Best Automatic Pool Cleaner Reviews
Find The Best Robotic Pool Cleaner For Pools of Any Size
A filthy pool isn’t just unhealthy, it’s a terrible waste! Your outdoor swimming pool should be a place for making fond memories, not pond scum! Removing all that dirt, algae blooms and other debris by hand takes a lot of time, but a robot pool cleaner makes everything easier.
Our water filtration experts at iWaterPurification researched dozens of options to find the best automatic pool cleaner. Whether you’re shopping for the first time or replacing an older model, this pool cleaner guide will help you choose the right brand.
Check out the top 10 picks, or scroll below for our automatic pool cleaner reviews.
Best Robot Pool Cleaner - Top 10 Picks
|1. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner||VIEW PRICE|
|2. Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner||VIEW PRICE|
|3. Hayward W3900 Pool Cleaner||VIEW PRICE|
|4. Zodiac Baracuda G3 Automatic Pool Cleaner||VIEW PRICE|
|5. Dolphin Nautilus CC Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner||VIEW PRICE|
|6. Zodiac MX6 In-Ground Suction Side Pool Cleaner||VIEW PRICE|
|7. Hayward PoolVac XL Automatic Pool Cleaner||VIEW PRICE|
|8. PAXCESS Cordless Automatic Pool Cleaner||VIEW PRICE|
|9. XtremepowerUS 75037 Climb Wall Pool Cleaner ||VIEW PRICE|
|10. Hayward RC9950GR TigerShark Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner||VIEW PRICE|
- Best Robot Pool Cleaner - Top 10 Picks
- 10 Best Automatic Pool Cleaner Reviews (Full)
- 1. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
- 2. Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pressure Side Pool Cleaner
- 3. Hayward W3900 Pool Cleaner
- 4. Zodiac Baracuda G3 Automatic Pool Cleaner
- 5. Dolphin Nautilus CC Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
- 6. Hayward W32025ADC PoolVac XL Pool Vacuum (Automatic Pool Cleaner)
- 7. Zodiac MX6 In-Ground Suction Side Pool Cleaner
- 8. PAXCESS Cordless Automatic Pool Cleaner
- 9. XtremepowerUS Automatic Suction Pool Cleaner
- 10. Hayward RC9950GR TigerShark Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
- The Ultimate Automatic Pool Cleaner Buying Guide
- 3 Important Pool Maintenance Tips
10 Best Automatic Pool Cleaner Reviews (Full)
‘Automatic pool cleaners are most effective when paired with the right size and type of pool. To compile our list of the top ten, we compared the following criteria across several brands:
- Suction Power
- Filter Capacity
- Maximum Depth
- Maintenance Costs (ie filter replacement, vacuum bag replacements)
A consistent suction pressure and a large capacity filter bag are the two key features you should consider when searching for the best automatic pool cleaner. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the features, pros, and cons of each top pick.
Our top pick for the best value overall is the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus. The Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is a suction-side automatic pool cleaner, best suited for inground pools. It completely eliminates the need to manually clean debris from the surfaces of your pool, and restores your water to crystal clear opacity.
Once it’s connected to your pool’s filtration system, the Dolphin Nautilus Plus scrubs, vacuums and filters all your pool surfaces while completely submerged in water. More costly pool cleaners utilize a mapping technology to navigate your pool, allowing for optimal coverage. The Nautilus Plus, however, navigates randomly across the swimming pool, effectively cleaning about 90% of the area, which is as good as it gets.
To reduce the potential for entanglement, the Nautilus Plus uses a patented swivel cable. For the most part, the traction on its wheels allows for greater maneuverability under water. Cleaning stairs, however, is a challenge for the Nautilus. It will often flip over or get stuck on the second or third step.
Cartridge replacements are made easy because they can be accessed from the top of the machine and easily cleaned with a hose. Extra cloth filters are included with the Dolphin, and they do a much better job of capturing debris than the pre-installed nylon cartridges.
Perhaps the most significant drawback to the Nautilus CC Plus is the lack of a cart. Without the rolling storage cart, storing it is a lot more cumbersome. Relative to other pool cleaners, the Nautilus CC Plus is competitively priced, but the inclusion of the cart at a higher price point would certainly add value.
