Automatic Pool Cleaner Cost Breakdown: Are They Worth It?

Written by Michael Dean
March 12, 2024

automatic pool cleaners and cost analysis

Automatic pool cleaners are a great investment for any swimming pool owner looking to save time on maintenance. These handy little machines can keep your pool clean and sparkling by automatically removing all types of debris, from leaves and dirt to hair and bugs. They are a popular choice for keeping swimming pools clean with minimal effort. But with a price tag upwards of $1,000 for some models, you might wonder if they’re worth the investment.

To help you decide, I put together a cost breakdown of automatic pool cleaners. I will also discuss all the costs of purchasing and maintaining an automatic pool cleaner.

Main Takeaways

  • Automatic pool cleaners can cost anywhere between $100 to $1,600, depending on whether you get a robotic, suction-side, or pressure-side pool cleaner.
  • Be sure to do your research and consider all the factors that can affect the overall cost, including the brand, size and shape of your pool, required features, and level of maintenance.
  • Additional costs to consider include installation, power costs, and parts and maintenance.
  • Whether an automatic pool cleaner is “worth it” comes down to your individual needs and budget.

Average Cost of Buying an Automatic Pool Cleaner

Automatic pool cleaners come in a wide range of prices. The type of pool you have, the size of your pool, and the features you are looking for can all affect the cost. Most automatic pool cleaners range from around $100 to $1,600 on average. The type of cleaner you choose will also impact the overall price. Robotic cleaners are typically the most expensive, while suction-side cleaners and pressure-side cleaners are usually less expensive.

Automatic Pool Cleaners and their Average Cost

Automatic Pool CleanerAverage Cost
Robotic pool cleaners$500 – $1,600
Suction-side pool cleaners$100 – $300
Pressure-side pool cleaners$300 – $900

Robotic Pool Cleaners

Robotic pool cleaners are the most expensive options but tend to be the most effective and versatile. They use a filtration system to clean the pool and can be used on all inground and above ground pool surfaces. These automatic pool cleaners can clean the walls, floor, steps, and even the waterline of your pool. They contain a debris bag that catches all the debris the cleaner picks up. Robotic cleaners don’t need to be plugged into your pool pump, so they are a lot easier to set up.

Although these cleaners can be more expensive, they are generally easier to maintain and last many years with proper care. In addition, robotic cleaners often come with a warranty, saving you money in the long run. Overall, you can expect to pay around $500 to $800 for a budget or mid-range robot cleaner and up to $1,600 for a high-quality model.

If you’re curious about specific options, check out my recommendations for the best pool cleaner robot.

Suction-Side Pool Cleaners

Suction-side pool cleaners are among the most popular choices for pool owners. They are much more budget-friendly than robot cleaners, are easy to install, and are an effective way to clean your pool. Suction-side cleaners must be connected to your pool’s existing filtration system as they use the suction from the pump to move around the pool and collect debris.

While suction-side cleaners are usually less expensive, they require more maintenance than other cleaners. For example, the cleaner puts more strain on your pool filter, so you’ll have to change your pool filter media more frequently to keep it running smoothly. In addition, if you have a large or irregularly shaped pool, suction-side cleaners may not be as effective. It will likely take them longer to clean your pool, and they may miss some areas. Suction-side cleaners can be very affordable, running from less than $100 for very cheap options to $300 maximum. However, keep in mind you may need to install a booster pump to your filtration system to ensure the suction-side pool cleaner can clean your pool effectively. Depending on the size, a booster pump generally costs around $200 to $550.

If you are looking for a new affordable pool cleaner, head to my recommendations for the best suction-side pool cleaners.

Pressure-Side Pool Cleaners

Pressure-side pool cleaners are similar to suction-side cleaners in using your pool’s existing filtration system. However, instead of using the suction from the pump, pressure-side cleaners use the pressure to move around the pool. These cleaners are typically more expensive than suction-side cleaners but are also more effective. They cost around $300 to $900 on average, so they are more affordable than robot cleaners but more expensive than suction-side cleaners.

One of the main benefits of pressure-side cleaners is that they can work well with uniquely shaped or large pools, as they can easily reach those hard-to-clean spots. However, you will need to factor in the price of a booster pump when purchasing one of these cleaners. In addition, pressure-side cleaners require more maintenance than suction-side cleaners and may be less durable.

As always, you can view my specific recommendations by heading over to my research on the best pressure-side pool cleaners.

If the type of cleaner isn’t super important to you, you can check out my top picks for the best pool cleaner.

