It’s summertime, which means you’ve got to find a way to keep your pool clean. Fortunately, there are plenty of options when it comes to robot pool cleaners. In our review, we’ll take a look at the Best Robot Pool Cleaners available, along with how you can find one that fits your needs.
Finding the right robot pool cleaner isn’t easy, especially when considering how many varieties and products are on the market. We’ve picked a few robot pool cleaners that make cleaning your pool much easier on you. No matter what you need in a pool cleaner, you’re sure to discover one that meets your expectations.
We’ve rounded up the best overall, best above ground, best inground, and best algae cleaning robot pool cleaners for 2019. These are highly rated devices, which means there are many other pool owners who use them and recommend them. However, before we get to all that, let’s take a moment to discuss how to choose the best robot pool cleaner, along with the benefits and different types.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 What is a Robot Pool Cleaner?
- 2 How do Robot Pool Cleaners Work?
- 3 Benefits of Robot Pool Cleaners
- 4 Choosing the Best Robot Pool Cleaner
- 5 Feature to Consider
- 6 Best Robot Pool Cleaner
- 7 Best Overall: Dolphin Nautilus Robot Pool Cleaner
- 8 iRobot Mirra 530 Pool Cleaning Robot: Roomba for your Pool
- 9 Best for Above-Ground Pools: Aquabot Pool Rover
- 10 Best for In-Ground Pools: Dolphin Triton Plus
- 11 Best for Algae: Dolphin Premier
- 12 Find a Pool Cleaner That’s Right For You
What is a Robot Pool Cleaner?
A robot pool cleaner is an automated device which collects dirt, debris, algae, and sediment from your swimming pool with little intervention on your behalf. There are several different types of robot pool cleaners, and most of them are powered by batteries. All robot pool cleaners have a single goal: to keep your pool clean.
As you search for the ideal robot pool cleaner, you’ll encounter three basic types:
- Pressure-Side cleaners
- Suction-Side cleaners
- Robotic cleaners
How do Robot Pool Cleaners Work?
To put it simply, a robot pool cleaner is a vacuum which cleans the bottom of your swimming pool. It automates the entire cleaning process. If you don’t like to manually clean your pool, then a robot pool cleaner is for you since it requires little in the way of intervention.
We’ll dig more into how the three different types of pool cleaners work to keep your pool clean in a bit. Just know that they work in various ways, which may or may not work for the type of pool you have. For now, let’s explore some of the benefits of using an automated pool cleaner.
Benefits of Robot Pool Cleaners
If you’re not sure what the right type of robot pool cleaner for your pool is, that’s fine. The answer will vary based on what you need. Here are some of the more common benefits you’ll experience by letting a robot pool cleaner get your pool nice and clean.
Chances are good that if you’re a pool owner, over time you’ve managed to accumulate all the things you need to get your pool clean by hand. You probably have a good pool brush you use to scrub with, a skimmer for cleaning the top of the water, a telescoping pole for getting into those hard to reach areas, and a vacuum which sucks out algae and keeps it to a minimum.
But ask yourself, how much time do you spend cleaning your pool as opposed to simply heading out back and enjoying it with your family or friends?
It’s challenging enough to get household chores done in a day without adding in cleaning a pool to the list. Sure, you can always rope your family into helping you and make cleaning the pool a bonding experience. But wouldn’t you rather spend time enjoying the pool instead?
You could also pay to have it cleaned every week or two, but then you’re just adding to the cost of owning a pool. Plus, it’s a recurring cost when you could just pay a little more to buy a robot pool clean. Let’s face it, paying to have it done or doing it yourself can be an exercise in frustration. Why not let a robot do it for you?
In addition to saving you time, robot pool cleaners are also cost effective and energy efficient. These little devices help you cut down on your energy bills while ensuring that your pool is clear of algae and bacteria. Using a robot pool cleaner means you don’t have to buy additional pumps or components for a filtration system. This means you’re going to reduce the amount of wear and tear that typically occurs with your more expensive pool equipment.
Plenty of Features
Not only are you going to save time and energy, but you’ll also get all the features that come with robot pool cleaners. For instance, you can run them any time day or night since they are typically quiet and automated. They aid in reducing the amount of chemicals you use in your pool since they consistently circulate them as they clean.
Some robot pool cleaners can climb and scrub your walls, come with remote or mobile apps, have built-in navigation capabilities, and include scheduling options. With all these features and more, it’s easy to see the appeal of owning a robot pool cleaner.
Of course, not all robot pool cleaners are cheaper, but if you shop around you’ll increase your chances of finding a solid option in your budget. You’ll find that every pool cleaner operates in a different manner, so it’s worth your time to learn as much as you can about them before you select the one that works best for you and your pool.
