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Best Robotic Pool Cleaners

After testing over 50+ models, here are the best

By Brian Williamson | Written on March 2nd, 2024
Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner

I spent the last six months doing nothing but testing robotic pool cleaners – here’s what I found. First I’ll answer the obvious question. Why would I do something like this? I’ll explain. But if you’re not familiar with a robotic pool cleaner, here is the quick version.

In an era where convenience and efficiency are everything, robotic pool cleaners represent a significant leap forward in pool cleaning. Gone are the days of labor-intensive, time-consuming manual vacuuming of the pool. With recent advancements such as microprocessor-controlled navigation, NanoFiltration, triple motors, and more, we’ll dive into what features to look for and which are the top robotic pool cleaner models of 2024 in our in-depth guide after months of testing in our swimming pools.

Why does your pool need a robotic pool cleaner?

Pool cleaners have come a long way in recent years. These cleaners are no longer powered by your main pool pump as electric robotic pool cleaners have overtaken outdated pressure-side and suction-side cleaners.

A robotic pool cleaner is faster and easier to set up, more powerful, and far more efficient than other types of pool cleaners. With years of pool ownership experience, we put the top 2024 robotic pool cleaners to the test to help find the best.

In our experience, these pool robots did the best job of not only saving us time but also money. Pressure-side and suction-side cleaners are a thing of the past. Most pool companies want to sell you these cleaners, as they are cheaper to buy, harder to install and require multiple purchases (such as the additional booster pump). Robotic pool cleaners now utilize modern DC motors that not only are more powerful, but more efficient.

Dolphin Premier Cleaning The Waterline
The Dolphin Premier is one of the only robots able to clean above the waterline

The Results of Our Testing

The cleaning power of the Dolphin ProLine robots were unmatched. We found these cleaners incredibly easy to use, setup, and clean with. They offered more power and better performance than other standard online models, such as the Dolphin Nautilus and Dolphin Explorer line, the Dolphin ProLine robots. ProLine quickly stood out in our product testing.

Another bright spot is the new Dolphin Max-Series. These robots utilizes 3 key features that stood out: MaxBin, HyperBrushes, and SmartNav Scanning Software. These powerful robots were more budget friendly, but also included a host of features from NanoFilters, Weekly Timers, and Waterline Cleaning on select models.

Our Top Picks

Best Inground Pool Cleaners

After testing nearly every pool robot on the market from all the top brands, we know pool cleaners inside and out. But, the question that everyone asks. What’s the best inground robotic pool cleaner?

The best robotic pool cleaner for your inground pool will depend on a variety of factors, such as your pool size, debris, and the budget you have for a pool robot. We can’t make your final choice for you but we can help narrow it down for you with our top picks and what pools they are best for.

Dolphin Premier Cleaning

Dolphin Premier

Named the "Best Robotic Pool Cleaner of 2024" by USA Today, the Dolphin Premier is a crowd favorite. The only Dolphin pool robot with Multi-Media, the Dolphin Premier allows you to customize every clean with over 4 filter options — NanoFilters, Oversized Leaf Bag, Standard Filters, and Disposable Debris Bags — a flexibility unmatched by any other pool robot.

Best Robotic Pool Cleaner for Leaves

The exclusive Oversized Leaf Bag captures more leaves than any other Dolphin pool cleaner. Designed specifically to target leaves, the Premier held its own in our test pool. With the ability to vacuum bushels of leaves out our pool, the Premier outperformed every other robotic pool cleaner in this category.

Dolphin Premier's Oversized Leaf Bag
Dolphin Premier's includes 3 filters in the box: Oversized Leaf Bag (pictured), NanoFilters, and Standard Filters

Commercial-Grade Performance. Prosumer Price.

In addition to its versatile cleaning options, the Dolphin Premier distinguishes itself by offering commercial-grade performance at a more accessible prosumer price point. With dual Commercial-Grade motors that filter over 75 gallons per minute, the Premier consumes up to 90% less energy than traditional AC motors.

