The 10 Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

Updated September 18, 2017 by Lydia Chipman

10 Best Robotic Pool Cleaners
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
For those who prefer to spend their downtime relaxing in their swimming pool rather than cleaning it, we are delighted to present this comprehensive selection of robotic pool cleaners. We've included models designed for use in both above-ground and in-ground pools. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best robotic pool cleaner on Amazon.

10. Solar Breeze NX

While it won't dive underwater or scour perimeter walls, the Solar Breeze NX fastidiously patrols the water line, leaving its submarine cohorts free to do their thing below as it uses power from the sun to remove dirt and scum from the water's surface.
  • built-in backup feature
  • gets caught on obstructions
  • may be thrown off course by wind
Brand Solar Breeze NX
Model pending
Weight 14 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Hayward TigerShark QC

Equipped with a convenient shutoff function and a 24-volt DC motor, the Hayward TigerShark QC costs more upfront than other cleaners but saves up to 94% on energy. It can traverse inclines and even ascend stairs, offering better coverage than its flat-footed competitors.
  • powerful onboard pump
  • may get stuck or scratch pool liner
  • parts replacement can be tricky
Brand Hayward
Model RC9990CUB
Weight 41.2 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. SmartPool NC22 SmartKleen

The super-light and affordable SmartPool NC22 SmartKleen has a quick drain system and jumbo sized filter bag. Although it's more fragile than top shelf rivals, with a gentler touch and some cord detangling, budget-conscious users can get great value out of the NC22.
  • no cord swivel or climbing feature
  • suitable for above-ground pools
  • automatic 2-hour shutoff
Brand SmartPool NC22 SmartKle
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Polaris 9550 Sport

At the high end of the price spectrum, the Polaris 9550 Sport has a top-loading filter cartridge with 4 times the capacity of other receptacles. A 7-day programmable timer and automatic sensor control provide hands-free operation for users with more cash than free time.
  • rear jet may blow debris around
  • remote-triggered resurfacing feature
  • dirty canister alert function
Brand Zodiac
Model 9550
Weight 44.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830

Auto-reverse and advanced schedule programming make the Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 a handy device for those who'd rather be swimming than cleaning on their day off. Scouring the pool from end to end in 2-1/2 hours, it climbs walls and even the occasional steps.
  • not the cheapest option
  • works independently from main pump
  • includes caddy and remote control
Brand Pentair
Model 360032
Weight 47.5 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Hayward Aquanaut

With patented variable vane technology to optimize flow for the size of detritus moving through it, and an adjustable roller skirt to maintain steady suction on uneven surfaces, the Hayward Aquanaut scours its way around the pool without clogging or losing power.
  • self-contained filtration system
  • internally programmed steering
  • auto calculates pool size and layout
Brand Hayward
Model PHS41CST
Weight 21.1 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. Maytronics Dolphin Triton

With automatic pool scanning and remote control operation, the Maytronics Dolphin Triton offers superior ease of use for deeper pools. It performs well underwater, but won't climb stairs, and has been known to release some of what it's gathered upon resurfacing.
  • for inground pools up to 50 feet
  • comes with caddy for portability
  • easy-clean cartridge filter
Brand Dolphin
Model 99996356
Weight 47.6 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Zodiac G3

The 36-fin disc on the Zodiac G3 adheres to surfaces to provide maximum suction without hanging up on pool features or other obstructions. A long-life diaphragm eliminates the need for wheels, and a quick-release cassette increases longevity and makes replacement easier.
  • quieter operation than other vacuums
  • automatic water flow regulation
  • no need for specialized plumbing
Brand Zodiac
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

2. Maytronics Dolphin Nautilus Plus

The Maytronics Dolphin Nautilus Plus has a dual filtration system to grab both coarse debris and finer particles in a single go. Onboard sensors detect its environment to map out the best route for efficient cleaning, and modular components keep maintenance costs low.
  • top-loading filter cartridges
  • total pool scanning technology
  • 150-minute cleaning cycle
Brand Dolphin
Model 99996403-PC
Weight 34.1 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Polaris Vac-Sweep 280

With dual jet propulsion and a separate single-chamber filter bag, the Polaris Vac-Sweep 280 provides exceptional cleaning power at an eminently reasonable price. Larger debris is sequestered in the filter bag, prolonging filtration system life and improving efficiency.
  • for in-ground pools only
  • 31-foot hose can be extended
  • cleans in under 3 hours
Brand Zodiac
Model F5
Weight 17.8 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Why Opt For A Robot Instead Of A Human?

