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The Best Leaf Skimmer Nets for Your Pool

Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock.com
🕚 Updated May 2023

Whether for regular pool maintenance or post-storm cleanup, leaf skimmer nets provide a quick and efficient solution for keeping pools free from floating debris of all sorts.

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  Best Overall Best Small Net Best Extra Large Most Heavy-Duty Best Telescopic Net
  U.S. Pool Supply
Professional Leaf Skimmer Net
Swimming Pool Leaf Skim Net
8040 Leaf Net For Pool Debris Pickup
ProTuff Products
Heavy Fine Mesh Pool Skimmer Net for Cleaning
U.S. Pool Supply
Swimming Pool Leaf Skimmer Net with Telescopic Pole
Our SummaryA top-notch leaf skimmer with an ultra-fine mesh net to catch all but the most minuscule of debris.This small, handheld leaf skimmer net is perfectly sized for hot tubs and kiddie pools.The extra large and deep net of this leaf skimmer allows you to pick up more debris in a single scoop.This heavy-duty leaf skimmer net is capable of holding up to 50 pounds of weight without breaking.The telescoping pole of this leaf skimmer net allows you to customize how long or short you need it to be to perfectly suit your pool.
Pros✓ Effective, high quality, and durable
✓ Four different handle lengths available
✓ Extra fine mesh netting
✓ Lightweight construction
✓ Ergonomic handle
✓ Ideal for hot tubs and smaller pools
✓ Light and maneuverable
✓ Good value
✓ Suitable for fish tanks
✓ Cleans harder-to-reach spots
✓ Larger, deeper net
✓ Fine mesh design
✓ Sturdy frame
✓ Lightweight
✓ Easy to maneuver even with larger net
✓ Heavy-duty construction
✓ Durable yet light aluminum frame
✓ Wide opening
✓ Two size options
✓ Can be bought with a silt rake
✓ Extendable telescoping handle for customizable length
✓ Can be converted into a handheld model
✓ Reasonable price
✓ Easy assembly and disassembly
✓ Proficient at surface skimming
✓ Lightweight and easy to move
Cons✗ Handle not long enough for some
✗ Can't be exposed to direct sunlight long-term
✗ Too short for bigger pools
✗ Flimsier
✗ Pole/handle not included
✗ Less durable netting
✗ Challenging to clean bottom of pools
✗ Possibility of developing holes or tears over time
✗ Mesh or exterior plastic may wear down
✗ Not suitable for heavy-duty use
✗ Less durable
✗ Smaller capacity
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The Best Leaf Skimmer Nets for Your Pool

Cleaning swimming pool of fall leaves with blue skimmer before closing.
Elena Elisseeva/Shutterstock.com

These lightweight nets, typically made of durable mesh material, are designed to effortlessly glide across the water’s surface, effectively capturing leaves, bugs, and other unwanted contaminants. If you already own a pool or are installing one soon, even if it’s just a kiddie pool, you’ll want to invest in one of the following leaf skimmer nets.

Buying Guide for Leaf Skimmer Nets

Cleaning swimming pool of fallen leaves with skimmer net equipment against sun resort loungers at sunny summer day.

Why buy a leaf skimmer net?

If you own any sort of outdoor pool or hot tub or even have a pond in your backyard, a leaf skimmer net is a true necessity. These nets efficiently remove leaves, twigs, insects, and other debris from the water’s surface, preventing them from sinking and clogging the pool’s filtration system. By regularly skimming the pool, the net helps maintain optimal water circulation and reduces the need for excessive chemical treatments. Additionally, a leaf skimmer net saves time and effort by providing a swift and nearly hassle-free way to remove surface debris, eliminating the need to manually scoop out soggy leaves or dead bugs with your bare hands. Moreover, keeping the pool clean of debris helps ensure better water quality, reduces the risk of algae growth, and enhances the overall aesthetics of the pool. Not to mention that a leaf skimmer net is a durable, often inexpensive, and cost-effective solution for helping to maintain a clean pool, ensuring long-term usability and value for money.

What should you look for in leaf skinner nets?

