dolphin mirra which one is better

A Roomba Pool Cleaner? An In-Depth iRobot Mirra Review (2017 Update)

Introducing Mirra, the Roomba Pool Cleaner

dolphin mirra which one is betterRoomba fans were excited when iRobot (the company that makes Roomba) came out with a high end robotic pool cleaner called iRobot Mirra.

iRobot is one of the biggest names in household robotics.  But can it compete with the current market leader in the world of pool robotics, Dolphin Maytronics?  Read this review to find out.

In a nutshell:

  • This robot is decent, but in my opinion it’s still not as good as the current king of the aquatic robots: the Dolphin Premier.

Click here to check the price of the iRobot Mirra on Amazon.

The Roomba Pool Cleaner: About iRobot

irobot new pool robotIf you watch online viral videos, you may have seen the one with the cat in a shark costume riding around on a robot, chasing a duck.

The robot in the video’s name is Roomba.  And it’s the best selling (but not the best) robot floor vacuum on the market right now.

Though I do have a personal beef with this company because its founders got their start in robotics making war robots for the military, the company does deserves some credit for creating a market for household robotics.

Before iRobot, the idea of house robots going mainstream seemed very far away.  But now, people are beginning to open their minds to the idea of buying a household robot to take care of the dirty work around the house.

Videos of Mirra, the Roomba Pool Cleaner

These two videos below give you a good idea of how this bot works in real life.

Mirra YouTube Video #1: the Official Commercial

The video below fills you in on the bot’s basic features.  Like most pool robots, the this one has a brain and sensors for mapping out your pool.  Because it’s intelligent, the Mirra is designed to never hit the same spot twice.  Ideally, the robot will covers every inch of your pool during its cleaning cycle.

Like a typical pool robot, you don’t need any additional pumps or hoses to use Mirra because everything is self contained.  So if you’re still using an old school pool cleaner, you’re going to save a lot of money if you upgrade to the this or any other pool robot.

The motor processes 4000 gallons per hour, so it’s about as strong as most other pool robots. It has a 2 micron filter, so it can get rid of harmful pool parasites and bacteria.  If you’ve ever seen long spagetti-like worms in your pool, those are horsehair worms.  They live inside of insects, but they don’t harm humans– but they look gross.  And any robotic pool cleaner will get rid of them for you.

Mirra YouTube video #2: a Real Life Demonstration

In the video below, you can watch this hardworking pool bot roll across the bottom of a pool and climb up a wall.  The iRobot uses buoys to lift itself up all the way up to the waterline.

I am impressed by the buoy system.  Not all pool cleaning robots have buoy “arms.”  The ones without them can’t go as far up the wall and they tend to lose their balance more often.

But the problem with the Mirra’s buoys is that they are built out of cheap foam.  Over time, the foam will fall apart.

The Roomba Pool Cleaner Review: iRobot Verro vs Mirra

The Verro is iRobot’s entry level robotic pool cleaner.  The iRobot Verro is a bit older and not as powerful as the Mirra.

Here is the main difference between the iRobot Verro and the Mirra:

  • Mirra has four large wheels instead of treads
  • Mirra’s suction and filtration system is more powerful than the Verro’s
  • Mirra is a lot more expensive than the Verro

The iRobot Verro is about half the price.  The Mirra is pretty expensive.

But now that the new model is out, iRobot will most likely be offering special deals on the Verro.  Check the link to see if the price has dropped.

The Roomba Pool Cleaner Review: iRobot Mirra Features

The thing about this robot is that it isn’t very innovative.  All the stuff that it does, other better robotic pool robots can do better.  There’s really nothing exciting in the feature list.

Here’s the official list of features put out in the press release:

  • A dual top-loading 2 micron filter
  • An intelligent, obstacle avoiding robot brain called iAdapt Nautiq
  • A self-contained vacuuming, pumping and filtering system
  • A pump that operates at 70 gallons per minute
  • A scrub brush that removes algae and bacteria

The Roomba Pool Cleaner Review:  iRobot Mirra Problems

iRobot may be able to sell a lot of these units because it has a huge advertising budget.  But I personally think it has too many issues.

Here are just a few reoccurring problems that Mirra owners have ran into:

Cord tangles.  A lot of people who have bought this bot are saying that it often gets wrapped up in its cable.  Maytronics Dolphin holds a patent on swiveling cable cords.  That’s why iRobot is not allowed to make 360 degree cable swivels for its pool robots.

It often gets stuck.  The vast majority of pool robots look like little tanks because they are equipped with treaded wheels.  For some reason, iRobot decided to go with oversized wheels instead of treads.  (Maybe the designers figured that treaded pool robots look too aggressive or something.)  Hair often gets trapped around the Mirra’s wheels.  When that happens, the bot gets stuck.  Treaded wheels don’t get stuck as easy.

It breaks easily.  The internal propeller is somewhat flimsy and tends to chip or break off.  Also, the floaters are made out of foam.  With time, the foam tends to fall apart.

The Roomba Pool Cleaner Review: iRobot Mirra Warranty

Customer ratings on both iRobot’s site and Amazon are low.  On iRobot’s official site, the Mirra currently has 2.5 stars.  On Amazon, it’s about the same.

With so many serious problems plaguing the Mirra, it’s no wonder why you only get a one year warranty with it.  With the Dolphin Premier, you get a 3 year warranty.

The Mirra and the Dolphin Premier are equally priced, but the Dolphin Premier is much sturdier.

iRobot Mirra 530 vs Verro 500

As mentioned above, the main difference between the Mirra 530 and the Verro 550 boils down to power and wheels.  The Mirra has four large normal wheels, but the Verro has treads.  Also, the Mirra is more powerful than the Verro.

Mirra 530 Verro 500
Cost Check the current price Check the current price
Wheel type Normal Treaded
Warranty 1 year 1 year
Self contained Yes Yes
Filter 2 micron 2 micron
Weight 20 pounds 18.1 pounds

iRobot Mirra 530 vs Dolphin

iRobot may dominate the vacuum robot business, but over 40% of all the consumer pool robots in world are made by Maytronics Dolphin.

Maytronics doesn’t invest as heavily in marketing, so you probably haven’t heard about Dolphin pool cleaners unless you’ve been to a swimming pool store.  If you ask an expert, they’ll all tell you that Dolphin pool robots are the best swimming pool robots on the market.

The best Dolphin pool robot that I’ve come across so far has been the Dolphin Premier.  For an in-depth look at the Dolphin Premier, check out my detailed review.

Where Can I Get the iRobot Mirra 530 Manual?

You can get the manual from the official website, or you can download it here.

iRobot Mirra 530 Test

So far, Consumer Reports hasn’t tested out any robotic vacuum cleaners.  When they take the Mirra to the lab to see how it stacks up against the competition I will check it out and update this article.

CNET took a brief look at this bot at a recent robotics trade show, but they haven’t put it through any tests yet.  Gizmodo also announced the Mirra, but they didn’t test it out either.

Where to Buy iRobot Mirra (aka “the Roomba Pool Cleaner”)

My advice is: check out how much the iRobot Mirra is selling for on Amazon.  Most of the time, you can get a better deal if you buy through Amazon because you can also check out the price of used and refurbished units.

About Alex Munkachy

Hello and thanks for visiting Robot Fanatics! The aim of this site is to introduce people to the fun and interesting world of robotics. Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RobotFanatics.