7 Best Suction Pool Cleaners for Inground Pools & Above Ground Pools
You can use different equipment to clean your pool, but few are as easy to use and budget-friendly as the suction pool cleaners.
With the best suction pool cleaner, cleaning your pool will be almost effortless. You will only need to connect it to the intake side of the pool pump, and it will do everything else automatically.
That said, there is a wide variety of suction pool cleaners out there, which can make it hard to decide what to buy as each model claims to offer excellent service.
However, in this guide, we help narrow down your options by reviewing some top-performing models and telling you what to consider when making up your mind.
7 Best Suction Pool Cleaners – Review
1. Best Overall: Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner
The Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner seems to tick every box from high suction power to easy maneuverability, which is what makes it our best overall suction pool cleaner.
The pool cleaner uses cyclonic vacuum technology to ensure it will provide maximum debris capture and pool cleaning. Also, it is super easy to install as it connects directly to the pool skimmer and can also work with a 1.5-inch vacuum line.
When it comes to the pool navigation, you can be sure of maximum pool coverage thanks to the X-drive technology that also ensures zero hang up. Additionally, you can easily control where the suction pool cleaner goes as it uses X-Trax tires that give it superior maneuverability and excellent climbing.
You can use this pool cleaner on any pool surface, from vinyl to concrete. What’s more, it works well even in a low flow pool, thanks to the ultra-efficient design.
Price is the only gripe with this model as it is one of the priciest on our suction pool cleaner review, but you can be sure it is worth every buck.
- Efficient and powerful suction
- Easy to maneuver and with superior climbing power
- Excellent pool coverage with no hang-ups
- Works for all pool surfaces
- Relatively pricier
2. Value for the Money: XtremepowerUS 75037 Automatic Climb Wall Pool Cleaner
With the XtremepowerUS 75037, you can be sure of getting excellent value for money. It comes at a great bargain for a model that works great for cleaning both walls and floors, and it is hard to beat its quality and service without spending more cash.
Setting up the pool cleaner should be quick and almost effortless. You only need to connect it to the pool’s filtrations system without having to use any tools. Additionally, it is an easy model to use as it is self-navigating to ensure automatic operation.
The pool cleaner will work for almost any pool size as you can extend the hose up to 30 feet. What’s more, it is super easy to maintain as there are no wheels that can jam or gears to give you problems.
The materials seem a little light gauge, but you will be surprised at how well they hold up, and with proper care, the cleaner should last a long time.
- Comes at a great price to ensure value for money
- Cleans both floors and walls
- Easy set up with no tools needed
- Completely automatic operation
- Light gauge materials
3. Best for Inground Pools: Zodiac G3 Suction-Side Inground Vacuum Pool Cleaner
The Zodiac G3 Suction Side will be a perfect choice for you if you have an inground swimming pool. With this pool cleaner, you can quickly clean the walls, floors, and steps to ensure you never miss any part of your inground pool.
With this cleaner, you can also be sure of little to no maintenance as it uses a long-life diaphragm with only one highly reliable moving part.
Also, it has a 36-fin disc that enhances adhesion on any pool surface to ensure it can work for any inground pool type regardless of the finish type. The disc also helps prevent hang up on pool fittings and other things like drain covers and lights.
Installing this suction pool cleaner is relatively straightforward, and when you buy it, you will also get a highly durable and scuff-resistant hose.
This suction pool cleaner struggles a little with larger debris, and it is also prone to clogging under heavy usage. However, both are minor issues you can live with for its price since it does a good job cleaning the pool.
- Durable and low maintenance diaphragm
- Cleans the entire pool thoroughly
- Adheres well to most pool surfaces with no hang-up
- Durable and scuff-resistant hose
- Struggles with large debris
- Still prone to clogging
4. Pentair 360042 Kreepy Krauly Suction-Side Inground Universal Pool Cleaner
The Pentair 360042 Kreepy Krauly is the ideal suction pool cleaner for you if you want to be sure of never missing any spot in your pool. It uses a dive float directional system that guides it throughout the pool from the water line to the bottom.
Besides maximum coverage, you can also be sure of a more thorough cleaning job. The pool cleaner has an automatic valve that regulates the travel speed to ensure each spot gets maximum attention. Also, it has cleaner wings for directing the debris into the filtration system.
You never have to worry about this pool cleaner having difficulties when it gets to ladders and steps, as this model includes a roller strap for easy maneuvering around them.
With this suction pool cleaner, you also get better floor-to-wall coverage, and since it only has one moving part, you can be sure of many years of dependable performance. What’s more, there are also no gears or wheels that need replacement.
This pool cleaner comes with only two weights, which can be an issue for deeper pools. However, you can always get more weights for a few extra bucks if you need them.
- Provides maximum pool coverage
- Minimal maintenance as there is only one moving part
- Clean maneuvering around steps and ladders
- More thorough cleaning with automatic travel speed regulation
- Comes with two weights only
5. Hayward W3PHS41CST AquaNaut 400 Suction Pool Cleaner
The Hayward W3PHS41CST AquaNaut is the perfect suction pool cleaner for you when you have to deal with large debris. It uses a patented V-flex vane technology to maximize power regardless of the water flow rate.
Additionally, the pool cleaner has an adjustable roller skirt that ensures constant suction throughout, making it even more efficient. Also, there are three interchangeable throats to accommodate different pool pump speeds.
Navigating through the pool floor should be a breeze, thanks to the high-traction wheels that give it superior climbing power and smooth motion on any pool surface. Additionally, there are preprogrammed steering sequences that will help ensure maximum pool coverage.
