October 2021

Suction Pool Cleaners: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Pool Cleaner rankings posted by key online experts, as of October 2021.

At a glance - October 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Pool Cleaner
Cleanup Expert
The Honest Dig
SteamCleanerMaster
Handyman's Place
Pool Care Guy
Swim University
Home Cleaning For You
Salt Water Pool and Spa
Wild River Country
Pool Research
1
+1 $296
Pentair Kreepy Krauly
4
5
3
4
8
1
-
5
6
3
2
-1 $350
Zodiac G3
6
2
2
3
1
-
4
-
7
1
3
- $477
Zodiac MX8
1
4
4
-
5
-
12
3
1
-
4
- $350
Zodiac MX6
2
1
-
-
4
-
8
1
2
-
5
- $429
Hayward The PoolCleaner 2X
-
-
1
2
2
-
7
2
8
-
6
- $100
Xtremepower Automatic Suction
-
-
6
5
3
-
1
-
-
2
7
- $449
Hayward AquaNaut 400
3
-
-
1
-
-
-
-
5
-
8
- $626
Pentair Kreepy Krauly Great White
5
-
-
-
-
-
15
-
3
-
9
- $449
Hayward The PoolCleaner 4X
-
3
-
-
-
-
-
-
4
-
10
+1 $349
Hayward PoolVac XL
-
-
5
-
6
-
-
-
-
-
11
+1 $429
Hayward AquaNaut 200
-
-
-
-
9
-
-
-
10
-
12
-2 $100
Vingli Indoor & Outdoor Automatic Sweep
-
6
-
-
-
-
9
-
-
-

We ranked Pentair Kreepy Krauly #1 in October 2021 because:

  • 9 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Suction Pool Cleaners” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Pentair Kreepy Krauly as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Cleanup Expert

Best redesign

Pros
The Pentair 360042 boasts several innovative features that’ll make it easy to keep your pool clean. For example, an automatic valve regulates water flow to set the ideal travel speed for more thorough cleaning.
There’s an easy-to-adjust “dive float” directional system that intelligently guides the cleaner from the water line to the pool bottom, ensuring it hits every spot along the way.

Cons
While most customers rave about the redesign, a few don’t like it as much as the old one.
Some say the new model isn’t as durable as the original model. Others have problems with the float balls continually falling off.
Some users say the new model takes more time to clean the pool. This means you must run the pump longer, and your electricity bills will be higher.

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The Honest Dig

Best Reliable

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SteamCleanerMaster

Pros
Fins funnel the dirt into the hose
Has a dive float directional system
Cleans a broad range of pools

Cons
Doesn’t work well on sharp inclines

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Handyman's Place

Pros
Can clean walls
Good suction
Affordable

Cons
Gets stuck easily
Poor customer service

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Pool Care Guy

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Swim University

The Best Suction Pool Cleaner for an Inground Pool

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Salt Water Pool and Spa

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Wild River Country

Pros
Single moving part
Removes large and small debris
Powerful suction

Cons
Not great with deep pools

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Pool Research

Most Durable

Pros
One of the most durable units on the market
Does not need a booster pump
Works with most common pool sizes

Cons
The hose isn’t quite long enough for large pools
Cleans slower than some other units

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We ranked Zodiac G3 #2 in October 2021 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Suction Pool Cleaners” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Zodiac G3 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Cleanup Expert

Most economical

Pros
Maybe you’ve had a pool cleaner or two in your life. If you have, you know that switching out malfunctioning parts for new ones can cost a pretty penny. If replacing expensive pool cleaner parts is something you’re sick of doing, you need the Barracuda in your life.
This unit doesn’t have 50 moving parts that constantly break down and cost a fortune to replace—it just has one.

Cons
Some people report that the Baracuda stops working after only a short time using it. However, this is usually because the inner sleeve that holds the diaphragm is too tight.
Other customers say that although the unit works quite well, they still must manually clean off their tanning ledge, steps, and deep-water seats.

