Best Robotic Pool Cleaners for Inground Pools 2022: Top Picks & Reviews

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Looking for a robotic pool cleaner for your in-ground swimming pool?

You have come to the right place.

Spend your weekend cleaning and vacuuming the pool, or you can pay money for a service company.

You can also buy a robot pool cleaner.

Maintaining in-ground pools can be difficult and expensive. Robotic pool cleaners are much more cost-effective than traditional pressure and suction cleaners.

Our Top 3 Picks

7 Best Robotic Pool Cleaners for Inground Pools

All links below go to Amazon.com

Inground Pool Cleaner
  • Dolphin Nautilus PLUS

  • Hose :
    60ft swivel cable

  • Brushes:
    Two scrubbing brushes

  • Basket:
    Top-loading basket

  • Remote control :
    No

  • Timer:
    Yes (weekly)

  • Warranty
    2.5-years

  • Weight
    19lbs dry weight

Inground Pool Cleaner
  • Dolphin Triton Plus

  • Hose :
    60ft swivel cable

  • Brushes:
    Two scrubbing brushes

  • Basket:
    Top-loading basket

  • Remote control :
    Yes (via Bluetooth)

  • Timer:
    Yes (weekly)

  • Warranty
    2-years

  • Weight
    16.5lbs dry weight

Inground Pool Cleaner
  • Polaris 9450/9550

  • Hose :
    60ft swivel cable

  • Brushes:
    Two scrubbing brushes

  • Basket:
    Top-loading basket

  • Remote control :
    No

  • Timer:
    Yes (weekly)

  • Warranty
    2-years

  • Weight
    16lbs dry weight

Inground Pool Cleaner
  • Maytronics DX3 Dolphin

  • Hose :
    50ft swivel cable

  • Brushes:
    Two scrubbing brushes

  • Basket:
    Bottom-loading bag

  • Remote control :
    No

  • Timer:
    Yes (weekly)

  • Warranty
    2-years

  • Weight
    19lbs dry weight

Inground Pool Cleaner
  • Hayward SharkVAC XL with CaddyS

  • Hose :
    50ft swivel cable

  • Brushes:
    Two scrubbing brushes

  • Basket:
    Top-loading cartridges

  • Remote control :
    No

  • Timer:
    Yes (weekly)

  • Warranty
    2-years

  • Weight
    21lbs dry weight

Inground Pool Cleaner
  • Aquabot X4

  • Hose :
    60ft swivel cable

  • Brushes:
    Rotating micro-brush

  • Basket:
    Top-loading dual filter baskets

  • Remote control :
    No

  • Timer:
    Yes (Cycle and Weekly)

  • Warranty
    3-years

  • Weight
    35.3lbs dry weight

Inground Pool Cleaner
  • Kenwell Kuppet

  • Hose :
    Cordless

  • Brushes:
    Four sponge roller brushes

  • Basket:
    Top-loading dual filter baskets

  • Remote control :
    No

  • Timer:
    Yes (Cycle)

  • Warranty
    2-years

  • Weight
    27.2lbs dry weight

#1

Best Overall

The Dolphin Nautilus Plus robotic pool cleaner is an affordable proven model that offers excellent overall cleaning performance. This is the 5th year in a row we chose it as the best option for most inground swimming pools.

Although not the most powerful nor the most technologically advanced robotic pool cleaner, it is a great deal at less than $1,000.

The Plus includes all the great features from its predecessor, Dolphin Nautilus, and adds IntelliScan, an extra-large top-access filter, and easier maintenance (at the component level).

Best Features

IntelliScan Navigation

The Dolphin Nautilus Plus is equipped with IntelliScan. This is Dolphin’s most popular onboard navigation system, provides cleaner pools in a shorter time frame than any other pool cleaners.

IntelliScan is an intelligent scanning and learning system that allows the unit to learn about the surface of your pool and use that information to cover every inch of it, including walls.

IntelliScan functions like a GPS in your car. Intelliscan tracks the shape and size of your pool and determines the best cleaning route to use for maximum coverage and the lowest energy consumption. You will have a cleaner pool in a shorter time and with lower energy costs.

Intelliscan can work with any size pool, normal or irregular.

Dual filters

To filter the pool water, the Dolphin Wagon Plus has an onboard dual filter system. So once the bag is full, you can simply empty it.

Two filters are available: a mesh screen to filter large particles and a pleated polyester fiber that traps dirt, sand, and grit.

Patented Swivel Cables to Avoid Tangling

If the power cable becomes tangled, it can prevent cleaning and damage to a robot cleaner. Dolphin has patented a cable swivel to solve this problem. It stays clear of the unit and eliminates any tangles.

