A Short Summary of Our Findings
Finding the best robotic in-ground pool cleaner doesn’t have to be as tough as some people say. We’ve scoured through dozens of brands and a countless number of products to find the ones that should be right for your needs. Sure, every model has its share of benefits and drawbacks, but they’re all unique in their way.
To make this guide easier, we’ve decided to split our recommendations into four different sections. The benefit? You can go right ahead and pick one without having to go through this entire guide. So, let’s begin with the first, which is our top pick.
Our Top Pick: Dolphin 2018 Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
The latest version of Dolphin Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner has to be our best pick just because of the benefits it brings over its competitors. This sleek and stylish cleaner cleans up pool surface while consuming approximately 87% less energy than most standard cleaners.
The Smart-Nav program takes cleaning to the next level with its advanced scanning while the dual scrubbing brushes scrubs and vacuums dirt, algae, and gunk from the pool’s surface.
Oh! Did we mention that the Dolphin 2018 Premier is user-friendly too? And it comes with a 3-year warranty where you can get your model repaired; no questions asked! This should be the ideal in-ground pool cleaner for most non-commercial users.
Another dolphin product as a runner-up? Well, this one is almost as good as the Dolphin 2018 Premier, and it comes with a much lower price tag. This remarkable product is suitable for pools that are up to 50 ft in size and need a good scrubbing to get rid of dirt particulates, algae, etc. What makes it so special? It’s the combination of features that ensure efficient results.
It can scrub, vacuum and filter pool surfaces within 2.5 hours due to its combination of dual scrubbing brushes and ‘fine & ultra-fine filters.’ Using the Dolphin Nautilus is easy thanks to the One Button operation.
Best for Budget: Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
Don’t have the budget for the above two pool cleaners? Don’t worry; the Aquabot Pool Rover will do just fine. While this model may look like a ‘toy replica’ of something else, be assured that it can get the job done. It is powered by a 24-volt motor that offers great vacuuming and jet-drive propulsion, enough to clean any kind of dirt or gunk.
The Aquabot Pool Rover is fully automatic, and can easily vacuum oval, round, or flat surfaces within just 1 hour. Talk about efficiency! Unless you’re planning to do heavy-duty stuff, this in-ground cleaner should be okay for your small, medium-sized pool.
Some things never go out of style, do they? The Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner is one of those things. We loved it when it was first launched in 2013, and we love it now for its efficiency. This model is perfect for cleaning pools up to 35 ft and comes with dual scrubs that swiftly get rid of dirt, debris, algae, and other junk.
It’s light on the pocket, not too heavy in weight, and comes with a 12-month warranty on spare parts and labor. Should you buy it? Yes, if you have a small pool and don’t plan on cleaning frequently.
Why Should You Trust Us to Get the Best Robotic Pool Cleaners?
You wouldn’t leave any home improvement task to amateurs, right? Well, then why do you count on half-baked information when it comes to buying a robotic pool cleaner? FACT: most of these so-called “reviews” you read on the web are nothing but hogwash! All they’re trying to do is make a quick buck by posting false opinions.
We don’t do that here. We’ve been in the pool cleaning biz for a long time and have enough experience using a myriad of tools to know what works and what doesn’t. We also don’t pass judgments without testing out the products extensively. Reviewing products and leading you to a better life is our passion and we pursue it with zeal.
Still, think there’s something to doubt? That’s okay, read our reviews and have a closer look at the recommended products. We’re sure you’ll find enough bits and pieces of advice that’ll help you make a perfect choice.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Robotic Pool Cleaner
Now, before you go ahead and place the order, we advise you to get a bit educated about these machines. After all, you’re about to make quite a significant investment. Don’t worry; this is not rocket science. Just keep the following things in mind, and you’re all set:
Type of pool you have
For this part, you’ve to look at just two things: i) Pool surface, ii) Pool size
Pool surface: Unless you happen to be among the few who has a fiberglass pool with slippery tiles, most modern robotic cleaners would fit your need. Otherwise, you’ll need to choose a cleaner that has a soft, super grip PVA brush. Other surfaces can do fine with rubber PVC or wheeled brushes.
Pool size: You can never go wrong with extra long pool cables. It’s because that robot of yours is going to have to reach the furthest point of the pool from its power source. Since every model comes with a fixed cable length, you’re going to have to find one that’s large enough to cover the length and depth of the pool.
Your robotic pool cleaner should weigh on the lighter side so that you can pick it up effortlessly after the job is done. This point is obvious, but we just thought we should put it out there.
The sturdier your brushes, the more dirt, and debris it’s going to clean out. So, go for cleaners that have hard-bristle or rotating rubber brushes that are proven to be effective in scrubbing almost every surface.
