Understanding Swimming Pool Covers + Reviews (2018)

One of the biggest perks of owning a pool is being able to go swimming whenever you want. Unfortunately, many pool owners find themselves cleaning leaves out of the pool before being able to enjoy a swim. Also, when the pool isn’t in use it presents a potential drowning hazard to children and animals. For these reasons, it’s important to practice proper pool hygiene and utilize appropriate safety precautions.

Pool covers play the vital role of keeping stuff and people out of your pool. However, not all covers are the same. Some are designed to keep people out, some are designed to keep warmth in, and some are just used to keep small debris out. In this article, we’ll be reviewing the best pool covers on the market and we’ll teach you about the different types and materials of pool covers.

Scroll down for a buying guide on how to select the right swimming pool cover to suit your needs.


Reviewing the Best Pool Covers

Now that you’re familiar with the different kinds of pool covers, the materials used to make them, and their primary features and intended uses, it’s time to start comparing the actual products. To help make your comparison easier, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of the most popular pool covers in each category:

Best Pool Safety Covers

If safety is your primary concern, consider some of the more durable options for in-ground and above-ground pools:

16′ x 32′ Blue Mesh Rectangle Inground Safety Pool Cover

16' x 32' Blue Mesh Rectangle Inground Safety Pool Cover

16′ x 32′ Blue Mesh Rectangle Inground Safety Pool Cover

This 16-foot by 32-foot blue mesh safety cover is backed by Yard Guard’s impressive 15-year warranty and is made in the U.S.A. It has the industry’s strongest spring, with 22-inch rub strips and all necessary anchors and straps included. The straps run along the top and bottom of the cover for maximum strength. The mesh material allows for quick drainage of precipitation without letting leaves and other small debris in the pool.

What Customers Think
All reviewers have left 5-star ratings for this product, with not a single unsatisfied customer. Overwhelmingly positive feedback suggests it is easy to install and does exactly what the manufacturer claims. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself
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18′ x 36′ Rectangle Green Mesh In-Ground Safety Cover

18' x 36' Rectangle Green Mesh In-Ground Safety Cover

18′ x 36′ Rectangle Green Mesh In-Ground Safety Cover

Yard Guard’s 18-foot by 36-foot green mesh safety cover for in-ground pools is designed to protect your pool from the elements. It has a triple nylon stitching strap that gives it 2800 lbs of webbing strength, making it one of the strongest mesh safety nets available. Specifically designed for use in residential pools, these covers meet all ASTM safety standards and are intended to protect your pool from winter weather conditions while also keeping people and pets for falling in.

What Customers Think
Reviews for this product are scarce but the Yard Guard brand is generally known to make quality products and their warranty is hard to beat. Overall, this is well-rounded mesh cover that provides a moderate level of protection from the elements while also being sturdy enough to keep people from falling into the pool.

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Best Solar Pool Covers

If you find your pool is a little too cold in the morning or the day after a chilly night, you can use one of these solar pool covers to keep warmth in the pool and absorb the heat of the sun:

12 Mil Solar Blanket Cover – 16 x 32 ft Rectangle Sheet

12 Mil Solar Blanket Cover – 16 x 32 ft Rectangle Sheet

12 Mil Solar Blanket Cover – 16 x 32 ft Rectangle Sheet

These are an inexpensive yet affordable way to keep the warmth in your pool while also keeping out most small debris. The sheet can be easily cut to fit the shape of your pool and it’s flexible enough to accommodate any configuration. It’s backed by a 7-year warranty, which is somewhat impressive for something that looks a lot like fancy bubble wrap. The bubbles help transfer solar heat into the water, thereby increasing the temperature of the pool.

What Customers Think
Most people love these things, with 74% giving it 4 or 5 stars. Positive reviews highlight how it is useful for extending the length of the swimming season and raising the temperature in the pool. The few negative reviews complained about the durability of the material. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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16 mil Solar Heating Cover Blanket – 20 x 40 ft Rectangle Sheet

16 mil Solar Heating Cover Blanket - 20 x 40 ft Rectangle Sheet

16 mil Solar Heating Cover Blanket – 20 x 40 ft Rectangle Sheet

This solar cover blanket from Sun2Solar is a bit thicker at 16 mil, which gives it the ability to absorb more heat. This one is equipped with a quick drain grommet system that makes it easy to pour off excess rainwater after a summer shower. On average it raises the pool temperature by about 5-10 degrees while also helping to maintain warm temps throughout the night and during cloud days. Like other solar sheets it’s not sturdy enough to support much more than a twig but it will keep the most common small debris like dirt and leaves out of the pool. It’s backed by a 7-year limited/2-year full warranty.

