UPDATED: June 1, 2019.
Having a pool in your home means that you can enjoy and relax whenever you want, but you need to ensure that your pool is hygienically in a perfect state. Therefore, it is important to consider buying a good pool cleaner that works for leaves, algae and other such elements.
An automatic pool cleaner is usually a better choice because it handles everything on its own without requiring your interference. Speaking of automatic pool cleaners, you can usually choose from three types – pressure-side cleaners, suction-side cleaners, and robotic cleaners. A robotic cleaner is usually the best choice for large pools.
Why Buy a Robotic Cleaner?
A Robotic cleaner is much better than other types of automatic pool cleaners because you don’t have to attach them to your pool. It is extremely easy to use, as all you have to do is install it properly and then plug it in to see it work efficiently.
Here are some reasons why a robotic cleaner is the best buy for inground pools.
- These cleaners are extremely versatile and efficient, as they can tackle all types of debris, big or small. You can use them on any type of pool surface; in fact, they are quite suitable for tiled pools as well as vinyl pools. A built-in filtration system adds to its effectiveness.
- These cleaners are extremely environmentally friendly, as they don’t release any chemical or toxin while working. Your pool stays in a perfect condition and you never have to worry about any health issues.
- These pool cleaners don’t require serious maintenance; in fact, all you have to do is empty the filter bag, rinse it, and you’re ready to use your cleaner again.
- These robotic cleaners don’t rely on your pool’s filtration system or pumps, which means they are extremely energy efficient. They work fast and finish the task in a timely manner.
Overall, robotic cleaners are extremely useful and efficient, but it is worth mentioning that they can be quite expensive, especially compared to the other types of automatic pool cleaners. The price can go up considerably if you need a cleaner for vinyl pools. To prevent tangled cables, you have to buy models with a swivel cord, which may cost a little more.
Top 10 Robotic Pool Cleaners to Buy
What are the best robotic pool cleaners on the market? It is a common question to ask, but the answer depends on your unique needs and pool type. Here are some of the most popular options for you to consider:
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Cleaner
- Great cleaning, no need to put any chemicals
- Efficient enough to clean a big pool as well in less time
- Picks up even small dust and debris
- Not a very supportive customer care service
This robot-like pool cleaner efficiently does what it is supposed to do and quite fast! It picks up even small dust particles and the brush clears off anything that is stuck for a long time by constant rubbing on the walls as well as floors.
The cleaner comes with a universal voltage level of 100-240v which means you can use it in any part of the world. The best part is that it is easy to remove the filters and clean once the pool is clean.
You can use the filters in any combination, but be sure to use them carefully as each has a different rate of water flow. Though a bit pricey, it’s a good buy if you use the pool often.
Dolphin 2018 Premier Robotic Cleaner
- A bag and filter available to choose as per your needs
- Amazing swivel design to prevent tangling
- Awesome speed of cleaning (cleans in 30 minutes on an average)
- Doesn’t clean the walls or steps!
The best feature of this robotic cleaner is that it has both a bag and filters, so if you get a lot of leaves, twigs or other big particles, you can use the bag and the robot works extremely well picking up every dirt that it encounters.
Needless to say, for every small particle that it picks up, the cleaning speed is amazingly good. The brush is quite good and if you are planning to clean your pool after the winter (when it hasn’t been used), there will be debris of dirt accumulated, which this robot brush removes with ease!
It’s a good buy whether you use your pool regularly or sparsely. Just keep in mind that it is not going to help a lot when you want to clean the steps or walls.
Polaris F9350 Sport Robotic Cleaner
- Looks are super cool and stylish, very compact too
- No issue of cables tangling (great relief)
- The plastic basket that collects all the dirt is easy to remove and clean
- Sometimes flips over and has to be turned manually
This awesome robot is a favorite of everyone and it is a sight to watch how the machine cleans up the pool. Efficient and sturdy, you can expect the cleaning to be detailed and perfect.
Because of the tangle-free system, there is no tangling of wires when it turns and twists. Easily cleans the walls and corners too, so you don’t need to go down and separately clean the walls.
A little maintenance is all that you need to make it work nicely for a longer time – for example, spray the system with clean water (not any chemicals) immediately after it cleans the pool for longer life of the product and get the fine filter for best cleaning.
Dolphin Electric Pool Cleaner
- The caddy works efficiently
- Easy to assemble, gets ready in minutes
- Works well with most Dolphin models to make cleaning easier
- The blue cord keeps twisting around all the time
This caddy makes pool cleaning an easy job. You can move it just anywhere with the robot and the cords in place with a lot of ease. It helps organize the cleaning system. You can use it as a nice holding deck for the cleaner and hose.
