Pool covers serve a variety of purposes, but they all have one thing in common: they’re a must-have necessity!
Whether you’re worried about your little ones falling into the pool, the leaves and debris dirtying the water, or keeping it buttoned up for winter, you’ll be happy to know there are dozens of different pool cover options being made today.
Unfortunately, reading endless pool cover reviews in search of the best pool covers can be a real chore. That’s where we come in.
From strength and durability to design and ease of use, we’ve put in countless hours using and testing all of today’s most popular pool covers according to these criteria to uncover the best of the best. So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!
- Blue Wave 20-ft x 40-ft Rectangular In-Ground Pool Safety Cover
- Dimensions – 20 x 40 feet
- Material – Heavyweight two-ply vinyl mesh
- Loop-Loc 20 x 40 Rectangle Safety Pool Cover
- Dimensions – 20 x 40 feet
- Material – Polyester bonded thread
Top 10 Best Pool Cover Reviews
Designed to protect your children, pets, and pool, the Blue Wave 20-ft x 40-ft Rectangular In-Ground Pool Safety Cover is one of the best covers being made today. This durable pool safety cover is strong enough to support a ton of weight yet light enough to easily put on and take off in just a few minutes.
The premium cover is constructed of super strong two-ply mesh rated to withstand 4,000 pounds of force. The stitching is also double-seamed for added durability and longevity. Meanwhile, brass concrete anchors secure it to the pool deck and allow it to sit nice and flush.
Although the mesh design of this Blue Wave pool cover may seem like a disadvantage at first, it’s designed to keep out virtually everything but rainwater and sunshine to protect against mildew and bacteria growth. With a 12-year warranty as well, it’s easy to see why many pool pros put it at the top of their best pool screen cover lists.
If you’re searching for above ground pool safety covers, the Blue Wave 20-ft x 40-ft Rectangular In-Ground Pool Safety Cover isn’t for you. However, for rectangular in-ground pools, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better option. It’s simply one of the best all-around pool covers your hard-earned money can buy.
Loop-Loc is known for outfitting its covers with ultra-strong, super dense mesh, so to say the Loop-Loc 20 x 40 Rectangle Safety Pool Cover is well-made and tough as nails may actually be an understatement.
While it isn’t the best solar pool cover or even the best pool deck cover your money can buy, it’s certainly one of the toughest. In fact, it’s been proven strong enough to support the weight of an elephant!
Despite the strength of this Loop-Loc, its new dense weave is still able to let rain and snow drain through. This makes it a perfect option for anyone wanting to keep out as much debris as possible and not worry about puddles of water collecting on top and caving it in.
This Loop Loc pool cover is the strongest mesh cover available and an excellent choice for any pool owner willing to pay a little more for the best. It will button up any large rectangular pool and provide years of premium protection.
The Water Warden 20x 40 Pool Safety Cover is another great option for anyone searching for the best pool covers. Its lightweight mesh is triple-stitched and double-strapped on both the top and bottom for ultimate toughness and durability.
This design also keeps out almost all dirt and debris. In fact, the Water Warden is designed to only let air and rain through. While this makes it perfect for warm climates or spring and summertime use for those living up north, it lets some cold air through, so it may not be ideal if you’re looking for the best winter pool cover.
Beyond its premium mesh cover, other components that make this Water Warden a standout in its class include its solid brass concrete anchors and heavy-duty aluminum and stainless steel D-ring springs. You won’t find it mentioned in many pool cover reviews, but with so much quality and a competitive price tag to boot, this nifty well-made mesh pool cover definitely deserves a second look.
This Water Warden Pool Safety Cover is durable, well-made, and easy to use. In other words, it offers a trifecta of sought after benefits, making it an excellent choice for pool owners interested in long-term safety and protection from the elements.
Yet another high-quality mesh pool cover, this YARD GUARD is right up there with the others in terms of being one of the best pool cover options being made today.
