Best solar pool covers 2022 (2023)

Invest in one of the best solar pool covers, and keep your pool warm without spending excess cash. Designed to keep bugs out and prevent children or pets from coming to any harm when out of use, a reliable pool cover should be on the very top of your shopping list when it comes to your yard.

Having a well-insulated pool means you’ll be spending a lot less on heating your water back up when you want to take a dip, and there is a range of different thicknesses to choose from to find the cover that’s perfect for you. We would recommend picking out a cover that ranges between 12 and 16 millimeters, to get the quality you need.

We’ve handpicked the best solar pool covers below so you can compare all of your options depending on the features you need. Looking for durability? Or maybe you need a cover that’s easy to take off? We’ve got you covered on all bases so that you can retain heat all year round, and use your cover hand in hand with the best pool heaters.

While you’re here, why not stock up on all of your outdoor essentials with the best pool alarms (opens in new tab) too?

The best solar pool covers

1. In The Swim Ultra 16 Mil Solar Cover: The best solar pool cover overall

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Best solar pool covers 2022 (1)

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In The Swim Ultra 16 Mil Solar Cover

The In The Swim Ultra solar pool cover is a great choice for value and durability.

Specifications

Thickness: 16-mil

Size: 12-foot

Reasons to buy

+

Durable

Reasons to avoid

-

Not many user reviews

The In The Swim Ultra 16 Mil Solar Cover is thick and durable, so it’s sure to withstand nature and keep your pool safe, clean, and warm. This solar pool cover is round-shaped and it has been designed to protect your pool and keep the water warm.

The top layer of this blanket is made of polyethylene while the aluminized bottom layer with its tiny air-filled pockets keeps your water insulated. Your pool can be a full 10 to 15 degrees warmer thanks to this thick blanket. The aluminized bottom layer reflects heat back into the water so you’re not going to waste any sunlight.

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This solar pool cover is excellent value for money considering its eight-year warranty and thickness of it. There aren’t many reviews for this cover, however, one user described it as ‘heavy-duty’.

2. In The Swim Premium 12 Mil: The best round solar pool cover

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In The Swim Premium 12 Mil

The In The Swim Premium solar pool cover is great for helping keep the heat in.

Specifications

Thickness: 12-mil

Size: 12-foot

Reasons to buy

+

Good warranty

Reasons to avoid

-

No clear-colored option

The In The Swim Premium 12 Mil Solar Blanket is made of polyethylene and its thick material can raise the temperature of your pool by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. This can really help cut heating costs.

Raised air pockets on the surface of this thick blanket prevent your pool water from evaporating and protect it from things like falling tree branches or garbage - not to mention small, unwanted insect visitors. The air bubbles also trap heat and keep your pool warm. The thickness of this solar blanket means it’s pretty durable but the real winner is the impressive seven-year warranty to give you added peace of mind.

This solar pool cover also has UV-stabilized resin to prevent excess damage from the sun. If your pool isn’t round, that’s not an issue either as you can cut this pool cover to size.

While there aren’t many reviews for the In The Swim 12 Mil Solar Pool Blanket, it scores an average of 4.5 out of five stars on the company’s website. Users state that it effectively warms the water.

3. Sun2Solar 1200 Series Solar Pool Cover: The best solar pool cover for in-ground pools

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Sun2Solar 1200 Series Solar Pool Cover

This pool cover is great for a wide variety of swimming pools.

Specifications

Thickness: 16-mil

Size: 16 x 32-foot

Reasons to buy

+

Great for in-ground and above-ground pools

Reasons to avoid

-

Expensive

(Video) Best Pool Cover? Solar Pool Cover Testing

The Sun2Solar 1200 Series Solar Pool Cover is ideal for both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools. It's oval-shaped, however, you can cut it to suit your pool accordingly and this won't affect your warranty.

The small air pockets on the underside of the blanket capture and send solar heat back into the water of your pool, keeping it warm even on cloudy days. You can choose a blue or clear blanket, however, we'd recommend the clear version as sunlight can travel directly into the water.

It is, however, one of the most expensive solar pool covers that we’ve reviewed so there are cheaper alternatives available. In terms of user ratings, this Sun2Solar pool cover scores an average of 4.5 stars out of five on Amazon. Users that rate the solar pool cover highly comment on how they find it to be ‘strong enough that it won’t tear’. Others also found it to be durable and thick. Some users reported the bubbles began to come away after a couple of years of use.

