Best Skimmer Baskets for Your Pool: Why You Need to Upgrade

The skimmer basket is your friend. It captures leaves and other debris and saves it from clogging up your pool filter. While the basic plastic basket that comes with most pools will get the job done, more durable and effective options are available on the market.

After-market skimmer baskets are more durable than the cheap plastic baskets your pool comes with and works better. Most also have a sturdy handle and finer mesh, which means they are easier to clean and can trap smaller debris before it has a chance to clog or damage your pool’s filters.

While the basic plastic basket that comes with most pools will get the job done, more durable and effective options are available on the market. Upgrade your skimmer basket to make cleaning your pool easier and more effective.

Swimming pool owners should take note of the type of skimmer basket they are using.  In this guide, I will talk about the different kinds of skimmer baskets, 5 of the best ones available in the market, and ways to determine which basket is right for your pool.

No matter which type of skimmer basket you choose, you’ll enjoy a cleaner and healthier swimming pool. So why wait? Upgrade your pool’s skimmer basket today.

Picture of a pool skimmer basket

What Is a Skimmer Basket and What Does It Do for Your Pool?

A skimmer basket is a vital component of any swimming pool. The skimmer basket sits inside a larger opening known as the swimming pool skimmer, which allows water to drain into it from the surface of the swimming pool.

The basket is designed to catch debris like leaves, bugs, and other unwanted material as it floats on the water’s surface. By removing debris from the surface of the swimming pool, a skimmer basket helps keep your swimming pool clean and clear.

In addition, regular cleaning and emptying of your skimmer basket can also help prevent issues like clogged lines and pump strain that can lead to more costly repairs in the future. So if you want to keep your swimming pool running smoothly all summer long, be sure to invest in a high-quality skimmer basket today.

Skimmer baskets vary from brand to brand, especially in their mesh design. The tighter the skimmer’s mesh, the more debris it will catch. 

Here are the benefits of using a skimmer basket:

No more manually cleaning your pool, hot tub, or spa

You’re always going to have some basic tasks; however, a good skimmer basket and a robotic pool cleaner substantially reduce the amount of manual labor required to keep your pool clean.

In other words, skimmer baskets work hard, so you don’t have to. They remove debris, leaves, twigs, weed, etc., collected over the surface after a windy day or a poolside party.

Another handy tool to keep leaves out of your pool is a leaf net. They catch leaves before they make it to your skimmer.

However, if you have a good skimmer basket it will save you the time and effort you’d spend on using a long-handled net to clear your pool’s surface. You can also use them to keep your jacuzzis, hot tubs, and spas clean.

Protects your pool’s filter

A skimmer basket protects your filtration system by removing most of the solid and more extensive waste and debris. This can enhance your filter’s life and improve its longevity.  However, you need to check the basket regularly and clean it.

This was one of the main reasons we upgraded our basket. My wife hated reaching into the skimmer to grab its handle with all the debris inside. She constantly complained that there could be a snake inside.

Once we upgraded our basket to one with a sturdy handle that stuck out above the water, she regularly checked and cleaned the skimmer basket.

Animal saving

The last thing you want is dead animals in your pool. There are skimmer baskets that feature an escape route for small animals like squirrels that may get caught in the basket.

Clean water – peace of mind

Good skimmer baskets give you sparkling clean water. If you entertain often, your guests will be impressed with your pool’s cleanliness. You will also experience a great deal of peace seeing your clean, well-running pool.

Picture of our swimming pool skimmer and basket.

Different Kinds of Skimmer Baskets

There are many different types of skimmer baskets for swimming pools. The most common skimmer baskets are made from a sturdy plastic material that is resistant to corrosion and wear. Other types of skimmer baskets may be made from metal or mesh materials.

Some swimming pools have automatic skimmers that filter out debris without any manual intervention. In contrast, others utilize a manual swimming pool vacuum or net to remove unwanted objects from the water.

Regardless of the type of swimming pool you have, ensuring that it is regularly maintained with a clean skimmer basket will help keep your swimming area free from dirt, bacteria, and other potentially harmful substances.

Here are the two categories of skimmer baskets:

Wall-mount skimmers

As the name indicates, these can be mounted on the wall and affixed to metal frame poolside walls. They can also be attached to the filter pump for automatic skimming.

Weighted skimmer basket with or without handle

A weighted skimmer basket comes with a weight that helps them stay at the bottom of the skimmer and prevents the basket from floating. Sometimes, you can see the weight at the bottom of the basket, although, in most cases, it is built inside the basket.

