Best Robotic Pool Cleaner for the Money in 2022: Buying Guide

For all the pool owners, pool cleaners, and public pool workers out there, how do you maintain your pool’s cleanlinessSkimming the surface to lift any floating leaves and twigs is all nice and good, but what about the stuff at the bottom?

Best Robotic Pool Cleaner for the Money

Perhaps you’ve heard of suction cleaners and pressure-side cleaners before. These systems work pretty wonderfully at keeping our pools free of sunken and floating debris. However, if you want to go all out to keep the water surface, walls, and base spotless, then a robotic pool cleaner is the way to go.

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Robotic Pool Cleaner | Recommended

Last update on 2023-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Robotic Pool Cleaner | Recommended

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our Recommended Robotic Pool Cleaners

Polaris F9350 Sport

Specifically designed with sensitive vinyl-lined pool surfaces in mind, the 2-wheel drive Polaris F9350 Sport is equipped with aqua-track tires, said by manufacturers to be gentle on all pool surfaces while being effective and powerful in its vacuuming capabilities.

Polaris F9350 Sport

With the combination of a rear propulsion system and ActivMotion sensor technology, the cleaner can navigate large pools while paying careful attention to difficult-to-reach spaces along the steps and corners.

Vortex vacuum technology allows for the collection of large debris without compromising the suction capabilities of the unit. Furthermore, the accessibility of the filter canister allows for easy cleaning and maintenance.

While vinyl pool lining is inherently prone to wear and tear from repeated action, even through manual cleaning, the Polaris F9350 is the most ideal automatic cleaner to ensure reasonable longevity of vinyl surfaces in a manner that reduces physical labor on the part of the user.

Polaris 9350 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner, Automatic...
  • AUTO POOL CLEANER: The 9350 Sport 2WD provides premium cleaning performance and features. Complete cleaning...
  • IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 50 ft.
  • POLARIS: For more than 40 years, Polaris has been known worldwide for its quality and best-in-class automatic...

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Polaris F9550 Sport

Ideal for pools of up to 60 feet in length, and capable of tackling in-ground pools of any size, the Polaris F9550 is a powerful and rigorous device with many fantastic features designed for obtaining a complete and thorough clean.

Polaris F9550 Sport

With a combination of 4-wheel drive and rear water jets for propulsion, the F9550 maintains fluid mobility, even on uneven surfaces or stairs. AquaTrax tires keep a steady and unyielding grip on any pool surface, even when the unit is roaming vertically, and Vortex vacuum technology ensures consistent suction even as the cleaner entraps large debris.

ActivMotion Sensor technology also allows the Polaris F9550 to traverse any unique pool shape with no complicated programming required. This is no doubt made easier due to its 4-wheel drive capabilities, which assist it in moving over irregular shapes and surfaces.

The combination of Vortex vacuuming and oscillating brushes helps to dislodge any stubborn dirt or algae along the walls and floor for easy collection in the filter.

Equipped with a handheld remote control to direct the cleaner, you can also select the shape of your pool, be it rectangular or freeform, and the intensity of the clean itself. You also have a choice as to which surface you want to have cleaned at a given time, whether the floor, the walls and floor, or just the waterline. You can also remotely program your 7-day timer.

A ‘full filter’ indicator light will alert you when it’s time to clean the unit’s filtration system, and the Easy Lift System button, which prompts the cleaner to ascend for retrieval and cleaning, reduces the hassle of collecting the unit for this task.

Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner, Automatic...
  • AUTO POOL CLEANER: The 9550 Sport 4WD provides best-in-class performance and 5 cleaning modes.
  • IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 60 ft.
  • POLARIS: For more than 40 years, Polaris has been known worldwide for its quality and best-in-class automatic...

Last update on 2023-01-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dolphin Nautilus CC

Ideal for smaller in-ground pools of up to 33 feet in length, the Dolphin Nautilus CC, at 13lbs, is lightweight and easy to maneuver, while also being affordable considering its many useful features.

