Shopping for a Maytronics Dolphin pool cleaner?
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.
What's In This Buying Guide
Table of Contents
Best Dolphin Pool Cleaners 2021
Best Dolphin Pool Cleaners: Comparison Table
- Top pick overall
Motor driven (Tracks)
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus
- Best value
Motor driven (Tracks)
- Best for above-ground pools
Motor driven (Tracks)
- Most affordable in-ground robotic cleaner
Motor driven (Tracks)
Dolphin Triton PS Plus
- Best connected robotic cleaner
Motor & jet driven (Tracks)
Dolphin Oasis Z5i
- Most powerful residential Dolphin cleaner
Motor driven (Tracks)
- Best commercial cleaner
Motor driven (Tracks)
- Most powerful comercial Dolphin cleaner
Motor driven (Tracks)
- Best budget
Motor driven (Tracks)
- Best cleaning performance
Motor driven (Tracks)
Best Dolphin Robot Pool Cleaner Reviews
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.
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.
While the Premier and other top models can clean pool up to 50ft long, the Nautilus CC Plus 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.
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.
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.
Overall, a pretty darn good robot pool cleaner for the price.
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 App. You 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you want a thorough cleaner, get the Dolphin Sigma robotic pool cleaner. It’s pricey, but it cleans the pool better than just about any other robotic pool cleaner.
One of the reasons the Dolphin Sigma is so good is its triple motor setup. The three motors power two scrubbing brushes that attack algae and dirt on the pool floor, walls and waterline.
The motors also deliver powerful suction, allowing it to easily pick up debris floating in the water. And with a flow rate of 4,500 gallons per hour, it cleans the pool in no time.
The Dolphin Sigma comes with both a fine and ultra-fine filter, so you don’t need to buy any extra filters to capture all the debris in your pool.
The filter basket is big and you can conveniently access it from the top, making it easy to empty debris.
As expected for a Dolphin robot pool cleaner this powerful, the Sigma easily handles extra-large pools up to 50 feet long. A 60-feet swivel cable provides full coverage without tangling.
Dolphin Sigma also comes with smart navigation that allows it to clean the pool fast and efficiently, without leaving any missed spots. The navigation system includes a gyroscope, which makes it easier for the robot to clean the walls and waterline.
The only place it struggles to clean is the pool steps, but this is a problem with all pool robots. Several pool owners also say it sometimes gets stuck on the drains or the ladder.
There are two ways to control the Sigma robotic pool cleaner. The easiest is using the control panel on the power unit. You can turn the cleaner on or off, and schedule daily, 2x or 3x weekly cleanings.
The other option is using the Dolphin smartphone app. Sigma has bluetooth connectivity, so you can link it to your phone and control it via the app. You can schedule cleanings and even steer the robot for spot cleaning.
But you have to be close to the cleaner and the response lag makes it hard to get the steering right. Many users say the app is also buggy. In the end, you’ll likely find the control panel to be the best choice.
Overall, the Dolphin Sigma’s excellent cleaning performance makes it worth the high price tag. The only addition we’d have liked to see is a storage/transport caddy.
Why Buy a Dolphin Pool Cleaner?
Dolphin pool cleaners tend to be more expensive than other robotic pool cleaners in the market. So why should you spend more to buy a Dolphin pool robot. Here are 5 good reasons.
- Reliability and longevity: Maytronics has been making robotic pool cleaners for decades. They are known for their reliable and long lasting products. Dolphin pool cleaners are known for their low maintenance and long service life. With good care, your Dolphin pool cleaner will last 5-7 years.
- High build quality: Dolphin pool cleaners rarely cause any trouble that requires constant repairs. All parts and components are well made and often last just as long as the robot. Even the motors, a common point of failure in other robotic pool cleaners, don’t fail.
- Excellent cleaning performance: Whether you buy the affordable E10, or the high-end Sigma, all Dolphin pool cleaners deliver exceptional cleaning performance. They all feature scrubbing brushes and powerful suction. Most also have smart navigation, allowing them to clean the entire pool quickly and efficiently.
- Good value for money: Even though they are a bit pricey, Dolphin pool cleaners deliver the best value for your money. They clean well, are easy to maintain and last a long time. And with the cheaper models Maytronics has been introducing like the Dolphin Escape, you get even better bargains.
- Easy to maintain: Most Dolphin pool cleaners use filter baskets instead of debris bags. Baskets are easy to remove from the cleaner and empty. A quick hose down gets the basket clean, and you don’t have to wait for it to dry. Furthermore, most cleaners have the basket accessible from the top, so you don’t need to turn over the robot to remove it.
Dolphin Pool Cleaners - Common Issues
As good as they are, Dolphin pool cleaners have some issues you should be aware of before you buy one. However, most of these issues are not unique to Dolphin cleaners; other robotic pool cleaners have them too.
- Trouble cleaning steps: Even the expensive Dolphin models struggle to clean steps. You’ll have to scrub those yourself.
- Getting stuck on the drain: This is another issue you’ll find in most robot pool cleaners as well.
- No ultra-fine filter: Most low cost and mid-range Dolphin cleaners come with just regular and fine filters. These capture most debris but leave fine sand and some algae sitting at the bottom of the pool. You often have to buy the ultra-fine filters separately.
Dolphin Pool Cleaner Buying Guide
With so many Dolphin models and most of them share similar features, it can be difficult to find the right Dolphin pool cleaner for your needs.
