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Best Robotic Pool Cleaner: Top Picks for 2023

Are you looking For a Robot Pool Cleaner For Your Inground or Above Ground Pool?

You’ve come to the right place!

On this page, I review the best robotic pool cleaners of 2023 for every budget, need, and type of pool.

To make it on our list, a robotic pool cleaner must earn a rating from our team of 4 stars or more.

I hope this short list saves you time and money.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment for me below!

John Davis

What’s on This Page

In this guide, I first introduce my top 3 picks for three different budgets. These are proven performers that continue to be top sellers in US pool stores and online.

After that, I’ll review the best robot pool cleaners sold right now – one at a time.

Then, I’ll finish up with an explanation of the features you should consider when buying a robotic pool cleaner.

Two Top-Rated Robotic Pool Cleaners We Like in 2023

My team and I have reviewed over 40 robotic pool cleaners during the past few years.

In my opinion, the following 2 robot pool cleaners continue to impress us with their reliability, user-friendly design, and value.

These are the models I recommend to my friends and family.

NOTE: For other kinds of automatic pool cleaners, see my guide to the best automatic pool cleaners sold today. In it, I review the best side pressure and suction pool cleaners in addition to robot pool cleaners.

Top Pick $500-$1,000: Dolphin Triton series

Dolphin 99996356 Dolphin Triton Robotic Pool Cleaner with Caddy Swivel Cable, 60-Feet


  • For in-ground pools
  • Cleans floors, walls & steps
  • Cleans in 3 hours
  • Optional remote w/ touch-guided operation
  • Optional spring cleaning filter
  • Swivel cable prevents tangling
  • Includes transport caddy
  • Great 24 mo. Warranty

Top Pick Over $1,000: Polaris 9550

Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner


  • For in-ground pools up 50 ft
  • Cleans pool floor, walls, and tile line
  • 7-day programmable timer
  • Oversized intake for large debris
  • Four-wheel drive + water jets
  • Large canister with a full-bin alert
  • Auto-lift system
  • Includes transport caddy

Best Robotic Pool Cleaners 2023: Comparison Table

The following table summarizes the key differences among the best robot pool cleaners we have reviewed to date:

Disclaimer: All links below go to Amazon.com

CLEANERAward: Pool Type:Weight: Hose Length: Cleaning Cycle:Warranty
Hayward 2025ADC
robotic pool cleaner
Best For Concrete PoolsIn Ground residential pools
17.96 pounds 40 feetNot Specified1 year on parts
best robotic pool cleaners
Best for In-Ground Pools In Ground pools
16.5 pounds50 feet2 hours
2 years limited warranty
pool robot
Best for All Pool Types
All14 pounds33 feet 2 hours
24 months limited warranty
Polaris 9450 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner
above ground pool vacuum robot
Best for Quick CleaningIn Ground Pools
43.6 pounds60 feet 1.5 hours
2 Years limited warranty
DOLPHIN Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner
best pool cleaner
Best for Large Swimming Pools All36.8 pounds 60 feet 3 hours
3 Years Warranty Coverage
Instapark Betta
best pool vacuum robot
Best Solar Powered Pool CleanerAll36.8 pounds No cable or hoseNot Specified 1 year limited manufacturer warranty
Hayward W3RC9740CUB Robotic Pool Cleaner
above ground robotic pool cleaner
Best for Deep CleaningIn Ground Pools
44.6 pounds60 feet2 hours2-year warranty coverage
Hayward W32025ADC Suction Pool Cleaner
best automatic pool cleaner
Best for Powerful SuctionIn Ground Pools
18 pounds40 feet 3 to 4 hours1-year warranty coverage
Hayward W3500 Aquabug
best inground pool cleaner
Best for Scheduled Cleaning Above the Ground Pool
17.36 pounds32 feet4 to 6 hours1-year warranty
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus
pool robot
Best Value for moneyall types of pools
19 pounds50 feet 2 hours
30 months limited warranty

Best Robotic Pool Cleaners 2023: 14 Top Models Reviewed

If you still aren’t sure which cleaner is right for you, then check out the following top-rated robotic pool cleaners sold on Amazon and other retailers online.

You should definitely find what you need with one of these.

