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Types Of Pool Covers (Designs & Pros and Cons)

Here we share our types of pool covers design guide with the different materials used, pros and cons, and important factors when choosing a swimming pool cover.
Swimming pool with white pull out cover Indeed, pool covers offer protection, convenience, and improved efficiency. Covering your swimming pool saves people from falling in and drowning.

Moreover, it keeps detritus away from the pool, which reduces maintenance considerably. Pool covers are a crucial addition worth buying since safety is a major priority for all pool users and owners.

If you have conducted any pool cover exploration, you probably got confused by the numerous selections offered and started wondering which pool cover is best for you. Therefore, what then, is the best option for your pool needs? 

In this article, we will break down the several forms of pool covers and provide you with the information you need to identify which is the most ideal swimming pool cover for your preferences.

Standard Winter Pool Covers

Swimming pool with winter cover, wood deck, and hedge plants These types of pool covers are the tried-and-true standard options. The basic sheet employed for this covering is adaptable enough to be applied for either in-ground or above-ground swimming pools.

These are the pool covers that resemble massively-sized tarps. They float above your pool water surface and are held in place by a set of water packets. They do an excellent job of taking debris out of your swimming pool, particularly if they are made out of a robust non-permeable material.

Winter covers, on the other hand, are not designed to hold heavy loads. This encompasses everything from torrential rain to a stray animal. As a result, putting up a pool fence or boundary around the area is an important idea for safety.

In terms of maintenance, you should anticipate draining out excess water on a regular basis. You can use a submersible pump or a bucket to execute this activity.

Furthermore, it is indeed worth noting that standard winter pool covers are the least expensive pool covers available. Thus, if you have a small budget for pool covers, winter covers would be an incredible option.

Pros and Cons of Standard Winter Pool Covers

Pros:

It is very inexpensive.

It is easy to install.

It performs an incredible job in terms of blocking UV rays.

It effectively keeps debris away from the pool.

Cons:

This option is among the types of pool covers that have a short life expectancy. The tarp would normally have to be replaced every 5 years.

The water anchors that hold the tarp will also need to be replaced more frequently, roughly every other year.

Standard Winter Pool Cover Materials

Polyethylene, a widely manufactured and multifunctional type of plastic, is one of the most popular materials used in the production of a standard winter pool cover. It is also well-known for its lightweight, strong, and long-lasting properties. Hence, it is used as the primary material in practically all standard winter pool covers.

Standard Winter Cover Cost

Winter pool covers are some of the most affordable in-ground and above-ground types of pool covers, with prices ranging from $50 to $175 on average. For stronger, more resilient covers with lengthier warranties, the cost can potentially rise to more than $300, which is still inexpensive.

Mesh Safety Pool Covers

Winter covering for swimming pools A mesh safety pool cover is one of the most recent styles of pool coverings for in-ground swimming pools. This cover varies from a standard tarp cover in that it enables water and melting snow to travel past the mesh and then into the swimming pool. Because of its advanced design, it can help pool users conserve water.

Furthermore, mesh safety covers keep out any waste that might normally infiltrate your pool. Mesh covers, on the other hand, allow water and other elements easily due to their densely woven strands. This excludes the necessity to drain, simplifies maintenance, and saves load on the cover, hence extending its longevity.

Mesh safety covers compensate for the shortcomings of winter types of pool covers. They last two times longer than standard winter cover, can handle a lot of weight, and stay put thanks to strong and heavy-duty anchors.

Such pool covers are secured with a set of anchors and spring accessories and can be custom-tailored to the contour of your pool.

It also renders them more lightweight than their equivalents, which are the solid and automated pool covers, allowing them to be quickly rolled up and stowed out of the way when not being used. Its minimal weight also makes setup easier than with a solid-type pool cover.

In addition, the mesh content of such pool covers enables light to enter the pool. This maintains the warmth of the water; however, the sunlight also increases algae growth on the pool’s walls, which implies you will have to make extra effort to have your pool prepared for users when the weather warms up.

Pros and Cons of Mesh Safety Pool Covers

Pros:

It is very lightweight; it is considered the lightest pool cover of all covers.

