Best Pool Sweepers

Review & Comparison, Last Update October 14, 2020
Pool sweepers are suction-side vacuum cleaners that cost virtually pennies and automatically sweep pools without you helping them. The best pool sweepers can even match pressure-side models and robotic cleaners in speed and efficiency departments. ...Read more ...Read less
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BEST 2020
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
Pool Types
Suction System
Features
Connection
Package
Warranty
 
PROS

The included filter bag can capture both fine and big debris, including leaves, branchlets, acorns and even pebbles and thus considerably prolong the service life of your pool filtration system. 

CONS

The instructions are not detailed enough. 

OUR VERDICT

The Polaris 280 Vac-Sweep is one of the best pool sweepers for in-ground swimming pools that tend to catch larger debris and need cleaning more often. It'll clean an average pool in less than 3 hours and get into every nook and corner where many other vacs will fail. 

detailed parameters
Pool Types

In-ground pools

Suction System

Booster pump required

Features

Double jets, Shaft drive mechanism, Auto backup, TailSweep PRO® compatibility

Connection

Connects to 1.5" dedicated pressure cleaner line

Package

31' feed hose, Single chamber filter bag

Warranty

1 year

PROS

A special FlowKeeper valve automatically adjusts the water flow to maintain maximum cleaning efficiency even at a lower pool pump horsepower. 

CONS

The unit tends to repeat patterns. 

OUR VERDICT

What you'll get with the Baracuda G3 pool sweeper from Zodiac is a simple cleaner that is a breeze to install and needs no specific operation skills. It works quietly and perfectly sucks up fine and mid-sized debris while a smart design makes it perfectly maneuverable.  

detailed parameters
Pool Types

In-ground pools

Suction System

Diaphragm

Features

Long-life diaphragm, 36-fin disc, Wheel deflector, Patented Quick-release cassette, FlowKeeper valve

Connection

Connects directly to skimmer or dedicated 1.5" vacuum line 

Package

39' feed hose

Warranty

90 days

PROS

Two bands of stiff nylon bristles thoroughly scrub off the toughest grime and sediments from the bottom of the pool while the cleaning width of about 10" will ensure the unit will cope with the job pretty quickly. 

CONS

It might get stuck in corners. 

OUR VERDICT

With no assembly needed and a breeze to install, the Pentair Lil Shark is a cute and functional cleaner specifically designed for above-ground pools and vinyl floors. Featuring pre-programmed cleaning patterns, it boasts good coverage, leaving no uncleaned spots. 

detailed parameters
Pool Types

Above-ground pools

Suction System

Powerful vacuum 

Features

Two-way cleaning design, Dual-band bristles, Programmed cleaning, No assembly required

Connection

Connects directly to skimmer or dedicated 1.5" vacuum line

Package

33' feed hose

Warranty

60 days

PROS

The model is built around a top-notch cleaning technology coupled with triple jets which ensures high cleaning performance and maximum efficient cleaning irrespective of the pool size.

CONS

Setup instructions are somewhat complicated. 

OUR VERDICT

The Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 is an advanced pool cleaner that operates without a booster pump and works wonders cleaning inground and underground pools to perfection. The inline back-up valve makes sure it will run smoothly without stalls. 

detailed parameters
Pool Types

In-ground pools

Suction System

Pool circulation pump, no booster pump required

Features

Triple jets, Auto backup, TailSweep PRO® compatibility, All-wheel belt drive mechanism, In-line back-up valve

Connection

Connects to 1.5" dedicated pressure cleaner line

Package

31' feed hose, Single chamber filter bag

Warranty

1 year

PROS

The unit set comes complete with as many as 10 hoses made of durable and wear-resistant material that will save you the need to think about replacement accessories for quite a while. 

CONS

Some construction parts are a bit flimsy. 

OUR VERDICT

The VINGLI automatic pool vacuum stands out for a truly affordable price tag that will fit just about any budget. With that, it is functional and efficient enough and proves to deliver the cleaning performance similar to that of more expensive models.

detailed parameters
Pool Types

In-ground pools

Suction System

Diaphragm mechanism (requires at least a 3/4 hp swimming pool pump)

Features

Wheel deflector for movement around tight corners

Connection

Connects directly to skimmer or dedicated 1.5" vacuum line

Package

10 x Long-life hoses, 1 x Regulator valve

Warranty

1 year

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Polaris Vac-Sweep 280

Mighty and Quick Cleaner

Need a vac that will do the pool cleaning job fast and in the most efficient manner? If so, the Polaris 280 automatic pool sweeper is for you. It’s a time-tested model from the reputed manufacturer that offers consistently high cleaning performance for years to come.