What Customers Think
Due to its larger and less popular size, this one isn’t commonly reviewed, but the only feedback it has received thus far has been positive. If you’ve been looking for a solar blanket big enough to accommodate your 20 x 40 ft pool, this seems to be the best option. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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14 Mil Blue Wave Rectangular Solar Blanket

14 Mil Blue Wave Rectangular Solar Blanket

14 Mil Blue Wave Rectangular Solar Blanket

Blue Wave makes this solar blanket with a medium thickness of 14 mil but it’s easily one of the most popular brands of solar blanket pool covers sold online.

It comes in 7 easily selectable size variations: 12 x 24 ft, 14 x 28 ft, 16 x 32 ft, 18 x 36 ft, 20 x 40 ft, 20 x 44 ft, and 30 x 50 ft.

Combine the wide range of sizes with a 6-year warranty and tough 14-gauge material and it’s easy to see why this product has been reviewed by hundreds of buyers. Keep in mind you can usually trim the blanket to fit your pool size. However, if you buy a sheet that’s too small, you can’t easily combine sheets to achieve full coverage of the water surface. Thus, you should only consider a solar blanket if it’s big enough to comfortably cover your pool’s surface.

What Customers Think
The response to this product has been overwhelmingly positive, with more than 80% of the 250+ reviewers giving it 4 or 5 stars. The few people who complained seemed to have problems with the nature of solar covers themselves, such as the blanket being “difficult to handle,” which is to be expected of any solar blanket cover – that’s precisely why solar rollers and automated reels are made. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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12 Mil Rectangle Supreme Blue

12 Mil Rectangle Supreme Blue

12 Mil Rectangle Supreme Blue

Sun2Solar’s 12 mil solar cover has a uniquely colored blue design that gives it an appealing look on the water. Like other blankets with similar specifications, it can cause water temps to rise 5-10 degrees and prevents up to 95% of evaporation.

What Customers Think
Of all the products in this category, this one is the most popular, with more than 300 reviewers giving it an average star rating of 4.5. Most people have nothing but good things to say about it, with 91% of reviewers giving it a 4 or 5 stars rating. Only 1% gave it a 1-star rating for reasons related to product longevity and durability. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Best Winter Pool Covers

When it’s time to close down the pool for the winter, you need something that’s going to stay put and last through the season. Here are some of the leading options in this category:

Blue Wave Bronze 20 x 40 ft In-Ground Winter Pool Cover

Blue Wave Bronze 20 x 40 ft In-Ground Winter Pool Cover

Blue Wave Bronze 20 x 40 ft In-Ground Winter Pool Cover

Once again Blue Wave delivers with a strong and well-anchored winter protection system that comes in a variety of sizes and manages to compete with every alternative in terms of price. It’s designed to protect the pool from snow, rain, ice wind, and sun. However, it’s not meant to stop people or pets from falling in.

We mentioned this brand’s winter cover first because it had the most abundant and accessible sizing options, and it has maintained a decent star rating despite having many reviews. Each cover also comes with 5 feet of extra room on each edge to allow for optimal fitting, so this 20 x 40 ft package actually includes 25 x 45 feet of material.

Blue Wave makes it easy to order the same exact cover for all of these pool sizes: 12 x 20 ft, 12 x 24 ft, 14 x 28 ft, 16 x 24 ft, 16 x 32 ft, 16 x 36 ft, 18 x 36 ft, 20 x 40 ft, 20 x 44 ft, 25 x 45 ft, and 30 x 50 ft.