If you're of the mindset that robots are taking over the world, you may not like the idea of a little robot cleaning your pool. But while you may be attached to your friendly pool cleaner, and you don't want to replace him with a machine, you're probably paying too much to clean your pool if you still have a human do it.

Professional pool cleaners charge you not just for the time they spend on your pool, but also the time they spend driving to and from your home. You don't need to pay a robotic cleaner to drive to your home; he lives there permanently. Robotic pool cleaners can also reach areas that a person cannot. When was the last time you saw your pool cleaner stand in your pool, with goggles, scrubbing grime off the walls? Likely never.

A robotic pool cleaner can cover every nook and cranny of your pool, scraping algae and grime buildup from the floors and walls. Robotic pool cleaners also have much better dirt-catching systems than the professional pool cleaner, who typically uses a large mesh bag attached to the end of a pole to clean your pool. But a robotic pool cleaner can use filters with even finer mesh, to pick up minuscule debris that cannot be seen by the human eye.

Possibly the biggest benefit of having a robotic pool cleaner is that it works on your schedule. You don't need to share it with other clients, as you do with a professional cleaner. And if you want, you can clean your pool every single day with a robotic cleaner.

More Ways Robotic Pool Cleaners Save You Money

Let's discuss about how these efficient units works. A robotic pool cleaner works via two motors: one runs a water pump which sucks dirt and debris into and through a filter, and a second drive motor moves the cleaner around the pool. The entire unit is powered by a transformer that's connected to a standard wall outlet by way of the included cord. These units operate on a low voltage that is specifically designed to be safe for water usage.

Robotic cleaners do not plug into your pool system, and they contain all the dirt they pick up within a receiving receptacle. This means your pool's pump basket can work less, potentially prolonging the life of your pool's pump system and filter in the process as it helps to circulate the water when in use. This also means the water's chemistry will be better maintained, reducing the likelihood of algae growth which not only results in a better looking pool, but also extricates much of the effort needed on your end for pool upkeep.

While robotic pool cleaners seem expensive, they can save a significant amount of money in the long run. When compared to annual costs of pool pump filtration energy consumption, it is expected that robotic cleaners save up to $500 in energy costs. If you currently have a separate booster pump for your pool, those saving can increase to $800. These units certainly are investments, but you may have paid for it in full with energy savings by the end of year one.

How To Choose The Right Robot For You

There are hundreds of models available, but not every robotic pool cleaner will be right for you. One major thing to consider is how large your pool is--this helps you decide how large of a filter capacity you need your cleaner to have. If the filter capacity isn't large enough, then the filter can fill up before your pool is entirely clean, and then your robot is just moving around using energy, but not picking any more dirt up.

One very popular feature is smart navigation. Most of the newer robotic pool cleaners have smart navigation that learns about your pool and figures out the quickest, most efficient route to pick everything up in the least amount of time. Older models just send the robot aimlessly around your pool, doing several laps and wasting your money.

Another very helpful feature is built-in timers. While old models would turn your robot on at the same time every day, whether your pool needed cleaning or not, current versions let you customize the days and times cleaning is desired. Built-in timers can ensure you're making the most of your robot, by putting it to work at peak dirt and debris times. There's no point in running your robot when your pool is clean, after all.

You should also consider the nature of your pool. Are the floors and walls smooth, or are they bumpy? Is your pool rectangular, with 90-degree angles in the walls, or is it more curvaceous? These characteristics should play a part in helping you choose the types of wheels you want on your robotic cleaner. Some don't even move on standard wheels, but on a contact adhesive drive that can stick to just about any type of pool surface.

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Last updated on September 18, 2017 by Lydia Chipman

An itinerant wordsmith with an alphabet-soup of credentials to her name, Lydia has turned iconoclasm into a livelihood of sorts, throwing herself into a broad constellation of interests. From antithetical cultural analysis to interdisciplinary combat training, she bears the scars and stripes of an uncommon diversity of experience. Reading, biking and exploring are favorite pastimes, but – with the notable exceptions of joining a religious order (not on speaking terms with a higher power) and becoming an artist (can’t even draw a respectable stick-figure) – she’d try almost anything once.

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