Adam holds a Bachelor's and a Master's degree in Linguistics, and creative writing has always been his greatest passion. For more than 25 years he's been working for several well-known automobile and travel magazines as an editor and expert consultant, but when Adam started his writing path here, at WisePick, it turned out that he's capable of writing practically anything about everything.
Initially being an engineering specialist, Tom has never stopped learning and acquiring other knowledge and skills. Now he’s involved in technical support for a well-known household appliances manufacturer, so no wonder he knows everything about almost everything you buy for your home.
Last updated: February 19, 2021
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Swimming pools are centers of entertainment and relaxation, especially in the summer season. The cool water is very soothing and can make summer even more fun. What if you were able to use hot and warm pool water in the colder weather as well? It might seem farfetched, but in fact, it is possible. You can keep the pool water warm by investing in the best solar pool covers on the market. This article will review some of the best options that you will find available for purchase today.
In this post, we will review eight of the best options for you. In creating this list, we considered some important features. These parameters include shape, size and thickness, the ability to prevent evaporation and retain temperature, and durability, among others. We have provided a buying guide that discusses each of these factors. We believe that reading this post will assist you in selecting the right choice from all the options on the market today.
"This solar pool cover helps the above ground swimming pools to retain the warmth for a long time and keeps the water pretty much warmed so that you can enjoy bathing in it even on cold nights.Suitable for rectangle and square pools.30 sizes available.16 mil thickness."
"Unlike many other options, which are designed with circular bubbles, the ones on this cover have a diamond structure that allows more air pockets to be packed into every square foot, translating to more efficient heat retention.Suitable for oval pools.5 sizes available.16 mil thickness."
"This solar cover conserves a lot of energy and helps to keep your pool as warm as possible, being able to heat up water for up to 15°F.Suitable for rectangular pools.16 x 32 ft size.14 mil thickness."
"This solar cover is thicker than many other options, featuring the same small round bubbles as our top pick and effectively heating water and retaining heat.Suitable for rectangle and square pools.30 sizes available.12 mil thickness."
"The Intex solar cover retains solar heat inside the pool for a longer period than many other covers and reduces evaporation of water by 95%.Suitable for round pools.Three sizes available.8 mil thickness."
"This pool cover was designed and made to fit an 18 ft. x 9 ft. rectangular swimming pool and comes with a convenient carrying bag that makes it easier to store.Suitable for rectangle and square pools.17 ft 8 in x 8 ft 4 in size.6 mil thickness."
"With the In The Swim Solar Blanket, you get a full 15 mils thickness, allowing for a faster and easier increase in pool water temperature and reduced evaporation.Suitable for round pools.12 ft size.12 mil thickness."
This model is an awesome product that is made to ensure that above ground swimming pools retain warmth for extended periods. Furthermore, from our testing and as per manufacturer’s instructions, it is made for folks that have rectangular above ground swimming pools. It comes with special features which make it the best choice you can buy right now.
Let’s see some of its best features in more detail.
First of all, the brand is one of the best known in the world of solar pool covers. It has been in the industry for a couple of years now and has always wowed customers with high quality products. The 1600 series is the crowning achievement as it comes with features that make it our top choice.
It comes at a relatively low price, which is quite impressive considering all it can do. As pointed out above, it is made for rectangular pools that lie above the ground, hence if you have a circular pool you will have to look elsewhere. However, if you have a rectangular pool, it is one of the best options you can have.
A feature that makes it stand out from most of the competition is the ease of manoeuvring the solar pool cover. It features 6-pack grommets which are designed to let any water that lies on the cover to slip away as you fold it up. Additionally, its design and technology means that water evaporation from the pool is greatly minimized. During our testing, we observed that despite intense sunlight throughout the day, only very little water in the pool was evaporated. Hence, if evaporation is a big concern, you can rest assured that this option is fully equipped to deal with it.
In addition to its ability to slow evaporation drastically, this pool cover is designed with solar bubbles that trap heat and disperse it into the pool water. Therefore, during cold nights, you won’t find yourself shivering in the pool.
If you buy this pool cover and discover that it is a bigger size than what you need, you can easily cut it down to size. This will ensure better all-round performance.
