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Having your own backyard pool is a great thing. However, the private place of relaxation does not come without duties. Pool owners will know that without the necessary work, you won’t get anything out of your own pool for long. Regularly, the pool must be cleaned of leaves as well as other coarse dirt with a pool net and the pool chemistry must be readjusted.

If this is not done, the pool becomes dirty and the pool water quickly turns milky. Bathing in uncleaned pools can even be harmful to health, because pathogens and algae can also make themselves comfortable in the pool. If you don’t want to clean the pool floor and walls every few days, it’s best to use a pool robot or a battery pool vacuum.

The pool vacuum robots are a great way to automate pool cleaning. The self-propelled robots can be used by people who want to clean an above ground swimming pool as well as for pool cleaning of inground pools made of materials such as plaster or concrete.

People who want to buy a pool robot should be aware that the pool robots work mostly by themselves. You can virtually watch the pool robot at work and meanwhile the pool will be clean. The use of such a robot also has the advantage of reducing the consumption of pool chemicals, because the water is circulated better.

The choice of available pool cleaning robots is quite large. For this reason, we have done an extensive research on the numerous brands and models. The result of this work is this list of the best pool robots. 

  • In addition to the classic, electricity-powered pool robots, there are also automatic pool cleaners that are based on the Venturi principle and driven only by the water pressure of the filter pump. Automatic pool cleaners are much cheaper than pool robots, but also provide a poorer cleaning result, require a powerful pool pump and have higher operating costs (because the pump always has to work). In addition, automatic pool cleaners are only suitable for smaller swimming pools.
  • Manufacturers distinguish between pool robots that may be used in pools with a tiled floor and those that are unsuitable for tiled pool floors. Keep this in mind when choosing a pool robot.
  • Pool robots are divided into models that can only clean the pool floor and robot cleaners that can also climb the pool walls. As a rule, the pool vacuuming robots with which wall cleaning is also possible are somewhat more expensive. However, cleaning the pool walls makes sense because the pool walls also accumulate dirt and are an ideal breeding ground for insects and algae.

The Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

Bestseller No. 1
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Pool [Vacuum] Cleaner - Ideal for In Ground Swimming Pools up to 50...
  • Hello, free time! Let the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus...
  • The clean you need without the hassle. The Nautilus CC...
  • Ditch the pumps and hose. Unlike the energy hogs that...
  • Clean your pool with the touch of a button. Schedule...
AngebotBestseller No. 2
SMOROBOT Tank X11 Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner with Over 210 Mins and Powerful Suction , Pool...
  • Strong Suction Power: This robotic pool Vacuum boasts...
  • Scrubs Floor, Wall, & Tile/Waterline. automatic pool...
  • Subverting tradition, 10X more efficient: the advanced...
  • Automatic, cordless, and extremely easy to use: just...
Bestseller No. 3
DOLPHIN Nautilus CC Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner - Ideal for Above and In-Ground Swimming Pools up...
  • Sit back and relax while the Dolphin Nautilus CC...
  • Efficiency is key when it comes to pool cleaning....
  • Dolphin does all the hard work for you. Agile and...
  • Clean your pool with the touch of a button. Schedule...
Bestseller No. 4
Dolphin Proteus DX3 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner, The Quick and Easy Way to a Clean Pool, Ideal...
  • Clean your pool with the touch of a button. Ideal for...
  • Ditch the pumps and hose. Unlike the energy hogs that...
  • The simple way to a clean pool. Agile and efficient,...
  • Let Dolphin take over your pool cleaning duties. The...
Bestseller No. 5
Dolphin E10 Robotic Pool [Vacuum] Cleaner - Ideal for Above Ground Swimming Pools up to 30 Feet -...
  • The easy way to a clean pool. The Dolphin E10 robotic...
  • Take back your free time. The Dolphin E10 will have...
  • Dolphin does all the hard work for you. The E10 was...
  • Save energy with every pool cleaning. The E10 does not...
Bestseller No. 6
Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner with Powerful Dual Scrubbing Brushes and Multiple Filter...
  • Drop and go. Easy to use, single button plug and play...
  • CleverClean delivers a smart and efficient clean using...
  • Powerful, dual scrubbing brushes forcefully attack...
  • Multiple filter options for an optimal clean pool. The...
Bestseller No. 7
Polaris NEO Robotic Pool Cleaner, Automatic Vacuum for InGround Pools up to 40ft, Wall Climbing Vac...
  • AUTO POOL CLEANER: The Polaris NEO Robotic Cleaner...
  • IN GROUND POOLS: Compatible with in ground swimming...
  • POLARIS: For more than 40 years, Polaris has been known...
  • PREMIUM CLEANING PERFORMANCE: Cyclonic Vacuum...

