May 2022

Robotic Pool Cleaners: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Pool Cleaner rankings posted by key online experts, as of May 2022.

At a glance - May 2022 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Pool Cleaner
The Spruce
Spy
Bob Vila
River Pools
The Honest Dig
SteamCleanerMaster
Robotic Pool Cleaners
Pool Research
Poolbots
Cleanup Expert
1
- $849
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus
1
1
1
6
1
1
3
1
-
-
2
- $1399
Dolphin Premier 2018
3
-
9
5
7
3
4
-
2
2
3
+1 $1950
Polaris F9550
-
-
-
4
6
-
1
3
7
5
4
-1 $1997
Dolphin Sigma
-
9
7
-
-
2
5
-
1
6
5
- $699
Dolphin Escape
-
-
2
-
4
-
7
-
8
11
6
- $519
Dolphin E10
-
-
6
1
2
-
-
-
-
9
7
- $1447
Dolphin Quantum
-
-
-
-
3
-
6
-
3
7
8
+2 $949
Dolphin Triton PS
7
8
-
-
-
-
8
-
-
3
9
- $370
Paxcess Cordless
-
-
3
-
-
-
13
-
-
13
10
+1 $1149
Dolphin Triton PS Plus
-
-
-
-
8
-
9
2
-
-
11
-3 $1937
Hayward SharkVac XL
-
-
5
-
-
6
-
5
-
-
12
- $797
Aquabot Breeze IQ
-
-
-
-
-
5
-
4
-
14
13
- Check price
OT QOMOTOP HJ1103J
-
2
-
2
-
-
-
-
-
-
14
- $1399
Polaris 9650IQ
4
-
4
-
-
-
-
-
-
-
15
+1 Check price
Aquabot X4
-
7
-
-
-
-
-
-
6
-
16
+1 $1450
Hayward SharkVac
-
-
-
-
9
-
-
-
-
10
17
+1 Check price
Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830
-
-
-
-
-
-
12
6
-
-

We ranked Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus #1 in May 2022 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
  • Out of those, 6 experts ranked Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus as #1.
Critic endorsements:
The Spruce

Best Overall

Pros
Suitable for pools up to 50 feet
Tangle-free cable
Cleans pools in two hours
Built-in weekly timer
Dual filters

Cons
Not the most effective on stairs
Power supply isn’t waterproof

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Spy

Best Overall

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Bob Vila

Best overall

Pros
Capable of climbing walls
Large filtration system is suitable for sticks and leaves
Can be used on all pool surface types
Schedule cleaning weekly

Cons
Does not have smartphone capabilities
May become stuck on steps

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River Pools

Best Overall Robotic Cleaner

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The Honest Dig

Best Overall

Pros
Large cable
Powerful suction
Double cartridge

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SteamCleanerMaster

Pros
You can program the machine to automatically clean your pool on a schedule that works for you.
It has dual scrubbing brushes to loosen and remove dirt and grime from the floor and walls of your pool.
The tangle-free swivel cable lets the machine work without worry of the cord getting caught or tangled.

Cons
It doesn’t do a good job cleaning some stair types.

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Robotic Pool Cleaners

Best Robotic Pool Cleaner for Inground Pools

Pros
 Powerful robotic cleaner for in-ground pools.
Anti-tangle swivel cable.
Fine and ultrafine filters.
Dual scrubbing brushes.
Weekly scheduler.

Cons
A bit heavy.
Not suitable for budget shoppers.

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Pool Research

Best Overall Robotic Pool Cleaner

Pros
Energy-efficient cleaner
Anti-swivel cable helps prevent tangles
Flexible scheduling times

Cons
Does not do stairs very well
Some manufacturing concerns

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We ranked Dolphin Premier 2018 #2 in May 2022 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Spruce

Best Splurge

Pros
Suitable for pools up to 50 feet
Anti-tangle cable
Cleans walls and waterline
Built-in weekly scheduler
Three types of filters

Cons
Expensive

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Bob Vila

Best for Leaves and Gunk

Pros
Can climb walls and scrub tile lines
Large filtration system suited for sticks and leaves
Multiple debris collection types
Schedule cleaning daily, twice, or three times per week

Cons
Remote control is available but sold separately
Long cleaning cycle

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River Pools

Best For Cleaning Every Part Of Your Pool

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The Honest Dig

Best All-Rounder

Pros
All-rounder
Anti-tangle
Clean debris and Large Leaves

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SteamCleanerMaster

Pros
The dual scrubbing brushes work to remove dirt from the floor, walls, and waterline of your pool.
It will analyze your pool to determine the best route and method to ensure a thorough cleaning.
The anti-tangle swivel cable prevents a cord from getting tangled up or caught and lets the cleaner move easily around the pool.