Our skimmer basket is designed with a weight that looks like a round chlorine tablet. Some skimmer baskets come with a skimmer sock, although you have to buy them separately for most.

Personally, I like skimmer baskets with stationary handles that rise above the water level, they help you easily remove the basket without having to stick your hand into it.

Floating skimmer

Floating skimmers are meant to stay on the water’s surface. They have a slot where the debris, leaves, etc., enters and gets trapped. Some come with a ramp that lets trapped animals escape back to freedom.

Skimmer basket with tower vent

The tower vent allows the water to flow from the skimmer (despite getting clogged with the trapped debris) and into your filter. This prevents your filter from running dry – essential for your filter’s life. The tower also allows you to easily remove the debris without reaching into the basket to find the handle.

Picture of me holding our swimming pool skimmer basket.
CMP Vented Handle FlowSkim Skimmer Basket

5 Best Skimmer Baskets – 2022 Top Picks (With Reviews!)

1. Best Skimmer Basket: CMP Vented Handle FlowSkim Skimmer Basket. 

A swimming pool is a great way to enjoy the summer heat, but it’s essential to keep your pool clean and free of debris. The CPM vented handle skimmer basket is the best way to do this.

The basket has a large opening that allows water to flow through easily, while the vents help to prevent clogging. The basket is also made of durable plastic that can withstand harsh chemicals.

Furthermore, the handle is ergonomically designed for comfortable use, and it has a weight inside to keep it from floating out of position. With the CPM vented handle skimmer basket, you’ll be able to quickly and easily remove leaves and other debris from your swimming pool.

We use the CPM vented handle skimmer basket in our pool and are very satisfied. Finally, my wife no longer has to reach down into a basket full of gunk and sometimes frogs to reach the skimmer basket handle.

2. – GVT SP-HP Skimmer Basket

The GVT basket is another good skimmer basket that comes with a solid handle.

And in other models, sometimes debris gets stuck in the skimmer basket and restricts water flow. With the GVT SP-HP skimmer basket, you get a towering vent that ensures that the water reaches an outlet and allows a continuous water flow.


  • Compatible with many skimmers like Jacuzzi Deckmate, PacFab, etc.
  • Dimensions – Width – 8 7/16th inches, Height 6 – 1/8th inch, and handle of 12 15/16th inches


  • Easy to use, clean, and remove
  • Durable
  • Built-in weight


  • Some baskets needed extra weights to keep them down

Expert tips

Unscrew the tall handle and add a rock in each to weigh it down.

How it compares

The best part about the GVT SP-HP skimmer basket is that the tower vent ensures water flow despite debris accumulating in it. It also makes it easier to remove the basket from the skimmer. The price is slightly on the higher side.

Custom Molded Product Replacement Basket 27180-009-000 for Hayward Pool Skimmer

3. Custom Molded Product – Hayward Pool Skimmer Basket

Custom Molded Product, or CMP for short, is well known for its pool accessories and durable plastic products. Their skimmer basket is of superior quality and very easy to lift.

The basket has a lift-and-swing-to-the-side handle that prevents the mess from coming onto it, unlike baskets having a center handle. The CMP skimmer can be used as a direct replacement for Hayward, Pentair, and Starite baskets.


  • Dimensions – diameter is 8 1/4th on the top, height is 5/18th, and the basket tapers to 5 3/4th inches at the bottom.
  • Weight is built-in the basket.
  • Available in options like multi-pack, single-pack, etc.


  • Sturdy and durable
  • Removable handle
  • Easy to use
  • Accurate size description – so perfect fit for most
  • Weight is a good option


  • Some units were too buoyant and needed extra weight to keep them down.

Expert tips

Check it every day to remove plugs – else; it could clog up.

How it compares

Custom Molded Product – Hayward Pool Skimmer Basket is made with chlorine-resistant durable plastic, and many users felt that it was a better replacement for many of the top brands of skimmer baskets. It is weighted and stays down. It captures debris and effectively protects your pool’s filter. Its price is also affordable.

U.S. Pool Supply Swimming Pool Plastic Skimmer Replacement Basket (Set of 2) - Skim Remove Leaves, Bugs and Debris - 8" Top, 5.5

4. Best Non-Weighted Skimmer Basket – U.S. Pool Supply Swimming Pool Plastic Skimmer Replacement Basket 

U.S Pool supply skimmer baskets fit most pool skimmers. They are available in sets of 2 and made with chlorine-resistant mesh. I’m not sure why you would want a non-weighted basket because when your pump isn’t running, they float, and when it kicks back on, the basket doesn’t always go back in place.

