As a swimming pool owner, proper pool management is essential and needed to achieve a healthy, appealing pool. As a result, you will be needing some popular gadgets, such as a pool filter, a pool heater, and a pool cleaner, for that. You may also need to buy pool chemicals to inhibit the growth of microbes. However, when you sum up the total expenses incurred on operating your pool, you will be surprised.
Do you know you can cut down on these expenses by using the best solar pool covers for your pool? Solar pool covers are pretty simple and do not consume power. They serve many roles that can help you save energy and money. Hence, I strongly recommend that you should have one for your pool.
If you don’t know where to begin, this article will equip you with the knowledge you need. Also, I have included reviews of the top 13 best solar pool covers available. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- What Is a Solar Pool Cover?
- What's the Best Solar Pool Cover?
- Comparison of Top 13 Best Solar Pool Covers 2020
- Reviews of the Best Solar Pool Covers
- Blue Wave NS520 14 Mil Pool Solar Blanket Cover
- In The Swim 16 Mil Pool Solar Blanket Cover
- Blue Wave NS110 8 Mil Pool Solar Blanket Cover
- Sun2Solar 1600 Series Solar Pool Cover
- Thermo-Tex Solar Pool Cover
- Robelle Heavy Duty Solar Pool Cover
- Space Age 12 Mil Solar Pool Cover
- Crystal Blue Solar Pool Cover
- Intex Rectangular Pool Solar Cover
- Splash Pools Oval Solar Cover
- Intex Easy Set Solar Pool Cover
- Harris 12 Mil Solar Pool Cover
- Doheny's Clear Tek Solar Pool Cover
- How to Choose the Best Solar Pool Cover?
- How Do Solar Pool Covers Work?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Swim Network Overview
What Is a Solar Pool Cover?
If you are not familiar with solar pool covers, here is a detailed description. There are various types of pool covers, however, solar pool covers are the easiest to use and are even long-lasting.
See Also: 15 Best Winter Pool Covers
A solar pool cover is a large sheet used to cover the surface of a pool. It has a unique design that features bubbles that are evenly spaced and they can also be referred to as a solar blanket.
Generally, solar pool covers are lightweight, therefore, they will float on the pool water, requiring no form of anchorage. They come in various colors and thicknesses. Although they come in various shapes, they can still be cut to match the surface area of your pool. They can be used for in-ground and above ground pools.
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Once you need to start swimming, you pull or roll it off the pool surface. It is that simple. Nevertheless, if you own a very wide pool, you might want to get a pool cover reel to ease stress and save time. Just like other pool covers, it keeps your pool clean but may also help to cut down management costs.
What's the Best Solar Pool Cover?
One of the best ways to reduce the cost of managing your pool is by purchasing the best solar pool cover for your pool. If you are planning to have a pool, it should be on your must-have list. Even if you have a pool already, it is not too late to buy. They are simple to install and use, hence, I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t have one. Below are some of the best solar pool covers available.
- Best Overall: Blue Wave NS520 14 Mil Pool Solar Blanket Cover
"Chemical-resistant, better heat gain, allows excellent heat retention."
- Best Budget: Intex Easy Set Solar Pool Cover
"Budget-friendly, made for round pools, comes with a bag."
- Best for Heating: In The Swim 16 Mil Pool Solar Blanket Cover
"Transparent, comes with an 8-year warranty, has a 16-mil thickness."
- Best for Above Ground Pools: Blue Wave NS110 8 Mil Pool Solar Blanket Cover
"Made for round pools, UV-treated for durability."
- Best for Inground Pools: Sun2Solar 1600 Series Solar Pool Cover
"Available for square and rectangular pools of various sizes, sold in two colors."
- Best for Salt Water Pool: Thermo-Tex Solar Pool Cover
"Durable, easy to take off, lightweight, easy to trim."
- Best for Rectangular Pools: Robelle Heavy Duty Solar Pool Cover
"Heavy-duty, UV-tolerant, absorbs and keeps a large amount of heat."
- Best for Round Pools: Space Age 12 Mil Solar Pool Cover
"Moderate thickness, less resistant to tearing, has a dark underside that allows high heat retention."