Specifications

Customer Feedback

Many owners praise the Nautilus Plus for its simplicity and reliability.

Some owners were unhappy about their weight.

The cleaner can also be heavy and trap debris that could fall into the pool when you drain the water. To prevent debris from rushing back, it is a good idea to flip the cleaner over before you take it out.

Conclusion

Dolphin Nautilus Plus is a smart and efficient pool cleaner. After it learns your pool, you can simply drop it in and walk away, knowing that your pool will be clean in no time.

The Nautilus Plus robotic pool cleaner offers great value for money. This is why the Nautilus Plus robotic pool cleaner is so popular.

Editor's Rating
4.5/5

#2

Best Remote-Controlled Unit

A significant upgrade to the original Dolphin Triton, Maytronic’s Dolphin Triton PLUS offers many outstanding features.

The Triton PLUS comes with Dolphin’s patent tangle-free cable pivot and IntelliScan Navigation. It also includes an extra-large top-access filter (with fine mesh filters and coarse mesh filters), as well as a dual drive motor, split brushes, and a split brush.

You also get true 90-degree turning for tight corners and dramatically enhanced cleaning coverage. Plus includes a remote control and a rapid-release feature that flushes filtered water from the unit.

Best Features

IntelliScan

Intelliscan technology is found in many Dolphin pool cleaners. It learns the dimensions of your pool and then uses that information for thorough cleaning of the walls and floors.

Tangle-free swivel

Another hallmark of Dolphin Cleaners is the swivel cable. As the robot cleaner moves, the swivel cable of Triton doesn’t get tangled.

Fine and coarse filters

The Triton Plus is equipped with two different types of filters for coarse and fine debris. The Triton Plus is very efficient in filtering. One owner said that he found things in his collection bag even though he didn’t think they were in the pool.

“Full Cartridge” indicator with auto-stop

The filter collects the debris and deposits it in a collection cartridge. The cleaner will stop operating when the cartridge is full. An indicator light will turn on to remind you that the filter must be cleaned before proceeding.

There are two cleaning methods

You need to throw a party in one hour. You can sweep your pool in just one hour using the quick clean mode. You can also use the full-cycle cleaning mode, which takes approximately two and a quarter hours. The Triton Plus climbs walls like a pro in both modes.

Remote control

The unit comes with a smartphone app. It allows you to manually drive the cleaner around your pool and choose your cleaning cycle.

Auto cleaning timer

With a simple push of a button, the Dolphin Triton PLUS can be set up to automatically clean your pool every 24 hours, 48 hours, or 72 hours. You can schedule up to three clean cycles consecutively.

Specifications

Customer Feedback

The Triton Plus is highly praised for its ability to climb on any surface and its overall cleaning abilities. It also gets high marks because of its remote control, which allows you to control its movements.

Some people felt that it was easier to remove the unit from the pool.

The pool cleaner is quite heavy, so it may prove difficult to lift out of the pool. This is especially true when the cleaner completes its cleaning cycle in the deep end.

Conclusion

The powerful and full-featured Dolphin Triton PLUS robotic cleaner is a significant improvement from its predecessor.

It remains supremely energy efficient and a very thorough cleaner – plus it comes with a caddy. This cleaner is easy to use and live with.

Editor's Rating
4.3/5

#3

Best Cleaning Performance

Polaris’ unique Vortex vacuum system makes this the best overall bottom cleaner of the bunch. 

The Vortex system helps the unit stick to vertical surfaces, while its 4-wheel drive is smooth, and its pleated scrubbing toothbrush lifts stubborn debris.

The Polaris 9450’s easy-to-use lift system also makes it simple to lift the cleaner from the water, which can be important for aged or disabled people.

Best Features

Vortex Vacuum technology

The Polaris 9450 uses vortex vacuuming technology to achieve a thorough cleaning. It has a powerful cleaning power without sacrificing suction.

Whole pool cleaning

The 9450 moves over any terrain and will clean every inch of floor and walls with its pleated scrubbing bristles.

Filter canisters with large capacity

The Polaris has a super-sized filter container that can hold four times as much debris as other robot cleaners. So it’s as easy as shaking the canister and then spraying it empty.

You can customize your cleaning cycles

The seven-day programmable clock will allow you to program the cleaner to clean your pool automatically.

ActivMotion Sensor

This sensor is unique to Polaris and allows the robot cleaner to understand its position within the pool. It then plots a path that reduces cord tangling and optimizes cleaning.

