Best solar pool covers 2024: keep your pool warm

Best solar pool covers 2022
(Image credit: Getty)

Invest in one of the best solar pool covers, and keep your pool warm without spending excess cash. Designed to keep bugs out and prevent children or pets from coming to any harm when out of use, a reliable pool cover should be at the very top of your shopping list when it comes to your yard.

Having a well-insulated pool means you’ll spend a lot less on heating your water back up when you want to take a dip. There is a range of different thicknesses to choose from to find the cover that’s perfect for you. We recommend picking out a cover between 12 and 16 millimeters to get the quality you need.

We’ve handpicked the best solar pool covers below so you can compare your options depending on the features you need. Looking for durability? Or maybe you need a cover that’s easy to take off? We’ve got you covered on all bases so that you can retain heat all year round and use your cover hand in hand with the best pool heaters. 

While you’re here, why not stock up on your outdoor essentials with the best pool alarms, too?

The best solar pool covers we recommend in 2024

Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best round solar pool cover

In The Swim Premium 12 Mil solar cover

(Image credit: In The Swim)

1. 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

Reasons to buy

Good warranty 

Reasons to avoid

No clear-colored option

The In The Swim Premium 12 Mil Solar Blanket is made of polyethylene. Its thick material can raise the temperature of your pool by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit, which 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 that gives you added peace of mind. 

This solar pool cover also has UV-stabilized resin to prevent excess sun damage. If your pool isn’t round, that’s not an issue, 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. 

The best solar pool cover for in-ground pools

Sun2Solar 1200 Series Solar Pool Cover

(Image credit: Amazon)

2. 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

Reasons to buy

Great for in-ground and above-ground pools

Reasons to avoid


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

The small air pockets on the underside of the blanket capture and send solar heat back into your pool's water, keeping it warm even on cloudy days. You can choose a blue or clear blanket; however, we 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. Regarding user ratings, this Sun2Solar pool cover scores an average of 4.5 stars out of five on Amazon. Users who 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. 

The easiest to remove solar pool cover

Blue Wave NS120

(Image credit: Amazon)

3. Blue Wave NS120

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


Thickness: 8-mil
Size: 24-foot

Reasons to buy

Effectively warms up the water

Reasons to avoid


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

As a result of being left in direct sunlight, a solar pool cover must be made to be resistant to the wear and tear from UV radiation, along with the chemicals that you treat your pool water with. This is one of the pricier options in our round-up. However, you do get a three-year warranty, which provides peace of mind that your investment purchase will last.

This solar pool cover is round, so it won't be suitable for square pools. It has been designed for above-ground swimming pools. It does, however, claim to prevent 'up to 95% of pool water and chemical evaporation', so you won't have to worry about spending time or money replenishing it.

With an average rating of 3.7 out of five stars on Amazon, it's a solid choice. Users who loved the Blue Wave NS120 cover stated that it 'raised the water temp over 20 degrees in a week'. Others mentioned that it was easy to take off the pool and very durable. Some negative reviews said the cover is 'thin,' and some customers had issues with the bubbles popping and disintegrating.

The best lightweight solar pool cover

Image shows the Thermo-Tex Pool Cover.

(Image credit: Amazon.)

4. Thermo-Tex Pool Cover

The Thermo-Tex Pool Cover is a lightweight, beautifully-designed solar pool cover.


Thickness: 6 millimeters
Size: 16 x 12 feet

Reasons to buy

The lightweight design makes removal easy
Looks great on your pool
Keeps water evaporation at bay  

Reasons to avoid

Can be moved by the wind as its lightweight  

Are you fed up with jumping into a cold pool? The Thermo-Tex Pool Cover aims to make your pool a more pleasant temperature in all seasons. It's made from UV-stabilized polymers, so you can rest assured that the high quality will stand the test of time and withstand the elements. This will also protect your pool for longer and any negative effects your pool chemicals may have.

