Pool Cleaning Robot Buying Guide

When you want to spend a day poolside, little can disrupt your day more than walking out to a dirty pool. Robotic pool cleaning devices are designed to make our daily life tasks much more manageable. This guide will look at how robotic pool cleaners work, the different features available, and which type of pool cleaner is best suited for your needs.

How Do Robotic Pool Cleaners Work?

Robotic pool cleaners are powered by electricity, either through a cord plugging into an outlet or a rechargeable battery. The device then moves around the floor and walls of your pool, using brushes and suction to remove dirt, debris, and even algae. Some models also feature filters to trap larger particles.

Robotic cleaners are entirely self-sufficient. They come with a filtration system that will vacuum up any dirt, leaves, and debris in the pool. The device will then deposit this waste into a built-in canister or bag. This means you won’t have to worry about back-washing your filter or emptying a skimmer basket every time the robot cleans.

These devices are also built with safety in mind. They come equipped with sensors that detect environmental changes, such as inclines or drop-offs. This will prevent the device from accidentally falling into the pool and damaging itself. Some models even come with a floating cable to prevent the device from getting tangled.

When you’re ready to take a dip, all you need to do is remove the robotic cleaner from the pool and give it a quick rinse. This will ensure that any dirt or debris that was picked up during the cleaning cycle doesn’t get transferred back into the pool.

What to Consider When Shopping for a Robot Vacuum

Now that you know how robotic pool cleaners work, it’s time to look at the different features available. This will help you narrow down your options and find the best cleaner for your needs.

Cordless or Battery Powered?

One of the first things you’ll need to decide is whether you want a cordless or powered battery model. Cordless cleaners are very convenient as they don’t require you to drag around a power cord. However, they may not have as much suction power as models that are powered by batteries.

If you opt for a battery-powered model, check how long the battery will last. This AIPER Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner has a battery life of 50 minutes and will self-dock and recharge when the battery is low.


Most robotic pool cleaners come with at least one type of brush. This can be either a rotating brush or a bristled brush. The rotating brush is designed to loosen up dirt and debris stuck to the pool’s walls and floor. The bristled brush is then used to sweep up this debris.

Some robotic pool cleaners come with multiple brushes. This can be beneficial because the cleaner can cover a larger area in less time. However, it’s worth noting that more brushes also means that the cleaner will likely be more expensive.

Suction Power

In addition to brushes, most robotic cleaners also come with suction power. This is measured in gallons per minute (GPM). The higher the GPM, the more powerful the suction will be.  The Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner has an excellent suction rating of 4500 GPH.

Some robotic cleaners come with multiple suction settings. This can be beneficial as it means that you can adjust the suction power to suit the needs of your pool.

Filtration System

As we mentioned earlier, all robotic cleaners have some type of filtration system. The size of the filter will determine how much debris the device can pick up. So if you have a large pool, you’ll need to ensure that the cleaner you choose has a large filter.

Most robotic cleaners come with a cartridge filter. These need to be cleaned regularly, and they can be a pain to deal with. Some robotic cleaners come with a diatomaceous earth filter. These need to be replaced periodically, but they are much easier to deal with than cartridge filters.

Some models also come with additional filters, such as an algae brush or a microfilter. These are designed to remove smaller particles from the water. 

Anti-Tangle System

If you have a larger pool, you’ll want to make sure that the robotic cleaner you choose comes with an anti-tangle system. This will prevent the device from getting tangled in the cords or hose.

Many robotic cleaners like this Polaris P965iQ Sport Robotic Pool Cleaner come with a swivel cord. This helps to prevent the cord from getting tangled. Some models also come with an auto-reverse feature. This will cause the device to change direction if it gets tangled.

Smart Phone Connectivity

Some of the more advanced robotic cleaners on the market come with smartphone connectivity. This allows you to control the device using your smartphone or tablet.

If you opt for a model with this feature, make sure it is compatible with your smartphone or tablet.

Cycle Time

The cycle time is the amount of time it takes for the device to clean the pool. This is typically between 1 and 3 hours. 

Some models come with a timer. This allows you to set the cycle time so that the device will automatically shut off when it’s done.

Weight and Dimensions

The weight and dimensions of the device are also worth considering. For example, if you have a large pool, you’ll need to ensure that the device is large enough to handle it.

You’ll also want to consider the weight of the device. Some models are very heavy, making it difficult to move around.


The speed of the device is also worth considering. If you have a large pool, you’ll want to make sure that the device can move quickly so that it can cover the entire pool reasonably.

Some models come with multiple speed settings. This can be beneficial as it allows you to adjust the speed to suit the needs of your pool.


If you're looking for a cheap option, go with the suction-side version. These cleaners are less expensive because they link to your pool's filtration system and aren't too complicated. For one of these, you should spend anywhere from $75 to $150. But beware, some high models can run you about $300+.

Pool cleaners with a pressure side generally cost between $500 and $1,000. Remember that while these pumps are powerful enough to clean more thoroughly than suction-side versions due to their strong booster pumps, they aren't always included and must be purchased separately.

A top-of-the-line, ultra-convenient robotic pool cleaner will set you back between $1,000 and $2,000. Of course, you'll pay a premium for this upfront, but you'll save money in the long run on chemicals, professional cleaning services, and your own time.

Final Thoughts

When choosing the best pool cleaner for your needs, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. First, consider the type of pool you have and the size of your pool. Second, think about the features that are important to you. And finally, don't forget to factor in the price.

If you take all of these things into consideration, you should be able to find a pool cleaner that's perfect for your needs.

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