July 2021

Robotic Pool Cleaners: Aggregated Ranking Report

This report contains an aggregate consensus of Pool Cleaner rankings posted by key online experts, as of July 2021.

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 July 2021 ranking

At a glance - July 2021 Ranking

Scroll horizontally to browse this ranking table
Rank Change Price Pool Cleaner
The Spruce
Cleanup Expert
Pool Research
River Pools
Robotic Pool Cleaners
Poolbots
PoolCleanerPlanet
SwimmingPool Daily
Spy
SteamCleanerMaster
1
- $839 Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus
1
-
1
6
3
-
3
-
1
1
2
- $1347 Dolphin Premier 2018
4
2
-
5
4
2
1
2
-
3
3
+1 $1499 Dolphin Sigma
-
5
-
-
5
1
-
10
9
2
4
+1 $910 Polaris F9550
-
4
3
4
1
7
-
5
-
-
5
-2 $1937 Hayward SharkVac XL
3
-
5
3
18
-
-
9
-
6
6
- Check price Aquabot X4
-
-
-
-
12
6
5
13
7
-
7
- $899 Dolphin Triton PS
-
3
-
-
8
-
-
3
8
-
8
+1 $759 Dolphin Escape
-
9
-
-
7
8
-
4
-
-
9
+1 $829 Aquabot Breeze IQ
-
11
4
-
-
-
4
-
-
5
10
+5 Check price Aquabot Junior Pool Rover
-
-
-
-
15
-
-
11
4
-
11
- Check price Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830
-
-
6
-
16
-
-
14
-
-
12
-4 $899 Dolphin Nautilus CC
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
1
-
-
13
-1 $1600 Hayward TigerShark
-
-
-
-
11
-
7
7
-
-
14
-1 $499 Dolphin E10
-
7
-
1
-
-
-
-
-
-
15
-1 $340 OT QOMOTOP HJ1103J
-
-
-
2
-
-
-
-
2
-
16
- $1049 Dolphin Triton PS Plus
-
-
2
-
9
-
-
-
-
-
17
- Check price Dolphin Quantum Inground
-
-
-
-
6
3
-
-
-
-
18
- Check price Polaris F9450
-
-
-
-
-
-
2
-
-
4
19
- Check price Aquabot Spirit Above
-
-
-
-
13
9
-
-
-
-
20
- $595 Aquabot Pool Rover S240
-
-
-
-
14
-
-
8
-
-
21
New * $717 Hayward SharkVac
-
8
-
-
-
-
6
-
-
-

We ranked Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus #1 in July 2021 because:

  • 7 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
  • Out of those, 4 experts ranked Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus as #1.
Critic endorsements:
The Spruce

Best Overall

Pros
Uses its own power supply
Quiet operation
Cleans floors and walls
Collects debris

Cons
No smart capabilities

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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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River Pools

Best Overall Robotic Cleaner

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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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PoolCleanerPlanet

Best Value

Pros
Easy operation
Two-year warranty
Works on floor and walls
Great price

Cons
Sometimes needs multiple cycles

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Spy

Best Overall

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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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We ranked Dolphin Premier 2018 #2 in July 2021 because:

  • 8 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
  • Out of those, 1 expert ranked Dolphin Premier 2018 as #1.
Critic endorsements:
The Spruce

Best for Leaves

Pros
Collects large debris
Light indicates when to replace filter
Cleans floors and walls

Cons
No Smart capabilities.

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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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River Pools

Best For Cleaning Every Part 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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PoolCleanerPlanet

Best Overall

Pros
Cleans walls and floor
Multiple cleaning functions
Smart Control
Tangle-free swivel

Cons
Expensive

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SwimmingPool Daily

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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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We ranked Dolphin Sigma #3 in July 2021 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:
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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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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SwimmingPool Daily

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Spy

Best Splurge

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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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We ranked Polaris F9550 #4 in July 2021 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:
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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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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River Pools

Best For Larger Pools

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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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Poolbots

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SwimmingPool Daily

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We ranked Hayward SharkVac XL #5 in July 2021 because:

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

Best for Inground Pools

Pros
Cleans floors and walls
Long power cord
Easy access to filters

Cons
No Smart capabilities

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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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River Pools

Best For Concrete Pools

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Robotic Pool Cleaners

Best Warranty

Pros
Pricey
Three-year warranty
Excellent cleaning performance. Removes almost all debris including sediment, sand, and leaves
Includes remote control with manual navigation buttons
Easy to clean filter cartridge

