Best Robotic Pool Cleaners: Pros, Cons & Reviews (2023)

Do you enjoy cleaning your pool manually? Chances are - you answered no to this question.

This has many people turning to technology and investing in robotic pool cleaners to help make their maintenance routines a whole lot faster and easier. It allows you to be proactive about pool cleaning, without having to work any harder.

These machines function a lot like the robotic vacuum cleaners used inside homes. You can set up sensor boundaries and a pre-set schedule, so the vacuum can start up while you're at work or running errands.

Many of these robotic pool cleaners are designed to clean your swimming pool much more efficiently than a simple skimmer or filtration system. It's equipped with its own power supply and filter, which will easily clean common pool pollutants including algae, dirt, and other small particles.

Check below to see our top recommendations and tips for choosing the best robotic pool cleaner on the market today.

Best Robotic Pool Cleaners:


Robotic Pool Cleaner Overview

  • Pool type: In-ground pools up to 50 feet
  • Filter type: 4 types of filters
  • Brush type: Dual scrubbing brushes
  • Cleaning cycle duration: 3 hours
  • Pool cleaning coverage: Floor, walls, and waterline

The DOLPHIN Premier is one of the most popular robotic pool cleaners on the market and for good reason. It's designed to be entirely autonomous, in addition to its unmatched agility, maneuverability, and waterline performance.

DOLPHIN Premier Features

This modern robotic pool cleaner pushes the boundaries of self-cleaning pool cleaners with its list of impressive features, including:

  • Hypergrip rubber tracks for reduced slippage
  • Four media types with swappable filtration system
  • Advanced mapping technology
  • Dual stabilizers to clean all pool surfaces with precision
  • Ultra-efficient DC motors for increased sustainability
  • 360 tangle-free swivel
  • SmartNav robotic scanning for optimal coverage and faster cleaning

Polaris 9550

Robotic Pool Cleaner Overview

  • Pool type: In-ground pool
  • Filter type: Easy-clean filter canister
  • Brush type: Solid-blade scrubbing brush
  • Pool cleaning coverage: Floors, walls, and waterline

The Polaris 9550 is a top-of-the-line robotic pool cleaner that offers in-ground pool owners full cleaning coverage. With 4-wheel drive and advanced sensor technology, this machine has no issues scaling walls with impressive navigation and mobility.

Polaris 9550 Features

  • Motion-sensing remote with responsive cleaning control
  • Dirty filter canister indicator
  • Vortex vacuum technology for superior cleaning performance
  • 7-day programmable timer with various cleaning modes
  • ActivMotion Sensor® to automatically control the robot's position
  • 4-wheel drive technology
  • Waterline only cleaning cycle for isolated tile line scrubbing

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

Nautilus CC Plus Overview

  • Pool type: Inground pool
  • Filter type: Twin cartridges
  • Brush type: Dual scrubbing brushes
  • Cleaning cycle duration: 2 hours
  • Pool cleaning coverage: Pool floors, walls

The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is an efficient robotic pool cleaner and a great option for anyone who wants to keep their pool super clean without the hours-long maintenance.

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Features

Check out the Nautilus CC Plus features below:

  • Ultra-fast cleaning cycle available (1.5 hours)
  • High-tech mapping software
  • Triple scrubbing brushes
  • State-of-the-art filtering capabilities
  • Will not get stuck on the drain
  • Best for in-ground pools up to 50 feet in length

DOLPHIN Nautilus CC Supreme

Robotic Pool Cleaner Overview

  • Pool type: In-ground pools
  • Filter Type: Top load filter cartridges
  • Brush type: Three scrubbing brushes
  • Cleaning cycle duration: 1.5-3.5 hours depending on cleaning cycle
  • Pool cleaning coverage: Floors, walls, and waterline

The Dolphin Nautilus CC Supreme is the model up from the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner. It has more advanced features, but it is the more expensive option.

DOLPHIN Nautilus CC Supreme Features

  • 60-foot anti-tangle swivel
  • Powerful suction motor
  • Dynamic dual scrubbing
  • Center high-speed scrubber
  • Several smartphone capabilities, including remote steering


Robotic Pool Cleaner Overview

  • Pool type: In-ground pools
  • Filter type: Single click basket
  • Brush type: Front high-speed scrubber
  • Cleaning cycle duration: 2 hours
  • Pool cleaning coverage: Floor, walls, and waterline

The Dolphin Triton has intense scrubbing power, high mobility, and a large filter capacity to help clean your pool. This robotic pool cleaner is a great option and it's affordable too!

