Whatever size or type, there’s no doubt that a swimming pool sets off any garden a treat.
Whether you want to incorporate swimming into your fitness regime, cool off when the mercury rises or simply relax around the pool for evening drinks and a BBQ, one thing is constant…
You need to keep your pool clean. Not only do dirty pools look unsightly, they’re the perfect breeding ground for mosquitoes as well.
We’ll look at the 5 of the best robotic pool cleaners below before giving you the lowdown on all the different options at your disposal so you can get the right equipment for your pool and your needs.
We’ll look at 5 great alternatives to hiring in an expensive pool cleaning service:
The Pool Cleaner Automatic Suction Pool Vacuum (2-Wheel)
BARACUDA G3 W03000 Advanced Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner
Pentair Kreepy Krauly Legend (LL505G) Pressure-Side Pool Cleaner
Polaris F9350 Sport Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner
Dolphin Nautilus Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner
Now, let’s go in detail about each of these products and show you why for many, each of them is the best pool cleaners in 2018.
First up in our robotic pool cleaner reviews is a superb suction-side automatic cleaner that delivers a cheaper but no less effective take on Hayward’s classic Aquanaut and is a strong contender for the best robotic pool cleaner.
Hayward is a household name in the pool cleaning industry with satisfied customers stretching back the better part of a century. In 2013, Hayward bought the Poolvergneugen company and this neat 2-wheeled model is the result of that merger.
The PoolCleaner is available in a 2-wheeled version or, at very little extra cost, a 4-wheeled alternative. The 4-wheeler comes into its own for more substantial pools over 40 feet in length so we’ll focus today on the slightly cheaper 2-wheeler.
We dive deeper into suction-side pool cleaners in our buying guide below. They are the cheapest and most economical type of automatic cleaner. The power of the pool pump and filter already in place will propel the PoolCleaner along on its duty. You’ll be able to plug it into either the skimmer or into a dedicated port if your pool has one in place.
With the nifty turbines that automatically adjust themselves to optimize water flow, you’ll be sure you have maximum oomph regardless of the rate of flow. Since the turbine vanes are not fixed, they cope admirably with any large debris like leaves or flowers. That said, if your garden is prone to shedding this kind of dead foliage, purchasing a separate leaf canister is a smart move.
The steering system can be programmed to run through five sequences with the drive sequence ensuring it turns every 8 to 10 feet. It will turn through angles from 90 degrees through 450 degrees so you’ll be confident both the shallow and deep ends are sufficiently scoured.
While the tire design is impressive, it pays to be aware that the manufacturer’s claims of wall-climbing ability are perhaps overstated. We’re not saying it will fail completely but don’t expect your PoolCleaner to be scaling those walls like a rock climber. The gnarled treads certainly do help with general navigation, though. It works particularly well on ridged surfaces. Just keep your expectations reasonable to avoid disappointment. Often, complaints of this nature are made by people who are hankering for something that is never likely to be delivered.
You’ll get a choice of 3 throats you can easily swap out so this pool cleaner is a wise choice if you have a variable-speed pool pump. If you need to deal with more substantial debris or the flow rate dips, exchange the throat and maximize your returns.
The moveable skirts ensure that full suction is in effect even if your cleaner runs into some kind of interference. One of more of these innovative skirts will fall into place around the obstacle without negatively impacting cleaning power.
Although no pool cleaner is silent, there’s not a great deal of noise generated while this nifty 2-wheeled device takes care of business.
Take a glimpse now at a summary of the main upsides and drawbacks of the Hayward Poolvergneugen PoolCleaner so you can decide whether to make the modest investment for a super-clean swimming pool…
- Suitable for efficiently cleaning areas up to 16 x 32 feet so ideal for most regular home swimming pools.
- Harness your existing pump and filter so you won’t need the added expense of a booster pump.
- Get superior results whatever the water flow thanks to self-adjusting turbines.
- Perfect for all shapes and sizes of pool with rugged tires that allow the PoolCleaner to navigate steps and obstacles with ease.
