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Last updated: March 12, 2021
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A pool cover is essential for preventing bugs and debris from getting into your pool, but taking the cover on and off can be a tiring task. Getting the best pool cover reel is an excellent solution to make your life easier when it comes to handling your pool cover. There are lots of pool cover reels available on the market, and we are here to help you choose.
Whether you are looking for a quality pool cover reel for above ground or in ground pools, we looked at 37 products currently available in the market. We concluded that the VINGLI Pool Cover Reel Set is the best choice out there not only because it is easy to assemble and use, but also because it sports a durable and rust-free construction. We also included seven other pool cover reels in our review, so you can easily find the perfect one for your needs.
When reviewing the best pool covers, we looked at a multitude of features that are important for the ease of use and durability of the products. Some of the most important of them are length, type of pool cover reel, and material. All the information we gathered from reading countless reviews from users is summed up in the comparison table below, which is followed by in detail reviews of each of the products. The buying guide at the end contains all the details you might need when shopping for the best pool cover reel.
We decided to feature the VINGLI Pool Cover Reel Set as our editor’s choice because this pool cover reel is one of the most durable we have tested while also being very easy to use even if you haven’t used such a piece of equipment before. Made from aluminum pipe, this pool cover reel has an embedded strap link design that allows you to pull the pool cover with ease, while also remaining stable in the process.
The lockable telescopic tube on this pool cover reel for inground pools helps to eliminate the shaking when the product is in use, something that is not always present even on quality pool cover reels. The product is large enough so you can roll it up easily, and requires little to no maintenance. It is very easy to assemble straight out of the box and because it is made of aluminum, it won’t rust even after years of use.
Users who tested and reviewed the VINGLI Pool Cover Reel Set aloft the fact that the grooved reel tube design prevents the strap from falling off. We also like the solid tires that look like they are ready to serve for many years to come, and the thick stainless legs that are also very solid. This is the best solar cover reel for inground pool on the market and even though it is slightly expensive, its build quality is certainly worth the price tag.
Suitable for pools that are up to 20 feet wide, the Rocky’s 3A In Ground Pool Solar Reel is well-built and durable while also remaining portable. This is a pool cover reel that you can easily install and use without the help of another person, and it comes complete with 2-inch castor wheels so you can move it around easily.
We liked the baked enamel finish of the Rocky’s 3A In Ground Pool Solar Reel, and the fact that the product is made from sturdy die cast aluminum, so it is bound to last for the years to come. According to many of the users who reviewed this pool cover reel, you have everything you need in the box to get started right away, including all hardware, a solar blanket attachment kit, and a 2-inch castor set.
While this is not the most affordable pool cover reel available on the market, we like the durable design and overall construction that makes the product very easy to use. It features 12 sided anodized tubing that minimize sagging by strengthening the laterals. In order to wheel the Rocky’s 3A In Ground Pool Solar Reel out of the way, all you need to do is reel in the cover and then release the anchor bolts. The Rocky’s 3A In Ground Pool Solar Reel comes complete with comprehensive instructions for installation and use and the ground clearance is 9.5 inches.
An aluminum cover reel that is suitable for above ground pools, the Intex Solar Cover Reel works well for rectangular shaped pools and is one of the most affordable quality pool cover reels we have tested. Because it is built with heavy-duty materials, this pool cover reel is bound to last for many years.
We like that the Intex Solar Cover Reel has a locking feature that prevented from unrolling by accident and that the size is adjustable in order to make the cover reel a versatile one. The convenient design allows you to attach the reel to the metal frame of the pool so you can keep it safe and covered for the entire duration of the year.
Reviewer who tested the Intex Solar Cover Reel on their pools mentioned that it is easy to install and use and that it is very easy to fit it on the pool. The heavy-duty construction that comes with an interlocking aluminum shaft makes this product ideal for those who are looking for a durable pool cover reel that doesn’t break the bank. Some users mentioned that the reel does not sit on the very edge of the pool, which means that some debris might fall straight into the water when you remove the cover. However, using this pool cover reel saves you a lot of time and keeps your pool safe all year round.
If you are looking for a lightweight pool cover reel that is suitable for in-ground pools, the In The Swim Aqua Splash is an excellent choice. Made from extruded aluminum and featuring telescopic tubes, this pool cover reel comes with all the hardware and attachment kit included, so you can start using it straight out of the box.
The handles and the reel ends are made from polyethylene, which contributes to the lightness of the product, and makes rolling the solar cover a breeze. You can mount it on the wall using the predrilled holes, or you can use it as a stationary device or mobile by purchasing castor wheels, which are not included in the package.
The In The Swim Aqua Splash comes with a five-year limited manufacturer’s warranty for extra peace of mind. You can choose to install it in various types of pools, including round pools, oval, rectangular, and free-form pools. For round pools, the reel should be installed in the center of the pool, while for rectangular pools you will need to install it at one of the ends. If your pool is oval, you should install the reel at the end of the pool before the radius, while for free-form pools you will need to find the widest point and install the reel there.
