Robotic pool cleaners keep your pool clean without clogging your filtration system or clogging your skimmer. They are an easy way to clean a pool, and many people have enjoyed years of cleaning with a robot pool cleaner with little to no maintenance.
Today’s robotics include technological features like Wi-Fi that allow you to monitor and adjust the robotic cleaner with a phone app.
Our 7 Top Robotic Pool Cleaners for 2023
- Best Budget: Aiper Seagull SE
- Best Seller: Betta SE Solar Powered
- Best Premium: Dolphin Nautilus CC Supreme
- Best Overall: Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus
- Best For Leaves: Aiper Seagull Pro
- Best Smart Cleaner: Polaris VRX IQ+
- Best For Above Ground Pools: Dolphin Escape
Robotic Pool Cleaners Compared
Best For Leaves
Best Smart Cleaner
Best For Above-Ground Pools
Top 7 Robotic Pool Cleaners Reviewed
As we stated in our other article reviewing handheld pool vacs, reviews are subjective, and sometimes people leave negative reviews on cleaners they bought because they are not the right cleaners for their pool.
Each pool has specific maintenance needs based on a number of factors like water hardness, chemical balance, debris, and so on. For instance, a pool owner with a screened-in pool and no trees doesn’t need the same cleaner as does the pool owner with an outdoor unscreened pool with overhanging branches.
When it comes to buying robotic cleaners, or any cleaner for that matter, assess what your pool needs and make an informed decision. Our goal is to help you make that choice by reviewing the best cleaners for various needs and eliminating the guesswork. So, let’s take a look at the top 7 robotic pool cleaners.
1. Best Budget: Aiper Seagull SE
- Low cost & excellent value best seller
- Bluetooth controls & mapping options for tracking & customization
- 90 mins battery life & only 2.5 hours to fully charge
It’s rare to find a robotic cleaner that’s affordable and effective, but the Aiper Seagull SE fits the bill.
It’s easy to use and can handle pools up to 40 feet.
It is cordless, so it runs for about 1-2 hours. I recommend cleaning the filter at least a couple of times during the cleaning cycle. This is a good cleaner at the low end of the price range that can handle fine and medium-sized debris. There aren’t any smart features, but it is a good starter robot cleaner if you’re on the fence about purchasing a robotic cleaner. This is a great cleaner with a price point of under $450.
- Affordable price
- Picks up debris well
- 90-minute battery life
- No smart features
- Cordless & only lasts 1-2 hours
- Small filter size - great for everyday debris but not for larger debris
2. Best Seller: Betta SE
- Top-selling cordless surface cleaner picks up dust, leaves, hair & debris
- Uses radar to navigate & avoid obstacles
- Solar powered - no cords
The Betta SE is also a cordless option that is a best seller. This is a surface cleaner that is equipped with a radar to detect obstacles and reroute its cleaning cycle. Another great feature is the Salt Chlorine Tolerant motors which prevent corrosion from salt or chlorine.
The large mesh debris filter has a top handle, making it easy to pick up and clean. It has a UV coating to protect the cleaner from the sun and a 1-year warranty.
- Affordable ($400)
- No assembly
- Effective cleaner
- Remote control doesn’t work too well
- Tends to get stuck in corners
3. Best Premium: Dolphin Nautilus CC Supreme
- Climbing ability cleans walls & floor
- Excellent cleaning ability - picks up leaves, sand, twigs, dirt etc
- WiFi to schedule & control from phone
If you’re looking for a high-end cleaner with all the bells and whistles, look no further than the Dolphin Nautilus CC Supreme. This cleaner can clean pools up to 50 feet long and has three cleaning levels.
Depending on which cleaning level you choose, cleaning a pool thoroughly takes 1½ to 3½ hours. And I mean thoroughly. The Nautilus Supreme has smart navigation to learn your pool and develop an efficient cleaning route. It cleans the bottom, walls, and surface and has two scrubbing brushes to ensure a deep clean.
- Remote steering on the off chance it missed a small patch of debris
- Superior smart technology
- Very efficient cleaner
- Top of the price range
- Sometimes the power supply fails after one year of use, but it includes a 2 year warranty, which covers the power supply
4. Best Overall: Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus
- Cleaning is awesome - picks up small & large debris
- High quality product with a 2 year warranty
- Systematically scans your pool to determine the most efficient path
Our top pick, the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus, includes all the functionality and features that you’d expect from a robotic cleaner at a mid-tier price point.
This cleaner is designed for inground pools up to 50 feet in length, and the cleaning cycle is done in about two hours. The dual scrubbing brushes are great for picking up dirt, algae, and large debris. The built-in navigation system seamlessly guides the cleaner around the pool, and the tracks enable it to climb the walls and skim the surface effortlessly. It also includes two filters which are easy to clean. At the end of the day, this is one of the best cleaners on the market and is reasonably priced, and has a staggering 3-year warranty.
