5 Best Robotic Pool Cleaners For Under $1,000

Kenneth Wilson

Most pool owners hire professionals to clean their pool, especially if they are always busy, but for some, they prefer maintaining their pool themselves. If you’re part of the second group, why not reduce your cleaning time by getting a robotic pool cleaner?

This device can help keep your pool water clear and pristine. With its capabilities, no wonder models in the market would cost more than $1,000. But fortunately, there are robotic pool cleaners that are less than a thousand bucks while having similar features as the expensive ones.

Still, a product worth hundreds of dollars is not cheap, so you should look for a robotic pool cleaner that meets your pool needs. Here are 5 best robotic pool cleaners you can get for less than $1,000.

What is a Robotic Pool Cleaner?

Do you know what a Roomba is? Robotic pool cleaners are similar to Roombas but instead of cleaning your living room, it cleans your pool.

Robotic pool cleaners are low-voltage pool vacuum that can run by themselves. It contains chips, sensors, and a motor to move around the pool without human intervention. Most models are powered by a cord but there are also some that use rechargeable batteries, like a Roomba.

This device is one of the three types of automatic pool cleaners. Aside from robotic pool cleaners, there are also pressure-side cleaners and suction-side cleaners. But unlike these two, robotic pool cleaners don’t follow a random path and don’t need to be monitored. The other two’s pipes also easily coil and become blocked. A robotic pool cleaner can be more expensive but at least it requires less maintenance and consumes less electricity. 

Guide: Is It Worth Buying an Automatic Pool Cleaner?


  • Can clean both large and small debris
  • Works on walls, tiles, and steps
  • Most models can filter the water while cleaning
  • Compatible with a regular power outlet
  • Does not rely on filtration or pump systems
  • Captured debris doesn’t go to the filter system
  • Follows a specific pattern or programmable


  • Expensive
  • Need to manually place and remove the device from the pool
  • Have to clean the filters after each cleaning cycle
  • May increase your energy bill

Robotic Pool Cleaner Features

This device appeared in the 1980s but was mostly used for large public or commercial pools. Eventually, the technology improved and it became affordable that homeowners started using them as well. There are hundreds of models on the market with different features, here are some of them:

Electric motor/s

This is responsible for propelling the vacuum and creating suction. These efficient electric motors need little energy to do these. Unlike the other types of automated pool cleaners, robotic pool cleaners don’t rely on your pump or filter system to work. They can work independently, just like Roombas, which are autonomous.

Uses Electricity or Battery Operated

Most robotic pool cleaners are powered by electricity and can plug into regular power outlets. They should have a power supply unit to convert the 120V power into a lower voltage current of around 24V. The voltage is reduced to make it safer to use the device in water and avoid electrocution.

Note: Make sure to check if the length of the cord is suitable for the size of your pool.

There are also models that are powered by rechargeable batteries. These are completely cordless so you don’t have to worry about cables tangling, where to plug the device, or if you have enough cable length.


Similar to a regular vacuum cleaner, robotic pool cleaners also have a filter. This device sucks debris and retains it inside, which means water is also brought in. Their filters will prevent the debris from going back into the pool with clean water. There are also some models that have rotating brushes to dislodge stubborn debris or algae.

Wheels or Tracks

To move along the surface of the pool, robotic pool cleaners have wheels or tracks. Models with tracks are better for cleaning sharp corners and climbing walls. A robotic pool cleaner with wheels can match the same level as cleaners with tracks if it has a four-wheel drive. 

Computerized Intelligence

I’ve mentioned that the other types of automatic pool cleaners follow a random path while cleaning but robotic pool cleaners are intelligent. They have sensors which are used to recognize the waterline so the device won’t exit the pool. It is also used to detect angles so the robotic pool cleaner knows if it’s cleaning the floor or wall.

The processing abilities and electric sensors vary per model, as expensive ones are better at cleaning and more intelligent. For example, there are models with electric sensors that allow the device to first scan the pool and find the most effective and efficient way to clean it. Some even have a memory and gather data to continuously improve their cleaning. 


Most robotic pool cleaners have programmable cycles so you can schedule when it cleans. You can also customize pool cleaning cycles, which means you can choose whether they clean the walls, floor, waterline, or a combination of these. There are some models that have a quick mode, cleaning for a short duration but not as thorough.

Remote Control or Phone Compatibility

Since it was created to work independently, most models have remote controls so you can manually clean a certain part of the pool. You can bring it to a specific spot that needs extra cleaning. This will also help you direct the cleaner to an area where you can easily pick it up after it is done with the cleaning. There are some models that can also be connected to your phone or have an app so you can see the status and other information or control the device.

Before Buying Your Robotic Pool Cleaner

There are things you should consider so you can choose the right robotic pool cleaner for you. Here are some of them:

Pool Type

Similar to chemicals, you should also purchase a robotic pool cleaner that is suitable for your pool type. Check if the device works for above ground, in-ground, vinyl-lined, fiberglass, or whatever pool type you have. The same goes for the material - read the instructions if it can be used for vinyl, pebble tech, tile, or other pool material. 

