Even if you own a pool with a heater you are often reluctant to use it on those particularly chilly days. Knowing that you are going to have to run the heater at a cranked-up level to get the water at the desired temperature you want and the costs that that entails is enough to deter anyone from taking a dip.
Thanks to solar pool covers, keeping your pool water warm no longer costs an arm and a leg. These solar covers offer a smarter and much more affordable solution to keeping pool water warm without having to pay exorbitant energy costs.
Reviews of The 9 Best Solar Pool Covers of 2020
If you’re wondering, what is the best pool solar cover out there that is both affordable and effective at heating your pool water? Well, wonder no more as here is a list of the nine best solar pool covers based on affordability, durability, customer reviews, and various other factors.
1. Sun2Solar Blue 20-Foot-by-40-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover (1200 Series Style)
The attractive blue colored Sun2Solar is a perfect fit for a 20-by-40-foot rectangle pool or smaller ones. One of its best features is that it can be trimmed and cut to fit the size of your rectangle pool and offer maximum benefits.
The cover comes with thousands of small bubbles and a silver underlayer that traps the free heat from the sun and keeps the pool warm. At the same time, it’s 12-gauge polyethylene material stays put on a windy day and keeps the dirt and debris out.
- Can be cut and trimmed effortlessly to fit any size
- Tiny bubbles help capture heat
- Prevents water from evaporating by up to 95%
- Can be damaged by chemicals and excess sun exposure
2. Sun2Solar Blue 20-Foot-by-40-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover (800 Series Style)
Made with 8-gauge polyethylene material and boasting thousands of tiny bubbles, Sun2Solar Blue Rectangle Solar Cover does an excellent job of keeping the pool warm.
The smart material choice of this solar cover keeps it lightweight and extremely easy to handle. At the same time, it is robust enough to keep the dirt and debris out of the pool. On a sunny day, it raises the temperature of the pool by 5-10%.
- The lightweight material makes it easier to roll and unroll
- Prevents evaporation by 95%
- Can be cut and trimmed to fit the size
- Is not long-lasting
3. In The Swim 1632D Midsol Premium Pool Solar Blanket Cover
In The Swim is one of the heaviest, thickest, and most durable pool solar blankets out there. Made with UV-stabilized resin, the cover retains heat effectively and stays in place on the windiest of days.
This high-quality pool solar blanket had a thickness of 12-mil. As a result, it prevents the chemical from evaporating and saves you the cost of rebalancing them. The heavy material also prevents evaporation of water and keeps the water leveled in the most eco-friendly way.
- Increase the water temperature by 8-10%
- Comes with a 7-years warranty program
- The heavy material keeps it in place even in windy conditions
- Need two people to handle as it is quite heavy
4. Intex Solar Cover for 15ft Diameter Easy Set and Frame Pools
Intex Solar Cover is one of the best choices for heating an above ground pool of 15ft diameter. This pool solar blanket comes with an accurate size that fits the pool easily. Once placed in the water, it floats on top without needing anything to keep it grounded.
The lightweight solar pool cover weighs only 7.06 lbs. and is extremely easy to handle. It comes with a reusable carry bag that further ensures its long life.
- Comes with a reusable carry bag for proper storage
- Reduces evaporation by 95%
- Canadian PMRA registered
- Lacks durability
5. Blue Wave NS515 14-mil Solar Blanket
The 14-mil thick, Blue Wave NS515 Solar Blanket is an excellent choice to keep your rectangular in-ground pool from cooling down during the night time.
The solar cover comes with built-in tiny cells that trap the heat and keep the pool warm even on cloudy days.
The clear solar pool blanket allows maximum sunlight to enter the pool, yet not enough to allow evaporation of water and chemicals. The material of the pool cover is resistant to UV and chemicals and prevents rapid deterioration.
- Increases the water temperature by up to 15° F.
- Prevents loss of water via evaporation up to 95%
- Comes with 6-year manufacturer’s warranty
- UV protected and chemical resistant
- Has a limited useful life
6. Sun2Solar Blue 24-Foot Round Solar Cover (1200 Series Style)
Sun2Solar Blue Solar Cover is a heavy-duty pool blanket that keeps the dirt and debris out and keeps the pool clean.
This pool cover with its durable resin and thousands of tiny air bubbles also traps the solar heat and transfers it to the water. As a result, you can jump into a warm pool even when cold winds are blowing outside. The cover comes with a 2-year full warranty and 6 years of limited warranty.
- Can be trimmed and cut to fit without affecting the warranty
- Suitable for both, above-ground and in-ground pool
- Raises water temperature by 10° F -15° F
- Not as durable as other units mentioned in this list
7. Intex Solar Cover for 18ft X 9ft Rectangular Frame Pools
Intex Solar Cover presents a trusty heat retainer for an 18ft by 9 ft frame pools. The lightweight pool cover weighs only 6.78 lbs. and is easily manageable. The cover fits the frame of the pool and floats in place, keeping all the dirt out.
Made with an extremely durable 160-micron material, this pool cover is an economical and effective way to keep your pool warm and extend your annual swimming season. It also saves you the time when it comes to cleaning your pool by keeping debris out and having to constantly refill it as it prevents water loss from evaporation by up to 95%.
- Packaging includes a reusable carry bag for storage
- Durable material
- Prevents evaporation by 95%
- Easy to use
- May not arrive in the exact size specified
8. Thermo-Tex 2831632 Solar Pool Cover
Most pool covers degrade rapidly as a result of strong sun and chemical exposures. To combat that, Thermo-Tex Solar Pool Cover is designed with UV Stabilized polymers that ensure long-lasting use. The 3-years warranty provided by the manufacturers further backs up the claims.
