Robotic Pool Cleaner Vs Suction Pool Cleaners

There are several different types of pool cleaners. All have their Pros and Cons. In this article we are going to look at a robotic pool cleaner vs suction pool cleaners vs pressure pool cleaner and manual pool cleaners.

Picture this: strange-looking insect floating on the water, leaves on your face when surfacing from a dive, not to mention bacteria build-up, and algae are just a few of the discomforting reasons that you will encounter in a dirty swimming pool.

Not to worry though, picking the right cleaning equipment will be your first step towards maintaining your pool the easy and right way, if not, altogether enjoyable.

You might be a first-time pool owner, or someone merely tasked to maintain a swimming pool. Either way, you will be needing any one of the four devices that we will be looking into in this article. Let’s go ahead and start with the latest in technology.

Robotic Pool Cleaner Vs Suction Vs Pressure Vs Manual

Robotic Pool Cleaner Vs Suction Vs Pressure Vs Manual

First Off: What Is A Robotic Pool Cleaner

A robotic pool cleaner is an automatic vacuum cleaner purposed to collect dirt and debris from swimming pools with little to almost no human intervention.

The robotic cleaner carries its own filter bag and doesn’t need to be hooked to your pool’s water circulation system. All you have to do is program it and drop the device in the water, then let it go.

You may come back an hour or two later, and your pool should already be clean.

Why Use A Robotic Cleaner?

When it comes to energy efficiency and convenience, the robotic pool vacuum could be your best choice for automatically and effectively cleaning your pool.

Its built-in software maps out your pool and covers all the necessary areas, including climbing up the walls up to the waterline.

How To Use A Robotic Pool Cleaner

How to Use Robotic Pool Cleaner

First, turn off your pool’s pump so that all the sediment and dirt settle to the bottom.

Plug in the robotic cleaner to a sufficient extension cord (keep it at least 5 feet away from the pool) and follow the directions in the manual on how to properly and securely set up your robot.

Turn the device on and gently release it into the water.

You may leave the robot for a few hours and check up on it once in a while to see if it may have become stuck or entangled. Otherwise, you can relax and do something else while waiting.

Once the cleaning cycle is done, remove your robot from the water and let it drain. Again, follow the directions on the manual on how to dispose of, drain, and pack up your device for storage.

Pros & Cons Of The Robotic Pool Cleaner


  • Powerful scrubbing power – your robotic pool cleaner can thoroughly clean your pool bottom and walls
  • Cleans your pool water by filtering it as it goes about vacuuming dirt
  • Very convenient to use, plug and play
  • Energy savings, since it has its own motor and doesn’t rely on your pool pump for it to do its job.


  • Somewhat pricey, but has gone down in the past few years.
  • Will only work on the bottom and walls of the pool but cannot get floating debris.
  • May get stuck due to wheels becoming jammed with leaves and other debris

Suction Side Pool Cleaner

Suction Side Pool Cleaner

The suction side pool cleaner is a cleaning implement that needs to be attached to your pool’s pump for it to work. The whole apparatus includes a long hose that will connect the skimmer to the water intake valve. It then suctions dirt and debris with force coming from the pump, which causes it to move around the pool in a predetermined pattern.

It is also easy to use, as it can also move high along the sides of the pool. Most suction side models rely on your pool’s filter for filtering, but some models do carry their own bag.

Apart from being one of the cheapest options, this type of cleaner is the closest thing to having your pool automatically cleaned while working on a limited budget. They also work on all kinds of pool surfaces such as tile, concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl.

Pros & Cons Of A Suction Side Pool Cleaner


  • Suction side cleaner is one of the cheapest and most effective methods of cleaning your pool. If you are on a budget, this cleaner might be your best option
  • This cleaner is simple, easy to install, and easy to operate. And it is quiet too.
  • It can move around and work on its own.
  • Best for small to medium-sized debris


  • Compared to the robotic cleaner, the side suction cleaner has higher energy consumption due to its reliance on the pool pump.
  • It can’t get large leaves and bigger debris, as you will have to scoop them out manually.