By the type, the Polaris 280 is a pressure-side cleaner, which means it hooks to the pressure side of your pool pump system and lays no added burden on the existing filter. More than that, a dedicated removable filter bag the unit comes fitted with readily captures both smaller and bigger debris, including leaves, acorns, twigs, branchlets, and pebbles. These wastes won’t even reach your pool filtration system. As a result, it will help prevent clogs, cut down the need for maintenance, and prolong its overall service life. Just remember to empty the filter bag before it gets full to ensure flawless cleaner operation.

Initially, the Polaris 280 vac is designed as a mighty thing and it proves so in practice since sucking up bigger garbage is not an easy task. However, to let it operate properly and make full use of its intended power, the unit needs a booster pump, which is sold optionally and further pushes an already pretty high cleaner price tag. On the other hand, though, a single higher investment will pay off in the long run since the unit will do an amazing cleaning job and faithfully serve you for years to come.

While a booster pump will deliver a power punch, a dual-jet propulsion system in a combo with a three-wheel design will ensure fast cleaning with no let-down to quality. Thus, double jets provide consistently high intake and hefty wheels keep the unit moving quickly over any type of the pool floor. As a result, the Polaris 280 is capable of cleaning an average in-ground pool in less than three hours, which is an impressive rate for this type of device.

Review of Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

... and a "Skillful" One

Created for cleaning in-ground pools, as we’ve mentioned above, the Polaris will smoothly propel over any surface, be it tile, granite, fiberglass, PVC, or vinyl. Besides, apart from perfect mobility, the patented three-wheel design also enhances the unit maneuverability. So, the cleaner is capable of not only humming on the bottom of the pool but also climbing the stairs and running up the wall to thoroughly clean in spots where most other models simply fail to get. To add more, equipped with the TailSweep PRO® tool, it will reach the tricky nooks and corners without hindrance. And an automatic back-up valve will activate every few minutes to prevent the cleaner from getting stuck and keep it running without interruptions.

To cut a long story short, though quite an investment, the Polaris 280 is worth every cent you’ll pay for it. In return, you’ll get a dependable and long-lasting pool cleaner that will minimize the tear and wear of your pool filtration system.

Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner in the use

Additional Info

    Manufacturer


 

Zodiac Baracuda G3 W03000

Pool Cleaning Off-roader

If you look for a pocket-friendly and efficient pool sweeper for your outdoor pool located out of reach of leafy trees, you’ll definitely hit the spot with the Baracuda G3 pool cleaner from Zodiac.

Designed for cleaning in-ground pools, this side-uction sweeper connects to the suction port of your pool system and does an excellent job in scraping off the grit and grime from the pool bottom, walls, and even stairs and directing it to the filtration system. It should be noted, however, that larger debris like leaves or acorns will clog this pool vac, so, if you need to tackle the sweeps like those, this model will be not the best option. As for the rest, it will inhale smaller and medium-sized garbage without a hassle. And it will do its job quietly, you’ll hardly hear it’s operating, which is a common “side effect” of suction-side models. So, while the sweeper is buzzing on the bottom of your pool, you can relax on the sling chair next to it and relax.

To maximize overall cleaning efficiency, the Baracuda G3 sweeper features a specific design. A 36-fin cleaner disc not only provides a wider cleaning path but also ensures strong adhesion to any pool floor lining for better suction. On top of that, such design along with a wheel deflector will let the unit easily maneuver around some tight corners as well as prevent it from hanging up on any pool fixtures such as drain covers and light fittings. Speaking of which, the sweeper will effectively remove dirt and grime from the bottom lights for brighter illumination.

Review of Zodiac Baracuda G3 W03000 Automatic Pool Cleaner

Simple and Hard-working

High-performing as it is, the Baracuda G3 sweeper is a fairly simple machine with a no-brainer installation and no-fuss maintenance. To set it up running, you just need to attach the disc, wheel deflector, and a 39-foot feed hose and connect the hose to your pool plumbing system. With only a single moving part, there will be no gears, wheels, or flippers to change and, as a result, no related maintenance and repair costs. And thanks to a quick-release cassette mechanism, you’ll get convenient access to the diagram, which is the only part that needs routine maintenance from time to time.