Choosing the Best Robot Pool Cleaner
The sheer number of options on the market makes finding the right pool cleaner a challenging endeavor. It’s daunting to determine which robot pool cleaner is the best one and which one is best-suited for you?
Unfortunately, there’s no cut and dry answer. It really depends on what you need. Not every pool cleaner is going to be the right one for you. Some are best for in-ground pools while others are good for above ground. Different pools will have varying standards.
Each pool cleaner type has its own advantages and disadvantages. Some may have features that are of no use to you, while others have specific options that you want to have for your pool. Once you have a solid grasp on what you’re looking for, it’ll help you find the pool cleaner that makes the most sense for you.
Feature to Consider
Before you make a decision on a pool cleaner, take a moment to consider which features might be the most valuable to you. It doesn’t do you any good to buy an in-ground only pool cleaner if you have an above ground pool. Or you might want one you can set on a schedule so you don’t have to worry about remembering to tell it to clean. Here are some features to think about:
Worry less about how big your robot pool cleaner is and more about how much it weighs. Of course, you want to make sure you can get your robot pool cleaner out of your pool, but if it’s too heavy, you’ll have a more difficult time maintaining it. Know your weight limitations and purchase a robot pool cleaner that won’t have you asking for help every time you pull it out of the pool.
Your robot pool cleaner isn’t going to go off-roading, but you still want a unit that can navigate around your pool without help from you. A four-wheel-drive device is what we’d recommend. Find one with rubber wheels so it will easily move over bumps and drains in the bottom of your pool. Plus, you want your robot pool cleaner to navigate the surfaces of your pool without worrying about it getting stuck.
Unfortunately, even robot pool cleaners need cords. Since it’s going to be cleaning everywhere in your pool, you want it to have a tangle-free cord that will move with it. A cord on a swivel will keep it from getting twisted up while giving your robot pool cleaner the freedom it needs to move throughout your pool.
Loosening up debris, dirt, and algae from your pool is difficult work, but it’s the job of the brushes on your pool cleaner to get it done. Find a robot pool cleaner that has hard-bristle brushes that rotate. This will ensure more dirt is scrubbed from nearly any surface on your pool.
The point of spending money on a robot pool cleaner is to find one that makes your life easier. If you need to get up and start it each time you need it to clean your pool, then why own an automated device? Find a pool cleaner that has a programmable timer so you don’t have to worry about when it’s going to run. Remember, however, that it does need to be cleaned every once in a while.
Waterline and Walls
If you can find a robot pool cleaner in your budget that climbs, go for it. The best options easily climb up the walls or your pool, cleaning up to the waterline as it goes. These types of robot pool cleaners will also clean your stairs if you happen to have them.
Various Cleaning Cycles
While it’s always ideal to have a pool cleaner that cleans as efficiently and quickly as possible, there are times when you might want it to clean more thoroughly. Robot pool cleaners have various cleaning cycles, so you can set them to run for an hour or two.
Since robot pool cleaners require more up-front cost, you want to find one that’s going to last. That means finding a durable unit made of high-quality materials. You may eventually need to perform minor repairs, but that should take at least a few years. Check out the warranty information before buying so you know exactly what steps to take if something goes wrong.
One of the best features available on robot pool cleaners is their efficiency. However, not all robot pool cleaners are created the same. Find one that makes sense for your pool type and size, but isn’t overkill. The best options won’t eat up a lot of electricity, but will still leave your pool looking good.
Best Robot Pool Cleaner
Now that you’re more familiar with the types of pool cleaners and what they have to offer, let’s take a look at some of the options available on the market. These are our best robot pool cleaners for 2019.
Best Overall: Dolphin Nautilus Robot Pool Cleaner
The Dolphin Nautilus is a great mid-tier robotic pool cleaner that cleans your pool thoroughly and efficiently. You’ll get this robot pool cleaner for a good price and you’ll be satisfied with how good your pool looks when it’s done. The performance and range of this pool cleaner are definitely worth the price tag.
Built into the Nautilus is a smart navigation system which Dolphin calls CleverClean. This technology uses algorithms to confirm that 100% of your pool has been cleaned. It also creates a cleaning path that is efficient, which means less time and power is needed to get your pool looking good.
With tread-based drive, the Nautilus gives you excellent grip on any type of pool surfaces. This is especially handy on those slippery or algae covered areas in your pool. Plus, with this type of tread, your pool cleaner will have no trouble getting over obstructions like steps, drains, or large debris that might be on your pool floor.
