Robotic Pool Cleaners: How to Choose the Right One for You

A robotic pool cleaner can clean your pool for you. They are very expensive, but they do make it easier to clean your pool. Read this article to learn more about robotic pool cleaners and how to choose the right one.

Today, we live in a world where maintaining a pool has never been easier. Today’s technology enables you to automate many cleaning and maintenance routines that would normally consume a lot of free time, making pool maintenance a lot easier and more gratifying pool ownership. 

The first step in simplifying pool care is selecting the appropriate cleaning equipment, such as automated pool cleaners. These pool cleaners sweep debris from the bottom of your pool and are available in suction, pressure, and robotic configurations.

Today, robotic pool cleaners are the most popular type of cleaning equipment, so let’s explore the things you have to know before purchasing one that suits your pool. 

What Are Robotic Cleaners?

Robotic Pool Cleaner Beside

Robotic pool cleaners are exactly as the name implies-a device that automatically cleans your pool. These devices are used to clean both in-ground and above-ground pools, and many people with small children opt for robotic pool cleaners because they are more energy-efficient than other cleaning methods. 

Robotic pool cleaners run on electricity and walk along the floor of your pool using brushes that increase agitation for more effective debris removal. Some models also come equipped with vacuum hoses to vacuum up large debris.

While suction and pressure cleaners are an excellent alternative for people on a tight budget, robotic cleaners outperform them in the simplicity of use and performance every time.

Because robotic pool cleaners generally plug into a standard electrical outlet, they are more energy-saving than vacuums that use power from your pool pump or that require the installation of a separate booster pump for the pool they clean.

Three Types of Pool Cleaners

There are three primary types of automated or automatic swimming pool cleaners: suction-side cleaners, pressure-side cleaners, and electric robotic cleaners.

Each of the three types of automated pool cleaners has its own set of distinct advantages, but they all have one common goal:

To take the burden off you in keeping your swimming pool healthy and clean.

Pressure-Side Pool Cleaners

Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

Pressure-side pool cleaners are the most traditional, and they rely on a strong current of water from your swimming pool’s filtration system to power a rotating brush.

These cleaners have been used for many years, and as a result, they are somewhat more affordable than robotic cleaners. However, some people find them to be somewhat less effective than robotic cleaners. 

It’s critical to understand that pressure-side pool cleaners operate in a random direction around your pool. 

Due to the necessity for a booster pump, this type of automated pool cleaning consumes the most power. And because they rely on the pool’s filter, pressure-side pool cleaners cannot remove particles smaller than the pore size of the pool’s current filter element.


  • Can filter volumes and large size debris
  • Inexpensive and good investment


  • Requires a booster pump which consumes a lot of power and creates noise
  • Dependent on your pool’s filtration, resulting in increased wear and tear
  • Moves in a random direction around your pool
  • Can’t filter small particles like pollen, dust, or hair
  • Consumes more energy

Robotic Pool Cleaners

Robotic Pool Cleaner underwater

The first robotic pool cleaners were introduced in the early 1990s, and over the past decade, they have become increasingly affordable. 

These cleaners are equipped with several features that make them more convenient than pressure-side cleaners. For example, they move in a predetermined pattern around your pool and will often return to their charging base when they’re out of power. 

They can also filter debris as small as 2 microns, which means they can capture things like pollen, dust, hair, and lint.

Because robotic pool cleaners work independently without requiring a booster pump or other external filters, they are easier to operate than pressure-side models.


  • Can filter large debris as well as tiny dust-like particles
  • It’s cheaper to run
  • Not only does it clean the walls and floors, but it also cleans the tile lines and stairs
  • Inbuilt timers
  • The newest models offer smart navigation that cleans the entire pool


  • It can be expensive compared to the other types

Suction-Side Pool Cleaners

Suction Side Pool Cleaner

Suction-side pool cleaners are one of the easiest types of cleaners to use, as they attach to your existing filtration system. This type is designed to maximize the effectiveness of your existing filtration system, so it is ideal for people who have installed new filters or who have recently chemically balanced their water. 


