If you’re looking for the Best Robotic Pool Cleaners on the Market for your swimming pool this summer, let us help you to choose an option that will fit your bill. We know it’s not an easy decision considering the overabundant varieties and possibilities available on the market. So we’ve hand-picked the best robotic pool cleaners to make the entire cleaning process easier for you. Whatever your requirements may be, you’ll be sure to find a cleaner that suits your needs.
Below, you’ll find award winners, bestsellers, budget options, inground and above ground options, cleaners for small and large pools, as well as robotic pool cleaners most favored by our readers – in other words, the cleaners other users like you are already using and loving.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to choose the best Robotic Pool Cleaner?
- 2 Here Are The Best-Selling Robotic Pool Cleaners in 2018
- 3 What is a Robotic Pool Cleaner?
- 4 So How do Robotic Pool Cleaners Work?
- 5 What Are the Benefits of Using Robotic pool cleaners?
- 6 Robotic Pool Cleaner Vs Suction Vs Pressure
- 7 Conclusion
How to choose the best Robotic Pool Cleaner?
Since you’re in the market for buying a new pool cleaner, you’ll be amazed and a bit terrified of the daunting task that choosing the best robotic pool cleaner is by no means an easy task. Often, you’ll hear about a lot of people complaining and asking a simple question: which pool cleaner is the best and, which one is the right one for me? Before we get to answer that question, you have to keep in mind that not every pool cleaner is the right one for you since pools have different standards and needs.
There are many different pool cleaner types and that there are pros and cons for each of them. Each robotic cleaner offers different features which may or may not be of importance or of necessity to you. Once you’ve understood that, it’ll help asking yourself a few basic questions that will help you opt for which pool cleaner is the best one for you.
Also, you have to consider that an in-ground or an above ground pool affects the choices you have when it comes to deciding on the best robotic pool cleaner as there are some models which are specifically designed for either one application or another.
Here Are The Best-Selling Robotic Pool Cleaners in 2018
Dolphin Nautilus Plus – Editor’s Choice 2018
The latest generation of Dolphin cleaners are all award-winning designs with over 25 years of technological and innovative leadership. Not only is this the best rated among the competition, but it’s also the best seller right now on the market. Weighing in at only 22lbs, it comes with a 2-year warranty and has a conveniently placed extra-large top access filter cartridge system that makes it super easy to spring clean the cartridges.
The Dolphin Nautilus features CleverClean Technology along with a patented swivel system that allows tangle-free operations which permits it to scrub, filter and vacuum the entire floor, walls, as well as waterlines of inground pools up to 50 feet in length all in just under 2.5 hours! Not only it offers an exceptional experience, but also its Easy-Fix modular components are easy to replace, should a repair be needed, and cost significantly lesser than its competitors.
The Dolphin pool cleaner also includes built-in software that automatically scans the dimensions of your entire pool and then cleans it regardless of its shape, size or surface. With its patented swivel design, it makes sure that the cable stays free, allowing it to cover the entire pool without damaging the cable. It’s equipped with an advanced PowerClean Brush which spins at high RPM’s to help remove even the most difficult of Algae, dirt, bacteria, and biofilm. Armed with a HyperGrip Tracking System, its rubber tracks grip the surface and walls of the pool in a way that’s not available to other competitor models ensuring that the Nautilus painstakingly cleans, and scrubs every single available area of the swimming pool including the waterline, walls, surface, skin, and coves.
The Dolphin Nautilus has a built-in weekly timer for automatic operations and an extra-large filter capacity for minimizing the time and effort needed to clean the filter. It also features a Rapid Water Release system that allows filtered water to exit the unit in just under 6 seconds. It’s completely independent of your pool’s main pump and filter, allowing you to clean your entire pool using only a fraction of the energy than other types of cleaning systems.
With all these available options and features coming in at well under $1000, it’s easy to see why this cleaner is the best value for the money and why it has been so successful with many of its users so far.
