If you want to cut down on pool cleaning costs and keep a happier, cleaner swimming pool, you should consider the best pool vacuum robot. These bots are designed to roll around the bottom and sides of your pool, filtering out debris while also cleaning the surface to help remove any new algae or other problems.
The best of the best, and our #1 pick, is the Dolphin Nautilus Plus ($685.00), with it’s 60-foot swivel cable, intelligent mapping system, and thorough 2.5 hour cleaning cycle. This pool bot is both easy to use and very effective with 360-degree filtration, two different filters for fine and coarse particles, and cartridges that are simple to clean. That makes this model a great choice for more challenging pool shapes – but lets take a look at other factors that may be important to your unique situation.
One of the features we take a close look at is navigation. A pool bot isn’t much good if it can’t accurately read your pool shape and make sure surfaces are cleaned equally. The best options use digital mapping to scan the pool accurately, and then run a circuit without bumping into anything (something our Dolphin pick does particularly well). Great models can also scoop around the waterline and handle curves with ease.
Then we took a look at cleaning and filtration. Filtering out debris is nice, but we prefer to see rubberized brush rolls that can take care of algae and other serious pool problems too. Filter systems can either be bags or cartridges, but they should be large and easy to rinse out at the end of a cycle. And when it comes to cleaning, powerful suction is also important! Our top picks have efficient pumping systems that can move a lot of water in a short time.
Design is important as well. Simple designs that don’t require extra hook-up accessories or tubes are important: Our top picks all have pre-formed shells that don’t have any easily breakable parts, and are simple to open up if necessary. This can also affect the warranty: The durable design of our Dolphin pick is one reason that the warranty is a full 2 years instead of just one year. Hayward, meanwhile, offers up to a 3 year warranty depending on the model that you ultimately choose.
We also pay attention to, for lack of a better word, handling. These pool bots are larger than many people realize, and then need to be easy to place in the water and (this part is important), and easy to safely remove without trouble or injury. Handles and lightweight designs are particularly important here. Our top pick got the weight down to 16.5 pounds, which is great compared to the 18-20lb range that most models come in at.
While it’s sometimes hard to tell based on photos alone, one of the most important components of pool vacs is the cable. Cables should never tangle or get caught while the vacuum is running through its program. Models need to have swivel cables that re-orient themselves when necessary to avoid this…and they need to be long enough for your pool, preferably 40 feet or longer depending on your setup – and as you can imagine, more complicated hidden swimming pools may require even more cable than that.