4. In The Swim Premium Plus: The best value solar pool cover

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In The Swim Premium Plus

If you want the most for your money, this solar pool cover is a great choice.

Specifications

Thickness: 12-mil

Size: 18-foot

(Video) Top 5 Best Solar Pool Covers 2022 On Amazon

Reasons to buy

+

Great value

Reasons to avoid

-

Some negative user reviews

This solar blanket from In The Swim is 12-mil thick, so it’s going to easily keep your pool water warm. This particular model is oval-shaped, however, the brand does offer a range of shapes and sizes.

With UV stabilized resin construction, it can withstand the sun’s rays, raising the temperature of your family pool up by 15 degrees. The small air bubbles on the bottom side of the blanket make it kind of look like bubble wrap, but bubbles paired with the thickness of the blanket work together to keep heat trapped in your pool and any bad weather.

An impressive seven-year warranty comes with this solar pool cover, and the seams have been reinforced to prevent rips. The In The Swim Premium Plus has an average user rating of 4.6 out of five on its website. Users praised how well this pool cover kept their pool warm, and some also mentioned how well it kept debris out of the pool too. Some users criticized the pool cover, stating it didn’t raise the temperature of the water.

5. Blue Wave NS120: The best solar pool cover for removal

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Blue Wave NS120

The Blue Wave NS120 solar pool cover is easy to take off your pool.

Specifications

Thickness: 8-mil

Size: 24-foot

Reasons to avoid

-

Thin

(Video) TOP 5: Best Solar Pool Covers 2022

The Blue Wave NS120 is a solar pool blanket that is made up of small bubbles that insulate your swimming pool and can improve the temperature of your pool by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since this solar pool cover is going to be directly in the sunlight, it’s made to be resistant to the wear and tear from UV radiation, along with the chemicals that you treat your pool water with. The Blue Wave solar pool cover is one of the pricier options in our round up, however, for what you pay, you do get a three-year warranty.

This solar pool cover is round so obviously won’t be suitable for square pools, and it has been designed for above-ground swimming pools. It does, however, claim to prevent up ‘to 95% of pool water and chemical evaporation’. This means you won’t have to spend as much money or time replenishing your pool.

The Blue Wave NS120 scores an average of 3.7 out of five stars on Amazon. Users that loved this solar pool cover state it ‘raised the water temp over 20 degrees in a week’. Others suggested it was easy to take off the pool, and it was very durable. Criticisms come in the form of stating this solar pool cover is ‘thin’ and some users had issues with the bubbles popping and disintegrating.

6. Thermo-Tex Pool Cover: The best lightweight solar pool cover

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Thermo-Tex Pool Cover

The Thermo-Tex Pool Cover is a lightweight, beautifully-designed solar pool cover.

Specifications

Thickness: 6 millimeters

Size: 16 x 12 feet

Reasons to buy

+

The lightweight design makes removal easy

+

Looks great on your pool

+

Keeps water evaporation at bay

Reasons to avoid

-

Can be moved by the wind as its lightweight

The Thermo-Tex Pool Cover aims to make your pool a more comfortable temperature in the summer and spring and works to keep you and your family safe in the winter months too. There’s an emphasis on quality with the Thermo-Tex Pool Cover, which is made from UV-stabilized polymers. That means that it can better withstand the elements, and any negative effects your pool chemicals may have.

This cover is particularly good for those who use their pool a lot, as the lightweight design makes gaining access to your pool a lot easier. If you think you’ll be covering up your pool on your own too, then it will make maneuvering run a lot smoother.

User reviews are overwhelmingly positive about this Thermo-Tex Pool Cover, with many commenting on the noticeable difference it makes to their pool temperatures. One reviewer stated that this cover has also helped to prevent algae growth as there was less water evaporating within their pool. It’s good to know there’s also a three-year manufacturer’s limited warranty.

What to look for in a solar pool cover

The bare minimum your solar pool cover should do is keep your pool’s temperature from severely dropping by retaining the sun’s heat. Thickness and insulation are also essential so that there is less water evaporation occurring inside the pool. You also want a cover that’s going to keep the direct sunlight from draining the chemicals that are working to clean your pool, as you’ll have to top those up more if not, and run the risk of algae growing in their absence.

