The Best Robotic Pool Cleaner Reviews for 2018


best robotic pool cleaner ultimate guideIf you are looking for the best robotic pool cleaner reviews, then look no further.  We have spent hundreds of hours testing and reviewing a wide variety of robotic pool cleaners and are passing our valuable information on to you.  In this Ultimate Guide, we will be focusing on 5 important metrics: Performance, Features/Ease of Use, Reliability, Price, and Overall Rating.  We also break down the different types of pool cleaners and also discuss the difference between above ground and in-ground pool cleaners.  Below are our top 5 selections.  For full reviews of all of the different pool cleaners, hop on below the table.

 

 

Best Robotic Pool Cleaners – Top 5 Picks

Rank
Top Choice
1
Great Performer
2
3
4
5
Product
Aquabot Junior Automatic Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner
Dolphin Oasis Z5 Robotic Pool Cleaner with Caddy and Remote
Smartpool NC74 Scrubber 60 Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner for IG Pools
Pentair Kreepy Krauley Prowler 920 Robotic Inground Swimming Pool Vacuum Cleaner
Baracuda Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner
Aquabot Junior Automatic Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner
Dolphin Oasis Z5 Robotic Pool Cleaner with Caddy and Remote
Smartpool NC74 Scrubber 60 Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner for IG Pools
Pentair Kreepy Krauley Prowler 920 Robotic Inground Swimming Pool Vacuum Cleaner
Baracuda Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner
Price (Amazon)
from $499.99
$1,499.00
$492.42
$949.00
from $409.61
Prime
-
Overall Rating
Pros
Very affordable, Effective filtration system
Extremely powerful, Loaded with features
Innovative motors, Great turning radius, Long warranty
Efficient operation, Very simple to use
Very affordable, Reliable, Lightweight
Cons
Not as many features, Shorter warranty than most
Expensive
Not designed for longer pools
Somewhat limited on features
Requires pool pump to operate, Longer initial setup
Type of Cleaner
Self-Powered
Self-Powered
Self-Powered
Self-Powered
Suction-Powered
Targeted Pool Type
In-Ground
In-Ground
In-Ground
In-Ground
In-Ground
Cleaning Time
4 Hours
1.5 - 2.5 hours
1 - 3 hours
Varies
Varies
Breakdown of Ratings
Aquabot Junior Series
Dolphin Oasis Z5
SmartPool Scrubber60 Series
Pentair Prowler 920
Zodiac MX8 Series
Performance
Features/Ease of Use
Reliability
Cost
Our Full Review
Top Choice
Rank
1
Product
Aquabot Junior Automatic Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner
Aquabot Junior Automatic Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner
Price (Amazon)
from $499.99
Prime
Overall Rating
Pros
Very affordable, Effective filtration system
Cons
Not as many features, Shorter warranty than most
Type of Cleaner
Self-Powered
Targeted Pool Type
In-Ground
Cleaning Time
4 Hours
Breakdown of Ratings
Aquabot Junior Series
Performance
Features/Ease of Use
Reliability
Cost
Our Full Review
Great Performer
Rank
2
Product
Dolphin Oasis Z5 Robotic Pool Cleaner with Caddy and Remote
Dolphin Oasis Z5 Robotic Pool Cleaner with Caddy and Remote
Price (Amazon)
$1,499.00
Prime
Overall Rating
Pros
Extremely powerful, Loaded with features
Cons
Expensive
Type of Cleaner
Self-Powered
Targeted Pool Type
In-Ground
Cleaning Time
1.5 - 2.5 hours
Breakdown of Ratings
Dolphin Oasis Z5
Performance
Features/Ease of Use
Reliability
Cost
Our Full Review
Rank
3
Product
Smartpool NC74 Scrubber 60 Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner for IG Pools
Smartpool NC74 Scrubber 60 Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner for IG Pools
Price (Amazon)
$492.42
Prime
Overall Rating
Pros
Innovative motors, Great turning radius, Long warranty
Cons
Not designed for longer pools
Type of Cleaner
Self-Powered
Targeted Pool Type
In-Ground
Cleaning Time
1 - 3 hours
Breakdown of Ratings
SmartPool Scrubber60 Series
Performance
Features/Ease of Use
Reliability
Cost
Our Full Review
Rank
4
Product
Pentair Kreepy Krauley Prowler 920 Robotic Inground Swimming Pool Vacuum Cleaner
Pentair Kreepy Krauley Prowler 920 Robotic Inground Swimming Pool Vacuum Cleaner
Price (Amazon)
$949.00
Prime
-
Overall Rating
Pros
Efficient operation, Very simple to use
Cons
Somewhat limited on features
Type of Cleaner
Self-Powered
Targeted Pool Type
In-Ground
Cleaning Time
Varies
Breakdown of Ratings
Pentair Prowler 920
Performance
Features/Ease of Use
Reliability
Cost
Our Full Review
Rank
5
Product
Baracuda Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner
Baracuda Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner
Price (Amazon)
from $409.61
Prime
Overall Rating
Pros
Very affordable, Reliable, Lightweight
Cons
Requires pool pump to operate, Longer initial setup
Type of Cleaner
Suction-Powered
Targeted Pool Type
In-Ground
Cleaning Time
Varies
Breakdown of Ratings
Zodiac MX8 Series
Performance
Features/Ease of Use
Reliability
Cost
Our Full Review

The Competition

best robotic pool cleaner the competition

We understand that there are a lot of robotic pool cleaner brands and models to digest.  We have done all the dirty work for you and break down each below.  To read our full review, simply click on any of the buttons to be taken to our full review of that particular model.

Aquabot Bravo

Aquabot Bravo Pool Cleaner

Buy on Amazon $1,599.00 and save 

Check Out our Full Review

The Aquabot Bravo Robotic Pool Cleaner is one of the premier pool cleaners offered by Aquabot.  This massive residential pool cleaner boasts some of the most impressive performance specifications in the industry and is prepared to handle extremely large residential pools.  This does come at a very high asking price, however.  This unit is specifically designed for in-ground pools of various shapes and sizes.

Aquabot Breeze Series

Aquabot ABREEZ4 X-Large Breeze with Scrubbers Robotic Pool Cleaner for Above-Ground and In-Ground Pools

Buy on Amazon $395.39 and save 

Check Out our Full Review

The Aquabot Breeze Series Robotic Pool Cleaners are a sort of mid-range offering by Aquabot.  Boasting performance attributes higher than their budget lineup but falling a bit short of their premium (and much more expensive) products, the Breeze hopes to find a happy medium between the two.  The lineup currently includes 4 products: Breeze SE, Breeze XLS, Breeze IQ, and Breeze 4WD.  There is quite a bit of variety within each breeze model, with some being designed for both above and below-ground pools while others being intended for just in-ground.  Other differences include 2WD vs. 4WD drivetrains and intended pool sizes.

Aquabot Classic Series

Aquabot Classic Automatic Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner with Extra Replacement Filter Bag

Buy on Amazon $679.00 and save 

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The Aquabot Classic Series consists of two models: the Classic and the Classic Platinum.  Both units are simple, lightweight, and designed to meet people’s needs who are on more of a budget.  The Classic Platinum comes with some upgrades including the patented AquaSmart technology while the Classic sticks to a more tried and true method without all of the fancy gadgets.

Aquabot Fury

Aquabot Fury

Buy on Amazon $1,299.00 and save 

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The Aquabot Fury is another one of Aquabot’s higher-end models.  It is based on the very popular commercial-grade pool cleaners that Aquabot hosts and they actually dub it their “Jr” version on their site.  It attempts to combine the power of a robust motor with a more energy-efficient operation that will help save you money on your electric bill.  However, despite being a “Jr” model, it is still quite expensive.

Aquabot Junior Series

Aquabot Junior Automatic Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner

Buy on Amazon from $499.99 and save 39%

Check Out our Full Review

The Aquabot Junior robotic pool cleaner series currently consists of 3 models: Aquabot Pool Rover Junior, Aquabot Junior, and Aquabot Junior NXT.  As the name suggests, these units are a bit smaller than many of the other Aquabot pool cleaners and their more affordable price also reflects that.  Also worth noting is that the Junior Series focuses on having a very fine filtration system that can filter items down to 2 microns in size.  Another important factor of all of the units is that they operate very efficiently, saving you money in electricity.

Aquabot Pool Rover Series

Aquabot POOL ROVER S2 40, US, JET, 115VAC/48VDC, BLUE

Buy on Amazon from $299.00 and save 

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The Aquabot Pool Rover series are among the smallest robotic pool cleaners that Aquabot offers.  There are several different choices within the series including the S2-40I, Junior, S2-50, Hybrid, and Sport.  While each has their own unique pros and cons, the general approach of each is essentially the same: to provide efficient and simple performance for smaller pools while being very cost-effective.

Aquabot Pura Series

AQUABOT Ajet123 Pura 4x Pool Cleaner Robotic- For Above-Ground and smaller In-ground pools

Buy on Amazon $322.42 and save 12%

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The Aquabot Pura Series consists of the Pura 4XT and the Pura 5X.  Both of these units are quite small and also relatively low cost and are Aquabot’s attempt to make an efficient robotic pool cleaner that gets the job done without breaking the bank.  Both units are powered by a 150W motor and can handle both above ground and in-ground pools of various radius and materials.

Aquabot Rapids Series

Aqua ARAPID1500 Rapids 1500 Inground Robotic Pool Cleaner

Buy on Amazon $767.71 and save 

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The Aquabot Rapids Series Robotic Pool Cleaners is another one of the higher-end lineups that Aquabot offers.  It comes in 4 varieties: Rapids 4WD, Rapids XLS, Rapids 1500, and Rapids 2000.  As you have probably gathered now from reading other Aquabot reviews, each Rapids model brings something unique to the table that helps to make it stand out from its siblings.  And as you might also expect, there will be a bit of a price range depending on which specific model you go with, with the Rapids 2000 appearing to be at the top in regards to price and performance.

Aquabot Supreme

Aquabot Supreme Robotic IG Pool Cleaner

Buy on Amazon $1,499.00 and save 

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The Aquabot Supreme robotic pool cleaner comes with a lofty nickname but offers a lot in the process.  Being “supreme”, it is advertised as being able to scrub and vacuum off of the floor, walls, and it can even clean grime along the waterline.  This really makes this unit an “all-in-one” solution for those with in-ground pools.

Aquabot Turbo Series

Aquabot ABTRT2R1 Turbo T2 In-Ground Robotic Swimming Pool Cleaner with Aqua Buggy Cart

Buy on Amazon $1,000.29 and save 

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The Aquabot Turbo Series is Aquabot’s largest series.  It contains multiple products including the Turbo T, Turbo RC, Turbo T-Jet, Turbo T2, Turbo, and Turbo T4RC.  It also among Aquabot’s most expensive lineup, with some of these units being at the very top of the price range.  But for those who can afford the high asking price, you will get to enjoy very powerful units with huge capacity and loads of features.

Aquabot Viva

Aquabot Viva

Buy on Amazon $1,092.60 and save 45%

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The Aquabot Viva is an extremely powerful flagship offering by Aquabot that is designed to handle even the largest and most challenging residential pool with ease.  It comes with a powerful motor and advanced tracking features that allow it to clean large pools quickly and efficiently.  For those after some of the very best and most current technology that robotic pool cleaners have to offer, the Viva is in the short conversation.  But be expected to pay a very large asking price for it.

Aquabot Xtreme

Aquabot Xtreme robotic pool cleaner

Buy on Amazon $431.20 and save 30%

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The Aquabot Xtreme only comes in one model and it typically falls into the lower to middle price tier.  This unit is a bit of a specialty model in that it is optimized for cleaning floors and partial walls.  This does limit some of its versatility and, being a bit smaller in size, the Aquabot Xtreme does have limits when it comes to pool sizes.  Still, it does offer up some unique benefits.

Dolphin Nautilus Series

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner with Top Load Filter Cartridges Ideal for Pools Up To 50 Feet.

Buy on Amazon $782.24 and save 2%

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The Dolphin Nautilus Series is one of the most popular series of robotic pool cleaners offered by Dolphin.  They include various models including the proven Nautilus (99996323) and Nautilus Plus (99996403-PC).  These models recently went through a facelift in 2017 that included larger capacity, active brush, and a more lightweight shell.  It is a self-powered cleaner and, as such, will run towards the higher end of the price range.

Dolphin Oasis Z5

Dolphin Oasis Z5 Robotic Pool Cleaner with Caddy and Remote

Buy on Amazon $1,499.00 and save 

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The Dolphin Oasis Z5 Robotic Pool Cleaner is another premium-level product offered by Dolphin that aims to compete with some of the very best pool cleaners.  The unique three motor design allows for a level of control in cleaning that many other units cannot match.  It is loaded with other helpful features that help to tap into the serious performance while being user-friendly.  But all of this does come at a rather high asking price.

Dolphin Triton Series

Dolphin Triton Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner with PowerStream and Bluetooth Ideal for Pools Up to 50 Feet

Buy on Amazon $949.00 and save 17%

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The Dolphin Triton Robotic Pool Cleaner series is a step up from the Nautilus Series and with it, you get a bump in performance, features, and also asking price.  Utilizing a self-contained motor and filter system, it aims to be the all-in-one robotic pool cleaner you have been looking for.  Both the Triton base and Triton Plus take advantage of PowerStream technology but they do vary quite a bit in regards to filter type, Bluetooth capability, mobility, etc.  Both have their place and you will need to determine which one works for you if you decide to go this route.

