The Best Solar Pool Covers

If you want my quick answer, I think the Sun2Solar Blue Square Solar Cover would be the right fit for most people, however, the Blue Wave Solar Blanket is my close second. If you want great value for a killer price, I would recommend the Blue Wave all the way. To find out more, check out my top picks below!

Solar pool covers are a great accessory to invest in for any pool owner because they reduce the pool’s heating costs, prevent the loss of water evaporation, and stop debris from entering your pool. You’ll need to find one that fits your pool and is durable. However, with dozens of solar pool covers on the market, it can be daunting to choose the right one.

Read on to learn the criteria I used to pick the top solar pool covers and my recommended solar pool covers in the market.

Solar Pool Covers: My Top Picks


Sun2Solar Blue 30-Foot by 30-Foot Square Solar Cover

⭐ Best Solar Blanket for Round Pools

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Research Score: 4.05 out of 5

  • Durability: 4
  • Heat Retention: 4
  • Installation: 5
  • Price: 4
  • Warranty: 3

What’s Great:

  • Compatible with freeform or oval pools because you can cut to size
  • Prevents evaporation by 95%
  • Many different size options

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • Comes with a limited warranty that only covers seam delimitation and separation
  • Deteriorates quicker than other solar blankets
  • Maximum size of 30 x 30 feet, minimum of 4 x 8 feet
  • Rectangular shape
  • Made of resin material
  • 8 mils thickness

Research Notes

The Sun2Solar solar pool cover is a great option for pool owners looking to keep their pool warm and extend their swimming season. It is proven to help the pool water retain the heat. And because it has more heat bubbles than other models, it can even heat the water by a few degrees.

The thin material makes it easy to cut the pool cover to shape, but also brings down the durability of the product. It is still quite heavy though, so I wouldn’t expect it to get carried away by the wind.

Durability

Durability is an issue many solar pool covers have. The thin plastic needs to be strong in order to resist ripping, and it is inevitable that you will tear it eventually. I've rated the durability of this product lower because of how flimsy the material is. At only 8 mils of thickness, it is not the most tear-resistant product. That being said, it is definitely made of good quality plastic, but it will tear easily, especially when you cut it to size. As with other solar pool covers, the Sun2Solar product is also known to start breaking down after a while. For the high-end price tag, I definitely think this solar cover could be more heavy-duty.

Heat Retention

As solar pool covers go, the Sun2Solar model is definitely able to keep the heat in your pool water, and even able to warm up the water by a few degrees. My testing showed that it reduced heat loss by 15 percent and was able to retain the pool's heat even on cloudy days. They also save you money on your water by reducing evaporation.

On especially sunny days, this solar cover is even able to help warm the pool water up by 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Although the blue blanket may look nicer when it gets dirty, I would recommend the clear model, because it is able to send heat into the water easier.

Installation

I've rated theSun2Solar pool cover highly in installation because it is lightweight, making it easy to maneuver in the pool and unfold over the surface. You are also able to cut the pool cover to the shape and size of your pool, making it incredibly versatile.

Be careful when you cut the solar cover though, its thin material is easy to tear.

Price

The Sun2Solar solar pool cover is one of the pricier options on the market. Depending on the size, the cover can range up to even $300. There are undoubtedly cheaper options on the market that will yield similar results. But you get what you pay for; affordable alternatives will not retain heat as well.

Warranty

This solar pool cover is covered by a 6 year limited warranty, but the key word here is: limited. The warranty only covers manufacturing issues such as delamination and seam failure. The limited warranty cannot be used for any punctures, damages to the bubbles, or any other durability issues. As it is a quite flimsy product that can tear easily, the VERY limited warranty is definitely a disappointment.

Notes From Other Testers

Out of over 6,000 reviews the Sun2Solar pool cover rated 4 stars out of 5, which is no easy feat. Other testers were happy with its ability to keep the heat in the water, and even warm up the water by a few degrees on sunny days. Users also raved about the easy installation and ability to cut the solar cover to size.

The majority of the negative reviews were on the durability of the product. Solar pool covers are notoriously delicate, and you would not expect one of this caliber to break down as easily as it does.