What we liked:
Thousands of bubbles keep water heated and don’t let it evaporate. The durable construction of this cover allows you to use it for a longer time.
Up next is this impressive offering from MidWest. While others on the market come with circular bubbles, this particular option is made with diamond shaped bubbles. This results in excellent and efficient heat retention. Form all the options reviewed, it is one of the best when it comes to retaining heat in your swimming pool.
Let’s see what makes it so great.
For folks that have an oval-shaped swimming pool, the shape of this cover will be just what they need. It covers the whole pool and will keep out any debris. More importantly, this shape ensures that the pool water remains warm all through winter period.
Something we love about this pool cover is the heavy duty construction. It is hands down one of the thickest options that we have reviewed; coming in at 16-mil polymer thickness. Therefore, you can rest assured that it will keep your water warm as the cold will find it had to pass through.
Another thing that makes this stand out is its diamond shaped bubbles. While others are made with circular bubbles, we believe that the diamond shaped bubbles of this cover is perfect for retaining heat.
As with the option reviewed above, it is easy to trim just in case it is bigger than your pool. Moreover, it can be adjusted to accommodate pool features like stairs or similar things.
The 16-mil thickness is both a blessing and a downside. While it will keep the pool warm, it makes it quite hard to fold the cover when not in use or when you want to have a swim.
What we liked:
With a 16 mil thickness, this cover does a great job in retaining heat and is more durable than thinner covers. The diamond-shaped bubbles make it even more efficient and unique.
The third pick in this roundup is a pool cover designed for folks looking to conserve energy. It is made with energy conservation in view and according to our testings, it can heat water up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit; a truly impressive temperature. You can thus have a warm time in winter by using this solar pool cover. Additionally, it comes at a relatively low price which makes it a really attractive option.
This option from Blue Wave is primarily designed for those that have a rectangular pool. It comes with the ability, as do all high-quality solar pool covers, to warm your water even in winter.
In spite of its awesome overall performance, it is quite cheap. It falls under $150 which can come as a surprise considering just how good it is.
As with other options it comes with air filled cells. Its cells are not diamond shaped as the model above, rather they are circular. This helps to also retain heat and spread heat efficiently over the water in the pool. As pointed out earlier, it can heat up your water up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
Aside from all these truly impressive features, we love the impressive durability offered by this pool cover. You can rest assured that you will use it for several year before you require a replacement.
What we liked:
This cover from Blue Wave is durable and conserves solar energy effectively, making heating your pool a breeze. The 14 mil thickness is more than many other pool covers can offer.
What could be better:
This solar pool cover is only available in one size and can be used for round pools.
Our top choice is the 1600 series from this manufacturer. Now, this model comes with certain similar features that make it get a deserved spot on this list. It is quite thick, which will impact the warmth of the pool. Just as the number choice, it comes with circular bubbles. You can choose either blue or clear color.
Consider in more detail some of the best features of this solar pool cover.
Unlike the top choice that is primarily designed for above ground swimming pools, this particular model is more versatile. Hence, you can use it for either in-ground or above-ground pools.
Aesthetically, it is one of the most pleasant-to-look-at options. It comes in a blue color that will make you pool and the surroundings look quite beautiful. It is designed to reduce evaporation as it comes with UV protected material. From our tests and research, it is one of the most durable options that you will find on the market today.
As we pointed out earlier, it comes with a similar design to our number one choice, hence you can be sure of efficient performance all year long. Like the 1600 series, you will find that it comes with circular bubbles to trap and disperse heat in your pool.
Another reason why we highly recommend this option is that it comes with 12-mil thickness. While that isn’t the thickness on the market or on this round up, it is just good enough to retain as much heat as you will be comfortable with.
Trimming is an option with this pool cover. If you don’t plan on trimming, though, you can choose from different sizes that are available to buyers. Regardless of the size that you decide to buy, the manufacturer has made it with extra two to four inches of material so that you can cut to fit.
We love this product, and so do many others. Unlike other choices, we love that the stated dimensions in the package always come in the stated size. Hence, there are no sizing issues.
If you are looking for an easy-to-use solar pool cover that delivers quite excellent performance, then look no further than this impressive offering.