Hayward AquaNaut Series

Hayward PHS41CST AquaNaut Suction Pool Vacuum (Automatic Pool Cleaner)

Buy on Amazon from $391.49 and save 2%

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The Hayward AquaNaut Robotic Pool Cleaners are advertised as having unstoppable suction power and being suitable for all sorts of terrain.  They come in three different sizes: AquaNaut 200 (PHS21CST), AquaNaut 400 (PHS41CST), and AquaNaut 450 (PBS42CST).  Depending on your pool size, pool depth, and type of terrain, there should be an AquaNaut product that will meet your needs.

Hayward AquaVac 500

Hayward RC3431CU AquaVac 500 Robotic Pool Vacuum (Automatic Pool Cleaner)

Buy on Amazon $946.99 and save 

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The Hayward RC3431CU AquaVac 500 is a fully programmable robotic pool cleaner that takes advantage of a powerful microprocessor to deliver efficient performance.  It is available in two operating modes and Hayward guarantees that it will deliver the most efficient cleaning pattern.  This unit can handle pools of up to 20’ x 40’ and a multitude of surfaces.  But this unique product does come with a hefty price tag.

Hayward Navigator Series

Hayward 925ADC Navigator Pro Suction Pool Vacuum (Automatic Pool Cleaner)

Buy on Amazon $399.00 and save 

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The Hayward Navigator Series includes 4 models: 2 Navigator Pro Models (925ADC and 925ADV) and 2 Navigator V-Flex Models (HSC925CC and HSC925CV).  The primary differences within the given models for a series are the type of pool line material that they are designed to clean (gunite, concrete, or vinyl).  The V-Flex units utilize patented V-flex variable vane turbine technology.  It is important to note that all Navigator robotic pool cleaners attach to existing filtration systems in your pool.  The drives down the price but also limits their versatility some.

Hayward Poolvergnuegen “The Pooler Cleaner Series”

Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-013 The Pool Cleaner Automatic Suction Pool Vacuum, 2-Wheel, White

Buy on Amazon $360.00 and save 5%

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Poolvergnuegen has a very interesting name but is part of the very reputable Hayward pool cleaner company.  The Pool Cleaner Series comes in several models including the 896584000-525 4-wheel model and the 896584000-013 2-wheel model.  Similar to the Hayward AquaNaut Series, the Pool Cleaner series works by attaching to your existing pump and harnessing its suction power.  The result is a simple, effective, and relatively low-cost solution for your automatic pool cleaning needs.

Hayward SharkVac

Buy on Amazon $591.57 and save 

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The Hayward SharkVac series comes in 4 models (RC9740CUB, RC9740WCCUB, RC9742CUBY, and RC9742WCCUBY).  The general premise of the SharkVac series is to offer up a low-maintenance and affordable robotic pool cleaner for those who want to enjoy the reputable Hayward name but might not have the deep pockets to afford some of their higher-end models.

Hayward TigerShark

Hayward RC9990CUB TigerShark Robotic Pool Vacuum (Automatic Pool Cleaner)

Buy on Amazon $790.00 and save 1%

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The Hayward TigerShark is one of the most storied and reputable Hayward robotic pool cleaners.  It has been around for many years and is widely considered the workhorse of their lineup.  It tries to strike a happy balance of power and performance while still being relatively affordable.  It comes in three different models: the base, the Plus, and the QC with Quick Clean Option.

Pentair Prowler 820

Pentair 360031 Kreepy Krauly Prowler 820 Robotic Inground Pool Cleaner with 60 Foot Cord

Buy on Amazon $788.46 and save 46%

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The Pentair Prowler 820 robotic pool cleaner is Pentair’s smallest and most economical robotic pool cleaner.  It aims to harness the reputable power of the Pentair lineup in a smaller and more compact product that is easier on the pocketbook.  It is designed to clean a pool’s bottom, walls, and steps and utilizes the famous Pentair computer-controlled route system.

Pentair Prowler 830

Pentair 360032 Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 Robotic Inground Pool Cleaner with 60 Foot Cord

Buy on Amazon $1,006.51 and save 47%

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The Pentair Prowler 830 robotic pool cleaner is a bump up in performance (and cost) from the smaller Prowler 820.  With the upgrade comes a completely redesigned unit with advanced scrubbers and other helpful feature such as a wireless remote.  It is designed primarily for in-ground pools and will set you back a pretty penny.

Pentair Prowler 910

KREEPY KRAULY PROWLER 910 Robotic Aboveground Pool Cleaner 360321

Buy on Amazon $549.99 and save 

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The Pentair Prowler 910 robotic pool cleaner is the smallest and most affordable above-ground pool cleaner that Pentair offers.  It focuses on efficiency and convenience over raw power and features and comes in at a very competitive asking price compared to Pentair’s in-ground pool cleaners.

Pentair Prowler 920

Pentair Kreepy Krauley Prowler 920 Robotic Inground Swimming Pool Vacuum Cleaner

Buy on Amazon $949.00 and save 

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The Pentair Prowler 920 robotic pool cleaner is the mid-range 9-series pool cleaner offered by Pentair.  It is designed for in-ground pools and has some of the features we love to see while still being a bit cheaper than the top-of-the-line 930 series.  It comes with the same convenient top-access filtration basket as its little brother (the 910), but it comes with a bump up in cleaning ability as well as some helpful additional features.

Polaris 9350 Sport

Polaris F9350 Sport Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner

Buy on Amazon from $892.99 and save 1%

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The Polaris 9350 Sport is the “little brother” of the very popular Polaris Sport lineup.  It focuses on delivering a powerful punch while being noticeably more affordable than its larger siblings.  In order to meet this price point, it does sacrifice a few features that the more expensive models have but Polaris in confident that they are still delivering a capable unit but at a price point that aligns with more people’s needs.

Polaris 9450 Sport

Polaris F9450 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner with FREE Ultra Fine Filter

Buy on Amazon $1,039.99 and save 2%

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The Polaris 9450 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner is the mid-range offering by Polaris.  It attempts to find a happy medium between the performance and features of the larger units while being a bit more economical like its smaller units.  Many of the features and abilities we have come to expect are still here and the Polaris 9450 Sport aims to be the “best of both worlds”.

Polaris 9550 Sport

Zodiac Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner

Buy on Amazon from $892.99 and save 22%

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The Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner is the big brother in the popular Polaris Sport family.  It boasts an impressive vacuum power, 4WD capability, and a variety of cleaning modes.  The result is a very impressive pool cleaner that can handle up to 60 foot long pools as well as a variety of pool surfaces and shapes.  This does come at a rather high asking price, however.

SmartPool 9i

Smart Pool 9i Robotic Pool Cleaner

Buy on Amazon $894.88 and save 

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The SmartPool 9i robotic pool cleaner is one of SmartPool’s premier and top-of-the-line offerings.  This units promises effective cleaning of floors, walls, and waterline in a variety of pool liner materials.  This is accomplished by the powerful direct-drive motors and effective cleaning routes that SmartPool has implemented in this unit.  It will come at a higher asking price than most, however.

SmartPool BigFoot

SmartPool Bigfoot Top Loading Cartridge Pool Cleaner, One Size, Metallic Orange

Buy on Amazon $605.57 and save 

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The SmartPool BigFoot robotic pool cleaner gets its name from its huge heavy duty scrubbing brushes that promise an extremely large amount of area covered with each pass. This reduces operation time and allows you to get back to enjoying your pool in short order.  Focusing on raw performance rather than loads of features, the BigFoot model is able to maintain a competitive price point despite being the large stature that it is.

SmartPool Kleen-Machine

SmartPool Smart Kleen Universal Robotic Swimming Pool Cleaner - NC22

Buy on Amazon from $349.00 and save 

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The SmartPool Kleen-Machine robotic pool cleaner is one of SmartPool’s best-selling units.  It comes in at a much lower price point than most of the other models but it also sacrifices some versatility in the process.  It is intended strictly for use on cleaning pool floors of smaller pools and does so by utilizing its lightweight design and improvised brush-to-port suction.

SmartPool ProFast

SmartPool Robotic Cleaner ProFast NC83S

Buy on Amazon $449.00 and save 

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The SmartPool ProFast Robotic Pool Cleaner is one of SmartPool’s specialty cleaners that try to combine speed with efficiency, resulting in the “ProFast” name.  It is capable of scrubbing floors, walls, and waterlines and can handle most residential sized pools.  It also comes in at a rather competitive price point given its size and capabilities.

SmartPool Scrubber60 Series

Smartpool NC74 Scrubber 60 Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner for IG Pools

Buy on Amazon $492.42 and save 3%

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The SmartPool Scrubber60 Series robotic pool cleaners come in two flavors: The Scrubber60 and the Scrubber60-PLUS.  Another popular mid-range model offered by SmartPool, the Scrubber Series gets its name from its impressive scrubbing ability that can really kick up caked on debris from the floor, wall, and waterline of your pool.  The main difference with the PLUS model is a few extra helpful features (as well as a slight uptick in the asking price).

Zodiac MX6

Zodiac Automatic In Ground Pool Cleaner | MX6

Buy on Amazon $290.99 and save 45%

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The Zodiac MX6 is one of the smaller products offered by Zodiac.  This Suction pool cleaner tries to find a happy medium between size, performance, and cost.  Its smaller suction footprint and lower number of features may be a turn off to some but the added convenience and cost-savings helps to make up for this.

Zodiac MX8 Series

Baracuda Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner

Buy on Amazon from $409.61 and save 2%

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The Zodiac pool cleaners are all suction type which means that they utilize the suction power from your pump rather than having a self-contained motor.  The Zodiac MX8 Series is the highest end offerings and Zodiac has and it comes in 2 variants: The Zodiac MX8 and MX8 Elite.  Both units are capable of cleaning most typical-sized in-ground pools with the Elite version coming with some notable extra features.  Being suction pool cleaners, the asking prices are also much lower than typical fully automated robotic pool cleaners.

Rating Metrics

best robotic pool cleaner rating metrics

There are quite a few important factors to consider when shopping for a robotic pool cleaner.  It is easy to become overwhelmed at all of the different brands, models, and specifications.  To make it easier for you, we have listed what we feel are the 5 most important metrics.  We discuss each in detail below.

Performance

The performance metric focuses on how adequate the robotic pool cleaner is at doing its job of keeping a pool clean.  There are many factors to consider just beyond how powerful the motor is.  The scrubbing components, the vacuum ability, built-in route programming, operation efficiency, and many more things all play a part in overall performance.  There are also certain pool cleaners that are only designed for in-ground/above-ground pools and there can also be a lot of variance in regards to what types of pool liner material a particular pool cleaner can handle.  It is important to mention that the “best” performance attributes will really depend on the individual and what exactly they are looking for in a pool cleaner.  We recommend making some mental notes of what you value you most (cleaning time, electricity requirements, level of cleanliness, etc.) and this will help you to filter down the best products to meet your needs.

Features/Ease of Use

There are a lot of features that modern robotic pool cleaners can possess and this metric discusses those.  In addition, it also considers how simple the unit is to use and operate.  We aim to find a happy balance between features and customization options while still allowing for a very user-friendly product that anybody can pick up and start using in short order.

Reliability

Let’s face it: pool cleaners can be expensive!  Because of this, we highly value examples that are made of quality components and construction and are designed to last for long periods of time.  We like to think of these products as an investment and not something that should have to be replaced after every season.

Price

Always extremely important criteria, the asking price relates to how expensive the unit is.  As we have made very clear in other reviews on the site, just because a particular model is cheaper doesn’t automatically mean that it will score better.  Rather, we look at the performance, features, build quality, etc. and compare that to other similarly-priced models.  This allows us to find the best bang-for-your-buck models at various price points.

Overall Rating

The overall rating is a “big picture” of the robotic pool cleaner and considers all of the metrics listed above.  As a general rule of thumb, anything scoring a 3.5 or above is a good buy in our book.  Products that happen to score a 4 or above are great buys.  And those lucky few items that manage to score a 4.5 or 5 are awesome buys that we highly recommend trying out.

Full Reviews

best robotic pool cleaner full reviews

Below are our full revies for each robotic pool cleaner.  We break down the metrics discussed above and assign a star rating to each.  Use this guide as your roadmap for finding the best robotic pool cleaner to meet your needs.

 

 

Aquabot Bravo Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Aquabot Bravo Pool Cleaner

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Performance – 5-stars

The Aquabot Bravo is a good example of what the next-generation pool cleaner looks like.  It comes with an extremely powerful 115V motor that produces 24V at the cleaner itself.  Its patented PVA brushes are designed to handle various in-ground pool surfaces including tile, vinyl, concrete, and fiberglass.  It also comes with the patented Aqua Smart System which is an intelligent program that allows the robot to efficiently and effectively cover residential pools of all shapes and sizes in around an hour.  In regards to area, you can adequately clean a pool of up to 800 square feet which should encompass a vast majority of residential pools.  Another great feature of this unit is that it is able to perform itself task while being very energy efficient.  It only costs pennies a day to operate which helps to offset its rather large asking price.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

The big feature of this unit is the Aqua Smart System.  While we mentioned it above under the performance section, it is worth bringing up again because it truly is a game-changer.  It allows for an extremely efficient, computer-driven route that your robot will take that maximizes efficiency and minimizes operation time.  You also have some flexibility over how it operates and can opt for it to do more or less wall climbing with the simple push of a button.  Other features of note include the patented PVA brushes, multiple timer settings, bottom loading filter, extra large reusable filter bag, and removable propeller.

Reliability – 5-stars

This is an extremely resilient unit and comes with some of the highest quality components we have seen.  The parts used are designed to last an extra long time and Aquabot stands behind them with an impressive 4-year warranty (which is twice what most of the other products out there can offer).

