Will Robotic Pool Cleaners Pick up Leaves? 5 Best Models

I live in the country surrounded by trees, which is beautiful, but it also means leaves are often in our swimming pool. It didn’t take me long to realize that I needed help removing them–so after some research and experiments with different types of robotic cleaners, we invested in one.

In general, robotic pool cleaners do a great job picking up leaves in swimming pools. They also take away much of the hard work involved in pool maintenance so that you can enjoy a clean swimming pool without all the hassle.

Are you tired of leaves in your swimming pool? Does the thought of swimming pool maintenance seem overwhelming and daunting to you? Are all your weekends being spent on pool maintenance? Then a robotic pool cleaner is what you need.

Picture of our swimming pool.

Robotic pool cleaners are available for a variety of budgets. Some cost less than $500 while others are over $1000. They all have different features, so it can get a bit confusing as to which one to buy. 

In this guide, I’ll tell you which robotic pool cleaner is the best. The list of automatic pool cleaners below includes ones that are very efficient in removing leaves from your pool.

Are Robotic Pool Cleaners Good for Leaves?

Good robotic pool cleaners like the Polaris 9650iQ Sport Robotic Cleaner are very efficient in removing leaves, twigs, mulch, and algae from swimming pools. They feature superior 4-wheel drive, enabling them to efficiently scrub the pool’s walls, bottom, and waterline.

Best Robotic Pool Cleaners for Leaves

Picture of a robotic pool cleaner.

#1. Winner: Polaris 9650iQ or 9550 Sport Robotic Cleaner, Automatic Vacuum for InGround Pools 

Polaris 9650iQ SmartPhone-enabled, intelligent robotic pool cleaner dominates the market of automatic pool cleaners thanks to its superior features. Even the experts at PCMag agree.

The 9650iQ can be controlled using the iAquaLink Control App on your mobile – so you can clean your pool at any time and from anywhere. Scheduling pool maintenance has never been easier. Plus, the app notifies when the canister is dirty and needs cleaning.

Honestly, I’m not the most tech-savvy person and don’t use the app. Instead, I programmed my unit to turn on automatically. It’s set to run three days a week at 10 am, I love this feature, and it was simple to set up. (I have enough phone apps.)

Both units have a lift control button, so you don’t have to pull on the long cord to retrieve the unit. You simply push “lift,” and the cleaner climbs to the water’s surface.

Keeping the canister clean is critical. Once it gets about 3/4 full, it no longer picks up leaves as well, so you need to keep an eye on it. Luckily it holds a fair amount, and you can typically get multiple cleanings before you need to empty it.

The cleaner also has a long cable and swivel technology that prevents tangling while the cleaner moves around doing its job. The Polaris 9650iQ also features a 4-wheel drive that lets you easily clean the pool’s walls, ground, and waterline.

It is even equipped to maneuver along the pool’s stairs and tight corners, so your pool is 100% clean. The reason I chose the Polaris 9 series is that they not only pick up leaves, but they also have a front roller that scrubs the gunite surface, which helps to prevent algae growth.

My personal experience: This baby cleaned our dirty pool within a couple of hours, leaving the water crystal clear. It picks up all the debris, including leaves and super-fine particles. No more spending hours every weekend cleaning the pool. My friends were amazed at how great our pool looked.


  • Compatible with ground pools up to 60 ft.
  • Built-in Wi-Fi for use with the iAquaLink Control App
  • 70’ tangle-free cable 
  • Remote control
  • 4-wheel drive
  • Patented EasyLift system for easy emptying


  • Easy to use and schedule regular pool maintenance
  • Gets rid of mulch, and algae on the walls, and leaves
  • Works on stairs and around corners
  • Excellent suction power


  • Expensive, but it’s value for the money

How it compares

The Polaris 9650iQ Sport Robotic Cleaner, Automatic Vacuum for Inground Pools, is easy to set up and program. It cleans dirty pools in a couple of hours and does a thorough job. It even removes sand and finer debris with ease.

The best part is that it cleans steps and walls, so you need not worry about mold and fungus. Its price may be on the higher side, but it is the best investment you will make for your pool’s maintenance.


I knew that I didn’t want to use the phone app with the new, higher-end model, so when it came down between the 9650iQ and 9550, I chose to order the 9550 and save $250.00.

DOLPHIN Nautilus CC Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner - Ideal for Above and In-Ground Swimming Pools up to 33 Feet - with Large Capacity Top Load Filter Basket…

#2. Best Robotic Pool Cleaner for Smaller Pools: DOLPHIN Nautilus CC Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner

If you have an above or in-ground swimming pool of up to 33 ft., then the DOLPHIN Nautilus is a great choice to clean it. This automatic pool cleaner does not use random cleaning patterns; instead, it intelligently scans the pool and removes debris by optimizing its movements.