Dolphin Nautilus Comparison

With a combination of CleverClean navigation technology, a fine-filter basket that collects debris of various sizes, and a brush to vigorously scrub away difficult dirt and algae, your pool will be left pristine within 2 hours.

A convenient programmable weekly timer reduces your physical effort and allows you to choose to clean daily, on specific days, every other day, or every three days as needed.

The fast water release system allows for easy lifting from the pool surface and the removable top-load filter basket allows for quick and efficient cleaning and maintenance.

With a combination of multi-serving filters, adjustable schedules, and intelligent mapping technology, the automatic cleaning abilities of the Nautilus CC are suitable for changing seasons and circumstances.

Dolphin Nautilus CC Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner...
  • Sit back and relax while the Dolphin Nautilus CC robotic vacuum cleans the pool for you. Ideal for small...
  • Efficiency is key when it comes to pool cleaning. Unlike suction and pressure cleaners, Dolphins are 8 times...
  • Dolphin does all the hard work for you. Agile and efficient, the Nautilus CC was designed to clean your pool,...

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dolphin Triton PS

With PowerSteam technology and multidirectional jets, the Dolphin Triton PS has outstanding navigation capabilities at a reduced cost compared to other Dolphin pool cleaners.

Dolphin Triton PS
Dolphin Triton PS

The Triton PS is high-powered and able to reach every square inch of your pool both horizontally and vertically. The cleaner has an unyielding grip and will tackle the walls, floor, and waterline all in one cycle.

With two brushes to thoroughly scrub away any difficult tile and surface grime and two sets of fine and ultra-fine filters, pools of up to 50 feet will be left sparkling in no time. Furthermore, its filter basket can be accessed from the top for quick and easy cleaning.

By setting a weekly schedule for automatic cleaning, you can remain confident that the job is getting done with little to no effort on your end. There is also a reduced chance of interruption in the cleaning cycle thanks to the unit’s anti-swivel cable, which ensures that the cleaner will not get tangled or obstructed during its cycle.

Dolphin Triton PS Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner...
  • Hand off your pool cleaning duties for good. With the Triton PS, your pool will be left clean and ready for...
  • Built to deliver a deep clean. The Triton PS is powerfully nimble on vertical surfaces for intense wall and...
  • Sustainably designed and energy efficient. Unlike suction and pressure cleaners, Dolphins are independent...

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Aquabot X4

With a suitable design for both in-ground and above-ground pools, the Aquabot X4 uses 4WD navigation and well-gripping wheels to tackle any surfaces.

Aquabot X4

This unit gives full control to the user when it comes to the cleaning cycle and the duration thereof. You can choose between three cycle options, each of which is 1 hour, 1.5 hours, or 2 hours long respectively. Furthermore, you can set automated cleaning times for every two, three, or four days.

With an intelligent mapping system and anti-swivel cable to avoid entanglement, the Aquabot X4 will get the task done without the need for unnecessary manual labor and with no interruptions.

On the underside of the unit are rotating micro brushes which scrub the pool surface and tiles, while ultra-fine filters capture tiny debris of even microscopic proportions, thereby leaving the water level, walls, and floor free of all unwanted detritus.

Sold with a free caddy in tow, the unmatched convenience of getting to program the unit’s cycle according to what best suits the season makes the Aquabot X4 a product of great value considering its cost.

Aquabot X4 In-Ground Robotic Pool Cleaner with...
  • Awarded "Best Value Robot" based on rich feature set combined with the low price - 360° Anti-Tangle Swivel +...
  • Ideal for all pool shapes (above ground and inground) up to 60 feet. Highly energy efficient - each cleaning...
  • Industry-leading pumps circulate 85 GPM for a cleaner pool with fewer chemicals.

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dolphin Triton PS Plus

If you’re ready for a swim and feeling too impatient to wait out a long-winded cleaning cycle, the Dolphin Triton PS Plus is an ideal solution. In addition to the same 2-hour cleaning cycle as the Dolphin Triton PS, the Triton PS Plus has the option of a quicker, 1-hour cycle setting if you’re in a rush to get in.