One more seemingly minor yet prominent feature of this pool sweeper is a special FlowKeeper valve that has a dual function. It works to monitor and maintain the peak suction even with lower pump horsepower. At the same time, it also automatically adjusts the water flow to not agitate the water too much, and to ensure that all debris particles are captured by the cleaner.

To resume, the Zodiac Baracuda G3 is smartly designed to be very simple in installation and use and extremely efficient in pool cleaning.

Zodiac Baracuda G3 W03000 Automatic Pool Cleaner in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Pentair 360100

A Crawler Cleaner for Above-ground Pools

When it comes to above-ground pools, the choice of pool sweepers is not as vast as that for inground models. So, if you are on the lookout for an efficient and reasonably priced cleaner for your above-ground swimming pool, the Lil Shark pool vacuum from Pentair will come up your alley.

To put it right, this cleaner is specifically designed for vinyl above-ground pools and might appear much less effective or even fail on other surfaces. Thus, it’s advisable that you keep it in mind when considering this model for your pool. However, when matching the intended use, the Lil Shark pool sweeper will really shine. Dual bands of stiff nylon bristles the unit is fitted with work to thoroughly scrub off the dirt and grime from the bottom of your pool. It is even capable of loosening some stubborn and greasy sediments as well as picking up debris along uneven bottom liners that other cleaner models tend to miss. Though looking rather compact, the Lil Shark sweeper has a 10" wide cleaning path and will bring an average 25-feet pool to a swim-ready condition in less than 2 hours.

As far as the unit design goes, this pool vacuum is a no-frills model that comes ready to use straight out of the box. There is no assembly required: just snap it on the hose, connect it to the pump, and off you go. Yet, note that while a 30’ hose is included in the package, to get the most out of the cleaner performance, you’ll need a powerful pump. Actually, the higher the power output of the pump, the better suction your sweeper will have, and the better it will clean. It’s as simple as that.

Review of Pentair 360100 Above Ground Pool Cleaner

Smart and Long-lasting

Distinguished by very simple construction, with no wheels, debris bags, and diaphragms to replace and no parts to repair, the Lil Shark pool sweeper needs little to no maintenance and will last you for years to come. Ideal for smaller debris including insects, sand, dirt, and loose algae, the model might get clogged with leaves and debris like that. Hence, to avoid the need to clean it manually, refrain from using it as not intended.

Created with no advanced sensors or built-in software, the model still has some smart functionality and comes complete with preprogrammed cleaning patterns. As such, it boasts randomized navigation and will not only creep straight on the pool’s bottom but also turn in circles every now and then to change the trajectory. This way, the cleaner will both improve the surface contact and avoid step or ladder traps.

That said, the Pentair Lil Shark pool sweeper is a real find for above-ground pools with vinyl liners. It will do the dirty job of the pool floor cleaning for you and make your pool swim-ready in just a few hours.

Pentair 360100 Above Ground Pool Cleaner in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

Polaris Vac-Sweep 360

An Iconic Design Updated

A triple-wheel cleaner design by Zodiac that came to life over a half-century ago and proved to be one of the most efficient is still hard to beat today. Yet, technologies don’t stay still and the manufacturer strives to further improve their pool vacuums to make the pool cleaning process even more simple and easier for the pool owners. Thus, with the Polaris 280 cleaner taking the lead for a couple of years, the Polaris 360 is a successful and worthy update of that top-selling model that has a lot more to offer.

At a glance, these two models look pretty much the same, yet, the changes in some core unit elements make the Polaris 360 a confident bestseller that outcompetes its predecessor. The major improvement that puts this model high above the Polaris 280 is that it needs no booster pump. It’s also a pressure-side cleaner, yet, it is engineered to operate solely on a pool circulation pump. As a result, it will save you the need to get an added booster pump to enhance the cleaning performance, which is a significant plus, considering that extra pump cost. Besides, distinguished by a belted drive mechanism, unlike the older version with a shaft, the Polaris 360 has lower maintenance needs and will run smoothly for longer.

Similar to the 280 model, this unit will also scrub, sweep, and vacuum both the floor and the walls of your swimming pool and is capable of capturing larger debris it collects into a special bag. Notably, the bag is larger in size to save you the need to empty it too often. The TailSweep PRO® tool is also included to let the sweeper clean where wheels can’t bring it.