Dolphin Triton Features

  • Superior filtering capabilities for all sorts of dirt and debris
  • Intensely scrubs the pools' floor, walls, and waterline
  • Easy-to-handle device


Robotic Pool Cleaner Overview

  • Pool type: Inground and above-ground pools
  • Filter type: Top-load cartridge filters
  • Brush type: Dual scrubbing brushes
  • Cleaning cycle duration: 2.5 hours
  • Pool cleaning coverage: Floor, walls, and waterline

The Dolphin Sigma robotic pool cleaner is a great choice for custom-shaped pools that have multiple benches, stairs, and stools.

DOLPHIN Sigma Features

  • Advanced navigation and scanning software
  • Weekly scheduler for automatic cleaning
  • Anti-tangling swivel cable
  • Triple motors to scrub the waterline

DOLPHIN Proteus DX5i

Robotic Pool Cleaner Overview

  • Pool type: In-ground
  • Filter type: Single click basket
  • Brush type: Front high-speed scrubber
  • Cleaning cycle duration: 2 hours
  • Pool cleaning coverage: Floor, walls, and waterline

This robotic pool cleaner is ideal for swimming pools up to 50 feet and can be controlled through WiFi connection. It offers a quick cleaning cycle, leaving your pool squeaky clean afterward.

DOLPHIN Proteus DX5i Features

  • Super scrubbing power
  • WiFi connection for interactive cleaning
  • Works on all pool types, including gunite and tile

Dolphin Escape Robotic

Robotic Pool Cleaner Overview

  • Pool type: In-ground and above ground
  • Filter type: Top-load filter
  • Brush type: Dual scrubbing brushes
  • Cleaning cycle duration: 3 hours
  • Pool cleaning coverage: Floor, walls, and waterline

The Dolphin Escape delivers unmatched performance, especially for above-ground pools. It has hypergrip tracks that are able to climb walls and remove contaminants effectively.

Dolphin Escape Robotic Features

  • Digital mapping technology
  • Hypergrip treads for increased mobility
  • Quiet operation
  • 4,000 GPH suction range
  • Energy efficient

Aquabot X4

Robotic Pool Cleaner Overview

  • Pool type: Inground and above-ground, up to 60 feet long
  • Surface type: all pool surfaces, wheel kit needed for tile and fiberglass
  • Filter type: Two ultra-fine mesh filtration baskets
  • Brush type: Micro-brushes
  • Cleaning cycle duration: 3 hours
  • Pool cleaning coverage: 90-degree pool floor to wall transitions

Historically, the Dolphin robotic pool cleaners are better quality and more reliable, but the Aquabot X4 robotic pool cleaner is a great alternative - especially if you have a larger pool. Overall, this is an ideal machine for extra-large residential and commercial pools of all shapes and sizes.

Aquabot X4 Features

  • Advanced rotating micro-brush to scrub every inch of the pool, from floor to waterline.
  • Ultra-fine mesh filtration system to capture dirt, debris, and other particles down to 2 microns in size
  • Anti-tangle swivel for seamless navigation
  • Efficient and powerful drive system with 4-wheel drive
  • Extra-long, 60-foot floating cable
  • Programmable power supply and control panel to designate when the cleaning cycle starts
  • High-efficiency operation with suction side cleaners
  • Pool mapping technology that determines pool dimensions and chooses the optimal cleaning cycle

Reasons to Buy a Robotic Pool Cleaner

Because most pools are outdoors, they are susceptible to all sorts of bacterial contamination - including leaves, mold, dirt, and even residue from shampoo, perfume, and other hair and skin products.

This makes cleaning your pool an absolute necessity. At a minimum, you should skim and brush your pool weekly. But that can be a lot of work, taking several hours out of your day. You could always hire a professional to keep your pool clean, but that requires a lot of money.

If you don't want to manually clean your pool or pay someone else to, we have the solution for you - robotic pool cleaners. While it's a big investment upfront, many find that they're worth it for the years of use you'll get afterward.

Here are some reasons a robotic pool cleaner is worth every penny:

Significantly cut your pool cleaning time

If you're raising a family or working full time, taking several hours out of your day to clean the pool can be a total drag.

Robotic pool cleaners will help to free up some time to enjoy your pool instead of cleaning it.

While a robotic pool cleaner won't eliminate the need to skim and brush the pool surface entirely, it'll make those tasks much faster and easier.

Robotic cleaners do a better job

Not only will you save time, but the pool will be better off in the long run. A quality robotic pool cleaner will know exactly how much scrubbing and filtration power is needed to remove the dirt and debris.

