TOP 10 Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

TOP 10 Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

I love swimming, yet when it comes to cleaning the pool, I have always wished someone else would do it, and now I have that opportunity with Robotic Pool Cleaners; here is what I found when looking for the best Pool Cleaner Robot.

Ten of the Best Robotic Pool Cleaners in 2020:

  1. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus (Best Price for Functionality)
  2. Dolphin Premier (Best Waterline Cleaner)
  3. Dolphin Sigma (Best Innovation)
  4. Dolphin E10 (Best for Above Ground Pools)
  5. Polaris F9550 Sport (Best for Custom Shaped Pools)
  6. Hayward TigerShark HC9550GR (Best for Easy Filter Cleaning)
  7. Dolphin Triton PS (Best Range of Mobility)
  8. Dolphin Escape (Best Versatility)
  9. Dolphin Advantage (Best at being Cheap)
  10. Aquabot Breeze IQ (Best Filtration)

Pools in America

woman poolIn America, according to the Association of Pool & Spa Professionals, there are over 10.4 million pools in private ownership. Every one of these pools will need regular cleaning, whether indoors or outdoors, above ground or sunken. Swimming pools collect leaves, dust, and other detritus, and their in-built filters and pumps can’t remove impurities that adhere to the walls and floor of your pool and cloud the water.

Fortunately, there are several potential solutions. You can hire a professional pool cleaner, but this can become expensive. You can clean the pool manually yourself, which, to be honest, isn’t all that fun.

Alternatively, you can invest in an automated or robotic pool cleaner. These smart machines move autonomously around your pool and use suction and in-built filtration to remove the impurities from the water, leaving it clear and hygienic. Using one will allow you to use less purifying chemicals in your water, and regular use should extend the life of your pool pump and filters.

 

pool cleaners

How Do Robot Pool Cleaners Work?

Power Source

Most pool cleaners are powered with a GFCI (Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter) plug, which has two functions. First, it steps down the voltage of your domestic supply and, secondly, it provides a circuit breaker in the event of an electrical short. Because most pool cleaners require a cord plugged into the mains supply to supply enough power, you can very occasionally have a malfunction in which the water seeps into somewhere it shouldn’t and shorts out the power. The GFCI ensures this does not result in electrocution!

The cables that power these machines can be troublesome, either providing a trip hazard or becoming tangled. Some cleaners have a swiveling cable, which is supposed to prevent tangling, but this doesn’t always work correctly. It’s still worth checking the cleaner now and again to ensure it hasn’t become entangled in its cord.

Suction System and Filters

Robotic pool cleaners have a suction system similar to vacuum cleaners, along with filtration systems and bags to collect the solid detritus. Depending on how large a pool you have and what kind of debris it collects, you may want to check how large this receptacle is to ensure it can cope with a single cleaning without being emptied too frequently. Robotic cleaners are designed to stop if they become too full, but this could waste a lot of time if you don’t notice the interruption.

There are three main types of debris traps: bags, cartridge filters, and canisters.

  • Bags are used by many cleaners and are removable containers similar to those found in old school vacuum cleaners. They should trap particles down to 2 microns, which is often better than your pool’s regular filtration.
  • Cartridge-based systems use a sequence of 2-4 flat filters designed to sift out particles of 5 microns or greater. These can be easily removed, rinsed, and replaced.
  • Canisters are used by Polaris-brand robotic cleaners. These use a removable container designed to hold larger particulates (60 microns), about the size of visible dust particles. This should remove most of what would bother you in your pool and are easy to clean. As the filter size is that much larger, water flows through it more quickly, giving Polaris cleaners a speed advantage.

 

Onboard Intelligence

robotic pool cleanerThe robotic pool cleaner is your underwater Roomba, and many can be programmed to do more than glide up and down in strips. Some can even climb and clean the pool walls or float to clean debris floating on the waterline. Others use machine learning to remember your pool’s shape and size and optimize efficiency, getting better and quicker with each clean. Some can be programmed to start and stop at a convenient time. Many robot cleaners will detect that they are about to climb out of the water and know to turn and reverse direction for pools that have a sloped entry.

Often these machines come with remote control, allowing you to direct them to hard-to-reach corners or areas that require extra cleaning, as well as maneuvering them to a position where they can be removed from the pool.

