10 Best Robotic Pool Cleaners – Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Robotic Pool Cleaner

Robotic pool cleaners can do a much better job at cleaning your pool as compared to water-propelled pressure and suction pool cleaners.

This is because they are powered by electricity and this makes them a little bit smart, with some even having the capability to map out the entire pool for efficient cleaning.

However, there is an overwhelming amount of robotic pool cleaners in the market and selecting a good one might be a bit tricky if you do not have any idea what you should look for.

For this reason, this article looks at 10 of the best robotic pool cleaners, with a view of making it easier for you to select the one that suits your pool cleaning needs.

You can also read other product reviews such as automatic pool cleaner, pool brush, telescopic pool pole

Product Name

Image

​Features/Benefits

Rating

Current Price

1. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner


Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner

Smart and practical robotic cleaner with advanced navigation algorithms, fine and ultra-fine filter cartridges and is lightweight for easy handling

4.3

2. Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner

Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner

Lightweight above-ground robotic cleaner with a large debris cartridge bag and SmartNav 2.0 robotic scanning for cleaning optimization

4.1

3. Polaris Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner

Polaris Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner

Heavy in-ground cleaner with a 4-wheel drive system, ActivMotion Sensor Technology for navigation and a 7-day programmable cleaning cycle

4.0

4. Dolphin Triton plus Robotic Pool Cleaner

Dolphin Triton plus Robotic Pool Cleaner

In-ground robotic pool cleaner with Bluetooth connectivity for smartphone app remote control and Powerstream for better friction and more latitude

3.8

5. Dolphin Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner

Dolphin Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner

Expensive inground robotic pool cleaner with a large filter media and commercial grade DC motors that are 87% more energy efficient

4.0

6. Dolphin Oasis Z5i Robotic Pool Cleaner

Dolphin Oasis Z5i Robotic Pool Cleaner

Costly pool cleaner with Bluetooth connectivity for smartphone app control, CleverClean scanning technology, and hyper grip continuous tracks

4.4

7. Hayward TigerShark Series Robotic Pool Cleaner

Hayward TigerShark Series Robotic Pool Cleaner

Fast and efficient robotic pool cleaner with a 24-volt motor, 2 cleaning speeds (fast and super-fast) and a 90-minute quick clean option

3.7

8. Hayward SharkVac Robotic Pool Cleaner

Hayward SharkVac Robotic Pool Cleaner

Relatively lightweight robotic in-ground pool cleaner that features smart steering technology and comes with a caddy for easy handling

3.6

9. Aquabot Rover S2 40 Robotic Pool Cleaner

Aquabot Rover S2 40 Robotic Pool Cleaner

Very affordable robotic cleaner with Hydro Robotic Technology for propulsion and a powerful suction force of over 80 gallons per minute to the filters

3.4

10. Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen Robotic Pool Cleaner

Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen Robotic Pool Cleaner

Affordable in-and above-ground pool cleaner with an intelligent navigation system and automatic shut off after 2 hours for energy conservation

3.3

1. Dolphin 99996403-PC – Best Overall Robotic Pool Cleaner

Editor's Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (4.3 / 5)

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner
  • Weight: 19 pounds
  • Cord length: 60 feet
  • Clean cycle: 2 hours
  • Cleaning modes: Floor, Walls

The Nautilus CC Plus is our overall best pool cleaner because it is both smart and practical. Being a plug and play in-ground pool cleaner, it has a 60-foot anti-tangle patented swivel power cable, which provides hassle-free and uninterrupted cleaning.

In terms of smartness, the unit is equipped with advanced navigation algorithms that enable it to traverse and clean your pool in the most efficient way. On top of this, it also has dual scrubbing brushes that scrub even the toughest dirt and debris so that it cleans thoroughly on every sweep.

These brushes also assist the hyper grip Continuous Track driven cleaner in providing more grip, especially as it climbs up the walls so that it moves faster, giving your pool a deep clean in as little as 2 hours.

On practicality, Nautilus CC features fine and ultra-fine cartridge filters that are capable of trapping both small and large debris, ranging from leaves to small dirt particles.

Additionally, these filters are quite large and this means that the cleaner can run uninterrupted for quite some time.

On the downside, this product has no remote control and therefore, you have to access its control panel physically when you want to make any changes.

