If you have an inground pool cleaner you want the best automatic inground pool cleaner that clean your pool. There are few cleaners that are made specifically for above ground pools and it can be a real disappointment when you find out the one you wanted can't used for your pool.
Fortunately, we took the time to compile this article detailing the best inground pool cleaner reviews. For each cleaner we discuss its cleaning ability, pool coverage, various other factors, and we provide an overall rating.
At the bottom of the article we tell you about important things to look for when selecting your pool cleaner. Other great choices for inground pools are robotic pool cleaners.
Inground Pool Cleaners Overview
|1. Hayward TigerShark QC||4.3||$$$$|
|2. [Best Overall] Dolphin Nautilus||4.7||$$|
|3. [Runner Up] Pentair Sand Shark||4.5||$$|
|4. [Best for the Money] XtremepowerUS Generic Kreepy Krauly||4.4||$|
|5. [Best Premium] 2016 Dolphin Premier||4.4||$$$$|
|6. Aqua Products ABJR Aquabot Junior||4.4||$$|
|7. Polaris 9550 Sport||4.4||$$$$|
|8. Pentair GW9500 Kreepy Krauly White||4.3||$$|
|9. Zodiac MX6||4.4||$$|
|10. Pentair Kreepy Krauly||4.1||$|
Best Inground Pool Cleaners 2017
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All Hayward products are pretty good, and the Hayward TigerShark QC is no exception. While it's solid and does its job, is it enough to really justify the price?
Let's star with the pros. This robotic inground pool cleaner comes with two cool features that don't come with your normal cleaner.
First, it comes with a quick clean option. This isn't as extensive or powerful as the regular cleaning, but it's a good option if you have time to spare and just want to plop it in the pool or are in a rush. This isn't what you should primarily use because it'll miss some spots, but it's a great alternative for a quick clean.
The other feature is an awesome filter cartridge system. Replacing the filter is as easy as popping out the cartridge and spraying it with a hose. A process that can be a drag, replacing the filter with the Hayward TigerShark is a piece of cake.
It's overall cleaning ability is pretty decent and it'll work for both large and small inground pools. However, it ends here.
The most annoying about this cleaner is that it gets stuck a lot on drain covers, lights, or anything that isn't really directly part of the pool. This happens fairly often so the term "automatic pool cleaner" doesn't really apply to the TigerShark.
Just as bad is that it comes with a weak warranty. When you're paying for a high ticket product you want protection and insurance. However, the TigerShark's warranty is rather weak so you can't really purchase it in confidence.
Bottom Line: It's an okay pool cleaner with nice features, but its fundamentals aren't too solid. If you want a premium cleaner the Dolphin Triton is worth consideration as well.
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Without a doubt this best seller is the best inground pool cleaner available on the market. There's so much to love about the Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner as an inground pool cleaner, and not a lot to not like.
As you know I'm a huge fan of robotic pool cleaners. They are easy to set up out of the box and quickly get working in your pool. As a lightweight cleaner the Dolphin Nautilus makes it easy to take in and out of the pool. Maintenance is easy because it was also built with high quality parts without a lot of small parts that easily break down.
It's great at cleaning all sorts of pools because it's pretty intelligent. It's even effective on pools up to 50 feet in length and will do well with all of the 3 major inground pool materials: concrete/guniate, fiberglass, and vinyl.
The Dolphin Nautilus cleans all of them really well. It's able to get all sorts of debris - both small and large so it does its job well. This means all you have to do is take care of skimming the pool surface and sweeping the steps (make sure to do this before setting it in the pool). The Nautilus will even clean the walls so you don't have to.
Finally, because of its light weight it is easy to use in and out of the pool. Don't make the mistake of leaving it in your pool 24/7 because that's how you break it. Instead, only keep it in the swimming pool while it is cleaning away and take it out when it finishes (3-4 hours usually).
Bottom Line: If you're looking for the best automatic inground pool cleaner then you've found it. It's a medium priced pool cleaner with all of the basic features, but it does them well.