Guide: Buying the right pool robot

The pool vacuum robots help to clean the pool. Without much effort and with a huge time savings, the pool robots keep the swimming pool clean. We had already briefly mentioned that there are different types of pool vacuums. Pool robots are only one type of pool vacuum cleaners.

In addition to pool cleaning robots, there are battery operated, manual and automatic pool vacuums. The different types of pool vacuums differ in the type of drive, purchase price, operating costs and other factors. Some types of pool vacuums are better suited for small swimming pools, while other types are the right choice for larger pools.

Below, we will introduce each type of pool vacuum cleaner and go into detail about the advantages and disadvantages of each. This way, you can get a good idea of which type of pool vacuum is best for your pool.

Overview: The different types of pool vacuum cleaners

  • Manual pool vacuums: many pool owners will be familiar with manual pool vacuums.  The manual or hand-operated pool vacuums do not require a power supply.
    You simply connect the vacuum to the suction side of the filter pump. You simply need to move the suction head, which is attached to a telescopic rod, through the pool to remove dirt, debris and other grime from the swimming pool.
    The cleaning result with manual pool vacuums is pretty good, but the time required is considerable, especially for larger pools. For this reason, manual pool vacuums are mostly suitable for smaller swimming pools (with a filter pump).
  • Rechargeable pool vacuums: rechargeable pool vacuums are an exciting solution for pools without a filtration system. Rechargeable pool vacuums do not require a direct power supply. Simply charge the battery before use.
    The dirt particles are collected in a filter during vacuuming or, in the case of some battery pool vacuums, are fed directly into the filter system. In terms of use and operation, cordless pool vacuums are similar to household cordless vacuum cleaners.
    Also with battery pool vacuums, the manual effort is not insignificant. For this reason, these types of pool vacuums are a good solution for pools without a filtration system, as no pump is needed to operate these pool vacuums.
  • Automatic pool vacuums: automatic pool vacuums are sometimes referred to as semi-automatic pool robots or hydraulic pool cleaners. The reason for this is that automatic pool cleaners are connected to the filter pump and then move through the pool on their own, driven by the water pressure.The dirt particles are sucked up in the process. Depending on whether the semi-automatic pool robots are connected to the filter pump on the suction or pressure side, the devices are referred to as suction-side automatic pool vacuums or pressure-side automatic pool vacuums. An external power supply is not required for either type.Alone with the help of suction (for suction-side pool vacuums) or water pressure (for pressure-side pool vacuums), the pool vacuums move through the pool. The key difference between the two types is that suction-side automatic pool vacuums direct the dirt particles directly into the filtration system, while pressure-side automatic pool vacuums either collect the dirt in a filter basket – depending on the model – or just swirl it up so that the dirt particles can be better captured by the filtration system.The container must then be emptied after the cleaning process. Automatic pool vacuums are a cost-effective choice for smaller and medium-sized swimming pools. However, the cleaning result is usually worse than with “real” pool robots.
    Also, the higher operating costs due to the constant operation of the pool pump are not negligible. In addition, most semi-automatic pool robots cannot clean the pool walls, unlike full-fledged pool robots.
  • Robotic Pool Cleaners: pool robots are powered by electricity and run the swimming pool completely on their own. For this reason, pool robots are always connected to the electricity with a cable. Most models collect the dirt sucked up in a filter container, which is emptied after the cleaning process.A few models also offer the possibility of directing the dirt into the filter system. As a rule, the cleaning result is better than automatic pool vacuums, because they hang up more often and usually can not climb the walls of the pool. In addition, high-quality pool robots also offer additional features such as programmable cleaning times or manual control via app. There are also pool robots with remote controls. The initial costs for pool robots are higher than for other pool vacuums. However, special models with many features only go over the counter for very high amounts. Therefore, pool robots are best suited for medium-sized and larger pools. Depending on the size of the pool, you should choose models with different performance levels.
    A rare exception are battery pool robots. Before use, you need to charge the battery and afterwards, just like a normal pool robot, they drive the pool and vacuum the dirt.

Advantages and disadvantages of pool robots

Comparing pool robots with other types of pool vacuums, some decisive advantages and disadvantages become apparent. There are some arguments for as well as against the purchase of a pool robot.