The manufacturer advises against using an extension cord with the Nautilus CC Plus. Most people, however, will find that you need to use an extension cord to get the Dolphin close enough to your pool.
For four decades Polaris has been a trusted and recognized brand of pool cleaners worldwide. Their top selling robotic pool cleaners are considered among the best for high quality engineering, rugged construction and reliability.
Whether your pool is vinyl, gunite or fiberglass, the Zodiac F1 effectively cleans any inground pool of any size or shape. The Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 is a head and hose pressure side pool cleaner that operates on your pool’s circulation pump. Powered by the clean water returning to your pool, the resulting pressure propels the machine across the surface.
A 31-foot hose kit; single chamber filter bag; and operating instructions are included with the pool cleaner. It easily connects to any standard 1.5-inch dedicated pressure cleaner line, leaving your filter and skimmer free to remove contaminants.
Scrubbing, sweeping, and scrubbing, the Polaris Vac Sweep 280 does it all quickly and with ease using its double jets for added vacuum power. The pressure cleaner is equipped with a single chamber filter bag that captures large and small debris such as leaves, acorns, pebbles. Its unique filter bag removes the pool debris before it reaches your pump basket or filter, preventing damage to your filtration system.
As the Polaris Vac-Sweep cleans your scrubs and vacuums your pool, it also distributes chemicals and heat, improving circulation and chemical effectiveness. For optimal performance, however, the 280 requires a separately available booster pump, such as the PB4-60. Polaris pressure pumps are specifically designed for their products, so you’ll need to order one as well.
Trusted for over 80-years by pool owners around the world, Hayward is another widely recognized brand, known for cutting edge, tech-enhanced pool equipment that’s easy to use and affordable.
If your swimming pool is either above ground or on-ground, the Hayward W3900 Pool Cleaner is really all you need. Suited for all shapes and sizes of above-ground pools, this compact and lightweight automatic pool cleaner will delight your kids as it roams the bottom of your pool, silently restoring your water to the clearness of glass.
At first glance, you could easily mistake the “Wanda the Whale Cleaner’ image for a toy. Turn it on, and you’ll quickly realize this is a serious piece of hardware. Designed to operate autonomously from your pool’s filtration system, it connects to your skimmer instead.
As a result, your filtration system remains free to remove sediments while the Hayward W3900 handles the large debris.
Equipped with patented SmartDrive technology, the Hayward W3900 utilizes a unique turbine system to move gently across the bottom of your pool, providing exceptionally quiet performance. As it moves, it improves the circulation of your filtration system by sucking water up from the bottom of the pool as it moves.
A deluxe bumper ring around the base of the cleaner reduces friction, guiding it away from walls, steps and ladders. The 32 feet of feeder hose is actually a foot longer than the length provided by the Polaris Vac-Sweep.
Since the Hayward W3900 is a suction-side pool cleaner, it doesn’t clean walls or other surfaces in your pool. Some pool preparation is required before you use it, but it is much easier to use and install than any of the top picks reviewed previously.
Why hire a pool cleaner when you can get our next pick, the Zodiac Baracuda? Agile and versatile, the Baracuda G3 automatic pool cleaner is built for in-ground pools with a flat, even floor. If your pool is surrounded by trees, this suction side pool vacuum will thoroughly remove any small to medium size debris, including bugs, twigs, leaves and even pebbles.
Concrete, tile, or vinyl, the G3 uses its patented Flowkeeper to automatically regulate water flow as it navigates your pool surfaces. Even with lower horse power pumps, the G3’s self adjusting control valve maintains a consistent pressure, coupled with a wide cleaning path to complete your pool cleaning quickly and efficiently.
Thanks to its anti-stick design, the Baracuda G3 doesn’t get stuck on obstacles, navigating with ease around ladders, steps and corners as easily as other pool cleaners. The unique propulsion, however, can become easily obstructed by obstacles such as a leaf or twig.
Although there is only one moving part, there is a small design flaw that causes the G3 to stall. While other brands use a moving flapper that pivots in the housing to move the pool cleaner, the G3 utilizes a soft plastic tubing that contracts and expands as it adjusts the cleaner’s propulsion.
Any obstruction of the tubing can prevent the unit from moving. For that reason, it’s a good idea to attach a skimmer. The G3 automatic pool cleaner includes a 1 year warranty against manufacturer’s defects and wear and tear, including the hoses, and a 2-year warranty on its long-life hose.
