The 7 Best Solar Pool Covers

By Kami Turky


There are dozens of solar pool covers available in the market today, each claiming to be the best solution for your pool’s needs.

However, finding the perfect fit requires more than just skimming through product descriptions.

That’s why I’ve tested over 36 different models, comparing their durability, heat retention, UV resistance, and ease of use. 

In this guide, I’ll share my top picks and insights to help you make an informed decision for your pool and ensure you get the best value for your money.

The Best Solar Pool Covers Selection

Editor’s Choice: Sun2Solar Blue Solar Cover


  • Material: Resin
  • Size: 16′ x 32′ 
  • Color: Blue

The Sun2Solar Blue Solar Cover comes with the 1,200 series that refers to the cover’s micron thickness, denoting its strength and durability.

This thickness indicates the cover’s high resistance to UV degradation, harsh pool chemicals, and physical abrasions from external elements.

The cover’s blue color also serves a dual purpose: aesthetically, it provides a pleasing hue that blends seamlessly with the water, creating an inviting look for the pool. 

Functionally, the blue tone optimizes the absorption of sunlight, enhancing the cover’s ability to harness solar energy and convert it into heat. 

This ensures a warmer pool, reducing the evaporation of up to 95% due to the efficient insulating properties of the cover, which acts as a barrier against external elements and prevents heat loss.

I use this model for my own 15′ x 30′ rectangular in-ground pool along with my solar pool heating system. 

Although the solar heating system could raise the pool temperature by several degrees during sunny days, I often faced challenges in retaining that warmth, especially during the cooler nights or overcast days.

When I set up the cover for my pool, I recorded a consistent increase in water temperature, averaging between 10-12 degrees higher than the previous month without the cover.

I also set up a calibrated water level marker to monitor the evaporation rate – the data indicated that water evaporation had reduced by almost 75% within just the first 2 weeks of using the cover. 

This not only translated to less frequent water refilling but also a considerable saving in water bills.

Furthermore, my pool’s chlorine levels remained more stable due to the cover’s ability to block a substantial amount of UV light. 

Since direct sunlight breaks down chlorine rapidly, the cover played a pivotal role in preserving its concentration.

To make the cover fit my pool perfectly, I decided to trim the excess length from the 16′ x 32′ cover to match my pool’s 15′ x 30′ dimensions. 

Before making any cuts, I measured and marked the areas to trim, leaving an additional 2-inch buffer to account for any miscalculations.

However, I have one issue with the material of this model. 

After consistent use, especially during the intense sunny days of summer, I began to notice some of the bubbles on the cover starting to deflate or become less pronounced. 

This means that the bubbles were either getting punctured or were wearing out faster than expected.

Despite this minor setback, the overall advantages of the Sun2Solar Blue Solar Cover far outweighed this singular issue. The benefits in terms of energy conservation, water retention, and maintaining stable chlorine levels are impressive.

What We Like

  • 1,200 series micron thickness
  • Blue design blends with pool and aids heating
  • Reduces evaporation up to 95%
  • Protects chlorine from UV light degradation

What We Don’t Like

  • Bubbles degrade under intense sunlight

Runner up: Blue Wave Solar Cover


  • Material: Plastic
  • Size: 16′ x 32′ 
  • Color: Clear
  • Warranty: 6-year

The Blue Wave Solar Cover is 14-mil thick, which makes it withstand the daily wear and tear from the elements, ensuring longevity and consistent performance throughout the seasons.

This thickness also enhances the cover’s ability to trap and retain the sun’s heat effectively. 

As sunlight penetrates the cover, it gets absorbed and converted into warmth, raising the pool’s water temperature by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit

The insulating thermal bubbles within the blanket further minimize heat loss, preventing up to 95% of pool water and chemical evaporation.

I decided to test this model on my parents’ in-ground pool who live in Flagstaff, Arizona, a place known for its elevated altitude and surprisingly cooler temperatures at night. 

