First of all let’s start with a comparison of the most sold Inground Pool Cleaners. This are the inground pool cleaners with good ratings and good reviews. When there are new ones on the market I will add them to the best inground pool cleaners list
Or check out this list to read about the more sold Inground Pool Cleaners below and compare summaries of user reports with the main pros and cons of those vacuums according to customers. You can see more features by clicking on them.
Best Inground Pool Cleaners Comparison Table
Update on 2020-11-29 at 11:14 / #Commissions Earned
Best inground pool cleaner Reviews – top 5
Which pool cleaner is the best inground pool cleaners on the market for you? Or more specific for your pool and surroundings. Do you have a pepple-tec pool, a large pool or a pool with all kind of nooks. And are there in your area a lot of acorn trees or perhaps a dessert wind blows lots of fine dust in your pool? Below is this kind of info summarized per inground pool cleaner. First of all you need to choose between robotic vs pressure-side vs suction side inground pool cleaners.
1) Baracuda G3 – Best budget cleaner
The Baracuda G3 works automatically when your pool’s pump works. The G-3’s ease of installation and the fact that it has been successfully tested in some pools that are traditionally difficult to clean, may convince you to lean toward this model. And the price will certainly help too.
Specs: The Baracuda G3 is a suction side pool cleaner which is usable for almost all pool surfaces (tile, vinyl, pebble tec, plaster, etc.. ) and all pool shapes.
Pros of the Baracuda G3: This suction cleaner has proven to be a stable, good quality pool cleaner over time. One of it’s main pros is that it does not need a very strong pool pump which makes it suitable for a large group of pool owners. It is at its best with medium and small debris. Users don’t often report hang ups on drains, corners and other fittings.
Cons of the Baracuda G3: It is a suction side cleaner, this gives it an extra hose and extra usage of your pump. Both can break and are subject to tear and wear. And not to forget it is less suitable for large debris according to consumer reports. Some users report problems with steps. The assembly can be challenging.
2) Polaris Vac Sweep 280 / Polaris Vac Sweep 360 / Polaris Vac Sweep 380
The vac sweep 280, Polaris vac sweep 360 and the Polaris vac sweep 380 are three inground pressure side pool cleaners. They are mainly the same but vary in some small things.
The Polaris 280 is powered by double jets and a booster pump. This particular pool cleaner will scrub and vacuum your pool floor, walls and the steps. It is also able to trap large items that have fallen into your pool in its own filter bag. This model is very easy to unload and to empty the leaf bag, what can be a hassle with some other cleaners. It has an easy initial setup. The difference with the Polaris vac sweep 360 is mainly its booster pump which gives it more power.
Pros of the Polaris 280: There are a lot of happy customers.
Cons of the Polaris 280: You will need a booster pump to make it work. This means extra energy costs, extra maintenance and extra start up costs.
Polaris Vac-Sweep 360
The Polaris vac-sweep 360 is the best sold inground pressure side pool cleaner of this moment in combination with the Polaris 280 and 380 models.
This cleaner does not need a separate booster pump unlike the old 360. The vac-sweep 360 is tuned pretty well right out of the box so that makes for an easy first set up and connection to your pool. For perfect results you can then set up the hose length, the flow and the propelling device angles right.
Pros of the Polaris 360: No need for an extra booster pump.
Cons of the Polaris 360: Less powerful then it’s 2 brothers.
3) Hayward Poolvergnuegen (the poolcleaner) 2x alias the Hayward Aquanaut 200
In the top 5 best suction side Inground Pool Cleaner this year so worth looking at. The Poolvergnuegen alias “the poolcleaner 2x. This cleaner was the bestseller in 2015, before the company was bought by Hayward. They gave this cleaner a new name:the Hayward PHS21CST Aquanaut 200 Suction Drive 2-Wheel Pool Cleaner. And as a consequence of that, it is not in the top of the bestselling list anymore. It was a great cleaner and is again climbing up in the rankings under the new name so we wanted to mention it here anyway.
