What Is The Best Solar Cover For An Above-Ground Pool

Have you considered using a solar cover for an above-ground pool before? Do not spend on a standard electricity or gas heater if you have not known about a solar pool cover and its benefits.

Maybe you are one of those daring polar bears that enjoy diving into freezing water. But, first, you’ll probably want to heat your swimming pool.

Furthermore, using a solar cover for an above-ground pool, you can raise the temperature of your inground, above-ground, or Intex swimming pool.

Before purchasing a solar cover for an above-ground pool, I recommend considering the following essential factors.

Take this after you have read through the wordings of this interesting article. Eventually, you will stop using electricity or gas to warm your swimming pool.

Read on as I tell you all you need to know about the best solar cover for an above-ground pool.

What Is A Solar Cover For Above Ground Pool?

What Is A Solar Cover For Above Ground Pool_

Pool water absorbs a significant quantity of sunlight when there is no cover. For example, a white plaster pool with a depth of 4.5 feet absorbs around 60% of the sun’s energy.

Also, under the blazing sun, this energy will heat the pool by around 0.7F each hour.

Furthermore, water evaporation doesn’t only affect water and air but also wind on the pool’s surface, and humidity counteracts this heat again.

This same pool will lose around 5F for every 14-inch water evaporated because of evaporation.

Solar pool covers keep it warm because they absorb the sun’s energy and transfer it directly into your pool’s water.

Plus, a solar cover may not keep the water as warm as an electric or gas heater, but it can save you money by lowering water evaporation, depending on where you live.

How A Solar Cover Works

How A Solar Cover Works

A solar cover gives you a dual purpose when you place it bubble-side down. First, it will collect the heat energy and heat the air-filled bubbles by absorbing it into the plastic.

The same way a cup of coffee warms your hands, that’s how solar energy transfers to the water through simple conduction.

That is to say, heat loss prevention through evaporation is another function of a solar cover.

Furthermore, in the presence of a steady breeze and on cool nights, an open pool loses surface heat quickly.

Another advantage of solar cover for your above-ground pool is that it stops radiant heat loos.

According to a recent study, solar pool coverings are over 95% effective at preventing heat loss and water evaporation.

Your pool will collect solar energy without a solar blanket and warm your pool, but it can’t hang on to the warmth without one.

Plus, it allows a lower chlorine dose to last longer because it prevents the chemical breakdowns that UV exposure causes.

Solar Pool Cover Color – Does it Make a Difference?

Solar Pool Cover Color - Does it Make a Difference_

Yes, of course, in a way you never expected. Solar covers are available in different colors. They are:

Clear Solar Covers

This cover permits enough light energy to penetrate the water across the spectrum.

Clear solar covers absorb heat due to simpler passage through the plastic, yet the blanket supplies’ heat gains can be better than colored solar covers.

Also, most UV radiation in the water can decrease chlorine levels near the surface and raise your overall chemical costs.

In addition, you can have the notion that a clear cover is not as appealing as a blue cover.

Light Blue Solar Covers

This cover reflects heat that will radiate out of a clear sun cover more quickly back into the pool.

Blue solar cover for an above-ground pool better retains heat and saves your money on chemicals by effectively blocking UV rays.

According to the US Department of Energy, opaque colored solar covers block twice as much pool warming light, while blue solar covers block some of the heat.

Dark Blue Solar Covers

While heat absorption and convection are higher with a darker colored solar blanket, the net heat gain during the day is lower than with clear blankets.

As a result, a dark blue solar cover will be good for heat retention, while a clear sun will be optimal for heat uptake.

Also, it is a common color because the light blue cover appears to strike a balance between heat absorption and heat retention.

Finally, choose a transparent color if you only use it during the day; choose a darker cover if you only use the blanket at night. Choose the original blue light if you want the best.

5 Best Solar Pool Cover; Factors To Consider

5 Best Solar Pool Cover; Factors To Consider

These solar covers suit your above-ground and inground pools of various sizes and forms.

Consider the following factors: the size of the pool, the material, the thickness, and the color when selecting a solar pool cover.

Pool Dimensions

An important factor to consider is the size of the pool because a perfect fit will give you the best performance.

Also, the cover should be large enough to sit on the water’s surface to get the best heat transmission from the sun.

You can find an oval solar cover, a rectangular pool cover, or even a tiny solar blanket for square pools because solar covers are available in different shapes and sizes.

You can buy a larger cover than the pool so that you may cut it to fit if you have a custom-shaped pool.