Within the initial 2 weeks, I made notes of every little change and variation to truly gauge its efficiency.

On the first day, I noted a subtle increase of 2 degrees Fahrenheit – the water was initially at 68°F in the early morning and reached 70°F by late afternoon.

By the third day, with a few more sunny intervals, there was a more pronounced rise, reaching up to 74°F

On the fifth day, I started to observe the water evaporation rates which were reduced by about 40% compared to their previous rates without the solar cover.

On the eighth day, I decided to test the chemical balance of the pool. 

Typically, my parents would need to add about 2-3 chlorine tablets a week due to rapid dissipation, but with the solar cover in place, they only needed one tablet for the entire week.

By the end of the second week, the pool’s temperature consistently hovered around the 76°F mark. 

I also calculated a potential savings of around 30% on monthly pool-related expenses, taking into account water refills, heating, and chemicals.

The 6-year warranty period adds a layer of reassurance to the purchase. It’s a testament to the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s durability and longevity.

One issue with this cover can be the clear design. While it allows for optimal sunlight penetration to heat the pool, it lacks the UV protection that some tinted or darker covers provide. 

This could lead to faster degradation of pool chemicals, especially chlorine, which breaks down more rapidly under UV light.

Storing the cover can also pose a challenge. Given its 14-mil thickness, it may not roll up as easily or compactly as some other models. 

And without a proper storage mechanism or reel, it can become prone to folds and creases, which, over time, might weaken the material and lead to tears.

All in all, I still find the Blue Wave Solar Cover effective in maximizing the pool’s warmth, conserving water, and the ability to retain the sun’s heat which means longer swimming seasons, even in cooler climates.

What We Like

  • 14-mil thickness ensures durability
  • Efficient sunlight penetration for optimal heating
  • Reduces evaporation by up to 95%
  • 6-year warranty

What We Don’t Like

  • Clear design lacks UV protection for chemicals
  • Difficult to roll up due to its thickness

Best Bang for the Buck: BigXwell Solar Pool Cover


  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Size: 6′ x 6′ 
  • Color: Blue

Sometimes we want something with a low price but without compromising on quality. The BigXwell Solar Pool Cover is a testament to this philosophy, offering a 16-mil thick Polyethylene layer that spans a size of 6′ x 6′

The blue color, combined with the thousands of thermal bubbles embedded within, works wonders in absorbing and retaining sunlight. 

These bubbles trap the sun’s heat and amplify it, making it possible to raise the pool’s water temperature by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit on sun-drenched summer days. 

But it’s not just about the heat; on cloudier days or during cooler nights, the thermal bubbles act as insulating agents, maintaining a stable temperature.

I have a small cabin in upstate New York with a compact pool in the backyard, so I decided to give this model a shot.

Before using the solar pool cover, the morning water temperature ranged around a brisk 60°F and I was adding close to 50 gallons of water every week to make up for the evaporation.

However, after using the cover I started to notice that the morning water temperature had consistently risen to around 70°F, a significant 10-degree jump from the previous average. 

My weekly water replenishment was cut by nearly half, with only about 25 gallons needed. 

My pool’s size is about 12′ x 12′, so I used two BigXwell Solar Pool Covers side by side to get optimal coverage. 

The covers overlapped slightly in the center, ensuring there were no gaps through which heat could escape.

My only gripe with the cover was the absence of an easy-to-use retrieval system. Pulling off the covers in the morning became somewhat an issue, especially when they were wet and heavy. 

To overcome this issue, I had to invest in a solar cover reel to make the process smoother.

However, for the low price point and the significant benefits it brought, I can’t really complain too much. It’s more than enough to make my summer swims enjoyable and reduce the maintenance hassles.