Its dual scrubbing brushes are located at the front and back to scrub away difficult dirt that gets stuck on the floor and walls of your pool. The powerful suction of the Nautilus ensures that any type of dirt or debris in the water is removed quickly and efficiently.
Lastly, it’s ultra-fine filters will trap and contain small bits of dirt and debris. So whether its cleaning leaves or algae, you’ll know that the Nautilus is going to remove and capture it all.
- Anti-tangle swivel cable keeps the cord from twisting
- Built-in navigation means you’re saving energy without sacrificing cleaning efficiency
- Excellent performance with powerful suction and dual scrubbing brushes
- Great for all pool surfaces due to high-grip treads
- Reliable and proven robot pool cleaner for in-ground pools
- Does not offer timer functionality
- No remote control or mobile app
- Has trouble with tight corners
iRobot Mirra 530 Pool Cleaning Robot: Roomba for your Pool
Irobot has been making high-quality automated pool cleaning solutions for years and the company has raised the bar once again with the release of its newest robotic pool cleaner, the Mirra 530. I’ve done a complete review of it right here, but the following is a summary of why I like it.
Currently available for a good price (see here), the Mirra 530 certainly isn’t the cheapest pool cleaner on the market but the unique design and abundant high-end features make it a worthy investment for anyone serious about keeping the pool clean.
- New Technology: One new feature found on the Mirra 530 that wasn’t available on iRobot’s previous product offerings is iAdapt Nautiq Responsive Cleaning Technology. This is the same technology used in iRobots popular Roomba vacuums. Using complex algorithms, this system allows the Mirra 530 to accurately calculate the dimensions of the pool. With this information, the pool cleaner is able to create the most efficient cleaning pattern. The technology even identifies areas of the pool that most likely require more than one pass to properly clean (i.e. stairs, corners, and drains).
- PVC Scrubbing Brush: Other new features of the Mirra 530 include a redesigned PVC scrubbing brush that is directly connected to the robot’s motor – providing an increase in both suction cleaning and filtration power.
- Impressive Filtration Capacity: This model is capable of filtering up to 70 gallons per minute (4,200 gallons per hour) meaning that the unit can completely clean most pools within a few hours at most.
- Smart Solution to Filter Bags: iRobot also got rid of the difficult to clean filter bags of previous models; instead opting for a top-mounted canister that is easy to remove and only requires a quick rinse before being put back to use.
- Saves on Energy Costs: Like the Dolphin Nautilus, the Mirra 530 is completely self-contained. This reduces the strain of existing pool equipment while consuming significantly less energy than pool cleaners that rely on existing pool hardware to function. In fact, iRobot claims that using the Mirra 530 can save hundreds of dollars in energy costs each year meaning that the unit will pay for itself in about six years just by using it. The fact that the Mirra 530 is self-contained also means that there is no installation requirements prior to using the device. Simply plug into a 110V outlet, hit clean, and the Mirra 530 does the rest.
- Avoids Entanglement via Smart Sensor: The included 60’ power cord is equipped with a gyro sensor that can sense when the robot turns. This information is then used by the unit to plot a course around the pool that avoids entanglement in the cord.
Drawbacks of the Mirra 530
- Steep Price Tag: Perhaps the only drawback to the Mirra 530 is its steep price tag. Granted, pool owners get a lot of features for their money but the initial investment could be a serious concern for some pool owners. Price tag aside, this pool cleaner represents everything that an automated pool cleaning solution should be. iRobot’s latest offering boasts the latest in home automation technology without forgetting to keep the unit simple and easy to use.
I purchased my Mirra at this listing, where you will tend to find the better deals.
Best for Above-Ground Pools: Aquabot Pool Rover
The Aquabot Pool Rover, also known as the S2-40i, comes with everything you need to get your pool looking good. This robot pool cleaner comes with a top-of-the-line filtration system, filtering down to two microns. That means dirt, debris, and other contaminants aren’t going to escape the Aquabot Pool Rover. To get an idea of just how small two microns are, one grain of salt is roughly 100 microns.
With its hydro-robotic technology, the Aquabot Pool Rover gives you maximum coverage. However, you won’t have to sacrifice efficiency as it cleans in a manner that makes the most sense for your pool. The Pool Rover offers two cleaning cycles – 1 hour or 2 hours – which you can use depending on how dirty your pool is.
This robot pool cleaner easily navigates over drains and other obstacles. Plus, it will clean any type of surface, including concrete, vinyl, and tile. With its NeverStuck system, the Pool Rover won’t easily get stuck, which means you don’t have to worry about interacting with it. Instead, you can focus on other, more important things.
