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5 Best Robotic Pool Cleaner for 2017 – Reviews and Comparisons

5 Best Robotic Pool Cleaner for the Money

If you have an above or inground swimming pool, it is a good time to start thinking about getting your pool ready for the next summer. One of the best ways to effectively clean your pool is with a robotic pool cleaner.

Our pick


Hayward RC9742WC SharkVac XL Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

It is a high quality compact and lightweight cleaning machine. This smart and relentless cleaning bot has so many great features that make it an ideal choice for medium to large sized inground swimming pools. It is an effective cleaner for most pool surfaces like tiles and vinyl. It is reasonably priced, and it is powerful enough to remove any kind of debris even stubborn algae

Robotic vs. Manual, Pressure, and Suction Pool Cleaners

When it comes to cleaning your pool, there are many options. Of course, you can try cleaning it by hand with a manual pool cleaner that has a hose, a head, and telescopic pole, but this option can be back-breaking work and time consuming.

Other options include pressure and suction automatic pool cleaners that use the pool's own suction and filter system, but the downside is they have a long hose and it can get in the way if you are swimming in the pool while it is working. The hose can get tangled or become loose and stray away from the suction-line in the skimmer, which can stop it from working properly.

The fastest and most efficient way to make sure that your pool is sparklingly clean and ready for you and the kids to swim in is a robotic pool cleaner.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

Robotic pool cleaners operate on a similar system to robotic vacuum cleaners in the home, a robotic pool cleaner is self-directed, with cleaning brushes, and its powerful suction can vacuum up any kind of debris directly into its own filter. But what gives them their cleaning power are their electric motors, a water pump that sucks in the dirt or debris into its filter, and a drive motor that propels the unit around the pool.

The best part of using a robotic cleaner is that they have smart technology, which means they can guide themselves around your pool, and many of them have 7 day programmes, which allows you to program the machine while you are away, and many of them can be operated with a remote control.

Robotic pool cleaners derive their power from electricity via a waterproof power line (a transformer can be connected to a standard power outlet with a power cord that connects the pool cleaner to the transformer). A robotic pool cleaner can even run when the pool's circulation system is switched off.

The most popular robotic pool cleaner brand names are: Dolphin, Polaris and AquaBot.

Eight Benefits of Using a Robotic Pool Cleaner

Efficient pool cleaners. Most robotic pool cleaners can clean your entire pool: the floor and the walls, and they can get into hard to reach places like the steps. and can even clean the waterline. These super smart bots are especially useful for large sized inground pools.

Computer-controlled. Most robotic cleaners are computer-controlled, which allows them to learn the most effective way of cleaning your pool and are then able to direct themselves around the pool.

Cost Effective. A robotic cleaner will save you money on energy and chemicals. Most robotic cleaners can clean the pool in under three hours.

Easy to install. No fiddly pumps or connections. Just plug in the waterproof power line or and drop the cleaner into the pool and watch it go to work. And remember to maintain the cable and keep it away from children.

Low noise. They are super quiet.

Programmable. Some models come with a seven day programmable timer that allows you to schedule the cleaner while you are away.

Remote Control Feature. Some models provide a handy remote control so that you can just sit back and relax by the pool and control the cleaner with just a press of a button.

Ergonomical and Operator Friendly. There are many models that come with a caddy that makes it easy to store away the machine, and many cleaners are made with your portability needs in mind and are lightweight and portable.

How to Choose a Robotic Pool Cleaner

Before you set out to purchase your new, bright and shiny robotic pool cleaner, there are a few things to take into consideration.

Pool type. Do you have an inground or an above ground pool?

Inground pools. Some robotic cleaners are more powerful and are specifically designed for large or variably shaped inground pools and they can clean vertical areas like steps and walls.

Above ground pools. Models like the Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen Robotic Pool Cleaner, are cheaper and lightweight and are more suited to smaller above ground pools.