Dolphin Triton PS Plus

Another improvement upon its predecessor is its Wi-Fi capability. Using the Dolphin Plus app on your smartphone or tablet, you can program your weekly automatic cleaning schedule, select an ideal cleaning cycle for the season and weather conditions, or even manually control the path of the cleaner from the comfort of your living room.

With the same PowerSteam technology as the Dolphin Triton PS, navigation remains smooth and effortless, even when traversing the walls. A pair of rubber brushes will vigorously scrub the tiles and surface, rendering pools of up to 50 feet in length pristine in no time at all.

You have the option of a fine or ultra-fine filter selection depending on whether you want to tackle large debris or stubborn dust and silt. The top-loading filter basket is easy to access when it’s time to switch out the filters or clean and replace them.

DOLPHIN Triton PS Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner with...
  • Pop-up pool party? No worries, the Dolphin Triton PS Plus robotic pool vacuum has you covered. Equipped with...
  • Effortlessly delivers a deep clean. The Triton PS Plus has superior filtering capabilities and is...
  • No extra stuff needed. Unlike the energy hogs that are pressure and suction cleaners, Dolphins...

Last update on 2023-01-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Polaris 9650IQ Sport

The future of robotic pool cleaning is now with the Polaris 9650IQ Sport. By connecting the cleaner to your home Wi-Fi and downloading the iAquaLink app on your smartphone or any other smart device, you can conveniently program a customized schedule for the cleaner, monitor its status, and resolve problems with useful troubleshooting tips that reduce the need for manual handling and expert advice.

Polaris 9650IQ Sport

Using any smart device, you can direct the cleaner’s path either through on-screen instructions or through motion control, whereby you simply tilt your phone or tablet in the direction that you would like the cleaner to turn. The app also allows you to create a customized cleaning schedule from anywhere at any time.

While technically intelligent, this unit is also well designed with unparalleled cleaning potential. Equipped with 4-wheel drive, the Polaris 9650IQ Sport can navigate uneven surfaces and conquer any obstacles in its way, leaving your pool’s walls, floor, and water level spotless. Dual brushes serve to scrub away stubborn dirt, grime, or algae, while the filter collects any particles with the help of a powerful and efficient suction system.

The iAquaLink app will also indicate when the filter canister requires cleaning, although it does not allow for notifications and would require manual checking from time to time.

When the time comes for a filter cleaning, the Polaris 9650IQ Sport can be effortlessly summoned to the side of the pool and removed through the EasyLift programme on the app.
Smart, simple, and effective, the Polaris 9650IQ Sport is a great way to keep your pool clean with minimal hassle.

Polaris 9650iQ Sport Robotic Cleaner, Automatic...
  • INTELLIGENT POOL CLEANER: Wherever you are, whenever you want -- clean your pool easily with the iAquaLink...
  • IN GROUND: Compatible with in ground swimming pools up to 60 ft.
  • MOBILE APP & WiFi: With a built-in WiFi connection that enables iAquaLink app control, the power to start or...

Last update on 2023-01-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dolphin Sigma

With an especially high-power cleaning capability, the Dolphin Sigma is ideal for large in-ground pools. Its triple motors distribute increased power while still saving energy, and lengths of over 50 feet are no match for the Sigma’s potential.

Dolphin Sigma
Dolphin Sigma

Using SmartNav 3.0 Gyroscopic Navigation, the Dolphin Sigma has increased mobility. Not only can it tackle larger surfaces than the average robotic cleaner, but it can do so in significantly less time as well. It’s suitable for any pool surface, no matter the size or shape.

The Sigma’s independent track drive, similar to that of an army tank, allows the cleaner to make sharp turns and change direction without having to make wide circles, thus overcoming obstructions and cleaning nooks and corners with impeccable ease and precision.

Through Bluetooth control, you can set a weekly timer, select the appropriate cleaning mode, and direct the cleaner without any manual handling of the device itself from up to 30 feet away.

Although the priciest of the Dolphin range, the Dolphin Sigma is undoubtedly exceptional in its cleaning capacity and a great choice for owners of especially large, high-maintenance pools.