  • Material: Look for a leaf skimmer net made of high-quality and durable materials, so it’ll last you longer and be less likely to rip. Opt for a net with a sturdy frame that can hold up to lifting heavy, soggy debris and a fabric net that is resistant to tearing or stretching. Mesh is a common option, as are nylon or similar synthetic materials due to their durability and resistance to chemicals and UV rays—not an insignificant consideration for an item that will regularly be exposed to sunlight and chlorine.
  • Size and Design: Don’t neglect the size and design of the net. A larger net with a wide, shallow basket will allow for more efficient skimming, enabling you to capture a greater amount of debris with each pass. Additionally, check if the net has a curved or angled lip, as this can enhance its ability to glide smoothly across the water’s surface and collect debris effectively.
  • Handle Length and Grip: The length and grip of the handle are crucial for comfortable and efficient skimming. Ensure that the handle is long enough to reach all areas of your pool without straining your arms or back. A telescoping handle will be ideal for large pools, above ground and in-ground alike. A spa, hot tub, or small kiddie pool, on the other hand, is better served by a handheld net. Whatever the handle length, look for a model with a non-slip grip or a handle with other ergonomic features to provide a secure and comfortable hold, especially when the net is wet and thus heavier.

Can I use a leaf skimmer net to clean the bottom of the pool?

Leaf skimmer nets are primarily meant to skim the surface of the water, not any deeper. While you may be able to remove some debris from the pool bottom by carefully maneuvering the net, it is not the most efficient or effective method, especially if your net’s handle isn’t long enough to reach the deepest sections of the pool. Consider using a pool vacuum or a pool cleaner specifically designed for cleaning the pool floor. Vacuums will also be much more effective for fine debris, like sand or dirt, that is small enough to slip between the miniature holes in your skimmer net.

Our Picks for the Best Leaf Skimmer Nets

Best Overall

U.S. Pool Supply Professional Leaf Skimmer Net

A top-notch leaf skimmer with an ultra-fine-mesh net to catch all but the most minuscule of debris.

Pros: If you’re tired of debris, bugs, and leaves floating in your pool or hot tub, this leaf skimmer net is a must-have. Whether you need a shorter handle for close-range cleaning or a longer one for reaching further distances, the four different available handle lengths have you covered. It also features an extra-fine mesh netting that effortlessly captures even the tiniest debris, not just bugs and leaves (though it’ll still catch those admirably too, of course). It’s also made from high-quality materials for better durability and longevity, providing you with reliable performance for many seasons to come. To round it all off, the lightweight construction and ergonomic handle make this leaf skimmer comfortable to hold and maneuver. Cleaning your pool or hot tub will be a quick and almost painless task.

Cons: Some users have expressed a desire for a longer handle, even with the four length options available; extra-large pools may require a leaf skimmer that extends beyond 72 inches (the longest option available for this particular leaf skimmer). And despite its durability, leaving this net in direct sunlight for extended periods may lead to the fabric breaking down over time. Be sure to store it in a shaded area when not in use to further prolong its lifespan.

Bottom Line: This all-around great leaf skimmer net is a practical and efficient tool for keeping your pool or hot tub clean and debris-free. With its four different handle length choices, fine mesh netting, and durable construction, it ensures effective pool cleaning with minimal effort on your end.


Best Small Net

Sunnyglade Swimming Pool Leaf Skim Net

This small handheld leaf skimmer net is perfectly sized for hot tubs and kiddie pools.

Pros: A leaf skimmer net with a super long, extendable handle is a blessing for regular pools but too unwieldy to use in a hot tub or small kiddie pool. That’s where this little handheld model comes in. Its smaller size allows for easy maneuverability, especially in smaller bodies of water. You can even use it to clean debris out of larger fish tanks or home aquariums. It also proves useful for quick and targeted cleaning in bigger pools, particularly in harder-to-reach spots like the corners. The fine mesh netting effectively captures leaves and other debris, while the lightweight construction makes it easy to handle. It also offers great value for its price, giving you the benefits of a reliable cleaning tool without breaking the bank.

Cons: Obviously due to its handheld and smaller size, this leaf skimmer isn’t really suitable for bigger pools, as it’ll require a lot more time and effort and doesn’t have very much reach. If you have a larger pool to clean, you’ll want to invest in a longer skimming net for more efficient cleaning. Some users have also reported that this net feels flimsy or less sturdy than expected, likely due to its plastic frame. While it’s designed to be lightweight for handheld use, it may not withstand heavy-duty or prolonged use.

Bottom Line: A handy and effective tool for smaller-scale cleaning of pools and hot tubs, this handheld leaf net and its smaller size allow for easy maneuverability and better access to corners or tight spaces that are hard to reach on nets with longer handles.


Best Extra Large

SWIMLINE 8040 Leaf Net For Pool Debris Pickup

The extra large and deep net allows you to pick up more debris in a single scoop.

