We all prefer our pools to be comfortable when jumping in. This is especially true on days that aren’t sweltering hot. So, how can you combat a cold pool without breaking the bank on an expensive pool heater? Enter: the solar pool cover. We’re going to share with you the top models that heat the best.

Top Picks

  The Best Overall Option –

Blue Wave NS510

Blue Wave NS510 14-mil Solar Blanket for Rectangular In-Ground Pools, 12-ft x 24-ft, Clear

The Upgrade Option –

Sun2Solar 1200 Series

Sun2Solar Blue 16-Foot-by-32-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover | 1200 Series | Heat Retaining Blanket for In-Ground and Above-Ground Rectangular Swimming Pools | Use Sun to Heat Pool | Bubble-Side Down

The Value Option –

YAGMGUS 8 Mil Solar Pool Cover

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The Alternative Option –

Solar Sun Rings Solar Sun Square

Solar Sun Rings SSSA-SB-02 UV Resistant Above Ground Inground Swimming Pool Hot Tub Spa Heating Accessory Square Heater Solar Cover, Sunburst

How to Choose the Right Solar Pool Cover for Heating

There are several factors you want to consider before investing in a solar pool cover. It’s important to think about how often you swim throughout the week. Knowing this will help you better choose a solar cover.

What Color Solar Pool Cover Heats the Best?

Dark Blue, Clear, and Blue Solar Cover Samples

This is perhaps the most important factor you should consider when looking for solar pool covers. A clear solar pool cover will yield the most heat. This is because sunlight penetrates your pool water easier than that of a solar cover with a darker color.

You can, however, invest in a blue solar pool cover if you’re concerned with getting the best heat retention. You just want to be sure that the cover is made of a thinner material. This will still retain heat rather well, but the thinner cover will allow for a better temperature increase.

What Is the Best Solar Pool Cover to Buy?

It’s best to invest in a clear, thin solar cover if you want to get the best solar warming possible. By this, we mean your pool will warm up faster than a thicker solar pool cover. From our testing, we concluded that Blue Wave’s NS510 delivers the best all-around performance.

It heats up quickly, and its 4 mil thickness ensures reasonable heat retention. Your pool water will remain warm throughout the night and on cloudy days.

Advantages of a Solar Cover for PoolsThe Effects of a Solar Pool Cover

Many pool owners invest in solar pool covers to prevent the degradation of chemicals. As these are a costly part of pool upkeep, it’s important to prolong their life as much as possible.

By blocking harmful UV rays and reducing evaporation, it pays to keep a solar cover on. Pool water will still warm up, but you’ll notice you will need to buy less chemicals during the swimming season.

Things to Consider

It’s important to think about what expectations you have with your new solar cover. Do you plan on swimming a lot this season? Are you trying to reduce your overall pool maintenance costs? Asking yourself these questions will help you select the best solar cover for your needs.

Is Solar Pool Heating Worth It?

The benefits of solar pool covers make them a smart investment. And the money you will save on regular pool maintenance is well worth the one-time cost of a solar cover. Aside from their money-saving attributes, you will have a much more comfortable swimming pool.

This allows you to enjoy the swimming season far longer than you would without a cover on your pool. They often end up paying for themselves many times over during the course of your using a cover, too.

Does a Solar Cover Heat the Pool?

While it can take a couple of days to become effective, solar covers do work well in warming up your pool. This is made possible thanks to thousands of tiny bubbles on the solar cover that harness the heat from sunlight. This heat is then directly transferred into your pool.A Close-up of a Solar Cover's Bubbles

Additionally, the heat is effectively trapped in your pool thanks to the solar cover’s material. It’s not only affordable compared to an electric heater, but it’s highly-efficient in its warming abilities.

Getting the Most Out of Your Solar Pool Cover

Always make sure you install your new solar pool cover properly to avoid losing heat. This goes a long way in prolonging the effectiveness of the solar cover. You want the cover to butt up against the perimeter of your pool so that there are no visible gaps .

If your pool is in a shaded area, you may want to consider a thinner cover to allow for more sunlight to pass through. This will give you maximum warming thanks to better heat penetration.

Solar Pool Cover for Heating Reviews

1. Best Overall Option -Blue Wave NS510 Solar Cover

Blue Wave NS510 14-mil Solar Blanket for Rectangular In-Ground Pools, 12-ft x 24-ft, Clear

Blue Wave’s NS510 Solar Cover is an excellent choice for quick warming of your pool. The 14 mil cover goes a long way in its effectiveness to heat. Combined with its clear material, you’re getting the best possible performance.

While you won’t get the best protection against chemical degradation, the 14 mil thickness does help to offset this somewhat. And when installed properly, you’ll find this to be one of the best solar pool covers for effective warming.

A nice bonus is Blue Wave’s inclusion of a 6-year warranty. If you have any manufacturer defects within that time period, Blue Wave will make it right for you.

  • Thousands of bubbles – Thanks to thousands of tiny bubbles, your pool will warm quickly and efficiently. These work by trapping in valuable sunlight and then directly transferring it into your pool water.
  • Clear cover – Clear material ensures you are getting the maximum warming. Sunlight passes through this material better than darker colors, giving you the best results. Even better, you don’t have to wait as long for your pool to heat up.
  • 14 mil – This thickness offers the perfect balance between quick warming and heat retention. You can rest assured that the 14 mil thickness will lock in heat longer than a 10 or 8 mil solar cover.
  • Clear material – While this is great for faster warming, it also means your chemicals aren’t going to get the best protection from harmful UV rays.

