how to choose the best pool cleaner

How To Choose The Best Pool Cleaner: Buyer’s Guide

best pool cleaner buyers guideHaving a pool at home can be both a good and a bad thing. While swimming and occasional pool parties with family and friends are fun, cleaning and maintaining its crystal clear water and sparkling surface can be an exasperating chore. Admittedly, just the thought of spending hours scrubbing and brushing it already makes us cringe. But luckily, we will not be worrying about that anymore.

Pool cleaners are designed to make the life of every pool owners easy and convenient. With an array of different options, you can definitely find one that will fit your needs. To make everything even better for you, this guide will help you in how to choose the best pool cleaner that is available in the market.

Three Types of Pool Cleaners

The advanced method of cleaning your pool is divided into three types – suction pool cleaner, pressure pool cleaner, and robotic pool cleaner. Each of these types comes with individual strengths and limitations that are unique from each other, yet assures you an efficient cleaning.

Suction pool cleaners basically use suction side of the pool to clean and vacuum all kinds of debris. With the help of the hose attached to the filter system, it moves around the pool and climbing the walls to sweep off every single dirt in your pool.

Pressure pool cleaner on the other hand obviously makes use of the pressure that is emitted by your pool. The great thing about this method is it uses its own filter and waste bag when cleaning, which means lesser stress on your pool’s filtration system.

While the other two methods use the pool’s pump and a suction system to clean, robotic pool cleaners are powered by electricity and are not dependent on the use of your pool’s filtration system. They are designed with wheels that allow them to move efficiently and systematically on the pool surface with the help of its built-in navigation system for an optimized operation.

Differences between suction, pressure and robotic pool cleaners

Suction Pool Cleaner

Considered to be the most economical among the three, suction pool cleaners clean all types of debris including stubborn algae and other forms of bacteria that can be harmful to our health. They work like vacuums underwater and are the most commonly used type of pool cleaner.

You may be able to use this for both in-ground and above ground pools. Depending on the type of your pool surfaces, an array of options will be available for you to better suit your needs. It is further dissected into two kinds namely, automatic and handheld.

  • Handheld

This suction pool cleaner is powered by rechargeable batteries and is ideal to use in small to medium-sized pools. They are attached to a telescopic pool poles for an extended reach for a more productive operation. They are easy to install and are very convenient to use as you will not have any troubles with tangling cords or long cables. Because of this, it is highly effective for spot or daily cleaning to maintain your pool’s clean and clear appearance.

  • Automatic

This kind of suction pool cleaners has higher power than the handheld cleaners. They are efficient and reliable to use in cleaning stairs, steps, corners, walls and tackles any obstacles while cleaning. They are attached to a skimmer and can work on any size and shape of pools.

How to install

Suction pool cleaners can be installed easily that it may take only few minutes. Most of the models are already pre-installed and it generally does not need a lot of attachments and accessories to work. It comes with a hose that may vary depending on the unit model. Water flow is an important aspect and must be maintained for the cleaner to work properly and effectively.

How it works

A suction pool cleaner comes with a hose that is attached to the skimmer or to the fitting lines of your pool where water is drawn out to be filtered. Some pools, however, have its own separate suction cleaner line, in which case, you can attach it directly to the wall fitting.

When all is set, suction pool cleaner works by moving randomly around your pool and sucking all the debris it passed. Water flow drives the cleaner, while the suction tackles all the debris. And while regular and large-sized debris is being stored in the filter pump basket after going through the suction port in the pipes, smaller particles, on the other hand, are collected in the filter.


  • Easy to maintain
  • Money saver
  • Less moving parts
  • Effectively cleans small and medium-sized debris
  • Climbs walls


  • Difficult to work on stairs, and drains
  • Filter basket should be constantly emptied, otherwise, it reduces flow rates and increases the pump load
  • May be prone to get stuck on the corners

Advantages of using suction pool cleaners

  • Cost effective

One very noteworthy advantage for opting for this type of pool cleaner is the price and cost. It is considered as the least expensive among the three types because it does not require any additional parts to work. And with lesser moving parts and attachment required, means lesser maintenance and lesser cost on repairs and replacements.

  • Efficient in cleaning small particles

It is proven to be reliable to suck all kinds of debris especially small and little dirt that cause the pool its cloudy and hazy appearance. It is effective to remove algae as well. High-end models are equipped with features that enable them to sweep and scrub even the smallest particles. By using this pool cleaner, you will be assured of a crystal clear pool, all set for a pool party.

  • It cleans through the walls

One good thing about using suction pool cleaner is its ability to climb the walls to make sure all areas in your pool are covered and cleaned. This saves you the work of manually scrubbing the walls as it is usually hard to tackle by automatic cleaners.

