8 Best Robotic Pool Cleaner Reviews in 2017

Last updated: April 22th, 2017.

One of the most annoying things to do is having to manually clean your pool in the hot summer sun. I HATE doing it every week and now can't live without my pool cleaner. I can't imagine what life would be like if we had a concrete pool - especially since this article details how hard they are to maintain. Fortunately, life gets easier if you have the best pool cleaning robot.

Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

 This is why I created this list of the best robotic pool cleaner reviews - to help you learn about which one will keep your pool clean and for the BEST price possible. I don't like wasting money and I'm sure you don't either. Check out our top rated pool cleaners below!

Top Robotic Pool Cleaners Overview

ModelEditor RatingPrice 
1. [Editor's Choice] Dolphin 99996323 Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner
4.7$$
2. [Runner Up] 2016 Dolphin
4.6$$$$
3. [Best for the Money] Smartpool SmartKleen Floor and Cove Cleaner
4.4$$
4.Hayward RC9950GR TigerShark Automatic Pool Cleaner with Quick Clean Technology
4.3$$$
5. Dolphin 99996356 Dolphin Triton Robotic Pool Cleaner
4.1$$$
6. Aquabot Junior Automatic Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner
4.1$$
7. Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
3.8$
8. XtremepowerUS Pool Cleaner Floor Vacuum Robotic Style
3.7$

Robotic ones are typically considered to be better than the other pool vacuums (even top pressure pool cleaners and the  best suction pool cleaners). They are also more versatile because they make great inground pool cleaners as well.

The ones we reviewed are awesome because they are typically the most hands off and will require the least effort from you. As great long term investments to replace your pool man and not needing other pool vacuums, they are well worth the price.

They use programs to track their progress in cleaning your pool to help make sure your pool gets cleaned in every nook and cranny - even for above ground swimming pools. We hope you enjoy our best robotic pool cleaner comparison guide.

We reviewed 8 of the top robotic pool cleaners, and we summarize them in the table below. Be sure to SCROLL DOWN to get more information one each of them. We've also created a table to make it easy to compare robotic pool cleaners. 

Best Robotic Pool Cleaners Reviews 2017

EDITOR RATING: 4.7/5


Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

The Dolphin Nautilus Robotic Pool Cleaner is easily one of the best pool cleaner on the market. For a slightly above average price, you truly get one of the top rated robotic pool cleaners from one of the best brands.


First, it was really easy to get out of the box and start working in the pool. It doesn't have as many instructions as you might think, but it's so easy to figure it out you won't need them.

It effectively cleans all over the pool walls and floors and is pretty close to perfect as you can get. In fact, my husband and I have never felt the need to clean it while using it. As with almost all pool vacuums, it wasn't able to climb and clean the pool steps too well, but it cleaned everywhere else really well. 

Best of all, it seems to work well for all types of pools and is seen as both an in ground swimming pool vacuum and the best above ground robotic pool cleaner. 

A slight con was that it can be difficult to get out of the pool, but if you let some of the water run out first then it becomes a lot easier.

Bottom Line: This was easily the top choice out of all of these if you're looking for the best pool cleaner out there. Despite slight cons, it's ability to clean everywhere in all types of pools well makes it stand out above and beyond the others.

Things We Liked


  • Cleans pool walls and floor effectively
  • Easily pick up different types of debris
  • Easy to set up and run
  • Great for all types of pools

Things We Didn't Like


  • Can be difficult to get out of the pool
  • Doesn't clean steps  well

Price: $$

EDITOR RATING: 4.6/5


Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

The 2016 Dolphin Premier is the best pool cleaner for leaves. It's an update from the 2012 version, with a couple of extra features and a 3 year warranty.

It isn't a coincidence our 2 favorite robotic pool vacuums are Dolphins. To compare Dolphin pool cleaners, they're both good. The Nautilus comes in at a better price point while the Premier is at a higher price point, but overall a great cleaner.