1. Best Robotic Pool Cleaner for Large Pools: Polaris F9550 Sport

Polaris F9550 suction side pool cleaner

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The Polaris F9550 is one of the most powerful robot pool cleaners sold today, and one of our top 3 picks for in-ground pools of any size.

It is especially suitable for large in-ground pools up to 60 feet long.

The F9550 boasts a 4-wheel drive system combined with water jets that help it effortlessly move it up and down stairs and stick firmly to vertical surfaces and walls.

The AquaTrax tires provide a strong grip on any type of pool surface, while the Polaris ActivMotion Sensor technology helps the pool cleaner to clean any pool shape efficiently, without getting stuck.

When it comes to cleaning effectiveness, the F9550 does an exceptional job, relying on two features:

  • Oscillating brushes that scrub stubborn dirt and debris off the pool floor and walls.
  • Vortex vacuum technology that picks up larger debris without losing suction on any kind of surface.

With respect to features, the F9550 features a 7-day programmable timer and a cleaning surface selector that lets you choose between the bottom, bottom and sides or waterline only.

You can also select the shape of your pool (rectangular or freeform) and cleaning level (intensive or high intensity) to optimize cleaning performance.

For more targeted cleaning, use the included remote control to pilot the cleaner to exactly where you want.

The remote control also features an Easy Lift System button that brings the pool cleaner to the surface for easier lifting.

Finally, we love the full filter indicator, which lets you know when the rather large debris bin is ready to be emptied. This is one of the upgrades Polaris added over its earlier model, the Polaris 9450 (which is still sold today and is significantly lighter).


  • Includes caddy
  • Excellent cleaning performance
  • Does not fall from sides or stairs
  • Works in all pool types regardless of shape or type of surface
  • Targeted cleaning options
  • The remote control works well
  • Weekly programmable timer
  • Full bin indicator


  • Pricey
  • A bit heavy (the automatic lift system eliminates most of the hassle, though)

Read Our Review


2. Most Affordable for Inground Pools: Dolphin Nautilus CC

best pool cleaner robot

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If you want a powerful in-ground pool cleaner that doesn’t cost a ton of money, we recommend the Dolphin Nautilus CC robot pool cleaner.

The Nautilus CC cleaner has most of the features of pricier Dolphin pool cleaners including a smart navigation system and a weekly timer.

The main reason it costs less is that it’s designed to clean smaller in-ground pools up to 33 feet.

Using CleverClean navigation, Dolphin Nautilus CC scrubs, and vacuums your pool in just two hours. Debris is collected in a top-load filter basket that’s easy to remove and clean.

Note that the basket uses a fine filter that picks up large debris like leaves as well as smaller particles like sand and bugs. But if you struggle with fine silt and sand in your pool, we recommend buying the ultra-fine filter basket.

You can set a weekly timer and leave the robot in the pool to automatically clean on specific days. You can set the robot to clean daily, every other day or every three days.

The Dolphin Nautilus CC weighs just a bit over 13lbs, so you should have no problem handling it. A fast water release system ensures the robot is not too heavy with water when you lift it out of the pool.


  • Great price.
  • Smart navigation system.
  • Includes a scrubbing brush to get rid of stubborn dirt and algae.
  • Easy to remove and clean top load filter basket.
  • Includes a weekly timer.


  • No ultra-fine filter.
  • Not suitable for large pools.


3. Best Robot Vacuum for Inground Pools: Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

best robot pool cleaner

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If you have an in-ground pool bigger than 33ft, we recommend the Nautilus CC Plus, the more powerful sibling to Nautilus CC.

The Nautilus CC Plus can clean bigger pools up to 50 feet. It has the same CleverClean navigation system as the Nautilus CC, which makes for fast, thorough and efficient cleaning. The Nautilus CC Plus will clean your pool in just 2 hours.

To give your pool a good scrubbing, the Nautilus CC Plus robot has dual brushes that make quick work of algae and stubborn grime on the pool walls and floor.

Another advantage of upgrading to the Nautilus CC Plus is that you get two sets of filters: fine and ultra-fine. These pick up every type and size of debris ranging from leaves and algae to fine sand and silt.

The filter cartridges are top load, so it easy to remove and hose them clean.

You also get a standard weekly scheduler that allows you to program automatic pool cleaning daily, every other day or every three days.