What we liked:
This cover is available in a traditional clear and a nice blue color, as well as in plenty of sizes to suit your unique pool. It’s also reinforced to resist wear and tear.
What could be better:
This cover is less efficient at insulating the pool than the options above.
The Intex solar cover is a good solar pool cover that also helps your pool to retain as much heat as possible over an extended period. As with the top choice on this round up, it is designed for folks that have above ground pools. If you are looking to install a high quality, inexpensive, and durable solar pool cover, then you will likely love using this particular option. Due to its design, we discovered that it can reduce the rate of evaporation by more than 90%; an impressive feat. Hence, you can rest assured that your pool will be as warm as possible at all times.
While it is true that this unit is made with Intex pools in mind, we have found it to be useful for pools from other manufacturers as well. To use it, you must have a round pool as it isn’t made for rectangular options.
Storage is easy when not in use as this pool cover comes with a durable carry bag. It is also quite easy to get into the bag or to set up over the pool.
The solar pool cover comes with 8 different holes. These holes are designed to ensure that water doesn’t accumulate on the top of the cover. Accumulation of water over time will affect the performance of your cover; hence the holes come in very handy.
While the 8-mil thickness is somewhat low, we found it to be sufficient for warming the pool. Additionally, this relatively low thickness contributes to the ease of removing the cover. The cover is aided by the circular air bubbles that trap heat.
This Intex Solar pool cover is designed for round shaped pools with a diameter of 12 feet. If you don’t mind the lightweight nature, we highly recommend this solar pool cover.
What we liked:
This cover is ideal for your round Intex pool. It’s available in three sizes and has eight holes in its structure to prevent water accumulation. It’s also easy to put on and take off.
What could be better:
This cover is less thick than the options above, and some users mentioned that it can be easily kicked up by the wind.
This model from Intex comes with impressive craftsmanship that is sure to make your pool warm. It is made to fit an 18 ft. x 9 ft. rectangular swimming pool. There is the 160 micron construction, which means that the water in your facility is always warm, making your swimming time much more comfortable and fun. It is easy to store away as it comes with its own carrying bag.
Weighing about 5½ pounds, this cover is pretty light.
Although we must admit that the quality can be shabby, we love that you can get this pool cover with rollers. This design makes it super easy to setup and remove.
Another issue we have with this offering is that there are sizing issues. Some of the models we tested came in different sizes than what was written on the packaging.
What we liked:
We liked a lot that this pool cover comes with straps to fit the Intex pool and hold it in place. It’s easy to install and use, and is one of the most affordable options on the market.
What could be better:
This cover is only available in one size and comes quite a bit thinner than we expected.
This model is from a rather popular manufacturer that delivers on its promise to give you high quality performance all year round. It comes with a full 15 mils thickness which invariably offers some of the best warmth in a pool. Its air bubbles are made to make evaporation slower and to conserve as much heat as possible
We love it for several other reasons too.
For instance, consider the material it is made of. This unit is made from UV-stabilized resin, which means that your pool water will not evaporate. Additionally, due to the large number and the quality of bubbles on the cover, heat is easier to retain and transfer to the pool. Your heat will not escape and you will have a great time in the cold winter.
As with some of the best option on the market, this pool cover can raise the temperature of the pool. We observed that it raised the temperature up to 13 degrees on a cold night. This is an Since it comes in a good design, it is quite easy to set it up and remove it when you need to use the pool.
It comes in a big size. Therefore, if you have a smaller pool you will have to trim it. Thankfully, trimming it is quite easy.
It comes with a 7 years warranty. All the seams are reinforced to increase its durability.
What we liked:
The 12 mil thickness of the solar pool cover makes it more durable than the thinner options, and it also comes with a 7-year warranty for the piece of mind.
What could be better:
This pool cover is only available in one size and one color, which is blue.
Our last option on this round up is this excellent cover from Blue Wave. This option can be found in a blue hue and it is designed for round shaped pools that lie above the ground. It has a large diameter that will cover most pools and comes with impressive thermal retention capabilities.
It prevents evaporation and is great for round pools between 12 and 33 feet in diameter.