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Safety should be another crucial concern when looking for a pool cover. Options that are easy to put on correctly will save you from accidentally leaving your pool unprotected, and importantly keep your pets and loved ones safe. Make sure that if your child or an animal were to step on top of your cover accidentally that it would be able to support their weight.

Thickness is the last factor to think about on your buying journey. Whilst a thicker cover will do a better job at retaining heat, these do tend to be more expensive, and more of a task to take on and off.

FAQs

What is the best thickness for solar pool covers? ›

What Is The Best Thickness for a Solar Pool Cover? After testing, we found that any solar pool cover between 12-mil and 16-mil performed best for heat retention. Higher mil solar covers absorbed more heat and were found to be more durable against the sun damage, chemical resistance, and ripping.

What kind of solar cover is best? ›

Blue solar pool covers are best.

Dobrica said that a clear cover will warm the pool water the most, but it will also allow more UV rays, which can make chlorine less effective as a disinfectant. A chemically imbalanced pool without enough chlorine could lead to algae blooms in your pool.

What is the best material for a solar pool cover? ›

Material. Solar pool covers are usually made of vinyl, polyethylene, or polypropylene. Vinyl is durable and resistant to tears and sun damage. Vinyl covers are a good option for pool users who want to be able to remove a cover quickly without having to be too careful not to tear it.

Is a thicker solar cover better? ›

In terms of performance, a thinner solar cover will allow more heat to pass through to the water, but a thicker cover will absorb more heat. Thicker covers are also more durable against UV rays, water chemicals, and punctures or tearing.

Is a white or blue solar cover better? ›

Both types of solar pool covers can help trap heat, but it's clear that blue ones are more efficient at both conveying the heat to the water and blocking heat from escaping.

Which is a better pool cover mesh or solid? ›

Mesh covers typically last longer than vinyl covers. I've found the average lifespan for a mesh cover to be 10–15 years. Mesh covers do not need a pump on top because they just let the pool water pass through. Since there's no pump, mesh covers generally require no work during the offseason.

Do black solar covers work better? ›

Black Solar Covers

The color and level of opaqueness allow for very fast heat absorption that will heat your pool quicker than the other covers listed above. The downside of this cover however is that due to its heavy heat absorption it is known to break down faster due to wear and tear.

How many degrees will a solar cover heat a pool? ›

According to the experts, a fully covered pool will heat between 10-15 degrees in about 6 hours. There is mixed information out there. Some experts say that you will get 7-10 degrees with three consecutive days of sun.

When should you not use a solar pool cover? ›

Solar pool covers should be left off during the day to allow for even heating of the water. Pool covers should be taken off at least once a week to allow collected carbon dioxide to escape; too much carbon dioxide can make the water acidic. Unless the pool is in use, pool covers should always be used at night.

Do solar covers work on cloudy days? ›

Yes, solar panels do work on cloudy days — but not as effectively as they would on a sunny day. Expect them to produce 10-25% of their normal power output, depending on how thick the cloud cover is.

Can you run pool pump with solar cover on? ›

It is perfectly safe to run the pool pump while keeping the solar pool cover on. Keeping your pool cover on reduces water evaporation and electricity costs. Your pool pump should run for around 6 to 8 hours daily.

How long should a solar pool cover last? ›

Most solar covers last for up to three years, though many people replace them more frequently. Utilizing a solar cover and taking advantage of the return lines in your pool is another way of prevent evaporation as well as distributing the warm water throughout all your pool and quick more efficiently.

Does the color of a pool solar cover matter? ›

The most popular are clear and blue. Blue solar covers block more UV out of light, which will slow the rate of chlorine evaporation. Blue covers also do a better job of trapping heat in your water once it warms up. Clear covers allow more light energy into the pool, which allows for faster heat gain.

Can I put chlorine in pool with solar cover on? ›

Remove the cover during heavy storms and wind events, to prevent damage from flying debris. Remove the cover before shocking a pool, and leave it off until chlorine levels drop below 2.5 ppm.

Can a solar cover be too big? ›

Solar covers come in a variety of sizes, but most of them are rectangular or oval in shape. If you have an oddly-sized pool or an irregular pool shape, you may need to cut your solar cover to fit your swimming pool correctly.

What is the most popular pool cover color? ›

Pool Cover Colors

Today, green and blue covers are the most inviting, popular choices for homeowners, but you can also find shades of black and gray as well as Earth tones to complement virtually any backyard or color scheme.

