Best Swimming Pool Solar Covers

Published Categorized as Pool Care

Swimming season has finally arrived! You’re probably looking for ways to beat the heat and avoid the sun’s rays, but don’t reach for the garden hose just yet!

Visiting a swimming pool is always helpful, and it’s better if you already own a pool! However, one of the things that many pool owners struggle with is keeping the pool water warm.

If you’ve personally experienced countless wake-up calls from the cold pool water, you may want to try other ways to retain heat loss.

This is where solar covers come in. If you’re interested in learning more about how solar pool covers work, don’t go anywhere and keep reading!

The Top 6 Solar Pool Covers

Now that you’ve learned more about the numerous features of solar pool covers, it’s time to choose a solar pool cover!

Check out our list below to learn more about the pros and cons of each option!

Best Overall: In the Swim Ultra 16 Mil Solar Cover

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We picked this as the best solar pool cover because it offers great functionality and reliability! You can also trim down this 16 x 32 ft. rectangular cover for smaller pools.

Its top layer is made out of polyethylene, while its bottom layer is aluminized. It also features flat reinforced seams and UV-stabilized resin construction!

With a 16-mil thickness, it can protect your pool against damages while also keeping it free from debris!

It also comes with an 8-year warranty period, so don’t worry about any potential wear and tear it may receive!

With an affordable $229.99, you’ll be getting your money’s worth with this pool cover!

Pros and Cons – In the Swim Ultra 16 Mil Solar Cover

  • Made out of a durable material
  • Its air pockets keep the pool insulated
  • Has an 8-year warranty
  • Not a lot of reviews

Best Value: MidWest Canvas Space Age Round Solar Pool Cover

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If you’re looking for a pool cover with good functionality and aesthetics, you can’t go wrong with the MidWest Canvas Space Age solar pool cover!

These attractive blue covers are 12 mm thick resin, which ensures durability, and its high count of heat bubbles make it a successful pool heater!

It can easily cover pools up to 18 feet in diameter and be customized to fit other pool sizes.

You can trim it down without worrying about the manufacturer’s warranty period!

Pros and Cons – MidWest Canvas Space Age Round Solar Pool Cover

  • Has an impressive warranty period of 10 years
  • Reliable and durable
  • Features a thick material
  • It can cover a lot of various pool sizes and shapes
  • Can lessen the effect of UV radiation on the pool’s chlorine levels (you won’t need to add more chlorine)
  • Does not come with a roller

Best for a Budget: Blue Wave NS520 14-mil Solar Blanket

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This pool cover is durable and made up of 14-mm thick plastic. Its solar heating technology can produce up to a 15 ºC rise in temperature!

Its insulating thermal bubbles make it ideal for heat retention, even on chilly nights!

If you’re worried about the durability, rest assured that it has a 6-year warranty, which is pretty impressive compared to the other pool covers with a 1-2 years warranty period.

Just take note that this type of pool cover is often priced at $300-$350, which makes it fall on the more expensive side.

However, when it goes on sale, it can go as LOW as $200-$250!

Pros and Cons – Blue Wave NS520 14-mil Solar Blanket

  • Good at minimizing heat loss
  • Can withstand UV rays
  • Can reduce evaporation and retain the pool’s chemical balance
  • Not as heavy as other pool covers
  • It may be 1-2 feet short in terms of dimensions

Best for In-ground Pools: Sun2Solar 1200 Series

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Sun2Solar has constantly provided a variety of pool covers with different features and dimensions. They’re great options for round, rectangular, oval, and square pools!

You can even choose from numerous product lines!

These include the Sun2Solar 800 series, Sun2Solar 1200 series, Sun2Solar 1600 series, Sun2Solar 1200 series clear covers, Sun2solar 1600 clear covers, and more!

The Sun2Solar 1200 series, in particular, is durable and has a thickness of approximately 16-mil. Its small air pockets make it effective in heat retention.

It comes in BOTH clear and blue colors, but the former makes it easier for the sun’s energy to transfer to the pool water.

