Best Dolphin Pool Cleaners (2021): Reviews & Buying Guide

Best Dolphin Pool Cleaners

You’ve come to the right place.

In this Dolphin buying guide, we compare among top Dolphin models to help you find the best one for your pool.

Dolphin pool cleaners are some of the best in the market. They are known for their build quality, cleaning performance, and reliability.

Whether you have a large in-ground pool, an above ground pool, an irregularly shaped pool, or a commercial swimming pool, there’s a Dolphin for you.

Their above ground pool models, such as the Dolphin E10, are some of the cheapest, usually costing less than $500.

Mid-range models like the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus, the Dolphin Triton PS, and Dolphin Escape offer the best balance between price and cleaning performance. They cost between $500 and $1,000.

In the high-end range ($1,000+), premium models like the Dolphin Premier, Dolphin Sigma, and Dolphin Quantum offer the best cleaning performance and features.

#1 Top Pick: Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner

#1 Top Pick: Dolphin Premier Robotic Pool Cleaner

The Dolphin Premier is the best robotic pool cleaner for most in-ground pool owners. It is powerful (two motors), leaves the pool sparkling clean (full coverage to waterline), and it’s built to last (3-year warranty).

The Dolphin Premier is decked with features that improve cleaning performance, save energy, and make pool maintenance easier for pool owners.

Our favorite is the CleverClean navigation system.

Instead of navigating the pool in random patterns as cheaper robot cleaners do, the Dolphin Premier follows an efficient cleaning path that ensures full pool coverage without going over the same areas repeatedly.

Not only does it clean the pool faster (a full deep clean in just 3hrs), it saves a lot of energy while doing it.

The Premier has multiple tools to attack dirt and debris.

The onboard vacuums easily filter out dirt suspended in the water. But it’s the pair of scrubbing brushes that tackles the hard-to-remove algae and scale stuck on the pool floor and walls.

Two oversize filter cartridges pick up all this debris with small debris like pebbles and bugs going into one filter and fine particles of sand and silt going into the ultra-fine filter.

You can swap these two filters for a bag (included) when the pool is full of leaves, acorns, and other large debris.

Filter access is at the bottom, so it’s a bit tedious to remove the filters.

The Dolphin Premier comes with a couple of extra features for added convenience: a weekly scheduler that allows you to set an auto-cleaning schedule and a full filter indicator.

Admittedly, all this comes at a fairly steep price. But we, and most customers, think it’s worth it.

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#2 Best Value: Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic Pool Cleaner

Best Value: Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Automatic Pool Cleaner

If you don’t want to spend more than four figures on a Dolphin but still want a cleaner that can tackle the worst of grime in your pool, the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus is a great choice.

Despite being cheaper than just about every other in-ground Dolphin pool cleaner, it has most of their premium-features, including smart navigation, active brushing, and a weekly scheduler.

So what’s the catch?

There’s no catch really – the Nautilus CC Plus cleans just as well as other Dolphins and scrubs up to the waterline. The only difference is that it cleans smaller pools.

is for in-ground pools up to 33ft in length.

That still covers a majority of residential pools. Most home pools are 16ft by 32ft.

The Nautilus CC Plus uses CleverClean to efficiently and quickly navigate the pool. It covers the floor and clambers up the wall as it scrubs and vacuums away debris.

The scrubbing brush is a bit different from the brushes on most pool robots. It rotates faster, which gives it more scrubbing power to tackle stubborn dirt. Maytronics calls it Active Brushing.

The large filter basket catches most of the debris. It’s top-loading, so you don’t have to turn over the cleaner to access it.

But it leaves most of the fine sand and silt in the water. We recommend buying the Dolphin Ultra-fine Filter Basket for thorough cleaning.

Use the original basket when the pool is extra dirty and the ultra-fine one for everyday cleaning.

Like the Premier, the Nautilus CC Plus has a convenient weekly scheduler with three auto-clean settings – daily, 2x a week, and 3x a week.

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#3 Best For Above Ground Pools: Dolphin Escape Pool Vacuum

Dolphin Escape Pool Vacuum

For an above ground pool cleaner, the Dolphin Escape is relatively expensive. But it has the power and cleaning performance to match.

Most above ground robot pool cleaners are bare-bones with only the essential features needed for cleaning.

The Dolphin Escape is basically a smaller version of in-ground Dolphin models. It has all of its advanced features and cleaning capability.

One of these features is the SmartNav 2.0 system for smart navigation. It ensures full pool coverage without wasting energy with random movements.