Unlike a hard pool table cover, it’s made of a two-ply mesh material that allows water to flow right through, yet it blocks out leaves, twigs, and any other debris. The YARD GUARD also has reinforced triple-stitch seams with unique rub strips to protect your pool decking.
If that weren’t enough, the mesh itself is also mildew, rot, and UV-resistant. It’s also designed to withstand years of exposure to harsh pool water.
Another interesting aspect of this nifty cover is its size. At 18 x 36 feet, it’s slightly smaller than many other rectangular covers and has little to no overlap for a super streamlined look.
The YARD GUARD 18 x 36 + 8′ Center End Steps Pool Safety Cover is a quality product by a quality manufacturer. With an easy-to-use design and craftsmanship that’s second to none, it’s a great choice for any rectangular in-ground pool owners looking to protect their children, pets, and investment.
The Meyco 20 x 40 Rectangle Safety Pool Cover is strong enough to support the weight of several children yet lightweight and easy to as pie to put on and take off. In fact, it’s so easy to use that a number of pool owners report using this Meyco throughout the winter and the swimming season for year-round protection against accidental drownings.
It features a special two-ply Meycolite mesh with a 4,000-pound break of strength rating. Like other top-quality mesh covers discussed in our expert pool cover reviews, the mesh is resistant to UV rays, mildew, rot, and chlorine damage.
Aside from its strength and durability, another great aspect of this Meyco cover is its brass spring-loaded pop-up anchoring system, which is easy to use and provides a flush recessed fit when not in use. When you factor in its generous 12-year warranty, it’s hard not to rate it as one of the best pool covers on the market.
If you’re searching for a cheap inflatable pool cover or an above ground pool winter cover, the Meyco 20 x 40 Rectangle Safety Pool Cover probably isn’t for you. However, if you want a high-quality mesh safety cover for a traditional rectangular in-ground pool, there’s no better option around.
The Blue Wave Bronze 18-Foot Round Above Ground Pool Winter Cover is designed to protect against the sun, wind, snow, ice, and more, making it a solid option for thousands of above ground pool owners. Made of rugged polyethylene, it’s designed to withstand winter’s worse.
This Blue Wave is 22 feet round and features a four-foot overlap, allowing it to easily fit a variety of 18-foot round above ground pools. The exterior is a nice looking navy blue, while the underside of the cover is black to minimize algae growth and allow you to enjoy beautiful crystal clear waters come spring.
Although it doesn’t feature an above ground pool cover reel, it’s equipped with an easy-to-use, heavy-duty winch and cable tightening system, which creates a super tight fit and actually makes the Blue Wave an above ground pool cover you can walk on.
With an affordable price tag, eight-year warranty, and thousands of positive pool cover reviews as well, it’s easily one of the best above ground pool covers your hard-earned money can buy.
The Blue Wave Bronze 18-Foot Round Above Ground Pool Winter Cover is well-priced, incredibly popular, and made to withstand the worst winter has to offer. While it’s not the most durable pool cover around and a cover reel system would make it easier to use, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better winter cover for an 18-foot above ground pool than this Blue Wave.
If you have a large round above ground pool, chances are the PoolTux Royal Winter 28-Foot Round Above Ground Pool Cover will be a perfect fit. The solid, 5mm cover is made of UV protected, triple-laminated polyethylene with reinforced edges and heat treated seams for ultimate durability and toughness.
Meanwhile, a large 28-foot cover needs a solid tightening system to keep it in place during windy and snowy winter conditions, so the PoolTux features a winching system with a vinyl coated steel cable, which does the trick just fine. Just like a pool table hard cover, it’s designed to strap the cover down tight and offer protection in the harshest blizzard conditions.
The PoolTux also comes with a one-year full warranty and eight-year limited warranty as well. While the cover material is strong and durable, its thinness makes it susceptible to wear and tear, so the warranty is a nice touch.
The PoolTux Royal Winter 28-Foot Round Above Ground Pool Cover is an excellent option for any large round above ground pool owner. While the material seems thin, which can make it less than ideal for Nor’easter-like conditions, it’s actually triple-laminated and made to provide superior wintertime protection, at least for a season or two.