What we liked:
Easy to install
Fits any pool form
What could be better:
The base of the blanket reel needs to be secured very well
Suitable for above ground pools, the Doheny’s Deluxe Pool Cover Reel System is made from plastic and as such it is very lightweight and easy to install and use. It comes with an attachment kit included and it’s a good fit for both round and oval pools. It can accommodate a maximum of 12 ml of solar blanket and it has a length of 18 feet.
We liked the heavy-duty construction of this pool cover reel, and even though it is made from plastic, you can expect it to last for years. Many of the users who tested it mentioned how easy it is to assemble and operate this product, which comes with comprehensive instructions for installation so you can start to use it straight out of the box.
You can attach it to the pool itself or on fence posts if you prefer it. Some of the users mentioned that the instructions that come with the Doheny’s Deluxe Pool Cover Reel System are not as straightforward as they should be, but putting together the product is a one-person job and should not take more than 30 minutes. The Doheny’s Deluxe Pool Cover Reel System is an excellent choice for those who are looking for lightweight and affordable pool cover reel.
Available in a variety of sizes, the GLI Pool Products Whirlwind Solar Reel is our choice for best pool cover reel with bracket mounts. Suitable for pools ranging from 18 to 28 feet wide, this product is built from commercial grade aluminum, which means that it is very durable and won’t rust. Moreover, the construction and quality of the materials also mean that the GLI Pool Products Whirlwind Solar Reel won’t sag during use.
You can install this pool cover reel on the top rail of above-ground pool, and the majority of users who tested and reviewed it mentioned that it is a very stable product. Another thing that we like about this pool cover reel is the fact that it has high-strength nylon bearings that make it easy for a single person to operate the product. With some pool cover reels, you need the help of another person for smooth operation because of the construction and weight of the device, but this is not the case with the GLI Pool Products Whirlwind Solar Reel.
As with many of the other pool cover reels we reviewed, the solar cover is not included and the device comes with comprehensive installation instructions that makes it easy to install and operate as soon as possible.
Built from lightweight aluminum and featuring durable stainless-steel legs, the Best Choice Products Pool Cover Reel is very easy to install and use even without the help of another person. The hand crank is very easy to maneuver and the pool cover reel has self-fastening attachment points as well.
We liked that the Best Choice Products Pool Cover Reel is very easy to move around thanks to the large treaded tires that are made of plastic. Most users mention that the reel is a lightweight, which means that you can move it around easily and also store it conveniently when not in use. This is one of the best value for money pool cover reels we have reviewed and even though some of the users who tested it mentioned that the instructions are a bit confusing or sometimes missing altogether, this is an excellent option for those who are looking for a pool cover reel with self-fastening attachment points.
You can adjust the Best Choice Products Pool Cover Reel to suit multiple pool sizes, and many users raved about the stability of the product, even though some of them mentioned that the reel may sometimes be very slightly wobbly.
The Sun2Solar Solar Cover Reel is suitable for in-ground pools and is made from a combination of aluminum and stainless-steel legs. It can be used with various types of pool covers up to 16 ft wide. The easy gear system of this pool cover reel means that you can get the job done without the help of another person and you won’t be too tired before enjoying your swim.
The two tires with large treads of the Sun2Solar Solar Cover Reel make it easy to manoeuvre the device and an attachment kit comes in the box together with all the installation hardware you need to start using the pool cover reel immediately.
The Sun2Solar Solar Cover Reel is suitable for 8 mil and 12 mil solar covers, and we liked that it fits all shapes of pools, ranging from rectangular and round to kidney, Grecian, figure 8 and more. Some of the users who bested it mentioned that the instructions are a bit confusing, but overall the sturdy aluminum construction and the eight straps that are included make it easy to install the pool cover reel. The Sun2Solar Solar Cover Reel is also a product that you can modify to suit different shapes of pools.
What we liked:
Can be modified
Suits all shapes of pools
What could be better:
Instructions could be better
Things to Consider
Every pool owner once the water to be clean every time they want to go for a swim, so they cover the pool when not in use. If you want to be able to handle the pool cover without headaches, a pool cover reel should be an essential piece of your pool arsenal. This buying guide will help you decide which pool cover reel is the best choice for your household.
How a pool cover reel will make your life easier
A pool cover reel can make your life easier in multiple ways. First, it does most of the work of taking the pool cover on and off. Second, is a good way to make sure you actually cover your pool when not in use.
Most pool owners can’t be bothered to go through the hassle of dragging their pool cover and as such they may fall into the bad habit of not covering it at all. Since a pool cover is essential if you don’t want to deal with large amounts of debris in your water every time you want to go for a swim, it’s important to make your life easy with a pool cover reel that does most of the work for you.