MidWest Canvas Solar Cover

⭐ Best Solar Blanket for Rectangular Pools

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Research Score: 4.05 out of 5

  • Durability: 5
  • Heat Retention: 4
  • Installation: 3
  • Price: 4
  • Warranty: 4

What’s Great:

  • Durable and efficient
  • Prevents water evaporation
  • Helps with heat retention
  • Comes with a five-year warranty

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • Folding may be a challenge due to its thickness
  • Not easy to cut
  • Maximum size of 24 x 44 feet, minimum of 16 x 24 feet
  • Rectangular shape
  • Made of resin material
  • 12 mils thickness

Research Notes

The MidWest Solar pool cover is a great heavy-duty pool cover that goes perfectly with large rectangular pools. I would recommend this solar cover to pool owners willing to shell out a bit of extra money for a long-lasting pool cover that will keep your water at a comfortable temperature. I would not recommend this solar cover for pool owners with above ground pools, circular pools, or uniquely shaped pools, because this pool cover is not very easy to cut.

Durability

The MidWest Solar Cover rates highly in durability because it is extra thick and will not tear as easily as other pool liners. It is manufactured out of high-quality polyethylene with strong and resistant seams. Comparing it to other solar covers out there, it is definitely a more heavy-duty option. Depending on the size you purchase, it weighs between 30 to 50 pounds. The sheer weight of the product will prevent the wind from blowing it away, which is an issue with cheap, lightweight solar covers.

The edges of the solar cover do seem brittle, but overall, this MidWest Solar Cover is very durable and should last more than a few years.

Heat Retention

The MidWest Solar Cover is able to raise the temperature of the pool by trapping the existing heat in the water, and preventing water from evaporating. During the night, pool owners should only expect to lose around 2-3 degrees of water temperature. While during the day, it will help raise the temperature of the water faster. The thick material is good at insulating the pool. 

Although you will still lose a few degrees when the sun goes down and the outside air temperature cools down, the solar cover does a great job of retaining the heat.

Installation

One downside of the heavy-duty MidWest Solar Cover is its weight. It weighs around 30-50 lbs, making it hard to maneuver. It is also not very easy to cut to size. You would need a heavy duty knife to cut through the canvas. This limits what kind of pool it can be used for, especially because the product does not come in a circular size.

I would highly recommend purchasing a solar cover reel for this product. A reel will make it much easier to put on and take off the solar cover. You can also just get a friend or neighbor to help you put it on.

Price

The MidWest Solar Cover is by no means a cheap choice, but it does come at a fair price. The durability and heat retention of this product alone make up for the fact that you will be paying a bit more for it. It is also more affordable than some other high-end products, so for buyers in the market for a quality pool cover, it is definitely a solid option!

Warranty

The MidWest Solar Cover has a limited 5 year warranty. Unfortunately, it does not cover all damages, but if there is a manufacturing issue with the product, you will get a full refund in the first year. Then for the following years, you will have to pay a percentage of the price for replacement.

  • 2nd year: 55%
  • 3rd year: 65%
  • 4th year: 85%
  • 5th year: 95%

Keep in mind that you will also be required to pay for the shipping cost of the solar blanket if you return it and get a new one.

Notes From Other Testers

There are just under 200 reviews on Amazon for this solar pool cover, and while this is not as many as some of the other products, testers rate this solar cover highly. It has an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5. Other users rave about the durability and toughness of the material, and state that it does a good job at keeping the water warm and preventing water from evaporating.

Some testers have claimed that the product came to them damaged or that it simply didn’t do a very good job of warming the pool up. It is important to note that the primary objective of a solar cover is to maintain the temperature of the pool water, not raise the temperature (although raising the temperature is a huge plus).

