Solar pool covers are a versatile addition to your pool and go beyond just providing pools with a temperature boost. They also help to keep your pool clean and debris-free, which means less work skimming and cleaning and more time swimming and floating. With their bubble wrap-like appearance, the best solar pool covers retain the heat already in your pool and add to it, especially on days filled with sunshine. These covers also act to prevent up to 95% of water loss through evaporation. This, in turn, reduces the amount of cleaning chemicals you’ll lose over the season, making your pool better for the environment and saving you time and money in the process.
What To Look For In A Solar Cover
It’s important to know the dimensions of your pool. Some covers can be cut for irregular shapes, but others come in finished sizes.
Do you have an above-ground or in-ground pool? In-ground pools tend to be larger and require a pool cover reel for their solar covers. Above-ground pools are often round in shape and their covers can be installed and removed by hand.
Light-colored solar covers are a better value. Blue covers look nice with water, but the lighter the cover, with clear being the best, the thicker the material and the longer it will last.
How We Chose The Best Solar Covers
Below, you’ll find the best solar pool covers available right now. There are options for both round and rectangular pools. These can also be cut down for use in irregular-shaped pools. We included models that are specifically for above-ground pools, as well as options for in-ground designs. Our list includes customer-favorite brands and covers that are highly rated for their quality and value.
Check out our top picks below and don’t forget to use your cover bubble-side down, which keeps the cover afloat and acts as magnifying glasses to turn the sun’s rays into a heater for your pool.
1. Sun2Solar Blue Rectangle Solar Cover
The Sun2Solar Blue Rectangle Solar Cover is available in a range of different sizes, including the most common swimming pool sizes (like 15 by 30 feet). The cover comes in either blue or clear and includes a bubble-filled film which gives an eye-catching appearance. This design also works to retain and collect heat, even at night and on chilly days. In addition, this cover helps to minimize water evaporation, meaning you’ll have to fill your pool less often over the season. This versatile cover is also a great choice for pool owners with irregularly shaped pools as it can be cut down and shaped to your needs.
Pros: The range of sizes and color options means your cover will fit snugly in your pool and look great. Cut to size for custom pools.
Cons: For the larger sizes, you may need to add a roller to your setup for an easier-to-manage arrangement.
2. In The Swim Basic Round Pool Solar Blanket
The In The Swim Basic Round Pool Solar Blanket is definitely worth adding to your pool when you consider the potential of an eight to 10-degree increase in water temperature after seven days of consistent sunlight. This temperature increase can make all the difference to the length of your pool season and energy costs. You’ll also find the cover reduces debris entering your pool, the amount of water evaporation and how much chemical is lost, meaning you’ll have to fill your pool and treat it less often, saving you time and money.
Pros: This effective pool addition can increase your pool’s temperature by up to 10 degrees in the right conditions.
Cons: Could be a little thicker.
3. Intex Recreation Solar Cover
If you’re in need of a solar pool cover for a 12-foot diameter pool, consider this Intex Recreation Solar Cover. The intelligent design features bubbles that retain and maintain heat in your pool. You’ll also find drainage holes to prevent water accumulation during use and to allow the lightweight cover to float on the water’s surface. This cover is supplied with a reusable bag with handles for easy transportation and storage when the swimming season is over.
Pros: The design includes drainage holes, which help prevent water accumulation and keep it at the water’s surface. Storage bag is included.
Cons: The cover actually measures 11.5 feet, meaning some pools may have a larger than desired gap.
4. Blue Wave 14-Mil Solar Blanket in Clear
If you are looking for the thickest, most durable solar cover that does an excellent job of trapping and retaining heat, you need the Blue Wave 14-Mil Solar Blanket in Clear. As we mentioned in our intro, clear solar covers are made from the thickest material possible and do the best job at trapping and retaining heat for pool water. The sun’s rays are able to travel through the clear cover and directly into the pool water, warming it faster and more efficiently than darker covers. This 14-mil thick clear solar cover can increase the temperature of swimming water by at least 15 degrees Fahrenheit and reduce water evaporation by 95%. The thickest cover on our list, the Blue Wave in clear is built to last throughout several pool seasons. Available in six size options, the cover is made with insulating thermal bubbles and resists damage that can be caused by UV rays and chlorine, as well as other chemicals.
Pros: The clear Blue Wave solar cover comes in a wide variety of sizes and does an excellent job of trapping and retaining heat. Its thick design also means it will last for several seasons.
Cons: Because of its thickness, the Blue Wave solar cover in clear comes with a big price tag. It can also be cumbersome to lift and move.
5. Blue Wave Solar Blanket for Round Above-Ground Pools in Blue
For a solar cover that will last through plenty of pool seasons, we like the Blue Wave Solar Blanket for Round Above-Ground Pools. The solar covers are made with a UV-protected polymer that can stand up to extended exposure to the sun’s harmful rays. This polymer also helps to protect the solar cover against damage that can be caused by pool chemicals, including chlorine and salt. The 8-mil thick solar cover can raise the temperature of pool water by an average of 15 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a great option for pools that don’t have built-in heaters. The insulating thermal cells that make up the Blue Wave blanket help to trap and retain heat even during cool and overcast days. Built to last and designed to retain heat and save you money, the Blue Wave solar cover can reduce evaporation by up to 95% when used regularly.
Pros: Blue Wave makes their solar blanket in eight sizes ranging from 12 to 33 feet, making it easy for customers to find the cover that best suits their needs. As one of the thicker covers on our list, it does an excellent job retaining heat and reducing the rate of evaporation.
Cons: The large Blue Wave sizes can be difficult to install and remove with only one person.
6. MidWest Canvas Space Age 18-Foot Round Solar Cover
Even when your pool is not in use, it’s likely still the focal point of your outdoor space, so you want a cover that doesn’t create an eyesore. Enter, the MidWest Canvas Space Age 18-Foot Round Solar Cover. The space-age solar cover has a soothing blue top that will blend seamlessly with the pool water, while the bottom of the blanket features silver thermal bubbles that help to trap and retain heat. The solar blanket grabs UV rays and transfers them to the pool water to help produce extra heat. The 12-mil thick solar cover helps to reduce evaporation by up to 95%, which saves water and money. Available in six sizes, the circular solar cover can be trimmed to fit most above-ground pools.
Pros: An eye-catching 12-mil thick solar cover that helps to retain heat and reduce evaporation.
Cons: The MidWest is easy to trim but users will lose the sealed edge if cut.
7. Bestway 14ft Round Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Heat Cover
Keep debris out and heat in with the Bestway 14ft Round Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Heat Cover. The above-ground solar pool cover is designed to perfectly fit 14-foot circular pools without any trimming necessary by owners (Bestway also makes a 15-foot cover). The cover fits inside pools with a steel frame and works with most Bestway, Summer Escapes, and Intex above-ground pools, as well as other brands. Helping to decrease the rate of evaporation in a pool and increase the temperature, the Bestway cover also comes with a convenient carrying bag that can be used to store the solar cover during the off-season. The affordable cover will last several seasons and is easy to install and remove by hand.
Pros: Bestway includes a carrying bag that can be used for storage during the off-season. The cover is cut to fit the most commonly found models of above-ground pools.
Cons: The Bestway cover is on the thin side and will likely only last one to three pool seasons.