5 Best Robotic Pool Cleaners of 2019 – Reviews & Buying Guide

Don’t want to spend hours in pool cleaning?

Then you need a robotic pool cleaner.

Moving along the sides and surface of your swimming pool, they scrub and suck dirt and calcium deposits to leave your pool sparkling clean. The best robotic pool cleaners even offer smart navigation to ensure that every inch of your pool is covered.

And the best thing about robotic pool cleaners?

They don’t strain your pool’s filtration system by requiring it to power them. Instead, they rely on two other sources for power: built-in battery or external electrical outlet. That means that while you’ll be free as the cleaner does its hard work, so will be your pool’s system.

Best Robotic Pool Cleaner Comparison Chart 2019

 Our Top Recommended 

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner review

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

  • Cleaning Area: Pool Floor,Walls,Cove,Waterline
  • Cleaning Cycle Time: 2 hours
  • Cord Length: 60ft
  • Features: CleverClean(CC PRO,3D Sensing Technology

 

Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner

Hayward RC9955

  • Cleaning Area: Pool Floor,Walls,Cove,Waterline,steps
  • Cleaning Cycle Time: 1.5 hours
  • Cord Length: 55ft
  • Features: Remote control

 Budget Pick 

Dolphin Nautilus Automatic robot Pool Cleaner

Dolphin Nautilus

  • Cleaning Area: Pool Floor,Walls,Cove,Waterline
  • Cleaning Cycle Time: 2 hours
  • Cord Length: 50ft
  • Features: CleverClean (CC) Technology

 

Dolphin Premier robot Pool Cleaner with Caddy and Swivel Cable

Dolphin Premier

  • Cleaning Area: Pool Floor,Walls,Cove,Waterline,steps
  • Cleaning Cycle Time: 2.5 hours
  • Cord Length: 60ft
  • Features: 2 sets of Filter Cartridges,SmartNav system

 Upgrade Pick 

Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner

Polaris F9550

  • Cleaning Area: Pool Floor,Walls,Cove,Waterline,steps
  • Cleaning Cycle Time: 2.5 hours
  • Cord Length: 70ft
  • Features: 4-wheel drive,ActivMotion Sensor Technology

The Best Robotic Pool Cleaner of 2019

1. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus - Our Top Recommended

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic robot Pool Cleaner

The reason why we chose Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus as the best robotic pool cleaner on the market has to do with its huge suction power, smart navigation pattern and an anti-swivel cable. In short, this model has (almost) all the bells-and-whistles which you might come here looking for.

Features

In an effort to get the job done in less time, the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus relies on Clever Clean scanning system. This technology has built-in sensors which enable the cleaner to bypass obstacles and go to where the dirt is lying. Little wonder, then, that it takes less than 2 hours to clean a 50ft pool.

As you start cleaning your pool, you can rely on this cleaner’s scheduler to plan for a week in advance. Three scheduling options are provided: every day, every alternate day and every 3rd day. Its swivel cable, meanwhile, will let the CC Plus do its job without any help from your side.

That said, we’d have appreciated had this model offered a remote control in its package. However, as things stand and with no remote control, you don’t have any option but to rely on the controls located on the unit’s body to program it.

Other than that, this model’s dual-layered filtration system sets it apart from the competition. The first of the two layers remove bigger dirt such as leaves and twigs. That leaves the 2nd layer to look after minute dirt particles.

Yet another notable feature of this model is its Active Scrubbing Brush. Able to spin twice as fast as other brushes, it doesn’t discriminate between large and fine debris – scrubbing both so that the cleaner could easily suck them up.

Once the cleaner has done its job to your satisfaction, you could easily remove its filters for cleaning. That’s because you get a quick-release handle to remove the filters. And with water draining time of 6seconds, the device will be lighter as you carry it away from the pool.

Pros

  • Clever Clean scanning system
  • Dual-layered filtration
  • Lets you schedule cleaning
  • Less runtime

Cons

  • No remote control

2. Dolphin Nautilus Automatic – Budget Pick

Dolphin Nautilus Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner review

Even though it provides more or less the same features as the CC Plus – with one notable exception – the Dolphin Nautilus Automatic Robotic cleaner costs less. So if you want a model which would weigh lightly on your pocket, you might consider this robotic cleaner.

Features

In contrast to most robotic cleaners on the market, the Nautilus Automatic offers genuine plug-and-play operation. A major reason of why that’s the case is that both the sets of filters which come with this model do so pre-installed. So all you have to do is to unpack and drop your model into the pool.

Also, while it doesn’t have as short a runtime as the CC Plus, the Automatic relies on the same Clever Clean Technology to scan your pool as its much pricier counterpart. This technology allows you to expect that this cleaner will efficiently clean your pool without embarking on random patterns.

Turning our attention to its filters, and as indicated earlier, they come in two sets. The first of the two sets, one which contains smaller openings for dirt, is designed to remove finer dust particles. The other, meanwhile, will rid your pool off of leaves.