- Great suction and scrubbing capabilities
- Longest warranty (3 years)
- Smart technology
- Again, it seems the biggest concern is the power supply failure issue, but it is covered under warranty
5. Best For Leaves: Aiper Seagull Pro
- Excels at handling larger debris & leaves
- More efficient as it uses a fixed pattern rather than traditional random pattern
- Cordless & up to 180 mins from one charge
The Aiper Seagull Pro is great at tackling larger debris and has a unique cleaning design. It cleans in an “S” pattern across the bottom of the pool and an “N” pattern across the walls. This methodical cleaning method enables it to overlap and efficiently clean the pool.
As good as it is cleaning, it could benefit from some smart features. If it gets stuck in a corner or a step, it’ll eventually drain the battery. A smart feature could reroute it. The cleaning pattern is also easily interrupted if placed near a step or ledge. It is best to start it on a flat wall for best results. It is a durable cleaner that includes a 1-year warranty.
- Great at picking up heavier debris
- LED indicator
- Small loop for picking it out of the pool makes it hard to retrieve at the deep end
- No smart features
6. Best Smart Cleaner: Polaris VRX IQ+
- 70-foot cord for cleaning large pools
- Picks up leaves, gravel & fine dirt
- Learns pool & calculates most efficient cleaning path
The Polaris VRX IQ+ is one of my favorite cleaners, and this is the top of their line. Its strongest competitor is the Nautilus Dolphin Plus, which has advanced smart features. The biggest upside to Polaris over Maytronics (manufacturer of Dolphin), is that maintenance parts are easier to come by.
The best feature of the VRX is that you control it straight from the iAquaLink app with Wi-Fi. From a smartphone, you can start or stop the VRX, create a custom schedule, and even check to see if the filter needs cleaning. It has a 70-foot cord which is the longest available, so it can clean the largest of pools. Its large filter capacity is a plus, too, so you don’t have to clean the filter during the cleaning cycle. As with all Polaris products, this cleaner has a one-year warranty.
- Very efficient cleaner with little maintenance or filter cleaning necessary
- Smart technology allows it to learn your pool for the most efficient cleaning route
- At the high end of the price range
- Heavy, weighs 21 pounds
7. Best For Above-Ground Pools: Dolphin Escape
- Rubber tracks are perfect for vinyl liner pools
- Large capacity basket & efficiently cleans sand, leaves & twigs
- Brushes clean algae & dirt
The Dolphin Escape is the best bang for your buck for a pool up to 30 feet wide. The rubber tracks on this robotic cleaner make it ideal for vinyl liners, and it even smoothes out wrinkles during the cleaning process.
This robot cleaner does a great job of picking up sand and debris, and the large capacity basket makes it ideal for handling larger debris like leaves and twigs. It averages around three hours for cleaning time, and the top-end filter makes it easy to clean. It comes with a two-year warranty, which is a decent amount of service time for a pool cleaner.
- Compact design is well suited for above-ground pools
- Good for larger debris
- Great suction
- Doesn’t climb walls
- The fine mesh filter (bought separately) clogs easily
Frequently Asked Questions About Robotic Cleaners
How long do pool robotic cleaners last?
Robotic cleaners have an average lifespan of 4-5 years, though some reports say 5-7. I would err on the side of caution here. Of course, it also depends on the conditions of the pool and if routine maintenance was performed.
What debris can a robot pool vacuum pick up?
They are designed to pick up leaves, twigs, pebbles, and other debris while scrubbing the bottom at the same time. If you have larger debris like leaves or twigs, make sure the debris cartridge is large, or you will be dumping it out multiple times during the cleaning process.
Are robotic pool cleaners good for small pools?
A robotic cleaner is good for small pools, and you can probably go with one of the less expensive models with cords that only go to 30 feet or so.
Are robotic cleaners good for large pools?
Robotic cleaners are great for cleaning large pools, with many being able to clean pools up to 70 feet in length (Polaris VRX IQ+). Since they are electrically powered, you don’t have to worry about battery life.
How much do robotic pool cleaners cost?
Prices of robotic pool cleaners range between $500-$1500. The cost varies depending on motor size, smart features, and whether it climbs walls. Robotic cleaners are a worthy investment, and most, if not all, come with a warranty.
Can you leave a robotic cleaner in the pool?
I do not recommend leaving a robotic cleaner in a pool for periods of time. The chlorine or salt levels will affect the rubber tires and bearings, and the overall elements are detrimental over time. The cleaner should be removed and kept in a covered area between uses.
Final Thoughts On Robotic Pool Cleaners
Robotic pool cleaners are an effective way to clean your pool with little effort. They range in price from around $500 to $1,500. They also have a wide range of features, including smart features, and they have an average lifespan of 5 years with little to no maintenance.
The hefty price point is usually the biggest drawback for people. But, if you consider it as an investment and the service you get compared to paying for a pool service, the cost is about the same, if not a little cheaper. Plus, because they are electrically operated, they don’t put undue pressure on your filtration system or skimmer. So, all in all, a robotic cleaner should be a top consideration when it comes to your pool maintenance.