The Battle of Pool Cleaners: Pressure-Side vs. Suction-Side Pool Cleaner

The Battle of Pool Cleaners: Pressure-Side vs. Suction-Side Pool Cleaner

Not every household has a pool; that’s why owning one is bliss. It’s a privilege to have one just outside your doorsteps. You can enjoy a summer afternoon dipping in its cool, crystal-clear water with your family or friends.

But pool ownership is not all fun. Unless you are rich enough to pay for a professional cleaning service at least twice a month, pool cleaning on your own is both a painstaking and time-consuming task.

Using the traditional scrub-and-brush method can give a great result after long hours of hard labor and muscle fatigue. If you have neither the money nor the patience to clean the pool, there is no better way to clean it than to use a pool cleaner.

Why You Need a Pool Cleaner

With a pool cleaner, you no longer have to worry about pool maintenance. You can do it any time and as many times as you like.

The main reason why you need a pool cleaner is to give you time for other things. Instead of devoting long hours scrubbing floor tiles, use a pool cleaner instead so that you can play with your kids or pets or cook dinner for your family. When you invest in smart pool cleaners, all you have to do is turn it on, program it, and let the device do its job. Just go back after a few hours to check if the cleaning is done.

In terms of practicality, investing in a quality pool cleaner can save you more money than hiring a pool cleaning service. Choose an energy-efficient device to save on your energy bill. An automatic switch feature that turns off the machine also allows you to save on energy.

Pressure-Side Pool Cleaner: Pros and Cons

Many pool owners use a pressure-side cleaner. With this type, the device is attached to the pressure sideline to move the cleaner around. The machine sucks dirty water and filters it before being pushed back into the pool. Hence, you need an additional booster pump to push the water outside the cleaner and create a jet stream. The jet stream moves the cleaner around your pool to loosen up debris and guide them into the filter bag. If your pool has no plumbing built with a booster pump, pressure side cleaner will not work at all.

Pressure-side cleaners don’t use the pool’s filtration system to filter out dirt. Instead, it has its filtration bag to catch debris. This feature saves you from emptying the pump basket or does backwashing after the cleaning session. For more information on a pressure-side pool cleaner, you can go to


  • Less expensive than other types of pool cleaners;
  • It doesn’t put stress on the pool filtration system;
  • Easy to maintain;
  • Effectively removes medium and heavy debris;
  • Finer particles flow into the filter bag or the pool’s filtrations system.


  • Need plumbing for booster pumps, which can cost you more;
  • Additional electricity cost to run the second pump.

Suction-Side Pool Cleaner: Pros and Cons

In suction-side cleaners, you need to attach the primary device to the filtration system of the pool. It takes out the debris and algae by scrubbing the floor surface. The wastes are guided into the pump basket of the pool’s filtration system.

The machine’s hose is either connected to either a suction line or directly to your skimmer. Suction cleaners use an internal turbine, which is energized through the force of the pump’s suction power.

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  • Probably the cheapest models out of all automatic cleaners;
  • Easy maintenance since the device only uses a few moving parts that have the potential to break;
  • Can do a decent job in picking up small to medium-sized debris.


  • Puts a lot of strain on the pool’s filtration system.
  • Debris goes directly to the pump strainer, which can cause low water circulation.
  • You need to empty the pump basket regularly to keep the cleaner working.
  • Dirt and debris are deposited into the filter. You have to backwash the filter after each cleaning session to clean it.

Side-by-Side Comparison

Categories Pressure-Side Suction-Side
How it works Pushes the water through the cleaner to filter it. Suck water into the pump, where it passes through the pool’s filtration system.
Water agitation ability Excellent Mild
Works with bigger debris (e.g. leaves) Good Poor
Operation Cost $$ $
Machine maintenance $$ $  
Market price $$ $  

Pro tip: You can watch a video explanation to elaborate on these two types of pool cleaner’s key differences.

The type of pool cleaner you need depends on many factors, including pool size, how dirty your pool becomes in a specific period, and how much budget you have.

Typically, pressure cleaners cost twice as much as suction cleaners. A quick research in Google points out that while the average cost price of suction-side is between $100 and $400, a pressure-side cleaner can go as high as $900. If you consider the additional cost for using a booster pump while cleaning, a pressure-side cleaner is costly than the suction side type.

On a positive note, the pressure-side is way more effective in cleaning the pool. It’s also faster and more convenient since you don’t need to do backwashing after every cleaning session.

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