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Best solar pool covers 2021

Best solar pool covers 2021
(Image credit: Getty)

The best solar pool covers are the perfect solution to heating your pool without using electricity, plus these covers offer an effective way to keep leaves and bugs out of your pool when you’re not using it. 

In this guide, you’ll find our reviews of solar pool covers but first, what do you need to consider before you buy one? Most of the options we’ve included can be easily cut to size but you’ll want to get the best pool cover thickness you can find in order to keep your pool well insulated. Aim for a thickness between 12 and 16 millimeters. 

It’s worth noting that even the top pool covers won’t replace the job of the best pool heaters, but a good quality cover will trap in the heat and can increase the water temperature slightly. If you can, choose a cover that is black on the underside as these will do a better job of retaining heat and you’ll get more for your money. 

Make sure you have everything you need to make your pool safe and head to our guide covering the best pool alarms

1. In The Swim Ultra 16 Mil Solar Cover: Best solar pool cover overall

In The Swim Ultra 16 Mil Solar Cover

(Image credit: In The Swim)

In The Swim Ultra 16 Mil Solar Cover

The In The Swim Ultra solar pool cover is a great choice for value and durability.

Thickness: 16-mil | Size: 12-foot

Not many user reviews

The In The Swim Ultra 16 Mil Solar Cover is thick and durable, so it’s sure to withstand nature and keep your pool safe, clean, and warm. This solar pool cover is round-shaped and it has been designed to protect your pool and keep the water warm. 

The top layer of this blanket is made of polyethylene while the aluminized bottom layer with its tiny air-filled pockets keeps your water insulated. Your pool can be a full 10 to 15 degrees warmer thanks to this thick blanket. The aluminized bottom layer reflects heat back into the water so you’re not going to waste any sunlight.

This solar pool cover is excellent value for money considering its eight-year warranty and thickness of it. There aren’t many reviews for this cover, however, one user described it as ‘heavy-duty’. 

 2. In The Swim Premium 12 Mil: Best round solar pool cover 

In The Swim Premium 12 Mil solar cover

(Image credit: In The Swim)

In The Swim Premium 12 Mil

The In The Swim Premium solar pool cover is great for helping keep the heat in.

Thickness: 12-mil | Size: 12-foot

Good warranty 
No clear-colored option

The In The Swim Premium 12 Mil Solar Blanket is made of polyethylene and its thick material can raise the temperature of your pool by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. This can really help cut heating costs.

Raised air pockets on the surface of this thick blanket prevent your pool water from evaporating and protect it from things like falling tree branches or garbage - not to mention small, unwanted insect visitors. The air bubbles also trap heat and keep your pool warm. The thickness of this solar blanket means it’s pretty durable but the real winner is the impressive seven-year warranty to give you added peace of mind. 

This solar pool cover also has UV-stabilized resin to prevent excess damage from the sun. If your pool isn’t round, that’s not an issue either as you can cut this pool cover to size. 

While there aren’t many reviews for the In The Swim 12 Mil Solar Pool Blanket, it scores an average of 4.5 out of five stars on the company’s website. Users state that it effectively warms the water. 

3. Sun2Solar 1200 Series Solar Pool Cover: Best solar pool cover for in-ground pools 

Sun2Solar 1200 Series Solar Pool Cover

(Image credit: Amazon)

Sun2Solar 1200 Series Solar Pool Cover

This pool cover is great for a wide variety of swimming pools.

Thickness: 16-mil | Size: 16 x 32-foot

Great for in-ground and above-ground pools

The Sun2Solar 1200 Series Solar Pool Cover is ideal for both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools. It's oval-shaped, however, you can cut it to suit your pool accordingly and this won't affect your warranty. 

The small air pockets on the underside of the blanket capture and send solar heat back into the water of your pool, keeping it warm even on cloudy days. You can choose a blue or clear blanket, however, we'd recommend the clear version as sunlight can travel directly into the water. 