Designed for slightly smaller round above ground pools, the SmartPool SPAGWC24 Superguard 24-Foot Round Winter Cover is 27 feet in diameter and features a three-foot overlap, allowing it to keep debris and water out and crystal clear water in.
Similar to other above ground pool covers, it’s made of a nylon/polyethylene material. However, it’s super tightly woven and features an 8 x 6 filament scrim for extra protection against the elements.
With a double-stitched border, all-weather aluminum grommets, aluminum winch, and vinyl-coated steel cable as well, it’s able to withstand windy winter conditions without tearing. The one-year full and eight-year pro-rated warranties are simply the icing on the cake.
The SmartPool SPAGWC24 Superguard 24-Foot Round Winter Cover is a great all-around cover for any 24-foot round above ground pool. It’s inexpensive, tightly woven, and guaranteed to provide top-notch protection against the elements for months on end.
It may not be a great winter pool cover or feature above ground pool solar cover reels, and it’s lightyears from being a retractable pool cover, but the Swimline 18-Foot Round Above Ground Swimming Pool Leaf Net Top Cover makes leaf collection and removal easy as can be.
Similar to the mesh covers made for in-ground pools, this Swimline cover is made of durable woven mesh, allowing water to flow through and leaves and debris to collect like a dream. Rather than the brass anchor systems used for in-ground pools, however, it utilizes a ratchet and cable tightening system just like other great above ground pool covers being sold today.
If you live in a warm climate, don’t need the extra protection of a solid safety or winter cover, and are sick of leaves and bugs dirtying up your above ground pool, this Swimline cover may be the perfect match for you and your pool.
The Swimline 18-Foot Round Above Ground Swimming Pool Leaf Net Top Cover is an excellent breathable mesh cover for any 18-foot above ground pool. It’s lightweight, easy to put on and take off, and designed to keep large leaves and debris from making a mess of your pool and clogging its filter. In other words, it gets the job done.
The Buffalo Blizzard Deluxe Blue/Black Reversible Winter Cover is far better than the best inflatable pool cover could ever dream of being. How so?
Well, for starters, the solid winter pool cover is made of tightly woven weatherproof and puncture-resistant nylon. The hems are also triple the normal thickness and the seams are double-stitched for even more durability. Plus, it’s reversible with blue material on one side and black on the other.
This quality pool cover also features a three-foot overlap, winch, and vinyl coated cable for ultimate protection from freezing temps and harsh winter elements.
Unfortunately, the Buffalo Blizzard Deluxe Reversible Winter Cover is only available for 16 x 24-foot oval above ground pools, which is a bit limiting. However, if you happen to own such a pool, you can’t go wrong with this rock-solid cover.
Much more than cool name, the Buffalo Blizzard Deluxe Blue/Black Reversible Winter Cover is made to keep your oval above ground pool buttoned up and protected from everything winter can dish out. While it doesn’t have a ton of pool cover reviews, this little known gem of a cover is tough to beat.
Why Need a Pool Cover?
From keeping the leaves or freezing air out to keeping your kiddos safe, there are several reasons to invest in a quality pool cover. Let’s discuss why it’s important to cover these bases and add a few more reasons to the list:
Protection from the Elements
Wind, dust, rain, snow, and other elements can wreak serious havoc on your pool and its systems. They can even cause a chemical imbalance and contaminate the water. A quality pool cover will protect your pool from these elements and help keep it working like new.
Safety and Security
A pool cover is designed to provide an added layer of safety and prevent small children from accidentally falling in. Thousands of drownings involving children take place each year, and without a pool cover, your child or his or her friends can easily become the next statistic.
Insulation and Energy Efficiency
When it comes to wintertime use, a pool cover can be a real energy saver. Rather than letting cold air turn your pool into an ice skating rink, an insulated, winter-ready cover will help keep the water warmer for wintertime dips. If your pool is heated, this will allow your heater to work a little less, saving you money each and every month as well.