Price – 2-5-stars

The biggest negative of the Aquabot Bravo is its extremely high price tag.  This model is among the most expensive we have reviewed and can potentially cost multiple times more than other models in this article.  This is a large price to pay for a robotic pool cleaner.  However, you do get some of the best performance and if you happen to be someone with a very large pool or that wants your pool cleaned in a very short period of time then you will have to pay a premium for that privilege.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Aquabot Bravo certainly stands out from much of the competition: its impressive routing algorithm and immense capacity make it great for larger pools.  It also results in some of the shortest cleaning times in the industry.  However, it does come with an extremely high price tag that many people simply won’t be willing to pay.


Aquabot Breeze Series Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Aquabot ABREEZ4 X-Large Breeze with Scrubbers Robotic Pool Cleaner for Above-Ground and In-Ground Pools

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Performance – 3-5-stars

Motor power ranges from 150W to 180W, both of which are more than capable in most small to mid-sized residential pools.  Where the Breeze really shines is in its efficiency and optimal cleaning cycles.  Cleaning cycles (depending on model) typically fall between 2 to 3 hours and this can handle a pool of up to around 45 feet in length (potentially longer if you can have the cable plugin nearby).  And in the case of the Breeze SE, it will not only vacuum your pool but also scrub it and filter out micro dirt thanks to its microfilter.  In fact, the Hyper-scrubbing brush spins 2x faster than a standard cleaner which allows for a deep surface clean.  You can expect suction to be around 80 gallons per minute.

Features/Ease of Use – 3-5-stars

Overall, the feature lineup here is about average.  It is apparent than Aquabot wanted to make their Breeze robotic pool cleaners simple to use while still having most of the necessary features.  One of the big selling points is in the easy access top filter basket which allows for quick access and swapping of filters.  Also included is the Aquabot No Tangle Swivel which helps to prevent the cables from tangling.  Since there is quite a bit of variety from model to model in the Breeze lineup, you may also get to enjoy features specific to a certain model such as 4WD capability in the Breeze 4WD and an easy lift handle with a rapid water exit feature in the Breeze IQ.

Reliability – 3-stars

We have seen a higher than the average number of complaints centered on the Aquabot Breezes.  Specifically, they have to do with the motor going out prematurely.  This is obviously a major concern as a non-working motor equals a dead robot!  While we understand that sometimes things happen, apparently the process of having the model repaired is quite time-consuming and can end up costing you extra money for shipping.  There is a 2-year warranty on these units but we would still caution you on what we have discovered.

Price –3-stars

Being a mid-range robotic pool cleaner, you can expect a mid-range price for some of the Breeze models.  However, the upper-level examples (Breeze IQ and Breeze 4WD) hover toward the premium price tier.  This is due to fact that you will receive additional features with these models that aren’t present in the others and you will pay a significantly higher price tag for them.  Aquabot tends to fetch a higher asking price from their reputation alone but depending on which specific model you are looking at, this could be either a minor or major issue.

Overall Rating – 3-stars

The Aquabot Breeze Series Robotic Pool Cleaners have a surprising amount of variety to them despite being relatively similar in power output and styling.  Subtle things such as 4WD capability or additional cleaning features can greatly affect the price.  In regards to performance, these are about what we would expect given the pump power and features but beyond that, they don’t really wow us.  Combine that with some questionable reliability issues and you have an Aquabot series that falls a bit short for us.


Aquabot Classic Series Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Aquabot Classic Automatic Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner with Extra Replacement Filter Bag

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Performance – 4-stars

Both the Classic and the Classic Platinum come with the same 230W electric motor that we have seen in many Aquabot products.  This is a proven motor and performs more than adequately overall.  The primary differences between the Classic and the Classic Platinum in regards to performance lie within the available modes and cleaning technologies.  The Classic Platinum utilizes the patented AquaSmart Navigation System that we have seen in many of the higher-end Aquabot units on the market.  This gives much more flexibility in user control and allows for quick, efficient clean times of 1 hour, 1.5 hours, or 2 hours.  The filter in both units is quite good as well and is capable of filtering out debris down to 2 microns in size.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

As you might expect, the Platinum also comes with several additional features.  Neither model is exactly overflowing with features but there are enough available to make most people happy.  Outside of the various cleaning times, you can choose, the Platinum model also allows for two different filtration systems (2 Micron and EZ Clean Basket).  In addition, it has a Super Grip PVC brush, a 60-foot cable with swivel, and a built-in timer.  Overall, both products are very simple to understand and use.  The only issue we have seen is that it may have some difficulty in climbing certain vertical walls.

Reliability – 2-5-stars

We are a bit underwhelmed with the warranty in the base model, with it only being 1 year full and 2 year limited.  With the Platinum model, this goes up to two years.  From our research, this model should last for 2 years without real concern.  However, after around the 3-year mark, there were several complaints of the motor seizing up and requiring a replacement.  This replacement can run several hundred dollars and, due to the limited warranty time, will likely have to be paid for by you.  The good thing is that components for the Aquabot Classic tend to be a bit cheaper than in many of the more expensive models.

Price – 4-stars

We really like the competitive asking price for both units.  You will pay a slight upcharge for the Premium model due to its higher number of features and capabilities but even it is still at a good price point.  This unit should be well within the budget of most people and it gives you a chance to experience the reputable Aquabot name for a lot less.

Overall Rating – 3-5-stars

The Aquabot Classic Series sticks to a proven approach that has worked for many years.  By avoiding tons of cutting-edge features, Aquabot is able to get the price down to a very reasonable level.  Yes, you won’t get all of the great settings and customization options some of the more pricey units offer but the important thing is functionality and this series has it.  If you are on a tight budget, add this one to your list to check out.


Aquabot Fury Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Aquabot Fury

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Performance – 5-stars

Powered by a state of the art 24V electric motor, the Aquabot Fury products great suction power.  This allows this unit to be capable of handling pools of up to 800 square feet which is larger than just about every traditional residential pool out there.  Not only does it suck, but it also will brush, vacuum, and store large amounts of debris for easy removal.  Thanks to the Aqua Smart cleaning system, you can expect a full cleaning cycle to take around 1-3 hours.  It is important to note that the Aquabot fury is only for in-ground pools but can handle several different types of pool liner material.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

There is quite a bit of flexibility with how this Aquabot cleaner performs its duty.  This all goes back to the Aqua Smart System that allows you to have better control over the level of wall climbing as well as its ability to handle tight corners.  Beyond this awesome feature, you also get a bottom lid debris catcher, detangler for the power cord, removable propeller, and much more.

Reliability – 4-stars

Per our research, this unit seems to be quite reliable.  The components are of high quality and seem to stand up to typical wear and tear quite well.  It also comes with a 2-year warranty which is about average for what we have seen other similar units offer.

Price – 3-stars

You do get a lot when it comes to performance and features here but it also comes at a rather high price tag.  Despite being a “jr” unit according to Aquabot, the asking price certainly isn’t “jr” and falls well into the premium price tier.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Aquabot Fury attempts to capture the main selling points of their higher-end and largest models in a smaller, more efficient unit.  They are certainly successful in doing so thanks to the powerful 24V electric motor as well as the proper implementation of the Aqua Smart System.  This level of flexibility and control really are strong points in this cleaner.  That being said, the asking price is still very high and may be out of reach for a lot of people on the market for a residential pool cleaner.


Aquabot Junior Series Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Aquabot Junior Automatic Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner

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Performance – 4-5-stars

The performance of the Aquabot Junior robotic pool cleaner series is actually extremely good.  Depending on which model you go with, you will enjoy either a 180W or 230W electric motor.  This is towards the higher end of the spectrum and many people would not expect this from a lineup with the word “junior” in it.  The main selling point here is in the great filtration system.  The state-of-the-art filter system and filter bag will catch and hold debris as small as 2 microns.  This is among the best in the industry and is great for those who want a deep clean.  Cycle times can vary from anywhere as short as 30 minutes up to 4 hours or so.  It is worth noting that none of the Junior models are capable of both above and below ground pools.  Instead, there are specific models that specialize in each individually.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

The filtration system is really the shining beacon here but there are some other features worth mentioning as well.  You won’t find as many features as some of the other more expensive units, however.  The small size of these units makes them extremely mobile and the non-marring wheels do a good job of getting a grip even on the most challenging of surfaces.  Other features (depending on model) can include a no tangle swivel, plug-and-play operation, and easy to remove filter bag.

Reliability – 4-5-stars

We have not seen any major issues associated with the reliability of these products.  They are small, simple, and do not have a ton of gadgets and gizmos which means that there are fewer places for something to go wrong.  Our one big complaint is that Aquabot only offers a 1-year warranty on these.  This is smaller than just about every other robotic cleaner that they offer (the norm is 2 to 4 years).

Price – 4-5-stars

These are extremely competitively priced and among the most affordable Aquabot cleaners you can find.  This likely plays a bit part in their huge popularity and they seem to be one of Aquabot’s bestselling products.  The feature lineup is a bit sparse but the pump performance and also filtering system make up for it.

Overall Rating – 4-5-stars

If you are looking for a simple and effective robotic pool cleaner then the Aquabot Junior Series make a compelling case.  The motor is surprisingly powerful and the filtration is extremely effective and among the best we have seen.  You are a bit limited in feature selection and the warranty could be a bit longer but for the very attractive asking price, this is still a great choice for those on a tight budget.


Aquabot Pool Rover Series Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Aquabot POOL ROVER S2 40, US, JET, 115VAC/48VDC, BLUE

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Performance – 3-5-stars

The Aquabot Pool Rovers come with small by proven motors that consume 150 Watts.  They are designed for some in-ground and above-ground pools.  Specifically, they can clean the pool floor, pool cover, and partial walls with a radius of at least 6”.  The small stature of the Pool Rovers makes them very good at getting into tight areas that larger pool cleaners could not fit.  As for what exactly they will do to clean your pool, most just utilize cleaning and water mixing while the higher-end units (like the Pool Rover S2-50) will also scrub.  While you can take advantage of these on a variety of pool surfaces including vinyl, concrete, fiberglass, and more, you will be somewhat limited in the size that you can clean.  Anything larger than 35 to 40’ will be too much for these little guys to tackle.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

These are very simple and straightforward to use, so you won’t have the huge laundry list of features that other, more expensive, Aquabot robotic pool cleaners possess.  The big selling point here is simplicity and low cost so Aquabot seems to want a product that you can basically plug in, hit play, and forget about.  You will have a bit of flexibility in your cleaning settings (you can choose between 1 and 2 -hour timer settings or 2 and 3-hour settings) but beyond that, you more or less just like the robot do its thing.  There are a few other notable features including a top access filter, 2-fixed scrubbing brushes, hydro-robotic technology, and the Never Stuck System.

Reliability – 4-stars

Similar to most of Aquabot’s other products, the Pool Rover lineup is very reliable and should operate without issue for multiple seasons.  Being a smaller, simpler unit, there are few moving parts and this means that there are less fragile components that can potentially break.  Our main gripe is that Aquabot only offers a 1-year warranty on most Pool Rovers as opposed to the 2-year warranty we have seen on many of their other units.  We would have assumed that for a product that has less moving parts and is simpler that they would feel more confident about carrying a longer warranty on.  But we guess asking price plays a part.

Price – 4-5-stars

These are very affordable cleaners and should be within most people’s budgets.  You are limited in performance capabilities and features but for those who want to take advantage of the reputable Aquabot name while being on a tight budget, this is a great way to do just that.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Aquabot Pool Rover series is a good entry-level lineup for people with smaller above ground or in-ground pools.  The features are somewhat lacking but the performance, simplicity, and flexibility help to make up for it some.  Also, the price is very reasonable and is a nice, reliable, entry-level pool cleaner for those just jumping into the tech.


Aquabot Pura Series Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

AQUABOT Ajet123 Pura 4x Pool Cleaner Robotic- For Above-Ground and smaller In-ground pools

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Performance – 4-stars

Where the Pura series really shines isn’t in its overall power output or pool size capabilities.  Rather, one of its biggest selling points is in its efficient operation and how it takes advantage of its small stature to clean radiuses as small as 6”.  This is great for people with custom pools that may have some very tight nooks that larger units simply can’t fit in.  It is propelled by hydro-robotic technology which moves it along at a steady pace and the double fixed scrubbing brushes do an acceptable job of breaking up dirt and other residues that finds itself in your pool.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

This is an incredibly simple lineup of products to use.  This is due to both the small and easy size of them as well as the lineup of helpful features.  It seems that Aquabot tried really hard to make this a very user-friendly unit.  The pool cleaner comes with an EZ Clean Filter basket, cable detangler, never stuck system, multiple cleaning programs, and much more.  This allows for great versatility and a sort of “set it and forget it” approach.  The only challenge you may find is in very large pools where the small stature may simply be overwhelmed by the area that it has to clean.

Reliability – 4-5-stars

The units have been tried and tested and we have found no major quality issues with them.  They come with a 2-year warranty from Aquabot which seems to be in the industry norm these days.  For such a low-cost unit, we are happy to still see a respectable warranty.

Price – 4-stars

The asking price is very reasonable here.  Both products fall into the budget to low-mid tier in regards to prices.  Yes, you are limited in the size and capability of these smaller pool cleaners but they do make up for that some in their lineup of features, reliability, and the great cost.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Aquabot Pura Series robotic pool cleaners are a couple of the smaller products we have tested in regards to size.  However, they do pack a nice punch and, thanks to efficiency and their ability to handle very tight corners, make them very versatile and a great solution for those with tight radii on their pool.  While you won’t be blown away but a huge list of features, what is there is good and more than justified given the great price tag.  For those on a tight budget, this unit is worth looking into.


