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What Solar Cover Should I Get For My Pool?

Solar covers provide an effective and affordable heating solution for your pool during the summer. These covers can keep your pool temperature regulated while also creating a barrier to keep debris out of your pool. There are many options to choose from when it comes to solar covers which may confuse you at the start. Keep in mind your preferences, price range and the overall strength you would like your cover to have. Below is a chart that starts with the Mil which is the unit of measurement for thickness of solar covers. The nine covers listed are those that we sell, each cover has different qualities and is measured on the chart from one to six stars.

 solar cover chart

This is a handy chart we at PoolSupplies.com have created to help pool owners searching for solar covers. 


Here are some definitions:

Mil - A mil is a standard unit of measurement used in solar covers in which each mil is one-thousandth of an inch.

Style - This is what we call the nine different solar covers we sell, each one having different qualities. We rate each kind of cover on a one to six-star scale in the three most important categories (after mil), with six being the best at the quality measured.

Longevity - How the manufacturer's warranty holds up with the life of the solar cover. This gives a relative scale as to how long your solar cover will last before needing replacement and the likelihood that a manufacturer's warranty will cover a replacement.

Heat Retention - The covers' ability to cut water evaporation and the effectiveness of reducing heat loss at night. This helps your pool stay warm once it's already warm, and lessens the amount of water you have to add to keep your pool level.

Heat Production - How effective the cover is at allowing the sun's rays to penetrate the water and to what depth during the day. If what's most important to you is to heat your pool to a comfortable temperature quickly, this is the category you should be most interested in.

Pool Cover Size - This isn't listed as a quality of a solar cover, but in some ways, it's the most important one! Solar covers should be the same size and shape of your pool, too large of a cover won't contact the water enough to heat it up properly, a too small cover won't be as effective at its job as it could be, and a misshapen cover will have both problems. This chart gives some rules of thumb for buying the right solar cover, but let's cover some more details.


Mil Matters

While looking at the chart you will notice that mil goes hand in hand with the heat retention of your pool. This can be seen with our 8 mil standard blue solar covers compared to the 12 mil and 16 mil covers; although it sacrifices a bit of heat retention it is the best value of the solar covers if you are being price conscious. The 12 mil solar covers fall into the middle and are our most popular mil being thicker than the 8 mil but not as heavy duty as the 16 mil. The higher the mil the greater the thickness and weight; when purchasing a solar reel to pair with your cover check the weight limit on the reel before you purchase. Not correlating your solar cover reel with your cover can result in it becoming bent!

Our Selection

At PoolSupplies.com, we offer a variety of solar covers in different styles, sizes and colors to meet your needs. We have categorized the covers into different ‘series’ which are categorized by a good, better, and best ranking system. Varying from 800 to 1600, these covers become thicker the higher the series it is. Check out our Solar Covers: Buyer''s Guide & FAQ page for frequently ask questions involving solar covers as well as additional facts. 


Longevity and Heat Production

What makes your pool go from freezing cold to a nice comfortable warm depends on the bubble size used in the solar covers. Even if the cover has large bubbles that does not necessarily mean that your cover will produce the most heat. If there are spaces in between the bubbles such as with our 12 Mil Supreme Solar Cover it will be quite good at heat retention but not as effective as our 12 mil clear diamond solar cover at heat production. Any cover with diamond shaped bubbles for example will be better at creating heat in the pool because of the minimal space between the bubbles. A side effect of increased heat production is decreased longevity. The water that is trapped between the bubbles will degrade the cover over time and since there is not enough space on covers with diamond shaped bubbles the water will not be able to run off of the cover like it does with round-bubbled covers. There is always a trade off when it comes to sacrificing one ability for the other.

April 11th, 2022 Admin Solar Covers