What is the Best Pool Cover to Use for Your Pool?

December 27, 2023

Choosing the right pool cover is vital for maintaining your pool’s health and safety. Let’s explore the different types of pool covers, their benefits, and considerations, including how they technically work, their pros and cons, and when and how to use them effectively.

Solar Covers are an economical choice, primarily used for heating the pool using solar energy. They work by capturing the sun’s rays and transferring the heat to the water, ideal for cooler days and nights. These covers are great for heat retention but aren’t designed for safety, as they cannot support weight. Some good places to get a Solar cover in Brisbane include Daisy (prices starting at $22.50/m2 at the time of writing) and Pool Equipment Brisbane.

how solar pool covers work to heat a pool. Light enters through the cover and is retained heating the pool

Winter Covers are designed for off-season pool protection. They are tough and durable, meant to keep out debris like leaves and twigs during the colder months. While effective in keeping the pool clean, they are not built for safety and can accumulate water on top. Brands like Robelle and Buffalo Blizzard offer these covers, typically priced between $75 and $400.

Leaf Nets are specialized covers meant to catch leaves and larger debris. They are typically used in with other types of covers, particularly in areas with lots of trees. They are a simple and affordable solution but do not offer finer filtration or safety features. You can find these nets from brands like Blue Wave and Swimline, usually under $100.

Safety Covers are a significant investment in pool safety, especially for families with children and pets. They are strong enough to support substantial weight and prevent accidental falls into the pool. These covers are more complex to install and come at a higher price, with brands like Loop-Loc and Merlin offering options in the range of $900 to $3,000.

Automatic Covers provide the ultimate convenience with simple push-button operation. These covers are versatile, offering daily use, and enhance safety by easily covering the pool when not in use. However, they are the most expensive option, with prices in the $5,000 range. If this is something you’d be interested in companies like Remco have retrofitted automatic pool covers for most pool types.

Foam Covers are best suited for indoor pools, offering excellent heat retention and reducing evaporation. They are not designed for outdoor use and don’t provide safety features. These covers are moderately priced and are available from various brands.

Slatted Covers represent a luxurious option, balancing protection and moderate safety features. They can be manual or automatic and are known for their aesthetic appeal and good heat retention. However, they are on the higher end of the price spectrum, making them an expensive choice.

Pool CoverAdvantageHeat Retention CapabilitySafetyCost
Solar CoverHeat RetentionExcellentNoInexpensive
Winter CoverPool protectionGoodNoAverage
Foam CoverIndoor PoolsExcellentNoAverage
Slatted CoverLuxury ProtectionGoodModerateExpensive
Safety CoverSafety & protectionGoodExcellentExpensive
Automatic CoverConvenience & SafetyGoodGoodExpensive
  • Reduced Evaporation: Pool covers act as a barrier, significantly reducing water loss due to evaporation. This not only conserves water but also maintains the chemical balance, reducing the frequency and cost of chemical treatments.
  • Temperature Control: By trapping solar heat, solar covers can increase water temperature, making swimming more comfortable without the need for additional heating. This can be particularly beneficial during transitional weather periods.
  • Safety: Safety covers are specifically designed to prevent accidental falls into the pool. They are built to withstand weight, providing peace of mind for pool owners.
  • Maintenance Reduction: Covers, especially solid ones, prevent debris from entering the pool, which means less cleaning and lower maintenance costs.
  • Do pool covers contribute to algae growth?
    In general no, but poorly maintained covers, especially those that allow water and light to penetrate, can contribute to algae growth. Proper maintenance and choosing the right cover type can mitigate this risk.
  • Is it bad if water seeps into my pool from my cover?
    Yes. Mostly, its mesh covers that allow water to seep through to your pool, which can be good for maintaining the water level. But mesh or not, any water seepage into your pool will not only allow debris and potentially nasty microbes into your water but will likely throw out your pools delicate chemical balance.
  • How long should I leave a cover on my pool?
    Depending on the type, pool covers can be left on for extended periods, especially winter covers. However, it’s important to check and maintain them regularly.
  • Cover Contact with Water
    Some covers, like solar blankets, are designed to float on the water’s surface, while others should not touch the water to maintain their effectiveness and longevity.
  • Can you walk on pool covers?
    No, only safety covers are designed to be walked on. Other types of covers are not safe to walk on. If you’re worried about animals or children being able to walk on your pool cover it’s best to buy a safety cover over anything else and follow all pool safety rules.
  • What is better, Mesh or Solid Covers?
    It depends on what you are buying a cover for. Mesh covers are lighter and easier to handle especially if you live alone but they do allow water and some light through. Solid covers provide better protection against debris and algae but can be heavy especially if water has had time to accumulate on top of them.
  • Should I cover my pool when it rains?
    You don’t need to cover your pool every time it rains but, during extended windy or rainy weather, it’s generally a good idea to cover your pool to prevent additional debris like leaves, sticks and other unwanted items from getting in the pool.
  • Do I need an underlay for my pool cover?
    An underlay or padding can protect your pool cover from abrasion, particularly if you have a rough pool surface but its not strictly necessary.
  • What is the best pool cover colour?
    There is no “best” colour for your pool cover however, be aware when choosing a cover that darker covers can absorb more heat, which might be beneficial for heat retention, but they can also encourage algae growth if not properly maintained. Lighter covers reflect more light and may be less prone to heating the water.
  • Is a pool cover just a tarp?
    A pool cover is specifically designed for pools, offering benefits like heat retention and safety features, a tarp is a more general-purpose cover and may not provide the same benefits. If you’re in a pinch you can try stretching a big tarp over your pool to keep out debris but it’s best if you buy a dedicated cover for your pool as soon as you can and save that tarp for covering trailer loads of debris to the dump.

Choosing the right pool cover is about understanding your needs, the specific benefits each type offers, and the practical aspects such as cost, safety, and ease of use. With this guide, you’re better equipped to find the perfect cover for your pool, ensuring long-term enjoyment and safety.