Advantages

  • Low workload: pool maintenance is a strenuous undertaking. On a daily and weekly basis, there are a number of tasks involved. If you want to get some more free time to fully enjoy your own swimming pool, you could buy a pool robot.
    With a robotic cleaner, your physical effort is limited to placing the device in the pool and emptying the filter tank after cleaning is complete.
  • Good cleaning result: Usually, one cleaning cycle of a pool robot takes one to several hours. After only one cycle, the pool is still not sparkling clean, because the pool robot has often not yet visited all the spots.
    Compared to other automation approaches, it is noticeable that pool robots work much more effectively. Compared to semi-automatic pool robots, full-fledged robotic cleaners traverse the pool much faster, circulate more water and suck in more dirt particles.
    Overall, the cleaning results of robotic pool cleaners are better than those of automatic pool vacuums, which are powered only by water pressure.
  • More time for bathing: Owners of a pool robot save a lot of the effort that comes with pool maintenance. Another important aspect is that you can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend working. Instead of cleaning the pool completely by hand with a manual pool vacuum cleaner, you only need to start the pool robot.
    Only the hard-to-reach areas (corners and steps) and the edge between the pool floor and pool wall need to be partially vacuumed. However, there are also pool robots for stairs that are specially designed for this area.
  • Use less pool chemicals: Another advantage is that the pool robot provides additional circulation of the pool water. This reduces chemical consumption because the agents are better distributed in the pool. This is good for the environment and also good for your wallet. Many models are also suitable for pool robot use in saltwater pools.

Disadvantages

  • Partially high acquisition costs: the acquisition costs for a pool robot are significantly higher than for other types of pool vacuums. Especially pool robots for large pools are not cheap to have.
  • Additional electricity costs: A pool robot requires a constant power supply. All things considered, the electricity costs of a pool robot are about on par with the other types of pool vacuums.
    Manual and automatic pool vacuums do not require a direct power supply, but the added load on the filter pump also results in higher electricity costs.

Automatic pool vacuums vs. pool robots

In our list of different types of pool robots, both robotic pool cleaners and automatic pool cleaners appear. For pool owners who want to make their pool maintenance job a little easier, both types of pool robots come into consideration.

In the following, we would therefore like to explain what makes the differences between the various types and for which swimming pool the respective pool robot types are best suited.

The differences

The biggest difference is that automatic pool vacuums are connected to the skimmer or filter pump and are powered by water pressure alone. In contrast, a pool robot requires a permanent power supply.

An exception are rechargeable pool robots, which are usually equipped with a lithium battery and drive through the pool without being tied to a cable.

For the operation of an automatic pool vacuum cleaner, the pool pump must always be running. This is not the case with pool robots. You should run a pool pump eight hours a day anyway, but even so, the extra load on the pool pump results in higher operating costs.

Most pool robots collect the dirt they suck up in a filter basket. The basket must be emptied after cleaning. Only a few pool robots forward the dirt directly to the filter system.

In the case of automatic pool cleaners, the situation is different. Many of the models offered are suction-side automatic pool cleaners. With suction side pool cleaners, dirt particles are sucked up and are listed directly into the pool filter. Pressure side automatic pool cleaners, on the other hand, first collect dirt in a filter container.

The cleaning power of an automatic pool cleaner depends on the power of the filter pump, as it is the only source of energy. Therefore, many manufacturers specify what the minimum pump power must be. Often a value of at least 6000 liters per hour is mentioned.

Only from a performance in this range is trouble-free operation of the hydraulic pool vacuum possible. For pool robots, however, the performance of the filter pump is completely irrelevant.

In contrast to automatic pool vacuums, many pool robots are equipped with active pool brushes. This ensures a better cleaning result for the full-fledged pool robots.

Pool robots traverse the pool at a higher speed than automatic pool vacuums do. This also means that the swimming pool is cleaned faster by a pool robot.

The operating noise level is about the same for both types. Pool cleaners are not completely silent. Therefore, you should not necessarily operate devices during the weekend lunchtime or at night.

With automatic pool vacuums, it should be noted that the running filter pump also generates noise. However, there is no blanket answer to the question of which type of pool vacuum cleaner is quieter.

There are significant differences in the purchase costs. Buying a pool robot is much more costly than buying an automatic pool vacuum. Most pool robots cost more than 500€, while cheap automatic pool vacuums are already available for less than 150€.

The cleaning result is better with poorobots than with automatic pool vacuums. One reason for this is that many pool robots are equipped with active brushes. The rotating brushes can remove even stubborn dirt.

Another difference is that automatic pool vacuums can rarely climb the walls of the pool or the steps in the pool.

Many pool robots, on the other hand, are able to descend the pool walls and clean the steps as well. The pool vacuum robots clean up to the waterline. (The waterline is the intersection of the water level and the pool wall).

