Pool season will be here before you know it, and you can give your pool a cool makeover in minutes with a solar pool cover.
Pool covers are perfect for those looking to keep their pool warmer while saving money on heating costs. This article will help you make the right decision on buying a solar pool cover.
If you are a small pool owner wanting to reduce the amount of chemicals in your pool water and a relatively high (3-5 cents per kWh) energy costs, we have some top picks for you.
For a complete overview of these reusable pool covers below I've prepared a table with some of the most important features and compared.
|In The Swim 24 Foot Round Basic Pool Solar Blanket Cover 8 Mil||Best Overall|
|Crystal Blue 1632RS-10SBD Box-CB Solar Pool Cover||Budget Pick|
|Harris 28 ft Round Solar Cover||Upgrade Pick|
1. In The Swim 24 Foot Round Basic Pool Solar Blanket Cover 8 Mil
- Solar Blanket Size: 20' x 40' x 8 Mil Thickness
- Color: Blue on Bottom, White on Top
- Economy Solar Blanket, inexpensive way to keep water warmer and reduce pool chemical costs
I picked In The Swim 8 Mil Pool Solar Blanket with Watertight Seams because of its excellent quality at a low price. Many users also prefer it for its long life compared to cheaper alternatives.
2. Sun2Solar Blue 16-Foot-by-32-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover
- Works on all pool shapes and sizes
- Sun2Solar pool solar blankets are very strong, UV resistance and last quite long
- Comes with a FREE garden hose connector
- The seams on this solar cover are heat sealed and won’t leak
- Rolls up to form an easy to use storage bag
- The vinyl is soft, yet durable
- A bit expensive
- The bubbles are made of plastic
- Does not come with additional accessories to help with installation
Sun2Solar has been manufacturing quality solar blankets for over a decade. This solar blanket is a high quality, durable option that does the job very well. It’s a far stretch to compare it to some of the heavy duty blankets in this list, but it does what it sets out to do and does not create any bubbles when rolled up to store.
3. Splash Pools Round Solar Pool Cover
- The cover’s borders float to better keep it in place.
- Scupper holes allow water to seep through.
- Triple layer protection from the elements.
- Clean easily with a garden hose.
- May help to lower cleaning chemicals.
- Helps prevent pool algae.
- Cover may cause chemical contamination that can harm skin and eyes.
- Black color can absorb sunlight heat.
- 16-feet may be too short for some round pools.
- Some users say it pops open in heavy winds.
The Splash Pools 18-foot Round Solar Pool Cover is one of the most popular solar covers on the market. Even with its disadvantages, users give it very high marks overall. The cover provides pool users with a way to get a tan and reduce chemical usage in pools.
The three-ply protection barrier helps keep your pool water from the elements. The main benefit of the Splash Pools solar pool cover is its ability to reduce waste and keep harmful chemicals out of the pool water.
During cold weather and when left in the sun, the cover begins to heat up from the solar radiation. If you make sure you have the cover on your pool or spa 24/7, this will also help the water to maintain its warmth when you’re not swimming.
4. Harris 28 ft Round Solar Cover
- Sturdy design
- Multiple holes in laminated silicone film to allow for easier draining
- Thick enough to last a few years
- Easy to maintain
- Fits most standard 28 ft pools
- Must be removed when temperatures drop below freezing
- Need to wait 24 hours for cover to heat up if the air temperature at solar cover is below 75 °F
If you are looking for an affordable solar pool cover to fit a 28 ft round pool, then Harris 28 ft Round Solar Cover – Blue – 12 Mil is definitely one of the best pool solar covers on the market right now. Harris has been making commercial solar filters for over 30 years. Harris pool covers are used by professionals and installers across the world to keep your pool clean and warm.
With the Harris 28 ft Round Solar Cover – Blue – 12 Mil cover you can expect your water temperature to rise between 4 and 8 degrees depending on the sunlight. Keep in mind that it can easily be removed for cleaning or maintenance and will need to be replaced every 3 to 4 years.