- Guaranteed whole-pool coverage with fully programmable steering sequences.
- Skirts self-adjust so suction is maintained even when encountering larger foreign objects in the pool.
- Swap out throats (3 included) to get the most effective suction whatever the flow or type of debris.
- Extremely sound value for money with reduced running costs due to suction-side functionality.
- Solid 2-year limited warranty is generous and takes the sting out of purchase.
- Many users report issues with this pool cleaner not living up to expectations climbing walls.
- Skimmer won’t work when the cleaner is in operation unless you have a separate suction port to make use.
If you are in the market for a budget-friendly entry to the world of automatic pool cleaners and you don’t mind setting aside a bit of time for the PoolCleaner to do its work, this 2-wheeled suction-side cleaner from Hayward Poolvergneugen is well worth popping on your shortlist.
The warranty is better than you’d expect for a cheaper cleaner in this class so you can buy with complete confidence protected from any unexpected repair bills.
The main limitations concern the length of time it takes to get the job done and a questionable ability when it comes to wall climbing. Those minor gripes aside – and they are far from deal-breakers – the PoolCleaner is a hard-hitting cleaner that will make sure your pool remains a joy to swim in.
Check one out today if you have a smaller to medium-sized pool and you won’t be disappointed.
Next up in our robotic pool cleaner reviews, we’ve got another suction-side automatic gadget for you in the guise of the Baracuda G3 W03000.
Even cheaper than the PoolCleaner, this is a fantastic and economical option for anyone who won’t compromise pool hygiene but who doesn’t fancy dropping four figures on a state-of-the-art system.
The very simplicity of this cleaner is in fact one of its leading advantage. Apart from the diaphragm, you’ve got no moving components to let you down. The rugged hoses are built to stay the distance and they’re covered for 2 years by the manufacturer. All other defects are backed by a 1-year limited warranty which is in line with most comparable pool cleaners.
The cleaner arrives ready to roll so you won’t need to break out the tools or engage with any tiresome installation. Just hook it up and you’re good to go.
Recommended for use with a lower-speed suction pump, you can hook up your Baracuda either to a skimmer or to a laid-in suction line in your swimming pool. As with all suction-side cleaners, this neatly sidesteps any requirement for a potentially pricey booster pump. The pioneering FlowKeeper valve will keep water flow in check so you’ll get excellent results even with pumps operating at lower speeds.
One of the chief selling points of this inexpensive pool cleaner is its ability to deal with a broad spread of debris. Many pools attract the whole spectrum of flotsam and jetsam from sand and fine dust right through to twigs, leaves, stones and bugs. With the exception of very bulky leaves which can snarl up in the diaphragm, the Baracuda lives up to the marketing hype and dispatches pretty much anything in its path.
While many suction-side cleaners struggle to navigate due to the way in which they’re self-propelled provoking a randomized pattern, the Baracuda has a neat wheel deflector in place alongside a patented anti-stick design so you shouldn’t experience those issues. Unlike many similar cleaners, this unit can climb the walls pretty effectively so you’ll get an all-over clean every time.
The last thing you want when you’re trying to get in some downtime poolside is a cleaner that kicks out too much racket. While it’s not whisper-quiet, you certainly won’t find the noise of this cleaner to be in any way intrusive.
There’s nothing worse than needing to maintain the diaphragm on a pool cleaner and finding it takes a magic act to access the thing. The Baracuda has a handy quick-release cassette putting paid to any nonsense an allowing you to swiftly unclog or clean this component fuss-free.
You can buy the Baracuda with or without a scrub disc depending on your requirements. The disc included packs 36 fins so it adheres brilliantly to just about any pool surface. The only area where it’s noted to run into problems is with raised drain covers so keep an eye on proceedings until you see how this cleaner handles the terrain of your pool.
