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Dan Hardy

Professional Pool Expert

Best Pool Cleaner & Best Swimming Pool Cleaners

Featured On:

  • CompletePoolManual
Dive in, the water is fine!

That is what we want to hear as the weather starts to warm up. The problem is the pool is dirty and we would rather not spend our valuable time constantly cleaning the pool. It is time consuming and it gets old real fast. But I have a cure to limit the time you have to spend on cleaning your dirty pool. What you need is a pool cleaner. Whether it is a suction cleaner or a pressure fed one, we have the answer for you.

Over the years pool cleaners have become very popular. The two types we will deal with here are the suction cleaner and the pressure fed ones. The manufacturing of pool cleaners has turned into a billion dollar business all across the world. And due to this fact of exploding into a very lucrative market, then the quality of cleaners has also improved.

The hard thing associated with picking a cleaner is trying to choose one that will work in your pool. Pool cleaners are not the same and neither are the pools that they will clean. This is the problem. Since there are so many brands of cleaners, it is almost impossible to find a pool supply store that will actually install a particular cleaner in your pool to see if it will work properly. What we see today is signs in the pool stores that state, "All sales are final on pool cleaners."

I will do my best to guide you to what type of cleaner will do a particular job and will do it well. The choice will ultimately come down to you but information is what you need and information is what you will get. After all, the idea is to be in your pool, not working on it all the time.

The best pool cleaners make sure you're always able to take a dip without worrying about constantly cleaning the pool. We recommend the best swimming pool cleaners at the best price on the Web.

Best Pool Cleaners: Suction and Pressure Systems by Dan Hardy

The Best You Can Get

  • Polaris 480 PRO

    Dan says: The Polaris 480 is the top of the line for pressure cleaners for pools with lots of leaves. It is fast and does an excellent job. One advantage to this cleaner is that no matter what shape your pool is, it is extremely difficult for it to get hung up. The bag is easy to remove and clean and can also remove a lot of other unwanted particles. It uses a scrubbing hose or tail as I call it to aid in moving debris toward the drain and also put the small particles in suspension so that the pool filter can remove them. A good choice.


    • Requires booster pump
    • Large capacity bag
    • Ideal for leaves
    • 10-year warranty on frame/1-year warranty on the rest
  • Polaris 380

    Dan says: Like its big brother the 480, the Polaris 380 is an excellent pressure fed cleaner for a pool that encounters a large amount of leaves. This three wheel little monster takes off and has no mercy on the debris that has fallen on the floor of your pool and it will fly up the walls also to scrub and remove particles. Easy bag removal and cleaning. The advantage to a booster fed cleaner is that you can put it on a timer and only require it to come on for a short period of time. Average cleaning time for a pool from my experience is between one and a half and three hours. As with most pool cleaners, parts are a little pricey so using a timer not to put additional wear and tear on the machine is advisable.


    • Requires booster pump
    • Large capacity bag
    • Ideal for leaves
    • Frame 10-year warranty/1-year warranty on the rest of cleaner
  • Letro Legend Platinum

    Dan says: The Letro Legend Platinum is a newer cleaner that has a four-wheel design but utilizes front wheel drive. With a large throat for leaves and large pieces it is a very good cleaner for the tough pool. The bag is easy to remove and clean. The warranty is better than Polaris and the booster pump also has a three-year warranty. From my experience the cleaner is as good as the Polaris 380 with equal cost of purchase. Durability here is what I am looking for and so far it has held up well.


    • Requires booster pump
    • Large capacity bag
    • Ideal for leaves
    • Full three-year limited warranty
  • Pentair Jet-Vac

    Dan says: The Pentair Jet-Vac is for sure one of the top cleaners for leaves and large debris and has a small mesh bag for even the smallest particles. Its appearance is deceiving. It is a small unit that performs in a big way. With a large 4½-inch throat, no leaf can escape its power. With the Jet-Vac nose wheel hang-ups in corners and steps or ladders are not a problem. It backs up at a preplanned time and gets out of any problems that it can encounter. It has one of the largest capacity bags and is easy to remove and clean. The other advantage to a Jet-Vac is that the gears inside are all the same size and when wear occurs, you just reposition the gears and off you go again. Great little unit.