What We Like

  • Made of sturdy 16-mil thick Polyethylene
  • Blue design blends with pool and aids heating
  • Reduces evaporation up to 95%
  • Protects chlorine from UV light degradation

What We Don’t Like

  • Lacks an easy retrieval system

Best for Hot Tubs: Spa Depot Solar Cover


  • Size: 7′ x 7′ 
  • Color: Blue

The Spa Depot Solar Cover is a heavy-duty solution with 16-mil thickness, ensuring high insulation and optimal thermal retention for hot tubs.

Designed as a Thermo-Float bubble cover, it works by trapping the sun’s heat using its bubble structure and then distributing this warmth uniformly across the water’s surface. 

This efficient heat absorption and distribution mechanism prevents rapid heat loss, ensuring the hot tub remains at a consistent temperature for longer durations.

In my backyard, I have a small square-shaped hot tub that measures 6′ x 6′ – I usually use it in winter to have a warm retreat from the frosty air and the stress of daily life. 

I tested the Spa Depot Solar Cover for a solid 3 weeks and during this period, I documented the water temperature each evening. 

Before using the cover, the average temperature fluctuation was around 7°F throughout the course of the night. However, with the solar cover in place, the temperature variance was reduced to just 2°F.

Moreover, I took note of the water level each day to and over the span of the 3 weeks, I observed a 60% decrease in water loss compared to the previous months without the cover. 

In terms of energy savings, my hot tub’s heater was working notably less – after reviewing my utility bill, I calculated about 15% reduction in energy consumption.

One drawback is that the cover might not float perfectly flat on the water’s surface at times, especially when there are disturbances like water jets or bubbles. 

This could leave small gaps or pockets between the cover and the water, which might compromise the insulation slightly.

However, this minor issue won’t deter me from recommending the Spa Depot Solar Cover. Its advantages, from energy savings to water conservation and heat retention makes it an essential accessory for any hot tub owner.

What We Like

  • 16-mil thickness offers great thermal retention
  • Easily trimmable to fit various tub sizes
  • Sturdy and durable design
  • Reduces evaporation up to 95%

What We Don’t Like

  • Doesn’t always sit flat on water

Best Round Cover: INTEX 28015E Solar Pool Cover


  • Material: Vinyl
  • Size: 18′ 
  • Color: Blue

The INTEX 28015E Solar Pool Cover is made from durable vinyl which can withstand harsh weather conditions, frequent use, and the wear and tear of prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Its blue color also plays a pivotal role in the heating process. In the spectrum of colors, blue has a shorter wavelength and is known to absorb solar radiation effectively. 

When the blue cover is exposed to sunlight, it efficiently captures the sun’s rays and transforms them into heat. This thermal energy is then transferred to the pool water beneath the cover. 

I tested this cover for a close friend of mine, Tom, who had been searching for an efficient way to keep his 18-foot round pool warm, especially during the cooler months. 

As usual, I brought my digital thermometer and a notebook to track our findings and I recorded an initial reading of about 62°F

Within the first 3 days of using the cover, the temperature showed a noticeable climb, reaching 67°F

Even on cloudier days, the recorded temperature consistently remained around 64°F, indicating only a marginal 1-2°F drop compared to sunny days.

After 3 weeks of daily temperature checks and observations, we came up with these numbers: the pool had an average temperature increase of 10°F, a reduction in evaporation by 40%, and a 25% decrease in the chemical consumption.

One problem we faced with this cover is that it lacks a proper anchoring system. On windy days, we noticed that the cover could be easily lifted or shifted from its position on the pool’s surface.

To solve this, we invested in a set of heavy-duty pool cover clips and weights. These clips securely fastened the cover to the pool’s edges, ensuring it remained in place even during gusty conditions.

Anyways, while the INTEX 28015E Solar Pool Cover had its challenges, the overall benefits in terms of heating efficiency and cost savings are still significant.

What We Like

  • Durable, weather-resistant vinyl
  • Blue color enhances solar heating
  • Reduces evaporation up to 95%
  • Stable temperatures on cloudy days

What We Don’t Like

  • No built-in anchoring system

Best UV Resistant: LXKCKJ Solar Cover


  • Material: Oxford cloth fabric
  • Size: 10′ 
  • Color: Black

The LXKCKJ Solar Cover is made from black Oxford cloth fabric, which gives it a special ability to withstand the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.