Here’s a quick checklist you can use when choosing a Dolphin pool cleaner.
Type of Pool: In-ground vs. Above Ground
There are two general categories of Dolphin pool robots: those for in-ground pools and those for above-ground pools.
In-ground pools are usually larger and more expensive. They range from standard in-ground pool cleaners for pools up to 33 feet long to heavy-duty commercial pool robots for pools up to 121 feet.
Above ground, pool cleaners are typically smaller, lighter, and cheaper. They are designed for pools up to 30 feet long.
Not all Dolphin in-ground pool cleaners clean the same size of pools. The same applies to their above ground pool cleaners.
Check the size specification.
Most Dolphin pool cleaners are meant for pools up to 50ft long. But there are smaller ones for pools up to 33ft long and commercial ones for pools over 100 feet.
You must buy the right pool cleaner for your pool size.
Using a pool cleaner in a pool that’s too large will result in some areas not getting cleaned and could damage the cord as the robot tries to clean beyond the limit of the cord length.
Type of Debris: Filter Choice
When it comes to filters, the first thing to check is whether the pool cleaner uses a filter bag or filter basket (also called a filter cartridge).
A filter basket is easier to clean and maintain. But a filter bag is better if you struggle with large debris in the pool, such as leaves and acorns.
Some Dolphin cleaners come with both types of filters, which you can easily interchange.
Also, check whether the cleaner comes with an ultra-fine filter.
Some come with just a fine filter that doesn’t catch fine sand and silt. You have to buy the ultra-fine filter separately.
Others come with both the fine and ultra-fine filters that go into the cleaner together.
Amount of Debris: Bin Size
If your pool gets really dirty or you have a large pool, make sure your Dolphin of choice has large enough filters that you don’t have to empty midway through the cleaning.
Stairs & Complex Surfaces
It’s going to be tough to find a Dolphin cleaner that provides 100% pool coverage. Most will have no trouble cleaning the floor, walls, and waterline. But they fail when it comes to the stairs.
Look for one that at least cleans the first 2-3 steps (check customer reviews to see how the cleaner navigates the steps).
Generally, Dolphin cleaners with smart navigation and gyroscopic navigation are better at cleaning stairs and other complex areas such as corners, under the ladder, and around pool features.
If you have an irregularly shaped pool, definitely get a Dolphin with pool scanning software – CleverClean or SmartNav.
It’ll have better coverage and clean faster.
Dolphin cleaners are generally more expensive than those from other Brands like Aquabot. But they have different price points to suit every budget.
Above ground Dolphin cleaners typically cost less than $500.
You can also get an in-ground Dolphin cleaner for smaller pools (up to 33ft) for around the same price. If you want a cleaner that can clean a larger pool (up to 50ft), you’ll spend around $700-$1,000.
If you want the best Dolphin robot cleaner you can get, be ready to spend over $1,000.
At the high-end ($2,000+) are commercial pool cleaners.
Here are some of the extra features to look for.
Dolphin Pool Cleaner FAQs
How to use a Dolphin pool cleaner
Dolphin pool cleaners don’t require any installation. There are no hoses to connect. Just connect the power unit to a GFCI outlet and drop the cleaner into the pool.
The robot pool cleaner is self-contained with its own motor, vacuum, and brush. It doesn’t rely on your pool pump or filter.
Where can I buy a Dolphin pool cleaner?
How does a dolphin pool cleaner work?
Dolphin robot cleaners have brushes that scrub dirt from the pool floor and walls and a vacuum to suction the dirt into an onboard filter basket or bag.
Advanced Dolphin cleaners have software that scans the pool to calculate the best cleaning path and ensure there are no missed spots.
How much does a Dolphin pool cleaner cost?
Prices for Dolphin robot pool cleaners range from around $300 to over $2,000. Above ground pool, cleaners are the cheapest, while commercial pool cleaners are the most expensive.
You can get good quality and reliable in-ground Dolphin pool cleaner for around $600-$1,300.
Why is my Dolphin pool cleaner, not working?
If your Dolphin cleaner has stalled or is not cleaning, the problem is usually something stuck in the tracks, brushes or vacuum ports.
Take the robot out of the water and examine it for any obstructions.
Also, check whether the filter bag or basket is full, as that could cause the robot to stop working.
If you can find the problem, refer to the manual’s troubleshooting section or call customer support. It might be a more serious problem, such as motor failure.
Can I leave my Dolphin pool cleaner in the pool?
Leaving the pool cleaner in the pool makes sense when you are using the weekly scheduler for auto-cleaning.
For most Dolphin models, it’s safe to leave them in the pool but only for a few days at a time. Leaving the cleaner in the water for too long will wear out some parts quicker.
Regularly take the robot out of the pool to empty the filter and let it dry.
You should also never leave the cleaner in the pool when adding chemicals or during winter when the pool is closed.
How long do Dolphin pool cleaners last?
Dolphin pool cleaners are well built and generally last longer than other brands. They even come with longer warranties (2-3 years compared to 1 year for other pool robots).
With good maintenance and timely replacement of worn-out parts, you can expect your Dolphin cleaner to last 5-8 years.
Factors like how often you clean the pool and your pool’s water chemistry will determine the precise lifespan of your pool cleaner.
Can I use a Dolphin pool cleaner in a pond or hot tub?
No, Dolphin pool cleaners are meant for use in swimming pools only.