Read more: Dolphin Nautilus Plus Review
Polaris F9550 Sports Robotic
When eyeing to buy the Polaris F9550 Sports Robotic Inground Pool Cleaner, it has been sworn by many that they’re buying a heavy-duty 4-wheel drive for their pool instead. Not only does it look aesthetically pleasing, but its aquadynamics and 4-wheel drive also allow for it to overcome and climb over any obstacle – it’s specially made for inground pools making certain that it won’t get stuck anywhere while cleaning your pool.
The Polaris 9550 Sport can take on any pool terrain of up to 60 feet in length. It offers a complete 4WD coverage of the entire pool floor along with walls and waterline by utilizing a solid-blade scrubbing brush. It also includes a neat little handy remote control which you can use to point and direct the 9550 to help you clean those hard to reach spots.
It features an easy lift system which with one touch, which you can use to call the cleaner to drive itself up to the surface and automatically clear the water inside itself to make it easier to remove the unit from the pool. It comes with a timer that can be programmed for as long as seven days, along with customizable cleaning cycles and a tile only mode to focus on just cleaning the waterline.
It comes equipped with an easy clean filter canister which you can simply shake and spray to easily empty the accumulated debris. Lastly, along with a low torque watertight Tangle-Reducing Swivel, it keeps the cable from tangling while operating.
2018 Dolphin Premier Robotic
Premier Robotic Pool Cleaners have now become a household name for those who are well-versed with swimming pool robotic cleaners. Not only does the new Dolphin Premier offer a 3-year warranty with a no-nonsense rapid repair policy, it even has a warranty policy that is nearly 50% longer than any other competitor in its niche industry save for a few. It comes equipped with dual scrubbing brushes to help you scrub clean the surface of the pool along with vacuuming the pool so that you don’t have to.
With an upgraded microprocessor controlled Smart-Nav software that reduces electricity cost by nearly 87%, it’s the best Dolphin Pool cleaner ever made. When you decide to unleash this little cleaner into your pool, it doesn’t just wander around aimlessly like most pool cleaners. The built-in Smart-Nav software helps cleans the tiles and walls all the while scanning continuously the surface of the pool for any scattered debris left in the pool all the while coming up with new and optimal patterns for faster cleaning. With the added ability to successfully detect drains and ladders, the Dolphin pool cleaners will never get stuck again like all those other ordinary cleaners.
With its groundbreaking design and a 360 degree underwater tangle free rotation swivel system that is said to be game-changing, you don’t need to be an engineer to understand the benefits of the tangle-free operation. It’ll save you time, energy and will allow you to go stress-free from tangled cables. The new dolphin premier offers up to four different types of media within one unit. This means that you can now choose the right medium for the job. Do you want to clean fine debris and algae that normally passes through all the other pool cleaners? Go micro-filter. Do you need to pick up a heap of leaves? Go with an oversized debris collection bag. Dual filter cartridges are provided along with the oversized bag to make the unit handy enough to be used for large pools.
A 24 volt DC motor operates with a nearly 90% less energy requirement than those of AC booster pumps. This means that it only requires 180 watts to run – the cost to operate the Dolphin Premier is just 5 cents per hour. Coming in just a little over a $1000, this unit here is the best value for the money in the long run. Depending on the size of your pool, you can decide when you need to run it – daily, twice a week or even thrice a week.
Not only is this a top rated product from Dolphin, this model is the go-to pool cleaner for inground pools if you’re looking for value, efficiency, faster pool cleaning and are in want of a minimal maintenance robotic pool cleaner which makes you forget that it’s even there.
Read Full Review here
The 2017 Dolphin Quantum takes its place at the top rank of robotic pool cleaners here in 2018. With its groundbreaking PowerJet 3D Mobility and a new level of efficiency, the Dolphin can do more, deliver more and consumes less power than ever before. The top accessible filter tray makes it easy to clean and has a larger capacity than other prior units.
It has a massive 400 square inch top-loading cartridge filter – the largest ever in a swimming pool robotic cleaner. It’s equipped with SmartNav 2.0 Efficient Robotic Navigation to help your cleaner navigate without having to wander around aimlessly.