Review of Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

Pool Size Doesn't Matter

When choosing a pool sweeper, most often, it is recommended to consider those models that will suit your pool size since some cleaners might appear no efficient enough for larger pools. Yet, it won’t be the case with the Polaris 360 pol vacuum. For this full automated model, the size and shape of your pool don’t matter. The only restriction you’ll have is that it works only for inground and underground pools. As for the rest, a triple-jet cleaning mechanism ensures a more comprehensive clean and faster operation. A 31’ feeding hose included in the set will suit pretty big pools and cut down the need to use any extensions in most cases. Meanwhile, an in-line backup valve maintains perfect self-navigation capabilities. It will free the sweeper if it gets cornered or stuck in some tricky space to make sure the unit flawlessly operates without interruption.

All things considered, the Polaris 360 pool sweeper is a solid and capable cleaner from a credible brand any in-ground pool should have. It’s a mid-range model that functions as high-end cleaners but costs considerably less. 

Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner in the use

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


 

VINGLI Swimming Pool Vacuum

Affordable Cleaning Efficiency

If you look for a reliable and efficient pool sweeper that will do a great job of cleaning your pool and won’t cost you a fortune, this pool vac from VINGLI is definitely worth your attention.

Straight off the reel, this side-suction pool cleaner comes at half of the price of premium models in the range to fit just about any budget. With that, it doesn’t lag behind those in cleaning performance. Hooked directly onto a suction side of your existing pool filtration system, the VINGLI sweeper will effectively suck up sand, hair, bugs, loose algae, smaller twigs, and even pebbles without clogs. The only things that might clog this type of cleaners, and the VINGLI is not an exception to this, are larger leaves and acorns.

A disc design is meant to scrape and scrub the dirt and greasy grime from the pool surfaces and the unit will really succeed in this. Meanwhile, multiple fins around the disc along with a wheel deflector on the bottom will let the cleaner climb the walls and keep it running over obstacles such as light fixtures and drain covers without stops and interruptions. More than that, such design ensures perfect surface adhesion for more efficient cleaning and a wider cleaning path to get the job done faster.

Something else to admire about this model is super quiet operation. Despite a powerful suction, the unit is almost silent producing no hammering noise specific for many other cleaner models. So, as it roams around your pool, you can confidently leisure next to it, with no annoying sounds disturbing you.

Review of VINGLI Swimming Pool Vacuum Cleaner Automatic Sweeper

A Cost-wise Package

Apart from a noticeably lower price tag, the VINGLI pool sweeper is also a cost-wise model in terms of related expenses. Made of quality materials and featuring no fancy parts to be replaced, this cleaner will need little to no maintenance, thus eliminating any added running costs you’d normally have with more sophisticated models. Some users claimed that the diaphragm is prone to damages. While it might need declogging at times, it won’t need maintenance and replacement too often if you stick to the unit application recommendations.

Other than that, the cleaner package is complete with as many as 10 connection hoses. Not only will they save you the trouble of buying replacement parts for quite a while but also they enable you to get as long reach as you need and make the VINGLI sweeper suitable for bigger and smaller pools alike.

To wrap the whole thing up, the VINGLI pool sweeper is a budget-friendly yet powerful model that offers great value for money and will come in handy for just about any in-ground domestic pool.

VINGLI Swimming Pool Vacuum Cleaner Automatic Sweeper in the use

 

What Is a Pool Sweeper?

Robotic pool cleaners are great, we love them, most people who have some experience with them do. But most people cannot afford them without making noticeable financial sacrifices. At the same time, even customers on a tight budget seldom feel like sweeping their pool manually, there's nothing especially exciting about that. So, you settle for a suction-side pool sweeper. They're a lot less expensive than robotic cleaners. You can buy a decent, functional model for as little as 100 bucks. Sure, these sweepers abuse the filtration system, but they can clean and maintain sizable pools without you helping or paying more than 500 bucks, meaning that certain compromises are inevitable.

Generally speaking, these swimming pool cleaners are not the most sophisticated machines but, even so, they can usually sweep different pools with relative ease. Certain mid-range and high-end models can even clean stairs, ladders, and drains. Capturing countless small particles, from dust and debris to small stones and leaves, these sweepers work together with the filtration system and let you enjoy swimming in a nice, clean pool.

