When September draws near and the days grow shorter, most homeowners will be closing up their pools, but you can extend your season with a solar pool cover. Of course, the time of the year to make use of your pool, without additional heating, depends largely on where you live. Yet regardless of your location, a solar powered pool cover will extend pool season and offer additional benefits too.
If, for instance, you own an outdoor pool in California or Florida, these covers can help you extend its use throughout the year. No, you still won’t be able to swim comfortably during mid-winter, but you will be able to start pool season early, say, in late March, and end it as late as midway through November.
A solar-powered pool cover or blanket is a large piece of material that can be placed on top of the water in your pool in order to both preserve existing heat and increase the water temperature. It usually presents two faces, one that absorbs sunlight and converts it into heat and one that transfers heat into the water while preventing evaporation.
The most significant difference between solar covers and other types of pool covers is that the former can not only maintain, but also increase the water temperature. As such, it can be used in combination with a pool heating system or even on its own in order to prolong pool season by up to two months and reduce maintenance costs at the same time. Additionally, using a solar pool blanket like these below will help you to avoid the costly evaporation of your water and pool chemicals. Read on to find out more about the perfect solar cover for your pool.
Best Solar Pool Covers – Top Reviews of 2020
New to the idea of solar pool blankets? No problem. We’ve put together the best solar cover assessments to help you make an optimal choice. Included below are covers of rectangular, round, or oval shapes, suitable for all budgets. You’ll find the best solar pool cover for inground pools, but also a number of great solar covers for above ground pools.
Pool Mate Deluxe Solar Blanket
One of the best covers currently on the market, this blanket by Pool Mate functions as an aluminum heat shield in order to prevent heat from leaving the pool. One of its faces is made of heavy-duty aluminum to attract and absorb sunlight, while the other is dotted with thousands of diamond-shaped bubbles that retain heat from the sun and increase the temperature of the pool water.
When the pool is not in use, this solar cover floats on top of it to permit the accumulation of otherwise wasted heat. The blanket is extra thin, which makes it very easy to use and store, and it’s also highly resistant to UV light, which means it takes longer to deteriorate from exposure to the sun.
These covers from Pool Mate come in all shapes and sizes. You can buy one for a rectangular, oval, or round pool, which makes it our best solar cover for inground pools, as well as a suitable solar cover for above ground pools. There are various sizes to choose from for each of the three shapes so it’s likely that you’ll find the right dimensions for your pool in order to avoid trimming.
- Heavy-duty aluminum side absorbs more sunlight during the day
- Diamond-shaped bubbles retain and transfer heat, while also preventing heat loss
- Extra thin; easy to use and to fold/store
- Highly resistant to UV light (lasts longer)
- Comes in all shapes and sizes to help you avoid trimming
- May tear if not handled properly
- Slightly more expensive than other options
Sun2Solar Solar Pool Cover
Rectangular solar covers by Sun2Solar may cost a bit more than similar options, but they easily make up for the initial investment in durability and reliability. Made from durable resin materials, these blankets will find their way into most reviews because they are simply the highest standard the industry has to offer.
Pool covers by Sun2Solar are very similar to bubble wrapping paper, but much more resistant to UV light and long-term exposure to the sun. Although you can also buy them in blue, their clear color allows sunlight to reach deeper into the pool, which provides even more heat than the bubbles alone.
Considered by many to be the best solar pool cover for inground pools, this blanket can also work as a solar pool cover for above ground pools. In addition, it comes in several dozen sizes to ensure a perfect fit. If your pool is largely rectangular but has an irregular shape, Sun2Solar advises that you trim the cover for your specific needs. The manufacturer’s 10-year warranty is not voided by the trim, which is a big plus compared to other brands.
Sun covers by Sun2Solar are also much sturdier than other options. They are thicker than most other blankets and they are reinforced for long-term resistance to wear and tear.
