Best Solar Pool Cover Reviews 2017 – Comprehensive Guide

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What are solar pool covers? Why do you need them?

Solar covers are passive devices that collect energy by being positioned in sunlight. They are used to help insulate the surface of the pool with trapped air to minimize heat loss after the sun goes down.
Solar pool covers come in various shapes and sizes. They keep the pool heated overnight when it’s not in use. Aside from keeping a consistent temperature and prevent heat loss, they also help raise the temperature during the day when the cover is in the pool. It may be slow and steady, but you’ll sure notice a few degrees of change over time.

These inexpensive covers are perfect for any size since they really are meant to be cut to the exact shape of your pool or fit over most of the space. They also work well with a mesh winter cover for above ground pools. During winter, you can put a solar cover underneath the mesh to help insulate the water and keep it from freezing inside. It’s another helpful and convenient option if you don’t want to drain your pool during winter.

MODELPRODUCT DIMENSIONSITEM WEIGHTUSER RATINGPRICE
Splash Pools Round Solar Pool Cover
Splash Pools Round Solar Pool Cover
39.5 x 21.5 x 21.5 inches (Size 30)
6 pounds
4.0/5
$$$$$
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Intex Solar Cover For Easy Set And Frame Pools
Intex Solar Cover For Easy Set And Frame Pools
192 x 192 x 0.1 inches (Size: 16-Foot)
1 pound
3.9/5
$
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Blue Wave Solar Blanket for In Ground Pools
Blue Wave Solar Blanket for In Ground Pools
54 x 13 x 13 inches (Size:12 by 20-Feet)
12.2 pounds
3.8/5
$$
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So, what is the best solar cover? Read the solar cover reviews below and the tips you have to consider before buying. After reading this guide, I’m sure you’ll be decided.


Best Solar Pool Cover Reviews

#1 Intex Solar Cover For Easy Set And Frame Pools

Intex Solar Cover For Easy Set And Frame PoolsHave a circular pool? Check out the Intex bubble solar cover that comes in 10, 12, 15, 16, and 18 feet in diameter! Because of the variety of its size, it can fit most circular swimming pools. You can also conveniently store it if it’s not in use. This you can do by placing it inside the included carrying bag.

Made from sturdy PVC plastic materials, this cover can surely withstand any element. No wonder it’s the best solar cover pool for the money. This solar-heat-retaining cover reduces evaporation by 95% and fits just inside the edge of the pool and floats in place. It’s even Canadian PMRA registered (#24583).

The Intex Solar Cover help lower your energy costs of heating the pool. Aside from that, it’s priced at a reasonable, extremely affordable price. It’s also popular for being the best solar pool cover on the market. On the other hand, the material is relatively thin, making it less reliable for long term use. One of the customers said in ripped apart completely after three months of use. The plastic became extremely brittle and would rip upon any contact. Another customer said the bubbles all went flat before it was 3 months old. It started out great, but after a few months, they realized the pool wasn’t staying warm like it had before.

Nevertheless, it’s still the best one out there.


#2 Blue Wave Solar Blanket for In Ground Pools

Blue Wave Solar Blanket for In Ground PoolsIf you have a rectangular pool, whether it’s above ground or in-ground, the Blue Wave Solar Blanket would be perfect. Coming in 10 sizes from 12 x 20 to 30 x 50, it sure offers a wide variety of sizes to its customers. Obviously, it can fit most swimming pools well. And if it’s too big, you can just trim it so it can fit your pool.

It comes in a transparent blue color that is believed to help in gathering more heat from the sun during the day. And because it’s UV resistant, it can aid it will certainly last longer against the sun. It’s made from 12-millimeter synthetic plastic materials as well. The size ranges are convenient and that’s one of its best advantages. It’s also effective for raising the pool temperature. Plus, it comes with a 5-year warranty!

However, it cannot resist the heat of the sun when it’s not in water. It is not durable enough to last for a long period of time as well.

The Blue Wave Solar Blanket can heat up the pool up to 15 degrees F warmer and is loaded with heat-retaining thermal bubbles, and that’s enough proof for you to buy it. Customers can even attest to its performance.


#3 Splash Pools Round Solar Pool Cover

Splash Pools Round Solar Pool CoverThis solar pool cover by Splash pools is designed to collect and transmit solar heat to your pool and so far, according to customers, it’s doing its job effectively. They come in 12, 15, 18, 21, 24, 27, and 30 feet in diameter sizes making it extremely useful for both above ground and in-ground pools that have a circular shape.

It’s proven and tested to keep your pool water cleaner by hindering any dirt and debris to enter your pool. By using this, you will also save chemicals. It also cuts water evaporation by up to 95%, preventing heat loss. It also allows a 15-degree F temperature rise.

Made from a polymer plastic material, it can surely help withstand the sun’s rays and absorb the heat and bring it into your pool for better thermal warming. In addition, it can last for years when used and cared for with care. It’s also thicker than other solar covers in its price range and the price is reasonable.

Some buyers, however, rain into fraudulent products from bad vendors. Some also said it only lasted for a year. A few customers complained about it pulling apart.