Pool size : Some robotic pool cleaners are specially designed for cleaning smaller pools and others for larger sized pools. So check the dimensions before purchasing your cleaner.

Pool surface: The most familiar types of pool surfaces are vinyl, concrete, fiberglass and tile. Not all robotic pool cleaners are created equal, some are designed to brush and filter all types of pool surfaces, while others are specifically designed to clean particular types of surfaces.

Extra features: Some pool cleaners have basic cleaning features like vacuuming and scrubbing and others have extra features like the ‘Easy Lift System’, where you just push a button and the cleaner will rise up to any position above water so that you can easily remove the unit for cleaning.

Technophile: How familiar or comfortable are you with technology? Or have a novice or are you a technophile, a lover of technology? Some units have more technologically advanced functions, while others just have two or three basic cleaning functions. So once again it all depends on your pool specifications and cleaning needs.

Best Robotic Pool Cleaners: Product Comparisons and Reviews

1. Dolphin 99996323 Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner with 60 Foot Swivel Cable

The Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner is recommended for inground pools up to 50 feet in length. It is easy to use, it is super fast with a cleaning time of one and a half hours, it lightweight, and at an affordable price it is a great investment. The 24-volt dual-drive motor provides powerful scrubbing action for almost any pool surface and shapes: kidney, L-shape, oval, round or rectangle.

The unit has its own 60-foot floating power cable with a swivel device that prevents the cable from twisting and coiling, and its power supply plugs into a GFCI outlet with a 3 0-volt power supply with integrated circuitry for low energy consumption.

One of the other highlights of the Dolphin Nautilus is the special material in its filter that can clean away any debris or hard to remove algae that can build up in your pool.

What we like:

  • Easy to set up
  • Fast and efficient cleaner
  • Cleans the walls and sides of the pool
  • Easy to clean filter

What we don't like:

  • It can flip over during cleaning
  • Small objects can jam-up the drive (acorns, twigs)
  • Has trouble negotiating sharp corners
  • Removing it can be difficult because it is heavy

2. Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner

Just like a 4-wheel drive vehicle, the Polaris Sport is outfitted with 4-wheel Aqua-Trax tires that enable the machine to access all areas inside your pool. This sporty little machine is an effective cleaner for all pool shapes as it can turn on a dime and it is ideal for small to medium inground swimming pools.

The ActivMotion Sensor Technology provides the unit with unmatchable navigation, even in larger pools, where it can negotiate its own cleaning path and will never get stuck while climbing steep inclines. The unit uses an accelerometer to automatically sense its position and then re-orientate itself, so as to provide you with continual optimal cleaning action .

The Vortex Vacuum Technology allows the cleaner to pick up larger debris while maintaining maximum suction, and the solid blade brushes will scrub and vacuum all pool surfaces including steps and walls and even the waterline.

As well as an innovative filtration system with a wide suction intake for large debris like leaves, the highlight of the Polaris is that it comes with a programmable feature, where you can choose between two levels of cleaning, choose when and where you want it to clean. .

There is also a 7-day programmable timer that can be controlled through a hand held remote, which means you can just set it and forget while you are away, and when you return your sparklingly clean pool is waiting for you to just dive in and swim.

The unit is also operator friendly as the ‘Lift System’ tells the cleaner to stop cleaning and rise to the the side of the pool and all you have to do is remove it with the handle, and the caddy allows you safely store the unit.

In addition, the debris canisters are top-loaded and are easy to remove so that you do not have to touch the dirt or debris that is left behind. The unit also comes with a 110 volt transformer, 6o foot power cord, and a filter canister.

What we like:

  • Lightweight and portable
  • Idea for small to medium in ground pools
  • Effective cleaner
  • Easy to clean filters
  • 7-day programmable timer and hand held remote

What we don't like:

  • Expensive
  • The cord can get tangled
  • May need an extension-cord

3. Hayward RC9742WC SharkVac XL Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Hayward SharkVac is a power packed unit that is created to work in any style of inground pool up to 40 feet in length, and it can clean any type of surface, even vinyl. Hayward have redesigned this cleaning dynamo with a new and contemporary design, and their smart steering technology like the self-programmable function means that the SharkVac can sense the size of your pool and design the best cleaning pattern.