The most common materials in solar pool coverings are vinyl, polyethylene, and polypropylene.


A long-lasting material that resists tears and sun damage is vinyl.

A vinyl cover is suitable for those who want to remove a cover without worrying about tearing it.


This material is compact. In transferring heat, the polyethylene cover is adequate and inexpensive.

Although, if the cover is less than 12 mils thick, it will be more prone to tearing.


This is thicker and less flexible than polyethylene. Also, it is more difficult to roll and fold because polypropylene covers are tough and prevent a lot of UV light.


While more resistant to rips, tears, and sun damage, solar covers for an above-ground pool that are thicker absorb more heat from the sun.

A mil is the same as 0.0001 inches since the thickness of a solar pool cover is measured in mils.

These pool covers can be challenging to fold up due to their thickness. 6 to 16 mils are the most common cover thickness.

Air Bubbles

There’s a side in these covers with little air bubbles, making them look like a huge sheet of bubble wrap.

Furthermore, these air bubbles trap and radiate heat from the sun into the water.

As a result, the bubbles also work as insulators to reduce heat loss after the sunsets.

They are less efficient because, without air bubbles, solar coverings still retain and transfer heat.

Finally, the pool cover will be more tear-resistant if the air bubbles are thicker. With thicker air bubbles, it insulates the pool at night.

UV Resistance

The material, color, and thickness of the air bubbles determine the UV resistance of a solar pool cover.

Low UV Resistance

Solar coverings are less than 10 mils thick because UV resistance is low. They are lightweight polyethylene and clear.

In addition, they’ll need a chlorine stabilizer to reduce the production of chloramines while heating the pool.

Medium UV Resistance

Typically, most solar covering has a medium UV resistance. It is transparent blue or gray and is 10 to 14 mils thick.

High UV Resistance

Bubbles or no bubbles are the two types of high UV resistance solar pool covers. They are:

Covers with Bubbles

In essence, they are 14 to 16 mils thick, transparent on top, and dark-colored underneath. It uses polypropylene or vinyl.

Covers without Bubbles

It is not good at transporting heat to the pool water since they block many UV lights.

How Long Do Solar Covers Last?

How Long Do Solar Covers Last_

Low pH levels, high chlorine levels, and leaving the solar blanket rolled or folded in direct sunlight are the most common killers of solar covers.

While the chlorine level is higher than 2.5 ppm, never cover the pool after shocking it.

The brittleness of a solar cover is destroyed slowly by high chlorine levels or low pH levels.

Also, the air bubbles act as prisms that focus on UV rays and degrade the plastic bubbles when folded on deck or rolled on a solar reel.

When you are not using the pool, ensure to cover your solar blanket or store it safely in the shade.

A solar blanket can last 5-7 years if you keep it away from the sun when not in use and you don’t use it when chlorine levels are high.

Plus, strong sun rays can damage a solar shield. You may only get 2-4 years of use if your pool receives 8 hours of direct sun in the warmest parts of the country.

Useful Tips for your Solar Pool Cover

Useful Tips for your Solar Pool Cover

The cover will come into contact with the water, and surface tension will help keep the cover in place when the bubble side goes down.

Furthermore, it acts as a series of magnifying glasses because sunlight focuses on these bubbles.

Debris and dirt that might get caught between the bubbles are easily removed from the pool cover.

It is safe to run the pump and filter system while the cover is on the water.

Leave a few inches of extra cover flap near the skimmer if possible. You can push debris into the skimmer by placing the flap over its door before removing it.

It will burn them up if you leave the cover on the grass or other plants.

High chlorine levels can destroy it if you leave the cover off after shocking the pool.

Allow the cover to dry before rolling/ folding it and storing it in a cool, dry area when you’re not using it for a long period. Then, when it’s on a reel, cover it.

Finally, cut the cover into a smaller rectangle if you have a huge pool without a reel. It makes it easier to put on and take off the cover and store it.

My Recommendations

2022-05-11 13_16_23-Amazon.com _ Sun2Solar Blue 4-Foot-by-8-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover _ 1600 Series

The heat-trapping ability and the construction depend on the quality of the solar pool’s performance.

Think about the cover’s design because a solar pool cover will often be in the pool.

The most appealing solar cover on my list is the Sun2Solar which has millions of small bubbles.

It retains heat by keeping the pool warm since the Sun2Solar is a 4 x 8-foot solar pool cover.

Also, the water evaporation in the pool will reduce by 95% after you install the cover.

Finally, ensure that the bubble is towards the water when installing this solar pool cover.

