Are you tired of dealing with winter pool covers that flop around in the wind?
Are your winters so harsh you need something that will withstand 100 mph winds?
Then a solar pool cover may be the choice for you.
The sun’s energy in a pool is impressive: it can be the equivalent of a pizza baking under a lamp for a month!
When you use a solar pool cover it eliminates the need for those pesky winter pool covers and you don’t have to heat your pool, which saves you money on your energy bills.
If you’re wondering “What is the best solar pool cover?” then read on.
|MidWest Canvas Space Age 18-Foot Round Solar Cover||Best Overall|
|Solar Sun Rings SSS Swimming Pool Solar Sun Square||Budget Pick|
|Pool Mate 1836RS-8SBD BOXPM Deluxe Solar Blanket||Upgrade Pick|
1. MidWest Canvas Space Age 18-Foot Round Solar Cover
- Heats up pool faster
- Made of strong material
- Comes with gloves, straps, and cover storage bag
- Has a strong plastic-y smell
- The elastic cord stretches out easily
We like the Midwest Canvas Space Age 18-Foot Round Solar Cover for a number of reasons. First, the strong 18-gauge polyethylene (thin and flexible) material is much better quality than an entry-level 15-mil cover. It’s 10% thicker than a standard 15-mil solar cover, and is also UV-protected.
However, it also has some drawbacks that we need to point out. The thickness of this cover makes it a little heavy, and the way it was sewn causes the elastic cord to stretch out during installation.
When installed correctly, the cover stretches out evenly on its own without assistance. If the elastic cord stretches out too much, you may have to manually tighten it by hand.
2. Intex Solar Cover
- Easy to install
- Affordable, great value for money
- Provides good protection from heat and evaporation
The Intex Solar Cover is a fantastic choice for those looking for a good quality, reasonably durable solar cover at an affordable price. It is made of high-quality, extra-thick, laminated material to help minimize heat loss.
This cover is perfect for Intex pools that are from 5 feet to 15 feet and are either easier to assemble or easy-set pools. It comes with an access flap that makes it easier for pool filling as well as maintenance.
When looking for a solar cover, be sure to get the one that will fit your pool properly. This can be a challenge with some manufacturers and there are no standard measurements across all brands. So, instead of choosing a cover according to brand or price, you need to consider your pool’s size.
3. Sun2Solar Clear 16-Foot-by-34-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover
- It is warranted for 12 years
- It is a clear cover so you can view through it at night
- It has a bubble side for easy installation
- It is good for 4 season use; You don’t have to wait until summer to use it
- It keeps the heat in even in cooler weather
- It can be very heavy so it is not so easy to lift and store
- Its price is a little high compared to others on the market
- It is not easy to put onto the pool correctly at first, but you will get the hang of it after a few applications
- It is a little thinner than some people would like it to be
The Sun2Solar 12-year warranty gives you peace of mind that you have a quality product.
It comes with black reinforced grommets and metal eyelets for durability and security when you are putting it onto the pool. The rectangular size is ideal to cover a larger rectangular shaped pool than most other rectangular covers.
4. Sun2Solar Blue 18-Foot Round Solar Cover
- Big enough for an 18-foot round pool
- Eliminates additional heating costs
- Works for both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools
- Can be used year-round to speed up the chemical process
- Effective at up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit
- Could be considered pricey for some budgets, although buying one will ultimately save you money
- Does require proper planning
- Needs to be applied properly to avoid punctures
| Reusable, Durable & UV Protected.
This cover is one of the best solar blankets on the market for those who want to take advantage of the sun’s rays to heat up water in an above-ground swimming pool. The blanket does fit a fairly standard 18-foot swimming pool, and can easily stay on an in-ground pool thanks to the durable neoprene material.
In addition, Sun2Solar has a proprietary technology called the “Heat Lock”” system that prevents heat loss and keeps the pool warm late into the night. This technology requires a little extra work, but the benefits are well worth the extra effort.
5. VINGLI Pool Cover Reel Set 18 Feet Pool Solar Cover Reel
- Sturdy, easy-to-use construction
- Three-year limited warranty
- Comes with insulating cover, locking system, pawls, bearings, and nylon rope for securing cover
If you’re looking for a great solar pool cover reel, the VINGLI Pool Cover Set is the one for you. I chose this as my top pick for two reasons. First of all, it’s very easy to use, and comes with all the bells and whistles to make your swim season a lot more enjoyable. Second, the price is right. I wanted something with a decent track record, and great reviews from customers, and VINGLI didn’t disappoint.
