Robot Cleaner - Top Load Basket vs. Bottom Load Filter


Bronze Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 6, 2009
Nazareth, PA
I'm slowly doing my research to determine which robot cleaner to purchase, when I make the jump and replace my Polaris 360. One thing I'm really looking for is a unit that has a filter basket system that is easy to empty. With the mesh bag on my Polaris 360 I found it difficult to get all the sand out of it, and usually let it completely dry first before attempting to empty.

With all the top of line robot cleaners I've seen, the ones that interest me the most for other features like swivel cord, custom cleaning programs, remote control, great waterline cleaning, included caddy, etc., seem to then fall short in that you have to flip the unit over to remove the debris filter/basket, and some of them seem to have either very small compartments with car air-filter like filters, or cloth bags. Whereas the units that may have other shortcomings like no swivel cords, not as impressive cleaning abilities, etc., seem to have better top-loading baskets that seem easy to remove, empty and clean.

For all you robot cleaner owners out there, I'm curious to hear your experiences and preferences on top vs. bottom filters. And throw in the discussion mesh baskets vs. cloth bags.

Thoughts? Pros/Cons?? Feel free to name specific makes/models. :)

Divin Dave

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 2, 2013
Longview, Texas
I have a Dolphin Nautilus with bottom load and pleated filters in it.

I dont turn my cleaner over. I just tilt it on its side and it sits there on it's own just fine. Then, flip the two little levers and out comes the filter cage. Pop the little clasp that holds them in teh cage and out they come and spray them off with the waterhose. If anyone thinks this is difficult or takes a long time, then they either aren't doing it right or they only heard it was a pain. I find it hard to believe it could be much easier. From start to finish is just a few minutes. It's easy street.

If I were in the market for a new cleaner, it wouldn't matter to me if it were top load or not.

I wouldnt have one with a bag on it though. Pleated filters all the way.


Well-known member
Aug 19, 2013
Lived with the bottom-loading bag for a few years. Now have the top-loading basket on the S300 which is what every cleaner should have. It's the most sensible solution and crazy easy to clean. I've linked to this video a dozen times. Go to 1:35:

Dolphin S series S300 - YouTube


Active member
Mar 3, 2015
I've had my Polaris 9350 for 9 months now and I feel it does a pretty good job. It has a top loading basket that is pretty easy to keep clean and it is fairly effective at cleaning the water line. If it failed tomorrow I'd buy another, but I would upgrade to a 4 wheel drive version because sometimes mine slips and slides which causes it to end up on its side when cleaning the water line. I've never had it get stuck or end up on its back though.