What’s the Best Portable Pool Vacuum Cleaner for 2021?

Are you looking for an affordable way of cleaning your pool? The best way to deal with the issue is to invest in a quality handheld pool vacuum.

Handheld pool vacuums are affordable but also easy and quick to use, allowing you to clean the pool immediately before dipping in.

Need help finding one? Take a few minutes to check our top-of-the-line manual pool vacuums and a buyer’s guide on how to choose one.

And if you’re in a rush, here’s a list of our top picks:

Best Rated Manual Pool Vacuums

Water Tech Pool Blaster Max Li Pool & Spa Cleaner

(Best Handheld Pool Vacuum)

Water Tech Pool Blaster Max is among the most popular and efficient handheld pool cleaners. Its Water Tech P30 motor design provides increased suction and efficient cleaning.  

You can use it for spot-cleaning or cleaning your entire pool. It comes with a removable 10.5” cleaning head and a nose cone underneath. It’s meant to allow quick cleanups along with ease of use in corners and hard-to-reach areas. 

It’s important to note that this one is suitable for both above-ground and in-ground pools. It has a large debris canister that holds leaves, sand, twigs, acorns, and sand. 

Also, this handheld pool vacuum is cordless. It comes with a lithium-ion battery that provides up to one hour of run time. It attaches to a standard telescopic pool pole and doesn’t require a hose. 

Water Tech Pool Blaster Max Li Pool & Spa Cleaner


  • Vacuum Head: 10.5 in
  • Run Time: up to 1 h
  • Weight: 6.85 lbs


  • One-button operation 
  • Large debris cartridge 
  • Cordless 


  • Could be heavy to some (6lbs) 

POOL BLASTER Water Tech Catfish Rechargeable, Battery-Powered, Swimming Pool Cleaner

(Best Pick for Soft-Side Pools)

This Pool Blaster is one of the best handheld pool vacuums thanks to its suction power and convenience. It’s a cordless vacuum, featuring a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that lasts some 45 minutes.  

It doesn’t require any hoses and is ideal for soft-side and above-ground pools as well as small in-ground pools. It comes with a removable 7.5” cleaning head with a soft–bristle brush that picks up everything from leaves and twigs to sand and dirt. 

Also, the vacuum head removes to expose a nose cone head that’s ideal for reaching all tight areas. This means easier cleaning of all the corners and edges. 

This Pool Blaster pool vacuum cleaner comes with a wall charger as well. The package also includes an all-purpose filter bag and two disposable micro-filter bags. 

POOL BLASTER Water Tech Catfish Rechargeable, Battery-Powered, Swimming Pool Cleaner


  • Cleaning Head: 7.5 in
  • Weight: 3.05 lbs
  • Run Time: 45 min


  • Durable metal frame 
  • One-button operation 
  • Lightweight (3lbs


  • Doesn’t fit many cleaning poles 

Intex Handheld Rechargeable Vacuum 

(The Most Versatile Option)

Intex Handheld is a rechargeable pool vacuum cleaner that’s quite easy to use. It’s perfect for quick cleanups, especially if you often deal with bugs, sand, and other such particles in your pool.  

It has strong, built-in Ni-MH rechargeable batteries that last approximately 50 minutes per charge. Also, it provides powerful suction that helps to remove all kinds of dirt from the bottom of your pool. 

Keep in mind that it’s built to fit all PureSpas and above-ground pools that are under 18′ in diameter. It has an automatic shutoff feature for when it’s not in water. 

It includes two interchangeable brush heads, a 94” lightweight telescopic aluminum shaft, a USB cable, and a shaft adapter to fit other telescopic aluminum shafts. 

Intex Handheld Rechargeable Vacuum


  • Shaft: 94 in
  • Weight: 4.7 lbs
  • Run Time: 50 min


  • IPX8 waterproof 
  • Interchangeable brush heads 
  • Easy to empty and maintain 


  • Batteries take nearly 10 hours to charge 

TACKLIFE Rechargeable Handheld Pool Vacuum

(Best Maneuverability)

Tacklife handheld pool vacuum cleaner is equipped with a rechargeable 2200 mAh li-ion battery. It offers 70 to 80 minutes of run time, which should be enough to properly maintain most pools.  

