Last Updated: March 28, 2020
If you are in the market for a new robotic pool cleaner, you may be surprised to see all of the different brands that have become available over the past few years. These cleaners are continuously evolving, and while some brands remain simple, some can get quite complex, now designed to communicate with a smartphone.
We’ve chosen 10 brands that we see a lot of people using. We’ll share everything we like and don’t like about each one so you can come to your own conclusions about what’s best for your pool. We’ve also included a buyer’s guide where we break down the robotic pool cleaner and take a look at what it should do and how it works.
Join us for an in-depth look at robotic pool cleaners and discuss pool size, how easy it is to clean the filter, the type of pool you can use them in, and more to help you make an educated purchase.
These are the 10 robotic pool cleaners we will review.
A Quick Summary of Our Favorites
10 Best Robotic Pool Cleaner Reviews 2021
1. Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner – Top Pick
The Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner is our pick for the best overall robotic pool cleaner. This high-tech device features a single-button operation and it can clean a pool up to 50 feet wide. Using algorithms controlled by remote control to perform several cleaning maneuvers, the Premier is agile enough for climbing your pool walls and scrubbing them. You can also set a timer to clean your pool every day every other day or every third day.
We like the dual scrubbing brushes and found that this robot can clean our pool quicker than any of the other robots on this list. The tangle-free swivel cord is convenient, and we never saw ours get tangled while using it. The only downside we experienced while using it was that it could drop some debris as you pulled the device out of the water.
2. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner – Budget Buy
The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner is a smaller, more economical version of our top choice, and we believe it is the best robotic pool cleaner for the money. It features one-button operation and a timer that allows you to schedule your cleaning days in advance. This model is rated to clean a 50-foot pool and will work on both above and inground pools.
This model features a no-tangle cable and dual brush cleaning like the top model, but these brushes move slower, and the cleaning takes quite a bit longer. The Nautilis CC Plus also tends to drop some debris back into the pool when removing it from the water.
3. Aquabot Rover Junior Robotic Pool Vac – Best for Above-Ground Pools
The Aquabot APRVJR Junior Pool Rover is the brand we’ve chosen as the best for above ground pools. It is especially suited for the flat, round surface of an above ground pool, and it includes 40 feet of cable, which should cover the size of most pools. The Pool Rover also features an easy access filter bag for quick cleaning.
While we really like this low-cost option for above ground pools, it’s not without faults. The wheels are quite flimsy, and we had to repair one of ours using tools from around our house. Another problem to consider: while we were using the Junior Pool Rover, the cord would get tangled and prevent the device from reaching the entire floor.
4. Hayward SharkVac Robotic Pool Vacuum
The Hayward RC9740CUB SharkVac Robotic Pool Cleaner is designed for pool bottoms only. Still, it features smart steering technology, which helps it access the entire floor of your pool quickly and efficiently. It runs independently of your filter system so that no debris will end up there, nor will it add strain to your pump. Two separate filter elements collect the debris and make sure it doesn’t find its way back into your water.
One downside to the RC9740CUB SharkVac is that it’s very heavy, especially if you’re putting it in the pool every day. It can give you quite a workout. As we said, it stays on the bottom of your pool, so you’re going to need to find another way to clean the walls. The last problem we had with that was that while the filters are easy to remove and empty when you spray them with the hose to clean them, it sends water everywhere, and you get quite wet.
5. Dolphin E10 Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
The Dolphin E10 Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner Is the third brand of Dolphin on our list because many of them are of high quality. This one is for above ground pools, but it will work in smaller inground pools. This model also features Dolphins no tangle cabling so the machine can move effortlessly about the pool. The filter cartridge is easy to access and clean, and the device is lightweight enough to use every day without pulling out your back.
The downside to the E10 includes only having a 30-foot cable, which significantly reduces the size of the pool that you can use this device to clean. Another problem we were having was that one of the tracks kept falling off, it wasn’t hard to replace it, but it was a pain. We also found that it continuously missed certain areas of our pool, and the filter allowed a lot of the smaller debris to pass through. We found out later that there are finer filters that you can purchase separately.
6. Aquabot Elite Robotic Pool Cleaners
The Aquabot Elite Robotic Pool Cleaner Is another type of smart robot pool cleaner designed to cover every square inch of your pool. This model features an anti-tangle cable that will help keep the robot moving freely. Dual scrub brushes are perfect for any surface, including the pebble and concrete surfaces used in inground pools. This unit will climb the walls to scrub those as well, and it comes with a handy storage caddy to help maneuver to and from the pool.
We like the idea of this robotic pool cleaner because it has many of the same features as the more expensive models, like software-controlled cleaning. However, the construction of the device is very flimsy, and two of ours broke. One repair required a lengthy and expensive return process, and we didn’t repair it the second time. We also found it strange that the remote control for this unit must be purchased separately.
7. Aquabot Rover S2-40 Robot Pool Cleaner
The Aquabot POOL ROVER S2-40 is another robotic pool cleaner designed for above ground pools. This devices main claim to fame is its ability to traverse uneven surfaces. Most notably, above ground pools with concave floors. This device also features customizable input ports that allow you to vary the amount of suction the device creates to help it move over the surface more freely. The robot comes with two filter bags. One bag can filter down to 2 microns, while the other can filter down to 50 microns.
We found this machine to be quite powerful, but it was very slow-moving. It would also tangle as it moved around the pool, and we had to make several trips out to the pool to detangle the robot. We also found it frustrating that it wouldn’t get the smaller grains of sand on our pool floor.
