools and they are more convenient than the previous two.
  • Depending on your budget, you should choose which type you can afford.
  1. Adjustability
  • A great pool cleaner should be able to adjust easily regardless of your pool shape and pool size.
  • A good pool cleaner allows you to adjust the hose buoyancy and main flow.
  • Cleaners with deflectors are better than those without because they won’t get stuck in one spot.
  • Also, consider pool cleaners that can still work with your pool covers on especially if you have a large tree in your backyard and its leaves are always falling down to your pool. If this is the case, then a pool cover is necessary.
  • Of course, a pool cleaner that can work without a hose would be better.
  1. Hose Length
  • Other cleaners need a hose while others do not require one.
  • Most high-end pool cleaners do not need one. But they are more expensive.
  • If you can’t afford one that doesn’t need a hose, then settle with one that has a hose long enough to reach one end of your pool to the other. However, make sure the hose is longer than your pool. An extra meter or two meters will do.
  • A pool cleaner with an underwater cable swivel can solve your problems about tangled cables. If it doesn’t come with the pool cleaner you chose, then you can just buy a cable swivel separately.
  1. Ability
  • Most high-quality pool cleaners can go up your pool steps.
  • Pool cleaners that can climb up steps are better because they offer total cleaning for your entire pool.
  • Only a few pool cleaners can remove algae and other bacteria from vertical surfaces like walls, steps, and stairs.
  • Also, mind the time it takes to clean your entire pool.
  • The power of your vacuum should also be considered in buying.
  1. Energy Efficiency
  • Latest pool cleaners now feature energy-efficient 24 volt DC motors that spend 80% less energy per hour than AC motors.
  • Usually, they operate only on 100-200 watts compared to the older models that consume 1000 watts.
  • Before buying, check the motor used for that product.
  1. Noise
  • This refers to the sound the pool cleaner produces as it cleans your pool.
  • Some pool cleaners are made to produce no noise at all.
  • They are better than those that are a little loud simply because they won’t disturb your afternoon naps or overpower the volume of your television.
  • But don’t worry, pool cleaners today are made to work with minimal or zero noise.


Above Ground Pool Cleaners, whether they’re pressure, suction, or robotic type, they still clean your pools. They come in many variations, sizes, and features to suit your specific needs. These cleaners have different price tags but even low priced ones allow you to have more time to bask in your summer instead of manually cleaning your pool to achieve a shimmering, spotless pool.

With a plethora of pool cleaners, selecting the best one for you may be difficult. But with proper guidance, it will be easier. The purpose of this guide is to present to you the top three above ground pool cleaners to help you set a standard. In case you cannot afford the first one I recommended, then at least you know what to look for in a pool cleaner by reading the buying guide and tips I included in this guide.

Always remember that you should narrow down your choices based on what your pool needs. Models have been improved now and they are better than the ones sold years ago. Choose wisely and carefully by reading reviews of products as well. Don’t forget to weigh the perks and drawbacks. There is a lot of points to consider from features to price tags. Hopefully, I have made it easier for you to decide.