The pool is an excellent place to exercise, escape the heat or just have fun. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can make your outdoor pool a less enjoyable place.
Standing water attracts insects, and no one wants to swim around with a bunch of dead bugs. Dirt and other debris may be deposited by the wind. If your pool is situated near a tree, you may find leaves and twigs in your pool. In some cases, the tree could even drip sap into your pool!
If your water gets too dirty, you may have to drain your pool and refill it. Not only does this waste time, but it also uses a lot of water as well, which can increase your water bill.
Buying a pool cover is an easy way to avoid all that. As long as you replace the cover every time you use the pool, you can avoid most of the pollutants, allowing you to reuse the water for a much longer period.
Pool covers have other advantages as well. They absorb heat from the sun, which helps to keep the water in your pool at a comfortable temperature, especially when the temperature starts to drop. They also keep the inside of your pool clean if you have to drain your pool in the winter, preventing dirt and debris from accumulating in the winter.
Obviously, there are a lot of reasons to want to buy a pool cover. But how do you choose the right one?
Things to Consider
Picking out a good pool cover isn’t too difficult, and there’s not much to worry about. Although your main concerns are going to be the size and material of the pool cover, there are a few other things you might want to think about as well.
Pool covers are not one-size fits all. Perhaps the most critical thing to pay attention to is the size of the cover. Make sure you know the dimensions of your pool before you buy, and try not to buy a cover that is too large for your pool.
Although there are exceptions, above-ground pools typically come in two shapes – rectangular and round. There might be exceptions to this rule, but they will be exceedingly rare. Naturally, you’ll want a pool cover that is the same shape as your pool.
The type of material used in your pool cover determines how durable it is, long you can expect it to last, and how much heat you can expect it to absorb (or reflect).
Some pool covers are designed to fit snugly on the rim of your pool, and won’t leave much margin for error. Others are designed to lap over the rim. This is largely a matter of preference.
Pricing isn’t a major consideration where pool covers are concerned. While you might have a few different option for each different size of the pool cover, there shouldn’t be enough of a difference to influence your decision dramatically.
The Best Above Ground Pool Winter Covers
- Solar cover helps rise the temperature of your pool
- Made with durable 160 micron plastic
- PRICE RANGE: Under $50
- Solar cover helps rise the temperature of your pool
- Made with durable 160 micron plastic
- PRICE RANGE: Under $50
It’s hard to recommend a single pool cover above all the rest, because pools come in a wide variety of sizes and are not one-size fits all.
However, I am recommending the Intex Solar Cover for 18ft X 9ft Rectangular Frame because it is a perfect example of what qualities to look for in a pool cover. The pool cover is available in different sizes, so if your pool is 18 x 9, you can look for an Intex pool cover that is.
Best Above-Ground Winter Pool Covers Under $50
Intex Solar Cover for 18ft X 9ft Rectangular Frame Pools
Trying to review pool covers is a surprisingly challenging assignment. Most products are easy to review in one way or another. If you’re trying different vacuum cleaners, the results are easy to observe. If you’re reviewing an elliptical, you spend a little time learning the features of the device.
Pool covers are different because their worth is completely dependent on the size of your pool. A 24 foot round pool cover simply won’t be any use to a 15 x 30-foot rectangular pool. This Intex Solar Cover is designed to fit an 18 x 9-foot rectangular pool. It is made with 160 micron, which helps to keep the water in your pool warmer, making your swimming sessions a little more comfortable.
The pool cover comes with a carrying bag, making it easy to store the cover when the pool is drained and not in use. It weighs about five and a half pounds.
Buffalo Blizzard Deluxe Winter Cover
If you have a round swimming pool, this cover from Snow2Winter could be just what you’re looking for. Measuring 28 feet in circumference, this pool cover has a four-foot overhang, so it could be used to cover larger pools than this.
The cover is made with triple-laminated polyethene that has been treated with UV protection, so it doesn’t degrade in the sun. It comes with a cable and winch to help you cover the pool; there are double grommets every three feet to help get the job done.
The pool cover comes with a 12-year limited warranty, three years of which are a full warranty. The materials used are pretty thin and might have trouble standing up to things like twigs or rocks that might hit it. For the price, however, this is a pretty good pool cover.
Best Above-Ground Winter Pool Covers Under $100
Blue Wave Gold 15-ft x 30-ft Oval Above Ground Pool Winter Cover
Blue Wave is one of the leading makers of winter pool covers, and this 15 x 30 cover is excellent. It’s specifically designed for an oval pool, although with its four-foot overlap, you might be able to use it for a rectangular pool as well.
With the overlap, the cover measures 19 by 34 feet, so there’s plenty of extra covers to avoid rips and tears. The cover is made with polyethene and is designed to protect against the sun, wind and snow. It is designed to withstand UV rays and is backed by an impressive 25-year warranty, three of which offer full coverage.
The downside of all that is that this cover is fairly heavy. It weighs 24 pounds, which is just heavy enough that with its size, it’s a little clumsy to carry. Still, that extra weight makes it more durable, which I think is a fair trade-off.