 

Additional Features

Depending on what brand you buy, your robotic pool cleaner may come equipped with:

  • Anti-tangle swiveling power cords
  • Storage caddies
  • Bluetooth connection and smartphone app
  • Multiple brushes
  • Internal gyroscope for improved stability
  • Water jets for hard to reach areas

 

Robotic Pool Cleaners: The Good and Not-So-Good

There are several pros and cons to investing in one of these devices:

PROS:

  • The automated mechanism is highly labor-saving
  • Guaranteed to be thorough
  • Work efficiently, with just a low voltage power source
  • Should save you in chemicals and spare your pool filters/pump
  • Will pay their way in time, provided they do not break down out of warranty

CONS:

  • Since they are electrically powered, you cannot use the pool while it is being cleaned
  • Can be expensive
  • Comparatively complex machines operating underwater can short-circuit or break down.
  • Will still require emptying and cleaning and possibly filter replacement
  • Cables can become tangled and become a trip hazard

 

Ten of the Best Robotic Pool Cleaners in 2020

Assuming you decide to go ahead with a purchase, you should expect to pay between $600 and $1400 for a robotic cleaner. Price is, of course, one of the primary considerations, along with the size of your pool and the degree of cleaning and filtration you require.

Let’s take a look at some of the best currently on the market and compare their benefits and shortcomings.


Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

Best Price for Functionality

This newer Dolphin model boasts CleverClean mapping software and triple scrubbing brushes. It had three programmable modes for cleaning and used two top-loading, removable filters. You can set a delayed start time using your mobile phone and connect via WiFi to the robot’s controlling brain. It’s quite a lightweight model, so easy to remove from the water. This model has a swiveling power cord to prevent tangles but does not come with a dedicated remote control or storage caddy.

Maximum Pool Size: 50 feet
Cleaning Time: 2 hours on average; 3.5 hours for an intensive clean
Filtration Quality: 5 microns
Price Point: Middle Range
Weight: 19 lb

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner with Easy To Clean Large Top Load Filter Cartridges and Tangle-Free Swivel Cord, Ideal for In-Ground Swimming Pools Up To 50 Feet
  • Hello, free time! Let the Nautilus CC Plus take over your pool cleaning duties for good. Ideal for swimming pools up to 50 feet, this cleaner will leave your pool sparkling clean in just 2 hours. Spend more time enjoying your pool and less time cleaning.
  • The clean you need without the hassle. The Nautilus CC Plus was designed to clean your pool, effortlessly. With dual scrubbing brushes and superior filtering capabilities, you can relax knowing your pool’s floor and walls are left exceptionally clean.
  • Ditch the pumps and hose. Unlike the energy hogs that are pressure and suction cleaners, Dolphins are independent cleaning machines and do not rely on any additional equipment to get the job done. Save energy with every pool cleaning.
  • Clean your pool with the touch of a button. Schedule the Nautilus CC Plus to clean your swimming pool each week using 3 settings- every day, every other day, or every 3rd day. Pool cleaning has never been easier!
  • With more than 35 years of cleaning the world’s residential swimming pools, Dolphins provide pool owners with a hassle-free cleaning solution of unmatched performance and longevity. Get back to what really matters; spending time with family and friends.

Dolphin Premier

Best Waterline Cleaner

This model is exceptionally good at climbing your pool walls, having a unique overhead ballast system to aid its adherence to any surface or angle. This allows it to clean the waterline, which lesser models cannot reach. This model scores exceptionally high for its incredible cleaning power. Some users report they had to empty the filter bag several times because it was full of tiny particulates they would never have known were present in their pool. Others have reported some issues with cleaning the bag (pop it in a washing machine) and with manufacturer support.

Maximum Pool Size: 50 feet
Cleaning Time: 2.5 hours
Filtration Quality: 2 microns
Price Point: Top of the Range (High)
Weight: 37 lb

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Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner with Powerful Dual Scrubbing Brushes and Multiple Filter Options, Ideal for In-ground Swimming Pools up to 50 Feet.
  • Drop and go. Easy to use, single button plug and play in-ground robotic pool cleaner ideal for pools up to 50 feet; backed by a 3 year quality assurance.
  • CleverClean delivers a smart and efficient clean using advanced algorithms for complete pool coverage. Anti-tangle patented swivel cable allows your Dolphin to move around your pool with ease.
  • Powerful, dual scrubbing brushes forcefully attack tough dirt and debris leaving your swimming pool floor, walls and waterline exceptionally clean in 3 hours.
  • Multiple filter options for an optimal clean pool. The Premier comes standard with three filter options: bottom-load fine cartridge filters, ultra-fine cartridge filters, and an oversized fine filter bag.
  • Cleaning made convenient. Set the Premier’s weekly scheduler to automatically clean for you- every day, every other day, or every 3rd day. The full filter indicator lets you know when it’s time to clean your filter.

