A solar pool cover will help to keep your pool warm and clean during the season. Finding the best pool solar blanket that works for your pool type and budget can take a bit of work. Depending on if you need a solar cover for above ground pool or in ground pool, the options on the market will vary.
We have some research and pulled together the best solar covers and solar blanket covers for your pool. There is sure to be an option on this list that will work for you.
The 10 Best Solar Pool Cover Reviews
1. Sun2Solar Blue Rectangle Solar Cover
- ATTRACTIVE BLUE DESIGN - Sun2Solar solar blankets are made from a film of thousands of tiny bubbles, which work together to collect and retain heat both at night and on those chilly days. The blue color...
- MINIMIZE WATER EVAPORATION - The use of a solar cover helps in preventing up to 95% of pool water evaporation. When not enjoying a refreshing swim, keeping your pool covered lessens the vast amount of...
- JUMP INTO WARMTH - Show friends and family your bravery by jumping in without the standard toe dip. Enter the swimming pool confidently knowing the Sun2Solar solar cover has kept the water warm just for...
- HEAT RETENTION - After everyone has called it a day with wrinkled fingers from too much fun in the sun, make sure to place this solar cover back atop the water. Don’t lose all of that warmth generated...
- TRIM TO FIT - Your pool may be uniquely shaped and getting the right fit is as easy as finding a marker and sharp pair of scissors. Have the bubbles facing down to the water and trace a line on the cover...
The Sun2Solar pool cover or solar blanket is one of the best options on the market to keep your pool warm during the swimming season. The Sun2Solar has thousands of bubbles designed to work together to collect as much heat as possible. During the day, the cover retains the heat, and then at night, it helps to keep it warm. In addition, the Sun2Solar works to help keep water evaporation to a minimum.
One of the great things about the Sun2Solar is that you can trim it with scissors to fit your pool exactly. As long as you follow the proper steps, you can get this to fit your pool and still not void the warranty on the product. Overall this is a great place to start if you need a solar cover for your pool.
- Very good at heat retention
- Helps to eliminate water evaporation
- Can be trimmed to size
- Blue and clear in color
- Longevity on these solar pool covers is not great
2. Blue Wave Solar Blanket for Round Above-Ground Pools
- RETAINS HEAT - Insulating thermal cells trap heat and retain warmth on cool cloudy days allowing you to swim in warmer water all summer long
- LONG-LASTING - Created with UV-protected polymer, our solar blankets are resistant to the deterioration caused by chemicals and UV radiation
- EXTENDS THE SEASON - This high-quality 8-mil solar blanket uses passive heating to raise your swimming pool’s temperature by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit
- REDUCE EVAPORATION: Prevent up to 95% of pool water and chemical evaporation with the use of a solar blanket. This reduction of evaporation is not only environmentally friendly, it will save you time and...
- 3-YEAR WARRANTY - Your product comes with a 3-year manufacturer warranty
The Blue Wave pool products are known for being high quality and getting their job done. The Blue Wave Solar Blanket is an 8-mil design specifically suited for the above-ground round pool. These solar pool covers are built with UV-protected polymer to make sure that they last for quite some time. In addition to keeping the pool warm, the Blue Wave can prevent 95% of evaporation. If you feel as though you are constantly adding swimming pool water, this is a great solution to consider.
- Can raise temperature 15 degrees
- UV protected polymer is long-lasting
- Keep water evaporation to a minimum
- Not a solution for in-ground pools
3. Blue Wave Solar Blanket
- REDUCES HEATING COSTS - Keep your swimming pool warm through cool summer nights and cloudy days. Our thermal cell technology employs insulating bubbles to retain warmth for effective warming even when the...
- EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE - Magni-Clear solar blankets quickly and efficiently increase pool temperatures by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. The clear blankets allow more sun light to reach the pool depths for...
- UV-PROTECTED - This Round 12-mil Solar Blanket for above-ground swimming pools is created to withstand exposure to UV radiation. It will hold up under intense sunlight for years.