Aquabot Rapids Series Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Aqua ARAPID1500 Rapids 1500 Inground Robotic Pool Cleaner

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Performance – 5-stars

Being a higher-end robotic pool cleaner, you can also expect a higher-end performance here.  The suction power comes thanks to a self-contained 180W electric motor that allows the units to scrub, clean, and filter with some of the best.  This motor will produce between 70 and 80 gallons per minute of water mixing capabilities.  Each model will have a particular type of pool that it excels at: the Rapids 4WD being for in-ground pools with tricky pool lining, the Rapids XLS being for both above-ground and in-ground pools of various shapes, the Rapids 1500 being for larger in-ground pools, etc.  One of our favorite features with the Rapids series is the great vibrating brush that not only provides a deep scrub but also helps to agitate and lift up stubborn dirt or other debris that may be caked on to your pool liner.

Features/Ease of Use – 3-5-stars

The list of features is above average.  We have made it quite clear that specific features will vary depending on which model you go with but there are some generalized features that most of the models seem to possess.  These include things such as Super Grip scrubbing brushes, AquaSmart Gyro Technology, Dirty Filter indicator, multiple timer settings, NeverStuck System, and more.  The overhead debris basket is also oversized which means that you can capture a lot of dirt and other debris before you have to worry about stopping the robot to empty it.

Reliability – 3-5-stars

Reliability is, for the most part, good.  There have been some issues with the motor going out after a year or so which will require manufacture assistance.  It is important to note that a lot of online retailers will not honor the manufacturer’s warranty which can lead to expensive repairs out of your own pocket.  Because of this, make sure that wherever you purchase a unit from can honor the 2-year warranty and also get this in writing!  Beyond the motor going out, most of the other components seem to be made of high-quality materials and should not cause you any headaches.

Price – 3-5-stars

Aquabot always seems to meander towards the higher end of the price spectrum and these units are no exception.  While by no means the most expensive you will come across, you can still expect these products to be in the premium price tier, particularly if you go with the Rapids 1500 or Rapids 2000.  You get a good-performing product with plenty of features but it is still a high price to pay for some.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

We are content with the Aquabot Rapids Series Robotic Pool Cleaner.  It does everything that it is supposed to and has enough features to make most people happy.  The build quality is, for the most part, acceptable and performance is at a level that will handle most average pools.  However, it does come at a pretty high asking price.  You won’t be disappointed with one of these units but if you are willing to spend this kind of money we encourage you to shop around and be very picky about what you are looking for.


Aquabot Supreme Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Aquabot Supreme Robotic IG Pool Cleaner

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Performance – 3-5-stars

The motor’s power is only 120W which is a bit lower than quite a few of the other Aquabot pool cleaners we have reviewed.  We were a bit surprised by this as we expected a larger motor would be necessary to achieve everything that the Aquabot Supreme promises.  The primary performance features here are the power washing jets and rotating scrubbing brushes.  This unique approach guarantees floor to waterline cleaning (which is something few other robotic pool cleaners can promise).  In regards to square footage, it can clean up to 6,800 square feet per hour which is plenty powerful enough for your typical residential pool sizes.  Water mixing capabilities are set at around 70 gallons per minute maximum.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

We went over the really cool cleaning features above but there are a few additional features worth mentioning as well.  This unit has the popular NeverStuck System which minimizes the likelihood of the cleaner getting stuck while running.  This really opens up the size, shapes, and pool liner materials that you can use this with.  In addition, there is an adjustable 1 to 7-hour timer as well as an optional continuous run feature.  The fine mesh filter bag is also good at trapping both large and small debris and should catch most foreign objects as small as 2 microns in size.

Reliability – 3-5-stars

There have been some very interesting complaints associated with this unit.  They revolve around the scrubbers actually scratching the pool liner!  This won’t always happen but it appears that if you happen to have a sensitive or fragile pool liner, you need to pay extra close attention to make sure that it doesn’t damage it.  Other than this issue, the build quality and reliability seem up to the normal Aquabot standards.  It comes with a 2-year warranty.

Price – 4-stars

For being an all-in-one package capable of cleaning your pool from top to bottom, the asking price here is actually very good.  Most robotic pool cleaners in this price range will struggle and/or aren’t designed to clean an entire pool but the Aquabot Supreme is made for just that.  That being said, you do get a somewhat underpowered unit so you will have to anticipate it taking a bit longer.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Aquabot Xtreme robotic pool cleaner is a great entry to a mid-level idea by Aquabot for those wanting a product that can clean the entire pool.  It comes in at a very respectable price range and the washing jets and rotating scrubbing brush features truly are unique.  We do wish that the motor was a bit more powerful and it is important to keep an eye to make sure that the unique cleaning method doesn’t damage your pool liner.  Other than these issues, this is a solid choice.


Aquabot Turbo Series Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Aquabot ABTRT2R1 Turbo T2 In-Ground Robotic Swimming Pool Cleaner with Aqua Buggy Cart

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Performance – 4-5-stars

While there will be some variance between each Aquabot Turbo unit, the general gist of them is the same: they are extremely powerful!  Near the top of this list would be the Aquabot Turbo T4RC.  This unit is powered by a robust 230W motor and offers up an enormous range of flexibility in regards to routes it can take and cleaning steps it can achieve.  Common cleaning steps among the turbo units include scrubbing, power washing, vacuuming, filtering, and circulating.  Very few other units on the market can offer up such a robust list of abilities in a single product.  As for flexibility, you can have up to 6 buttons, 360-degree control and the ability to span 70’ pools with ease.  The small Turbo units are no slouches, either, and can handle just about every type of residential pool you can throw at them in regards to size and pool lining material.  You can expect pool cleaning time in as little as 1 hour.

Features/Ease of Use – 5-stars

It may be easy to become overwhelmed when you first look at the Turbo series as they seem to have a nearly endless list of features to understand.  While Aquabot does do a good job of implementing their many features, we do recommend reading up on the user manual and becoming very familiar with it as there is quite a bit to learn.  One of the most impressive features is in the number of operations configurations you have to work with.  This can include digital timers with up to 7 different settings, up to 6 different buttons that allow for 360-degree control, and much more.  Outside of the control and settings features, you will also enjoy other great features such as multi-functional brushes (scrubbing, vacuuming, etc.), a built-in filtration system, StayCool Power Supply, patented power washing jets, NeverStuck system, and much more.

Reliability – 5-stars

You may think that there are a lot of moving parts and potential weak points with the Aquabot Turbo series, but that is not at all the case.  Nearly all of their units have less than 10 moving parts and consist of thick, corrosion-proof material throughout.  This will allow your unit to last for multiple years without any issue.  If there is an issue, there is an included 2-year warranty that will help you find a solution.  That being said, there are more features and accessories here than in other units and simply due to the huge and diverse range of things that it can do, we have seen a few more reports of brushes acting up than compared to other units.  But it is still somewhat rare and not a cause for alarm.

Price – 4-stars

The biggest hindrance to the Aquabot Turbo Series Robotic Pool Cleaners is in their very high asking price.  These are among the most expensive units you will come across and these residential cleaners can actually compete with some of the industrial and commercial cleaners out there on price.  You do get a ton of performance and features but we can’t deny that it will hurt the wallet some.

Overall Rating – 4-5-stars

If you are after the pinnacle of performance and flexibility, look no further than the Aquabot Turbo Series Robotic Pool Cleaners.  These units possess industry-leading vacuum power and have loads of accessories and options to make them work with just about any size, shape, or material type of residential pool you can thank of.  The fact that the brushes do much more than just scrub helps to allow you to achieve pool cleanliness that is hard to come by with most other products on the market.  That being said, these are extremely expensive units and for those with a small pool or not after the absolute best, the cost of admission may simply be too much for your liking.


Aquabot Viva Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Aquabot Viva

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Performance – 4-5-stars

The powerful 24V motor that we have seen in some of Aquabot’s other larger units is present in the Aquabot Viva.  This is combined with the patented Aqua Smart System which allows this product to brush, vacuum, and micro filter debris all from the simple touch of the button.  It is also capable of cleaning on pool floors, walls, and water lines and on pools of all sorts of shapes, sizes, and materials.  Specifically, it can handle pools that are up to 80 feet long which is extremely impressive.  Really the only weak point is its inability to clean above-ground pools.

Features/Ease of Use – 5-stars

The combination of advanced features and intuitive user controls really make the Aquabot Viva stand out.  IT is all centered on the Aqua Smart System which makes a full pool cleaning as simple as a touch of a button.  For added user control, it also comes with a wireless 4 directional remote control and patented PVA brushes that really stick to stubborn debris and dirt.  In regards to programs, you have 6 different buttons that allow you to fine-tune the specific dimensions and size of your pool and when optimized, can potentially clean your pool in as little as one hour!  Other nice touches are the bottom loading feature and extra-large reusable filter bag.

Reliability – 4-5-stars

Despite the complex features and advanced components that this unit possesses, it seems to be quite reliable.  It comes with Aquabot’s longest warranty of 4 years which is very impressive and shows that the company will stand behind its product.

Price – 3-stars

That main con associated with the Viva is its very high asking price.  This is among the most expensive units we have come across and it will be way too much to pay for many people.  However, those people with large pools and value efficiency and precision, you may still add this special product to your shortlist.  A nice added bonus is that being very efficient, your electricity and operation costs are lower than average.  So over the life of the product, you will find yourself paying less money than in other units.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Aquabot Viva truly is a special robotic pool cleaner but it certainly won’t be for everyone.  Its capabilities and performance are truly industry-leading but may be overkill for many smaller pools.  If you want some of the absolute best in regards to suction power, efficiency, and features, then this unit is definitely in consideration.  But for those looking for something that will simply “get the job done”, there are much cheaper options out there.


Aquabot Xtreme Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Aquabot Xtreme robotic pool cleaner

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Performance – 4-stars

The standard 230 Watt electric motor we are used to seeing is present here.  Where the Aquabot Xtreme stands out is in its design.  The huge brush and G-Tooth Track Design allows for great gripping and helps to ensure a clean pool floor.  Another cool feature that makes it great for a wide variety of pool shapes is its NeverStuck System and updated body design which minimizes that chances of it becoming stuck or not being able to squeeze into a crevice.  It can clean a maximum of 5400 square feet per hour which is a good amount of pool floor but you will have to get another pool cleaner for cleaning all the way up the walls and to the waterline.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

Two of the most popular features were discussed above (G-Tooth Track System and NeverStuck System).  Outside of these, additional features include a 4 hour fixed timer, a bottom-loading filter with fine mesh bag capable of capturing debris as small as 2 microns, and the No Tangle Swivel.  All in all the small shape and simple approach that this product takes makes it extremely user-friendly.  Again, it is worth mentioning that it will focus on your pool floor but for cleaning walls, you will have to go with something different.  This is a bit of a burden and many upset customers don’t realize this until after the fact.

Reliability – 2-5-stars

There have been multiple complaints about this particular model having a failed motor after a shorter than desired period of time.  It does come with a 2-year warranty but if something happens after that then you are out of luck.  The simple approach and few moving parts do mean that this is a pretty resilient model otherwise.  You just need to keep an eye on the motor.

Price – 4-stars

The asking price here is very competitive and typically falls in the high budget to the low mid-priced range.  We really like this price point and it gives you a chance to enjoy a reputable brand such as Aquabot.  The only issue is the limitations of this unit.  You will have to likely purchase a different/additional cleaner if you want a robotic pool cleaner to clean your pool walls.  This means that the overall amount you are having to spend for a full pool clean goes up significantly.

Overall Rating – 3-5-stars

The Aquabot Xtreme robotic pool cleaner does a very good job at its intended task.  However, its intended task is somewhat limited.  It focuses almost exclusively on pool floors and does a great job of it.  However, people that are after a pool cleaner that can do an entire cleaning of their pool from top to bottom are going to be disappointed.  It is a very reasonably priced unit but may simply not be the total package that many are looking for.


Dolphin Nautilus Series Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner with Top Load Filter Cartridges Ideal for Pools Up To 50 Feet.

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Performance – 4-stars

Many of Dolphin’s robotic pool cleaners are powered by a 25V DC motor.  While this is by no means groundbreaking, Dolphin makes the most of these motors but having a host of features that greatly improve efficiency and route-taking.  Depending on if you go with the Nautilus, the Nautilus with CleverClean, or the Nautilus Plus with Cleverclean, you will find different features that assist with mobility and ultimately how large and what types of pools it can cover.  For instance, the Nautilus Plus with CleverClean incorporates 3-point turn capabilities and CleverClean technology that allows it to be used on pool floors, covers, and waterlines.  The brushes also vary in their spin speed with CleverClean spinning at 2x speed while the base Nautilus varying in relation to the speed of the robot.  All of this comes together to result in a proven pool robot that efficiently handles most small and medium-sized pools.

Features/Ease of Use – 5-stars

There are simply tons of features that make this model great to use.  We went over a few of the performance-related features above but that is just the beginning.  These include things such as the extra large top access filter, easy-fix modular components, built-in software that systematically scans your pool for changes, a built-in processor that actually LEARNS about the specifics of your pool, swivel cables to minimize tangle issues, two full sets of filter cartridges, optional weekly time/water release, and much more.  Remember, each model has some features that are unique to it so you have to look at each on a case-by-case basis.  For instance, the base model may struggle to handle a curved pool.

