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Having a pool in the garden at home is particularly a great way to find comfort in a scorching summer. At high temperatures, you can cool down and relax in your private area. Nevertheless, the joy is clouded for the pool owner as soon as leaves or other foreign bodies start collecting on the surface of the water. The use of a skimmer is, therefore, all the more important.
We picked and independently reviewed the best pool skimmer products on the market. At the same time, we would like to offer you added value with an accompanying guide as well as helpful tips that will let you make the best purchase decision and let you acquire the best skimmer.
How Pool Skimmer Works?
In principle, pool skimmers work by sucking in water with the help of a powerful skimmer pump and filters out the dirt it contains.
So that this can run smoothly, a so-called skimmer flap is usually available. It’s at the height of the water level and is mobile. The flap ensures that a thin layer of water is sucked in at high speed above and at the edges.
The dirt sucked in this way is then transported by the device into a skimmer basket, which has to be emptied from time to time. The skimmer flap prevents the dirt particles trapped in it from flowing out so that the water remains clean.
A skimmer is, therefore, suitable for you if you need or have a filter system for a swimming pool or pond, to ensure permanently clean water.
Best Pool Skimmer: Our 8 Top Picks
From manual pool skimmers to built-in models and automatic types, here are the best pool skimmers on the market:
1. Hayward SP1091LX Dyna-Skim Skimmer with Removable Weir for Above Ground Swimming Pools
Industry-standard, Hayward pool skimmers are the preferred choice of professionals for more than 30 years. The Dyna Skim above ground pool skimmer has been redesigned to meet the standard of today’s demanding pools. Pool owners appreciate its patented weir system as it eliminates dirt more efficiently and completely.
A complete built-in above ground pool skimmer set suitable for all common pools, some of the unique features of the skimmer are the innovative, highly effective, and removable snap-in weir and the UV-resistant construction.
The scope of delivery is extensive and includes the skimmer with skimmer flap and removable cover, a hose adapter, a skimmer connection adapter, a complete set of inlet nozzles, and more.
- Large basket for debris collection
- Durable UV-resistant ABS construction.
- Comfortable upper and front access of the basket
- Features a removable weir
- Compatible with any large above ground pool
- Ideal for large debris
- Could be easier to use
2. PoolSkim Automatic Pool Skimmer and Cleaner for Venturi Suction
The PoolSkim pool skimmer features a Venturi suction system, features no moving parts, but can effectively collect debris in its sturdy nylon mesh bag. By the way, the bag comes with a clip-on design, so it’s easy to access.
Considered the best automatic swimming pool skimmer by pool owners, it automatically adapts to your water level. Hence, the model is quite easy to use because it simply “floats” and you don’t need to constantly adjust the water level.
In addition, with the product, you reduce the workload of your swimming pool filtration system. The PoolSkim pool skimmer returns the cleaned water to the pool, without passing it through the filtration system. This makes it more efficient because it can move more volume.
The pool skimmer and cleaner meets all pool cleaning needs and thanks to its efficiency and ingenuity, it has won an international award.
- The filter-less operation makes it more efficient
- Easy-access clip-on debris bag
- Continuous skimming while cleaning
- No need for a booster pump
- Attaches to the return of the pool
- Auto water level adjustment
- Only compatible with threaded return fittings.
3. SkimmerMotion Automatic Suction Floating Skimmer and Pool Cleaner
Skimmer Motion works connected to a hydraulic pool cleaner, generating automatic cleaning of the pool surface. Advertised as the first automatic skimmer on the market, the SkinmerMotion can absorb dirt from the pool surface, including dust, pollen, bugs, and small leaves.
Its operation is very simple; Skimmer Motion can be easily connected to any hydraulic automatic pool cleaner. And thanks to the device’s different water intakes, it absorbs the dirt found on the surface of the pool. Its movement around the entire pool is produced thanks to the movement of the hydraulic pool vacuum cleaner.
In this way, just like the dirt absorbed by the cleaner itself, everything collected by Skimmer Motion also passes into the pool’s filtration system, either with a cartridge filter, sand, etc.