Pros:

  • Anti-tangle patented swivel power cable for uninterrupted cleaning
  • Advanced navigation algorithms for efficient cleaning
  • Dual scrubbing brushes that also provide additional grip to the wheels
  • Fine and ultra-fine cartridges for trapping small and large debris
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • No remote control

2. Dolphin Escape RoboticBest Above Ground Robotic Pool Cleaner

Editor's Rating: 4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner
  • Weight: 14 pounds
  • Cord length: 40 feet
  • Clean cycle: 2 hours
  • Cleaning modes: Floor

If you would like an easy to handle robotic pool cleaner, Dolphin’s Escape is your best bet because it is very light, weighing in at only 14 pounds. This means you will have an easier time lifting it into or out of an above ground pool.

Despite its light construction, the cleaner is well equipped on the inside, featuring a large, oversized debris cartridge bag that holds up to 60% more debris as compared to other filter cartridges. This means that it can run uninterrupted for quite some time.

For the actual cleaning, the Escape has a Hyperbrush Active Scrubbing brush on its front side that is very effective at getting the hard-stuck stains and dirt out of the pool floor and into the filter.

In terms of propulsion, hyper grip Continuous Tracks are used and these give better traction as compared to wheels, resulting in faster coverage of the entire floor.

This fast movement-and-cleaning is made even better using its SmartNav 2.0 Robotic Scanning system, which optimizes the cleaning patterns so as to save on time and electricity consumption. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Large, oversized debris cartridge bag
  • Very effective Hyperbrush Active Scrubbing brush
  • Hypergrip Continuous Tracks for propulsion
  • SmartNav 2.0 scanning for cleaning optimization

Cons:

  • Single scrubbing brush
  • No remote control

3. Polaris F9550Best Automatic Pool Cleaner

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Polaris Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
  • Weight: 43.6 pounds
  • Cord length: 70 feet
  • Clean cycle: 7-day programmable timer
  • Cleaning modes: Floor, Walls, Waterline

Although expensive, this cleaner carries a lot of useful features that make it fast and efficient. For starters, it has a 4-wheel drive system and all the 4 wheels are fitted with Aqua-Trax tires that make it suitable for traversing through all pool surfaces, be it smooth or rough.

These wheels are driven and directed using an ActivMotion Sensor Technology, which gives unmatched navigation performance, even in large, free-form pools.

Coupled with a long 70-foot power cable, this cleaner can reach every corner and climb every wall just to ensure the pool is clean.

What stands about this product, however, is that it has a 7-day programmable feature, which means that you can set it to clean your pool on a preset 7-day schedule, leaving you with clean waters every day as you arrive home from work.

This makes the Sport one of the best automatic pool cleaners. Other features include wireless remote control, vortex vacuum technology for picking up large debris and a rear water propulsion system for agility when cleaning round stairs and tight corners.

Pros:

  • 4-wheel drive system with Aqua-Trax tires
  • ActivMotion Sensor Technology for navigation
  • 7-day programmable cleaning cycle
  • Vortex vacuum technology for picking large debris
  • Rear water propulsion system for agility around stairs and tight corners

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

4. Dolphin 99996212-USRobotic Pool Cleaner with Smartphone Connectivity

Editor's Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars (3.8 / 5)

Dolphin Triton plus Robotic Pool Cleaner
  • Weight: 16.5 pounds
  • Cord length: 60 feet
  • Clean cycle: 1 or 2 hours
  • Cleaning modes: Floor, Cove, Walls, Waterline

If you fancy having a smartphone remote-controlled robotic pool cleaner, then this is the best product to consider.

Dolphin’s Triton Plus allows you to navigate it remotely, and program weekly cleaning schedules as well as cycle times all from your smartphone using MyDolphin’s app. This app utilizes Bluetooth connectivity between the two so as to give you control.

Apart from this, the cleaner also provides advanced cleaning using Powerstream, which basically involves the use of powerful jets so as to provide better friction when climbing walls and more latitude when scrubbing the waterline.

For the actual cleaning, dual scrubbing brushes are installed (one at the front and the other at the rear). This design ensures they attack all the tough dirt and debris, then scoop them up to the filter inside, leaving you with a clean 50-foot pool in just 2 hours.

Other features include a top load filter basket with fine and ultra-fine cartridges, hyper grip Continuous Tracks for propulsion and an anti-tangling patented swivel power cord.