Go for a cleaner with an updated programmable timer. This will save you the hassle of starting it up at regular intervals so that you can sit back in peace while your bot does all the work for you.
You will preferably want a cleaner with good climbing abilities. It should be able to go up the sides of your pool walls or even up your pool’s steps to clean out the entire swimming area efficiently.
Deflecting Features and Sensors
It is annoying to have your cleaner get stuck at the corners of your pool frequently. Some really good ones have to deflect features that prevent them from getting stuck in the corners or on other objects while doing their job.
Efficient Cleaning Cycles
Cleaning cycles are different for different systems, varying from single swipes to multiple cleaning levels. Also, some last longer than others. But, you will undoubtedly want one that does the job real quick and efficiently, but, with fine results.
Invest in a cleaner that is manufactured with quality materials. It should last you for a good number of swimming sessions without having to get it repaired too soon. Read the warranty for your cleaner before using it.
The size of your cleaner determines the amount of power it will consume per hour of work. Smaller ones generally take 200 watts per hour whereas, larger ones will consume more. Avoid using cleaners that take up more than 1000 watts per hour since they will cost more over time.
Dolphin 2018 Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
So why is it our best pick?
Now, we have got valid reasons for picking the Dolphin 2018 Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner as our star for this moment. Hear us out on this: we were indeed pleasantly surprised when we first put this cleaner to test!
With features like the Smart-Nav software and 360 degrees anti-swivel underwater cord, this gadget is flipping the game for most. The product has not only been one of the most reviewed but also one that has been highly suggested by the users.
The Dolphin 2018 Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner has made quite an impact with its design even compared to its own predecessors. It has a very ergonomic built with a sleek and stylish design. It is hassle-free when it comes to portability than most others.
Weight and Dimensions
The package dimensions for the cleaner is 23.5 x 20 x 14 inches which comes down to 36.2 pounds in both item and shipping weight. It is space efficient and a lot less bulky than most other standard pool cleaners.
- The Dolphin 2018 Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner consists of highly efficient, sophisticated commercial grade DC motors, and a smart Multi-mediaTM filtration system for a unique user experience while consuming approximately less than 87% energy.
- The cleaner offers you up to four different media for cleaning different kinds of matter. You can either select the micro-filter for picking fine debris or opt for the over-sized debris bag to clean up leaves and bigger particles.
- The Patented 360 degrees Anti-tangle Swivel underwater cable cord of the cleaner manages to get in all those problematic corners and water lines of your pool without breaking or destroying product efficiency.
- This Dolphin comes with Microprocessor controlled Smart-NavTM software achieving highly optimized scanning and cleaning coverage unlike any. This has been the game-changer for user experience.
- The cleaner is equipped with 3000 RPM Commercial Grade Ultra Efficient DC Motors that are 24-volt motors operating on approximately 90% less power than AC booster pumps. The cleaner runs on just 180 watts amounting to an hourly cost of only 5 cents per hour. You can easily run it 2-3 times a week without fearing that huge power bill.
The product comes with a 3 year warranty period with ‘no questions asked’ swift repair and is not pro-rated. This pool cleaner has a 50% longer assurance period than any other on the market.
Ease of Use
The product can be easily used similarly to any other pool cleaner. It is durable and can be easily worked under water.
You can buy the Dolphin Premier and Quest Wireless Remote as an addon to control this machine even better, wirelessly.
- Amazing features
- Uniquely designed
- Smart technologies
- Considerably long warranty period
- Can be on the more expensive side
- Can be tricky to operate the product on pool steps
So, you see why this product sits on the very top of our list? Overall, The Dolphin 2018 Premier Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner is a thoroughly tried and tested product that offers you one of the best pool-cleaning solutions on the market.
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner with Top Load Filter Cartridges
Yup! Another Dolphin product and this one’s a hit! The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner with Top Load Filter Cartridges provides you with one of the most satisfying pool cleaning experiences ever owing to its top gear technology and performance.
This is just the right system for thoroughly scrubbing out larger pools. It is time efficient and has been a user favorite for quite some time now.
The cleaner is designed ergonomically to suit every cleaning requirement of larger pools. It is portable and durable. It comes with an easily accessible top load filter cartridge that is simple to clean, rinse and reload. The simplicity of the overall style has been one of the winning factors of the product. It is absolutely user-friendly.
Weight and Dimensions
The dimensions for the cleaner are 16 x 10 x 16 inches weighing 19 pounds (shipping weight is 33.7 pounds). It is efficiently designed to cover larger surface areas without any resistance or bulky body weight.
- The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner with Top Load Filter Cartridges has been designed to thoroughly scrub out, vacuum and filter all pool surfaces within a time duration of just 2.5 hours.
