Pool Cleaners: Manual, Automatic or Robotic?

Having trouble deciding which one's best suited to your pool? Manual Pool Cleaners, Suction Pool Cleaners or Robotic Pool Cleaners, Here's some info on all three of them to help you out -

  1. Manual Pool Cleaners
  2. Suction Pool Cleaners
  3. Pressure-side cleaners
  4. Robotic Pool Cleaners
  5. Which Pool Cleaner should I buy?


Whether it’s winter or summer, your pool has to be maintained year round. But if you’ve ventured to any pool supplies shop or browsed our online Pool Cleaners products, you’ll have seen there’s a lot of different kinds of pool cleaners around. And if you know little about these contraptions you might be wondering: which type is best for you?

If you’re trying to get your head around a pool cleaner, here’s some reviews of different types. Hopefully after going through each option you’ll have a much better understanding of which gadget best suits your pool.

Manual Pool Cleaners

Manual vacuum cleaners are your first option. They’re effective and the least expensive. But there’s one huge downside: they’re time-consuming. A manual cleaner translates to you doing the work. There’s absolutely no self-cleaning so you have to take care of everything, including guiding the machine around the pool.

The cleaner comprises a vacuum head fitted to a telepole. The whole contraption then connects to a skimmer box. It’s efficient and affordable – but you’ll have to expect to put in some elbow grease to get the job done.

Suction Pool Cleaners

This is just an automatic version of vacuuming your pool manually. They hook up the same way you do when you vacuum your pool manually and strains the water through the pool’s skimmer basket and filter. The biggest difference, however, is that they move around the bottom of your pool by themselves. That way, you don’t have to stand there in the hot sun and do it yourself. Automatic pool cleaning is all about convenience. When you use suction cleaners, you won’t need to brush, vacuum and skim the pool all that much yourself. Allowing you to spend less time cleaning and more time swimming.

Pools that receive dust and smaller particles are most suited for suction-side cleaning. You may need a leaf canister if you have to deal with branches, gumnuts, or eucalyptus leaves. It's also handy to catch the leaves in the canister which in turn puts less strain on your skimmer basket!

We recommend the Water TechniX Rapid:

The Rapid is a great workhorse for basic cleaning duties. It works off a rubber skirt and a rubber diaphragm in the middle chamber which uses suction to propel itself around the pool. These diaphragms do need to be replaced once or twice a year, we stock these replacement diaphragms here.

Pressure-side cleaners

These cleaners use pressure to move around the pool’s bottom and walls. Since they have their own filter bag, they reduce wear and tear on your pool filter.

Most pressure cleaners require a separate booster pump to work better, and can sometimes be a bit of a hassle to set up and maintain.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

Do you love seeing all the work done for you while you just sit poolside with an iced tea and soak up the sun? These days nobody would even consider having a pool without an Automatic Pool Cleaner. They are simply affordable and take a tedious and repetitive work off your hands.

However, many pool owners don't realise that there is an even better solution: Robotic Pool Cleaners. Simply put, robotic pool cleaners are the next level. If you owned one, you wouldn't go back to a Suction Cleaner. You would ask yourself why you had not purchased one sooner.

Robotic Pool Cleaners not only look very impressive, but they do a better job and require even less attention. They are intelligent, diligent and work independently.

Given their durability and efficiency, they are an excellent value for money as they deliver savings on the energy, water and pool chemical bills. There might be a bigger investment at first - when compared to a suction or an automatic pool cleaner - but the benefits outweigh the extra investment.

  • Save on power: Robots work independently from the pools filtration system, eliminating the need to pump water through meters of piping for filtering.
  • Save on water: Robots filter the water themselves, reducing clogging in the pool filtration system which translates in less backwashes.
  • Save on chemicals: Robots remove the dirt and debris rather than storing in the pools filtration system which otherwise produces cloudier water that requires chemicals to control.


They are by far the most efficient and effective pool cleaners. They can handle any kind of debris, vacuuming it directly into its own filter.

Plus they have their own smart technology that helps them master any shape or sized pool. Not only does this robotic cleaner help you with pool cleanliness, it also helps circulate water, guaranteeing a fresher swim.

But for these extra benefits, there is of course a price. Robotic cleaners are the highest end pool cleaner there is, popular for commercial pools, larger private swimming pools or for customers who just want the best of the best. And that does mean a higher price tag.

SEE ALSO: The Best robotic pool cleaners 

Which Pool Cleaner should I buy?

At the moment we strongly recommend the Zodiac OT15 simply because at the current price it represents by far the best value for money there is for a robotic cleaner.

Zodiac’s OT15 is a floor & wall, easy to use, plug & play Robotic Cleaner suitable for all pool surfaces and shapes. Backed by 2 Years of warranty for peace of mind, it's a no brainer.


SEE ALSO: Troubleshooting pool cleaners guide

SEE ALSO: How to manually vacuum your pool

SEE ALSO: 11 Reasons to buy a robotic pool cleaner

Please see a list of other useful pool blogs here!

Post author:

Tom Hintze

Head of eCommerce & Operations at Mr Pool Man,
Co-Founder at Water TechniX


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