Pros:

  • Smartphone connectivity for remote control
  • Powerstream technology for better friction and more latitude when climbing walls and scrubbing the waterline respectively
  • Dual scrubbing brushes
  • Top-load filter basket with fine and ultra-fine cartridges
  • Hypergrip Continuous Tracks

Cons:

  • Requires a smartphone for remote control; no dedicated remote-control unit

5. Dolphin PremierBest Inground Robotic Pool Cleaner

Editor's Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

Dolphin Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
  • Weight: 36.2 pounds
  • Cord length: 60 feet
  • Clean cycle: 3 hours
  • Cleaning modes: Floor, Walls, Waterline

Dolphin’s Premier is a very expensive pool cleaner, but also one of the best because it is very practical and energy efficient.

On practicality, the unit features a large filter media, consisting of two micro cartridges and one oversized debris bag. With this setup, it can do its cleaning for a very long time uninterrupted.

Additionally, the cleaner has an advanced weekly control that has full LED indicator lights for alerting you when its time to empty the filled basket. This means that you don’t have to keep lifting it out of the water to check if its time.

On energy efficiency, the Premier is equipped with the latest evolution of commercial grade DC motors, which reduce its energy consumption by up to 87%.

This is topped off by a microprocessor controlled SmartNav software, which provides highly optimized scanning and navigation for faster coverage in the shortest time possible.

For propulsion, hyper grip continuous tracks provide the traction required to traverse the floor and walls of your pool and as this happens, dual scrubbing brushes give a very thorough scrub and vacuum the pool’s surface as well.

Pros:

  • Large filter media consisting of two micro cartridges and one oversized debris bag
  • LED indicator lights for alerting you when the debris bag is full
  • Latest commercial grade DC motors that are very energy efficient
  • SmartNav software for navigation
  • Hypergrip continuous tracks for propulsion

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • No remote control

6. Dolphin Oasis Z5iBest Dolphin Robotic Pool Cleaner

Editor's Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Dolphin Oasis Z5i Robotic Pool Cleaner
  • Weight: 30.9 pounds
  • Cord length: 60 feet
  • Clean cycle: 2.5 hours
  • Cleaning modes: Floor, Walls, Waterline

For a top-rated robotic pool cleaner, this product is quite expensive and this shows that there is something about it that stands out.

Well, for starters, the in-ground cleaner’s control panel has Bluetooth connectivity that enables it to connect to a smartphone. With this connection established you can use the “My Dolphin app” to control the cleaner remotely as well as to make any weekly schedules or set the cycle time.

For optimized cleaning, the Z5i uses CleverClean scanning technology, which enables it to map out the entire pool floor so as to traverse and clean it in the most efficient way.

Propulsion is done using hyper grip continuous tracks, which are used to do 360° pinpoint turns. This ensures that the cleaner does not miss any spot on the floor and thus, results in optimal cleaning coverage in the shortest time possible.

Other features include top load rinse and reload filters (fine and ultra-fine), an anti-tangle patented swivel cable for hassle-free cleaning and dual scrubbing brushes for getting rid of the toughest dirt. 

Pros:

  • Bluetooth connectivity for smartphone app control
  • CleverClean scanning for efficient mapping and movement
  • Hypergrip continuous tracks for grip and making 360° pinpoint turns
  • Anti-tangle patented swivel power cord
  • Dual scrubbing brushes

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Must have a smartphone for remote control

7. Hayward RC9990CUBBest Hayward Robotic Pool Cleaner

Editor's Rating: 3.7 out of 5 stars (3.7 / 5)

Hayward TigerShark Series Robotic Pool Cleaner
  • Weight:  21.5pounds
  • Cord length: 55 feet
  • Clean cycle: 3 hours
  • Cleaning modes: Floor, Walls, Waterline

A fast robotic pool cleaner is good but a fast and energy-efficient pool cleaner is much better. This is exactly what you get in Hayward’s TigerShark because it features a 24-volt motor that uses a lot less energy as compared to other conventional pool cleaner motors.

The unit is also equipped with 2 cleaning speeds, which are “fast” and “really fast”. In fact, all TigerShark series robots have these settings, and these enable them to clean the pool floor, walls, coves and waterline in just 3 hours.

There is even a faster option found in the Tiger Shark QC, which offers a superfast 90-minute Quick Clean (QC) cycle.

However, with this speed and efficiency, it is limited to in-ground pools of up to 20 × 40 feet in size because of the length of its power cord, which is 55 feet in length.

For filtration, a unique and easy-to-use cartridge filter system is used. This system is designed to make emptying easy, requiring you to only open up the cleaner, remove the cartridge, then rinse it with water running from a hose.