It comes equipped with Hyperbrush Dual Scrubbing Brushes along with PowerJet 3D Vectored Thrust for deeper cleaning and Hypergrip Continuous Rubber Tracks for improved mobility and superior wall climbing.
Hayward Tigershark Plus
Coming in at just over a $1000, this bad boy weighs around 40 pounds. It includes a wireless handheld remote that can be used to guide the pool cleaner into hard-to-reach areas and features a powerful onboard vacuum pump for intense vacuum power to suck up that filthy dirt and debris.
The unique cartridge filter system makes it easy to clean up the Tigershark Plus by simply removing the unit’s cartridge and washing it down with a garden hose. You don’t need to have extra hoses, hookups or pumps to operate the pool cleaner, it runs separately from the pool’s main pump and filtration system and reduces the frequency of the filter backwash cycles.
The solid construction of the product makes it reliable although it doesn’t feature a swivel cord feature making it prone to have tangled cables if it gets caught in the roller. Its patented Quick Clean technology (TigerShark QC model) provide it with a fast 90-minute cleaning cycle. While the Tigershark Plus has a large enough capacity for day to day and week to week clean-ups, it doesn’t do so well when it comes to spring cleaning the swimming pool – you’ll find yourself having to clean the cartridge way too many times since it is likely to fill up quite quickly, which might be a deal-breaker for some people if they’re looking for a once in a while maintenance pool cleaner.
Kreepy Krauly Prowler
The name ”Kreepy Krauly” is derived from the pool vacuum cleaner webbed-nozzle crawling creepily through the pool floor as well as for its creepy suction noise while it’s at work.
The Prowler 910 actually offers deep cleansing with its powerful, high-speed scrubbing and intense vacuum system along with a top-access filtration basket that makes it easier to remove captured debris much faster. It’s best suited for above ground swimming pools up to 40 feet in length and automatically shuts off after 1 ½ hours of use. Run it again, and you can say that the entire pool is sparkling clean. Coming in for less than $500, this cleaner is the best value for the money for above ground pools.
Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool
The all-new Dolphin Escape is a newly designed and engineered robotic pool cleaner that frees you from the difficulties of maintaining a swimming pool. Here you’ll discover why it’s the best above ground robotic pool cleaner available in the market along with the reason for why it’s the editor’s top-rated choice today! Weighing in at only 14 pounds, here comes the top rated above ground robotic pool cleaner of the year! Not only does it deliver unmatched performance for an above ground pool cleaner, but it also contains large oversized debris cartridges capable of holding up to 60% more debris. With its Hypergrip Continuous Tracks, it leaves all other wheel cleaners – 4WD and alike in its wake.
The built-in Hyperbrush Dual Scrubbing Brushes help scrub away any difficult to remove dirt and contaminations while the SmartNav 2.0 Scanner helps plan an optimal route for cleaning with speed and unparalleled efficiency.
Don’t let its small size and the very affordable $600 price tag fool you; this one really packs a mean punch! Setting up new standards with its breakthrough design you realize that the moment the Dolphin Escape hits the water, you’ve never seen anything like it. It’s designed to work smarter, not harder in order to conquer the unique challenges of the above ground pool surfaces.
While innovation is not always obvious to the naked eye, you’ll find fundamental improvements and differences in the pool cleaners design. And, with a never-before optional 4-year warranty plan, this pool cleaner is literally the best value for the money invested in obtaining it. The HyperBrush technology allows the brushes to spin twice as fast as traditional pool cleaners, allowing them to remove algae and other stubborn build-ups in the pool. This not only allows for the cleaner to be used for above ground pools, but it can be used utilized for inground pools as well!
