Best Solar Cover for Above Ground Pool

Solar covers are an excellent accessory for your above ground swimming pool. If you live in a cold climate or in regions where the temperatures drop significantly at night, then a pool cover is just what you need.

Often people wanting to swim in the mornings have to wait until the afternoon when the sun has heated the water.

An electric or gas heater can provide the heat to warm up the pool. However, the downside is that these methods can take a toll on your energy bills.

A solar pool cover allows heat from the sun to pass through the cover into the water and then prevents it from escaping.

In this post, you will learn everything you need to know about pool covers, including how to choose the best solar pool cover for your outside pool. We also take a look at some of the best solar pool covers available on the market.

Let’s dive straight in, shall we?

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Buyers Guide: What to look for in a good solar cover for above ground pool

Before you can head out searching for the best solar pool cover for your swimming pool, you must understand what to look for.

Color of the solar blanket

Color is a critical factor, and the first thing you need to consider when buying a solar pool cover. Look for an opaque blue color or a clear color. This will allow the sun’s heat to efficiently pass through the cover into the water easily while also preventing the heat from escaping.

Even better if the bubbles have a silver coloring on the bottom, they reflect heat back into the water and thus prevent it from escaping.

Size of the solar cover

Since solar covers work by preventing heat from the sun in the water from escaping, it makes sense that your solar pool cover should be the right size for your pool.

If the solar cover is too small, this will leave gaps on the surface of your swimming pool, allowing heat to escape.

UV resistance

Ultra-violet radiation can be damaging to solar pool covers. Solar pool covers are often made from plastic. It is vital to choose a plastic that can withstand radiation from the sun.

Look for UV reinforced polyethylene plastic for long life and efficient use.


As with any product in the market, there are solar pool covers for different budgets. Some require a manual application, while others come with a motor for automatic application.

Higher quality solar pool covers will generally come at a higher price. The right one will come down to your budget and how much you are willing to spend.

Other factors that will influence your budget include the size of your pool and weather.

Solar Cover for Above Ground Pool Reviews

We did extensive research reviewing the different solar pool coves available to come up with our top choices. Some of the major factors we considered in our review included durability, effectiveness, budget overall quality.

In this review, we look at the top 5 best solar covers available in the market.

Sun2Solar Solar pool Cover

If searching for a lightweight, easy to apply, and highly effective solar pool cover, then the Sun2Solar Solar Pool Cover may be the one for you.

It features an opaque blue color that allows heat and light to pass through efficiently. But that’s not all; thousands of downward-facing bubbles work to reflect the heat back into the water, ensuring that up to 95% of the heat is retained.

This is a simple, thin, and lightweight solar pool cover. If your pool has a unique shape, then do not fret as you can still make the most of the Sun2Solar Pool Cover. Take a marker and mark the outline of your solar pool cover.

Next, take a pair of sharp scissors and cut the outline, and you now have a solar pool cover perfect for your pool. The 2 to 4 inches of overlap provides a margin to trim down the pool cover.

This solar pool cover allows you to fit your pool so perfectly that you will not worry about foreign objects such as leaves and debris falling into the water.

The Sun2Solar Pool Cover comes in multiple colors and sizes. These include blue and clear colors and a 1200 and 1600 style.

Many pool covers available in the market are not durable and hardly last over two years. However, thanks to the durable design, you can expect the Sun2Solar pool cover to last well over two years.

Sun2Solar Pool Cover pros and cons

Simple to useStarts to disintegrate from the UV after 2 years
Durable designQuite flimsy and lightweight
Easy cutting to pool sizeCan easily rip apart at the seam when pulling
Highly effective at retaining water heatTends to shrink after a couple of seasons

In The Swim Pool Solar Blanket

In The Swim Pool Solar Blanket features a lightweight design and comes with a 7 years manufacturer’s warranty. It is also simple to cut and install with minimal effort required.

The bubbles allow the pool blanket to retain heat and raise your swimming pool’s temperature from 8-10 degrees in 5 to 7 days.

In The Swim Pool Solar Blanket is available in various sizes, including 8 mil, 12 mil, 15 mil, and 16 mil.

The 16 mil pool blanket offers the best pool heating. On the other hand, the 12 mil pool blanket has the longest lifespan of up to 7 years.

At 14 x 28 feet, the In The Swim Pool Solar Blanket is large enough to cover most swimming pools. At pounds, it allows for easy cutting with a pair of scissors. A perfect fit also means that you can prevent dirt and debris from getting into the water.

Unlike other pool covers available out there, you don’t have to worry about it ripping at the seams when pulling it from the swimming pool.

What’s more, the In The Swim Pool Solar Blanket will help extend your swimming into the cold seasons for a few more days before you finally decide to call off your swimming until the next warm season.

However, note that In The Seam Pool Cover is a thin and lightweight solar pool cover. Because of this feature, it is not very efficient at preventing evaporation and retaining heat.

This is also not the most UV resistant solar pool cover. Therefore, it is best to use the pool cover in the evening to trap the heat that has accumulated in the water during the day. Leaving it under direct sunlight will reduce its life.

That said, we liked this product for its lightweight, ease of installation, and ease of cutting. For its thickness and size, the solar pool cover has a high-quality build.

In the Swim Pool solar blanket pros and cons

Light weightToo light to withstand UV radiation
Easy to installToo light to prevent evaporation
Simple to cut to sizeCan disintegrate due to pool chemicals
7 year warranty 

Intex Solar Cover

Not everyone has a rectangular pool. If you have a circular pool at 12 feet in diameter or less, then the Intex Solar Cover is for you.

It comes in an opaque blue color with tightly filled air pockets.

For a 12-foot diameter pool, the Intex Solar Pool Cover offers great protection from dirt and debris, helping to keep the water clean for the next time you want to dive in.