In use, it is also noticeable that automatic pool vacuums more often get caught in the connected hose, get stuck or tip over. Pool owners must be attentive here. Experience shows that fewer problems occur with pool robots.

If you spend a lot of money and want to buy an expensive pool robot, you can look forward to many additional features. Especially high-quality pool robots have additional functions such as manual remote control via app. Automatic pool cleaners do not offer such features.

With lower speed, low power and poorer cleaning results, automatic pool vacuums are mainly suitable for smaller swimming pools. Using such a vacuum powered by water pressure makes sense only in pools with a maximum diameter of five meters.

For larger pools and all pools without a pool pump, pool robots are the right choice. For those who do not yet have a filter pump, a filter pump must first be purchased in addition to the automatic pool cleaner. After all, without a pump, the automatic pool cleaner can not be operated.

Guide: What you should consider when buying a pool robot

Pool owners who want to buy a pool robot should first consider the following buying criteria:

  • Pool shape and size: pools come in all sizes and shapes. Likewise, different types of pool robots are available. It’s important that the robot cleaner you choose matches the pool size in terms of performance and quality.
    Also, you need to note that some models have difficulties with certain shapes (such as oval swimming pools). For certain pool robots, an uneven surface can also negatively affect the cleaning result.
  • Substrate type: inflatable pools make up the majority of all swimming pools in Germany. On the other hand, many pool owners who want to swim in their own pool all year round have an inground pool built.
    Here, either concrete, plaster or tile floor is mostly used. If you want to buy a pool robot, you should pay attention to the floor material, because many manufacturers explicitly identify their models as suitable for tiled floors or not.
    The reason for this is that normal pool robots can lose adhesion on the smooth tiles. The pool with tiles will only be really sparkling clean if the robot has been equipped with special brushes that ensure sufficient adhesion to the floor.
  • Cable length or hose length: The length of the cable (for pool robots) or the hose length (for automatic pool cleaners) is an important factor in the purchase decision. A cable that is too short or a hose that is too short could result in the pool cleaner not being able to cover the entire pool area.
    An alternative to corded pool cleaners are battery-operated pool robots that only need to be charged once and then operate completely without an active power supply.
  • Weight: A high weight makes the transport of the pool robot a bit more strenuous. If you want to winterize the pool robot and have to carry the device down the cellar steps for this, a lightweight design is of course an advantage.
    However, a certain dead weight also has advantages. In the water, the pool robot is pressed more strongly to the ground, which provides more grip and ultimately a better cleaning result.
    It should also be noted that especially powerful pool robots and those models that are equipped with many additional functions – i.e. additional components – weigh more.
  • Pool floor or pool wall cleaning: If you are looking for a suitable model, you also have to ask yourself what the pool robot should clean. Automatic pool cleaners are usually only suitable for cleaning the bottom of the pool.
    Pool robots in the middle and higher price range, on the other hand, can also clean the pool walls. This is convenient because the pool walls like to accumulate dirt, making them an ideal breeding ground for insects and algae.
    If you have the budget, it is better to buy a pool vacuum robot that can clean both the pool bottom and the pool walls.
  • Filter performance: the performance has a great impact on the ideal place of use and the cleaning result. In automatic pool cleaners, the filter pump is the only source of energy, so the power of the pump is important in this case.
    With fully automatic pool robots, on the other hand, the power of the pool robot itself is measured. Manufacturers specify the pool robot output in cubic meters per hour or in liters per hour. The value tells how much volume of water is circulated per hour. Too low performance of the pool robot means that the cleaning of the pool will take longer.
    Also, with hydraulic pool cleaners, the power may not be enough to push the suction head through the pool. Therefore, find out beforehand how much circulation power the filter pump needs to provide in order to operate the particular automatic pool vacuum cleaner.
  • Voltage: Most pool robots are operated in the low-voltage range. This has the advantage that in the unlikely event of a defect, there is not much danger. Many pool robots have an operating voltage as low as 25 volts. To ensure children safety, they should not be in the water when the pool robot is running. However, there is no danger to life and limb at this low voltage.
  • Cleaning duration: The exact duration of a cleaning varies from swimming pool to swimming pool. For this reason, many manufacturers indicate the approximate duration per cleaning cycle.
    For battery pool robots, the number tells how long the pool robot can work at a stretch until the battery needs to be recharged. In this case and for all other types of pool robots, this does not mean that the pool is already completely clean after one cycle.
    The cleaning time depends on the particular pool robot, the size, shape and condition of the pool, and whether only the pool floor or also the pool walls are to be cleaned.
  • Operating volume: The operating volume differs from model to model. As a rule, semi-automatic pool robots or automatic pool cleaners are quieter than pool robots. However, it should be noted that as long as the semi-automatic pool robot is to work, the pool pump must also run.
    If you take the noise pollution from both devices (pool vacuum cleaner and pool pump) together, the background noise is similar to the operation of a (fully automatic) pool robot. The noise pollution is the reason why some models should better not be operated at night and during the day during the weekend lunch break.
  • Appearance: the design plays a minor role in pool robots. The devices are underwater most of the time and not easily visible. Nevertheless, for some pool owners, the pretty appearance has a high priority. Also for this reason, manufacturers offer their pool robots in different designs and colors. There is even a pool robot with a ladybug design.
  • Water depth: Another important parameter is the pool depth. Manufacturers have different requirements here. Because not every pool robot is designed for all pool depths. Therefore, before buying, check whether the selected model is suitable for your pool at all. A freely hanging hose could hinder the pool cleaner robot in its work.
  • Remote control: Inexpensive pool robots are simply plugged into the socket and immediately start working. However, particularly high-quality pool robots have additional functions.
    Some expensive pool robots can be steered by remote control. This is a nice gimmick, but also has the advantage that last impurities can be easily removed and even hard-to-reach corners can be cleaned better.
  • Swivel: When driving down the pool, the robot cleaners often change the direction of travel. In rare cases, the cable may become twisted or knotted in the process. The problem is then that the pool robot can no longer clean the entire pool and the tangled cable must be untangled by hand. Many good pool robots are therefore equipped with a “swivel”. The small swivel effectively prevents the cable from getting twisted.

