The 6 Best Swimming Pool Covers For All Pool Types

If you want my quick opinion after testing, I think WaterWarden is the best value inground pool cover for most people. BlueWave is a good option for above ground pools. Read about those brands and the rest of my research below.

Pool covers are a great way to protect your pool in the winter and keep children and pets safe. There are several types of pool covers on the market, each with advantages and disadvantages. Knowing how they work can help you choose the best option for your pool. Whether you have an above ground or inground pool, there’s a cover out there to fit your needs.

But, with so many choices on the market, it can be hard to narrow down the best pool cover for your backyard. Today, I’ll take a look at the best pool covers on the market across a variety of different styles and sizes.

My Top Picks for Pool Covers

Below are a ton of details on my top six picks for the best pool covers on the market today.


Blue Wave Bronze 8-Year Round Above Ground Pool Winter Cover

⭐ Best for Above Ground Pools

Research Score: 4.1 out of 5

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

What’s Great:

  • Affordable
  • Extended size prevents excess stress and ripping
  • Prevents algae growth

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • It may only last a season or two
  • Winter cover
  • For 15-foot round pools
  • Polyethylene skrim and coating
  • Dark navy blue
  • 8-year warranty

Research Notes

The Bronze Series cover from Blue Wave is an ideal solution for those looking for an affordable and effective solution for protecting their pool all winter. This cover is simple but still has a selection of high-end features that are usually only found in more expensive covers.

Featuring UV-resistant polyethylene scrim and coating, this pool cover is quite durable in the right conditions. The underside of the cover is a dark black color, which helps to retard algae growth, which can be a significant headache when you reopen your pool in the summer.

However, despite all these features, some testers complain about the durability of the product - especially in harsher environments. So, if you are looking for a budget winter cover and you are okay with one that only lasts a couple of seasons, the Blue Wave winter cover could be a great pick for you!

Durability

The Blue Wave Bronze winter cover features a polyethylene skrim and coating that is expected to last through sun, snow, ice, and wind all winter. Although this pool cover is made for 15-foot pools, it has a 4-foot overlap, which allows less stress to be placed on the pool, which adds to the durability of the product. The UV-resistant cover is held secure by a heavy-duty cable and tightened.

However, despite these features, my testing showed that the durability of this winter cover was lacking. In reality, I’d only expect the Blue Wave Bronze winter cover may only last a season or two.

Installation

This winter cover is incredibly easy to install. Simply place the cover over the pull and evenly distribute it over the surface on top of the water. Then thread and weave the cable through the loops. The Blue Wave winter cover also comes with a descriptive manual that can also be accessed online.

Price

The Blue Wave winter cover is great value for money. It is one of the cheaper options on the market while still boasting high-quality construction. Even if this pool cover is not the durable one available, it is certainly high value.

Warranty

This winter cover comes with an 8-year limited warranty. As long as you have the original receipt on hand, you should be able to get compensated for any faults in the product. The 8-year warranty does decrease over time, and the customer is responsible for any shipping and handling fees.

Notes From Other Testers

With almost 20,000 reviews on Amazon, the Blue Wave winter cover is one of the most popular above ground pool winter covers out there. This cover has an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars, which is quite impressive considering the sheer number of reviews. Other testers especially like that it is easy to install and remove. Most reviewers are happy with the product as a budget winter cover. However, there are some complaints regarding the durability of the product.

Blue Wave Bronze 8-Year Rectangular Inground Pool Winter Cover

⭐ Most Affordable Inground Cover

Research Score: 4.1 out of 5

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

What’s Great:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to install
  • Prevents algae growth

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • Not super durable
  • Winter cover
  • For 20×40-foot pools
  • Polyethylene scrim and coating
  • Dark navy blue
  • 8-year warranty

Research Notes

The Blue Wave Bronze inground winter pool cover is a pretty impressive product considering its price tag. Featuring a polyethylene scrim and coating, a UV-protective coating, and a jet black underside to retard algae growth, on paper, this winter cover is picture perfect.