Some things may not be visible to the naked eye, meaning you could be leaving a lot of contaminated bacteria in the pool without even knowing it.

An automatic pool cleaner will keep debris out of your water, and keep the pool walls squeaky clean.

Extend the life of your pool pump

Many manual pool cleaners and vacuums use the pool's pump as a power source. This will put extra strain on the pump and the pool filter.

An automatic pool cleaner uses its own power source and filter and does not rely on the pool pump. Because the pump is then not being used as much, this could help to prolong its life.

Purchase fewer chemicals and save money

If your pool is getting cleaned more efficiently and effectively, it will require fewer chemicals. As we all know, pool chemicals can add up quickly.

When investing in a robotic pool cleaner upfront, you could wind up saving money on the needed chemicals in the long term.

Top Considerations When Purchasing a Robotic Pool Cleaner

There are a few items to consider when trying to find the best robotic pool cleaner for your specific needs, including:

Pool type

One of the most important things to take into account is your type of pool. For instance, some machines can work for both inground pools and above-ground pools, while others are only compatible with inground pools.

Also, consider the materials used on your pool surface. This could include concrete, fiberglass, metal, steel, tile, etc. Double-check that your robotic pool cleaner is suitable for that type of pool and its construction.

Size of your pool

In addition to the pool type, you'll also want to consider the size of your pool. Can the cord length on the machine reach across your entire pool?

The larger your pool, the longer the cord needs to be and vice versa. While this could increase the price tag, anything too short will not be able to properly clean every area of the pool.

Stairs, waterline, floor, and walls

Your robotic pool cleaner should be able to tackle every nook and cranny of the pool. This includes all areas of the floor, as well as stairs, walls, and waterline.

If you have a lot of stairs in your pool - keep in mind, some robotic cleaners cannot clean stairs or climb walls. These types of cleaners would not properly clean your pool and therefore should be avoided.

Some can't clean sharp corners and others won't clean the waterline. These are all things to be on the lookout for.

The type of dirt and debris your pool accumulates

Depending on your location, your pool will collect different kinds of dirt and debris.

For example, if you live near the beach, there may be a ton of sand in your pool. But if you're landlocked, this is likely not an issue.

If your pool is located underneath a tree, you'll want a cleaner that does a good job at picking up leaves, seeds, and twigs.

Also, check out the type and size of the filter basket. If your pool tends to collect a lot of large debris, you'll want a bigger filter and vice versa.

Robotic Pool Cleaners FAQs

How do robotic pool cleaners function?

Robotic pool cleaners use their own onboard filtration system and power supply to clean your pool. They require little to no intervention during the cleaning cycle. A robotic pool cleaner is a fully autonomous machine, unless there is a defect or problem of some kind.

When placed in the pool, the robot pool cleaner will begin to travel along the floor and walls of the pool surface.

During this process, the robot pool cleaner should be collecting any dirt or debris and placing it in the onboard canister, filter tray, or bag.

After the cleaning process is complete, you should empty the filtration system and recharge the robotic pool cleaner.

Typically, it should be connected to a power supply like a long power plug-in cord, located outside of the pool area.

Because of this, most robotic pool cleaners are easy to transport from one spot to another.

How much do robotic pool cleaners cost?

The cost of a robotic pool cleaner will vary. On average, however, they cost between $500 to $1,200, largely depending on the model purchased.

There are some more budget-friendly options available, costing as little as $200 to $300. It's important to note that a robotic pool cleaner like this will have a limited cleaning capacity.

Once you start looking at models with more advanced programming settings, features, and filtering capacities, the price tag will start to increase.

How long do robotic pool cleaners last?

The life expectancy of a robotic pool cleaner will rely heavily on the level of care put into the machine, as well as the frequency of use.

There are several moving parts in regards to technology and electronics with these robotic pool cleaners. With proper maintenance, you can expect your robotic pool cleaner to last around 3-5 years, with the occasional necessity for part repairs and replacement.

Some owners have been able to extend the longevity of their robotic pool cleansers to 7-plus years.

Are robotic pool cleaners used to clean above-ground pools?

While robotic pool cleaners are more commonly used for in-ground pools, some models are also compatible with above-ground pools.

Many robotic pool cleaners are not able to clean the sides of an above-ground pool as thoroughly, compared to a fiberglass, cement, or tile in-ground pool.

If you're thinking about purchasing a robotic pool cleaner it's important to consider the cleaning coverage you want, especially with above-ground pools.

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