Glance now at the advantages and snags that define this sterling pool cleaner and you can decide for yourself whether you think it makes sense for your particular size and type of pool…
- Arrives pre-assembled so you put your cleaner straight to work without needing to fumble for the tool kit
- Exceptional value for money given the brand heritage, cleaning results and build quality
- From fine dirt and sand through to leaves, twigs, stones and even insects, the Baracuda eats up everything in its path
- Innovative finned disc design gives you superior traction even on smoother surfaces
- Very few moving parts so expect a long lifespan and minimal maintenance with little chance of breakdown
- Operates very quietly for a pool cleaner so relax in your sun lounger without being menaced
- FlowKeeper valve will automatically tweak water flow so even if your pump is running slower, you’ll still get a first-rate clean
- Access diaphragm fuss-free thanks to quick-release cassette
- Hard-wearing and scuff-resistant hoses make certain this weak point won’t let you down
- Tends to get randomly stuck on drain covers which is an inconvenience
- Very large leaves can clog up the diaphragm
You can’t expect to pay as little as this for the best robotic pool cleaner and get a highly intelligent robot crammed with frippery. What you can expect is that the Baracuda will blitz the floor, walls and steps of your pool in a relatively brisk and highly effective manner at a price you’ll love.
We’ve tried to include something for all pool sizes and budgets here and we understand not everyone is looking for a tech-driven beast where the very complexity can turn into a negative if things break down.
For a no-nonsense approach to automatic pool cleaners, the Baracuda G3 is well worthy of your further investigation.
As we hit the mid-point of our robotic pool cleaner reviews, it’s time to center on a pressure-side unit from the industry heavyweight Pentair.
Expect to dig a little deeper for this fairly bulky cleaner but cleaning results will more than compensate for the stiffer price tag. Pentair offers a wide range of all types of pool cleaner so if you don’t want a pressure-side cleaner, consider some of their other models.
Installation and set-up is fairly straightforward and you won’t need any specialist knowledge or skills if you follow the clear guidelines in the manual.
With pool cleaners, performance comes first and last. To put the effectiveness of the Kreepy Krauly into perspective, you’ll be able to clean a 30,000-gallon pool in around 3 hours so it gleams and sparkles without you needing to lift a finger.
If your pool is hedged in by landscaping, you’ll appreciate the large intake valve. You will need to make provision for a booster pump so don’t expect to get going straight out the box unless you already have one in place or buy one when you pick up your pool cleaner. There’s a back-up valve which kicks in every 3 or 4 minutes and promotes whole-pool cleaning while lessening the chance of the Kreepy Krauly running afoul of steps.
While pressure-side cleaners like the Pentair burn through more electricity due to the booster pump required, the upside is that you’ll see the job done a lot more rapidly so it’s not necessarily the case that running costs will get out of hand. Expect a cleaning cycle of between 1 and 3 hours according to the size and type of pool you’re dealing with.
Navigation is seamless with the 4 wheels reducing any toppling effect to a manageable level. The front wheel drive allows the Kreepy Krauly to maintain top-tier traction even if it’s angling up an incline. Despite its size and power, this pool cleaner is surprisingly nimble. It can get in and out of tight spots without getting bogged down and we’d describe it as an especially agile performer.
The intake throat is specifically designed as a multi-tasker so you can kiss goodbye to fine particles and larger debris rather than needing to make a compromise. This throat has an ingenious twist-lock so you’ll be able to remove it without standing on ceremony. If you make the modest investment in this first-class cleaner, you can enjoy a pool with no algae or bacteria that’s blissfully free of the niggle of floating leaves into the bargain.
A nice extra on this pool cleaner is the tail hose scrubber that imparts the final touches for a glittering finish. One thing to watch out for is the way in which this hose can tangle. If necessary, trim down and you can stop this to a great extent. While you shouldn’t need to make these sort of modifications, it’s always nice to know a simple and free hack can solve a potentially niggling issue in seconds flat!
The 1-year limited warranty is hardly the most generous guarantee but it’s standard for most pool cleaners due to their complexity and the prevailing market where most manufacturers simply don’t back their products for longer than this.