Reliability – 3-stars

While we do love the performance and features of the Dolphin Nautilus series, there are some notable quality issues that need to be addressed.  These seem to mostly revolve around the base Nautilus CleverClean.  Apparently, the housing can sometimes not be watertight and can result in shorts that can leave the unit immobile.  However, we have heard nothing but positives for the Nautilus Plus and its recent facelift and update really seem to be paying off.

Price – 3-5-stars

These units will fall into the mid to premium price tier depending on which model you go with. Self-powered robotic pool cleaners always fetch a premium and this is no exception.  You do get some extra benefits that pump-powered robotic pool cleaners can’t match and there are also tons of helpful features that Dolphin offers with these but you certainly pay for them.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

Dolphin Nautilus Series robotic pool cleaners are always towards the top of the conversation when it comes to established pool cleaners on the market.  The combination of an efficient and proven tracking system that takes advantage of the built-in motor as well as tons of features help to make it stand out from a lot of the competition.  However, we would recommend sticking with the Nautilus Plus model for the time being as the base seems to have a few quality issues that it needs to work out.


Dolphin Oasis Z5 Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Dolphin Oasis Z5 Robotic Pool Cleaner with Caddy and Remote

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Performance – 5-stars

We are extremely impressed with the level of cleaning performance you will enjoy here.  As we alluded to above, the Dolphin Oasiz Z5 comes with a three motor design: one motor acts as the pump and can move almost 4,300 gallons per hours, allowing for awesome suction power on most surfaces.  The other two motors power the industrial-caliber DC-powered split brushes.  By having two independent brushes, you can enjoy extremely precise steering around tight corners and edges.  For those areas that you need to go straight, there is also an internal gyro that allows for this and also handling concave surfaces.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-5-stars

The performance-related features alone are enough to get many people excited but there are additional features more tied to user-friendliness.  There is a swiveling cord head that allows for 360-degree movement.  This helps to minimize annoying cord tangles that can be very common in robotic pool cleaners.  In addition, there is a wireless remote that allows for long-distance calibration and operation.  Furthermore, this unit comes with a nice carrying caddy with built-in charger.  All in all, this really is the total package.

Reliability – 5-stars

Oftentimes, these rather advanced pool cleaners can be plagued with quality issues.  That isn’t the case here.  The Dolphin Oasis Z5 has a very impressive track record with very little in the way of complaints and/or malfunctions.  The external housing does a good job of protecting the fragile and sensitive internal components and all of the pieces are assembled with precision in mind.  And if there does happen to be a malfunction, you can stand behind Dolphin’s very long 3-year warranty.

Price – 4-stars

The one hurdle with this unit is the asking price.  It is well into the premium price tier of robotic pool cleaners.  You really do get everything here: great performance, loads of features, and reliable operation, but it does come with a big price tag.

Overall Rating – 4-5-stars

The Dolphin Oasis Z5 Robotic Pool Cleaner is a fantastic product that can handle just about every shape of small and medium-sized pool you can throw at it.  The great suction and progressive steering design allow for nice performance and grip on most pool surfaces.  And the host of helpful features makes it as user-friendly as possible.  Combine this with reliable operation and you have a homerun option in our book.  The only issue is that it is quite expensive but we still feel that you get plenty for your money.


Dolphin Triton Series Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Dolphin Triton Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner with PowerStream and Bluetooth Ideal for Pools Up to 50 Feet

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Performance – 4-5-stars

From a strict power standpoint, the Dolphin Triton series have a pretty standard power output that we have seen in other Dolphin units.  Where these pool cleaners stand out some is in their array of new features that assist in performance and efficiency.  The coveted PowerStream technology is included in both units.  Basically, this feature propels water out in multiple directions which assists in cleaning all the way up to the waterline.  In this plus model, you can also take advantage of active brushing which spins the brushes at double the speed of the robot.  This greatly decreases clean time.  Pool size and shape will play a part, but you can expect a clean cycle to take around 2.5 hours on the Triton Plus and 2 hours on the Triton Plus with PowerStream.  Both units also have a rapid clean that finishes in just one hour.

Features/Ease of Use – 5-stars

Probably one of our favorite features with the Triton Plus is its Bluetooth technology.  This will sync with the Dolphin SmartPhone App and it gives you full control over your pool cleaner from the comfort of your phone.  Depending on which model you go with, you will also have either an extra-large top access basket or a top access cartridge that will collect debris and allow for easy removal.  The Triton Plus will also utilize CleverClean technology for precise navigation while the base takes advantage of Intelliscan.  Both are very good at what they do but we definitely prefer the higher end model if you can swing it.  We also like the anti-cord tangle feature.

Reliability – 3-5-stars

With all of the electronic components that these more advanced units offer, they do come with the higher risk of experiencing malfunctions or power shortages.  Interestingly, we have actually seen more reported issues with the more expensive Plus model than the base.  Several people have commented that their units have given out after just one season, likely because of water getting places that it shouldn’t.  Thankfully, Dolphin provides excellent support and they stand behind their 2-year warranty.

Price – 3-stars

The Dolphin Triton Series Robotic Pool Cleaners are premium products and, as such, fetch a premium asking price.  They fell well into the premium price tier with the fully loaded Plus models being near the top.  You do get a very well-engineered unit that has tons of features but it may simply be out of reach for a lot of people.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

With these higher end robotic pool cleaners, you get to enjoy some features that lower end models simply can’t match.  Bluetooth technology, acute precision tracking, and anti-cord tangle features are just a few.  But with this comes a much higher price tag and a higher frequency of quality issues.  If you want some of the best of the best so that you are the envy of your neighbors then this unit may be for you but you can achieve similar results for much cheaper.


Hayward AquaNaut Series Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Hayward PHS41CST AquaNaut Suction Pool Vacuum (Automatic Pool Cleaner)

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Performance – 4-5-stars

One area that the AquaNaut Pool Cleaners do not lack is suction power.  They are designed to work with rather powerful pumps.  Hayward recommends a minimum pool pump size of ½ HP or 35 GPM for all three models.  This results in very powerful suction that can handle high levels of debris on all sorts of pool surfaces (concrete, gunite, fiberglass, pebble, and more).  Maximum pool sizes start at 16’ x 32’ for the AquaNaut 200 and move up to 20’ x 40’ for the two larger models.  For those who have special shapes for their pools outside of rectangular, the AquaNaut 450 is what you should be looking for.  We also like how two of the models come with 40-wheel drive capability which is essential for handling slick surfaces and very dirty pools.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-5-stars

There are plenty of great features that help to harness the great suction power of the Hayward AquaNaut Robotic Pool Cleaners.  We mentioned the 4-wheel drive capabilities above but there is so much more.  You will enjoy patented V-Flex variable vane turbine technology which helps to eliminate clogs and maximize power.  The tire treads are also patented and help to ensure a good grip.  Furthermore, there are patented adjustable roller skirts that help to maximize suction on uneven surfaces.  Other helpful features include multiple pre-programmed steering sequences and three interchangeable throats.  All of this equates to a very robust model that can handle just about any situation you can throw at it.  Don’t be overwhelmed with all of the adjustability: Hayward does a good job of making it as user-friendly as possible.

Reliability – 3-stars

A common issue that can occur with highly-optioned pool cleaners is that there can be some quality problems.  Most of the complaints with these units center around wheels breaking and issues with the 4-wheel feature.  Specifically, the shaft that holds the wheels together has been known to occasionally snap.  This should be covered under manufacturer warranty which is 2 years on all models.

Price – 4-stars

The price point here actually isn’t that bad.  The major reason is that it will require being powered by your pool’s pump rather than having a self-contained motor.  This drops the price significantly and some people may be turned off by the limited flexibility of such models.  However, the suction power and ability to handle challenging terrain can’t be ignored and it can be had for a very reasonable price.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Hayward AquaNaut Robotic Pool Cleaner series bumps the power up a notch thanks multiple patented features that help to efficiently tap into your existing pump’s suction power.  This results in a unit that can handle even the dirtiest pool and should have no issue getting around thanks to the optional 4-wheel drive technology.  There are some minor quality issues but they are typically covered under warranty and the competitive price point makes it easy to overlook some minor flaws.


Hayward AquaVac 500 Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Hayward RC3431CU AquaVac 500 Robotic Pool Vacuum (Automatic Pool Cleaner)

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Performance – 4-stars

While the RC3431CU AquaVac 500 might not be the largest and most powerful unit in the industry, it makes up for it thanks to its efficiency.  The built-in microprocessor is very advanced and will make quick work of cleaning your pool.  It comes with two cleaning programs: a fast 90-minute pool floor only and a deep 3-hour pool floor, wall, and waterline.  This really makes this product a “set it and forget it” example and is sure to keep your pool looking great with minimal effort.  For gripping, you will enjoy a dual traction system that contains two scrubbing brushes and four wheels.  With this approach, it is easy for the unit to maneuver around obstacles and climb walls.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

There are tons of great features to enjoy here.  We have already mentioned that advanced microprocessor, multiple operating speeds, and dual traction system above.  However, there is much more than that.  You also will enjoy an easy access debris container and a removable cartridge, out-of-water and beach-entry sensors, and a 60-foot cord swivel.

Reliability – 3-5-stars

Due to the relative complexity of the AquaVac 500, some people are a bit concerned about life expectancy.  For the most part, Hayward has done a good job of keeping their quality in check and you should expect this product to last for quite a while.  We have seen the occasionally reported issue of the motor going out prematurely but it isn’t frequent enough to throw up some red flags.  If you follow scheduled maintenance then you shouldn’t have any trouble here.

Price – 3-stars

The unique technology that this product offers does come with a high price tag.  The AquaVac 500 is easily into the premium price tier for residential robotic pool cleaners.  You really do get a lot for your money here but the asking price may simply be too much for some to handle.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Hayward RC3431CU AquaVac 500 prioritizes efficiency and optimal cleaning routes over brute power and the result is a very sleek and impressive robotic pool cleaner.  We really like that Hayward has included two different operating speeds and the dual traction setup ensures a great grip on any pool surface.  The built-in microprocessor really does all of the work by itself and performs exactly how you would expect it to.  Minor complaints include the high price tag and the occasional faulty motor but overall this is a great purchase in our book.


Hayward Navigator Series Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Hayward 925ADC Navigator Pro Suction Pool Vacuum (Automatic Pool Cleaner)

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Performance – 3-5-stars

Since these models don’t have a self-powered motor, their performance really depends on the filtration power of your pool’s filter system.  Where they can really shine is in pumps with variable speeds.  The built-in adjuster can manage to have adequate performance even at low filter pressures.  Couple this with the patented SmartDrive programming, you get an efficient and straight-lined cleaning approach that helps to compensate for having less suction power than most self-powered units.  The Navigator Series also has helpful suction wings that increase the surface area and speeds up the time that it takes to fully clean your pool.  That being said, you will have to make sure that you get the specific model that coincides with the type of liner your pool has.

Features/Ease of Use – 3-5-stars

There are some features on these products that you will not find on most other models as well as some common features you are used to seeing that will be missing.  Obviously, the notable absence is the motor and the various components needed to drive it.  Since you will also suck debris back into your filter system, there is no removable debris catcher.  As we mentioned above, Hayward is worried about efficiency here and you will enjoy SmartDrive preprogrammed steering and an extra wide vacuum inlet.  From a simplicity standpoint, it is incredibly simple as all you really have to do is plug it into your existing filter system, turn it on, and let it do its thing.  You will be limited by maneuverability, however, since the hose will have to be attached and ran back to your filter.

Reliability – 4-5-stars

Not having a fragile motor means that these units are extremely resilient.  Simplicity pays off here, and you can enjoy a product that should last many years through typical wear and tear.  Hayward also feels strongly about the quality of their Navigator robotic pool cleaners as they offer a 2-year warranty.

Price – 4-stars

While you do sacrifice some performance and versatility, you make up for it with the very reasonable asking price.  Not having a motor and many of the necessary features of a traditional self-powered robotic pool cleaner mean that you save a ton.  These units should typically fall into the budget price range.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Hayward Navigator Series robotic pool cleaners take a different approach compared to most of the models we have reviewed.  Rather than utilize a self-powered motor, they take advantage of your built-in pool filtration system to move around.  While there are plenty of low-cost cleaners that do this, Hayward tries to stand out by still implementing helpful features that assist with efficient tracking and maneuvering.  The end result is a product that is very reasonably priced and still can tackle a pool with ease.  For those on a tight budget and that doesn’t have to absolutely have a self-powered cleaner, this is a good choice.


Hayward Poolvergnuegen “The Pooler Cleaner Series” Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-013 The Pool Cleaner Automatic Suction Pool Vacuum, 2-Wheel, White

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Performance – 4-stars

The performance of these units is really dependent on the power of your pump and also what model you go with.  The smaller 2-wheel drive series is optimized for medium-sized pools while the larger and more robust 4-wheel drive can handle most larger pools.  The combination of self-adjusting turbine vanes and the various internal programmed steering options results in a very efficient and effective clean.  We particularly like the 4-wheel drive unit as the two additional wheels make the most of the Hayward patented tire thread and can easily go over most obstacles and also get traction on just about every type of pool surface.

Features/Ease of Use – 3-5-stars

Most of the features of this product are tied into its performance.  The unique combination of pre-programmed steering options, an adjustable skirt, patented wheel tread, and self-adjusting turbine vanes makes this an incredibly simple and effective product for any shape or size of the pool.  While this list of accessories may not be as long as in some of the other models we have reviewed, it does greatly assist in user-friendliness.  Really the only limitation is that you will have to obviously connect this cleaner back to the pump via the tube connection.