This solar pool cover is covered with numerous bubbles on one side that retains heat and keeps the pool warm, but at the same time prevents the sun from evaporating chemicals and water from the pool.
No special reels are required to secure the lightweight, 16 lbs. pool cover.
- Comes with 3-years manufacturer’s warranty
- Made with super-durable UV Stabilized polymers
- Reduces chemical consumption
- Lightweight design means it will have to be weighed down on windy days
9. Sun2Solar Blue 24-Foot Round Solar Cover (800 Series Style)
Sun2Solar Round Solar Cover from the 800 series is composed of a film of thousands of tiny bubbles. These tiny bubbles retain the heat of the sun and transmit it to the water, keeping the pool warm and ready for you until the next day.
Place your heat blanket during the day when the sun is still out and the pool will remain warm despite the chilly nights.
The round shape of this cover is suitable not only for round pools but also for other oddly shaped pools. Just cut and trim to make it fit your pool.
- Suitable for both, in-ground and above-ground pools.
- Prevents up to 95% water evaporation
- Can be trimmed to fit without affecting the warranty
- Might require two people to place and remove the cover
The Ultimate Buying Guide To Solar Pool Covers
When purchasing a solar pool cover, looks should be the last thing on your mind. There are certain features you need to look out for that will be the most effective at bringing down energy costs and protecting your pool water from debris and other contaminants.
Solar pool covers give you two options, clear and tinted. Clear pool covers attract more sunlight, due to which, the pool temperature is raised to higher degrees. However, clear pool covers are not the best at retaining heat and your pool will cool down just as quickly as it heated up. Tinted pool covers do not heat up the pool as much as clear ones, but it will keep the water warm for a longer time. Make the decision based on where you live and how frequently you swim.
Solar pool covers in the market range from 8 mm to 16 mm. The thicker the pool cover is, the better it would be at retaining heat. They are excellent insulators and extremely durable. However, they get pricier the thicker they get. It should also be noted that trimming, washing, placing, and then removing thicker pool covers is a cumbersome task. If you handle pool maintenance on your own, opt for a cover with moderate thickness, around the 12-mm mark.
Solar pool covers come in rectangular, round, and occasionally, oval shapes. Choose the shape accordingly when making the purchase. In case of oddly shaped pools, you just need to choose one that will reach the farthest points of your pool. You can then trim and cut them to fit your pool shape.
An accurately sized solar pool cover should cover up your pool in all its entirety with at least 5 cm of the pool cover curled over the edges of your pool tiles. This way the cover leaves no opening preventing heat loss and protecting against dirt and debris. Before making the purchase, measure your pool size and purchase a cover a little larger than the exact size of your pool. The extra material makes it easy for you to tuck in the cover ensuring no gaps are left. This can further prevent the cover from being blown over when the wind picks up.
Choose the solar pool cover mechanism that best suits your needs and budget. Some solar covers can be placed and removed manually. However, some pool covers – especially larger and heavier ones ‑ are more feasible to use with a small motor that rolls and unrolls the cover.
Always opt for solar covers with lots of air bubbles in it. The air bubbles are what absorb sunlight and help keep your pool water nice and toasty. Also make sure the air bubbles are facing down into your pool water to get the best results.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How Does a Pool Solar Cover Work?
A: Pool covers are similar to large sheets of bubble wraps. They are designed in a way that they trap heat from the sun and then transmit it to the pool water. They also make the chemicals in the pool last long. Pool Covers need to be spread over the pool, bubble face down during the day.
Q: How to Cut a Solar Pool Cover?
A: Prior to cutting, place your solar pool cover on the pool and let it float for a few hours so that it softens and straightens up. Make sure that the solar blanket not only covers your entire pool but also spreads 3 to 5 cm over the edge of the pool and up the tiles. Take a pair of house scissors and start trimming the extra material.
Q: How to Clean a Solar Pool Cover?
A: Solar pool covers must be cleaned prior to placing them in the pool. You can use a normal disinfectant, a soft brush, and clean cold water to wash it. Hosing away dirt and debris is a great way to keep it clean.
Q: What is the Best Color for a Solar Pool Cover?
A: A clear pool cover does the best job of gaining heat. However, blue pool covers are excellent at retaining heat. The best choice is for light blue solar covers, that provide a good balance between both gaining and retaining heat.
Q: What is The Best Thickness for The Solar Pool Cover?
A: The thickness of the solar pool covers ranges from 8-mil to 16-mil. A 16-mil solar pool cover would do a better job of warming up the pool and would also stay in place despite the wind. However, thick solar pool covers require more than one person to manage.
Q: What Type of Solar Pool Cover is Best?
A: The best type of solar cover is the light blue ones made from thick durable material. The thicker and more robust the material is the longer your solar cover is likely to last. The durable thick material will also be able to withstand rough weather conditions keeping your pool water warm and safe from debris. The best materials also help prolong the negative effects of pool chemicals wear and tear.
Purchasing pool covers is one of the riskiest buying experiences because one wrong decision can send you running to back the store within days of the purchase.
Hopefully, with our complete guide, you’ll end up with a solar cover that not only retains heat and protects against chemicals in the pool but is also cost-effective in the long-term.This guide mentions some of the best rated solar pool covers in the market, each with their own sets of pros and cons. Align them with your priorities and make the decision wisely.