One of the highlights of the SharkVAC is its energy efficiency, the robot uses about 94% less energy, while still maintaining its smart and powerful ability to maneuver and perform quick cleaning jobs. The SharkVac’s energy usage has been comparable to a single incandescent light bulb.

The machine has two top-loading fine porosity filters that are easy to clean: once the machine has finished its cleaning cycle, all you have to do is just remove the filters and rinse them with the garden hose.

Some of the other smart technological features include an ‘out-of-water’ sensor that protects the motor by preventing the cleaner from operating when out of the water.

Although the robotic pool cleaner can be quite heavy, it has a caddy cart that provides for easy storage. If you prefer the cheaper unit, you can choose not to purchase the caddy cart.

What we like:

  • Fast
  • Excellent cleaning action
  • Energy efficient
  • Out-of-water sensor protects the motor
  • Easy to clean filters

What we don't like:

  • Heavy
  • Have to clean the filter regularly
  • Flips over during long periods of cleaning

4. Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Smartpool NC22 SmartKleen Robotic Pool Cleaner is an affordable option for both small to medium above ground swimming pools and also smaller inground pools. The lightweight and flexible design enables the machine to effectively clean all surfaces like fiberglass, concrete and vinyl liners from any kind of debris and even hard to remove algae.

The intelligent navigation allows the machine to easily maneuver itself around the pool and it automatically shuts itself off after two hours. The SmartKleen technology offers an easy way to drain any excess water from the unit, all you need to do is to pull the unit from the water, which will then activate the quick-drain system, and any excess water will be eliminated from the machine, leaving any dirt or debris inside the filter bag.

The unit also comes with a 40 inch power cord, and an extra large filter bag.

What we like:

  • Lightweight
  • Good design
  • Effectively cleans small to medium sized pools
  • Ideal for above ground and in-ground pools
  • Removes large debris like leaves and pine needles.

What we don't like:

  • The power cord is too short, may need an extension-cord
  • The power cord tangles easily

5. AquaBot Pura 5X AJET124 Robotic Swimming Pool Cleaner

The sleek lightweight design of the AquaBot Pura 5X makes it the perfect choice for both small to medium above ground and in ground swimming pools. With two fixed scrubbing brushes, non-marring wheels, and its Hydro-Robotic Technology, this nifty little machine can effectively negotiate any pool shape: Rectangle, Lap, Kidney, L-Shape, Round, Oval, or clean any surface - Gunite/Concrete, Fiberglass, and Tile.

The innovative NeverStuck™ System means it will never get caught in tight or awkward spaces. You can choose to set it for one or two hours and the top-loading filter bag means it is easy to clean.

Another highlight of this cleaner is that it comes with two settings: one hour for a small pool and two hours for a larger pool, and two filters, one for smaller debris like sand and another filter for larger debris like leaves.

What we like:

  • Affordable
  • Fast
  • Works well in above ground and inground pools
  • Has two filter bags: one for small debris and another for large debris

What we don't like:

  • Does not clean the walls of the pool very effectively

Our Top Pick

Our top pick for the best robotic pool cleaner is the Hayward RC9742 SHARKVAC. 

Our pick


Hayward RC9742WC SharkVac XL Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

It is a high quality compact and lightweight cleaning machine. This smart and relentless cleaning bot has so many great features that make it an ideal choice for medium to large sized inground swimming pools. It is an effective cleaner for most pool surfaces like tiles and vinyl. It is reasonably priced, and it is powerful enough to remove any kind of debris even stubborn algae

Another great feature of the SharkVac range is that it is available in two sizes, the standard and the XL, so whether you have a small to medium or large sized pool, the Hayward SharkVac will be your perfect pool cleaning companion.


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