It is, however, one of the most expensive solar pool covers that we’ve reviewed so there are cheaper alternatives available. In terms of user ratings, this Sun2Solar pool cover scores an average of 4.5 stars out of five on Amazon. Users that rate the solar pool cover highly comment on how they find it to be ‘strong enough that it won’t tear’. Others also found it to be durable and thick. Some users reported the bubbles began to come away after a couple of years of use. 

4. In The Swim Premium Plus: Best value solar pool cover  

In The Swim Premium Plus

(Image credit: In The Swim)

In The Swim Premium Plus

If you want the most for your money, this solar pool cover is a great choice.

Thickness: 12-mil | Size: 18-foot

Great value
Some negative user reviews

This solar blanket from In The Swim is 12-mil thick, so it’s going to easily keep your pool water warm. This particular model is oval-shaped, however, the brand does offer a range of shapes and sizes. 

With UV stabilized resin construction, it can withstand the sun’s rays, raising the temperature of your family pool up by 15 degrees. The small air bubbles on the bottom side of the blanket make it kind of look like bubble wrap, but bubbles paired with the thickness of the blanket work together to keep heat trapped in your pool and any bad weather.

An impressive seven-year warranty comes with this solar pool cover, and the seams have been reinforced to prevent rips. The In The Swim Premium Plus has an average user rating of 4.6 out of five on its website. Users praised how well this pool cover kept their pool warm, and some also mentioned how well it kept debris out of the pool too. Some users criticized the pool cover, stating it didn’t raise the temperature of the water.

5. Blue Wave NS120: Best solar pool cover for removal

Blue Wave NS120

(Image credit: Amazon)

Blue Wave NS120

The Blue Wave NS120 solar pool cover is easy to take off your pool.

Thickness: 8-mil | Size: 24-foot

Effectively warms up the water

The Blue Wave NS120 is a solar pool blanket that is made up of small bubbles that insulate your swimming pool and can improve the temperature of your pool by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Since this solar pool cover is going to be directly in the sunlight, it’s made to be resistant to the wear and tear from UV radiation, along with the chemicals that you treat your pool water with. The Blue Wave solar pool cover is one of the pricier options in our round up, however, for what you pay, you do get a three-year warranty. 

This solar pool cover is round so obviously won’t be suitable for square pools, and it has been designed for above-ground swimming pools. It does, however, claim to prevent up ‘to 95% of pool water and chemical evaporation’. This means you won’t have to spend as much money or time replenishing your pool. 

The Blue Wave NS120 scores an average of 3.7 out of five stars on Amazon. Users that loved this solar pool cover state it ‘raised the water temp over 20 degrees in a week’. Others suggested it was easy to take off the pool, and it was very durable. Criticisms come in the form of stating this solar pool cover is ‘thin’ and some users had issues with the bubbles popping and disintegrating. 

How do solar pool covers work?

The first way that solar pool covers work is nice and obvious. They protect your pool from the elements, such as rain, leaves, and other debris, and save you from more frequent cleaning sessions. 

The part that you may be wondering about, which involves solar power, involves capturing energy from the sun within the cover in order to maintain the pool’s temperature underneath. Solar pool covers can look like large sheets of bubble wrap, with those bubbles keeping the heat in their structures and enabling you to save money on heating up your pool for as long. Colors pay a part too, with many covers opting for clear upsides in order to attract heat, and black undersides in order to prevent it from escaping. 

Are solar pool covers safe?

Solar pool covers are safe to use and can be helpful in keeping your pool at a nice temperature, as well as keeping out debris. However, they’re not the only safeguarding measure you should take as part of your pool maintenance when it’s not in use. They need to be used together with other precautions, such as a pool net or fence, to prevent dangerous accidents from occurring. That’s especially important if you have young children or pets near the pool when it’s not in use.  

Sophie Bird

Sophie is Home Editor at Top Ten Reviews. Starting off her career in print journalism, Sophie then moved to digital and now specializes in lifestyle, home interiors and social media. While she has scooped awards for her journalism, Sophie likes to whip up a storm in the kitchen when she's not writing.