Dolphin Sigma

Best Innovation

The treads on this model give it added cling on those slippery pool walls. The Sigma is notable for being the first cleaner with an internal gyroscope, helping it balance and orient itself accurately. It has a large top-loading cartridge, which is easy to remove and clean and allows the Sigma to move considerably faster than other models. The trade-off is that this cleaner won’t remove anything smaller than a grain of dust. Triple 24DC motors ensure this clever unit is effective and efficient.

Maximum Pool Size: 50 feet
Cleaning Time: 2.5 hours
Filtration Quality: 60 microns
Price Point: Top of the Range (High)
Weight: 35 lb

DOLPHIN Sigma Robotic Pool Cleaner with Bluetooth and Massive Top-Load Cartridge Filters, Ideal for Pools up to 50 Feet.
  • Hassle-free clean. Easy-to-use, robotic pool cleaner equipped with an anti-tangling swivel cable, allowing Sigma to move freely around large residential pools up to 50 feet with ease. Backed by a 3 year quality assurance.
  • No messy bags to clean. Massive top-loading cartridge filters captures and traps fine and ultra-fine debris for an optimal clean swimming pool.
  • Powerful, dual scrubbing brushes thoroughly and efficiently attacks tough contaminants removing algae and bacteria from floor, walls and waterline for a deep clean in 2.5 hours.
  • Just say when. Set Sigma’s weekly scheduler to automatically clean for you- daily, 2x per week, or 3x per week. Connect your Sigma to your smartphone using Bluetooth to spot clean when needed.
  • Smart Navigation. Advanced navigation and scanning software ensures your pool is cleaned using the most efficient route without letting obstacles get in the way.

Dolphin E10

Best for Above Ground Pools

The E10 is the fastest and most energy-efficient in the Dolphin range. It is designed for above the ground pools only. The user reports that it is particularly good at sucking up leaves and larger pieces of debris and filters out sand grain-sized particles. If you want it to filter out smaller dust particles, you have to buy a better filter basket separately. It does not feature a swiveling power cord, so you may have to watch for tangles. It’s a compact and lightweight machine and may not be the most sophisticated model but is easy to empty and clean and a good purchase for that portable pool.

Maximum Pool Size: 30 feet
Cleaning Time: 1.5 hours
Filtration Quality: 60 microns
Price Point: Budget Buy
Weight: 22.7 lb

Dolphin E10 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner with Easy to Clean Top Load Filter Basket Ideal for Above Ground Swimming Pools up to 30 Feet
  • The simple way to a clean pool. The Dolphin E10 was designed specifically for above-ground swimming pools, making it the perfect solution for pools up to 30 feet. Backed by a 2-year quality assurance, get a worry free clean.
  • Take back your free time. The Dolphin E10 will have your pool cleaned in a quick 1.5 hour. Just imagine how much you can get done with one less chore on your to-do list.
  • Dolphin does all the hard work for you. The E10 was designed to clean your pool, effortlessly. With superior filtering and floor scrubbing capabilities, you can relax knowing your pool will be sparkling clean and free of debris.
  • Save energy with every pool cleaning. The E10 does not require any additional pumps or hoses to get the job done. Dolphins are super energy efficient with an average operating cost of 5 cents per hour.
  • With more than 35 years of cleaning the world’s residential swimming pools, Dolphins provide pool owners with a hassle-free cleaning solution of unmatched performance and longevity. Get back to what really matters; spending time with family and friends.

Polaris F9550 Sport

Best for Custom Shaped Pools

If you have a larger pool or one which is unusually shaped, the Polaris might be the machine for you. Rather than working with treads, it has individually mobile wheels, meaning it can turn on a dime. It also features incredibly strong vacuum suction and water jets, which can blast debris from hard to reach niches. The downside of this maneuverability is that it can get tangled in its cord rather a lot. The filter canister is exceptionally easy to clean, and the robotic cleaner comes with its caddy for transport and storage, a rare feature. It does come down with remote control, but some users report the response times can be sluggish when using it.

