Best Robot Pool Skimmer + Pros, Cons, Cost

robot pool skimmer cleaning an inground pool with silver handrail up front

When you own a pool you suddenly find yourself caring about how to keep it clean.  There are robotic pool cleaners to consider, various pressure and suction cleaner types and so on.  One thing is certain however, your skimmers will need emptying as they do the lions share of the work.  What if you could have a skimmer out in the pool always skimming whether the pump was on or not?  This is where the robot pool skimmer comes in.

Who Makes A Robot Pool Skimmer?

The robot pool skimmer is a relatively new concept, brought to the market by Betta.  The first iterations had some trouble with water chemistry and experienced premature corrosion of the mechanical systems.  Unfortunately, this gave these skimmers a bad name in the industry. However, the latest version, the Betta SE has been reengineered to be salt and chlorine tolerant. The basic function of the robot pool skimmer starts with the idea that you need to remove the debris floating on the top of the pool before it sinks.  

Betta SE Solar Powered Automatic Robotic Pool Skimmer Cleaner with Enhanced Core Durability and Re-Engineered Twin Salt…
  • Utilizes 100% solar power to automatically and continually clean the surface of the water, removing debris such as animal hairs, leaves, dust, pollen,…
  • Equipped with re-engineered twin Salt Chlorine Tolerant (SCT) Motors to drive the propellers directly, making it more reliable, responsive, and energy…
  • Features a large fine-mesh debris basket with a top handle, making it easy to clean without having to remove the Betta from the water. Simply dock it,…

While robotic pool cleaners operate under the assumption leaves and debris have already sank to the bottom, the majority of what drops into a pool floats for a while first.  This is why your pool can look relatively clean, but have skimmers full of leaves and debris.  If your skimmers are working their best, they do a lot of the work of cleaning the pool.  When your pump is off though, nothing is being skimmed.  This is where the robot pool skimmer comes in especially handy.  

How Do Do Robot Pool Skimmers Work?

Robot pool skimmers are solar powered.  This means they do not have a power cord or need to be removed from the pool for charging.  The Betta is designed to run for up to 24 hours without sunlight. Although, as with everything with a lithium battery, eventually the battery life will diminish.  However, it does not need direct sunlight to charge, and can even gather some power on cloudy days.

blue and black robot pool skimmer in small inground pool with beige coping around it and a palm tree in the back

So why does a robot pool skimmer need to charge anyway?  There is a motor which both moves the skimmer around the surface of the pool in a random way, as well as obstruction detection system which will help the skimmer know when it’s at the wall and must go a different direction. The robot pool skimmer’s function is to draw water into itself along the surface and draw in any floating debris to be caught in its basket.  

The robot pool skimmer has a large basket which can be replaced if need be.  The basket is one of the major wear items of the robot pool skimmer.  When you remove the basket, you may tap it on the edge of a garbage can, and eventually you may crack or damage it. Thankfully you don’t need to buy an entirely new robot pool skimmer if you do.

What Does A Robot Pool Skimmer Cost?

You can expect to pay between $450 – $600 for a robotic pool skimmer. While that may sound expensive, these pool robots save you from countless hours of dragging your pool skimmer net across your pool’s surface.

Alternative Robotic Pool Cleaners

What if your pool surface is mostly clean, and you only have some debris on the floor?  In this case, you probably don’t need a robot pool skimmer, and instead should consider a robotic pool cleaner like the Aiper Seagull SE if you have an above ground pool, or the Dolphin Nautilus if you have an inground pool.  

Robot Pool Skimmer Summary

Ultimately, the question probably will come up, do I need a robot pool skimmer to help clean my pool?  If you have an above ground pool or a pool with too few skimmers to begin with you ought to consider it.  If you notice your pool has a lot of floating debris even when the pump is running, you ought to consider adding a robot pool skimmer to your pool. Robot pool skimmer technology is evolving and only getting better. If you want the lowest maintenance pool possible, this is a good investment.