- Best Heavy Duty Solar Pool Cover: Crystal Blue Solar Pool Cover
"Premium quality, made for large pools, available in three sizes."
- Best Quality: Intex Rectangular Pool Solar Cover
"Made by a reputable brand, lightweight, quality, comes with a carrying bag."
Comparison of Top 13 Best Solar Pool Covers 2020
Not just any solar pool cover will fit except by luck. You need to know which one will work best for your pool. Indeed, I have put together the top thirteen solar pool covers you should consider, you also need to know their features and attributes.
Below is a quick comparison of each product to help you know which one to settle for.
Reviews of the Best Solar Pool Covers
Adequate knowledge about a product will go a long way in helping you to determine which solar pool cover will work for you. To help you make the right choice, each of the selected top thirteen best solar pool covers has broken down for better understanding. The features of each product, as well as their pros and cons, are discussed.
Blue Wave NS520 14 Mil Pool Solar Blanket Cover
(Best Overall - Editor's Choice)
This product is another decent solar pool cover from Blue Wave but, this time, it is a clear-colored one. Due to its color, the NS520 offers better heat transfer and retention than most dark-colored ones. Hence, you expect temperature push-up by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. It also allows you a chance to see through.
The solar blanket has a thickness of 14 mils and it has a dimension of 32 feet by 16 feet. For enhanced durability, the solar blanket is made chemical-resistant and UV-tolerant. This implies that it will withstand pool chemicals and the sun. As a plus, it comes with a 6-year warranty. It is also available in oval sizes for oval pools.
- It offers better heat transfer.
- It comes with a 6-year warranty.
- Efficient heat retention.
- It is chemical-resistant.
- Lacks drain holes.
See Also: 8 Best Gas Pool Heaters
In The Swim 16 Mil Pool Solar Blanket Cover
(Best for Heating)
The “In The Swim” brand has got several series of solar pool covers among which there is this 16-mil thick pool cover. This particular pool cover has a dimension of 32 feet by 16 feet but it is also available thirteen more dimensions.
It features an excellent design that is clear in color. It is made from polyethylene and can be cut easily with scissors.
It also has a high thermal efficiency thanks to its aluminum base layer. For improved thermal efficiency, it has a thickness of 16 mils. To cap it all, it comes with an eight-year warranty. It is very much compatible with a pool cover reel and it is ideal for areas with less sun duration.
- It transfers heat efficiently due to its aluminum base layer.
- It is available in 13 more sizes.
- It comes with an 8-year warranty.
- It is thick.
- It is available in one color.
- May not cope with changes in the pH of the pool water.
See Also: 13 Best Pool Heat Pumps
Blue Wave NS110 8 Mil Pool Solar Blanket Cover
(Best for Above Ground Pools)
If you own an 18-foot wide round pool or less, this will save you the stress of trying to trim or find a perfect circle. The Blue Wave is another popular brand of pool solar cover with similar quality to those from Intex. Ideally, it can prevent about 95 percent evaporation.
Made from durable polymer build material, the pool cover has a thickness of 8 mils. Furthermore, it is made to be UV-tolerant, hence, you should expect it to last for a long time.
The pool cover comes with a three-year warranty. However, it doesn’t come with a drain hole to remove accumulated water.
- Made for round pools.
- It comes with a 3-year warranty.
- It comes with UV-protection.
- It comes from a reputable brand.
- It accumulates water.
See Also: 15 Best Above Ground Pool Covers
Sun2Solar 1600 Series Solar Pool Cover
(Best for Inground Pools)
The Sun2Solar 1600 series solar pool cover is one of those premium and high-quality products available for rectangular pools. This particular model has a dimension of 32 feet by 16 feet.
It is also available in about 22 more dimensions – a small one that is 8 feet by 4 feet and the largest is 50 feet by 25 feet. It has a large heating efficiency due to the large number of bubbles per square feet.
The 1600 series, which is manufactured from a quality resin material, has a thickness of 16 mils, enough to retain heat and reduce evaporation. It is available in two colors – clear and dark blue, where the clear allows your pool water to capture a larger amount of heat. The manufacturer also offers a three-year warranty on the product.
- Made for rectangular and square pools.
- It is available in two colors.
- It is sold in various sizes.
- Many bubbles per square feet.
