To some people, it would seem that the covers made for pools are only designed to do one thing and that’s to keep leaves, insects, and other debris out of the pool’s water. Although these products certainly do that, they also do a whole lot more as well. They can cut down on energy costs, prevent evaporation of pool water, and help the pool maintain its temperature, too. That makes these simple-looking devices extremely important for any pool.

Of course, it’s not always easy finding the best cover for a swimming pool among the dozens of different models available. There’s plenty of things to consider when choosing one of these covers, so pool owners must give it some thought before they purchase one. To help our readers with this vitally important research, we’ve listed the best pool covers below. Now anyone can choose the cover that’s appropriate for their pool.

Best Pool Covers

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10In-The-Swim 18-Foot Above Ground Leaf Cover


Manufactured using knitted polyethylene that holds up well in all weather conditions, this product can solve the mess of winter leaves forming on the pool cover. It’s designed to go over the winter cover, collect all of the autumn leaves that may have fallen, and then be taken off after all of the trees have become bare. This virtually eliminates the pool owner from having to clean up wet, sloppy leaves from their winter cover when they go to open up their pool again. That makes it a good tool for anyone who wants to minimize the work that has to be done to open up a pool.

9Sun-Solar Harris 24-Foot Round Blue Cover


What differentiates this pool cover from the multitude of solar covers currently available? The first thing that makes it different from other covers is that it is made out of materials that are 12-millimeters thick, which is almost twice as thick as comparable covers. That means that it can hold up to the rigors of rain, wind, sun, and snow better than a lot of its competitors. The manufacturer is so convinced of its quality, that they’ve warranted it with a full 2-year, and a limited 7-year warranty. That makes it a product that will reduce water evaporation, prevent heat loss and is easy to install.

8In-The-Swim 24-Foot Round Leaf Net Cover


Designed to fit over a winter cover, this leaf net cover prevents the hassle of fall leaf cleanup. It’s made from a knitted polyethylene that allows it to hold up to just about any weather and it is extremely easy to fit 24-foot round pools. After the trees have dropped their leaves for the winter, this pool can easily be removed and thereby taking the dead leaves along with it. Now no one has to put up with having to clean dead leaves off of their winter cover in the spring to get it ready for the swim season. It’s a time-saving device that no pool owner should do without.

7Sun-2-Solar 1600-Series Clear Round Cover


This solar cover is designed for round 18-foot pools and is clear so the radiant energy of the sun can pass through it. When used properly during the searing summer months, this product is capable of preventing 95% of the pool water from being lost to evaporation and helps to reduce a pool’s heating cost. Using this cover, the days of jumping into a cold pool in the morning are all but over. This product can also be easily trimmed using nothing but a pair of scissors so that it can be fit exactly to the size of the pool. And it’s all available for a relatively small cost.

6Sun-2-Solar 1600-Series Pool Heating Blanket


This Sun-2-Solar heating blanket is designed to fit 20×40-foot rectangular pools, and it has an attractive blue hue that helps it to capture the sun’s rays. When properly placed on the pool’s surface, this product will help create an insulating layer that prevents heat loss, all while the top of its surface collects the warmth of the sun. It also helps to prevent 95% of the water lost due to evaporation, so it can easily lower the pool’s heating cost. And because it can be trimmed to fit irregular pools, a lot more pool owners can use this pool cover than some of the competing models available.

5Sun-2-Solar Blue 800-Series Heating Blanket


This pool heating blanket might look like a sheet of bubble wrap, but its design helps it to do its job. When placed bubble down in a pool, the thousands of little bubble will provide an insulating layer that will hold in heat, even during cold mornings or chilly evenings. It’s also capable of preventing up to 95% of pool water evaporation from occurring and helps to minimize pool heating costs. This product is designed to fit 24-foot round pools and has an attractive blue color that not only helps it to retain sunlight but also gives it a nice look while it’s covering the pool’s surface.

4Thermo-Tex 18-Foot Round Solar Cover


Anyone looking to extend their swimming season, help reduce pool water evaporation or lower their pool’s operating expenses may want to take a good hard look at this Thermo Tex Solar Cover. This product is constructed from materials that make it durable against the ravages of wind and rain, and with UV stabilized polymers that prevent it from being downgraded due to chlorine or UV radiation from the sun. It’s a lightweight cover that’s easy to install on 18-foot round pools and does a good job keeping the pool in good condition during the warm summer months. It’s a solar cover that’s ready to help keep the pool running smoothly.

3Intex 18×9-Foot Rectangular Solar Cover


This solar cover measures 17-feet 8-inches by 8-feet 4-inches, so it can easily fit 18×9-foot rectangular frame pools with a bit of overlap to make installation easier. When properly installed, this product will not only help the pool keep its temperature, but will also help prevent water evaporation as well. It’s designed out of a high-quality 160-micron material that holds up extremely well to sunlight, snow, rain, and wind lash. For easy storage, this solar pool cover also comes with a carrying bag that keeps it from taking up too much floor space when not in use.

2Blue Wave Gold 18×34-Foot Oval Winter Cover


This winter cover is designed to be used with 18×34-foot oval pools. When used to shut down a pool for the winter, it will keep insects and other debris out of the pool all winter long and will protect the pool from the elements. Wind, snow, sun, or ice is no match for this cover and it’s designed to hold up for up to 15-years. The cover is 22×38-feet, meaning there’s a 4-foot overlap, so it can be equipped on appropriate oval pools without having to stretch or rip the cover. All of this equals a cover that pool owners can rely on to keep their pool in good condition until swim season starts up again.