Blue Wave NS110 8-mil Solar Blanket for Round Above-Ground Pools
Another excellent pool cover, this 18-foot solar blanket from Blue Wave doubles as a pool cover and as a solar blanket, trapping heat in your pool for a more comfortable experience. Thermal bubbles are layered throughout this cover, trapping heat inside and raising the temperature of the water inside by up to 15 degrees, depending on the intensity of the sunlight.
The cover is semi-transparent, allowing some of the sun’s rays to pass through, and the materials are UV-protected for longer life. Backed by a three-year warranty, this pool cover is sure to last. It isn’t very heavy, and even if it tears, the warranty will cover it.
The biggest problem is that it’s designed to fit snugly, which might stretch the materials a little bit. Still, a perfect cover.
Robelle 3421-4 Premier Winter Pool Cover
Like most round pool covers, this cover from Robelle offers an extra four feet of coverage for a total of 25 feet, making it easier to secure the cover to your poor.
The cover is made of polyethene and measures an inch and a half thick, providing you with the heavy-duty protection you need. It is also protected by a 15-year warranty, providing you with a surefire guarantee of the quality of this pool cover.
Again, the only real problem here is the weight, although it’s not nearly as heavy as the 28-foot pool cover. Weighing in at just under 15 pounds, this one is light enough that it’s large size isn’t too cumbersome.
Pool Mate PM Round Above Ground Swimming Pool Winter Cover
This 24-foot pool cover from Pool-Mate has a lot in common with most of the other round pool covers. It too has a four-foot overlap, making its total circumference 28 feet, and it’s specially designed to inhibit the growth of algae.
Durability is always a prime concern where pool covers are concerned. Pool-Mate heat sealed this pool cover to improve its performance, making it last longer and improving its resilience to weather. Grommets are placed every four feet, and a cable and winch are included. To top it all off, Pool-Mate backs their pool cover with a 12-year warranty.
There’s a good chance it’s not going to survive its warranty, especially if you live in a place with high seasons. Still, this is a good pool cover and well worth the money.
Pool Mate 5724-4 Sandstone Winter Pool Cover 24-ft.
A variation of the 3724-4-PM, the 5724-4 Sandstone Winter Cover from Pool-Mate offers the same reliable performance and is protected by the same extended warranty. Like the 3724-4-PM, the 7524-4 has also been heating sealed this pool cover to improve its performance, improving its durability and resilience.
There are grommets placed every four feet, and a cable and winch are included as well, making placing the cover a lot easier.Like the last pool cover, this is also backed by a 12-year warranty.
I’m still not sure this thing is ever going to last 12 years, but if you get three years out of it, that seems to be a good value to me.
Pool Mate 5724-4 Sandstone Winter Pool Cover 30-ft.
This Pool-Mate pool cover is the same as the previous cool cover, but it is sized up for a larger pool. In every other respect, it is the same quality product. What this means is that it’s been heated sealed for superior performance, durability and resilience.
Grommets are placed every four feet, and a cable and winch are included as well, so it’s easy to get the cover-up and in place. With a 30-foot circumference, that’s very handy. Like all Pool-Mate covers, a 12-year warranty is provided.
The materials are designed to impede the growth of algae, and the overlap and extra strength make laying down the cover a simple process.
Best Above-Ground Winter Pool Covers Under $150
Blue Wave 24-Feet Round Solar Blanket for Above Ground Pools
This solar blanket from Blue Wave is designed to absorb sunlight, helping to keep your pool warm in the winter months. It is made with a 12-gauge material (roughly 1/10th of an inch) for better durability and support. In addition to keeping out annoying particles, this solar blanket is also adept at channelling heat into your swimming pool.
For half the cost or less of a traditional solar heater, you can enjoy the same or similar results with this solar blanket and enjoy the bonus of keeping your pool cleaner. Best of all, Blue Wave backs the solar blanket with a five-year warranty.
The only downside is that the blanket is a little heavier than most pool covers, weighing over 22 pounds. Still, that’s a small price to pay for a warmer, cleaner pool.
Blue Wave Gold 15-Year 33-ft Round Above Ground Pool Winter Cover
Blue Wave makes perfect pool covers and backs them with impressive warranties. This 37-foot pool cover is one of the largest yet. It’s not real cheap, but it’s large and durable, and its designed to withstand all of the elements.
Like other pool covers, it’s made with UV-resistant woven polyethene. It’s also designed to retard the growth of algae, keeping your pool water cleaner and fresher. Like other covers, it is secured by metal grommets, and a cable and winch are provided to help you put it on.
With a 15-year warranty, three of which are fully covered, this pool cover is sure to keep your pool clean and algae-free for years to come. It does weigh 44 pounds, but with the size of it, that’s hard to avoid.
Unlike a lot of product reviews we do, the pool cover you end up purchasing today is going to depend on the size of your pool. However, as this article demonstrated, there are some brands out there, some of which offer features or warranties other pool cover lack. Happy shopping!
108 x 216 inches
18 x 9-foot