Cons
The cleaner is a bit heavy and may be challenging to remove from the bottom of your pool.

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Robotic Pool Cleaners

Most Powerful Robotic Pool Cleaner for Residential Pools

Pros
A same proven cleaning system as the Dolphin Nautilus: treads, dual brushes, strong vacuum, etc.
Intelligent navigation with a short cleaning cycle
Advanced features: weekly timer, remote control, and filter-full indicator
Four types of filter media clean a wider range of debris
Excellent cleaning performance

Cons
Included instructions are not the best
This unit is heavy

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Poolbots

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Cleanup Expert

Best Waterline Cleaner

Pros
Because of the Premier’s unrivaled ability to climb walls, it’s able to accomplish what many pool cleaning robots cannot–stick its tiny electronic nose out of the water to get right at that waterline.
The engineers at Maytronics created the world’s first robotic pool cleaner with onboard low voltage motors. And with the entire system using only 180 watts of power, you’ll save a TON of money on your electric bill.

Cons
The manufacturer says you can clean out the filter bag by hosing it out. It turns out it’s a real PAIN to get it clean this way because it takes too long. Throw it in the washer instead.
Its patented 360° anti-tangle swivel is supposed to prevent it from ever getting knotted up in its own cord. However, even with this technology, it occasionally happens.

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Methodology: combine opinions of key experts

Identify Experts

We identify key publishers and experts that consistently review and recommend Robotic Pool Cleaners.

Capture Rankings

For each publisher we find a currently recommended "top 10" list of Robotic Pool Cleaners, it must be updated in the last 9 months.

Aggregate Rankings

We put all those lists together and aggregate them. The more frequently a product is recommended, the higher it is in our ranking

Experts chosen for May 2022 ranking

We ranked Polaris F9550 #3 in May 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Polaris F9550 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
River Pools

Best For Larger Pools

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The Honest Dig

Best for Leaves and Debris

Pros
Easy to use
Dirty Canister Indicator
Clean debris

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Robotic Pool Cleaners

Best Robotic Pool Cleaner for Large Pools

Pros
Includes caddy
Excellent cleaning performance
Does not fall from sides or stairs
Works in all pool types regardless of shape or type of surface
Targeted cleaning options
The remote control works well
Weekly programmable timer
Full bin indicator

Cons
Pricey
A bit heavy (the automatic lift system eliminates most of the hassle, though)

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Pool Research

Best for Pools with Tight Corners

Pros
Excellent at sharp corners
Four-wheel drive system provides outstanding mobility
Compatible with multiple apps for manual control
Tangle-free cable system works well

Cons
Heavier than most of the competition
More expensive than most other cleaners

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Poolbots

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Cleanup Expert

Best for Custom-Shaped Pools

Pros
One of the features that helps it to navigate the winding curves of unconventional pool layouts is its four-wheel drive. This allows it to easily move around corners without having to back up.
This robot has powerful Vortex Vacuum technology at its command. This means that it has enough suction to pick up even large pieces of floating debris.

Cons
This robot gets tangled up in its own cord more often than its competitors. So, if you buy this unit, this might mean more trips out to the pool to free it from its own self-induced predicament.
The remote control has been known to be sluggish. You could find yourself at wit’s end because you repeatedly push a button just to complete a single action.

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We ranked Dolphin Sigma #4 in May 2022 because:

  • 6 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Dolphin Sigma as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Spy

Best Splurge

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Bob Vila

For Custom Shaped Pools

Pros
Multiple scrub brushes for enhanced surface cleaning
Gyroscopic wall-climbing features for custom-shaped pools
Connect through Bluetooth for spot cleaning
Schedule cleaning daily, twice, or three times per week

Cons
High price

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SteamCleanerMaster

Pros
The filter is designed to be easy to clean.
You can pair the cleaner with your smartphone to schedule cleanings and keep track of the progress of a cleaning.
This model features a gyroscope mobility system for cleaning stairs and walls.

Cons
If your pool frequently is filled with leaves and other large droppings, this cleaner may get clogged more frequently.

