An above ground pool skimmer is vital for maintaining a clean and healthy pool. It removes floating debris, such as leaves and bugs, from the water’s surface before they sink to the bottom and become harder to remove. Without a skimmer, debris can accumulate in the pool, leading to a cloudy and uninviting appearance.

above ground pool skimmer with dust storm coming, ready to clean debris

Many factors must be considered when choosing the best above ground pool skimmer. Some of the top brands on the market include Hayward, Intex, and SkimDoctor, each offering a range of skimmers with different features and capabilities. The ideal skimmer for a particular pool will depend on factors such as pool size, the amount of debris typically encountered, and personal preferences for ease of use and maintenance.

For those searching for a top pick, the HydroTools pool skimmer is a popular option for above ground pools. It rates highly at 4.6 out of 5 stars from almost 2,000 reviews and is particularly praised for its suction power, value for money, and sturdiness. However, it’s important to remember that the best skimmer for one pool may not be the best for another, so it’s crucial to research and consider individual needs before purchasing.

Understanding Pool Skimmers


Pool skimmers are an essential component of any swimming pool system. They remove debris and other contaminants from the water’s surface, preventing them from sinking to the bottom of the pool. A pool skimmer is typically installed at the side of the pool and connects to the pool’s filtration system via a pipe.

Types of Pool Skimmers

There are two main types of pool skimmers: automatic and manual. An automatic pool skimmer is a device that attaches to the filtration system and moves around the pool, removing debris as it goes. On the other hand, a manual pool skimmer is a handheld net used to manually remove debris from the pool’s surface.

Thru-wall skimmers are another type of pool skimmer installed in the pool’s wall. They work by drawing water from the pool into the filtration system, where debris is removed. Wide-mouth skimmers are another type of pool skimmer with a larger opening, making it easier to remove larger debris.

Key Features and Functions

Several key features and functions must be considered when choosing a pool skimmer. The skimmer’s compatibility with the pool pump and filtration system is critical, as it must be able to connect to these components for proper operation. The size and shape of the pool should also be considered.

Pool skimmers come in various shapes and sizes, with rectangular shapes being the most common. The Intex Ultra XTR and the Bestway Steel Pro Max are two popular above-ground pool models with rectangular shapes. The skimmer’s material is also essential, with a metal frame and 3-ply PVC being popular options. Rust-resistant materials are also desirable, particularly for metal frame pools.

Installation and Compatibility

Installation of a pool skimmer is straightforward and typically involves connecting it to the pool’s filtration system via a pipe. Before installation, it is essential to ensure that the skimmer is compatible with the pool pump and filtration system.

Some pool skimmers include additional features, such as a ladder or an inflatable pool. These features should also be considered when selecting a pool skimmer. The Intex Easy Set is an inflatable pool with a built-in pool skimmer.

A pool skimmer is an essential component of any swimming pool system. It removes debris and other contaminants from the water’s surface, keeping the pool clean and safe for swimming. When selecting a pool skimmer, factors such as compatibility, size, and material must be considered to ensure proper operation and longevity.

Top Picks for Above Ground Pool Skimmers

Above ground pool skimmer making water sparkling and clear.

When it comes to above ground pool skimmers, a few top picks stand out for their performance, durability, and value for money. Here are the best options to consider:

Best Overall Skimmer: Hayward SP1091LX Dyna-Skim Above-Ground Pool Skimmer

The Hayward SP1091LX Dyna-Skim Above-Ground Pool Skimmer is popular for its exceptional performance and durability. It has a large debris basket that can hold a lot of leaves and other debris, and its wide-mouth design makes it easy to clean. The skimmer is also easy to install and fits most above-ground pools. It is a bit pricier than other options, but its quality and performance make it worth the investment.

Best Value for Money: PoolSkim Pool Skimmer and Pool Cleaner

For those looking for an affordable option that still performs well, the PoolSkim Pool Skimmer and Pool Cleaner is a great choice. This skimmer attaches to the pool’s existing pump and skims the water’s surface, removing debris before it sinks to the bottom. It is also very easy to install and use, and its low price makes it an excellent value for money.

Best for Large Pools: Milliard Pool Leaf Skimmer Net

The Milliard Pool Leaf Skimmer Net is an excellent choice for those with larger above-ground pools. It has a large, deep net that can hold a lot of debris, and its long handle allows you to easily reach all areas of the pool. The skimmer is also very durable and can withstand heavy use. It is a manual skimmer, so it requires some effort, but its effectiveness makes it worth it.

Overall, these top picks for above ground pool skimmers offer a range of options to suit different needs and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a high-performance skimmer or an affordable option, a skimmer on this list will meet your needs.

Above Ground Pool Skimmer Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top rated skimmer brands for above ground pools?

Several top-rated skimmer brands for above-ground pools exist, including Intex, Hayward, and Swimline. These brands offer a wide range of skimmer options, each with its own unique features and benefits.

How do I choose the best skimmer for my above ground pool?

When choosing a skimmer for your above-ground pool, consider the size and shape of your pool, as well as your specific needs and preferences. Look for a skimmer that is easy to install and use and has a high-quality basket to catch debris.

Can above ground pool skimmers be easily replaced, and if so, how?

Above ground pool skimmers can be easily replaced if needed. To replace a skimmer, simply remove the old skimmer and install the new one in its place. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure proper installation.

What features should I look for in a high-quality above ground pool skimmer basket?

A high-quality above ground pool skimmer basket should be durable, easy to clean, and catch a wide range of debris. Look for a basket with fine mesh that can catch even small particles and is easy to remove and clean.

How does a pool skimmer for above ground pools differ from those for inground pools?

Pool skimmers for above ground pools are designed specifically for use with above ground pools, and are typically smaller and more compact than those for inground pools. They are also typically easier to install and use, and may have different features and benefits.

Is investing in a specialized skimmer net for above-ground pools worthwhile?

Investing in a specialized skimmer net for above ground pools can be worthwhile, as it can help catch debris more effectively and keep your pool cleaner. Look for a net designed specifically for use with above ground pools and made from high-quality materials for durability and longevity.