Unrivalled Performance

Coupled with dual scrubbing brushes, SmartNav 2.0. a D9 Microprocessor, and a Weekly Timer with Multi-Media, the Premier delivers a solid, thorough clean that rivals more expensive commercial models. In fact, the Dolphin Premier shares 97% of parts with the Dolphin Commercial Line of robots.

Dolphin Premier's HyperGrip Tracks
Dolphin Premier can climb any surface - from gunite to vinyl pools

The cleaning coverage of the Dolphin Premier is quite impressive. Thanks to these dual commercial-grade motors, the Premier was able to navigate our pool with ease. As it scales a 90-degree wall, the Premier dual stabilizer rises to the surface allowing it to cling to the wall with more precision. Once the Premier reached the top, it would move horizontally along the waterline – removing the algae and other debris plaguing our pool.

Dolphin Premier's Weekly Timer with Media-Alert
With 3 pre-programmed weekly cleaning schedules and the Media-Alert™, a robot has never been easier to operate.

With its Weekly Timer and Media-Alert, the Premier’s pool cleanings are completely automated. Media-Alert (another Premier Exclusive) lets you know when it’s time to clean the filters, as it flashes on the power supply. From there, you simply just clean the filter and pop it back in the pool. Once we got our test pool clean from most of the leaves, the Premier was able to run once a day and capture any leaves that fell during the day.

Is the Dolphin Premier worth it?

With its combination of innovative features like MultiMedia, energy-efficient commercial motors, advanced navigation, and a three-year warranty, the Dolphin Premier sets a new standard in pool cleaning technology. This Dolphin ProLine model represents an exceptional value, blending commercial-grade cleaning efficiency with accessibility and convenience that you won’t find anywhere else.

Dolphin Premier's Waterline Cleaning
A perfect blend of value and performance at a great price.

This makes the Dolphin Premier an ideal choice for inground pool owners looking for a high-quality, efficient, and adaptable pool cleaning solution that simplifies maintenance and ensures a pristine pool with minimal effort. Perfect for inground and above-ground pools up to 50ft long, the Dolphin Premier can tackle any pool surface. From vinyl, gunite, and fiberglass, the Premier is built to handle anything.

After watching the Dolphin Premier for weeks, it sits at the top of our best robotic pool cleaner list. With an easy-to-use interface, quickset up, and superior performance to other robotic pool cleaners, the 2024 Dolphin Premier is the best pool robot of the year.

Read my review on the Dolphin Premier →

Dolphin Sigma Robotic Pool Cleaner

Dolphin Sigma

“Hey Siri, Clean My Pool”

The Dolphin Sigma makes cleaning your swimming pool that easy. With a simple voice command, the Sigma cleans. The Dolphin Sigma stands out in the 2024 Dolphin ProLine, as it presents a combination of unique advanced features coupled with commercial-grade power. With more features than other Dolphin pool robots within the myDolphin Plus app, the Dolphin Sigma stands out as a top choice.

The highlight of the Dolphin Sigma is how powerful and easy to use it is. The coupling of commercial-grade performance of the ProLine, combined with the smartphone app, the Sigma was one of our favorite robotic pool cleaners to test.

Most Technologically Advanced Pool Robot

One of its hallmark features is the integration of a gyroscope, which powers the robot's SmartNav 3.0 and stability, allowing for more precise and efficient cleaning patterns. The Dolphin Sigma navigated around stairs and pool ladders with ease. This technological advancement ensures the Sigma can navigate complex pool landscapes with ease, making it an ideal choice for pool owners with challenging pool shapes or varied debris types.

Dolphin Sigma Waterline Cleaning on Tile
Clean your entire pool with waterline cleaning

Clean Like a Pro

In addition to its advanced navigation system, the Sigma is powered by triple commercial-grade motors and quad scrubbing brushes, offering unmatched vacuuming ability. The Dolphin Sigma also shares 97% of its parts with a much more expensive commerical model, costing well over $2,000. This level of power allows the Sigma to tackle leaves, twigs, and debris more effectively than typical pool cleaners.

With powerful commercial motors, the Sigma cleans the waterline like a pro. With an increased flow rate, the robot filters over 4500 gallons per hour. Acting as a secondary filter on your pool, the Dolphin Sigma doesn’t just clean large debris. Thanks to its included NanoFiltration, the Dolphin Sigma can clean what other robots can’t: microscopic debris.