Pros and Cons – Sun2Solar 1200 Series

  • Provides good heating for the pool water (can even work on a hot tub!)
  • Effective at retaining heat and preventing evaporation
  • Can be trimmed to fit your pool’s dimensions
  • One of the more expensive pool covers
  • Roughly lasts for a year

Best for Aboveground Pools: Intex Solar Cover

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This solar cover is affordable and can easily prevent heat loss in your above the ground pool. It comes with a 12 feet diameter, making it easy to cover circular pools!

It also comes in multiple sizes, such as 8ft, 15ft, 16ft, 18ft, and more!

It has enhanced UV resistance due to its translucent blue color, and it can also prevent evaporation.

If you’re the type of person who isn’t especially keen on struggling with safely storing large pool covers, the Intex solar cover is a good option for you!

With its manageable size and reusable carry bag, you won’t have much difficulty in terms of storage

Pros and Cons – Intex Solar Cover

  • Suitable for large round pools
  • Its blue bubbles are good at heat retention and can increase the water temperature to roughly 15 degrees
  • Not that good at covering large rectangular pools
  • It might not have a long lifespan

Best for Oval Pools: Doheny’s Clear Tek Micro Bubble Solar Pool Cover

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If you’re the proud owner of an oval pool, you’re probably familiar with the struggles of owning one.

Since these pools are less common than circular and rectangular pools, finding the right dimensions for solar covers can be difficult.

This is where Doheny’s Clear Tek Micro Bubble solar pool cover comes in! They come in various colors and series and can cover round, rectangular, and oval pools.

The 1600 series, in particular, has twice as many micro air bubbles that enhance the pool’s solar energy absorption and act as an effective pool heater.

It’s also good at insulation, which keeps the pool’s water warm

Pros and Cons – Doheny’s Clear Tek Micro Bubble Solar Pool Cover

  • Heat transfer is enhanced because of the numerous microbubbles that are present in the pool cover
  • Can passively heat the pool by approximately 10 degrees
  • You can trim it down to fit the pool’s size better
  • It is quite thin compared to other solar covers

Things to Consider When Choosing Solar Pool Covers

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To successfully choose a solar pool cover, you’ll have to consider size, material, features, and warranties.

If this sounds a little overwhelming, don’t fret! We’ve compiled a list of all of the necessary information you may need on the features and functions of solar covers.

1 – Sizing Things Up

Before picking a solar pool cover size, you’ll need to determine your pool’s dimensions.

If you have an above-ground pool, you can take note of its measurements by using a measuring tape.

Some examples of above-ground pools are circular, oval, and rectangular pools.

Here are some of the steps you can follow when measuring above-ground pools:

  1. Measure the height of your pool by placing the tape measure against the bottom of the wall and dragging it up to the top of the wall.
  2. Using a tape measure, you can measure the length and width of rectangular or oval above-ground pools.
  3. For circular pools, you can measure the diameter by measuring the distance across the top of the pool from one wall to another. The tape measure should cross the center of the pool.

Take note that for pools with irregular shapes and sizes, you may have to find a larger cover than your pool to trim it down to fit your pool!

2 – More Than Aesthetics

One of the things that you also have to consider when choosing a solar pool cover is the color.

More than just a way to make your pool look appealing, different colors can also affect how the solar covers work!

Here are a few different types of solar pool covers:

  • Clear Solar Covers: These allow sunlight to easily pass through the water. They can be used as insulation and retain heat, but they can’t absorb UV rays.
  • Translucent Solar Pool Covers: They’re similar to clear solar pool covers but better at blocking UV rays. These solar covers raise the water temperature faster too!
  • Dark Solar Pool Covers: These solar pool covers are the best at blocking UV rays and are also good at raising the pool’s temperature.

3 – Choosing the Thickness

Confused about whether to choose a thinner or thicker solar pool cover?

Thicker solar pool covers have better insulation properties and are useful in colder climates, but they can be quite PRICEY.

