Best Automatic Pool Skimmer (2022): Reviews & Buying Guide

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Shopping for an automatic pool skimmer to remove leaves and other debris from your pool?

You have come to the right place.

This 10-minute buying guide reviews and compares the top automatic pool skimmers on the market.

An automatic pool skimmer removes large debris such as leaves, acorns, and bugs. It complements an existing pool skimmer or pool filter. You can also use it in conjunction with an automatic pool cleaner.

Our Top 3 Picks

What’s in This Buying Guide

Table of Contents

Best Automatic Pool Skimmers

All links below go to Amazon.com

 Pool Skimmer
  • Pooldevil Pro Swimming Pool Skimmer

  • Award:
    Best Overall

  • Weight:
    1.1lbs

  • Price:
    $

Automatic Pool Skimmer
  • SkimmerMotion Automatic Pool Cleaner

  • Award:
    Best For Bugs

  • Weight:
    2.5lbs

  • Price:
    $

Pool Skimmer
  • Intex Deluxe Wall Mount Surface Skimmer

  • Award:
    Best For Intex Pools

  • Weight:
    4.1lbs

  • Price:
    $

Automatic Pool Skimmer
  • SkimDoctor 2.0

  • Award:
    Best Budget

  • Weight:
    1.5lbs

  • Price:
    $

 

Automatic Pool Skimmer
  • PoolSkim Automatic Pool Skimmer & Cleaner

  • Award:
    Best For Leafy Pools

  • Weight:
    4lbs

  • Price:
    $

Pool Skimmer
  • Instapark Betta

  • Award:
    Best Solar Pool Skimmer

  • Weight:
    14.4lbs

  • Price:
    $$

Pool Skimmer
  • Pool Blaster

  • Award:
    Best for leaves

  • Weight:
    1.7lbs

  • Price:
    $

Automatic Pool Skimmer
  • Zodiac Automatic Cyclonic Leaf Catcher

  • Award:
    Best leaf catcher for suction cleaners

  • Weight:
    3lbs

  • Price:
    $

The Pooldevil Pro  attaches to the pressure side of your pool – the line that brings backwater into the pool.

It creates a venturi effect by using the force of water. The filter bag then absorbs any debris.

It produces suction strong enough to draw in all the debris from the pool. So it can still remove almost all of the debris in the pool, even though it isn’t mobile like other automatic skimmers.

Pooldevil Pro is a well-made skimmer. It’s far superior to most automatic skimmers. You can expect to use it for several years.

It is suitable to use in an above-ground or in-ground pool. You might need to close off certain ports to maximize pressure if your pool has multiple return ports.

A pressure adjustment ring is also included in the skimmer.

Customers have shared an interesting tip: Instead of ordering replacement filters socks (which are difficult to find), you can purchase a pair of knee-high stockings. These work just as well, and they are also much less expensive.

PROS

CONS

Editor's Rating
3.9/5

This SkimmerMotion pool cleaner is compatible with existing pool vacuums. However, it only works with suction pool vacuums.

This is not the right product for you if you own a robot or pressure pool cleaner.

SkimmerMotion ships with a hose that includes a T-adapter that can be attached to your pool vacuum. Then, connect the vacuum lead hose to the spare port of the adapter.

Now your pool pump can drive 2 suction cleaners like the popular Polaris series like the popular Polaris series like the popular Polaris series. The manufacturer recommends that you get a pool pump with at least 1 HP.

After connecting the skimmer to the main vacuum, place the vacuum in the water as usual. Make sure you blow out the air from both the main vacuum and the skimmer.

Attach the Skimmer Hose to the top of your skimmer, and let it float in the water. The vacuum will move at the bottom of your pool, and the SkimmerMotion will follow it to the surface.

Many customers have noticed that the SkimmerMotion is excellent at getting rid of bugs from water. However, it was not able to remove leaves or other large objects.

It is designed to capture debris less than 0.8”. Large leaves can be left in the water to be skimmered or hand-scavenged.

SkimmerMotion is not recommended if you have problems with leaves in your pool. However, it works well if you have problems with bugs or other small debris, such as pet hair.

It takes some time to set it all up (and adjust the pool suction), but once you’re done, it runs like a dream.

Note: If you don’t own a suction pool vacuum, you can connect SkimmerMotion with your pool’s designated suction line. Although the skimmer will move in the water, it will not float. As a result, it may not be able to remove all debris in the water.

