Robotic pool cleaners are vacuums that automate the process of cleaning up the dirt, debris, and sediment found in your pool. Just like a robot vacuum, you don’t need to control the pool cleaner, and the entire process is, for the most part, completely automated. Making it very convenient and effortless.

Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

Most robotic pool cleaners need to be plugged into some electrical source, but today, many rely on batteries as well. Using two motors – one for sucking up the debris, and one for moving the pool cleaner forward – these machines can suck up dirt, debris, and sediment while sticking to the walls of the pool, preventing them from floating away. They navigate your swimming pool through the use of sensors that map out the layout of the pool, allowing the pool cleaner to navigate safely.

More and more pool owners are looking at robotic pool cleaners due to the inherent convenience that such a device offers. You no longer have to control the pool cleaner manually, instead, the machine controls itself. You can create schedules that automate the process, so you don’t even have to go and turn the pool cleaner on. Many of these pool cleaners are exceptionally good at cleaning, and when you take this, combined with the convenience they offer, it quickly becomes clear why people are spending the extra money to purchase a robotic pool cleaner.

When it comes to choosing the best robotic pool cleaner, you need to consider the specifics of what it is that you are looking for in a robotic pool cleaner, along with the kind of pool that you have and the power that you need. From that, you will be able to make the right choice.

Features To Look For:

Lightweight

Perhaps, this goes without saying, but when you are searching for a robotic pool cleaner, you want one that doesn’t weigh too much. The same goes for robotic vacuums.

Lightweight-Robotic-Pool-Cleaners

A lightweight robotic pool cleaner tends to be a lot quicker when it comes to moving around your pool, and, in many cases when it comes to the cleaning process itself. Smaller robotic pool cleaners are also easier to fetch out of the water if a problem occurs. If you have a big, bulky robotic pool cleaner that is trapped at the bottom of the pool, it’s not going to be a fun time, trying to get that robotic pool cleaner out.

Wide, Four-Wheel Drive Wheels

Just like in a car, four-wheel drive is always the best choice when it comes to driving across rough terrain. Now, while your pool cleaner may not be driving across particularly rough terrain, this is a convenient feature that does give the robotic pool cleaner a greater ability to maneuver itself and to move around within tighter spots, so that it can more easily capture the dirt, debris, and sediment found in the pool.

Robotic-Pool-Cleaners-Wheels

Swivel Cord

Swivel cords are always a welcome feature because these types of cords greatly reduce the risk of things like tangling from taking place. Tangling is always an annoyance, and with a swivel cord, that annoyance is no longer present.

Along the same lines, when looking for a robotic pool cleaner with a swivel cord, find one that is also, at the very least, thirty-feet or more. You never know when the extra length will come in handy.

High-Quality Brushes

You always want to make sure that the robotic pool cleaner you buy has high-quality brushes. These brushes are the main tool that is used to scrape up and eliminate dirt, debris, and sediment. If the brushes aren’t very good, what happens is that the pool cleaner is unable to clean certain dirt and debris. When the cleaning process is finished, you’ll notice that there’s still quite a bit of debris left, and you’ll have to get that stuff out manually. Which, of course, contradicts the entire point of owning a robotic pool cleaner.

Programmable Timer

Using a programmable timer, you can choose when the robotic pool cleaner should start cleaning. Many of the newer models allow you to set a timer for up to one-week, automating the necessary cleaning processes during the entirety of that week. This cleaning schedule will make it easy for you to take a “hands-off” approach to the entire process, enabling the robot pool cleaner to do its job easily and efficiently.

Worth noting, however, is that every robotic pool cleaner is a bit different, especially when it comes to just how specific you can be when it comes to timing the processes on your pool cleaner. Some of them only let you set it to run at certain hours, others at the minute, and others – this is rare – down to the second.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

Climbing Ability

Naturally, pools aren’t just flat surfaces with no walls or barriers to speak of. Instead, pools sink into the surface, which requires the robotic pool cleaner in question to be able to climb down walls, and up those same walls once the cleaning has finished. If the robotic pool cleaner is unable to do that, then it risks getting stuck in the pool, which means that you are going to have to go in and get it out.

It’s very important for a robotic pool cleaner to have the ability to climb onto these surfaces, with no problems. And the best way to find this information is to read the user reviews, because unlike the previous features, most of the time, the marketing pages don’t mention a lot about the climbing ability of the robot vacuum.

Deflecting Features And Sensors

Just like a robot vacuum, a robotic pool cleaner must be able to detect objects, debris, and other insurmountable obstacles, and it must be able to go around those things, to prevent damage. Much of these things rely heavily on the individual sensors within the robotic pool cleaner, which is why it is very important that the sensors are up-to-par, but along those same lines, good sensors also enable the robotic pool cleaner to more easily and effortlessly detect dirt, debris, and sediment. This ensures that those things will be cleaned, rather than remain unnoticed.

Robotic-Swimming-Pool-Cleaners

Efficient Cleaning Cycles

Essentially, a cleaning cycle is simply the duration of time that it takes for the robotic pool cleaner to clean your pool. This, in of itself, has a couple of factors that must be acknowledged.