6. Splash Pools Round Solar Pool Cover
- Durable, long-lasting, and UV-resistant
- 18ft size that accommodates a variety of pools
- Anti-skid protection to protect the liner
- Seamless design for a precision fit on the pool
- Strong weight of 55lbs
- Comes with a rope for easy installation
- Some water seeps through the cover
To say Splash Pools’ Round Solar Pool Cover is heavy is an understatement. It weighs about 55lbs, even before it has water in it. To give you an idea of just how heavy this pool cover is, you can only lift it with one hand. No wonder it comes with a rope to help lower it onto your pool. After it’s set in place, the rope will help you take it off as well.
While it’s helpful to have the cover lifted into place, it’s not a one-person job. It’s also not a stroller lift – it requires a pool skimmer pole for installation.
Putting the cover on your pool might take a couple of tries to get it positioned correctly. This won’t be a problem if you have a standard above-ground pool that has nice round edges. Putting a cover over a custom or irregularly shaped pool might require more effort.
7. In The Swim 1836D Midsol Rectangle Pool Solar Blanket Cover
- Solid overall performance
- Good value for the money
- Less durable than some other options
This solar cover is made from 20-gauge PVC material with a scrim to provide strength but preventing condensation on the underside. It’s more durable than covers made from other materials like 80-gauge polypropylene, but it’s still a little light compared to heat-welded covers that can be constructed from other materials like Poolguard’s extra thick 30-gauge material.
The measurements for this solar pool cover are 15 by 17 feet. In The Swim recommends this product as a replacement for covers they call Intex’s 15-ft by 17-ft rectangular pool covers.
For a fraction of the money, you can’t beat its performance. This in-ground pool solar cover is effective at maintaining water temperatures and collects less algae than some other products.
8. Solar Saddle Pool Solar Cover Holder
- Made of sturdy, corrosion resistant materials
- Low cost
- Can hold up to a 20’ x 40’ cover
- Features a locking mechanism with safety clip
- Features a water resistant hose reel
- Keeps pool heater water warm for the entire working season
- Takes less than 2 minutes to fully assemble
- Disassembles and stores easily
- Fits any pool shape and size
- Does not come with hoses (but can be purchased separately)
- Does not come with an instructional guide
The Solar Saddle Cover Holder & Hose Reel is our top pick as it offers all the essentials that you need to properly care for your solar pool cover. It features a long, galvanized steel stake that secures the holder to the deck of your pool.
The holder cradles the cover to prevent wind flapping. Once secured, the hose reel can be lowered or raised with the touch of a button for effortless water draining or adding.
The head of the hose reel has a locking mechanism that can be used to hold your cover in place to keep it from accidentally blowing. The reel boasts a water resistant cover, which prevents your cover from absorbing water when you are not using it.
9. XtremepowerUS Round Pool Solar Cover Blanket Tarp 12-mil 24' x 24'
- Highly efficient
- It protects your pool from wind, dirt, leaves, algae, and other contaminants
Without a doubt, the XtremepowerUS is a durable, affordable, and easy to use solar pool cover. This product has gained much popularity lately due to its superior quality at an affordable price.
This round garden pool blanket is one of the best designed and most versatile solar covers for the price. Some people who have bought this cover swear that this is the best investment they have made so far in keeping their pool clean and clear.
To start, the cover is a clear blue color that allows the sun to heat the water without being able to see it, which protects the heat from escaping into the air or across your pool cover. It also saves you from having to buy chemicals for the pool that help to keep the water clear.
10. Solar Sun Rings Solar Pool Heater
- Great price for the size
- Works as advertised
- Doesn’t heat the pool as effectively as systems that cost 2-3 times as much (although it does heat the pool during most daylight hours)
- Not quite the quality of the more expensive brands
According to reviews, the Solar Sun Rings Solar Pool Heater is a very affordable way to heat your pool. Just toss these seats in your pool and bask in the radiant solar heat.
These seats don’t come with any kind of structural support, so you have to provide that yourself with in-pool supports; this will give you the best installation. Some people have reported that it’s tricky the get the seats balanced (and get the balance right) when using the in-pool support legs; you may want to try using some fishing line to temporarily hold them in place while you adjust the seats.
These solar pool covers are big enough to cover fairly large pools for a decent amount of time. Not only that, but you can easily leave them in all winter long to help with heating as well. It only takes about 5 minutes or so to get them out and ready to use.
11. MidWest Canvas Clear Diamond 12-Foot-by-18-Foot Oval Solar Cover
- Easy to take care of
- Solid plastic construction
- More size options
The MidWest Canvas Clear Diamond 12’ x 18’ Oval Solar Cover is an awesome pool cover and great for those that don’t enjoy dealing with chemicals. What’s great about this pool cover is that it’s oval, and this means it has quite a bit of versatility in terms of shape allowing it to fit the majority of above ground pools.
The insulation on this solar pool cover is really pretty great. It’s quite thick compared to other solar pool covers and does help to retain the heat in your pool. The brand also makes pool covers in different sizes to fit your solar needs. For instance, you can find them for 11’ x 17’, 15’ x 33’, 15’ x 26’, 18’ x 33’, and 30’ x 46’.