PROS

CONS

Editor's Rating
3.8/5

#3

Best For Intex Pools

We recommend the Intex Deluxe Wall Mount Surface Skimmer for Intex above-ground pools.

The skimmer attaches at the top of your pool to either the metal frame or the inflatable ring. The skimmer’s top should touch the water surface.

The skimmer creates a whirlpool motion which pulls debris into the strainer basket. This prevents leaves and other debris from sinking to the bottom of your pool, making it more difficult to remove.

Make sure that your pool pump is strong enough. Intex recommends a pool pump that has a flow rate of 800 GPH or less.

It’s easy to take the basket out of its place when it is full.

Two Intex skimmers are affordable enough to buy if you have an above-ground pool.

PROS

CONS

Editor's Rating
4.3/5

#4

Best Value For In-Ground Pool

The Skimmer 2.0 is an excellent option if you don’t have the budget for an expensive skimmer.

However, the design is very different. It does not float in the pool, and it doesn’t attach to the vacuum. It connects to an existing skimmer basket.

The SkimDoctor is different from other pool skimmers in that it does not aim to catch debris. The job of the skimmer basket is not lost.

Rather, it increases how quickly the skimmer removes debris. It speeds up the suction, which draws in water and debris at a quicker rate.

The pool is cleaner because leaves and other debris that are dropped into it are absorbed almost immediately. The skimmer can pull out debris from any area of the pool, even the farthest.

The SkimDoctor is faster at removing debris, so your pool can be run for less time. This will lower your electricity bill.

The SkimDoctor’s other benefit is that you don’t have to dip your hand in the water while removing the skimmer container. Also, the skimmer is better able to pull debris from all areas of the pool, even those farthest from it.

The skimmer includes a sock to wrap around the basket. The basket can trap finer debris, which would otherwise go through the basket and into the pool filter.

This will reduce the load on your pool filter.

The main issue is the cleaning of the skimmer basket. To remove any debris from the basket, it is tedious to disassemble the SkimDoctor.

PROS

CONS

Editor's Rating
3.9/5

#5

Best For Leafy Pools

The PoolSkim skimmers and Solar Breeze are not able to move around. But don’t worry. It can still collect debris from every corner of the pool with a simple but excellent scientific principle.

It connects to the return line of your pool, where water returns into the pool. The water’s force creates a powerful but gentle, venturi effect which draws water from the pool.

The water flows through the filter and carries its leaves, bugs, etc., with it.

A large debris bag is attached to the PoolSkim skimmer that traps all debris. The bag is not made of fine material, so it won’t catch sand, silt, and other fine particles.

Customers recommend that you wrap a sock around your bag to help with debris removal. It still holds a lot of stuff, even though it’s small.

This skimmer is a great tool to save time if you have problems with leaves, bugs, and pet hair in your pool. Simply connect it to your return line, and all debris will move towards the skimmer like magic.

If you have a large pool and multiple return lines, you can even hook up two or three of them for better debris removal.

You can see the contents of the debris bag by looking through a mesh. You can then unclip it from the skimmer, remove the debris and clip it back on. To keep it clean, you can leave it in your pool 24 hours a day.

Note that PoolSkim connects only to a 1.5” threaded return line. If you have a different size of the type of return line, you’ll need an adapter.

PROS

CONS

Editor's Rating
4.4/5

#6

Best Solar Pool Skimmer

Instapark Beta is an automatic pool cleaner powered by solar energy. It cleans your pool and picks up any debris such as leaves, pollen, and bugs.

Solar-powered means that your pool pump does not need to be turned on to function.

It can run all day and has enough power to last through the night, even in cloudy conditions.

When Instapark Betta runs, you don’t have to manually scrub your pool. Your pool filter will last longer. Instapark Betta runs between vacuuming sessions, so your pool stays cleaner.

You can store a lot of debris in the large basket, which makes it easier to empty. You don’t have to empty the basket once it is full. Use the remote control to dock the skimmer and remove the basket from your skimmer.

It is simple to take the basket out without it settling back in the water.

Unlike most skimmers, the Instapark Betta traps everything in its fine basket. This includes large debris like leaves, twigs, and bugs, as well as smaller debris like sand and pollen.  

Instapark Betta glides over water with a thruster driven by a brushless motor. The built-in ultrasonic radar sensor sensors allow the skimmer to navigate effortlessly to all corners of the pool.

