There is more to a pool cover than keeping out falling leaves and windswept debris. While clean water is liked when taking a dip, the temperature can also play a large parge in how enjoyable your pool will be.
Heating pools can take a considerable amount of money, yet when you check out our reviews, you can find a cheaper alternative: a solar pool cover.
By the end of our solar pool cover reviews, you’ll find what a solar pool cover does and how to find the best performing solar pool covers for your home pool.
Why You Need a Good Solar Pool Cover
Here are a few reasons you need a swimming pool cover besides merely helping heat the water in your swimming pool.
Energy Costs and Savings
An average gas pool heater can use around 4 gallons of propane an hour. Likewise, natural gas can use around four therms per hour.
If you were to use electric heat pumps, you are looking at 5 kilowatts per hour.
Your pool may lose an average of 2-inches of water per week without a cover. Depending on pool size, this could amount to 10 to 20 thousand gallons of pool water evaporation each year. Furthermore, your pool’s evaporation loses 75% of your pool temperature.
Pool cleaning chemicals reduce with evaporation or dilute them as you add more water. Pool covers save chemical reductions by two-thirds.
Algae & Trash
You can find either of these swimming around in your pool. But unfortunately, algae can take over, and trash makes the water look unhealthy.
Longer Swim Season
Solar pool covers help you extend your swimming season. You can find you may swim for another month, at least.
When you see these solar sun rings, they connect. The rings make a sort of raft, and in between, there are gaps. Rings may appear easy to use, yet rings can allow algae to form. You also tend to find solar sun rings are not as efficient in warming your water.
Top Solar Pool Covers Reviews
1. Sun2Solar Clear 16-Foot-by-32-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover
The Sun2Solar 1600 solar pool cover is a premium product available for rectangular pools. It measures 32 feet by 16 feet.
While it can be found in other sizes, you can easily trim it if too large. The Sun2Solar also provides heating efficiency because of the myriad of bubbles per square foot.
1600 is manufactured from quality resin materials, with a thickness of 16 millimeters.
You’ll find this sufficient to stop evaporation and heat loss. You can select between clear and dark blue colors. The clear material offers the chance to capture more heat and be the best pool cover for your pool.
- Built for rectangular or square pools
- Available in two colors.
- A large number of bubbles per square foot
- Comes with a three-year warranty
- Can gather water on the surface
- May break down from UV exposure in high sun areas
With a guide price of just over $100, you have the perfect solution to stop heat loss overnight from the best bubble covers on the market. It retains around 95% of the sun s heat and has become one of the best swimming pool solar covers to control heating costs.
2. Blue Wave NS110 8-mil Solar Blanket for Round Above-Ground Pools, 18-ft
Blue Wave makes one of the best solar covers for above-ground pools. If your pool is an 18-foot wide round or under, you can save the hassle of attempting to trim your swimming pool cover.
The Blue Wave is popular for pool solar covers and is close in quality to Intex solar cover. If you want to retain 95 percent evaporation, this could be the best solar pool cover for your needs.
It is constructed from durable polymer to a thickness of 8 millimeters. Besides, it is built from UV-tolerant materials and should last a while.
The pool cover comes with a three-year warranty. However, it doesn’t come with a drain hole to remove accumulated water.
- It comes with a 3-year warranty
- UV-protection as standard
- Durable material and construction
- Reliable brand
- It accumulates water
- May sink underwater surface
It is averagely priced with a guide price of a little over $110. It is highly durable and performs well, yet many users find it hard to remove water or the cover once it sinks under the surface. It is, however, one of the best above-ground pool covers.
3. In The Swim 16 x 32 Foot Rectangle Premium Pool Solar Blanket Cover 12 Mil
The Swim, the brand, has a few different solar pool covers besides the 16-mil thick pool cover. The dimensions are 32 feet by 16 feet, although other options exist.
It features an excellent design that is a clear blue and constructed from polyethylene. You can trim it with scissors if it’s too large for your pool.
There is an aluminum base layer to improve thermal efficiency and has a huge seven-year warranty.
- Retains heat efficiently with the aluminum base layer
- Long 7-year warranty
- Thick and durable
- Less prone to tearing
- Only one color option
- Can struggle with water pH changes
With a guide price of under $120, it is more than other options, though you have the extra thickness and the aluminum layer to help warm water and retain the heat.
