Best Robotic Pool Cleaner to Keep The Good Times Rolling

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Imagine a hot day; you've grabbed your music player and drinks for a cool, glorious dip, only to walk up to a super filthy pool. You can almost feel your heart sink into your stomach thinking about the numbing task ahead of you. Luckily, the best robotic pool cleaner makes short work out of what would have a much-dreaded task.

Nowadays, being proactive about pool cleaning is more smart work than hard work. Nothing comes close to the convenience of simply releasing an automatic cleaner into your pool while not having to run the filtration system. Here are the 5 best automatic pool cleaners so that you make the most out of a cool dip whenever you want:

Best Robotic Pool Cleaner

1. Best Overall: Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Vacuum Cleaner...
  • Save time and get back to enjoying your pool. The Dolphin pool...
  • The Dolphin robotic pool cleaner’s easy-access and powerful...
  • With the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus pool cleaner plug-and-play...
  • The Dolphin pool vacuum’s active dual-brush capabilities...
  • Dolphin pool cleaners have been effortlessly cleaning the...

If you're looking for an automated pool cleaner that goes about its business quietly and efficiently -with minimal user interaction- the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Vacuum is an excellent choice.

This inground pool cleaner uses its own power supply to move around the pool floor and climb on the walls. It can handle up to 50-feet swimming pools, operating on a 2-hour cleaning cycle. It also features CleverClean technology to scan and map the floor for a thorough and systematic cleaning pattern.

It uses the standard dual scrubbing brushes and a large twin cartridge filter system. The onboard filters include standard duty filters for general debris and finer corrugated filters for the smaller particles. It also has a hatch on top of the vacuum for easy access and cleaning the filters when necessary.


  • Ideal for large pools
  • Covers both floor and wall
  • Powerful appliance with advanced technology
  • Trusted brand


  • Expensive.

2. Best Smart: Polaris 96501Q Sport

Polaris 9650iQ Sport Robotic Cleaner, Automatic Vacuum...
  • INTELLIGENT POOL CLEANER: Wherever you are, whenever you want --...
  • IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 60 ft.
  • MOBILE APP & WiFi: With a built-in WiFi connection that enables...
  • PREMIUM CLEANING PERFORMANCE: 4-Wheel Drive - climbs over...
  • WHAT'S INCLUDED: Comes equipped with a 70ft cable w/...

If using a robotic cleaner is the most efficient way to clean your pool, then the Polaris 96501Q is arguably the most intelligent model to get the job done. It's equipped with Wi-Fi connectivity so that you can control it from the comfort of an app.

The complementary app iAquaLink allows you to customize cleaning modes, keep track of the cleaning session or even recall the machine back to the poolside using the EasyLift System. Additionally, you can also use an on-screen controller or your phone as the motion controller to spot clean your pool; all you have to do is just tilt your phone in the desired direction.

The 96501Q is not only smart but also quite powerful. It's a 4-wheel inground pool cleaner that can move through obstacles and climb up the pool's wall to reach the waterline. Its dual rubber brushes loosen the dirt and grime as the onboard suction system collects the debris in a filter canister.


  • Impressively smart
  • Powerful.
  • Spot cleaning


  • Needs Wi-Fi to get the best out of it
  • iAquaLink lacks push notification; you have to check the filters' status manually.

3. Best for Above Ground Pools: Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior

Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground...
  • Pool rover Jr. comes with 40-feet of floating cable, a built-in...
  • Fully automatic robotic cleaner vacuums any round, oval, or...
  • Powered by a 24-volt pump motor that provides vacuum suction and...
  • Extra-wide non-marring wheels roll over any surface and patented...
  • 2-hour automatic shut off timer; reduces chemical, water, and...

Many robotic pool cleaners are built for inground use. However, the Aquabot Pool Rover Junior is specifically designed for above-ground use.

It's a self-propelled robotic cleaner that can cover over 5400 square feet per hour, with a 2-3 hour cleaning cycle. It has a 2WD system, although the four wheels can glide on all sorts of pool surfaces, including vinyl. This makes it an excellent robot pool cleaner to pool floors.

It comes with a reasonable 40-foot power cord to ensure that you can clean an entire pool with minimal hassle. Moreso, it has an onboard filter bag to collect even the finest of particles (we're talking about as small as 2 microns, the equivalent of flour or dust. This leaves you with a sparkling cleaner pool and clear waters.


