A robotic pool cleaner has been a popular cleaning buddy of homeowners with a residential swimming pool. This self-directed machine acts as an automatic pool vacuum that cleans the swimming pool’s walls, steps and floor.
Many people prefer to use this pool cleaner because it is remarkably efficient and safe to use. It does not emit chemicals or generate a lot of heat that is why it is considered environmentally safe.
A robotic pool cleaner uses a superior cleaning technology that improves the overall cleanliness of the pool. Needless to say, it offers many benefits to homeowners.
However, if you want to buy the best robotic pool cleaner 2018, you might find it hard to choose the one that works best for you because there are many robotic pool cleaners on the market. Each brand offers a list of features and advantages.
This article can help you choose the right robotic pool cleaner according to your needs and budget. It is packed with honest reviews on the top 10 robotic pool cleaners, comprehensive buying guide and other important things you should know.
Top 10 Robotic Pool Cleaner Reviews
1. Dolphin Nautilus Plus – Best Selling Robotic Pool Cleaner
The Dolphin Nautilus Plus is a smart and easy-to-use robotic pool cleaner.
It comes with a convenient cartridge filter system that is easy to clean. Its patented swivel cable is made to prevent tangling.
This easy-to-maneuver pool cleaner is specifically designed for 50 feet long in-ground swimming pools.
When the machine is submerged, it uses the IntelliScan technology to take into account the whole shape and dimension of the pool. This way, it is able to provide easy and efficient cleaning.
This particular technology guarantees you of maximum cleaning coverage and accuracy. In just 3 hours, it is capable of doing the basic cleaning processes including scrubbing, filtering the water and vacuuming the floor.
This plug-and-play robotic pool cleaner has a suction rate of 4233 GPH. In order to separate coarser and fine debris, the machine has two different cartridge filters.
The coarser debris is sieved out with the use of a mesh screen, while the fine debris is filtered with a pleated polyester. You can easily clean the filter by simply unhooking the screen and spraying water through it.
The Dolphin Nautilus Plus has a list of advantages, however it comes with disadvantages as well. The pool cleaner is efficient but it cannot filter very fine debris.
It picks up fine algae but shoots it out the top. Another thing is it requires regular user intervention when climbing on 90-degree walls.
2. Polaris 9450 Sport – Excellent Pool Cleaner with Large Debris Tray
The Polaris F9450 Sport is a remote control robotic swimming pool cleaner that features Vortex Vacuum Technology.
With this, it is able to capture more debris load than other cleaners on the market.
It is suitable for heavy-duty cleaning because of its large filter canister. In fact, it has four times the capacity of other robotic pool cleaners available nowadays.
The machine comes with 4WD technology to be able to clean the walls and floor of the pool. It can scrub tile line with its pleated scrubbing brush. It is designed for pools of up to 50 feet.
Weighing 16 pounds, this robotic pool cleaner is considered lightweight. You can easily lift it in and out of the pool. Another thing you need to know about this machine is its 50-feet cord length.
Many homeowners love the Polaris 9450 Sport because it has 7-day programmable timer. The program allows you to fully customize the cleaning cycles.
With its ActivMotion Sensor, the machine can automatically sense its position and direction in the swimming pool. For optimized cleaning, it is able to adapt its path according to the size and shape of the pool.
Just like other robotic pool cleaners, it comes with some downsides. When using the remote, it may take some time to get used to it.
There are some owners who reported that sometimes the unit does not climb walls completely. And some commented on how expensive the robotic cleaner is compared to other brands on the market.
3. Aquabot Breeze XLS – Best Robotic Pool Cleaner for Algae
If you are looking for a robotic pool cleaner that works best for algae in both in-ground and above-ground pools, the Aquabot Breeze XLS is a wonderful choice to opt for.
Just like other reliable robotic pool cleaners on the market, it offers a list of features and advantages.
This automatic pool cleaner comes with two filter baskets on top which are easily accessible. This makes easier to empty the filters.
It provides thorough scrubbing with its fixed scrubbing brushes and power washing jets. The brushes get into small crevices to ensure deep cleaning around the pool.
When it comes to the cleaning times, the machine has separate 1 hour and 2 hours of timer settings. This means you can use it for cleaning both small and larger pools. You just have to set the timer and leave it.