12. Blue Wave NS500 12-mil Solar Blanket
- It covers a large area
- Very easy to use
- The cover is durable
- The cover can tear easily
- Without reinforcement, this cover cannot be used in winter months
Blue Wave is always known for making high-quality products. Their NS500 12-mil Solar Blanket for Oval Above-Ground Pools, 18-ft x 33-ft, Clear is a perfect example of a premium item. When you buy this product, you will never have to use other solar blankets ever again.
This is very durable, so you can use this without worrying about quality. This product can add a layer of protection under your above-ground pool water.
You can take this cover off; but make sure that there is no rain because it cannot resist much water. You can also use this in the warmer weather. You will also save a lot of money as this cover uses solar heat.
13. Thermo-Tex 2831224 Swimming Solar Pool Cover
- Easy to use
- Made using rugged material
- Comes with a 12 year warranty
- Solar pool cover will protect your swimming pool from leaves and other debris
- The cover also helps to keep your pool warm and and save on water bills
- Solar covers also reduce evaporation
- This is a very heavy cover.
- Digital pool covers are quite expensive.
Thermo-Tex solar pool covers are the best on the market today. First off, the cover comes with an Auto Tracking feature which means that the cover pole is an adjustable height ranging from 4 inches to 6 feet.
Additionally, each cover has an adhesive backing which helps to ensure a snug fit with your solar pool cover. Thermo-Tex has designed this product to easily be placed over the pool and has an auto tracking feature which will help to prevent damage to your cover.
Finally, pool owners should also enjoy the fact that the material used to make this solar cover is a UV protected material. With the cover being exposed to the sun for so long, these UV resistant qualities will help to keep your pool cover in a good condition for a long period of time.
14. Harris 16 ft x 32 ft Rectangle Solar Cover
- Good price
- good warranty
The High Solar Heat Rejection Coefficient of 95% means the Harris solar pool cover will help maintain a cooler water temperature (and longer swimming season) than that with lower solar heat rejection coefficients.
This solar pool cover comes in a variety of sizes including 6ft 6in x 13ft, 7ft 6in x 13ft, 8ft 6in x 15ft, 9ft 6in x 15ft, 10ft 6in x 17ft, 12ft 6in x 17ft, 15ft 6in x 21ft, and 16ft 6in x 21ft.
This covers are incredibly durable and are long lasting as they are UV resistant and is made with superior quality materials, ensuring the cover will last all season through the hottest pool parties.
15. Doheny's 18 ft x 36 ft Rectangular Solar Cover-Clear Clear 16ML
This 16M²1116 solar blanket is a great way to keep your swimming pool warm and clean. This is a great blessing, especially when using free energy from the sun. This blanket will help to regulate the temperature of the water and the size is great for average-sized swimming pools.
As expected, this item has great qualities and a few flaws. The good thing about the Doheny's 18 ft x 36 ft Rectangular Solar Cover-Clear is that it is extremely tough. It also comes with a protective layer that seals and protects your solar blanket from sunlight and leaves. In addition, this solar blanket floats at the top of the swimming pool without any effort on your part.
The Doheny's 18 ft x 36 ft Rectangular Solar Cover-Clear Clear 16M²1116 is also quite safe because it comes with a thermometer port. Once the pool temperature is at a certain level, you can easily check it and with a thermometer you can make sure your pool is not either too hot or too cold.
16. Pool Mate 1836RS-8SBD BOXPM Deluxe Solar Blanket
- Securely locks into place using suction cups
- Stays secure in windy conditions
- 8ft width helps provide maximum sun exposure
- Stays securely on pool
- Keeps water in and leaves out
- Comes with a storage bag which makes it easy to store
- Keeps debris out of the water (good for people with dogs)
The Pool Mate 1836RS is an 18' x 36' rectangular solar blanket for in-ground pools. It is the perfect solution for all warmth and convenience needs. Simply place it on the water's surface and secure it using suction cups for best results. Even in windy conditions, Pool Mate Solar Swimming Blanket remains secure in place.
The Pool Mate 1836 RS measures 18' x 36' and is made using coated-66% polyester and glass fibers. It has Solar Tec insulation that causes the water to stay warm even in cooler weather. This ensures that your pool remains at a comfortable temperature even when the cooler days of fall and winter set in. It also keeps leaves etc. out of the pool when it is on.
With a storage bag this means that it can be easily stored when not in use. For those that have pools that need to be covered – especially those with kids and pets – this is extremely convenient.
17. Solar Sun Rings SSS Swimming Pool Solar Sun Square
- Easy to set up
- No need for cords to plug in
Having reviewed so many solar pool heater covers, I've learned to be cautious with some of the "bargain basement" models out there. The only thing worse than going with a budget cover that doesn't heat up the water, is going with one that looks and feels like it's worth so much more. That's where the Floating Solar Pool System from Sun Rings comes in!