The best feature of the Dolphin Nautilus is its efficient scrubbing brushes – they eliminate all of the tiny algae off the ground and walls leaving your pool water crystal clear.

You could consider buying the Dolphin’s ‘extra-fine’ basket; it costs less than $100 and removes finer particles like sand and sediment. 


  • Energy-efficient Cleverclean technology – cleans the entire pool while optimizing movements. The cost of cleaning is about 5 cents per hour!
  • Top load filter basket
  • It has a powerful suction of 4000 gph
  • Lightweight – weighs slightly less than 14 lb.
  • On-Off and weekly scheduler
  • 50-ft cable


  • Compact and nimble
  • Easy to set up and use
  • It can be programmed to schedule pool cleaning every few days.
  • Versatile – works on several pool surface types, including granite, tile, etc.
  • Lightweight and easy to handle 
  • Easy water release.
  • Very easy to clean – the bottom panels open at a touch of a button, and you can hose down the inside.


  • Sometimes it stalls on pool ladders and steps

How it compares

The Dolphin Nautilus is a reliable cleaner for smaller pools. It is pretty efficient in cleaning walls if you have algae on them. It also gets most debris out and leaves your pool clean in a few hours, making it energy efficient. You can also program your Dolphin Nautilus to maintain your pool every couple of days. The price is reasonable as well. 

AIPER Seagull 600 Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner, Pool Vacuum with Dual-Drive Motors, Self-Parking Technology, Lightweight, Perfect for Above-Ground/In-Ground Flat Pools up to 35 Feet (Lasts 50 Mins)

#3. Best Budget Robotic Pool Cleaner: AIPER Seagull 600 Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner

Want a cleaner pool without spending too much time or money on it? Th n the AIPER Seagull is a great choice.

The Seagull 600 works on in-ground and above-ground pools. It has a powerful motor and scrubbers that eliminate algae and debris from the walls and the floors, while its 180-micron fine filter traps it and prevents it from being released back into the pool.

It even comes with a self-parking feature that parks the Seagull 600 along the pool wall once its battery is low or the cleaning cycle is complete.


  • Cordless cleaner
  • Two modes – one for circular or regular-shaped pools, the other for irregularly shaped pools.
  • Indicator to show charging complete
  • Features touch-wall reverse and go movement
  • Energy-efficient – uses less than 0.03 KW power
  • Compatible with 15’ x 35’ pools with a maximum water depth of 8.2 ft.
  • Dual motor with a propelling speed of 52.5 ft/minute
  • Lightweight – weighs slightly less than 7 lb.


  • Time-saving- cleans the entire pool in under an hour
  • Cost-effective
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to assemble
  • The filter is easy to clean – open it and hose it down.
  • Excellent customer service


  • Does not clean floating algae and larger leaves over 4 inches.
  • It does not clean the walls – try the Seagull 1500 or the Seagull 3000 if you want this function.

How it compares

The AIPER Seagull costs less than $500 and does a great job cleaning small pools. It is small and compact and does the job of cleaning small to mid-sized pools well. With this efficient robotic pool cleaner, you will save a lot of time and energy on pool cleaning.

Aquabot X4 Robotic Pool Cleaner with Active Scrubbing Brush, AutoX Pool Mapping, Dual High Capacity Filters, Wall Climbing, and 2 Year Warranty

#4. Best Award-Winning Robotic Pool Cleaner- Metalix Aquabot X4 Robotic Pool Cleaner

Rich features combined with an affordable price have earned the Metalix Aquabot X4 pool cleaner the Best Value Awarded Best Value Robot cleaner.

Aquabot comes with automatic pool mapping technology to ensure no spots are missed. Its high-capacity dual filters keep the debris trapped inside, including large leaves.

The Aquabot 4-wheel drive system helps it climb walls, and its powerful 360-degree swivel technology keeps tangling minimum.


  • Programmable timer – hands-off automation
  • The filter basket holds up to 190 cubic inches of dirt and debris
  • 60-ft cable
  • Energy-efficient – circulates 85 GPM for chemical-free cleaning
  • 2-year warranty
  • Active scrubbing brush


  • Does an excellent job of cleaning debris from the walls and bottom
  • Filters are easy to remove, and they trap a ton of debris
  • Scrubbing brush removes most algae and trapped leaves


  • Filters are hard to clean
  • The scrubbing brush is positioned such that it does not reach all edges and corners.
  • The user manual is inadequate

How it compares

Metalix Aquabot X4 Robotic Pool Cleaner is a reliable robotic pool cleaner, and it efficiently cleans swimming pools, including the walls and bottom, to remove algae and leaves. On the downside, its filters consist of several layers, making them hard to clean. Th Metalix Aquabot is reasonably priced.