  • Ideal for above-ground use
  • Great for pool floors
  • Efficient filtration system


  • Mostly suited to above-ground use.

4. Best for Inground Pools: Hayward SharkVac XL Robotic Pool Vacuum

Hayward W3RC9740WCCUB SharkVac XL Robotic Pool Cleaner...
  • EFFICIENT CLEANING PROGRAM: Uses smart steering technology that...
  • EASILY REMOVABLE TOP-ACCESS FILTER: Top-access filter allows...
  • EASY TO USE: Does not require hoses or hookups, or additional...
  • SMART SENSORS: Out-of-water sensor protects the motor by...

This self-contained pool cleaner is exactly what you need if you want your pool floor, walls and waterline scoured for an effortless clean.

The SharkVAc XL is an inground cleaner that comes with a 50-foot power cord. It's ideal for pools that are no larger than 20 x 40 feet. It has smart-steering technology that helps it to maneuver across an entire pool efficiently. Not to mention it has a remarkable 3-hour cleaning cycle. An onboard sensor restricts it within the pool area during the process, even when it's approaching the shallow end or scouring tiles along the waterline.

This robotic cleaner also has a top door, making it easier to access the filter or quickly rinse them with a garden hose. It gets all this done without interfering with your pool's filtration system.


  • Excellent intelligence
  • Ideal for in-ground, walls and coves
  • Solid construction


  • Big and bulky
  • Doesn't climb high pool walls

5. Best Budget: Aiper Smart Cordless Automatic Pool Cleaner

RENEWED AIPER Cordless Automatic Pool Cleaner, Strong...
  • Refurished: This pre-owned product has been professionally...
  • Surface: Product works and looks like very good. There will be no...
  • Accessory: Accessories are original, compatible and fully...
  • Guarantee:This product is eligible for a replacement or refund...
  • What You Get: Aiper Robotic Pool Cleaner, 220V Power Adapter,...

For almost the same price as your average suction-side pool cleaners, this affordable robotic cleaner delivers basic pool floor cleaning while it can also climb walls.

It's both an above-ground and inground pool cleaner, with a 1-hour cleaning cycle, making it ideal for pools up to 538 square feet. It helps to keep debris collecting in your pool under control, ensuring it stays clean in between pool maintenance sessions.

One thing that stands out on this Aiper model is the cordless design. It features a rechargeable lithium battery that can recharge the unit in 3 to 4 hours. And in case it runs out of juice while still at work, its smart docking technology drifts the unit to the edge of the pool, where it can be lifted out for recharging.


  • No cord hence no tangling
  • Lightweight
  • Suitable for almost every pool type
  • Less time to charge


  • Relatively lower battery life
  • Only supports in-ground pool cleaning

Why Buy a Robotic Pool Cleaner? - Cleanup

Automatic pool cleaners are arguably the more sensible investment for most swimming pool owners. There are three popular automated pool cleaning options: Suction-side, pressure-side and robotic. Robotic cleaners tend to be the pricier of the lot, but they also happen to be the least labor and time-intensive.

Here's why you'll be glad you chose to get the best robotic pool cleaner:

  • It has just the proper scrubbing and filtration power to get rid of things a regular pool vacuum might not. More so, robotic pool cleaners with smart navigation clean every part of the pool thoroughly.
  • You get more spare time to spend with your family or at work, rather than tediously cleaning your pool.
  • As much as manual cleaning can be a good exercise, it can be a nightmare if you have a bad back or any other physical restriction.
  • It prolongs the lifespan of your pool pump. Unlike most pool cleaners and vacuums, a robotic pool cleaner does not rely on the pool's pump for power instead of using its own power and filters.
  • It's remarkably energy-efficient. Plus, you'll use fewer chemicals to clean your pool, which plays a small yet significant role in caring for the environment.

Factors to Consider in the Best Robotic Pool Cleaner

1. Pool Type

Not all robotic pool cleaners are built the same. The first thing you'll have to consider is the type of pool you own. This includes the pool's size, shape, stairs, steps, waterline and even the kind of debris that collects in your pool. For instance, if you have a large pool and opt for a corded robotic pool cleaner, it only makes sense to get one with a long cord or just go for a powerful cordless option.