FAQ: 10 frequently asked questions about pool robots answered

Which pool robot is suitable for which pool?

Pool robots can be divided into different categories based on performance, design, construction, operation and additional functions. The reason for the different types of pool robots is that the robot cleaners need to be matched to the specific swimming pool.

A valid question is whether a fully automatic pool robot is even the best solution for your pool. For cleaning smaller swimming pools that are equipped with a filter pump, one of the inexpensive automatic pool vacuums may be sufficient. On the other hand, if you also want to clean the pool walls, have a larger swimming pool or do not have a pool pump, it is better to go for a full-fledged pool robot.

The substrate plays an important role. Swimming pools with a tiled floor or other very smooth materials should be used pool robots with special brushes. The normal PVC brushes do not always provide the best floor traction. As a result, the cleaning result is not always optimal. In practice, it has been shown that for pools with tiled floors, pool robots with foam brushes provide the best results.

Are further accessories needed for a pool robot?

The scope of delivery of some pool robots includes a small transport cart. When transporting heavy model, such a caddy has a real benefit. With the small caddies, the transport of the sometimes heavy pool robots is greatly simplified.

If you are not using the pool robot at the moment (e.g. in winter), store it. With a cover, the robot can be effectively protected against dust, moisture and other external influences. Especially if you want to store the pool robot for a longer period of time or even overwinter it, a protective cover proves to be practical. The cover ensures that the pool vacuuming robot survives the winter undamaged.

Most manufacturers also offer their customers to order spare parts or carry out repairs to the device. In case of damage to the brushes, filter or slats, you can send in the pool robot or try to solve the problem yourself with the help of spare parts.

What features should a good pool robot have?

In addition to the normal cleaning function, individual pool robots come up with additional features. For example, some expensive pool robots allow remote control via app. In the mobile app, important key figures (such as the remaining cleaning time) can also be found and with some apps, the programming of the cleaning routines can also be changed.

Direct control of the pool robot via smartphone is a nice gimmick, but it also fulfills a practical purpose: With the help of this feature, spots with stubbornly stuck dirt as well as the hard-to-reach corners can be cleaned more effectively.

Which filter systems are pool robots compatible with?

Unlike hydraulic pool vacuums, which are powered by the water pressure of the filter pump, pool robots work independently of the filter system. It doesn’t matter if you use a cartridge filter or a sand filter system.

Most pool robots have their own filter basket, in which the sucked up dirt particles are accumulated. After cleaning, the container simply needs to be emptied. This has the advantage that the sand of the filter system becomes dirty less quickly. If you use a pool robot, you will have to backwash the sand filter system less often. Complete replacement of the filter sand is also required less frequently.

With automatic pool vacuums, pool owners must make sure that the respective filter system is compatible with the vacuum and also has sufficient power. Those who want to buy a pool robot do not have to look at the performance of the filter system. The pool robots are powered exclusively by electricity and are not dependent on the filter pump.