It comes with a telescopic shaft that you can extend to 7.6 feet. This allows you to reach all areas of your pool, leaving no corner unattended. 

Its round suction head picks up fine gravel, sand, and small particles that are usually on the bottom of the pool. This one weighs 3 pounds, so it’s pretty easy to use. Also, the Twist&Lock design allows you to secure it in place so that you can clean comfortably and without any issues. 

The motor, as well as the battery, are tightly wrapped and protected against any moisture penetrating and damaging the components.

TACKLIFE Rechargeable Handheld Pool Vacuum


  • Shaft: 7.6 ft
  • Weight: 3 lbs
  • Run Time: 80 min


  • Transparent filter tube 
  • Waterproof design 
  • Long battery life (80 minutes) 


  • Tricky to get used to at first 

Aqua First NE4481 Typhoon Handheld Pool Vacuum

(High-Quality Internal Pump)

Aqua First NE4481 Typhoon is among the best handheld pool vacuums due to its versatility and convenience. It weighs a little over 5 pounds but is cordless and easy to maneuver with.  

It doesn’t require any tubes or hoses, although you can attach it to your telescopic pole if you want to reach distant areas of your pool. It’s compatible with most poles, so you probably won’t have any issues with that. 

Its rechargeable lithium battery provides up to 60 minutes of run time when fully charged. This should be enough to remove all sand, dirt, algae, and other small debris from your swimming pool. Its high-quality internal pump is strong enough to pick up small rocks as well. 

One thing to keep in mind is that this handheld pool vacuum is meant for above-ground pools only. 

Aqua First NE4481 Typhoon Handheld Pool Vacuum


  • Warranty: 1-year
  • Weight: 5.4 lbs
  • Run Time: 60 min


  • Charger included 
  • For all kinds of debris 
  • Easy to empty 


  • It takes too long to charge (up to 16 hours) 

What Makes the Best Portable Pool Vacuum?

Finding the best handheld pool vacuum can sometimes be tricky, depending on your previous experience with these cleaners. Still, don’t worry if it’s your first time purchasing one because the process is rather simple once you discover all the critical buying factors.  

Ending up with cleaner that doesn’t fit your needs is annoying, so take a few minutes to read the guide below as the information we share can help you make the pick the ideal pool cleaner for your needs. 

Types of Pool Vacuums

As you probably know, there are quite a few different types of pool vacuums. These are suitable for different pools, sporting varying suction power. 

You should always consider all types before making a purchase. It’s the safest way of ensuring that the cleaner you got fits your needs and preferences. 


Manual cleaners are probably the most common and popular type of vacuums for swimming pools. Although most people think automatic cleaners are more convenient, manual cleaning is actually far more efficient in most cases.  

Manual pool vacuums attach to a standard pole, using the pool’s circulation system. The water creates suction that is then pulled into the pump, filtering out all the debris and dirt. 

Venturi cleaners are another option when it comes to manual vacuums. These are better for large, lightweight debris like leaves. 


Robots are self-contained and self-propelled, making it easy to clean all kinds of pools. A robot pool vacuum is powered electrically, so it doesn’t have to be connected to the pool’s circulation system. In most cases, these are plug-and-play products that don’t require dedicated lines or booster pumps. 

Many models are designed to remove grime from the bottom as well as the sidewalls of your pool. 


Suction pool cleaners connect to the pool in a similar way manual models do. But, they’re a bit more convenient if you’re looking for a hands-off approach.  

Once connected, these propel through the pool by a hopping motion. It’s generated by a diaphragm cartridge or a baffle. The models may differ from one another, depending on the features, but the cleaning method remains roughly the same. 


Pressure-driven pool vacuums use a booster pump or your pool’s return line. These have a debris bag or another similar container where all the debris goes once it’s picked up from the floor. 

They’re propelled by the water pressure that’s forced through the vacuum. This creates a lift, forcing the debris into the collection bag. 

These are pretty popular and easy to use, but they’re usually best for larger pools that are otherwise tricky to clean. 