Cons
The remote control is not worth the price
No quick clean cycle

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SwimmingPool Daily

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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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We ranked Aquabot X4 #6 in July 2021 because:

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

Best Value Robotic Pool Cleaner

Pros
Excellent cleaning performance
Works in above ground and in-ground pools
Programmable cycles and weekly timer
Swivel cable to prevent tangling
Great value for money

Cons
Struggles with some areas like the steps and waterline
Wheels do not provide the same level of traction of jet drive or treads

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Poolbots

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PoolCleanerPlanet

Pros
Very large cartridge
Automatic pool mapping
Four-wheel drive

Cons
May need warranty service
Struggles with 90-degree walls

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SwimmingPool Daily

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Spy

Best Filtration

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We ranked Dolphin Triton PS #7 in July 2021 because:

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

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Spy

Also Consider

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We ranked Dolphin Escape #8 in July 2021 because:

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

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We ranked Aquabot Breeze IQ #9 in July 2021 because:

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

Pros
Cleans floors and walls
Long cable
Great filters

Cons
Poor durability
Cord tangles

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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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We ranked Aquabot Junior Pool Rover #10 in July 2021 because:

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

Most Affordable for Above Ground Pools

Pros
Super-affordable
The ultra-fine filter picks up even the smallest of particles
Works on all kinds of pool surfaces

Cons
Occasional manual scrubbing required. This cleaner lacks brushes
Does not fully scale walls
No intelligent navigation
Wheel pins used to manually set direction (takes a few tries to set it right)

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SwimmingPool Daily

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Spy

Best USA Made

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We ranked Pentair Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 #11 in July 2021 because:

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

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We ranked Dolphin Nautilus CC #12 in July 2021 because:

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

Most Affordable for Inground Pools

Pros
Great price.
Smart navigation system.
Includes a scrubbing brush to get rid of stubborn dirt and algae.
Easy to remove and clean top load filter basket.
Includes a weekly timer

Cons
No ultra-fine filter.
Not suitable for large pools.

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SwimmingPool Daily

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We ranked Hayward TigerShark #13 in July 2021 because:

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

Best Hayward Robotic Pool Cleaner

Pros
Convenient quick clean cycle
Cleans most areas of the pool very well
The filter cartridge is easy to remove and clean

Cons
It is a bit heavy
Struggles on walls and stairs at times

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PoolCleanerPlanet

Pros
90-minute cleaning cycle
Easy cartridge cleaning
Easy operation

Cons
Expensive
Heavy

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SwimmingPool Daily

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We ranked Dolphin E10 #14 in July 2021 because:

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

Best For Above-Ground Pools

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We ranked OT QOMOTOP HJ1103J #15 in July 2021 because:

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

Best For Smaller Flat-Bottomed Pools

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Spy

Best Cordless

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We ranked Dolphin Triton PS Plus #16 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
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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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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We ranked Dolphin Quantum Inground #17 in July 2021 because:

  • 2 independent experts mentioned it in their “best Robotic Pool Cleaners” rankings.
Critic endorsements:
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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We ranked Polaris F9450 #18 in July 2021 because:

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

The Runner Up

Pros
Efficient cleaning
Scrubs walls and floors
Seven-day programmable cycle
Waterline-only mode

Cons
Not great for fine dirt

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SteamCleanerMaster

Pros
It can clean the floor, walls, and tile line of your pool.
The filter has a large capacity, so it won’t need to be emptied as frequently.
You can program the cleaner and customize the cleaning cycle.

Cons
This model does not have a tangle-free cord.

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We ranked Aquabot Spirit Above #19 in July 2021 because:

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

For Leaves and Debris Only

Pros
Affordable.
Efficient and energy-saving propulsion system.
Swivel cable.
Convenient top-access filters.
Suitable for both above ground and in-ground pools.

Cons
No scrubbing brushes. You have to occasionally scrub the pool manually
Bags are messier and harder to clean compared to cartridges

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Poolbots

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We ranked Aquabot Pool Rover S240 #20 in July 2021 because:

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

Best Overall Value for Above Ground Pools

Pros
Surprisingly affordable
Two cleaning cycle options
Surprisingly good cleaning performance, considering it has no brushes
Convenient top-access filters

Cons
Occasional manual scrubbing required. This cleaner lacks brushes
Does not fully scale walls
No intelligent navigation

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SwimmingPool Daily

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We ranked Hayward SharkVac #21 in July 2021 because:

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

Pros
Smart steering system
Easy filter cartridge access
Does well with stairs

Cons
Heavy
Poor on walls

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