  • Less expensive than robotic cleaners
  • Easy to install
  • This can also filter debris and sand


  • It can’t filter large debris very well, so it can result in clogging up
  • Large debris can block the pump basket rendering it useless
  • Effectively reduces the suction of the main pump
  • Regular maintenance is necessary for the primary pool pump and filtration system

What to Consider Before Purchasing a Robotic Pool Cleaner

Here are a few factors that you should consider before you invest in a robotic pool cleaner.

  • Size of pool. It’s important to compare the capacity of your pool with the size of your robotic pool cleaner. For example, if you have an above-ground swimming pool, it’s advisable to buy a robotic cleaner with a capacity of 5500 gallons or less. On the other hand, if you have an inground swimming pool, choosing one with a capacity of 7500 gallons or more is ideal for optimal performance.
  • Type of pool. Some cleaners operate in in-ground and above-ground pools, while others can work only for one. Also, some are better than others in reaching corners, so the size of your pool is important.
  • Pool steps, stairs, waterlines, and walls. Almost any pool cleaning robot can clean the pool floor with ease. However, some cannot clean pool stairs, steps, or climb walls. Some cannot clean sharp edges. And others don’t have the feature to clean up the waterline. The more features a cleaner has, the more costly it becomes.
  • The amount of debris that’s often present in your pool. If you have debris in your pool, then a robotic cleaner can be best for you. You’ll have no issues with cleaning up an area that seems hard to reach.
  • The price. The cost of a robotic pool cleaner depends on several factors, such as the type of water filtration system you have, the size of your pool, and how many features you wish to buy in the unit.
  • What extras do you want? Most robotic cleaners come with an automatic program to guide them through their daily cleaning tasks, such as vacuuming and scrubbing.

What Are the Disadvantages of Robotic Pool Cleaners?

Although pool robots are quite convenient, they also have some drawbacks. Here are a few of them:

  • Price – Pool robots are often the most expensive automatic pool cleaner. The cheapest ones are the same price as a mid-range pressure or side-suction pool cleaner, but the cheapest ones usually tend to break more quickly.
  • Filter maintenance – You’ll need to empty the filter bags or cartridges after every cycle unless you want to squander money on disposable filters. If you have a large, active pool with a lot of debris, you may find yourself cleaning them regularly.

“Limited warranties and modernized interior parts can make the repair cost. Therefore, robotic pool cleaners require regular maintenance.”

Pool Expert
  • Chances of damaging vinyl surfaces – Robotic pool cleaners often put pressure on vinyl surfaces, resulting in cracks and tears. Make sure what you’re choosing is compatible with the type of pool you have. 
  • Can’t swim in it. All pool robots are grounded using ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) connectors designed to shut off at the first sign of an electrical imbalance. There is, however, always the possibility of electric shock when electricity and water are present at the same time. As a result, exercise caution and keep everyone out of the pool while pool robots are running.

Reasons to Invest in Robotic Pool Cleaners

Man Holding a Robotic Pool Cleaner by the Pool

Now that you know how robotic pool cleaners work and what they can do for you, here are some reasons to invest in one.

  • You don’t have a lot of free time to maintain your pool. A decent robotic cleaner has the perfect scrubbing and filtering power to remove debris that you can’t see with a regular pool vacuum. Some robotic pool cleaners have smart navigation that cleans every inch of the pool surface for a good cleaning. 
  • You have back issues or any other complication.  Imagine how hard it would be for you to clean the pool if you’re not in good shape and how frustrating it would be when things go wrong, but at the end of the day, robotic pool cleaners will always perform their tasks in the way they were designed to do- without any glitches or failures.
  • You don’t want to deal with finicky, maintenance-intensive pumps and filters. Robotic pool cleaners work independently without any additional filters or pumps to maintain, so they are one of the most hassle-free ways to keep your pool clean.
  • You want to increase the longevity of your pool pump. Many pool cleaners and vacuums rely on the power of your pool’s pump to operate, so this places additional pressure on the pump as well as your pool filters. When you utilize a robotic cleaner, it will use its power source and filters, which will help to extend the longevity of your pool system.

Bottom Line

Choosing the best robotic pool cleaner for your pool doesn’t have to be daunting. Rest assured that with proper knowledge and due diligence, you can be confident that you will end up with a product that is both practical and economical for your pool and, of course, your budget.

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