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Best Solar Pool Covers in 2020 – Reviewed

There is a misconception that solar products cost a lot. Ok, it is partly true but the fact is, they soon pay for themselves. Also, not every product is expensive. Take solar pool covers, they don’t cost a lot but they are one of those products that do a great job of keeping bills down. Not only do they stop heat and water from getting out, extending the time that can be spent in the pool, but a solar pool cover stops chemicals from evaporating, reducing another expense.

This is only when you know what to look for. Because it can be hard to find a product that will be as effective as you hope it will, we have created a list of the best solar pool covers available.

Quick Summary of Best Solar Pool Covers

 Editor’s Choice 
Blue Wave NS520 14-mil Solar Blanket, 16-ft W x 32-ft L x 0.5-in H, Clear  (review)
 Best Circular  
Intex Solar Cover for 12ft Diameter Easy Set and Frame Pools  (review)
 Best Value 
Steinbach Krystal Clear 10-Foot Solar Pool Cover  (review)
 Best Budget Option 
Rectangle Pool Cover – Swimming Pool Covers for Above Ground Pools  (review)
 Best For Small Pools 
Solar Cover Heating Blanket Grommets Bundle  (review)
 Beat Adjustable 
Summer Waves 10′-15′ Adjustable Round Solar Above Ground Pool Cover  (review)

Reviews

Editor’s Choice: Blue Wave NS520 14-mil Solar Blanket, 16-ft W x 32-ft L x 0.5-in H, Clear

A well-respected product in the niche, Blue Wave made a number of quality pool related products so it’s no surprise to see their name on a top solar pool cover. A 14-mil blanket that covers the pool, the air bubbles help to increase the pool water temperature by up to 15 degrees F. This means more days in the pool towards the end of the season at a reduced cost along the way.It can prevent up to a massive 95% of water and chemical evaporation so the pool will also be lower maintenance when using this product. Made to protect in-ground pools from the impact of UV rays, the clear material allows the warmth to travel through the blanket and heat the water better than other colors.

PROS:

  • Stops 95% of water and chemical evaporation
  • Hats the water by up to 15 degrees F
  • For in-ground pools
  • Clear material allows more heat to the water
CONS:

  • No drain holes

Best Circular : Intex Solar Cover for 12ft Diameter Easy Set and Frame Pools

Ideal for a 12 ft diameter pool, this solar cover is as easy to use as one might hope, and as effective as well. It reduces the evaporation of water and chemicals by up to 95% whilst retaining heat where you want it – in the water. The drain holes are a neat addition as not all products use them but it is good to see that this product will not be susceptible to water accumulation.It comes with a carry bag for easy storage when not using it but when it is over the pool, it will allow you to get more use in the warmer months, and keep the temperature to a pleasant warmth. The air bubble and absorb the heat and transfer it to the water so it is good to see an effective product for a reasonable price.

PROS:

  • Ideal for 12 ft diameter circular pools
  • Stops up to 95% of water evaporation
  • Retains heat
  • Drain holes to prevent water from collecting
CONS:

  • Not a lot of size options

Best Value: Steinbach Krystal Clear 10-Foot Solar Pool Cover

One of the better options for any pool around 10ft in diameter, this offers the benefit of repelling evaporation at a rate of up to 95%. When used on an above ground pool it can stop insects from getting into the pool, and retain heat so it is that little bit warmer when it comes to swimming time.There is a reusable storage bag included to keep it safe when not in use and it could be used on a 10 ft or 8 ft circular pool without an issue. There are also those who have cut it to use it on a spa. Whatever the intended use, it is easy to throw over a pool and although other products are thicker and retain more heat, it does a good job at the price.

PROS:

  • Stops around 95% of evaporation
  • Can be used on 8ft or 10ft pool
  • Good value
CONS:

  • Not as thick as other products

Best Budget Option: Rectangle Pool Cover – Swimming Pool Covers for Above Ground Pools

This rectangular solar pool cover might feature air bubbles shaped like hearts, but it has enough going for it that it should be a serious option. Designed to fit any pool of 9.84 x 6.56 Ft and under, it does a good job of protecting the pool from debris whilst retaining plenty of heat and stopping evaporation of up to 95%.This is for both the water and chemicals so it will save the user money on both and also features drain holes. This prevents water accumulation to stop it from sagging and it is strong enough to be used on metal-framed pools as well. There are smaller sizes available too, but this could also be cut to size or purchase more than one to make them fit an odd-shaped pool.

PROS:

  • Available in different sizes
  • Stops evaporation by up to 95%
  • Can be used with metal framed pools
  • Good value
CONS:

  • Not as tried and tested as other products

Best For Small Pools: Solar Cover Heating Blanket Grommets Bundle

Anyone with an in-ground or above ground pool that measures 8 ft in diameter or below can benefit from using this solar pool cover. Not only does it prevent up to 95% of evaporation like the other, more expensive options, but when the bubbles are placed face down, it helps to retain heat so the water is that little more bearable.They are also easy to cut to size if you want to throw this on a kids paddling pool and stops the likes of insects and leaves from giving you an early morning cleaning task.

