10 Best Suction Side Pool Cleaner Reviews 2017 – Buyer’s Guide

Last updated: April 29th, 2017.

We created these best suction side pool cleaner reviews to provide the best honest information on the web. Suction pool vacuums are more affordable than top robotic pool cleaners and are easier to maintain than pressure pool cleaners.

They help you clean your pool and make your life a lot easier at an affordable price.

Suction Pool Cleaners Comparison

ModelEditor RatingPrice 
1. Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000013 Automatic Suction Pool Cleaner
4.8 $$
2. Baracuda G3 W03000
4.6 $
3. Hayward PHS41CST Aquanaut 400
4.6 $$
4. Hayward 2025ADC PoolVac XL Automatic Suction Pool Cleaner
4.4 $$
5. XtremepowerUS Automatic Vacuum-generic Kreepy Krauly
4.3 $
6. Pentair GW9500 Great White
4.3 $$
7. Pentair GW7900 Kreepy Krauly Sand Shark InGround Suction Pool Cleaner
4.5 $$
8. Zodiac MX8
4.4 $$
9.Hayward 925ADC Navigator Pro Automatic Suction Pool Cleaner
4.3 $$
10. Pentair Kreepy Krauly Warrior Automatic In Ground Pool Cleaner - 360302
4.4 $$


This isn't to say they are perfect (if you have leaves buy a leaf canister), but these automatic pool vacuums are certainly awesome to have if you don't want to spend a ton of money. They are typically just a couple hundred bucks, but make sure you buy the right one for your pool size.

We don't want you to waste money by purchasing a bad one, or one that doesn't fit your needs because we know how annoying it can be to buy a bad product.

I've reviewed a number of suction vacuums - 10 in fact, and I highlight them in the table below. Be sure to read the buying guide at the bottom.

the best suction pool cleaners

Best Automatic Suction Pool Cleaners  Reviews

Editor Rating:

4.8/5

Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

The Hayward Poolvergnuegen Automatic Suction Pool Cleaner is seriously FANTASTIC. It doesn't clean finer dirt or sand well, so if you have a lot of sand and don't like the feeling of it on the bottom then this may not be for you.


While the Hayward Poolverneugen isn't good at cleaning fine debris, it is awesome at removing large debris - just as long as you get the line leaf canister (maybe around an extra 20 bucks), but it's definitely worth the little extra cost.

Hayward Poolvergnuegen
Hayward Poolvergnuegen

While a few people mention that it's best for less curvy pools, it handled all pool shapes in our case effectively and most people tended to agree. The 2 wheel design makes sure that it is constantly chugging along and never gets stuck!

Bottom line: This is easily the best suction pool cleaner that we reviewed. With a powerful clean that is evident everywhere in the pool the Hayward Poolverneugen is easily worth its average price.

Things We Liked


  • Reaches ENTIRE pool
  • Adjusts to multiple types of pools and surfaces
  • Unique wheel design causes smooth clean
  • Easily handle large debris

Things We Didn't Like


  • Doesn't pick up fine materials like sand
  • Requires line leaf canister to pick up medium or larger leaves

Price: $$

Editor Rating:

4.6/5

Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

The Baracuda G3 is an affordable pool cleaner that works extremely well.It's best used to clean up small or medium sized debris and does it well. However, it's not great for larger debris like larger sticks or leaves (making it not the ideal choice if your pool is under a tree with large, or lots of debris).

BARACUDA G3 W03000 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner

One of the great things about this Baracuda is that it will actually clean up to the pool's waterline - which actually separates it from other products.


The biggest thing that caught my eye was that it claimed to clean all around the pool - especially the impossible-to-clean steps. Unfortunately, it didn't deliver and I still had to clean the pool steps myself.

A less annoying problem I found out was that it's not great for some pool shapes that are more complicated. It's definitely best for a simple rectangle or oval shaped pool. It'll still clean pools with more complicated shapes, but just expect the Baracuda to miss some spots.

Bottom line: The Baracuda G3  is awesome and very affordable. I highly recommend this for most people looking for an inexpensive solution that comes with a good clean.