The Escape is outfitted with a massive filter cartridge that allows it to be easily lifted out through the robot’s top-access door. This enables it to come equipped with fine filters fitted into the cartridges to capture debris of all sizes, from large leaves to smaller contaminants such as dirt and algae. This means that all those chaotic and messy tiresome debris bags used by the old traditional pool cleaners are now a thing of the past. No more cloudy and green algae-filled water. No more scrubbing twice as hard if you miss a week of cleaning. Just plug it in, toss it into the pool, and walk away for 90 minutes and let it do its job. Come back to find a sparkling clean pool; it’s that simple.
It’s not only energy efficient, but it also comes equipped with a 24 Volt DC motor that only consumes 180 watts, giving you a bill of 5 cents for every hour used. Its ergonomic, lightweight frame and quick 90-minute cleaning cycle make it perfect for all types of swimming pools.
Dolphin Triton Plus
Yes, you read that right. This specific model here features a Bluetooth Navigation system with PowerStream for a complete swimming pool, wall, and tile cleaning coverage. Not only it has an extra-large cartridge filtration capacity, but it’s also 50% lighter and has enhanced features such as a weekly timer, quick cleaning mode, active brushing and has an ergonomic body style, making the cleaner lightweight and easy to handle.
Using the MyDolphin app provided to the user by the Bluetooth Navigation System, you have the ability to manually steer the unit for cleaning spots by using either an on-screen joystick or by utilizing the internal gyroscope within your smartphone to guide the unit in whichever direction you tilt the phone in.
In order to keep up with all the technological advancements made to the Dolphin Triton, Maytronics removed the swivel cable that was once a standard on all models of Dolphins. To prevent the cable from tangling over the course of its cycle, the Triton Plus now utilizes software controlled anti-tangling algorithms.
The Aquabot X4 has won the “Best Value Robot” based on its rich features as well as its low price. With a premium filtration system using two ultra-fine mesh filter baskets to hold an enormous sized 190 Cubic Inch Top-Loading Cartridge, it offers massive debris holding capacity as well as a 360 degree Anti-Tangle Swivel to ensure that the underwater cable doesn’t get tangled while being operated. It also comes along with a free Transport Cabby and last but not least, a 3-year warranty similar to the Dolphin Premier.
It is ideal for all types of pool shapes up to 60 feet (inground and above ground) and is highly energy efficient at 180 watts, costing just 5 cents an hour to operate. Its AutoX Pool Mapping software calculates the pool type and shape and then calculates the best cleaning cycle for both speed and efficiency.
Featuring a solid water pump that can circulate around 85 gallons per minute, the Aquabot X4 utilizes this feature to distribute filtered water as quickly and efficiently as possible, which means using fewer chemicals, giving you healthier water and saving you as much money as possible.
The Aquabot X4 features a 4WD traction system and is equipped with an advanced array of rotating micro-brushes to make sure that not only the pool but even the walls are covered and cleaned as easily as a piece of cake. The rotating micro-brushes churn the surface of the pool and assist in loosening up stubborn dirt, debris, algae, and bacteria as they move. It also comes equipped with a convenient control panel that allows you to program your unit to perform hourly and automatic cleanings and also alerts you when it’s time to clear out the filter cartridge becomes full. To clean it, simply rinse it off with a garden hose and replace it back into the holder.
The Aquabot X4 comes equipped as a standard with an extra-long 60 foot floating cable with the famous anti-tangle swivel, to seamlessly navigate all the surfaces of your pool and to give you peace of mind that your pool will be vacuumed without any unforeseen hang-ups.
There is also a new feature that’s not seen in any other Robotic Pool Cleaner of its category, a programmable power supply. The power supply’s user-friendly control panel allows you to designate when your Aquabot runs its cleaning cycle. It can be set to run for 1, 1.5 or even 2-hour continuous cleaning cycles, and the added timer settings allow for your Aquabot to run automatically once every 48, 72 or even 96 hours.
Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen
Our last robotic pool cleaner in this review is the Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen-Robotic Pool Cleaner. Weighing in at just 18 pounds, not only is the SmartKleen built to last with a tough exterior, it’s lightweight and compact design changes the way you maintain swimming pool.