- It is specially equipped with dual-scrubbing brushes and ultra fine filters that remove any trace of particulate dirt, tough stains or algae along with larger debris.
- The patented swivel-cord allows total pool coverage and 360-degree tangle-free underwater movement for greater cleaning efficiency.
- The cleaner comes upgraded with the CleverClean Technology, a software that scans your pool to ascertain the most efficient way to clean, regardless of the shape or surface of the pool. It is also equipped with a weekly timer that automatically runs the cleaner to complete its programmed 2-hour cycle at set intervals throughout the week.
- The system is entirely independent of your pool’s pump and filter. This allows you to clean out your pool investing a much lesser amount of energy than other devices.
The cleaner robot comes with a 2 year limited warranty period, covering parts and labor.
Ease of Use
The product can be easily used on any pool surface. It is specially designed to clean pools that are 50 ft in length. It is sturdy enough to scrub out larger surfaces.
Machine too heavy to carry? Take a look at this Pool Cleaner Carry Caddy to lend you a helping hand…or should we say wheels?
- Advanced technologies
- Strong and sturdy built
- Dual filtering
- Ultra-fine cleaning
- One Button operation
- Can be an expensive buy
- Needs proper and regular maintenance
Overall, the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner with Top Load Filter Cartridges has been a huge hit and a success amongst product examiners and customers alike. The simplistic approach of the product combines with advanced and smart technologies to provide you with a fine cleaning system for your pool.
Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
If you’re on a budget and want to get something that will nevertheless do a decent job of cleaning any above-ground pool, consider trying out the Aquabot APRVJR Pool Cleaner, that has always been a highly trusted product.
The Aquabot APRVJR is designed to look like a mini land rover. It has a strong and sturdy built. The device is portable and space efficient. It is a fully automated gadget that cleans up any round, oval or rectangular flat surface above ground pool within an hour.
Weight and Dimensions
The dimensions of the product are 21 x 18 x 19 inches totaling to a weight of 26 pounds (the shipping weight of the product is 28.7 pounds).
- The gadget comes with a guidance system and is specifically designed to work on any flat surface above-the-ground pool.
- The cleaner comes with 40 ft floating cable and a built-in 2-micron fine reusable filter bag that helps clean out the debris from the swimming area efficiently.
- A 24-volt motor powers the system. It comes with an internal pump and a power supply transformer of its own. It uses a strong suction and a powerful jet-driven propulsion to displace any sludge or grime off the pool surface, even removing algae as small as 2 microns.
- The cleaner is equipped with extra-wide non-marring wheels that smoothly roll over any surface. It’s patented E-Z swivel device guarantees a tangle-free cable movement.
- This pool robot is also timer programmed having a 2-hour automatic shut off. This helps reduce chemical, water and electricity costs. Power consumption for the device is 180 watts with Input Electrical Requirements of 120 Vac/60 Hz.
The cleaner comes with a 1 year manufacturer warranty period for the motor.
Ease Of Use
The product is extremely easy to use. It facilitates a hassle and tangle free cleaning. You just have to switch the device on and drop it into your pool; this mini-rover will do the rest.
Get your Aquabot a replacement filter bag to keep your pool neat and clean. This product by Blue Wave will surely come in handy in more ways than what you expect.
- Extremely user-friendly
- Sharp jet propulsions for efficient cleaning
- Powerful motor and inbuilt power transformer
- Anti-tangle swivel cord and extra-wide non-marring wheels to overcome obstacles.
- Can only work on above-ground swimming pools
- Limited performance value and features compared to other pool cleaning systems.
The Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner is a trusted old mate which almost never fails to deliver a fair performance at a reasonable price. So, if you are on the lookout for a decent pool cleaning system for a simple deal, do consider taking this mini rover out on a test drive.
Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner with Dual Scrubbing
The best part about having a ‘classic,’ is that you cannot go wrong with it. We all know that we have grown extremely fond of this particular one over all these years.
Needless to say, the Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner with Dual Scrubbing is something that is trusted and tested by numerous users. It also holds a widely appreciated review rating by most.
The Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner with Dual Scrubbing is fairly sturdy and durable. It has been designed to scrub tough debris and stains off your swimming area thoroughly. It is space-efficient and ideal for pools up to 35 ft.
Weight and Dimensions
The product dimensions for this cleaner are 20 x 24 x 20 inches which come down to 34.5 pounds in both its item and shipping weights.
- The device is designed to efficiently clean up any pool floor, coves, and walls as high as 35 ft.
- The cleaner comes equipped with dual scrubbing brushes that scour off any tough dirt, debris, and particulate.
- The gadget uses smart navigation technology to scan your pool and thoroughly clean it out.