What power does a pool robot need?

The power of a pool robot must be matched to the size of the swimming pool. Namely, the power determines how much water can be circulated. In a small pool, not much surface needs to be cleaned and not much water needs to be circulated. In this case, a pool robot with a low power is sufficient.

The filter performance of the pool robot is crucial to ensure that the pool is really well cleaned. For pools with up to 50 square meters, a performance of 15 cubic meters of water per hour is sufficient. With a lower filter capacity, an overnight pool cleaning makes sense.

How much additional work is required when using a pool robot?

Pool robots are undoubtedly one of the most practical inventions for pool owners. Having your own pool in your backyard is something beautiful, but taking care of it takes a lot of time. Tasks arise in daily and weekly rhythm, which can quickly turn the place of relaxation into a real time-eater.

In the daily pool routine, pool robots are very helpful. The pool vacuum robots remove medium and coarse dirt. If you also want to filter fine dirt particles from the pool, you need a special strainer.

With most inexpensive models, it is enough to connect the pool robot to the power and the cleaning process starts. Until the cleaning cycle is completed, one or more hours will pass. Meanwhile, you can put your feet up and relax. When the cleaning is complete, all you have to do is empty the filter basket.

High-quality pool robots can also be started by a set cleaning program by timer. Some pool owners help themselves out differently and install a smart socket that can also switch the device off and on according to a timer. This also allows inexpensive pool robots that are not programmable to be started remotely.

Often, after cleaning, a dirt edge remains at the transition of the pool bottom to the pool wall. However, with a manual pool vacuum or a battery pool vacuum, this is removed in no time. Some pool cleaning robots also do not cope well with steps or other obstacles in the pool. You may have to help out here.

So, depending on the design of your swimming pool, you may have to clean spots by hand. All in all, however, the purchase of a pool robot is a great relief.

In addition to cleaning the pool with a pool robot and a pool vacuum, there are also other tasks. For example, as a pool owner, you have to regularly test the pool water, control the pool chemistry, operate the filtration system and screen the pool. It’s also a good idea to cover the pool with a pool cover when it’s not in use.

How much does a good pool robot cost?

Prices for a good fully automatic pool robot start at around 500€. For models with additional features such as remote control via app, a timer or for pool robots that can also run down the pool walls, a higher budget must be planned.

Owners of large swimming pools have to dig especially deep into their pockets, because the powerful models needed to clean large pools cost a correspondingly high amount.

Comparing pool robot costs with the purchase prices of automatic pool cleaners, some pool owners might think that you can save money here. In fact, hydraulic pool cleaners powered by water pressure are available from various mail order companies for prices starting at around 100€.

However, in the direct comparison, people often forget that a powerful pool pump is needed to operate an automatic pool vacuum. However, the filter pumps with a high performance are quite expensive to purchase. In addition, the higher operating costs due to the additional load on the filter system should not be neglected.

In use, it is also noticeable that the cleaning result of semi-automatic pool robots operated by water pressure is not as good as that of full-fledged pool robots. In addition, most hydraulic pool vacuums can not clean the pool walls.

Where to buy pool robots?

Pool robots are rarely offered in retail stores. When pool robots are available, the selection is very limited. Most pool owners buy their pool robots on the Internet, because there you can often find very attractive offers. Idividual online stores specialize in robots and household automation in general. Here you can also find a selection of pool robots.

In addition to the specialist retailers and other specialized online stores, the large mail order companies and trading platforms such as Amazon and ebay also offer a wide range of pool robots.

Can you clean a swimming pond with a pool robot?

Some pool owners don’t want a swimming pool that needs to be treated regularly with pool chemicals. Instead, they prefer to bathe in a swimming pond. Cleaning a swimming pond is much more time-consuming than cleaning a pool.

Some particularly powerful pool cleaning robots can also clean a swimming pond. The initial cost of these models is usually higher. The reason for this is that cleaning a swimming pond demands more from the devices, which is why they need a more powerful motor.

Quite normal pool robots are not designed for cleaning swimming ponds. The high degree of contamination of the water overwhelms the average device. When removing stuck algae or stubbornly seated dirt, some models may even suffer damage.

Suitable models should not accumulate dirt in a filter, but should direct the pool water directly into the filtration system. Ideally, install additional pre-filters to avoid overloading the filtration system.

What are the best pool robot brands?

Among the most popular manufacturers of pool robots are Zodiac, Hayward, Intex, Maytronics and Dirt Devil. In several pool robot tests, Zodiac pool robots performed well. At one time, the manufacturer was an independent French company. Now, however, Zodiac is part of Fluidra.

