Best Robotic Pool Cleaners for Vinyl Pools 2018 – Top Picks & Reviews

a robotic pool vac for vinyl poolsDoes your vinyl pool need a little bit of love? The answer to that question is probably yes. Even the most attentive pool owners find that, despite their best efforts, sometimes maintenance can be a little bit challenging.

That’s where the robotic pool vacuum comes into play. It’s unquestionably a great tool to have, but it is also a challenging one to buy.

Why? There are so many options! You know that you need one, but you just can’t figure out which to buy. It’s an age-old problem common to pool owners everywhere.

Today we aim to help you make a decision that you will be happy with. We have done the research and testing for you and assembled a guide for the best options out there. Read on for some robotic pool vacuum reviews!

Our Top 5 Picks of 2018

ModelPriceWeightEditor Rating
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus
Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus
(Top Pick)

Check Price
19 lbs4.9/5
Polaris F9550
Polaris F9550

Check Price
44 lbs4.7/5
Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-013
Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-013
(Best for the Money)

Check Price
16 lbs4.5/5
Polaris Vac-Sweep 360
Polaris Vac-Sweep 360

Check Price
15 lbs4.3/5
Hayward RC9740WCCUB
Hayward RC9740WCCUB

Check Price
22 lbs4.0/5

5 Best Vinyl Pool Cleaners – Our Reviews

1. Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus Robotic Vinyl Pool Cleaner – Top Pick

Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

Up first the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus, our top choice on the list. There is a lot to like about this selection. It’s quick (cleaning even a large pool in 2.5 hours or less), and it is versatile, featuring a scrubbing, vacuuming, and filtering component that will clean your pool as effectively as possible.

It’s also just designed to be a little bit more intuitive than some of the other options on the market. The filter is top load, which means that it will be easy to adjust and change, and the unit swivels at 360 degrees to mitigate the risk of tangles and snags that inconveniently plague so many other pool vacuums.

Truly, there is very little to speak of that is wrong with this unit. One thing budget buyers are probably going to notice is that it isn’t the most affordable option on the list, though it is also cheaper than a lot of other premium pool vacuums.

We also noticed that the filters are a little fragile, prone to tearing when they interact with twigs or other sharp pieces of debris.

These things aside it’s a high-quality vacuum that should really catch the eye of anyone looking for the best of the best.

Pros
  • Reliable (we’ve never seen it get stuck)
  • Versatile (Scrubs, Filters, Vacuums)
  • Top Load Filter
  • 360 Degree Swivel
Cons
  • A little pricey

2. Polaris F9550 Pool Cleaner – The Runner-up

Polaris F9550

In second, the Polaris F9550, a unit that makes for a very close runner up to the Dolphin. There is a lot to like about this option. For one thing, it’s smart, featuring a scanning component that essentially empowers it to learn the layout of your pool, and clean accordingly.

It also features a programable timer that will allow you to set a schedule seven days out of the week, a remote that will make controlling the unit simple, and a high-quality propulsion system that helps the vacuum get where it needs to go.

All great, right? Indeed, it is a great vacuum but there are a few features that keep it from claiming our top slot.

For one thing, it’s considerably more expensive than the last option we looked at, for no extremely apparent reason.

It also seems to go a little haywire over time, floating, flipping, and missing areas of the pool that it used to clean. While this may be a defect more than something that you should expect to see happen it is nevertheless a frustrating, and alarming possibility.

These things aside, it is another good option for anyone looking for the best of the best.

Pros
  • Smart Scan
  • Timer
  • Remote
Cons
  • Very pricey
  • Prone to inconsistencies over time

3. Hayward Poolvergnuegen “The Pool Cleaner” – Best for the Money

Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-013

In third and in our best for the money slot, we have the Hayward, a unit that earns is spot on the list by providing a combination of quality and value that is difficult to beat.

This option is admittedly fairly basic. It doesn’t feature the smart scan component, nor the myriad of filters that some of the other options included.

Still, it does succeed at giving a good, reliable clean to the entirety of your pool for a very affordable price.

We aren’t saying it is perfect. This option is not going to be as reliably thorough as some of the others on the list and it also struggles a little bit at some tasks, such as cleaning the side walls.

These are without question frustrating cons to see, but for the price, many shoppers may be willing to accept them.

Pros
  • Best for the Money
Cons
  • Struggles with side walls

4. Polaris Vac-Sweep 360 Pool Vac

Polaris Vac-Sweep 360

In forth we have the Polaris 360, a flawed though affordable option for cleaning your pool. The first thing that shoppers will probably notice about this option is the price. Like our best for the money pick, it is a good deal more affordable than our first and second pick.

