Ready to dive in?

Automatic Pool Cleaners: What's the Difference?

Posted by Laci Carnes on 2/20/18 11:50 AM

Manually taking out and using a pool vacuum head to clean your pool at least once a week (if not more, depending on the size of your pool) can take several hours to complete. With everyone being busy and wanting to spend the extra they do have relaxing, we are seeing more and more of our customers turning to automatic pool cleaners to help give them some more time back!

If you’ve ever been to someone’s house and seen a small under water robot having a grand time in their pool, that’s an automatic pool cleaner! They can work with your filtration system or on their own but they help keep debris and algae from building up in your pool. This helps to take pressure off your filter (making it last longer and need less maintenance) and aids in keeping your pool crystal clear and splash ready!

Whether you have an above ground swimming pool or an in-ground swimming pool, there are 3 primary types of automatic pool cleaners to choose from!

 Suction Cleaners

As the most wallet-friendly option, suction-Side Cleaners have wheeled their ways into the hearts and homes of many. This cleaner connects to your existing skimmer or dedicated suction line and travels around your pool sucking up debris to send through your pool’s filtration system. They are great for picking up mostly medium sized debris, and some models can be set to pick up small debris such as silt or sand! A few even climb walls for expanded cleaning areas!

Suction-side pool cleaners require that the pool pump be running during operation. This means they'll be using more electricity than the other types of pool cleaners we’ll be covering. Using one of these little guys means you’ll have to clean your filter a little more frequently so if you have a Diatomaceous Earth (DE) filter, you will be adding more DE to your pool as well.


  • Easy maintenance
  • Lower cost
  • Great for smaller to medium sized pools
  • Less moving parts


  • Causes additional wear and tear on your pool pump and filter
  • Requires cleaning your filter more often


Pressure Cleaners

Pressure side cleaners use water pressure from a dedicated booster pump and/or pool pump to drive the cleaner around your pool, forcing debris into a filter bag where it can be easily collected and removed. Due to these bad boys having their own filter bag, this means zero stress added to your existing pool filter!

Pressure side cleaners are great for picking up medium and large debris. Finer particles will flow through the filter bag and end up being cleaned out through your existing filtration system.


  • Less filter and pump maintenance
  • Great for medium to large pools
  • Easy to maintain


  • Can require a second pump or booster pump
  • Requires pool pump to run


Robotic Cleaners

You could emphasize the term robot when referring to Robotic pool cleaners for extra cool points but these guys don’t really need the help!  First of all, they pick up debris of all sizes, so they can do the job you are buying them to do. On top of that, they do not hook up to any part of your pool’s existing filtration system! That’s right, neither your pump nor your filter will have any extra strain put on them to help the cleaner perform. How is this possible?! Robotic cleaners are self-contained filtration systems in and of themselves. Because of this they reduce your overall power costs and consumption making them the industry’s most energy efficient automatic cleaners. Premium models come equipped with awesome features like remote controls, waterline scrubbing, four-wheel drive, and programmable cleaning cycles.

Plug them in and put them in the water! No hooking up to existing equipment. No tools needed. Grab and go!


  • Superior cleaning
  • Energy efficient
  • Eliminates wear on pool equipment
  • Operates quietly
  • Remotes and storage caddy’s available


  • Higher cost upfront
  • Requires the filter to be emptied
  • Additional parts to be replaced when needed


For more information and pricing on automatic cleaners, click here!