Best Pressure Side Pool Cleaners for Inground & Above Ground Pools

Keeping your pool water crystal clear takes quite some work as you need to do some thorough cleaning almost every day. Although there are many tools you can use for this, nothing beats having the best pressure side pool cleaner.

Pressure side pool cleaners use pressure from your pool’s booster pump to power themselves and create a vortex that picks up debris from the pool and into the attached debris bag. These pool cleaners do a better job picking up medium to large debris than the suction side pool cleaners.

When you go out to shop for a good pressure side pool cleaner, there will be almost countless options to choose from, which can be confusing. This guide aims to make the choice easier for you with our recommendations and by explaining what to consider.

3 Best Pressure Side Pool Cleaners – Review 

1. Best Overall: Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 Pressure Inground Pool Cleaner 

Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 is our best overall model as it cleans fast, efficiently and guarantees maximum pool coverage. The pool cleaner moves faster than many other models out there to ensure it cleans the entire pool in less than 3 hours.

You can use this pressure side pool cleaner on all inground pools as it will work on any pool shape and is also safe for use on all surfaces, including vinyl, fiberglass, and gunite. Better still, it ensures a more thorough job by cleaning both pool walls and floor.

The single-chamber bag on this pool cleaner captures all kinds of pool debris, from the larger ones like leaves to smaller ones like pebbles. This bag includes a zipper enclosure that makes emptying a breeze.

There is also a sweep hose that makes it easy to clean corners, steps, and other hard-to-reach areas, and the unit includes a 31-foot feed hose that you can adjust to suit your pool size.

While this pressure side pool cleaner is relatively more expensive, its quality and the service it delivers make it worth every buck.


  • Quick pool cleaning
  • Suitable for use on all inground pool
  • Ideal for removing all debris
  • Cleans both pool walls and floor


  • Relatively expensive

2. Zodiac F5 Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner 

With Zodiac F5 Polaris Vac-Sweep 280, you get a 31-foot long feed hose that you can adjust to fit any pool size. Better still, the pool cleaner is safe on all pool finishes, which allows you to use it on almost any inground pool.

The pressure side pool cleaner includes double venture jets that provide more vacuum power to ensure you can clean faster, and you should finish the job in less than 3 hours. There is also a high-capacity zippered debris bag that ensures you do not have to empty it before finishing the job.

You can also be sure the pool cleaner will not miss the larger debris as it includes a massive 2-1/4-inch vacuum inlet. Similarly, cleaning corners and steps should be more effortless for you with the inclusion of a sweep hose.

This pressure side pool cleaner needs a booster pump, which might be a little inconvenient as it means extra cost for you. However, a dedicated booster pump is always better as it ensures more powerful and consistent performance.


  • Long and adjustable feed hose accommodate most pool sizes
  • More powerful vacuum for faster cleaning
  • Works for all inground pool surfaces
  • Collects bigger debris with the larger vacuum inlet


  • Requires a separate booster pump

3. Zodiac 6-130-00T Polaris Turbo Turtle Pressure Side Pool Cleaner 

If you have an above ground swimming pool and prefer to use the pressure side pool cleaner, the Zodiac 6-130-00T Polaris Turbo Turtle is your best bet. The pool cleaner works for all above ground pools as it is effective up to 5 feet deep.

Another element making it a perfect fit for an above ground pool is that it is a low-pressure model that works with standard filtration systems and pumps you get on most of these pools. Therefore, you will not need to invest in a booster pump, making this an even more cost-effective pool cleaner.

Besides vacuuming the pool floor, it will also sweep the sides and loosen debris in hard-to-reach areas like corners and steps to ensure even more thorough pool cleaning.  Better, still installing it is super easy as there are no complicated connections to make.

Managing the debris should also be easier as the pressure side pool cleaner comes with an easy-to-remove filter bag. One more thing that many pool owners love about this pool cleaner is that it also looks great on the pool.

The hose is not good enough, as it seems to curl up and tangle easily. However, leaving the hose out in the sun for a while softens it and minimizes the curling up. If this does not work, you can still replace it with a better hose for a few bucks.