PROS:

  • Convenient size
  • Prevents up to 95% of evaporation
  • Ideal for small pools
CONS:

  • Not as effective at heat retention

Beat Adjustable: Summer Waves 10′-15′ Adjustable Round Solar Above Ground Pool Cover

We like this product mainly because it is adjustable so can be moved to fit above ground pools of 10 – 15′. It is made from puncture-resistant materials to ensure it is durable enough to take a bit of punishment from falling debris. The drawstring with the lock button allows the user to tailor the tension to their desire to keep everything in place.Its PVC material works to increase the temperature of the water by up to 8 degrees F and it also helps to keep leaves at bay and chemicals and water from evaporating so much. It doesn’t heat to the level of other methods but it is easy to use but be careful about installing it over metal poles as it can tear if not handled carefully.

PROS:

  • Heats a pool by up to 8 degrees F
  • Easy to use
  • Adjustable width
CONS:

  • Can tear over metal poles

Solar Pool Cover Guide

Although you may have dreamed about owning a swimming pool, the reality is that proper maintenance requires a certain level of diligence. When it comes to buying the best solar pool cover, there are plenty to choose from, and plenty to learn. Because they vary so much, it is a good idea to find out what the better products are capable of, and the differences between the good and the bad.

To help make this important purchase easier, we have created the following buyer’s guide.

What To Look For In A Solar Pool Cover

Shape

You may have purchased a unique octagon-shaped swimming pool, in which case an included pool cover may have been ideal. If you now want a solar pool cover then it can be a tricky find.

Most of the time you will find that solar pool covers are sold in circular, rectangle, or oval shapes. If your pool is an uncommon shape then you might have to buy solar ring covers and scatter them over the surface or buy something that does not quite fit, and cut it to size.

Thickness

This is where it can be a good idea to spend a little more. The thicker solar pool covers will mean a bigger investment. It also means they are better at trapping the heat the pool already has, and can absorb more from the sunlight.

Because they weigh more, expect them to be more stable. This might make them a little more challenging to remove but they aren;t going to go anywhere if you get strong winds in your area.

Warranty

Although you should expect to get around 5 years of use out of your solar pool cover, not everyone is so lucky. Even with proper maintenance, a sub-par product can mean you end up having to replace it sooner than you would like.

This is where a warranty can come in handy. To protect your purchase, look for a warranty for a couple of years or more.

Different Types of Solar Pool Covers

Although bubble covers are the most popular, there are different products to choose from. Here are some of the most common solar pool covers:

Solar Blanket

Sometimes known as a bubble cover, these blankets have a similar look to bubble wrap and they are more practical than they appear.

The bubbles keep the blanket afloat but they also work to ensure the heat stays in the pool, and that the water doesn’t evaporate as fast. You should be able to find them in all sorts of shapes and sizes and some are even customizable.

Also, the thickness varies and although the thicker you go the heavier and bulkier the blanket will be, you will get better heat retention as a result. These are one of the easiest to manage and you can even cut them to size yourself if your pool is an awkward size or shape.

Solar Rings

These work in a similar way to the blanket designs but the shape is slightly different. These are pretty easy to use but the issue is that they do not give you as much coverage.

Because of this, heat can escape between the rings but they are easier to manage. Face the blue side down or flip them over to cool the pool a little.

Liquid Solar Cover

These are not as robust as other types and when in use they do not give you protection against debris. However, they are convenient to use, just pour it over the surface of your pool and watch as it creates a film.

They usually last around a month which means you will have to purchase a decent supply and remember to keep reapplying.

What Is The Best Solar Pool Cover Color?

Although you might have the color you’d like in your mind already, there are certain benefits to the different color options. Here are the most common:

Blue

Blue lets in lots of sunlight which helps to bring the temperature of the water up whilst stopping the heat from escaping. It also stops UV rays from impacting the chemical balance of the water.

Clear

This doesn’t absorb heat in the same way as other colors do but it works by allowing more sunlight through to the water. The downside is that a clear solar pool cover doesn’t retain heat as well.

Dark

These are the best option for heat retention when the water is already hot but it absorbs the sun’s rays without passing on the benefits to what is underneath.

Do Solar Rings For Pools Really Work?

Although a certain amount of heat can escape through the gaps in between, solar rings are very effective at keeping the heat in a pool. It is important to ensure the air is evenly distributed once you have blown them up.

For best results, buy solar rings that have magnetic edges so they stay close to one another.

What Is a Solar Pool Cover?

A solar pool cover is a sheet that goes over the surface of the pool to maintain the temperature. Certain shades and thicknesses are better for warming the water by absorbing sunlight.

With the use of bubbles, they usually require blowing up and can come in different shapes and sizes. With a layer of protection from debris, they are a great way of trapping the warmth, although they should not be used as a safety net when children are present.

How Effective Are Solar Pool Covers?

These covers are more effective when the sun is shining so if you are experiencing a bout of cloudy weather, don’t expect them to work so well.

They will still offer some sort of insulation for the water but won’t provide any further benefits unless the sun is out.

Are Solar Pool Covers Safe?

Although they are completely safe to use for the purpose they are intended for, they are not a safety net to help prevent accidents. Any pets and children should still be supervised around the pool.

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