As for its performance, this model relies on dual-scrubbing brushes to remove stubborn dirt from both the floor as well as the walls of your pool. Its anti-tangle swivel cable allows frustration-free cleaning and this model can clean a pool of up to 50ft in diameter.

The fact that this model provides a huge coverage area and has dual-scrubbing brushes doesn’t mean that it consumes a lot of power. Instead, since it requires no booster pumps for its operation, the Nautilus Automatic is up to 8x more energy-efficient than similar pressure cleaners.

Lastly, despite all its useful features, corners have been cut to keep the price of this model low. For instance, it doesn’t have the weekly scheduler option which was available with the CC Plus. Also, its runtime of 3 hours is the longest of any recent Dolphin robotic cleaner.  

Pros

  • Plug & Play operation
  • Provides 50ft. coverage
  • Dual-scrubbing brushes
  • Smart navigational patterns

Cons

  • No scheduler option

3. Polaris F9550 Sport – Upgrade Pick

Polaris F9550 robot Pool Cleaner

Premium robotic cleaners are notorious for their astronomical prices, and the Polaris F9550 is no different. Provided you don’t let its price tag dissuade you, the features of this model will make clear why it’s our upgrade pick.

Features

To give you a clue as to why it’s so expensive, the F9550 has aqua-Trax tires which allow you to use this model in all pool surfaces. It offers a seven-day programmable cycle, comes with a motion-sensing remote and has an LED indicator which lights up when the dirt canister is exceedingly dirty.

Furthermore, the F9950 has a four-wheel-drive system which enables it to climb pool walls and traverse its bottom to clean the waterline and the sides. The front of the robot has two gray scrubbers to remove stubborn debris and it also comes with a well-designed caddy.

One of our favorite features of this robot is its debris canister. Apart from being easy to access, it is a cinch to clean. All you have to do is press a button and the lid will pop up. From there on, just remove the canister, open it and shake the debris out without getting your hands dirty.

On top of that, this model gives you plenty of options to customize its cleaning routine. It lets you choose between two cleaning levels (High Intensity, Intensive), two pool shapes (Rectangular, Freeform) and three cleaning surfaces (Waterline Only, Bottom and Sides, Bottom).

Yet another notable feature of this model is its Lift System.

Once you’ve pressed this button, the robot will stop in its tracks, get back to the pool’s side and climb its wall before waiting for you. Then, once you start pulling it out, it will automatically expel the water from the filter back into the pool, thereby making it much lighter and easier for you to carry it.

Lastly, one area where this model could have done better is with its remote control. Despite its motion-sensing technology, the remote is slow to respond to your hand movements. So it might take some time for you to get the hang as to how it operates.

Pros

  • Lots of programming options
  • Intuitive Lift System
  • Suitable for all pool surfaces
  • 70-foot long swivel cable

Cons

  • Remote could be more responsive

4. Hayward RC9955 TigerShark

Hayward RC9955 robotic pool cleaner

Are you after a well-designed, competitively priced and easy-to-use robotic pool cleaner? If that’s the case then the Hayward RC9955 TigerShark Plus will end up saving you a lot of money (and effort) in the long run.

Features

You are going to get two cleaning programs with the Hayward RC. Activating the standard cleaning cycle will let the robot efficiently clean your pool in less than three hours. The second cleaning cycle might not be as thorough as the first but it does the job in less time – about 90 minutes.

Unfortunately, while its cord has a respectable length of 55feet, the cleaning area of this model is to go crazy about – as it is designed to clean swimming pools measuring 20 x 40 feet. Unless you have a small pool, you could do better with the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus.

On the flip side, you won’t have any trouble operating this model – as it works on its own. All you have to do is to plug it in, deploy it on water and that’s it. Apart from cleaning your entire pool – including the floor, sides, and waterline – it will also clean the steps.

Moreover, this robotic pool cleaner is built with a patented Quick Clean Technology that provides its benefits over other pool cleaners. Its 24V motor provides enough power to the on-board pump to suck both the finer dirt particles as well as leaves.

Then there is the Cartridge filter system which couldn’t have been easier to clean. Once you’ve removed the filter from the unit, all you’d have to do is to rinse it. The resulting water pressure would automatically remove dirt through the high-porosity filtering elements of this model.

You also get a remote control using which you can direct this cleaner to a spot you think it might have missed. Or, if you think a certain spot contains stubborn dirt and needs more scrubbing action, the remote will let you dictate the same to the cleaner.

Pros

  • Has a remote control
  • Easy-to-clean cartridge filter
  • Competitively priced

Cons

  • Small coverage area

5. Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner

Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner review

Even though this model was first released in 2013, periodic updates have kept the Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner relevant over the years. It is packed with high-end features and has all the bells-and-whistles you might expect to get in a robot.

Features

One feature of this model which sets it apart from the competition is its swappable filter media. You get four choices including a micro-cartridge filter for algae and small bacteria, a standard cartridge for dirt and sand, a permanent debris bag for twigs and a disposable debris bag for twigs.