Intex Solar Covers

⭐ Best for Intex Above Ground Pools

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Research Score: 3.95 out of 5

  • Durability: 3
  • Heat Retention: 5
  • Installation: 5
  • Price: 4
  • Warranty: 1

What’s Great:

  • Reduces water evaporation by 95%
  • Floats on the water surface
  • Easy to roll and store
  • Drain holes to prevent water accumulation

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • Thin material at only 8 mils
  • Circular: Maximum size of 18 feet, minimum of 8 feet in diameter
  • Rectangular: Maximum size of 16 x 32 feet, minimum of 8 x 16 feet
  • Rectangular or circular shape
  • Made of PVC vinyl material
  • Around 8 mils thickness

Research Notes

The Intex solar cover is a great option for those that have above ground Intex pools. This solar cover fits both easy set Intex pools and metal frame pools. At 8 mils, it is not the most durable solar cover on the market, but it is still a great value for what you get. This solar cover has air bubbles that take the heat to each corner of the pool while also minimizing evaporation by 95% to maintain the pool temperature. You will even spot drain holes that prevent any water accumulation on top of the cover, which can come in handy on those rainy days.

If you are looking for an affordable solar cover for your Intex pool, look no further. Just keep in mind that you may be sacrificing some durability at this price and thickness.

Durability

Intex does not disclose the actual thickness of this solar cover, but it is around 8 mils. This makes it not necessarily the strongest or most durable solar cover on the market, but it still does the job. The Intex solar cover purposefully has a lightweight design, which makes it easier when it comes to maneuverability but does come at the expense of the durability of the product. But despite its thinner material, it is still able to withstand weather and other usual wear. The UV protected translucent blue color helps to not only heat the pool but also protect it from the pool chemicals.

Heat Retention

Despite its relatively thin construction, the Intex solar pool cover - both the circular and rectangular shape - rates highly for its insulating ability. Just placing this cover makes a noticeable difference in the pool’s water temperature. Due to its ability to prevent evaporation by 95%, it helps to retain heat while also protecting the pool from any outside elements that may cause it to cool down.

Installation

The Intex solar pool cover is probably one of the easiest solar blankets to install. In fact, on Amazon, it rates at 4.1 out of 5 stars for easy installation. The lightweight design of the solar cover makes it easy to move around and maneuver. Simply unroll it to use it in the pool. If you find that the solar cover is slightly too big, you can easily fix this by either tucking it in the pool or slightly trimming it. The product also comes with a reusable carry bag that will make storage that much easier too.

Price

At first glance, the price for this product is great. It is a great value solar cover for Intex pools, perfect for any budget. However, the cheaper price does come at a cost. This solar cover is not as durable, so it may not last as long, which ultimately lowers the overall value.

Warranty

According to the Intex website, Intex does not offer any warranty for this product. But for this price point, this may not necessarily be a dealbreaker for many.

Notes From Other Testers

The Intex solar cover is one of the most popular solar covers on the market. Out of almost 7,000 reviews for the circular solar cover, it rates a 4.1 out of 5 stars. 76% of the reviews rate the product a 4 or 5 stars. And similarly, for the rectangular solar cover, the product boasts a high rating of 4.5 out of 2,500 reviews. 85% of these reviews are positive. This shows that you shouldn’t sleep on this Intex product.

People love the value for this solar cover and the lightweight construction. But although the solar cover does a great job in heat retention, it seems this solar cover does have issues when it comes to durability - with many testers complaining about the solar cover becoming out of use after just a few months.

Robelle 1836RS-8 Box Solar Cover

⭐ Best Heavy Duty Solar Cover

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Research Score: 4.35 out of 5

  • Durability: 5
  • Heat Retention: 5
  • Installation: 3
  • Price: 4
  • Warranty: 4

What’s Great:

  • Raises the water temperature fast
  • Prevents evaporation

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • Can bunch up at times
  • The cover is challenging to put on and take off
  • Maximum size of 20 x 40 feet, minimum of 4 x 8 feet
  • Rectangular shape
  • Made of polyethylene material
  • 8 mils thickness

Research Notes

It might be surprising that the Robelle Box Heavy Duty Solar Cover is considered heavy-duty at only 8 mils, but it certainly delivers what it needs to. It can not only retain the heat in your pool, but it can even heat up your pool by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit! This pool cover can even be cut to size if needed.

Robelle does provide a 3-year warranty to cover any manufacturing defects, so if you do run into any issues with the solar cover deteriorating after just a few uses, you can easily get them to swap that with a new one that should hopefully not have these issues.

