The best solar pool cover is cheap, easy to use, covers the majority of your pool, and comes on a reel for easy storage. You don’t need to spend a fortune getting the top-of-the-line solar pool cover, when a cheap one found online will work great.
Ecommerce websites such as Amazon and Ebay have large selections of solar pool covers, and buying one is as hustle free as it gets:
How do you measure your pool?
That’s easy – simply get a measuring tape and get to work. All you need for a measurement is length and width.
Take the measurement from water’s edge to water’s edge, meaning: don’t include the decking in your measurement, because you will get a bigger cover than you need. And remember, to have the best solar pool cover, you do not need to have one that fits perfectly. So, don't stress yourself out on the measurements. It's not a safety net that you are getting. It is a device to trap the heat in your pool and keep water from evaporating. It does not need to be perfect!
The best solar pool covers come with a reel, or another way to easily remove the solar pool blanket and store it. This will extend the life of your solar pool cover by keeping it clean and dry when not in use, and by rolling it out onto your pool smoothly, creating less wear and tear.
Finally, you want to make sure that your solar pool cover has UV protection in it. If it doesn’t, then the sun’s rays can actually harm your solar pool blanket more than help it. Heritage and Intex have great and affordable solar pool covers that really work to keep your pool heated and save you energy costs while they do it.
- The 7 Best Rated Solar Pool Covers
- Solar Pool Covers Buying Guide- What You Should Know
- Why You Should Use Solar Heating for Your Swimming Pool
- Setting up an Intex East Set Solar Pool Cover
- Why you should invest in the best solar pool covers...
The 7 Best Rated Solar Pool Covers
We have tried over 100 of the most popular solar pool covers in a span of about two years, and ranked them in order of energy efficiency and durability.
Here are the 7 solar pool covers that are worth every penny you spend on them:
1. Sun2Solar Pool Cover
The blue-colored Sun2Solar Pool cover is our most recommended pool solar cover, and for good reasons too.
It is not only appealing to look at but also very functional. This solar pool cover will prevent up to 95% of the water in your swimming pool from getting lost due to evaporation while trapping in most of the warmth that your pool has generated during the day.
Sun2Solar also has a clear version of their solar pool cover. And according to the manufacturers, the clear version allows the sun's heat to penetrate more deeper than the blue one. This is especially notable if you check the water's temperature past the first few inches depth... But we still prefer the blue version, because, you know... It really looks cool on the pool 🙂
2. 16 Mil 20 x 40 ft. Ultra Clear Rectangle Swimming Pool Solar Blanket Cover
- Is a huge 16 mil thick – the thickest available.
- Offers the best heat retention.
- Has a unique hexagon design to ensure maximum heat retention.
- Comes with an unheard of 8 year warranty
If you are looking for the thickest solar pool blanket on the market, you’ve just found it –In The Swim 16 Mil Ultra Clear Pool Solar Cover 20 x 40 (Rectangle)
This solar cover is a thick 16 mil which is thicker than most other covers which are mostly 12 mil.
This solar pool cover really is the Diamond series of solar blankets and offers the best in heat retention ensuring your swimming pool always stays warm.
Unlike other solar covers, In The Swim 16 Mil Ultra Clear Pool Solar Cover has a unique hexagon design which ensures the least amount of heat loss possible. What this means is you save more money on your heating bills and have a pool that is always nice and warm.
3. Intex Solar Cover for 10ft Diameter Easy Set and Frame Pools
If you have a 10 foot round pool and need a way to keep the water warm, then the Intex Krystal Clear 10-Foot Solar Pool Cover will do that and more.
This very affordable solar pool cover will lie on the surface of your pool and with the aid of the sun will keep the water nice and warm for you. It will also stop any form of debris from entering the water too.
The Intex Krystal Clear 10-Foot Solar Pool Cover itself is made for 10 foot round pools, although it can be adapted to fit 8 foot round pools too. Not only does it help to keep the water warm but it prevents it from evaporating as well. It is a very affordable way of keeping your pool clean and warm without the expense of a pool heater.
Intex Krystal Clear 10-Foot Solar Pool Cover Features
•Reduces water evaporation by up to 95%.
•Helps to retain the heat in the water.
•Will fit 10 foot and 8 foot round pools.
•Comes complete with a storage bag for when it’s not in use.
Intex Krystal Clear 10-Foot Solar Pool Cover Reviews
We found a total of 2,021 Amazon reviews for this product and to be honest they were quite mixed. Some people say it does the job really well and for the money it was an absolute bargain. Other people say it is just a large piece of bubble wrap and aren’t very happy with the quality.
The Intex Krystal Clear 10-Foot Solar Pool Cover is a very affordable item that will certainly do the job it claims. Sure it’s not heavy duty or very thick and that is why it is so cheap to buy. It does the job and doesn’t cost a lot of money, so we can recommend it to anyone with an 8 or 10 foot round pool.
Solar Pool Covers Buying Guide- What You Should Know
Swimming pool heating can be an expensive exercise especially in today’s economic climate where everyone is looking at ways in which to cut back on expenses.