Easy Lift System

There is no other robot pool cleaner that makes it so easy to get out of your pool. Push a button, and the unit will rise to the desired height. To reduce its weight, the cleaner automatically drains all water from it. You can then lift the cleaner out of the water. You can then place it on the provided caddy and store it.

Specifications

Customer Feedback

It has been a reliable and durable tool that cleans every kind of debris for many years.

The unit appears to have problems flipping off pool walls when the filter is too full.

Sometimes the 9450’s cord can get tangled up, and it will need manual untangling.

Conclusion

The best features of the Polaris F9450 are its thorough bottom-cleaning performance, its 4-wheel drive, and easy-lift system. In addition, this model is also light and super-easy to lift out of the water, so it’s worth considering if you have a bad back or find lifting 20-pound objects taxing or dangerous.

Editor's Rating
4.4/5

#4

Best Lightweight Cleaner

The Dolphin DX3 robot cleaner is a proven lightweight choice with a really powerful brush. It’s lighter and smaller than other Dolphin models, which makes it easier to use and maintain.

DX 3 has been on the market for a few years now, but this is a good thing. Its simplicity has been proven over time and continues to outsell other models.

Best Features

Super lightweight

It is small and lightweight, which has many advantages. It is easy to use, both when inserted into the pool and when it is being pulled out. It is also easy to maintain and service.

Fine and coarse debris filters

The DX3 comes with two filters capable of collecting fine and coarse debris. The captured material is then deposited into a large filter bag, which is easy to empty.

Low energy consumption

It uses very little energy. A complete cleaning cycle will cost you just 15 cents on average.

Specifications

Customer Feedback

The DX3 can struggle with cleaning steps. After a few tries, however, it usually figures out how to do it.

You’ll also need to empty the filter bag more frequently because it is smaller than other units.

Conclusion

The DX3 does a great job without the extras, such as a remote and programmable cleaning cycle. This pool cleaner is lightweight and reliable that has been used in the field for years.

Editor's Rating
4.3/5

#5

Best Hayward Robot

Hayward’s robotic pool cleaners are praised for their thorough cleaning abilities.

The SharkVac XL is Hayward’s best mid-range offering, and it’s arguably better at cleaning pools than its more expensive and better-optioned older brother, the Hayward Tigershark QC.

Hayward SharkVac’s original release was many years ago. However, hundreds of online reviews attest to its reliability, cleaning abilities, and longevity.

Best Features

Caddy for easy transport

Although the Sharkvac XL is a little heavy, it is easy to move and store. In addition, you can purchase the unit without the caddy for a lower price.

Easy top access filter bag

Whenever the filter bag is full, simply access it from the top and clean it out.

Low energy operation

The Hayward SharkVACXL requires less energy than a single incandescent bulb to clean your pool.

Self-programmed for optimized cleaning

The Sharkvac can measure the size of your pool and determine the best way to clean it. In addition, it determines the best way to increase the pool’s energy consumption.

Specifications

Customer Feedback

Many owners love the SharkVac’s ability and speed to clean a pool.

Many people also complain about cord tangling.

SharkVac XL may find it difficult to climb all the walls and climb steps in pools.

Don’t leave your unit on in the rain. Some owners complained about the damage that rain can cause to their pool cleaner.

Conclusion

This is the robot pool cleaner you should buy if you look for the best and most reliable cleaning. SharkVac is unmatched in its ability to remove all kinds of debris, including oak leaves and small twigs. It can clean up between 95% to 99% of all debris in a matter of minutes.

Editor's Rating
4.1/5

#6

Best Value

For about half the price of a comparable Dolphin, the Aquabot X4 cleans almost as well asthem and comes with some great features. You even get a storage/transport caddy.

Best Features

Cleans Large Pools

The Aquabot X4 is such a good deal because it can handle large in-ground pools up to 60ft long. This is 10ft more than most Dolphin cleaners are capable of handling.

Aquabot X4 has a 60ft long swivel cable. To ensure that the robot cleaner can reach all pool parts, you need to place the power unit in the middle of the pool.

4WD mobility + Pool Mapping

Aquabot X4 provides full pool coverage, including floor, walls, and waterline. It can also clean steps in most pools.

The X4 has 4WD mobility to ensure that it reaches every inch. This makes it more powerful and easier to climb walls. In addition, the 360-degree maneuverability of the X4aEUR (TM) makes tight turns easy.

High-traction wheels are also a huge help.

AutoX Pool Mapping, which calculates the pool shape and covers the pool in the shortest possible time, is another helpful feature.