Things We Liked


  • Cleans small and medium sized debris
  • Cleans up to waterline very well
  • Best bang for your buck - very affordable

Things We Didn't Like


  • Doesn't clean steps despite advertised
  • Not good for pool shapes other than rectangle
  • Not ideal for pools under a tree

Price: $

Editor Rating:

4.6/5

Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

If you're looking for a solid clean and have a powerful suction pool pump then the Hayward Aquanut 400 is a great choice for you.

However, it truly does require a lot of suction and if you don't have it then it won't work well for you.This is probably because the system was designed to be very powerful. When it's working, this Hayward pool cleaner has a really strong sucking power so it can easily handle all types of debris.

Hayward Aquanaut 400 Suction Drive 4-Wheel Pool

One of the awesome things about it is that it will keep your pool floor SPOTLESS. It has a great in-built navigation system that also comes with some preset pool patterns.

Unfortunately, it's not as good with pool walls - failing to climb all the way up consistently. However, it makes up for its inability to climb the entire wall (normally does about 2/3 of the way up) by having an awesome 4 wheel system. This prevents it from getting stuck and allows it to travel smoothly across your pool - even against rough surfaces.

Unfortunately, it can get worn pretty quickly by rough surfaces (such as cobble/pebble floor) so don't get the Hayward Aquanut if you have a rough pool surface (concrete/gunite is fine).

Bottom Line: The Hayward Aquanut 400 is a great buy ONLY if you have a strong pool pump and will give your pool a GREAT clean. If you're not sure about the strength of the pump then get another cleaner.

Things We Liked


  • Power suction gets all types of debris
  • 4 wheel movement for efficient cleaning
  • Awesome navigation system

Things We Didn't Like


  • Doesn't climb walls all the way
  • Wears out on rough surfaces quickly

Price: $$

Editor Rating:

4.4/5

Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

The Hayward PoolVac XL is an above ground pool vacuum that is solid and dependable.

With its proprietary SmartDrive steering it gets just about everywhere on the pool floor and walls - though it isn't great with steps.

It also gave a good clean everywhere it went and I only really have to brush the steps.

Hayward Pool Vac Pool Cleaner

It isn't good for larger debris such as rocks and sticks which is the only major con I found. A slightly smaller con is that it isn't great for larger pools (50 feet or more).

The thing that I really enjoyed about the Hayward PoolVac XL Automatic Pool Cleaner for Concrete Pool is that it  is so easy to set up and deploy in my pool, and take it out. 

Bottom Line: The Hayward Poolvac XL is one of the best suction pool cleaners out there. Although it isn't perfect, I believe that almost anyone would make good use of it (unless you have a large pool and large debris).

Things We Liked


  • Awesome pool coverage
  • Efficient debris pickup
  • Easy to set up and deploy into pool

Things We Didn't Like


  • Trouble with larger debris
  • Not great with large pools

Price: $$

Editor Rating:

4.3/5

Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

Well, you truly get what you pay for. The XtremepowerUS Automatic Vacuum-generic Kreepy Krauly may be the one of the cheapest on the market, but it shows.

Yes, it actually cleans the walls and is generally pretty fast.


Unfortuantely, there are no other real pros. 

XtremepowerUS Automatic Vacuum-generic Kreepy Krauly Climb Wall Pool Cleaner

As a bit of a disaster, its weak suction means that it has a relatively bad clean and it is easily clogged by leaves. By constantly getting stuck because of bad navigation I found that this suction water vacuum really did not save me any time.

It MIGHT be okay for small, rectangular pools that only need light cleaning, but even in this case opt for higher quality. It would be better so you don't waste the money on this (even though it's not much).

Bottom line: It's almost more time to maintain and watch than it is to actually clean the pool. However, it may be worth a buy if you have a really small pool.

