Whether you own an above ground or inground pool, one of the things that’s always a pain is the cleaning process. To make this easier, you need the best automatic pool cleaner.

Pool cleaning is pretty simple. Either you use a net and skim the surface of the pool manually, or you buy an automatic pool cleaner. The automatic one drives all around the pool and picks up everything from tiny debris to large leaves and everything in between.

Why Is Pool Cleaning Important?

Besides keeping it looking nice, cleaning your pool keeps it safe. You don’t know what type of mold or other substances will build up if not properly maintained.

By cleaning it, you keep it safe and fun for everyone to enjoy.

The Difference Between Manual Skimming, Vacuuming, and Robotic Pool Cleaners

Three major strategies of cleaning your pool exist. First, you can always skim it with a net by yourself. This strategy has a lot of drawbacks. Mainly, it’s both tiring and doesn’t get the bottom of the pool clean.

You can also vacuum the pool. Vacuuming is a more popular choice and utilizes either a manual vacuum or an automatic one. These vacuums suck up a lot of things and get your pool looking great,

Finally, you have robotic pool cleaners. These machines are smart and clean your pool the best. If you have enough money, invest in one of these.

clean swimming pool

Pressure-Side Cleaners

The best automatic pool cleaner doesn’t necessarily fit into one category or the other. For instance, a favorite of one person may be a pressure-side cleaner, while a favorite of another may be a robotic cleaner.

These cleaners all offer a different experience, and some people absolutely love the pressure-side cleaners.

These cleaners attach to the return side of your pool’s circulation system. It’s the water that gets pushed back to the pool that keeps these cleaners going, and there are a couple of positives attached to this type of cleaner.

First, they help spread the clean and filtered water around the pool. While other systems may take care of this job, having a helping hand is never a bad thing.

Also, they have their debris bag. You don’t have to worry about dirt and other gunk getting into your pool by way of your pressure-side cleaner. The cleaner even operates when the bag is full.

These cleaners use their power to split incoming water into three different directions. Combined, these three directions of water flow make for a clean pool that you don’t have to fret over.

Pressure-side cleaners are some of the best cleaners you can buy.

Polaris Vac-Sweep 280

A company called Polaris manufactures a fantastic example of a pressure-side pool cleaner. They created a cleaner that utilizes the aforementioned triple jets to get your pool both clean and clear.

It performs a combination of functions for your pool. It not only sweeps the sides and bottom of your pool, but it also vacuums and scrubs it as well.

It’s also worth mentioning that the best automatic pool cleaner doesn’t need a lot of pumps. Polaris understands this, and that’s why they created this cleaner, so it doesn’t have to use a booster pump. Instead, it operates specifically on the pool circulation pump.

Have you ever run out of hose when using a cleaner? That fear won’t become a reality with this one. The Vac-Sweep 360 comes with 31 feet of feed hose.

It also comes with a single chamber filter bag for catching debris in.

Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Inground Pool Cleaner, Triple Jet Powered with a Single Chamber Debris Bag
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  • Easy-to-use
  • Lasts for years with proper care
  • Works right out of the box


  • Little customer support
  • Some people need to make multiple adjustments for it to work

Suction Pool Cleaner

While the pressure-side pool cleaner deals with the recycled water as part of its cycle of cleaning, the suction pool cleaner focuses on a different portion of the pool altogether.

For instance, a suction pool cleaner utilizes your primary filtration pump system. To put it plainly, your central pump system does the work of sucking up debris instead of having another part of the pool do it.

Once it sucks up debris, it stores it in its pump basket.

One of the things brought up regarding this basket is the issue of low flow. For some pools, they can’t handle all of the debris flowing back to the main filtration pump. In turn, the pool may churn out water at a lower flow.

While that may sound like a cause for concern, it’s always wise to contact the manufacturer and talk to them about what type of pool you have. They’ll give you the best answer as to whether or not a suction pool cleaner is right for you.

How the suction side cleaner works is simple. It essentially acts like a vacuum cleaner. The cleaner’s hose runs typically through a direct suction line.

The best automatic pool cleaner gets the job done, and suction side cleaners do this — if you have the right pool size.

Hayward PHS41CST Aquanaut 400

This pool cleaner comes equipped with a technology known as V-Flex technology. V-Flex provides the cleaner with the maximum flow at almost any time. It’s basically a guarantee that you won’t have to deal with low flow ever again.

It also means that the debris that gets sucked into the basket won’t get clogged.

One of the biggest obstacles pool cleaners run into is one of uneven surfaces. They’re littered everywhere in all pools, and sometimes they cause automatic pool cleaners to stop working or veer way off course.