You can also control the pool manually with a remote controller. Although this is useful if you need to clean a specific pool area, most pool owners find it unnecessary. The skimmer does an excellent job covering every inch of the pool’s surface.

Instapark Betta is a very high-quality product. It can withstand all the elements without deterioration for many seasons. The body is UV-resistant, and the high-efficiency solar panels on top are covered by wear-resistant material to increase their durability. 

The manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty for peace of mind.

The Instapark Betta Solar Skimmer’s only problem is its price. It is more expensive than most automatic pool skimmers. However, it is about the same price as a basic robotic swimming pool cleaner.

We think it’s worthwhile, as many pool owners say it is. It makes pool maintenance much simpler.

PROS

CONS

Editor's Rating
4.1/5

#7

Best Handheld Skimmer

The Pool Blaster will make your pool look cleaner than ever.

This is a semi-automatic skimmer. It is not like other skimmers, and you don’t leave the thing in the pool. Attach it to a telescopic pole (not included), and then you can dip it in the pool.

You don’t need to manually skim leaves, unlike manual skimmers. The Pool Blaster vacuums leave large debris and other items into the bag you attach to it.

The Pool Blaster does not pick up debris just from the pool’s surface, like other skimmers. The Pool Blaster can also pick up leaves or debris from the bottom of the pool.

You don’t need to empty the bag halfway through cleaning because it holds a lot of leaves. However, it’s not large enough to collect dirt, sand, and other fine debris.

The Pool Blaster uses 8 AA batteries. However, many users complained that the battery case leaks, damaging the batteries and decreasing their lifespan.

Some users have used silicone sealant or grease to waterproof their battery cases. Others suggest removing the batteries after vacuuming and allowing the compartment to dry out before you store the vacuum.

The Pool Blaster is the best pool skimmer to keep your pool clean. Although it requires more manual work than fully-automatic skimmers, it is well worth the effort. It is also cheaper than vacuum cleaners and suction cleaners, which require hoses to operate.

PROS

CONS

Editor's Rating
4.2/5

#8

Best Leaf Catcher For Suction Cleaners

Automatic suction or vacuum cleaners do a good job cleaning the pool. However, they do not collect all the debris like pressure and robotic cleaners.

This means that you will need to clean your pool filter more often and have it replaced sooner.

The Zodiac leaf catcher is designed to solve this problem. It is attached to the cleaner hose that leads to the pool outlet. The Zodiac leaf catcher captures leaves and other large particles before they reach the filter.

The pool filter will last longer if it isn’t clogged with large leaves.

The Zodiac leaf catcher uses cyclonic action to trap debris as it passes through. This doesn’t affect the cleaner’s suction power.

The installation of the leaf catcher takes only minutes. You simply need to disconnect two sections from the cleaner hose and reconnect each section with the leaf catcher.

Pool owners often had to deal with the problem of the leaf catcher floating on the pool’s surface, causing the cyclonic action to stop. You can fix this problem by attaching weights (e.g., To keep the leaf catcher down, attach a few small bottles of gravel to it.

Keep the leaf catcher empty every so often. It can reduce the cleaner’s suction and cause problems with its cleaning performance.

The Zodiac leaf catcher is an excellent choice if your pool filters are Constantly blocked by debris from the vacuum cleaner. It’s compatible with most automatic suction cleaners. 

PROS

CONS

Editor's Rating
4.5/5

Buyer’s Guide

Automatic Pool Skimmer

What Do Pool Skimmers Do?

For in-ground pools, pool skimmers are used to complement your existing pool filter and skimmer. They can remove large amounts of debris such as leaves, nuts, and bugs.

The majority of filters do not capture fine debris and leave it for the main filter. However, some filter bags or socks can trap large and small particles.

The suction mechanism is the most common way that automatic pool skimmers work. This draws water through the skimmer, allowing for a basket or filter bag to catch debris and allow the water to flow through.

The method they use to generate suction will vary from one skimmer.

Some skimmers create suction using motor-driven propellers or paddles. These can be solar or battery powered.

Others skimmers depend on the pool pump for suction. These skimmers attach to the outlet or inlet of the pool to harness the force of water and vacuum any debris.

Types Of Pool Skimmers

Manual skimmers

These are the most basic types. A manual skimmer is basically a net attached to a long pole. It is used to manually collect leaves and other floating debris.

Automatic skimmers

These are the skimmers that we have reviewed above. They work automatically, collecting debris, usually using suction. Some skimmers work from a fixed point in the pool while others roam the pool surface.

