If you're one of the lucky Australian's to have your own pool then I'm jealous, I really am. But even I know from staying in a few luxury villas while working for Best Five over the years that cleaning the pool is a chore most people hate!
If you've got the money then why not get a robotic pool cleaner and let the power of technology clean your pool fast and efficient every single time.
Until recently, these cleaners were very expensive but with advancements in technology and new brands in this relatively untouched market, the prices are constantly coming down.
Today we're looked at five of the very best robotic pool cleaners money can buy to suit every size of backyard pool. The question is, do you want to make your life easier?
Why buy a robotic pool cleaner?
The days of the suction pool cleaner, or pool vacuum, with the long hoses lying around the water are beginning to change.
Robotic pool cleaners have come on to the market in a big way and are becoming more affordable for the average pool owner.
Robotic cleaners are excellent for doing a complete pool clean in a short period of time (up to 4 hours) every few days in the season.
Robotic cleaners clean the walls as well as the floor of the pool, and many also clean algae and bacterial growth.
When not in use they can be taken out of the pool and easily put way out of sight as they are fairly small, unlike suction cleaners.
They do need cleaning after each use but that is usually not a tedious task.
With a robotic cleaner, there are no annoying pipes in the water, no annoying ticking noises and no rippling water from the suctioning.
You do need to make sure that the robotic cleaner you choose is compatible with the surface of your pool, but otherwise, a robotic cleaner is great if you don’t like the annoyance of a suction cleaner in your pool all the time.
Best Robotic Pool Cleaner
1. ZODIAC CX20
The Zodiac CX20 is truly part of the e-generation in pool cleaners. It features a unique cyclonic suction technology for optimum Push’n’Go to clean the floor and walls of your pool, whatever the shape, whatever the surface and without inconvenience.
The strong constant and consistent suction allows the Zodiac to continue to pick up all the debris in your pool including large leaves and even heavy gum nuts throughout the cleaning process.
And if your pool is more inclined to collect finer dust and dirt than larger pieces you have the option of purchasing a 100-micron filter basket as well as the normal filter canister.
The suction combined with powerful brushing action helps the germination and build-up of algae and bacteria so there’s less need for chemicals.
The eBox control panel has floor and wall settings for optimum cleaning, including a Surface Control System to adjust the settings for wall cleaning between rough and smooth surfaces.
The Zodiac will not only move easily from floor to wall, but it will also happily navigate steps. The eBox will map out the movement of the Zodiac to maximise its efficiency in cleaning your pool.
And the filter canister is both hygienic and easy to remove and empty with its Push’n’Go release button. Emptying the canister of debris is the only maintenance you need to do.
The Zodiac CX20 is great for concrete, pebblecrete, quartzon, fibreglass, and vinyl. It is not recommended for tiled pools.
2. Davey PoolSweepa
The Davey PoolSweepa is an intelligent new age pool cleaner which will navigate your pool area and then map out the most efficient way to clean it taking into account its obstacles (steps) and contours (corners).
It cleans the floor, walls, steps, and waterline using a series of predetermined passes. At the end of its cleaning cycle, it will automatically shut itself off. It has an auto shut off mechanism as well to prevent accidental burn out when out of the water.
The PoolSweepa can manage a pool up to 12m in length, including a beach entry pool.
The single-speed motor can be switched between a 240V to a 24V for maximum efficiency and lowest running cost. It doesn’t need to be connected to any pool systems so is environmentally friendly. It scrubs, brushes, vacuums and filters for optimum anti-bacterial and anti-fungal results.
It has an ultra-fine filter bag to catch even the finest of dust.
This robotic pool cleaner is a winner for convenience and ease of use. Just start it up and let it do its thing. No getting stuck in a corner or on a step. And it’s quick! The multi-actions it employs ensure that your pool really is clean when the PoolSweepa is done!
3. Zodiac MX6 Baracuda
The Zodiac MX6 Baracuda pool cleaner is a compact yet powerful robotic pool cleaner with patented smart technology.
With the advantage of X-Drive Navigation, it provides total pool coverage via its superior manoeuvrability, which allows it to reverse out of corners and follow the sweep of the pool’s contours. It is pre-programmed to cover the entire pool as efficiently as possible.
The Cyclonic Vacuum Technology means that the MX6 gives a thoroughly clean result by collecting all debris of all shapes and sizes whilst maintaining maximum cleaning power.
The vacuum is a mechanical hydraulic suction system. It combines a fan/propeller on the base of the unit which creates a vortex to clean the algae, and the vacuum system picks up the debris.
The MX6 has a Flex power turbine with a maximum torque whilst operating at a low flow – this gives the MX6 ultimate efficiency.
And if you do need to access the interior of the unit it’s a simple one-click process.
