Robotic Pool Cleaner Buying Guide

In this list of leading robotic pool cleaners we clearly labeled our favorites, but this does NOT mean they will be the right one for you. The recommended are just general suggestions for our robotic pool comparison guide. It’s important to learn how to pick the right one for your budget, pool type, and dirtiness.

Read on for the factors to consider before purchasing, or check out this video.

However, we do go into MORE detail with the information below:

Consider Pricing

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 lines to follow and are consistent throughout our website.

Naturally, the cheaper pool cleaners may not be as good, but you don’t always need your water to be flawless. Sometimes the more affordable ones are “good enough” for your needs and you don’t always need the best, high paying robotic pool vacuum.

On the other hand, the premium ones are worth the higher cost if you want to be more hands off in your pool maintenance. They are easy to use, rarely have issues, and are able to make your water immaculate. They also tend to last a lot longer, so while you may pay less up front it’s really not that much more over the several years of the product life.

If you have the budget and want to splurge a bit you won’t regret. With a variety of features and improved mechanisms, more expensive options like the Dolphin Premier will NOT disappoint.

Consider Type, Shape, and Material

various pool shapes

Different robotic pool cleaners are better for certain 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. 

Most people looking for these heavy duty cleaners are owners of in ground pools, but most robotic options are good for above ground as well. This is one of the great things about robotic cleaners (as opposed to side and pressure) – they can be used on almost all pools as long as there is an outlet.

Consider Cleanliness

Even the top robotic pool vacuums are optimized for a certain cleanliness level. The ones we chose are overall great, and the better options can take care of everything. If you have to frequently maintain your swimming pool or have lots of extremities going in, then you’ll definitely want a higher end one.

On the other hand if you only requires some light cleaning, then you should be aiming to purchase one that is lower cost and very efficient – it may not get everything but it’ll remove enough of the debris so that your water is still clear and hygienic.

Consider Frequency

You can’t just leave them in the water all the time. They need to be taken in and out whenever they are used. If you are having to do maintenance every couple of days then make sure it is lightweight, or just get a caddy. Additionally, you may want one that is easy to maintain – be it parts or even ironically cleaning your cleaner!

However, if you just do a cleanse 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.

Frequency also affects how long it’ll last. The more use of any item, the quicker it’ll wear out. More expensive options are typically built to last longer and, over the long run, may have a similar cost to that of a more affordable option.

Related Article: How To Clean A Cloudy or Very Dirty Pool


All of these points are important to keep in mind. There is no option 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 automatic cleaning robots 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 consistently leave your water looking flawless.

We hoped you enjoy our comparison guide and review – 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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