Major Factors that Affect the Overall Cost

In addition to the type of cleaner you choose, other factors also affect the overall cost. These include the brand and size of your pool, the features you want, and the level of maintenance required.


Automatic pool cleaners differ in price depending on the brand, as some brands are more expensive than others. For example, well-known brands like Hayward and Dolphin tend to be more expensive than lesser-known brands (like XtremepowerUS).

Size and Shape of Your Pool

The size of your pool is one of the most significant factors that will affect the cost of an automatic cleaner. In general, larger pools require a more robust and expensive cleaner with higher suction power and mobility. Check the length of the automatic pool cleaner’s cables and hoses to ensure it can clean your entire pool.

You may get away with a less expensive model if you have a small pool. However, if your pool is irregularly shaped, I recommend spending the extra money on a cleaner with better maneuverability. For example, if you have lots of steps in your pool, you should look for a pool cleaner that can clean the steps.

Required Features

Another factor that will affect your automatic cleaner’s cost is the features you want. Some cleaners include various additional features, such as remote controls, automatic shut-offs, timers, and the ability to clean the waterline. These features can make your life easier, but they also add to the cost of the cleaner. To get the most out of your automatic pool cleaner, you may need to invest in one that includes these features.

Level of Maintenance

Finally, the level of maintenance required will impact the cost of your automatic cleaner. Some cleaners require very little maintenance, while others will need to be cleaned and serviced regularly. If you are unwilling to do the necessary maintenance, you may want to look for a cleaner that is easier to care for. In general, suction-side cleaners require less maintenance than pressure-side cleaners.

Additional Costs to Consider

Automatic pool cleaners can be a great addition to any swimming pool, but it is crucial to consider the cost before purchasing. When budgeting for an automatic pool cleaner, there are a few additional costs that you will need to take into account.


One of the most important costs is the cost of installation. Most automatic pool cleaners have a very simple installation process. Simply plug the cleaner in, attach the hose or debris bag, and turn it on. But some complex models may involve installing docking systems or even doing some minor electrical work. So, you may consider hiring a professional to help with this part of the process. This adds to the overall cost, but ensuring the cleaner is installed correctly is vital.

Power Costs

You will need to factor in the cost of electricity. Automatic pool cleaners use a lot of energy, so your electric bill will likely go up when you use one. However, the increased cost is typically offset by the time and effort you save by not having to manually clean your pool. Robot cleaners typically use the least amount of power and can even save you money on your power bill since they won’t because you don’t need to run the pump or install a booster pump to run it. But robot pool cleaners are still plugged into a power outlet, so they are not free to use.

In general, automatic cleaners that are plugged into your pool pump will increase your power bill as the pump must run for longer and increase your water bill since you will have to backwash the filter more often.

For more information on power costs, head to my article on monthly electrical costs for your pool.

Parts and Maintenance

Finally, you need to consider the cost of parts and maintenance. Over time, your automatic pool cleaner will need to be repaired or replaced. In addition, you will need to regularly clean the filter and perform other maintenance tasks. These costs can add up over time, so factoring them into your budget is important. The cost of repairs can vary significantly depending on the repair needed and the type of pool cleaner. In general, robot pool cleaners are the most expensive to repair because they have the most complex parts. Some new robot cleaners may even contain computer chips, so fixing them is much more complicated and expensive.

Parts and repairs can range from $10 to $30 for a new debris bag or another simple part or up to $75-$200 for complicated professional repairs.

Lifetime Costs of Automatic Pool Cleaners

An automatic pool cleaner is a significant investment, but it can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. On average, an automatic pool cleaner will cost between $100 and $1,600. However, the actual cost will vary depending on the brand, the type of cleaner you choose, and any additional features or accessories the automatic cleaner requires.

The lifetime cost of an automatic pool cleaner will vary depending on all the factors discussed above. However, if you consider these costs and carefully consider your needs, you can find an affordable cleaner for your personalized needs.

Need Some Maintenance Help?

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Are Automatic Pool Cleaners Worth It?

Automatic pool cleaners are a great addition to your swimming pool, but you should consider the cost before making a purchase. They can make maintaining your pool more manageable and convenient, but they can also be quite expensive.

If you are willing to do the maintenance and pay for the electricity, an automatic pool cleaner can be a great addition to your swimming pool, saving you tons of time in the long run.

In the end, the decision is up to you – but it is important to weigh all of the pros and cons before making a purchase.

Have any questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out! If you need more advice on automatic pool cleaners, check out the articles below.

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