The Poolcleaner (Poolvergnuegen) 2x 896584000013 or now the Aquanaut 200 specs:
Cleaning Power: The Poolvergnuegen alias “the poolcleaner 2x” is the 2 wheel drive version of their cleaners. This makes the cleaner suitable for small to medium sized pools. This suction side pool cleaner has a great coverage of the pool. It doesn’t get stuck on steps as it has a good working swivel that turns it. By increasing the suction it goes up the walls all the way. To clean the shallow sides an extra hose part helps a lot. It does need a decent amount of suction, if your pool pump can’t deliver that you could check out a few of the latest kreepy krauly’s. (Or buy a booster?)
Convenience: The first setup of this cleaner is simple and straight forward. The fine tuning with the suction power and the length of hose you need takes a bit more of experimenting. The design is durable so it does not need a lot of replacements.
Price: The Poolcleaner 2x for small and medium sized pools costs about $330 on a deal. The Poolcleaner 4x (the 4 wheel drive) for larger or deeper pools costs around the $365. This cleaner can pull more hose around the pool. For special surfaces as tile, vinyl and fiberglass the costs of the special tires will be added to the price. Around the $40.
Pro: It has a super simple design so there is not a lot to break. it is a durable cleaner. All in all this cleaner is good for a lot of different pool shapes. It is also a very silent cleaner. It seems to be good for larger debris too. And the wheels have no problem with uneven surfaces.
Con: The one reported are a wall climbing problem, this is not a fast cleaner, for the average pool it takes about 6 hours. The Hayward Tigershark is faster. With this cleaner the wheels wear out first so especially if you need a 4x (depends on the size of your pool) those maintenance costs will be higher. No brushes for scrubbing loose debris.
Summary: All in all this is a very durable cleaner which is getting good ratings from a lot of reviewers. It is silent and this is a budget friendly cleaner, not as expensive as a few other better known brands. And it has proven itself for a few years on the market now so it seems to be a stayer.
4) Hayward TigerShark – Best inground robot pool cleaner
The Hayward TigerShark QC RC9990GR is a robotic pool cleaner. The costs are in the more upper range for the inground pool cleaners. It is one of the better cleaners on the market today. It is a smart cleaner as it calculates the size of the pool and then programs itself into the most time and energy-efficient cleaning route.
Pros of the Hayward TigerShark: Dirt capacity is big enough for week to week cleaning.
Cleaning is fine and it doesn’t get stuck often on drains, steps, etc.
It is easy to take the filter out of the machine and to insert it back into it. It cleans quickly. When the filter is full, the debris doesn’t drop back into the pool when you take the cleaner out of it. I lift the cleaner out of the pool, the debris stays in the cleaner instead of dumping back into the pool when it is full.
Cons of the Hayward TigerShark: The cord is not on a swivel so it could tangle. It doesn’t happen often though and the tigershark seems to automatically shut itself off. If you have a lot of dirt (for example at the beginning of the season) you ‘ll need to empty the dirt compartment halfway the cleaning cycle.
The cleaner needs to be submerged to clean so that means it will only clean the bottom steps of your pool.
Tip: if your Hayward TigerShark is not climbing the walls it could be in the quick clean mode. Try putting it in the full clean mode to see if this solves that problem.
5) Dolphin Nautilus / Dolphin Nautilus Plus
The Dolphin Nautilus and the Dolphin nautilus plus are robotic pool cleaners that clean thoroughly, often better then a lot of other pool cleaners. But there are faster cleaners.
It’s a Plug-n-play cleaner as it has an easy to clean cartridge filter, so does not need connections to the pool system and no installation is needed to get it started. Cleaning the nautilus is simpler then a bag version, just remove, clean and install the screen.
It has an auto lock off after about 3 hours when it has vacuumed pool bottom, walls and cove but leaving it in the pool is not recommended.
Pros of the Dolphin Nautilus inground pool cleaner: They are relatively fast cleaners. As they have scrubbing brushes it also loosens the dirt which is stuck to the bottom or the wall. It is reported to be especially good for small debris and algae.
Cons of the Dolphin Nautilus inground pool cleaner: There are faster cleaners. They do not scrub the waterline and are heavy compared to other robots. If you are looking for that check out the Dolphin Triton. That one also comes with a caddy, which you have to order separately with this one.
Dolphin nautilus plus
The plus is about $150 more then the nautilus so what are the extras for this one?