The Oxford cloth is a type of fabric that is woven in a basketweave pattern, typically using two yarns that are intertwined together.

This method of weaving gives Oxford cloth its high density, which in turn provides an effective barrier against various environmental factors. 

Firstly, it serves as a shield, reducing the amount of UV radiation that can penetrate through to the pool or objects underneath. 

Secondly, the fabric’s tight structure ensures that it acts as a robust defense against other external contaminants like dust, leaves, and debris. 

This not only keeps the pool cleaner but also decreases the frequency and intensity of maintenance required.

The black hue of the cover amplifies its solar absorption efficiency. As we know, black lies in the spectrum where it absorbs all wavelengths of light and reflects none. 

This characteristic means that a black object, like this solar cover, will take in and retain more heat compared to lighter-colored counterparts. 

My sister resides in Arizona, where the sun blazes intensely and the UV index is consistently high. Given that she has a medium-sized pool, I suggested to install this model for her. 

Installation was a breeze, and the drawstring design ensured that the cover remained stable and didn’t blow away – an issue she faced with her old cover, especially during Arizona’s windy days.

I stayed for 2 weeks to observe the performance and I noticed about a 15% reduction in the amount of debris and leaves that settled into the pool compared to her previous cover. 

This might not sound like a huge difference, but when I did the math, this reduction meant saving roughly 4 hours of cleaning time in a week.

I also recorded a consistent increase in the pool’s water temperature, averaging around 4 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than before. 

This solar cover can also prevent evaporation losses by up to 90%, which is a great feature for hot climates like Arizona, Nevada, and New Mexico. 

When I calculated the evaporation losses in our case, I found that the cover prevented up to 70% of the usual water loss, translating to a savings of around 800 gallons over the span of two weeks.

The cover comes with multiple pull tabs for ease of installation and removal.

These tabs combined with the 4 pieces of ground studs and buttons provided, ensure that the solar cover remains securely in place against winds.

However, I felt like the cover needs around 6-8 studs and buttons rather than just the 4 provided, especially for larger pools or in areas with frequent high gusts. 

This would offer an even more robust anchoring system, ensuring utmost stability and peace of mind for the user.

Overall, the LXKCKJ Solar Cover stands out as a top-tier product, especially for those residing in regions with high UV exposure.

What We Like

  • UV-resistant Oxford cloth fabric
  • Dense weave for dirt protection
  • Black design for optimal solar absorption
  • Convenient pull tabs for easy installation
  • Ground studs and buttons for stability
  • Comes with a storage bag

What We Don’t Like

  • Needs more than 4 studs for larger pools
  • Limited size options

Best Solar Rings: Solar Sun Rings Solar Pool Heater


  • Material: Vinyl
  • Size: 5′ 
  • Color: Blue

The Solar Sun Rings are made from two layers of U.V. resistant vinyl which differ significantly from traditional solar blankets. 

While both aim to harness the sun’s energy to heat pool water, their design and function vary. 

The clear upper layer of the Solar Sun Ring is designed to focus sunlight onto its bottom blue layer, which then absorbs about 50% of the sunlight, converting it into heat. 

The remaining sunlight filters directly through the ring, ensuring deeper water heating. 

And instead of a full coverage that blankets offer, these rings are individual discs floating on the pool’s surface. 

They can be linked together using built-in magnets, providing customizable coverage based on the pool’s size and the your preference. 

This modular approach ensures they integrate well with automatic pool cleaners, minimizing disruptions in pool maintenance. 

I tested this model for my 15′ x 30′ rectangular in-ground pool over a span of 3 weeks during the peak of summer. 

Initially, my pool’s average temperature was hovering around 72°F in the mornings and then I monitored the temperature daily using a digital pool thermometer.