However, judging by the material quality and the comments of online reviewers, there’s no way this cover will last very long. But, for the price, it’s a reliable solution that should provide you with one or two seasons of use.

Durability

Just as with the above ground pool version, Blue Wave’s Bronze winter cover for inground pools boasts a series of impressive features. This winter cover features a polyethylene scrim and coating and heat-sealed seams for added durability. A UV protective coating helps protect the cover from the effects of the sun as well. And finally, this Blue Wave cover features a jet black underside, which helps inhibit algae growth.

However, judging by the material quality, it appears that this product lacks real durability. This Blue Wave Bronze winter cover may only last a season or two before you may need to replace it.

Installation

This winter cover is easy to install, and I found it to be a very straightforward process and many other testers have reported similar findings. The Blue Wave Bronze winter cover also comes with a handy manual that breaks down installation step by step.

Price

The Blue Wave Bronze winter cover is great value for the price. Although not the most durable inground winter cover on the market, it certainly does the job. And at this price point, it’s definitely worth the cost - even if it means replacing it every couple of years.

Warranty

Just as with the above ground pool option, this inground pool Blue Wave winter cover comes with an 8-year warranty. Although the warranty period is great, keep in mind that the warranty percentage does decrease over time and you will need to pay shipping and handling fees for any replacements.

Notes From Other Testers

The Blue Wave Bronze winter cover has an average rating of 3.9 out of almost 3,000 reviews worldwide. Testers particularly like that this winter cover is easy to install and remove. Around 70% of the testers are happy with the product, rating it a 4 or 5 stars. The value for money with this winter cover is a big point of praise for many testers. However, there are reviewers that are not satisfied with the product’s durability.

Sun2Solar Blue Rectangle Solar Cover

⭐ Best Solar Pool Cover

Research Score: 4.4 out of 5

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

What’s Great:

  • Keeps your pool warm and comfortable
  • Keeps debris out of your pool
  • Trimmable for custom pools
  • Affordable

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • Bubbles start to fail after a few seasons
  • Solar cover
  • For 16×32-foot pools
  • Resin construction
  • Available in blue and clear
  • 3-year warranty

Research Notes

Solar covers are an ingenious way to keep your pool warm and inviting all summer. The Sun2Solar solar cover is made from a durable and flexible resin material, and it’s available in blue and clear colors. Regardless of the cover you choose, it will also do a great job of keeping leaves, dirt, and other organic debris from entering your pool. This solar cover is a great addition to any pool to help extend the swimming season. However, the durability and warranty for this product could be better.

Durability

The Sun2Solar blue solar cover is made of a durable resin material that will last you a couple of years before replacement. This solar pool cover is made with good quality plastic that won’t easily tear, so you can even cut it to size. However, with that said, at 8 mils of thickness, this solar cover is not the thickest blanket on the market, but it certainly does the job and will last you a few seasons before the bubbles start to separate from the cover.

Installation

This solar pool cover is incredibly easy to install. Simply lay it on top of your pool’s surface and cut it to size. As the material is quite light, you can remove it just as easier as you install it. To make your life even easier, consider purchasing a reel.

Price

The Sun2Solar blue solar cover is rated 4.3 out of 5 stars for value for money. This solar cover is probably one of the best you can get at this price point.

Warranty

This solar cover comes with a limited 3-year warranty. The warranty covers any manufacturing issues such as seam failure or delamination. And no worries, if you trim the solar cover to size, your warranty will not be made void.

Notes From Other Testers

Out of almost 7,500 reviews, the Sun2Solar blue solar cover has an average rating of 4.2 stars out of 5. It rates particularly highly for value for money, easy installation, and maneuverability. With almost 80% of testers rating it 4 or 5 stars, this solar cover is probably one of the best on the market. Testers love that this solar cover easily heats up their pool by several degrees.