Scrubs & Vacuums

The Aquabot X4 is like other in-ground pool cleaners. It comes with brushes that clean dirt, algae, and gunk from the pool floor. However, it doesn’t just clean the debris in the pool, and it also cleans any stuck material on the surface.

To quickly filter dirt and other debris, the strong suction suckers water at 85 gallons per hour.

Large filter baskets

Aquabot X4’s double filter baskets allow it to collect more debris than other in-ground pool cleaners.

You don’t need to drain the filter baskets mid-cleaning if the pool is extremely dirty.

The ultra-fine filter baskets can capture any kind of debris, from leaves and acorns to fine silt and sand. They can also capture bacteria and algae as small as 2 microns.

Contrary to most Dolphin cleaners, which come with a very fine filter but not an ultra-fine filter, the AquabotX4 doesn’t require you to purchase an extra ultra-fine filter.

Cycle Timer + Auto scheduling

The power unit allows you to select your preferred cleaning cycle length. There are three options: 1hr, 1.5hrs, and 2 hours. If you just need a quick cleaning before a party or a deeper clean, the 1hr and 1.5hr cycles are great. However, the longer cycles are ideal if you require a more thorough clean.

You can also set an auto-cleaning timer. You can leave the cleaner in the pool, and it starts cleaning automatically every 48 hours, 72 hours, or 96.

Caddy included

You will need to purchase the caddy separately for most Dolphin pool cleaners. However, as a bonus, you can get the AquabotX4 with a caddy.

Use the caddy to store the cleaner and move it to and from storage.

Specifications

Customer Feedback

Pool owners in general are surprised at the AquabotX4’s performance, especially considering its low price. The Aquabot X4 is highly durable and does not break down. It is a reliable and affordable pool robot.

Tht said, the Aquabot X4 will clean steps and floors well, but corners are often left unfinished. 

Conclusion

The Aquabot X4 is a great and affordable alternative to more expensive Dolphin units that offers similar features and cleaning performance.

Editor's Rating
4.1/5

#7

Best Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner

The market is just starting to see cordless robotic pool cleaners. The Kenwell cordless robotic cleaner is the best we’ve reviewed so far.

A large 7800mAh battery is included and is useful for up to 120 minutes of cleaning.

Best Features

Cordless, 120-minute cleaning time

A cordless robotic pool cleaner has the advantage that it doesn’t require you to be near a power source. The cord is also not susceptible to getting tangled as the cleaner moves around in the pool.

It can only clean as long as the battery is charged. The Kuppet cordless cleaner has a 7800mAh battery which provides up to 2 hours of cleaning time. This is the same amount as corded cleaners.

ItaEUR(TM), the battery housing, is completely safe because it has the highest IPX8 protection against water.

Four Roller Brushes and Two Filter Baskets

Kuppet’s cordless pool cleaner does more than vacuuming your pool. It also scrubs your walls and bottom to remove any algae or gunk.

Four roller brushes do the scrubbing while the suction picks up the loose debris.

The debris is deposited in two filter baskets that capture both large and fine debris. The baskets are accessible from the top to make them easy to remove and clean.

Cleans Pool Walls

Kuppet’s cordless cleaner covers the entire pool. The Kuppet cordless cleaner will vacuum the pool’s floor, walls, and waterline.

Programmable Cycle Timer

A battery-powered pool cleaner cannot set an automatic cleaning timer. However, the Kuppet cleaner lets you choose how long it will take to clean your pool.

Floating Handle

After the Kuppet pool cleaner has completed a cleaning cycle or runs out of battery, the robot will automatically navigate to the other side.

Use the floating handle to pull the cleaner up on the surface. The battery makes the Kuppet cordless cleaner a little heavy. Its dry weight is 27.2lbs.

Specifications

Customer Feedback

Customers agree that the Kuppet cordless pool cleaner is as effective as the more expensive corded robots.

It has a long battery life to clean the whole pool without running out of battery.

There is one problem with the brushes: they are not made of bristles but soft sponges. So although they can still remove most algae from the pool floor and walls, they aren’t as thorough as other robotic pool cleaners.

Conclusion

We recommend the Kenwell Kuppet cordless cleaner if you’re looking for an alternative to inground pool cleaners that are more expensive and less cordless.

Editor's Rating
4.1/5

How to Select the Right Robotic Pool Cleaner for Your In-Ground Pool

Inground Pool Cleaner

These are some things to keep in mind when purchasing an in-ground robotic vacuum.

Size

You should make sure that the robot pool cleaner you choose will cover your entire pool. The length of the cable is the most critical aspect to consider.

Use a pool vacuum that has a 10’ cable. This will allow you to locate it far away from the water and allow the cleaner to reach every corner.