Dolphin Sigma Robotic Pool Cleaner NanoFilters
Sigma includes the newer NanoFilters, allowing you to capture debris that passes through mesh filters

Gen-2 Filtration

Don’t settle for less. Most pool robots only include a standard mesh filter. This mesh filter has larger pores compared to NanoFilters. Up close, you can see the difference between the two. With deep polyester ridges, NanoFilters can filter out fine particles out of the water column, ensuring crystal-clear water.

But why don’t more robots come with these filters?

It’s simple. Without larger and more powerful motors, most robotic pool cleaners cannot force water through the NanoFilter’s membrane. Thanks to the commercial-grade motors, the Sigma motors can efficiently filter your pool water through NanoFiltration like no other.

These Gen-2 filters help unlock a deeper clean that you won’t anywhere else except ProLine and Max-Series models. The results of NanoFiltration were above any other filter. Due to the mesh filters missing debris that NanoFiltration captured, we would recommend a pool robot with NanoFiltration or something comparable.

myDolphin Plus App
Control the Dolphin Sigma from anywhere - schedule, clean, & more right from the app

Best Robotic Pool Cleaner with an App

The myDolphin Plus App integration takes the Dolphin Sigma's convenience and functionality to the next level, offering "Connect Anywhere" capability. While some robots only include Bluetooth connectivity, the 2024 Sigma model steps it up with Wi-Fi. This feature allows users to control their pool cleaning experience from anywhere, at any time, via their smartphone (and even via Siri!). Users can schedule cleaning sessions, select cleaning modes, and monitor the robot's status, all through a user-friendly interface.

We loved how we were able to see Sigma’s cleaning history after we ran it over 50 cycles in our testing. The Wi-Fi made it easy to start cleaning even when we were out of the house. It even would alert us when it was done cleaning the pool!

Does the Dolphin Sigma work without Wi-Fi? If your Sigma doesn’t have access to Wi-Fi, you can access the app and all the features via Bluetooth as well!

Dolphin Sigma Robotic Pool Cleaner Cleaning
Powerful and efficient, with 4 independent scrubbing brushes & a tri-motor design

Is the Dolphin Sigma worth it?

This combination of smart connectivity, advanced motor technology, and superior filtration makes the Dolphin Sigma a top-tier choice for those seeking a premium, efficient, and convenient pool cleaning solution. It's at the top of the list for the best Dolphin robotic pool cleaners for a reason, and the premium features and value make it one of the best cleaners of the year.

Read my review on the Dolphin Sigma →

Blue Helix One Robotic Pool Cleaner

Blue Helix One

While most of the best robotic pool cleaners are Dolphin, the Blue Helix One stood out in our testing. We didn’t expect the impressive cleaning results, especially in a cleaner under $1000.

The Best Value Robotic Pool Cleaner

Highlighted on the list as the best value robotic pool cleaner, the Blue Helix One packs features found on premium pool robots at a lower price. With waterline cleaning, weekly timer, smartphone app, and focus cleaning mode, the Blue Helix One reins as our top pick for the best value robotic pool cleaner.

Blue Helix One's Dual Filters
Blue Helix One's Dual High Capacity Filters with Leaves

Impressive Cleaning Coverage

The Blue Helix One robotic pool cleaner sets a new standard in pool maintenance with its advanced waterline cleaning, which outperforms many competitors in this price range. The ability to reach the waterline and scrub away algae and debris is something you only usually find in cleaners that cost $1,000 or more.

In addition to its cleaning capabilities, the Blue Helix One offers a selection of other features that make cleaning your pool easier. With the smartphone app, we spent over 30 minutes just controlling and driving the Blue Helix around the pool. Once we were done, we could simply set the weekly timer to clean at whatever frequency we wanted.

Focus Cleaning Mode

Simply set the Blue Helix to clean where it's needed most: Floor, Walls, Waterline, or a combination of any. Whether you want it to only stick on the pool floors or only clean the waterline, the Blue Helix offers a more customized clean. This was a feature not found on most robots that we wish more cleaners would incorporate.