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The Honest Dig

Best Multi-surface Pool Cleaner

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SteamCleanerMaster

Pros
26 fins adhere to the floor
Wheel helps it move around obstacles
Hose is very durable and resists breakage

Cons
Needs a lot of power to move around

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Handyman's Place

Best for the Money

Pros
Great value
Fins knock up debris for suction cleaning
Works at any suction power
Reliable

Cons
Gets stuck
Not good for large leaves

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Pool Care Guy

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Home Cleaning For You

Best for Tight Corners

Pros
Works with low pump speeds
Versatile form of cleaning solution
Helps clean up different pool surfaces
Cleaning pad can cover a massive surface area
Agile design that doesn’t get stuck

Cons
Issues with picking up heavier debris

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Wild River Country

Pros
Adheres to all surfaces
Easily navigable
Simple setup

Cons
Could move around more efficiently

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Pool Research

Best Value

Pros
Versatile
Compatible with most pumping systems
Excellent at cleaning small and medium debris
Works on floors, walls, and steps

Cons
Not effective on large debris
Doesn’t work as well on unusual pool shapes, such as slopes or curves

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Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Suction Pool Cleaners.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Suction Pool Cleaners, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for October 2021 ranking

We ranked Zodiac MX8 #3 in October 2021 because:

  • 7 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Suction Pool Cleaners” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Zodiac MX8 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Cleanup Expert

Best suction pool cleaner

Pros
One of the best things about the MX8 is its excellent traction. This gives the unit exceptional maneuverability—even in tight corners and on vertical walls.
Every ten seconds, the MX8 does what I like to call the “rotation dance.” This tactic is highly effective for liberating units that have embarrassed themselves by getting stuck in a corner or hung up on a drain.

Cons
One customer had the unfortunate experience of their unit getting stuck near the water surface and making a noisy sloshing sound. The commotion was so loud that it woke them up in the middle of the night because their bedroom happened to be close to the pool.
A few other customers also said this happened to them. The good news is that these units were defective and were quickly replaced by the manufacturer.

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The Honest Dig

Best For Suction

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SteamCleanerMaster

Pros
Connects to solar, two-speed, or variable speed pumps
Funnels debris right into the skimmer
Track on the wheels helps it climb steep walls

Cons
Motors can wear out quickly with extended use

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Pool Care Guy

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Home Cleaning For You

Best with Variable Speed Pumps

Pros
Two Turbines
Gears going in two directions to ensure easy reverse action
Easy-to-open tab
Good opening for debris collection

Cons
Requires frequent cleaning
Not good for large pools

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Salt Water Pool and Spa

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Wild River Country

Our #1 Pick

Pros
Torquey motor
Highly maneuverable
For all pool surfaces

Cons
Some issues with leaves

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We ranked Zodiac MX6 #4 in October 2021 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Suction Pool Cleaners” rankings.
  • Out of those, 2 experts ranked Zodiac MX6 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Cleanup Expert

Most Compact

Pros
I really like that the MX6 has an enhanced flow regulator. This prevents the cleaner from moving too fast and damaging the gears. This innovative feature helps ensure your unit has a long and healthy life.
Another fantastic thing about the MX6 is that the parts have a modular design. This means that when a component fails, simply pop the old piece out with a screwdriver and put the new one in. Replacement only takes seconds!

Cons
The Achilles heel of this otherwise excellent cleaner is the hoses, which have an unfortunate tendency to rip at the connectors. This is too bad because the hoses are expensive to replace.
I think the designers need to go back to the drawing board to come up with hoses that are a little more durable. If they do, this cleaner will be near perfect.

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The Honest Dig

Best Energy-efficient

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Pool Care Guy

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Home Cleaning For You

Best for Aggressive Wall-Climbing

Pros
Clip attachment in the hose prevents stripping
Easy cleaning options
Handle to enable easy pull-up action
Compact design

Cons
Doesn’t come with multi-directional gears
Might need help if stuck in the corner
Small connecting hose
Might not work with a massive in-ground pool

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Salt Water Pool and Spa

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Wild River Country

Pros
Variable low flow
Quick-connect swiveling hoses
Highly energy-efficient

Cons
Hose quality could be improved

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We ranked Hayward The PoolCleaner 2X #5 in October 2021 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Suction Pool Cleaners” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Hayward The PoolCleaner 2X as #1.
Critic endorsements:
SteamCleanerMaster

Pros
Comes with three interchangeable throats
Thick tread on the tires
Self-adjusting turbines
Turns every 8 to 10 feet

Cons
Wheels can sometimes stick

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Handyman's Place

The Runner-up

Pros
Good traction
Adjustable for multiple kinds of debris
Works at any suction power

Cons
Really pricey

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Pool Care Guy

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Home Cleaning For You

Best with Wheels

Pros
High versatility for pools with varying sizes and shapes
Hassle-free management of debris
Better coverage for the entire pool
Affordable pricing
Low-cost maintenance

Cons
Settings require to be adjusted manually
Extra weight might lead to portability issues
Limited collection capacity