Dolphin Sigma Robotic Pool Cleaner with Bluetooth...
  • Hassle-free clean. Easy-to-use, robotic pool cleaner equipped with an anti-tangling swivel cable, allowing...
  • No messy bags to clean. Massive top-loading cartridge filters captures and traps fine and ultra-fine debris...
  • Powerful, dual scrubbing brushes thoroughly and efficiently attacks tough contaminants removing algae and...

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dolphin Premier

No matter the size of the debris, none can escape the Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner. Powerful and with a choice between four types of filters, this cleaner can tackle anything from fine debris to large leaves and twigs. You can select a filter according to your pool’s location and the season to collect season-specific detritus and keep your pool free of unwanted plant and animal matter at all times.

Dolphin Premier

The CleverClean scanning system and smart navigation system allow for a thorough and efficient clean that follows a mapped route and suits the shape of the pool.

Twin motorised rubber brushes will tirelessly scrub away stubborn grime on the walls and floor, keeping the surface and waterline spotless within 3 hours. Additionally, a ‘full filter’ indication light on the power source will let you know when it’s time to clean or switch out the filters, which allows for swift maintenance and consistently good performance.

With the capacity to take on lengths of up to 50 feet and a programmable weekly scheduler, the Dolphin Premier is both powerful and convenient.

Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner
  • Smart Nav scans the pool shape and calculates the optimal path for faster, more efficient cleaning
  • HyperGrip dual tracks for 40% less slippage while climbing walls and stairs
  • Power scrubs and vacuums doors, steps, walls, and water line

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

Automatic, fast, and methodical, the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus can achieve a startlingly clean pool with no manual input or extra equipment needed. At the touch of a button, its CleverClean technology will scan the entire pool length, mapping out its path and thoroughly cleaning the walls and floor within 2 hours.

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

Its independent power source limits user input and saves energy, while the attached filtration system reduces the risk of clogging the built-in filtration infrastructure of the pool. A pair of brushes will scrub the tiles and, with a combination of standard duty filters and smaller, corrugated filters, neither large detritus such as leaves and insect matter, nor pollen and dust will be left behind.

The filter cartridges are accessible and easy to clean, which allows for longevity and unmatched performance. With a similar programmable weekly scheduler to its predecessor, the Dolphin Nautilus CC, the Nautilus CC Plus remains outstandingly convenient.

Although, at 19lbs, the Nautilus CC plus is heavier and more difficult to handle than the Nautilus CC, it is significantly more powerful and is capable of tackling larger surfaces than its predecessor. The unit can efficiently take on lengths of up to 50 feet within the same 2 hour time frame and is more suitable for larger in-ground pools.

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Vacuum...
  • Hello, free time! Let the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus robotic vacuum cleaner take over your pool cleaning duties...
  • The clean you need without the hassle. The Nautilus CC Plus was designed to clean your pool, effortlessly....
  • Ditch the pumps and hose. Unlike the energy hogs that are pressure and suction cleaners, Dolphins are...

Last update on 2023-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why choose a Robotic Pool Cleaner?

The two other automated pool-cleaning systems that are commonly used are suction cleaners and pressure-side cleaners. In all honesty, these two work like a charm in many instances. However, they do have a few drawbacks such as easy clogging and maintenance issues.

On the other hand, we have robotic pool cleaners. Certain models may be a bit expensive, but when it comes to convenience, they truly pay for themselves.

First of all, unlike suction and pressure-side cleaners, a robotic pool cleaner doesn’t need to be installed or attached to your pool’s circulation system. Modern robots are completely independent of your pool’s pump and filter. They can travel horizontally to clean the bottom of your pool and even have propellers which launch them vertically to “vacuum” any residue clinging to the walls. Some models have filtration systems which can suction huge amounts of water and pass it through its debris bag, picking up invisible pieces of debris to keep your pool water clean.

What is the best robotic pool cleaner to buy?