Bluye Helix One Waterline Cleaning
Blue Helix One's Advanced Waterline Cleaning

What is it missing?

So the Blue Helix is cheaper, but what’s missing? Well, not much.

It’ll lack the commercial-grade motors and NanoFilters offered by the more premium models but it does deliver a strong value. After watching and testing over 50 pool robots, we were amazed at how well Blue Helix One performed, especially at this price point.

Is the Blue Helix One worth it?

By offering a high-end cleaning experience without the high-end price tag, the Blue Helix One positions itself as one of the best value robotic pool cleaner on the market. We loved the advanced features and found it to be a great bargain. While we wish it had NanoFiltration and a longer warranty, the Blue Helix One is well worth it and poses itself as one of the values in 2024.

Dolphin Explorer E70 Lifestyle

Dolphin Explorer E70

At the top of the Dolphin Explorer line, the Dolphin Explorer E70 is one of the best pool robots of the year. Although the E70 comes with the biggest price tag on our list, it comes with a host of features that allow the robot to clean large pools with ease.

The Most Expensive Robotic Pool Cleaner

At around $2,000, it is quite pricey – but it does come with a variety of features such as an included caddy, unique temperature sensor, and pickup mode. In our testing, we wanted to see how the Explorer E70 compares to some of the other top cleaners. So, let’s dive into what we found.

Dolphin Explorer E70 Cleaning
High performing motors filter over 4500 gallons per hour

High Performance. Higher Cost.

The Dolphin Explorer E70 cleans with ease, thanks to its powerful motors. Easily reaching the pool’s waterline, the Explorer makes vacuuming and cleaning your pool easy. With a dual layer filter basket, the outside panels are ultrafine filters with an inside mesh filter. This allows it to separate the larger debris from the smaller particles.

Larger Filter Basket

Compared to the rest of the Dolphin Explorer line, the Dolphin Explorer E70 utilizes a larger filter bin. Similar to the size of the Quantum’s XXL MaxBin, the basket was easy to clean and use. When compared to the Dolphin Max-Series and ProLine’s NanoFiltration, there was no improvement in cleaning ability. So it is on par with the rest of our lineup so far, but it is a bit more expensive.

Dolphin Explorer E70 Dual Layer Filter Basket
the dolphin Explorer E70 utilizes a unique dual layer filter basket

Easy to Use App

Just like the Dolphin Sigma, we loved how easy it is to use the app. Simple set when you want to run it via its Advanced Weekly Timer. The Explorer E70 automatically turned on and cleaned our pool.

The added manual control and advanced weekly timer aren’t included with every Wi-Fi model, so we are glad Maytronics added it to their top-shelf unit. With pickup mode, you can set the robot to go towards the wall and sit at the waterline to be picked up. This was a lifesaver, as the Dolphin Explorer E70 was significantly heavier than other pool robots.

Dolphin Explorer E70 with Universal Caddy
The Dolphin Explorer E70 includes the Universal Caddy in the box

Is it worth it?

The Dolphin Explorer E70 comes with the same 3-year warranty as the Sigma and Premier. It does include the caddy in the box as well, which is nice. However, at the larger price tag, you’re paying more for around the same performance plus a few extra features – namely a temperature sensor and pickup mode.

Is the Dolphin Explorer E70 one of the best pool robots of 2024? Absolutely. It stands out with unique features and fantastic cleaning ability. But is it one of the best values? Probably not. In comparison to some of the other cleaners on our list, such as the ProLine’s comparable Dolphin Sigma and Dolphin Premier, it costs significantly more than its alternatives.

Dolphin Quantum

The Dolphin Quantum is a part of both the Dolphin ProLine and Max-Series, With innovative NanoFilters, XXL MaxBin, Waterline Cleaning, & more. The Dolphin Quantum blends the benefits of each while being a fraction of the price.

Dolphin Quantum Robotic Pool Cleaner

High Value, High Performing

Compared to units like the Dolphin Explorer E70, you get nearly all the same features (such as Waterline Cleaning and a Top Loading Bin), at about half the price – talk about value.