With an excellent ability to move around pools of any shape and size, it makes it the perfect companion pool cleaner for small pool and for large pools alike. It’s ideally suited for above ground and smaller inground pools and works on surfaces that include concrete pools, fiberglass, tiles and vinyl liners.
It features an Extra Large Filter Bag to trap dirt and debris effectively and allows you to extend the time of operating your inbuilt main pool filtration and pump system. Using a quick-drain system for lightweight removal from any pool, it has a 2-hour auto shut off the system and comes with one year of parts warranty. Its intelligent navigation system doesn’t require any walls in order to change direction by utilizing its direction-drive motor for greater versatility and traction. It also contains a 40 feet power cord in order to save you from the worry of searching for the nearest power outlet or extension cord.
What is a Robotic Pool Cleaner?
A Robotic Pool Cleaner is an automated vacuum cleaner whose sole purpose is to collect debris, sediment, and algae from swimming pools with little human intervention. It is one of the different varieties of swimming pool vacuum cleaners and are mainly battery powered. All automatic pool cleaners have one simple goal: keeping your pool clean, with little time, effort and maintenance required from you. There are three basic types of automatic swimming pool cleaners:
So How do Robotic Pool Cleaners Work?
An automated pool cleaner at its basest is a vacuum cleaner for the bottom of your swimming pool. It makes the entire cleaning process automated for you so that you don’t have to intervene and clean the pool by yourself. While all of the three types of automatic pool cleaners will help to keep your pool clean, they work in different ways.
The most popular type of pool cleaner is the Suction Pool Cleaner. Suction-side pool cleaners work when your pool pump is running. It gets its name from the suction generated by the pool pump and can be used in both inground and above ground swimming pools.
Pressure-side pool cleaners include a hose (booster pump) that you attach to the dedicated return line of your pool where the water from the pool returns back into the pool after it has passed through the filter. The force generated from this system is used to both move the cleaner around the pool and to create a vacuum that to suck up the dirt and debris into a bag attached at the head of the cleaner.
Robotic pool cleaners are fully automated and independent from the swimming pools main pump and filtration system. They have their own filtration system which acts as a secondary filter while cleaning the pool. This type of pool cleaner is recently gaining a lot of popularity due to its efficiency and performance. They are not only programmable but can be operated via remote control as opposed to the previous two types of pool cleaners and have their own built-in battery along with a cartridge to store the debris collected while cleaning. While they may be slightly more expensive to buy, they are a great time and effort saver!
What Are the Benefits of Using Robotic pool cleaners?
If you’re still wondering what is the best robotic pool cleaner for your pool, the answer depends on your very needs. Check out these quick benefits of robotic pool cleaners that will help you find the answer.
Sure, you’ve been getting along pretty well by cleaning your pool by hand for years; you’ve got a solid pool brush for scrubbing, a telescopic pole for pursuing those hard-to-reach places, a skimmer for clearing the skin of the water and a vacuum to suck all the algae and keep it at bay. But, how much time do you spend cleaning the pool and actually enjoy swimming in it?
It’s already difficult to do all the household chores and adding pool cleaning to the mix only makes it harder. If there’s family, you can simply ask them to lend you a helping hand and can make this an excellent moment to bond with your family. If you lack pool buddies, then you might already be worn out from the daily demands of work and having a pool that needs to be cleaned every week or two is only going to pile up on your frustrations and things to do list.
Robotic Pool Cleaners are not only cost effective and maintenance friendly, but they are also energy efficient. They help you lower your energy bills and running costs while making sure to clean down your pool of bacteria and algae efficiently. They help save you from requiring any additional pumps and also contain self-contained filtration systems which help reduce the wear and tear of some of your more expensive and existing main pool equipment.
Operating at minimal noise levels than the suction-side and pressure-side pool cleaners, they also circulate chemicals and reduce chemical usage in the long run. With the added ability to scale and scrub walls, along with handy remote controls to clean the direction and area of the pool, it’s easy to see why purchasing a robotic pool cleaner may be the perfect decision.