The extra advantages above the nautilus are:
– The access to the cartridge is at the top instead of the bottom of the cleaner.
– It has a rapid water release,
– The capacity of the filter is larger.
– Cleaning coverage is regulated by the IntelliScan Technology.
– Turning Radius is a 3-point Turn instead of a soft turn.
– And last but not least the warranty is 2 years instead of one year.
Choosing the Best “inground pool cleaner” – Our Buying Guide.
A Pressure versus a Robot versus a Suction Pool Cleaner; which does your pool need?
Let’s start this buying guide with a description of the three different type of pool cleaners. Once you understand the differences you know better which one is the great swimming pool cleaner for your budget and for your type of pool.
Pressure-side inground pool cleaners
The pressure side pool cleaners are hooked up to your pool pump. More specifically to the water return from the pool pump into your pool. The water pressure coming back into the pool this gives it the pressure the cleaner needs.
This pressure moves the cleaner through the pool. By moving forward there is a suction created which cleans the pool from debris like algae and sand. Pressure side cleaners have their own filters, so the filter of your pump wont have extra work to handle. They do put more pressure on your pools pump and give more tear and wear because of that. And the pump uses a bit more electricity varying on the model pressure cleaner.
Installing pressure side pool pumps is a tad more work then the robot pool cleaners, as there is an extra hose to install and then the pump and the cleaner need to be balanced out so they work together. Sometimes the pressure is not high enough, especially with old or small pumps. An extra booster pump is then required, like with the Polaris vac sweep. (check your pool pump before choosing this type. You need at least 1.5 horsepower.) This type is mostly used by inground pools as by above ground pools the pump is often less powerful.
Normally they don’t have programming functions as they aren’t robot cleaners but they have different methods to make sure they don’t skip parts of your pool.
Robotic inground pool cleaners
Robotic pool cleaners don’t need your pool pump to work, they need a power outlet though. As there are no tubes to istall, handle and maintain this type of cleaner is the easiest to set up.
Electricity: As robot pool cleaners don’t use your pool pump there is no higher electricity bill for them but… They use electricity on their own. On average though, the pump needs less hours when you use a robot cleaner so it is often reported that users see their energy bill go down.
These cleaners are often programmable to cover the pool everywhere. Some even have sensors to “check” where there is still some dirt and clean that part of the pool twice. They often have a swivel cable to prevent tangling of the cord.
All this sounds great but there is of course a reason why not everyone is buying these robot vacuums. And the reason… is the price. They are very costly to buy compared to the other two type of cleaners. This is the main reason why it is used for inground pools. Above ground would work as well but those owners often prefer a budget pool cleaner.
Suction-side inground pool cleaners
Suction-side pool cleaners also attach to the pool pump system. They attach on the other side though, namely the side of the water inlet, the suction port. The debris is sucked up by your pool cleaner and straight int your pool pumps filters. Here you need to clean the debris out of your filter basket out to prevent damage to your pool pump.
As this type also uses the power of your pool pump it is again more subject to tear and wear by the extra usage. And it uses more electricity. Setting up this type of cleaner is like the pressure type, a bit more work. If you have a dedicated suction line it is often not to hard but if you don’t it can be a lot of work.
This type is the favorite under a lot of pool owners. It is not very expensive like the robots and often does a good job of keeping the pool clean. Normally they don’t need very high power pumps, so no booster pumps are needed, which saves some coin too.
Now let’s divide them into 3 types: Robotic / Suction side / Pressure side. Here are the best inground pool cleaners listed according to the 3 types.
– Top 5 Robotic Inground Pool Cleaners
1) Polaris 9550 Sport
This Polaris robotic pool cleaner includes:
- 7-day programmable timer,
- a caddy and it has a remote control which is motion-sensing.
It cleans the tiles up to the water line, does the stairs, and the seats in the corners. When it misses a step you can use the remote to clean it again.
2) Aquabot Junior
The Aquabot Junior Automatic Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner is turning into their classic pool cleaner. Specs: It has a fine filtration bag, dual grip scrubbing brushes, a long 50 inch cable and a plug and play installation. You can choose between a 4 hour cleaning cycle or a continuous run.
Pros of the Aquabot Junior: This robotic pool cleaner cleans the floor and the walls of your pool. It has a proven history for years.