    • Requires booster pump
    • Large capacity bag
    • Ideal for leaves
    • 1-year limited warranty
  • Polaris 360

    Dan says: The Polaris 360 is one of many that use a dedicated pressure line from the return line to your pool without a booster pump. The cleaner does require that your return pressure is of a certain pressure, so care must be taken when deciding to purchase the product. It works very well and is easy to clean and maintain. It has an in-line back-up valve that automatically frees it if it gets cornered and lets it keep cleaning without interruption. It not only handles gunite and fiberglass pools but will also work with vinyl lined pools.


    • Does not require booster pump
    • Great for leaves
    • Large capacity bag
    • 10-year warranty on frame/1-year limited warranty on other non-wear parts

You will be happy with any of these

  • Sta-Rite Great White 9500

    Dan says: The Great White cleaner has proven itself for years to be a very good cleaner. It is designed to scrub and vacuum your pool without a pre-program. It has a wide fifteen-inch cleaning path does a very good job. It has a swivel for the hose attachment so that it does not get tangled up and also has an adapter so that you can attach a pool pole and direct it for spot cleaning. The Great White has proved that it can clean a lot of leaves and only has a problem with sticks and small limbs that can get stuck in the oscillator. Overall, it is a very good cleaner.


    • Does not require booster pump
    • No bag to clean
    • 2-year limited warranty
  • Zodiac G4

    Dan says: Also know as the Barracuda, this cleaner is designed to vacuum debris from your pool but does not like a lot of leaves or any sticks. The advantage to a G4 is that is only has one moving part. It is a diaphragm that does last a long time unless in ingest a stick or some other object that can tear it. The G4 can get stuck on ladders, steps and sometimes other parts of the pool. Overall it is not a bad cleaner best used on a screened in pool with limited vegetation growth around the pool.


    • Requires no booster pump
    • Full two-year warranty
    • No bag to clean
  • Polaris 180

    Dan says: The Polaris 180 is a great little cleaner, and unlike its brothers, incorporates a different drive system. It is a three-wheeled vehicle that sweeps and scrubs the bottom and walls of your pool. This is the original design by Polaris and has served for many years as a good cleaner for those pools that catch leaves and other things such as acorns. Being a lower priced unit, it also has less moving parts then its bigger brothers. For the lesser expensive cleaner for dirty pools, the Polaris 180 is an excellent choice.


    • Requires a booster pump
    • Large capacity bag
    • 1-year limited warranty
    • Good for leaves
  • Hayward Navigator

    Dan says: The Navigator comes in two models. One for concrete and one for vinyl pools. It has a preprogrammed steering which alternates in a series of left and right turns to get all the areas of the pool. If adequate suction is provided, the Navigator will fly up the walls of the pool to clean also. Although it does not handle twigs and large leaves well, it does a pretty good job. If it runs into a pile of acorns or large amount of leaves it can get clogged fairly easy. Works well in screened-in areas or pools without a lot of leaves and debris. It requires one inch of vacuum for every length of hose so care must be taken to make sure your pool pump has adequate suction to run the cleaner.


    • Does not require booster pump
    • 2-year warranty except 1 year on wear items
    • No bag to clean
  • Pentair Pool Shark

    Dan says: The Pentair Pool Shark is a funny looking cleaner that resembles the Great White. It is not good in pools with leaves but cleans smaller debris very well and seems to last a fairly long time. With a twelve-inch cleaning path, it is surprising by its looks how well it cleans. The little cleaner actually will cover all of the pool and it steers itself away from areas where it may get hung up. Personal experience has proven to be that it can perform very well.


    • Does not require booster pump
    • No bag to clean
    • 2-year limited warranty

Related Articles

Find the best pool cleaner (suction or pressure fed) to fit your needs so it's always ready for a good swim. We recommend the best swimming pool cleaners that include automatic pool cleaning equipment that fits your pool so you won't have to worry. Choose from the best Polaris pool cleaners and others at the bet price.