The lightweight design of this cover makes gaining access to the water much easier, so it's a great option for those who use their pool often. If you find yourself covering your pool solo, it will also make maneuvering it safer and smoother.

Reviews are overwhelmingly positive about this Thermo-Text cover, with many commenting on the noticeable difference it makes to their pool temperatures. One reviewer also mentioned that this cover has helped to prevent algae growth as less water evaporates within their pool. The three-year manufacturer's limited warranty also provides added peace of mind.

The best portable solar pool cover

Intertex blue solar pool cover in a round shape with white writing.

(Image credit: Amazon)

5. Intex Recreation 29025E

This solar cover is lightweight and easy to store.


Size: 18 ft

Reasons to buy

Includes carry bag for easy transportation
Easy to set up 

Reasons to avoid

Sits on the water, rather than attaching to the pool frame

The Intex Recreation 29025E is a vinyl solar pool cover, making it lightweight and easy to store, transport, and attach. It comes with a carry case, so you can move it to a garage or storage area with minimal effort. 

Air bubbles absorb and transfer sun heat into the pool water, resulting in a warmer water temperature that is much more pleasant to jump into. This cover reduces water evaporation by 95%, minimizing heat loss and how often you need to fill up the pool—better for your water bills and the environment. This cover will also keep debris out of your pool, so less upkeep is required when it comes to cleaning. 

It's 18ft and comes in a round design, making it a great choice for pools of the same shape and size. Reviews mention a downside being that it doesn't attach to the frame of the pool, inside just suctioning to the water itself, however there are no bad reviews mentioning that it lifts off or moves.

How to choose the best solar pool cover for you

The bare minimum your solar pool cover should do is keep your pool’s temperature from severely dropping by retaining the sun’s heat. Thickness and insulation are also essential so that less water evaporation occurs inside the pool. You also want a cover that will keep the direct sunlight from draining the chemicals that are working to clean your pool, as you’ll have to top those up more, if not, and run the risk of algae growing in their absence. 

Safety should be another crucial concern when looking for a pool cover. Options that are easy to put on correctly will prevent you from accidentally leaving your pool unprotected and, importantly, keep your pets and loved ones safe. Make sure that if your child or an animal were to step on top of your cover accidentally, it would be able to support their weight. 

Thickness is the last factor to think about on your buying journey. While a thicker cover will do a better job retaining heat, these tend to be more expensive and more of a task to take on and off.

Solar pool covers FAQs

How does a solar pool cover work?

Solar pool covers take the sun's heat and transfer it to your pool's water. They do that by having lots of air pockets, and those pockets work rather like little greenhouses: the air inside them gets heated by the sun, and they're designed to retain and transmit that heat to the water below them. 

In addition to their warming effect, which can sometimes increase your water temperature by double figures, they act like normal pool covers and keep the heat in. Without a cover, the heat from your pool water will escape upwards, but by covering it, you can massively slow down that process so that your water is nice and toasty when it's time to go for a dip. 

How fast does a solar cover heat a pool?

That depends on the size of your pool and the sun's heat, but as a rule of thumb, the peak heating effect will take roughly six hours in high summer when the sun is hot, and your pool isn't in the shade. 

Can you run a pool pump with a solar cover on?

Yes, you can. And you should because you'll be speeding up the heating process and reducing heat loss in the air. There's another benefit, too, which is that by keeping the pool covered while it heats, you're preventing things such as leaves from blowing onto it.

Which way up does a solar pool cover go?

You should place your solar pool cover with its bubbles facing downwards. That means the air inside the bubbles is closer to the water, so you'll get the maximum benefit from its retained heat.

Are solar pool covers recyclable?

That depends very much on where you live (some places have better recycling facilities than others), the manufacturer, and the materials used, but many manufacturers make their covers from recyclable plastics.

If you're thinking green, it's also important to consider the lifespan of your solar pool cover. A super-cheap model might only last for a single season before needing to be replaced, so over a few years, its environmental footprint would be larger than that of a better-made model.

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.

With contributions from