What Customers Think
Reviews are mixed but mostly positive, with 70% giving it a 3-5 star rating. However, almost 25% have given it a 1-star rating, complaining about the longevity of the product. Overall, the consensus seems to be: it gets the job done, is affordable, and is the easiest to fit to any pool size. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Pool Mate Heavy-Duty Above Ground and In-Ground Winter Covers

Pool Mate Heavy-Duty Above Ground and In-Ground Winter Covers

Pool Mate Heavy-Duty Above Ground and In-Ground Winter Covers

With a 10-year warranty and ultra-durable polyethylene material, this is a strong selection for almost any kind of pool. We didn’t pick a specific size to review because Pool Mate offers this product in virtually every size or shape your pool would need.

These are the in-ground sizes they have: 16 x 32 ft rectangle, 20 x 40 ft rectangle, 30 x 50 ft rectangle, and 30 x 50 ft rectangle.

These are their above ground options: 12 x 18 ft oval, 12 x 21 ft oval, 15 x 30 ft oval, 18 x 24 ft oval, 18 x 33 ft oval, 15 ft round, 18 ft round, 21 ft round, 24 ft round, and 28 ft round.

That makes 14 size variations, so if other brands don’t have yours in stock, Pool Mate is definitely worth checking out. You get 4 feet of overlap material on all sides to allow for easy installation without stretching or tearing. The seams of the cover are heat sealed to better protect the pool from cold temperatures and prevent algae growth.

What Customers Think
The reviews for this cover were mostly positive, with 61% giving it 3-5 stars. Unfortunately, the other 31% gave it 1 or 2 stars, which means nearly a third of customers have been unhappy with it. For this reason we ranked it lower than Blue Wave’s, but it’s still a reputable option considering 2/3 of reviewers liked it. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Blue Wave Silver Above Ground Winter Pool Cover

Blue Wave Silver Above Ground Winter Pool Cover

Blue Wave Silver Above Ground Winter Pool Cover

This product comes with a 12-year warranty and is known as one of the best winter covers for above ground pools up to 24-feet round. The material is actually 28 feet in diameter, giving you about 4 feet of clearance around the edges. Like Blue Waves other products, the Silver winter pool covers comes in a variety of sizes: 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 28, and 30 feet. You also get a winch tightener for easier installation and heavy duty cable for additional support.

What Customers Think
Of all the products on the list thus far, this one has the most reviews, with nearly 500 people giving it ratings. Of those reviewers, 73% have given it a 4 or 5 star rating. As is typically the case, the minority of complaints related to customers who weren’t happy about how long the tarp lasted. On the other hand, the majority commented about it being easy to install and having a firm fit. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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14 x 28 ft Blue Mesh In-Ground Rectangle Winter Cover

14 x 28 ft Blue Mesh In-Ground Rectangle Winter Cover

14 x 28 ft Blue Mesh In-Ground Rectangle Winter Cover

This popular blue mesh winter cover from Equator Pool Products comes with an impressive 15-year warranty. All hardware is made from heavy duty materials, giving it the highest tear and abrasion resistance in its price range. Despite being sturdy enough to support the weight of an adult or pet, it’s easy to put on an and take off, with an ergonomic installation process that almost anyone can perform.

What Customers Think
Reviews for this product are scarce but positive, with the few reviewers thus far giving it a full 5 stars. Comments point out that the cover works well to keep everything out of the pool and is easy to install. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Best Hidden Swimming Pool Covers

When you’re looking for a pool cover that won’t stick out like a sore thumb, these are some of the best options:

18 x 40 ft Camouflage In-Ground Swimming Pool Cover

18 x 40 ft Camouflage In-Ground Swimming Pool Cover

18 x 40 ft Camouflage In-Ground Swimming Pool Cover

Despite not being completely hidden from sight, the desert-themed camouflage design on this product makes it blend in well with many backgrounds, especially in areas like Southern California and Arizona. It’s not heavy duty, so don’t expect to keep people from falling in, but it does a good job of protecting the pool from debris. It’s a solid cover that doesn’t allow water or dirt to pass through.

Robelle offers this cover in 8 different sizes: 16 x 32 ft, 16 x 36 ft, 18 x 36 ft, 18 x 40 ft, 20 x 40 ft, 20 x 45 ft, 25 x 45 ft, and 25 x 50 ft.