It's pretty normal in that sometimes it isn't able to climb one of my pool walls, and therefore won't clean it. However, it'll usually be able to get up there and really will be able to clean off algae and other extremities from the pool wall.

The manual is overall pretty good too. Even though it contains a lot of information from the 2012 version, the updates made it clear enough such that set up and initial was was pretty easy.

Finally, I'm sure a couple hundred dollars of the price factor is to have remote access. Although it sounds like a cool feature, the Dolphin Premier isn't very reactive towards it. We don't recommend the remote access, but some people like having it. It's a feature to consider if you want to throw the extra cash at it, but we suggest thinking twice before doing so.

Bottom Line: The Dolphin Premier is the best pool robot - even better than the Nautilus, but when you factor in price we just couldn't place this above the Nautilus. A great buy if you're willing to pay a pretty penny for one of the best automatic pool cleaners. 

Things We Liked


  • Maps pool to understand pool dimensions
  • 4 different cleaning modes to best clean your pool

Things We Didn't Like


  • Extremely overpriced
  • Terrible instructions, not easy to set up
  • Weak, ineffective remote use

Price: $$$

EDITOR RATING: 4.4/5

Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

Smartpool SmartKleen provides a solid clean for an affordable price. It is pretty good at cleaning many different pool types. However, it is best for small to medium pools because occasionally the chord can get tangled.


It's not the best robotic swimming pool cleaner, but at least it can clean different pool materials pretty well - even tricky fiberglass.

It also is able to handle a lot of debris with a large waste bag which means it doesn't have to be emptied as much. Who doesn't like less work?

The overall clean is pretty solid. It'll be able to get some algae and other finer debris such as sand. Sometimes it will miss some tight corners, but overall it still cleaned the pool enough to the point where I wouldn't have to clean it myself.

One feature I liked was the 2 hour auto shut off. With this feature I didn't have to constantly over it and could really just leave it alone.


Bottom Line: It provides a good clean for a good price. I gave it 4.3 stars out of 5, because of its all around cleaning ability and good clean despite a cheap price. 

Things We Liked


  • Handles different pool materials even fiberglass
  • Large filter bag means less replacing
  • 2 hour auto shutoff

Things We Didn't Like


  • Cord gets tangled easily
  • Can't clean large debris

Price: $$

EDITOR RATING: 4.3/5


Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

Hayward TigerShark with Quick Clean Technology is a pool robot that provides  a powerful clean at a great price, making it one of the top contenders on our list of automatic pool cleaner reviews.

The great thing about the Hayward TigerShark is that it is efficient - it provides a good, solid clean in such a short time. The company claims 90 minutes, but I saw closer to 2 hours which is still better than most other cleaners - especially considering how thorough it is.


Overall, it's still provides a FAST clean and to me it's a big plus because if it's longer than that sometimes I will put a pool vacuum in the pool and forget about it - leaving it out for hours or days at a time. At this pace it can't reach everywhere, and misses some small patches on the pool floor, but it still reaches almost everywhere.

I mention that in order for a cleaner to be one of the top, it needs to be effective for different types of pools. The Hayward TigerShark is well rounded and definitely and can clean a variety of pools.

It may not work for really large pools because sometimes the chord can get tangled, but it didn't occur too often. However, the fact that it is so easy to clean with its special cartridge system makes it a treat - simple and fast to prep it ready for another clean.

Bottom Line: It's a great pool cleaner that's a little pricier than others.

If you're willing to spend the extra money then it is a good buy, but if not just go with the Dolphin Nautilus Robotic - it is an Amazon Best Seller for a reason.

Things We Liked


  • Powerful, efficient clean
  • Patented Quick Clean technology - 90 minutes
  • Great for diverse set of pools
  • Simple clean up with proprietary cartridge system

Things We Didn't Like


  • Misses small areas on the floor
  • Chord gets tangled

Price: $$$

EDITOR RATING: 4.1/5


Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

The Dolphin Triton is really effective, but it is a little more expensive than what I would normally pay.