- This device uses the patented Dolphin swivel technology that ensures an entirely tangle-free pool coverage and movement.
- The easy-to-clean cartridge filter of the device comes with a spring clean up filter.
- These systems are plug n play, and no pre-installation or connection to your pool is required to work the system. The device is also self-programmed for optimal pool scanning and cleaning.
The product comes with a 12 months warranty period covering spare parts and labor.
Ease of Use
The cleaner can be easily used on any pool surface. It is a ‘plug n play’ device that needs no pre-installation or connection to the pool to run.
- ‘Plug n play.’
- Smart scanning and navigation
- Dolphin swivel technology
- Cost and energy efficient
- Limited performance and features compared to other cleaning systems
- Restricted climbing abilities, going not more than 35 ft
The Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner with Dual Scrubbing has been an old favorite that delivers a decent performance. Although it is not as advanced as the newer ones from the brand, it has remained to be one of the most trusted in the market.
Robotic Pool Cleaner Vs Suction Vs Pressure
There are three main kinds of swimming pools cleaners differentiated by the drive mechanism and the source of power that is used to run them.
Robot Pool Cleaners
The robotic pool cleaners are run by an independent power source. These are segregated from the main pump and filter systems of your pool and are placed as separate set-down transformers on the deck, away from the water.
They are generally equipped with two internal motors. One sucks in the water through an inbuilt filtration bag and the other one drives the synthetic brushes situated on the back and front of the cleaner. These scrub particulates off the pool floor and walls according to their configuration.
The system is remote controlled which allows you to select any area you want cleaned first. These cleaners are time-efficient and can self-navigate automatically. The filter cartridges of the cleaner comes with an inbuilt cleaning filter that eases the pressure on the main pump and filtration systems of your pool.
These cleaners also come with specific features depending on the kind of cleaning that you want and the unit you buy such as algae removal, wall cleaning, dirt control and surface cleaning.
Although these cleaners are a bit expensive, they generally prove to be greatly time and energy efficient for the maintenance of your pool, in the long run.
These are the most budget-friendly pool cleaners. These are entirely powered by your pool’s main pump and depend on the main pump’s suction to move up along the walls and floor of the pool. These easily attach to the pool’s wall skimmer and to the dedicated suction port.
However, these cleaners have filter limitation since they don’t have a separate filter and deplete the suction of the pool’s main pump and use the pool’s filtration to clean out the water. Although the cost of repair and parts replacement is minimal for these cleaners, the overall electricity cost will rise due to the pressure put on the main pump and filter system.
But, these systems are relatively cheaper than the other ones and are easy to install and operate. The first automatic pool cleaners were also suction side ones.
These devices use the pool water that is pressurized by a secondary pump, helping with the system’s debris suction and navigation on a given path. The pressure-side cleaners are equipped with a fine mesh debris bag to trap impurities that doesn’t clog your skimmer or filter.
These cleaners make use of the booster pump to create turbulence in water, and that helps to swiftly clean up and evenly distribute filtered water across the pool.
However, these cleaners consume the maximum amount of power, of all the three types of pool cleaners, for working the high pressurized booster pump. These are time-consuming and require to be attached to the pool’s main pump and filter, demanding high maintenance. Overall, these cleaners can really hike up the total electricity cost for the number of times you do put it to use.
Robot Upkeep 101
It is so very important for you to take good care of your swimming pool cleaner, no matter whichever model you go for. Remember, that your cleaner needs cleaning too. Proper upkeep will not only keep your product running for a longer time, but it will also rule out any risk of germ contamination from a dirty device in your swimming pool.
We have listed a few tips that will help you with the maintenance of your swimming pool cleaner.
- Remember, that even if it is a swimming pool cleaner, designed to work underwater, you should always swiftly take the machine out of the water once its cycle has been complete. This ensures the longevity and efficacy of the motor and prevent any electrical mishap or accident at the pool.
- Be informed about proper handling of the machine. Make sure that you drain and dry off the cleaner completely after each use, according to the instruction guidebook.
- Properly wash out your cleaning bot after each use. Make sure that there is no impurity or debris being left behind on the brushes or on the wheels.
- Clean out the filter cartridges and the debris bag if that is included.
- Look out for any sign of damage on the brushes. Consider replacing them, if there are any or if you feel they are worn out.
- Store your swimming pool cleaner out of direct sunlight. Do not keep it out in the open or near children or pets.
- Go through the manufacturer’s instruction guide if you are attempting to service the product yourself.
And that brings us to the end of our guide of the best robotic pool cleaners. We hope you enjoyed learning about these fascinating and useful machines as much as we did writing about them. So, which one did you like the most? Let us know in the comments section below.