The Pentair Sand Shark is the best inground pool cleaner that uses suction. Most of the ones we recommend are robotic, but this suction pool cleaner pleasantly surprised
With its long 32 foot hose the Pentair Sand Shark is able to cover most private pools (not so great for commercial). However, it also depends on the placement of your suction side or skimmer port. It works well with variable speed pool pumps because it has an effective flow regulator.
The only pools we don't recommend using this for is pools with a lot of obstacles on the floor such as underwater steps in multiple locations. This can cause the pool to get stuck.
Unlike many other pool cleaners, it has good coverage partly because it has a very wide (12 inches) cleaning path. Additionally, its ability to scrub and vacuum your pool at the same time means that it'll actually clean your pool instead of just take the debris out so it is particularly useful if there is algae in the pool.
The other con is that once the Pentair Sand Shark's filter bag gets full then sometimes it'll stall (because the hose is blocked). This can be annoying, but if you're on top of emptying the pretty well sized filter bag you won't have a problem.
Bottom Line: It's a great suction pool cleaner ideal for inground pools. It has a great clean because of its dual cleaning ability and has good coverage. It's easily worth its medium-low price point.
The XtremepowerUS Generic Kreepy Krauly Pool Cleaner is the best inground pool vacuum for the money. It's one of the most affordable pool cleaners on the market but has good set of features. Of course you get what you pay for so it won't compete with a pool cleaner that's 4 times its price but it'll definitely do its job.
With that said it's not as easy to set up as robotic pool cleaners, but as a pressure pool cleaner it's not too bad.
The Generic Kreepy Krauly does require at least a 3/4 HP pool pump or 1600 ghp to work so if you don't meet ONE of these requirements then this isn't the inground pool vacuum for you.
Fortunately, it's pretty hands off. It easily navigates tough corners, curvy pools, even pools with really odd bottom shapes. The only pool it might have trouble with is with large pools. While it is effective on 16x32 feet pools (and probably a little larger than that), if your pool is much larger like a 20x40 then you definitely want to find a pool cleaner that can handle a larger pool
Like any pressure cleaner, it relies on your pool's filtration system so if your pool filtration's system is weak then you shouldn't expect the performance to be that good. However, since it also uses your pressure pool pump it doesn't use up any additional electricity so you'll save some money on that end.
Bottom Line: If you are on a tight budget then it doesn't get better than this in ground pool cleaner. With an easy set up, cheap price, and decent clean you can't go wrong with this cleaner.
The 2016 Dolphin premier is a high quality inground pool cleaner.
It's one of the best inground automatic pool cleaners, at a premium price so if you're on a budget then skip this altogether.
This is a cleaner for those willing to spend extra to have a really nice quality cleaner.
Getting it up and running out of the box isn't as easy some other robotic pool cleaners because of mediocre instructions, but it's still not too hard. If you've had other pool cleaners before then you won't have a problem, but if you haven't then you'll want to check out some videos on youtube.
The reason why it's a premium cleaner is because it has a LOT of nice features that don't come with the average pool cleaner. Its Smart-Nav software gives it top of the line pool navigation. It'll be able to reach every nook and cranny in your pool, and rarely misses spots.
Second of all, it seriously provides a GREAT clean. Not only does it have a really strong vacuum, but it uses 4 different cleaning modes to clean your pool so it adjusts the different types of debris. I'm not sure how it knows, but it even sweeps out some stains, sucks algae/sand, and even gets rid of the large debris.
It also has a pretty nice remote control option in the rare case it misses a spot or you want it to go further up the walls. It's a nice option to have rather than having to go do it yourself. The remote control feature isn't perfect, but it's good enough to use without a lot of frustration.
When you're buying an expensive product you want a good warranty plan. Fortunately, it comes with a fantastic 3 year warranty, but unfortunately that is paired with bad customer service. It's hard to reach out to customer support and they aren't very helpful. Make sure to read the warranty terms so your warranty isn't voided.
Bottom Line: It's a premium cleaner at a premium price and it is well worth it. It works well and has nice features, but it's not for those on a budget.
You can't go wrong with the Aqua Products ABJR Aquabot Jr. This automatic inground pool cleaner is an absolute beast!