The mesh acts as a filter to prevent the trash from letting in while permitting the water to gently fill the pool without overflowing, allowing pool users to conserve funds on water bills every year.

This pool cover’s robust safety structure can also protect individuals from drowning and falling in the pool.

The cover can withstand substantial weight, ensuring your safety from pool-related fatalities and incidents.

Cons:

A mesh safety pool cover is one of the most costly pool covers available, and it necessitates some hardware installation all over your pool to operate effectively.

The mesh itself defends against solid substances and trash, but it does not deflect UV rays, thus your pool liner can eventually fade, even while covered.

Mesh Safety Pool Cover Materials

The majority of mesh safety pool covers are made entirely of polypropylene. This material has a very high bursting capability. Mesh fibers enable all of the water to flow into the pool. Nevertheless, the fabrics are often made of one of these two materials: woven mesh or solid vinyl.

Mesh Safety Pool Cover Cost

Mesh safety pool coverings often range in price from $800 to $1,500 or higher. You could be able to purchase one for as little as $500 at a pool supply store, but the price will vary depending on the swimming pool sizes, materials, and brands. If you own an inground pool, you should expect to pay roughly $1,200 or more.

Hard Safety Pool Covers

Swimming pool with blue covering, and liner Hard safety pool covers are comparable to mesh covers in many ways, with one important exception: the material they are composed of.

These types of pool covers are normally constructed of non-permeable vinyl and have many of the same properties as mesh coverings. However, because the material is impermeable, water and snow cannot travel through it. As a result, it accumulates on top.

Therefore, the majority of solid safety coverings contain a submersible pump. The pump is located in the middle of the cover and empties water mechanically. On the bright side, robust safety coverings give UV shielding and excellent water insulation.

Furthermore, robust safety types of pool covers can be custom-fit according to your pool’s design and are attached to the deck with anchoring and hinges. They are often made of vinyl, yet they could still be folded and stored if not in operation.

The impervious covering keeps dirt, water, and sunlight out of the pool. This implies that when you open your pool during the summertime, there will be no algae buildup or dirty water, resulting in less upkeep.

Nonetheless, any water that collects on the cover, as well as unwanted leaves or detritus, will have to be pumped off. However, an automatic cover pump can be installed on the cover, which will activate and deactivate whenever water is sensed.

Pros and Cons of Hard Safety Pool Covers

Pros:

A hard safety pool cover is extremely durable, effectively preventing ultra-fine particles from entering the water, and it keeps the water very clean.

It offers outstanding UV protection, extending the life of your in-ground pool’s internal liner and color.

Cons:

Its lifespan is shorter than mesh safety pool covers. Plus, it will need the initial installation of anchors.

You will have to drain water from time to time.

Hard Safety Pool Cover Materials

To safeguard your pool and your family members, hard safety pool covers are generally made of solid sheets of material, usually reinforced vinyl, to provide the utmost durability and reliability.

Hard Safety Pool Cover Cost

A hard safety pool cover normally costs around $1,800 to $3,600, which is around $600 higher than a mesh safety pool cover in terms of the average cost.

Hybrid Safety Pool Covers

Outdoor area with pool cover Hybrid safety covers are a combination of solid and mesh safety pool coverings. Thus, as a result, they naturally provide the best of both worlds.

This pool safety cover is made up of a number of vinyl patches and a tiny portion of the mesh. Several individuals who are undecided whether a mesh or hard pool cover is the ideal option choose a hybrid cover. 

This pool cover, just like a mesh cover, is water-permeable but also provides the protection offered by a hard pool cover. Moreover, this structure enables the coverings to drain like a mesh while also filtering UV radiation and finer pollutants like a hard pool cover.

Pros and Cons of Hybrid Safety Pool Covers

Pros:

In terms of water draining, safe coverage, and UV resistance, this style of pool cover provides the best of both worlds.

A hybrid pool cover can support a significant amount of weight.

It offers sensitive and efficient filtration.

Cons:

For proper anchoring, this type of pool cover necessitates rigorous installation.

It is very costly.

Hybrid Safety Pool Cover Materials

A hybrid safety cover is generally made up of several materials, including vinyl patches and a modest portion of the mesh. This structure allows the coverings to drain like mesh while also filtering UV radiation and finer pollutants like a hard safety pool cover.

