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!
- 1 Our Recommended Pool Covers
- 2 10 Best Pool Covers:
- 2.1 1. Blue Wave Rectangular In-Ground Pool Safety Cover
- 2.2 2. Loop-Loc 20 x 40 Rectangle Safety Pool Cover
- 2.3 3. Water Warden 20 x 40 Pool Safety Cover
- 2.4 4. YARD GUARD 18 x 36 + 8′ Center End Steps Pool Safety Cover
- 2.5 5. Meyco 20 x 40 Rectangle Safety Pool Cover
- 2.6 6. Blue Wave Bronze 18-Foot Round Above Ground Pool Winter Cover
- 2.7 7. PoolTux 30-Foot Round Winter Pool Cover for Round Above Ground Swimming Pools
- 2.8 8. In The Swim 24 Foot Round Pool Value Winter Cover for Above Ground Pools
- 2.9 9. Swimline 18-Foot Round Above Ground Swimming Pool Leaf Net Top Cover
- 2.10 10. Buffalo Blizzard Deluxe Blue/Black Reversible Winter Cover
- 3 Why Need a Pool Cover?
- 4 Different Types of Pool Covers
- 5 Tips on Choosing the Best Pool Cover
- 6 How to Clean and Maintain Your Pool Cover
- 7 Pool Cover Accessories
- 8 When to Replace Your Pool Cover
- 9 Factors to Consider When Buying a Pool Cover
- 10 Pool Cover FAQ
- 11 Where to Buy the Best Pool Cover
- 12 Hot Tub Covers
- 13 Making the Decision
Our Recommended Pool Covers
- Our Rating:
- Dimensions – 20 x 40 feet
Material – Heavyweight two-ply vinyl mesh
- Our Rating:
- 20 x 40 Rectangle Loop-Loc Safety Pool Cover
Polyester bonded mesh with 95 percent shade rating
10 Best Pool Covers:
Why Need a Pool Cover?
From keeping the leaves or freezing air out to keep 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. Even if you have a small kiddie pool – pool cover or pool alarm is a must.
- 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 round pool cover, there is 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 hardtop 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 at 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 hardcover for the 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 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.
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.
The retractable pool covers feature track guides and rollers that essentially open and closes 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.
Tips on Choosing the Best Pool Cover
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 cover 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 a 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.
Pool Cover Accessories
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 an 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 a brass anchor and steel spring systems. While most covers come with anchors and 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.
- Type and Size of Your Pool
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 pools 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.
Can a rectangle cover fit a non-rectangular pool?
No. For proper safety and protection, you should always use a cover that fits the dimensions of your pool.
Do pool covers require professional installation?
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.
Can you walk on a pool cover?
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.
How long do pool covers last?
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 the 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.
Learn more about 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!