Best Robotic Pool Cleaner

Robotic Pool Cleaner Underwater

One of the biggest hassles of having an in-ground or above-ground pool to enjoy is keeping it ready to use and clean all season long. However, technology is a beautiful thing, and the best robotic pool cleaner can help make this task a breeze. You'll be able to spend more time enjoying your pool and less time worrying about cleaning it.

If you're not sure what to look for with your system, my buyer's guide will give you important points to consider. I've also rounded up the top five to give you an idea where to start looking, and they are:

Above Ground Pool Buying Guide

​Buying a cleaner can be an expensive investment, and you want to make sure that you're getting the best robotic pool cleaner possible for your money. You can do this by ensuring that it meets a few critical points.

Pool considerations

Location

Many of these machines are designed to work in in-ground pool systems, and so are not ideal for an above-ground pool. They could actually damage the pool lining, so it's a good idea to double check that your choice will work with your specific type of pool.

Size

One main key to getting the most use out of your new tool is the cable length. These are usually fixed, and if it isn't long enough, you may find that there are areas or corners that are left dirty. Your power supply should be at least 10 feet from your edge and don't forget to consider the depth when factoring in your cord length either.

Surface

Although what your surface is made out of may seem like a non-issue, it's still an important consideration. If there is a very slippery surface, such as fiberglass, you will need to ensure that you have a soft brush with super gripping capabilities to hang on.

Pool cleaner capabilities

What do you want your pool cleaner to do for you? A lot of these machines will only perform specific functions, and you want to ensure you purchase one that will reach all of the areas that you need it to clean quickly and efficiently.


Bottom, Sides, and Waterline

Some of the more powerful machines will go over your entire swimming area's interior surface from the bottom up to the waterline. They're usually equipped with brushes and jets to help them climb up the walls and get rid of any debris or build-up. They're also typically more expensive options due to their larger scope of cleaning capabilities.

Scrubbing

A scrubbing system is typically more expensive and used in larger in-ground pools. They typically use jets and brushes to scrub the bottom and walls of your swimming area. They're useful for really cleaning built-up debris like algae and leaving your pool area's bottom and walls debris-free.

Vacuuming

Some systems will only vacuum the bottom of your pool area, and they won't scrub it or work their way up the sides to the water line. You may find a specific model can only vacuum and has fixed brushes, but some also have rotating brushes as well.

Important robotic pool cleaner considerations

Once you've decided on what you want your particular system to do and which type of pool material and size you have, you want to consider the options that the setup itself can come with.


Additional Features

While this isn't necessarily something you have to have, some additional features can make life convenient. It may be useful to have a caddy, alternate power supplies, and timers that you can set so it will automatically scrub and vacuum on a timed schedule.

​Cable Tangling

As it moves about, it's prone to getting tangled in its own cable, and it can get stuck or stall. In recent years, the invention of a cable swivel has helped to solve this problem. This is usually physically found on the cable, and it can swivel from 280 degrees up to the full 360 degrees.

​Filtration

Your filtration system will help to determine how much debris gets taken out during a single cleaning session. You want as low as possible of microns as possible because not only will this help remove debris; it'll allow it to polish, purify, and disinfect the water. Aim for two microns or lower if possible to help get the clearest water.

​Jets

​If you find very fine dirt particles, sand, or silt, you may want to look for a model with jets. These jets can get into smaller spaces where fine particles tend to accumulate and vacuum them out.

​Suction

The suction power is typically abbreviated as GPM (Gallons per Minute), and this should give you a rough idea of how powerful your model is. I recommend that you stay at or above 70 gallons (265 liters, 466 pints) per minute to ensure that your specific model has adequate suction.


THE TOP FIVE BEST ROBOTIC POOL CLEANER REVIEWS

Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner

​First up on our list is Dolphin's system. This model comes with a revolutionary swivel system that allows for tangle-free operation. The cord can rotate up to 360 degrees, and the cable swivel ensures that it'll run without interference. You'll get dual scrubbing brushes to work on stubborn (scrub twice in same sentence) dirt or debris, which it will then vacuum away for a no-mess finished product.

This system comes with a three-year warranty, and has a commercial-grade DC motor which uses up to 87 percent less energy with every use. It comes with dual filtration options including filter cartridges or a filter bag. To continue working optimally the bag needs cleaning and emptying. This is an in-ground model only as it may be too harsh on above-ground liners.