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Robotic Pool Cleaners

Best Smartphone-Connected Robotic Pool Cleaner

Pros
Can handle extra-large in-ground pools
Powerful cleaning performance
Convenient Bluetooth control via an app
Smart navigation reduces cleaning times and saves energy
Independent tracks provide better coverage in tight corners

Cons
Expensive
Bluetooth app does not always work

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Poolbots

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Cleanup Expert

Most innovative

Pros
Its gyroscopically-enabled navigation system lets the robot know, with pinpoint precision, where to go next. This ensures that every square inch of your pool is scrubbed sparkling clean. With the extraordinary control this gyroscope gives your mechanical assistant, he won’t wobble or topple over when attempting to scale a wall.
Besides being the planet’s first pool robot with a gyroscope, it’s also the first one with three motors.

Cons
There appears to be a glitch in some units where the robot indicates it’s actively cleaning when it actually isn’t. If this malfunction happens, usually it’s when users activate the automatic mode. For some people, even the app sometimes displays this wildly inaccurate information.
The Sigma also doesn’t do well with drains and tends to get hung up on them.

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We ranked Dolphin Escape #5 in May 2022 because:

  • 5 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Bob Vila

Runner-up

Pros
Continuous grip tracks improve propulsion
Oversized debris collection cartridge
SmartNav 2.0 robotic scanning navigation system
Use on gunite, plaster, vinyl, and fiberglass pools

Cons
Does not have smartphone capabilities
Only suitable for 30-foot pools

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The Honest Dig

Best Budget

Pros
Simple to empty & clean
Energy-efficient
Superior Scrubbing Capability

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Robotic Pool Cleaners

Best Above Ground Robotic Pool Cleaner

Pros
Lightweight
Cleans leaves, sand and most other kinds of debris
Can climb walls (uncommon in above-ground cleaners)
Works in all types of above ground pools, including vinyl
Large filter cartridge

Cons
No ultra-fine filter included (can buy separately)
No swivel cord

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Poolbots

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Cleanup Expert

Most Versatile

Pros
The hypergrip track works flawlessly with the digital mapping technology. The end result? Faster and more efficient cleaning.
What’s more, it uses 90% less power than older types of pool cleaning robots. Maytronics accomplished this monumental feat by using an innovative low voltage DC motor. The entire system only requires around 180 watts of power.
Think of how much money you’ll save!

Cons
Unfortunately, this unit only has a one-year warranty. If your pool dips or has areas lower than the rest of the floor, your little robot friend has a tendency to pop wheelies. When it does this, the filter basket can pop out. Then, all the debris your guy painstakingly collected will be unceremoniously dumped back into the pool.
The cord doesn’t seem to be quite long enough for most pools.

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We ranked Dolphin E10 #6 in May 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Dolphin E10 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
Bob Vila

For Above Ground Pools

Pros
Quick, 1.5-hour cleaning cycle
Remote start function
Can be used on all pool surface types

Cons
Cannot climb pool walls

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River Pools

Best For Above-Ground Pools

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The Honest Dig

Perfect for Above Ground Pool

Pros
Ready for all surfaces
Deep cleaning
Hassle-free use

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Cleanup Expert

Best for Above Ground Pools

Pros
It has a huge filter basket, so it’ll catch lots of floating debris before it turns your pool into an eyesore. This Ultra Fine Filter Basket captures even tiny sand grains. There’s a simple push latch at the top of the unit to get at the filter.
The filter also has an easy-to-open hinged bottom. Just push the button, and the dirt falls right out.

Cons
The warranty is only good for two years. After the first year, it only covers plastic parts. Also, you have to purchase the Ultra Fine Basket separately. Because the cord doesn’t have an anti-tangle swivel, it sometimes gets all twisted around the robot.
Edges are inconsistently cleaned because it seems as though the robot spends most of its time crisscrossing the middle.

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We ranked Dolphin Quantum #7 in May 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Honest Dig

Best for Superior Filtration

Pros
Oversize Cartridge
Automatic Cleaner
Energy-efficient

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Robotic Pool Cleaners

Best Wall-Cleaning Robotic Pool Cleaner

Pros
Programmable weekly timer
Powerful, energy-efficient motors
Water jets provide best-in-class vertical wall cleaning
Huge filter cartridge means less frequent emptying

Cons
Pricey
Lacks swivel connector on the cord

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Poolbots

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Cleanup Expert

Easiest robot to clean

Pros
Vortex water jets on the top and sides of this unit allows it to move laterally along pool floors, walls, and up to the waterline. SmartNav 2.0 scanning technology keeps it from going over the same spots multiple times.
The huge, top-loading filter cartridges easily snap apart and are easy to spray clean. A convenient carry handle and fast water release system makes it more ergonomic. 3-mode weekly scheduling conveniently automates cleaning.