2. Upgrade Option – Sun2Solar 1200 Series Solar Cover

Sun2Solar Blue 16-Foot-by-32-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover | 1200 Series | Heat Retaining Blanket for In-Ground and Above-Ground Rectangular Swimming Pools | Use Sun to Heat Pool | Bubble-Side Down

Sun2Solar’s 1200 Series Solar Cover may be less expensive than Blue Wave’s NS510, but its blue color means that it will retain heat better. There’s a trade-off when going this route, however.

The blue material means your pool won’t technically heat as quickly as a clear one. That being said, the thinner 12 mil cover helps to balance this out to some degree. On the plus side, you’re getting much improved heat retention that will help lower your chemical costs during the swimming season.

The best solar covers work to give you comfortable swimming pool conditions. And that’s exactly what Sun2Solar’s 1200 Series Solar Pool Cover does. You might have to wait slightly longer for your swimming pool to heat up, but the warmth will last longer than that of a clear solar cover.

  • 12 mil – Thanks to the 12 mil thickness, you’re getting a solar cover that excels in warming your swimming pool. It’s also very easy to work with in the event that you have to cut it for any reason. It’s a breeze to trim it to the exact size of your pool so that you get a perfect fit.
  • Heat retention – You will really appreciate the effectiveness of the blue material and how well it traps in heat. This ensures that you will have a longer swimming season with more enjoyable temperatures.
  • UV protection – The blue solar cover material works to prevent harmful UV rays from degrading your costly pool chemicals. Investing in this cover ensures that you will have to spend less on them throughout the season.
  • Blue color – While this blue cover has its benefits, it also means you’re going to have to wait a little longer for your swimming pool to heat up. If warming quickly is the most important factor to you, consider looking at clear solar pool covers instead.

3. Value Option – YAGMGUS 8 Mil Solar Pool Cover

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If you’re looking for an affordable solar pool cover to heat your swimming pool, solar covers like these are a great bargain. Its 8 mil thickness ensures you are getting quick warming capabilities that won’t break the bank.

Not only that, it comes in a blue color that helps to trap in heat and prevent chemical loss. It fights off UV rays from the sun to keep your chemicals working longer and more effectively.

You can also look forward to less evaporation, giving you even greater longevity to your chemicals. This plays a big role in reducing your chemical costs throughout the swimming season.

We love the affordable price of this cover. Sure, the thin material doesn’t work as well at retaining heat than a 12 or 14 mil solar pool cover. But the blue color helps to balance this out.

  • Affordable – It’s no secret that solar covers can be a tad pricey. That’s why this cover is such an excellent value. You’re getting great warming capabilities at a rock-bottom price.
  • Reduces evaporation by 95% – With less evaporation to look forward to, you can expect to pay less for chemicals. This plays a big part in the value of the solar cover.
    • Blue color – The blue color of the material is responsible for heat retention. This ensures that your pool stays warmer for longer periods of time. It also means you’ll be able to enjoy your swimming pool after the swimming season has come to an end.
  • 8 mil – The 8 mil thickness is great for warming up your water faster. But it also means that heat retention isn’t as effective as a cover made with thicker material.

4. Alternative Option – Solar Sun Rings Solar Sun Square

Solar Sun Rings SSSA-SB-02 UV Resistant Above Ground Inground Swimming Pool Hot Tub Spa Heating Accessory Square Heater Solar Cover, Sunburst

Not wanting to put an entire cover over your pool? You might want to consider Solar Sun Rings’ Solar Sun Square. This 50-inch inflatable pool float works very much the same way that a solar cover does.

While you can’t expect to get the same UV protection against your chemicals, you will find that it works well to improve your water’s temperature. You can choose to let it float about the surface of your swimming pool, or you can buy several for better results.

Each square is rather affordable. But you want to consider that buying several will equal out to the cost of buying a cover to heat your pool. Solar covers are going to yield better results than a bunch of solar squares working simultaneously.

Some pool owners simply don’t want to mess with putting a cover over their pool. Solar covers are fortunately very easy to work with, and they deliver excellent results.

  • Easy to use – If you’re looking for the easiest route to take in improving your swimming pool temperature, this is your best solar option. It’s very low maintenance, and requires little upkeep.
  • Affordable – The best solar pool covers tend to get a little pricey, although they are much less costly compared to an electric solution. But if you still can’t see investing in one, Solar Sun Squares are an affordable alternative to solar pool covers.
  • Durable – Solar Sun Rings’ Solar Sun Squares are made of durable plastic that isn’t easy to puncture or tear. You can rest easy knowing the squares will last a long time with the proper care.
  • Limited results – While they are highly-affordable compared to solar pool covers, Solar Sun Squares simply don’t provide the same level of results. It would require you to buy several squares to even get close to what a solar cover can do for you.

Our Recommendation for Solar Pool Cover for Heating

When it came down to which model worked the best at heating, Blue Wave’s NS510 came out on top. The clear material used in this solar cover ensures that your water is heated to its maximum temperatures. We found it to be the best solar cover for the job.

Blue Wave's NS510 Solar Cover

Solar pool covers are an excellent investment for your swimming pool. Regardless of which color or thickness you choose, you’re sure to see a noticeable difference in the temperature of your water. But if you want the quickest pool temperature increase possible, go with a clear pool cover. The sun’s energy will be more effective in its warming capabilities.

If chemical longevity is more important to you, Sun2Solar’s 1200 Series Cover is your best bet. Its 12 mil thickness and blue color ensure that you’ll experience less evaporation while blocking UV rays. This will allow your chemicals to last longer.

The YAGMGUS 8 Mil Solar Pool Cover is a great buy for those who want a little bit of both. Heat retention won’t last as long, and chemicals will degrade quicker than thicker solar pool covers. But it does deliver a fine balance nonetheless.