Cons of the Aquabot Junior: It does not clean the waterline as it needs to be submerged in water.
3) Dolphin Triton Plus
The Dolphin Triton. The main pro of this cleaner above the Dolphin nautilus and the dolphin nautilus plus is that it also cleans the waterline. If you don’t have it you need to clean the waterline with a brush before turning your pool cleaner on. And it comes with a caddy which you ‘ll have to buy separately with the nautilus cleaners. As these cleaners are heavy the caddy comes in handy.
The Triton Plus is a Robotic Pool Cleaner in the upper price range and the average customers feedback is good. Compared to the Triton it has top access to the cartridge for easy-cleaning, a 90˚ turning radius, IntelliScan Technology, Rapid Water Release, the remote control is included and it has a weekly timer.
Robotic Pool Cleaners – features compared
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– Top 5 Suction Side / Vacuum Inground Pool Cleaners
1) Baracuda G3
See above for the description.
2) Zodiac MX6
The Zodiac MX6 Suction-Side Cleaner is also a Suction-Side Pool vacuum. It is a nice small cleaner which helps out perfectly with small pools.
Pros of the Zodiac MX6: Seems to work especially good an plaster pools
cons of the Zodiac MX6: Does not work to well on very slick pools like for example fiberglass pools.
3) XtremepowerUS Automatic Pool Cleaner.
The XtremepowerUS Automatic Pool Cleaner is about 3 years old on the list of pool cleaners.
Cleaning Power and Performance: The suction side XtremepowerUS Automatic Pool Cleaner is relatively new on the list of best pool cleaners since a few years. It sounds like a low priced copy cat of the Kreepy Krauly (which it is). This pool cleaner requires at least a 3/4 hp swimming pool pump or 1600ghp to function properly. Good in cleaning algae and small dirt, not good for bigger sized dirt, like twigs and leaves.
Endurance / quality: That is something time will tell us. It is not long enough on the market to read how well it performs after two or more years.
Convenience / user-friendliness: It attaches to the existing filtration system, has an easy set up. No need for tools and no need for electricity. And it works for all pool sizes, all pool shapes and all pool materials.
Price: In the low bottom range.
Pros of the XtremepowerUS: The Price! This makes suction side cleaners available for a lot of pool owners new to automatic pool cleaners.
Cons of the XtremepowerUS: Compared to it’s main concurrent the kreepy Krauly cleaner, it does not feel so durable. It takes time to clean the pool. Some customers complain that it does not take up big leaves and twigs and sometimes a grain of sand can cause the cleaner to stop working.
Summary: On average the cleaner seems to clean good enough. When it works it is a good simple cleaner. But… It does not last as long as the “known brands”. The main problem is that with a lot of customers the cleaner stops working within a few months and you need to be handy to get it working again.
Taking that into your decision it is still worth to consider buying this one as the price is really cheap. You will have to buy new ones often though. Buying a more quality cleaner is probably a more longtime investment (and better for the environment too). I think it will need to stand the test of time before we can really compare the results to other cleaners.
4) Kreepy Krauly GW9500, The Great White
Cleaning Power: The Pentair Kreepy Krauly GW9500 alias the Great White is a suction-side cleaner that hooks up to the skimmer. The GW9500 is a great cleaner for leaves and twigs. It does not pick up small branches but it also doesn’t get stuck on them. It cleans evenly, as wel the bottom as the walls. You can leave it in the pool and it will clean with each cycle of the pool pump. It’s well suited for flat, dish-incline and hopper-bottom pools made of gunite, fiberglass or vinyl and other specialty surfaces. It is designed to clean the deeper parts more then the shallow (as dirt gathers there). When the pressure setting is good then it will clean great.
Convenience: The Great white is easy to install. Connect the hoses and drop it in your pool and ready to go. It seems to be hard to get the pressure right at first. When that is arranged most reviewers seem to be very happy with the GW9500.
Price: It’s relatively cheap and trouble free.
Pro: It doesn’t get stuck often and even when it is it turns itself after a few minutes and is ready to go ahead again. Good cleaner for a pools with a lot of leaves.
Con: Improper pressure setting are a real problem with this cleaner. Lot’s of reviews have problems related to the pressure settings.