However, the U.S. Pool replacement basket is a good choice if you want a basket without weight.


  • Tapering basket with a diameter on the top of 8 inches and tapers to 5- ½  inches at the bottom and a depth of 5 inches
  • Chlorine-resistant plastic mesh construction
  • Non-weighted and no handle


  • Sturdy and durable
  • It can be used with a sock/liner
  • It fits most pool skimmers


  • The lack of handle and weights could be an issue for some users.

Expert tips

  • Use cable ties to tie the basket down or add some stones.
  • Use it with a sock to collect dog fur and human hair.

How it compares

U.S Pool Supply skimmer basket is durable and long-lasting and does the job of trapping leaves and debris well. You also get two baskets in one pack. The price is reasonable.

5. Best Budget: Aladdin Swimming Pool Replacement Skimmer Basket

Aladdin Skimmer basket is a replacement for Hayward SP1070E B-9 B9. It is also compatible with Bermuda gunite and vinyl liner skimmers.


  • Dimensions – 8-5/16″ top diameter, depth of 5-3/16″and 5-3/4″ Wide at the bottom
  • Comes with handle
  • Nonweighted


  • Affordable – costs less than $10.


  • In some pools, the basket floated, and a slight water movement caused it to rise out of position. This blocked the flow and resulted in cavitation.

Expert tips

  • Add extra bricks to keep it in place.
  • Use a sturdier metal handle from another bucket to replace the Aladdin skimmer basket’s handle.

How it compares

Aladdin skimmer basket is a reliable debris remover when used with a skimmer sock. It can significantly reduce the debris from reaching your filter.

How to Select a Skimmer Basket for Your Pool?

When it comes to swimming pools, one of the most critical components is the skimmer basket. This basket helps trap debris and dirt before it has a chance to enter the pool, keeping the water clean and clear.

There are a few different factors to consider when selecting a skimmer basket for your pool, such as size, weight, ease of use, and durability.


Size is an important consideration because you want to ensure that the basket fits your pool skimmer. Check your current skimmer as it may have the product number or dimensions listed on its side or the bottom.

If needed, measure the inner, outer, top, and bottom diameters (in the case of tapering baskets) as well as the depth of the skimmer basket. This will help you choose the basket of the same or similar dimensions.

Here are some factors to consider when selecting a skimmer basket for your pool:

Easy to lift out

A good skimmer basket should be easy to lift out, as cleaning it can be challenging and even dangerous if there are snakes in your area. That is why I recommend using the CPM vented handle skimmer basket, which features a unique design that makes it much easier to take out of the swimming pool.

With its ergonomic handle and ultra-lightweight construction, this skimmer basket offers an effortless way to remove debris from your swimming pool without having to dig around for its handle so that you spend less time cleaning your pool and more time enjoying the water.


The material the basket is made of is important because you want to make sure that the basket is durable and will last for several seasons. Good baskets are made of sturdy material that can withstand constant exposure to water and chemicals such as chlorine.


Ideally, pool skimmer baskets need weights to hold them down. Without weights, the basket may float, which won’t lead to effective filtration.

Tightness of mesh

Reliable baskets have a tighter mesh that traps the smallest of debris. Alternatively, you may want to use them with a sock to filter out sand and finer debris.

Conclusion – Best Skimmer Baskets for Your Pool: Why You Need to Upgrade

Upgrading to the best skimmer baskets can protect your filter, save you cleanup hassles, and keep your swimming pool water crystal clear. I recommend the CPM vented handle skimmer basket because it is made with chlorine-resistant durable plastic and has a sturdy handle to lift it out easily. It is weighted and stays down. It also captures debris to effectively protect your pool’s filter.

Do check out my other recommendations as well.

Below is a helpful YouTube video showing how to clean skimmer baskets.

FAQs – Skimmer Baskets for Pool

What are the benefits of upgrading your skimmer basket?

With a reliable and better quality skimmer basket, you can enhance your filter’s longevity. The basket will also last long and prevent large debris from clogging up the pool’s filter.

How do I know which skimmer basket I need?

Your existing skimmer basket may have its dimensions or a product number on the bottom or its side. If that isn’t the case, measure the inner, outer, top, and bottom diameters and the depth of the basket.

What is the standard size of a skimmer basket?

Typically, most standard-sized baskets are 8 7/16th inches wide, 5 inches deep, and have a bottom diameter of 6-⅝ inches. Their volume is around 220 cubic inches.

Picture of a handheld steam cleaner.

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