Cons
This is an expensive machine. For the price, there aren’t many extras. No caddy. No bluetooth. No remote control. You can purchase those separately, but they’re not cheap either.
Even though there’s supposed to be a swivel function, the power cord can easily tangle. Replacement filter screens are expensive. The jets can blow around debris at times rather than picking it up.

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We ranked Dolphin Triton PS #8 in May 2022 because:

  • 4 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Spruce

Best for Leaves

Pros
Suitable for pools up to 50 feet
Thorough wall and waterline cleaning
Extra-large filter basket
Built-in weekly scheduler

Cons
Power supply isn’t waterproof

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Spy

Also Consider

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Robotic Pool Cleaners

Best Value Dolphin Robotic Pool Cleaner

Pros
Good value for money.
Cleans large pools up to 50ft.
Dual scrubbing brushes.
Comes with fine and ultra-fine filters.
Full pool coverage – floor, walls, and waterline.

Cons
No option to select cleaning cycles.
Struggles to clean curvy areas of the pool.

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Cleanup Expert

Best Range of Mobility

Pros
At only 16.5 pounds, this is one of the lightest of all pool robots. It also has advanced scanning functionality. This means it can make sure every single inch of your pool surfaces are vigorously scrubbed clean of all contaminants.
Using the Triton PS will extend the life of your pool’s filtration system, because the robot does some of the dirty work it used to exclusively do.

Cons
The robot doesn’t seem to do a good job cleaning curvy areas. So, if you have a custom-shaped pool with lots of meandering contours or corners, you might want to think about getting something else.
The automatic weekly scheduling feature (like with some other models) doesn’t appear to make a whole lot of sense. That’s because the manufacturer advises that you should take the unit out of the pool when you’re not using it.

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We ranked Paxcess Cordless #9 in May 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Bob Vila

Best budget

Pros
Cordless functionality improves movement
Reduced risk of accidental electrocution with battery
Automatically docks poolside when the battery is low
Safe for all pool types

Cons
Takes 4 to 6 hours to charge
Maximum 15-degree slopes

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Robotic Pool Cleaners

Best Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner

Pros
Cordless – no hoses or cords to set up.
No tangling cords to deal with.
Long battery life.
Good cleaning performance.
Fair price.

Cons
Takes a long to recharge (4-6 hours).
Doesn’t clean walls.
No weekly scheduler.
Doesn’t filter fine debris.

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Cleanup Expert

Most hassle-free unit

Pros
You’ll be ecstatic when you find out there are no cloth bags to clean with this exceptional machine. Instead, there’s a filter tray with a filtration precision of up to 180 µm. Simply pop the tray out, quickly rinse all the gunk out with a garden hose, and your mechanical cleaner will be ready for its next trip through your pool.

Cons
The Paxcess isn’t able to clean the walls — it only cleans pool floors. Because the brush is so thin, your bot might struggle to scrub stubborn algae. This device has a hard time traveling up sloping terrain, making it best for above-ground pools. The tether used to pull the unit out of the water tends to break easily, which can be annoying.

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We ranked Dolphin Triton PS Plus #10 in May 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Honest Dig

Best for Deeper Pool

Pros
Easy to handle
Scrubs Floor thoroughly
Clean up to 50ft
Independent Cleaning

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Robotic Pool Cleaners

Fastest-Cleaning Inground Robotic Pool Cleaner

Pros
Fast 1-hour cleaning cycle.
WiFi connectivity for remote app control.
Dual scrubbing brushes.
Comes with fine and ultra-fine filters.
Weekly scheduler.

Cons
Pricey.