Pros: Unlike some other leaf catchers that quickly get full, weighed down, or overwhelmed, this skimmer boasts an extra large net and deep bag design, allowing it to catch and hold a substantial amount of leaves and other debris. With its impressive capacity, you can breeze through your pool cleaning routine in fewer scoops, saving time and effort. The net is not only large but features a fine mesh design, allowing it to capture even the smallest debris and particles—no more struggling to remove leaves and debris from your pool surface. It has a nice sturdy frame that fits most standard pool cleaning poles, making it compatible with most pool cleaning setups. And the user-friendly design and lightweight construction ensure that it’s easy to maneuver and navigate through the water, even with the larger net at the end.

Cons: Keep in mind that this is just the net section of a leaf skimmer, not attached to a pole; you’ll have to provide your own. Some users have reported concerns about the overall durability of the net, namely issues with the net tearing or detaching from the frame. Be sure to handle the net with care and avoid overloading it to ensure its longevity. Due to its flexible design, the net may bend and make it challenging to scrape debris off the pool bottom effectively as well.

Bottom Line: This leaf net offers a larger, deeper size than most, making it an especially reliable tool for efficient leaf removal from your pool. Its fine mesh netting and user-friendly design enhance its functionality, allowing you to maintain a clean and inviting pool with ease.


Most Heavy-Duty

ProTuff Products Heavy Fine Mesh Pool Skimmer Net for Cleaning

This heavy-duty leaf skimmer net is capable of holding up to 50 pounds of weight without breaking.

Pros: The heavy-duty nature of this leaf skimmer net is very notable. It’s capable of supporting up to 50 pounds of weight without breaking—meaning it can hold a significant amount of leaves and twigs without requiring frequent emptying, thanks to the durable aluminum frame that’s also light enough to make moving it through the pool easy. The net itself is highly functional and efficient. Its wide opening allows for easy skimming of the pool surface, effortlessly collecting leaves and debris. A 19- and 23-inch version of this net are both available, and either size can also be purchased with a matching silt rake that’s ideal for fishing out more minuscule debris like dirt and sand.

Cons: Even the most durable leaf skimmer nets need proper storage and care in order to maximize their lifespan and functionality, and this model is no exception. If treated carelessly, there is still a chance this net will develop holes or even tear, or the mesh or exterior plastic will wear down.

Bottom Line: If you want a leaf skimmer net that you know won’t break under the strain of heavier loads of leaves and debris, you can’t go wrong with this heavy-duty model. As long as it’s treated with care and stored properly when not in use, you should get 5+ years of use out of it.


Best Telescopic Net

U.S. Pool Supply Swimming Pool Leaf Skimmer Net with Telescopic Pole

The telescoping pole of this leaf skimmer net allows you to customize how long or short you need it to be to perfectly suit your pool.

Pros: Leaf skimmer nets with extendable poles are a worthwhile investment for any pool, and this model’s telescoping handle fits the bill perfectly. Able to extend up to 11.5 feet (138 inches) in length, you can extend or shorten the aluminum handle by adding or removing different sections, making it as long or short as you need it to be in order to clean your pool or pond. You can even pop the net off the end to make it into a handheld model for hot tubs—and you don’t have to pay extra for this handy feature thanks to the reasonable price tag. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to put together and take apart the pole, too. The net itself is especially proficient for surface skimming and effectively cleaning small debris like leaves. Thanks to its lightweight design, handling and maneuvering the net is a breeze, even when it’s fully extended to maximum length.

Cons: Handy as the telescoping handle is, this leaf skimmer net should really only be used for lighter tasks, as it’s not quite durable enough for bigger, heavier loads. The plastic connectors and frame, in particular, are less durable compared to metal alternatives. The net’s limited capacity due to the small basket means more frequent emptying and slightly less effectiveness at collecting debris.

Bottom Line: Despite some drawbacks, this telescoping leaf skimmer net is still an excellent choice for most pools, thanks to the adjustable length of the handle. Since you’re able to use just the head for hot tubs or extend the pole up to 11.5 feet for hard-to-reach spots in the middle of large in-ground pools, you won’t have to invest in two different skimmers for two different bodies of water.

Final Thoughts

Leaf skimmer nets are indispensable tools for pool and hot tub owners. By investing in a reliable leaf skimmer net and incorporating it into your pool maintenance routine, you can enjoy a clean, aesthetically pleasing, and inviting pool for a refreshing and enjoyable swimming experience.

Meghan Herlihy Meghan Herlihy
Meghan Herlihy is a full-time writer for LifeSavvy and How-To Geek and has written across a wide variety of topics, genres, and formats, including radio talk shows, local sports journalism, and creative original fiction. She received her bachelor's degree in communications from Ithaca College and a master's in writing from Johns Hopkins University. When she's not writing, you're most likely to find her reading a book, petting every dog within eyesight, and indulging in her love of travel. Read Full Bio »
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