Solar pool covers are a must if your home has a pool. If you enjoy swimming, you don’t want any unwanted dirt or debris getting into the water. With a pool cover, you can keep the water clean and ready for the next swim. If you’re looking for the best solar pool cover options, we’ll introduce you to the top brands.
OUR TOP PICK
This pool cover is made for rectangular inground pools and comes in a variety of lengths and widths. You can even choose from 16 different colors. For those who want a heavy-duty pool cover and can afford it, this is the best choice.
Made by Robelle, this solar pool cover is designed to be used in the winter, but you can cover your pool with it all year long. It’s made of heavy-duty polyurethane, and every square yard weighs 2.36 ounces. If you install this cover, you can trust that nothing is going to infiltrate the water.
Polyurethane is waterproof, so as long as you manage to seal your pool completely, rainwater and other liquids won’t be able to pass through. However, this might require water tubes to weigh it down, and you will need to buy them separately.
There’s also a five-foot overlap included with every pool cover to ensure it isn’t too small. For example, if a 20 x 40-foot pool has an overlap, it would measure 25 x 45 feet in total. Complete coverage is essential when it comes to pool covers.
This model also has an 8 x 8 scrim. This means that the weave tightness is high, and the pool cover is better than those with lower scrim numbers. Scrim refers to the number of threads woven into the cover per inch.
Robelle also includes a 10-year warranty with each of its pool covers, including this one. If it is in any way damaged, you can always call customer support for help.
Being a heavy-duty solar pool cover, it’s excellent at keeping your pool water clean throughout the winter. Even after enduring inclement conditions, it can last you for many years to come. The polyurethane is strong and can handle ice, snow, and anything thrown at it.
- Strong material
- 10-year warranty
- Not animal-proof
- Issues with Longevity
- Some examples have damaged seams and other parts
The Pool Mate pool cover shares a lot of similarities with the Robelle model. The difference is that it doesn’t come in different colors, only dark blue. Regardless, it’s a cheaper option for those who want to save money.
The Pool Mate pool cover is rectangular and made of heavy-duty polyurethane. Being waterproof, you can expect to see crystal clear water even after a long winter. Of course, this assumes you used something to keep the pool cover sealed and set in place.
As the pool cover has seams, and these are often easy access for water once damaged, Pool Mate decided to heat seal them for better performance. Heat sealing yields a better seal for these purposes.
The five-foot overlap is also present in this pool cover. You just need to measure your pool’s dimensions and order accordingly. The extra overlap is there to ensure nothing gets into your pool water.
The blue topside of the pool cover is treated to resist UV rays since they can damage the cover over time. As a result, you can expect it to last longer during the summer and in the off-season.
If your pool has steps and other accessories, you might need to get a more extensive pool cover. That said, the average pool should only require something corresponding to its area.
You can use separately-sold water tubes to hold the cover in place or other heavy objects like planks or bricks. As long as the pool cover sits tight, you don’t have to worry.
The pool cover itself comes with loops for water tubes. The only thing left to do is buy and fill the tubes before slotting them into the loops for maximum pool protection.
This particular model measures 20 x 40 feet, but you can select your size in the Amazon listing.
Like the Robelle pool cover, the Pool Mate comes with a 10-year warranty. Contact customer support if you encounter any problems during the coverage period.
This Pool Mate pool cover is made of strong polyurethane, so it’s built to last. The top is also UV-treated to protect it during the hot summer months. With a proper seal, the water underneath will stay clean and let nothing past it.
Some buyers claim their batches were bad, and their pool covers didn’t last long. In addition, it’s not particularly thick for its size, which may turn off some buyers. There are also reports of weathering damage from the wind.
- UV-treated for sunny days
- Overlap for perfect coverage
- 10-year warranty
- Some batches aren’t very strong
- Thinner when compared to other pool covers
- Loops for water tubes are flimsy
Made by Intex Recreation, this circular solar pool cover is designed for instant deployment and long-lasting use. This is a portable, lower-end product designed for pool owners on a budget.
This Intex Recreation solar pool cover is designed for round 18-foot pools. They can be above-ground or inflatable, as long as the cover fits the diameter. This model keeps your pool water clean and warm throughout the year.
Also rated to reduce water evaporation by 95%, this pool cover will positively impact your water bill in the long term. In addition, by achieving a seal, the cover will prevent a lot of the clean pool water from escaping.