Pressure Pool Cleaner

Also called the booster pump cleaner, this method is mostly used by those with a reliable pressure side port on their pools. If however, you want to use this type of pool cleaner, there are two ways to make it work. You may be able to connect it directly to the pool’s main circulation pump or use the alternate method, which is with the aid of a booster pump. Either way, there are several models available for each for you to choose from.

Between the two processes, the use of the booster pump has the consistent and higher power and least likely to be affected by dirty filters, therefore recommended to be more effective.

How to install

Though there are two ways on how to use this pressure pool cleaner, both are however installed the same way. There are few steps that need to follow to set up.

After making sure you have a reliable pressure line, you may adjust the hose to fit the deepest part of the pool. In case of the hose is too long for your pool, you may cut to adjust the length. It does not end with the hose though, as you also need to adjust on the floats and assemble the cleaner.

To assemble the pressure pool cleaner, remove the mender nut from the hose and placed it on the feed pipe. You then need to pull out the bag and attached it to the feed hose. After making sure all are securely tightened and adjustments are made, then you can go ahead and test it in the pool. Once everything works perfectly fine, the cleaner is ready to start its job.

How it works

Pressure pool cleaner uses the pressure of the water to pump and pushed back to the pool where it vacuums all kinds of debris in your pool. This debris will then go straight to the filter bag, which is attached to the unit.

In between the process, the water that comes in is split into three sections. Some will go straight to the sweeper tail, which can be found at the back of the unit. It collects fine debris from the pool surface and heads it to its filters. The other portion of the water will go to the thrust jet, which is also attached to the back of the pressure pool cleaner. It directs and propels the cleaner to move in a random pattern. One-third will head to the venture or the port found at the bottom where large debris such as leaves are pulled into the filter bag while it operates. And in order to change the cleaning pattern and help the cleaner tackle obstacles along the way, an in-line backup valve in the feed hose is in charge of reversing the flow.


  • Works separately on the pool’s main filter system
  • Uses lesser energy than the suction pool cleaner
  • Ideal to clean large debris
  • Durable
  • It uses a separate filter bag


  • Most of the models will require separate pump to work effectively
  • Sand and other small particles may clog its back-up valve
  • Since you will have some hoses used, constant tangling is unavoidable
  • Tendency to stuck in cleaning stairs and ladders

Advantages of using a pressure pool cleaner

  • Less clogging on the main filter

This is because its process suggests that all large debris goes straight to the filter bag, hence dirt are managed systematically so it will not hamper the cleaning operation. It is, therefore, more effective and recommended if you will be dealing with leaves, twigs, bugs and other large particles.

  • Reduces wear and tear of filter

Since it works independently on the pool’s main filtration system, using this method reduces deterioration of overusing it, especially when you will be required to constantly clean your pool. It helps that it has its own dirtbag to store all the debris as well as it will be using the filter anymore. This creates less stress as it does not add load on the system, therefore, contributing to the filter’s longer use.

Robotic Pool Cleaner

Changing the game of pool cleaning introduced a new advanced method of keeping your pool crystal clear and sparkling clean. Robotic pool cleaner is effective to use in all sizes and shapes of the pool and can clean both large and small particles and debris. It is engineered with an integrated microprocessor that allows it to assess the size and shape of the pool and create a system for an efficient and thorough cleaning to achieve best results. Other high-end models can be pre-programmed and come with a remote control for added convenience.

How to install

Installing this type of pool cleaner is very easy.  The first step is to install the carrier caddy. Once it is in position, connect the cord to the plug. Put the cleaner into the pool, and you are already good to go.  Before starting, however, you may need to program the machine or set its cleaning cycle for a productive operation.

How it works

Robotic pool cleaner is very easy to use. Once installed and properly plugged in, it is all set to start cleaning. You will not be bothered by the filtration system as it works separately and independently.  The pumps on the side of the cleaner pull in water to the filter, before it is pumped back clean into the pool. It is also what propels it to move around the pool sucking and brushing all kinds of debris and store it on its built-in filter bag.

After the cleaning, make sure to empty the filter bag and clean it by rinsing it with water and letting it dry to keep the cleaner in a pristine condition for your next use.


  • Efficient use of energy
  • Convenient to use
  • Cleans walls and stairs
  • Effectively cleans both large and small debris
  • As an option, remote control for manual operation


  • Costly as compared to the other types
  • Filter bags will need to be constantly emptied for continuous operation
  • Movement is dependent on the electric cord that is attached to the plug
  • Prone to tangled cables and cords.

