Pools are great for exercise, recreation, and relaxation. They also boost property values. However, they’re a huge responsibility because of the upkeep they entail.
Although pool cleaning can be tedious, it’s a necessity if you want to keep enjoying all the benefits of having a pool in your backyard. Whether it’s an above-ground or in-ground pool, regular vacuuming should be part of your maintenance activities.
If you’ve been looking for the best handheld pool vacuums, we’ve compiled a list to help you find the one that suits you best.
Top Handheld Pool Vacuum for In Ground and Above Ground Pools
Best Handheld Pool Vacuum for Above Ground Pools: Intex Handheld Rechargeable Spa Pool Vacuum
Intex’s battery-powered, handheld vacuum is the best-rated handheld pool vacuum. This Handheld vacuum for above-ground pools that works well up to 18 feet in diameter and PureSpa, Intex’s line of inflatable hot tubs.
This lightweight handheld pool vacuum is powered by rechargeable batteries which can be charged via a USB port. The vacuum is easy to use. To use it, submerge the vacuum completely in water and it will turn on automatically. To turn it off, you only need to lift it from the water and it will shut off on its own.
It comes with a convenient 94-inch telescopic pole which easily allows you to extend its vacuuming abilities to reach the middle of your pool and other hard-to-reach areas. Additionally, the vacuum comes with two interchangeable heads: one for cleaning the bottom of the pool and another triangular head for cleaning corners and sides.
- Easy to set up and use
- Comes with two interchangeable brush heads and a telescopic pole
- Doesn’t rely on the pool pump for suction
- Best for small-sized pools
- Not made for big pools
- Takes 8 hours to recharge the batteries
Best Handheld Pool Vacuum for In-Ground Pools: Pool Blaster Water Tech Catfish Battery-Powered Cleaner
Pool Blaster offers a lightweight and easy-to-use vacuum that is suitable for vacuuming small pools including above-ground, in-ground, and soft-sided pools. Weighing less than three pounds, this lightweight cordless swimming pool cleaner relies on a rechargeable lithium battery which can be charged in four hours and can run up to 45 minutes on a full charge.
You can attach the pool blaster to a standard telescopic pool for extended reach to clean all kinds of spas and pools without pumps or messy hoses. This is the top-rated handheld pool vacuum for algae, for sand, and leaves.
Each Catfish Battery-Powered Swimming Pool Cleaner includes a 7.5-inch vacuum head with a soft bristle brush, nose cap, filter bag, debris container, motor bags, and micro filter bags.
- Easy on/off operation
- Can remove twigs, sand, algae, and leaves
- Up to 45 minutes of continuous use
- Doesn’t come with a telescopic pole
- Motor not durable
More Handheld Pool Vacuum Options
There are other excellent options in the market in addition to the Intex and Pool Blaster vacuums. Here are a couple more for you to consider.
Pool Blaster Max Cordless Rechargeable, Battery-Powered Pool Cleaner
This model from Pool Blaster is a more heavy-duty version of the Water Tech Catfish vacuum we reviewed earlier. It’s engineered for fast and efficient debris pickup for any size hot tub or pool. Though it uses the same motor for suction, it has a larger chamber for collecting debris which can accommodate twigs, acorns, and clumps of leaves. Its vacuum head is also slightly larger at 12.75 inches instead of the Water Tech Catfish’s 10.5-inch head.
Other than that, it features the same lightweight cordless design and four hours of charging which is good for 60 minutes of operation.
- Multi-layer filter
- Suitable for use with different pool sizes
- Larger 12.75-inch vacuum head for faster cleaning
- Motor not durable
Kokido Telsa 5, Rechargeable Above Ground Pool and Spa Vacuum
Kokido’s handheld vacuum is ideal for cleaning soft-wall above-ground pools that are up to 18 feet in diameter. Its wide nozzle comes with rotational balls which are designed to conveniently glide along the floor of your pool.