What Customers Think
Reviews for this product are mostly positive, with 67% giving it 4 or 5 star rating. However, 15% did give it a 1-star rating, with some reviewers complaining about the longevity and stability of the cover. On the other hand, positive reviews highlighted the firm fit, easy installation, and unique design. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Best Automatic Pool Covers

Kokido Stainless Steel In-Ground Cover Reel Setup

Kokido Stainless Steel In-Ground Cover Reel Setup

Kokido Stainless Steel In-Ground Cover Reel Setup

This interesting contraption can turn any pool cover into an automatic cover with a simple installation that is compatible with just about every pool. It comes in two sizes to accommodate the majority of pool widths – one expands up to 18.7 ft and the other expands up to 21.1 ft. Technically this is a semi-automatic cover reel because a manual cranking action is required.

What Customers Think
As expected, this one has earned plenty of good reviews thanks to the convenience it provides. About 69% of reviewers gave it 4 or 5 stars while only a measly 8% have given it 1 star. Positive comments pointed out how much easier it makes putting on and taking off their pool cover, while some negative reviews complained about complicated assembly instructions. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Automatic Remote Controlled Solar Powered Solar Blanket Reel

Automatic Remote Controlled Solar Powered Solar Blanket Reel

Automatic Remote Controlled Solar Powered Solar Blanket Reel

This adjustable automatic solar blanket reel system is compatible with pools up to 24 feet in width and can be activated via remote control. Power is supplied via the included solar panel and battery setup. As you know, putting and and taking off a solar blanket can be a real hassle. This reel eliminates the extra effort involved and there’s no need to even plug it in. It can roll up 8-10mm blanket material, but if you order the heavy duty version it can be used to roll up 10-22mm blankets.

What Customers Think
Reviews for this product are hard to find, so it seems to be a less popular option. However, the fact that it doesn’t have any negative reviews indicates that it works as designed. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Pool Boy Powered Solar Blanket Reel

Pool Boy Powered Solar Blanket Reel

Pool Boy Powered Solar Blanket Reel

This is definitely one of the most expensive option on this list, but for someone who frequently finds themselves struggling to put on and remove their solar blanket cover, it’s certainly worth consideration. It’s compatible with pools up to 20 feet in width and includes a 40-foot cable and 115 volt transformer that can be plugged into any standard outlet. It’s remote activated but features a manual override feature as well.

What Customers Think
Despite being a less popular product due to the price, this one has gained a generally positive response from reviewers, with 70% giving it 5 stars. Good reviews noted that it was well worth the investment, while one of the 1 star reviews complained about it not reeling up the blanket evenly – although that was probably due to improper installation. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Best Above Ground Pool Covers

Blue Wave Gold Above Ground Winter Cover

Blue Wave Gold Above Ground Winter Cover

Blue Wave Gold Above Ground Winter Cover

Blue Wave is known for offering a wide range of covers to accommodate the sizes of all pools, and the brand has delivered on that expectation with their gold above ground winter cover. This cover is available in 8 sizes: 12 ft, 15 ft, 18 ft, 21 ft, 24 ft, 28 ft, 30 ft, and 33 ft. The tarp is designed to withstand the elements of winter throughout the season and is backed by an industry-leading 15-year warranty.

What Customers Think
This is easily one of the most beloved above ground covers available, with an impressive 85% giving it 4 or 5 stars. Most people commented on the price being surprisingly low for a snug-fitting cover that manages to outperform most competitors’. Only 8% left a 1-star review, with complaints typically related to tarp durability and trouble with installation. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Intex 15-foot Round Metal Frame Cover

Intex 15-foot Round Metal Frame Cover

Intex 15-foot Round Metal Frame Cover

This cover from Intex is surprisingly cheap yet effective at keeping 15-foot above ground pools clean. It has built-in drain holes to prevent water buildup and the metal supports ensure a snug fit every time. This product is designed to lengthen the swimming season and save the pool owner money by preventing premature cleanings and treatments.

What Customers Think
Reviews for this cover are abundant but mixed, with 55% giving it 3-5 stars. Unfortunately, 45% gave it 1 or 2 stars, making it a hate or love it type of product. However, at such a low price nobody really expects it to be the best on the market. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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24 ft Round Deluxe Plus Above Ground Winter Cover

24 ft Round Deluxe Plus Above Ground Winter Cover

24 ft Round Deluxe Plus Above Ground Winter Cover

Snow2Winter’s 24 foot above ground winter cover has quickly become one of the most popular covers online thanks to its reasonable price and 12-year limited/3 year full warranty. Although designed for 24 ft pools, the cover size is actually 28 ft in diameter, giving you 4 extra feet of overhang for easy installation. Double grommets are installed every 3 feet to ensure a tight fit around every corner. The tarp also inhibits ultraviolet light, thereby protecting the interior of the pool from sun damage.