The Nautilus CC Plus is a few pounds heavier (it weighs 19lbs) than the Nautilus CC. Elderly users and people with a disability may have a bit of trouble handling it.


  •  Powerful robotic cleaner for in-ground pools.
  • Anti-tangle swivel cable.
  • Fine and ultrafine filters.
  • Dual scrubbing brushes.
  • Weekly scheduler.


  • A bit heavy.
  • Not suitable for budget shoppers.


4. Most Powerful Robotic Pool Cleaner for Residential Pools: Dolphin Premier

Dolphin Premier

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The Dolphin Premier is one of the most full-featured and capable pool cleaners ever released by Maytronics. It is also considerably more expensive than the Nautilus CC and Nautilus CC Plus.

On the other hand, it also offers more power, more features, and more thorough cleaning.

The Dolphin Premiere uses the same CleverClean scanning system available in the other two pool cleaners. It provides smarter navigation around the pool instead of a random cleaning pattern.

The Premiere also uses the same dual filtration system to capture everything from the tiniest bits of sand and algae to large sand particles and leaves.

Unlike the Nautilus, however, the Dolphin premier offers four kinds of filtration media – from a micro-filter for fine debris to a bag for leaves and twigs. So if your pool sits under trees or you live in a dusty environment, this option will definitely make a difference. Just m and match the filters depending on your pool situation and season.

Dual scrubbing brushes remove stubborn dirt and biologicals from walls and floor, while the powerful vacuum picks up even the largest of debris.

A few other things we love in the Dolphin Premier are the excellent weekly timer, a full filter indicator, and the optional remote control.


  • A same proven cleaning system as the Dolphin Nautilus: treads, dual brushes, strong vacuum, etc.
  • Intelligent navigation with a short cleaning cycle
  • Advanced features: weekly timer, remote control, and filter-full indicator
  • Four types of filter media clean a wider range of debris
  • Excellent cleaning performance


  • Included instructions are not the best
  • This unit is heavy


Read Our Review


5. Best Smartphone-Connected Robotic Pool Cleaner: Dolphin Sigma

DOLPHIN Sigma Robotic Pool Cleaner with Bluetooth and Massive Top-Load Cartridge Filters, Ideal for Pools up to 50 Feet.

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As it is one of the most expensive and largest-capacity Dolphin robotic pool cleaners ever made, we had big expectations for the new Dolphin Sigma.

Is it worth the price tag? Yes, we think so – especially if you own a large (50 ft+) in-ground pool.

What makes a difference are the triple motors that deliver more power while saving energy. Sigma can handle walls and floor of any size or shape without a problem. It also works great on all types of pool surfaces.

The SmartNav 3.0 Gyroscopic Navigation provides nearly 100% coverage in less time than other pool cleaners. If that is, the other cleaners could clean pools as large as this one can.

The Dolphin Sigma also employs another trick to improve navigation: independent track drive.

An independent track drive works as tank tracks do. When the cleaner needs to turn in place, tracks move in opposite directions. This makes tight turns possible and helps the cleaner navigate around obstacles and clean tight corners where other pool cleaners struggle.

That said, we are not in love with the Sigma smartphone/Bluetooth control. It is a nicely done app, but it feels like a gimmick. You can set a weekly timer, select a cleaning mode and navigate the pool cleaner with it, though – which is nice.

Unfortunately, in our opinion, Bluetooth is probably not the right choice for controlling pool cleaners – especially for larger pools and homes, which the Sigma is designed to handle. Bluetooth range is technically limited to 30 feet, which means you probably cannot direct it from your upstairs bedroom. 

Overall, however, the Sigma is one of the most capable pool cleaners you can buy and is a top choice for anyone with a really large in-ground pool.


  • Can handle extra-large in-ground pools
  • Powerful cleaning performance
  • Convenient Bluetooth control via an app
  • Smart navigation reduces cleaning times and saves energy
  • Independent tracks provide better coverage in tight corners


  • Expensive
  • Bluetooth app does not always work


Read Our Review


7. Best Wall-Cleaning Robotic Pool Cleaner: Dolphin Quantum

Dolphin Quantum review

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The Dolphin Quantum is a powerful tread-driven pool cleaner for large in-ground pools that provide excellent wall-cleaning capability due to its water jet drive.