First off, every pool cleaner has a “maximum number of feet” that it can clean, with regards to the size of the pool. In one cycle, for example, some robotic pool cleaners can clean the entirety of a pool that is fifty-feet in diameter. And that cycle might be, for example, three hours.

Every cleaning cycle is different, and it all depends on the size of your pool and the kinds of debris that you are cleaning up, and just how much of it there is.

Make sure to consider the size of your pool, mixed with the length and overall efficiency of the cycle, about your pool and its size and how dirty it is or can be.

7 Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

Durability

Durability is very important because if the robotic pool cleaner isn’t very durable, it won’t last as long – and since these machines can be a bit expensive, you want something that’ll give you your money’s worth – and it will be more likely to get damaged.

Make sure to read about the materials that the pool cleaner you are looking at is made from, and read the user reviews, as well, because they will give you a good idea, with regards to just how strong and durable and long-lasting the pool cleaner is.

Energy Efficiency

Energy efficiency is especially important if you are purchasing a robotic pool cleaner that relies on batteries, rather than a plug-in.

Not all batteries are created equal. Some batteries use far too much electricity than they should be using, and others perfectly maximize and utilize the energy that they have.

Robotic-Pool-Cleaners

One of the best ways to figure out the overall energy efficiency of the robotic pool cleaner is by, very simply, going onto the marketing page and checking just how long a single cleaning cycle, with a single battery charge, lasts. And then, take note of just how large the pool that is being cleaned is, in relation to the battery life. For example, a good robotic pool cleaner can clean a fifty-foot diameter pool in three-hours, on a single charge. For a weaker robotic pool cleaner, that might take two charges.

For a plug-in, this is a bit trickier, but you can read the reviews to uncover some of this information, regarding overall energy efficiency.

How To Maintain A Robotic Pool Cleaner

It’s very important that you have a robotic pool cleaner that is easy to maintain. You really should be looking for a robotic pool cleaner that has very easy to clean filters and panels. With the filters, you want to be able just to take them out, pull off the debris, rinse off the excess grime, and then put them back into the robotic pool cleaner. With the panels, you’ll want to be able to pull them out of the machine, and then to spray them off with the hose or to rinse them off in the sink.

Wash-Filter-Robotic-Pool-Cleaner

Now, not every robotic pool cleaner has this level of convenience, but for your purposes, it’s best that you try to find one that does, because it will save you a lot of time and, potentially, money down the road. The money comes from the fact that some of these robotic pool cleaners require you to replace the filters and panels on a regular basis, rather than to give you the option just to clean them out when you need to. So, while it may cost a bit more, regarding the initial price, you will be saving a significant amount of money, in the end.

Robotic Pool Cleaner Vs. Suction

Robotic pool cleaners are great, but so are suction side pool cleaners. They both have a wide variety of benefits and features that are helpful and useful.

One of the first things to note is that a robotic pool cleaner is more powerful, and it’s a lot easier for a robotic pool cleaner to suck up all kinds of dirt, debris, and sediment. Depending on the one you buy, too, they are far more energy efficient, which is important to note if you plan on using a battery-powered robotic pool cleaner or suction side pool cleaner.

However, the initial cost for a robotic pool cleaner can be significantly higher than that of a suction side pool cleaner. And, you also have to consistently empty and clean out the filters. These kinds of things can be annoying, but you are choosing something that is incredibly powerful and efficient.

Suction side pool cleaners don’t cost as much as robotic pool cleaners, which is a very nice benefit, and they require a bit less maintenance. However, you need to have a pool pump to use a suction side pool cleaner, and, you are sacrificing power for a more inexpensive, and slightly easier-to-use product. So, it all depends on what you want, and what kinds of needs you have.

Filter-Robotic-Pool-Cleaner

Robotic Pool Cleaner Vs. Pressure

Robotic pool cleaners, in comparison to pressure side pool cleaners, are far more powerful and, generally speaking, far more efficient in both energy usage, and just how much is being cleaned. However, they are heavier, and they do require a bit more maintenance.

With a pressure side pool cleaner, the upfront costs are certainly cheaper, there is less maintenance, and overall, it’s a much more convenient tool to use, in those individual aspects. However, you do need a pool pump to run a pressure side pool cleaner, and along with that, you are receiving considerably less power than you have with the robotic pool cleaner. So, if power is your main focus, then for both suction side pool cleaners and pressure side pool cleaners, you are better off with a good robotic pool cleaner.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Often Should You Use Your Robotic Pool Cleaner?

This depends entirely on the pool that you have, and how dirty it is. Quite a few people use their robotic pool cleaner every day, or every other day, especially if they have a pool that gets a lot of use.

In the end, it depends on how dirty your pool gets, and how frequently that takes place. Unlike other tools, if you purchase a good robotic pool cleaner, it will last you a long time, so there is no need to worry about “overusing” it, or anything of that sort.

For a bigger pool, one cleaning a day, or one every other day, is perfect. For a smaller pool, every three-days is good. But, if you aren’t using the pool that much, then you can, and should, space the cleanings out a bit more. Perhaps, only twice a week.