While most above-ground robotic cleaners rely only on suction to clean up debris, the Dolphin Escape comes with an onboard scrubbing brush.

But it’s not just any brush. It’s an active dual brushing system. The brush rotates faster than in other pool robots, helping the robot attack the toughest of dirt.

The extra-large top-loading filter basket easily holds all the debris from the pool, and it can easily be removed and clean.

But you might want to get the Ultra-Fine Dolphin filter basket when you buy the Dolphin Escape. The included filter basket only catches large and small debris, leaving fine sand and silt in the water.

The Dolphin Escape moves on Hypergrip Continuous Tracks, which provide much better mobility than wheels.

It mostly cleans the floor, like other above ground pool robots, but in some pools, it can climb the walls.

Overall, the Dolphin Escape is more impressive than you would expect from an above ground pool cleaner. That explains the relatively high price tag.

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#4 Best Robotic Pool Vaccum: Dolphin Advantage Robotic Pool Vacuum

Dolphin Advantage Robotic Pool Vacuum

The Dolphin Advantage is another good choice if you are looking for a cheaper Dolphin robot cleaner for your in-ground pool.

Like the Nautilus CC Plus, the Dolphin Advantage is meant for in-ground pools up to 33ft. In fact, the two models have almost similar features. The main difference is that the Advantage launched a year later (2018) than the Nautilus CC Plus.  

The Dolphin Advantage comes with an impressive list of features that you usually get in highly-priced Dolphin Models.

They include CleverClean Technology, which scans the pool to guide the robot on the most efficient cleaning path and ensure it doesn’t miss any spots.

For cleaning, the Advantage relies on an active brush and a powerful onboard vacuum.

The debris is trapped in a large top-loading filter basket that has the same limitation as to the one in the Nautilus CC Plus–it doesn’t pick up fine particles.

For that, you’ll need the Dolphin Ultra-Fine filter basket.

The Advantage also comes with a weekly schedule that’s handy if you spend most of your days away from home.

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#5 Best Connected Cleaner: Dolphin Triton PS Plus Robot Pool Vacuum

Dolphin Triton PS Plus Robot Pool Vacuum

Robotic pool cleaners have yet to join the smart home revolution. We still haven’t seen an Alexa-compatible pool cleaner.

When it comes to connectivity, the farthest they go is a remote control. The Dolphin Triton PS Plus goes one step further. It has Wi-Fi.

By connecting your smartphone to the robot, you can control it using the MyDolphin AppYou can start cleaning your pool (if the robot is already in the pool), schedule weekly cleanings, and select cycle options from anywhere. 

You can also use the app to spot clean. This involves steering the robot cleaner from the app to clean specific spots it may have missed.  

Like most Wi-Fi connected devices you may encounter some issues when setting up the Wi-Fi connection and using the app. But the app is generally easy to use. 

You can also just use the physical control panel on the power unit if you don’t want the hassle of connecting the cleaner to your router and downloading the app.

The control panel has all the controls you need. You can set an auto-cleaning schedule: daily, every two days, or every three days.

There’s also a quick clean button that gets the pool clean in just an hour.

The Dolphin Triton PS Plus uses active brushing to dislodge debris stuck on the pool floor and walls. The dirt is then vacuumed into a large top-loading filter basket.

The basket has dual filtration – it traps leaves and large debris as well as sand, silt, and other fine particles.

The Triton PS Plus won’t just scrub and vacuum the pool floor. It also climbs the wall and scrubs up to the waterline.

Overall, the Dolphin Triton PS Plus is a great choice for in-ground pool owners who would like to control their robotic pool cleaner remotely. 

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#6 Most Powerful: Dolphin Oasis Z5i Pool Cleaner

Dolphin Oasis Z5i Pool Cleaner

The Dolphin Oasis Z5i is one of the most powerful – and expensive – Dolphin models. It’s a the right choice for pool owners looking for a high-performance pool robot for their in-ground pool (up to 50ft long).

It comes with all the features you’d expect from a high-end pool robot.

The most notable one is the Bluetooth. But this shouldn’t be your main motivation for buying the Oasis Z5i. Like the Bluetooth feature in the Triton PS Plus, this one’s also tedious to use.

You have to be very close to connecting, and the response lag makes manual navigation frustrating.

But there are plenty of other reasons for the Oasis Z5i having worth the high price tag. The most important one is the cleaning performance.

Dual scrubbing brushes, powerful suction, and large top-load filter cartridges for fine and ultra-fine debris leave your pool sparkling clean.

Moving on large high-traction tracks, the robot covers almost every inch of your pool up to the waterline.