However, the product's durability is quite lacking, with some testers stating that the cover only lasts a couple of seasons.

Happybuy Pool Safety Cover

⭐ Most Durable

Research Score: 4.6 out of 5

  • Durability: 5
  • Installation: 5
  • Price: 5
  • Warranty: 1

What’s Great:

  • Affordable
  • Thick and durable
  • Easy to install

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • No warranty information is available
  • The straps are not of great quality
  • Safety cover
  • For 16×30-foot pools
  • Polypropylene construction
  • Green
  • No clear warranty

Research Notes

For inground pool owners who haven’t been satisfied with lighter-duty covers, this safety cover from Happybuy may be a great option. This heavy-duty cover is built for years of enjoyment and is still more affordable than most covers of this quality. This pool cover features polypropylene construction and is made of a porous material. Installation for this cover is surprisingly easy as well.

However, despite all of these great features, the Happybuy pool cover does not include a warranty. So, if you have any issues with it during use, you may be on your own. Some testers have also reported that the straps are low-quality and may need replacing.

All in all, the Happybuy safety cover is a great option for those looking for a budget but durable pool cover, but beware of the lack of warranty.

Durability

The Happybuy pool safety cover is made from rugged and thick polypropylene, which should provide reliability year after year. The material is also porous, so rain and precipitation can make it through the cover, instead of pooling. This cover is also heavy and protective enough to allow children and pets to walk across safely.

Installation

This safety cover includes installation tools and the tension springs and bolts you’ll need to attach to your pool securely. It is pretty easy to install, and it is possible to do it by yourself. However, an extra pair of hands will certainly help.

Price

Considering the quality of the product you get, the price of the Happybuy pool safety cover is more than fair. In fact, you won’t easily find another product of this caliber at this price point.

Warranty

Unfortunately, there isn’t any warranty information available for this product, so it’s safe to assume you’re on your own should anything go wrong with your Happybuy safety cover. If you’re looking for peace of mind, you may be better served with a more expensive option.

Notes From Other Testers

The Happybuy pool safety cover boasts an average rating of 4.3 stars, out of almost 550 reviews. It rates highly specifically for maneuverability and value for money. Testers love that this safety cover can fit over any shape pool and is incredibly durable for the price. Unfortunately, the lack of warranty is a huge negative point for many testers. The lack of quality of the straps that come with the cover is another complaint some testers have had.

Robelle 352040R Super Winter Pool Cover

⭐ Best for Mild Winters

Research Score: 4.4 out of 5

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

What’s Great:

  • Easy to install
  • Inhibits algae growth
  • Heavy-duty welded seams

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • Not as durable as Robelle’s more expensive covers
  • Winter cover
  • For 20×40 foot inground pools
  • Polyethylene construction
  • Blue
  • 10-year warranty

Research Notes

Robelle is one of the biggest names in the pool industry, so you can be sure that you’re getting a quality product when you purchase one of their pool covers. The Robelle Super winter pool cover is a great option for inground pool owners. As one of the cheaper Robelle winter pool covers, don’t expect it to last you years and years, but the durability is still commendable. Thankfully, the 10-year warranty can give you some peace of mind should your cover fail at any point.

Durability

The Robelle Super winter pool cover is made of durable polyethylene material and boasts a 5-foot overlap that will be less strain on the cover itself, which will help extend its lifespan. This winter cover has a strong durability rating amongst other testers as well. Robelle is a huge name in the pool industry, so you can be sure that you’re getting a quality product that has been vetted by countless pool owners.

However, with that said, compared to other more expensive winter covers by Robelle, the durability of this winter cover is lacking.

Installation

The 5-foot overlap in this winter pool cover makes it easy to install this cover. Attaching the cover to your pool is a breeze, and there are water bag loops every four feet to keep the cover secured, while steel grommets at each corner add another layer of security. However, the water bags are sold separately, so I have docked off one point for this.