As a robotic pool cleaner it's really easy to set up and configure. Within minutes of opening the package, you'll have it running in your pool and cleaning away. All you need is a GFCI power outlet, which is your standard pool area outlet.
From there, you can forget about it since it is low maintenance and doesn't get tangled in its cord like other cleaners do. The only difficulty you might encounter is if you have a really complicated pool shape with tight corners.
It's good for concrete and vinyl pools (fiberglass untested) so if your pool is the typical concrete or gunite pool then you'll be fine using the Aquabot ABJR Jr.
It has its own self contained filtration system with a filtration rate of 4500 gallons an hour so it can really chug through a lot of water making sure it gets everything. The clean is really solid overall. It gets anything from fine particles to larger leaves, leaving your pool with clean, clear water.
Not only does it clean the pool floor well, but it'll also get most of the walls with an estimated completion time of 2-3 hours. Other cleaners require a lot more time which can make cleaning your pool inconvenient. It doesn't get much shorter than 2-3 hours.
Bottom Line: It's definitely a top inground pool cleaner that provides a good clean that you can count on. It's a mid-range price point, but definitely worth a buy.
This Polaris robotic pool cleaner is one of the best inground robotic pool cleaners, but you wouldn't expect a pool mediocre cleaner for its hefty price!
Like any other robotic pool cleaner, the Polaris Sport is pretty easy to set up and get working in the pool.
It's actual cleaning system doesn't make it any harder for you. With its proprietary navigation system called ActivMotion Sensor Technology its able to easily map out a pool and clean out all over. However, it also comes with a bunch of pro-programmed patterns so if your pool matches one of the patterns then you should use it for an even better clean
Unfortunately, for some reason it just doesn't seem to consistently clean walls -it's pretty hit or miss in fact. Sometimes it'll clean all of the pools pretty well, but when it doesn't clean the walls it doesn't even seem to even try which is a little surprising.
To counter this and any other spots it might miss you can use the remote control option. This is a great feature so that you can still clean your pool from the comforts of your chair and Margarita instead of having to go by your pool yourself and manually sweep it.
When it comes to what it can clean the Polaris Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner excels in diversity. It's able to clean all types of debris and, because of its Vortex Vacuum Technology, can easily clean larger debris and still maintain a constant flow.
It's pretty good with smaller debris, but it'll miss some fine debris every now and then. With that in mind, if your pool has a lot of sand or dirt then you want to consider the extra filter add on to help filter and pick up more of the fine debris.
Bottom Line: It's one of the best inground pool cleaners and it does its job well. Despite minor cons it's worth a buy if you're willing to spend the money on a premium pool cleaner. Just make sure you read the warranty!
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Pentair is one of the best pool cleaner brands available and they don't disappoint with the GW9500 Great White. It's a good automatic pool cleaner that will clean your inground pools effectively no matter what it was made with.
It may sometimes just clean the deep end of the pool which is a little annoying, and every once in a while it will get stuck despite it's awesome turning system that it uses to get out of tight corners.
However, when it is working on full steam then you'll notice how effective it is. It uses a scrub and vacuuming mechanism at the same time. This dual cleaning system allows it to not only clean various debris, but also actually scrub your pool.
It doesn't clean steps well, but it's pretty good on the floor (excluding the occasional miss on the shallow end) and will often get to the waterline of the pool walls.
Bottom Line: It's not the best inground pool vacuum, but it's an inground pool cleaner that is worth having. You won't waste your money on it because it does its job, but you can find better alternatives. You'll still get a decent clean with the Kreepy Krauly great white though.
Smartpool SmartKleen-Robotic Pool Cleaner is at best a mediocre pool cleaner. It's only really good for small pools that won't require heavy cleaning. This is because it has trouble cleaning medium pool debris and easily gets tangled.
It's not the best inground pool vacuum, but at least it can clean different pool materials pretty well - even tricky fiberglass.
Annoyingly, the cord gets tangled pretty easily - even in smaller pools. However, it makes up for it with a large filter bag so that it doesn't need a lot of replacing.
The overall clean is kind of lacking. It doesn't clean algae well and always missed the same corner in my pool.