Things We Liked


  • Actually cleans walls as advertised
  • Fast clean

Things We Didn't Like


  • Easily clogged by leaves
  • Average navigation
  • Weak suction

Price: $

Editor Rating:

4.3/5

Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

Pentair Kreepy Krauly Great White Inground Pool Cleaner is one of Pentair's best products. It's extremely well priced for the amazing clean it delivers. This Kreepy Krauly really helped with the pool maintenance and is one of the best inground pool cleaners.

Pentair GW9500 Kreepy Krauly Great White Inground Pool Cleaner

Unfortunately, it can sometimes get stuck in circles. However, it is a pretty rare occurrence and isn't a really large problem. It happened only a couple of times for the three years it has been in use.
 
It is also versatile because it handles all types of pools (regardless of shape, size, or material) so you don't have to worry about it not working in your own pool.


Bottom line: This Kreepy Krauly is one of the top suction pool vacuums!

Things We Liked


  • Works great for different pool materials
  • Well priced for its clean
  • Handles various pool shapes well

Things We Didn't Like


  • [Rarey] goes in circles
  • Needs parts replacements
  • Doesn't clean algae

Price: $$

Editor Rating:

4.5/5

Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

The Pentair Sand Shark is a top suction pool cleaner. It doesn't deserve praise as it is the best, but it's definitely a pool cleaner that deserves consideration by anyone.


First, we can go with the cons before we lay out the good stuff and fortunately it only really has 2 cons.

The first, is that the Pentair Sand Shark isn't good for pools with complex pool floors. By "complex pool floors" I mean pools with a lot of obstacles on the bottom because they can make the Sand Shark get stuck.

Kreepy Krauly SandShark

The second con is that when the filtration pack/bag becomes full then it can cause the sand Shark to stall and stop moving. This isn't too bad of a con because the filter bag is a pretty good size. If you're on top of emptying it then this won't be a problem at all. 


One of the features that makes this suctions side pool cleaner unique is that it has amazing cleaning width. At 12 inches and about 30% more than other cleaners, this makes it less likely to miss spots in the pool and more likely to pick up your debris. 

This feature really comes to shine if you have a lot of fine debris such as sand, dirt or algae since it'll sweep it all up. 


This Pentair pool cleaner is not only a good cleaner, but it is able to handle a big variety of pools. While it can't clean competitive or most commercial pools, it will be able to navigate most private pools because it has a 32 foot hose. Depending where your suction side port is located in your pool, a 32 foot hose can allow it to clean pools up to about 45 feet in length.

Keep in mind this is HIGHLY dependent on where the suction side port is located so it might not be able to clean your pool.

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.

Things We Liked


  • Huge cleaning path
  • Double cleaning technqiue
  • Effective in variety of pools

Things We Didn't Like


  • Full filter bag can cause Sand Shark to stall
  • Can get stuck on obstacles

Price: $$

Editor Rating:

4.4/5

Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner is a SOLID. Unlike other ones we reviewed it doesn't require a lot of energy and still works well with mediocre pumps. While it has great pool coverage and cleans most of the pool it will occasionally get stuck and you'll have to restart it.

Baracuda Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner

It was designed to be able to provide a solid clean and handle large debris. While I found this to be true for the most part it sometimes isn't able to deal with larger leaves (for most people this isn't a problem). The only other con was that it only typically lasts 2-3 years which isn't terrible, but isn't great.

However, the fact that it gave such a powerful clean made this negligible.

Bottom line: Awesome pool product that will get the job done. It will reach almost everywhere in your pool and will clean it well. The Zodiac MX8 will even work well if your pool has a weak pump.

Things We Liked


  • Powerful clean great for large debris
  • Awesome pool coverage
  • Energy efficient means low stress on pool

Things We Didn't Like


  • Occasionally gets stuck
  • Not great with large leaves

Price: $$

Editor Rating:

4.3/5


Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

The Hayward Navigator Pro is a pool cleaner with a lot of potential. Admittedly, it's a pretty odd word for a pool cleaner, but as you read on you'll understand.

First of all, it's a dream to set up. Out of the box, you'll have it up and running your pool within the half hour. For a suction pool cleaner that is INCREDIBLY fast.

