Finding the Best Swimming Pool Vacuum Head + Reviews

If you have a pool, you understand how much maintenance is required to keep them looking good, and regular vacuuming is one of the easiest ways to make a pool sparkle, and the easiest way to clean your pool, besides hiring someone, is to buy a vacuum head, attach a vacuum hose to it, and connect the whole things to a pole.

The type of vacuum head you choose can make a big difference in how clean your pool will be and how much work it will require on your part. Here a few reviews to help you start shopping and a few tips on what to look for in the best vacuum head for swimming pools.

However, if you’re still wondering whether an automatic cleaner would do the job better, be sure to check out our article on Automatic Pool Cleaners: Robotic, Suction-side and Pressure-side!

Manual Pool Cleaning Using Vacuum Pool Heads

Manual pool cleaning is the basic method of lowering both the pole and vacuum head into the pool and then pushing the pole around to pick up the debris.

There are two types of vacuum heads:

  • Vinyl Lined Pool Head – this head is created for vinyl lined pools and instead of wheels, it has brushes.
  • Concrete Pool Head – this head is weighted and has wheels instead of brushes.

Here are a few reviews of some of the best pool vacuum heads currently on the market. 

Vacuum Head Reviews

Best Budget Option Hydro Tools 8131 Vacuum Head

Hydro Tools 8131 Vacuum Head

Hydro Tools 8131 Vacuum Head

A butterfly design is often said to have more efficiency than other pool vacuum head designs since it can clean a larger area at any time. The Hydro Tool engineers agreed with this idea when they designed the Hydro Tools 8131.

Since a butterfly shape is similar to the Hydro Tool’s existing rectangular head, they designed a user-friendly but sturdy design that works with either a 1.25 inch or 1.50 inch vacuum hose. Swimline, the maker of Hydro Tools, is known as a leader in the pool equipment industry and uses the highest quality materials for its products.


Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

PROS:
  • Good value, easy to use
  • Good weight and placement of bristles
  • Works well, lasts for years

CONS:
  • Needs more weight
  • Doesn’t sweep up going front and back

Check price on Amazon

If Money Isn’t an Issue Poolmaster 27250 Vacuum Head

Poolmaster 27250 Vacuum Head

Poolmaster 27250 Vacuum Head

For gunite pools that have a hard surface finish, you need a specific vacuum head to remove debris like the Poolmaster 27250. With its extra-wide body, this durable and flexible vacuum head will clean your pool before you know it. Covered in six weights, this vacuum head has a stable design and includes a durable swivel handle that is chrome-plated, plus it has twelve deluxe Nylon wheels that are mar-proof featuring stainless steel axles and ball-bearing action.

If you are looking for professional grade product, the Poolmaster’s Commercial Collection offers durable and high grade materials for both your maintenance professionals and your serious home maintenance buyer. This vacuum head cannot be used on vinyl liners pools, but can be used with any standard vacuum hose or pool pole. Constructed with six weights to keep the head from floating, the Poolmaster 27250 also features a chrome-plated swivel handle for better maneuverability.

Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

PROS:
  • Sturdy and good size
  • High-quality materials, solid construction
  • Good for large pools

CONS:
  • Wheels loosen and fall off
  • Pump needs to be at a high speed to work well

Check price on Amazon

Editor’s Pick Poolmaster Air Relief Vacuum Head

Poolmaster Air Relief Vacuum Head

Poolmaster Air Relief Vacuum Head

The Poolmaster’s Air Relief Vacuum Head was created to work on vinyl liner pools, but it can remove debris from pretty much any type of pool because of its easy-to-maneuver design. This vacuum head features a durable ABS body that is 13” wide and comes with adjustable air-relief valves that give you suction control and its weighted sides provide positive control. Perimeter brushes give the Poolmaster Air Relief vacuum a low-profile design that will work with almost any type of hose.

It you are looking for products that give you great performance and are built-to-last, the Poolmaster’s Classic Collection are made from components that are resilient and that are designed to keep your pool clean and sparkling. If you have either a fiberglass or vinyl liner, the Air Relief Vinyl Liner Vacuum includes a spring handle with stainless steel tension that helps in spring handle which aids in keeping the vacuum level to the pool floor and submerged.

With two air relief valves that are self-adjusting, you can control how much suction the vacuum creates, and the hose adaptor features a swivel-function that keep the hose from kinking during operation. The Poolmaster Air Relief Vinyl Liner Vacuum works with either a 1.25″ or a 1.5″ vacuum hose.

Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

PROS:
  • True to size description
  • Works great with vinyl liners
  • Great price, works well

CONS:
  • Need to cut out slots around the front so it doesn’t just push dirt around
  • Doesn’t have much weight to it

Check price on Amazon

Hydro Tools 8130 Vacuum Head

Hydro Tools 8130 Vacuum Head

Hydro Tools 8130 Vacuum Head

While the Hydro Tools 8130 is similar to the 8131, it has a significant difference in that it can be used for both in ground pools and above ground pools. It also features a standard vacuum head type that allows you to use with pretty much any hose type, and it has a durable and sturdy construction that will last you a long time. It may look basic and plain, but it is heavy-duty enough to stay weighted down at the bottom of the pool to get the job done.

The Hydro Tools 8130 was created for use with vinyl liner pools and features a special brush pattern that directs the dirt and debris right into the suction so that it will be removed easily. You receive optimal cleaning power from the heavy weights attached to it, and the Snap-Adapt handle will fit on any regular telepole.

Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

PROS:
  • Works well, good price
  • Easy to handle, picks up leaves well
  • Works well with vinyl pools

CONS:
  • Floats a little so you have to hold it in place
  • Hard to keep it attached to the hose

Check price on Amazon

Swimline Hydro Tools 8145 Pool Vacuum Head

Swimline Hydro Tools 8145 Pool Vacuum Head

Swimline Hydro Tools 8145 Pool Vacuum Head

If you have a vinyl-lined or fiberglass pool, the Swimline Hydro Tools 8145 is designed just for your needs, although it will also work in other pool types. It is perfect for getting into difficult pool corners due to its triangular shape, and its angled brushes make quick work of any debris.

The weighted design of the Swimline Hydro Tools 8145 makes sure that it never floats to the top while it is working. It features easy assembly with its Snap-Adapt handle and will fit a regular 1 ¼ inch and 1 ½ inch vacuum hose.


Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

PROS:
  • Looks good and is really sturdy
  • Weighted features works really well
  • Affordable and works well

CONS:
  • Not a very practical design
  • Hose tends to pull off the base

Check price on Amazon

Hydro Tools 8110 Vacuum Head

Hydro Tools 8110 Vacuum Head

Hydro Tools 8110 Vacuum Head

The half-moon design of the Hydro Tools 8110 vacuum head is weighted to make sure that you get the best clean possible. The Hydro Tools 8110 is weighted so that it stays at the bottom of the pool while in operation, and it comes with a quick snap pole adapter that will fit any kind of vacuum pole. A replaceable brush allows you to change it when needed, and the half-moon shape gives you a better forward-pushing motion while you are cleaning.

This Hydro Tools Swimming Pool Weighted Vacuum head can work with any type of swimming pool, and it will attach to any regular sized telescoping pole and any to either a 1 1/2″ or a 1 1/4″ vacuum hose. Swimline Hydrotools is known for providing some of the best supplies and best swimming pool replacement parts on the markets. They are designed to be easy to assemble and guarantee durability.

Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

PROS:
  • Is easy to get curved surfaces clean
  • Good suction, affordable price
  • Bristles are good quality

CONS:
  • Doesn’t work well on leaves and algae
  • Doesn’t work well on walls

Check price on Amazon

Milliard Weighted Vacuum Head

Milliard Weighted Vacuum Head

Milliard Weighted Vacuum Head

If you are looking for a traditionally shaped vacuum head with the weight of a concrete head, the Millard Weighted Vacuum Head should be on your list. It has locking clips that are spring-loaded that attach to standard extension poles. Its triangular plastic body is almost see-thru almost and makes it easier to move around with more accuracy. It also has intelligently placed weights on the sides, so your vacuum head won’t float but it will stay on the bottom of the pool the entire time.

When it meets algae and debris, this specially designed vacuum head just sinks down to attack it. It easily maneuvers its triangular body to twist and swivel into corners and crevices that other vacuum heads can’t reach. It also climbs along walls with ease, and if you need extra reach, the spring-loaded handle will give you that little extra length you need.

Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

PROS:
  • Good for cleaning up algae
  • Good weighted head, picks up well
  • Cleans silt of the pool stairs well

CONS:
  • Can be difficult to push around
  • Bristles are a little stiff

Check price on Amazon

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How to Choose The Best Pool Vacuum Head

One of the most important parts of pool maintenance is the pool vacuum head. When considering which to buy, there are a few key things to keep in mind. They may seem all the same, but they do differ in size, width, wheels and bearing, and ports, all of which determine how the vacuum head works.

Factors to Consider when Choosing a Pool Vacuum Head:

Width

The width of a pool vacuum head should be somewhere between 14 to over 40 inches depending on the brand you choose. A single glass pass will cover less surface area than a broadhead, and a wider head will include more drag.

If you choose a full vacuum, you will find that they are harder to push and are more labor intensive, but they clean the pool very quickly. Other broad vacuum heads will come with larger or multiple ports that give them greater suction. A small vacuum head will only cover a small area, but you will have less drag with it.