What Customers Think
Most people have been satisfied with this selection, with 74% giving it 4 or 5 stars. Positive reviews complimented the cover for enduring 35 mph wind gusts and holding up throughout the season, while the small 6% of 1 star reviews mostly complained about the quality of the cable and winch. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Best Mesh Pool Covers

24 ft Round Mesh Winter Cover

24 ft Round Mesh Winter Cover

24 ft Round Mesh Winter Cover

This 24 ft cover from In the Swim is made of ultra-strong weave fabric and is designed to accommodate up to 18 inches of rain or snowfall. This product is backed by a 3-year warranty.

What Customers Think
With 86% of reviewers giving this 4 or 5 stars, you can expect it to perform as intended in most cases. One reviewer complained that water does not easily drain through the tarp, but that seemed to be a very rare exception and not the general consensus. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Blue Wave Rectangular Leaf Net for In-Ground Pool

Blue Wave Rectangular Leaf Net for In-Ground Pool

Blue Wave Rectangular Leaf Net for In-Ground Pool

Once again Blue Wave provides a well-reviewed, affordable product that can accommodate most in-ground pool sizes. This loose mesh leaf net effectively protects your pool from leaves, twigs, dirt and other small debris.

It’s available in 11 sizes: 12 x 20 ft, 12 x 24 ft, 14 x 28 ft, 16 x 24 ft, 16 x 32 ft, 16 x 36 ft, 18 x 36 ft, 20 x 40 ft, 20 x 44 ft, 25 x 45 ft, and 30 x 50 ft.

What Customers Think
As with most Blue Wave products, this cover has received mostly positive feedback, with 79% giving it 4 or 5 stars. A few people complained about the thinness of the material, but only 8% gave it 1 star. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Robelle Leaf Net

Robelle Leaf Net

Robelle Leaf Net

This leaf net from Robelle is actually made of netting and is primarily intended to keep leaves out of your pool as the name suggests. It’s ideal for yards that experience heavy leaf fall. A 5-year warranty is included.

What Customers Think
Reviews are scarce but positive, with 89% giving it 4 or 5 stars. As usual, there were a few disgruntled people who had the misfortune of encountering premature wear and tear, but nobody has given it a 1 or 2 star rating yet. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Best Solid Pool Covers

GLI HyperLite 20 x 40 ft Rectangular Solid Safety Cover

GLI HyperLite 20 x 40 ft Rectangular Solid Safety Cover

GLI HyperLite 20 x 40 ft Rectangular Solid Safety Cover

This is definitely one of the more expensive options on this list, but for the price you get a highly durable cover that can support the weight of an adult or pet. It’s made of ultra-durable vinyl laminated polyester fabric and comes with its own pump for draining water from the surface.

What Customers Think
Reviews for this product are nonexistent, but we can assume that if someone were disgruntled with a product that costs so much, they would probably leave a negative reviews. Since there are none, it probably does its job well.

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20 x 42 ft Water Warden Safety Cover

20 x 42 ft Water Warden Safety Cover

20 x 42 ft Water Warden Safety Cover

This one if about half the cost of the one above but still gets the job done, which explains why it has more reviews. It has a unique center drain panel that prevents water buildup.

What Customers Think
People absolutely love this thing, with 96% giving it a 4 or 5 star rating. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Important Pool Cover Accessories

Brass Anchor 10 Pack

Brass Anchor 10 Pack

Brass Anchor 10 Pack

If you’re going to be buying a pool cover that uses brass anchors, it would be a good idea to get a backup 10-pack to have around just in case you lose or break one of the anchors that came with your cover.

What Customers Think
This product hasn’t yet been reviewed by anyone, but we can assume that they serve their intended function, as there aren’t any complaints either.

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Loop Loc Mesh Patch Kit

Loop Loc Ultra-Loc Patch Kit

Loop Loc Ultra-Loc Patch Kit

Although some pool covers will include a proprietary patch kit, it’s a good idea to have an extra one laying around just in case. 