- 5-YEAR WARRANTY - Your product comes with a 5-year manufacturer warranty. Your item will arrive damage free with all necessary parts and accessories. If something goes wrong, we'll work tirelessly until...
- DIMENSIONS - 18-ft x 18-ft x 0.5-in H
When you start shopping for the best solar pool covers, you will notice that thickness is one way to tell these products apart. Blue Wave makes several different types of solar blankets, and this is the 12 mil design. With a 12 mil solar cover, you can expect that you will get quite a few years out of your cover.
The thicker material helps this product hold up over time. It will give you confidence that your pool is retaining as much heat as possible. The only thing to remember is that the thicker solar blankets will be a bit heavier to take on and off the pool.
- Comes with a five-year warranty
- Thicker and more efficient
- Clear design to reach lower swimming pool depths
- A bit bulkier to manage
4. In The Swim Foot Rectangle Basic Pool Solar Blanket Cover
- Mil solar blanket heats swimming pool water up to 10 degrees
- Can be used with a pool heater for better heat retention and warmer pool temperatures
- Cuts down on cleaning time and chemical use
- Designed with thousands of air bubbles to better hold in heat
- Flat seams are reinforced for durability
For the larger swimming pools, the solar pool covers can get quite a bit more expensive. Since the pool covers a larger area, you need more material and essentially will have to pay more. In The Swim, products are usually quite fair when it comes to pool equipment and gear pricing, and this 20 x 40 pool cover is no exception.
The In The Swim solar pool cover claims to increase the pool water by about ten degrees. You can use it with a pool heater to ensure that you are not wasting electricity as you heat your pool. Overall you will find keeping the In The Swim cover on will make your pool more enjoyable to swim in and much easier to maintain.
- Heats pool water by about 10 degrees
- Will decrease chlorine usage
- Large size to cover bigger pools
- For larger covers, it makes sense to have some kind of a real to put a cover on and off
5. Solar Sun Rings UV Resistant Above Ground Inground Swimming Pool Hot Tub Spa Heating Accessory Circular Heater Solar Cover
- ABSORBS SUNLIGHT: Solar Sun Ring is composed of two sheets of UV-resistant vinyl that convert solar energy into heat, adding free heat to your pool with only the power of the sun
- RETAINS HEAT AND WATER CHEMISTRY: This solar blanket cover retains heat at night and reduces evaporation of water and chemicals
- ALL WEATHER: Water anchors add stability and weight for storms and windy conditions
- SALT WATER OR CHLORINE: Compatible with automatic pool cleaners and not affected by salt or chlorine systems
- EAST TO CLEAN: Easy to clean and store; when not in the water, do not store in direct sunlight as the product can burn whatever items are below it; Color: Sunburst-blue; Dimensions (W x H): 60 x 2 inches
A solar sun ring is a bit different than a solar pool cover. This is an interesting method that allows you to use these little pods to heat your pool effectively. The solar sun ring is effortless to manage and won’t be nearly as cumbersome as the large solar pool cover. In addition, you can flip a solar sun ring over if you want to help cool down the pool a bit.
If you have a small pool and will be managing the cover all on your own, this is an option that could work quite well. Adding more than one solar sun ring to your pool is entirely possible and recommend.
- Small and easy to manage
- Works effectively for the size
- Can be used to cool the pool down
- Doesn’t offer all the same benefits as a large solar pool cover
6. Solar Sun Rings Pool Water Heater With Anchors
- HEAT YOUR POOL - Solar Sun Rings are passive solar swimming pool heating devices, constructed from two layers of U.V. resistant vinyl. The upper clear layer directs the suns rays onto the bottom blue layer...
- WARMING DISCS - The majority of heat loss from a pool comes from the water surface at night. Solar Sun Rings do not cover the entire surface of your pool; therefore it allows heat to escape. To help keep...
