Choosing a Pool Cleaner: 5 Factors to Consider

First things first, what is a pool cleaner? Well, save for when the term refers to a professional, a pool cleaner is either a vacuum head attached to a telepole and connect to a skimmer or an automated machine that vacuums a pool with the least human intervention. The general working principle of automated pool cleaners is removing debris from your swimming pool through suction, pressure or powerful brushes.

Let’s skip the manual cleaners and look into automatic ones. After all, very few pool owners still endure the pain of cleaning their pools manually.

Categories of Pools Cleaners

There are three main categories of automatic pool cleaners namely, suction-side, Pressure-side and Robotic cleaners. Having a brief idea about each type is essential if you are to pick the right tool for your pool. In brief:

✅ Suction-side Pool cleaners

Work through a hopping motion (created by an inbuilt diaphragm cartridge). The motion propels the suction cleaner throughout the pool. Suction-side cleaners are generally cheaper. Example of top suction cleaners includes Zodiac MX8, Intex Auto, Wanda the Whale, Baracuda G3 and Hayward 500 Aquabug.

✅ Pressure-side Pool cleaners

Depend on your pool pump or separate booster pump to generate pressure. The harnessed pressure not only propel the cleaner but also sweeps debris from your pool surface. Pressure-side cleaners are more powerful and sometimes expensive than Suction-side cleaners. Examples of to Pressure pool cleaners include Polaris Vac-Sweep 280, Pentair Legend, Polaris Vac-Sweep 360, Pentair Racer and Polaris Vac-Sweep 65.

✅ Robotic Pool cleaners

They are powered by electricity and use an embedded computer chip to navigate and clean your pool. Robotic Pool Cleaners are expensive than Pressure-side cleaners. Examples of top robotic pool cleaners include Dolphin Quantum, Polaris 9550, Dolphin Premier, Prowler 830 and Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus.

The standard feature among automatic cleaners is the ability to clean the pool without necessarily requiring your help.

Advantages of automatic cleaners

The convenience comes at a cost, yes, but would you instead clean your pool all day long to save? The back pain and general tiredness that may result from manual cleaning may end up costing you more than time in the end. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Convenient: As the name suggests, these machines can clean your pool when you are on a journey or busy tending to other matters. Unlike manual pool cleaners, automatic cleaners ensure you spend most of the time swimming in your pool than you do cleaning it.
  • Powerful: Automatic cleaners don’t just save you time, they are efficient at removing all types of debris from the pool floor, walls and crevices in the stairs irrespective of size in the shortest time possible. Automatic cleaners preserve the integrity of your pool by keeping it clean all the time
  • Faster: Automatic cleaners take minutes to clean a pool that would take you hours to clean. They don’t just clean faster; automatic pool cleaners give a better hygienic
  • Versatile: While their primary purpose is to rid your pool of debris, Automatic cleaners can improve water circulation thus reducing the frequency with which you must treat your pool. Better yet, some automatic cleaners can help with the chemical treatment of your pool.
  • Cost-effective: From excellent energy saving ability to the fact that you won’t expend your time and effort, automatic cleaners give the most value for money. Better still, most of them can last several seasons without repair or need to replace parts.

Some automatic cleaners have a remote control to give you control during the cleaning. This way you can redo parts that you feel need thorough scrubbing for instance. In brief, automatic pool cleaners give you the freedom to top up your tan while they handle the cleaning.

What to consider when choosing a pool cleaner

With dozens of brands producing automatic pool cleaners, how do you settle on the right on for your pool?  What are the factors you should consider before you order your first automatic pool cleaner? Well, finding the right cleaner is not rocket science. Here are the factors that will help you get the right gadget:

  • Available Budget: Your budget will determine the type of pool cleaner you take home. The best of the best cleaners are (in most cases) expensive. Go for the best robotic cleaner if you have over $1000 budget. Otherwise always go for a cheapest yet effective cleaner where there is a big difference in price among cleaners in your budget range
  • Pool size: Save for robotic cleaners, the other types are limited by hose lengths. They can only cover as far as the hose allows. For instance, a pressure cleaner with a 24ft hose may not clean every part of your 60ft pool. To be safe, buy a cleaner that can cover more than your pool length. Better yet, go for a robotic pool cleaner as they have the least restrictions when it comes to covering every part of your pool.
  • Pool Capacity: Apart from Robotic cleaners that work independently of your pool filtration system, both suction and pressure side types depend on your pool in one way or other. You want to pick a cleaner that doesn’t depend on your filtration system or one that is compatible to its capacity (pressure points or filter reliability).
  • Debris: Your pool has both fine and large debris and not all automatic cleaners can handle both types of debris. Some cleaners will clog when exposed to large debris while others may miss out on the fine debris. You need a cleaner that can handle from the smallest dirt to small rocks with ease.
  • Ease of Installation: A pool cleaner is as good as its ease of use. Unless you are willing to enlist the services of a pool cleaner expert, choose machines that are easy to assemble, set up and operate.

You may also want to consider the maintenance needs of a pool cleaner. Since an automatic pool cleaner aims at making your life easy, go for one that is easy to clean and troubleshoot. Choosing otherwise will defeat the reason you buy automatic cleaners.


Very few, if any, reasons will move you to buy a manual pool cleaner. However, even after settling for an automatic cleaner (suction, pressure or robotic), you must choose wisely. A good pool clean is one that is compatible with your pool filtration system, can clean every part of your pool, is affordable, most straightforward to install and able to collect all types of debris.

You may want to check out some of the best selling pool cleaners and pick the one that matches your pool cleaning needs.


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