What Customers Think
Most people found this patch kit to be effective, with 82 % giving it 4 or 5 stars. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Pool Tree System Above-Ground Winter Cover Support System

Pool Tree System Above-Ground Winter Cover Support System

Pool Tree System Above-Ground Winter Cover Support System

This setup is designed to keep your above-ground pool cover form floating on the surface of the water,which can reduce performance. It can be used on pools up to 27 feet round. The cover rests atop the supports, which are secured to a floating ball.

What Customers Think
Reviews for this system aren’t plentiful, but 83% of reviewers thus far have given it a 5 star rating and nobody has given it a 1 or 2 star rating, so we can assume that it works as advertised. Click here to see the customer reviews for yourself

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Pool Covers Buying Guide: Types and Materials

Let’s take a look at the different design variations and features that make each type of pool cover unique. This information will help you decide which kind of cover(s) would be most suitable for your current pool setup and conditions.

Types of Pool Covers

Simply searching for “pool covers” online will yield a broad range of results, leaving you wondering which kind is “the best” or “the right kind” for you. As is often the case with comparisons, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions here. The kind of pool covers you should buy will depend on what you’re trying to achieve. With that said, let’s look at the main types of pool covers available and how they’re used:

Safety Covers

Safety covers are typically made from durable materials that are capable of supporting the weight of one or more humans. They’re designed to keep children, animals, and large debris from falling into the pool. Out of all the pool cover types, these tend to be the sturdiest and most reliable. However, they’re often constructed of solid or heavy components and can be difficult to maneuver, so they’re not the easiest to put on and take off. Most safety covers are made for in-ground pools but there are a few durable options for above-ground pool owners as well.

PROS:
  • Strong enough to keep people and animals from falling in pool
  • Durable materials last a long time
  • Firmly anchored and can withstand bad weather
  • Keeps everything out if properly installed

CONS:
  • Very heavy and not easy to put on
  • Can be expensive in comparison to other types

Solar Pool Covers

Nobody likes having to go swimming in a cold pool. Unfortunately, in many places temperatures drop significantly after the sun goes down, causing the pool to lose heat overnight. Solar pool covers are made of bubbly material designed to keep absorb warmth from the sun and trap it in the water beneath the cover, thereby maintaining a consistently comfortable pool temperature.

PROS:
  • Specifically designed to stabilize and increase water temperature
  • Practically eliminates water loss due to evaporation, which also keeps pool chemicals from evaporating and reduces time between treatments
  • Effectively keeps dirt, leaves, and other small debris out of the pool

CONS:
  • Flimsy, bubbly, and difficult to handle
  • You may need to buy a solar cover roller to assist in putting it on and taking it off
  • Lightweight material can easily be blown around by the wind if not firmly secured

Thermal Pool Covers

Thermal pool covers are similar to solar covers in that they are designed to prevent evaporation and keep the pool warm. However, being that they’re efficient insulators they don’t allow the sun’s warmth to penetrate the cover, so they won’t raise the temperature of the pool like a solar cover. These are useful for areas where excessively hot day temperatures would make using a solar cover undesirable.

PROS:
  • Blocks UV rays and keeps pool temperature stable
  • Eliminates almost all evaporation
  • Prevents algae growth
  • Last longer than solar covers
  • Easy to put on and take off

CONS:
  • Very expensive compared to other pool types
  • Requires difficult installation
  • Not easy to find online
  • Doesn’t allow the water to heat up, so it must be taken off during the day to allow temps to increase

Winter Pool Covers

Winter pool covers are perhaps the most popular because they serve the important function of preserving the pool throughout the roughest months of the year. Left uncovered, a pool can suffer wind and frost damage during the winter. However, many pool owners choose to use this kind of cover year-round because of their many advantages.

PROS:
  • Blocks sunlight to reduce algae growth
  • Can withstand precipitation, freezing temps, and other harsh weather
  • Easy to put on and take off
  • Lightweight yet durable
  • One of the most popular kinds of pool covers

CONS:
  • Requires the installation of anchor points surrounding the pool
  • Doesn’t effectively reduce evaporation
  • Doesn’t retain heat or increase water temperatures

Hidden Swimming Pool Covers

As the name implies, this kind of pool cover can be hidden away in a sunken compartment at the edge of the pool when not in use. The roller and the cover itself stow away out of sight for a more aesthetically pleasing pool area. These are often custom jobs that require modifications to install on existing pools.