Intex and Bestway are one of the largest producers of swimming pools, pool maintenance equipment and pool robots. The pool robot brand is best known for the very affordable Intex Auto Pool Cleaner semi-automatic pool robot.

The name Maytronics doesn’t mean much to most pool owners. Yet the company manufactures the well-known Dolphin pool robots. The company, which has been active in the field of swimming pools, water treatment systems and pools since 1983, has one of the most popular model series in its portfolio – Dolphin pool robots.

The American company Hayward has been one of the largest manufacturers of pool accessories and pool maintenance products for over 80 years. More than 2000 employees worldwide work on the development of new technologies and stand for the high quality for which Hayward is known and loved.

With more than 25,000 employees, Dirt Devil is one of the largest companies distributing pool robots. The company was founded in 1989. Originally, Dirt Devil focused only on vacuum cleaners and vacuum cleaning robots. However, for years, there are also several pool robots in the portfolio.

How pool robots are compared

In special tests, pool robots are scrutinized more closely based on various criteria such as quality, performance or handling in practice. In addition, customer reviews of the various models are sometimes included in the comparisons.

Area of application

The most important question that must be answered before purchasing a pool robot is the area of application. Not all models are able to clean round pools or stairs and steps as well as water lines. In the trade there are pool robots for the special areas of application, but also devices that cope well with all pool shapes and requirements without any problems and have an excellent cleaning performance.  

Cleaning time

Pool robots often have a cleaning cycle that is specified by the manufacturer and usually lasts two to three hours. So, for larger pools, it may happen that at the end of the cleaning program, the entire pool is not clean. Accordingly, in these cases, a second cleaning cycle must be started.

The cleaning time must also be seen as a guideline, as different conditions of the pool floor or walls may require a second pass.

Filter performance

Pool robots are available with different filter capacities, which are specified by the manufacturer in cubic meters per hour. This value indicates how much water the device circulates in an hour. The larger the pool, the greater the filter capacity should be.

Equipment

Fully automatic pool robots must be connected to the power outlet via a cable. Depending on the location and size of the pool, care must be taken to ensure that the robot’s cable is long enough. Common lengths are ten or 15 meters.

Since a pool robot changes direction very often, mainly in round pools, its cable can quickly become twisted and knotted, which may prevent the device from reaching all areas in the pool. To prevent this, the pool robot should be equipped with a cable twist protection, a swivel.

Another purchase criterion is whether a remote control is included in the scope of delivery. It can be used to target more heavily soiled areas. Some models also allow the cleaning program and cleaning performance to be set or controlled via the remote control.

Handling

The filter basket should be easy to remove from the robot for cleaning. The weight of the pool robot is also taken into account in the tests, as it must be lifted out of the pool regularly for cleaning or for winter storage and then reinserted later. Lighter models are of course easier to transport.

Price

A very important criterion in the purchase of a pool robot is the price-performance comparison. Starting at around 50 euros, you can get non-fully automatic basic models that guarantee easy operation, but can often only clean the bottom of the pool.

High-quality, fully automatic pool vacuum robots, on the other hand, can cost more than 2,000 euros and are capable of cleaning walls, steps as well as the waterline. High-quality models are mainly recommended for large pools with an area of more than 40 square meters.

Customer rating

On the various sales platforms on the Internet, such as Amazon, customers have the opportunity to rate the purchased product. This is usually a great help in the purchase decision for many pool owners who want to buy a suction robot.

Pool suction robots in different environments

Pool suction robots should do their job properly in different environments. Originally specialized in angular shapes, in the meantime there are numerous pool robots that also cope excellently with stairs and steps or round pool shapes.

Stairs & Steps

In the meantime, there are numerous models in the specialized trade that can also clean stairs and steps in the pool without any problems. A pool robot not only cleans the stairs and steps precisely, but also ensures hygiene on the steps and in the pool in combination with a filter system, chemical cleaning agents or a pool cover.

Walls & Waterlines

Entry-level models are usually designed to clean only the pool floor. Higher-end pool robots, on the other hand, are capable of cleaning pool walls as well, which they suck on through nozzles. There is an additional distinction between robots that remove the waterline and models that cannot.

The water line is the usually darker line that forms on the pool liner at the level of the water surface if it is not removed manually on a regular basis. Pool robots that can remove the waterline travel along the water surface in an offset manner and brush away the unsightly line.  

Round pools

Not all pool robots are suitable for round pools. But there are special models for this purpose, which also excellently clean a round pool. These models are themselves round, which is why their brushes also reach the edge areas. Pool robots for square pools cannot reach the edges in round pools due to their mostly square design.