Hayward Navigator Pro Automatic Suction Pool Cleaner for Gunite Pools

Second of all, it cleans like a dream. It'll get all the debris in the pool - big and large or sand & large leaves - this Hayward suction pool cleaner will get it all. 

Better yet, it'll go through your entire pool and clean everything. It's advanced SmartDrive steering allows it to go through every nook and cranny of your pool. 

Yes, the Navigator Pro can do all of this when it's working (it has some consistency issues). This is why I used the word potential. Myself and many other users have found that after months or even weeks the cleaner will need replacement parts. 

Don't be lured by the sales agents - this pool cleaner will make you spend more money and waste your time hoping the pool cleaner will make money. 

Bottom Line: Do NOT Buy the Hayward Navigator Pro. It's a good cleaner when it works but you'll spend a lot of time and money getting it fixed up. Get a better cleaner for a cheaper price.

Things We Liked


  • Gets ALL debris
  • Fast set up and installation
  • Awesome navigation system

Things We Didn't Like


  • Short product life, needs lots of repairs

Price: $$

Editor Rating:

4.4/5


Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

The Pentair Kreepy Kraul Warrior a real solid pool cleaner that is great for anybody looking for a suction pool robot.

It's a full on dream - it works on all type of pools (concrete/gunite, fiberglass, vinyl) and is good for small to moderately sized pools.

It doesn't ever get stuck or clogged either which is rare for some suction side pool cleaners.

Kreepy Krauly Warrior Automatic In Ground Pool Cleaner

However, one small exception is that while it doesn't get stuck, sometimes it'll stay cleaning in the deep end. It can have trouble getting into the shallow end. 

Unlike most cleaners the Pentair Kreepy Krauly Warrior actually climbs your pool walls. It'll get most of the dirt and algae (if you have any). I say most because while it's a solid pool cleaner it's not powerful to get anything.

Bottom Line: The Pentair Kreepy Krauly is one of the best suction pool cleaners. Solid and dependable, it is a great cleaner at a good price.

Things We Liked


  • Fully climbs walls
  • Great on all types of pool materials
  • Doesn't get stuck or clogged

Things We Didn't Like


  • Occasionally can't get out of deep end

Price: $$

the best automatic suction pool cleaner

Picking the Best Suction Pool Cleaners For You

The 3 we highlighted are definitely some of the best, but it doesn’t mean that they are right for you. Remember to select the best suction pool cleaner that fits YOUR needs.

There are NO perfect pool cleaners. The ones we picked are good for all types of situations but don’t necessarily specialize in one area. When picking one make sure to keep in mind: price, pool shape, pool material, pool size (something that people easily forget about), size of debris, cleaning frequency, and cleaning intensity.

You do NOT need an EXPENSIVE pool vacuum that meets all of these well. Understand your pool’s needs to pick the right one for you so you don’t waste money.

For example, if you only have fine sand and small leaves in your pool then you DO NOT need a heavy duty pool vacuum capable  ofhandling large debris. It is not necessary and you will waste money paying for the premium product. It’ll still work fine, you’ll just be paying more for the same results

Most importantly be sure that you have a suction side port you can attach to otherwise there is no point in having a suction pool cleaner. It also helps to have a pump to increase the suction, which means increased cleaning power. It’s not necessary, but you’ll find that it will help stay on the walls better and pick up larger debris.

Best Pool Buying Guide Conclusion

All of these products are worth buying (with the exception of #2). Just make sure that if you really want to make the most out of your money then you buy the one that is best suited for your pool.

Be sure to check out our top 3 picks because these definitely stood out above and beyond the rest — and for good reason. After all, we don’t want you to waste your time and money on a bad suction pool vacuum.

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any more questions in the comments! I LOVE helping people pick the right products for their needs and will be happy to answer any questions regarding our suction side pool cleaner reviews.

Laurie S.

As a multi home owner for 15 years I've tried out a ton of pool products and methods and have found out the best ones that work for me. I love helping out other people with real, honest advice and spending time with my family. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me in the about or through a comment.

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