One of the great luxuries in life is a swimming pool in your home.
Whether it’s indoors or outside, an Olympic sized beast or a scaled-down version, relaxing poolside is unbeatable.
Like with all aspects of your home and garden, though, you’ll need plenty of hard work to keep your pool tip-top.
Cleaning by hand is a tiresome affair.
We’ll look today at some best pool cleaner reviews so you can keep things spotless without undue effort.
When you are faced with hundreds of seemingly similar appliances, choosing can be tough. We’re here to make that job a whole lot easier for you.
We selected cleaners from 3 distinct categories. Initially, we tested 5 products of each specific type.
Following these tests, we conducted more detailed investigation of the top 3 products to make your buying decision even easier.
If you’re impatient, head straight to the reviews.
For anyone new to pool cleaners, we’ll start first with a look at how to choose the best equipment for your circumstances.
Table of Contents
- How To Choose Your Pool Cleaner
- What Gets Into Your Pool?
- How Long Do You Want To Spend on Pool Maintenance
- It’s All About The Pump
- What Type of Pool Cleaner Should You Buy?
- Robotic Pool Cleaner
- Suction Pool Cleaner
- Pressure Pool Cleaner
- What Else To Think About When Buying a Pool Cleaner
How To Choose Your Pool Cleaner
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There are a few simple pointers to take into account before you launch into your buying decision.
Type of Pool
Obviously, not all pools are created equal. Expecting a one-size-fits-all solution will lead to disappoint.
Before anything else, think carefully about the dimensions and logistics of your above ground pool.
While a manual cleaner might cut the ice with a very small pool, you’re in for a long slog if you have a much more substantial swimming pool. Think about how much time and effort cleaning will take and get the right type for your needs. We will outline the various options at your disposal shortly.
It also pays to consider the type of pool. For inground pools, you will understandably struggle with an above ground cleaner.
Type of Pool Cleaner
We will look at this in more detail in the next section but your first choice is whether to go for an automatic or manual cleaner.
Today, we’ll focus only on the 3 kinds of automatic cleaners so if you are looking for a cheaper manual option, start your search here.
What Gets Into Your Pool?
You need to analyze the kind of dirt and debris that makes its way into your pool. Think about the surroundings.
If you have a garden filled with trees and shrubs, your outdoor pool is pretty likely to suffer from leaves in the water.
Do you live somewhere dry and dusty with occasional gusts of wind? If so, you’re likely to be menaced by finer particles in the pool.
When we explore the 3 main types of automatic pool cleaner, we’ll point in the right direction. Generally speaking, though, suction side cleaners make light work of sand or grainy dust. Pressure side pool cleaners cope well with larger debris.
How Long Do You Want To Spend on Pool Maintenance
Only you know how much time you have spare to devote to pool maintenance and how much physical effort you want to expend.
As mentioned, manual cleaners are only really advisable for fitter individuals with smaller pools.
Installation can be fairly straightforward or a time-sucking nightmare. Pay attention to this before buying but installation is only a one-shot deal…
What’s far important is to look at how much set-up is needed pre-use. If you’re pressed for time, the last thing you want is a laborious ordeal before you even start cleaning.
Everyone has different needs so be honest and make sure you get the best pool cleaner for you.
It’s All About The Pump
If you have a swimming pool at home, you’ll already have invested in a pool pump.
Think about what kind of pump you have. Is it low or high pressure?
Some pool cleaners are designed to work with all pumps whereas others will stand or fail according to the pressure of your pump.
Price is a factor in any buying decision at all. You should not let it be the only or even the deciding factor, though.
Considering the price of a swimming pool and assorted necessities like pumps, cleaners are really not so expensive after all.
Think about how much you have spare and don’t overspend. Beyond that, look for the best cleaner you can afford that will do precisely what you expect it to. Don’t sell yourself short or go over the top when you don’t need to.
It’s also worth thinking of overall value for money rather than fixating on just the price tag.
Now you’ve got the more general pointers under control, we’ll look in more depth at the various options at your disposal.
What Type of Pool Cleaner Should You Buy?
Pool cleaners come in many shapes and sizes.
For the purposes of this study, we opted for the following 3 varieties:
- Robotic Pool Cleaner: Perfect for effortless, automatic cleaning
- Suction Pool Cleaner: Hook this up to your pool skimmer and kiss goodbye to sand and dust in the water
- Pressure Pool Cleaner: If you have fallen leaves or acorns causing a problem in your pool, pressure side cleaner work wonders with bigger pieces of debris
You can also get manual pool cleaners but we’re looking to save time and effort here. The last thing you need is a workout when it comes to cleaning! Since a larger pool could take hours with a manual cleaner, they are not suitable for many and we’ll leave you to explore those yourself if you think a manual would work.