Ease of Use
Most pool covers are a breeze to put on and take off. The best covers are lightweight and intuitively designed for maximum ease of use.
As you can see, having a quality pool cover is just plain smart. After all, your children are priceless and your pool is a large investment worth protecting.
Fortunately, there are all types of great pool covers out there to choose from. Whether you need an inground swimming pool cover or an above ground swimming pool cover, a rectangle pool cover or a round pool cover, there are plenty of quality, well-made pool covers out there offering all of the above and more!
Different Types of Pool Covers
Not all swimming pool covers are created equal, and there are a number of different types on the market to choose from, such as:
Mesh Pool Covers
Mesh pool covers are inexpensive and provide pool owners with an adequate level of protection. While a hard top or vinyl pool cover is best if you have little ones, mesh safety pool covers are designed to protect against accidental drownings and are a solid option for parents on a budget.
While mesh covers are tightly woven and keep out pesky leaves, twigs, and bugs, they also allow rain and sunlight to pass through. This may seem like a negative at first, but it keeps water from pooling up on top, which can damage the cover and be a real hassle to deal with.
Solid Safety Pool Covers
If you’re shopping for safe pool covers, a solid safety cover is definitely the way to go. Solid inground pool covers or above ground pool covers provide an impenetrable barrier to keep children, leaves, rain, snow, bugs, and everything else out, making them the safest option around.
Aside from being a little more pricy and more difficult to put on and take off, the only real drawback of a solid safety pool cover is the fact that water tends to puddle on top and needs to be pumped off. However, if you have children and can overlook this little bit of extra maintenance, it may be the right option for you and your pool.
Winter Pool Covers
As its name suggests, a winter pool cover is designed to protect your pool in the winter months. However, they can be used any time of the year when you don’t plan on using your pool for weeks, months, or any extended period of time.
Similar to solid safety covers, a winter cover is essentially a hard cover for above ground pool or in-ground pool. That being said, winter pool covers aren’t as sturdy as safety pool covers and can’t handle too much weight. This means they need to be frequently cleared in areas with significant snowfall.
Solar Pool Covers
Solar pool covers aren’t made to provide a ton of protection. Instead, they’re designed to harness solar energy and use it to keep your pool warm and comfortable. While even the best solar pool cover complete with pool solar cover reels and the latest in PV technology won’t keep all of the leaves and bugs out, you’ll notice a nice little savings on your utility bill and improve your quality of life.
Solar pool covers are made for both in-ground and above ground pools, so if you’re looking for a solar cover for above ground pool, you’re in luck. In fact, you’ll find a couple of great options below.
Retractable Pool Covers
Retractable pool covers are the crème de la crème of the pool cover world. However, the added technology and convenience comes with a price, literally. Nonetheless, if you can swing such an upgrade, you’ll soon find a retractable pool cover is well worth the extra expense.
Retractable pool covers feature track guides and rollers that essentially open and close a pool with the press of a button. Unlike other pool covers, retractable pool covers require professional installation, especially if you want to hide the track guides for a seamless fit and feel.
From in-ground pools costing $20,000 or more to above ground pools costing $500, any type of pool is an investment worth protecting. If you have children, their protection is priceless.
The writing’s on the wall: you need a pool cover. However, with so many great options to choose from, choosing the right one is easier said than done.
Have no fear. Here are a few helpful tips to pick the best one for your pool, and more specifically, your needs.
Tip #1 – Functionality Is Key
When shopping for the best pool covers, the first order of business is deciding why you want a cover. Do you need a pool safety cover to protect your little ones from falling in? Do you have trees near your pool and need a cover to keep the leaves and bugs out? Do you need a solid winter pool cover to keep it covered and protected from the snow, ice, and freezing temps?
Your answers to these questions will help you determine the type of pool cover you need and narrow down your list of options.
Tip #2 – Consider Your Climate
If you live up north in cooler climates, you may want to invest in a winter cove or a solar cover to help keep the water warm. If you live closer to the equator in a warmer climate, a mesh safety cover may be the way to go. In any case, the climate of your area should play a significant role in the type of pool cover you choose.