The MX6 is suitable for all pools, both in-ground and above. And of all surfaces: tile, concrete, pebblecrete, quartzon, fibreglass and vinyl. The maximum size pool the MX6 can manage is 9M x 5M.
4. Davey PoolSweepa Floorcova
The Davey Floorcova robotic pool cleaner is a straightforward and simple pool cleaner without the ability to climb walls or perform other fancy tricks we have come to expect from robotic pool cleaners.
The Floorcova does have the ability to escape obstacles though. It is, put simply, a pool cleaner, a pool hygiene or sanitation system. It requires no linkage to pool filtration systems and is small, light to lift, and easy to maintain.
The Floorcova suits pools up to 10M in length without any L-cove features.
The unit consists of a largish filter bag which it fills with not only debris that is visible to the naked eye but also the germinated algae and bacteria that you cannot see.
The filter is a very fine 50-micron to catch all the microbes. The PVC brushes are durable and also well designed to do their job with algae and bacteria.
The machine will shut itself off after it has finished its work – generally three or four hours. It has a hinge to stop the cable from getting stuck or tangled so you don’t need to watch it.
The Floorcova also has a specialised motor protection feature to prevent electrical faults such as overheating or overloading. The unit has a digital switch power supply for long term drive control.
5. Dolphin S300i
Now there is a pool cleaner which you can operate with your smartphone. You can choose to use either the multi-function power supply of the Dolphin S300i itself or download the MyDolphin App onto your phone or tablet.
From either vantage point, you can set up cleaning programs, control the robot remotely or manually. If the LED light is blinking the S300i is in active mode.
The S300i will adapt to any pool shape and surface. Choose between two filtration options to capture larger debris or fine dirt.
Choose also between the Fast mode (I hour – floor only) and Long (3 hours – floor and walls). Enjoy the superior cleaning quality of the dual-active brushing actions and the efficient pool coverage of the Power Stream Mobility System.
The active brush rotates at twice the speed of the robot, resulting in significantly enhanced cleaning ability. All surfaces are thoroughly scrubbed leaving walls, floor and waterline spotlessly clean.
During the first clean the S300i learns the pool’s contours and surface for optimal cleaning next time and thereafter. Now that’s Smart!
Turn it on, or off, from your bedroom or anywhere else. Change its settings remotely as well.
Or if you prefer it to operate on its own then that’s fine as well – you don’t need to download or use the MyDolphin App at all. It still has all the smart features.
The swivel cable tangle prevention system means you can relax while the S300i does its job.
How does a robotic pool cleaner work?
They first appeared on the market in the 1980s.
Whilst they may have different features as selling points they all have certain basic similarities. They all have an electric motor (or motors).
The motor drives them forward and creates suction. The robots work independently of the pool pump and are absolutely autonomous.
Robotic pool cleaners need to be plugged into a household power outlet, and they have a supply unit which converts the 120V mains supply into 24V current which is safe for water use.
The robot operates very much like a household vacuum by sucking debris and holding it inside itself. Filters are used to circulate clean water back into the pool.
Rotating brushes are also used to clean dirt and algae from the pool floor and walls. Most robots will climb walls using tracks or wheels, some more effectively than others.
The more expensive pool robots are generally speaking the more intelligent and the better-performing ones.
They have sensors and memories to self-teach better ways of cleaning the pool they are in. They are also programmable and remotely controlled when wanted.
If used to their maximum potential these robotic pool cleaners are an asset to any pool owner.
How often should a pool be cleaned?
There are a few things that need to be done to maintain a pool but not all at the same time or as often as each other.
So, every week you should test and adjust the pool chemicals. That includes a ‘routine shock treatment’ and a dose of algae preventative.
Also weekly you should skim the pool for insects, leaves and debris and empty the skimmer try. If you have a pool vacuum, a suction cleaner or a robotic pool cleaner then you should set it up for a clean at least once a week off-season and probably every second day at a minimum during the swimming season.
Where can you buy a robotic pool cleaner?
If you’re in the market for a robotic pool cleaner your best bet is a pool specialist shop. Many of the online stores will have reps who will come to you to discuss your particular needs and that is a sensible thing to do given the cost involved and all the considerations to be taken into account.
Mydolphin.com.au and maytronics.com.au both retail the Dolphin brand online. Zodiac.com.au also retails its own brand online.
Poolshop.com.au is a more general pool supply online retailer. Poolsandspawarehouse.com.au is also a general supplier.
My selection would probably be bestpoolsupplies.com.au who have an extensive range with Zippay available as well.
For those fortunate to have a swimming pool, cleaning it is often the worst part so why not take a back seat and let a robot do the work for you.
We believe the Zodiac CX20 is the best value for money combined with industry leading features, perfect for any size swimming pool.
Rhys is a successful entrepreneur with a PHD from University Colleague London with a strong interest in product reviews, blogging and traveling. Based in Melbourne, he loves to write about electronics, tech and travel.