Price

The Robelle Super winter cover is a great product for the price. It is one of Robelle’s cheaper models, but the quality of the product is not completely diminished. On top of the more than reasonable upfront cost, this winter cover is sure to last you years.

Warranty

This cover has a lengthy 10-year warranty, so you’ll have peace of mind should your cover fail at any point. It is the purchaser’s responsibility to cover any shipping and handling costs. However, if your cover fails within the first 30 days, the shipping costs will be covered by Robelle.

Notes From Other Testers

With a 4.1 rating out of 5 stars from more than 2,000 reviews, the Robelle Super winter pool cover is popular for many inground pool owners. Almost 80% of reviewers are satisfied with the cover, rating it 4 or 5 stars. Testers love that the cover is easy to install and keeps dirt and debris out of the pool as advertised. However, some testers are unhappy with the overall durability of the product.

WaterWarden Safety Inground Pool Cover

⭐ Best Mesh Cover

Research Score: 4.8 out of 5

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

What’s Great:

  • Two-ply strapping and triple stitching for maximum durability
  • Abrasion-resistant pads
  • Relatively easy to install
  • 15-year warranty

Limitations & What Needs Improvement:

  • Issues with seam falling apart
  • Difficult to install for some
  • Safety cover
  • For 16×32 foot inground pools
  • Mesh material
  • Blue
  • 15-year warranty

Research Notes

The WaterWarden safety inground pool cover is an incredibly durable mesh cover that boasts two-ply strapping and triple stitching. The sturdy construction is sure to last you season after season. You know you're getting a quality product with an average rating of 4.4 on Amazon. A couple of testers have had issues with the seam breaking apart after just a few months of use, but the 1-year full and 15-year limited warranty are sure to quench your worries. Don't look further if you’re looking for a durable mesh safety cover!

Durability

The WaterWarden safety inground pool cover is rated incredibly highly for durability by other testers. At a 4.8 out of 5 stars, there’s not much to fault regarding the sturdiness of the product. This safety cover boasts two-ply strapping and triple stitching for maximum durability. They also have abrasion-resistant pads that help protect the mesh cover from rubbing against the deck. The high-quality construction of this product makes it one of the best mesh safety pool covers out there for inground pools.

Installation

This safety cover is surprisingly easy to install for an inground pool cover if you have some DIY knowledge. But still, you may need an extra pair of hands or two to help out with the initial installation. You can download a copy of the manual online if you lose the physical copy.

Price

Safety covers do not come cheap, but the WaterWarden safety inground pool cover is a decently priced option that rivals safety covers of twice its price. For the value that you get, this price is fair. Other testers rate the value for money for this product at a 4.3 out of 5 stars.

Warranty

This safety cover comes with two different warranties. The first is a one-year full warranty and the second is a 15-year limited warranty, which is quite impressive. Simply register your new safety cover online on the WaterWarden website to activate your warranty.

Notes From Other Testers

The WaterWarden safety cover comes highly rated by more than 100 testers. It has an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars, with 85% of testers rating it 4 or 5 stars. Testers are especially happy with how sturdy and durable it is and how easy it is to install. A couple of testers have had issues with the seam coming apart in just a few months.

Recap: The Best Pool Covers

How They Compare

Durability and Price Comparison

I created a scatterplot comparing durability and price to show which of my top picks has the best value. As you can see, all of these covers are very affordable. WaterWarden and Happybuy came out on top for the most bang for your buck.

Installation Comparison

  1. Blue Wave Bronze 8-Year Round Above Ground Pool Winter Cover: 5
  2. Blue Wave Bronze 8-Year Rectangular In Ground Pool Winter Cover: 5
  3. Sun2Solar Blue Rectangle Solar Cover: 5
  4. Happybuy Pool Safety Cover: 5
  5. Robelle 352040R Super Winter Pool Cover: 4
  6. WaterWarden Safety Inground Pool Cover: 4

All of my top picks are relatively easy to install.