On the other hand, the machine features a 60-feet long cable for smooth and deeper cleaning. Moreover, the Aquabot Breeze XLS has a power consumption of 150 watts. One of the primary features of the machine is its convenient power consumption.
Another interesting thing about this smart pool cleaner is that it goes beyond the traditional way of cleaning. It can clean up to 6,800 square feet of pool space every hour and filter up to 85 gallons water every minute.
The Aquabot Breeze XLS has some drawbacks just like other robotic pool cleaners on the market. It was marketed as having the ability to climb up inclines.
However, some customers complain that it does not climb steps. Aside from this, there are times when the machine gets stuck on curved surfaces.
4. Dolphin Premier – Robotic Pool Cleaner with Four Media Types
The Dolphin Premier is packed with the right features to make it a robotic pool cleaner that is worth your money.
It has a MultiMedia feature that allows you to choose from 4 different types of media: standard cartridges, disposable debris bags, oversized debris bag and micro-cartridges.
You can select the type of multimedia based on the debris you would like to be filtered.
Another feature of this robot is the set of HyperGrip rubber tracks specifically designed for maneuverability, agility and climbing performance.
The rubber track makes it easier for the machine to take control of the right direction, precise tracking and better control.
With this, it prevents slippage. Remember that slippage leads to poor performance and wasted energy, that is why you can save energy with this robotic pool cleaner.
On the other hand, the Dolphin Premier is able to calculate the optimal pattern for improved efficiency and faster cleaning with its SmartNav Robotic Scanning feature. It can sense drains and ladders while cleaning.
Another interesting thing about this product is its 3-year warranty. It is one of the longest warranty periods for this type of product on the market.
Moreover, the machine has an underwater maintenance-free cable swivel. With this feature, this robotic pool cleaner promises a tangle-free operation.
However, this product comes with a few downsides as well. There are customers who complain that the product is too expensive compared to other brands or units.
Some homeowners who have already used the machine say that it cannot entirely clean the pool stairs.
5. Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40i – Best Robotic Cleaner for Small Above-Ground Pools
If you have a small above-ground pool, the brand that is worth your attention is the Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40i.
By looking into the features and advantages of this robot, you might consider this as the right model for you.
The pool cleaner is specifically designed for your above-ground pool. However, you can use the robot for your in-ground pool too.
The Pool Rover S2-40i is able to filter 80 to 85 gallons of water every minute. It features top access to its filter media. For easy and convenient usage, it has 40′ kink free swivel cable.
The machine takes pride of its sleek design and capacity to allow maximum maneuvering through the pool surface.
When you purchase this pool cleaner, it includes a 40-foot floating power cable and a power supply and controller. Just like other robotic pool cleaners on the market, this machine has a plug and play operation.
Meanwhile, the Aquabot pool cleaner comes with some drawbacks. Some users say that the machine cannot fully climb walls and clean pool stairs. Some people complain that the user guide is a bit complicated to understand.
6. Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen – Budget Friendly Robotic Pool Cleaner (Under $300)
Weighing 18 pounds, the Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen is a smart, compact but tough robotic pool cleaner by SmartKleen.
The brand takes pride of the industrial lightweight design of the machine.
Its revolutionized robotic system allows for easy maneuver around the pool surface regardless of its size and shape.
This robot is designed to provide efficient vacuuming and scrubbing power.
Most of the people who have already used the product say that it offers exceptional value for money. It is suited for cleaning smaller in-ground and medium-sized above ground pools.
This smart machine is equipped with a built-in innovative technology in order to track and cover dirt spots by changing direction even without the aid of steps or walls.
Another thing you will enjoy about this product is that it saves you energy. After two hours of cleaning and scrubbing, it automatically shuts off.
Meanwhile, the dirt and debris after cleaning are trapped in the filter bag. If you want a good robotic pool cleaner at an affordable price, this is a suitable machine to rely on.
However, it also comes with some disadvantages. The product warranty period is only 1 year. There are robotic pool cleaners that offer 2 or 3 years of warranty.
Another thing is, the cord is cheap thin. There maybe times when the cord becomes tangled from top to bottom, making it hard for the machine to function properly. This also means it requires regular intervention from the homeowner.
7. Aquabot Pool Rover Junior – Best Robotic Cleaner for Fiberglass Pools
If you are looking for a robotic above-ground pool cleaner, the Aquabot Pool Rover Junior can be the one that suits your needs.
