With many essential benefits including keeping the water a comfortable temperature and as clean as possible, the best pool covers will make a big difference to your daily pool care routine. Any pets and children around can be kept at bay with a reputable product, but they are not all built the same.
Some people would benefit from a thicker, insulating pool cover while others just need something to keep falling leaves away but whatever you are looking for, the following list of the best pool covers around will have a product that ticks all the important boxes. As long as it is available in the right size and easy to install, it has a chance of making our list.
Quick Summary of Best Pool Covers
Editor’s Choice: Blue Wave 20-ft x 40-ft Rectangular In Ground Pool Safety Cover – Blue
This makes it the ideal product for sealing the pool for the winter so you don’t have to worry about it and the high scrim meshing lets water through so it doesn’t collect, whilst also keeping leaves and debris out of the water. The hardware is made from stainless steel so it won’t rust and the straps are protected against fraying. Available in a few sizes, they feature a 2-foot overlay.
- Comes with everything needed for easy installation
- Meshing lets water through but not leaves and debris
- Durable materials
- Available in multiple sizes
Best Solar Cover: Intex Solar Cover for 15ft Diameter Easy Set and Frame Pools
There is an included carry bag that makes it easy to store when not in use and because the air bubbles trap heat and transfer it to the water, you’re going to get more use out of that pool. The Intex Solar cover is better for chemical consumption and about as easy as it gets.
- Prevents evaporation by 95%
- Easy to install and remove
- Keeps the pool warm
- Includes carry bag
- Not a lot of size options
Best Above Ground: Blue Wave BWC704 Bronze 8-Year 18-ft Round Above Ground Pool Winter Cover
It is protected against UV rays so it can stand up to the conditions and thanks to its polyethylene scrim it can take whatever the winter throws at it. When installed it will balance on the water to take the strain off the walls of the pool ensuring it is a well thought out and rugged pool cover.
- Lots of different size options
- 8-year warranty
- Balances on the water to take the strain off the walls
- Good value
- Only for above ground
Best Green Meshing: Pool Safety Cover for a 20 x 40 Pool, Green Mesh
It features triple stitching and double straps on the top and bottom to make it incredibly sturdy and reinforced X track in the corners for added strength. The green meshing is strong so falling debris won’t cause it to snag or tear, allowing rain to fall through but collects leaves and twigs.
- Triple stitching
- Includes all installation hardware and tools
- Strong green meshing
- Easy to install
- Not a lot of size choices
Best Color Options: 24’ Round Pool Super Guard
They are also available in various sizes from a smaller 12 foot to 33-foot pool cover. The 8 x 8-foot scrim makes it seriously strong and depending on the product you select, the warranty ranges from 8 years to 20 which is something we always like to see.
- The 4-foot overlap makes it easy to install
- Plenty of size and color options
- Long warranty
- Thick polyethylene
- Included tensioner not as durable
Best With Metal Frame: Intex Round Metal Frame Pool Cover, Blue, 15 ft
It also makes it easy to install and the drain holes in the center are a great addition and it allows excess water to filter through so it doesn’t collate and cause damage to the cover. With 10 inches of overhang, it is well built and feels sturdy for a 15-foot pool cover. With drawstrings to keep it nice and tight, it might be a little trickier to take off but is perfect for keeping a pool locked up for winter.
- Easy to install
- Drain holes in the center to prevent buildup
- 10 inches of overhang
- Takes a little longer to remove
Pool Cover Guide
Certain products make pool maintenance a lot easier, and probably the most effective is a pool cover. When you buy a reliable product it can stop the warmth from escaping, leaves from falling in, and sun from damaging the pool. The problem with a lot of pool covers is durability, but when you understand what the best products are capable of, it can make your purchase a lot easier.
Because of this, we have created the following buyer’s guide. By the end of it, you’ll understand they are a must-have.
What To Look For In A Pool Cover
The Right Fit
A lot of people think that there are only a handful of sizes available and although this is true to an extent, you shouldn’t rely on guesswork. Because a pool cover that is too small will be ineffective, you need to get the measurements right. Refer to the user manual that your pool came in for your size.
If your pool has an unusual shape then you might need to look a little harder or buy something bigger and cut it to size.
Ease of Installation
There are different ways. a pool cover needs to be installed and some are easier than others. Some types can be fixed via stakes in the ground whilst others require a reel and clamps.
It might mean you need the help of someone else but usually, the better products don’t take long to fix into place.
Because it acts as a layer of protection, it should be pretty durable but a cheaper product might not have the build quality to withstand a heavy storm. Strong winds can cause all sorts of a debris to land on the pool cover so it needs to be made from a durable material.
Also, some pool covers buckle when they hold more rain or snow than usual. If you don’t want to be buying another pool cover within a year or so, make sure it has a reputation for longevity.
Leading on from sturdiness, it is a good idea to check the scrim count of the pool cover. This is the fibers per square inch and is an indication of the quality. The higher the scrim count, the more resistant it is to tear.
Different Types of Pool Covers
There are plenty of different designs available but they all tend to fit into three main types of pool covers.
These are pretty self-explanatory but the solid materials make them durable, but heavier and a little harder to take on and off. On the plus side, they last a long time so expect it to be of service for more than a few winter.
This is the season that they are particularly good for so if you have long, harsh winters, it is a good option. Expect to pay a bit more than some of the other products though.
These work a little differently in that they are not a sturdy cover and are more focused on heat retention. These are great for extending the number of days you can use your pool as they have air bubbles in the cover that keep the warmth in the pool.
They also absorb heat from the sun to warm the pool and can be purchased in a large cover or in small, circular discs where you have to throw a fair amount over the water.
Solar pool covers float on the surface and is good for areas that get plenty of sunlight.
Mesh pool covers are good at collecting fallen leaves and stopping them from entering the water and because of the holes, they will not bend or break under the weight of heavy rain or snow.
They are lighter, relatively easy to install and fixed via a cable.
How Long Should A Pool Cover Last?
Although every product is different, and the conditions of the area you live in can play a part, most pool covers should last around 3-7 years.
The cheaper products on the market might last less than a year so be careful where you try to save money.
How Much Does A Pool Cover Cost?
Although som proper try and save money in this area, you aren’t going to get a lot of use out of a product that costs $40. This is why we recommend anything between $100 – $250 as a good start point.
This is going to get you a pool cover that is miles better than the one included with your pool although the reel can be just as expensive with certain types.
Should You Cover A Pool?
Proper pool maintenance starts with a quality pool cover. If you clean the pool yourself, you will find that the job is a lot easier when you protect the water with a decent pool cover.
When there is less debris in the pool, it helps to increase the lifespan of the pool, as well as the appearance. Although you should never rely on a pool cover to secure your pool from a child, some can provide an added layer of protection. Like we said though, never tasker your eyes off a child around a pool or leave them to play in the backyard alone.
What Is The Best Type Of Pool Cover In Winter?
Although both solid and mesh pool covers are good at keeping debris out of the water, a solid pool cover is going to be more durable and able to withstand heavy rainfall collecting on top whilst protecting it better.
It also stops algae from developing at the same rate. A solar pool cover is tailor-made for the end of those summer months when you want to squeeze out as many opportunities to use the pool as possible.
When Should I Replace My Pool Cover?
Even if you haven’t had it long, there are certain telltale signs that a pool cover needs replacing. The most common are tears and rips on the materials as well as any fraying on the webbing or the cover has changed color.