Made from a UV-resistant polymer, this cover can raise the temperature by up to 15 degrees. This is also due to the thermal bubbles on the surface of the cover. Therefore, you can enjoy warmer waters and swim for longer on cold nights.
What we liked:
This solar pool cover comes in several sizes, which makes it suitable for a large variety of pools, including even large ones. The polymer this cover is created with is UV-protected, which makes it resistant to UV radiation.
What could be better:
This cover is lighter and thinner than other options.
Things to Сonsider
In the reviews above, we considered specific solar pool covers that will deliver excellent performance. In this section, we will consider some important information about solar pool covers. We will also discuss the parameters to consider before making a buying choice.
What are solar pool covers designed for?
While your safety pool cover helps to prevent debris from getting into your pool, it doesn’t offer much protection or satisfaction on cold nights. This is where the solar pool cover excels.
This product is made to keep the pool cool regardless of the external weather conditions. Using this product, you will not need to invest large sums of money into buying a pool heater as it is a cheaper alternative.
Another advantage is that it doesn’t run on electricity, so you don’t ave to worry about electricity bills.
While it doesn’t warm up the pool as much as a pool heater or other electronic devices, you will agree that the economic value of such a product is very attractive.
Features to consider when choosing a solar pool cover
To make a good purchase, there are several key features you should look out for in solar pool covers.
The type you need
Before choosing a solar pool cover, it is imperative that you carefully consider the type of cover that your pool needs.
There are two main types of these covers on the market right now. These are the rectangular pool cover and the round pool cover.
Hence, you should choose a cover that matches the shape of the pool, else, you will be stuck with an ineffectual pool cover that won’t keep your pool warm on cold nights. After this decision is made, then you can proceed to find the right cover for the pool using other parameters.
As you read through the reviews above, one thing that must have stuck out is that each of the covers comes with thermal bubbles. These bubbles serve the important function of conserving heat.
Therefore, if you will not be choosing any of the products we have reviewed, you should at least consider choosing a pool cover that comes with thermal bubbles.
Size of the pool
If you choose a small pool cover, then it won’t serve you well. Choosing an over-sized cover also has the same effect.
Before making a purchase, you must know the size of your pool so that you can choose a cover that will match it.
The thickness of the solar pool cover is measured in “mils”, and it is a very vital factor to consider. From our research, a thick cover will retain heat better than a light one.
One problem with thick covers, though, is that it can be hard to remove or store when not in use. They are also usually more expensive options than lightweight covers.
There are different designs on the solar pool cover. These designs are reported to have different effects on the heat retention capabilities of the pool cover, but we haven’t found any evidence to back such claims.
In our experience, designs are mainly there to beautify the cover. You can therefore choose a design that appeals to you.
Color is an important factor because it has been proven to affect how effectively the cover will trap heat. Generally, dark-colored ones are able to trap heat more effectively, but if the cover is too dark, it may have the opposite effect and lose heat at night. Thus, the best color to get is a semi-transparent one that will allow sunlight to pass through it to the water easily and retain heat.
Durability and warranty
Next, you must consider how long the cover will last. The best options on the market should last for years.
Well, the difference isn’t really much, but its color does affect its effectiveness. A transparent bubble cover may reduce pool solar energy absorption by 5–15%. A completely opaque cover will reduce it by 20–40%. Therefore, it is recommended that you choose a cover with a dark color as this will absorb more heat.
While you might be tempted to do so, we advise that you go for a winter cover.
From the reviews above, we strongly recommend the Sun2Solar 1600 Series Style Solar Cover. As far as the heating operation is concerned, as compared to the outside environment, it keeps the water pretty much warmed so that you can enjoy bathing in it even on cold nights. We also recommend MidWest Canvas Clear Diamond Oval Solar Cover, which is designed with circular bubbles that allow more air pockets to be packed into every square foot, translating to more efficient heat retention. Lastly, the Blue Wave NS520 14-mil Clear Solar Blanketconserves a lot of energy and helps to keep your pool as warm as possible. According to a rough estimate, the cover can easily heat up water for up to 15°F. It has the ability to warm up the water for a relaxing bathing experience. It is also one of the cheapest solar pool covers that you can buy.
We hope that this best solar pool covers review will help you in making the correct buying choice.