Solar Pool Covers: Everything You Need to Know

Written By: Orgil Ligro
Date Published: July 26, 2022

It's the summer! You know what that means, it's the swimming season and time for outdoor fun. However, maintaining a swimming pool and healthy/clean pool water can be a hassle. Investing in a solar pool cover is one way to make the process a bit easier. But what are solar pool covers, and what do they do? In this blog post, we will answer your questions about solar pool covers!

10' Solar Pool Cover 10' Solar Pool Cover
$28.99 ($5.80 / lb)

It's sturdy, easy to roll out, and easy to remove, fold and hang out to drip dry while I soak in my 10 x 30 " Intex above-ground pool. It's a solar cover, not a regular cover that goes up and over the edges.

We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/17/2024 09:29 pm GMT

What is a solar pool cover?

Solar Pool Covers: Everything You Need to Know 1

Solar pool covers are essentially large blankets that you place over your swimming pool. They are usually made out of a heavy-duty, durable material like polyethylene or vinyl.

Polyethylene is a type of plastic that is often used in food packaging and containers. It is a lightweight material that is also very strong and durable. Vinyl, on the other hand, is a type of synthetic fabric. It is commonly used in upholstery, clothing, and now solar pool covers!

Some solar pool covers look like a giant bubble wrap. The bubble wrap helps to better efficiently trap heat in the water and prevent evaporation.

Solar Pool Covers: Everything You Need to Know 2

Other types of solar pool covers are made of a solid sheet of material without bubble wraps. This type of solar pool cover is more effective at preventing evaporation, but it does not do as good of a job at trapping and transferring heat.

How do they work?

Solar pool covers work by trapping heat from the sun in your swimming pool water, which means less use for a pool heater. This helps to keep the water warm, which can be a great benefit if you live in an area with cooler temperatures. Additionally, solar pool covers can also help to reduce evaporation and keep your swimming pool clean by blocking out debris and dirt.

If you live in windy and dry climates like Southern California, you know that evaporation is a real problem, but solar pool covers can help reduce water evaporation by up to 95%.

Not only will solar pool covers save you money on your water bill, but they will also help you to save money on energy costs and your pool heater bill.

Benefits of using a solar pool cover

There are several benefits to using a solar pool cover, including:

Keeping your swimming pool water warm

A solar pool cover can keep your pool warm throughout the evening. You can have a morning workout swim without having to deal with cold water. Or you may also choose to use a solar cover to heat up your pool during the day and have it nice and ready for the evening.

Reducing evaporation

According to studies, pool covers reduce pool water evaporation by 95%. It not only will help you save some money on water and heating bills, but it is also beneficial for the environment as you won't be as wasteful with water.

Keeping your swimming pool clean by blocking out debris and dirt

Raking your pool for any leaves and other debris can be a hassle, especially if you are a busy person. Having a solar cover on when you are not using the pool will save you precious time. If you perhaps don't even want to go through the hassle of putting the solar cover on, then an automatic pool cover could be for you.

Saving money on your water and heating bills

Utility bills can be expensive in dry and hot areas like California, New Mexico, Arizona, etc, and a pool can take gallons and gallons of water just to maintain proper water levels.

I've been in our house with a 40,000 gallon pool for just over a year and recently got a solar cover. It's the middle of the line blue Leslies cover, 20X40 8 or 13mil. They do a great job of keeping the heat in and leaves and crap out. Without a cover we lose about 5-7 degrees at night with the cover we lose about 2-4 degrees. I'm in NorCal where it can be 100 degrees in the day and 55 at night with little to no humidity for reference. They also help stop evaporation, allows me to add water once a week rather then every 3-4 days.


Types of solar pool covers

Solar sun ring cover

Solar Pool Covers: Everything You Need to Know 3Solar Pool Covers: Everything You Need to Know 4

As the name suggests, this type of solar pool cover is round in shape and quite small when it comes to solar pool cover size.

They are better suited for small backyard inflatable ground pools or certain swimming pools with curves and unique shapes. If you plan on getting one of these, then try Solar Sun Rings brand.

Bubble solar pool cover

Solar Pool Covers: Everything You Need to Know 5Solar Pool Covers: Everything You Need to Know 6

Solar pool covers with small bubbles are good for trapping heat and transferring heat from the sun, but they can be heavier and take up more space compared to solid solar pool covers. Sun2Solar is a good brand if you plan on getting this type of solar pool cover.

Personally, I think this is the best solar pool cover option.

Solid solar pool cover

Solar Pool Covers: Everything You Need to Know 7Solar Pool Covers: Everything You Need to Know 8

Solid solar pool covers are easier to set up, fold/unfold, and maintain than bubble solar pool covers. The material used for solid covers usually lasts longer as well.

If you have a large swimming pool rather than a ground pool, then this might be the best solar pool cover choice for you. Not only will they help with heat retention during the night and maintain proper water temperature balance, but they can also be useful during the winter.

Liquid solar cover

Solar Pool Covers: Everything You Need to Know 9Solar Pool Covers: Everything You Need to Know 10

If you don't want to deal with the hassle of maintaining a solar pool cover, then you could try a liquid solar pool cover from Pool Basics. It's invisible to the human eye and doesn't have any harmful effects on the body.

As the name suggests, it's liquid. You just have to pour the appropriate amount according to your pool size.

While it does not retain heat very well, they are an easy and effective way to reduce pool water evaporation.

How to choose the right solar pool cover color

To be honest, the color of the solar blanket has minimal impact on how well it heats up a pool, but...

Crystal clear

Clear see-through solar covers let more light in, so it does heat up a pool a bit better during the day, but they are more susceptible to UV damage.


While it does come to your preference, blue is a common and popular choice. Blue is aesthetically pleasing and withstands UV damage a little better.

Article written by Orgil Ligro