Should you leave a solar cover on all the time? ›

No. You should never leave a solar cover rolled up in the sun – even for a short period of time. The nature of a bubble cover is to allow the suns rays to penetrate through the bubbles.

Does a pool heat up faster with a solar cover? ›

Solar covers will help a pool warm up faster in the spring and help maintain warmth in a pool a little longer in the fall but one misconception about them is that they will warm up a pool in the dead of winter, which simply is not the case.

Are black pool covers better than blue? ›

Dark Blue. As the most effective at preventing heat loss and chemical degradation, dark blue covers are a great option for pools in high sun and heat environments. Darker colored covers aren't as good at gaining heat though, so if you're hoping to heat your pool with a cover, the darker shade is not the best fit.

What color absorbs solar heat the best? ›

Black is the opposite of white in terms of retaining heat energy. It is the best light and heat energy absorber, making it a suitable colour for solar hot water systems. Black absorbs more light energy than white does. The more light absorbed, the more heat absorbed.

Who makes the best inground pool cover? ›

The 6 Best Swimming Pool Covers For All Pool Types
  • If you want my quick opinion after testing, I think WaterWarden is the best value inground pool cover for most people. ...
  • Blue Wave Bronze 8-Year Rectangular Inground Pool Winter Cover. ...
  • Sun2Solar Blue Rectangle Solar Cover. ...
  • Happybuy Pool Safety Cover.

What color pool cover is best for winter? ›

"We do recommend the gray and tan the most — not only because they coordinate well in the backyard but also because these colors hold up better to UV fading, don't show dirt and generally look better in most backyards."

How many microns is best for pool cover? ›

Usually, the most cost-effective ones are 250 microns, but if you want something much sturdier, then we recommend the 400-micron one at least.

Are liquid solar covers worth it? ›

Yes, liquid solar covers actually work and quite well. While they don't attract the sun's heat to your pool water, they help reduce water evaporation at night to keep the heat in your water.

How big should my solar cover be? ›

For freeform pools, buy a rectangular or oval cover that will fit over your entire pool, about a foot longer than your longest length and widest width. You may want to make note of what size cover you purchased so you can just repurchase it again in the future when it's time to replace the cover.

Does leaving a pool cover on cause algae? ›

Keep it covered. Covering the pool is a good way to prevent algae growth. The right cover keeps algae from entering the pool, but it also keeps leaves, bugs, bacteria, and dirt from decomposing in the pool, providing algae with food.

What temperature should I keep my pool heated at? ›

Keep Swimmers Comfortable

Set your pool heater's thermostat to a temperature between 78°F and 82°F (26°C and 28°C) to keep the majority of swimmers comfortable.

Why is my solar heated pool cold? ›

My pool is not heating:

Weather must be suitable for solar to heat. You may need service on your control system. It is not uncommon for a control sensor to fail and needs to be replaced. If you have a time clock, and there was a power outage, the solar system will not heat if filtration cycle is during the evening.

Why is my solar cover not heating my pool? ›

The bubbles on your solar pool cover should always be facing down towards the water. If the solar pool cover is placed so that the bubbles are facing up, the pool cover will not heat the water.

Should I put the cover on my pool every night? ›

Using a pool cover overnight can reduce evaporation. Plus, the cover will trap accumulated moisture, and it'll naturally go back into your pool. You'll be rewarded with a more consistent water level and maybe even a lower water bill.

Should the bubbles be up or down on pool solar cover? ›

We recommend covering your pool with the bubble side facing down for the best results in warming your pool in the summer sun. The sun's UV rays will heat the bubbles and in turn, transfer heat to your pool water.

Does a solar cover make algae worse? ›

Simply fitting a solar pool cover will not make the pool go green. However, because solar covers will warm the water, they can accelerate algae growth. You need to change the pool conditions to prevent algae growth.

What happens to a solar cover when it rains? ›

Solar panels will still work even when the light is reflected or partially blocked by clouds. Rain actually helps to keep your panels operating efficiently by washing away any dust or dirt.

Should I leave my pool cover on during the day? ›

In dry and/or windy conditions, the evaporation rate of the pool increases. Therefore, it is generally beneficial to have a transparent or bubble cover on during daylight hours. In warm, humid conditions the evaporation rate decreases. In this case, it may be more beneficial to leave the cover off during the daytime.