The guide below shows how an affordable solar pool cover can help cut back on utility costs. It will also show the available design features, enabling you to get the very best from this Eco-friendly solar heating idea.
Solar swimming pool covers are also known as solar blankets. This type of pool cover is known to be a very economical and effective way to harness the suns energy and heat your swimming pool.
However, with so many solar pool covers in the market, it might be difficult to decide which one is the best match for you swimming pool.
Not anymore. In this review article, we took 7 of the best solar pool covers to the test. Here are our results
Solar blankets look like a giant piece of bubble wrap; normally they will be silver clear or blue in color. They are made up of thousands of air pockets that use the suns energy to heat your pool and at the same time trap any existing heat. In this way heat is added to your pools water whilst preventing heat loss through evaporation. This means that less heat is lost thus you do not have to run the pools heating system quite as much as before.
Why You Should Use Solar Heating for Your Swimming Pool
Every month you invest a significant amount of money in your swimming pool with chemicals, maintenance, and electricity to operate your filter pump.
When you heat your swimming pool, you can actually extend your swimming season and allow you to spend more time enjoying your pool. To heat your swimming pool you can use propane, or natural gas heaters. These have a low installation cost, but have a high operational cost.
In addition, gas heaters usually have a life span of only 5-8 years.
Another way to heat your swimming pool is with a heat pump, which cost more to install than that of a gas heater, however, has a less expensive operational cost than that of a gas heater.
Solar energy is another option for heating a swimming pool.
Solar heaters use the suns energy; therefore, they do not have an operating cost. They work with your existing pool pump, which circulates water from your pool through the heater that is usually located on top of your roof, the now, warm water is pumped back into your pool, warming it.
For maximum heating, you should have a pump timer set to operate during daylight hours. To regulate temperatures an automatic control and valve can be used sometimes, which is common in northern climates or where you want to maintain absolute temperature control. A booster pump may be needed for large commercial pools, community pools, and some larger residential pools.
Another reason why you should use solar energy to heat your swimming pool is that other energy sources such as gas heaters add pollutants into the air. Solar energy is a clean renewable energy source, which doesn’t contribute to pollution.
When installing the solar heating systems, the solar collectors should be installed where they will receive the maximum amount of direct sunlight for a good portion of the day.
Therefore, depending on the mounting surface’s angle as east, west and even flat facing systems should function satisfactory as long as it is sized properly for the pool.Proper sizing of the solar heating system is vital for achieving maximum heating.
The typical swimming pool requires a solar panel surface area, which equals approximately 50-100% of the pool’s surface area. The size of the heater however, will depend on several factors, which are the size and shape of the pool, how much of the pool is shaded, the geographic location, the swimming season, and desired pool temperature.
In addition, you also have to take into consideration windy conditions as well as the direction of the roof such as does it face south, east, west or is it flat. Your solar swimming pool heating specialist will be able to assist you in selecting the proper size system you will need.
Even with a solar heating system, you should also consider using a pool cover. Pools loose large amounts of heat. This occurs in many various ways including surface evaporation, which accounts for approximately 75% of the total heat loss.
Bubble type solar pool covers are the least expensive way to maintain your pool’s warmth and reduce surface evaporation. The pool cover is in the shape of the pool and lays on the pool’s surface.
In addition, pool covers also reduce chemical loss associated with evaporation. Pool covers also help to keep the pool cleaner by reducing the amount of dirt and debris that enters the pool.
If you own your own pool, you know it can be a joy to use but a nightmare to maintain. That’s why backyard pool maintenance is such a hot industry and explains why there are so many vendors hawking pool solar covers on the Internet.
How do you decide if you need a solar pool cover and if so, what to consider before you purchase?
Hopefully this guide will be helpful in your research.
First of all, what are pool solar covers exactly?
These are pool covers that protect your swimming pool from the elements–be it leaves, bugs, dust, or even curious toddlers.
What is so special about a pool cover that is solar?
A solar pool cover adds an extra element of heating to your pool. With special construction materials, these covers act as passive pool solar heaters, harnessing the energy and heat from the sun to increase the temperature of the water in your pool.
Why would you want to do this?
If you’re like most people, you probably work during the day when the hours are light and the pool water is warm. By the time you get home, however, the sun has disappeared and your pool will be much cooler.
So, what happens if you want to go for a relaxing swim after a hard day’s work?
You could, but you would have to endure the cold water.
With pool solar covers, however, your pool will still be nearly as warm as it was during the day during prime usage hours and you will be able to enjoy the water much more so.
An added bonus of solar covers for inground pools is the energy efficiency. The best solar pool covers use absolutely no energy to heat the pool, unlike an electric or gas heater.
While there are several pool solar heating systems available, these fancy gadgets actually use solar panels to collect and store energy and are thus much more expensive. Pool solar covers, on the other hand, are much cheaper to make and therefore to afford. And you won’t have to add on any extra maintenance on the very thing that you were using to maintain your pool!
For cold climate users who still enjoy swimming in their backyards, pool solar covers are an absolute must.
