Automatic cleaners not only keep your pool clean of debris and ready to swim in but they also help increase the circulation and there fore the clarity of the water. When looking for one don't just go by price, a longer warranty and better features are worth paying a little extra for. There are some cheap cleaners around that tend to fall apart after awhile.
Most pool cleaners can be self installed so they are a hot item on the internet with online shops selling them for half the retail price.
TIP: When it comes to automatic pool cleaners there is no such thing as "the best" because different cleaners suit different pools. What you need is unbiased professional advice on which one would best suit your pool.
There are automatic pool cleaners made specifically for above ground pools and which one would suit depends on the shape, size, and if you have a deep end or not. Don't let anyone tell you that "this cleaner will work in any pool mate!"
Hydraulic Suction Pool Cleaners
A hydraulic suction type of pool cleaner uses the suction from your pool pump to drive the cleaner around the pool. They essentially have a hose that connects to your Skimmer Box vacuum plate at one end and the pool cleaner at the other. They do not need all the suction from your pump however so they all come with a bypass valve to divers some of the pressure.
Because they are hydraulic by design there is no steering mechanism. They simply randomly follow the hose like a whip.
These types of pool cleaners are best suited toward kidney shaped pool with gradual corners, very few obstacles, and a rough pool surface like pebble. They are NOT recommended for square or complex shaped types of pools.
Mechanical Suction Pool Cleaners
A mechanical suction type of pool cleaner uses the suction from your pool pump to drive the cleaner around the pool like the hydraulic cleaner and also uses a bypass valve. Where it differs is that it is programmed with a set pattern and rather then blindly following the hose it pulls the hose and goes where it wants to. This cleaner is best suited to square or complex shaped pools of any pool surface.
They range in price from $400 to $900.
Pressure Pool Cleaners
A pressure pool cleaner uses a special "Pressure" pump rather than the pools filtration pump. The pressure pump pushes water to a fitting build into the side of the pool. A small hose (about the diameter of a garden hose) is then connected to this wall fitting and the other end attached to the pool cleaner head. The water pressure is used to drive the mechanics of the machine as well as blow dirt and debris into an on-board bag or canister.
These cleaners are generally twice the price of suction cleaners but are ideal for pools with major leaf problems as they are more efficient. They range in price from $1000 to $2000 (including pressure pump).
Robotic Pool Cleaners
Robotic pool cleaners use standard 240volt power to drive electric motors inside the machine head. These are the most efficient of the cleaners but are very expensive and are most suited to commercial pool situations where the pool needs to be cleaned as fast as possible. They range in price from $1500 to over $12000.