The Dolphin Quantum does not have the wireless capability like the Sigma does, and the tracks do not turn independently.

But it has its own list of impressive features, most notably its Power Jet drive.

As the Quantum pool cleaner runs, it ejects powerful jets of water from three nozzles – similar to rocket thrust.

The Jets push the Quantum against the surface of your pool which helps it maintain a strong grip when moving up a wall. Thanks to the water jets, the Dolphin Quantum can move both vertically and laterally along the wall.  It does indeed clean walls better than other Dolphins.

The jets also help the Quantum more easily navigate over or around obstacles.

Like other Maytronics cleaners, the Dolphin Quantum uses dual brushes to scrub algae and debris off the pool surface. The high RPM brushes can remove the most stubborn of grime stuck on the pool.

All debris is sucked into one of the largest filter cartridges of any robotic pool cleaner. This 400 square inch cartridge can hold more dirt and debris than most other pool cleaners, which means you will have to empty it less.  


  • Programmable weekly timer
  • Powerful, energy-efficient motors
  • Water jets provide best-in-class vertical wall cleaning
  • Huge filter cartridge means less frequent emptying


  • Pricey
  • Lacks swivel connector on the cord


Read Our Review


8. Best Above Ground Robotic Pool Cleaner: Dolphin Escape

Dolphin Escape Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner

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The Dolphin Escape is an above-ground pool cleaner that provides the energy efficiency, smart navigation and cleaning power of many larger in-ground pool cleaners – for way less money.

The Dolphin Escape is unlike the other Dolphins we have discusses so far in several ways.

First of all, the Escape is designed for above ground pools. And, it costs quite a bit less than the Nautilus, Triton, Quantum and Sigma series.

The motors are not as powerful as those others, and the cord is shorter.  There are also no water jets to press the Escape against the surface.

Unlike most other cleaners in its price range, the Escape is fitted with the Maytronic SmartNav 2.0 system that optimizes the cleaning patterns to provide complete coverage and waste less energy.

Dual active brushes (meaning they spin as the cleaner moves), scrub away at algae and debris stuck to the pool surface.

The Dolphin Escape works well on any type of pool surface thanks to the HyperGrip Continuous Tracks. The tracks also make it easy for the cleaner to climb over pool features and scale pool walls without slipping.

You will also appreciate how light the Dolphin Escape is, too – something that cannot be said for most pool cleaners. You will have a much easier time putting it into the pool and lifting it out.


  • Lightweight
  • Cleans leaves, sand and most other kinds of debris
  • Can climb walls (uncommon in above-ground cleaners)
  • Works in all types of above ground pools, including vinyl
  • Large filter cartridge


  • No ultra-fine filter included (can buy separately)
  • No swivel cord


Read Our Review


9. Best Value Dolphin Robotic Pool Cleaner: Dolphin Triton PS

best pool vacuum robot

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If you are looking for a good deal on a high-performance in-ground robotic pool cleaner, we recommend the Dolphin Triton PS.

It is not as crazy expensive as some Dolphin models, but it’ll leave your pool sparkling clean.

One reason the Triton PS is able to clean so well is its ability to reach every inch of your pool. It uses PowerStream technology to easily navigate along the floor, climb the walls and scrub the waterline.

PowerStream involves multidirectional jets of water that improve the robot’s navigation and keep it firmly planted on the pool’s surface.

The Triton PS cleaner also comes with two scrubbing brushes that attack algae, dirt and whatever other grime is stuck on the walls and floor.

Two sets of fine and ultra-fine filters capture all debris, including tiny particles of silt, sand and dust. The filter basket is accessible from the top, making it easy to empty and clean it.

The Triton PS comfortably handles standard size and larger pools up to 50 feet long.

You can set a weekly scheduler for automatic cleaning. And you don’t have to worry that the cleaner will get itself all tangled up when you are not around. It has an anti-tangle swivel cable.


  • Good value for money.
  • Cleans large pools up to 50ft.
  • Dual scrubbing brushes.
  • Comes with fine and ultra-fine filters.
  • Full pool coverage – floor, walls, and waterline.


  • No option to select cleaning cycles.
  • Struggles to clean curvy areas of the pool.