8. QOMOTOP Automatic Robotic Pool-Cleaner
The QOMOTOP Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner has a lot of nice features on board. Two motors power four scrubbing brushes, more than any other robotic pool cleaners on this list. The computer-controlled cleaning cycles allow you to select between several cleaning modes as well as guide your robot around the pool while it cleans. One button filter access makes emptying and cleaning the filter a breeze. This robot not only cleans the floor but also climbs the walls and scrubs those as well.
While we were reviewing ours, it seemed to have a problem with the software. It cleaned very slowly and would often shut off while running before the cleaning cycle was complete.
9. Aquabot X4 Pool Vac
The Aquabot X4 is a good looking robotic cleaner that features four-wheel-drive traction to help move the unit over uneven terrain and an anti-tangle swivel. This robot will work with any pool, and you get plenty of room with the 60-foot cable.
The downside to this robot is that it doesn’t pick up small particles like sand or algae. The filter is easy to remove, but there is no way to hose out all of the contaminants. Due to the design of the filter, some debris can get lodged permanently.
10. Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 930 Robot Pool Vacuum
The Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 930 Robotic in-Ground Pool Cleaner is a smaller sized unit capable of cleaning a 50-foot pool. This model features a unique easy to clean basket-style filter. This basket within a basket design has a removable inner basket capable of filtering smaller particles than the outer basket. You can remove the inner-basket when collecting large amounts of leaves to increase the capacity. It also has several modes to choose from, including deep clean and fast clean, as well as timers that allow the device to automatically clean the pool every one, two, or three days. The swivel cord helps keep the unit from getting tangled, and the software-controlled cleaning ensures the robot scrubs the whole pool.
The biggest downside we experienced while using this brand was that the track kept falling off and would prevent the device from cleaning the pool. No matter what we tried, the track would fall off within a few minutes of replacing it. Even though it’s not the most massive model on this list, it’s heavy, and the repeated attempts at fixing the track gave us quite a workout. The end result was a very slow pool cleaning experience.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important things to look for when choosing a robotic pool cleaner.
Robotic cleaners are electric devices that are plugged in and submerged in the water. The first thing you will need to know before you can begin to shop for a robotic pool cleaner is how big your pool is. With these devices, you usually get about ten feet of power chord before the insulated part that gets submerged in the pool begins. This insulated part will need to reach the furthest point in your pool, so plan accordingly. Always opt for more than you need where practical.
In general, robots designed for above ground pools will have a much shorter cable.
Most, but not all, robotic pool cleaners can climb walls. Each brand’s definition of wall climbing is not the same, however, and it is something you’ll want to look at carefully before making your purchase. Some units will amaze you with their ability to cling to the sides, while others will only make it a short distance or not even try.
The ones that climb walls well will often be more expensive than the others, so you will need to determine how important it is for these devices to scrub the walls for you.
Of course, a significant concern is the robot pool cleaner’s durability. None of us want to place the robot in the pool and watch it sit there, especially since most of these units are very expensive. We tried to install all highly durable pool cleaners, and we opted out any issues with the few that had them. When shopping, you’ll have to look at any reviews you can find to make sure any unit in question is durable.
It may not seem like an essential factor, but you will need to carry this unit from storage and place it in the pool day after day. Some of these units are extremely heavy when you’re pulling them from the water.
Some units go forward until they bump into a wall, back up, and go forward at an angle. However, some brands are controlled by computer software that, in some cases, can even communicate with your cell phone. This software tracks the motions of the robot to ensure it covers the entire pool. It can help speed up the cleaning process as well as cover a higher percentage of the surface.
Similar to the ability to climb walls, software empowered robots will often be much more expensive than the regular type.
If you have used cleaning robots in the past, you know that the cord tangling can be a significant hassle. It can prevent the cleaning robot from reaching the whole pool and will also increase the wear and tear on the cord. The swivel cord is a handy device on some models that will help prevent the cable from getting tangled as the robot moves around the pool.
We recommend looking for a brand that features a swivel cord for your next purchase.
Most units will work with above ground and in-ground pools. As long as you consider the cord length, you should be fine. We recommend our choice for the best overall robotic pool cleaner. The Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner features one-button operation and has software controlled cleaning capabilities. It climbs walls very well and features a 50-foot cable. The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner is another great choice, and besides being our choice for the best value, it’s also a smaller version of our top pick and has many of the same features.
We hope you have enjoyed reading over this short guide to robotic pool cleaners. If we have helped you learn something new and reduced the amount of work you need to do, please share these best robotic pool cleaners on Facebook and Twitter.
Table of Contents
- A Quick Summary of Our Favorites
- 10 Best Robotic Pool Cleaner Reviews 2021
- 1. Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner – Top Pick
- 2. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner – Budget Buy
- 3. Aquabot Rover Junior Robotic Pool Vac – Best for Above-Ground Pools
- 4. Hayward SharkVac Robotic Pool Vacuum
- 5. Dolphin E10 Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
- 6. Aquabot Elite Robotic Pool Cleaners
- 7. Aquabot Rover S2-40 Robot Pool Cleaner
- 8. QOMOTOP Automatic Robotic Pool-Cleaner
- 9. Aquabot X4 Pool Vac
- 10. Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 930 Robot Pool Vacuum
- Buyer’s Guide
- Final Verdict