- Made in the United States
- Award-winning pool maintenance accessory
- Suitable for operation with a hydraulic pool cleaner
- Perfect for fine particles and small leaves
- Not for large debris and leaves
4. Instapark Betta Solar Powered Automatic Robotic Pool Vacuum Cleaner
Yet another automatic cleaner, one of the ways the Instapark Betta differs from the other automatic model we’ve seen is that it’s entirely solar-powered. So, you don’t need batteries or have it connected via cable to the mains.
Available in blue and white versions, Instapark Betta automatically removes floating debris such as dust, leaves, dead insects, and pollen from the surface of the pool water. The biggest upsides of the device are the no-cable power connection and the 100% solar energy mode of power.
The underwater motor features a brushless design and directly drives its impeller. Equipped with a unique wireless remote system, you will be able to switch easily from automatic to the remote control.
- Comes with a wireless remote controller
- Basket easy to lift and empty
- Works with renewable energy
- Ideal for pollen removal
- No power cables and doesn’t use batteries
- Cleans efficiently without supervision
- Not designed for saltwater swimming pools
5. SkimDoctor 2.0 Turbocharger for Inground Pool Baskets With Non-corrosive Fittings
Designed for easy removal of debris in commercial inground pool baskets while decreasing the pool maintenance time, SkimDoctor 2.0 cleans your pool water much faster. It fits nicely inside your existing inground skimmer’s basket. During use, you’ll notice a more powerful vortex that clears debris more efficiently and much faster.
Best of all, with the automatic skimmer, you can adjust your cleaning speed by just using the adjustable gates. Meanwhile, if you have a smaller pool, you can operate the device at slower speeds.
The smart design incorporated by this device makes it invisible in your pool and is a good choice for swimming pool owners who want stealth cleaning.
Matching your pool decor, the SkimDoctor 2.0 promises to remove debris, leaves, and insects.
- Adjustable gate for regulating cleaning speed.
- Not visible when you install it
- Very efficient, thanks to the unique vortex suction design
- Effective for leaves, dirt, and insects
- Not a universal skimmer
- If your pool’s pump stops working, collected debris returns to your pool.
6. INTEX Deluxe Wall Mount Swimming Pool Surface Skimmer
The Intex Pool Skimmer works with your swimming pool filter pump and ensures easy and automatic swimming pool water surface skimming. It works with an Intex pool filter pump with a minimum flow rate of 800 gallons per hour.
Coming with an adjustable bracket, you can easily mount the skimmer to the side of your Easy Set or Metal frame pool.
The Intex model can be used flexibly and comes with various adapters and brackets. Its filter basket can be removed and is therefore easy to clean.
The robust polypropylene material is very resistant and durable. It can be safely used in pools with chemicals like chlorine. The pool skimmer also withstands UV radiation in the long term.
If you are looking for a very affordable model, you will get a solid skimmer here. The only drawback is the weak screws that have to be tightened every now and then.
- Suitable for all pools
- Made of robust polypropylene
- Features a removable sieve
- Several adapters in the set
- Turning screws loosen now and then
7. ProTuff Free Replacement Nets With Skimmer Rake for Pool Cleaning
For skimming of small and large debris, the semi-automatic pool skimmer from ProTuff is ideal for use as a primary or secondary swimming pool cleaner. In both cases, it fulfils its function perfectly.
The ProTuff pool net comes in 13, 17.5, 19.5 as well as 23.5-inch variants, depending on what you need. With the skimmer, you will get a sturdy net that will never break, tear, or fail.
Made of high-quality nylon, the net is durable and sewn twice to make sure it stays durable for several years. In addition, the bulletproof aluminum alloy frame holder gives it an almost indestructible strength so you can use it stress-free. You can even use it to carry heavy debris, after fall, for example. The ProTuff can support up to 50 lbs of weight!
By giving you unlimited replacements with its lifetime warranty, the ProTuff team has done everything possible to make the item one of the most reliable pool skimmers ever.
- Available in four sizes
- Does not require any skills to use or install
- Very durable
- Capable of moving heavy debris
- Unlimited lifetime replacement warranty
- Doesn’t include the ProTuff bar/pole
- Requires physical work from you
8. Stargoods Heavy-duty Leaf Rake Cleaning Tool With Fine Mesh Net Bag Catcher
A heavy-duty structural molded leaf rake, the Stargoods pool skimmer features a fine and deep fine mesh bag that you can deploy both for big cleaning jobs and small leaf-like debris. It cleans effectively in just a few passes.