Hybrid Safety Pool Cover Cost

Since hybrid safety types of pool covers serve two purposes, they are usually more expensive than hard safety and mesh safety pool covers, Their cost typically ranges from $600 to $2500.

Solar Pool Covers

Swimming pool with a cover on top of it Although solar pool covers are not frequently used for the same purposes as the covers discussed above, they are, nonetheless, worth discussing. The primary objective of a solar pool cover is by insulating your swimming pool instead of protecting it. It accomplishes this by forming a barrier that traps the heat and reduces evaporation.

Solar covers are inexpensive and ideal for pool users who want to optimize the heat conservation of their pool. Furthermore, the same as the previous pool covers, they do an excellent job of preventing water loss.

A solar pool cover is sometimes referred to as a bubble pool cover since it is typically a thin cover with air bubbles all around it. It captures solar heat and can raise the temperature of your pool by up to 8 degrees. Installation is uncomplicated, and after the cover has been sized and trimmed to fit the design of your pool, it will be available to be used.

Furthermore, it aids in reducing the volume of filth and detritus that enters your pool. With this particular type of pool cover, numerous pool owners are using a cover roller to make it simpler to place on and remove off the pool. However, a cover roller is not a necessity when using a solar cover.

Pros and Cons of Solar Pool Covers

Pros:

Solar pool covers are very easy to install and remove.

They efficiently insulate your swimming pool.

Cons:

Solar pool covers only float on top of the pool. The coverage it offers is not that secure.

They cannot support any amount of weight.

Solar Pool Cover Materials

Solar types of pool covers are frequently composed of strong plastic with UV protectors that resemble bubble packing materials.

Solar Pool Cover Cost

Most solar pool coverings generally cost $75 to $225. As you may expect, the cost varies depending on the design, quality, and complexity of the cover as well as the size of your pool. The reel, which is usually in the $200 to $500 area, would be the major cost when purchasing a solar cover.

Automatic Pool Covers

Blue pull out covering for swimming pools You can consider getting the automatic pool cover if you want a pool cover with even more gadgets and conveniences than the hybrid cover.

This covering can either be hard, mesh, or hybrid to provide the exact level of coverage you require while mechanically rolling out or retracting at the press of a button. The cover can move along a track that runs just above your pool or one that is sunken underneath the pool deck’s border.

Automatic pool covers make use of the advantages of the material from which they are produced. Thus, if you choose an automatic mesh safety pool cover, draining and cleaning will be a breeze. Furthermore, of course, because automatic coverings are launched mechanically, they have one distinct advantage.

Among all the types of pool covers in this article, automatic covers are the simplest to apply and detach. There will be no anchoring, water bags, or hoisting. Simply pressing a button causes the cover to unfold. When you press it again, it retracts, all without putting a finger on the cover.

However, you might expect to pay more for this type of pool cover. Automatic covers have the largest initial cost as they offer the most practical and convenient covering approach. This is also due to the fact that they necessitate expert installation.

Automatic pool coverings, like hard safety pool covers, are strong and durable. They provide the same benefits while also being the safest among the pool covers in this article. However, they, too, necessitate the use of a cover pump to eliminate collecting water and the removal of any detritus.

Nevertheless, for many households, the convenience exceeds any disadvantages. An automatic pool cover retracts and folds up into itself, eliminating the need to locate storage space. It interacts with either a key, a button or switch, or a touchpad, rendering it by far the simplest to operate.

There are two kinds of automatic pool covers:

• Automatic Pool Cover with On-Deck Track: The cover runs across a track around the pool’s perimeter. It retracts into on-deck housing.

• Automatic Pool Cover with Recessed Track: The cover stretches underneath the pool’s border along an obscured track. It retracts into hidden or on-deck housing.

Pros and Cons of Automatic Pool Covers

Pros:

Automatic pool covers are very convenient to use. You can practically rely on them without lifting a finger.

They can be operated by just pressing a button or switch.

They are available in either mesh, hard, or hybrid pool covering.

These covers are the most visually attractive, making your pool look more modern.