Cleaning the floors and walls of your above ground or inground swimming pool is a time consuming chore, not to mention backbreaking! With just the press of a button, the Dolphin Nautilus CC does all the work of scrubbing, vacuuming, and removing small to mid-sized debris from your pool in half the time it would take you to do it by hand.
Rated Amazon’s Choice for robot pool cleaner, the Dolphin Nautilus CC Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner is ideally suited for cleaning above ground and inground pools up to 33ft in depth. Walls and floors are cleaned with ease, and the extra large capacity filter bag holds more than other more expensive brands, resulting in fewer replacements.
Gunite, tile, plaster, fiberglass and more, the Dolphin Nautilus CC is versatile enough to thoroughly clean the walls and floors of small debris. Pine tree needles, worms, dead algae,
and more are easily sucked up and captured as the Nautilus uses its superior scrubbing and filtering capabilities to restore the pristine clearness of your pool.
For optimum convenience, you can program the Nautilus CC to automatically clean your swimming pool each week using 3 settings- every day, every other day. Since Dolphins don’t rely on your pool pump or filter to operate, they’re typically 8x more energy efficient than other leading brands.
With over 35 years of pool appliance know-how, Dolphin rarely gets it wrong. There is, however, a slight problem with the spring-loaded trap door where the filter basket is housed. It should close completely when the machine is off, but dirt and sediment can become trapped in the hinge mechanism. This prevents the trap door from closing shut when the cleaner is turned off.
Relatively speaking, it’s a small issue. The filter’s large capacity is impressive, and reduces the number of annual replacements required. The top loading filter basket is easily accessible, allowing for hassle-free maintenance.
Overall, considering the low price the Nautilus CC delivers exceptional performance that surpasses more expensive models, with much less hassle.
Once again, Hayward enters our list of the best automatic pool cleaner with their PoolVac XL. Featuring impressive pool coverage and smart drive steering, the PoolVac XL demonstrates Hayward’s 80 years of experience, as well as its cutting edge technology.
Powered by your existing filtration system, the PoolVac XL connects in less than ten minutes. The exclusive ‘Aqua Pilot’ Smart Drive steering technology navigates the cleaner for optimal pool coverage, offering the best in intelligent, complete pool coverage. A booster pump isn’t required, but climbing stairs can be a significant obstacle for the PoolVac XL.
When it comes to capturing small debris floating around in your pool, the Hayward PoolVac XL does not disappoint. Water, surfaces, and walls are noticeably clearer and cleaner within 2 – 3 hours, much faster than you could manually.
The PoolVac XL also features enhanced vacuum wings and skirt for more efficient debris pickup and consistent suction power. You can program it and walk away with peace of mind, assured that when you return your pool will be sparkling clean.
The Hayward comes with a spring loaded device that you attach to the end of the vacuum hose. By keeping it submerged and the pool motor running you can see the amount of suction your pool is providing. Then, you can either adjust the pump motor speed or the intake valve.
Even with its lengthy 40 ft hose, entanglements are minimized due to the programmed steering capabilities. With its hassle-free design, optimal coverage, and powerful suction, you’d be hard pressed to find better.
Built for ease of use, the Zodiac MX6 is a suction side automatic pool cleaner with programmed navigation for optimal surface coverage. Used in an in-ground pool with an even floor, the Zodiac MX6 steers itself along flooring and walls while you enjoy more time doing the things you love.
To operate the MX6 you need to connect it to your pool’s filtration system. With its low-flow design, the MX6 is the more energy efficient option for pools with 2-speed or variable speed pumps. The swiveling hose assembles in parts, so you can adjust the length to suit your pool size.
To be sure, the Zodiac MX6 takes the labor out of pool cleaning and performs admirably well at its job. The built-in cyclonic suction power picks up a wide range of debris, from spring buds to dirt particles. You should, however, clear your pool of larger objects to avoid obstructing the powerful articulating turbine blade that drives it along wall surfaces.
Backed by a 1 year warranty, the Zodiac MX6 isn’t quite the best automatic pool cleaner on the market, but it is reasonably priced and reliable overall. Its low-maintenance design makes it one of the most hassle-free suction side pool cleaners out there.