Pressure-Side Pool Cleaners

Pressure-side Pool Cleaners

A pressure-side cleaner almost works on the same principle as the suction-side pool cleaner. They both use the force of the pump, of which the pressure cleaner uses pressurized water coming out from the pump into the pool. Conversely, the side cleaner directly uses the sucking force of the pool pump.

The pressurized water passes through the pressure cleaner, causing the wheels to move to reverse the force and subsequently create suction for dirt and debris. It too has its own filter bag that you will have to clean after every use.

Why Choose The Pressure-Side Pool Cleaners?

The pressure-side pool cleaner is almost a cross between the suction side and robotic cleaners. It runs automatically like a robot but depends on the pool’s pump for power.

Hence not as economical as the actual robot cleaner. It has a midrange price that sits between all the devices mentioned in this article.

It can also serve as a temperature equalizer of the pool. It reduces or eliminates cold or hotspots by distributing the desired temperature water coming out of its rear outlet while it does the cleaning.

Depending on the size and surface of your pool, you will want to consult your pool technician first as to what type of pressure-side pool cleaner is best for you.

One other benefit of using a pressure side cleaner is that aside from pulling debris into the filter bag, it also works to loosen debris that is not picked up by the cleaner.

Once the loosened debris scatters, it then flows out of your swimming pool and straight into your pool’s natural filtration system.

Pros & Cons Of A Pressure-Side Pool Cleaner


  • Pressure cleaners have a large inlet that can suck in bigger debris such as leaves, acorns, small stones, pebbles, and twigs.
  • Easy to use
  • Cleans the entire pool
  • Easy to clean and maintain.
  • Moves in multiple directions for better coverage
  • Can also climb walls up the water line


  • You can expect higher electricity bills since the cleaner also depends on your pool pump and its filtration system
  • You may also have to spend a little bit more for a booster pump (you may consult your technician)

Manual Pool Cleaners

Manual Pool Cleaners

When comparing the robotic pool cleaner vs suction vs pressure vs manual pool cleaners, there really is no comparison in price with a manual pool cleaner. The other three are all automatic pool cleaners so comparing prices is really unfair.

So of course the cheapest way to clean your pool is to use a manual cleaner. It is a long-stemmed vacuum cleaner that you can manually hold and move around the water.

It has a hose that you can connect to the skimmer so that the pump can suck water through it, similar to the action of a suction-side cleaner.

The energy consumption of the manual pool cleaner is pretty much the same as a suction and pressure side cleaner would be. All three of them need the pool’s pump to function.

Lastly, you will need to backwash the filter on the manual cleaner once you are done cleaning.

Pros & Cons Of A Manual Pool Cleaner


  • Cheap and effective way to clean your pool
  • Lets you immediately clean specific areas of your pool that would otherwise not be accessible with a robot cleaner.
  • Powerful suction
  • Simple assembly and disassembly.
  • It gives the user a good body workout as well.


  • May take a longer time to finish
  • You will have to do manual cleaning (not for those who need automatic cleaners).

Summary: Robotic Pool Cleaner Vs Suction Vs Pressure Vs Manual

Summary:  Robotic pool cleaner vs suction vs pressure vs manual pool cleaners

Putting the manual cleaner in its own special category, we can say that any immediate comparison mostly applies to the first three devices featured in this article.

So, in the question of robotic pool cleaner vs. suction vs. pressure vs. manual, which one is better? Check out the differences below and pick one that suits you best.

  • If you can afford it and want the utmost convenience and efficiency, go ahead and get yourself a robotic pool cleaner.
    • The price will be worth it in the long run.
  • If you are somewhere between needing automation and saving money, you may want to go for the suction side pool cleaner.
    • It works almost like a robot but is a lot less expensive.
    • Take note, however, that it won’t be able to take large debris but only small and medium ones.
  • Thirdly, if you can afford the midrange price and want features somewhere between a robot and the suction side, get yourself a pressure-side pool cleaner.
    • It, too, can run automatic and can take larger debris.
  • Lastly, If you enjoy a shady afternoon lounging around and getting a workout scrubbing the bottom of your pool, you’d naturally want to get yourself a trusty manual vacuum pool cleaner.

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