5. Thermo-Tex 2831836 Solar Swimming Pool Cover
- Cover more area with less material
- Smooth edges and tight stitching
- A Good Budget-Friendly Cover
- Colorful and attractive design
One of the most popular brands of solar covers is the Solar Swimming Pool Cover. Made by Thermo-Tex, it’s easy to see why: in addition to a lower price tag, it’s really well designed. This cover is lighter and smoother than the competition, with a tight stitch pattern.
This makes the cover feel more durable than similar products in the same price range. There’s a color range available, with the blue being the most popular and least expensive option.
The insulating padding layer is thin, but the cover still performs as you’d expect a solar swimming pool cover to. A good number of users have been talking about how this solar cover has lasted them for years, and that’s a great sign.
6. SSR SSRA-100 Solar Sun Rings Pool Water Heater
Solar Rings are a great way to keep your pool warm on those beautiful sunny days when you want some swimming action. The SSR SSRA-100 Solar Sun Rings Pool Water Heater is one of the best solar rings on the market. It’s built with stainless steel and with the robust material, these solar rings stand up to harsh weather conditions. While this heater may not look like the prettiest piece of solar heating equipment, it gets the job done and looks great while doing it. Some of the other marks that feature on these solar rings are rust-proof screws and springs that guarantee leak-free performance for many years.
The SSR SSRA-100 Solar Sun Rings Pool Water Heater comes in a pack of three that’s sure to keep your pool very warm on those sunny days. The rings are easy to set up. When you first set them up in your pool, it’s important to get them acquainted with the medium that they’re going to heat. So you want to fill your pool with water and let these solar rings pump out heat for several hours. SSR recommends to leave these solar rings in your pool to heat up for at least 36 hours ideally. But if you are looking to get into some pool time earlier, you may want to look at the other setups that can heat up in less time.
7. Solar Pool Flower
- Very attractive design
- Simple to use
- Budget friendly
- The TPR donut hole allows the rings to be used for small indoor pools too
- Relatively small size
- Can freeze in cold weather if you live in a colder area
Solar pool rings are inexpensive and easy to use compared to other pool heating systems, ensuring a warm pool whenever you want one.
There are two varieties of solar pool rings, floating and sunken. Floating rings are used in a variety of locations, such as ponds, water features or fountains in addition to swimming pools. Sunken pool rings get their heat from the sun instead of the water.
Choosing the right ring for your needs is the first step. The type of pool you have, the size and whether you want floating or sinking rings are important considerations before you make your choice. Solar Pool Rings come in a variety of sizes and types. Some are heavy-duty pleated solar bags, some are string and plastic ring types that are similar to patio heaters while others are made of glass.
8. Thermo-Tex 2831224 Swimming Solar Pool Cover
- Excellent customer service
- Quality product that has withstood time and use by pool owners
This solar cover is my top pick, not only for its price, but also due to its durability and functionality. The Thermo-Tex swimming pool cover is made in the USA, and the company has a great history of standing behind its products.
I like that this solar pool cover is made from recycled materials, which means that not only is it energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, but also that it has stood up to the test of time. According to reviews, it has lasted more than one summer and has stood up to the use and overall weather that it is put through.
This solar pool cover is easy to use and can be beneficial both in winter and summer as it can keep your water temperature lower in the summer and it will keep the dust out while it’s in the winter.
9. Blue Wave NS110 8-mil Solar Blanket
- Easy to install
- Great value for the price
- Non-toxic material
- Comes with a 2-year warranty
- Lasts up to 4 months in the sun!
The Blue Wave NS110 is an excellent choice if you’re looking to save on your energy costs. It’s an easy to install solar cover designed to be used with round above-ground pools. To help with the installation, it already comes with a connector sleeve for quick and easy wrapping. The blue color provides excellent heat reflection reducing the need for heating your pool in the summer heat.
