Automatic Vacuum Pool Cleaners

What Type of Automatic Vacuum is Best for your Pool? Robotic vs. Suction Side Cleaners

We can all agree that swimming is a great activity to keep your body healthy and active, but having a dirty pool will just put you and your family’s health in danger. As pool owners, what we want is to keep it clean and crystal clear. If you don’t have the luxury to hire a pool service provider and you are tired of manual scrubbing and cleaning of your pool, having an automatic pool cleaner is the perfect solution.

Automatic pool cleaners will keep your pool clean without breaking a sweat. Using them will save you time and money by removing debris from your pool regularly which helps extend the life of your finish and your filters. The question now is what type of automatic pool cleaner is the best choice for you—Robotic or Suction Side cleaners?

To help you choose and decide, let’s dive in and compare them to each other.

Robotic Cleaners

Automatic Vacuum Robotic Pool Cleaner

Robotic vacuum pool cleaners are considered as top of the line. They are compatible with all pool types and don’t need to use your pool equipment to operate thanks to their built-in filtration system that offers a remarkably high filtration efficiency.

Robotic cleaners are able to remove both large and small debris (and everything in between) from your pool floor, walls, steps, and water line. They are also energy efficient and easy to use—literally just a plug-and-play pool cleaner. Once plugged in an electrical outlet, choose a program on its control panel and submerged it in the pool. Give it some time and come back a few hours later to a clean swimming pool.

However, as good as it sounds, the perceived downside of a robotic cleaner is the upfront cost. It requires a bigger investment compared to a suction side cleaner. But if you are looking for a highest level of cleanliness, energy efficient, and wanted to reduce wear and tear on your pump and filter, a robotic pool cleaner might just be the best choice for you.


  • Simple “plug and play” operation
  • Superior cleaning efficiency in the built-in-filtration system
  • Independent of pool pump and filter, reducing wear and tear on pool equipment
  • Energy efficient
  • Vigorously scours the walls, waterline, sides, and floor of your pool
  • Circulates your pool water while cleaning your pool’s surfaces
  • Programmable features (timer, path, etc.)
  • Some models are Bluetooth compatible


  • High upfront cost
  • Can only reach as far as its electrical cord allows
  • Can be heavy when removing from pool
  • Inner filter grids need to be cleaner periodically.


Suction Side cleaners

Automatic Suction Side Pool Cleaner

Suction side cleaner is one of the most popular automatic pool cleaner options for pool owners. It is a cost-effective way to keep your swimming pool free of debris. Unlike robotic cleaners, this type of automatic cleaner relies on the suction side of the pool equipment to clean. Meaning, they are connected to your own pool skimmer and filtration system to extract debris from the surface of your pool.

The suction side cleaners will move automatically in a random pattern to clean the walls, steps, and floor of your pool once the hose is connected and the filter pump is running. These cleaners are best for picking up mid-sized debris like small leaves and insects. Also, some models can suck up the extra-fine particulate debris that causes cloudy water.

One thing that stands out on a suction side cleaner is the market price. They are more affordable and relatively easier to repair compared to a robotic cleaner. However, they also tend to have more moving parts that need to be replaced over time. If you are using a suction cleaner, you need to regularly check your skimmer box as debris can build up quickly.


  • Suction pool cleaners are the most affordable automatic pool cleaning option
  • Easier to repair and low maintenance
  • Can pick up most of the debris, good for mid-sized and large debris
  • Works with pump and existing filter


  • Relies on your pool’s dedicated filtration system
  • Can take longer to clean the pool
  • Some move in random patterns and can get stuck in corners or on large debris
  • No internal filter; dumps debris into pool’s filtration system
  • Moving parts and hoses may need to be replaced over time


Now that you have an idea on how these two automatic pool cleaners work, you’ll be able to make a wiser decision on selecting the best cleaner for you. Take your time to decide and try to consider your budget, size of your pool, and the amount of debris your pool accumulates. Remember that both of these pool cleaners are able to get the job done with just some few important differences. If you want a pool expert’s advice, Village Spa and Pools is here to help. Give us a call and follow us on our social media channels (FB & IG) for more pool tips to feed your thoughts!





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