When you first take the cover out of the box it's going to look a little out of place since the shape is so wide compared to most other models on the market. However, despite it's unusual appearance (doesn't appear to be a square at all) it's doing an excellent job heating the water in my 8 x 22 pool.
The cover is made from three layers, the top layer is the most important! It's made from a special solar material that does a fantastic job of collecting and directing the sun's radiant energy down towards the pool's surface. It starts to work as soon as the sun hits the water overnight, and continues much more aggressively as the temperature skyrockets during the day.
18. Robelle 24S-10SBD B Extra Heavy-Duty Space Age Solar Cover
- Heat-reflective layer traps in the radiant heat absorbed by the pool water
- Strong enough to last years and withstand exposure to the harsh elements all year round
- High-quality construction won’t cause pin holes or leaks that are very common with lesser quality covers
- Heavy-duty stitching is not prone to becoming undone
- Not as reflective, built, or attractive as more expensive solar covers
- When new, the pool cover may be difficult to unfold completely
The Sun2Solar 24-foot by 12-foot round solar swimming pool cover is a high-quality product that is well-built and has held up well in my tests over the past year. The polyethylene cover has a metallic coating on the underside that acts to reflect 80% of the sun’s heat, while the top side is a poly fiber that lets the UV and infrared rays through, keeping the water warm. I also love how this cover is heavy enough that it doesn’t float on the surface of the water, and can also provide a small amount of pressure to keep a pool blanket in place, should you have one.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is the best thickness for solar pool cover?
A thicker solar pool cover will cover the pool and keep the water warmer than a thinner cover. The drawback to a thicker cover, not surprisingly, is that it's much harder to remove due to its weight. A few inches should be fine for most people, but do consider the thickness when making your choice.
A thinner cover will be easier to remove, but you won't enjoy as much insulation as thicker ones. As technology has improved, so has the ability to make thinner covers that are still effective. If you're not up to struggling with a thicker pool cover, some of the latest models have become much easier to use than their predecessors.
It's also important to note that solar pool covers come in various lengths. The most common sizes are 8 feet and 12 feet. Pool covers can be significantly longer, however, so if you have a larger pool, you may benefit from a longer model.
What is the best solar pool cover to get?
A solar pool cover is an essential item if you want to extend your swim season all year-round. Using a solar pool cover can cut your heating costs for swimming pools by up to 50 percent.
Once the cover of a pool cover heats up, it reduces the amount of heat loss through evaporation. With many covers, the process is environmentally friendly.
While there are at least five different ways to heat a swimming pool, solar heating used to be the best and most used choice. Until the introduction of solar patches and pumps in the past couple of years.
These are two methods that offer a cheap and easy way to make your swimming pool hotter. For this reason, a great number of people have already turned to the use of these pool heating systems.
Now, the choice to buy a solar pool cover is still the most popular pool heating choice. So, in this review, we’ll be discussing this topic in depth.
Is a blue or clear solar pool cover better?
It depends. Blue solar pool covers reflect the most heat and keep the water the coolest: some people claim that their pool water remains as much as six degrees cooler than the outdoor air temperature. Because of this, blue solar pool covers are a good choice in subtropical climates.
A clear solar pool cover is good at preventing evaporation: most systems available today keep as much as 75% of pool water in the pool, compared with other covers that often lose 85% or more. For this reason, clear covers are a great choice for those living in climates with colder winters.
In short, you want to pick a solar pool cover color based on the climate in which you live.
When should I replace my solar pool cover?
You should replace your solar pool cover when you notice its effectiveness fading.
Most people notice it when they realize they have to replace it more often than before. This could also mean your solar pool cover no longer heats up the pool to the desired temperature. This happens because particles on the cover that absorb heat have worn out. An inability to retain heat is also a sign your pool cover needs replacing.
Not replacing the solar pool cover may cause algae problems. That's because the debris that clings to the cover can prevent the heat from absorbing into the water.
If you are looking for a pool cover that will allow you to save on heating costs and enjoy some ingress of sunlight into your pool, solar pool covers are what you should be looking forward to. They are coverings that are specially designed to retain the heat in your pool using the solar radiation.
With the right size, this cover can also be used as a maintenance blanket for your pool to keep it clean as well as cover your pool. While you can opt to buy a ready-made one, it’s cheaper and more fun to make one yourself.
|MidWest Canvas Space Age 18-Foot Round Solar Cover||Best Overall|
|Solar Sun Rings SSS Swimming Pool Solar Sun Square||Budget Pick|
|Pool Mate 1836RS-8SBD BOXPM Deluxe Solar Blanket||Upgrade Pick|