You can count on this solar cover to last up to 4 months in the sun. It’s made of durable 8-mil resin and is completely non-toxic, making it safe for kids and pets. It also features convenient handles that allow you to remove it quickly and easily.
10. In The Swim 18 x 33 Foot Oval Ultra Clear Pool Solar Blanket Cover 16 Mil
- This blanket can easily cover a small to medium sized pool.
- It has been designed to offer a long lasting cover with a heavy duty construction.
- You are sure to like the convenient handles, which makes the covering process easier.
- The price of this product is reasonable, and you get a good deal for every dollar you spend.
- You can easily access your pool with this cover, as it does not have any zippers.
- This solar blanket does not fit perfectly on rectangular pools.
This solar blanket is very unique in its construction, which gives it the advantage over other types of solar blankets. The cover of this product is made of two parts which do not form leaky seams. You will not experience any problems with this product. The edges of this solar blanket are sewed tightly to avoid wavy effects on the surface.
This is one of the most popular solar blankets in In the Swim’s product line, and it is easy to understand why. It is durable, and you can easily use it to cover your pool with a very definitive size. You will have no trouble whatsoever fitting this solar blanket on your swimming pool. This solar cover is effective, it keeps your pool warm, and it does so without consuming much water.
11. Crystal Blue 1632RS-10SBD Box-CB Solar Pool Cover
- Designed to fit in-ground pools and above ground pools
- Has a startup kit you can purchase for extra pool covers
- Comes with an instructional DVD
- Has excellent customer service
This is a pretty sturdy option that features a clever design. The base of the cover features reinforced grommets all over the place, offering you the best in protection from tears and other problems that you might encounter with other products.
12. Blue Wave NS405 12-mil Solar Blanket
- Quick and easy installation
- 12×18 offers enough size for a very large pool (about 15,400 gallon)
- Better than shade cloth as it is UV treated to resist fading
- One person can install it with ease
- Water will be clear and ripple free with minimal use of chlorine
- No requirement to remove it for easy winter accessibility
- Can be used for above ground pools
- Very durable, even when exposed to rain and wind
- Definitely not an outdoor fabric product
- Very large for one person to handle well
The advantages of using solar blankets are quickly gaining popularity. This is particularly true for the Blue Wave 13 foot by 24 foot blue rectangular solar blanket for rectangular above ground or in ground swimming pools. It is designed to completely cover the swimming pool.
It is made of heavy duty blue 12-millimeter monocrystalline silicon solar blanket that will be sure to keep your swimming pool water at the optimal level and temperature. Your pool water will be rippling clear, clean, and sanitized with minimal use of chlorine.
13. Noair Heat Squares NS792-12 Solar Blanket
- Very affordable for 12 solar blankets with a decent temperature range of 59 degrees
- Very lightweight material
- Not very good at keeping heat at night
14. SwimWays Thermaspring Solar Mat 6 Pack
- Easier to use – Comes with multiple connection methods and can extend to fit any size pool.
- Very durable – The mat is designed to last and comes at a great value.
- Enhanced design – The mat is more durable and larger than the original Thermaspring.
- Exceeds expectations – The mat won't puncture or leak and always provides a warm pool even after days of cloudy weather.
- Lacks a warranty – The mat isn't guaranteed to last but a 2-year warranty is listed on the manufacturer's website.
- Not the softest padding – The material is naturally harder than normal pool liner and does not have a soft velvety feel.
The SwimWays Thermaspring Solar Mat is a durable inflatable floating pool mat. It is easily one of the top-rated solar pool blankets due to its many advantages. The mat measures 104 by 54 inches which is plenty of room to fit over the deep end of the pool and still keep an adult swimming comfortably. The mat is designed with a rectangular shape and comes with the ability to connect multiple mats to fit all sizes of pools. The Thermaspring is also able to resist puncture holes from pool accessories and even multiple animals. READ Solar Pool Covers Vs. Blanket Covers: Which Materials Are Right For Your Pool?