On the other hand, thinner solar pool covers work better in warmer climates and are cheaper than thicker solar covers.

Check which solar cover works better based on your climate and your budget!

4 – No Air, No Air

Did you know that thick air bubbles are a good indicator of how tear-resistant the pool cover is?

Some of the best solar pool covers have small air bubbles covering one side, making them look like GIANT bubble wrap sheets!

The air bubbles are good for heat retention, but they can also act as insulators to prevent a heat transfer.

5 – Material World

Did you know that solar pool covers usually come in 3 forms: polyethylene, polypropylene, and vinyl?

  • Polyethylene: This solar pool cover is quite lightweight, making them more prone to damage. However, it is also quite affordable and skilled at heat transfer!
  • Polypropylene: This type of cover is a thicker cover compared to polyethylene. They’re good at blocking UV radiation, but they require some effort in rolling and folding!
  • Vinyl: These solar pool covers’ effective durability makes them resistant to the sun’s heat and prevents potential damages such as tears.

6 – Just a Bit of UV Resistance

UV rays are harmful because they can result in wrinkles, livery spots, inflamed eyes, and other problems.

To avoid this, you can choose solar pool covers that are good at blocking UV radiation. Here are some examples of solar covers with varying levels of UV resistance.

  • Low UV Protection: This solar cover is clear and is often thinner than 10 mils.
  • Medium UV Protection: This solar cover is usually translucent blue or grey and ranges from 10 mils to 14 mils thick.
  • High UV Protection: This solar cover can come with bubbles or without bubbles. The former is thick and made of propylene, while the latter is thin and made of vinyl.

Take It From the Top

Feeling a little overwhelmed by all of the options that we presented? Don’t worry. We’ve got you!

Here’s a quick recap of our top 3 solar pool covers!

Best Budget Pick: Blue Wave NS520 14-mil Solar Blanket

If you’re looking for a way to lessen the cost of your utility bills, look no further! The Blue Wave NS520 14-mil Solar Blanket is great at preventing heat loss for an affordable price.

This can be traced back to insulating thermal bubbles, ensuring that your pool is constantly warmed.

Worried about pool debris? This pool cover’s design ensures that it can resist UV rays and chemicals while protecting your pool against external damages.

With solar heating technology and effective evaporation reduction, you’ll get your money’s worth!

Best Value: MidWest Solar Pool Cover

If you’re alright with spending just a bit more than you thought you would, the MidWest Solar Cover is a great option!

It comes in stunning blue color and is also highly functional! It skillfully reduces the water’s evaporation rate and can cover pools that go up to 18-feet with ease.

You can also trim it down to suit your pool’s dimensions better!

With its 12-mm thick resin, you can rest assured that this solar cover is durable AND reliable!

Best Overall: In the Swim Ultra 16 Mil Solar Cover

Without a doubt, the best solar pool cover is the In the Swim Ultra 16-Mil Solar Cover.

It may not have thousands of reviews like the other pool covers, but this is a steal.

It’ll provide the pool chemical protection you’re looking for and can withstand various external damage.

The technology of the solar cover will always insulate your pool with its durable polyethylene top layer and its aluminized bottom layer with tiny air pockets.

There are many uncertain things in life, but with this pool’s 8-year warranty, you’re practically GUARANTEED a long-lasting experience!

Turn the Heat Up

One of the best ways to reduce heating costs and conserve energy costs is using a solar pool cover. Solar pool covers heat the pool water by retaining the sun’s energy and ensuring that pool season lasts all year long!

When choosing the best solar pool cover, cover ALL possible bases, such as features, costs, and durability.

By constantly using a solar pool cover, you can count on refreshing experiences even after the swimming season!

By Christine Newton

Hi, I’m Christine. I’m a swimmer and the Lead Editor of YourPool. I’ve been working with content for as long as I can remember, and I really enjoy finding inspiration for our readers. Right now, I’m living in a small pool (literally), but my dream is to have a complete oasis one day. Stay tuned—I’ll make it happen!


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