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If you’ve got a swimming pool, you need a swimming pool cover. Pool covers help keep debris and other contaminants out of your pool and, most importantly, they greatly reduce safety risks. A pool cover plays an important part in maintaining a clean pool year-round.

There’s really isn’t a “perfect” pool cover. But which pool cover is right for you? There are three types of swimming pool covers: solar covers, winter covers, and safety covers. In this pool cover product guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at each type of pool cover – and we’ll share a few recommendations, too

Type of Cover Why You Need It: Price What To Look For Our Recommendations:
Solar Solar covers help prevent evaporation and can even help take some of the burden off of your swimming pool heater. $

For fast heating, choose a clear, bubbled option.

Dark, opaque solar covers will help absorb heat.

Midwest Canvas

Intex

NTI Global

Winter

Keeps your pool secured during winter.

A winter cover also keeps debris out of your swimming pool, making it fast and easy to get things up and running for spring.

$-$$

If you live somewhere snowy, look for a super-sturdy cover.

You should also consider using an air pillow and a pool cover pump to keep snow and ice from piling up.

Midwest Canvas Emperor Above Ground Pool Cover

GLI Pool Products

Easy Dome

Safety

Prevents accidents; keeps unattended swimmers out of the pool.

Safety covers also keep debris out of your pool.

$$$

Look for tight-weave mesh and durable brass and stainless steel fixtures.

Coverlon/Pegasus Classic

Merlin SmartMesh

Tara HD Mesh

Solar swimming pool covers

In addition to keeping your pool free of dirt and debris, a solar pool cover – also known as a “solar blanket” – offer a lot of benefits: First, because they trap heat, they keep your pool water warm and take some of the workload off of your pool heater. Solar covers also prevent evaporation, which helps keep your pool water balanced.

Most solar covers feature a unique “bubbled” design (sort of like the bubble wrap you’d use to wrap fragile items). They are typically available in several colors, and each color offers a specific benefit. For example, clear and white blankets are excellent for heat retention; dark, opaque solar covers do a great job of absorbing heat.

One thing to keep in mind, though: Unlike other types of pool covers, solar covers are designed to let sunlight in. While this is helpful if you want to heat your pool water, it does affect your pool’s chlorine content. Stabilizer will help prevent chlorine from burning off when exposed to sunlight.

Shopping for a solar swimming pool cover? Here are a few of our top brands:

Midwest Canvas

Midwest Canvas.

Available for in ground and above ground pools, Midwest Canvas solar blankets protect your pool from contaminants and debris, while keeping your pool water toasty. The best part? All Midwest Canvas solar blankets are covered by a 10-year warranty.

Intex Solar Cover

Intex.

Designed for above ground pools, Intex solar covers are affordable and durable – and they reduce pool water evaporation by an astounding 95%. As an added bonus, Intex solar covers come with storage bags.

NTI Global

NTI Global.

Available in blue, black, and clear, NTI Global offers high-quality, heavy duty solar swimming pool covers, all designed to keep your pool water warm and your energy bills low. All NTI solar covers are backed by a warranty.

Winter swimming pool covers

If you’re closing your swimming pool down for the winter, you’ll need a cover to keep out snow and ice, block the sun, and inhibit algae growth. Using a winter cover is also a smart safety move: By covering your pool, you’re ensuring that kids and animals can’t accidentally fall in.

Just remember that the type of winter cover you need will depend on several factors: For example, in ground pools have different winterizing needs than above-ground pools. If you live somewhere with very mild winters, you might not need a winter cover at all. If you get lots of snow and ice, you’ll need to make sure you select an extra-sturdy cover.

Another thing to keep in mind: Depending on how harsh your winters are, you might want to add a few extras to your winter swimming pool cover setup: For example, an inflatable air pillow fits under your winter pool cover and helps relieve pressure as your pool water freezes. Air pillows can also keep leaves, debris, and water from collecting in the center of your pool cover. You might also want to add a pool cover pump to remove melted snow, which can start to weigh down your cover over time.

Winter is coming. Be ready for it with these cold-weather swimming pool covers:

Midwest Winter Canvas

Midwest Canvas.

Have an above-ground pool? Midwest claims that Emperor pool cover is their best winter product: The Emperor is made of tear resistant woven triple-laminated polyethylene, and it’s designed with a generous overlap for full coverage. It also comes with a 20-year warranty.

GLI Pool Products

GLI Pool Products.

Protect your in-ground pool this winter with a durable cover from GLI. GLI’s pool covers are tough and long-lasting. And thanks to a lightweight, less-bulky design, they’re also easy to store when it’s time to open the pool again in spring.

Easy Dome

Easy Dome.

This innovative brand offers in ground and above ground winter pool covers that come with an inflatable vinyl air pillow to prevent buildup of snow, leaves, and debris from entering your pool.

Safety swimming pool covers

When it comes to swimming pools, safety should always be top of mind – and that’s why a safety cover is a must-have. Safety covers are built to be thicker and tougher than solar and winter covers, and their main purpose is to safeguard against, say, an unattended child or a small animal falling into the pool.

As an added bonus, safety covers also block sunlight, which helps impede algae growth. What’s more, mesh safety covers also act as a filter of sorts: The tight weave allows water to pass through but prevents debris and small particles from contaminating the water.

You’ll find that safety covers – especially high-quality safety covers -- are a bit pricier than other types of covers. But the peace of mind that comes with a safety cover is worth the cost. And, as long as you maintain your safety cover, it will last for years, so it’s a good long-term investment.

If you’re in the market for a new swimming pool safety cover, we recommend these great options:

Coverlan Pegasus

Coverlon/Pegasus Classic:

This polypropylene mesh cover is resistant to chlorine and mildew, and comes in a variety of colors, including green, blue, tan, black, and gray. The Classic is features top-quality materials (heavy-duty brass anchors and stainless-steel springs) and sturdy construction (triple stitching, double webbing, and box stitching).

Merlin SmartMesh

Merlin SmartMesh:

Merlin’s safety cover design is made of a patented mesh that’s 40% lighter than other safety covers. But this cover is no lightweight when it comes to performance: In addition to blocking out sunlight, SmartMesh allows water to pass through while filtering out tiny particles and contaminants. SmartMesh is available in a range of sizes and colors, including gray, tan, blue, and green.

Tara Liners Swimming Pool Safety Cover

Tara HD Mesh:

Backed by an impressive 15-year warranty, the Tara HD Mesh safety cover provides protection for your loved ones with a sleek and attractive design. The dense weave of the HD mesh fabric blocks 99%* of all sunlight and filters dust and debris leaving your pool clean and clear in the spring. It’s lightweight and easy to handle and specifically designed to maximize protection for your family, pets and pool.

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Final thoughts on swimming pool covers

You’ve got lots of options when it comes to swimming pool cover? If protection is your main goal, choose a sturdy safety pool cover. If you’re prepping your pool for winter, choose a cover that’s purpose-built to withstand snow, ice, and extreme temperatures. And if you want to keep your pool warm and use your heater less, go solar.

Have questions? Looking for even more information? Pay a visit to your local pool professional, where you can check out a few pool covers in person and learn more about the options available for your swimming pool.

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