Maximum Pool Size: 60 feet
Cleaning Time: 2 hours average
Filtration Quality: 60 microns
Price Point: Top of the Range
Weight: 43.6 lb

Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
  • 4-wheel drive robotic cleaner outfitted with Aqua-Trax tires for all pool surfaces
  • ActivMotion Sensor Technology for unmatchable navigation, even in larger and free-from pools.Cable Length:70 feet Cable
  • Vortex Vacuum Technology allows cleaner to pick up larger debris while maintaining maximum suction
  • Rear water propulsion system allows cleaner to reach debris under stairs and in tight corners
  • Includes 7-day programmable timer, hand held remote and powder coated alloy caddy. Remote control : Yes. Motion-Sensing ; Cable Length 70' Cable / 60' Pool

Hayward TigerShark HC9550GR

Best for Easy Filter Cleaning

The TigerShark is the flagship of the Hayward range. Its filter cartridges are incredibly easy to clean with a garden hose, and it removes particles right down to 5 microns (very-fine dust or pollen). It’s not the fastest machine, taking up to 3 hours for a thorough clean, but the results are reputedly exceptional, leaving the water crystal clear. The canister doesn’t store as much debris as a bag-based cleaner, so you might need to empty it a few times if you’ve not cleaned your pool for a while. Users report a high build quality and ease of use, with one user remarking that no debris drops out of the machine into the pool when you lift it out, which can happen with other brands.

Maximum Pool Size: 40 feet
Cleaning Time: 2-3 hours
Filtration Quality: 5 microns
Price Point: Top of the Range
Weight: 40 lb

Hayward RC9950GR TigerShark Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
  • Perfect for residential pools up to 20' x 40'
  • Standard 3-hour complete cleaning cycle for full floor, walls, coves and waterline
  • Built with an efficient 24-volt motor designed to use less energy and lower cost
  • On-board pump for intense vacuum power to suck up dirt and debris
  • Cleanup is easy with the patented filter cartridge system - just remove and rinse with a garden hose

Dolphin Triton PS

Best Range of Mobility

The Dolphin Triton is particularly adept at wall-climbing and waterline cleaning. It has its own patented multi-directional water jet system to clean hard-to-reach corners, such as steps and grilles. One other major selling point of this model is that it weighs just 16.5 pounds – less than half the other models’ weight. It would be particularly useful for someone with mobility problems or an elderly pool owner. It’s not as great at cornering as some models (a common problem with tread-based movement) but does have sophisticated and responsive Bluetooth-connected remote control.

Maximum Pool Size: 50 feet
Cleaning Time: 2 hours
Filtration Quality: 60 microns
Price Point: Mid-Range
Weight: 16.5 lb

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Dolphin Triton PS Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner with Extra-Large Filter Basket and Superior Scrubbing Power, Ideal for In-ground Swimming Pools up to 50 Feet.
  • Hand off your pool cleaning duties for good! With the Triton PS, your pool will be left clean and ready for splashing fun in just 2 hours. Ideal for pools up to 50 feet, sit back and relax while Dolphin does all the hard work for you.
  • Built to deliver a deep clean. The Triton PS is powerfully nimble on vertical surfaces for intense wall and waterline scrubbing. With superior filtering capabilities, dirt and debris can't hide from this underwater cleaning machine.
  • Sustainably designed and energy efficient. Unlike suction and pressure cleaners, Dolphins are independent cleaning machines that do not rely on your pool pump or filter to get the job done. Extend the life of your pool’s system and save energy with every pool cleaning.
  • Say, “hello” to your newfound free time. Schedule the Triton PS to automatically clean your swimming pool each week using 3 settings- every day, every other day, or every 3rd day. Pool cleaning has never been easier
  • With more than 35 years of cleaning the world’s residential swimming pools, Dolphins provide pool owners with a hassle-free cleaning solution of unmatched performance and longevity. Get back to what really matters; spending time with family and friends.

Dolphin Escape

Best Versatility

Here’s another above-ground pool specialist cleaner, which would also suit a smaller in-ground pool. It scores highly in terms of both suction (4000 gallons per hour) and tread-grip. It’s smart enough to map your pool for quicker and more efficient cleaning digitally. Some users have reported the cleaner not coping well with sloped pool-bottoms. It has only a one-year warranty, where other models seem to offer two or more commonly, but it’s also one of the best value cleaners around, so even replacing it more frequently, you could save money. At 23.9 pounds, it’s another lightweight model too.