15. Doheny's 18 ft x 36 ft Rectangular Solar Cover-Clear Clear 16ML
- Made in the USA
- Clear color allows for maximum pool heating
- Has excellent quality for the price
- See through window allows for inspection of water without opening cover
- Stays on during windy months
- No ripple effect from wind
- Fits 18 – 36,000 gallon pools
- Lifetime warranty
- Invasive manufacturing process
- Heavy plastic scent may be irritating to some
Thickest, Best Quality, Made In The USA!!!
If you are looking for a solar pool cover for your rectangular pool then the Denby Intelli-Touch Sun Smart Solar Blanket may be the one for you. It is a foldable and rollable pool cover. It is larger than the average solar blanket for round my above ground pools.
The only downside to this solar pool cover is it is glued together and rolls out in a very inconvenient manner for above ground pools. It doesn’t automatically fold back up like other covers do. So, you have to lay it across your pool and then pull it up the walls with a float and the suction cups on the end to secure it. While it is a very large solar pool cover for residential use it is not that big of a deal to go through the extra step.
16. Festnight Floating Rectangular Solar Film Cover Heating Blanket
- Amount of Water Heated: 4,560 Gallons
Size: 19.8 x 13.1 Feet
Material: PVC or Polyester
17. Solar Sun Rings SSS Swimming Pool Solar Sun Square
As the days get longer during the warmer months, you can enjoy the sun with this great set of pool solar heating rings from Solar Sun Rings. These rings fit easily onto your existing solar cover and add an extra 70 degrees of heat and sun to your pool.
You will receive six rings in a pack. Each ring is fitted with super-efficient solar technology that is far more effective than standard hardware store heating rings.
These rings are incredibly lightweight, and you do not need to remove them to gain easy access to your pool. They can comfortably handle water temperatures of up to 111 degrees Fahrenheit.
18. In The Swim 4 x 8 Foot Rectangle Premium Plus Pool Solar Blanket Cover 12 Mil
- This blanket is really well constructed and made to last. It should last for years with proper care.
- It should cover your entire pool, but it will probably be a little bit bigger than your pool.
- It is a very high quality solar blanket.
- It has a super easy installation procedure.
- Once you get it on the pool, it is not going anywhere.
You are going to need to buy a cover reel to be used with this solar blanket. This is not included.
This is a great 12 mil solar blanket that will help heat your pool for the summer and save you money on water bills.
This blanket is designed to cover a pool up to 16 x 32 with the help of a heat cord to keep the blanket from falling in.
19. MidWest Canvas Clear Diamond 12-Foot-by-24-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover
- It’s great value for money
- Large size covers sea and paddling pools
- Strong and durable
- It’s lightweight
- Does not work for above-ground pools
- Quality control issues
MidWest is the parent company of one of the biggest manufacturers of inexpensive pool covers and it’s easy to see why when you look at its Clear Diamond Solar Cover.
This rectangular bubble pool cover is available in 16, 18, and 20 mil thicknesses and is sized to fit into swimming pools of both in-ground and above-ground sizes.
The 18 and 20 mils will fit over a pool or spa with a diameter of 16 feet – 24 feet, while the 16 mils will only go up to 12 feet – 16 feet.
20. Pool Mate 1632RS-8SBD BOXPM Deluxe Solar Blanket
- 3-Year Warranty
- Very high customer satisfaction with 97%
- 8 Mil Thick
Frame, 8 mil.
The first solar blanket on our list is the Pool Mate 1632RS-8SBD Deluxe Solar Pool Cover with a 16” x 32” rectangle frame. This is a colored solar pool cover with a silver frame.
The Pool Mate Solar Cover is the most popular winter pool blanket on the market right now. It also has an average of 4.7/5 stars on Amazon.
21. SwimWays 17400 Pool Heater ThermaSpring Solar Mat
- Very easy to roll out on the ground of the pool, even on the sides and corners of the pool
- The solar mat hot water also help warm the pool water by as much as 5 degrees
- The water heats up twice as fast as it would by conventional solar panels.