By the end of the first week, I was impressed to note a 5°F increase, bringing the morning temperature to a more comfortable 77°F.

In my observation, the pool’s evaporation rate also seemed to reduce – during the hot months, I’d add water to my pool almost every third day. 

However, with the rings in place, this frequency reduced to once a week. Based on my rough calculations, this equated to a water saving of approximately 600 gallons over the 3 weeks.

I also tested it with an automatic pool cleaner, specifically a popular model, the “AquaBot Turbo T2.” – I wanted to see if there would be any interference or disruption. 

Over a 10-day period, I ran the cleaner for 3 hours daily during the late afternoons, keeping a close watch on its interaction with the Solar Sun Rings. 

I noticed that out of the 30 hours of operation, there were only two instances, totaling 11 minutes, where the cleaner got caught on the edge of a ring.

However, the cleaner’s smart navigation system promptly corrected its course – this affected its efficiency by less than 0.7% due to the presence of the rings. 

During the testing period, it collected about 4.5 pounds of debris daily, just slightly less than the 4.8 pounds without the rings.

But it wasn’t all smooth sailing – since the rings can only cover 70-80% of the pool’s surface, there’s potential for some heat loss, especially at night. This can lead to high evaporation rates, resulting in a significant loss of water over time. 

Additionally, the increased evaporation can lead to a higher demand for pool chemicals, increasing the maintenance costs and frequency of pool care sessions.

Despite these challenges, the benefits of the Solar Sun Rings far outweighed the negatives in my experience. The ease of deployment, ability to work with pool cleaners, and the energy savings makes it a worthy investment for any pool.

What We Like

  • Durable U.V. resistant vinyl material
  • Efficient sunlight absorption of up to 50%
  • Modular design for easy handling
  • Customizable pool coverage with magnets
  • Compatible with automatic pool cleaners

What We Don’t Like

  • Covers only 70-80% of the pool

What Factors to Consider to Choose the Best Solar Pool Cover?

1. Your Pool’s Size

The first thing you need to consider when choosing a solar pool cover is the size of your pool.

A solar cover that’s too small for your pool won’t effectively trap heat or prevent evaporation, since exposed areas lead to significant heat loss. 

Any unprotected segments of the pool can also collect debris, increasing the cleaning and maintenance required.

On the other hand, a cover that’s too large will require trimming and careful calculations to ensure it fits snugly. 

And in case you make any mistakes during the trimming process, you risk ending up with a cover that’s uneven or, even worse, still too small for the pool.

This is why your measurements should be exact. It’d be better if you measured the pool’s dimensions multiple times and from different angles to ensure accuracy.

But if you ever need to choose between two sizes, it’s generally advisable to opt for the larger size. 

This provides you with a little leeway, and with careful trimming, you can achieve a perfect fit for your pool, ensuring maximum efficiency from your solar cover.

2. The Solar Cover Thickness

The thickness of a solar pool cover plays a significant role in its ability to withstand UV degradation, ensure optimal heat retention, and resist physical wear and tear.

There are two popular options: the 14-mil and 16-mil covers, each with its own set of advantages.

The 14-mil cover is relatively lighter, making it easier to handle and install. 

It also provides efficient heat retention and is often suitable for regions with milder climate variations such as our pick Blue Wave Solar Cover.

On the other hand, the 16-mil cover, being thicker, offers more durability and better heat retention, making it ideal for areas with colder nights or more drastic temperature shifts. 

Moreover, its increased thickness means it’s less prone to wear and tear, potentially offering a longer lifespan such as BigXwell Solar Cover or Spa Depot Solar Cover.

However, it might be a bit more challenging to manage due to its weight, requiring the use of a reel system or additional hands for installation and removal.

In my selection process, I’ve made sure to include various options catering to different needs and climates, so you can choose the perfect fit for your pool environment.

3. The Solar Cover Color 

These two parameters, the color of the solar pool cover and its air bubble design, directly affect heat absorption, heat retention, pool temperature, and the cover’s durability.