Cleaning Capability

Robotic pool cleaners can clean walls, floor, waterline, steps, inclines, tiles, coves, and more but it depends on the model. Check the model and see which parts of your pool it can clean. Of course, you can expect that the more areas it can clean, the more expensive it would be.


The models mentioned in this article are in the price range of $700 to $1,000. If you search for a robotic pool cleaner online, you may find models less than $500 which have fewer features or more than $1,000 with high-tech features.

So before you buy any of the recommendations above, you should determine your budget and cleaning needs. After, decide if you prefer a basic model or a high-end one with all the works.

Pool Size

Make sure to buy a robotic pool cleaner that is suitable for your pool size. Not all robotic pool cleaners can accommodate large pools since they are programmed for a certain range only. Determine the limitation of the product before purchasing it. Aside from the capability, you should also make sure that the cord length is enough.


Not all robotic pool cleaners run the same schedule. There are ones you can customize while others have a fixed time. Look for a model that works best with your weekly schedule so you can let it work with less human intervention.

Energy Saving

You might have chosen a cheaper model but if it’s not energy-efficient, then your electricity bill would increase. When choosing a robotic pool cleaner, it’s best to find a model that is cost-saving.

High-end models are pricey but having quality filters and parts means fewer repairs and makes it less expensive to maintain.

Recommended Robotic Pool Cleaners

1,484 Ratings

This robotic pool cleaner comes with dual scrubbing brushes that can efficiently get rid of tough debris on the walls and floors. It uses advanced algorithms to effectively clean the entire pool. 


  • Large top load filter
  • Anti-tangle swivel cord
  • Works with in-ground swimming pools up to 50 feet
  • Can be scheduled every day, every other day, or every other third day


  • Single-button operation
  • Cleans in 2 hours
  • Easy to clean the filter cartridges
  • Energy-efficient


  • Heavy, weighs 19 pounds
50 Ratings

A rapid cleaning robotic pool cleaner that comes with a vibrating brush to efficiently clean the pool. 


  • Wall-Climbing
  • 60-foot cable
  • Works with in-ground pools
  • Has timer setting for 1.5 or 2-hour shutoff


  • Cleans inclines and waterline
  • Long cable
  • Saves energy


  • Heavy, weighs 32.5 pounds
  • Cord may tangle
388 Ratings

This model can clean the floors, walls, coves, and waterline of your pool. It has an onboard pump that can easily remove stubborn debris. 


  • Suitable for 20-inch by 40-inch pools
  • Has a 24-volt motor to use less energy
  • On-board pump for sucking up dirt and debris
  • Takes 3 hours for a complete, standard cleaning cycle


  • Can clean coves and waterline
  • Energy efficient
  • The filter cartridge system is easy to clean


  • Heavy, weighs 40 pounds
54 Ratings

A newly redesigned robotic pool cleaner that scrubs, vacuums, and filters the pool. It comes with a wireless remote so you can easily control this device.


  • Comes with a 60 Foot Cord
  • Cleans in two and a half hours
  • Can schedule cleanings
  • Works for in-ground pools


  • Cost-saving, around 20 cents per day to operate
  • Comes with a wireless remote
  • Filters the pool


  • Heavy, weighs 45 pounds
  • May struggle on walls
105 Ratings

With its superior scrubbing power, this robotic pool cleaner can intensively clean the walls and waterline.


  • Bluetooth
  • Extra-large top-loading filter basket
  • Compatible with in-ground swimming pools up to 50 feet
  • Cleans the pool in 2 hours
  • Can be scheduled to clean every day, every other day, or every third day


  • Easy to use
  • Comes with quick clean option for 1-hour cycle
  • Powerful filtration traps debris while cleaning and circulating the water
  • Connects to your smartphone using Bluetooth
  • Energy efficient
  • It’s light, weighs 16.5 pounds


  • May experience problems with Bluetooth
  • Takes several cleaning cycles to learn the geography of the pool

Choosing The Robotic Pool Cleaner Based On...

I know how choosing the right robotic pool cleaner for you isn’t easy. That’s why I created this table to show you which product or products are the best option depending on the factor that is important to you. Find out which model is suggested the most based on the factors.




Cleaning Time

Dolphin Triton

Has a quick clean option for 1-hour cycle

Cleaning Coverage


Cleans the walls, floor, coves, and waterline

Pool Filtering


Both can clean and filter the water

Dolphin Nautilus


Dolphin Nautilus

Single-button operation

Least Expensive


Price is less than $750


Dolphin Nautilus

Easy to clean the cartridge

Remote Control


Comes with a wireless remote


Dolphin Triton

Connects to your smartphone

Cord Length


Both have a cord with a length of 60 feet


Tangle-Free Cord

Dolphin Nautilus

Has an anti-tangle swivel cord



Uses a 24-volt motor

Filter size

Dolphin Nautilus

Comes with a large top load filter

Pool Depth

Dolphin Nautilus

Works with pools up to 50 feet

Unit weight

Dolphin Triton

Only weighs 16.5 pounds

Kenneth Wilson
December 13, 2019

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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