Durability

At 8 mils, you wouldn’t normally expect a solar blanket to rate highly when it comes to durability. But Robelle proves that thickness, or in this case thinness, does not necessarily always dictate the sturdiness of the product. The Robelle Box Solar Cover is made of heavy-duty material that delivers a great performance. And due to its heavy-duty construction, this solar blanket is quite heavy, which can be both a positive and a negative point. On the plus side, it helps with durability. On the flip side, installation can be a bit more difficult, but more on this later on!

Heat Retention

The 8-mil thickness of this solar cover helps to gain heat and retain it. Plus, the UV-resistant material also helps to keep the pool water at a comfortable enough temperature all the time. The Robelle solar cover cuts water evaporation by 90%. This product is also slated to be able to raise water temperatures by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit, which is quite impressive.

Installation

This solar cover is not the easiest product to install and use - the issue being its sheer size. If you get the smaller model, you shouldn’t run into these issues discussed, but a big draw for this Robelle solar cover is that it can be used for big pools as well. In particular, if you get the 20 by 40 feet model or even the 16 by 32 model, the size will be more than one person can handle.

This means handling the solar cover will be a two-person job, which is not the most convenient. This makes this Robelle solar cover difficult to not only install but also to put on and take off whenever you want to put it away. In addition, I have had to dock off a second point in installation as some testers have complained about the solar cover bunching up when installing it.

Price

Although not the cheapest solar blanket on the market, it is certainly a great deal for the heavy-duty construction. You do need to sacrifice the lack of maneuverability, but it is still a great price for the size of the solar cover, which you can’t often find.

Warranty

The Robelle Box Solar Cover comes with a 3 year limited warranty. The warranty seems to only cover manufacturing issues, but there don’t seem to be any complaints about Robelle not honoring their warranty, which is a good sign.

Notes From Other Testers

The Robelle Box Solar Cover has a rating of 4 out of 5 stars. 75% of customers are satisfied with the product, rating it a 4 or 5 stars. Other testers say that this product works very well and even warms their pool water temperature. However, there are some negative reviews as well, with some customers receiving solar covers that disintegrate after just a few months of use. Overall, it does seem to be a durable product though.

Blue Wave Solar Blanket

⭐  Most Affordable

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Research Score: 4.75 out of 5

  • Durability: 5
  • Heat Retention: 5
  • Installation: 4
  • Price: 5
  • Warranty: 4

What’s Great:

  • Prevents evaporation by 95%
  • Increases water temperature by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit
  • 14 mils thickness
  • Great for large pools

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • Larger sizes may need 2 people to install
  • Comes folded with wrinkles
  • Maximum size of 20 x 44 feet, minimum of 12 x 24 feet
  • Rectangular shape
  • Made of polymer material
  • 14 mils thickness

Research Notes

The Blue Wave Solar Blanket is a great, durable solar cover for rectangular inground pools. At 14 mils, this is a pretty thick solar blanket that can withstand UV rays and chemicals. In terms of heat retention, this product rates very highly, being able to reduce evaporation by 95% and even raise water temperatures by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Although installation for this product is fairly easy, it can become a bit cumbersome when it comes to the larger models. So if you have a particularly large pool, I recommend buying a reel to make it easier to put on and take off this solar blanket.

Durability

The Blue Wave Solar Blanket has a thickness of 14 mils, which is a pretty decent thickness that allows the solar blanket to not only hold in the heat but also to be more durable. This solar blanket is designed for inground swimming pools and is made to withstand UV rays and pool chemicals. The high-quality design of this solar blanket definitely puts it up there in terms of durability.

Heat Retention

One thing I like about this product is its clear color. Clear and blue solar covers are great at letting in more light and heat into the water of the pool, so it has better heating and heat retention properties. This 14-mil Blue Wave product is advertized to increase the water temperature by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. It even helps to retain heat by acting as a thermal blanket over the water and by preventing evaporation by up to 95%.

Installation

Despite this solar blanket being quite heavy-duty, it is still easy to install. Similarly, it is easy to put away and put back when needed, which is a huge plus when it comes to these huge products. However, with that said, if you do purchase the larger sized solar blanket, you may need to have another person to help you to put on and take off this solar cover. To make installation even easier, consider purchasing a reel.