Best Components

  • 8 years warranty.
  • An appealing design and color.
  • Blue plastic solar pool cover.
  • 4 x 8 feet in size.
  • It keeps the pool warm during the day as well as at night.
  • 1200 series solar pool cover.


  • It is more affordable than other options.
  • An extremely dependable option.
  • Easy to cut down in different sizes, depending on your needs.


  • The size is quite small.
2022-05-11 13_20_22-Amazon.com _ Doheny's Clear-Tek Micro-Bubble Solar Covers for In-Ground Swimming
Image from Amazon

Finding a solar pool cover that fits the size and shape can be difficult because they are not as popular as round or rectangular pools.

It can be challenging to cover oval pools. That’s where Doheny’s custom-made solar cover comes in handy.

It is created specifically for oval pools, and it is effective. That’s why it’s a perfect choice for pool owners.

This solar cover micro air bubbles absorb and distribute solar energy more effectively because it is twice the number of bubbles found in a pool cover.

In addition, it insulates the water to promote heat retention at night or on overcast days.

Best Features

  • You can trim it to size.
  • It heats the pool by 10 degrees passively.
  • Blue microbubbles double the heat transfer.


  • It is thinner than most solar covers.
2022-05-11 13_23_39-Amazon.com _ Sun2Solar Clear 24-Foot Round Solar Cover _ 1600 Series _ Heat Reta
IGM: Amazon

With this solar pool cover, you can improve heat retention without any fear of rips, tears, or piercing.

Sun2Solar cover provides easy installation besides insulation, heat absorption, and heat transfer.

You can cut the pool cover with a pair of scissors for a bespoke fit if the pool has a little different shape.

Best Components

  • It transfers heat through a blue bubble design.
  • It is perfect for above-ground pools with a bigger surface area.
  • With at least 10 degrees, it increases the temperature of the pool.


  • After one season, it might break down.
  • It is heavy to remove.
2022-05-11 13_26_57-Amazon.com _ Blue Wave NS520 14-Mil Solar Blanket, 16-FT x 32-FT, Clear _ Swimmi

First and foremost, a high-end solar pool cover that gives you an excellent result is the blue wave NS520.

It comes with a 14-millimeter thick plastic that protects a rectangular pool up to 16 x 32 feet in size.

According to the blue wave after installation, the water temperature will rise to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.

It helps prevent heat loss while reducing evaporation by up to 95% because there are thermal bubbles all over the cover.

Thanks to these pool cover cells, you can ensure that your pool will stay warm even at night.

The blue wave pool cover can tolerate ultraviolet rays and chemicals since it is high-end and long-lasting.

Therefore, it is an environmentally beneficial choice because it is an excellent solution for your pool.

Best Components

  • Solar pool cover of the highest quality.
  • 16 x 32 feet in size.
  • Environmentally beneficial choice.
  • 6 years warranty.
  • Protection of up to 95% evaporation.
  • Plastic solar pool cover.


  • It gives you an extended warranty duration.
  • It reserves about 95% protection.
  • Premium choice.


  • It is not ideal for small pools.
2022-05-11 13_31_47-Amazon.com _ Sun2Solar Clear 20-Foot-by-40-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover _ 1200 Ser
Pic: Amazon

It comes with a 16 mils durable polypropylene because this transparent solar cover gathers and keeps heat.

Also, sunlight can reach the bottom, making it deep and warm because the pool is clear.

As a result, the thickness will also protect against tears and other types of damage.

Overall, this cover has 2 to 4 inches of material you can cut to suit if it is not a perfect fit.

Best Components

  • It allows the sun to sun through from the pool’s clear tint.
  • It retains heat overnight because bubbles insulate water.
  • Temperature can rise by 10 degrees.
  • It trims size and shapes easily.


  • It only lasts a year.

My Conclusion

Best Solar Pool cover; My Conclusion

A basic cover that you can place on your swimming pool is a solar cover for an above-ground pool. It does not need any additional installation procedures.

Cover your pool at all times because that’s all you need to do except when using the pool.

Furthermore, having a good solar cover has various benefits, including an additional layer to keep your pool clean and fresh. Also, it can be seen as a cost-effective approach to reducing water evaporation in your pool.

I hope you found this Powerversity guide helpful.

Finally, you may want to read other articles like this; visit our below pages.

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Akpan Iniobong
Akpan Iniobong is a Technical Writer for PowerVersity.com. She has a B.A in Religious Studies. She loves hiking, reading, and socializing. In PowerVersity.com, she writes buying guides and product best picks.


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