We loved testing the Quantum. With the weekly timer, we could just set and forget. For up to about a week, the Quantum would run daily and vacuum our pool automatically. The Quantum utilizes PowerJet 3D Mobility to power itself horizontally alongside the waterline – allowing full pool coverage.

Dolphin Quantum Robotic Pool Cleaner XXL MaxBin
The XXL Maxbin is 225% larger and easier to clean than standard cartridge filters

XXL MaxBin

Lastly filtration, the Quantum utilizes the MaxBin. This is 2nd generation filtration from Maytronics. As a result of direct feedback from earlier models like the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus which filter’s assembly consisted of two smaller filters and six total parts, the new MaxBin has nothing to disassemble. But the Quantum, unlike its siblings in the Max-Series, has a larger XXL MaxBin. This has over 400in2, which is 225% larger than the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus’ filters.

Second Gen NanoFiltration

With included NanoFiltration, the Dolphin Quantum can take the cleaning level up a notch. These filters simply pop into Quantum’s filter basket – allowing you to capture dirt, debris, and algae that other cleaners would miss. Only available in select ProLine and Max-Series models, we found cleaning up small debris a breeze with these filters, especially compared to other robots that often missed them.

Dolphin Quantum Robotic Pool Cleaner Waterline Cleaning
HyperBrush Technology: Scrubbing the waterline with precision and power

Is the Dolphin Quantum worth it?

If you’re looking for a top-load cleaner that provides professional-level performance, this is the cleaner for you. With a weekly timer, waterline cleaning, NanoFilters, and an XXL MaxBin, the Quantum is one of the best pool robots we’ve ever tested.

While it doesn’t have the 3-year warranty found in the Premier, Sigma, or Explorer E70, it is a significant discount on these units.

Read my review on the Dolphin Quantum →

Best Above Ground Pool Cleaners

Above-ground pools can be a headache, especially for first-time pool owners. Luckily the constant need to vacuum, clean, and scrub, can be eliminated via a robotic pool cleaner. Designed specifically for above-ground pools, these top picks for above-ground pool cleaners can help narrow down your search for a robotic pool cleaner.

Dolphin Cayman Robotic Pool Cleaner

Dolphin Cayman

The Dolphin Cayman stands out as the best choice for owners of small inground and above-ground pools, thanks to its revolutionary cleaning automation. Highlighted by its Weekly Smart Timer, the Cayman will automatically run and clean your pool – something offered by no other cleaner in this price range.

Excellent Vacuum and Suction Power

Beyond automation, the Cayman excels in cleaning both the pool floor and walls, a capability enhanced by its HyperBrush and SmartNav 2.0 technology. The HyperBrush spins twice as fast as the cleaner itself, effectively tackling algae and debris better than other models.

Dolphin Cayman Robotic Pool Cleaner Maxbin
The Maxbin pops directly out from the top and can be cleaned with one hand.


Additionally, its MaxBin filtration system is larger and easier to clean than standard filters, with an option to upgrade to NanoFiltration panels for even better performance. This basket could capture leaves, twigs, and even small bugs in our test pool! To clean, simply dump and rinse. It took us less than a minute to clean!

With two powerful motors, the Cayman filters 4000 gallons per hour (GPH). Compared to other robotic pool cleaners we tested that only filter around 1000 GPH, the power upgrade on this cleaner is significant in comparison.

Dolphin Cayman Robotic Pool Cleaner Timer
The Weekly Timer - the only robot in its class with one

Weekly Timer

While testing the 2024 models, we noticed Dolphin removed the weekly timer option from nearly every robot under $900. But they did not remove it from the Dolphin Cayman, as it includes the weekly timer in the 2024 model. This timer is what allows the robot to automatically clean. What most people don't know is that this is the only way to schedule a Dolphin pool robot. They aren't compatible with external or 3rd party timers per Maytronics. So having this programmable weekly timer is a big deal that a lot of robotic pool cleaner buyyers miss.

Luckily for the Cayman, the 2024 model kept this timer. And we are glad to see it! It made using the Cayman and cleaning our test pool a lot easier.

Is the Dolphin Cayman worth it?

