The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

In recent years, robotic pool cleaners have made it easier than ever to clean pools of various sizes and materials, turning a once-numbing task into something much easier on everyone. Here are my choices for the best cleaners currently on the market, as well as some information on how I made my decisions.

Our Recommendations

Below are our top 6 picks for the best robotic pool cleaners after our research.


Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

⭐ Best Overall Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is my favorite overall pool cleaner and the first one I recommend looking at. Notable features on this product include a variable cleaning schedule, large cartridge filters, and an anti-tangle swivel cable. Dolphin claims it’s 8X more energy-efficient, and while that’s true, we know that’s just in comparison to whatever makes this product look the best.

Marketing tricks aside, this is a high-quality product, capable of cleaning a standard-size swimming pool in about two hours of use. I’m particularly fond of the powerful suction, easy-to-replace cartridges, and reliable traction this unit displays. All three of these are vital for an efficient pool cleaner.

However, while this is a good product, there have been a couple reports of some manufacturing issues that can impact its performance (nothing came up in our testing, however). Just make sure you have a good warranty in place.

Sale
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner with Easy To Clean Large Top Load Filter Cartridges and Tangle-Free Swivel Cord, Ideal for In-Ground Swimming Pools Up To 50 Feet
  • Hello, free time! Let the Nautilus CC Plus take over your pool cleaning duties for good. Ideal for swimming pools up to 50 feet, this cleaner will...
  • The clean you need without the hassle. The Nautilus CC Plus was designed to clean your pool, effortlessly. With dual scrubbing brushes and superior...
  • Ditch the pumps and hose. Unlike the energy hogs that are pressure and suction cleaners, Dolphins are independent cleaning machines and do not rely on...
  • Clean your pool with the touch of a button. Schedule the Nautilus CC Plus to clean your swimming pool each week using 3 settings- every day, every...
  • With more than 35 years of cleaning the world’s residential swimming pools, Dolphins provide pool owners with a hassle-free cleaning solution of...

Specs:

  • Pool Size: Up to 50 feet
  • Filter: Large, Top-Loaded
  • Coverage: Floors and Walls only
  • Weight: 19 lbs.
  • Warranty: 5 years + Store Warranty

Pros:

  • Energy-efficient cleaner
  • Anti-swivel cable helps prevent tangles
  • Flexible scheduling times

Cons:

  • Does not do stairs very well
  • Some manufacturing concerns

Dolphin Triton Plus

⭐ Best Controllable Robotic Pool Cleaner

I won’t lie: I prefer totally automated pool cleaners. If the device isn’t good enough to do things right the first time, you shouldn’t be buying a cleaner robot at all. That said, I do think there’s value in being able to remotely control your cleaner robot and get any spots the algorithm misses. Cleaning those spots by hand defeats the purpose of a robot!

Spot-cleaning features aside, this unit has several other notable qualities. These include an extra-large basket, the ability to clean the waterline, and two speed settings. The actual time required for cleaning depends on your pool size, but the Dolphin Triton PS Plus has a quick mode that can give most pools a light cleaning in one hour. This is ideal for maintaining pools that don’t get very dirty.

Similar to other Dolphin products, some customers have reported manufacturing issues, but we saw none in our testing.

Specs:

  • Pool Size: Up to 50 feet
  • Filter: Extra Large, Top-Loaded
  • Coverage: Floors, Walls, and Waterline
  • Cleaning Time: 1 hour (quick) or 2 hours (standard)
  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 years + Store Warranty

Pros:

  • Multiple speed settings are useful
  • One active brush provides additional cleaning support
  • Lightweight and easy to carry around
  • Excellent manual controls for spot cleaning

Cons:

  • Some issues with stairs and corners
  • Regular manufacturing concerns

Polaris 9550 Sport Pool Cleaner

⭐ Best for Pools with Tight Corners

The Polaris 9550 looks more like an RV car than anything else, but it’s one of the best cleaners for pools that have tight corners. This is due to its front-focused brush system, which lets it get right up to edges of any sharpness and brush out dirt and debris.

Other notable features on this unit include a 70-foot cable (remember, it still needs to reach a plug!), a 7-day programmable timer, and a remote control system. This unit works with several different control apps, which is a surprising level of versatility in today’s market, and one of the reasons I decided to include this unit on my final list.