The universal bracket fits any telescopic pole to extend your reach and picks up leaves at the bottom of the pool. However, you should note that the product doesn’t come with a pole.
It’s effective for picking up debris, thanks to its rounded edges, which ensure the frame won’t damage your pool’s finish.
Easy to handle, the skimmer keeps the pool clean with the use of minimal effort. Built for use in an above ground pool and even in ground ones, it’s one of the fastest ways of cleaning your pool.
- Sturdily designed frame
- Safe and easy to use
- Features a universal holder
- Can get debris from the bottom of the pool
- Ideal for in ground and above ground pool
- Doesn’t come with a telescopic pole
9. POOLWHALE Professional Heavy-duty Pool Skimmer Leaf with Double Layer Deep-Bag
The POOLWHALE pool skimmer set comes in a unique design that differentiates it from other manually-operated pool skimmers in our review. Some of the functional and innovative features built with the product are the EZ Clip, the weighted tab, the deep double-stitched net bag, and the heavy-duty 18-inch aluminum frame. The manual skimmer also comes with a 15-inch frame but doesn’t feature a telescopic pole. Meanwhile, if you want a skimmer with an included pole, you can choose the 45-inch variants which feature a long four feet telescoping pole.
The design of the fine mesh bag allows the in ground and above ground pool skimmer to pass through the pool water effortlessly. Perfect for deep water use, it effectively cleans your pool.
- Ideal for bugs, leaves, and other floating debris
- Includes a lightweight EZ Clip frame
- Suitable for deep water use
- Attaches securely and quickly.
- Ensures effortless cleaning
- A good skimmer for dog hair
- Isn’t really good for bottom of pool
Advice for Buying the Best Pool Skimmers
To be able to clean your swimming area efficiently, the skimmer should either have its pump or it should be possible to connect it to an existing pump.
Not only is the type of pool essential for choosing the right surface skimmer, but also the size. Therefore, always choose a skimmer that is compatible with your respective pool dimensions.
But to be able to use the skimmer efficiently for your pool, there are other aspects to consider. We have therefore summarized the most important purchase criteria if you’re looking to buy pool skimmers for your facility.
Types of pool skimmers
The pool owner interested in a pool skimmer has a lot of types of pool skimmers to choose from. The most common types of pool skimmers are as follows:
Above ground pool skimmer
Above ground pools use the type of skimmer known as the overhang skimmer. The skimmer is also sometimes called the surface skimmer or hanging skimmer. It is a flexible solution when it comes to efficiently removing deposits from the water surface. The skimmer is hung, fastened, or tightened on the pool wall using wide hooks or a locking mechanism. By connecting to an existing filter pump, impurities are then drawn into the pool basket, which is floating in the water on the surface, and filtered. The skimmer basket always adapts to the individual water level to ensure optimum suction power at all times.
The cleaned water then runs back into the pool via the inlet nozzle. Above ground pool skimmers are usually round and made of plastic to avoid the risk of injury. Their design is particularly suitable for smaller above-ground pools and is comparatively inexpensive to purchase.
In ground pool skimmer
On the other hand, the in ground pool owner has the option of a built-in skimmer. Unlike the above ground skimmer, it cannot be retrofitted. It requires a certain amount of preliminary planning, as a corresponding recess has to be cut into the pool wall for it.
The built-in skimmer is more stable, larger, and, depending on the manufacturer, is often made of higher quality materials such as stainless steel or chrome. It is not suitable for above-ground pools such as those made of steel walls, as a hole would have to be cut in them. So, the skimmer type can be laborious to install and a completely leak-proof construction is difficult to guarantee.
Built-in pool skimmers are therefore primarily suitable for prefabricated swimming pools or concrete pools, as they can be perfectly screwed in or concreted into the pool wall during the construction process.
These pool skimmers are easy to use and relatively straightforward. The pool skimmer rake is equipped with a mesh head and installed on a long telescopic pole. For manual skimmers with net, all you have to do is slide the net through the water and collect the dirt by yourself. These are also called net leaf skimmer rakes or simply pool leaf skimmer.