- WHAT'S INCLUDED - Each unit contains 6 magnets that are used to attach the rings together. Do not over inflate. Do not use as a flotation device.
- SOLAR ACTIVATED - Use the Solar Sun Rings to provide heat to your swimming pool from the sun. Swim comfortably without wasting energy
- PLEASE NOTE - These Solar Sun Rings are NOT a solar cover or a replacement for a solar cover. These are floating disc heating devices.
If you have a large pool, you will need quite a few solar sun rings to heat the pool effectively. Luckily the solar sun rings can be sold in a pack of more than one. This particular option has nine rings and is capable of covering a large surface area of your pool.
The great thing about the sun rings is that they are easy to work with. They won’t allow you to control evaporation or keep the water quite as clean as some of the best solar pool covers on the market. There are anchors included with this set to help you position your solar rings exactly where you need them in your pool.
- Comes as a pack of nine
- Anchors to help them stay in place
- Easily connect one ring to another
- Not a complete solution for maintaining heat at night
7. Pool Basics Heat Trapper Pool Solar Blanket in a Bottle Liquid Solar Cover
- Helps prevent heat loss & minimizes evaporation
- Conserves water, energy & pool chemicals
- Extends swimming season
- 4 oz. Per 15, 000 every 2 weeks
If you thought that the solar cover was the only way to prevent heat loss in your pool, think again. There seems to be a pool chemical for almost every situation you may run into. The Pool Basics Heat Trapper is a liquid solar blanket. You will use this bi-weekly in your pool to help lower the chance of heat escaping your pool.
The liquid cover helps create a thin layer of protection in the water that will extend your pool season. Although this is a simple and easy-to-use option, it is not as effective as true solar pool covers.
- Low price
- Easy to use
- Only takes a small amount of chemical every few weeks
- Adding another chemical to your pool
- Does not work to prevent evaporation or keep water and cleaner
8. Aquapill Solar Pill Liquid Solar Blanket
- Simply pop out the pre-marked hole on the AquaPill and place in your skimmer!
- The liquid solar cover rises to the surface of the pool, forming an invisible layer on the surface.
- Once the AquaPill is empty, simply remove from your skimmer.
- Will not damage the vinyl or any other pool surfaces and is absolutely harmless to skin contact.
- Each pill lasts approximately 30 days.
Another unique solution for keeping your pool warmer is the Aquapill Solar Pill Liquid Solar Blanket. The Aqua Pill concept is quite interesting and can help keep your pool water warmer up to 30 days. You simply take one of these Aquapills and place it in your skimmer. Allow the pill to dissolve, and once it has dissolved, you remove the remnants from the water.
For the next 30 days, your pool will have an invisible yet effective layer that helps it stay warmer. Although this option is not as good as a solar cover, many have had luck with it. Since this is a four-pack, it can get you through the entire pool swimming season.
- Simple to put in
- Comes in a four-pack
- Works for 30 days as opposed to other options only working for two weeks
- Not as effective against evaporation
9. Natural Chemistry Cover Free Liquid Solar Blanket
- An invisible liquid barrier that conserves water and heat
- Advanced mono-layer technology
- Helps conserve hundreds of gallons of pool water
- Reduces water evaporation
- 2 Pack
Natural Chemistry is another liquid solar blanket. This particular model is one that customers find to be very effective regardless of the size of your pool. When using a liquid pool cover, it is important to consider the size of your pool and the recommended dosage. If you don’t use it enough, it will not do anything to reduce heat transfer or water evaporation. In addition, using too much could through off your pool water chemistry.
Natural Chemistry claims that they can reduce heat loss by about 70 percent as long as the product is used correctly.
- Helps to reduce water evaporation
- Comes in single or multi-packs for pools of all sizes
- Effective against heat loss
- Can be tough to use with cartridge filters
10. Doheny’s Clear-Tek Micro-Bubble Solar Covers For In-Ground Swimming Pools
- Enjoy Your Pool: Keep your swimming pools clean from leaves or dirt while absorbing the heat from the sun to keep the water at the right temperature. Simply remove the solar cover and get in!