A cleaner with a 60ft long cable can clean pools up to 50ft in length. A cleaner using a 50ft long cable can clean pools up to 40 feet long.

Smart Navigation

Pool robots that rely solely on random movements are more likely to miss certain areas and waste more energy.

Smart navigation makes it possible for robot cleaners to clean faster and more effectively, leaving no spots uncleaned.

Scrubbing Brushes

Inground Pool Cleaner

Nearly all robotic pool cleaners include scrubbing brushes, which depart from most pressure and suction cleaners. Brushes remove dirt, algae, and grime from the pool surface, making it easier to vacuum.

Pool cleaners with scrubbing brushes are far more effective than those without.

Filters

Make sure you know what type of filter the pool cleaner has. Many pool cleaners have ultra-fine and fine filters that capture all sizes of debris. However, the cheaper ones will usually have a fine filter.

You should also check how easy it makes it to access the filters. Because you don’t have to flip the cleaner, top-access filters are most convenient.

A robotic pool cleaner should use a basket filter basket rather than a bag. It is easier to empty and clean a basket.

Weight

You don’t need to be strong to clean the pool. A lightweight robotic pool cleaner will make it easy to install and remove.

Our top picks for light cleaners include the Polaris 9450/9550 Sport and the Dolphin Triton Plus.

Extra Features

Inground Pool Cleaner

These aren’t essential items, but they are nice.

  • Weekly Timer – Let’s set the days and times when the cleaner will start. This is a handy tool for cleaning your pool when you’re away. Note: You will need to leave the cleaner in your pool.
  • Wireless connectivity: Some robot pool cleaners let you control the cleaner from your smartphone via Bluetooth or WiFi.
  • Remote control: You can manually control the robot with a remote controller with some cleaners.

Three Reasons to Get a Robotic Pool Cleaner for Your Inground Pool

1. Less Work for You

Older pool cleaners that are pump-driven cannot reach steps and elevated sitting platforms or other irregular features common to inground pools.

You’ll need to clean and brush those areas yourself.

However, robotic pool cleaners can clean any type of pool.

2. Less Expensive Than the Alternative

A robotic pool cleaner doesn’t require you to add a booster pump. Instead, robotic pool cleaners use the onboard filters to filter out debris from the pool.

This will make installation easier and save you hundreds of dollars.

3. Lower Operating Costs, Long Term

For several reasons, robotic pool cleaners are less expensive to run than pump-driven units.

Robotic cleaners employ advanced software to optimize cleaning paths and use DC power. Intelligent navigation saves time and reduces the time it takes to clean your pool. A shorter, more efficient cleaning cycle consumes less energy.

Robotic pool cleaners are also powered by DC motors (for safety), which are much more efficient than AC motors. The majority of them use less energy than a standard light bulb.

A robotic cleaner is a cost-saving option for large inground pools.

How We Choose The Best

Inground Pool Cleaner

My team has over 6 years of experience reviewing and comparing pool cleaning gear, including reviewing over 40 robotic pool cleaners. 

To make it to our list, a new model must have been on the market for over a year with favorable customer reviews to ensure it works as intended.

We also take into account customer reviews and ratings on shopping sites such as Amazon.com amd word of month in the pool industry.

Final Verdict

There are many models of robot vacuums for owners of in-ground pools. While it is more expensive than other options, we believe the Dolphin Triton Plus/PS offers the best cleaning performance for in-ground pools. It also has a remote control via smartphone.

Where To Buy Yours

All of the models above can be purchased online from Amazon.com and other leading online retailers.  Most are also available at your local Pinch-A-Penny and pool supply store.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to leave a robot cleaner in the pool?

You can, but not for too long. Manufacturers recommend that you leave it for at least a week. This will allow you to create an auto-cleaning schedule.

If you’re using the pool for swimming or winter, don’t leave the robot cleaner unattended.

You don’t have to leave your robot cleaner in the pool if it doesn’t have an automatic cleaning timer. Instead, it’s best to get it out right away after it finishes cleaning.

Are robotic pool cleaners worthwhile? 

Yes, they definitely are. Robotic pool cleaners save you a lot of time and effort that would have been required to clean and vacuum the pool.

A pool was once a headache to maintain (or cost-intensive if you hired a pool cleaner). With robotic pool cleaners, this is no longer true.

Robotic pool cleaners are also more efficient and less expensive to operate than pressure and suction pool cleaners like the Polaris 280, 380, and 3900 like the Polaris 280, 380, and 3900 like the Polaris 280, 380, and 3900.

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