This robot features a 40-feet of floating cable. It also comes with a built-in 2-micron fine reusable filter bag.
Aside from this, the package includes a power supply transformer.
Another thing you need to know about this pool cleaner is that it can clean pools of any shape with its automatic robotic cleaner vacuums.
On the other hand, it has a 24-volt pump motor that allows for jet-drive propulsion and vacuum suction. With just a touch of a button you can operate the machine.
You can reduce waste of energy and money with this robotic pool cleaner because it has a 2-hour automatic timer.
It automatically shuts off after 2 hours of cleaning and scrubbing. Moreover, it is able to filter 70 gallons of water per minute. It works on surfaces like concrete, tile, fiberglass and vinyl.
The Aquabot Pool Rover Junior has a 180-watt of power consumption.
Meanwhile, it also has its downsides. The cord easily tangles, so you need to supervise the machine while it’s cleaning the pool. Also, it only has a 1 year warranty period unlike other robotic pool cleaners with longer warranty.
8. Dolphin Triton Plus – Easy to Use Advanced Robotic Cleaner
The Dolphin Triton Plus is considered as one of the most fully-featured pool cleaners in the Triton line.
The machine is equipped with the right features to provide a long list of benefits to its users.
One of the good things about this robotic pool cleaner is the dual drive motor and split brushes.
These two make it possible for the machine to provide better scrubbing performance and maneuverability.
With its dual drive motor, the robot can turn at 90 degrees for enhanced cleaning coverage.
On the other hand, it uses Easy-Fix modular components so that you can easily remove parts when needed or find replacement. There is no need to opt for professional services to do the job for you.
Also, the Dolphin Triton Plus has a full-bag indicator light which means you will be informed if the filter bag is already clogged or full.
When the light turns on, you need to stop the machine from working and clean the bag so that it can work again.
When you purchase the product, it comes with a basic remote control. With this remote, you can optimize the machine’s performance by adding more functions such as quick mode and touch navigation. Moreover, the machine has a default cleaning cycle of 2.5 hours.
Nonetheless, expect the machine to have some disadvantages. Yes the Dolphin Triton PLUS comes with a huge filter capacity, however it has a small filter surface area.
This means that the machine is prone to clogging. You may need to clean the filter after each run.
9. Hayward SharkVac XL – Best Robotic Pool Cleaner for Vinyl Pools
The Hayward SharkVac XL is marketed as one of the most energy-efficient cleaning solutions in the industry.
This robot features a Microprocessor-based technology to provide excellent and efficient cleaning pattern every time.
This robotic pool cleaner comes with beach entry and out-of-water sensors in order to protect the motor.
The Hayward SharkVac XL takes pride of its sleek, streamlined design. Another interesting thing about this model is its convenient top-access filter cartridges.
This machine works entirely as an automated cleaning system that can precisely calculate the size of the pool. With its advanced cleaning system, it is able to scrub the walls and floors of your pool with the ability to get rid of grime and dirt.
Weighing 21 pounds, this pool cleaner is easy to transport. When you purchase the machine, the package comes with 2 fine porosity filter elements.
Another thing is, this smart cleaner has a 3-hour cleaning cycle. It is specifically designed to clean different residential pool surfaces.
Moreover, the machine is simple and easy to clean. Many homeowners say that the product works as advertised.
If you want to clean it, you only have to open the top cover in order to reach the removable filter cartridge. With a garden hose, you can easily wash the filter. But of course, this machine has some drawbacks.
If you are looking for a very lightweight robotic pool cleaner, this unit is not for you. The machine itself is quite heavy compared to other models or brands on the market.
10. Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 – Super Quiet Automatic Pool Cleaner
With a weight of 45 pounds, the Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 is a computer-controlled pool cleaner that is able to vacuum and scrub the bottom of a swimming pool.
It can clean the steps and walls of the pool with its great features.
This robot comes with a wireless radio remote control system that allows two automatic cleaning options.
One is for the bottom and sides and a second for the pool bottom.
With a simple touch of a button, it will work by itself. There is no need for hoses, booster pump and other installation.
This robotic pool cleaner has a built-in timer that allows you to schedule specific cleanings.
Aside from this, it has an auto-reverse feature so that hang ups near steps and in corners can be prevented. It is specifically designed to vacuum all types of debris.