1Intex 10-Foot Round Metal Frame Cover


Intex Recreation Corporation has distributed a variety of different tools for swimming pools and spas, so no one should be surprised that they make some of the best pool covers. Take this one, for example. This model is designed to fit round-shaped pools with a 10-foot radius and is designed to fit snugly to keep out bugs, leaves and other debris out of the pool. Using this cover also helps to minimize water evaporation, so the pool doesn’t have to be refilled quite as often. This product is designed from a heavy-duty material that holds up to wind lash quite well and doesn’t degrade quickly due from sunlight exposure.

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A Comprehensive Guide To Pool Covers

Now that we’ve reviewed some of the best pool covers currently available we think that it’s time for us to do a deeper dive into the subject. We’ve decided that the average pool owner will probably want a little bit more information about these covers so they can make a more informed decision. Let’s begin this guide with the benefits of purchasing a pool cover for your pool before moving on to selecting the right type cover.

The Benefits Of A Pool Cover

Pool covers are one of the most important pieces of equipment a pool owner can buy for their pool. It can not only have a significant effect on the cleanliness of the pool but also reduces the pool owner’s time spent cleaning, as well as lower energy costs. Below are these and some other reasons for purchasing a new pool cover.

  • Keeps leaves, twigs, and debris out of the pool when it’s not in use.
  • Reduces the amount of water evaporation by anywhere from 30-50%.
  • Reduces the pool’s consumption of pool chemicals by up to 60%.
  • Solar pool covers actively maintain the pool’s water temperature—reducing heating costs.

How To Buy A Pool Cover

Without a doubt, pool covers are important. That’s why it’s important for consumers to do their due diligence and make sure they buy the ones that work the best for their pool setup. Although we’ve seen many people just buy the first pool cover they’ve come across without much thought about them, we believe that it’s important for the consumer to at least take a few moments to consider a few key features.

Step One: Choose A Pool Cover Type

The first step to choosing a pool cover is to decide which type you’re going to need. When it comes to these three types of covers, consumers have several different choices available to them. There are solar pool covers, standard pool covers, winter pool covers, safety pool covers, and leaf covers. Choosing the right one will ensure that it performs the duties that you need it to perform.

Solar Pool Covers:

Solar pool covers are designed to help the pool’s water maintain its temperature and to slow water evaporation. They are made out of a UV-stabilized polyethylene that allows sunlight to pass through to heat up the pool. These covers have a slight insulating property that holds on to the heat as well. When searching for a solar pool cover, be sure to keep the following things in mind:

  • Look for solar pool covers that have insulating air bubbles built into them.
  • Darker solar covers heat up quickly, but they only tend to heat up the surface of the water.
  • When choosing a cover with bubbles, choose a lighter colored one to allow sunlight to penetrate.

Standard Pool Covers

Standard pool covers are the ones that are used to cover the pool at night, or when there’s a severe storm coming. These covers aren’t designed to shut down pools but are only designed to be used for short periods of time.

  • Purchase the right type of cover. Above-ground and in-ground pools require different types of covers.
  • The cover should be an actual pool cover and shouldn’t be just a standard tarp.
  • The cover should be fit the size of the pool—with allowances made for an overlap of material.
  • Make sure the cover is made out of durable material.
  • Choose the thickness of the cover according to your budget. Thicker covers last longer but are more expensive.

Winter Pool Covers

Winter pool covers are designed to protect the pool over the course of the off-season. Therefore, they need to be durable enough to hold up to cold winter conditions and to stand up to leaves and other debris. Below are some other things to think about before purchasing a new winter pool cover.

  • Winter covers are not safety covers and do not protect children or pets that fall into the pool.
  • Winter covers should be thick and should cover with cables and the winch to install it.

Safety Pool Covers

As their name implies, safety pool covers are designed to protect children and pets from drowning if they accidentally fall into the pool. Although these covers are great safety devices, they aren’t fool-proof, and parents should ensure that they use other precautions in conjunction with these covers. Other precautions would include fencing off the pool area and installing pool alarms.

Leaf Covers

Leaf covers a mesh covers that are designed to go over winter covers and aren’t designed to be used by themselves. These covers catch leaves and allow water to pass through them, so the pool owner can easily remove the net with the leaves for fall pool cleanup. When purchasing these leaf covers, keep the following things in mind:

  • Make sure that the cover is made of durable materials.
  • Make sure it comes with the hardware needed to install it.

Step Two: Make Sure To Purchase The Right Cover Shape & Size

Once a pool owner has decided on the type of covering for their pool they’re going to need, it’s now time for them to make sure they purchase the right shape and size covering. It’s important to purchase the right shape because if you don’t, then you can end up shortening the lifespan of the cover. We say this because we’ve seen quite a few people using a square pool cover on their round pool and it never works out well. Wind-lash always seems to take out these sorts of setups. Besides, using the right shape cover for your pool just looks nicer.

When buying a new pool cover, be sure to measure your pool accurately and buy the right size product. These covers should have a little bit of extra material all around, so there’s plenty of room for the covering movement when the pool’s water level drops. This will ensure that the cover stays on the pool and that it won’t be lashed to pieces by the wind.