Check out the pros and cons of the Pentair Kreepy Krauly before seeing if our verdict can persuade you this might be the best robotic pool cleaner for you and your family…
- 4-wheeled unit minimized the chance of the cleaner tipping over allowing you to leave it to go through the motions without monitoring it constantly
- Choice of gray or white colorways so co-ordinate your cleaner with your pool décor
- Cleans briskly with a cycle taking anywhere from 1 to 3 hours
- Tailor-made for all pool surfaces from vinyl through to fiberglass and gunite
- Substantial integrated filter bag capable of holding plenty of larger debris
- Oversized intake throat has a twist-lock which simplifies removal for cleaning and maintenance
- Inbuilt pressure relief valve to ensure a consistent speed of travel regardless of water flow
- Front wheel drive affords superb traction even on slopes and inclines
- Weighs just over 20 pounds which is remarkably lightweight considering the raw power on tap
- You’ll need to make provision for a booster pump if you don’t already have one installed so factor this into your budgeting
- Certainly not the cheapest option at your disposal but you’ll still find the Pentair represents great value
- Lengthy tail hose is prone to tangling (although you can trim it to size if required)
For anyone with a more elastic budget and uncompromising standards when it comes to pool hygiene, the Pentair Kreepy Krauly is one of the strongest models in the range and an outstanding all-rounder.
For a combination of 4-wheeled stability, front wheel drive for optimum traction even if your cleaner is heading uphill and all from a brand you can rely on, there’s very little we can say against this pool cleaner. The need to buy a separate booster pump is common to all pressure-side cleaners rather than a flaw specific to the Pentair. Aside from a tail hose that tends to get snarled up, it’s a powerhouse of a cleaner at a reasonable price point.
Sure, you can get cheaper pool cleaners but not many are better. Decide what importance budget plays in your purchasing decision and think long and hard about adding the Kreepy Krauly to your pool cleaning arsenal.
As we near the tail end of our robotic pool cleaner reviews, we’ve got the first of a pair of robotic cleaners for you suitable for a range of in-ground swimming pools.
In these reviews, we always try to serve up products from the full spectrum since everyone has varying requirements and budgets. If you’re fully prepared to invest in an innovative and highly advanced cleaner from an industry leviathan, look no further than the Polaris F9350.
One inbuilt flaw with robotic cleaners trying to swim their way through more substantial pools is their tendency to go astray and fail to properly clean the whole area. Polaris address this issue with their proprietary ActivMotion sensor. Even if you have a freeform pool at the upper recommended size range for this pool cleaner, the F9350 navigates its way around like a dream.
Thinking of navigation, the gripping tires and 2-wheel drive mean that whatever the surface or incline of your swimming pool, this robot surges confidently and stably onward at all times. Whether it’s tile or cement, vinyl or fiberglass, the robot copes with any surface it encounters.
Vortex Vacuum technology means the Polaris works wonders if your pool is blighted by chunky twigs and larger leaves. It managed to trap up to 4 times more detritus than similar pool cleaners. Ditching the contents of the canister is a breeze and you won’t need to come into contact with the filth and grime.
One of the key advantages of robotic pool cleaners is the way they get the job done quick-smart. Even on the most comprehensive cleaning cycle including all walls, the Polaris will be ready to wrap within 2 hours. If you just need to give the floor of the pool a once-over, adopt the other cleaning cycle and you’ll be done in an hour or so.
Don’t think this cleaner is only about unchecked cleaning power, though. The way in which it’s forcefully propelled from the rear means it can angle its way into even challenging locations and it’s very light on its feet for such a powerhouse.
When the job’s done, you can program the robot to rear its head at a designated spot in the pool and grab it to take back to the tool shed on its caddy, a durable unit supplied free of charge. You’ll also get a transformer included as well as a double-insulated 60-foot cable more than lengthy enough for most needs and a filter canister. You have everything you need to get started as soon as your package arrives. You won’t need to mess around with any third-party pumps or hoses so you can enjoy bleeding-edge technology in a highly user-friendly unit.