Also like our best for the money pick, this option is pretty basic. It is capable of sweeping, suctioning, and filtering the walls and floors of your pool, but it doesn’t have any of the tech that we really loved in some of the other selections.

Then there are the flaws to consider. The wheels are prone to locking, which will require you to remove the unit from the pool to address the issue, it gets stuck often, and it will also float rather than sweep on occasion.

In short, this is an acceptable option for people looking for an affordable vacuum, but budget buyers will probably be better served by our best for the money pick.

Pros
  • Affordable
Cons
  • Basic
  • Wheels prone to locking
  • Prone to floating
  • Prone to getting stuck

5. Hayward RC9740WCCUB Automatic Pool Vacuum

Hayward RC9740WCCUB

Last, and unfortunately, least, we have the Hayward RC9740WCCUB. Regrettably, this option falls short of many of the other selections on this list, and even the quality of the other Hayward that found itself in our best for the money slot.

While the first Hayward we looked at actually benefitted from keeping things simple and offering a basic but high-quality performance, this unit attempts to be upscale, and fails.

As a result, the machine is overpriced and fraught with flaws. It’s very heavy, the suction component itself is subpar, it struggles with leaves, and it tends to miss patches of the pool.

The only significant pro that we were able to detect is that it does benefit from sensor technology which means at least in theory that it is able to take a more individualized approach to cleaning your pool.

Still, shoppers that are looking for this tech will find that it is better applied in our top picks on the list.

Pros
  • Sensor Technology
Cons
  • Very heavy compared to other vacuums
  • Struggles with leaves
  • Subpar suction
  • Misses sections of the pool consistently

Buyer’s Guide

Now that you know what is out there, let’s take a look at some buying considerations that are sure to make the shopping process a little bit simpler.

Price:

One thing that most shoppers probably noticed as they explored our list is that price can vary from option to option by literally hundreds of dollars.

Do you really need to spend a couple thousand dollars on a vacuum when there are options out there for a few hundred?

Absolutely not. There are admittedly benefits to buying higher caliber options. As you might have seen the top tier models that we looked at were often quicker and more efficient than the other choices.

If you are trying to get a vacuum that leaves you with virtually no left-over maintenance to do yourself you are probably going to want to get something that is a little bit fancier.

On the other hand, if you don’t mind supplemental skimming or even diving for the occasional twig or clump of leaves then you could potentially save lots of money by selecting something a little bit simpler.

At the end of the day, the decision is really going to mostly come down to what you really need, and what you can live without.

Sensors:

The sensors that we looked at in some of the options featured today are going to be one of those features that cost extra cash.

Still, for people with oddly shaped pools, or just a lot of real estate in need of cleaning, these sensors can help ensure that certain areas of your pool floor aren’t getting consistently missed.

The efficiency that they are able to provide simply can’t be mimicked by vacuums that just operate via a formula.

Versatility:

The standard function of the pool vacuum is to, you know, vacuum. Still, as you probably saw there are plenty of options that are also able to sweep, scrub, and even filter the water.

The more it does the more it will probably cost, but for some shoppers, it may be worth shedding a few extra dollars to get something that is able to do a little bit more.

Weight:

Weight probably isn’t going to be a make or break buying consideration for most users, but there is actually something to be said of it. If you are older, or simply have difficulty lifting heavy objects, there are some vacuums out there that you may find very difficult to get in or out of the water.

If that describes you, you are definitely going to want to take a look at the total unit of the weight before you make a buying decision.

Warranty:

Last but certainly not least, there is no overstating the value of a good warranty. Why? Well, there are a few reasons. The first and most obvious reason to look for a good warranty is simply the fact that there are lots of pieces and components to pool vacuums.

It isn’t extremely uncommon for something to go wrong, and when that happens you can either pay someone money to fix it or you can (hopefully) get it done for free through the help of a good warranty.

Generous warranties also tend to indicate that a company is confident in what they are selling. They aren’t worried that they will lose lots of money honoring warranties because they know they are distributing a good product.

Generally, you are going to want a warranty of at least two years.

Conclusion

And there you have it! You have read the reviews and now you have a decision on your hands. Which of these pool vacuums are you going to be taking home?

While we can’t tell you what to buy, we can remind you that we actually have a couple of recommendations that should hopefully help. For buyers looking for the very best, think about going with our editor’s choice, the Dolphin Nautilus.

On the other hand, if saving money is your chief concern then your needs will best be met by our best for the money pick, the Hayward Poolvergnuegen 896584000-013.

Of course, these are just the choices that we prefer. Now that you have read our guide, you can make your own informed decision!

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