There is no perfect solar pool cover so don’t look for one. Just trust your guts and know what your pool needs.


Solar Pool Cover Buying Guide

In order to purchase the right solar pool cover for you, read the factors to consider first.

1. Price and Brand

  • Solar pool covers range from $35 to $1,000.
  • The price depends on the brand, the size, and the quality.
  • Determine your budget before you buy. Ask yourself, “How much do I need to spend?”
  • To avoid any regrets in the future, purchase from one of the best brands on the market.
  • The best brands offering solar pool covers are Blue Wave, In the Swim, Intex, Solar Roller, Solar Sun Rings and Splash Pools.

2. Material and Type

  • Solar pool covers are available in different grades of polyethylene or polypropylene materials, ranging in thickness from 8 gauge to 16 gauge.
  • Solar pool covers can either be bubble covers or solar rings.
  • Bubble covers or solar blankets are the least expensive ones and the easiest to handle. From the name itself, thy have air bubbles that cover the surface. These bubbles help absorb the warmth of the sun and transfer it to the cooler pool surface. The cover seals in the heat; thus preventing it from escaping back into thin air. Bubble covers are ultraviolet-ray-resistant. Unfortunately, they rarely last longer than five or six years due to the heat of the sun that causes them to deteriorate. Compared to protective pool covers, they are lighter and are made to keep out people and animals. However, bubble covers also have disadvantages. Because they block UV rays, the increase of algae is possible since UV rays kill algae. They also lose warmth at night and can deteriorate under frequent exposure to sunlight.
  • Solar Rings, on the other hand, are small spheres that improve solar collection in the pool without full coverage. These rings are attached to create a raft on the pool surface through the magnets positioned within each unit. Triangles of uncovered space at the junctures of rings admit unfiltered sunlight that helps in preventing undesirable algae growth. They even come in multipacks and can be removed easily by pool owners especially when the pool needs vacuuming and skimming. The number of solar rings relies on the size and shape of your pool. For instance, if your pool has a 12 feet diameter and is round, you should have three solar rings. If your pool is oval or rectangular and is 16 x 32 feet, you will need 10 solar rings. Solar rings are much easier for one person to replace after swimming since each component is more manageable than an entire solar blanket. The disadvantages are: they cannot be rolled up when not in use, they leave uncovered spaces where heat escapes during night time, and they cannot be trimmed for odd-shaped pools.

3. Size

  • Knowing the size of your swimming pool is an advantage for you.
  • It’s always better to get a solar pool cover that can conceal all of the water surfaces.
  • Make sure that the dimensions of your pool are correct in order to get the right bubble cover.
  • If you prefer solar rings, however, be sure to follow the chart below regarding the number of solar rings.
Pool Shape/SizeNumber of Solar Rings
Round/12-foot3
Round/15-foot5
Round/18-foot7
Round/21-foot9
Round/24-foot10
Round/28-foot14
Oval or rectangle/16 feet by 32 feet10
Oval or rectangle/18 feet by 36 feet14
Oval or rectangle/20 feet by 40 feet14

4. Thickness

  • Generally, the thicker the cover, the more effective it is in retaining heat.
  • The thickness of solar covers varies from 8 mils to 16 mils (800 to 1,600 gauge).
  • Thick solar pool covers do not get blown away easily during windy days as well, which is an advantage.
  • The disadvantage, however, is that they are difficult to roll up and are more expensive than thinner ones.

5. Color

  • White solar rings may come in different print patterns while bubble covers are available in clear, blue, or silver and blue colors.
  • Clear solar pool covers are believed to direct more heat deep into the water.
  • Blue bubble covers are said to absorb heat more efficiently.
  • Others say silver and blue bubble covers reflect heat back into the water at night.
  • Whether the bubble cover is clear, blue, or a combination of silver and blue, they all are treated to block UV rays.
  • The clear one, however, can last up to 10 years while the two can only last up to 6 years.
  • The clear one allows visibility into the pool, while the blue one limits it, and the silver and blue blocks most visibility.
  • Unlike the clear and the blue bubble covers that allow some heat out at night or in cloudy/cool weather, the silver under layer of the silver and blue solar pool cover is made to keep more heat in the pool.

Conclusion

Solar pool covers are effective pool blankets and most importantly, they’re economical. They also save energy by heating the pool water, without requiring you to use your pool heater. They also cut up to 97% water evaporation which is responsible for the majority of heat loss in your pool which also causes chemical loss. So aside from saving energy, you also conserve water and chemicals. Plus, they can last long up to six years.

Solar pool covers have been pushed throughout the recent years and though some are cheap, most of them are extremely efficient, long-lasting, and of premium quality. Truly, they’ve become more effective in protecting the pool and doing what they do best.

The number of choices and the price ranges, however, may become too confusing. With proper guidance, choosing will be easier. Remember to opt for the cover that’ll suit your pool and your location. Consider your budget, too!

I hope I have made choosing a lot easier on your part. Just don’t forget the tips and you’re good to go!