Price

You won’t easily find a solar blanket at this price point with this level of durability and heat retention. The Blue Wave Solar Blanket is a great value - especially when you consider the fact that at this cost, you could also buy a solar blanket with fewer mils and a shorter warranty period.

Warranty

At first glance, the 6-year warranty sounds great, but it is important to look at the small print. Blue Wave certainly does provide a 6-year limited warranty, but they only cover delamination and seam failure. In other words, they only cover manufacturing defects and the warranty does not apply to damages caused by accidents, misuse, or abuse.

Though the limited warranty itself is quite common in solar cover products, the other thing to keep in mind is that the customer would need to pay a percentage of the manufacturer’s list price for the product when replaced. The percentage is as follows:

  • 1st year - 0%
  • 2nd year - 35%
  • 3rd year - 45%
  • 4th year - 65%
  • 5th year - 85%
  • 6th year - 95%

The customer is also responsible for any shipping and handling fees.

Notes From Other Testers

The Blue Wave Solar Blanket has 4.4 stars out of 5 out of more than 400 reviews. In particular, testers rate it highly for easy installation and durability. Testers are happy with the product’s ability to heat up their pools, but it does seem like the results vary, ranging from 0 degrees to 15 degrees difference in their pool temperature since installation. In fact, some testers even go as far to say that their pool feels like a jacuzzi or spa. Although this Blue Wave product seems to perform well when it comes to heat retention and heating properties, there are some complaints about how the blanket is packaged. The way it is folded up creates wrinkles in the solar cover that are difficult to straighten out.

Solar Sun Rings

⭐  Best Solar Rings

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Research Score: 3.9 out of 5

  • Durability: 4
  • Heat Retention: 3
  • Installation: 5
  • Price: 4
  • Warranty: 4.5

What’s Great:

  • UV-resistant
  • Efficient as they trap the heat of the sun
  • Easy to cover and uncover

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • They don’t cover the pool entirely
  • Not as efficient as solar blankets
  • 60 inches in diameter
  • Circular shape
  • Made of UV-resistant vinyl
  • 2 inch thickness

Research Notes

Each Sun Solar Ring is inflated and floats over the water surface. The center of every ring is UV-resistant, which means it doesn’t allow direct sunlight into the pool. Instead, it absorbs the heat and transfers it to the water below the ring. These rings come in handy when you just need some casual heating in your pool while you use it. The company provides warranty for manufacturing defects for two years. This is an affordable alternative to the heavy solar blankets, but keep in mind that they are not as effective as they do not fully cover the pool’s surface.

Durability

The Sun Solar Rings are made up of a double layer of UV-resistant vinyl material that is about 2 inches thick. Vinyl is a sturdier material than standard plastic or polyethylene that is found in other products. Each ring only weighs about 2 lbs, so they are easy to throw in the water, but they are still unlikely to blow away in the event of high winds.

I did, however, notice that the material was a bit flimsy and would likely rip easily with constant use.

Heat Retention

It is important to recognize that solar rings are not a replacement for solar blankets. Solar blankets fully cover the surface area of the pool and trap heat in and prevent, while solar rings partially cover the pool and trap a much smaller amount of heat. 

That being said, if you cover your waterline with the maximum amount of Sun Solar Rings you will be able to reduce evaporation and heat your pool. The results you get will not be much compared to any of the solar blankets though.

These Solar Sun Rings do a great job of absorbing about 50% of the sunlight and converting it to heat to heat up the pool water. However, as mentioned, this product does not cover the entire surface of the pool, so some heat will escape at night. To make good use of this product, it is recommended to use it alongside another product like a solar blanket.

Installation

Installation is rated highly with this product and other testers also rate it an average of 4.2 out of 5 stars for easy installation. Especially compared to solar blankets, these solar rings are so much easier to maneuver. To use this product, simply inflate the solar rings one by one and throw them into the water. The solar rings attach to one another by magnets, keeping them from getting blown away.

Price

For the price point, this product does a good job at doing what it needs to. It helps to heat up the pool, and though it won’t be as effective as a solar blanket, it is still a great addition to any pool. With that said, at this price, I would expect the solar rings to be constructed of a more durable material.