Cons:

Automatic pool covers are extremely costly.

Since this pool cover is high-technology, it normally requires professional installation, which might add to its expensive cost.

Automatic Pool Cover Materials

The materials used to build automatic types of pool covers may vary. For example, an automatic mesh pool cover normally uses woven mesh or solid vinyl along with polypropylene.

An automatic hard safety pool cover generally uses materials like reinforced vinyl. However, an automatic hybrid pool cover uses patches or vinyl and small portions of mesh.

Automatic Pool Cover Cost

An automatic pool cover is the most expensive type of pool cover. When purchasing an automatic pool cover, the price can start as low as $10,000 for a modest, commercial deck installation or a basic under-track system. However, this modern type of safety cover might cost up to $20,000 for a pool with more intricate swimming pool features.

How Do I Choose A Pool Cover?

Swimming pool with covering mechanism, coping, and liner Although selecting a cover for your swimming pool may appear insignificant, it is critical to safeguard your well-loved pool, especially during the wintertime. Pool covers help to prevent snow, ice, and other detritus from getting in your pool and avert evaporation.

Novice pool owners may not be aware of the proper procedure for selecting an efficient pool cover. Because choosing the right cover necessitates various variables such as swimming pool shapes, size, and material, you will want to ensure you have all of the pertinent information before making your purchase.

Measure the Size of Your Pool Cover: To effectively cover and seal your pool, the pool cover you will purchase has to be the perfect size for your swimming pool. Pool covers for in-ground pools must reach at least 3 inches over the pool’s edge, as per specialists.

You must first measure your pool to determine its dimensions before buying a cover. If your pool has a common size, it will be easier and less costly to get one in stores. Otherwise, you must get a customized cover.

Identify the Shape of Your Pool Cover and Purchase the Best Material According to Your Needs and Preferences: Numerous manufacturers provide pool designs with symmetrical forms and clean lines, like rectangular or Grecian.

Pools with rounded corners or uneven sides, on the other hand, necessitate more work. If your pool is oddly shaped, you will almost certainly need to order a customized pool cover. Moreover, you should choose the pool cover material that suits your needs and preferences.

Manual Vs Automatic Pool Covers 

Swimming pool with concrete coping, cover, and lounge chair As the name suggests, manual-type pool covers are hand-cranked pool coverings that roll across two parallel sections of track, one on either side of the swimming pool. A manual pool cover is also an attractive complement to any type of pool.

They are not intended to be used on pools larger than 18′ x 36′ since the cover might become too weighty to roll up. They employ a hand-crank mechanism that turns the huge aluminum covering tube, allowing the pool cover to slide on and off the pool.

Manual pool covers perform an excellent task of maintaining the pool’s cleanliness when you are not using it, and they also have a multitude of extra advantages.

A manual pool cover is one with a solid cover fabric. When the covering is hand-cranked above the pool, it prevents water loss due to evaporation, cuts on chemicals, reduce energy expenses, and, most importantly, serves as an ASTM-certified pool safety cover.

When the pool cover is in position, it protects all of the pool’s sides from inadvertent access. They are incredibly cost-effective for the various advantages they provide as they do not have a motorized mechanism or a costly electric generator.

On the other hand, when it comes to tracking and covering fabric, a completely automatic pool cover is very comparable to a manually controlled cover; in actuality, many consumers will buy a manual pool cover and then transform it into an automatic pool cover at a certain point in the future.

Automatic pool covers, similar to manual covers, conserve water, electricity, and chemicals, and they are also ASTM-certified safety covers. They also prevent grime, twigs, and other waste out of the pool when the covering fabric is placed over it, making it spotless and prepared for usage.

Electrical motors power the driving mechanism of automatic pool covers, which can be either electric or hydraulic. An electric button initiates the operation of turning the pool cover on and off. This transition can be triggered by a button, a custom-designed electronic keypad, or a key-activated switch with a detachable key for added security.

The automatic pool cover is perhaps the most convenient kind of pool cover to use since it can be easily controlled using an electric switch. Pool users may take advantage of the numerous advantages that these types of coverings provide over manual pool covers.