Overall, the Dolphin Cayman offers a blend of convenience and efficiency, providing a top-notch cleaning experience with minimal hassle. This Max-Series model makes pool cleaning easy. Its automated operation, comprehensive cleaning abilities, and superior filtration make it an excellent investment for those seeking a hassle-free pool maintenance solution.

Read my review on the Dolphin Cayman →

Dolphin Escape

The flagship above-ground robotic pool cleaner from Maytronics, the Dolphin Escape, is one of the best above-ground and small inground pool cleaners for 2024.

Dolphin Escape Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Best Above Ground Pool Cleaner

The Dolphin Escape robotic pool cleaner stands out for its efficient and automated cleaning of above-ground and small in-ground pools. Equipped with the latest SmartNav 2.0 technology, we put the newest 2024 model to the test.

The Escape intelligently navigated around obstacles, ensuring thorough floor coverage. Its energy-efficient design, featuring Dual DC motors, significantly reduces power consumption compared to traditional pressure-side and suction-side cleaners, while being significantly more powerful.

Dolphin Escape Robotic Pool Cleaner emptying bin
The Max-Series' exclusive MaxBin

Another MaxBin Standout

The Escape is equipped with a large, top-loading MaxBin filter capable of capturing a wide range of debris, from fine particles to large leaves. This means one thing: less frequent cleaning is required.

For those who struggle with small particles, the optional NanoFilters can capture even smaller contaminants that the standard filter misses, enhancing water clarity. These panels fit right into the basket, upgrading the existing mesh filters that miss smaller debris. We found the Escape to perform noticeably better with the NanoFiltration.

Dolphin Escape Robotic Pool Cleaner Cleaning the Pool
The ultimate above ground pool cleaner

Is the Dolphin Escape worth it?

Overall, the Dolphin Escape offers a blend of convenience, efficiency, and advanced features at a competitive price. The Escape is a reliable, low-maintenance cleaning solution that won’t break the bank. The inclusion of a 2-year warranty is great to see as well – knowing the Escape will clean your pool for pool seasons to come.

Read my review on the Dolphin Escape →

Dolphin Liberty 200 Cordless Pool Robot

Dolphin Liberty 200

Our top pick for a cordless robotic pool cleaner, the Dolphin Liberty 200. Amidst all the downsides of a cordless battery-operated cleaner, we recognize that some pool owners may still need a cordless pool robot. When a pool does not have access to an outlet, a cordless pool robot may be a solution. In our testing, the Dolphin Liberty 200 was our favorite cordless model that we’ve tested and should be considered in your search for the best cordless pool robot.

The Best Cordless Pool Robot

With the ability to drop and go, the Dolphin Liberty is a cordless solution for pool owners. It charges in the back via an inductive charger. However, you cannot swap out the battery – as the robot must be recharged after every cycle. We are looking forward to the day when the robot batteries are powerful enough to run 2-3 cycles before requiring a recharge. Unfortunately, that day has not yet arrived.

Dolphin Liberty 200 Inductive Charging
The Liberty 200 needs to be recharged after ever clean

Unlike other cleaners on our list, we were very disappointed that the Dolphin Liberty 200 doesn’t have a programmable timer so it cannot automatically turn on and off. But rather you need to charge it after each cleaning cycle, which was a pain.

The performance is on par with the Dolphin Cayman. With wall and floor coverage, the Dolphin Liberty 200 can scale 90-degree walls easily. With an active scrubbing brush, it doesn’t just vacuum – but also scrubs.

Top Loading Filter Basket

The Liberty was a pro at capturing larger debris in its filter basket. Easy to open and remove, it performs on par with the rest of the Dolphin lineup. However, it lacks one crucial feature: NanoFiltration. The reason is simple. The battery power available today on cordless models would struggle to force water through a NanoFilter.

Is the Dolphin Liberty 200 worth it?

With impressive vacuuming power, it outperformed all the other cordless robotic pool cleaners. It is the best battery-operated robotic pool cleaner we tested. While it is a great cleaner, the need for constant charging really held it back from being higher up on our list.