When choosing a size vacuum head, you should consider your level of physical ability. You should also think about how much space you have to store it.

Wheels

Vacuum head may have several wheels on their underside, and higher-end vacuum heads have ball bearings with their wheels for a smooth movement. Ball bearings have a rolling motion that lessens friction and lets the wheels slide smoothly making it easy to push the vacuum. This also makes them more durable since they reduce friction and strain on the wheels. Large vacuum heads should have wheels with ball bearings which help in dragging.

Design (shape)

Don’t forget to consider how your pool is designed. If it has a lot of curves, a triangular design will work best and will fit in any part of the pool to clean it.

Handles

A consideration you may not have thought of is the handle where the pole attaches. A handle is either made of stainless steel or plastic. Steel is stronger and doesn’t crack as easily as plastic, but plastic withstands chemicals and corrosion better as steel can become pitted if exposed to salt.

Time Management

Depending on the type of vacuum head you buy, it can take a long time to clean your pool. A traditional vinyl liner vacuum head is the triangle shaped head that has brushes along the side instead of wheels. If you have used one, you know they usually push a cloud of dirt or algae in front of it instead of sucking up all the debris. They also tend to be too light and float up as you are using them.

If you are looking for a faster vacuum head, a concrete vacuum head uses wheels like small roller skate wheels, so it can roll over dirt and debris and not push it. They are also weighted so they don’t float off the bottom of the pool and smoothly and quickly roll over the swimming pool bottom to pick up dirt and debris.


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Benefits of Manual Swimming Pool Vacuuming

A manual swimming pool vacuum is a lot cheaper than an automatic cleaner since it connects a hose from the intake pipe to the pool filter. It is operated with a vacuum head on wheels and a telescopic pole that is connected to a hose. The whole apparatus is placed in the pool and moved over the steps, sides, and bottom to suck out all the dirt and debris.

Since it has no moving parts, a manual pool vacuum is a cost-effective way to keep you pool clean, but it may take several hours to complete the task depending on the size of the swimming pool. Also, backwashing the filter after vacuuming can add more time to the cleaning process. Remember, if you pool’s filtration system is already clean it will help the pool cleaner work more efficiently.

Make sure you purchase a vacuum head that is maneuverable and durable. It is always a good idea to do some research and read reviews of potential vacuum heads before you buy. Since the creation of pool vacuum heads has made it so much easier to maintain your pool, they have grown in popularity and there are a lot of options on the market to choose from.


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Other Cleaning Methods

Below are the most common types of automatic pool cleaners – the more sophisticated (and more expensive) approach to pool cleaning.

We’ve actually writeen an article dedicated to Automatic Pool Cleaners, be sure to check it out! 

Suction Side Pool Cleaners

A suction side cleaner is attached to a dedicated suction line in your pool and uses the suction to move itself around the pool while it is cleaning and picking up dirt and debris.

Pressure Side Pool Cleaners

A pressure side cleaner uses a pressure side line that already exists to move itself around your pool. The water that is returned back into your pool fuels the cleaner, but it may require a booster pump to help it run. This type of cleaner does not use the pool filtration system like the suction side cleaner to filter out the debris. Instead, it uses a filtration bag to hold the debris and dirt so there isn’t additional wear and pressure on your filtration system.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

Unlike the other two methods, the robotic pool cleaner is powered by your house instead of existing pool equipment to relieve pressure on your pool equipment and lessen power costs. It has a simple plug in a go operation that will remove small and large debris in its built-in filtration system. They can often scrub and clean the steps, pool floor, and the waterline which removes the need to manually clean the pool walls with a brush. This type of cleaner lessens the wear and maintenance on pool equipment.

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Conclusion

Remember, cleaning your pool doesn’t have to be the daunting chore it once was and you don’t have to call in a professional if you prefer to do the cleaning yourself. You need to make sure to purchase equipment that will help you clean fast and without scratching your pool. Just make sure you get a good quality pool vacuum head that will work well for the type of pool you have and you’ll be done before you know it.


2 Comments
  1. Reply
    Stephen Toff January 15, 2018 at 5:25 am

    I read your article on vac heads and was surprised that you didn’t differentiate choices between vac heads designed for concrete pools vs vinyl liner pools. Did I miss something?

    • Reply Peter
      Peter February 18, 2018 at 9:21 pm

      Hi Stephen, we didn’t reflect this distinction in form of sections but did mention the differences at the beginning of the article. On top of that, the descriptions of each vacuum head mention the type of pool the head is designed for (sometimes it’s either). In any way, thank you for your suggestion. We’ll try to update the article so it’s easier to see this difference.

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