Reliability – 5-stars

We are incredibly impressed with how reliable the Poolvergnuegen pool cleaners are.  We have not experienced any quality issues and the operation is reliable and consistent.  One of the great benefits of the more simple pool cleaners that don’t have built-in pumps is that there are less moving parts and fewer things that can break.  You should expect years of great operation from this lineup.

Price – 4-stars

The Hayward Poolvergnuegen The Pooler Cleaner Series is one of our favorite options for those who want a simple pump-powered pool cleaner.  It doesn’t have the huge list of features that some of the more exotic products have but it does exactly what it is supposed to do and it does it quite well.  The perfect combination of performance, build quality, and ease of use is exactly what we look for and the price point is more than fair.  We highly recommend this product.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Aquabot Bravo certainly stands out from much of the competition: its impressive routing algorithm and immense capacity make it great for larger pools.  It also results in some of the shortest cleaning times in the industry.  However, it does come with an extremely high price tag that many people simply won’t be willing to pay.


Hayward SharkVac Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

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Performance – 3-5-stars

The performance you get here is possible thanks to the 24V motor that is included in every SharkVac model.  While by no means industry-leading, this motor is tried and tested and capable of covering up to a 20’ x 40’ pool.  Hayward prioritized efficiency over raw power and, thanks to smart steering technology, can clean an entire pool in around 2 hours.  It is worth noting that SharkVac XL is the only model in the SharkVac series that is capable of full coverage including walls and waterline.  And, as you might expect, the XL is more expensive than the base series.

Features/Ease of Use – 3-5-stars

Being a more budget-minded robotic pool cleaner, you won’t find a ton of options and features on these models.  You will enjoy the smart steering technology mentioned above as well as dual filter elements and easy debris removal top-access filter.  And the SharkVac XL comes with additional sensors to assist in cleaning walls and waterline.  A benefit of being very simple in design is that these products are incredibly easy to use and get started right out of the box.  You don’t have to worry about any advanced programming or fidgeting that might be required on other examples that are loaded with advanced features.

Reliability – 3-5-stars

Overall, the reliability here is about average.  We have seen some reports that some of the components and build quality are a step down from the more expensive Hayward units and there have been some minor fitment issues that resulted in bloody knuckles and frustrated users while doing general maintenance.  However, for the most part, these seem to be somewhat rare and most people should enjoy a reliable product for several years.  Warranty varies from 1 to 2 years depending on which model you go with.

Price – 4-stars

One of the biggest selling points of the SharkVac series is its very reasonable price.  These will fall into the high budget to low mid-range compared to other similar models on the market.  The XL does bump up the price a bit higher but you get some added performance with it.

Overall Rating – 3-5-stars

The SharkVac Series is one of Hayward’s popular lineups that try to meet the customer’s needs but at a lower price point.  You do sacrifice some performance and features, but the noticeably smaller dent on your wallet helps to make up for that.  For someone that is after a proven and simple robotic pool cleaner that does the job (but not much more), then this is a model you should look into.


Hayward TigerShark Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Hayward RC9990CUB TigerShark Robotic Pool Vacuum (Automatic Pool Cleaner)

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Performance – 3-5-stars

The base and plus models of the TigerShark offer a standard 3-hour cleaning cycle for pools up to 20’ x 40.  It can also handle multiple surfaces including fiberglass, vinyl, gunite, and certain pebbles and tiles.  The higher-end model also has an additional quick clean mode that can accomplish the task in just 90 minutes (but it does come with a higher price tag).  The approach here is tried and true.  The TigerShark doesn’t utilize an advanced processor or state-of-the-art performance accessories.  Rather, it relies on its above-average 24-Volt motor to accomplish the task. The bristles are also relatively long and provide a deep clean, even on very dirty pool surfaces.

Features/Ease of Use – 3-5-stars

Standard features on the Hayward TigerShark include an onboard pump for vacuum-like power and an efficient cartridge filter system that makes emptying a breeze.  As we mentioned above, the higher end model comes with an additional quick clean option that allows a pool to be fully cleaned in just 90 minutes.  Beyond this, there aren’t a whole lot of other features worth mentioning.  Hayward seemed to want to stick to proven simplicity here.  There aren’t a lot of settings to adjust but that makes it very simple to use and operate.

Reliability – 4-stars

This particular model series has been around for a long time and Hayward has really been able to iron out and quality kinks that they might have.  We haven’t seen any noticeable complaints about components breaking or malfunctioning early on.  Our only real complaint isn’t with the build quality but with the warranty.  While the two higher-end models bother have 3-year warranties, the base model (which is also one of the most popular) only offers up a 1-year warranty.

Price – 3-5-stars

The asking price falls into the mid to premium tier, depending on which model you go with.  The top of the line unit with the quick clean option (RC9990CUB) has a noticeable upcharge compared to the lower end models (RC9950CUB base and RC9955CUB Plus).  It will fall more into the premium price tier but you can make arguments for the others to be more of a mid-range offering.  You do get great, proven performance and a strong reputation for the asking price, however.

Overall Rating – 3-5-stars

They Hayward Tigershark robotic pool cleaner is one of the most well-known and respected cleaners in the industry, and for good reason.  The approach that they take is simple: a reliable, powerful motor with quality components.  You won’t find a ton of features outside of the highest end model and its quick-clean option.  However, many people will likely prefer the simplicity.  Asking prices aren’t the cheapest but are well-aligned with what else is out there.  Overall, we can definitely recommend this unit.


Pentair Prowler 820 Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Pentair 360031 Kreepy Krauly Prowler 820 Robotic Inground Pool Cleaner with 60 Foot Cord

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Performance – 4-5-stars

Don’t let the small stature of this fool you: it packs a punch!  The Pentair Prowler 820 comes with a small but robust filtration system and is designed to not only scrub your pool but also vacuum any debris that it kicked up in the process.  It filters around 4,200 gallons per hour and is capable of handling pools up to around 20 x 50 feet.  Another helpful feature that makes it quite versatile is its ability to go in reverse.  This is very helpful if and when the cleaner gets stuck in a corner (which can be somewhat common on more exotic shaped pools or pools with built-in seats).  Being a smaller unit, it is able to sneak into very tight corners that larger units would struggle to get into.  All in all, it can clean an entire pool in under 3 hours which is quite good.

Features/Ease of Use – 3-5-stars

There aren’t a lot of additional features with this product. Rather, its simplicity is one of its big selling points and Pentair has put a lot of effort into making it as user-friendly as possible.  You simply plug it in and it will get to work.  Features it has that are worth noting include its advanced scrubbers which excel at kicking up dirt, the auto-reverse feature mentioned above, a full cartridge indicator, and a caddy.

Reliability – 3-5-stars

We haven’t seen a lot of issues with durability on this product.  The main complaint we have come across has to do with the filtration system.  The filter that the Prowler 820 uses isn’t quite as fine as in other products and some of the smaller pieces of debris have a tendency to occasionally slip through.  This is a minor inconvenience and by no means a deal-breaker.  There is a two-year limited warranty which is pretty standard in the industry.

Price – 3-5-stars

Pentair certainly doesn’t make the cheapest robotic pool cleaners out there and the Prowler 820 is no exception.  That being said, it is the smallest and most affordable cleaner that Pentair offers so if you are wanting to experience the heralded Pentair product lineup with as small of an impact on your wallet as possible, this is the way to go.

Overall Rating – 3-5-stars

The Pentair Prowler 820 robotic pool cleaner is a small but potent automated pool cleaner.  It comes with enough power to handle most normal residential-sized pools and its advanced scrubbing feature is sure to kick up most dirt.  Being small in stature and having the ability to go in reverse also makes it great for tight corners of the pool.  The operation is extremely simple and those who want a ton of built-in customization features might be a bit underwhelmed.  But for people wanting a simple and reliable cleaner, this is a strong choice.


Pentair Prowler 830 Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Pentair 360032 Kreepy Krauly Prowler 830 Robotic Inground Pool Cleaner with 60 Foot Cord

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Performance – 4-stars

While the power source in the Prowler 830 is pretty similar to the one used in other Pentair units, it tries to differentiate itself in how it takes advantage of the power.  Its advanced design will scrub, vacuum, and filter most residential-sized in-ground pools in about 2 ½ hours.  One area that the 830 stands apart from its little brother (the 820) is in its cleaning options.  There is a super-fast one-hour quick clean for just the pool floor as well as the traditional full pool clean that takes less than 3 hours.  It is capable of filtering around 8,300 gallons of water per hour and the filter porosity is ultra-fine which means it will capture a vast majority of debris.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

We mentioned the additional operation mode above but there are some additional features worth noting.  One of the biggest features is the remote control that allows you to override automatic cleaning modes to perform quick spot cleanups.  We love this feature and wish that more other brands would adopt it.  Beyond this, you also will enjoy auto reverse capabilities, an integrated filter, carrying caddy, an updated swivel design that reduces cable tangling, and a built-in weekly timer.

Reliability – 4-5-stars

This is an extremely reliable product and we have seen no major gripes with any components failing.  When you are spending this kind of money for a pool cleaner, it is important to have something that will last and Pentair has met that demand with flying colors.  You will enjoy a two-year limited warranty with the purchase.  This is about average industry-wide.

Price – 3-stars

This is a very expensive robotic pool cleaner.  The combination of great features, impressive performance, and reliable build quality means that you will have an all-around superb product but it will cost you quite a bit.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Pentair Prowler 830 robotic pool cleaner has made the most of its recent design updates and the result in an impressive unit from top to bottom.  It is capable of handling just about any in-ground pool that you can throw at it.  It has the ability to clean the pool from top to bottom and gives you plenty of features that allow for fine adjustments and alterations.  Also, the build quality is superb and this unit should last for many years.  The only issue is the high asking price which may simply be out of reach for some.


Pentair Prowler 910 Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

KREEPY KRAULY PROWLER 910 Robotic Aboveground Pool Cleaner 360321

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Performance – 3-5-stars

The performance here isn’t anything incredible but it is more than enough for most above-ground pools since they tend to be smaller.  In regards to size, it can handle above-ground pools that are up to 40 feet long.  The secret to its success comes from its high-speed scrubbing brushes and powerful vacuuming ability that helps to remove most tough dirt.  It is worth noting that this unit can only clean your pool floor and will not be able to take care of your pool walls or water edge.  The mesh filtration basket will capture most large and small debris but may struggle some with extremely small dirt.

Features/Ease of Use – 3-5-stars

Pentair focuses on simplicity and, as such, there won’t be loads of features found on this robotic pool cleaner.  The most notable features are the top-access filtration basket, high-speed scrubbing brush, and attractive tank-like wheels that help to move it.  This unit is also extremely lightweight and small which makes it perfect for smaller pools where navigating may be difficult.

Reliability – 4-5-stars

As is the norm with most other Pentair products, this pool cleaner is extremely reliable.  The fact that it is so simple and has fewer electronic components and moving parts adds to its durability as it means fewer things to break.  You will enjoy a two-year limited warranty as well.

Price – 4-stars

The asking price is among the lowest among all Pentair products.  While it will fall well into the budget category, it will still be more in the mid to upper category when it comes to strictly above-ground pool units.  This great asking price comes at the sacrifice of most of the features and customization options that are available in Pentair’s higher-end offerings.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Pentair Prowler 910 robotic pool cleaner is a great entry-level product that is designed for smaller above-ground pools.  While it doesn’t have quite the range of features as its bigger in-ground brothers, it serves its intended purpose quite well and does so efficiently and reliably.  The asking price is also much less of a sticker shock and should be within the budget of most pool owners.


Pentair Prowler 920 Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Pentair Kreepy Krauley Prowler 920 Robotic Inground Swimming Pool Vacuum Cleaner

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Performance – 4-stars

In terms of raw power, the Pentair Prowler 920 finds a happy medium between performance and efficiency.  The scrubbers operate at an extremely high speed which gives it a great ability to give a deep a thorough clean of your in-ground pool.  It is also capable of cleaning both your bool floor as well as pool walls.  The most notable feature is the dual-filtration which comes with separate mesh baskets that are designed for either large or small debris.  This adds another level of versatility to this pool cleaner and really helps to make it an all-in-one package.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-5-stars

The 920 comes with a very attractive and easy to use remote that allows you to adjust settings and the timer.  You can program daily or weekly cleaning cycles and essentially let the robot go to work without concern.  Beyond this, other notable features are basically tied to its performance and were discussed above (high-speed brush, top-access filtration basket, dual filter options, etc.).  A common them with Pentair is that they don’t try to overload the user with tons of features.  Instead, they aim to keep things simple and easy to understand while including essential features that are most likely going to be used.

Reliability – 4-5-stars

We have not heard of any quality issues with this unit.  It does come with some extra electronic components (notably the remote) so common logic would tell us that more electronics = more places for something to go wrong.  However, we are confident that this product will stick to the established and reputable Pentair name and should last for quite a while without any issues.  As is the norm, it comes with a two-year limited warranty.

Price – 4-stars

This product will fall in the upper mid to lower premium price tier.  For its size and features, you might be a bit underwhelmed at this price point as there are plenty of other options that are more powerful and have more features that are similarly priced.  However, there is always a bit of a premium upcharge for the Pentair name and with it comes a proven track record and quality construction.  Those that are able to spend the money will enjoy a great product that should last for years.

Overall Rating – 4-5-stars

The Pentair Prowler 920 robotic pool cleaner is a solid mid-level competitor in the in-ground pool market.  The high-speed scrubbing ability does a very good job of kicking up dirt and the dual-filter system is very intuitive and a huge help.  We also love the wireless remote that gives you total user control without having to fish out the cleaner.  That being said, the overall list of features is a bit lacking at this price point.  If you are after something simple that does its job this is a good choice but be sure to shop around at this price range.