We’ll take a glance now at each of these 3 styles of cleaner in a little more detail…
Robotic Pool Cleaner
At the top of the food chain are robotic pool cleaners.
Fully automatic, self-contained units, this is a stress-free way to take care of your pride and joy.
Robotic cleaners have a pump and internal motor. You’ll get an electronic control unit so you can take care of things from a distance.
Running on low voltage, there’s no danger at all.
Artificial intelligence is improving. Robots can learn their way around your pool. They become accustomed to the layout and dimensions. Cleaning becomes even more efficient.
The degree to which you can program the robot varies from brand to brand. Think about what sort of functionality would be useful for you. Don’t become obsessed with features that would hold no value. Think about your personal needs and buy accordingly.
The debris collected is stored onboard. Robotic cleaners use either a bag or a canister for this.
There are a few things to take into account when looking for the most suitable robot…
Do you have an in-ground or above ground pool? Not all robotic cleaners work effectively with all types of pool.
The size of your pool influences which robot would be best. Look for one specifically designed for the rough dimensions of your pool.
Pools come with a range of different surfaces.
Getting the right cleaner for the surface is crucial. Don’t buy blind and end up wrecking your pool rather than cleaning it.
Your robotic cleaner will work separately from your filtration system. They will filter and clean your water and so prolong the life of your filter.
Suction Pool Cleaner
Suction-side pool cleaners are a cheap and cheerful way to maintain your pool without taking out a bank loan.
These suction cleaners attach to your skimmer with a hose. They harness the suction of your pool pump and suck up any debris that would otherwise have clogged up your filter.
Suction models are perhaps the most popular automatic cleaners.
There are 2 varieties:
- Inertia-Driven: These suction cleaners operate in a random fashion. They’ll get the job done but the inefficiency means it takes a while
- Geared: Working to a pre-set pattern means geared suction cleaners will get the job done quicker. Accessing tight corners presents them with no problem. They work especially well with smaller pools and those with steps or ledges built in
A couple of things to watch out for with suction-side pool cleaners…
The dirt and debris will be dumped in the filter and basket. This can tax and overload them.
You also need to make sure your filter is clean enough or you’ll notice weaker results.
For most pool owners, a suction-side cleaner is at least worth considering.
Pressure Pool Cleaner
Rather than using the plumbing of your pool to pull themselves around, pressure-side cleaners are pushed by a pump.
This type of cleaner is more powerful than a suction model.
Take note that you might need a separate hose connection in the wall of your pool to accommodate the booster pump. Think very carefully about choosing a pressure-side cleaner if your pool is already built. It could be costly to make the alteration.
If you are hell-bent on one, consider one that doesn’t need an extra pump. Just bear in mind that the type without a booster pump will slow down when the filter starts getting overloaded. They are cheaper to install though, pretty much plug and play.
Pressure cleaners excel with larger debris like leaves.
What Else To Think About When Buying a Pool Cleaner
Steps and Walls
You need to think about how your pool cleaner will deal with the entire area not just the pool proper.
Look at the arrangement of steps. Think about the walls. Make sure the cleaner you have in mind can deal with what you’ll throw its way.
Length of Hose
You’ll need to ensure the hose is long enough to go from your skimmer box to the far extent of your pool. It pays to have some surplus hose too.
Don’t buy something that will leave you too close for comfort.
You can fine-tune most cleaners by tweaking the hose buoyancy or adjusting the incoming pressure.
This helps the cleaner deal with your pool more effectively.
While you can use some cleaners under a covered pool, others require you to remove the cover.
How important is that to you?
If it’s a non-issue, no problem. If you want to clean a covered pool, choose a suitable model.
Whatever type of vacuum you go for, manual or automatic, skimming your pool remains a core component of maintenance.
Pool skimmers have a long pole with a net attached.
Use your skimmer as a pre-emptive strike against debris.
Skimmers are extremely cheap. Pressing it into action on a regular basis will extend the lifespan of your filter by easing its load.
The steps and surface of your pool pick up all sorts of marks and stains.
A decent stiff brush to keep on top of things is essential.
Brushes also come in handy for agitating any particularly stubborn areas. Your vacuum can then take control and finish the job.