A pool cover reel can also maintain the temperature of the water in the pool, as the device can increase the temperature by as much as 4 degrees.
The price of a pool cover reel varies depending on the quality of the materials used for the construction of the device as well as the features it might come equipped with. As a rule of thumb, you should expect to pay anything between $100 and $500 for a pool cover reel. As with any other devices, the price goes up when quality materials are used for making the pool cover reel more durable and long-lasting.
Features to consider while buying the best pool cover reel
There are lots of features to consider when shopping for the best pool cover reel, with installation type, size, ease of use, warranty and extra features being some of the most important.
The two main types of pool cover real are for above ground and in-ground pools. Most of them are only suitable for one type of pool, so it is important to make sure that the reel you intend to purchase is a good fit for your specific pool. For example, our editor’s choice, the VINGLI Pool Cover Reel Set, is suitable for in-ground pools, while the best value pick, the Intex Solar Cover Reel works with above ground pools.
The size and shape of your pool are essential factors to take into account when buying a pool cover reel. The size and shape of the pool also have an impact on the price of the reel, with the cost of one for a rectangle pool being lower than that of a reel intended for a free form pool. To determine the correct size, you need to calculate the surface area that you need to cover. And you might want to take your pool fence size into account as well.
Most pool cover reels come with Velcro strapping so you can strap them on the edge of the pool. Some models, such as the Doheny’s Deluxe Pool Cover Reel System can be strapped to fence posts as well. Make sure the straps of the reel are sturdy to make sure the device is locked in safe and doesn’t move during a storm, for example.
Most pool cover reels have manual mechanism, but you can also find automatic ones. All the models we featured in our review are manual ones, but it doesn’t generally take much effort to reel the cover of a standard size pool.
Ease of use
Make sure the device you choose is easy to install and use. Look at how many pieces you get in the box and how easy they are to put together, and make sure the wheels are well-built so you can transport the reel effortlessly. Finally, you should also have a look at how easy it is to use the mill mechanism.
The wheels of a pool cover reel are an essential feature to look at because if you don’t get sturdy ones, you may have trouble moving the reel from one place to another, which is especially important when it comes to storing the device. Models like the Rocky’s 3A In Ground Pool Solar Reel have caster wheels for easy transportation, while the Best Choice Products Pool Cover Reel has large treaded rubber wheels for easy transport and extra stability.
The standard warranty for pool cover reels is one year, but some models, such as the In The Swim Aqua Splash come with a 5-year limited manufacturer warranty. The warranty gives you extra peace of mind and the longer it is, the more durable the product is bound to be.
Cover weight capacity
If you already have a cover for your pool, you need to make sure that the pool cover reel you purchase can accommodate its weight. The Best Choice Products Pool Cover Reel, for example, has a capacity of 140 lbs., but other models may vary.
Installing a pool cover reel is not difficult and you can generally do it yourself after reading the instructions provided by the manufacturer. Read the instructions carefully and make sure you only attempt to install a reel that is suitable for your particular type of pool.
Some systems can be installed on the wall or the pool deck, like in the case of the Doheny’s Deluxe Pool Cover Reel System, for example. Most models have snap-on clips so you can connect them easily to the pool. For complete instructions on how to install a pool cover reel, watch this helpful video:
It is generally not necessary to call a professional to install a pool cover reel. All of the models we reviewed come with comprehensive instructions so you can do the installation yourself even if you haven’t installed another pool cover reel before. Always make sure that you only attempt to install a reel that is suitable for your specific type and size of pool.
Keeping your pool cover reel clean is essential for its longevity. The instructions provided by the manufacturer should always be your first port of call when it comes to cleaning the reel. Make sure you remove all debris and grime that might block the mill mechanism, and oil the reel according to the instructions, usually a couple of times per season. There are multiple types of oil available for the maintenance of pool cover reels, so always make sure you go with one recommended by the manufacturer.
You can find pool cover reels for round swimming pools, but you should also keep in mind that many regular cover reels can be used for rectangular and oval/round pools. Our editor’s choice, the VINGLI Pool Cover Reel Set, is suitable for pools of just about any shape.
After carefully reviewing dozens of pool cover reels, we concluded that the VINGLI Pool Cover Reel Set is the best choice out there, with a rating of 10/10. This pool cover reel is one of the most durable we have tested and comes with an embedded strap link design for easy maneuvering and increased stability.
On second place, with a rating of 9.8/10 is Rocky’s 3A In Ground Pool Solar Reel, a model that is very easy to install and use and comes complete with a solar blanket attachment. This pool cover reel has a baked enamel finish and is easy to transport thanks to its caster wheels.
Finally, on third place with a rating of 9.6/10 we have the Intex Solar Cover Reel, a budget choice that is made from aluminum and is a suitable choice for rectangular pools.
No matter what type of pool cover reel you decide to go for, make sure it is compatible with your particular type of pool.