It is also powerful enough to remove algae. On the other hand, its full cartridge indicator warns you if the filter needs to be cleaned. Also, the machine can filter 4,233 gallons of water per hour.
Just like any other robotic pool cleaners you can find on the market these days, the Pentair pool cleaner has its disadvantages. The machine is quite heavy, that is why if you are looking for a lightweight pool cleaner, this is not the right choice for you.
And also, the cleaner requires attending because you need to clean the filter once it is already full.
How to Choose the Best Robotic Pool Cleaner
It takes the right knowledge to be able to choose the right robotic cleaner for your swimming pool. Take note of the following factors when you shop for it.
These are the important things to look for when buying for the best robotic pool cleaner.
1. Pool Type
Before you choose the right robotic cleaner, one of the first things you need to ask yourself is that if you have an above ground or in-ground.
This is because some robotic pool cleaners are specifically designed for above ground pools, while others work best on in-ground pools. However, there are machines that are designed to work on both.
2. Pool Size
If you have been reading our robotic pool cleaner reviews, you have probably come across of the fact that robotic pool cleaners can clean specific pool size.
The size of your pool is a crucial part of your decision making when you want to buy the best robotic pool cleaner.
Every commercial pool robotic cleaner has its specific maximum pool size capacity. It also comes with particular cord lengths. So when shopping for the best automatic pool cleaner, always take note of this factor.
Choose the best pool cleaner for a small pool if you own a small to medium-sized residential swimming pool. On the other hand, you can also find pool cleaners for large-sized pools. There is always a model or unit that suits your needs.
3. Pool Surface
When choosing the best robotic pool cleaner, it is also important to consider your pool surface. Make sure that you are aware of the type of pool surface you have at home. Keep in mind that some pool cleaners are designed to clean all types of surface.
However, there are those that might damage some surfaces such as tile or fiberglass. The most common surface types are tile, fiberglass, concrete and vinyl. Always choose a robotic pool cleaner that works best on your pool surface.
4. Wall Climbing Ability
If you really want to find the most top-rated robotic pool cleaner, another factor to consider when shopping is the wall climbing ability of the machine. Take note that it depends on the manufacturer’s design.
Some models can only clean the floors, which means you still need to manually brush the walls of your pool. On the other hand, some models are specifically built as wall climbers.
5. Cleaning Cycle
Another important factor to consider when buying the right robotic pool cleaner is the cleaning cycle of the machine. It should be noted that some pool cleaners have single cleaning cycles, while others feature multiple cleaning cycles.
The single cycle models can determine how many hours the machine will operate before shutting off automatically. On the other hand, multiple cycles models usually range from 3 to 8 hours.
When shopping for robotic pool cleaners, consider the filtration system of the unit. Commercial robotic pool cleaners come with internal filtration in order to collect debris and filter the pool water.
The filter in the unit will either be a cartridge or a bag. It usually depends on the brand.
Whether you choose the first or the latter, both of them need to be cleaned and can be reused. Both of them do their job efficiently.
Most of the people who have been using robotic pool cleaners say that a cleaner with a cartridge filter system is easier to clean.
If you are planning to shop for a robotic pool cleaner, it is important to note that cord length is an essential factor to consider. Some models have short cords, while others have longer cord length.
If your swimming pool is a bit far from the power outlet and if you have a large and deep pool, it is best to choose the ones with a 60-feet long cable or longer than this.
Models with longer cords have one major downside. They easily tangle. Pick a brand that guarantees tangle-free operation.
8. Size and Weight
Of course, when you buy a robotic pool cleaner it is essential to consider its size and weight. There are pool cleaners that are lightweight, while others are quite heavy.
Needless to say, lightweight and small pool cleaners are easier to carry and use. You can easily move them from one place to another.
If you have a small-sized pool, it is advisable for opt for such type of robotic pool cleaner.
However, most of the heavy-duty robotic pool cleaners are heavy weight and in huge size. Most of the time, their size and weight are synonymous to a more efficient performance.
It is to be expected that these models are hard to carry around.
Most of the available commercial robotic pool cleaners have caddies. These particular carts are helpful when using a robotic pool cleaner. They are beneficial for easy storage and transport.
When you shop for robotic pool cleaners online, most of the high end brands include a caddy. However, there are times when you need to pay extra for this particular tool.