Pros:

  • Efficient 24-volt motor
  • 2 cleaning speeds (fast and really fast)
  • Superfast 90-minute quick clean cycle option
  • Easy-to-maintain cartridge filter system

Cons:

  • No remote control
  • No hyper grip continuous tracks

8. Hayward RC9742CUBYGood Robotic Pool Cleaner

Editor's Rating: 3.6 out of 5 stars (3.6 / 5)

Hayward SharkVac Robotic Pool Cleaner
  • Weight:  21.5pounds
  • Cord length: 50 feet
  • Clean cycle: 2 hours
  • Cleaning modes: Floor, Cove

This SharkVac uses smart steering technology to map the pool floor, which then provides an efficient cleaning pattern that the cleaner uses to sweep through the entire floor surface in as little as 2 hours.

In terms of weight, this product weighs only 21.5 pounds, making it very easy to handle when carrying it out of storage, to the pool and vice versa. To make it even easier to handle, it comes with a caddy, but there is an option that comes without this caddy at a lower price.

On construction, the SharkVac has a low profile design, which makes it very robust and efficient in cleaning since the scrubbing brush is placed much closer to the floor.

For filtration, top access cartridge filters are used, and this design allows for quick debris removal when cleaning up the filters after they get filled up.

Pros:

  • Smart steering technology for efficient and fast cleaning in as little as 2 hours
  • Relatively lightweight
  • Comes with a caddy for easy handling
  • Low profile design makes it robust and efficient in cleaning
  • Top access cartridge filters allow for quick debris removal

Cons:

  • Will not scrub the waterline
  • No remote control

9. Aquabot AJET121Best Budget Robotic Pool Cleaner

Editor's Rating: 3.4 out of 5 stars (3.4 / 5)

Aquabot Rover S2 40 Robotic Pool Cleaner
  • Weight: 22 pounds
  • Cord length: 40 feet
  • Clean cycle: 1 or 2 hours
  • Cleaning modes: Floor, Cove, Walls

If you are looking for an affordable robotic pool cleaner, then Aquabot’s Rover S2 is a good option to consider.

Although most ideal for above-ground pools, this cleaner is designed to scrub pools of all shapes and surfaces and is equipped with a 40-foot kink free, EZ swivel cable that makes it capable of cleaning pools that are up to 40 feet.

For propulsion, this robot uses quite a unique Hydro-Robotic Technology system that pushes out water at the rear end, then utilizes the reaction force to drive the cleaner forward. This means that it is not motor driven, and this leads to cheaper repairs and maintenance.

Other features include a powerful suction force of over 80 gallons per minute and top access filter bags that are easy to access for quick maintenance when cleaning them.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Kink-free swivel power cable
  • Hydro-Robotic Technology propulsion system makes it cheaper to maintain
  • Powerful suction force of over 80 gallons per minute
  • Easy to maintain top access filter bags

Cons:

  • Ideal for above ground pools
  • No remote control

10. Smartpool NC22Best Multipurpose Robotic Pool Cleaner

Editor's Rating: 3.3 out of 5 stars (3.3 / 5)

Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen Robotic Pool Cleaner
  • Weight: 18 pounds
  • Cord length: 40 feet
  • Clean cycle: 2.5 hours
  • Cleaning modes: Floor

Despite its affordability, this robotic cleaner is very versatile because it can be used in above ground pools as well as in-ground pools of up to 14×28 feet in size, with a depth of 6 feet.

While working in either of these pools, the unit uses an intelligent navigation system that does not require walls to change direction. This system is aided by a Direct-Drive motor, which gives greater traction when driving it over vinyl, concrete, fiberglass or any other surface.

For cleaning, the product’s brush-to-port suction enables it to provide thorough vacuuming of acorns, leaves and other debris, then transfers all these into its extra-large filter bags, which enable it to run for a long time uninterrupted.

In terms of energy conservation, the NC22 is designed to power off automatically after 2 hours of cleaning, which means that even if you leave it on, this feature will protect you from unnecessarily high power bills.  

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Intelligent navigation system
  • Direct-Drive motor for better traction
  • Brush-to-port suction with extra-large filter bags
  • Shuts off automatically after 2 hours so as to conserve energy

Cons:

  • Recommended for floor cleaning only
  • No remote control

Robotic vs. Suction-Side vs. Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

Robotic vs. Suction-Side vs. Pressure Side Pool Cleaner

There are 3 main types of pool cleaners. These are:

#1. Suction-Side Cleaner

Suction-side pool cleaners are the least expensive type and are powered by the main pool pump, utilizing the suction force that is created as the pump pulls in the water for circulation and filtration.