- Micro-Bubble Pool Cover: New technology with twice the bubbles of standard solar pool covers which doubles the amount of heat transfer for a more efficient delivery of solar heat
- Reduce Heat Loss & Cost: Our swimming pool solar cover minimizes heat loss from evaporation by acting as a barrier between pool water and the air, reducing your heating costs by up to 70%
- Lighter Colored Solar Pool Covers are Better! Lighter colored or transparent covers may increase pool solar energy absorption by 15%-25% and a darker colored cover will reduce it by 20%-40%
- Easy To Install: Our solar pool cover can be cut with scissors to fit any shape or size pool, without voiding the warranty
Last but certainly not least on the list is the Dohenys Tek Micro Solar Pool Covers. One thing that makes this option stand out is the option of colors you will get. If your solar pool cover will be on the pool all the time, it’s important to get something that also looks good in your pool. With four different choices, you should have no issues with the Dohenys.
The microbubbles on the Dohenys cover are quite effective and built to last. This particular cover comes with a seven-year warranty. Seven years should be more than enough to cover any significant issues that you should come across. Dohenys claims that your heating costs will be reduced by about 70 percent when using their cover. Certainly, this will help keep your energy costs down and help you enjoy a longer season in the pool.
- Aluminized cover for better effectiveness
- Several layers of heat protection
- Available in many different sizes
- A bit heavier than other solar pool cover options
Now that you’ve checked out the solar pool covers – you need to find out how to store them properly! Read our article on solar cover reels.
What Is a Solar Pool Cover?
A solar pool cover is a large sheet of plastic bubbles designed to help keep your pool water and reduce water evaporation. The solar pool cover is also effective in making sure that you burn through fewer pool chemicals from the impacts of the sun on the pool.
Solar pool covers come in a few different types; however, the most popular is the solar pool blanket. The blanket sits on the top of the pool and covers the entire surface area of the water. You can keep the solar cover on the pool at all times and then pull it off when you want to swim.
Types of Solar Pool Covers
As you likely noticed from our list of solar pool covers, there are several options for solar covers and how they will help maintain the heat in your pool.
Depending on your situation, budget, and pool heating needs, any of these three options could work for you. Let’s look briefly at the differences between the types of solar pool covers.
Solar Pool Blanket
A solar pool blanket will cover the entire pool like a blanket. All areas of the pool will be covered, and the solar pool blanket does a tremendous job of heat retention. The solar pool blanket is among the most effective solutions on the market.
The only real downside you will run into is the bulkiness of the cover. Having to take this on and off and store it each day will be a bit of a burden.
Liquid Solar Pool Cover
The liquid solar pool cover is the chemical option for keeping your pool warmer and more enjoyable to swim in. Liquid pool covers are added to your pool water, and they create a thin invisible layer that helps them retain their heat.
The liquid pool covers are straightforward to use but nearly as effective when it comes to maintaining temperature. With a liquid pool cover, you always need to consider the type of filter you have and any potential effects that this could have on the filter.
Solar Pool Ring
A solar pool ring is like a miniature version of a solar pool blanket. These small rings are placed in the water, and they are like little heat collectors. They can work to absorb more of the sun’s energy and transfer it into heat for your pool. The solar pool ring is typically not going to do much on its own; most of the time, you need to add more than one ring to the pool to see the effectiveness.
Although the solar pool ring is very easy to work with, it doesn’t do quite as much when it comes to heat retention at night. Some gaps will allow heat to escape.
Benefits of Using a Pool Solar Cover
The most obvious benefit of using a solar cover is to keep any warmth that your pool has created in place when the sun goes down. If your pool warms up nicely throughout the day and then loses it all at night, the solar cover is a perfect choice for your home. However, there are other great reasons to use a solar pool cover in addition to this benefit.