Warranty

Solar Sun Rings are guaranteed by the manufacturer to be free of any manufacturing defects for two years. However, the company will not warranty any products that need to be replaced due to damage or change of mind. And when you do need to claim warranty, Solar Sun Rings has a reputation for good customer service. It is also worth noting that these solar rings are not eligible for warranty if purchased through an online retailer for less than the “minimum advertized price”.

Notes From Other Testers

Solar Sun Rings have a decent rating on Amazon, with an average of 3.4 stars out of more than 1,700 reviews. Testers especially like that it is easy to install and remove. This solar pool cover seems to do a great job in heating up the pool despite the fact that it is not a solar blanket. Just be sure to purchase the right number of solar rings to cover the pool surface, as if you don’t have enough, you may not see any changes in your pool temperature.

Recap: The Best Solar Pool Covers

How They Compare

Heat Retention and Price Comparison

I created a scatterplot comparing the heat retention scores to price so you can find which solar pool cover fits your requirements. As you can see, the Blue Wave Solar Blanket is the biggest bang for your buck, coming in at a perfect score, followed by the Robelle Box Solar Cover at a distant second place.

Durability Comparison

  1. Robelle 1836RS-8 Box Solar Cover - 5
  2. MidWest Canvas Solar Cover - 5
  3. Blue Wave Solar Blanket - 5
  4. Sun2Solar Blue 30-Foot-by-30-Foot Round Solar Cover -4
  5. Solar Sun Rings - 4
  6. Intex Solar Covers - 3

When comparing durability, Robelle, Midwest, and Blue Wave come out on top.

Installation Comparison

  1. Sun2Solar Blue 30-Foot-by-30-Foot Round Solar Cover - 5
  2. Solar Sun Rings - 5
  3. Intex Solar Covers - 5
  4. Blue Wave Solar Blanket - 4
  5. MidWest Canvas Solar Cover - 3
  6. Robelle 1836RS-8 Box Solar Cover - 3

When it comes to Installation, Sun2solar, Solar Sun, and Intex are standouts.

Warranty Comparison

  1. Solar Sun Rings - 4.5
  2. Blue Wave Solar Blanket - 4
  3. MidWest Canvas Solar Cover - 4
  4. Robelle 1836RS-8 Box Solar Cover - 4
  5. Sun2Solar Blue 30-Foot-by-30-Foot Round Solar Cover - 3
  6. Intex Solar Covers - 1

When comparing warranties, Intex and Sun2solar are the two that you should stray away from.

Other Notable Solar Pool Covers Researched

  • Pool Supply World Velox Silver Solar Cover - When testing for compatibility with all above ground pools, the Intex solar cover clearly bested the Velox.
  • Summer Waves Adjustable Round Solar Pool Cover - I found that some people (including me) are not too fond of the ease of installation with the Summer Waves cover.
  • Doheny’s Micro-Bubble Solar Cover - When testing for price, it seems to me that the micro bubble just doesn't give you the right value for the price you will be paying.
  • Spa Depot Thermo-Float Spa Blanket - When testing for durability, the Midwest Canvas cover just cannot be beat, another downside for this one is that it will come with wrinkles due to the packaging technique.

My Research Criteria

Solar pool covers are not only simple to install, but also affordable for some pools (automatic covers are more expensive to install). I understand that finding the right solar pool cover can be tedious, and that’s why I decided to do some research to help you settle on a great one for your setup. Below are some factors I used in my research criteria. As long as you’re searching for affordable ways to heat your pool, be sure to also check out my guide on liquid solar covers, a decent alternative to blankets.

Durability

Durability accounted for 20% of my overall score of the above products. There are tons of solar pool covers out there as they are one of the most popular types of pool covers, and with that comes a wide range in durability. To look at the durability of a product, I looked at the thickness of the solar cover.

Solar cover thickness is measured by mils. Mils are often mistakenly understood as millimeters, but they are two different types of measurements. A mil is a measurement that equals one-thousandth of an inch, or 0.001 inch. Typically, a solar blanket will measure between 8 to 16 mils. And as a general rule, the thicker the blanket, the more durable it is.