Should I put solar cover on at night? ›

Basically, the best time to use a solar pool cover is anytime you're not swimming. This will help maintain your water level and keep your pool water to a nice heated swimming temperature. Especially during the nighttime when temperatures are most likely to drop.

Is it OK to run pool pump 24 hours a day? ›

Some commercial properties require 24-hour a day pump circulation, but as a homeowner, this is not advisable. If you are lucky enough to own an Energy Efficient, Variable Speed swimming pool pump (VSP) then , yes, technically you could run your pump for 24 hours a day.

Is it better to heat a pool with the cover on or off? ›

When the water in your pool evaporates, it carries with it the heat, consequently cooling down your pool. So, if you can prevent evaporation, then you can significantly reduce the amount of heat loss. As such, covering your pool will help to warm the water up.

Can you walk on a solar pool cover? ›

A solar pool cover is intended to conserve energy. It traps heat from the sun while insulating your pool from the cooling effect of air, which can significantly lower heating costs. Platform Pool Cover. This is the type of inground pool cover you can walk on.

Can I leave solar cover on pool over winter? ›

Leave my Solar Cover on the Pool all Winter? If you are going to be using the pool, running the filter system and swimming, you can keep the solar blanket on the pool. If you are not going to be using the pool, I recommend that you close the pool using a winter cover.

Why does my pool turn green when I put the solar cover on? ›

Generally, if your pool turns green, it is because of algae. While algae is pretty much always present to some extent, it can become resistant to normal levels of chlorine, and if the conditions are right, it can take over, in a very short period of time.

What color pool is the warmest? ›

Dark pools – also known as black bottom pools – easily stand out from others thanks to their bold, dramatic color. One of the main advantages of a dark bottom pool compared to light colored pools is that the darker color will help absorb more of the the sun's heat to increase the water temperature accordingly.

What is the best type of solar cover for above ground pool? ›

Clear solar covers heat the pool better than blue solar covers because they allow more of the sun's heat to penetrate more efficiently. Dark blue solar covers are great for heat retention. And even a lightweight cover can last if you take care of it properly.

Should you leave solar cover off after shocking pool? ›

Never close the cover immediately after shocking the pool. It is recommended to wait several hours before closing the cover. Use a test kit to regularly test the pool water. If the tests results are good, this does not imply the water chemistry was good prior to your current test results.

How long do solar pool covers last? ›

Most solar covers last for up to three years, though many people replace them more frequently. Utilizing a solar cover and taking advantage of the return lines in your pool is another way of prevent evaporation as well as distributing the warm water throughout all your pool and quick more efficiently.

What is the difference between a pool cover and a solar pool cover? ›

Solar pool covers work – but it's important to keep in mind that these types of covers serve a very different purpose than other types of covers. Unlike other pool covers (such as safety covers, winter covers, and automatic covers), solar swimming pool covers are designed to absorb and retain sunlight and heat.

What is the best color for a pool cover? ›

"We do recommend the gray and tan the most — not only because they coordinate well in the backyard but also because these colors hold up better to UV fading, don't show dirt and generally look better in most backyards."

Should pool cover be bigger than pool? ›

Most pool covers will be cut slightly larger than the size of the pool, so don't factor in any extra space. When stuck between sizes, order a size up. If you're in doubt, measure the pool's dimensions again.

Is it better to keep a pool covered or uncovered? ›

Covering a pool when it is not in use is the single most effective means of reducing pool heating costs. Savings of 50%–70% are possible. Pool covers on indoor pools not only can reduce evaporation but also the need to ventilate indoor air and replace it with unconditioned outdoor air.

Which is better 500 or 400 micron pool cover? ›

In general terms, the thicker the cover, the more durable it is and the longer it'll last. 400 and 500 micron pool covers are both a good thickness, but the 500 is thicker than the 400. This is why you'll pay more when choosing the 500 Micron Pool Cover.

Should my pool cover be touching the water? ›

The cover is designed to touch the surface of the water. So your pool should always be filled when covered, and the water level should never go below 18 inches from the top of the pool. Check the water level of the pool and fill it up if it goes below 18 inches.

Should a pool cover be tight or loose? ›

You want to ensure that your cover is tight across the surface of your pool. If your cover is too loose, leaves and debris can make their way into your pool.

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