It is best used as an in-ground pool cleaner , but it was still quite effective for all types of pools which is why it's one of our top rated automatic pool cleaners.

It is effective for pools up to 50 feet and will clean almost every nook and cranny in your pool!

I really liked the fact that you can purchase a remote with the Triton. In the rare occasions when the Triton missed some dirt or other debris, I was able to guide the Triton with  the remote to  make sure my pool is sparking clean.

The Dolphin Triton is good, but has a couple of software problems that make it annoying. For example, I found myself having to restart the software because it would occasionally crash. Additionally, it would "shut off" in the middle of the pool sometimes and not by the edge, making it hard to pick up and get out of the water.

If it weren't for these 2 problems it would probably be the one of the top pool cleaners.

Bottom Line: It's one of the available if you don't mind paying slightly above average. However, if you're on a tight budget there are better options.

Things We Liked


  • Cleans pool all over
  • Great for all types of pools
  • Remote control option to get missed debris

Things We Didn't Like


  • Pricier than others
  • Occasional crashes requires restart

Price: $$$

EDITOR RATING: 4.1/5


Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

The Aquabot Junior In-Ground Pool Cleaner is a decent and mid-priced, but it surprisingly works well for all types of pools.

The first thing that I really liked about it was that it required very little set up.

Most importantly, it did a great job of cleaning everywhere it went - from picking up finer articles to large debris such as leaves and sticks.

Unfortunately, it doesn't reach everywhere- like most of the pool walls, deep corners, and it isn't always able to climb back up a pool slope. If it's in the deep end it'll stay there.

It's typically able to clean the pool in 2-3 hours, but it can be a little longer for pools that are shaped differently from the standard rectangular or oval pool. 

While we're on the subject of 2-3, that's about how long the Aqua Products Aquabot Junior will last in years. I guess that's why it's a lot cheaper than its non junior version. 


Bottom Line: It's a good pool vacuum, but with such a short shelf life we wouldn't recommend it because we would want a one that is more automatic and has a longer shelf life.

Worst case is it'll still save you more money than a pool man, but there are better ones out there that we would recommend.

Things We Liked


  • No need for hoses, pumps, filter systems
  • Cleans fine particles and larger debris
  • Finishes in 2-3 hours

Things We Didn't Like


  • Only cleaned part of the walls
  • Short product life of 2-3 years
  • Misses corners and doesn't "climb" back up slope

Price: $$

EDITOR RATING: 3.8/5


Want more info. on this product? Click to read the FULL review

The Aquabot Pool Rover Junior was overall just okay. Although I had heard great things about it from one friend I should have just trusted the general Amazon reviews (which are rather mediocre).

It was easy to see that the Aquabot Pool Rover Junior is good at small, above ground pools. It covers most of the pool and will clean it about 80% of the way which is pretty good. However, those are the only pools that it can even clean somewhat effectively.

For larger pools it runs into a number of problems - most notably that it will no longer be "automatic". The most annoying problem is that the cord gets tangled pretty frequently. For some reason they thought the Aquabot Pool Rover Junior would be fine without a typical ez-swizel to prevent tangling.

Once the pool got larger it stopped cleaning the entire pool. Sometimes it did, but other times it would stop and stutter, and obviously miss spots. 

Bottom Line: It's pretty good with smaller, above ground pools for the average price. Overall, it's rather lackluster and isn't worth a buy despite it being quite affordable.

Read on to see which ones are much better choices for the SAME price.


Things We Liked


  • 2 hour automatic shut off timer
  • Good for small, above ground pools
  • Very affordable

Things We Didn't Like


  • Cleaning the filter can be a pain
  • Cord gets tangled easily

Price: $

EDITOR RATING: 3.7/5

The XtremepowerUS  is one of the newest pool vacuums available on the market. Unfortunately, newer isn't always better as we gave it an average/mediocre score.

I liked the fact that it is pretty effective on different types of pools and of various shapes. I think it is a requirement to really be considered one of the best automatic pool cleaners - because if it just cleans one type of pool or pool shape well then it's not really the best.