In terms of pool cover fabric functionality, there is extremely minimal distinction between these two types of covers when it comes to the benefits you can get.

The main difference is that the automatic pool cover is easier to use, so it is used much more frequently. Therefore, in the long run, the automatic pool cover beats manual pool covers in many aspects.

Best Inground Pool Covers 

Swimming pool with fence near it and manual cover The ideal in-ground pool cover is determined by your most critical demands. A hard or automatic pool cover would be the optimal choice if you have small youngsters or pets.

A solar pool cover is a wonderful option for those who reside in warmer climates. A standard safety winter cover, on the other hand, will keep debris out of your pool without spending a lot of money.

Pool Supply World’s Velox silver solar pool cover is an excellent choice for in-ground pools. The UV-resistant material allows the sun’s power to flow through the water underneath the pool while also protecting pool chemicals from some of the impacts of UV exposure. This is a solid choice as it promotes safety, efficiency, and protection of your pool.

Best Above Ground Pool Covers 

Swimming pool with covering mechanism, and wood deck Mesh safety pool covers are arguably the best type of pool cover you can use for above-ground pools. Most of these mesh pool covers are UV-stabilized and can filter out debris and other particles effectively, which can help in keeping your above-ground pool spotless.

Robelle 3524-4 is a dependable above-ground pool cover you can use. It is a cover constructed of extremely tough polyethylene that should last for many years; it complements round-shaped 24-foot pools and is obtainable in other sizes.

Robelle has established a reputation for providing durable pool covers. This Robelle pool cover, like all others, is made of strong polyethylene material. Moreover, it is easy to install.

Do I Need a Cover for my Pool?

Swimming pool with manual cover mechanism Yes. Using a pool cover offers a lot of significant advantages. It prevents water loss, retains the heat you want in your pool, reduces the usage of chemicals, keeps the pool very clean, helps ensure safety, is easy to use, time-saving, and cost-efficient.

Do Solar Pool Covers Work?

Small swimming pool with cover and ladder Solar pool covers do work properly. They are normally used on outdoor pools to maintain heat and prevent humidity, and they also add temperature to the pool. They are very efficient in terms of insulating the pool as well.

Do Solar Pool Covers Cause Algae? 

Outdoor area with swimming pool, stone tile pavers, coping, and pool cover While a solar cover will not exactly make your pool ‘green’, it can elevate the warmth of your pool water by up to 8 degrees, thus if the other circumstances are right, installing a solar cover might simply and quickly promote algae growth. You must correct the water balance in your pool before placing back the cover.

Walk On Pool Covers 

Pool covers that can be walked on offer a different feeling of convenience. Pool covers that can be walked on are referred to as safety pool covers. Pool owners may stand up and walk right above the pool with safety and ease using a walk-on pool cover.

One of the better walk-on pool coverings is the Blue Wave rectangular ground safety pool cover. This pool covering equipment is excellent for in-ground pools and includes all of the fasteners and bolts required for people to walk across safely. It has a stainless steel framework and strengthened mesh-made strips.

Do Pool Covers Heat the Pool? 

Swimming pool with blue cover, and tile coping Yes. Numerous pool owners claim that their pools get warmer after putting on a pool cover, especially if it is solar. Nevertheless, it is indeed crucial to understand how they work so you can obtain a better understanding of how they can heat your pool.

When the water in your swimming pool evaporates, it takes the heat with it, lowering its temperature. Therefore, if you can eliminate evaporation, you can dramatically reduce heat loss. As a result, covering your pool will contribute to warming the water.

Does Pool Equipment Need to be Covered? 

Close up image of a covering mechanism for swimming pools This will depend on your preferences and local climate. Pool equipment is designed to be placed outdoors. And we all know that many harmful environmental elements can accumulate in your pool equipment if you are going to leave it uncovered. That is why it is often necessary to keep them covered so you can protect your pool from harmful outdoor elements.

However, as long as your pool equipment is well-maintained and appropriately winterized at the moment of pool closure, it does not need to be closed, since most pool equipment is built to withstand weather exposure. But, again, this will depend on your needs. Having your pool equipment enclosed or exposed is both fine.

See more related content in our article about swimming pool waterfalls on this page.

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