Automatic pool skimmers
The automatic pool skimmers connect to the inlet drain of the pool pump. They have small propellers or paddles that move the skimmer over the pool surface as water goes through the hose. Automatic pool skimmer makes random movements that prevent them from clogging.
Self-contained pool skimmers
The self contained pool cleaners are electrical devices that are designed to float and swim over the pool area to collect the floating dirt and debris.
They are often solar-powered robotic pool cleaners. These skimmers collect the debris in a waste container and will need to be emptied.
The construction material
Most pool skimmers are made of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) plastic. The advantage is the particularly low price, which makes the product very popular. However, we would like to point out that the material is not very stable and can therefore easily be damaged.
Swimming pool skimmers made of stainless steel are more robust and are also very resistant to the chemicals used in the pool.
However, if there are scratches or other small damage, it can quickly lead to corrosion, which greatly affects the stability of the skimmer.
Other options are the pool skimmers made of gunmetal or bronze. They are unbreakable and extremely stable. Their advantage lies primarily in their copper-tin alloy, which makes the pool skimmers corrosion-resistant.
A powerful skimmer depends on an efficient skimmer pump. In this way, it can properly perform its function and keep the swimming pool clean.
A minimum pumping speed of 800 gallons per hour will produce satisfactory results. This makes the skimmer strong enough to suck in the dirt and collect it in the skimmer basket.
You can also do your skimmer a little favor by placing it in the main wind direction. So the wind will help your skimmer by blowing dirt particles into the opening.
The effective cleaning performance of a surface skimmer always depends on the size of the pool. It is therefore important that the skimmer is aligned with the dimensions of the swimming pool.
Tip: Since it is sometimes necessary that you have to install not just manually use some, the installation of a surface skimmer is often sufficient for a swimming pool with a size of 5 x 3 meters. Meanwhile, you can have more than one skimmer in larger pools.
For a permanently functional skimmer, impurities that land in the skimmer must be removed again manually. If this is neglected, blockages can lead to damage to the skimmer pump.
Typically, you would have to clean your skimmer weekly. Depending on the model, you can remove and clean the sieve basket contained in the skimmer.
Don’t forget to turn off the pump beforehand. You can also simplify the cleaning of the skimmer basket with the help of various gel cleaners so that even stubborn deposits can be easily removed.
Depending on the type of skimmer, the installation can be easy or difficult. Swimming pool skimmers with telescoping poles are the easiest to use. You only have to attach the pole to the skimmer’s head. Overhang pool skimmers that are attached to the swimming pool edge also require little effort.
In contrast to these models are the so-called built-in skimmers. They must be installed in the pool walls. The assembly is much more difficult and requires location accuracy. The skimmer must sit perfectly in the pool wall and must be installed in the wind direction.
Commonly Asked Questions
Should pool skimmer be on all the time?
How long you can or must run a skimmer in the above ground pool or the in ground swimming pools depends on the size of the pool. The performance of the respective pool pump is also important. In principle, you don’t need to leave the skimmer running all day in the pond or pool. That only costs energy and is noticeable in your wallet at the end of the year. We recommend that you run the surface skimmer for about three hours a day during the warm summer months.
Why pool skimmer is not working?
One of the reasons your pool skimmer may not be working may be because the water level is too high or low. Also, if the weir flop has a problem, the debris may not be trapped. The pool skimmer may also not work effectively if it’s installed opposite to the direction of the wind.
How many skimmers does a pool need?
A single skimmer would be suitable for a small 5 x 3-meter swimming pool. However, according to Hayward, the APSP recommends that you should have one skimmer for every 400 square feet of the pool area.
What do you do if your pool skimmer doesn’t have suction?
If your pool skimmer isn’t getting enough suction, you have to check for air leaks and blockages in the valve. You can remove the skimmer basket. Check whether there’s a flow control valve that is closed. If there’s no blockage, then maybe the skimmer is not getting enough water from the supply line.
To remove pool impurities in the form of grasses, leaves, or insects from the pool surface as quickly as possible, you need to have a pool skimmer installed, before they sink to the bottom, requiring a pool floor cleaner.
With our compiled list of the best pool skimmers, this acquisition is now even easier. All you have to do is determine your pool type and make the right purchase between manual and automatic skimmers to declare war on annoying dirt, pet hair, leaves, and other debris.