One feature I liked was the 2 hour auto shut off. With this feature I didn't have to constantly over it and could really just leave it alone.
Bottom Line: It doesn't even come close to one of the best pool cleaners. We gave it 3 stars out of 5, because of it lacks flexibility and true cleaning power.
It's really only good for small pools requiring a light clean.
The Pentair Kreepy Krauly Suction Side Inground Pool Cleaner is just an average pool vacuum.
Out of the box it's pretty easy to set up since it's just one part. You don't have to screw any parts together - just some hinges which is pretty easy.
It's actual cleaning is good because the random pattern it uses gets most areas in the pool. As with any random pattern there will be spots that miss but if you run it long enough it'll work out because it can regulate its own water flow for a good clean.
On the other hand sometimes it does get stuck so it's a little annoying because it's not as automatic as you would hope. I mentioned it has great coverage but it doesn't climb the stairs. Normally I wouldn't expect an inground pool cleaner to do so, but the product description claims it can.
Other than that it's still pretty good. It'll get most debris but isn't too good with large leaves and sticks so if you have larger debris then don't go with the Pentair Kreepy Krauly.
Bottom Line: It's just average. Not really worth a buy but if you really want to test it out it'll still do its job. If it didn't get stuck so much it would be a lot better (probably around a 4.1-4.2 out of 5).
Our Top Choices
Best For the Money
XtremepowerUS Generic Kreepy Krauly
- Adapts to all types of pool shapes
- Uses pump instead of electricity
Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner
- Powerful, effective clean
- Gets hard to reach spots
- Handles all types of debris
Our #2 Choice
Pentair Sand Shark In Ground Cleaner
- Wide clearing path
- Dual scrub and vacuum motion for awesome clean
How to Choose the Best In Ground Pool Cleaner
Even though we picked out our favorite 3 inground pool cleaners does NOT mean they will be the best for you. My recommended 3 are just general suggestions. It’s important to learn how to pick the right cleaner for your budget, type of pool, and dirtiness.
Inground pool cleaners have a large range of pricing and can even up to a grand. Like with all products, you get what you pay for. The cheaper pool cleaners are cheap but are also lower quality and tend to not last as long. Higher quality cleaners tend to have better cleaning ability, extra features, and consistency.
Overall, I’m not sure if I can justify the price of a premium pool cleaner. Although they have some improved cleaning ability and extra features, they’re up to 2-3 times as much as an average pool cleaner so it’s hard to justify that price. I recommend going for the middle ground – don’t get the cheapest cleaner available, but don’t get the most expensive either.
Consider Pool Shape, and Material
Inground pools come in a large variety of different forms. Complicated pool shapes can cause your inground cleaner to have difficulty cleaning your pool. Even a lot of obstacles in your pool (drastic drops, mini-walls) can pose as problems.
However, you’ll also want to know what material your in the ground pool is made of. Most pools are concrete or gunite pools while there are also vinyl and fiberglass pools. Some pools even have a cobblestone bottom and can be damaging to many pool cleaners. Understanding your pool is key before purchasing a cleaner.
Certain cleaners work better for certain types of debris. Understanding what kind of debris such as sand, sticks, leaves, dirt, etc. should play an important role in your buying decision. Most pool cleaners can take of medium debris, but many struggle with either or small debris.
There are some that are good at all types of debris and may be a little more expensive. Typically, these are worth it if you have a lot of different types of debris because they’ll save you a TON of time.
All of these are important factors to consider. If you’re buying a pool cleaner don’t skimp out on quality or you may just end up wasting your money. However, you still don’t want to buy the best cleaner available because it’s probably overkill for your pool.
Understanding your pool and the debris in it is important too so you buy the correct cleaner. Even if you get the best cleaner on the market if it’s not right for your pool then it won’t be effective and may end up wasting your time.
Lastly, be sure to read your warranty terms and conditions so that you can be sure to have protection in case something goes wrong with your pool cleaner. You don’t want anything to go wrong after you find the best pool cleaner for you!
If you have any questions about the best inground pool cleaner for you please let us know in the comments below!