PROS:
  • Can’t see the pool cover when it is put away
  • Doesn’t take up extra space in the pool area
  • Available in automatic, semi-automatic, and manual cranking designs

CONS:
  • Not easy to install on pre-existing pools
  • Repairs can be more difficult
  • One of the most expensive options

Automatic Pool Covers

If you’ve got a larger budget and are looking for something more automated, consider an automatic pool cover that opens and closes with just a button push. These are ideal for elderly people and busy moms who don’t have the time or ability to repeatedly remove and replace the pool cover when needed.

PROS:
  • By far the easiest kind of pool cover to use
  • Can support the weight of one or more adults
  • Greater control and security
  • Sturdy installation can withstand harsh weather

CONS:
  • Highly expensive compared to other options – costs range from $2,000 – $8,000 depending on the model.
  • Doesn’t increase pool water temperature, so to achieve that affect a solar cover would need to be used in conjuction with one of these.


Materials Matter: Mesh vs. Solid

Mesh pool covers are essentially tightly woven canvases made of ultra-durable fabrics. Solid pool covers are, as the name suggest, made of hard materials. Here are some of the pros and cons of each type of material to help you decide which would be most suitable for your pool cover:

Mesh Pool Covers

PROS:
  • Much lighter and easier to maneuver than a solid pool cover
  • The fabric has small spaces that allow snow and rain water to drain through, so a pump is not needed to remove water from the cover
  • Leaves and other debris that collect on the surface of the cover typically blow away in the wind after drying, so you won’t have to clean the cover much

CONS:
  • Rainwater and melted snow will be in your pool along with some dirt and small debris
  • Pools with mesh covers need to be cleaned more often

Solid Pool Covers

PROS:
  • Effectively seals the pool to keep rainwater, melted snow, and debris out of the pool
  • Gives you the comfort of knowing that the pool will be clean and ready to use as soon as you pull the cover off

CONS:
  • A pump must be used to drain water from the surface of the cover after rain or snowfall
  • Heavier materials make it more difficult to put on and remove

There’s no clear winner in this comparison, as each type of material presents its own unique advantages and disadvantages. Ultimately, it’s up to the pool owner’s preference to decide which perks would best accommodate their needs.


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Additional Considerations

Now that you know what to look for and have been introduced to some of the best options in each category here are a few extra things you might want to consider:

All Safety Covers are Not Safe

Don’t let the name “safety cover” fool you, as it is commonly overused and misused in this industry. All pool safety covers are not capable of supporting the weight of an adult. Many are simply meant to protect your pool from wear and tear. Furthermore, don’t rely solely on a pool cover to keep your pool area safe. Having an enclosure and alarms setup at the entrance and on the surface of the pool are also good ideas. It’s up to you to use your discretion and thoroughly review a product’s description before entrusting it to protect your pool and family.

Reasons to Have More than One Kind of Pool Cover

As you can see by examining the above information, there’s definitely a reason to have more than one kind of pool cover. In the spring a solar cover would work well to keep chilly night temps from cooling your pool water, while in the fall you might want something more sturdy to keep the wind and leaves from littering the surface. Ideally, if you live in an area that experiences stark contrasts in weather, it would be a good idea to have one of each type handy.

Ensuring a Proper Fit and Optimal Compatibility

Before you decide on any of the above products, be sure to become familiar with the installation and size requirements to ensure that your pool will be compatible with the cover. If your pool has any obstructions within one foot of the edge of the pool, such as a ladder or slide, this should be taken into consideration when measuring and planning the construction of your pool or the installation of a new cover. Taking all this into consideration beforehand will save you the hassle of having to return the cover or being stuck with one that doesn’t fit right.

Don’t Forget the Warranty!

Generally a good pool cover will include a warranty of some sort. However, it should be noted that certain actions could void the warranty, so be sure to examine the terms and conditions before buying. Some pool covers are relatively expensive, so you don’t want to be caught in the horrible position of having to buy a replacement.


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