Maybe you have a suction or pressure-side cleaner. They’re mechanical wonders in their own right, but robotic pool cleaners are hands down the best cleaners you can get. You can’t beat the convenience of simply dropping the cleaner into your pool, especially when you compare it to fiddling with all those hoses.
But how do you choose the best robotic pool cleaner? What features do you need to look for? What do you need to know before you buy one? Sit back and relax. We did all the work for you. All you have to do is choose the one that will best meet your needs, and you’ll be on your way to a low-maintenance, immaculate pool.
Aren’t All the Best Robotic Pool Cleaners the Same?
When it comes to keeping your pool as debris-free as possible, you have three different types of automatic pool cleaners to choose from: suction-side, pressure-side, and robotic cleaners. And sure, they all clean on their own once you get them in the water. But robotic cleaners have a massive advantage over suction and pressure-side cleaners.
Robotic cleaners don’t need to be attached to your pool to get the job done. Suction-side and pressure-side cleaners get their names from where you hook them up to your pool. Robotic cleaners just need a power source, unless they have an internally charged battery.
Wait, What Do You Mean a “Power Source”?
You might worry about putting an electrically powered cleaner in your pool. That’s perfectly fine; it just means you have a healthy respect for the shocking effects of electricity in water.
But robotic cleaners run on low-voltage sources through ground-fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets. These outlets automatically shut off power if they detect any electrical imbalances, which means you won’t get zapped.
Features to Look For
Before you decide on a cleaner, it helps to know what features will be the most helpful and valuable.
While the size of a robotic pool cleaner doesn’t matter, the weight does. Sure, the bigger the pool the bigger the robot, but you need to make sure you can lift it to get it in and out of the pool. If it’s too heavy, you’ll have a hard time caring for it—and your pool—without a little help.
Wide, Four-Wheel-Drive Wheels
No, you won’t be taking it off-roading. But a robotic pool cleaner can’t do its job if it can’t get around your pool. We recommend wide, four-wheel-drive wheels made of rubber so the cleaner can easily get over bumps and won’t have any trouble navigating slippery surfaces along the sides and bottom of your pool.
Unfortunately, you can’t escape the need for cords with a pool cleaner. Because it’ll be moving around your pool and climbing vertical walls and even stairs, the cord can easily tangle, keeping the cleaner from moving. A swivel cord can help prevent tangles and give your robotic pool cleaner the freedom of movement it needs.
Removing the dirt and debris from your pool is hard work, and it’s the robotic pool cleaner’s brushes that handle it. We recommend hard-bristle brushes or rotating rubber brushes that can scrub dirt from almost any surface in your pool.
The whole point of a robotic pool cleaner is to make your life easier. If you have to go out and start it every time you want it to run, it takes away the automation and ease of use. The best cleaners come with programmable timers so you can set it and forget it. Just don’t forget to clean it out once in awhile. Even a cleaner needs to be cleaned!
Ideally, you want a robotic pool cleaner that’s good at climbing. The best ones can easily climb the sides of your pool, clean the waterline, and even climb your pool’s stairs (if you have them) to do a thorough job.
Deflecting Features and Sensors
One of the most frustrating things about robotic pool cleaners is that they can get stuck in corners from time to time. Some of them come with deflecting features that help prevent the robot from getting stuck in a corner or on other obstacles.
Efficient Cleaning Cycles
Every robotic pool cleaner has a different cleaning cycle, with some lasting longer than others. Ideally, you want one that can clean your pool as quickly and efficiently as possible while still doing a good job. Some cleaners come with multiple cycles for different levels of cleaning.
A robotic pool cleaner can be expensive, so you’ll want one made from high-quality materials that will last. Eventually, you may have to repair it, but you shouldn’t need to do that for at least a few swimming seasons. Read your warranty before using your cleaner so you know what to do if it fails.
The size of your robotic pool cleaner will determine how much energy it uses. You can expect smaller cleaners to consume around 200 watts of power per hour. Larger units will use more, but try to avoid models that use more than 1,000 watts per hour as they’ll cost more to operate over time.