- It has a three-year warranty.
- May accumulate water.
Thermo-Tex Solar Pool Cover
(Best for Salt Water Pool)
Another good solar pool cover that you can use to harness the sun’s energy is the Thermo-Tex 2831632. The UV-stabilized cover is made from polymer materials that will tolerate the intense heat from the sun.
The pool cover is ideal for in-ground pools and will conveniently increase one’s swimming session by two months. The pool cover has a dimension for rectangular pools and will perfectly fit a 24 feet by 12 feet pool or less.
At 6-mil thickness, it is easy to cut. Hence, it is lightweight and easy to install or remove from the pool surface, nevertheless, you may still use it with a reel. It even comes with a three-year warranty but is only applies to customers in Canada and the USA.
- Lightweight and easy to take off.
- It has a small thickness which makes it easy to trim.
- It comes with a 3-year warranty.
- It works well with a pool cover reel.
- It doesn’t have drain holes.
- Warranty only applies to Canada and the US.
Robelle Heavy Duty Solar Pool Cover
(Best for Rectangular Pools)
You can conveniently raise your pool temperature by 10 degrees with the Robelle solar pool cover. It has a diamond design and has two-color sides –blue surface and grey-aluminum underside. Therefore, if used properly, it will exhibit an excellent level of heat gain and retention.
It is heavy duty and UV-resistant, therefore, it will not deteriorate very easily. Hence, it will last long. It has a thickness of 10 mils and a dimension of 32 feet by 16 feet. It also comes with a 10-year warranty.
- It offers high heat gain.
- Excellent heat retention.
- It is UV-tolerant.
- It comes with a 10-year warranty.
- Requires a pool cover pump.
- Heavy: requires a pool cover reel.
Space Age 12 Mil Solar Pool Cover
(Best for Round Pools)
Try out the Space Age Solar pool cover to complement your pool heater and increase your swimming season.
The pool cover as an exception design showcasing a blue surface and a dark underside (bubble side), that captures heat from the sun and dark underside to keep from escaping. It is only available in a thickness of 12 mils, however, it is durable and less resistant to tearing.
With such thickness, it is able to increase your pool’s temperature by more than 15 degrees as against when there is none.
Although the pool cover exhibits a high level of quality, it still comes with a two-year warranty to boost your confidence. However, you might have to use a pool cover pump or siphon to remove water on the pool cover.
- It features a warranty of two years.
- If offers an efficient heat transfer.
- The dark-colored base ensures active heat retention.
- Moderately thick.
- May collect water due to a lack of drain holes.
Crystal Blue Solar Pool Cover
(Best Heavy Duty Solar Pool Cover)
Finding a solar pool cover for a big pool may not come easy. Here is a premium option for large rectangular pools from the Crystal Blue brand.
This heavy-duty pool cover has a unique diamond bubble design which implies more air space to improve heat retention. It has a dimension of 40 feet by 20 feet, however, it is also available in 36 feet by 18 feet and 32 feet by 16 feet.
Also, it features dual color sides where the top surface is blue and the underside is dark (aluminum). This feature ensures that the pool cover provides excellent heat gain and retention at the same time. Since it may accumulate water, you might need to invest in a pool cover pump to improve its life span.
- Good for large pools.
- It offers excellent heat transfer and retention.
- Heavy-duty material.
- Easy to use.
- It is available in two other small sizes.
- No drain holes.
Intex Rectangular Pool Solar Cover
Here is another good product from Intex. Unlike the other Intex product on my list, this one is made for rectangular pool owners. It has a moderate dimension of 18 feet by 9 feet, hence, it will fit any pool with such dimension or less.
It is a lightweight pool cover and it quite stable on water surfaces, either on above-ground or in-ground pools.
The pool cover is made from quality 160-micron material which gives its durability and rugged nature. If used properly, it should absolutely, about 95 percent, prevent evaporation of pool water and chemicals.
It also includes a carrying bag, making it portable and easier to store. In addition, it comes with a 30-day return policy.
- It comes with a carrying bag.
- Quality build material.
- Reputable brand.
- It is available in one color.