Polaris 9350 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Polaris F9350 Sport Robotic In Ground Pool Cleaner

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Performance – 4-stars

While noticeably smaller than the 9450 and 9550, you still get a lot of performance with the Polaris 9350 Sport.  Standard features such as the Vortex Vaccum Technology and ActivMotion Sensor are there as well as multiple dual cleaning modes of 1.5 and 2.5 hours.  You do only have 2WD instead of 4WD which does limit some of the types of pool liners you can go on but the combination of power and efficient routing still allows this unit to handle a rather large pool.  Anything 50’ long and below is within the capabilities which should encompass a vast majority of residential sized pools.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

While you don’t have quite the laundry list of features here, there are still quite a few and more than the average unit can offer.  These include things such as the easy lift system, easy clean filter canister, multiple cleaning modes, and rear water cleaning stream.  However, you do sacrifice other features such as remote control, dirty canister indicator, 4WD capabilities, and the ability to clean the waterline.  While it doesn’t have as many features, the 9350 Sport ends up being incredibly easy to use and we have heard great things about the simplicity of getting it going.

Reliability – 4-stars

Reliability is very good here and, similar to the other Polaris models, seems to be above the industry average.  The components used are of high quality and can handle most typical wear and tear for a couple of years.  Being a smaller and more simple unit, the 9350 Sport also have fewer components that can break or become faulty which helps to further ensure that you are getting a long-lasting product.  And you also have the standard Polaris 2-year warranty backing you up in the event that there is an issue.

Price – 4-stars

You do sacrifice some features and overall performance but it results in a noticeably more affordable price than the 9450 and 9550.  As far as we are concerned, the money you save more than makes up for the slight drop in performance and features.  Don’t let the name fool you: this is still a very capable robotic pool cleaner that will excel in many home pool environments.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Polaris 9350 Sport is a small but potent addition to the Polaris lineup and does a good job in keeping the price down while still delivering quality results.  The lower price point will put this unit into the mid-tier for prices and getting to enjoy a reputable brand such as Polaris in the mid-price range is something that just about everybody can get behind.  If you are after some of the more advanced and long-term features, you may want to spend a bit extra for a larger unit but for everyone else, this product will do just fine.


Polaris 9450 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Polaris F9450 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner with FREE Ultra Fine Filter

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Performance – 4-stars

Performance is very good here.  You will enjoy the bump up in vacuum power that Polaris advertises as being up to 25% stronger than similar models from other brands.  You will also enjoy a very large debris load capability that gives debris plenty of storage space.  And since you are tapping into the proprietary Polaris Vortex Vacuum Technology, there will be plenty of debris to store!  Cleaning cycles are programmable for up to 7 days which gives you plenty of flexibility.  The 9450 Sport is designed to clean the floor and walls but is unable to handle the waterline and some custom shapes.  Still, it is a good compromise.

Features/Ease of Use – 3-5-stars

There is an acceptable range of features.  As we have shown above, all the performance related features you need are here.  Beyond this, you will be able to take advantage of 4WD technology which helps to provide excellent grip, rear water cleaning stream, a very long 60’ cable length, and much more.  You do sacrifice the remote control, dirty canister indicator, and solid-blade brushes but you also see a noticeable price drop in doing so.

Reliability – 4-5-stars

This unit has been very reliable and has not shown any noticeable weak points.  The fragile internal electronics are safely housed and the moving parts appear to be of high quality and capable of multiple years of service.  You get to enjoy the reputable Polaris 2 year warranty in the rare case that something does go wrong.

Price – 4-stars

You will see a noticeable price drop between the 9550 and the 9450 and those on a tight budget will definitely appreciate that.  You do sacrifice some of the performance and features, but the 9450 Sport is still a very capable unit that can handle most residential pools.  However, even with the price drop, this model is still up in the premium range for pool cleaners.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

Overall, we feel that the Polaris 9550 Sport is an adequate performer in all aspects and has a worthy place in the popular Polaris lineup.  The performance and features most people need are present and there are also some extras that many other brands can’t match.  You see a little bit of a price drop with this “middle brother” model, but it is still relatively expensive.  All in all, we can’t be too picky about the price, however.  This unit delivers in all aspects as we have come to expect from Polaris.


Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Zodiac Polaris F9550 Sport Robotic In-Ground Pool Cleaner

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Performance – 5-stars

Polaris has gone to great lengths to make sure that their units can perform above most of the competition and the Polaris 9550 Sport is a perfect example of this success.  Thanks to the Polaris robotic debris load advantage, you can see up to 4x higher debris load potential as well as 25% more vacuum power than much of the competition.  This allows the 9550 Sport to cover some of the largest areas we have seen in residential-level pool cleaner (up to 60 feet long).  In addition, the motion sensing controls and 4WD drivetrain means that it can handle various surfaces, go up pool walls, and much more.  We also like the solid-blade brush that really seems to scoop up debris at a more efficient level than the typical pleated brushes.

Features/Ease of Use – 5-stars

We really are blown away by just how many features you get with the Polaris 9550 Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner.  We mentioned several of the performance features above but that is just the beginning.  The 9550 Sport also comes with an easy lift system, easy clean filter canister, rear water cleaning stream, dirty canister indicator, and a motion-sensing control.  For ease of use, there are a variety of cleaning cycles that can be programmed for up to 7 days.  This really is the all-in-one package we have been looking for.

Reliability – 4-5-stars

We haven’t heard any major issues associated with this unit.  There have been a few complaints about the cleaner having a hard time staying upright which tends to be tied back to air getting inside and making it off-balanced.  However, this seems to be a rare event and Polaris will stand behind any quality issues with their 2-year warranty.

Price – 3-5-stars

Now for the bad part: all of the great features and benefits you get with this product results in a rather high asking price.  Polaris is a premium brand and this is one of their top-of-the-line products so it is no surprise that it comes with a big price tag.  It may simply be more than some people want to spend for a cleaner but for those that can swing it, you will be in for a treat.

Overall Rating – 4-5-stars

The Polaris 9550 Sport is a fantastic unit across the board.  The plethora of features and great performance means that this unit is ready to tackle just about any residential pool that you can throw at it.  It is also quite reliable and has a nice warranty to boot.  The only negative is the high asking price but for a high-quality and capable unit, you will have to expect to pay.


SmartPool 9i Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Smart Pool 9i Robotic Pool Cleaner

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Performance – 4-stars

The 9i works by intensely scrubbing pool surfaces to kick up any caked-on debris or dirt.  It can handle pool floors, walls, and waterline in various pools including fiberglass, vinyl, and concrete.  In addition, the dual direct-drive motors ensure great traction and the ability to turn on a zero radius.  This makes it good for pools that might have tight turns or curves that less nimble robotic pool cleaners would struggle to get around.  The only notable thing missing is a list of built-in cleaning modes and settings.  Really the only option you have is a 3-hour auto shutoff.

Features/Ease of Use – 3-stars

For being a rather high-priced unit, the features are a bit lacking here.  While we do appreciate the dual direct-drive motors, the fact that there aren’t a lot of customization settings is sorely missed. The only other features worth noting are the brush-to-port suction system, quick-drain system, and an extra large filter bag capacity.

Reliability – 2-5-stars

There have been many complaints in regards to the reliability of this robotic pool cleaner and we definitely recommend that you are cautious about them.  They include the unit dying prematurely and simply not turning back on as well as the filter bag falling off.  Other notable (but less significant) issues include the cord being prone to tangling and the unit not following an adequate track while cleaning.  There is a 3-year warranty included with the product but we wish that SmartPool would sort out some of their issues first.

Price – 3-stars

This is a rather expensive robotic pool cleaner and will be in the premium price tier.  It does have the ability to clean a variety of shapes and sizes of pools and can also clean the entire pool from top to bottom, but it is lacking in many of the features that we like to see with products in this price tier.

Overall Rating – 3-stars

The SmartPool 9i robotic pool cleaner looks good on paper but unfortunately falls a bit short given the asking price.  There are quite a few reliability issues and the lack of features makes it a bit underwhelming.  It will clean an entire pool which is nice but for this asking price, there are better and more durable options.


SmartPool BigFoot Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

SmartPool Bigfoot Top Loading Cartridge Pool Cleaner, One Size, Metallic Orange

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Performance – 4-stars

While power output is nothing industry-leading, the SmartPool BigFoot allows itself to stand out from the competition thanks to its enormous cleaning brushes that are among the largest you will find anywhere.  This, combined with the two top-loading high-capacity filter baskets, allows for loads of debris to be collected and stored with each operation.  This unit is somewhat limited in its target pools, however.  It is designed for in-ground only and sizes up to 20’ x 40’.  The large stature of the SmartPool BigFoot robotic pool cleaner makes it struggle some with tight corners as well as makes it unable to scale the walls to clean the sides of your pool.

Features/Ease of Use – 3-stars

There really aren’t a ton of features to check out here.  The only operation cycle is a 3-hour shutoff which is a bit unfortunate.  It does have Intelligent Navigation which allows it to turn without relying on a wall, however.  Other helpful features include the double filters listed above, dual direct-drive motors, quick-drain system, and swivel 60’ power cord.  For those after more user-friendly options and parameters to adjust, you may be a bit underwhelmed with this product.  However, its simplicity does come with the benefit of making it easy for just about anybody to pick up and understand how to use.

Reliability – 3-5-stars

Similar to most SmartPool products, the reliability is average to above average.  The BigFoot lives up to its tough name and appears to operate without any major issues for several years.  The only minor negative is that the large brushes are a bit unique and may be tough to outsource and replace when the time comes.  But as for the various moving and electrical components, we see no major concerns.

Price – 3-5-stars

The asking price is fair.  For the sheer size and cleaning area of the SmartPool BigFoot robotic pool cleaner, it seems like a nice bargain.  However, you won’t find as many features and accessories as other (more expensive) pool cleaners of this size typically possess.   Still, it makes it a good price for those not interested in tons of bells and whistles and that simply want something that can perform.

Overall Rating – 3-5-stars

The SmartPool BigFoot robotic pool cleaner takes a unique approach.  By incorporating huge brushes and a dual-motor, it results in a very formidable opponent for any dirty pool.  The large passes that are possible with this product mean reduced cleaning time.  However, you do sacrifice some of the versatility and features, making this product somewhat polarized down to specific types of pools in regards to shapes and sizes.  However, for the price, we can’t be too picky.


SmartPool Kleen-Machine Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

SmartPool Smart Kleen Universal Robotic Swimming Pool Cleaner - NC22

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Performance – 3-5-stars

Being a smaller unit that is designed for smaller pools, the Kleen-Machine will not wow many who have been around larger units.  The motor is smaller and this also translates to the smaller suction ports and clean brushes.  There is a reason why this robotic pool cleaner is designed strictly to clean floors and smaller pools (particularly above ground).  However, it is adequate for what it is intended to do.  The intelligent navigation and direct-drive motor allow for good traction and proper routing which minimizes how long it takes this product to clean your entire pool.

Features/Ease of Use – 3-stars

There aren’t a ton of features here.  We discussed some above related to the powertrain but the only other notable performance-related features are the brush-to-port suction system, quick-drain system, 2-hour shut-off, and the extra-large filter bag.  Probably the most significant other feature is simply the lightweight design.  This makes it extremely easy to navigate and transport this pool cleaner.

Reliability – 4-5-stars

Being a small and simple product, the Kleen-Machine has a very good track record of reliability.  There aren’t as many moving parts of sensitive electronics so that means a much more consistent and durable construction.  SmartPool stands behind the Kleen-Machine with a two-year limited warranty.  This is about the industry average and is actually a bit better than most other models in this price range.

Price – 5-stars

This is an extremely affordable robotic pool cleaner and it falls deep into the budget price range.  Most other cleaners at this price point will be suction-powered rather than self-powered and many will have to sacrifice its self-navigating ability.  That isn’t the case here.  All in all, this is a fantastic deal from a price standpoint.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The SmartPool Kleen-Machine robotic pool cleaner is designed for a targeted niche of pool owners: those with small pools that are typically above-ground.  This product further limits itself to only cleaning pool floors.  However, for what it is intended to do, it does well.  And most importantly, it does so at an extremely affordable price which is a big reason why it sells as well as it does.  If you are on a very tight budget and want to focus mostly on cleaning your pool floor, then this unit is worth looking into.


SmartPool ProFast Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

SmartPool Robotic Cleaner ProFast NC83S

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Performance – 4-stars

The performance here comes thanks extra-large brushes that product impressive surface contact.  This, combined with the dual 3-hour cleaning mode a 1-hour FAST TRACK mode means that no matter if you are in a rush or have more time to spare, this robotic pool cleaner will get the job done.  To help with efficiency, it also has intelligent navigation which allows the unit to make turns without walls.  And, speaking of walls, it can clean them as well as all the way up to the waterline.  As for pool size, you can expect it to handle pools of up to around 55-foot length (as long as you have a power cord plugin nearby).

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

There are many great features that make the SmartPool ProFast an up-to-date and capable pool cleaner.  The multiple operation speeds were mentioned above but that is just the beginning.  Additional features include two top-loading high-capacity filter baskets that can filter both large and small debris, extra-large brushes, dual direct-drive motors, quick-train system, and a floating swivel.  Overall, this unit is easy to pick up and use and the included instruction manual will answer any questions that you may have.