However, I don’t like the weight of this product. It’s almost twice as heavy as some of its competitors, and that’s a serious issue for some buyers. The wheels can help it get into the pool, but if you find that you need to pick up your robot cleaner regularly, consider getting another model.

Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
  • 4-wheel drive robotic cleaner outfitted with Aqua-Trax tires for all pool surfaces
  • ActivMotion Sensor Technology for unmatchable navigation, even in larger and free-from pools.Cable Length:70 feet Cable
  • Vortex Vacuum Technology allows cleaner to pick up larger debris while maintaining maximum suction
  • Rear water propulsion system allows cleaner to reach debris under stairs and in tight corners
  • It is compatible with any of the IntelliTouch, EasyTouch and SunTouch remote control systems to control the IntelliFlo pump remotely

Specs:

  • Pool Size: Up to 60 feet
  • Filter: Large, Top-Loaded
  • Coverage: Floors, Walls, Waterline, and Steps
  • Weight: 6 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2 years + Store Warranty

Pros:

  • Excellent at sharp corners
  • Four-wheel drive system provides outstanding mobility
  • Compatible with multiple apps for manual control
  • Tangle-free cable system works well

Cons:

  • Heavier than most of the competition
  • More expensive than most other cleaners

Aquabot Breeze IQ

⭐ Best for Small Debris

Aquabot’s Breeze IQ is one of the most reliable cleaning robots for getting rid of smaller debris. Now, when I say small, I mean down to bacteria. This is especially important for pools that are exposed to contaminants like pollen, dust, or animal dander, all of which can build up over time if not filtered out properly.

I’m particularly fond of the energy efficiency of this unit. Actual prices will vary by area, but the Breeze IQ costs roughly five cents per cycle hour, which is well within any pool cleaning budget. The dual top-access filter baskets are also quite convenient. I prefer single baskets, but there are times when the unit’s structure requires a two-basket setup, and that’s honestly not a problem.

The one thing I don’t like about this product is how often you need to clean the filters. Most people will need to clean them out after every use, and the filters themselves are delicate enough that they can break easily. Consider buying a pack of spares when you first get this machine.

Sale
Aquabot ABREIQ Breeze IQ Wall-Climbing Automatic In-Ground Robotic Brush Pool, White
  • Energy saving, rapid cleaning robotic pool cleaner for residential in ground pools
  • Comes equipped with a vibrating brush at the bottom of the unit
  • Cleans inclines, walls, and waterlines
  • Extra long, 60 foot cable with swivel for no tangling
  • Timer setting for 1.5 or 2 hour shutoff

Specs:

  • Pool Size: About 50 feet
  • Filter: Dual, Top-Loaded
  • Coverage: Floors, Walls, and Waterline
  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Warranty: 2-year limited warranty + store warranty

Pros:

  • Capable of filtering things as small as bacteria
  • Large, high-capacity baskets
  • Fewer manufacturing defects than many competitors
  • Works on all standard pool materials
  • Great for above ground pools

Cons:

  • Relatively heavy
  • No remote control options
  • Filters are fragile

Hayward SharkVac

⭐ Easiest to Clean

Hayward’s SharkVac is an impressively easy-to-clean robot with a single large, top-access filter. I say that like it’s a feature, but almost every pool cleaner has top access these days. What competitors don’t always have is multiple sizing options, including extra-large units that can filter out larger or dirtier pools.

I also like the optional caddy system for this pool cleaner. These are essentially carts that carry both the unit and the cable, and for any mobility-challenged owners, the cart can make all the difference. Between that and the comparatively low weight, the Hayward SharkVac is one of the easiest-to-clean units I’ve ever seen.

However, there are a few issues with the hinges used to pop open the top. When these aren’t manufactured correctly, they can make the lid harder to open, and that does defeat the purpose of an easy-to-clean model. This unit is also floor-only unless you get the XL model, which is terrible for owners with dirtier walls.