Another serious plus-point with robotic pool cleaners is the way in which ongoing running costs are slashed. Although you initially need to outlay a little more, you’ll burn through nowhere near the power you would with a like-for-like pressure-side cleaner.
One thing to note before launching in to buy is that the Polaris only works with in-ground pools so look for an alternative if you have a smaller above-ground affair in your garden.
We’ll walk you through the positives and negatives with this simple but incredibly functional robotic pool cleaner now so you can make the best decision for your personal cleaning requirements…
- 2-wheel drive system with tires designed to grip comfortably whatever your pool surface
- Works well with larger pools measuring up to 20 x 50 feet
- Navigation can be an issue in bigger swimming pools but the ActivMotion sensor on this sport robot means it won’t get lost or snarled up
- Vortex Vacuum technology allows this robot to expediently pick up bulky debris without impacting suction
- Strong and rugged caddy takes the backache out of transporting your cleaner
- Switch cycles from floor only or floor and walls to give you maximum cleaning flexibility
- Hit a button and grab your robot from your desired spot in the pool through the pioneering Easy Lift system
- Clean canister quickly and easily so you can ditch the debris with a shake and spray motion
- Propelled from behind so highly effective in tight spots and under the pool steps
- Not suitable for above-ground pools so think again if you have one of these swimming pools
- Expensive so not suitable if you’re looking for a budget cleaner
Not every pool owner wants or needs a robotic cleaner but, if you do, the Polaris is certainly among the very strongest options at your disposal.
Although it’s pretty expensive, alongside that elevated price tag comes high-grade cleaning results, you’ll also enjoy a carrying caddy to wheel it around on, a remote control and transformer thrown in so you get plenty of overall value and certainly won’t feel cheated if you shoot for this robot.
For all owners of larger in-ground pools looking for a showroom fresh clean with very little input required, check out the Polaris F9350. It might not be cheap but the best things in life rarely are.
Last but by absolutely no means least in our robotic cleaner reviews, we’ll round up with another mighty robotic model, this time the Nautilus Plus from Dolphin.
This is an uprated version of the base Nautilus model. You’ll get a supersized filter capacity, 3-point turn radius, rapid water release and CleverClean technology if you opt for this enhanced Plus version and these are extras well worth shelling out a little more for in our opinion.
If you are wary of buying a robotic pool cleaner thinking it will be a grind to get up and running, nothing could be further from the truth. Aside from connecting a couple of wires, there’s nothing else to set-up.
Able to run for up to 3 hours straight before automatically powering down, you can enjoy a full clean in even less time than that. The weekly timer lets you program your robot to perform predetermined 2-hour cycles even if you’re not around.
CleverClean technology is an area where the Plus model advances beyond the basic functionality of the original Nautilus. As well as the floors and walls, the new and improved Nautilus Plus can also deal with the waterline for a total clean second to none.
Snarled up cables is a real flashpoint with pool cleaners but Dolphin has tackled that problem head-on. The Maytronics swiveling cables float and stay clear of the unit so you can sit back and watch as every inch of your pool is cleaned. Scanning software makes sure that no stone is left unturned. Regardless of the size or shape of your pool, this nifty function leads to optimized cleaning each and every time.
With a brace of cartridges on the Dolphin Plus model, the polyester fiber takes care of the finer filtration while coarser objects are dealt with thanks to a simple but effective mesh screen. This combined approach leads to a glisteningly clean pool with no sand, dirt, leaves or mucky insects to mar the effect you’ve strived so hard to create in your garden with a swimming pool.
The added bonus of these CleverClean filters is that you can bring down the frequency with which you’ll need to backwash the filter in your pool. Beyond this, and overall improvement in the way water is filtered and circulated might even reduce your dependency on chemicals in the pool.
For a pool that’s gleaming clean with all the floor and walls scrubbed free of algae and contaminants, you’ll have to look far and wide to find a pool cleaner that can match the Dolphin Nautilus Plus. It really is that good.