Pros

  • You get the choice of two different filtration systems at no additional cost.
  • The cable can swivel up to 360 degrees for a no-tangle operation.

Cons

  • Customers commented that the setup instructions are vague, which can make it tricky to run (source).
  • Someone found that it needs a flat surface as it can't always climb stairs (source).

Dolphin Nautilus Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner

​This comes with a cartridge filter system that allows for easy cleaning, and has a convenient spring clean-up (?) option. The cable has a partial swivel system that allows easy movement around your pool and remain tangle-free. It cleans in just two and a half hours, and this includes scrubbing, vacuuming, and filtering the contents for clear water.

​You can also set a weekly timer for an automatic weekly clean. It has a sleek, compact design that comes with two sets of filter cartridges for both large and small debris catching capabilities. Use this model on in-ground pools only.

Pros

  • It can scrub up to a 50 foot (15.2 meters/ 17 yards) area in two and a half hours.
  • You can set an optional timer, so it cleans once a week on its own.

Cons

  • People noticed that this machine has a problem cleaning steps and it'll get stuck or leave them (source).
  • Customers who purchased this product commented on it's slightly heavier thank expected (source).

Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In Ground-Pool Cleaner

​This four-wheel drive system comes with Aqua-Trax tires that allow it to travel on all types of surfaces with ease. It comes with ActivMotion Sensor Technology that allows it to navigate around any area easily and quickly. It will also maintain suction while vacuuming up large debris thanks to its Vortex Vacuum Technology.

You get a seven-day programmable timer that allows you to set and forget about it, and a handheld remote so you can start/stop and change its direction at will. It also includes a convenient caddy for easy storage and movement when not in use. The large capacity filter chamber is easy to keep and maintain. It's a good idea to use this model on in-ground pools only so it doesn't damage anything.

Pros

  • This machine has Aqua-Trax tires to give it grip on a multitude of surfaces.
  • You can program this system up to seven days out to run on a timer

Cons

  • Some customers had a problem with this machine flipping over and getting stuck (source).
  • People also noticed that it tended to trip over the power cord and tangle (source).

Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above Ground Pool Cleaner

​You get a large 40 foot (12 meters, 1219 centimeters) cable and a reusable filter bag that is easy to rinse out and maintain. It can scrub and vacuum any round, oval or rectangular pool in under an hour as long as it has a flat surface to work with. It has an automatic shut off timer that goes off in two hours to help save energy.

The wheels on this setup are extra wide for better balance, and you get a 24-volt motor to power it around your area. The vacuum suction is powerful enough to filter 70 gallons (466 pints, 265 liters) a minute and it uses jet propulsion to drive it across the bottom of your pool area while it's in use. This system is good for both in-ground and above-ground pools.

Pros

  • You can use it on all types of liners including vinyl.
  • It's very user-friendly and ready to go (?get – not sure of benefit of this) out of the box.

Cons

  • Customers commented that this only works on the flat ground (source).
  • Some people complain about the cord tangling (source).

Aquabot Junior Automatic Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner

​This machine is designed to cling to, and scrub, in-ground swimming area bottoms and sides. You get extra long gripping brushes and very ultra-fine filtration systems for crystal clear water. It can remove dirt, debris, algae, sand, and silt quickly and easily. It can also save you electricity costs, of up by to 40 percent, every time it is used.

​It is entirely self-contained and very easy to use. There are no hoses or poles to worry about, and it has an internal pump, filtration system, and drive. You'll also like that this is a more lightweight system enabling a faster and hassle-free process. You should only use it with in-ground pools as it may damage liners.

Pros

  • Very lightweight and self-contained design.
  • It has an ultra-fine filtration system to pick up very small debris

Cons

  • Some complains about the angles cleaning (source).
  • People also commented on how difficult it was for the cleaner climbing the walls (source).

Conclusions

My pick for the best robotic pool cleaner is the Dolphin Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner. It has a no-tangle cord system that swivels up to 360 degrees, and you get a dual filtration system to filter out minuscule particles. It uses up to 87 percent less energy than some of the other options, and its internal software will scan the area for an even deeper clean. Finally, you get a three-year warranty that comes with a rapid repair option so you can have it back and working in a very short time.