10. Fastest-Cleaning Inground Robotic Pool Cleaner: Dolphin Triton PS Plus

best robot pool cleaner

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If you are looking for a robotic pool cleaner that can get your pool clean in less than two hours, we recommend the Dolphin Triton PS Plus.

The Triton PS Plus cleaner has the same 2hr standard cleaning cycle as the Triton PS. In addition, it has a faster 1-hour cycle option that’s handy when you need to use your pool soon.

Another improvement from the Triton PS is WiFi connectivity. Once you link the Triton PS Plus to your home network, you can use the My Dolphin Plus app to remotely set an automatic cleaning schedule, select a cleaning cycle and navigate the cleaner manually for spot cleaning.

Other cleaning features are similar to the Triton PS. The PS Plus has the same PowerStream technology that improves navigation and mobility especially along the pool walls. You also get dual scrubbing brushes and a top-loading filter basket with the option of fine or ultra-fine filters.

Similar to the Triton PS, the PS Plus cleans in-ground pools up to 50 feet long.


  • Fast 1-hour cleaning cycle.
  • WiFi connectivity for remote app control.
  • Dual scrubbing brushes.
  • Comes with fine and ultra-fine filters.
  • Weekly scheduler.


  • Pricey.


11. Best Hayward Robotic Pool Cleaner: Hayward Tiger Shark QC

Hayward RC9990GR TigerShark QC Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner with Quick Clean Technology

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The Hayward Tiger Shark QC is a proven, excellent robot pool cleaner designed for large in-ground pools of up to 20 by 40 feet.

Dolphin models are by far the most popular robotic pool cleaners sold today – and as you can tell already, there are a lot to choose from.

But there are other great brands, too.  We really like Hayward pool cleaners, specifically the Tiger Shark Quick Clean (QC).

One of the best features of the Tiger Shark is its flexible cleaning modes. It can clean at two different speeds, depending on how dirty your pool is and how soon you want to use it.

If you want a thorough clean, select the full 3-hour cleaning cycle. If you are readying the pool fora home party or an afternoon swim, the cleaner also offers a quick cycle that lasts 90 minutes.

The Tiger Shark QC cleans really well, too (on thorough mode). It is not as good as higher-end Dolphin models, but it does a great job removing most of the debris and algae from the pool.

The Tiger Shark QC also cleans walls, floors, coves and up to the waterline, although it struggles a bit on stairs and walls depending on the surface type.

Overall, however, it does an excellent job for the price.


  • Convenient quick clean cycle
  • Cleans most areas of the pool very well
  • The filter cartridge is easy to remove and clean


  • It is a bit heavy
  • Struggles on walls and stairs at times


Read Our Review


12. Best Warranty: Hayward Tigershark (Plus & Standard)

Hayward RC9955 TigerShark Plus Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner with Remote Control

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The TigerShark Plus adds a longer warranty plus a remote control to their Standard TigerShark… for significantly more money.

Both the Standard and Plus Tiger Shark robot pool cleaners come with the same powerful vacuum suction powered by a 24V DC motor, full pool coverage including walls and cove and a patented filter cartridge that is super easy to remove and clean.

The addition of a remote control increases the price of the TigerShark by quite a bit, so if you think you can do without remote control, we recommend the Standard model.

On the other hand, the Plus model carries a longer 3-year warranty and is an excellent performer.


  • Pricey
  • Three-year warranty
  • Excellent cleaning performance. Removes almost all debris including sediment, sand, and leaves
  • Includes remote control with manual navigation buttons
  • Easy to clean filter cartridge


  • The remote control is not worth the price
  • No quick clean cycle

13. Best Kreepy Krauly: Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830

Pentair 360032 Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 Robotic Inground Pool Cleaner with 60 Foot Cord

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The Kreepy Krauly name is more commonly associated with basic automatic pool cleaners. But Pentair now makes a robotic Kreepy Krauly as well.

The Kreepy Krauly 830 is in the same price range as high-end Dolphin models and does an equally good job cleaning larger in-ground pools.

Using two scrubbing brushes and powerful suction, the Kreepy Krauly picks up all kind of debris from algae and grime stuck on the walls to leaves and twigs floating in the water.

The Kreepy Krauly moves on treads rather than wheels, so it has no problem climbing walls and cleaning stairs. It does not get stuck on the drain, either.