The thickness of the solar blanket is not the only way to measure durability. Things like the material used and the weight can also play a factor.

Heat Retention

One of the most important aspects of a solar pool cover is heat retention. After all, the reason people purchase these additions for their pool is to keep the heat in their pool. For this reason, heat retention accounted for 30% of the overall score.

The most significant way these solar covers maintain heat in the pool water is by preventing evaporation. Evaporation is the main cause for heat loss. An effective solar blanket will reduce heat loss by as much as 95%.

Impressively, some solar blankets are even able to help raise the water temperature altogether. The bubbles on the blanket help to absorb the heat from the sun and transfer it onto the water. Some solar blankets can raise the water temperature by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit on a sunny day.

Installation

I calculated installation to account for 15% of the score for each solar pool cover. Installing a solar pool cover does not seem like a complicated job as, in theory, you just need to lay it on the pool bubble face down.

But ease of installation when it comes to solar pool covers is highly affected by maneuverability. Although putting the solar blanket on the pool’s surface sounds simple enough, if it is too heavy, it may become a two-person job and become more complicated. Maneuverability becomes a lot more complicated when it comes to larger and thicker solar pool covers.

When it comes to installation, the ability to trim the solar cover down to size also played a factor in determining the score. Solar covers don’t always fit pools - especially if you have one that is not a traditional circular or rectangular shape. In this case, the ability to trim the edges of the cover is incredibly important.

Price

The price of the solar pool cover compared to other solar covers on the market also played a part in my overall score. Price made up 25% of each product’s score.

However, I didn’t just base my score on simply the actual price of the product. The score was also determined by the value of the product based on the price. In other words, at the price point you are paying for this product, are you getting a good value?

Warranty

The warranty that comes with purchase of each solar pool cover made up 10% of the overall score. Most solar pool cover warranties will be a limited one. This means, they will generally only cover manufacturing defects, and nothing caused by any misuse or damage. What the warranty covers specifically played a part in determining the final score.

What Else to Consider

Here are some other things to take into consideration when choosing the best solar pool cover for you and your pool.

Inground vs. Above Ground Pools

There are specific pool covers designed for above ground pools that won’t work for inground pools and vice versa. The size of your pool is another essential consideration. You can find solar pool covers that you can cut to fit the size of your pool, but it’s vital to know the measurements of your pool.

Solar pool covers are also sold in various shapes. Make sure to take measurements of your pool before buying one, and you can also use multiple solar blankets if you have a freeform pool, or get a custom one made.

Bubble Blankets vs. Solar Rings

Solar pool covers can be either bubble covers or solar ring covers. Bubble covers are affordable and easy to handle. The bubbles absorb the sun’s heat and transfer it to the water during the day, while at night, the bubbles turn into insulators.

Most bubble covers are UV-ray resistant, which means they can withstand direct sun exposure. Moreover, they are lightweight, something that allows you to put them on and take them off with ease. Bubble covers can have polyethylene or polypropylene materials.  You can find them in different thicknesses that range from 8-16 gauge. Thicker materials trap heat better and are more durable.

Solar ring pool covers are efficient and work to improve solar collection in your pool. These covers have rings that, when attached, create a raft on the surface of the pool through magnets.  You can remove the rings when you need to skim and vacuum. The uncovered space also allows light to pass.

The Type of Material and Color

Solar covers for pools are made from different materials like vinyl, polyethylene, or polyurethane. Vinyl covers are resilient and durable, thanks to their heavy-duty protection. Solar pool covers are available in various colors. It’s best to opt for dark-colored covers as they protect against heat. Avoid covers that are too dark as they can keep the pool cooler. Semi-transparent covers are an excellent option as they allow UV rays to pass through and get in the water.

Manual vs. Automatic

Contrary to popular belief, not all pool covers are simple to use. These covers can be manual, automatic, and semi-automatic models.  Automatic solar covers only need you to push a button to roll and unroll the cover. Semi-automatic covers have a reel system and use electric power to remove the cover, but you need to guide the movement. With manual models, you’ll need to adjust them with your hands.

If you need more heating power, check out my recommendations for the best solar pool heaters.

Best of luck choosing the right cover and shoot me a note if you have any questions!

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