Warranty Comparison

  1. Robelle 352040R Super Winter Pool Cover: 5
  2. WaterWarden Safety Inground Pool Cover: 5
  3. Blue Wave Bronze 8-Year Round Above Ground Pool Winter Cover: 4
  4. Blue Wave Bronze 8-Year Rectangular In Ground Pool Winter Cover: 4
  5. Sun2Solar Blue Rectangle Solar Cover: 3
  6. Happybuy Pool Safety Cover: 1

Robelle and WaterWarden have the best warranties. Happybuy? Not so much.

Other Pool Covers Researched

  • Intex Round Easy Set Pool Cover: This product can be a decent option if you have an Intex inflatable pool. Otherwise, I would avoid it.
  • Colourtree In-Ground Winter Pool Cover: This product is a glorified tarp and will do a poor job of keeping your pool protected.
  • Robelle 3318-4 Platinum: This cover is a very cheap tarp material.
  • I also tested several solar pool covers that I won't mention here because I have a completely separate guide on the best solar covers for your pool that you can check out.

My Research Criteria

When evaluating the best pool covers, there are a few different criteria I use to determine whether or not a given product is worthy of inclusion as one of the best pool covers. These are the specific criteria I used to evaluate the best options.

Durability

The biggest concern when shopping for a pool cover is its durability, which is a matter of the material it’s constructed with. Durable materials like polypropylene are best, and they generally provide many years of use and enjoyment. While it’s tempting to opt for a low-cost model, these are usually made from low-quality materials that won’t last very long. Granted, you still have to maintain your pool cover throughout the winter regardless of what material it is made of. For more on that subject, read my guide on how to cover your pool for the winter.

Due to the utmost importance of the quality of the product, durability accounted for 40% of the overall product scores.

Installation

Closing the pool each year is something most of us dread. So, you must select a cover that you can quickly and easily install at the end of the season. Of course, it should be equally as easy for you to remove and store the cover when the summer arrives again.

The best pool covers make it easy to install and remove them, so you can focus more on summer fun and less on the headaches associated with installing or removing your pool cover.

Most people will need to hire a professional to install an automatic cover. To install a security cover, you will need to drill holes in the concrete around your pool and place anchors. Once the anchors are positioned, the cover is attached with springs.

Standard covers are designed to float on the water with the edges coming up over the sides of the pool. They are held in place with water bags. No other type of weight should be used because if it were pulled into the pool, it could damage the lining. Above-ground pool covers are placed over the top of the pool and then cinched into position with cables.

Installation made up 20% of the score.

Price

The cost of the swimming pool cover you buy cannot be ignored. Pool covers can really range in price from incredibly cheap tarp covers to expensive automatic covers.

It’s not really fair to compare pool covers of completely different calibers, as you will already be looking at a certain type of pool cover depending on your budget and needs. For this reason, when considering the price, I took a look at the value of the product you get compared to other similar types of pool covers on the market.

Most swimming pool owners consider price one of the most important criteria when searching for the right product, so price took up 30% of each product's overall score.

Warranty

The warranty is another critical consideration to make when shopping for a pool cover. Some pool covers don’t come with a warranty at all; others offer a warranty of only a year. Meanwhile, the best pool covers provide a warranty for 8-10 years or longer.

While a warranty may be something you can overlook on a cheap cover you only need to last for a season or two, you’ll want to pay close attention to the warranty if you’re looking for a cover that will last for many years.

Warranty accounted for 10% of the total product scores.

What Else to Consider

Here are some other things to consider and keep in mind when choosing the best swimming pool cover for your pool.

Type of Cover

There are a few different types of pool covers that you can choose from.

