A solar pool cover can offer many advantages over a standard enclosure. It can help reduce costs of maintaining the water and make the pool more enjoyable.  There are different models to chose from, with a variety of useful features. 


The typical product is less expensive than a traditional enclosure, yet helps warm the water and make it more enjoyable for an extended period of time. This is a great benefit for those who typically only have use of their pool from June to September. Using such a product can help make the investment in the backyard structure pay off more quickly. For those in warmer climates, the weather can still get chilly enough to avoid the water. Having one of these blankets to cat the sun's rays and transfer the heat can make swimming a fun experience even on those chilly days. Using one of these blankets can also eliminate the need for a more expensive heating system, which increases the home's energy usage and costs quite a bit more to install.

Solar Pool Cover
Credit: Keith Williamson


There are typical enclosures that span the entire length and width of the swimming area. They can be used with a reel, like more traditional products made of canvas. Most are made to look like a giant sheet of bubble wrap. The bubbles are key for trapping the heat, so the water can be warm even after a cool night. There are products designed for in ground and above ground pools. The above ground models do not require tie downs or any special devices to keep them in place. Some products are designed so that they can be trimmed with scissors, to provide a more exact fit of a particular water area. Solar discs are another form of the product that some people may find easier to use. They come in 5 ft diameter sections and can be used by themselves or with other discs, to cover as large an area as needed. They also use a bubble system to help trap heat.


Prices for solar covers will vary, depending on the model and the type of structure you have. Above ground models can cost as little as $75. A small 7 ft by 7 ft blanket may cost as little as $25, for those with small backyard structures. A six pack of the discs can be purchased for just over $100. For larger models to cover a spacious in ground structure, expect to pay $45 to $75, with an additional cost for the reel.