Take a few moments to analyze the leading benefits and the couple of small bugbears with the Dolphin Nautilus so you can compare it with the other pool cleaners and decide which ones deserve a place on your shortlist…
- Rapid 2 ½ hour cleaning time during which all surfaces of your pool will be scrubbed, vacuumed and filtered for impeccable results without needing to wait all day
- Say goodbye to awkward and messy cleaning as cartridge filter allows for top access simplifying maintenance no end
- Spend less time on the tedious task of filter clean as the capacity is ramped up to lessen the need to clean it out
- GPS-style scanning software makes certain the entirety of your pool is spring cleaned whatever its dimensions and shape
- Blitz the walls and floors as well as the waterline thanks to CleverClean technology
- Weekly timer automates the cleaning process further and minimizes the need for human intervention
- Works well in bigger pools up to 50 feet long so an incredibly versatile cleaner
- Swiveling cables means no more tangled cords or missed spots due to the robot snarling up
- Awesome 2-year fully comprehensive warranty puts much of the competition to shame
- Some user complaints above lifespan and build quality
- Can find picking up larger leaves something of a burden
- Like all robotic pool cleaners, the Nautilus Plus can find difficulty with stairs so be prepared to give it a gently nudge
If you already own a Nautilus, we can’t in any conscience say it’s worth you rushing out to upgrade to the Plus model. If, though, you are looking to enter the world of robotic pool cleaners for the first time, it’s definitely a smart idea to choose the enhanced model for the reasons listed above.
Anyone with a bumper-sized in-ground swimming pool looking for a non-intrusive and highly effective cleaner which is also economical in the extreme would be well advised not to overlook the Dolphin Nautilus Plus.
Good to go directly out the box, you can enjoy all the bells and whistles of the best robotic pool cleaner without any of the headache of a tech-laden nightmare that’s confusing to use.
Check out the Nautilus Plus right now!
Now you have a sound overview of a selection of 5 of the very best pool cleaners up for grabs, we’ll move onto our brief but value-packed buying guide.
We’ll outline the main advantages and drawbacks of the assortment of cleaners you could choose from and help you on your way to making the best decision for you and your pool.
Read on to make your purchase even easier…
Pool Cleaner Buying Guide
Professional pool cleaning outfits don’t come cheap so if you don’t fancy a grinding fortnightly expense, it’s well worth investing in a solid pool cleaner instead.
While many of these gadgets are not particularly cheap, the meaningful running costs pretty much end with purchase so it’s a solid way to save money over time without neglecting your pool.
First up, you’ll need to navigate what can seem like a minefield of choices in terms of the basic style of pool cleaner most appropriate for your swimming pool…
Types of Pool Cleaner
You need to choose initially from these broad categories of pool cleaner:
- Manual Pool Cleaners
- Automatic Pool Cleaners
We’ll break each of these down further right now.
Although the focus of today’s reviews is on the automatic variety, it always pays to be fully aware of your options so you can make the right decision for your needs and potentially save some cash into the bargain. Also, even if you use an automatic cleaner, there’s no substitute for a degree of manual input by brushing and skimming the pool.
Manual Pool Cleaners
The cheapest option by some distance is to go for a manual pool cleaner.
These are worth considering if you don’t object to putting in a bit of elbow grease and you have the spare time at your disposal to carry out the cleaning.
With no mechanical parts to break down, if you have an above-ground pool or a fairly small in-ground effort, these cleaners are worth checking out if you don’t mind a spot of manual labor and you have a few hours up your sleeve for cleaning.
There are 3 main types of manual pool cleaning. You’ll need the following equipment:
- Swimming Pool Brush
- Swimming Pool Skimmer
- Swimming Pool Vacuum
Swimming Pool Brush
This simple, stiff-bristled brush fits into a telescopic pole and is a great way to dispatch any dirt from the sides and steps of your pool.
Whether it’s algae, leaves, pine needles or just plain, old-fashioned dirt, using a dedicated pool brush is a great way to kickstart the cleaning process.