It has a powerful suction that vacuums sand and debris easily from the pool’s bottom without clogging. It also offers simultaneous filtering and vacuuming functions which help extend the life of your filter.
The Telsa 5 is easy to set up and can be attached to standard 5.6-foot poles. It also comes with a detachable filter bag for easy cleaning.
- Easy assembly
- Simultaneous filtering and vacuuming function for extended filter life
- Rotational balls facilitate easy cleaning of the pool’s bottom
- Instruction manual is not that helpful
- Short battery life of only a few minutes
Poolmaster 28300 Big Sucker Swimming Pool Leaf Vacuum
Poolmaster’s 28300 Big Sucker Swimming Pool Leaf Vacuum was specifically designed to get rid of huge leaves and debris from pools. This vacuum features a 15-inch opening that allows larger objects to pass through it while multi-directional wheels facilitate cleaning debris from the pool floor.
The vacuum connects to standard garden hoses and uses eight nozzles to create jets of water. This then creates a powerful suction that draws the leaves from your pool into the debris bag.
Poolmaster’s pool leaf vacuum can be connected to standard-sized telescopic poles for added versatility.
- Works well for vacuuming leaves
- Easy and quick to use
- Only good for vacuuming leaves, not small particles
- Since you have to connect it to a hose, it is not lightweight
Aiper Smart Handheld Rechargeable Pool Vacuum
Aiper Smart’s handheld push-button vacuum comes with a built-in battery that is fully charged in three hours and can be used for up to an hour. The battery-powered tool is excellent for ground pools or pools with attached fountains and spas. Since this is a cordless vacuum, it is lightweight and easy to use with a standard telescopic pole or even underwater.
Its high suction capacity is suitable for fast and efficient spot cleaning and debris pickup. You can use it for vacuuming silt, leaves, bugs, acorns, and pollen. It features IPX8 technology so you can be sure that its mechanism is waterproof and will last you a long time.
- Lightweight cordless cleaning
- Can be used underwater
- Powerful suction saves you effort and time
- Up to an hour of cordless operation
- Hard to clean pool floor with
- Not very durable
Blue Wave NE9872 Pool Blaster Fusion PV-10 Handheld Cleaner
Blue Wave’s Pool Blaster Fusion is a sleek and lightweight vacuum that is suitable for small and large pools. It includes a 4-piece pole that can be interconnected for deep cleaning your pool. Every handheld cleaner comes with a recyclable filter bag which the manufacturer claims can collect sand, algae, and leaves. The filter bags are conveniently easy to clean so you save time and effort when emptying them.
The cordless vacuum sucks dirt and debris from above-ground pools without a cumbersome cord. The battery-powered cleaner operates on a rechargeable battery that offers up to 45 minutes of operation after being fully charged.
- Easy assembly, use, and clean-up
- Sleek, lightweight design
- Good for small and large pools
- Includes a 4-piece detachable pole for deep cleaning
- Not effective for collecting sand
- Battery not replaceable
JLeisure Avenli Clean Plus 290717 Rechargeable Cordless Handheld Vacuum
JLeisure’s Avenli Clean Plus can be used for cleaning small pools and spas. It can collect leaves, sand, dirt, and other pool debris. This rechargeable cordless vacuum cleaner has the fastest charging time among the products we’ve reviewed so far at only two to three hours. After charging, you can use the handheld cleaner for up to one hour.
While it doesn’t come with a telescopic pole, it can be attached to a standard one for easy cleaning. It has a filter capacity of 1.5 liters and is 25 inches long. Additionally, it is easy to use and can be assembled in 10 minutes.
- Assembles in 10 minutes
- Lightweight, convenient, and easy to use
- Fast charging with an hour of operability
- Battery is hard to replace
- Doesn’t feel sturdy
Considerations When Buying a Handheld Pool Vacuum
Handheld pool vacuums offer unparalleled convenience compared to manual ones. However, there are still a few things you need to consider to find the right one for your pool and use. Take a look at the following aspects before purchasing one.