The PAXCESS Cordless is a rechargeable robotic pool cleaner for inground and above ground pools. As such, its operating time is much more limited than the other models reviewed previously, which require an electrical outlet.
Equipped with a 5000mah lithium-ion battery, the PAXCESS Cordless can operate without a cable attached to an electrical outlet while completely submerged in water. This allows the suction side cleaner far greater mobility than other models, allowing it to clean more space in less time.
Whether you need to remove large leaves, sand particles, clay dust, dirt, or the powdery silt that your basic pool filters missed, the reusable filter picks it up with ease. Two wide suction doors allow for efficient coverage so your walls and floor are sparkling clean within an hour.
Reloading the filter is a simple two-step process. By eliminating hoses and the need for installation, the PAXCESS earns a place in our review as the most efficient pool cleaner for any pool size, large or small.
Somewhat lacking in durability, this next automatic pool cleaner isn’t quite as refined, compact or rugged as other top picks, but it is an ‘Amazon Choice’ among consumers, so it’s definitely worth considering.
Designed for high efficiency and low maintenance, XtremepowerUS Automatic Suction Pool Cleaner is perfect for removing dirt, leaves, debris, bugs, pebbles and short twigs from your residential pool. It’s not the sturdiest or most intelligent at navigation, but it gets the job done.
No tools are required to attach it to your existing filtration system, for a fairly hassle-free installation.10 hoses are included, sufficient for pools up to 30′ ft. Its smart design allows for easy maintenance since there are no wheels, gears or other moving parts that could potentially get jammed.
With its soft and thickened pleated seal(base plate) as buffering, the XtremepowerUS Automatic cleans your swimming pool gently and thoroughly, regardless of size, shape, or construction. You’ll need a minimum of 3/4 hp swimming pool pump or 1600 GHP to function at optimum efficiency.
The manufacturer recommends this model for swimming pools up to 16′ x 32′. It doesn’t do a very good job of cleaning walls, but it definitely does a thorough job cleaning in deep water. Ultimately, considering the relatively low price, you really do get a bit more than what you pay for.
A 1 year warranty for parts is offered and all the required components for connecting to your filtration system are included.
Efficiency, ease of use, and convenience are the defining features of this next pool cleaner from Hayward, the popular TigerShark Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner.
Compact and rugged, the Hayward TigerShark effectively “cleans 99% of your pool 100% of the time”, as one Amazon user put it. This suction side pool cleaner has enough power to climb walls and clean pool floors effortlessly, removing small debris such as dirt, seeds, spring buds, and algae for results that are crystal clear.
Finer debris such as mud and silt will clog the filters, which impedes the unit’s propulsion and makes it ineffective at cleaning walls. With regular maintenance to the filters, however, the TigerShark works very well. If it climbs too high, it stabilizes itself and continues cleaning so you don’t have to babysit the whole time.
Debris is sucked into the powerful vacuum through two mini flap doors on the underside of the cleaner. Suction opens and closes the doors, but if a stick or other obstacle gets stuck, debris from inside escapes, which can be a real hassle. This particular design feature doesn’t appear on other models in this review.
On the flip side, the TigerShark filters are very easy to clean and reuse. For the best results, you’ll need to prep your swimming pool before using the TigerShark, but it is definitely a reliable, worthwhile option.
The Ultimate Automatic Pool Cleaner Buying Guide
Let’s face it, cleaning your swimming pool isn’t on the top of your bucket list this summer, is it? Even with the best automatic pool cleaner to do most of the work, you still have to set it up, make the proper hose connections, and dismantle the cleaner when it’s finished.
A pool cleaner eliminates the manual labor of scrubbing by hand, but the wrong kind will leave you frustrated with a costly piece of junk. Whether you’re replacing an old model or installing a cleaner for the first time, what should you be looking for?
The tips in this buying guide will help you navigate your choices more wisely.
3 Key Buying Considerations
Is your pool large enough for all the kids in your neighborhood, or small and enclosed for private gatherings? The size and filtration method of your swimming pool will largely determine the kind of pool cleaner you’ll need.
- Manual Vs Automatic
- Manual Pool Cleaners are best suited for above ground pools. They require more physical labor and are more time consuming, as a result.
- An automatic pool cleaner is ideal for large outdoor pools. They can quickly filter the water and clean debris from the pool in considerably less time than a manual pool cleaner.