PAXCESS Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner, Automatic Pool Robot Vacuum with 60-90 Mins Working Time, Rechargeable Battery, IPX8 Waterproof for Above/In-Ground Swimming Pools Up to 861 Sq Ft

#5. Best Innovative Robot Pool Cleaner – PAXCESS Cordless Robotic Pool Cleaner

The main feature that makes the PAXCESS Cordless Robotic Pool cleaner an innovative one in the category of robotic pool cleaners is its completely cordless operation. It is equipped with a 5000mah lithium-ion battery to achieve 60-90 minutes of super cleaning performance. 

Furthermore, it comes with its navigation systems, so you get optimized coverage with maximum cleaning with efficiency. It also comes with two adjustable jet nozzles that let you control the coverage radius and prevent spots from getting missed. You can adjust one of the nozzles between 0 and 20 degrees and the second between 0-40 degrees when there are obstacles at the bottom of the pool.

PAXCESS cordless robotic pool cleaner has a powerful suction that easily removes bugs, leaves, twigs, and other debris.


  • IPX8 waterproof
  • Adjustable dual nozzles to control the moving route. 
  • 5000mAH lithium battery that gives up to 90 mins of operation
  • Features a pre-installed navigation system
  • The charging port comes with a protector to prevent rusting
  • 180-micron filter
  • Max depth 6.6 ft and max cleaning surface 860 sq. ft
  • Automatic docking 
  • Lightweight- weighs around 12 lb.


  • Innovative and well-designed
  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight and compact


  • It takes up to 6 hours to recharge
  • Not very efficient in filtering out sand particles and algae.
  • There is no handle to remove the cleaner once it is done. While removing it from the pool, the trapped debris tends to fall back in.
Picture of a swimming pool

Tips for Cleaning Your Pool

  • A regular pool maintenance routine will keep debris out of your pool and balance the chemicals in it.
  • If you have a pump, run it daily for 1 hour for every 10 F daytime temperature. So on an 80 F day, run the pump for 8 hours.
  • The Polaris 9650iQ has received rave reviews and does an excellent job of scrubbing the algae. Regular use of this robotic pool cleaner will prevent a lot of elbow grease down the line.
  • For tough algae stains, fill up an old sock with some chlorine and let it sit on the spot for a few hours before scrubbing. The chlorine will quickly remove the stain.
  • The CDC recommends checking your pool’s chemical levels, such as calcium hardness between 220-350, total alkalinity between 60-120, and pH between 7.5 and 7.8.
  • Use a pool leaf net; these trap leaves before it has a chance to sink to the bottom or enter your skimmer basket.
Polaris 9650iQ Sport Robotic Cleaner, Automatic Vacuum for InGround Pools up to 60ft, Smart App, WiFi, Amazon Alexa, 70ft Swivel Cable w/Strong Suction & Easy Access Filter Canister, Multicolored
Picture of a swimming pool

Conclusion – Will Robotic Pool Cleaners Pick up Leaves?

Yes, robotic pool cleaners do a great job removing leaves and mulch from the pool. High-quality robot cleaners come with scrubbing brushes and filter baskets that trap leaves, twigs, and other dirt.

I recommend the Polaris 9650iQ, which is easy to set up and program. It cleans dirty pools in a couple of hours and does a thorough job of removing leaves, algae, and mulch, as well as sand and finer debris, with ease.

The best part is that it cleans the pool’s steps, bottom, and walls, so you need not worry about mold and fungus. Its price may be on the higher side, but it is the best investment you will make for your pool’s maintenance.

Below is a YouTube video that provides reviews of the top 5 robotic cleaners of 2021.

FAQs – Will Robotic Pool Cleaners Pick Up Leaves?

How long do robotic pool cleaners last?

Different robotic pool cleaners have different lifespans. The expensive models are capable of lasting around five years. When it comes to pool cleaners, you get what you pay for.

What is the advantage of using a robotic pool cleaner?

Robotic pool cleaners are very efficient in removing mulch, sand, sediment, and leaves from the pool. You can schedule automatic maintenance; some can be operated using mobile apps. Robotic pool cleaners are independent of the pool’s filtration system.

Which is better: robotic or suction pool cleaner?

Suction pool cleaners are cheaper, whereas robot pool cleaners have a hefty price tag. If you do not mind that, a robotic pool cleaner is an excellent choice as it automatically lets you schedule maintenance and does a thorough job.

Picture of cleaning equipment in a house.

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