If it gets stuck in a corner, an auto-reverse feature ensures the 830 can rescue itself easily.

This is a hands-off automatic pool cleaner – just set the timer and leave it in your pool to clean.

The downside?

At 45 lbs, it is easily one of the heaviest robotic pool cleaners sold.

Luckily, it comes with a transport caddy for moving it to and from storage (if only it also lifted the cleaner from the pool).

But you do not have to remove it out of the pool every time it cleans.

If you are busy, just leave it in and use the included remote control to set up a weekly schedule. It will clean automatically at the set times even if you are not home.


  • Excellent cleaning performance
  • Easy mobility. Swivel cable, strongly gripping treads and auto-reverse ensure it never gets stuck
  • Includes remote control with a weekly timer
  • Free transport caddy included


  • Pricey
  • Very heavy


Read Our Review


14. Best Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner: PAXCESS Cordless Automatic Pool Cleaner

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Pool companies prefer making corded robotic pool cleaners because they don’t have to worry about battery life and protecting the battery and other sensitive electronics from water.

So while so many other home tools and equipment have cordless battery-powered options, robot pool cleaners have remained stuck in the corded age…until now. 

PAXCESS is one of the first cordless robotic pool cleaners to hit the market. Instead of plugging into a GFCI outlet, it has an internal 5000mAh rechargeable battery. The battery provided up to 90 minutes of cleaning time, which should be enough to clean above ground and standard size in-ground swimming pools.

When the battery is almost empty, the cleaner will automatically stop alongside the pool side, then you can pull it up using the floating handle.

For safety, the PAXCESS cleaner has an IPX8 water protection rating, the highest possible. Just make sure your pool is not deeper than 6.6ft.

As for cleaning performance, the PAXCESS robotic cleaner does a great job. It has a brush to attack algae and dirt on the pool bottom. Powerful suction picks up debris and traps it in a filter tray.

The filter captures most debris, except extra-fine particles of sand, dust, and algae.

Perhaps to save power, the PAXCESS robotic cleaner is not motor-driven. Instead, it uses the force of water to propel itself. Water passes through a nozzle, pushing the cleaner forward. You can adjust the angle of the nozzle depending on your pool shape to get better coverage.

Without a motor to drive it, the PAXCESS cleaner cannot climb walls. That’s why we recommend it mostly for above ground pools. But it can handle slopes up to 15 degrees steep.

The price is not too bad. The PAXCESS cleaner is in the same price range as other above-ground robotic pool cleaners.


  • Cordless – no hoses or cords to set up.
  • No tangling cords to deal with.
  • Long battery life.
  • Good cleaning performance.
  • Fair price.


  • Takes a long to recharge (4-6 hours).
  • Doesn’t clean walls.
  • No weekly scheduler.
  • Doesn’t filter fine debris.


How We Rate Robotic Pool Cleaners4 and a half stars

We look at four main criteria to assign our 5-star rating to each robotic pool cleaner.

The final star rating is the unweighted average of the following four scores:

1. Value: for the price, how does this pool cleaner compare with competitors on features, cleaning ability, and maintenance costs?

2. Wall Cleaning: how well does this pool cleaner clean hard-to-reach vertical & other surfaces?

3. Energy Efficiency: how much does it cost to run the pool cleaner each month?

4. Floor Cleaning: how well does this robotic cleaner pick up all sizes of debris – including fine particles like algae, sand and grit?

Things to Know Before You Buy

Selecting a robotic pool cleaner is easy, once you know the key features to look for.

Does It Scrub Walls?

SmartPool Smart Kleen Universal Robotic Swimming Pool Cleaner - NC22

Most robotic pool cleaners clean every square inch of the pool floor with whirling brushes and vacuum loose debris.

But only a few pool cleaners are good at removing algae and other contaminants from vertical surfaces like walls, steps, and stairs.

Use our Wall Cleaning Rating to get a general idea of how well each cleaner performs on this important job.

Check The Energy Efficiency

Sadly, millions of older style pool cleaners are in use, and some are still available to buy.

These older models can consume over 1,000 watts, which is far more than newer low-voltage units.

The latest robotic pool cleaners feature energy-efficient 24-volt DC motors that consume 80% less energy per hour of cleaning than their AC forerunners.