1. Create More Heat
When the solar cover is on during the day, it can absorb more heat. On days when you are not using the pool, you should keep the cover on getting as much heat as you can in your pool. Your pool will be able to absorb more heat with the solar cover on than without.
2. Keep Heat In
The main reason for using a solar pool cover is to keep all of the warmth from the daytime in place at night time. When temperatures drop at night, the pool cools down, and heat is lost. This causes the pool to be quite a bit cooler when you get in the following day.
Don’t waste the work that the sun has done all day; keep the heat in all night long. If you are using a gas heater or electric heater to warm your pool, the solar cover helps it to be more efficient.
3. Keep Bugs and Debris Out
The bugs and debris that would typically fall into your pool will now be falling on top of your solar pool cover. You will be able to clear the solar cover as you take the cover off, to ensure that none of this debris ends up on the bottom of your pool.
4. Reduce Evaporation
All pools experience some evaporation as they are exposed to the sun. This means that you will have to add water to your pool periodically. If you want to avoid that, you can use the solar cover to reduce the amount of water evaporation your pool experiences.
5. Lower Chemical Costs
When your pool water is exposed to the sun, it also is depleted of chemicals quite a bit faster. The solar cover can help you go through less chlorine and keep your pool stabilizer levels in check as well.
Considerations for Choosing a Solar Pool Cover
There are many pool covers and accessories on the market. You will notice that you must keep a few things in mind when you choose a solar pool cover. These considerations will help to ensure that your solar cover lasts for many years.
The solar blanket, liquid solar cover, and solar pool ring are the three types of solar pool covers that you will find. As we detailed above, each of these has different benefits, and you will have to find something that works best for your pool.
The pool covers come in clear or blue. The clear cover is a bit better at retaining temperatures and keeping the pool warm. You will likely notice that the clear covers hold up a bit better over time as well.
The thickness of the pool cover is going to have an impact on the effectiveness. Pool cover thickness is measured in Mils. The thicker options that are 12 mils or 16 mils will be more effective than the thinner 4-8mil thickness. This is similar to how a winter blanket will be more effective than a light summer blanket.
You must make sure that your solar pool cover is going to fit on your pool. If you find that the size is a bit off, most covers can be trimmed to fit. If you purchase a cover that is too small, you will find that it is not nearly as effective. To get the best results, you must pay attention to sizes and get one that is a good fit for your pool.
Solar pool covers vary in price; you can spend anywhere from $75 to $500 on a solar pool cover. For those that use a heater and need to lower energy costs related to heating, the pool should consider the more expensive higher-end solar pool covers. The price will pay off a bit faster when you are working to retain the heat from your pool heater.
Automatic vs. Manual
The automatic pool cover is one that you will have to pull off and fold up each time you want to use the pool. With the manual pool cover, you can use a solar reel to put the cover on and off. The automatic is much more convenient, but you can imagine that the pricing will be quite a bit higher for the automatic pool cover.
How to Use a Solar Pool Cover
A solar pool cover is relatively easy to use; however, you should understand a few things about the process.
Putting It On
When you put a solar pool cover on, you will want to first make sure that your pool is completely clear of any debris. Placing the cover over your kid’s pool toys is not necessary. Clear the pool before pulling the cover on.
It is easiest to pull the cover on evenly with the help of another person. The solar pool cover should be face down in the water with the bubbles submerged in the water. The bubbles are what will heat up and therefore transfer their heat to the pool water.
When you put your pool cover on, you won’t have to worry about your skimmer and pool jets; they will still work just fine even with the solar cover in place.
When you remove the solar pool cover, it is best to do this as efficiently and methodically s possible. When you remove the pool cover, simply fold a two or three-foot section up and then put another two or three-foot section above that. Your fold will be like an accordion, and it will make it much easier to put the cover back on when you are done.
If you have a solar reel for your pool cover, you can simply reel the cover on and off and save yourself quite a bit of time. If you have a large pool, removing the solar pool cover on your own can be a difficult task.