If this is a concern for you, then have no fear if you choose the Aquanaut 400. It comes with a patented adjustable roller skirt on the bottom. The skirt helps keep its balance as it traverses the rocky terrains of pool walls and floors.

The best automatic pool cleaner comes with a variety of travel patterns, and Hayward provides you with a multitude of pre-programmed travel sequences.

Hayward PHS41CST AquaNaut Suction Pool Vacuum (Automatic Pool Cleaner)
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  • Adjustable skirt
  • Easy to set up
  • Multiple pre-programmed travel paths


  • Not the best choice for every pool
  • Hast trouble climbing walls

Above Ground Pool Cleaner

Many different types of pools exist. Some people enjoy the luxuries of an inground pool while others decide to pay a little less and get an above ground pool.

Typically, an inground pool is more complicated than an above-ground one. This complexity comes down to the fact that the inground pool has many mechanisms built into it inside the ground. An above-ground pool sits on top of the ground and is less complicated to manage.

But, when it comes to cleaning pools, it’s almost more difficult to clean an above ground pool. These sometimes have to be done manually. Even if you buy an automatic pool cleaner for an above ground pool, you have to deal with a less sturdy pool.

If you’re looking for an above ground pool cleaner that gets the job done, then look no further than the Aquabot Robotic Pool Cleaner.

Aquabot Pool Rover Junior

The best automatic pool cleaner carries with it a fair amount of hose. After all, if it’s hooked up to something and it’s too short, then the pool won’t get cleaned.

The Aquabot comes with 40 feet of floating cable so, you don’t have to worry about coming up short in this department.

It also comes with a two-micron fine reusable filter bag. Accompanied by a power supply transformer, this above ground pool cleaner is one great deal.

A 24-volt pump motor gives you all the power you’ll ever need. Extra-wide non-marring wheels means your cleaner will drive over anything you put in front of it.

One of the best things about this pool cleaner? It has a two-hour automatic shut off timer. If you forget to shut things off or are a busy person, then this may be the best automatic pool cleaner for you.

Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner,Color May Vary
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  • Durable
  • Powerful
  • Shut-off timer


  • Expensive if motor breaks
  • Weakest travel path is walls

Robotic Pool Cleaners

The best automatic pool cleaner does all of the work, so you don’t have to.

When shopping for automatic pool cleaners, it’s essential to focus your time and energy on robotic ones. But, what’s the difference between robotic pool cleaners and side/pressure ones?

While they may seem similar at first glance, these types of pool cleaners couldn’t be further apart in terms of their effectiveness.

Robotic cleaners have an actual path to take. Typically, the suction and pressure cleaners move on their own but don’t have a path to follow. They just wander the pool haphazardly.

But, a robotic pool cleaner identifies debris and heads straight for it.

Also, you may find that you save a lot of energy when using a robotic pool cleaner. They don’t mess around and perform the job to the best they can in the shortest amount of time.

These cleaners are smart, and they deserve to be talked about when discussing the best automatic pool cleaners.

Dolphin Escape Robotic Pool Cleaner

Making your way to the top of the pool cleaner industry is tough. But, Dolphin has dominated the market for quite some time. Their skill in creating advanced robotic pool cleaners propelled them to become favorites of customers.

Since Dolphin sits at the top, it’s no surprise that one of their products is one of the best you can find. The Escape model of their robotic pool cleaner is simple and easy to use.

One button performs multiple functions on the cleaner, and this easy interface makes your life a lot easier.

It uses algorithms while cleaning to make sure it’s not traveling around in a random pattern. Instead, it moves with a purpose.

Armed with dual scrubbing brushes, you get twice the dirt out than other pool cleaners. Cartridge filters located on the bottom of the cleaner helps suck up dirt, leaves, and debris from the floor and walls. With this large filter, overfilling your pool cleaner is no longer an issue.

An anti-tangle swivel cable means your cleaner can move about the pool with ease.

Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner
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  • Picks up almost any object
  • Twice the scrubbing power as other pool cleaners
  • No hoses required


  • May get stuck from time to time
  • Sometimes doesn’t fully clean an area

Try One of These Best Pool Cleaner Choices Today

If you have a pool that needs cleaning, don’t waste any time. Try one of the products mentioned above.

Cleaning your pool is immensely vital to keeping it looking great and functioning properly.

The best part about these varying types of pool cleaners is that their price ranges fluctuate. You may not have to break the bank to get a great cleaner. Go with what you can afford and what fits your style.

If you enjoyed the products on this list, you may want to take a look at this article from ultimatepoolguide.com that covers hot tubs.

Have you used a pool cleaner before? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below.

Last update on 2021-09-22 at 22:52 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API