Reliability – 4-stars

We haven’t heard any major gripes with this product and it seems to be of acceptable quality.  It may take a bit more effort to maintain since there are two debris containers as opposed to one but this is a minor complaint.  The components seem to be of high quality and the fragile electrical parts are safely tucked away inside of the housing.

Price – 4-stars

The asking price here falls squarely into the mid-price range.  This actually is quite good considering that this is a fully-automated robotic pool cleaner that includes multiple operation modes, self-steering, and a fully enclosed motor.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The SmartPool ProFast Robotic Pool Cleaner is an all-around solid choice for most residential pools.  It can handle your typical shapes, sizes, and pool liners and can complete the job is 3 hours and as short as one hour.  The suction power is adequate and the extra-large brushes do a good job of picking up debris to be stored in the two large overhead storage containers.  The asking price is more than reasonable and overall this is a solid choice for someone in the mid-range budget.


SmartPool Scrubber60 Series Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Smartpool NC74 Scrubber 60 Plus Robotic Pool Cleaner for IG Pools

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Performance – 4-5-stars

As the name suggests, the SmartPool Scrubber60 Series robotic pool cleaners have great scrubbing ability that ensures a clean result even in the dirtiest of pools.  This accomplishment is thanks to aggressively styled dual scrubbers located underneath.  These scrubbers are powered by dual direct-drive motors that deliver plenty of power.  Another benefit of these dual motors is the ability to turn opposite of each other which results in zero-radius turning.  This, combined with the relatively small stature of this model, means that it can handle tight turns are crevices in non-rectangular pools.  The PLUS model also comes with multiple cleaning cycles including 3-hour standard and 1-hour FAST-TRACK.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

We are glad that SmartPool decided to include their popular intelligent navigation in both models in this series.  This allows for the unit to turn with ease and not rely on walls to do so.  The fact that it can clean walls is a nice plus, though!  As we mentioned above, the PLUS model will have a few extra features (mostly centered around an increase in cleaning cycle settings).  However, both it and the base have some other helpful features worth mentioning.  They include brush-to-port suction, a quick-drain system, 3-hour shut-off feature, and a floating swivel.  These features combined with the extreme lightweight aspect of it make this a very simple product to transport and use.

Reliability – 4-5-stars

Similar to a vast majority of SmartPool products, we haven’t heard of any significant quality issues.  The components used are of good quality and seem to last.  Most notable is the extremely impressive warranty.  Both the Scrubber60 and Scrubber60-PLUS come with a 4-year limited warranty.  This is among the longest warranties we have seen.

Price – 4-stars

Many of SmartPool’s robotic pool cleaners fall into the mid-price range and this one is no exception.  There will be a slight upcharge for the additional features you find in the PLUS model but it is not a huge difference.  Given the performance and features, this is a competitive asking price.

Overall Rating – 4-5-stars

The SmartPool Scrubber60 Series robotic pool cleaners aim to take scrubbing to the next level with their really innovative scrubbers that are powered by a proven dual-powered source.  This great scrubbing can handle the entire area of your pool from top to bottom and there are enough features that tap into it to make most people happy.  When you consider the awesome warranty and reliable operation, these units are a great buy in our eyes.


Zodiac MX6 Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Zodiac Automatic In Ground Pool Cleaner | MX6

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Performance – 4-stars

The performance is good here but by no means industry-leading.  The suction footprint is approximately 10” which is the smallest of all Zodiac products.  This means that your cleaning robot will have to make more passes in order to completely clean a pool.  However, you still get to enjoy the patented Flex Power Turbine technology that Zodiac is known for as well as the X-Drive Technology with X-Trax.  What this means is that your product will be efficient and surprisingly powerful despite being of smaller stature.  It can also pick up small to medium debris which is what a majority of the grime you find in your pool is comprised of.  Another plus of being small is that it can easily navigate around tight corners in your pool.

Features/Ease of Use – 3-5-stars

This is somewhat Spartan when it comes to features but that means that it is simple to use and almost anybody can plug it in and get going.  Some of the features you can look forward to including cyclonic suction technology, X-Drive Navigation, optimized flow control, variable speed and 2-speed pumps, flex power turbine, easy-grip handles, a quick connect, and a twist locking hose.  The only thing noticeably missing is built-in cleaning modes.  Also, it is also worth noting on the motorless pool cleaners you will have to manually attach it directly to your pump in order to get suction which is an additional required step.

Reliability – 3-stars

Most of the complaints surrounding this unit involve the hoses.  There are many reports that after just a few months of use, the hoses can start to deteriorate.  This can significantly impact their performance to the point that it makes the pool cleaner inoperable.  We recommend considering higher-quality third-party hoses and it should alleviate this problem.  Outside of this issue, the operation and build quality are very good and we haven’t seen any major issues.  Typical of most Zodiac robotic pool cleaners, the MX6 comes with a 1-year warranty.

Price – 5-stars

Simply put, this pool cleaner is at a fantastic price point and is among the cheapest you will find.  This is pretty typical of pool cleaners that attach to your pump as opposed to having its own built-in motor but the combination of this and the small stature equals huge savings.  That being said, you do sacrifice quite a bit of performance to get to this price point.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

The Zodiac MX6 is one of the most popular pool cleaners online and for good reason.  It can handle typical residential pools and does so at a price point that few other models can match.  Yes, it will take longer to fully clean your pool and you will have to hook it up to your pump for it to operate, but if you are on a tight pool budget and simply looking for a cleaner that will clean your pool then this model should be towards the top of your list.


Zodiac MX8 Series Robotic Pool Cleaner Review

Baracuda Zodiac MX8 Suction-Side Cleaner

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Performance – 4-stars

Similar to many suction pool cleaners, your performance will be heavily governed by how good of a suction system your pool has.  Assuming you have a good system in place, the MX8s do a good job of harnessing that power.  The MX8 Elite, in particular, is quite impressive.  It is the first ever suction pool cleaner to come with Cyclonic Scrubbing Brushes.  These will continually spin, scrub, and remain in contact with the pool’s surface.  This helps to agitate stuck on debris and maximize cleaning efficiency.  Both models are capable of cleaning various pool material surfaces as well as walls and all the way up to the pool line.  Also, these units are much wider than much of the competition which allows for shorter clean time.  Finally, the inclusion of the maX-drive technology helps to ensure there is plenty of torque and also helps with maneuvering.

Features/Ease of Use – 4-stars

For being a suction-based unit, these have quite a few features.  Not only do they come with the Cyclonic Scrubbing Brushes and maX-drive technology discussed above, but they also come with various other features that not only help to improve usability but also give more user control.  These include things such as replaceable scrubbing brushes, a flow regulator valve, twist-lock hose, and an energy-efficient operation that allows for great performance with a low impact on your wallet.  That being said, it is important to remember that these types of cleaners have to be connected directly to your pool pump.  This definitely adds some extra and inconvenience that some people would simply prefer to avoid.

Reliability – 4-5-stars

Since vacuum pool cleaners tend to have fewer moving parts and no internal motor, there are much fewer places where things can malfunction or break.  True to form, the Zodiac MX8 is extremely reliable and should last for several seasons without issue.  The brushes, in particular, are of high quality and seem to last much longer than a lot of the competition out there.  The only issue we have seen is that people complained that the unit does not work well with variable speed pumps.  Also, the warranty is a bit shorter than most at just 1-year.

Price – 5-stars

This product is very affordable and well into the budget tier among most pool cleaners on the market.  A big part of this has to do with not having a motor.  You do sacrifice some convenience in features with a motor less pool cleaner but the main benefit is the large cost savings.  Also, when strictly focusing on suction pool cleaners, this product is a bit higher but overall it is still reasonable.

Overall Rating – 4-5-stars

When it comes to pump-driven robotic pool cleaners, the Zodiac MX8 Series are among some of the best.  They come with all of the features that you need to harness the power of your pump and deliver efficient and strong suction that can rival many motor-driven cleaners.  The larger than average brush size and great cleaning systems mean that you will be able to clean your pool much quicker than with many other models.  The price is on the high side for suction pool cleaners but still well within the budget price tier.  This is an excellent choice for those who are after a pump-driven pool cleaner.


 

What are the Different Types of Pool Cleaners?

best robotic pool cleaner different types of pool cleaners

A common question we are asked is what are the different types of pool cleaners that are available.  Believe it or not, there are several different choices that all take a unique and specified approach to keeping a pool clean.  Each comes with its own pros and cons.

There are essentially three different types of pool cleaners: Robotic Pool Cleaners, Pressure Pool Cleaners, and Suction Pool Cleaners.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

robotic pool cleaner

Robotic Pool Cleaners are the primary focus of our review here.  Robotic Pool cleaners are self-sustaining cleaners that only need power to operate.  There are both plug-in models as well as models that you charge an internal battery for operation.

These types of pool cleaners are good in that they reduce the strain on your existing pool equipment as they do not have to tap into it to “borrow” pressure.  This allows your pool’s filtrations system to continue to operate at maximum capacity.  It also helps to reduce overall electricity costs as typically the power required to operate your pool’s pressure system is much higher than the power to operate a standalone robotic pool cleaner.

Another benefit of robotic pool cleaners is that since they aren’t physically attached to a bulky tube, they are much more mobile and able to easily navigate your pool.  Many robotic pool cleaners also have the ability to clean not only the pool floor but also the pool walls all the way up to the water’s surface.

There are a few notable negatives with robotic pool cleaners.  The biggest issue is the asking price.  Typically, robotic pool cleaners will cost much more than pressure and suction pool cleaners.  For those on a tight budget, the higher barrier to entry may simply be too much to bear.

Another issue is that since the filtration system is self-contained, you will have to periodically empty and/or replace the filter yourself.

Pressure Pool Cleaners

pressure side pool cleaner

Pressure pool cleaners tap into your pool’s existing pressure line.  This pressure physically propels the cleaner around the pool.  The source of the “fuel” is the actual water that is being exhausted from your pump.

A pressure pool cleaner is very simple to operate (once installed) and just about anybody can pick it up and begin using it without much of a headache.  The other big selling point is that they are typically much more affordable than a robotic pool cleaner.

However, there are a few notable negatives to them.  First, since you are tapping into the pressure from the pool’s filtration system, it can add extra strain to it and potentially shorten operation life.  Also, in many cases, the existing pump simply won’t be powerful enough to handle both the pressure pool cleaner as well as the pump system and you will have to add an additional booster pump.  Finally, you lose some mobility is there will be a bulky physical tube that connects back from the cleaner to the pump.  This can impact mobility and also make it challenging and/or impossible to clean pool walls.

Suction Pool Cleaners

suction side pool cleaner

A suction pool cleaner operates in a way similar to that of a pressure pool cleaner except that it attaches directly to the dedicated suction line of your pool.  Instead of using outputted water to move the cleaner, suction pool cleaners are propelled by the suction (so essentially the opposite).

This can be a very efficient operation as the suction not only will move the cleaner but it also does the cleaning.  Because of this, a suction pool cleaner is oftentimes the most affordable pool cleaner you can buy.  Another added benefit of its simplicity is that there are fewer parts which mean that fewer things can break.  This is good for helping to maximize the operating life of the pool cleaner.  Finally, since the debris is being sucked directly up the tube and back to your pool’s filter system, you don’t have to worry about manually removing and cleaning any sort of filter that is built into the pool cleaner itself.

There are some notable issues as well.  First, similar to the pressure pool cleaner, a suction pool cleaner relies on a physical connection that runs back to your pool’s pump system.  This directly affects mobility and can make it difficult for the unit to clean large pools as well as clean anything other than the pool floor.  Also, the “sucking power” is heavily dictated by the power of your pump.  A weak and/or overworked pump will make your suction pool cleaner operate at a very poor performance level.

Above Ground Pool Cleaner vs. Below Ground Pool Cleaner

best robotic pool cleaner above ground vs below ground

Another common source of confusion is related to the difference between an above ground pool cleaner and a below ground pool cleaner.  While some units are capable of both, more often than not a particular model is designed for one type of pool or the other.

Above Ground Pool Cleaner

above ground pool cleaner

Above ground pools are typically designed totally different than below ground pools.  They will typically have sharper corners where the floor meets the wall and will also come in more standard shapes such as circles or ovals.  This is because the wall itself has to provide the structural support for the water rather than the soil around an in-ground pool.

The fact that above ground pools will have abrupt corners means that a pool cleaner cannot navigate up the walls.  For this reason, most above ground robotic pool cleaners aren’t designed to clean the walls and rather will focus on the pool floor.

Not having to clean walls means that above ground pool cleaners are typically much simpler, more lightweight, and more affordable.  Also, the necessary hoses can be shorter as an above ground pool cleaner usually has to travel a shorter distance due to that fact that most above ground pools are both smaller and shallower than their in-ground relatives.

Furthermore, suction and pressure pool cleaners designed for above ground can operate with much less water flow and/or suction power.

Below Ground Pool Cleaner

in ground pool cleaner

A below ground pool can come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and can also have a wide variety of custom curves and twists.  Also, the walls will typically be curved as opposed to being at 90-degree angles.  Because of this, most in-ground robotic pool cleaners have the capability to drive up the wall and not only clean the pool floor but also the pool walls.

You will find that a large portion of in-ground robotic pool cleaners is self-powered rather than suction or pressure-powered.  This is largely due to the fact that many pool pumps won’t be able to provide adequate suction to pool cleaner (particularly in larger pools) and also the fact that the necessary hoses would have to be quite long.

As you might also expect, in-ground pool cleaners are typically more expensive than above ground due to the fact that many are self-powered and also because they will generally come with many additional features such as customizable clean cycles, wireless remotes, and more advanced cleaning hardware.

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