A dual drive motor operates each track independently. This improves mobility and navigation, especially in tight areas, which enhances pool coverage.

A swivel cable keeps the cord from getting tangled up as the robot moves.

Like most Dolphin pool robots, the Oasis Z5i comes with a weekly scheduler. Set the robot to auto-clean daily, every two days or every three days, depending on how dirty your pool gets.

Overall, despite the less-than-practical Bluetooth feature, we still think the Dolphin Oasis Z5i in-ground pool cleaner is worth the money.

The only other downside to note is the weight of the robot. At 24lbs, it can be difficult to lift it out of the water and move it to and from storage.

We highly recommend buying the Dolphin pool cleaner caddy. It’ll not only make the robot cleaner easier to handle, but it’ll also protect the brush rollers from being squished when you place the robot on the ground.

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#7 Best Commercial Cleaner: Dolphin Odyssey Robot Pool Cleaner

Dolphin Odyssey Robot Pool Cleaner

If you own or manage a public swimming pool or a commercial pool in a sports club, spa or, hotel, we recommend the Dolphin Odyssey.

It’s designed specifically for commercial in-ground swimming pools.

It boasts three high-RPM DC motors that deliver plenty of power to the tracks, brushes, and onboard vacuum.

The triple motor design also increases torque, which allows the robot to navigate the pool and climb the walls without getting stuck.

The Odyssey uses SmartNav 3.0 pool scanning and an integrated gyroscope to navigate efficiently around the pool.

It has no trouble scaling the pool walls, navigates easily in irregularly shaped pools, and cleans hard-to-reach areas to ensure full coverage.

Triple scrubbing brushes dislodge grime and debris from the pool walls and floor. They remove even the most stubborn of dirt, ensuring the pool stays clean and healthy for customers.

A dual filtration basket collects both fine and ultra-fine debris.

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#8 Best Extra Large Commercial Pools: Dolphin C5 Commercial Robot Pool Cleaner

Dolphin C5 Commercial Robot Pool Cleaner

For extra-large commercial pools, we recommend the Dolphin C5. It’s designed for pools up to 88 feet long. That’s longer than an Olympic-size pool.

A robot cleaner for such a large pool needs lots of power and smarts. The Dolphin C5 is up to the task.

CleverClean Technology scans the pool to calculate the most efficient cleaning path and ensure there are no missed spots.

An onboard gyroscope allows the robot to determine its position and orientation at all times. This is helpful when navigating tight areas and when going up the wall.

As the robot moves about in the pool, heavy-duty dual scrubbing brushes dislodge algae, scale, and other debris from the pool surface. They scrub the floor, walls, and waterline.

A vacuum suctions the debris into a large fine and ultra-fine filter bags. A full-filter indicator on the control panel tells you when it’s time to clean the filters.

The filter bags are more tedious to clean compared to filter baskets, but they hold more dirt. We recommend getting a couple of spare ones that you can use when the others are getting cleaned.

If you notice any missed spots in the pool, you can use the included remote control to navigate the robot manually.

Depending on what kind of cleaning you want, there are three cycle options: a quick 4-hour cycle, a standard 6-hour cleaning cycle, and an enhanced 8-hour cycle.

The enhanced cycle is handy for overnight pool cleaning, while the quick cycle is useful when you want a quick clean before the guests come in.

For ease of storage and transport, the Dolphin C5 comes with a caddy.

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#9 Best Budget: DOLPHIN E10 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

DOLPHIN E10 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

If you are shopping on a budget, we recommend the Dolphin E10 robotic pool cleaner. It’s one of the few robotic pool cleaners you can get for under $500. 

The Dolphin E10 is primarily designed to clean above ground pools up to 30 feet long, but you can also use it in a small in-ground pool.

While it boasts only basic features, the E10’s cleaning performance is great. It has a scrubbing brush that attacks algae and grime stuck on the pool floor. 

Powerful suction picks up floating debris and deposits it into the large top-access filter basket. There are no messy debris bags to deal with. 

We highly recommend buying the Dolphin ultra-fine filter basket to catch all algae and fine debris. The included basket tends to leave fine bits of sand and silt at the bottom of the pool. 

The Dolphin E10 takes about 1.5 hours to finish cleaning the pool. Note that it only scrubs and vacuums the floor. It is not designed to climb walls, especially 90-degree walls. If your pool walls are partially curved, the robot may climb part of the pool wall. 

The Dolphin E10 comes with a 2-year warranty, so you can be sure it’ll last a long time. 

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