Any above-ground pool owner who is looking to keep debris out of their pool when it’s not in use is going to want to invest in the best above ground pool cover that they can purchase. That’s the only way to keep the pool in pristine condition during the fall, winter, and spring months before opening up the pool for the swimming season. Otherwise, the pool is going to be filled with leaves, insects, and other debris that can be difficult to remove before opening up the pool.
Of course, not all pool covers are designed for winter closings. There are also models designed for keeping out leaves and solar models that are designed to keep the water warm during the summer months. Since there are so many varieties and types of covers, we’ve decided to review some of the ones that we feel are the best ones to own.
Quick Summary of Best Above Ground Pool Covers
Best Overall: Blue Wave Silver 12-Year Winter Cover
This cover comes in a variety of different sizes, too. It’s available in 12-foot, 15-foot, 18-foot, 21-foot, 24-foot, 28-foot, and 30-foot round-pool sizes. Each size has a little bit of overlap that allows the pool owner to secure it around the rim of the pool to prevent it from being blown away. And best of all, this cover is designed to protect the pool’s water against the sun, wind, ice, and snow. It also prevents leaves and insects from getting into the pool, so when it’s time to open it, getting ready for the season is a breeze. All of these are the reasons why we’ve selected this model to sit at the top of our list.
- This is a durable and long-lasting winter pool cover.
- It’s easy to install on a pool.
Best Leaf Net: Harris Deluxe Leaf Net For Round Pools
Leaf covers also make opening the pool in the summer a lot easier. Just pull off the cover, and with it the leaves, and then you can remove the winter pool cover. That prevents the mess from ending up in the pool and makes the whole process a lot easier. This particular leaf color is designed to be reinforced and rot-resistant, so consumers can expect to get years of service out of it, and it’s also UV-protected. It costs a little more than a conventional pool cover, but we feel that it’s a necessary piece of equipment that will save the consumer a lot of time and aggravation and that’s why we recommend it.
- This product is rot-resistant and reinforced for durability.
- It fits round-pools quite well.
- This product costs more than regular pool covers.
Best Cover For Oval Pools: Robelle Super Winter Cover For Oval Swimming Pools
It’s also worth mentioning that this winter pool cover came with a winch and cable assembly that is supposed to make installing the cover easier. Unfortunately, we didn’t find that to be the case. We felt that most people would probably be better off just securing the cover with ordinary line and not even worry about using this assembly because it’s more work than its worth. With that being said, we don’t feel that it detracts from the quality of this cover, and we would be more than happy to recommend this product to anyone looking for an oval pool cover.
- This is a high-quality swimming pool cover.
- It has grommets every 4-feet.
- The winch & cable system doesn’t work very well.
Best Solar Pool Cover: Sun 2 Solar Round 1600-Series Solar Pool Cover
Although this cover does cost quite a bit, it will save the pool over who has to heat their pool money over time. Because it helps to retain pool heat, the pool’s heater doesn’t have to work as hard. And for pools that aren’t equipped with a heater, this cover can mean the difference between a bone-chilling swim and a comfortable summer swim. It also needs to mention that this cover also prevents up to 95% of the pool’s water from evaporating. With less evaporation, the pool owner doesn’t have to keep adding water to it to keep it at the proper level. That’s why we feel every above ground round pool owner can benefit from using this solar cover.
- This product saves on pool heating bills.
- It minimizes pool water evaporation.
- It’s a high-quality and durable solar cover.
- This product costs a lot.
Above Ground Pool Cover
When it comes to protecting your pool from just about every hazard that can cause it to require repair, an above ground pool cover is a must-have. They come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, just like the pools themselves. However, some covers are better than others, and there are certain traits that, when you know what they are, makes it easier to pick a quality product.
With this in mind, we have created the following buyer’s guide.
What To Look For In An Above Ground Pool Cover
The Right Fit
Although you might think that one size fits all here, this is not the case. Although you can buy them in a variety of sizes, if your pool has a unique shape or is an octagon, for example, you will find it harder to get quality above ground pool covers.
You need to make sure the product you buy has enough room to overlap the sides so there are no gaps. If you are unsure of the measurements of your pool, check the box or user’s manual.
Easy To Install
Installing an above ground pool cover can be tricky, but some products make it easier. This type of pool cover will be easier to remove than an in-ground cover and should be fine for one person to manage.
Naturally, a solar cover product might be bulkier which makes things a little difficult but should still be manageable.
Once it is in, you don’t want to have to worry about the pool cover until you’re ready to swim again or you need to clean the water. The durability of the product is also important as if there are strong winds, or a storm blowing sticks and debris onto the cover, you want it to be resistant to tearing.
This is what is known as the fibers per square inch. It is a sign of the durability and quality of the pool cover. The higher the scrim count, the more resistant the material is to damage.
Your above ground pool cover should last longer than the first summer. Most tend to last over 5 years as a minimum. The cheaper options might not give you so much use so look out for products that are known for only lasting a short time.
Different Types of Above Ground Pool Covers
As the name suggests, these are built a little sturdier than others and are more of a permanent option that will be able to secure your pool for long periods. Anyone closing their pool off for the winter might consider these.
They are more expensive than some of the other options, and not to mention a fair bit heavier, but the benefit is in a lasting, durable cover made of quality materials.
These are not your ordinary pool cover as they don’t secure the top and make it safe from children trying to climb in. The main reason people buy solar above ground pool covers is that they help to maintain the temperature of the water.
Working like bubble wrap, they use air bubbles to prevent the warmth of the pool from escaping. Equally, they absorb the heat from sunlight which also heats the pool.
They float on the surface and can come in a disc form where you need to buy multiple units to spread over the surface or one large cover.
Because of the design, any water or snow that falls on the cover falls through so it will not break under the pressure and weight that adverse weather can bring.
These still trap leaves and debris so they don’t fall into your pool and are usually secured with a cable. Because they are lighter, most of the time they are easier to install.
What Is The Best Type of Above Ground Pool Cover?
Although they all have unique benefits, certain covers are better for certain pools.
A solid pool cover is good for protecting it over winter and ensuring algae doesn’t grow at the same rate. The downside is that you need to remove snow and any rain that collects as when it gets heavy, it can cause damage to the cover.
A solar cover is great if you live in a sunny area and get enough sunlight to warm the pool. It can be the difference between getting extra days in the pool and having to seal it off for the winter, although they are not effective during the colder months. Also, solar covers are not as good if you have young children around as they are not a protective layer.
A good all year round is a mesh cover. They don’t give you the extra warmth when the sun is out but are durable and still protect the pool from debris.
How Much Does An Above Ground Pool Cover Cost?
Although they might be cheaper, any option around $50 might not be as durable so you might find yourself buying another before the year is out. If you are looking for a solar above ground pool cover then expect to part with around $100 – $250.
The reel will be another expense which can cost as much as the cover but it can reduce the cost of refilling the pool because of evaporation.
Should You Cover An Above Ground Pool?
Although safety should be your top priority, there are other reasons to purchase an above ground pool cover. Firstly, it doesn’t take a lot of debris to ruin some pools. A cover makes it easy to keep dirt, debris, and bugs out.
However, safety is another reason. You should never rely on any pool cover, and certain styles are not going to give you any further protection should a child fall in, but some brands are more secure than others.
Some winter covers are easy to install with stakes on the ground so there is no excuse for not protecting the pool. This will not only make it safer but it will prolong the lifespan of the pool.