What Features to Compare

Pool Types

There are suction-side sweepers that can maintain most pool types but, generally speaking, they're almost as expensive as pressure-side systems. The best suction-side models can handle both in-ground pools and above-ground pools (including inflatable hot tubs) with rigid walls but the more affordable models are usually not that great at cleaning the above-ground ones, especially those that incorporate rigid walls.

Besides that, there're also shape and construction differences. Nowadays, people make pools from practically anything, including not just concrete, granite, and tiles but also PVC, fiberglass, vinyl, and more. Some models can sweep them all, some cannot. Some models can clean and maintain flat-bottom pools as well as pools with a composite or gentle slope, whereas others struggle with unusual pools. There are also oval pools and countless free-shape/free-form pools and budget sweepers can seldom handle those.

Cleaning Width

This part is easy. As you can imagine, apart from making the machine less compact, there's no downside to having more cleaning width. Sure, sometimes, that means the unit is not as good at accessing tight corners but, more often than not, you can replace the brush and you'll be fine. The more cleaning width you have the less time the machine spends cleaning the entire pool, so grab as much as you can.

Movement Speed

Movement speed is inseparable from cleaning width. You can have as much cleaning width as possible but with the machine sweeping three feet per minute, what good will that do for you? Conversely, when the unit matches its movement speed with its cleaning width (that will usually mean somewhere around 20 feet per minute), that's when you have a sweeper than can cover medium-sized pools in less than 20-30 minutes.

Overall Package

Suction-side sweepers, pressure-side models, manual units, robotic solutions, when you're discussing different vacuum cleaners, the product is seldom complete without an accessory list, sometimes impressive, sometimes not quite. Like most vacuum cleaners, pool sweepers are usually shipped with different hoses and brushes. They can be supplied with replaceable poles and, at times, even with items like flow gauges and wheel deflectors. What you want here is both quality and quantity. Make sure that the hoses are airproof and, at least to some extent, scuff-resistant. Otherwise, they will not last even a few years.

Did you know?

Different Pool Cleaners and What Separates Them

Whilst pool filters keep the water pretty clean, they cannot remove dirt and debris that will stick to the walls or wind up on the bottom or ladders. As you'd expect, this is where different pool cleaners come into play. Generally speaking, these fall under four categories: manual, suction-side, pressure-side, and robotic. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, so let's figure them out.

Suction-Side

These are the cleaners that we're reviewing here. Since we've already discussed them at great length, we'll keep this part brief. First, besides manual vacuums, they're the cheapest option between the four. Again, attaching to existing filters' suction side, they usually dump the debris that they've captured into the filter pump. These vacuums move in random patterns around the pool. Installing them is as easy as flooding a nose, attaching that nose to the pool pump's suction side, and attaching the flooded suction cleaner. Sometimes, you'll have to adjust the valve to make sure the flow meets the desired range but that's about it. An average person with a modest pool on a limited budget who has no time or desire to clean the pool manually will usually find suction-side systems sufficient, even though they're not necessarily merciful towards the pool's filter and are not quite as efficient as the competition.

Manual

These are essentially standard vacuum cleaners. They usually come with a long pole that you hold standing outside the pool and sweep the bottom, walls, and everything surrounding the pool with. Of course, manual vacuums are the most affordable option but they put almost as much drain on the pool's filter as suction-side cleaners and, needless to say, they require manual labor, which is about as fun as you would expect (spoiler alert: it is not fun at all).

Pressure-Side

Pressure-side systems work by attaching to the filter pump's pressure side ad moving around the pool relying upon the water pressure for force. More often than not, aside from the current filtration system that you're working with, these vacuums require booster pumps so that you can increase water circulation. They're not quite as expensive as robotic cleaners but, when you also count the booster pump, pressure-side systems become a lot less affordable than they might seem initially. On the upside, they do not dump debris into filters, so the filtration system that you're using should not start deteriorating as fast as they usually do working with suction-side vacuums.

Robotic

Robotic cleaners are effective and energy-efficient. They also cost a hefty fortune. Instead of abusing your pool's filtration system, these robots are self-contained and self-sufficient units. You plug them into an outlet and off they go. Sometimes, they even include fancy software, using which these robots map the pool and ensure that its entire surface's cleaned. The more expensive, premium models can even climb walls. Again, you'll have to pay through the nose, but if you have the financial means, there's no reason not to go with a robotic cleaner.

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Publish Date: 2020-10-14 16:28:02