- Heavy-duty, durable resin material lasts longer in harsh weather
- Highly resistant to UV light
- Clear color permits even more heating than the bubbles alone
- Comes in several dozen sizes for rectangular pools
- Can be trimmed to fit irregular pools without voiding the warranty
- More expensive than other options
- Thicker than other options, which makes the cover slightly bulkier to pack and store
Intex Round Solar Cover for Pool
If you’re in the market for a solar cover for above ground pools, these units by Intex offer one of the best heat retention solutions for round shapes. Although they are made of plastic, the blankets are more than able to handle intense UV light while helping you keep your pool warmer during cool days.
These covers are largely made up of thousands of small bubbles that expand when exposed to sunlight. They transfer heat to the pool water through contact. These blankets are popular not only because they offer a high standard of quality, but also because they come at an advantageous price. In fact, several affordable units can even be used together as lily pads to cover wider areas and still retain some heat.
For round, above-ground pools, these covers come in five convenient sizes that can be trimmed further for a perfect fit. The blankets are thinner and lighter than other options, which makes them very easy to place, pack, and store. You won’t have to wrestle these blankets to pick them up because each one includes a reusable carry bag for convenient storage.
- Can handle intense UV light and convert it into heat for your pool
- Very advantageous price to quality ratio
- Can be used as lily pads to cover areas that are not necessarily round
- Thin, very light, and therefore easy to use and store
- Made of plastic and, as such, prone to tears if not handled properly
- Can be blown away by powerful winds if not attached properly to the pool
Midwest Diamond Solar Cover
Less frequent in such reviews, this blanket by MidWest Canvas is nevertheless an excellent choice in terms of its quality-to-cost ratio. Made up of durable resin material, it comes in an oval shape and eight different sizes in order to fit most similarly shaped in-ground or above-ground pools.
The diamond-shaped bubbles are designed in such dimensions and disposed of in such a manner as to maximize the use of surface and increase heat retention even further. During the day, the bubbles absorb sunlight and transfer heat to the pool water. During the night, the cover prevents heat loss and more than 90% of water and chemical evaporation.
With a 16mm thickness, these pool blankets are sturdy enough to resist long-term wear and tear, but not thick enough to make packing and unpacking a burden. They are furthermore quite light, which means that you won’t encounter difficulties when placing them atop the water or removing them for storage. These covers come with a generous 10-year warranty that is not voided if you choose to trim them for an optimal fit.
- Durable resin material able to handle long-term exposure to UV light
- Prevents more than 90% of water and chemical evaporation during the night
- Fairly thick and therefore resistant to wear and tear
- Can be trimmed without voiding the warranty
- Slightly more expensive than other options
- Slightly thicker than most options, which makes it more durable, but also slightly bulkier
Thermo-Tex Sun Cover for Your Pool
These covers by Thermo-Tex keep up with other options on most solar pool blankets reviews, but they’re much more suitable for a tight budget. Featuring the same bubble heating technology, they are made with UV-stabilized polymers that ensure durability through long-term exposure to both sunlight and pool chemicals.
Rectangular in shape, this unit by Thermo-Tex is not necessarily the best solar cover for inground pools, but it certainly comes in as a close second or third place. Furthermore, it can work perfectly as a solar cover for above ground pools, especially since it’s large enough to fit most sizes and can be trimmed down for a perfect fit.
The dark blue color of the pool cover blends in with the water nicely and it also helps increase the amount of sunlight that is absorbed throughout the day. For this blanket, the manufacturer offers a decent 3-year warranty in the United States, which is a plus for products in a similar price range. Thermo-Tex’s product is very thin compared to other options, which does not affect its ability to retain heat, but does present other advantages and disadvantages. The blanket is very easy to unfold, use, and store, but can be torn if not handled with care.
- Very affordable compared to other options
- Thin and very light
- Easy to put on and take off the pool, as well as to store
- Made of UV stabilized polymers for durability and increased heat absorption
- Prone to tears if not handled properly
- Shorter warranty than with other options