Tip #3 – Pay Attention to the Type and Size of Your Pool
It may seem obvious, but it’s important to pick a pool cover that will actually fit your pool. If you have an above ground pool but purchase an in-ground pool cover, you’re going to be disappointed when it arrives, and vice versa.
You should also pay attention to the size of the cover. It should go without saying, but if you have a 20 x 40 rectangular in-ground pool, a 12 x 30 rectangular cover or 16-foot round cover simply won’t work.
How to Clean and Maintain Your Pool Cover
It’s important to keep your pool cover clean to maintain its effectiveness and longevity. However, different pool covers require different cleaning methods.
Mesh Pool Safety Cover
To clean and maintain a mesh safety cover, you should use a push broom and bleach or a mild chlorine mixture to scrub away any dirt and debris. When finished, rinse with a garden hose and let it dry out in the sun.
While you’re at it, check the cover for any tears or rips. Also check the spring tension and make sure they cover is tight to maximize draining and minimize sag.
Winter Pool Cover
When it comes to cleaning winter pool cover, you’ll need a garden hose, pool brush, dish soap, and a vinyl pool cover cleaner. You’ll need these supplies every few months to keep your winter cover in clean, like-new condition.
First, apply the dish soap to the cover and wet it with a hose. Then, scrub the liner with the pool brush and rinse it with the garden hose. If needed, use a cover pump to remove any excess water, and then let the cover dry in the sun.
Lastly, apply vinyl pool cover cleaner to add a layer of protection from the sun and the elements. Doing so will significantly increase your cover’s lifespan.
Solar Pool Cover
To clean a solar pool cover, simply hose it off and give it a gentle scrub with a soft brush. This should be done periodically to prevent any mildew, mold, grime, and chemical residue buildup.
When not in use, it’s important to keep it stored out of the sunlight. If storing it on a reel, a solar cover protector will also be needed to avoid heat damage.
When using the cover, wait at least two hours after adding pool chemicals before you put it on your pool as solar covers can be damaged by high chemical loads.
A pool cover isn’t an accessory. It’s a necessity. However, there are a few critical accessories you’ll need to keep your pool cover clean and functioning as it should for years to come, including:
- Leaf Blower
A pool cover will collect leaves and keep them out of your pool, but what do you do with all of the leaves? You use a leaf blower of course! A leaf blower will allow you to quickly and easily blow away any leaves and debris to keep your pool cover and entire pool area clean as can be.
- Pool Cover Anchors
While most above ground pool covers utilize ratchet and cable systems to keep them in place, most in-ground pool mesh safety covers use brass anchor and steel spring systems. While most covers come with anchors ad everything else needed for installation, it never hurts to have a few spares.
- Pool Cover Pumps
Unlike mesh safety pool covers that allow water to drain through to the pool, winter, solar, and solid safety pool covers collect water and begin sagging and tearing without the use of a pool cover pump. If you’re not considering a mesh cover, you’ll definitely need a pool cover pump, regardless of how secure you think the cover may be.
When to Replace Your Pool Cover
Even the best pool cover won’t last forever, so here are some warning signs of when it’s time for a pool cover replacement:
Cracked, Torn, or Ripped Material
Pool cover materials naturally break down over time. From constant sun and chemical exposure to temperature variations and flying debris, there are several things that can lead to the degradation of your pool cover. If your pool cover has become cracked, torn, or ripped, it’s time to shop for a new one.
Dried Out Fabric
New pool covers are often supple and malleable. As they age, however, they become dried out and brittle, making them more susceptible to everyday wear and tear.
Seams Coming Apart
Most quality pool covers feature heat double or even triple-stitched seams. Unfortunately, even the most well-sewn cover will have threaded seams that begin to unravel or deteriorate over time. This is another obvious sign it’s time for a replacement.