Maximum Pool Size: 30 feet
Cleaning Time: 1-2 hours
Filtration Quality: 60 microns
Price Point: Budget Buy

Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner
  • Delivers unmatched performance in an above-ground cleaner at an unthinkable cost.
  • No messy bags! Large and in charge oversized debris cartridge holds up to 60% more debris
  • Hypergrip Continuous Tracks - leaves wheels cleaners in its wake!
  • Hyperbrush Dual Scrubbing Brushes scrubs away difficult to remove contaminants.
  • SmartNav 2.0 Robotic Scanning. Only 14 lbs. Energy Efficient 24 Volt DC motors. One year warranty.

Dolphin Advantage

Best at being Cheap

The Advantage is a compact model designed for smaller in-ground pools. It has three cleaning modes and uses algorithmic mapping to more efficiently do the rounds. It has a large, single-click basket, which means it might be one of those rare models you can program to clean your pool every three days while you are on holiday, a feature many systems boast which, in reality, could rarely work. It has only a single scrubbing brush, so it may not be as thorough as some of the more expensive models, but it’s a convincing choice for smaller pools in terms of ease of use and price.

Maximum Pool Size: 33 feet
Cleaning Time: 2 hours
Filtration Quality: 60 microns
Price Point: Budget Buy
Weight: 24.4 lb

DOLPHIN Advantage Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner, Compact and Versatile Cleaning, Ideal for Above and In-ground Swimming Pools up to 33 Feet
  • Dolphin Advantage CC Automatic Robotic Swimming Pool Cleaner With Large Capacity Top Load Filter Basket Ideal For Swimming Pools Up To 33 Feet.
  • Hassle free clean. Easy-to-use, light weight in-ground robotic pool cleaner with a 1 year warranty, ideal for pools up to 33 feet.
  • Cleaning made convenient. Schedule your Dolphin Advantage to automatically clean each week using 3 settings- every day, every other day, or every 3rd day.
  • No random patterns. CleverClean Technology scans your swimming pool and uses advanced algorithms to efficiently clean your pool’s floor and walls in a quick 2 hours.
  • Large, easy-access top loading filter basket traps and locks in dirt and debris leaving your pool exceptionally clean.

Aquabot Breeze IQ

Best Filtration

If what’s most important to you is to have super-pure, crystal clear water, the Aquabot Breeze might be the robotic cleaner for you since its filter cleans particles right down to 2 microns (bacterial sized particles). It features powerful suction and twin scrubbers, making the Aquabot surprisingly quick – 1.5 to 2 hours for a full clean. It has a unique in-water cable swivel system, which should help prevent tangles. It’s also a particular device, which works as thoroughly on walls, waterline, and hard-to-reach corners. Given all it can do, the Aquabot is extremely competitively priced.

Maximum Pool Size: 40 feet
Cleaning Time: 1.5 to 2 hours
Filtration Quality: 2 microns
Price Point: Budget Buy
Weight: 32 lb

Aquabot ABREIQ Breeze IQ Wall-Climbing Automatic In-Ground Robotic Brush Pool, White
  • Energy saving, rapid cleaning robotic pool cleaner for residential in ground pools
  • Comes equipped with a vibrating brush at the bottom of the unit
  • Cleans inclines, walls, and waterlines
  • Extra long, 60 foot cable with swivel for no tangling
  • Timer setting for 1.5 or 2 hour shutoff

 

Tips for Using your Robot Pool Cleaner

  • It may be worth running a quick rake or net over the surface of your pool to remove the larger leaves (more than 2 inches) since these can jam up a pool cleaner.
  • To prevent cord tangling, stretch it out in the sun after use and leave it to dry before coiling it away.
  • Don’t neglect the other hygiene processes you would normally employ – pH testing, chemical purification (although you may be able to use fewer chemicals if you regularly employ your robot friend).
  • Make sure filters are clipped fully closed when replacing them, or you may not achieve proper filtration.
  • If your pool has been neglected for a long time, you’d be best advised to drain and scrub it manually. A robotic pool cleaner can only cope with so much!
TOP 10 Best Robotic Pool Cleaners