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 in the form of 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 a few reasons you need a swimming pool cover besides merely helping heat the water in your swimming pool.
- Why You Need a Good Solar Pool Cover
- Top Solar Pool Covers Reviews
- 1. Sun2Solar Clear 16-Foot-by-32-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover
- 2. Blue Wave NS110 8-mil Solar Blanket for Round Above-Ground Pools, 18-ft
- 3. In The Swim 16 x 32 Foot Rectangle Premium Pool Solar Blanket Cover 12 Mil
- 4. Blue Wave NS430 12-mil Solar Blanket for Rectangular In-Ground Pools, 18-ft x 36-ft, Blue
- 5. Harris 12 ft x 18 ft Rectangle Solar Cover – Clear – 16 Mil 104
- Solar Pool Cover Buying guide
- Type of Pool
- Ease of Use
- Material Types
- Final Verdict
Energy Costs and Savings
An average gas pool heater can use around 4 gallons of propane an hour. With natural gas, it 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, 75% of your pool temperature is lost from your pool’s evaporation.
Pool cleaning chemicals reduce with evaporation, or you 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. 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 if too large. The Sun2Solar also provides heating efficiency because of the myriad of bubbles per square foot.
The 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 from clear and dark blue color. 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 of 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 cover for above ground pool. 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 are looking to retain 95 percent evaporation, then 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
With a guide price of a little over $110, it is averagely priced. It is highly durable and performs well, yet many users find it hard to remove water or remove 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
In The Swim, brand has a few different solar pool covers besides the 16-mil thick pool cover. The dimensions are 32 feet by 16 feet, although there are other options.
It features an excellent design that is a clear blue and constructed from polyethylene. If it’s too large for your pool, you can trim it with scissors.
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 just under $120, it is more than other options, though you do 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 if you desire.
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. 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 your swimming at any time in the day.
The swimming pool solar pool cover from Harris is 12 mm thick. It also manages to offer great heat retention from the solar blanket at a reasonable price. The solar cover can raise temps by 15 degrees while stopping water evaporation and losing your pool chemicals.
The Harris solar blanket is made from durable UV-treated polymers, and thus it’s 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 the cheapest product on the list, yet it is the smallest by a margin. It does do as it should and catch 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, to get the most effective, you need to consider a few things.
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. You will find a round solar pool cover 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. You can find automatic, semi-automatic, or manual. You need more effort with manual, yet they are significantly cheaper. 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.
You also need to see how the tiny air bubbles fasten as some can fall off after a time
Solar pool covers come in a variety of colors. 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, design, yet these don’t affect performance.
In testing, we put the solar pool cover best suited to the job through different criteria. The end 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, and it made it easier to remove than other offerings that were filled with water. While the heat retention pockets perform well on 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 as well.
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