  • Works for all above ground pools
  • Ensures thorough cleaning by loosening dirt and debris
  • Quick and easy installation
  • Comes with a convenient and easy to remove filter bag


  • Needs a better hose

How Do Pressure Side Pool Cleaners Work?

How Do Pressure Side Pool Cleaners Work

A pressure side pool cleaner will consist of several components, but the most crucial ones are the wheels, a sweep hose, a return-jet hose, and a filter bag. They hook up to the return jet on your pool’s filtration system using the return-jet hose.

These pool cleaners often require a dedicated booster pump to work, so they might not be ideal for use on pools without one and with no room for mounting it.

Once hooked up to your pool, these pool cleaners will rely on the pool’s return water to propel itself around the pool floor as it picks up the debris. As it moves, it creates a suction vortex, which pulls debris from the pool to the filter bag attached at the top.

The cleaner will move in random motions, which helps ensure it covers as much area of the pool as possible. Also, most models include a backup valve to help ensure they do not get stuck.

If the pool cleaner gets stuck, the backup valve kicks in and stops the water flow into the machine. Instead, water is forced out through tiny jets on the valve to produce a burst of force, which helps free the cleaner by shoving it to a different part of the pool.

Therefore, with the pressure side pool cleaners, you hardly ever have to worry about whether they are doing their job or not as it is hard for them to get stuck permanently.

Guide to Buy the Best Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

How to Buy the Best Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

1. Pool Type

The pool type you have should be at the top of your mind when choosing a pressure side pool cleaner as you want to make sure what you pick can work for your above or inground pool.

Some pressure side cleaners like the Zodiac 6-130-00T Polaris Turbo Turtle are explicitly designed for above ground pools. Others like the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 will only work for an inground pool.

The difference in depth between the above and inground pools and other things like the pool size and filtration system makes it crucial to pick the right pool cleaner.

2. Booster Pumps

Booster pumps are what will power your pressures side pool cleaner, and so they should be at the top of your mind when you decide what to buy.

If you prefer a cleaner with high suction power, the chances are you will need to install a separate booster pump as what your pool uses might not be sufficient. These pumps do not come cheap, so you need to decide if you are ready to spend more to get the extra cleaning power.

However, if you choose a low-pressure pool cleaner, you do not need to invest in a separate booster pump since what you have in your pool should be enough.

That said, make sure you keep your filtration system clean to ensure the pump pressure does not drop, as this can affect the functioning of the pool cleaner.

3. Bag Size and Material

The debris bag plays a crucial role in a pressure side pool cleaner. As you try to choose a good model, you also need to consider the bag size you get and the material to ensure you get the best service.

A large bag that can hold more debris is always preferable as it allows the machine to run for extended periods without forcing you to stop it so you can empty the debris bag.

Most manufacturers do not specify the capacity of their bags, but they are often large enough to hold the debris the machine collects in the 3 hours many models take to clean the pool.

Also, if your pool is close to trees and other sources of high volumes of debris, you can go for models that come with an extra debris bag. An extra bag allows you to switch them instead of emptying.

When it comes to the debris bag material, make sure it can hold debris like sticks or seeds without tearing and making a massive mess in your pool.

4. Ease of Setup/Maintenance

An automatic pressure side pool cleaner should give you an easy time. Hence, as you choose one, you must check the ease of setup and maintenance to ensure that it will not give you a hard time.

Hooking up the pool cleaner to your pool is perhaps the trickiest part, but something that comes with clear directions will ensure you have an easy time.

When it comes to maintenance, the most important job is emptying the debris bag. A model that uses a simple mechanism to keep the bag in place will be perfect. Other things like hardware replacement when needed should be easy if the model you choose comes with a good manual.

Bottom Line 

You can be sure of getting an effective way of keeping your pool debris-free by investing in the best pressure side pool cleaner. Finding one should now be more effortless as our guide and review above make it easy to narrow down your choices.

That said, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 380 Pressure Inground Pool Cleaner is our top overall recommendation. This powerful pressure side pool cleaner will clean the pool in under 3 hours, work for all inground pools, and capture small and large debris.

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