The major problem with this setup is that the cleaner puts a lot of strain on your pump and filter because it reduces the sucked volume of water to the main pump and uses the pool’s filter to get rid of dirt and debris.

#2. Pressure-Side Cleaner

Pressure-side pool cleaners are like the opposite of suction-side cleaners. Basically, they utilize the pressure from the pump’s return lines to propel them around and clean the pool.

However, most people usually install an additional pressure booster pump to help in running the cleaner much faster.

As compared to their suction-side counterparts, these ones carry their own mesh bags, which means that they do not strain the pool’s filter.

On the downside, this type of cleaner still depends on the pool’s pump or an additional booster pump in order to do the cleaning.  

#3. Robotic Cleaner

Robotic cleaners are the most expensive type of pool cleaners but they are self-operated, having filters and mesh bags, intelligent scanning technologies and motors for propulsion. This makes them more efficient because they are smarter than the rest.

However, apart from being expensive, they also have a lot of moving parts and this translates to higher maintenance costs in case of a breakdown.

How to Buy the Best Robotic Pool Cleaner

How to Buy the Best Robotic Pool Cleaner

#1. Pool Size

Before buying a robotic pool cleaner, the first thing that you should consider is the pool size that it can handle. Usually measured in feet, this size is mostly dependent on the power cable that the cleaner is equipped with.

With the power supply being recommended to be at least 10-12 feet from the pool’s edge, this means that with a 50-foot cable, the cleaner is suitable for a maximum 40-foot length pool size.

Having this in mind, ensure that you have your pool’s dimensions at hand, then look for the cleaner is capable of covering your whole pool, be it in or above ground.

#2. Weight

Because of the lifting and carrying into or out of storage as well as into and out of the pool, a robotic cleaner’s weight is something that you should put into consideration.

Basically, the heavier it is, the more difficult it will be to handle. However, some of these units come with caddies for easier transportation, and this is recommended if the cleaner is too heavy.

#3. Cord

There are two things that you should check when it comes to the power cord. First is its length and second, whether it’s tangle-free.

As explained earlier, the length of the cable determines the pool size that the robot can clean. You should pick a cleaner that has just enough length for your pool so that it does not tangle or become messy as it cleans.

For the second property, this is a no brainer. The best robotic pool cleaner should have a tangle-free power cable so that it does not tie itself up, leaving you with a big mess or wire to undo while also holding it up so that it does not traverse the whole pool floor.

#4. Filter Capacity

Different makes of robotic cleaners come with different sizes of filters. The best type should have a large filter because this will ensure that it runs for a long time uninterrupted.

With a small filter, you might have to empty it after short intervals, especially if the pool is dirty, and this can be a nuisance.

#5. Clean Cycle

A clean cycle basically means the amount of time that the cleaner runs in order to clean your pool.

Some run for an hour, others for 2 or 3 while some advanced models have weekly programmable timers that let you set exactly when you want it to start or stop on a 7-day schedule.

Although the programmable option is the best, most cleaners having that feature are a bit more expensive. Therefore, the best thing is to buy according to your pool size.

If your pool has a big surface area, then it needs more time to clean and thus, a clean cycle with more hours is befitting. If it is small, then an hour might just work for you.

#6. Wheels

Most robotic pool cleaners are driven by motors through the wheels. Therefore, the best thing is to buy one with high-grip wheels such as hyper grip continuous tracks or well-treaded tires.

However, some models are given more grip or even driven using pressurized water jets and in this case, the grip provided by the wheels is not such a big factor to consider. 

#7. Remote Control

Having remote control over almost everything is very convenient. Be it by phone or a by a dedicated remote controller, being able to direct the operations and movement of a robotic pool cleaner while seated comfortably beside your pool is very convenient.

If you prefer this kind of convenience over having to physically go the control panel, then this feature is definitely worth considering.

Conclusion

In conclusion, robotic pool cleaners are the best type of cleaners that you can buy for your pool, but they are quite expensive. There are also a wide variety of them in the market and finding the best one might be a little bit tricky.

However, after going through the robotic pool cleaner review above, you should be in a better position to pick the most ideal unit for maintaining your pool.