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Salt Water Pool and Spa

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Wild River Country

Pros
Self-adjusting turbines
5 preprogrammed turns
Works well on uneven surfaces

Cons
Runs quite slowly

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We ranked Xtremepower Automatic Suction #6 in October 2021 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Suction Pool Cleaners” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Xtremepower Automatic Suction as #1.
Critic endorsements:
SteamCleanerMaster

Pros
Moves up to 12 feet per minute
Has a wider suction head
No tools required for assembly

Cons
Doesn’t work well in deeper pools

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Handyman's Place

Pros
Really cheap

Cons
Minimum of 1 horsepower pump power
Requires a lot of attention

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Pool Care Guy

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Home Cleaning For You

Best Overall

Pros
Doesn’t require electricity or any tool to function
Includes a kit for testing the chemical levels within the pool
Easy-to-use
Easily climbs up the pool walls
Affordable

Cons
Might stay down towards the deeper ends
Tends to have a low rate of flow
Short hose length

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Pool Research

Best Low-Cost Option

Pros
Easy to adjust
Works well on curves
Highly flexible hoses and weights

Cons
Does not work on stairs
Does not suck up leaves

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We ranked Hayward AquaNaut 400 #7 in October 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Suction Pool Cleaners” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Hayward AquaNaut 400 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Cleanup Expert

Best for Variable-Speed Pumps

Pros
Between the three different throats that come with every Aquanaut model and the V-flex technology, you can be assured of an outstanding cleaning job every single time.
Another groundbreaking feature that sets the Aquanaut heads and shoulders above many inferior models is the adjustable roller skirt that maintains consistent pressure over uneven surfaces.
This means you won’t lose any suction when your bot runs over an obstacle.

Cons
A few customers have reported that the Aquanaut flops over on its side and stay there like a stuck turtle. However, most customers say that this isn’t the case for them.
Its wall-climbing abilities are somewhat impaired unless you have powerful suction. Some customers complain that it gets stuck in the deep end of their pools.

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Handyman's Place

Best Overall

Pros
Good for large debris
Long connector hose
Versatile pool types

Cons
Expensive

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Wild River Country

Pros
Outstanding climbing power
Corner-to-corner cleaning
Maximum suction with minimal clogging

Cons
Not the cheapest pool cleaner

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We ranked Pentair Kreepy Krauly Great White #8 in October 2021 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Suction Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Cleanup Expert

Widest Cleaning Path

Pros
Though it’s completely automatic, an attachment comes with this model to allow you to use it with your manual pool vacuum handle. This is handy if there are tight spots like steps and other areas that the cleaner may miss.
The bristle drive quickly propels this guy through the pool and up the walls to the waterline. It comes with 12 one-meter hoses, so you can easily adjust the hose length for any pool size.

Cons
There have been complaints that the Great White is afraid of the shallow end of the pool. You’d think something named after one of the most ferocious of all sea creatures wouldn’t be frightened of anything, but you’d be wrong.
One woman said that during eight hours of operation, the unit didn’t visit the shallow end—not even once.
Others lament that the unit is manufactured from less-than-durable plastic that becomes brittle all too quickly.

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Home Cleaning For You

Best Pool Cleaner for Dirt

Pros
A reliable and affordable option
Easy assembly and installation
Simpler pool cleaning technology
Gentle scrubbing for dirt removal

Cons
Doesn’t clean swim-outs or steps
Requires curved transition for wall cleaning

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Wild River Country

Pros
Programmed steering
Highly adjustable
Quick and easy set-up

Cons
Lifespan can be poor

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We ranked Hayward The PoolCleaner 4X #9 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Suction Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Honest Dig

Best Overall

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Wild River Country

Pros
4-wheel drive
Unbeatable brand heritage
Climbs and maneuvers neatly

Cons
Not great at low suction

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We ranked Hayward PoolVac XL #10 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Suction Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
SteamCleanerMaster

Pros
Installs in under 10 minutes
Systematically covers every inch of your pool
Doesn’t put out a lot of noise

Cons
Too lightweight for pools with jets

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Pool Care Guy

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We ranked Hayward AquaNaut 200 #11 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Suction Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Pool Care Guy

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Wild River Country

Pros
Extremely versatile
2-wheel drive
Self-adjusting variable vanes

Cons
Difficult to get parts

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We ranked Vingli Indoor & Outdoor Automatic Sweep #12 in October 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Suction Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Honest Dig

Budget Product

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Home Cleaning For You

Best with Low Noise

Pros
Easy set-up and use
No need for any electric connection
Powerful suction capacity
No chance of getting stuck
Saves time and super quiet

Cons
Tends to move slowly under the water

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