Battery Charging & Run Time

As you noticed, most handheld pool vacuums are cordless and battery-operated. This means that they a somewhat unlimited reach but limited run time.  

Make sure to check the run time your handheld pool vacuum offers. Most models have reliable batteries that last 30 to 60 minutes. However, check the time it takes to recharge as well. 

Pool Pole

At some point, you’ll have to attach your handheld pool vacuum to a pole. This would allow you to clean distant areas that you can’t reach using the vacuum as a handheld.  

However, you should check if the pool pole is compatible with the vacuum cleaner. If you don’t have a pole, now is a good time to get one. 

Pool Size

These are typically designed to work for small pools. Because it’s a handheld, you won’t be able to reach so far in unless you use a pole. Even then, it would be too challenging to clean deep and large pools.  

It’s meant for quick cleanups of generally clean water that has some twigs and algae, as well as for leaf cleaning.


Filtration is always important, especially if you’re planning to use your pool vacuum cleaner frequently. Think about the type of debris you’re usually dealing with as well.  

Look for a handheld pool vacuum that has a reliable filtration system that’s also easy to remove and wash. 


Handheld pool vacuums can be quite powerful, depending on the motor and batteries they come with. Suction power can make or break a pool vacuum, especially if you’re looking to clean larger debris.  

Luckily, handheld pool vacuums are generally powerful and suitable for all kinds of dirt and particles. 

Weight & Design

Both weight and design are critical when choosing among best handheld pool vacuums. Because these are quite small when compared to other pool cleaners, they’re also relatively lightweight.  

The lightweight design of a cleaner allows easier maneuverability, especially once the vacuum is connected to a pole. 

Pool Skimmer

Since handheld pool vacuums are designed to be attached to the pool skimmer, you have to pay special attention to whether the two are compatible.  

Your pool skimmer will determine the suction power of the cleaner, which is a rather big deal. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Can I use a shop vac to clean my pool instead of a hoseless pool vacuum?

A: Nearly every shop vac can clean liquids, which is why people often think they’d be good for cleaning a pool. However, this would be quite risky and inconvenient in more ways than one.

Surely, a shop vac can remove debris that’s close to the water surface. However, you won’t be able to clean any dirt that’s at the bottom of the pool. For this reason, you should stick to using a handheld pool cleaner for the job.

Read More: Top Picks of Wet/Dry Cleaners


How to use a rechargeable pool vacuum?

A: Attach the head to one end of the telescopic pole so that you can reach the bottom of the pool. Attach the other end of the hose to the vacuum head.  

Hold the pole and carefully lower the cleaning head into the water. Find the filter skimmer and plug the other end of the hose into the water intake nozzle. 

Switch the filter nozzle to the intake mode, and you can start vacuuming. 


Why use a battery-powered pool vacuum?

A: Battery-powered pool vacuum cleaners are ideal for quick cleanups. There’s less hassle with both installation and use since these are cordless.

One thing to keep in mind is that these aren’t your typical manual pool vacuum cleaners. They still have sufficient suction power to remove nearly all debris from small pebbles, leaves, and twigs to sand, dirt, and algae.


Finding the best handheld pool vacuum may sound a bit tricky because there are as many models on the market. However, the process shouldn’t be as complicated once you consider all the buying factors we mentioned. 

The most important things to consider are the size of your pool and the type of debris you usually find in the water. Although most pool vacuums are rather versatile, you want to make sure that the one you choose fits your needs and preferences the best. 

Hopefully, the information we shared in our guide helped you choose among the vacuum cleaners we reviewed for you. These are the best that the market has to offer, so it’s unlikely you can go wrong with either one as long as it fits the size of your pool. 

Having the best model will ensure that your pool is always sparkling clean before you enter the water regardless of the type of dirt that was there. 

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I’ve been a dedicated writer for Clean That Floor for approximately 3 years. I’ve written about various topics, mostly focusing on cleaning products, vacuum cleaners, mops, and simple cleaning solutions for homeowners. I enjoy testing tips and tricks on house maintenance, reviewing both the process and results.

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