Robotic pool cleaners have flooded the market. However, there are certain brands that have already made a name in the industry of automatic pool cleaners. They are known for their efficient line of products.
When shopping for a robotic pool cleaner, you can choose from different trusted brands:
- Aquabot – Aquabot is one of the leading brands in the world of robotic pool cleaners. The company manufactures high performance robotic vacuum cleaners. It is the brand’s primary mission to provide an enjoyable pool experience for everyone. They offer some of the most comprehensive line of commercial and residential robotic cleaners on the market.
- Maytronics – Maytronics is another big name in the industry of automatic pool cleaners. The brand was born in 1983. Since then, the company has been producing a wide range of environment-friendly automatic pool cleaners with exceptional quality and performance.
- Hayward – Hayward is an American company that offers cutting-edge, environment-friendly selection of robotic pool cleaners. The brand has been a name in the industry. It takes pride of providing a wide array of robotic pool cleaners for both residential and commercial pools.
11. Replacement Parts
Some parts of the robotic pool cleaners need to be replaced on a regular basis. Some of these parts include the cartridge or filter bag. Some parts also need to be replaced including the handle, brushes and bearings, drive belts and impeller.
Most of the parts mentioned are readily available. However, it is a good idea to check on parts before making a purchase.
Another important factor to consider is your budget. As a rule of thumb, expect high performance pool cleaner if you spend a huge amount on it.
There are available robotic pool cleaners that do an amazing job at a reasonable price.
- Under $500 – Some of the highly rated robotic pool cleaners under $500 include the Aquabot Pool Rover Junior, Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen and Aquabot Pool Rover S2-40i.
- $500-$1.000 – If you are looking for a trustworthy robotic pool cleaner with a price ranging from $500 to $1,000, here are some of the choices to opt for: Dolphin Nautilus Plus, Dolphin Nautilus and Aquabot Turbo T2.
- Above $1.000 – On the other hand, if you have a higher budget, some of the great choices for you include Dolphin Premier, Dolphin Triton Plus, Hayward TigerShark Plus and Pentair Prowler 830.
How to Use a Robotic Pool Cleaner
Having a robotic pool cleaner can save you a lot of hassle, time and money in keeping your pool clean and well-maintained.
However, for it to work efficiently all the time and last for a long time, proper installation and usage is the key. Read on to discover how to properly use a robotic pool cleaner.
1. Assemble the Carrier Caddy
The first thing to do is assemble the carrier caddy. The moment you are done with the assemble, you need to make sure that the carrier caddy and control unit are situated 5 feet from the pool deck. Plug the cord directly into the outlet.
Once the caddy is properly positioned, connect the floating cable to the control unit for your safety and to make sure that the machine works efficiently as much as possible.
2. Submerge the Machine into the Pool
The next step is to submerge the machine into the pool, while making sure that it is in vertical position as it goes down the pool floor in order to remove any trapped air inside. Simply choose your cleaning cycle and press start.
3. Pay Attention to the Cord
During the cleaning process, make sure that the floating cable is spread throughout the pool to ensure that the robotic pool cleaner continues working efficiently the whole time without interruption.
Keep in mind that the cord is more prone to getting tangled in cold water than in warm because the material is less pliable.
If your machine has a very long cord, it is best to check on it every once in a while because lengthy cords easily get tangled. In fact, it is one of the common complains of robotic pool cleaner owners.
4. Clean the Filter
Robotic pool cleaners have a built in filter system, which makes them a convenient pool cleaner for your swimming pool.
Regardless of what type of filter system it has, you have to regularly empty your filter canister because it won’t be able to work properly if the canister is full or clogged.
Remove the canister from the machine and clean it with a water hose. If in case the filter canister is clogged with salt, you have to use a brush to get rid of any residue.
Or you can place it under the heat of the sun and brush it off of any salt residue afterwards.
A Final Thought
Keep in mind of the robotic pool cleaner reviews and essential information mentioned in this buying guide. With many brands of robotic pool cleaners on the market nowadays, it is quite overwhelming to choose which one works best for you.
They are available in a variety of price points. Consider your specific needs and budget so that you’ll be able to pick the best robotic pool cleaner
Mike Nikko is a blogger with over 15 years of experience. I will bring you the best product reviews and other useful life experiences, tips to increase height, tips to improve health… If you have any questions, feel free to ask Mike Nikko!