In fact, the latest robotic cleaners only cost about 5 cents per hour to run because they operate on just 100-200 watts – about the same as a single light bulb!

Use our Energy Efficiency Rating to understand how much money you can save each year.

Watch Out For Twisted Cables

tangled hose

Twisted cables are the most frustrating aspect of owning an automatic pool cleaner.

Tangles impair the cleaning function by not letting the device reach every nook and cranny of the pool. Make sure you buy a unit with an underwater cable swivel to avoid this problem.

Get a Multi-Year Warranty

Getting a robotic pool cleaner repaired is not cheap.

You will eventually have to replace a motor, and the cost can be a real eye-opener – some replacement motors cost almost as much as a new cleaner.

There are two ways to minimize this risk:

1. Look for models with a replacement motor that costs less than $500.

2. Buy a pool cleaner with a 24-month non-prorated warranty or better. Some of the more expensive models carry a 3-year non-prorated warranty.

Upgrades That Will Save You Money

The best pool cleaners are not cheap.

That said, there are times when you need to consider loosening your grip on the almighty dollar.

Here are three important features that are worth the additional expense.

1. Cable Swivel

Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner with Powerful Dual Scrubbing Brushes and Multiple Filter Options, Ideal for In-ground Swimming Pools up to 50 Feet.

Robotic cleaners turn and twist their cables all the time and sometimes climb vertical walls. This complex unattended movement can easily tangle the power cord unless a 360-degree swivel is in place.

While a no-tangle cable swivel is absolutely recommended, be aware that a cable swivel will eliminate most tangles, but not all of them.

2. Intelligent Navigation

Older pump-driven and suction cleaners may cost less up-front, but they use random walk navigation. This means they wander around the pool randomly. In addition, they operate during a fixed timeframe every day, whether or not your pool needs cleaning.

Random movement and fixed timeframes mean the cleaning process will be spotty and inefficient, wasting energy and adding unnecessary wear-and-tear on your unit.

The best new robotic pool cleaners such as the Dolphin Nautilus and Dolphin Triton uses Intelligent Navigation, which relies on more sophisticated software and location monitoring to compute an optimized pattern for cleaning your pool and keep track of where the device has already been.

Intelligent Navigation makes robotic pool cleaners far more energy-efficient than other kinds of automatic pool cleaners and requires less time to clean your pool.

3. Programmable Timer

In addition to navigation, the ability to program when and how frequently your cleaner operates is important.

We prefer units with Adjustable/Variable Timers. Variable timers let you run your cleaning cycle as needed – every two days, daily, or every week. This saves on utilities and wear-and-tear. It is just a smarter way to clean that will save energy over time.

4. Adjustable Filter Media

Selecting the right filter media is a tough decision if the unit only accepts one filter at a time. Traditionally pool cleaner buyers have had to choose between a tote or cartridge-based system.

However, some of the newer robotic pool cleaners no longer force you to make this trade -off.

For example, Maytronics cleaners make it easy to swap filter media. And the best Hayward pool cleaners like the Hayward Tiger Shark use reinforced cartridge filters that are easy to clean and swap.

Media flexibility is important because as the season’s change, your filtering needs to change. To pick up bigger debris and tree leaves, make use of the coarse filter or a bag. To clean your pool from an algae rash or pollen, pop in a fine mesh cartridge.

Energy-Saving Features

If low running costs are high on your priority list, then consider the following energy-saving features when choosing your next swimming pool cleaner. In all of our product reviews, we assign an Energy Efficiency Rating to give you an idea of how our robotic pool cleaner picks compare on this important feature.

1. Contact Adhesive Drive

Look for robotic pool cleaners with rubber tracks that have a big sticky contact patch on them. These adhere to vertical pool surfaces better than plastic tracks and wheels.

Your cleaner will spend less time cleaning with a contact adhesive drive because this design minimizes slippage on horizontal surfaces.

Our Floor Cleaning Rating covers this aspect of pool cleaning.

2. Intelligent Navigation

When your pool cleaning route is controlled by intelligent navigation software, it takes less time to clean your pool and reduces energy consumption.

3. Variable Timer

With a variable timer installed, your pool cleaner will only turn on when needed – not every day, which is the default for cheaper cleaners.

