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Best Robotic Pool Cleaners (2022): Top Picks From Polaris, Dolphin & More

Having your own pool at home is a great way to relax, exercise, or simply unwind. However, they require routine maintenance to ensure you’re plunging into safe, clean, and hygienic waters. These days, robotic pool cleaners have made the task less taxing. The challenge now is choosing the right one. Below, we’ve narrowed down the best models and included user reviews to help you out. Looking for more ideas? Check out our recommendations for pools and hot tubs.

Best Robotic Pool Cleaners Comparison Chart

ModelProduct ImagePrice
Polaris Alpha IQ+ 
Paxcess Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner
Dolphin Oasis Z5i
Dolphin Escape
Hayward AquaNaut 400

Polaris Alpha IQ+ 

The best smart robotic pool cleaner.

The best smart robotic pool cleaner
This futuristic-looking robotic pool cleaner from Polaris supports full-featured app control.

Known for its smart and versatile robots, Polaris is no stranger to the list of the best. The Polaris Alpha IQ+, for instance, is an intelligent robotic pool cleaner that builds on the strengths of another popular model, the Polaris 9650iQ Sport. What the Alpha IQ+ does better, however, is offer an improved navigation system, smarter pool readings, and a more refined design.

Like most Polaris robots, the Alpha IQ+ comes with the Easy Lift Removal system, allowing the machine to climb the wall of your pool for removal. It also boasts an easy-to-clean filter canister and a premium caddie for portability and convenient storage.

Of course, the biggest draw of the Polaris Alpha IQ+ is its smart features, particularly support for full-featured app control. Thanks to the companion iAquaLink app, homeowners can manage cleaning schedules, monitor water temperature, and remotely control the robot. As one user puts it, the Alpha IQ+ is the “best top-flight robotic cleaner on (the) market, hands down.

Pool Type: In-ground | Coverage: Floor, walls, waterline | Cable Length: 70 ft.

Paxcess Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner

The best budget robotic pool cleaner.

The best budget robotic pool cleaner
At just 12.5 lb., the Paxcess robotic pool cleaner is also a lightweight option.

If you’re on a budget, then the Paxcess Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner is the best robotic pool cleaner to buy. The automatic cleaner is equipped with a 5,000mAh battery that can run for 60 to 90 minutes. In addition, you get 30 minutes of fade-free power from the robot. One shopper says, “it cleans the entire pool with no issue in one go.

Designed for in-ground and above-ground pools, the Paxcess can tackle leaf, sand, and clay. Its bottom brush sweeps pool floors to loosen settled debris, while two large suction doors take in all the dirt. While it can’t climb floors, the Paxcess can move across slopes up to 15ΒΊ in angle. Once it detects it’s running low on battery, the robotic pool cleaner will automatically stop near the pool shore for easier removal.

Retailing at around $400, which is half the price of most models, the Paxcess does cut some corners. For instance, there is no smart app compatibility here. If you want to change its cleaning route, you’ll need to manually adjust the nozzles, too. But given its performance, the absence of this feature seems a small price to pay.

Pool Type: In-ground, above-ground | Coverage: Floor | Cable Length: N/A

Dolphin Oasis Z5i

Most efficient robotic pool cleaner.

Most efficient robotic pool cleaner.
Here’s a look at the key features of the Dolphin Oasis Z5i.

Like Polaris, Dolphin is another heavyweight when it comes to robotic pool cleaners. Its Dolphin Oasis Z5i is a top-rated model powered by dual, commercial-grade drive motors known for exceptional suction power. If you need deep-cleaning, this is the pool cleaner to get.

Dolphin’s Oasis Z5i is equipped with a built-in gyro for advanced navigation. As such, the robot can scrub pool floors, walls, waterlines, and even coves. Dolphin says that, like the rest of its pool cleaners, the Oasis Z5i is eight times more efficient than other pressure and suction cleaners. In fact, the Oasis doesn’t need additional hoses or pumps to clean. Instead, advanced sensors allow the robot to scan your pool and take the most efficient cleaning route.