Summary: Well worth it’s money and the hustle to set it up properly, especially if you have a lot of trees around your pool.
5) Pentair 360042 Kreepy Krauly
The Pentair 360042 Kreepy Krauly is a Suction-Side pool cleaner. It has attachments to plug it into the pool skimmer. Or it can be used with the vacuum port of the pool. The Krauly randomly roams around in the pool so in the end it cleans everywhere. For larger pools extra hoses are needed to reach all the nooks and crannies. It is also suitable for Pebble tec pools, the suction is strong enough. All in all this product does a reasonable job and the cost is low for what it provides.
Pro’s of the Kreepy Krauly 360042: compared to the cheaper knock offs, this cleaner seems to last longer, like most of the other Kreepy Krauly cleaners.
By changing where you put the weights on the pool line you can influence the performance.
Cons of the Kreepy Krauly 360042: According to reviewers it does get stuck on especially hard to reach places in some pools. Some people who compared this cleaner with others say it gets less often stuck while others say the opposite.
Vacuum Pool Cleaners – features compared
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– Top 5 Pressure Side Inground Pool Cleaners
1) Polaris Vac Sweep 280
See above for the description.
2) Polaris Vac-Sweep 360
See above for the description.
3) Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport
The Polaris 3900 is Polaris most advanced pressure side pool cleaner. They took the pros of all the classical Polaris cleaners and combined this with new engineering (all-wheel PosiDrive system) for maximum vacuum power and max drive force for fast cleaning and few hang-ups.
It is suitable for all pool surfaces. It has a bigger dual-chamber zipped debris bag which makes emptying a breeze. And because of the large size less frequent. A booster pump is required. It also has the TailSweep PRO for better cleaning in corners and preventing water to spray out of the pool. This cleaner also cleans the pool walls? For more info: Polaris Vac-Sweep 3900 Sport FAQ’s
Pros of the Polaris 3900: Not that many reviews yet… but what I found: Good suction power and a solid bag.
Cons of the Polaris 3900: Not that many reviews yet…
Summary: With the older version the rating was so bad I wondered why people even bought it. They say that their new version solved a lot of it’s problems. But first there needs to pass some time before those reviews appear on the web. Until then I would hang to other cleaners or my old one.
4) Hayward TriVac 500
The Hayward TVP500C TriVac 500 suction side pool cleaner.
Pros of the Hayward TVP500C TriVac 500:
Cons of the Hayward TVP500C TriVac 500:
5) Pentair 360228 Kreepy Krauly Racer
The Pentair 360228 Kreepy Krauly Racer is also a pressure side pool cleaner, though a bit more expensive.
It has a large debris opening with a large debris bag. It is driven by a drive shaft to propel the cleaner. These one compares to the Polaris 280 and it also compares a little to their own Letro Legend cleaner.
Pros of the Pentair 360228:
Cons of the Pentair 360228:
Pressure Pool Cleaners – features compared
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Other good inground pool cleaners
Other often bought in ground pool cleaners are these below. As the best sellers list changes daily these cleaners tent to jump in and out the lower spots of the top 10 list.
The Poolcleaner 4x PVN020 896584000020
The Poolvergnuegen alias “the poolcleaner 4x”” is the big brother of the poolcleaner 2x, it is a 4 wheel drive suction side vacuum cleaner which makes it suitable for larger pools. They also claim that this 4 wheel drive makes the cleaner better suitable for getting over obstacles that other cleaners get stuck on. It comes with more hoses for a larger area. It has a great coverage of the pool mainly because it turns itself every 14 feet. This also means it doesn’t get stuck on steps.
By increasing the suction it goes up the walls all the way. It has a super simple design so there is not a lot to break. All in all this is a very durable cleaner which is getting good ratings from a lot of reviewers. It is silent and not as expensive as a few other better known brands. And it has proven itself for a few years on the market now so it seems to be a stayer.
Pros of the poolcleaner 4x: According to the user reviews; it seldom breaks down so low maintenance cost (only the wheels about every 3 years). The cleaning is great. It has a relatively large dirt intake compared to most other cleaners. Algae are getting removed easily. Climbs the walls good.