This also has the effect of keeping the pool chemistry relatively stable. You can save bottles of cleaner and other chemicals that make it safe for you and your kids to swim. It’s not just your water bill that will thank you, but your pool maintenance budget too.
The bubbles on the underside of the cover trap the heat, warming the water up. Note that they have to be in contact with the water to be effective.
Keeping debris out of your pool is vital for cleanliness, protecting it from dirt, debris, and unwanted wildlife.
When you need to store the cover away, you can fold it up like a sheet and pack it into the included tote bag. The total weight is about eight pounds, making it both a storable and portable option.
This cover keeps your water clean, warm, and free of foreign objects. Plus, the ease of the storage mentioned above and portability is a real bonus for families with little available space.
Like some of the other covers on our list, disintegration is a problem, clogging up pumps and potentially making a mess. The material is also thin and prone to damage. It can even be susceptible to the chemicals you use.
- Keeps the water warm
- Prevents up to 95% evaporation
- Saves you money
- Very thin and easily worn down
If you own a round, above-ground swimming pool, then you might consider getting this solar pool cover. It’s designed for Bestway’s pools, but as long as your pool is the same size, it will work fine. This pool cover is perfect for those looking for a middle-ground option.
If you don’t own a rectangular pool but an above-ground circular pool, this Bestway pool cover is for you. It’s made to keep your pool clean and prevent water from overflowing. That way, you don’t have to worry about adding water and chemicals.
The pool cover measures 14 feet without any overlap like the previous two pool covers. As above-ground pools can’t allow for overlap, this cover only works for pools measuring 14 feet. If your pool has different measurements, you need to buy a corresponding pool cover.
When set up correctly, the pool cover should provide an excellent seal and keep leaves, branches, and light debris out of the pool. The seal also reduces evaporation and heat loss by keeping the heat in. During winter, this prevents the water from freezing.
With this pool cover, you put the side with the bubbles in contact with the water as they trap heat. If you don’t do this, the pool cover won’t retain heat as efficiently.
This pool cover also comes with a tote bag you can store it in. When not in use, just fold it up and store it in a convenient place.
This Bestway pool cover can trap heat in your above-ground circular pool. As a result, it keeps debris out and water in, saving you time and money.
The material is fragile and tears easily. It is also vulnerable to UV and sun damage, which leads to pieces of plastic flaking into the pool. These plastic flakes can even clog your pool pumps if you don’t remove them up quickly.
- Made for round pools
- Retains heat well
- Prevents excessive evaporation
- Thin and easily torn
- Weak to sunlight
- Flakes can clog pumps and other systems
This cover by Splash Pool is made for oval pools. So if you have an above-ground pool that’s oval-shaped, this particular product is perfect. Plus, it’s an excellent choice for those on a lower budget.
You can expect this pool cover to keep your pool water warm. In addition, it has been rated to reduce water evaporation up to 95%, which can save time and money.
The effective seal also helps keep light debris like leaves and twigs from getting into the water.
Since the pool cover prevents evaporation, the water levels should be consistent for a prolonged period. Water evaporates no matter the temperature, so you can keep the cover in place for as long as required.
Another advantage is that it allows for easy pool chemistry management. There’s no need to refill chemicals such as chlorine and sanitizers as often since there’s little evaporation. Again, this helps save time and money, allowing you to enjoy swimming instead of spending hours calculating the amount of chemicals to add.
Naturally, the pool cover keeps water temperatures higher. So, on average, you can expect it to be 15° Fahrenheit warmer.
There is a layer of thousands of bubbles on the underside of the pool cover, keeping the water warm underneath. Ensure that this layer is in contact with the water at all times. If not, the trapped heat won’t reach the water as easily.
This cover is designed to be used for oval pools. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about buying other products and making alterations. When your cover is on, the water stays clean, reducing the amount of long-term maintenance. Reduced evaporation also keeps the water warmer for a comfortable swimming temperature.
This type of pool cover suffers from disintegration problems, just like the Bestway cover. Thin and fragile, the elements can wear it down relatively quickly. In addition, in some cases, the cover purchased was smaller than advertised due to manufacturing errors.
- Made for oval pools
- Keeps the water warm
- Prevents up to 95% evaporation
- Reduces pool maintenance
- Very thin and easily worn down
- Weak to sunlight and disintegrates
- Microplastics can cause problems with cleanliness
As there are plenty of options available, and the five products we’ve reviewed here are targeted towards different customers, it’s essential to know what to look for. If you have an idea of the ideal pool cover’s characteristics, choosing one should be easy. Let’s take a look at three criteria you should consider.