Although this suction pool cleaner is quite pricey compared to other models on our list, its rugged build quality and superior cleaning performance make it worth the extra cost.
- High-quality wheels move well on any surface
- Picks up large debris without clogging
- Retains constant suction throughout
- Advanced steering capability
- Relatively pricey
6. Intex Recreation Corp FBA_28001E Intex Auto Pool Cleaner
If you have an Intex above ground pool and are looking for a hassle-free way of keeping the floor clean, the Intex Recreation Corp FBA_28001E will be a good buy. This pool cleaner includes an automatic direction reverse that will allow it to cover the entire pool floor.
You can also be sure of many years of excellent service as it features some heavy-duty materials that include heavy gauge plastic housing to ensure it holds up well.
Provided your filter pump can deliver a flow rate of at least 1,600 GPH, this suction pool cleaner should work well for you. Also, it should be effective enough for models with a flow rate of up to 3,500 GPH making it suitable for use with most above ground pool filter pumps out there.
Setting up the suction pool cleaner should also be more effortless as it will attach easily to your existing pool inlet. What’s more, it comes with a 24-foot long hose that should be adequate for most above ground pools.
The hose quality needs some improvement to make it more rugged and long-lasting. However, it should not be a deal-breaker as you can always replace it with something better.
- Highly durable thanks to the heavy-duty materials
- Cleans entire pool with automatic direction reverse
- Works with a wide variety of filter pumps
- Easy attachment to existing pool inlet
- Provided hose is not very good quality
7. Hayward W3925ADC Navigator Pro Suction Pool Cleaner
A good suction pool cleaner is always one that allows you to clean the entire pool without missing a spot like the Hayward W3925ADC Navigator Pro. With this pool cleaner, you get maximum floor-to-wall coverage thanks to the preprogrammed SmartDrive steering pattern.
What’s more, the suction pool clean will give you superior debris pickup. It achieves this by using a wide vacuum inlet, unique wing design, and constant suction power.
The advanced suction design ensures that this pool cleaner will clean more efficiently without producing too much noise. Also, it does not have pulsating hoses or multiple noisy movable parts, making it an even quieter model.
Maintaining this suction pool cleaner is quick and easy as it does not leave a mess behind and has fewer parts. Better yet, you can connect it in just a few minutes, and you can either use a skimmer or the suction port.
One gripe that some pool owners seem to have with this suction pool cleaner is that the hose looks relatively short, but you can solve this issue quickly by getting more sections for an extension.
- Covers entire pool
- Provides a quieter operation
- Efficient debris pickup
- Easy maintenance and installation
- Relatively shorter hose
Guide to Buy the Best Suction Pool Cleaner
1. Running Requirements
Before you settle on any suction pool cleaner, you need to ensure it will be adequate to use on your pool by looking at the specific running requirements.
Remember that these pool cleaners work with your filtration system and pool pump. Hence, it is crucial to make sure the cleaner you choose can work with the specific flow rate your pump delivers, and your filtration system can handle the debris it picks up.
Most suction pool cleaner models out there require a flow rate of at least 1,500 GPH and a pump with a power rating of 1 HP.
2. Suction Power
The suction pool cleaner will rely a lot on your pool’s filtration and pump, but whatever you buy still needs to deliver adequate suction power to ensure it can pick up debris.
Suction power largely depends on the pool cleaner’s design and the technology it uses to operate. For example, the Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner uses cyclonic vacuum technology that gives it more suction power for maximum debris pick up.
3. Pool Compatibility
The suction pool cleaner you choose needs to be compatible with your pool to work well for you. What this means is that it should be suitable for both the pool size and the surfaces.
Suction pool cleaners can work for most pool shapes, but they are often limited to handling a particular size. For example, the Hayward W3PHS41CST AquaNaut will work well for pools up to 20′ x 40′ as it might not navigate effectively on anything larger than this.
Those with large pools will require a suction pool cleaner that delivers higher suction power and gives broader and deeper coverage.
When it comes to pool surfaces, some models like the Zodiac G3 Suction-Side Pool Cleaner are safe for use on any pool surface as its 36-inch disc adheres well to any material. However, some other types can only work on specific surfaces like vinyl or gunite.
4. Quiet Operation
Chances are your pump is already quite noisy, and so you do not want to worsen the situation by getting a suction pool cleaner that produces even more noise.
That said, it is crucial to look for something that will give you a quieter operation. Models with fewer movable parts like the Zodiac G3 Suction-Side Pool Cleaner, which only has one moving part in its diaphragm, will give you the quietest operation.
Also, few movable parts mean less maintenance and a reduced likelihood of the unit getting damaged.
5. Hose Length
Any suction pool cleaner you choose should have the correct hose length. The right length for you depends on the pool size you have. The larger the pool, the more hose you will need to ensure the cleaner can reach all parts of the pool.
If you are unsure how much hose you will need, the best idea is always to go for models with multiple hose sections to allow for extension. However, anything over 20 feet should be good for most pools.
Besides getting the right length, it is essential to make sure the hose is well-built for long service life, and it is also kink-free to ensure easy use without snarling up.
A suction pool cleaner provides one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways of cleaning pool floors and walls. Our review above provides more than enough options if you are on the market for the best suction pool cleaner.
That said, the Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner is our top overall recommendation. This pool cleaner provides superior suction, is easy to maneuver, and includes rugged wheels and durable overall construction.
However, the XtremepowerUS 75037 Automatic Climb Wall Pool Cleaner is the best for the money as it is hard to get something better without spending more money.