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Pool Research

Best Controllable Robotic Pool Cleaner

Pros
Multiple speed settings are useful
One active brush provides additional cleaning support
Lightweight and easy to carry around
Excellent manual controls for spot cleaning

Cons
Some issues with stairs and corners
Regular manufacturing concerns

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We ranked Hayward SharkVac XL #11 in May 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Bob Vila

Best for Inground Pools

Pros
Comes with a vacuum and cord caddy
Out-of-water sensors protect the motor
Smart-steering technology improves cleaning efficiency
Beach-entry sensor reverses direction automatically

Cons
Bulky and hard to take out of the pool
May slip on the sides of the pool

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SteamCleanerMaster

Pros
This is an energy-efficient model.
The filter can be accessed from the top for easy cleaning.
This model is less expensive than the other robotic cleaners we reviewed.

Cons
It may not get the floor and walls of your pool as clean as some of the other products on our list.

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Pool Research

Easiest to Clean

Pros
Medium-weight is easy to transport, especially with the cart
The filter is particularly easy to clean
Excellent for smaller pools
Thoroughly cleans pool floors in about 2 hours
Available in two sizes

Cons
Not good at cleaning walls unless you get the XL
No remote control options

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We ranked Aquabot Breeze IQ #12 in May 2022 because:

  • 3 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
SteamCleanerMaster

Pros
The filter baskets work together with the powerful pump to filter down to two microns.
You can use this product to clean pools with any surface type.
The 60-foot swivel cable allows the cleaner to clean your pool without worrying about a cord getting caught to tangled.

Cons
You cannot program this model to clean on a set schedule.

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Pool Research

Best for Small Debris

Pros
Capable of filtering things as small as bacteria
Large, high-capacity baskets
Fewer manufacturing defects than many competitors
Works on all standard pool materials
Great for above ground pools

Cons
Relatively heavy
No remote control options
Filters are fragile

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Cleanup Expert

Best Filtration

Pros
Its impressively energetic dual scrubbers and powerful suction mean you’ll be able to use fewer potentially toxic pool chemicals. With the superior Aquabot swivel technology at your command, you’ll never have to worry about the unit getting tangled up in its own cord.
Its durable PVC scrubbing brushes are safe for all surfaces—even vinyl lined pools. It’s low wattage motors only cost about five cents an hour to run.

Cons
Sometimes the robot has difficulty climbing up to the waterline. The manufacturer suggests adjusting the handle (which helps the unit to float) when this happens. This should fix the problem.
The unit’s super-fine filters will help keep your pool water radiantly clean at all times. However, they need to be replaced more often than regular filters.

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We ranked OT QOMOTOP HJ1103J #13 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Spy

Best Cordless

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River Pools

Best For Smaller Flat-Bottomed Pools

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We ranked Polaris 9650IQ #14 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Spruce

Best Smart

Pros
Suitable for pools up to 60 feet
Wi-Fi enabled
Tangle-reducing cable
Easy Life removal system
Includes caddy

Cons
Extremely expensive

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Bob Vila

Upgrade pick

Pros
Capable of climbing walls
Wi-Fi and Amazon Alexa compatible
Dirty canister indicator
4-wheel drive improves control and stability

Cons
High price

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We ranked Aquabot X4 #15 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Spy

Best Filtration

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Poolbots

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We ranked Hayward SharkVac #16 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
The Honest Dig

Best Pool Leaf Catcher

Pros
A complete product
Fast Cleaning
Consistent results
High-quality material

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Cleanup Expert

Best Budget Model

Pros
This hard-working bot will make quick work of even the dirtiest of pools. If your pool is surrounded by trees that dump a lot of leaves and other plant debris, buy this robot ASAP because it was made for jobs like this. It’s perfect for pool parties too. Simply run this underwater droid so you can schmooze with party guests instead of breaking your back cleaning your swimming hole.

Cons
There have been some reports that when you press the button, the cover doesn’t easily open so you can change the filter. There’s a trick to it—by pressing on the top of the lid slightly as you press the button, it will release. The cord often gets tangled up by the time the cycle is complete, which is more than a little frustrating.

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We ranked Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 #17 in May 2022 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
Robotic Pool Cleaners

Best Kreepy Krauly

Pros
Excellent cleaning performance
Easy mobility. Swivel cable, strongly gripping treads and auto-reverse ensure it never gets stuck
Includes remote control with a weekly timer
Free transport caddy included

Cons
Pricey
Very heavy

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Pool Research

Best Energy-Efficient Robotic Pool Cleaner

Pros
Extremely affordable to run
Improves pool chemical distribution
Reasonably long extension cord
Two speed settings

Cons
Common issues with debris container and power supply
Too rough on some surfaces, especially textured ones

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