2. Cables & Electrical Safety

As previously mentioned, the appropriate cord length allows you to reach all the corners of the pool, eliminating chances of cord restriction-if you have a short cord or twisting and tangling-if you have a long cord. It's also important to ensure that your ideal robotic pool cleaner comes with an anti-tangle swive for more efficient cleaning.

While at it, you'll also need to consider electrical safety. Fortunately, robotic pool cleaners are not as hazardous as they might come off at first glance. But you'll still need to carefully assess the wires and plugs to eliminate any chances of risk. Solid construction in the best robotic pool cleaner ensures that your safety is not a prominent concern.

3. Filters

Pools collect all kinds of debris, from leaves and algae to dirt and dust, mostly depending on where you live. This means that your cleaner needs to be properly equipped to filter and suck out such debris.

Premium pool cleaners come with large fitters that can be changed to collect small-to-large debris from the pool. Large filters collect sizeable debris such as leaves, while small filters work on smaller debris such as dirt and pollen. Finer debris, such as dust, requires small pore filters that either come with the model or are bought separately.

Most robotic pool cleaners come with a replaceable bag to collect the debris. It's always recommended to replace or clean your filter bags before beginning the next pool cleaning cycle. Otherwise, they might end up clogging, which hinders performance and ultimately shortens your machine's lifespan.

4. Wheels or Tracks

Wheeled robotic pool cleaners are the more affordable choice of the two. They can either be two or four-wheeled, which allows for easy navigation inside the pool. Generally, these cleaners are not significantly less powerful than tracked ones, and they still deliver outstanding results.

On the other hand, tracked robotic pool cleaners have remarkable grip and traction in the pool. They are also more efficient in loosening debris and dirt stuck on the walls and in the waterlines. More so, their rotating scrubbers provide more power for even deeper cleaning.

5. Cleaning

This mainly focuses on the sections of the pool that you want to clean:

  • An inground pool cleaner mainly cleans the floor of the pool.
  • An above-ground pool cleaner means they are built to skim the surface of the pool. Some models can also climb walls, meaning they can brush off algae, dirt and other debris from the walls and waterline.
  • High-end cleaners are designed to clean both the floors and walls efficiently.

We suggest opting for a robotic pool cleaner that can clean most of the pool area, from the floor and walls to the waterline and surface.

6. Energy-Efficiency

Relative to regular hydraulic pool cleaners, robotic ones consumer a reported 82% less power. Robotic pool cleaners typically use 180W to 1000W per hour, depending on size. However, energy efficiency still varies from one model to the other.

When you're looking for the best robotic pool cleaner, you'll definitely need to consider the battery, power usage as well as how long it would take to clean each corner of the pool. Power and performance. The key thing to keep in mind is the higher the suction power, the cleaner the pool.

7. Durability

Like any valuable product you'll buy, you equally need to get a robotic pool cleaner that is built to last. For this, you can check out the desired product's customer reviews and feedback to determine the worth of your investment. We suggest sticking to trusted brands if you really want to get a long-lasting pool cleaner.

8. Advanced Features

Some robotic pool cleaners also come with support for quick-access features. This means they can be programmed, scheduled and operated from the comfort of your smartphone. Others also include advanced sensors and scanning features that expedite the cleaning process while also ensuring that the cleaner doesn't get stuck in the pool.

9. Price & Warranty

Just because you're getting the best robotic pool cleaner doesn't mean it has to cost you a fortune. As such, you can always find a good deal that balances between affordability and functionality. While at it, consider going for a machine that comes with at least a one-year warranty. It's important to keep in mind that some warranties may only cover the parts, such as motors, suction pump, container, etcetera. Consider contacting the manufacturer for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

1. How do robotic pool cleaners work?

Using its own power supply and built-in filtration system, a robotic pool cleaner simply moves along the pool's floors and walls, sucking and collecting debris along the way.

2. How long do robotic pool cleaners last?

It mainly depends on how frequently you use it, as well as how you maintain it, especially since they involve plenty of moving parts and electronics. Generally, you can expect 3-5 years of decent service. The best robotic pool cleaner can even last 7 or more years with just basic maintenance and perhaps periodic parts replacement. 

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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