This article covered two types of solar pool covers, polyurethane-made and portable above-ground pool types. The Robelle 352545R Super Winter Pool Cover and the Pool Mate 352040RPM Heavy-Duty Blue Winter Pool Cover are examples of the former. The other three covers fall into the latter category.
The polyurethane-made pool covers generally boast better endurance and performance. However, they are heavier and harder to store. Plus, they are also often made for larger inground pools that aren’t above the ground.
The Bestway, Splash Pools, and Intex Recreation solar pool covers are made for above-ground pools. Unfortunately, these pools are often circular in design, which means the other covers won’t work well with them. Instead, the pool covers need have to be made to fit their specific shapes.
Inground polyurethane pool covers are considerably heavier, with Robelle’s 532545R cover weighing about 25 pounds. Since they’re mostly thicker and made of heavier materials, you’ll find them harder to carry around.
The portable pool covers tend to be lighter and easier to transport, and you can fold them up in a bag. Many of these weigh less than 10 pounds, depending on their size.
Size and Shape
Knowing the size and shape of the solar pool cover is essential. There are many designs available, and not all of them work with all pools. As such, you should be aware of your pool type as well.
Getting the proper type of pool cover is essential. If your pool cover doesn’t fit the pool itself, you will find it challenging to achieve a good seal. This is because the water can evaporate easily, and debris will start to find its way into the pool water.
Even animals can get into the pool if you don’t achieve a tight seal. This is why getting the proper size and shape are important to keeping your water safe for swimming.
For rectangular pools, you can consider Robelle’s 352545R Super Winter Pool Cover or the Pool Mate 352040RPM Heavy-Duty Blue Winter Pool Cover. Both are made to fit rectangular pools of various sizes. However, the latter is a cheaper option if you find yourself on a lower budget.
The Bestway 14ft Round Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Heat Cover and Intex Recreation 29025E N/AA Intex Solar Covers are for round above-ground pools. They can also fit inflatable round pools. However, they don’t have the overlap feature, so you need to buy a cover with the correct dimensions to keep your pool sealed properly.
The Splash Pools Oval Solar Cover is for oval-shaped above-ground pools or even inflatable pools. Similarly, it’s meant to fit only these types of pools, and you need to buy the right product.
In terms of thickness, there are two types, divided between the first two and latter three pool covers.
The polyurethane-made solar pool covers tend to be thicker and withstand more weathering and damage than the portable above-ground models. Polyurethane pool covers are slightly thinner than tarps but are sufficient for keeping the water in and debris out.
The above-ground pool types are made from various materials, but they’re generally thinner than the polyurethane types. You’ll have to take good care of them as there’s a risk of disintegration due to sun and chemical damage.
However, this does make them easier to carry around. The bags included with most products are perfect for this task. In addition, the above-ground pool covers usually weigh less than 10 pounds, depending on the size.
As mentioned earlier, the polyurethane pool covers are quite heavy and can even weigh more than double the above-ground models.
Since the category of thickness resembles that of type, our recommendations are similar to the first section of our buying guide—the type and shape matter.
Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding solar pool covers.
How Long Does a Solar Pool Cover Last?
Under ideal conditions, a solar pool cover can last for more than three years. However, on occasion, you might find a bad product that doesn’t even make it through the winter. Often, the better a cover’s scrim, the longer it lasts.
What Is the Best Thickness for a Solar Pool Cover?
The best thickness for a solar pool cover is between 12 and 16 millimeters. Of course, this will make the pool cover heavier, but you have a stronger and tougher pool cover in return.
How Fast Does a Solar Cover Heat a Pool?
The process is relatively slow, but you can expect a solar pool cover to heat a pool by 5° Fahrenheit in 12 hours. Of course, this assumes you cover the pool entirely, and there is some sunlight to heat the water.
Should I Leave My Pool Cover On During the Day?
Yes, you should do so if you’re in a dry and windy area. However, if your area is humid, it’s better to take it off.
Clean and Warm Water for a Wonderful Swim
If you own a pool, it’s advisable to purchase a solar pool cover. These nifty inventions are great for your pool’s health. They keep the water clean and warm and address any evaporation issues you might have.
In addition, you can save a significant amount of money on your water bill. More importantly, you will be free to focus on swimming or relaxing poolside. Now that you know what the advantages are, you won’t regret getting one for your pool.