Swimming Pool Skimmer
Regardless of how you clean the pool itself, you’ll need to use a skimmer connected to a telescopic pole to get rid of any surface debris. Leaves and other garden flotsam can be damaging if you don’t take care of it before it hits the filter in your skimmer box or falls to the floor in the pool turning into a nasty trip hazard.
Even if you make use of a pool cover, debris still works its way through so it’s sound practice to skim before cleaning, whatever method your subsequent cleaning takes on.
Pool skimmers not only extend the lifespan of your filter but make the clean-up job less hassle at the same time.
Swimming Pool Vacuum
Manual pool vacuums are certainly serviceable if you don’t mind some hard yards.
Pool vacs come with a hose that you connect to the vacuum head then hook up to the intake pipe on your pool filter. There’s also a telescopic pole included which you can harness for brushing or skimming as well.
Pop the wheeled cleaner into your pool and let all the air seep out under the surface by holding the hose down. Connect the hose to the suction port on your skimmer basket – it’s found down below – and then manually maneuver the vacuum until your pool is debris-free.
You’ll get more flexibility to clean awkward spots than you will with an automatic pool cleaner but the procedure takes time and effort which for many busy people is in short supply. Going for a manual vacuum also means you’ll need to clean the filter in your pool more frequently.
If you don’t fancy more than a bit of brushing and skimming and want to automate your pool cleaning, check out any of our pool cleaner reviews for the perfect solution.
Read on as we break down the differences between the different styles of cleaner you could opt for…
Automatic Pool Cleaners
Once you’ve installed your automatic pool cleaner and got it up and running, you’ll be able to kick back with a cocktail and let the machine do the taxing work for you.
You can shoot for one of these main varieties depending on your budget and pool type:
- Robotic Pool Cleaner
- Pressure-Side Pool Cleaner
- Suction-Side Pool Cleaner
For the practical purposes of this article, we’ll set aside in-floor cleaning systems which are normally installed while the pool is being constructed. They’re the preserve of more substantial in-ground pools.
We’ll take a brief look now at where these 3 types automatic pool cleaners stand and fall…
Robotic Pool Cleaner
Robotic pool cleaners are perhaps the most popular type of independent pool vacuums today. Much like with a robot vacuum in your house, the machine takes care of everything allowing you to maximize your leisure time in the garden.
With integrated motors and pumps alongside a control unit, robotic pool cleaners take their power from outside of your pool’s circulation system. You’ll need to hook up this cleaner to a power outlet so make provision for this.
You’ll be able to program your robot according to the size of your pool. It will conduct a pre-set cycle of cleaning then automatically power down.
The only manual element that comes into play is removing the filter bag for cleaning or replacement.
The pump on a robotic pool cleaner sucks in water from your pool from underneath, filters that water then propels it back out the top of the cleaner. The action of the pump creates enough suction to move the robot neatly around the pool.
Blitzing even the finest of particles in a highly energy-efficient manner, robotic cleaners are arguably the most effective units if you want a deep, thorough clean with absolutely minimal involvement.
Although robotic pool cleaners are not cheap, you’ll end up recouping much of that extra cost over time since you won’t need to power up the pool pump while it beavers away. Think about placement of the power cord to avoid any nasty accidents and think twice about getting a robot for a small pool as it’s overkill. For more substantial pools, there really is no substitute for the best robotic pool cleaner, though.
Pressure-Side Pool Cleaner
If you don’t mind digging a bit deeper when it comes to your electricity bill and you want an alternative to a robot that performs a powerful clean without stressing your pool filter, a pressure-side model makes perfect sense.
These cleaners are priced somewhere between a more expensive robot and a cheaper suction-side cleaner and they get the job well. The unit itself has a basic filter bag that draws in the debris as the cleaning device tools itself around your pool.
There’s a plastic hose included that you hook up to the outtake pipe on the filtering system of your swimming pool.
As the water enters the pressure-side cleaner, 1/3 of this flow shoots through to get rid of debris on the floor of the pool, 1/3 flows through the port underneath while the remaining 1/3 of the water flow is directed to the thrusters that zip the cleaner around the pool.