- The material is an extremely durable nylon fabric that does not crack, thereby assuring durability for most of the seasons.
- This is unassuming and harmless to children and pets who enter the pool.
- It is extremely safe to use around children and pets.
- It makes the pool warm even up to 40 degrees, depending on the time of year.
- These solar panels are easy to install and can be connected using the plug.
- The solar mat can be stretched to about 5 meters where it can be laid to cover an average of 30 to 35 feet long.
- It requires pool water to tend to the cause of the water in order to heat.
Buying this product is a great idea as it will be a great addition to make your swimming pool warmer, safer, and cleaner. It will assure you that you will be safe from hypothermia and many other ailments that are caused by cold water.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Do solar rings for pools really work?
Yes, the concept of solar rings for pools is simple: a ring-shaped solar heater, with a high solar concentration, is installed around the perimeter of the pool to absorb heat-trapping rays and raise water temperature; then, the solar rings are routinely removed and stored in the winter (ideally in a protected, covered place).
That said, a pool blanket is different from a pool cover in that the blanket is typically made from an insulating material that can hold warm water. They are installed at the start of the swimming season and stay on the pool throughout the summer. Swimming-pool blankets are typically removed prior to winter because they inhibit the design features of a custom-built pool; however, sometimes they are stored in a separate storage space in winter.
Solar rings do exactly what you’d expect them to do and work as expected. Before you buy solar rings, make sure your pool needs them.
What are the best solar rings for pool?
Installing a solar ring in your pool makes a tremendous difference.
Installing it in your pool can make it so you use up to 20% less water than previous years.
Install a solar ring around your pool and you‘ll be amazed by how much energy savings it offers.
Not only this, but it also keeps your pool warm longer. The sun‘s rays breaking into the water and heat large volumes of water.
Even if you have an in ground pool you can still benefit from solar rings. These rings float on the water, and heat up the water that passes through the tube and into your pool.
You can place them anywhere in your pool. Some people place them every 3 feet, while others place them closer together. Anywhere you place them, there will be a noticeable difference in how long it takes to heat up your pool.
How many solar rings do I need for my pool?
A solar ring is a novel simple device that helps to retain heat and raise the water temperature in your existing above ground or in-ground pool. Due to their innovative design, solar rings can raise pool temperatures by at least 5 degrees. They allow you to swim at any time of the year by extending the swimming season. It is a good way to save on energy costs for heating the pool.
Solar rings are designed in such a way that they minimize evaporation compared to other pool covers and jackets. This is because they are exposed to the sun. Although they do not completely eliminate evaporation like other solar heating systems, they have lesser water loss compared to many other items.
In simple words, you just need only one solar ring for your swimming pool. However, if you want to swim through cold weather, then you will need multiple solar rings. A single solar ring is capable of heating up to 1000 gallons of water.
What is the best thickness for a solar pool cover?
Solar covers come in many different thicknesses and it really depends on your situation. If you have an already existing pool cover, the ideal thickness would depend on its type: if it's a solid-colored, bubbly-material, or bubble-free. But if you're using a solar cover for the very first time, then we recommend using a bubble-free 12mm solar cover.
A bubble-free solar cover, though slightly more expensive, is a lot safer than the solid-colored ones. That's because it's hard to see small children and pets in the pool when the cover is in place, so a bubble-free solar cover is the safest option.
Are you thinking of getting a solar cover for your pool? If you don’t want the hassle of taking the cover on and off, then the best way to go is with a solar heating blanket all year long. A solar heating blanket is a blanket-like device that attaches to a pool’s existing cover, using neoprene. It works by absorbing heat from the sun and raising the temperature of the water in the pool a few degrees.
|In The Swim 24 Foot Round Basic Pool Solar Blanket Cover 8 Mil||Best Overall|
|Crystal Blue 1632RS-10SBD Box-CB Solar Pool Cover||Budget Pick|
|Harris 28 ft Round Solar Cover||Upgrade Pick|