Even with the sun out it can be quite cool temperature-wise, and a solar pool blanket will prevent the wind from chilling the water, and trap in any heat that attempts to escape. On of your best investments you could make for your pool are in solar covers.
My wife and I bought an Intex Easy Set inflatable above-ground solar pool cover this summer and it’s been a blast!
It’s only 15′ round by 42″ deep, but it’s still fun to play in and we love it.
In addition, I’ve made some modifications to the pool that I thought some others might enjoy seeing (or doing themselves) so I put up this page. But first a few helpful tips on setting up this pool:
Setting up an Intex East Set Solar Pool Cover
- Make sure the ground is level. At least around the perimeter of the pool. If it’s not, you risk a seam popping due to uneven loading. Take the time to level the ground, it’s much harder to do later if you don’t.
- Very carefully go over the ground looking for any nails, rocks, sticks, etc. Take the extra time to do it now, you’ll be very glad you did later. We even took off our shoes and walked around barefoot trying to feel for any rocks.
- Really… that’s about it. Everything else was easy and the pool filled in about 4 hours without any trouble at all.
Okay, our modifications:
First thing I did was buy a solar blanket for the pool. The cover that comes from Intex is fine enough, but it doesn’t really hold in the heat like a solar blanket does. The solar blanket raised the temperature of the pool by over 15 degrees F!
Next, I bought a KD floating pool skimmer. The Intex does not have one, and so you have to constantly use the hand skimmer to get the junk off the top of the water. If you don’t have any trees around, it’s not a big deal, but we have a huge pine tree with all those little needles and so it was important for us to get them out.
The Intex filter and pump are very nice and quiet, but being the man I am, I wanted more. So I bought a 25 square foot cartridge filter and 1/2hp pump to “really clean it.” Works great!
Bought a floating hammock and mesh lounge. Really nice!
Bought a Hayward AquaBug automatic pool cleaner. This works great, except for the fact that the 1/2hp pump just didn’t have the power to keep it going consistently.
So I upgraded to a 3/4hp pump.
After doing that, the Aquabug runs like a champ! Boy does it go! I can’t believe such an inexpensive automatic pool cleaner works so well, but it does. In just an hour, the whole bottom of the pool is perfectly clean.
However, when I went to the bigger pump for the pool cleaner, it now had too much suction for the skimmer and so it was constantly overskimming, which allowed all the caught stuff to get free.
So what I did was tap in to the drain fitting on the opposite side of the pool and piped it over to the new 3/4hp pump via a T and valve. This way, when the AquaBug is running, I close the valve and the AquaBug gets full suction.
When I’m not using the AquaBug, I open the valve so that some of the suction force of the 3/4hp pump is now diverted to the drain and the skimmer works perfect again. 😉
Well that’s about it. This was our first above ground pool and the Intex is a blast. In fact, we had so much fun this year that next year we are going to get a bigger one and build a deck around it!
Why you should invest in the best solar pool covers...
You can often find discount deals on good quality pool solar covers near the end of the swimming pool season, which usually coincides with the end of summer or fall depending on your location.
Though you may hear stories of how solar covers may be as much hassle themselves as maintaining a swimming pool, the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
A common complaint, especially for larger inground pools, is the tedious process of covering and uncovering. Larger swimming pools will require at least two people to do the job and can become quite tedious when performed every day before and after pool use.
Solar Cover Reels
However, a great solution to this problem is to buy swimming pool reels.
Swimming pool reels are designed to augment pool covers by providing a hassle free flip-of-a-switch automation to cover and uncover your pool.
Reels can automatically retract in minutes and save you from being overburdened so you can quickly enjoy your heated pool. There are reel solutions for above ground pools as well.
Depending on your swimming pool configuration, you need to choose the proper pool cover reel to match.
Another variation in solar reels that makes them quite handy are electric powered ones.
An electric pool cover reel system is usually costlier and requires more work to set up due to electrical safety requirements. However, these pool cover reels provide the most painless solution to solar blanket folding and unfolding
Factors to consider when buying the best solar pool covers
The color is a big indicator of whether the manufacturer has designed the solar cover to trap heat well.
Darker colors tend to protect against heat better than light or even opaque, but get it too dark and it may have the opposite effect and actually keep your pool cooler. This is why the most popular solution by far are semi-transparent covers.
The best semi-transparent solar pool covers allow the sun’s rays to pass through the cover into the water. The blanket then prevents any evaporation of heat off the surface of the pool.
Preventing evaporation not only keeps the water temperature warm, it also acts as a water retainer so you will be saving water as well as energy at the same time.
Leaders like Intex have designed solar covers that are thicker and as a result are better at what they do. They also last much longer.
However, the trade off is usually an increase in price as it uses more material and therefore costs more to produce.
Common designs include standard bubble wrap-like bubbles, hexagons, and even diamonds.
Though the sizes vary and manufacturers may claim higher effectiveness with their design, there is usually no attributable difference to shape so be sure not to get sold on this “premium” when you shop.