The pattern of cleaning with a pressure-side cleaner is random which leads to effective results.
Like the name suggests, this variety of pool cleaner takes advantage of the pressure created by your pool pump. You can also make use of a booster bump for added oomph.
Although these cleaners initially consume more juice by virtue of the pump being commissioned, they also get the job done more briskly than a suction-side alternative so your overall electricity consumption might not necessarily be higher.
On the downside, pressure-side pool cleaners don’t deal with finer particles very well and they struggle badly with the walls of your pool so don’t expect a completely done-for-you package.
Suction-Side Pool Cleaner
Rounding out with the cheapest automatic pool cleaner, a suction-side device will make use of the pool system itself to restore it to its former glory.
Don’t confuse cheap with low quality, though. Suction-side cleaners suck up debris effectively while also getting rid of stubborn dirt from the floors and walls of your pool so they serve as great all-rounders.
Since they come with just a long plastic hose, this brings the price down while lessening the chance of anything going wrong or any unexpected repair bills.
Suction-side cleaners latch onto the intake pipe under the skimmer basket of your pool. In some instances, your pool might even have a specific suction-side pipe you connect to.
Much like a pressure-side cleaner, a suction-side unit also cleans in a randomized pattern propelled by the force of water. Brushes underneath agitate dirt and debris which is carried to the filter by way of suction. You’ll be able to fine-tune the volume of flow so it doesn’t clean at a rate inappropriate for the size of your pool.
A long as the filter and pump in your pool is up to the job and you’re prepared to clean your filter regularly, suction-side cleaners are a solid choice.
On the flipside, you’ll burn through a lot more electricity since the pump needs to be running and they take a fair while to get the job done.
Now you’ve worked out which type of unit would make the best fit, a few parting pointers you should take into account when you’re looking for the best swimming pool cleaner.
What To Consider When Buying A Swimming Pool Cleaner
By far the bulk of your buying decision needs to center around the type of cleaner that makes the smartest fit for your pool.
- Length and Adjustability of Hose: It’s clearly crucial that the hose is long enough so your cleaner can reach the bottom of the pool. It’s a nice touch if this hose is also adjustable so the cleaner will work in more than one pool. This is particular valuable if you have more than one home or a large and small pool
- Navigation: Most pool cleaners operate in random patterns. Choosing one that can also navigate steps and walls is a wise move
- How About The Pool Cover: You’ll need to check the model you have in mind to see whether or not it can be used with a pool cover in place
- Think About The Filter: In order to maximize the life span and efficiency of your pool cleaner, regularly cleaning the filter in your swimming pool is key. A clogged up filter leads to reduced suction and poorer performance. It will also overwork your cleaner so don’t stint on filter maintenance
- Power Supply: If you decide to buy your pool cleaner from an international supplier, make absolutely certain that the power requirements don’t bring you any unwanted headaches
- Is It Worth Going Solar? A solar cleaner floats around on the surface pre-emptively catching leaves and other garden debris before it has a chance to plummet down to the floor of your pool. This type of cleaner is of no use cleaning walls and steps. If, however, you have a very small pool and live somewhere with a favorable climate, solar pool cleaners are worth investigating
Don’t Neglect Other Types of Pool Care: You’ll still need to keep a close eye on temperature and chemical balance in your pool alongside properly cleaning it by your chosen method. Pools are not cheap so don’t let yourself down and ruin your investment by failing to carry out basic, adequate maintenance
A Final Word
We hope you’ve found plenty of useful information within these pool cleaner reviews and you’re now braced to get the most suitable model for your particular type of swimming pool.
While the welter of options to wade through, if you narrow things down with our guide, buying the best pool cleaner is child’s play. Enjoy an immaculate pool year-round and spend your time relaxing on a lounger not scrubbing away by hand!
Pop back soon for plenty more home and garden-related guides to help you get the very best tools and equipment for the job at hand.
Drop us a line any time if you have any queries or feedback. We’re always more than happy to help.