Published on March 13th, 2018 | by Roger Corbinetti


Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen Robotic Pool Cleaner Review Roger Corbinetti


Wall Cleaning
Energy Efficiency
Floor Cleaning

Summary: Cleans the floor of your pool remarkably well in 2 hours. Totally plug and play and easy to live with. Not good for walls and stairs.


Great floor cleaner!

Price: Check on Amazon

  • For above ground pools and smaller inground pools
  • Direct drive motor
  • Smart navigation
  • Quick drain feature
  • 2 hour cycle with auto-shutoff
  • Works on any pool surface


For less than $400 (most robotic pool cleaner costs over $600), the SmartPool SmartClean roboti pool cleaner does a great job cleaning your pool. It’s really easy to use, requires no setup (it’s plug and play) and maintenance is a breeze.

While it lacks the more advanced features of other pricier brands, it has all the practical ones you need to keep your pool clean. They include an extra-large filter bag, a quick drain system, intelligent navigation and a lightweight design.

Overall, this is one of the best robotic pool cleaners you can buy in the $300-$500 price range. It is affordable without sacrificing cleaning efficiency.

See other great robotic pool cleaners we have reviewed or compared the latest pool robots for 2018.

Keep reading for our full review of the SmartKleen NC22.

Cleaning Ability

The SmartKleen NC22 is mostly for above ground pools but can also be used with small in-ground pools up to 28’ long, 14’ wide and 6’ deep.

This unit does not provide full pool coverage, however. It only cleans the lower part of the walls and will not scrub the stairs. But that’s to be expected at this price range.

This is a floor cleaner – and a very good one at that. It scrubs everything off the floor and up part of the wall and then vacuums it up. An integrated filter captures every kind of debris.

A lot of customers have been surprised at what they find in the filter bag. There is algae, sediment, sand, dead insects, large leaves, acorns and even small twigs.

As one customer put it, “Buy this and fire your pool guy.” It’s that good.

If your pool is surrounded by trees and leaves, keep falling into the pool, get the SmartKleen. It’s also great if you struggle a lot with sand and dust blowing into your pool.

Features We Like

1. Direct Drive Motor

SmartKleen uses a direct drive motor system. This has several advantages.

  • It greatly increases performance. The wheels have more traction, which reduces energy-wasting slips and allows easy navigation over obstacles.
  • It increases vacuuming power. The cleaner can vacuum and filter more debris in a shorter time.
  • It reduces the number of moving parts. This means fewer breakdowns and easier maintenance.
  • It results in a longer lasting machine with very low maintenance costs.

2. Oversized Filter Bag

I prefer filter cartridges as they are easier to remove, clean and put back into a robot pool cleaner. But having a filter bag is a small sacrifice to make when you are getting a great bargain. Most customers don’t mind the SmartKleen’s filter bag.

It’s big meaning it can collect more debris. You don’t need to pause the cleaner halfway to empty the debris no matter how dirty your pool is.

The filter bag captures all debris sizes from the smallest ones (algae, sediment, and sand) to the big ones (acorns, leaves, rocks, and insects).

Though it has bottom-access, it takes no more than a few seconds to remove the filter bag. The lightweight design of the robot cleaner makes this process even easier.

3. Smart Navigation

At this price range, I did not expect any smart mapping and navigation feature. So it’s no surprise that the SmartKleen doesn’t have one.

What it has is a smart navigation technology that eliminates the need to change direction using walls (like most basic robot cleaners). It can turn itself around at any point on the pool floor.

This allows it to cover every inch of the pool floor and reduces energy wastage. It also gives the SmartKleen a faster cleaning cycle.

4. Quick Drain System

The robot cleaner itself is fairly light at just 18lbs dry weight. But dry weight doesn’t matter much when you are trying to heft a cleaner full of water from the pool.

So the engineers at Smartpool added a quick drain system. Immediately you lift the SmartKleen out of the pool; water rapidly drains from the back. This makes it much easier to lift up the cleaner and empty it.


  • Lightweight design.
  • The direct drive motor for increased navigation and vacuuming performance.
  • Quick drain system that makes it easy to lift the cleaner out of the pool.
  • Large filter bag.


  • Bottom-access filter through it’s not that big of a deal.
  • No timer, which is not a surprise considering the price tag. But it has a 2-hour auto shutoff.


  • For above ground pools and small inground pools
  • 2-hour auto shutoff
  • Direct drive motor
  • 18lbs dry weight
  • 40’ cable
  • 2-year limited warranty


Compared to some other pricier robotic pool cleaners, I’d say the SmartKleen NC22 provides you with the best value for your money.

Sure it doesn’t have a timer, pool scanning algorithms and it cannot climb walls or clean the stairs. But for above ground pool owners, it has all the features that matter. The quality of cleaning is the same as a $700 above ground pool cleaner.

The Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen pool cleaner performs remarkably well for less money and in just 2 hours.


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