Square pools

Pool robots are ideal automatic cleaners when it comes to square pools. They have a preference for square pools – whether square, rectangular, hexagonal or octagonal – and clean these pools without any complaints.  

More Questions

Are pool robots allowed in a salt water pool?

Not all pool robots are suitable for use in a salt water pool. Salt water requires a particularly high-quality, robust and solid pool robot. It is therefore important to know whether the product is also suitable for salt water. Because in the event of a defect due to the wrong use, there may also be problems with the warranty or guarantee. Therefore, before buying, you should check the product description or the manufacturer to find out whether the device is suitable for salt water or not.

Which brushes should a pool robot have?

Pool robots are equipped with different brushes. The most thorough cleaning is done by slatted brushes, as found on fully automatic pool robots. There are also differences in the material of the brushes. PVC brushes are particularly suitable for steel-walled pools or liner pools. For stainless steel pools, on the other hand, a PVA brush is better. A PVC slat brush is suitable for foil pools and canebo rings. PVC combination brushes are taken for smooth surfaces, tiles or pools made of fiberglass reinforced plastic, GRP. Brushes with foam (PVA) are used for foil pools, smooth surfaces, tiles or GRP pools.

Who repairs pool robots?

A defective pool robot with problems with the electrics or the drive should never be repaired by yourself. In the specialized trade for pool technology, the staff is specialized in repairs. And if the pool robot is still under warranty, you should limit yourself to the replacement of rollers and filter bag or cartridge. It is also advisable to have the pool robot checked before storing it for the winter.

How should pool robots be stored?

Pool robots should be stored in a dry and frost-proof place, preferably on a pool caddy and not directly on the brushes to relieve them. Alternatively, you can store the pool robot on a protective mat on its back. Before storing, the pool robot must be cleaned with clear or lightly soapy water, and no solvents should be used. After cleaning, the pool robot is thoroughly washed with clear water and then it is left to dry on its transport cart.   Some specialized companies also offer the service of storing pool robots over the winter for a fee.

How long should you run the pool robot?

With fully automatic pool robots, the preset cleaning cycles usually last around two to three hours. If the device is used for several hours a day, the bottom and water remain hygienically clean.  With non-fully automatic pool robots, which are connected to the filter pump with a hose, there are no additional electricity costs, as only the energy of the pump is used. Of course, how long a pool robot should run also depends on whether many people use the pool and how dirty it is. Even if leaves, pollen, branches or other impurities fall into the water, you should let the pool robot run accordingly.

How good are pool robots?

Pool robots have on the one hand an excellent cleaning performance and on the other hand bring a great time saving for the pool owner, who no longer has to waste many hours cleaning the pool himself. Furthermore, automatic cleaning is often more thorough than manual cleaning. Another advantage of a pool robot is that it circulates the water at the same time as cleaning. Especially the powerful fully automatic pool robots distribute the chlorine in the water better.

How is a pool robot connected?

A non-fully automatic pool robot is connected to the filter system or the skimmer via a hose. Fully automatic pool vacuum robots, on the other hand, have an integrated pump, so they only need to be connected to the power outlet.

How long does a pool robot last?

Since pool robots are not cheap to buy, they should last as long as possible. On average, the devices last three to four years. With proper care, maintenance and storage of the pool robot, the service life can be extended to seven to ten years. Of course, the lifespan also depends on how often and how long the robot is used.

Conclusion

During the summer months, having your own pool is something great. With the warm temperatures, cooling off in your private swimming pool is a welcome change. Surely, the one or other pool party is on the agenda. However, the prerequisite for this is that the pool water is clean and clear.

Therefore, the pool must be regularly cleaned of dirt particles. For those who find this too strenuous in the long run, a pool robot can provide a remedy. The pool robot independently drives around the pool, sucks in dirt and removes debris.

A good pool robot makes above all a good price-performance ratio, a robust design and high performance. The purchase decision should also take into account the warranty period and the scope of delivery. For example, some manufacturers deliver their pool robots together with a transport cart.

We have used these and other factors (such as the results from a pool robot test and several pool robot comparisons to create our best list of the best pool robots. With the comprehensive market overview and our guide, you can better decide on one of the models.

Recommended read: What to do, when the pool cleaner isn’t moving anymore

Larry has been a true water rat since childhood. Pure pleasure turned into a passion. That's why he is the first point of contact for friends and acquaintances when it comes to pool-related problems. He is an integral part of the PoolHandbook editorial team.