Buyer’s Guide: The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

Robotic pool cleaners scrub your pool while saving you time and money.

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The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners Option

Photo: amazon.com

Few people enjoy vacuuming their pools, but it’s an important maintenance task that limits the growth of algae and allows the chemicals in the water to work more efficiently.

Many people turn to technology––in the form of robotic pool cleaners––to do the job for them. Robotic pool cleaners operate much like robotic vacuum cleaners for the home, allowing you to set up sensor boundaries and choose how they operate. You can even set some robotic pool cleaner models to operate on a pre-set schedule, so they can clean your pool when you’re sleeping, running errands, or at work.

Ahead, see our top tips and recommendations for choosing the best robotic pool cleaner for your needs and budget—and don’t miss our top picks, below!

  1. BEST OVERALL: Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic Robotic Cleaner
  2. RUNNER-UP: PAXCESS Automatic Pool Cleaner
  3. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Aiper Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
  4. ALSO CONSIDER: Pentair 360031 Kreepy Krauly Prowler 820 Cleaner
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: Dolphin E10 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
  6. ALSO CONSIDER: DOLPHIN Sigma Robotic Pool Cleaner with Bluetooth
The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners Option

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Shopping for the Best Robotic Pool Cleaner 

Before you choose a robotic pool cleaner, take the time to consider a few parameters to help guide your purchasing decision.

Pool Floor Material

One of the most important points to consider when choosing a robotic pool cleaner is your pool’s floor type and material. If that sounds basic, remember that swimming pool floors can be flat, rocky, irregular, or have sloping floors. Once you consider the floor type, make sure you know whether it’s made of fiberglass, vinyl, or tiles. Not all robotic pool cleaners work with all floor materials. In fact, some robotic floor cleaners can damage certain types of floors, so make sure you choose one rated for your pool floor’s specific material.

Pool Shape

The shape of your pool plays a key role in your robotic pool cleaner options. If you have a round or rectangular pool with no irregularities, you can easily find a robotic pool cleaner up to the task. That said, only certain models are able to handle custom-shaped pools.

Another basic consideration is whether your pool is in-ground or above-ground. Robotic pool cleaners that can clean the sides of a swimming pool are great for in-ground pools but can put too much stress on the wall of above-ground pools.

Pool Size

The size of your pool is another major factor. Every robotic pool cleaner comes with an extension cord, and cord length is important. If you have a small 20-foot pool, the required extension cord length will be much shorter than for a 50-foot pool.

Also, the pool size determines the speed at which your robotic pool cleaner will do its job. A pool cleaner rated for a 30-foot pool can clean that pool in just two hours. If you try to use the same pool cleaner in a 50-foot pool, you will likely find that the extension cord isn’t long enough. Even if the cord was long enough, the robotic pool cleaner would take twice as long to complete the cleaning and might not have the storage capacity to hold the collected debris.

Filtration Capabilities

Robotic pool cleaners function best if you also consider the type of debris in your pool. That will depend on your landscape, the climate, and your geographic location. These all contribute to the type of dirt, sand, pollen, seeds, leaves, twigs, and bugs that drift into your pool. For example, if your yard is filled with trees, you will want a robotic pool cleaner with a large filtration basket that doesn’t fill up too quickly. If dirt, sand, and pollen are the main types of debris in your yard, consider robotic pool cleaners with ultra-fine filters that capture dirt from the water.

Programming and Scheduling

Some robotic pool cleaners require you to manually start them. Others allow you to set a daily or weekly schedule for their operation. The cleaner can either stay in the pool or you can remove it and put it back in time for the scheduled cleaning.

Our Top Picks

BEST OVERALL

The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners Option: Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic Robotic Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner uses dual scrubbing brushes and a large filtration system to clean and collect leaves, twigs, dirt, pollen, and other debris in just about two hours. You can schedule the robotic pool cleaner to run every day, every other day, or every third day. The robotic pool cleaner has wall-climbing capabilities to clean in-ground swimming pools up to 50 feet in size. This cleaner can be used on all types of pool floors without issue and has a tangle-free swivel cable to let it freely circulate.