Splash Pools Oval Solar Cover
(Best for Oval Pools)
If you own an oval pool, then you should consider the Splash Pools oval solar cover. The cover, which is available only in blue color, has a small thickness of 8 mils.
Notwithstanding, it does well in maintaining water temperature, keeping debris out and preventing evaporation of pool water. It is lightweight, hence, it is easy to install and even use without a cover reel.
Made from durable resin, it should last effectively more than two seasons or more, withstanding daily use and sunlight. It is sold in two bigger sizes – 30 feet by 15 feet and 45 feet by 18 feet.
It is ideal for above-ground pools, easy to use and very stable in water. On the flip side, it may sink if water accumulates on it.
- Made for oval-shaped pools.
- It is available in three sizes.
- Made from durable resin.
- May accumulate water.
Intex Easy Set Solar Pool Cover
With the Intex easy set solar pool cover, you do not have to worry about the shape of your pool. If your round pool has a diameter of 12 feet or less, you do not have to worry about trimming.
This product is an economical option for round pool owners. It is one of the best for above-ground pools, very easy to use and you may not require a cover reel.
It is made from durable PVC plastic and it is only available in blue color. Unlike some solar pool covers, this product comes with drain holes that prevent water from accumulating.
Also, it comes with a reusable bag for storage and portability. Ultimately, these features help to increase the useful life of the product. It also comes with a one-year warranty.
- Made for round pools.
- Comes from a reputable brand.
- It features drain holes.
- It comes with a handy storage bag.
- One color.
- It can be blown off by the wind.
Harris 12 Mil Solar Pool Cover
(Best with UV-Resistance)
Having a well-sized, good pool cover is essential if you want to enjoy your pool at any time of the day. This Harris solar pool cover is 12 mils thick and offers better heat retention at a budget-friendly price.
It is able to raise your pool temperature by 15 degrees whilst preventing the water evaporation and dissipation of pool chemicals.
It is made of UV-treated polymers that make it resistant to sunlight and keep its flexibility intact. Depending on your choice, it is available in many sizes and includes dimensions such as 24 feet by 12 feet.
It is easy to use and can be installed with a pool cover reel. The product also features a two-year warranty.
- It allows effective penetration of sunlight.
- It retains heat well.
- It is very flexible, budget-friendly, and easy to install and use.
- It can be used with a reel.
- It is available in other sizes.
- Not for saltwater.
Doheny's Clear Tek Solar Pool Cover
The Doheny’s Solar pool cover is a decent option for those that own large rectangular pools. It has a big dimension of 40 feet by 20 feet. The product is available in two colors – the transparent (clear) version and the blue version.
Also, it is available in different thicknesses, 12 and 16 mils, so you can stick to your choice whilst still using the brand.
The solar pool cover is significantly heavy, hence, it is very stable and efficient. This is an advantage if you live in windy areas. However, you need to have a pool cover reel to save the stress and time of laying or pulling off the pool. The product comes with an eight-year warranty,
- It is available in different thicknesses.
- It is available in different colors.
- Ideal for large rectangular pools.
- Easy to cut.
- Eight-year warranty.
- Heavy and might require a cover reel.
How to Choose the Best Solar Pool Cover?
Solar pool covers may be simple in terms of function but being careful when buying one for your pool is essential. The difference between having a good and bad solar pool cover will be evident in the results you see.
Hence, a bad choice, considering money and time spent, can be very disappointing. In short, you need to be very careful when making your choice.
Solar pool covers are available in various features and characteristics, therefore, I have prepared this buying guide to help you in decision-making. First, you need to determine your budget and aim to buy from a reliable store. Afterward, you can consider the following factors.
Shape and Size of Your Pool
This is the most important criteria! If anything is going to work well for your pool, you need to understand the characteristics of your pool. You need to know the shape and the size of your pool.
Most pool configurations are rectangular, round, square, oval or kidney-shaped. An idea about this will help you know where you should begin the search from.
Of course, the shape will be obvious, you might need to measure the size of your pool. Rectangular solar pool covers are more popular and easy to install. Other shapes may require you to cut out from rectangular ones. Notwithstanding, there are many brands that sell shaped pool covers.
