Automatic pool cleaners have made life so much easier for pool owners.
With an automaic pool vacuum, you can clean debris and sediments from your pool without you having to physically exert yourself nor be there.
Automatic cleaners come in three different types which include robotic pool cleaner, suction-side pool cleaner, and pressure-side pool cleaner.
Each type comes with different features and its unique advantages and disadvantages.
Let’s examine the best models for each type in detail, so you can keep your pool crystal clear!
What is the best automatic pool cleaner?
Here’s the list of 13 best automatic pool cleaners.
1. Dolphin Nautilus CC plus Inground Pool Cleaner
The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Pool Cleaner is my top choice for any pool that is up to 50 feet in length.
It comes with an efficient filtration system that is capable of filtering rough, fine, and ultra-fine dirt.
The swivel cable allows the robotic cleaner to spin and roate a full 360-degrees in the water. It also does a great job of keeping the cable from becoming tangled.
Another notable feature of Doplphin Nautilus is that it does not depend on your pool’s pump and filter. This allows you to clean your pool using a minimal amount of energy compared to other types of cleaning systems.
All in all, this is my choice as the best robotic inground pool cleaner.
2. Dolphin Premier Inground Pool Cleaner
The Dolphin Premier Inground Pool Cleaner has built-in software that allows for great scanning and coverage of your pool.
The machine comes with a feature that makes it substantially less prone to slipping while climbing walls and stairs.
Its filtration system helps to significantly reduce the amount of energy used.
And just like the Dolphin Nautilus, it comes with a 360 degree swievel. Moreover, the power cable is 60 feet long and comes with an anti tangle swivel device.
3. Dolphin Triton PS Inground Pool Cleaner
The Dolphin Triton PS has an exceptional grip on vertical surfaces for high wall and waterline scrubbing.
This robotic cleaner is quite a bit more energy-efficient than suction and pressure cleaners.
Its anti-tangling swivel cable allows the Triton PS to move around the large residential pools freely.
The extra-large filter basket catches dirt, and fine debris on top of cleaning and circulating the water.
The front brush on the machine spins faster than the standard brushes knocking off stubborn surface contaminants.
With the Dolphin Triton, you can also set how frequently you want the machine to operate in a given week.
4. Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner
The Dolphin Escape is my top pick as the best pool cleaners for above-ground pools.
The machine’s low voltage motors operate on nearly 90% less power than old fashioned cleaners.
It is quite lightweight at only about 14 lbs, and it packs a 1.5-hours cleaning cycle.
Its navigation technology allows the equipment to clean every surface effectively without being stuck to cleaning one area.
With the continuous rubber tracts, this machine can move over surfaces with ease.
It also has potent scrubbing brushes and is capable of going either forward or backward.
Because of its large filter cartridge, the machine can clean for a long time without you needing to empty the cartridge frequently.
Furthermore, its cable stays well out of the way during cleaning, thanks to its anti-tangle ability.
The Dolphin Escape also comes with a good steering mechanism that is supported by its superb technological feature.
5. Aquabot Pura 4x Inground Pool Cleaer
The Aquabot Pura Inground cleaner has filtration baskets that can collect 190 cubic inches of dirt and debris.
The machine comes with a control panel that lets you set schedules for cleaning.
The energy cost of the machine is substantially less than standard pool cleaners because it only runs on 180 watts.
Additionally, the machine can circulate 85 GPM when it is filtering out debris larger than 2 microns.
The Aquabot’s four wheels allow it to move efficiently on the surface including tiles.
It is also tangle-resistant, thanks to its 60-foot long cable that is swivel-equipped.
6. Hayward Aquavac 650 Inground Pool Cleaner
The Hayward Aquavac 650’s new technology allows the cleaner to maintain constant suction power even as the canister fills up.
The machine creates a swirling spiral of suction, which generates a ton of strength to pick up all the dirt and debris.
You can also control the equipment either manually or using wi-fi. The pull handle lets you to easily remove the cleaner from the pool.
With the Hayward AquaVac 650, you can get rid of debris and dirt by simply pressing a release button. It’s nice since you don’t have to worry about messy hands or having to clean up any filter or bags afterward.
7. Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 Inground Pool Cleaner
The Krauly Prowler 830 scrubs, vacuums, and filters most pools in just about two and a half hours.
With Kreepy Krauly, you get two options for automatic cleaning. One is a one-hour quick clean for the pool floor. The other is a standard run time for the entire pool.
Plus, its internal filtration system cleans water as it circulates chemicals throughout the pool, which helps to reduce your chemical requirements while improving water clarity.
The machine comes with auto-reverse feature. This feature prevents the machine from getting stuck in the corner.
It also comes with a convenient caddy for secure handling and storage.
8. Polaris 280 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
The Polaris 280 is a pressure side pool cleaner that works in all inground pools.
It has a three-wheel design and conveniently links to a dedicated pressure line.
The machine improves circulation while ensuring there’s no cold spot in the water by moving heated water evenly inside the pool.
Another essential feature is that it catches debris before it gets to the filter, which helps to extend its life.
The Polaris 280 also comes with a large opening that makes it easy to clean big debris, such as acorns, pebbles, and leaves.
More importantly, its in-line backup valve allows the machine to retreat backward in case it gets stuck in the corner.
A large filter bag that comes with Polaris 280 ensures it captures debris before reaching the pump basket and filter.
9. Polaris 360 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
The Polaris 360 uses a powerful motor and is a good fit for any types of inground pools.