While the Pool Rover on check in at 22 pounds, it still has a powerful pump that filters nearly 4800 gallons of water each hour. As a result, your pool is getting thoroughly cleaned in a short amount of time, saving you on electricity.
- Comes with a 1 year 100% warranty
- Fantastic build quality
- Top-access filter means you don’t have to turn over the pool cleaner
- High-quality treads mean no marks are left on your pool
- Solid traction to navigate the pool
- Easy to assemble
- Quiet operation means you can run it at anytime
- 40-foot anti-swivel floating cable
- Does not clean up to the waterline. This means you’ll have to clean your walls
- Only works in above ground pools.
- Could use a longer cable
Best for In-Ground Pools: Dolphin Triton Plus
If you’re into all the bells and whistles available on robot pool cleaners, then you’ll really like the Dolphin Triton Plus. This unit offers a Bluetooth remote control, which you use from your phone via the smartphone app. Sync it to your cleaner, then watch your robot cleaner go as you move it through your pool.
That’s not all the app does, though. You can also use it to set up a weekly timer, as well as set your preferred mode for cleaning. That means if you want to tell the Dolphin Triton to clean every two days, it will do so.
Another great feature available with the Triton Plus is the PowerStream drive. With its PowerStream propulsion, the robot pool cleaner uses water jets to create better control and more grip as it cleans your pool. As a result, the Triton Plus easily navigates over obstructions and climbs your walls without fear of getting lodged somewhere.
Dual brushes actively scrub the floor and walls of your pool, dislodging debris, algae, and bacteria as it goes. That means you have a healthy and clean pool to swim in. The Triton Plus also offers powerful vacuums and ultra-fine filtration, which means even the smallest contaminants and particles are picked up and removed from your pool.
If you like controlling your devices form your smartphone, the Triton Plus is a modern robot pool cleaner that you’re sure to enjoy.
- Offers weekly timers and various cleaning modes
- Scrubs away algae, dirt, and debris with excellent cleaning performance
- No problems with climbing walls and navigating obstacles
- Ultra-fine filters pick up all contaminants in your pool
- Bluetooth control via smartphone app
- Smart algorithms used to clean your pool quickly and efficiently
Non-swivel cable occasionally tangles
Best for Algae: Dolphin Premier
The Dolphin Premier robot pool cleaner is quickly becoming one of the more popular automated cleaners on the market. This pricey device offers a 3-year warranty, a rapid repair option for its customers, and enough features to make it you wonder how you ever lived without it. Oh, did we mention its the best robot pool cleaner to use for algae?
Equipped with dual scrubbing brushes, the Dolphin Premier will get the floor and walls of your pool looking good. Plus, it vacuums everything up and captures it into its filter so you don’t have to worry about cleaning it on your own.
This robot pool cleaner has a state of the art microprocessor which controls it via its Smart-Nav software. With this technology, the cost to power the device is reduced by almost 87%, which is why it’s one of the better pool cleaners on the market.
Additionally, the Smart-Nav software aids in cleaning walls and tiles while it continuously scans the pool for debris or dirt that was churned up or that it may have missed. At the same time, the Dolphin Premier is also ensuring that it’s on the most efficient path for cleaning your pool.
The Dolphin Premier can also detect and navigate around obstacles like ladders and drains, so you don’t have to worry that it will get stuck and you’ll have to dislodge it. This unit also comes with a tangle-free swivel system so you don’t have to worry about the cord getting twisted or wound around the device.
When it comes to cleaning algae, the Dolphin Premier is the best on the market. With its micro filter and dual scrubbing brushes, it will loosen up any hard to reach areas while collecting it all in its debris collection bag. It’s efficient and thorough, which means you have to spend less time worrying about whether or not your pool is clean.
- Excellent list of features
- Unique and high-quality design
- Advanced technologies for a more thorough clean
- Anti-tangle swivel cable
- Cleans various types of surfaces
- Loosens and gathers algae throughout your pool
- Three-year warranty
- One of the more expensive robot pool cleaners on the market
- Can have difficulty cleaning steps
If budget is your primary concern and you need a robotic cleaner yesterday, this is a perfectly good option. Be sure to check out this product listing for the latest pricing details.
Find a Pool Cleaner That’s Right For You
It’s not easy to find the right pool cleaner, especially given all the choices available on the market. However, if you take time to do your research, you’re sure to find one that fits your needs. As you can see, there are robot pool cleaners for above ground pools, in-ground pools, and various other types of specifications.
While robot pool cleaners do cost a bit more up front, you’ll discover over the long term that they’re great for keeping your pool clean and letting you worry about other, more important things. Things like spending and enjoying time with your family in your nice, clean pool.
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!