Since it’s Wi-Fi-compatible, the Oasis Z5i can also be controlled remotely via the MyDolphin app. For additional convenience, the app also allows homeowners to schedule clean times or activate cleaning timers. Given all its features, the Oasis Z5i does come at a price. However, the benefits should outweigh the price tag. As one shopper puts it, “do not hesitate to buy this model!”

Pool Type: Above-ground | Coverage: Floor, wall, waterline, coves | Cable Length: 60 ft., swivel

Dolphin Escape

The best robotic pool cleaner for above-ground pools.

The best robotic pool cleaner for above-ground pools.
Lightweight and powerful, the Dolphin Escape is efficient at cleaning above-ground pool floors.

For sparkling, above-ground pool floors, shoppers vouch for the Dolphin Escape. More affordable than the premium Oasis Z5i, the Escape nonetheless brings a slew of features for your backyard splashes. Like its other siblings, the Escape comes with smart scanning for advanced navigation and coverage. Meanwhile, dual-scrubbing brushes allow the robot to scrub away contaminants.

The plug-and-play Escape can also power through 1.5 hours of cleaning thanks to a 5000mAh battery. That’s enough to deliver 4000gph of suction and clean a maximum pool size of 30 feet. For one shopper, “it’s brilliant on all levels.

Customers also highlight the Dolphin Escape’s ergonomic and lightweight design. Weighing a little over 14 pounds, it’s easy to carry around at home, lift from the pool, and store away. Meanwhile, its top-load filter access makes cleaning and maintaining the robot hassle-free.

Pool Type: Above-ground | Coverage: Floor | Cable Length: 40 ft.

Hayward AquaNaut 400

The best robotic pool cleaner for leaves.

The best robotic pool cleaner for leaves.
Hayward’s AquaNaut 400 features high-traction tires for climbing power.

If fallen leaves are your biggest problem, consider the Hayward AquaNaut 400. The robot comes with interchangeable throats, so you can adjust the right size for the passage of debris. Its larger inlet, for instance, can suck in larger debris, including palm fronds, bugs, and small stones. Plus, it works for both the pool surface and floor. Few pool cleaners give you this versatility.

Thanks to its robust tire treads, the AquaNaut 400 can maneuver around pool floors and climb walls with ease. On the other hand, its adjustable roller skirt ensures the consistent suction power of the cleaner on uneven surfaces. According to one customer, the AquaNaut 400 “has amazing suction power and is climbing nearly the whole way up the walls and covers the whole pool well.

Hayward adds the AquaNaut 400 can work on a range of pool surfaces, including concrete, fiberglass, vinyl, and tile. It comes with a 40-feet cable and is available in white and blue variants.

Pool Type: In-ground | Coverage: Floor, walls | Cable Length: 40 ft.

Verdict

While all five cleaners are highly recommended, the Polaris Alpha IQ+ and Paxcess Robotic Pool Cleaner stand out as top-of-the-line and budget options respectively.

Robotic pool cleaners make the task of cleaning home pools easy, convenient, and even smart. Thanks to mobile app compatibility, several models can be scheduled to clean right from one’s smartphone. The Dolphin Oasis Z5i and Dolphin Escape are just two cleaners worthy of this nod. Aside from their smart features, both Dolphin robots are equipped with advanced navigation for efficient cleaning coverage.

For those who want versatile suction for small and large debris, the Hayward AquaNaut 400 is a solid choice. Among the cleaners in this list, it’s the only one with interchangeable throats. For most people, however, the Paxcess Robotic Pool Cleaner offers the most bang for your buck. But if you’re willing to splurge, it’s hard to argue against the smartest cleaner of them all, the Polaris Alpha IQ+.

FAQs

πŸ“Œ Is a robotic pool cleaner worth it?

Yes, a robotic pool cleaner is a great investment for maintaining your home pools.

πŸ“Œ How long is the warranty of the Polaris Alpha IQ+?

The Polaris Alpha IQ+ comes with a 2-year warranty.

πŸ“Œ Can I use the Dolphin Escape for cleaning in-ground pools?

The Dolphin Escape is designed for cleaning above-ground pools only.

πŸ“Œ Is the Paxcess Robotic Pool cleaner automatic?

Yes, the Paxcess Robotic Pool cleaner operates automatically. However, you will need to manually adjust its nozzles to change its navigation.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.