Just like the Polaris 280, it has an in-line valve that allows it to maneuver 360 degrees and not get stuck during the cleaning process.
The machine works with a booster pump, which provides a strong enough power for even large debris to be picked up.
The key difference between the Polaris 360 and the Polaris 280 is that the former does not require booster pump to function.
10. Polaris 380 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
The Polaris 380 comes with a 31-feet long hose, and it has three powerful jet vacuums just like the Polaris 360, which makes it more powerful than the Polaris 280 pool cleaner.
It also comes equipped with the ability to clean stairs, although it doesn’t clean the stairs quite as well as it cleans floors.
The machine is easy to install, and it’s easy to find replacements in case you need one in the future.
The Polaris 380 is capable of cleaning your pool within 3 hours depending on your pool size, which is quite fast.
But it has the same drawback as the Polaris 280 in that it needs a booster pump to function.
11. Polaris 3900 Sports Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
While the 280 and 380 are most capable on the flat surface, the Polaris 3900 works just as well on slopes as it does on the flat surface. This is thanks to its new, advanced wheel system.
Its Tailsweep Pro, a newly added accessory, prevents water from splashing out during the cleaning action.
Furthermore, the Polaris 3900 comes with a larger bag which allows it to collect more debris than its predecessors.
12. Polaris 9550 Inground Pool Cleaner
The Polaris 9550 robotic cleaner comes with four wheels.
The machine has oscillating brushes that effectively removes stubborn dirt and stains.
With its effective vacuum technology, the cleaner picks up larger debris quickly while maintaining a high level of suction.
The cleaner comes with a lid and a large capacity filter cartridge, which means you don’t have to deal with messy bags after the cleaning session.
The rear water propulsion system allows the cleaner to reach debris even in corners and stairs
Finally, the Polaris 9550 comes with a coated alloy caddy for storage and transport.
13. Intex 28001 Auto Pool Cleaner
The Intex auto pool cleaner is specifically made for the Intex pool owners as the name suggests.
The machine attaches to the inlet connector in the pool, and it is suited for above ground pools, but not inground pools.
It also has an automatic direction reversal functionality, so it will easily move away from corners when it gets stuck. However, its four wheels are not powered, which makes it susceptible to stop when faced with obstacles.
What are different types of automatic pool cleaners?
Robotic pool cleaners
Robotic pool cleaners are automatic pool cleaners that operate without the use of additional equipment. These work great for pretty much any type of pool.
What separates robotic pool cleaners from the other two is that they don’t use your pump.
So whether it’s your main circulation pump or it’s a separate booster pump, they have their own motor and pump built-in, which is really nice.
Another advantage of the robotic pool cleaner is that it has a built-in power cord. So rather than having a hose, you’ll have a cord that’s going to be in the pool.
The cord is attached to the unit itself so you don’t need to worry about plugging it. All you need to do when you get your robotic cleaner is to put the other end of the cord into the power module.
Some robotic pool models also allow you to set specifics actions you want them to take.
With the other two types of cleaners, they sort of just do their own thing and move in random patterns.
But with some robotic models, it’s possible to choose whether you want it to clean just the floor or walls.
So if you are pressed on time, and you just need it to quickly clean the bottom, then it can do that.
Robotic models also got scrubbers, which help with brushing the pool. It isn’t exactly exciting to brush pools, so it’s a feature that you will appreciate.
Moreover, most robotic cleaner models climb to the pool surface when cleaning is complete, so you can take it out of the pool without the need to drag it out by the cord (don’t ever do that!).
Suction pool cleaners
Suction cleaners are automatic cleaners that use existing pool equipment to function.
The cleaner utilizes suction from the skimmer to maneuver and clean up dirt and debris. It relies on your pool for power and filtration.
Suction side pool cleaners are usually ideal for pools that don’t accumulate too many leaves throughout the year.
In general, you’re going to get many different types of adapters and fittings with your suction side pool cleaner. And there are broadly two ways you can hook these up to your pool.
One way is along the wall of your pool where there is an inlet for suction, assuming you have a dedicated suction line. You can simply hook your hoses directly to the suction port.
Your suction cleaner is great for dealing with fine dirt and debris.
Pressure-side pool cleaner
Pressure side pool cleaners usually work using water pressure from a dedicated booster pump.
Most pressure cleaner come with bags that come up and off the top.
The dedicated booster pump pushes water through the hose. As water goes through the hose, it will push the dirt and debris up into either a bag or go into a canister basket.
The pressure side cleaner is most often used for dealing with larger debris that doesn’t get sucked up easily. It uses a venturi effect – the reduction in fluid pressure – to put that debris up into the bag or in the basket.
Some pressure side pool cleaners have a scrubber in the front, which picks up dirt, debris, and leaves. And these scrubs help to brush the pool.
When to use manual pool vacuum for your pool
The biggest disadvantage of manually vacuuming your pool is that it will take a copious amount of time for you to get the job done.
Yes, it is cheaper than automatic pool vacuums, but you will want to weigh the benefits of a cheaper price against the cost of spending hours cleaning your pool on a Saturday evening out in the sun.
That said, if you have to clean your pool in an hour or so, it makes more sense to manually vacuum to quickly get the job done, so both have their advantages and disadvantages.
To recap, each type of automatic pool cleaner comes with tis unique advantages.
You’d want to consider all factors – such as their features, price, your pool size, the material of your pool, and many more – before you make your purchasing decisions.
Also, make sure to double-check if the pool cleaner is suitable for the inground or above ground before you buy one.
Keep calm and swim on!