How To Choose a Robotic Pool Cleaner

When you are doing your research to buy a robotic pool cleaner, you will find numerous different types of robotic cleaners on the market. There are many brands and models of robotic pool cleaners, each with a different design, features, and price.

By taking time to do research on what type of cleaner you want and important features, it will be easy to find the right robotic pool cleaner for your pool cleaning needs.

Choosing a Robotic Pool Cleaner

Each manufacturer offers a different collection of features, but all of them will clean your pool. For example, some cleaner models can only clean the floor, while others are able to vacuum the entire pool.

Some cleaners have a shorter cable and are designed small inground or above ground pools. And some have basic controls, while others have multiple settings and can be programmed through a mobile app or remote control.

Robot Pool Cleaner Basics

Robotic pool cleaners  work by combining low voltage electricity with water at high pressure. Pool debris is vacuumed into an onboard bag or basket by the suction created by the circulation of water past the spinning brushes. A typical robotic cleaner can clean a swimming pool in less than two hours.

Questions to Ask Yourself

1. What Type of Pool Do You Have?

Most robotic pool cleaners are made specifically for in-ground pools, but some manufacturers make models for above-ground pools, too.. If you have an aboveground pool, you need to get a robot that can clean this type of pool or else it could damage the vinyl liner.

There are some models of robots pool cleaners that can be used for both above-ground and in-ground pools but only a handful.

2. What Type of Pool Surface Does Your Pool Have?

Is it a vinyl-lined pool or a concrete/gunite pool? Some robotic cleaners are made for one type and not the other. While some models can do both, others are designed for one type only. Also, if you have a fiberglass pool, we recommend consulting your pool manufacturer or dealer before purchasing any automatic cleaner.

3. How Big Is Your Swimming Pool?

When choosing an cleaner for your swimming pool, it is important to know how big it truly is. Measure the length and width and calculate the surface area in order to determine how large your swimming pool truly is.

Robotic cleaners come in a range of sizes depending on the manufacturer, so this isn’t as big a deal as it used to be. But if your pool is larger than average — say 35 feet or more — consider getting a model with a longer cable so you won’t have to worry about its range.

4. How Many Gallons Is Your Swimming Pool?

The size of a pool is usually determined by its capacity, which is the total amount of water that the pool can hold. Pool capacity can be calculated using the following formula:

Multiply the length (L) x width (W) x average depth (D) x 7.5

The result is the total number of gallons of water in your pool. The capacity varies between about 15,000 and 35,000 gallons for most residential pools.

Once you know how many gallons your swimming pool holds, look for a robotic pool cleaner that has a cleaning cycle time that will cover your entire pool at least once and as many times as necessary to meet your pool cleaning needs. Generally, 3-hour cycles will clean up to 15,000 gallons, 4-hour cycles will clean up to 25,000 gallons and 6-hour cycles will clean up to 35,000 gallons.

5. What Do You Want It to Clean?

Robotic pool cleaners vacuum up dirt and debris from your swimming pool. The debris can include leaves, insects, and pebbles; the robotic pool cleaner sucks it into its filtration bag for later disposal.

If your only concern is picking up dirt, then any robotic cleaner will probably do. If you also want a cleaner that scrubs the surface of your pool as it goes, that’s going to narrow down your options considerably.

Some pool robots just vacuum your pool’s floor. Others clean floors, walls, and the lower wall. So you want to choose a model that does the jobs you want it to do. To get the best bang for your buck find a model that addresses all your specific needs.

What Type of Filter Is Included?

There are two types of filter configurations.

Cartridge Filtration

Filter cartridges traps dirt and dust, making it easy to insert/remove and clean the cartridges.

Bag Filtration

The filter bag is designed to provide a large surface that enables it to collect large amounts of debris.

Filter Capacity

Robotic cleaners have filter canister that collect dirt and debris while they’re operating in your pool. The larger the canister’s capacity, the longer you can run your cleaner before emptying it. A large canister  also means that it won’t need to be emptied as often as a smaller one would be.

When You’re Shopping for a Robotic Cleaner, Consider the Following Features:

Swivel Cord

A swivel cord can help robotic pool cleaners move around your pool, climb vertical walls, and even handle stairs with less tangling.

Scrubbing Brushes

Most  units have scrubbing brushes, which can help loosen debris that’s stuck to the bottom or sides of your pool. They also aid in removing algae and other contaminants from the pool walls.

Waterline Cleaning

This is an added feature on higher end models that allows the robotic pool cleaner to scrub off algae, dirt and other debris from the waterline as it cleans your swimming pool. Not all models can scrub waterlines efficiently.

Waterline Cleaning vs Wall Climbing

The waterline may also be called the tileline, as it’s where debris, algae, and bacteria may accumulate if not cleaned on a regular basis.

Some robot cleaners can climb walls, but they may not be able to scrub the line of your pool. You want the cleaner to not only thoroughly clean the walls but also to clean the waterline. If a robot fails to clean this area, you will still need to manually clean it.

Cleaning Cycles

Each robot pool cleaner has its own cycle, lasting from thirty minutes to two hours. Some even include multiple cycles for different levels of pool cleaning.

Programmable Timer

A robotic pool cleaner is equipped with a programmable timer that allows users to set the frequency and duration of a cleaning cycle. With programmable modes, you can set it to run automatically whenever you need it

Remote Controls / Connectivity

Most robotic pool cleaners can be controlled using a remote control, though not all have this feature. Depending on the model you choose, you may have access to basic functions such as start and stop or more advanced functionalities like scheduling cleanings.

Some models also offer wireless connectivity so that you can operate your robotic pool cleaner through your smartphone or computer.


The caddy offers a storage solution and makes transporting your pool cleaner easier. It also protects the scrubbing brushes by keeping pressure off them which help retain their shape.


While most robotic pool cleaners are highly reliable, it’s always good to have a long warranty in case something goes wrong. Look for at least two years on parts and labor; some retailers offer additional extended warranties for an extra cost.

Final Thoughts

Purchasing a pool robot isn’t as simple as just going to the store and picking one off the shelf. There are plenty of different options out there, with a host of features and prices to match.

A robotic pool cleaner can be great investments, both in terms of time and money. If you’ve been considering buying one for your swimming pool, now’s the time to do it. These pool cleaners make maintaining a pool easier than ever, and can save you time and money in the long run.