Secondly, they’re super safe, despite running off of an electric motor. Robotic pool cleaners run on a relatively low voltage – around 24 volts in many models – through GFCI outlets. If these outlets detect even the slightest electrical imbalance, it’ll cut the power to the robot and prevent it from becoming a toaster. Essentially, it’s practically impossible for you to get zapped when using these robots.

Robotic Pool Cleaner Buying Guide

Of course, the convenience of a robotic pool cleaner comes at a price, even if prices have dropped dramatically over the last few years. However, since they can be quite costly, it’s important to consider the most important factors and compare them between models to ensure you’re truly getting the most bang for your buck. In this section, we’ll go over the various specs and features to look into when shopping for a robotic pool cleaner.


Some robotic pool cleaners can learn the ins and outs of your pool. They scan the entire pool and know where the stairs, pump, and suctions are. They’ll navigate through your pool without you needing to lift a finger.

How long do robotic pool cleaners last?

Swivel Cord

Robotic pool cleaners are more aware of their surroundings than they are of themselves. Older robot models tended to cause damage to their power cords by twisting and turning every which where. Fortunately, the latest models come with a swivel cord which allows the robot to turn and do flips underwater without twisting its cord.

Wall-Climbing Ability

Anybody who’s ever been to a pool knows just how grimy and slippery the walls can be. The best robotic vacuum cleaners should be able to travel vertically and scrub the sidewalls free of moss and grime. They’ll also travel up and brush your pool stairs to keep them from becoming slipping hazards.

Four-Wheel Drive

Even though modern robotic pool cleaners come with propellers to launch them forward and upward, it’s the wheels that allow them to move. The best models come with four-wheel drive and rubber tire for maximum traction. When cleaning slippery substances like moss, a robot with 4WD and cross it effortlessly while giving it a thorough scrubbing.

Best Robotic Pool Cleaner

Cleaning Cycle

Different robotic pool cleaners come with different cleaning cycles, typically between 3 and 8 hours. Longer cleaning cycles consume more energy and are meant to clean larger pools. To save a few bucks annually on energy costs, make sure that your robot cleaner is either set to a certain cleaning cycle or has a fixed cleaning cycle that matches the size of your pool.

Water Filtration

Since microscopic particles don’t just linger on the surface or cling to the walls or base of your pool, it’s important that your robotic vacuum cleaner has a filtration system. The system should move tons of water through a filter/debris bag to capture anything and everything that doesn’t belong in the water. The amount of water moved through the filter – measured in GPH (gallons per hour) – should suit the volume of your pool. Some models filter 4,000 GPH while others can do 8,000 GPH.

Remote Control

Robotic pool cleaners are tied down by a power cord which connects to a central control panel. You can schedule cleaning times, run spot-cleaning tasks, and even withdraw the robot from your pool with a push of a button on the panel. However, if you’d like a bit more freedom and convenience, look for a robotic pool cleaner that comes with a remote control. This allows you to give orders to the robot from a distance and without having to wait around the control panel all day. Some models even let you manually control the robot using the RC.

What is the best pool cleaner for inground pools?

Programmable Timer

To enhance the convenience factor of robotic pool cleaners, some models are programmable to up to 7 days. You need to set the cleaning schedule to whatever day you’d like the robot to begin. When the day comes, the robot will automatically begin its cleaning routine with or without your supervision. However, the robot needs to stay submerged in the water for the entire week. Good thing they’re completely waterproof and leak-proof.

Final Remarks

Robotic vacuum cleaners offer just what you’d expect from a robot. They’ll jump in your pool without hesitation and begin their cleaning cycle. They don’t need to be hardwired into anything, except for the filtration system to get rid of microscopic residue. Since robotic vacuum cleaners can be quite costly, it’s important that you pay extremely close attention to see what sort of features it comes with.

We’re happy to say that most modern robotic vacuum cleaners come with everything you could ever hope for – self-learning abilities, scheduled cleaning cycles, vertical and horizontal maneuverability, and a 360° swivel cord.

Robotic Pool Cleaner | Recommended

Last update on 2023-01-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Robotic Pool Cleaner | Recommended

Last update on 2023-01-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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