It is one of the better solar covers for inground pools, though you can cut it to fit an above-ground pool. (Read What Can I Put Under My Above Ground Pool Guide)
4. Blue Wave NS430 12-mil Solar Blanket for Rectangular In-Ground Pools, 18-ft x 36-ft, Blue
Blue Waves has another addition after the Blue Wave NS520 to add to its high-end solar covers for in-ground pools. The solar cover is made with high-end materials to offer durability and reliable performance. In addition, it comes with UV protection and can withstand intense sunlight.
- Made of high-quality material
- Very efficient at trapping heat
- Five-year warranty
- UV protection long-lasting
- Bubbles can fall off
- Won’t last anywhere near the warranty length
With a guide price of around $150, it is in the budget for a manual solar cover in the upper region of the budget. It is the top end but works quickly and can raise pool water temperature by over 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
5. Harris 12 ft x 18 ft Rectangle Solar Cover – Clear – 16 Mil 104
Having a decently sized pool solar cover is essential if you wish to enjoy swimming any time in the day.
The swimming pool solar pool cover from Harris is 12 mm thick. It also offers excellent heat retention from the solar blanket at a reasonable price. The solar cover can raise temperatures by 15 degrees while preventing water evaporation and losing your pool chemicals.
The Harris solar blanket is made from durable UV-treated polymers, thus resistant to sunlight. While manual, you can use this pool water solar cover with a pool cover reel to save some effort.
Like others in our solar pool cover reviews, you’ll see there is a warrant, although just two years.
- Great sunlight penetration
- Good heat retention
- Flexible and easy to use
- Heavy duty and can be used with a reel
- Not suitable for saltwater pools
- Once color and looks like bubble wrap
With a guide price of around just above $50, it appears to be the cheapest product on the list, yet it is the smallest by a margin. It does as it should and catches the air bubbles to warm your pool.
You can also cut it to become a round-budget solar pool cover if your pool fits into that size.
Solar Pool Cover Buying guide
Blanket solar pool covers are an inexpensive means to extend the swimming season. They are an ideal option as no other pool cover can increase the temperature of your water. However, it would help to consider a few things to get the most effective.
If these don’t suit you, there are always the liquid solar covers, yet they won’t stop debris.
Type of Pool
The sort of pool you have makes a huge difference. You can have an in-ground pool or an above-ground pool. If yours is in-ground, you may need to invest in a particular type of cover reel.
Size is also vital, and while you can cut a solar pool cover for the size of your pool, you need to know the measurements first. In addition, a round solar pool cover is not as flexible as it is purpose-made for round pools.
Ease of Use
You’ll find that not all blanket pool covers are user-friendly. First, you can find automatic, semi-automatic, or manual. It would help if you had more effort with manual, yet they are significantly cheaper. Next, you find these often-called passive solar covers.
A semi-automatic blanket has reel systems, though you need to guide your cover. Automatic blanket solar covers are a fully functional system where they cover and uncover your pool.
Pool covers are made from different types of materials. If you don’t have the right material, it may not function properly or last very long. Vinyl covers are durable, yet you still need to understand the quality, affecting heating capacity and heat retention.
It would help if you also saw how the tiny air bubbles fasten as some can fall off after a time.
Solar pool covers come in a variety of colors. The darker blue color offers better heat protection, although too dark, and it will begin to keep your swimming pools cooler as the light can’t pass.
Semi-transparent covers allow UV rays a chance to pass through your cover and heat the water. The cover then deters water evaporation and prevents heat loss. With this is the thickness as this also helps retain heat.
You may have a color and design, yet these don’t affect performance.
In testing, we put the solar pool cover best suited to the job through different criteria. The goal was to see how warm the swimming pool water got and how long the heat could be retained compared to Thermo Tex Solar.
It was clear that the Sun2Solar Clear 16-Foot-by-32-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover would be the heavy-duty solar champ in many of the tests. It took the heat from the sun and kept it in the water longer than others.
Add in the drain holes, which made it easier to remove than other offerings filled with water. While the heat retention pockets perform well in-ground, there is nothing to convert to fit above-ground pools.
Do this, and you probably have one of the best pool covers for above-ground pools.
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