This single feature can triple your energy efficiency!

NOTE: Many cleaners come with only a day-to-day timer and do not let you set times.

What is a Robotic Pool Cleaner?

A robotic pool cleaner is a self-contained machine that cleans a swimming pool automatically using 12V DC power fed from a wall power supply and an AC/DC converter.

By automatically I mean that you do not have to do anything. Just put the pool cleaner in the water, press a button on the power unit and the cleaner propels itself around the floor and sometimes up the wall.

By self-contained, I mean that it has everything it needs to move and clean within it. In contrast, traditional suction-side and pressure-side pool cleaners rely on your pool pump and filter (for the suction-side cleaner) to clean.

In addition, suction and pressure cleaners agitate dirt but do not filter it. The pool pump must also be on for them to work.

In contrast, robotic pool cleaners use high-pressure jets and scrubbing brushes to agitate debris, a suction system to vacuum the debris, and internal mesh filters to capture the debris and remove it from the water.

Different robotic pool cleaners vary in capability depending on the price.

Less expensive ones are usually for above-ground pools. They clean the floor and part of the wall.

More expensive robotic pool cleaners are designed for large in-ground pools with steps and complex surfaces. They can scrub the floor, go up the wall to the waterline and even clean the steps.

The Inside of a Robotic Pool Cleaner

How Robotic Pool Cleaners Work

Mobility methods differ among the leading robot pool cleaners.

Most use a motor to drive wheels or treads. Others use a jet propulsion system where jets of water push the pool cleaner forward.

Some use both types, in which a motor pushes wheels while jets of water provide a powerful thrust downwards, increasing the grip of the pool cleaner, especially when moving vertically on the wall.

But how does a robot cleaner know where to clean?

Well, the truth is that cheaper robotic pool cleaners do not. They move randomly for 2 or 3 hours then shut down, hopefully having covered most of the pool.

Spend a bit more money, and you can get a robotic pool cleaner with smart mapping and navigation that will map out pool surfaces and optimize its cleaning pattern to ensure 100% coverage in the shortest time.

As for cleaning, most robotic pool cleaners combine scrubbing brushes that agitate debris stuck on the pool surface with a vacuum system to pull the debris-containing water through the filters.

The dirt is trapped in a filter bag or cartridge that you remove later when the robot cleaner is done.

Lower Energy and Maintenance Costs

Because they are not connected to your pool water pump, robotic pool cleaners generate no additional back pressure on your pool system, unlike a pressure or a suction-based cleaner.

This means you avoid the need to add a booster pump or install new plumbing, which saves in up-front costs.

Maintenance costs are better-managed due to the use of intelligent and efficient cleaning algorithms that prevent the over-use of the device.

Excellent Filtration

Every robotic pool cleaner relies on an efficient pool filter that is easy to clean.

Many pool robots come with extremely efficient filters.

A fine mesh down to 2 microns is not uncommon, and this fine of a filter can catch even the finest particles.

What are the Main Benefits of Using Robotic Pool Cleaners?

  • Robot cleaners save you the trouble of cleaning your pool manually.
  • Robotic pool cleaners minimize the use of chemicals, making for a healthier pool – and saving you money.
  • Robot cleaners inhibit the growth of algae in the pool, especially during winter.
  • Lowers pool maintenance and utility costs, because you do not have to use the pool pump and filter as often.


10 Great Reasons to Buy a Robotic Pool Cleaner

Robotic pool cleaners are one of the most popular upgrades for pool owners, for lots of good reasons.

Here are 10 awesome reasons why buying a robotic pool cleaner is worth the investment:

1. Maintenance-friendly
2. Lower running costs
3. Less chemical usage
4. Climb and scrub walls, too
5. Extremely efficient cleaning
6. Super-simple installation
7. Lower noise level
8. No pump or pump upgrade is needed
9. Hands-off cleaning: just drop it in the water and walk away
10. Great product warranties


Learn More About Robotic Pool Cleaners

To simplify your shopping, we provide more information on this website including:

Side-by-side comparisons of the Top 10 Robotic Pool Cleaners, organized by budget.

Robot Pool Cleaner Buying Guides for In-ground Pools and Above Ground Pools.

Good luck shopping!



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