The good news, replacing a pool cover is a relatively easy process. Unlike a pool filter or pool drain cover replacement, you don’t have to drain the pool or perform any tedious work. In fact, most new covers can be installed in no time at all.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Pool Cover
Selecting the best pool cover for your pool, budget, and needs isn’t easy. The good news is there are certain factors to keep in mind when making your decision to help you make the right one.
There are a variety of pools and even more pool covers of all types and sizes. If you have a 24-foot round above ground pool, you need a pool cover designed to fit it. You need a 24-foot round above ground pool cover. This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how many new pool owners get hung up on features and forget to check the basics.
Unless you don’t mind useless spending, chances are you want your pool cover to last as long as possible. The best pool covers feature not one but two or more layers of tough, durable nylon or polyethylene for maximum protection. Double or triple-stitched seams, durable metal grommets, and solid anchoring systems are also a big plus.
- Ease of Use
You don’t want to spend hours fumbling around outside in the hot sun, so it’s important to choose a pool cover that’s easy to put on, take off, and store.
The looks of a pool cover may not be a big deal to some, but the aesthetics of a pool cover can make a big difference in the look and feel of your backyard. After all, you don’t want a bunch of visible rails surrounding your pool or five inches of ugly foam on top.
The price of a pool cover is another factor to consider. Typically, a standard size winter cover will be much less than a custom safety cover. The key is to determine your budget and find a cover with the right balance of features and materials that lies within it. The good news is there are several terrific pool covers out there with terrific price tags as well.
Pool Cover FAQ
As experts on pool covers and everything pool-related, we receive a number of questions about pool covers. However, some questions are more common than others and seem to pop up time and time again.
Q: Can a rectangle cover fit a non-rectangular pool?
A: No. For proper safety and protection, you should always use a cover that fits the dimensions of your pool.
Q: Do pool covers require professional installation?
A: Not at all. In fact, a number of top-quality pool covers can be installed and removed in no time at all by anyone with a few tools and a little common sense.
Q: Can you walk on a pool cover?
A: Yes and no. Some pool covers are designed to support considerable weight, but none of them are actually made to be walked on. Doing so may damage the cover or result in injury.
Q: How long do pool covers last?
A: Pool covers last anywhere from one season to several years. In fact, some pool covers have warranties as long as 12 years!
Where to Buy the Best Pool Cover
You can purchase a pool cover at a number of places online and offline as well. If you like spending your Saturday going from store to store and wandering down aisle after aisle, then you’ll be happy to know you can find pool covers at several brick and mortar stores, such as Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot, and your local pool store.
That being said, buying online is definitely the way to go. In fact, there are several places you can go in the click of a button to find quality, cheap pool covers that will last for years and not break the bank.
When shopping for pool covers online, Amazon is usually the best option. Not only can you find every pool cover under the sun, but they often have discounts and the best prices.
Manufacturer websites are also worth checking out. Occasionally, they offer direct wholesale pricing that’s tough to beat.
Hot Tub Covers
Like pools, hot tubs are pricy items worth protecting, and there are a number of reasons to pick out a quality cover for your spa.
First of all, hot tub covers are terrific safety features, especially if you have small children or pets. In fact, hot tub covers help save hundreds of children from accidental drowning each year.
Hot tub covers also protect the hot tubs themselves from damage caused by severe storms and strong winds. The best hot tub covers are designed to withstand hurricane-force winds and stay perfectly in place. Of course, covering your hot tub will also help keep the water clean and free of leaves and debris.
Last but not least, a hot tub cover will save you money. That’s right; if you spend any time reading hot tub cover reviews, you’ll find that many covers are actually designed to trap the heat in, which means less work for the pump and your pocketbook.
Click here to learn more about hot tubs and hot tub covers!
Making the Decision
If you’ve refilled your coffee and managed to read this entire guide, then you can feel confident you now know enough about the topic to choose the very best pool covers for you and your pool.
With the safety of your children and the protection of your pool on the line, there’s no time like now to purchase a great pool cover and protect the people and things you love.
So, think about your pool, consider your needs, and buy a top-quality pool cover to protect your pool, ensure the safety of your little ones, and keep your pool clean and ready for summer fun!