RUNNER-UP

The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners Option: PAXCESS Automatic Pool Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

The Paxcess Robotic In-Ground/Above Ground Pool Cleaner is ideal for just about any type of pool. The extra-large filtration baskets easily handle twigs, leaves, and other large flotsam and jetsam. The cleaner uses four PVA sponge rollers for traction when it climbs walls and a swivel cord to prevent tangles. The Paxcess can be scheduled to automatically clean for one, two, or three hours, depending on the amount of debris in the pool. The plug-and-play robotic pool cleaner is ideal for swimming pools up to 50 feet in size.

BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK

The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners Option: Aiper Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

You can use the Aiper Robotic In-Ground/Above-Ground Pool Cleaner on pools with any type of floor to clean debris ranging from small leaves and twigs to fine dirt and sand particles. The robotic pool cleaner uses 4 PVA brushes to clean both in-ground and above-ground pools up to 50 feet in size. This robotic pool cleaner has anti-rollover technology to keep it straight when it climbs walls. Plus, you can schedule it to automatically clean your pool for one, two, or three hours. A tangle-free swivel cable keeps the cleaner free from ladders or other pool objects.

ALSO CONSIDER

The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners Option: Pentair 360031 Kreepy Krauly Prowler 820 Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

The Pentair Kreepy Krauly Robotic In-ground Pool Cleaner cleans any in-ground pool up to 50 feet in size in just two and a half hours. This robotic pool cleaner uses an auto-reverse function to keep it moving so it covers the entire pool. Plus, you can wrap the anti-tangle swivel cord around the included caddy to ensure no one trips on it. The large filter traps everything from branches to most fine dirt particles.

ALSO CONSIDER

The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners Option: DOLPHIN Sigma Robotic Pool Cleaner with Bluetooth
Photo: amazon.com

Many robotic pool cleaners don’t work on above-ground pools, but the Dolphin E10 Robotic Pool Cleaner is designed specifically for them. This robotic pool cleaner does not climb walls, but it cleans pool floors made from any material in pools up to 30 feet. The machine has dual scrubbing brushes, and the large-capacity filter traps all sizes of debris during the 90-minute cleaning cycle. You automatically activate the pool cleaner with a remote start.

ALSO CONSIDER

The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners Option: Dolphin E10 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
Photo: amazon.com

The Dolphin Sigma Robotic Pool Cleaner is a great choice for custom-shaped pools that have features like benches and stools. It has advanced navigation and scanning software to avoid those and other obstacles. Link this cleaner to your phone’s Bluetooth for instant spot-cleaning. The 3-axis gyroscope allows it to climb walls, steps, and benches without falling by automatically adjusting to the angular velocity around the cleaner. The massive filters can capture debris ranging from large leaves and twigs to ultra-fine pollen and sand particles, cleaning the pool in two and a half hours. Schedule rigorous cleaning daily, twice per week, or three times per week to keep your pool looking and feeling clean. The robotic pool cleaner can be used on any pool floor material on pools up to 50 feet in size.

The Advantages of a Robotic Pool Cleaner

Regularly cleaning your pool is a must, though it’s a time-consuming and tiring chore. A robotic cleaner does the work for you in about two to three hours.

Regular cleaning will also prolong the life of your pool because it removes dirt and debris more efficiently than manual cleaning. Plus, a robotic pool cleaner captures debris that would otherwise become trapped in your filtration system. A robotic pool cleaner lessens the need for repairs and a pool cleaning service, saving you time and expense. The following points sum up the benefits of robotic pool cleaners.

  • Robotic pool cleaners remove more dirt and debris from your pool than other cleaning methods.
  • A simple-to-use robotic pool cleaner will also save you money on a professional cleaning service.
  • Robotic pool cleaners save you time and energy, because most clean pools within three hours.

FAQs About Robotic Pool Cleaners

Consider these frequently asked questions about robotic pool cleaners.

Q. Can you leave a robotic pool cleaner in a pool? 

You can leave the robotic cleaner in the pool without experiencing immediate negative consequences, but the extended time spent underwater will wear out the robotic pool cleaner faster than if it was removed and cleaned following the completion of its cleaning cycle.

Q. How often should I use my robotic pool cleaner? 

Robotic pool cleaners can run on a daily basis if the pool is heavily used. If the pool is not used every day, weekly cleanings should maintain your pool.

Q. How do you maintain a robotic pool cleaner? 

Robotic pool cleaners function like robotic vacuums. Like robotic vacuums, you must empty and clean robotic pool cleaners to keep them working properly. The brushes under the robot and the side brushes need to be cleaned regularly to prevent the robotic pool cleaner from malfunctioning.