Hopefully, Maytronics and other brands such as Aiper and Polairs can improve on battery technology. But for the time being, the cordless pool robots simply don’t compete with the corded robots when it comes to power, filtration ability, and automation.

Key Features to Look For

Throughout our months of product testing, we found the top features that stand out on a robotic pool cleaner. These are the key features that separate the best robotic pool cleaners from the rest of the pack:


A robotic pool cleaner is essentially a self-propelled vacuum designed to remove debris, dirt, and algae from your pool. While the most basic models will clean the pool floor, more advanced models will clean the walls and. The top-tier models even clean the waterline and above the water!

Unlike manual vacuuming, which requires physical effort and time, a robotic cleaner does the job autonomously. The right robotic pool cleaner ensures a consistently clean pool without the need for constant supervision or manual vacuuming and brushing. This efficiency in cleaning not only maintains the aesthetic appeal of your pool but also contributes to a healthier swimming environment by removing contaminants that can affect water quality.

Dolphin Cayman Programmable Timer
Experience full automated cleanings with a Weekly Timer


Automation stands out as an indispensable feature for pool owners. There are a surprising number of pool robots sold that cannot turn the robot on and off automatically each day. Equipped with a weekly programmable timer, a robotic pool cleaner can autonomously initiate daily cleaning sessions, ensuring your pool remains pristine with minimal effort on your part. The capability to operate each and every day for a week is game-changing. Your assistance is only needed when it's time to empty the filter —a task that can be managed in a few minutes.

Automatic timer functionality, absent in most low-end pool robots, eliminates the need for manual activation. Given the specific power requirements of robotic pool cleaners, they cannot be connected to an external timer for operation. Hence, opting for a model with an integrated Weekly Timer eradicates the hassle of daily manual startups. From our experience, a timer is a must-have and we wouldn’t consider a robot without it. This convenient feature allows you to spend your time enjoying your swimming pool rather than maintaining it.

Scrubbing Brushes

Scrubbing brushes on a robotic pool cleaner play a pivotal role in maintaining the cleanliness and appearance of your pool. While most robotic pool cleaners are equipped with a rotating scrubbing brush, you’ll want to avoid cleaners without an active rotating scrubbing brush.

Spinning brushes work by agitating and dislodging algae, bacteria, and dirt that cling to the pool's floor and walls, which are then vacuumed up by the cleaner. Advanced models feature brushes made from durable materials designed to tackle various surfaces, including tiles and liners, without causing damage. As we witnessed in our test pool, these scrubbing brushes made a large difference in cleaning ability. A robot with an active rotating scrubbing brush outperformed the units with static brushes or sweeps on the bottom of the robot. This feature significantly enhances the overall functionality of the robotic cleaner, making it a must-have tool for pool maintenance.


Robotic pool cleaners come with built-in filtration systems that capture dirt, debris, and even leaves that may plague your pool. With the right robot and filtration, a robotic pool cleaner can reduce the workload on your pool's main filtration system, which can even help reduce your chemical usage. With a variety of filters available, let’s dive into the most popular 3 filters to look for:

Dolphin NanoFilters vs Standard Filters
Dolphin NanoFilters vs Standard Mesh Filters

Mesh Filters

Mesh filters are the standard in almost all pool cleaners. These filters are designed to capture larger debris such as leaves, large particles, and even bugs. These filters are constructed from a durable mesh material that allows water to flow through while trapping the debris. The primary advantage of mesh filters is their ability to handle high volumes of debris without clogging, making them ideal for pools with lots of larger debris. Although they are effective at removing larger particles, mesh filters are not suited for capturing fine particles, algae, or silt.

Dolphin NanoFilters clean deeper


If your pool has a lot of small particles, such as algae or sand, NanoFilters are the solution. These second-generation filters are more advanced and designed to capture extremely fine particles from the pool water, including dust, algae, and even some bacteria. As demonstrated in the video, we noticed how the NanoFilters captured more debris and dirt that passed through the standard filters.

These filters use NanoFiltration to provide a much finer mesh than standard filters, offering superior cleaning performance that results in crystal-clear water. NanoFilters are particularly beneficial for pools that are prone to small debris or for pool owners who demand the highest water quality. Despite their fine filtration capabilities, these filters require more frequent cleaning due to their ability to trap more small particles and debris, but the result is significantly improved water clarity and a cleaner pool.