Advantages of using the robotic pool cleaner

  • Versatile and efficient

Robotic pool cleaner is thoughtfully designed to tackle any kinds of debris, whether big or small. It can also be used generally on all types of pool surfaces. It comes with advanced and innovated features such like the scanning system, and a built-in filtration system that allows it to work independently for optimal results.

  • Environmental-friendly

This is one remarkable feature of using this type of pool cleaner. Using it assures you that it does not emit any kind and form of chemicals that may be mixed in the water that can risk your health and harm the environment.

  • Low Maintenance

Like how machines aim in providing us comfort through the convenience of use, some, like this robotic pool cleaner extends the advantage to the maintenance of the machine. To keep this running for the next round of cleaning, you just need to empty the filter bag and make sure it is clean from all debris, then rinse it and all done.

  • Time and energy saver

Since robotic pool cleaners don’t use the pool’s pump and filtration system, energy costs are being reduced. It is also engineered to work fast and in a timely manner, hence it can clean your pool in lesser time compared with other methods.

Differences of The Three Types of Pool Cleaners

All three types of pool cleaners display unique benefits that choosing for one that will suit your needs can be a tough decision to make. To help you narrow down your choices, the following distinctions may apply:

Method of cleaning

While all three types of pool cleaners work for one common goal- to make your pool clean and free from all kinds of debris, they, however, differ on the process on how this can be achieved. Suction and pressure pool cleaners by their names simply make use of the suction part and pressure points of your pool respectively in order to remove all kinds of debris. Robotic pool cleaners, on the other hand, works separately and is powered by electricity and can be operated through remote controls.


The primary and very apparent difference between the three types of pool cleaner lies on its price and cost. The most inexpensive among the three is the suction pool cleaner, mainly because it requires fewer attachments and accessories and it basically has lesser movable parts. This, therefore, entails lesser cost both from purchase, repairs, and maintenance. The priciest is the robotic pool cleaner because it is equipped with the most advanced features and has its own filtration system that is separate from that of your pools’. It, however, guarantees efficient performance and reduced energy cost that may be worth your money in the long run. The pressure pool cleaner comes in between the two.

Types of debris

However dependent on its features and unit models’ specifications, suction pool cleaners work best on cleaning your pool from dust, dirt, and other small particles and debris. If you have troubles with larger debris such as leaves, twigs, and bugs, then pressure pool cleaner is recommended as this cleaner works better in swallowing these big particles without clogging. Robotic pool cleaners claim to tackle both small and big debris effectively.

How To Choose The Best Pool Cleaner For Your Needs

After knowing the differences of each one comes the decision. Which one will you choose? Ultimately, it will depend on what your pool’s needs are considering these following criteria:

Pool size

To achieve efficient operation and optimal results, it is essential to consider the size of your pool when choosing for the best pool cleaner to buy. When you have large pools especially, some types of pool cleaner may not be as effective as the others. Most large pool owners may opt for the robotic pool cleaner because it has advanced feature that is engineered for heavy-duty operation and equipped with a navigation system for a systematic cleaning.

Type of debris

The type of debris also matters when choosing for the pool cleaner that will best suit your pool’s needs. Given their limitations, there are machines that though can clean large debris, may be more prone to clogging, which will hinder the continuous cleaning operation. Other types, however, works best in sweeping these large particles but may miss out on small dust or algae that stick to the pool surface.

Pool capacity

Each type basically has distinct cleaning method. The pressure pool cleaner uses the booster pump, while the suction pool cleaner makes use of the suction part of your pool. Robotic pool cleaner, on the other hand, works independently. So, when choosing, check also if your pool has strong pressure points or a reliable filter that can accommodate the operation.


Pool cleaners that are easy to install are definitely convenient and may save us a considerable amount of time and effort. So if you are the type who would rather skip on this gruesome process, then perhaps you may want to consider the type with less hassle in setting up.


This machine is not for a one-time job. And our pool will not maintain its cleanliness by itself. Hence, to be sure our pool cleaner is still up and running on its next round of cleaning, maintenance is very important. While some types of pool cleaners may require few steps, there are others that are easy-breezy to do. So consider also, which one you can manage. Besides, it is supposed to make our life easy and stress-free, right?


Though choosing for the best pool cleaner should be based more on what works best for your pool, yet budget-wise, the cost may be one factor to consider especially if there is a huge difference between each type.

The best pool cleaner, therefore, depends on what your pool needs. What may work on the other may not necessarily mean to work the same for you, as our pools have its own unique limitations and specifications. So while it does matter what we like, we may need to consult if this is also what’s best for our pool.

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