- Suction Type
Pool cleaners are available in two varieties, distinguished by their suction type: pressure-side and suction-side.
- Propelled by water pressure
- Floatable and mobile
- Best suited for clearing large debris (leaves, twigs, sticks, etc)
- Requires installation with each use
- Operates on the floor of the swimming pool
- Connects to your pool’s filtration system
- Best suited for filtering small debris (sand, dirt, etc)
The filtration method of your pool cleaner is determined by the suction type. A robot cleaner or pressure side cleaner is designed to operate as an autonomous unit, like a vacuum cleaner. As such, a pressure sided pool cleaner uses a specially-designed bag to collect debris. The bag can be emptied or replaced as needed.
Alternatively, a suction-side pool cleaner connects to your pool’s existing filtration system. They cost slightly less to operate than a pressure sided pool cleaner because there are no filters or bags to replace.
How Does A Pool Cleaner Work?
Pressure-side Automatic Pool Cleaner
A pressure-side pool cleaner is a floatable, robotic cleaner that can quickly clean large debris from the surface of your pool. They’re designed for outdoor, inground pools that are surrounded by trees or located in a wooded area.
In addition to cleaning the water, a pressure-side automatic pool cleaner can also be used for cleaning the walls, ladder, and other pool surfaces.
How It Works
- A cleaning solution attaches to a hose which is connected to the pool cleaner.
- The exposed end of the hose attaches to the water return jet in your pool.
- Water pressure propels the cleaner across the surface of your pool
- A sweep hose attached to the underbelly issues powerful jet blasts that loosen dirt and debris from the pool surfaces.
- As your pool’s filtration system captures the small dirt particles, the skimmer bag on the pressure-side cleaner picks up the larger debris.
In some cases, a booster pump is needed to give the pool cleaner additional propulsion.
Suction Side Automatic Pool Cleaner
A suction side pool cleaner is a mobile cleaning device that operates using suction power and water pressure to remove small debris from your pool. Designed for above ground or inground swimming pools, suction pool cleaners include wheels with special traction for climbing stairs as well. They remain submerged during the cleaning process, unlike a pressure-side pool cleaner which floats.
How It Works
First, you connect a long hose to the filtration system of your swimming pool.
The pool cleaner is fully submerged in water and rests on the pool floor.
Suction created on the underbelly of the cleaner keeps it submerged.
The built-in vacuum sucks in water through the hose, which moves the cleaner randomly around the pool.
As the cleaner travels, debris is sucked up through the lengthy hose and directed past the suction port into the filter pump strainer basket. At this point, smaller debris passes through to the pool filter.
How To Install A Suction side Pool Cleaner
There are several important steps, as well as important prep work, that should be completed in order when you use a suction side pool cleaner. A loose attachment or the wrong connection could damage your costly pool cleaner before you’ve had a chance to make use of it.
Among leading brands you can usually rely on the user manual to guide you through the setup and operation. Not all manuals are easy to follow or understand, however. If you’ve never installed a suction side pool cleaner, or have limited experience, consider hiring a professional.
3 Important Pool Maintenance Tips
1.) Skim Debris From The Surface Daily.
Is your outdoor, enclosed pool surrounded by trees? You’ve likely noticed tree leaves, spring buds, insects, and other debris floating on the water’s surface after a windy day. You can easily skim debris off the surface, however, using a long-handle leaf skimmer.
By cleaning the surface in this way daily, you’ll reduce the amount of debris your automatic pool cleaner needs to filter. A leaf net is also a great way to protect your pool from floating debris.
2.) Brush Sediment And Algae From Surfaces.
The walls, floor, ladders and slides of a swimming pool accumulate layers of dust and algae over time. While your pool is empty, you can sweep away this layer with any standard brush.
Direct the dirt towards the main drain to reduce the wear and tear on your robot pool cleaner and your pool’s filtration system.
3.) Cover Your Pool With Tarp.
Whether you live in a temperate climate with four seasons, or the semi-arid climate of Nevada, it’s a good idea to cover your pool when it’s not in use.
A quality tarp or pool cover can significantly reduce heat and water evaporation, save on energy costs and pool cleaning expenses. You can either invest in a large scale automatic pool cover for a large, inground pool, or purchase a winter tarp.