To guide it around your swimming pool, Dolphin has provided this model with a SmartNav feature. After selecting the best path for cleaning, this software helps the Premier bypass obstacles as well. It even keeps the model away from areas it has already cleaned, saving time.

Furthermore, to prevent the robotic pool cleaner from stopping in its track, its anti-tangle swivel cable comes handy. It is 60-foot long and capable of rotating a full 360-degrees. So you can count on it to reduce frictional drag and allow the Premier to effortlessly move in the water.

You might think that the absence of wheels would render this model ineffective, but its HyperGrip continuous rubber tracks should force you to think otherwise. They grip the surface strongly and make it easier for the Premier to climb over walls, drains, and steps.

What’s more, you get two high-speed spinning brushes to clean your pool’s floor and walls. Directed by the software, they position itself in such a way as to reach deep-lying areas. That means you can rely on them to clean inner pool corners as well as every inch of the waterline.

Finally, the oversized debris bags come across as a double-edged sword. On one end, they help the model clean leaves and twigs. On the other hand, it will take some doing from your side to clean them.

Pros

  • Four filtration options
  • Anti-tangle swivel cable
  • SmartNav system

Cons

  • The oversized debris bag isn’t easy to clean

Buying Guide – How To Choose A Robotic Pool Cleaner

As you might already know, various factors influence your choice of a robotic pool cleaner. Provided you don’t know about them, here are the things you should consider before making the purchase.

Type of Pool

Best Pool robot

It might sound like an innocuous question but believe us it’s not. And the answer to it will determine whether you get a cleaner that will last ages or the other which would leave scratches on the surface of your pool.

Pool Surface

Provided your pool happens to have a fiberglass surface or contains slippery tiles, make sure that the robotic pool cleaner comes with soft PVA brushes. Otherwise, any other brush might leave scratches.

However, for all other surfaces, you could choose cleaners with either rubber PVC brushes or wheeled ones. As these surfaces are rigid enough to prevent any damage.

Pool Size

You need a cleaner whose cable length allows it to reach the farthest side of the pool without forcing you to switch outlets. That’s the reason why you need to determine the size of your pool.

If you have an in-ground pool, you only need to calculate its depth to determine its size. Conversely, you need to calculate (and add) both height and depth for an above-ground pool.

Filter

pool cleaning robot

Described as the heart of a pool cleaner, a filter plays an important role in its performance. Check the following features when looking at the filter of a potential model.

Micron Value & Top Access

When looking at the filters of a pool cleaner, check its micron value – with it being a rule of thumb that the lower the micron value, the easier it would be for the filter to clean your water.

Additionally, make sure the filter offers “top-access” feature. Most modern models offer this feature as it allows the user to easily clean the filtration system.

Size of the filter basket

If you live in an area where dust and sand storms are the norm – and your pool is always inundated with leaves, twigs, and seeds – then you might need a filter with a big basket.

Conversely, if you feel that it isn’t too dirty out there, look for an ultra-fine filter which would keep minute particles at bay.  

Suction Power & Cleaning Surface


Robotic Pool Cleaner reviews

Just like the filter of your model, both these features play a crucial role in its performance. Therefore, you can’t afford to get them wrong.

Suction Power

To determine the exact suction power you might need your cleaner to provide, you need to have a deep look at your pool. Does it contain algae? Then you can’t afford a cheap pool cleaner with average power.

Conversely, if your pool is relatively new, has less dirt settled on its surface with few hints of algae, you can do with a model with relatively less suction power.

Cleaning surface

By this term, we mean the area which your pool can tackle. While almost all pools can tackle your pool’s floor, not many might perform adequately on its climb walls, steps, and stairs.

Of the few who do – like the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus â€“ they don’t come cheap. So it’s up to you to decide whether you want a cheap model or an expensive one with all the bells-and-whistles.

Swivel Cable and Remote Control

Robotic Pool Cleaner

Since both these features make your model easy to use – though they don’t have as much effect on its performance – we decided to group them in the same heading.

Swivel Cable

If your pool cleaner doesn’t have a built-in power source, it would require you to plug it in the nearest power outlet. In such a case, you could do with having a swivel cable.

By preventing the cable from tangling, they make it easy for the robotic pool cleaner to do its job. That said, swivel cables don’t always work, so you might need to watch out for tangles.

Remote Control

Do you plan to go inside your pool and direct your cleaner to an area where algae and dirt concentration are at its worse? Neither do us. Hence the reason why you could do with remote control.

In addition to letting you direct the cleaner, some remote controls allow you to program your units as well. That means that you can set a schedule for the cleaner to work when you’re outside.


Conclusion

Our lives are already too busy to burden with the pool-cleaning chores. Apart from taking a lot of time, it takes a lot of effort, skill, and technique. Therefore, if you don’t envisage a career for you in pool cleaning, check out the best robotic pool cleaners recommended above. Without requiring you to do as much as lift a finger, they’ll leave your entire pool sparkling clean.