Storing and Cleaning Your Solar Cover
When you are done with your solar pool cover for the season, you must make sure you store it properly. Proper storage includes making sure that the cover is clean and dry before folding it up for the season.
The solar pool cover can be pulled off the pool and then washed with soap and water to remove any debris or algae on the cover. However, before you fold the cover up, you must make sure that it is dry. You cant store a wet solar cover for the winter season.
When you let your solar cover dry, don’t let it sit on your lawn. As you can imagine, when you leave the solar cover on your lawn, you will be heating your lawn up, and this can cause it to burn out. Avoid this by letting the solar cover dry in another area or using a leaf blower to get all of the water off.
Money-Saving Tips for Heating Your Pool Water
Heating your pool allows you to get more time enjoying the water. However, heating the pool can also be expensive. Changing the temperature by even just a degree or two can cost a lot of money. If you want your pool heated but want to keep your costs down, you can follow these money-saving pool heating tips.
- Protect against the wind by installing bushes and fences to protect your pool water
- Use a solar cover to keep the water warm overnight
- Check energy rates in the area to see if there are better deals
- Choose an efficient pool heater
- Look into solar heaters for pool
- Only use pool heaters when necessary; if it is very cold out, forget about trying to heat as it likely won’t be worth the cost
- Try to find a temperature that is both comfortable and cost-effective
Best Solar Pool Cover FAQs
Now that you are an expert on solar pool covers and all that they can do for your pool, it’s time to take a look at some of the questions that pool owners ask about these valuable assets to the pool.
Do Solar Pool Covers Work?
Solar pool covers work if you use them properly and are realistic about your expectations. Remember that a solar pool cover is not a heater. You will have to work with the sun heating your pool and use the cover to maintain heat at night. However, you can’t guarantee that this will raise your pool temperature to be like swimming in a hot tub.
Does a Pool Heat up Faster With the Solar Cover On?
When a solar cover is in place, the pool will heat up a bit faster. The cover is known for grabbing as much heat as it can from the sun and transferring it to your pool water. If you are not going to use your pool for a day, go ahead and keep that solar cover on.
How Much Does a Solar Pool Cover Cost?
The cost of the solar pool cover will vary from around $70 to over $400. The cost will depend quite a bit on the type of pool heater cover that your choose. A solar blanket tends to be more expensive, yet it is the most effective of the different kinds of pool colors.
What Is the Best Color for a Solar Pool Cover?
The clear pool cover does a better job of heating the pool and retaining the heat that it collects. You may notice that some of the clear pool covers are also a bit thicker and more expensive. This is related to their effectiveness.
What Is the Best Thickness for a Solar Pool Cover?
The best thickness for a pool cover is anything over about eight mils. If you can get closer to 12 or 16 mils, you will notice even greater effectiveness from your pool cover.
How Long Does a Solar Pool Cover Last?
A solar pool cover can last five to ten years if you take care of it properly. The biggest problem with the longevity of pool covers comes when the products are not stored properly. Don’t store your solar cover in the sun when it is not being used. Only store the cover in the shade and when it is dry. Make sure that during the off-season, the pool cover is appropriately covered and protected.
Are Solar Pool Covers Worth It?
A solar pool cover is a much cheaper solution for keeping your pool warm than a traditional pool heater. Pool heaters are expensive to run, and they require a lot of energy to keep them running. The solar pool cover is cost-effective and does a great job of protecting against evaporation.
In most areas of the country, the temperatures drop at night, and lots of heat is lost in the pool. Keeping that heat in with a solar cover will be well worth your investment. After all, the main goal is to use the pool as often as possible and enjoy being a pool owner.
For over 15 years, Sean Moore has been sharing his love and enthusiasm for swimming pools and hot tubs with everyone he knows. His goal is to help everyday people DIY their maintenance to save money by teaching how to properly take care of your equipment, safely and correctly balance chemicals, and extend the life of your water oasis.
Pricing on this page was last updated on 2022-11-26