Leaf Bags

Leaf bags are used with some pool cleaners to specifically target leaf and larger debris collection. Leaf bags are particularly useful in the Fall or in areas with a lot of trees, reducing the need for manual skimming and vacuuming. This helps maintain crystal-clear pool water.

The Dolphin Premier is the only Dolphin pool robot with a Leaf Bag. Thanks to MultiMedia, the Dolphin Premier isn’t limited to just the Leaf Bag – as it includes NanoFilters, Standard Mesh Filters, and a Leaf Bag. Simply swap filters to your pool’s needs in seconds. MultiMedia is a convenient solution for dealing with seasonal debris challenges.

Battery vs Corded

With so many cordless pool robots entering the market, you may be choosing between a battery-operated and a corded robotic pool cleaner. But is a battery-operated pool cleaner or corded pool robot better?

Battery-operated models offer the convenience of cordless operation, eliminating the need to have an outlet nearby. They are particularly suited for pools where running a cord to the pool area is challenging. However, this comes at the compromise of power, filters, automation, and cleaning ability. In our testing of some of the top cordless models, such as Aiper and the Dolphin Liberty 200, the robots had to be recharged after every single cleaning cycle – which made using the cordless robots a pain. With the need to charge after every clean, a cordless battery-operated pool robot can become a headache for pool owners.

On the other hand, corded models, while requiring access to a power source, typically offer full automation, more filters, more power, full pool coverage, and continuous power without the need to recharge, making them the ideal robotic pool cleaner.

Dolphin Liberty 200 Floor Cleaning
The Cordless Dolphin Liberty 200

Battery Life

For battery-operated robotic pool cleaners, battery life is a key factor to consider. Battery-operated models usually only can run one cleaning cycle before being recharged. Without the ability to be automated via a weekly timer, you’ll need to put the robot in the pool and take it out to charge daily.

Like a phone’s battery, pool robot batteries lose charge over time. You’ll want to be aware that over time the battery life will go down over time. While it may clean for a full 90-minute cycle in the first few runs, there have been reports from customers that it often cleans for less over time. During our testing, we noticed the same thing after a few weeks of usage – where the robot wouldn’t even clean the entire cleaning cycle as it would shut off early. So, you’ll want to consider this before going with a cordless pool robot.

Dolphin Commercial-Grade Motors
The Commercial-Grade Motors found on the Dolphin ProLine

Motors & Power

The motor is the heart of a robotic pool cleaner, driving both its mobility and vacuum suction power. Not all pool robot motors are made equal. High-quality motors ensure efficient and effective cleaning by providing the necessary suction to remove debris and the propulsion to navigate across different pool surfaces.

The power of a robotic pool cleaner is crucial for its performance. A powerful cleaner can easily handle various debris sizes, from large leaves to fine particulates, ensuring a thorough cleaning. The power also affects the cleaner's ability to climb and scrub the pool walls and steps, areas that are often challenging for other models that will strictly stick to the floor. Investing in a robotic cleaner with adequate power ensures that your pool remains spotlessly clean with minimal effort.

Advanced models come with powerful commercial-grade motors. These motors filter over 4500 gallons per hour (GPH). These motors are taken directly from commercial pool robots and offered at a lower price. Compared to some cleaners that only filter around 600 GPH, you’ll want the extra power as it directly correlates with the robot’s performance. We recommend pool robots only with 4000 GPH, otherwise, the cleaner will not have enough power to thoroughly clean your swimming pool.


There you have it! Balancing the options such as filters, motors, and warranty, it can be a tough choice. Each robot can help transform your pool maintenance routine by automating cleaning. Investing in a robotic pool cleaner can result in a cleaner, healthier swimming pool. That way, you can enjoy your pool without the worry of maintaining it.

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Need help?

Need help choosing a pool robot still?

Contact our team of pool professionals at Pool Express at our contact page. Let us know the details of your pool and needs, and we will be happy to help you find the perfect robotic pool cleaner!