Cons of the poolcleaner 4x: You do need to have good suction else it won’t work that well. The tires are only suitable for concrete pools, if you have a vinyl or fiberglass pool you will need to buy special tires. Like all cleaners it is not meant for some special dirt types, like too much acorns and to much leaves. But… if you do have this, this cleaner or the Pentair Kreepy Krauly’s are the best cleaners for that larger size of debris.
Kreepy Krauly 360048
The pentair 360048 is a suction side Pool Cleaner. It has good feedback and ratings. With the pleated seal it can be used for either, vinyl and gunite pools. The flat seat can only be used on concrete pools, not on vinyl.
It is an easy to assemble pool cleaner. The design makes it possible to reach the hooks in your pool. Mostly it does not clean steps, it will get stuck or does not reach them as the arm needs to be under the water surface to work.
Best Choice Products Pool Cleaner
The Best Choice Products® Inground Pool Cleaner Is one of the lower budget suction side inground pool cleaners. It is a knock off of one of the Kreepy Krauly models and that makes this cleaner way cheaper. As it has a reasonable good average rating it seems to work good enough. You will need an good sized pump and a non clogged filter and of course no leaks that let air into the system.
Whether the Best Choice Products® Inground Pool Cleaner stands up versus the Kreepy Krauly and is as sturdy and long lasting as the kreepy krauly will show with time.
Hayward 925ADC Navigator Pro
The Hayward 925 ADC Navigator Pro is a suction side cleaner for gunite pools.
Like with the Hayward 2025 ADC Xl there seem to be better pool cleaners available for the same price. The navigator seems to have too many moving parts so it wears down quickly. After a year of two it will need replacement parts.
Some customers are very happy with it though.
Zodiac Baracuda MX8
The Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner is also a Suction-Side Pool vacuum. Cleans the wall and the floor. It uses a cyclonic vacuum technology to maintain cleaning power and allow for a wider cleaning path. The X-Trax tires provide the climbing performance. It is a time proven cleaner.
pros of the Zodiac MX8: It is one of the suction cleaners that does not need a very strong pump to get it going. It has a good pool coverage. The set up is easy. It has a wide cleaning path and cleans the bottom and the walls well. Works good on algae too.
Cons of the Zodiac MX8: The older versions have a bad gear box, they wear out after a year. Baracuda has reworked the gear box so newer ones don’t have this problem. It is not suitable for pebble-tec pools. Take care you don’t buy the old model. Next to that there are often repairs needed after a few years. You should expect a zodiac cleaner to last longer. It is designed for small and large debris but it is not good for large leaves. Though the pool coverage is good, this cleaner tends to get stuck in some pools and needs to be started again.
Hayward 2025ADC PoolVac XL Cleaner
Pros of the Hayward 2025ADC: It is a silent cleaner that is powered by the existing filtration system. It has a programmed pattern for good coverage of your pool and it is quite fast. It is a good cleaner for smaller pools.
Cons of the Hayward 2025ADC PoolVac XL: it requires a strong suction to move around and user reviews mention that it doesn’t climb walls or steps that well. It wears down in about 2 years and then there tend to break a lot of parts so maintenance is costly.
Summary: There are better cleaners then the suction side Hayward 2025ADC for this price. Still it is on the bestsellers list.
Pentair LL505G Kreepy Krauly Letro Legend
The Pentair LL505G Kreepy Krauly Letro Legend is a pressure side inground pool cleaner. It is designed to last a long time. Defects are rare. It’s main competitors are the Polaris 280 and their own Pentair 360028.
Best Inground Pool Cleaners List
Here is the top 10 list of best rated inground pool cleaners for 2019. If you compare these over the last years it is quite constant, just a bit shuffled.
- Dolphin Nautilus / Plus
- Baracuda G3
- Vac sweep 280 / Vac sweep 360 / Vac sweep 380
- Pentair 360042 Kreepy Krauly
- Zodiac MX8
- Hayward Tigershark
- Dolphin Triton / plus
- Aquabot AB Classic
The Best “inground pool cleaners” – Frequently Asked Questions
Conclusion: Picking the Best “inground pool cleaner” – How to Make the Right Selection
What’s your take on inground pool cleaners? Do not hesitate to share your opinion in the comments below!