Take a look here

This pool cover will also help you keep the water clean. This means using fewer pool chemicals. It can also help you avoid relying on gas or electric heating. This translates to significant savings on your energy bills.

Durable construction also allows it to withstand UV radiation a lot better than other solar pool covers available in the market.

This Intex Solar Pool Cover offers great value for your money as it is both an affordable and quality pool cover. Considering that the pool cover will last around 18 months to two years, it offers a good bang for the buck.

That said, note that regulator exposure to the sun’s heat and careless handling will cause the Intex Solar cover to break down much faster.

One way to prolong the life of your pool cover is to take it off during the day and put it back on to the pool at night. That way, you can protect it from UV radiation while still blocking in the heat accumulated during the day.

Due to its lightweight, it is best to use the Intex Solar Cover with a debris cover. This protects the cover from the intense UV radiation and protects it from damage from debris.

At 12mm, this is a thin solar pool cover. Also, note that the tie down mechanism is flimsy.  

Intex Solar Cover pros and cons

Light weightToo light to withstand UV radiation
Easy to installCan damage due to dirt and debris
No need for cutting with an 18ft diameter poolTie down mechanism is flimsy
Effective at blocking heat from escaping 

Bluewave Solar Blanket

Do you have a large pool and search for a solar pool cover that comes in a large enough size, then look no further than the Bluewave Solar Blanket.

It features multiple sizes, from as small as 12 feet x 20 foot, to as large as 30 feet x 50 feet.

While it is marketed as an in-ground swimming pool, you can still utilize it for your above ground swimming pool.

This is a top-quality solar pool cover designed to withstand UV radiation. This thanks to the UV protected polymer material used in making the Bluewave Solar Blanket.

It is thick, and while this means it is heavy, the thickness also adds to its durability. It allows you to increase the temperature of the pool by up to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. This is enough to extend your season for several days.

Due to the durable and strong construction, you don’t have to worry about the solar cover breaking off at the seams.

You can purchase the Bluewave Solar Blanket in two main colors, which include opaque blue and clear. It can also come in 12 mil and 14 mil.

The downside with the Bluewave Solar Blanket is that it is thick and heavy. If you have a large pool, you will need the assistance of 2 to 3 people.

The weakest part of the solar cover is the bubbles. These seem to lose condition first and end up in the water.

While the Bluewave Solar Cover comes with a 5 years warranty, the cover seems to break down at around 2 years.

If you live in a hot climate, it is best to use this solar cover at night as this ensures that the bubbles are not exposed to the UV radiation and thus prolongs the life of the solar cover.

Bluewave Solar Cover pros and cons

Thick and strongThe bubbles are not as durable
Doesn’t break at the seamsIt is heavy and requires multiple people to install
Suitable for large poolsLasts around 2 years despite strong build
Highly Effective at blocking heat from escaping 

Labworkauto Solar Pool Cover 

The labworksauto Solar Pool Cover comes in various shapes, including rectangular, oval, and round. It also features different sizes from 10 by 15 feet to 20 by 40 feet.

This solar pool cover has large bubbles filled with air that quickly absorb heat from the sun and transfer it to the water.

Thanks to the various shapes, you can achieve a full pool cover that prevents dirt and debris from accessing the water and ensures that you use fewer pool chemicals.

It is lightweight enough that you can install the cover on your pool easily. It is also simple to cut. Lay it on top of your pool and use a marker and scissors to cut out the outline.

Labworksauto Solar Pool Cover is highly effective and showed to raise water temperature by 8 degrees on a hot day. It will extend the time you spend in the pool well into the cold season.

However, the downside is that its lightweight design also makes it is flimsy and can tear at the seams.

The Labworksauto solar pool cover is not resistant to UV radiation. It is advisable for people living in hot climates to use the pool cover at night as this is when evaporation happens the most.

Labworksauto solar pool cover pros and cons

Light weightToo light to withstand UV radiation
Easy to installCan damage due to dirt and debris
Comes in different shapes to suit your poolCan tear at the seams
Effective at blocking heat from escaping 

Solar cover for above ground pool FAQS

How long can I expect my solar pool cover to last?

Most solar pool covers will last around 18 months to two years before they begin to break down and disintegrate. This is caused by exposure to UV radiation, poor handling, and chemicals in the pool water.

Does a solar pool cover have to cover the whole pool? 

Yes. Solar pool covers work by locking in the heat in the pool. To be effective, they need to cover the water’s surface area to prevent the heat from escaping.

How many degrees will the solar pool cover raise water temperature? 

On average, solar pool covers will raise the water temperature by between 8 degrees and 12 degrees. They do this by trapping heat in the bubbles filled with air.

How much can I expect to pay for a quality solar pool cover? 

Solar pool covers costs between $85 to $225. Quality solar pool covers will range on the upper price range.

Should you keep your solar pool cover on during the day? 

You should leave your solar pool cover on when not using the pool. It is completely fine to leave it on during the day. However, exposure to UV radiation can cause it to lose condition faster. Leaving the solar pool cover on only at night will prolong its life. Note also that most heat loss happens at night.

Wrapping Up

The Sun2Solar Blue Solar Pool Cover is the choice for the best solar cover for an above ground pool. It is affordable, lightweight, and easy to cut to the size and shape of your pool. It also has a relatively long life for its price.

This is especially considering that while the Bluewave Solar Cover is thick and heavy, the bubbles are not as durable and damaged after around 15 months in the sun. The Swim Solar Pool Blanket may come with a 7 year warranty, but it will not last that long.

The Labworksauto pool cover is also lightweight but doesn’t meet the Sun2Solar Blue Solar Pool Cover quality.

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