Despite being pretty well rounded it consistently missed some cleaning some of areas of the pool such as the water line. It was often a hit or miss, but lacks a good method to figure out how to clean against the water line.

Overall, I found that it cleaned a lot of the pool but missed some odd, random spots.  I want a better product that will require less work for me. Despite this, what was nice about this was that I never saw the cord get tangled which saves a lot of hassle.

Also, it was easy to set up and maintain, especially taking it out because of its light weight.

Bottom Line: It's a decent buy that provides a good clean for a variety of pools for an affordable price.

Things We Liked


  • Good for all types of pools and shapes
  • Easy to use and maintain
  • Cord doesn't get tangled

Things We Didn't Like


  • Mediocre pool coverage
  • Doesn't clean along water line well

Price: $

Some of the Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

How to Choose the Best For You

In this list of best robotic pool cleaner reviews we picked out our favorite 3, but this does NOT mean they will be the best for you. The recommended 3 are just general suggestions for our robotic pool comparison guide. It’s important to learn how to pick the right one for your budget, type of pool, and dirtiness. Read on for the best options.

Consider Pricing

Pool cleaners typically range from a few hundred bucks to the low 4 figuresWhile the cheap robotic ones are consistent with the other ones, the more expensive robotics are definitely pricier than the other types of pool cleaners.

In our comparison we put different $ to represent the price rather than list the actual price to avoid inconsistencies. Generally, these are good guide liens to follow and are consistent throughout our website. Naturally, the cheaper pool cleaners may not be as good, but you don’t always need the best clean.

On the other hand, I don’t think the premium ones are worth the higher cost, but if you are looking to pay extra money for a slightly better clean than feel free to consider them. The expensive ones just aren’t necessary.

Consider Pool Type, Shape, and Material

Different pool cleaners are better for certain pool shapes (circular, oval, rectangular, etc.), type (inground, indoor, above ground, etc.), and material (concrete, fiberglass). The products we suggested are overall great pool cleaners and can handle a variety of different pools.

However, some of them I didn’t rate as high because they are only good for certain types of pools may be better for you. 

Consider Cleanliness

Even the top robotic pool vacuums are optimized for a certain cleanliness level. The ones we chose are overall pretty good, but if your pool requires a very heavy clean then you should definitely look for one that can handle large debris.

On the other hand if your pool only requires some light cleaning, then you should be aiming to purchase one that is lower cost and very efficient.

Consider Frequency

You can’t just leave the pool cleaner in the pool all the time. They need to be taken in and out whenever they are used. If you are cleaning your pool every couple of days then make sure it is lightweight. Additionally, you may want one that is easy to clean.

However, if you just clean your pool once a every two weeks then the ease of use of the pool cleaner isn’t as important. Of course, it’s always a plus to have one that is easy to put in and take out, but it’s not what you need to emphasize.

Conclusion

All of these points are important to keep in mind. There is no perfect pool cleaner that hits all of them across the board perfectly. While some of the robotic ones we reviewed are pretty bad, all of the decent ones (3.5 stars and up) are still good enough to use. 

They do require a GFCI protected outlet, but in most pool areas these are quite common. If you don’t have one, you should consider buying one for less than 10 bucks because otherwise you won’t be able to use these. The other types of pool cleaners are also effective (and more affordable), but don’t deliver the same level of cleanliness as robotic pool cleaners.

It all just depends on your wants and needs – just be aware that there are trade offs and decisions you need to make when purchasing ANYTHING and pool cleaners are no exceptions. If you’re unsure, then buy one of the top 3 we recommend since they are definitely good and will provide a consistent clean.

We hoped you enjoy our robotic pool cleaner comparison guide and be sure to talk to us in the comments!

Laurie S.

As a multi home owner for 15 years I've tried out a ton of pool products and methods and have found out the best ones that work for me. I love helping out other people with real, honest advice and spending time with my family. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me in the about or through a comment.

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