Solar-powered skimmers

These skimmers are completely self-contained and don’t require any connection to your pool. An internal pump and debris bag collects water from the solar skimmer. Although they are convenient, solar-powered skimmers can be expensive.

These are mostly for above-ground pools. The skimmer is mounted at the top of the pool and collects debris as the water moves past it.

In-ground pools often have an integrated skimmer. However, it’s often not enough to maintain the pool clean, especially when you have problems with leaves or bugs.

Using and Maintaining an Automatic Pool Skimmer

Automatic Pool Skimmer

Make sure to clean your main pool skimmer at least once per week. To get rid of all debris, remove the basket and empty it.

If your automatic pool skimmer is full, you need to clean it. Depending on the season and the pool environment, it could be done once per day or every few hours.

How To Clean A Pool Skimmer

It is essential to keep your pool skimmer clean. A dirty pool skimmer will not remove as much debris and can sometimes float back into your pool.

To access the main pool skimmer, simply reach in and pull out the basket. It should be empty of all debris. Then, hose it down to give the basket a thorough clean before putting it back in.

Remove the bag from the automatic pool skimmer and empty it completely. To remove all debris, wash or hose it down.

Winterizing The Pool Skimmer

To begin, reduce the pool water level by 1 inch. You can do this by setting the filter valve to backwash, drain, or waste.

Next, drain the skimmer by opening the skimmer valve. Let all water drain. The pool skimmer line may also need to be blown out.

After the skimmer has been empty, close it to stop water from entering.

You can remove a wall-mounted skimmer from an above-ground pool by closing it.

The same goes for automatic pool skimmers. First, take the skimmer out of the pool by disconnecting it. Then, clean and store it somewhere safe until the next season.

What Makes A Good Automatic Pool Skimmer?

Pool Skimmer

Here’s what to look for when shopping for a good automatic pool skimmer.

Quality of Construction

The purpose of an automatic pool pump is to simplify pool maintenance. It’s not worth the cost if it needs Constant repairs. A reliable automatic pool skimmer should last a few seasons on the lower-end models and several years on the more expensive ones.

Easy to Install

Find a skimmer you can set up in under 15 minutes. You can find something that is easier to install and does the same job as a skimmer that requires complex connections and adjustments.

Full pool coverage

Regardless of whether the skimmer is stationary or moving around the pool, it should remove all debris from the water. The skimmer will only remove the debris surrounding it and not help to keep your pool clean.

Simple to maintain

You should only have to empty and clean the filter bag.

Conclusion

Automatic pool skimmers come in a variety of styles and options. There are options for all budgets, from solar-powered skimmers to wall-mounted skimmers.

No matter which automatic pool skimmer option you choose, it makes your weekends much more fun than wasting them wrestling with a net and pole.

Frequently-Asked Questions About Pool Skimmers

Automatic Pool Skimmer

What Is The Best Solar Pool Skimmer?

The Solar Breeze NX2 used to be the best solar-powered pool pump but has since been discontinued. Instapark Betta Solar-Powered Pool Skimmer is currently the best solar pool skimmer. It can pick up large and fine particles, has enough power to work at night, and even has radar sensors that allow it to avoid obstacles.

What Does A Solar Pool Skimmer Do?

The solar pool skimmer uses solar energy to capture solar energy from the solar panels on its surface and store it in an inner battery. The battery powers a motor to drive propellers and paddles that suck water through the skimmer, capturing debris and moving the skimmer across the pool surface.

Is An Automatic Pool Skimmer Worth It?

It all depends on the situation. You don’t likely need a pool skimmer if your pool is clean and free from debris. The little bits of debris that get into the pool will be taken care of by your existing pool filter and pool skimmer.

An automatic pool skimmer is an excellent option for pool maintenance if you have trouble with leaves, bugs, and other debris. The skimmer and filter are also less likely to be clogged, reducing the frequency of cleaning and increasing their life expectancy.

Do I Need To Vacuum/Clean My Pool If I Have An Automatic Skimmer?

Although automatic skimmers make your pool cleaner, you still need to vacuum it regularly. A manual vacuum can be used or, even more convenient, an automatic cleaner like a robotic pool cleaner.

This is because generally speaking, pool skimmers can only capture debris floating on the pool’s surface. They do not touch anything that has sunk to its bottom. They also don’t clean up any algae or gunk on the walls and floor of the pool.

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