The material is mostly plastic, but that’s fine because you can still move it around easily without the plastic getting damaged. Even when you are not using the cleaner, storing all your cords and the cleaner on this caddy is a relief.
Overall, it keeps everything neat, organized and saves space. The only issue you may face is that the blue cord sometimes twists around and makes cleaning difficult.
Dolphin Triton Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner
- The remote works like a charm
- Very nice scrubbing and cleaning
- The basket system works much better than bags
- The customer service guys are not very helpful
This robot removes literally every dirt, big or small from your pool. And to make things even better, it is extremely fast in deep cleaning. You will also find it easy to move around as it is light-weight.
It takes time to know the dimensions of your pool so you have to run it multiple times and once it gets the knack of it, the cleaning is just superb. It even goes to extreme corners and scrubs well.
The best part is to watch the robot climb the walls and clean. It is worth the money and you can just leave it in to clean your pool even when you are away for an extended time.
Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Robotic Cleaner
- Cleaning is superb, even fine dust is caught
- No tangling, the cord is quite long and convenient to plug in
- It is extremely easy to clean the filters
- Rusting problems can occur after long usage
This robot cleans your pool really well. It is quite fast and doesn’t miss any of the dirt or debris from the bottom of the pool. You can buy extra filters to get the best results.
It is quite compact too and looks cool especially when it is at work. This machine lasts for a long time even with regular usage. The make is sturdy and the entire unit consumes little power.
Replacing the filter bags is also easy and you get ones with good stitching. You need not use any chemicals, and less water is required to clean because the motor is quite powerful and suction power is stunning.
Solar-Breeze NX2 robotic cleaner
- Solar powered unit eliminates the hassles of wires and tangling
- Durable and efficient
- Basket system for collecting dirt for easy maintenance
- Well, though it works on rainy days too, not as much as on sunny days!
The first striking thing about this robot is that it uses solar power which makes it free of unnecessary cords. This cute robot cleans your pool like anything until it is turned off.
The pool is always ready to use and gives such a nice feeling not having to go and clean it manually. The battery lasts for a minimum of 2 to 3 years and even the replaceable ones are easily available.
Another nice program in this is that if it does get stuck somewhere, you don’t have to manually go and change it, the unstuck happens automatically. Worth the money for most of the seasons!
Hayward RC9742WCCUBY Robotic Pool Vacuum
- Very good cleaning with low maintenance
- Works nicely on edges as well due to the vacuum feature
- Very reasonable price
- It is a hassle to put this bulky system into the pool
This robot cleans the pool well, though can’t say that the pool will be sparkling clean. It does leave out some small dust but that’s only sometimes and you can live with that.
The vacuum suction works perfectly. Because of vacuum, the filters work for a long time without being cleaned. Cleaning the device is very easy. However, it might be more than an effort to open it till you learn the art and the customer service guys help you in that.
It shuts down in 2 hours after cleaning the pool which is another great feature. Overall, a good buy at this price, but do keep in mind that it is quite bulky and takes some effort to put it in the pool.
Dolphin Nautilus Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
- Very light-weight, just drop it in the pool and forget about it
- Cleans even the walls with high efficiency
- Great suction to save power
- Not a very helpful customer service
As long as the unit works fine, you are going to love it. It cleans every nook and corner of your pool with ease and perfection. It is quite fast and efficient.
Another good thing is that no tangling of cords is experienced and no extra fittings are required. You have to run it several times so that the robot gets used to the surface, and once it does, nothing stops it from scrubbing the surface spotless.
The two filters can be used as per your needs and you can clean them without too much effort. The material of the robot is strong and sturdy. You will have to vacuum the edges yourself if the need be but the major work will be done by this cute robot.
Dolphin Sigma Robotic Pool Cleaner
- Advanced cleaner for efficient performance
- You can program it to run as per your choice
- Easy to set up and no tangling of cords
- It can’t climb and clean the steps
With all the advanced technology in place for the best cleaning, the robot works like a charm. You don’t have to worry about anything with this one.
As soon as you open the box, the unit will impress you and within half an hour you can get it working and cleaning your pool at a good pace. You can control and see the progress of the robot on your phone app as well, and that works well to get the robot clean spots that it could otherwise miss.
This sometimes happens when it is stuck somewhere and tries to reposition. It will be nice to have a caddy with this one. Also, remember that it is not going to clean the steps.