Hayward RC9740CUB SharkVac Robotic Pool Cleaner, Blue/Black/Grey
  • Uses smart steering technology that provides an efficient cleaning pattern, scouring pool floors and coves in just about 2 hours
  • Runs separately from the pool's filtration system reducing the frequency of filter backwash cycles; Top-access filter allows quick debris removal and...
  • No extra hoses, hookups or pumps required; 2 fine porosity filter elements - just remove and rinse with garden hose, no need to turn cleaner over to...
  • Top-access cartridge filter allows quick debris removal and easy cleanup
  • SharkVac cleans pool floor only; Voltage: 115 VAC 60 Hz

Specs:

  • Pool Size: About 30 feet
  • Filter: Large, Top-Loaded
  • Coverage: Floor only
  • Weight: 5 lbs.
  • Warranty: Store Warranty

Pros:

  • Medium-weight is easy to transport, especially with the cart
  • The filter is particularly easy to clean
  • Excellent for smaller pools
  • Thoroughly cleans pool floors in about 2 hours
  • Available in two sizes

Cons:

  • Not good at cleaning walls unless you get the XL
  • No remote control options

Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler

⭐ Best Energy-Efficient Robotic Pool Cleaner

Energy-efficiency isn’t as important for robotic pool cleaners these days because most of them are impressively efficient, but all else being equal, you might as well reduce your electricity use. Prices vary by area, but it could cost as little as fifteen cents of electricity per cleaning. This unit cleans most pools in about two and a half hours, and it comes with a wireless remote for spot cleaning.

Other notable features include an auto-reverse, a chemical circulator, and an optional quick-clean that focuses only on the pool floor. All in all, this is a solid product. Unfortunately, it does have a few issues with power supplies and misreading the amount of debris in its container.

Pentair 360032 Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 Robotic Inground Pool Cleaner with 60 Foot Cord
  • The newly redesigned creepy krauly prowler 830 robotic in ground pool cleaner provides superior power and cleaning
  • Its advanced design scrubs, vacuums and filters, cleaning most pools in just two and a half hours
  • The prowler 830 includes a wireless remote for easy control and allows pool owners to schedule regular cleanings
  • Comes in 45-pounds in weight.Costs less than 20 cents per day to operate
  • Measures 19-inch length by 19-inch width by 23-1/2-inch height

Specs:

  • Pool Size: About 50 feet
  • Filter: Large, Top-Loaded
  • Coverage: Floor and Walls
  • Weight: 45 lbs.
  • Warranty: Store Warranty

Pros:

  • Extremely affordable to run
  • Improves pool chemical distribution
  • Reasonably long extension cord
  • Two speed settings

Cons:

  • Common issues with debris container and power supply
  • Too rough on some surfaces, especially textured ones

Recap: The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

  • Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus: Best overall
  • Dolphin Triton Plus: Best controllable robotic pool cleaner
  • Polaris 9550 Sport Pool Cleaner: Best for pools with tight corners
  • Aquabot Breeze IQ: Best for small debris
  • Hayward SharkVac: Easiest to clean
  • Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler: Best energy-efficient robotic pool cleaner

Our Research Criteria

Let’s take a closer look at the research criteria we used to determine the best products in this article and other factors to consider when shopping for a robotic pool cleaner.

Power And Performance

Power has a direct correlation to performance for robotic pool cleaners. In general, higher suction power means a cleaner pool, and their ability to use electricity means robotic cleaners can offer significantly higher suction than pressure-powered or suction-powered cleaners.

Electrical Safety

Robotic pool cleaners aren’t as dangerous as they might sound. It’s true that electricity and water is usually a bad combination, but modern cleaners use a variety of techniques to limit the possibility of electrifying the water.

That said, a robot is only as good as its parts, so we took a careful look at the wires and plugs. Manufacturing defects are always a concern when there’s a possibility of harm, so we removed any unit with inferior components or reports of electrical problems from the final list.

Compatibility With Materials

Finally, compatibility with materials is a crucial part of evaluating a robotic pool cleaner. Unlike pressure-side and suction-side cleaners, which aren’t strong enough to damage normal pool materials, robotic pool cleaners occasionally damage the components of pools. This is especially true around areas like decorative tiles, which may be glued in place and therefore be less sturdy than the rest of the pool.

This wasn’t a make-or-break factor because some cleaners simply aren’t made for all surfaces, but this did influence my final selections and it’s something you should keep in mind when making a purchasing decision.

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