Standard Covers

Made of a tarp-like material, standard covers are held in place using water or sand bags for weights. They are cheap and generally do a good job of keeping leaves and debris out of the pool. The cost of a standard cover is relatively low, ranging from under a hundred dollars to several hundred dollars, but they do not last as long as other options.

Standard pool covers do not hold a lot of weight. This has two major disadvantages: people or animals who walk or fall on the cover will wind up in the water, and a pump is required in order to keep water weight from caving in the cover. If enough snow piles up on a standard cover, it may slide into the pool. Standard covers are the only type of pool cover that do not increase safety by preventing animals or people from falling in.

There is a mesh version of the standard cover. It has either fine or super-fine holes in it to allow water to slowly drain through. This eliminates the need to use a pump on the surface of the cover.

Many people do not employ standard covers because their appearance is not ideal – some might even call them ugly. However, they are a quick and economical option in the short term for people on a budget. In the long term, other options may be less expensive when the cost is prorated over the life of the cover.

Safety or Security Covers

There are two basic types of security covers: mesh and solid. They are attached to anchors in the concrete around the pool and have a sort of trampoline-like appearance. Both types of security covers do a good job of keeping out leaves and debris. Security covers are probably the most popular pool cover for inground pool owners. They are more expensive than standard covers but typically perform better. The security covers themselves usually cost between one and three thousand dollars, but solid covers require additional expenses in the form of a pump.

Security covers protect children and pets from falling in the pool. When properly installed, people can walk on them without falling in. This can be an important consideration for people who have small children or pets.

Mesh covers do not require a pump, but they do let rainfall and runoff into the water. This can mean a cloudy pool that requires a few days of work to clear up when opening the pool in the spring. Snow does pile up on these covers, but they can hold a lot of weight and when it melts, it passes right through. Mesh covers can last up to fifteen years.

Solid covers keep the water in the pool clear and ready for use. However, they require a pump to remove rainfall and runoff from the surface. These pumps typically only last a couple of years because of the extreme weather that they work in, although the cover itself may last ten years. When the cost of the pump and bi-annual replacements is considered, solid security covers become significantly more expensive than mesh ones.

Automatic Covers

The advantages of automatic covers are that they require little effort to use, and they keep unwanted guests, animals, leaves, and debris out of the pool. In some states, automatic pool covers are considered acceptable safety barriers, and pools with them may not be required to have a fence.

Automatic pool covers are great solar covers. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on the temperature. During hot weather, they may cause the pool to get too warm, but during cooler weather, they help reduce heat loss.

Unsurprisingly, automatic covers are expensive. They also have lots of moving parts that can break and wear out, which increases the cost of the pool cover and the cost of maintaining them. It is easy to spend several thousand dollars on the cover every few years due to the need to replace the vinyl material and other parts. Given that they initially cost $2,000 to $4,000 (some more expensive), the expense can be a major issue. However, they last significantly longer than safety or security covers, giving you about 5 years of use (on average) before replacing, versus only 1-2 years for cheaper security covers.

Automatic covers are not actually meant to function as winter covers, although they may do that in areas with little or no snow. While they can hold a couple thousand pounds, they cannot hold up to a snow load. This means that in areas where it snows a fair amount, they will need to be replaced by another type of cover during the winter or you will want to regularly remove snow from your pool cover. In areas where heavy snow only happens occasionally, they may be opened if a storm is expected. However, this risks the cover pulling free and caving in if the upcoming snow load is misjudged.

Don’t Use a General Tarp

All-purpose tarps are sometimes used for swimming pool covers, but they typically do not do a very good job. They are more difficult to set up, do not stay in place properly, and tend to have more issues with water pooling on top. If your budget is not very large, consider a standard pool cover, or a DIY pool cover.

Service

Pool owners who have already gone through a cover or two know how critical quality service is. While most manufacturers back their covers with a warranty, that doesn’t necessarily mean redeeming the warranty is easy. The best pool cover manufacturers make it easy for you to get a prorated replacement should anything go wrong.

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