Know the Type of Pool Before Buying a Robotic Cleaner
When you want to invest in a robotic pool cleaner, it is important to consider your pool type first. Some robotic cleaners are designed to handle only a few specific types of pool surfaces – they may be designed for tiled pools only. However, other, high-end, cleaners can deal with any pool surface, including the slippery tile of a fiberglass pool.
To find a suitable cleaner, pay attention to the softness of the PVA brush. Opt for a soft super grip brush when you have a fiberglass pool, but you can opt for a cleaner with rubber PVC brushes for most pool surfaces though.
Along with the surface, you need to consider the size of your pool as well. It is important because your robotic cleaner will come with a fix cable length, so you need to ensure that it is suitable for the size of your pool. There is no point in buying a cleaner that cannot reach the furthest sides of your pool.
Similarly, don’t buy a cleaner with extra cable if you have a smaller pool because it increases the risk of tangling, which prevents the cleaner from moving forward. So, have an idea about the length of the cable that will work for your pool and then proceed with a buying decision.
Know What You Want Your Robotic Cleaner to Do
Along with paying attention to the size and type of your pool, you need to consider what you’d want your cleaner to do. For instance, you can find a robotic cleaner that vacuums the pool floor and does nothing to clean the walls. They usually have fixed brushes and cost less.
You may want to look for a different robotic cleaner if you want it to clean the floor as well as the lower wall. These cleaners feature active scrubbing brushes and are capable of climbing the walls to some extent.
You may need to invest in a different type of robotic cleaner if you want it to clean the floor as well as the wall, cove, and waterline. These cleaners have several additional features that enable them to remove debris from the water.
What it means that you should know in advance if you need a vacuum that does fixed brush cleaning, which is more suitable for smaller in-ground pools, or you need an advanced cleaner with additional features and ability to climb the walls.
Features to Check before Buying a Robotic Cleaner
With a variety of robotic cleaners available on the market, it is natural to feel confused. However, you should check the following features to make the right buying decision.
Always pay attention to the overall weight of the cleaner before finalizing a buying decision. Many people make a mistake and feel more concerned about the size of the cleaner. Instead, they should be considering the weight before even thinking about the size. Of course, you’ll need a bigger cleaner for a large inground pool, but ensure that it is not too heavy to get in and out of the pool all by yourself.
Smart Scanning System
Even when you opt for a larger robotic cleaner, it will work fine if it comes with a smart scanning system. Many people think that they have to shell out a lot of money to buy a unit with some smart scanning options, but that is no longer the case. Many brands are now offering units with smart software and sensors to map out the size and shape of the pool.
When your cleaner can get a feel for the size and shape of your pool, it can work efficiently, covering every inch of the pool and delivering the best performance. You just cannot overlook this feature if you want to buy an automatic cleaner for your “uniquely” shaped pool.
Coupled with a smart scanning system, a unit with four-wheel-drive can move around with utmost ease and deliver the best cleaning performance. Ensure that the wheels are wide and made of high quality rubber to handle bumps with ease.
You should be especially careful about this feature if you’re buying an automatic cleaner for tiled pools with a very slippery surface. It will also work when you need a unit for algae that adds to the slipperiness of the pool floor.
Checking the quality of scrubbing brushes is an equally important thing to do, as it will have a direct impact on the performance of the unit. Gone are the days when scrubbing brushes were limited to premium in-ground pool cleaners, as many brands now have these featured on cheaper models too.
High quality scrubbing brushes will work with the suction system and remove any dirt or algae present in your pool. Just keep in mind that though cheaper models now have scrubbing brushes, but they are usually single spinning brushes. For larger pools, you may want to invest in a unit with a dual brush system, but that is going to cost you more.
If you don’t buy a cleaner with a programmable timer, there is no point in buying one, as it is never going to make your life easier. With a programmable timer, you don’t have to go out every time you want to turn it on.
Top quality robotic cleaners have programmable timers that allow you to set everything and then forget about turning the cleaner on. Just be sure to empty the bag and clean it once in a while to keep your automatic cleaner work efficiently.
In addition to these features, you may want to buy a robotic cleaner with power washing jets that help in case your pool has fine silt, dirt particles and sand. Similarly, a unit with a good filtration system is going to perform better, so you should opt for the one with a lower micron value. And finally, ensure that you put your money on a durable robotic pool cleaner, which is energy efficient as well.
The fact of the matter is that a robotic pool cleaner is an extremely good choice for inground pools, but you need to consider the size and type of your pool and have a good idea about your budget to buy the best quality cleaner. So, go ahead, compare the models mentioned here, and pick the one that fits the bill perfectly!