To determine the size of your pool, simply get a measuring tape. For rectangular and square ones, you simply measure the length and breadth. For the round ones, you measure the diameter i.e. the length through the center of the pool. For the kidney-shaped pools, you measure the length of the large end and the smaller end separately and then the longest length of the entire pool.
The Thickness of the Solar Pool Cover
Solar pool covers are available in different thickness and measured in mil (0.001 inch). Thicker covers provide better heat retention. In fact, they really last longer than the thinner ones although with few exceptions. Overall, they perform excellently than the thinner solar pool covers.
On the other hand, the thinner ones will allow the sun to reach the pool water easier. The popular ones available are 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 mils. The most popular one is the 12 mils.
Color of the Solar Pool Cover
Colors play an important role in the efficiency of solar pool covers. Most solar pool covers come in blue, although in different shades. Some other cover may be clear (transparent) or grey in color. Before you buy any color, you should understand the advantages and disadvantages associated with them.
Darker solar pool covers are best when it comes to heat retention whilst also reducing the impact of the sun on pool chemicals. On the other hand, they have the lowest heat gain when compared to other colors. The light-colored ones are a little above the dark ones when it comes to heat gain but they retain less heat.
For the clear pool covers, they allow a large percentage of heat and light to reach the pool water. However, as they allow UV rays to reach the water, this may result in slight chemical loss. Furthermore, they offer fewer aesthetics and poor heat retention.
In a nutshell, the clear solar pool covers allow faster heating and the darker ones offer better heat retention.
Compatibility With Pool Cover Reels
If you own a pool that has a large area, it might be difficult to use a solar pool cover. Trying to install it or remove it can be pretty strenuous. Hence, you might want to invest in a pool cover reels.
Pool cover reels relieve you from the stress of laying and removing solar pool covers. Therefore, if you will be buying a solar pool cover, you should ensure that it is compatible with a pool cover reel or and existing one.
There are not many additional features associated with solar pool covers. Nevertheless, you might want to consider the availability of a warranty. Some products come with a long warranty, some with shorter years and some may have none.
Apart from a brand’s reputation, warranties are pointers of the credibility of a product except in some cases. Some products also come with reusable bags that may thrill you such as those ones from Intex.
How Do Solar Pool Covers Work?
Let’s start with an illustration. Imagine how long it will take to boil some water in a pot without a lid! That exactly how it is. By default, the sun will always heat up the water in your pool, although this is dependent on the location of your pool.
As the sun continues to heat up your pool, the water starts to heat up and may begin to evaporate. In fact, this may even compromise the efficiency of your pool chemicals. To prevent such, solar pool covers act as the lid or barrier on your pools.
Solar pool covers, when properly placed on a pool, converts the water in your pool to an isolated one but it grants access to the heat from the sun. The water heats up and boils but is unable to evaporate. Then the temperature of the water begins to increase since the vaporized water cannot leave the pool, allowing the temperature to become even. Its air bubbles trap the heat and make it available all through the night. The lid (pool cover) also eliminates the impact of wind and air currents.
Even when the temperature drops in the night, the water is unable to evaporate and it remains in the pool. In the end, you enjoy a warmer pool and the effectiveness of the pool chemicals is uncompromised.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
This is just in case you skipped some cogent points in the article or you want answers to some things about solar pool cover. I’ve compiled some frequently asked questions to help clear your mind.
Swim Network Overview
Although solar pool covers won’t replace pool heaters, it can help reduce the cost of maintaining your pool which is more obvious in the long run. Their versatility is what makes them a great asset.
Apart from increasing your pool’s temperature, it keeps debris out and prevents pool chemicals from losing their effectiveness. Even those they might appear simple and cheap, it will hurt if you end up purchasing a bad one or a product that is incompatible.
To prevent those stories that touch, my comprehensive buying guide should help. With it, you should be able to see the important things to consider and how to determine the right one for your pool.
Having compiled a list of the thirteen best solar pool covers to consider, decision-making should be pretty much easier. From my list, the Blue Wave NS520 14 Mil Pool Solar Blanket Cover is best overall and the Intex Easy Set Solar Pool Cover will be appreciated by low budget customers.
Have you used or currently own any of these solar pool covers? Please share your experience with other readers in the comments section. Help your friends know about solar pool covers by sharing this article with your friends on Twitter and Facebook.