How big or small is your pool? The bigger the pool, the larger your vacuum’s dirt chamber should be. Getting a vacuum with a larger capacity means that you won’t need to empty it out as often saving you time and energy.
Swimming Pool Type
Is your pool above-ground or in-ground? How long and deep is your pool? Your answers will determine the type of vacuum you get. In-ground pool vacuums are manufactured to deal with depths of up to eight feet while above-ground pools are designed to take on shallower depths between four to 4 ½ feet. You’ll find that in-ground pool vacuums have much more power which can damage above-ground pools.
Most handheld pool vacuums are powered by rechargeable batteries. These are more lightweight than vacuums that depend on pumps and water to operate. When selecting battery-type pool vacuums, consider the time they need for charging and how long each charge lasts. Ideally, the pool vacuum you choose should at least allow you enough time to clean your entire pool on a single charge.
Because handheld pool vacuums are made to function in the water, it’s important to choose one that has a mechanism that is sufficiently waterproofed. This will add years of use to your vacuum.
How to Use a Handheld Pool Vacuum
Handheld pool vacuums make cleaning your pool a lot easier. Since they’re mostly reliant on rechargeable lithium batteries, they’re also lightweight and easy to maneuver. However, there are also handheld pool vacuums that need to be plugged in to work. These types of vacuums are ideal for small pools like above-ground pools and modest-sized in-ground ones.
Here’s how handheld pool vacuums are generally used:
- Assemble your handheld pool vacuum. They may entail different assembly so refer to the manufacturer’s manual.
- Attach your pool skimmer to the vacuum.
- Start vacuuming your pool.
- Vacuum the area slowly to efficiently get all the litter and debris. As you vacuum, you’ll want to ensure that there’s a slight overlap with the last area you went over.
Handheld vacuums have been preferred by small pool owners time and again for the following reasons:
- Offers an affordable and efficient way to clean your pool
- Easy to use and can be used to spot clean certain areas
- Has more power than several automatic pool vacuums
What Do I Do if My Handheld Pool Vacuum Starts and Stops?
If your vacuum starts and stops, the first thing to examine is the suction flow from the vacuum hose while it’s turned on. If the suction level is nonexistent or poor, adjust the control valve to strengthen it. The correct suction level will have your vacuum moving around the pool efficiently including the pool’s walls.
Here are other things you can try:
- Examine the length of the hose for air leaks. While the vacuum is switched on, run your hand along the hose to detect any leaks.
- Examine the hammer or diaphragm in the cleaner. Turn your filter and pump off first before you do so to prevent air from entering the mechanism. Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on how to dismantle the vacuum and take out the diaphragm.
My Vacuum Isn’t Cleaning the Pool.
Where are the water nozzles pointing? A common reason why vacuum cleaners might not reach the entire pool area is the jets are pushing towards the floor and against the cleaning direction. You should make sure that they point towards the pool’s surface allowing your vacuum to move smoothly underneath the water.
My Handheld Pool Vacuum Keeps Flipping Over.
First, make sure there’s sufficient suction. Next, examine the hose length. If the hose is too long or short, this could cause issues. Try adjusting the length to see if it fixes the problem. Additionally, the weight of the hose should be about a meter away from the vacuum head. Try moving it up and down until you find the right balance.
What Is the Best Rechargeable Pool Vacuum?
The best rechargeable pool vacuum is the Intex 28620 EP Handheld Rechargeable Spa Pool Vacuum. Its automatic on/off operation is easy to use while offering good suction and running time. Also, unlike many handheld pool vacuums, Intex’s product comes with a telescopic pole.
This product provides sound waterproofing features, ease of use, and great value.
There are so many vacuums in our best rated handheld pool vacuum list that the wealth of options can be overwhelming. Before you buy, it’s always best to evaluate any vacuum based on the type of pool you have and what exactly you need it to do.