Best Robotic Pool Cleaner for the pool

Should I Purchase The Extended Warranty?

Many robotic pool cleaners have excellent warranties. And while these can be tempting to purchase, especially if you aren’t entirely sure of the durability of the machine itself, it isn’t a necessity, to purchase an extended warranty.

With that being said, however, it isn’t a bad choice, either, because you never know what might happen. In some cases, these warranties have a good chance of saving you a great deal of money, if the robotic pool cleaner ends up being damaged somehow or having some kind of technical issue that you’re having trouble fixing.

Which One Is Better: Lighter, Or Heavier Robotic Pool Cleaners?

Most of the time, this depends on the size of your pool, and just how much needs to be cleaned. For the most part, if you have a medium-sized pool or a small pool, get a light robotic pool cleaner.

Automatic Pool Cleaning System

With a lightweight pool cleaner, comes a great deal of mobility, speed, and, in some ways, efficiency. Efficiency, in that the pool cleaner can move quite a bit faster and with a lot more ease, and also because it’s more likely that a smaller robotic pool cleaner in a smaller/medium-sized pool will gather up the dirt, debris, and sediment within that pool, trapped in those smaller spaces.

Now, the same can be said for the heavier robotic pool cleaners, too, but they have been known to miss certain spots, especially in smaller pools, and they also use up more energy and are less efficient and a bit more inconvenient to maintain.

However, if you have a bigger pool, then it’s worth getting a heavier robotic pool cleaner that costs a bit more, because, chances are, the motor is more powerful. The suction tends to be more thorough, enabling the robotic pool cleaner to suck up every last bit of dirt, debris, and sediment that it comes in contact with.

For overall efficiency and convenience, a light robotic pool cleaner is ideal. For sheer power and suction, a heavier robotic pool cleaner is the best choice.

Best Automatic Pool Cleaners

Should I Opt For Remote-Control Or Caddy?

Each one has its advantages and disadvantages. With a remote control, you are given a great deal of power over where the robotic pool cleaner goes, and this enables you to maneuver it with incredible convenience. It’s swift. It’s quick. It’s easy. But, it also has two very distinct elements that can easily lead to problems.

One of which is the battery life. Remote-controls run on batteries. If the battery dies, and if, for example, you are using that remote-control to control the robotic pool cleaner while it is cleaning, it will be stuck down there in the pool, until you go and get it.

Another problem can arise, and that is having a weak, or nonexistent, signal. This particular problem is infrequent and, for the most part, unlikely. Some remote-controls aren’t very well-made, or they are known to have signal issues, which can be a minor inconvenience and, in some cases, a big inconvenience.

Automatic Swimming-Pool-Cleaner

With a pool caddy, you have less overall convenience, and there is a certain clunkiness that most caddies have, due to their bulk and overall size, but the likelihood of the problems that remote-controls sometimes bring is reduced to zero.

Ultimately, consider what your convenience needs are, and whether or not you want something that is a bit more fool-proof, or something that is more convenient.

Should I Replace The Pool-Boy With The Pool-Bot?

Yes, because robotic pool cleaners have been designed, from the ground up, to create a truly convenient and effortless cleaning experience. That is something that is important to remember.

While these robotic pool cleaners can be a bit costly – at least, when it comes to the initial cost of purchasing the machine – they are incredibly valuable purchases because they make the process of maintenance into something that is easy, efficient, convenient, and completely streamlined; each one of those robots will save you a lot of money and a lot of time.

Cleaning up your pool isn’t a particularly enjoyable task, and it does take up a lot of time, especially if you have a really big pool. With a robotic pool cleaner, you can automate that entire process, though, which gives you more time to focus on the other aspects of pool maintenance.

Robot Pool Cleaner

Conclusion

Ultimately, in searching for the best robotic pool cleaner for yourself, you must consider the various facets of your pool, and the needs that you have with regards to the features shared with you in this article.

Take the time to consider each and every feature and its relevance to you, and the needs of your pool. By looking at each of those things, you’ll be able to easily find the best possible robotic pool cleaner that fulfills each and every one of your needs.


5 Recommended Robotic Pool Cleaners from Dolphin
Best of the
Best!
Best Overall Budget Pick
(< $600;)
For Above Ground
Swimming Pools
Also
Great
Dolphin Oasis Z5i Dolphin Premier Dolphin Nautilus CC Dolphin E10 Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus
Oasis Z5i Premier Nautilus CC E10 Nautilus CC Plus
Up to 50 ft. Up to 50 ft. Up to 33 ft. Up to 30 ft. Up to 50 ft.
XL Cartridge Fine Cartridge Large Cartridge Medium Cartridge Large Cartridge
2.5 hours 3 hours 2 hours 1.5 hour 2 hours
23 x 19.5 x 13.5 in 23.5 x 19.5 x 14 in 16.4 x 16.8 x 9 in 18 x 22 x 12 in 16 x 10 x 16 in
40.6 pounds 37.2 pounds 14 pounds 22.8 pounds 19 pounds

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