Firstly, the color of the cover plays an important role in determining its heat absorption capacity. 

Darker colors, especially shades of blue and black, have a higher propensity to absorb sunlight. 

When the sun’s rays strike these darker covers, they are absorbed and converted into heat, which is then transferred to the pool water. 

This makes them particularly effective in areas where the primary goal is to increase the water temperature, especially during cooler months or in regions with milder summers. 

On the flip side, lighter colors like silver or clear tend to reflect a good amount of sunlight, minimizing excessive heat absorption. 

This can be a boon in regions with intensely hot summers where the goal might be to avoid overheating the pool.

I personally prefer blue solar covers because of their balanced capability to absorb a significant amount of sunlight while reflecting just enough to prevent overheating during the peak of summer. 

4. Material & Quality

The material of the solar cover determines how long it can effectively serve its purpose, resist wear and tear, and maintain its structural integrity under various conditions.

Most solar covers are made from polyethylene or vinyl, each offering distinct advantages and considerations.

Polyethylene is lightweight and cost-effective, making it a popular choice among pool owners such as our pick the BigXwell Solar Pool Cover.

The inherent chemical resistance of polyethylene also ensures that it isn’t easily degraded by common pool chemicals, which prolongs their lifespan. 

However, they might not be as durable as the other options, especially when exposed to prolonged direct sunlight without UV protection.

Vinyl, on the other hand, boasts a thicker composition, which translates to more durability and better heat retention, such as the INTEX 28015E Solar Pool Cover.

This thickness means vinyl covers might be slightly heavier and more on the expensive side, but the longevity and performance they offer often justify the investment.

I’ve tested every item on this list and made sure that they all meet a certain quality standard and won’t face any trouble during installation, shipping, or even regular use.

5. Warranty

You should always look for a solar cover that has some sort of warranty attached to it. 

A warranty not only provides peace of mind but is also a testament to the manufacturer’s confidence in the product’s durability and performance.

Some models may have a standard one-year warranty, while others might boast extended warranties of up to 6 years or more such as the Blue Wave Solar Cover.

You should also to delve deeper into the specifics of the warranty. Some cover only manufacturing defects, while other warranties might include protection against premature wear and tear or even damage from environmental factors. 

In addition to the warranty details, looking into any added perks or services that come along with the purchase can be beneficial. 

Some companies might offer free installation, maintenance tips, or even discounts on future purchases as part of their commitment to customer care.

In this list, I’ve made it a priority to include solar pool heaters that offer at least a 30-day money-back guarantee

So you can try them out, experience firsthand how they function in your unique setup, and make a more informed judgment.


What Is the Best Thickness for Solar Pool Covers?

The best thickness for solar pool covers is between 14-mil to 16-mil, depending on climate and durability needs.

How Big Should a Solar Pool Cover Be?

A solar pool cover should be the same as or slightly larger than the dimensions of your pool to ensure complete coverage and allow for any necessary trimming.

Are Solar Pool Covers Worth It?

Solar pool covers are worth it; they help in retaining heat, reducing evaporation, and saving on pool heating costs.


As promised, we’ve covered the best solar pool covers in the market, diving into their features, benefits, and what sets each apart. 

We’ve also considered the factors to keep in mind when making a purchase, ensuring that you make an informed decision based on your needs.

And if you ask me for my recommendation, I would go for the Sun2Solar Blue Solar Cover for its 1,200 series design, resin construction that ensures longevity, and its efficient heat-trapping capabilities, making it a standout in the market.

Do you still have any questions? Feel free to leave them in the comments below. 

Kami Turky

Kami is a solar engineer with nearly a decade of experience in researching, testing, and reviewing various solar products. He has also provided technical consultation to several organizations on the best ways to incorporate solar energy into their operations. When he’s not busy helping others find the best solar solutions, Kami enjoys spending time outdoors, hiking, camping, and exploring the natural wonders of his home state.

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