Of course, you can hire professionals to do the cleaning for you while you enjoy your time later on in the pool, but why hire them to do it for you when you can just purchase an automatic pool cleaner? While some these cleaners aren’t that cheap, you’ll be sure to find a model that fits your needs and available budget. Each type of pool cleaner operates differently, so it’ll be all the more worth your time and effort to learn more about them and choose the one that’s right for you.
Robotic Pool Cleaner Vs Suction Vs Pressure
There are three main types of automatic swimming pool cleaners, divided by the drive mechanism and source of power used for it:
Robotic Pool Cleaners:
Powered by an independent power source, robotic pool cleaners are separated from the pools main pump system and the main filter, usually in the form of a set-down transformer that is often kept on the pool deck, away from the water. There are usually two internal motors: one to suction the water through a built-in filtration bag and the second is a motor that drives the synthetic brushes connected to the pool cleaner. The brushes, somewhat resembling paint rollers, are located on the front and back of the machine and help remove particles from the pool’s walls and floor depending on their configuration.
Since they can be remote controlled, you can choose which area of the pool to clean first or to focus on. They can automatically self-navigate your pool and are the fastest when it comes to cleaning your pool. They have built-in bags and cartridges with a self-contained cleaning filter which helps you ease the wear and tear of your pools main pump and filtration system. They also happen to have special features depending on the unit that you decide to purchase such as surface skimming, wall cleaning, algae removal and dirt control. The only downside is the initial cost of purchasing a unit, however looking at it in the long-run, it sure has its benefits of saving time, energy and effort for maintenance of the pool and the unit itself.
The first automatic pool cleaners were suction cleaners. These are the least expensive, ranging from $100 – $300. They are powered solely by the main pump of the pool and use the suction action of the pools pump to generate movement to traverse the walls and floor of the pool randomly. They’re easy to use because they attach to your wall skimmer as well as to a dedicated suction port.
They may seem inexpensive, but these machines reduce the suction of the main pool pump as well as utilize the pool’s filter system to remove dirt and debris from the water. While there is minimal maintenance and part replacement costs on these devices over time isn’t too bad, utilizing these machines will increase electricity costs and will require the main pump and filtration system to be serviced more quickly. They also happen to have filter limitation due to the size of the main pool filter since these cleaners don’t have a separate filter. However, the advantage to these types of cleaners is that not only are they easy to install and operate, but they are also cheap to purchase and have a proven track record when it comes to cleaning your pool.
Mostly in these machines, the pool water is pressurized using a secondary pump and helps locomotion and debris suction. It traverses in a random course and using this cleaner makes it the most costly since it utilizes the highest amount of power from among the three types of automated pool cleaners due to use of the high pressurized booster pump.
The cost of these types of pool cleaner’s start from a minimum of $200 to about $700 not including the cost of the secondary booster pump which is usually an addition of $200. Both the suction-side and the pressure-side cleaners are heavily dependent on the swimming pools main pump and filtration system to help remove impurities. The main disadvantages of these types of pool cleaners are the additional use of electricity, the effort and time needed to attach the device to the ports that connect to the pools main pump and filter, and lastly the added responsibility of maintenance time.
The good thing about these pool cleaners is that they have their own fine mesh bag to help collect debris which means that they don’t compromise on the pools main filtration system. The booster pump helps enhance water circulation by creating turbulence which helps increase the speed of the cleaning and creates efficiency while distributing filtered water across the entire pool. Lastly, because they have their own filter bag to accumulate debris, they won’t clog your skimmer or filter either.
We hope that after this exhaustive buyer’s guide of the best robotic pool cleaners available in the market right now, you’re all the wiser and ready to purchase a robotic pool cleaner for your pool. We’ve gone through the top-rated, editor’s choice, best value for the money invested as well as those under the $1000 budget both for small pool and for large pools. While every person has their own taste and requirements, this list shall prove useful in your laborious search for the perfect robotic pool cleaner this year. We wish you the best of luck and happy cleaning!