We compiled the best pool cover reviews so that you could have the best experience buying pool covers. Having a pool cover is just one part of pool maintenance that any pool owner should utilize, especially when paired with automatic pool cleaners.
Best Pool Cover Comparison
Below, you'll find the 10 most popular pool covers. Not only did I make it easy to look at them all at once in the table below for easy pool cover comparison, but I also give a summary of the main pros and cons of each pool cover! Be sure to check out these pool cover reviews to get the right pool cover for your pool.
|1. [Best Inground] Pool Mate||4.8||$$||12yr|
|2. Blue Wave Dirt Defender||4.7||$$$||15yr|
|3. In The Swim Above Ground Leaf Cover||4.6||$||4yr|
|4. [Best Winter and Oval Cover] Robelle||4.4||$$||20|
|5. Blue Wave Above Ground Pool Cover||4.3||$||12yr|
|6. [Best Intex Pool Cover] Intex Round||4.1||$||unknown|
|7. In The Swim Round Above Ground Winter Pool Cover||3.9||$||8yr|
|8. DeluxPlus Above Ground Winter Pool Cover||3.8||$||10yr|
|9. Blue Wave Oval Above Ground Pool Cover||3.8||$||8yr|
|10. Intex 10 Foot||3.5||$||unknown|
What Pool Cover is Right For You?
Most people fall into 2 groups - they either want a pool cover for winterization, or as a shield against debris. If you're looking for solar pool covers to heat up your pool then you'll want to read our favorite solar pool covers here.
Of course a good pool cover will has environment benefits in addition to both problems, but some pool covers are better for one than the other. However, if you are looking for a cover to winterize your pool then always go for one that is specifically a winter pool cover.
Answering "What is the best pool cover?" is not easy. There are a lot of different things to consider when purchasing the best one for you. To help give information, we wrote pool cover reviews for the top pool covers available on the market.
Best Pool Cover Reviews
EDITOR RATING: 4.8/5
The Pool Mate Inground Pool Cover for Winter is hands down the best pool cover for inground pools.
For the price you pay it is EXTREMELY high quality. Not only is the material really high quality, but also all the seems are heat sealed for extra durability.
The high quality is probably what makes it last longer than other cleaners too. With the average life of 3-4 years it lasts longer than most other winter pool covers whose edges get brittle and tend to break.
Part of it is probably due to sun damage, and while almost all inground pool covers have sun protection, Pool Mate's sun protection seems to be a lot more effective. After 2 years the material doesn't seem to have aged at all.
It is light weight so it is pretty easy to take on and off. It is a little thinner than I thought but at least it is reinforced with the heat seal to make sure it offers the protection you would expect.
So far, it is the only pool cover we have reviewed that gives 5 feet of overlap on all sides so that it is easy to set up and install. The 5 feet makes sure that it is stable and the pulling on the sides to keep it tight won't degrade the pool cover.
The company claims that the cover can sit comfortably on top of the water. However, I always like to use the air pillows to make sure it doesn't sag too much into the water to keep increase the life of the cover. The air pillows don't come with the cover but at least Pool Mate put little slots in the cover for them.
With proper winterization chemicals and its anti algae material your pool will be sparking clean when you open it up. Although the anti algae material doesn't prevent algae from growing our 2 neighbors who use this have never had any issue with algae. Officially, they state it "slows down algae growth" instead of preventing it, but either way it is doing a good job.
Bottom Line: It is hands down the best inground pool cover. It isn't much more than other pool covers but it is a lot higher quality and comes with a lot of nice bonuses (such as algae reduction material and pillow cover slots). With a 12 year warranty you can't go wrong with this pool cover.
EDITOR RATING: 4.7/5
The Blue Wave Dirt Defender Inground Winter Pool Cover is definitely one of the best pool covers for inground pools. This cover is probably the highest quality on our list of top 10 and it is reflected in its price. However, the quality difference and 15 year warranty make it worth it.
The multiple layers of this pool cover makes sure that not only is your pool getting the protection from debris that you want, but also is locked nice and tight to reduce evaporation.
It is not mesh and will actually hold out almost all water that comes on it. If you have heavy rains make sure to get the water off when you can so it doesn't get into the pool and make it sag. It's actually good for most environments, sun, rain, snow the premium woven polyethylene scrim will stand up to all of these weather conditions.
It not only blocks debris from getting out, but its black underside also slows algae growth. This is because it doesn't let any light through so it is hard for algae to grow, but it also helps reduce evaporation in your pool by soaking the heat itself instead of the pool getting warmer.
However, it would be great that if it came with air pillows that it has slots for. Air pillows really create a nicer visual appeal but also help make sure the cover isn't buried into the pool This increases the above ground pool cover's life because it puts less strain on the edges and reduces the chance of getting ripped or torn.
The Blue Wave Dirt Defender also comes with a 15 year warranty. Like with all swimming pool cover warranties it's not a full warranty for the entire time period, but at least they tend to pay for shipping for most cases and the warranty conditions aren't as strict as others.
Bottom Line: If you want one of the best inground pool covers then be sure to check out the Blue Wave Dirt Defender Inground Pool Cover. It comes in a variety of sizes for your pool and will keep your pool clean which makes it perfect for winterization.
It is reliable and will last you for years so you don't have to deal with the headaches of opening up your pool.
EDITOR RATING: 4.5/5
In the Swim's Above ground Pool Leaf Cover is definitely the best above ground pool cover for leaves and keeping debris out that is not only very affordable, but does its job well. It's not great as a hardcore winter pool cover though.
First of all, it is very easy to set up. I always put it on with one of my kids, but even when I sometimes have to do it myself it's quite easy. Fortunately for me the cover came as expected and it was the perfect size. It had the fully advertised overhang of 3 feet.
Unfortunately, there are others who claim there is not enough overhang. This is probably because they have thick pool walls or top so if this sounds like your pool then get a cover for a slightly larger pool to make sure it has the necessary overhang to keep it snug and secure.
It works okay in areas with some light to medium snow but isn't great for places with intense blizzards since this isn't what it was made for. It helps with the winterization process well, but it truly excels in its main function - keeping leaves and debris out of your above ground pool.
This is because it has a nice, tight mesh that blocks leaves and other debris from getting in. It has smaller water holes than other covers to make sure it's really keeping things out of your pool so when you open up your pool after Winter there will be very little to clean.
If your area has a lot of leaves then you'll want to clear the leaves off with a leaf blower, fan, or by shaking it off about once a week. Doing so prevents too much leaf build up and prevents the weight of the leaves from making the pool cover sag which can stretch out your cover and reduce the length of time it lasts.
The quality itself is great for the price. Unlike other covers in its price range it seems to have easily a 2 to 4 times life expectancy of anywhere from 3-5 years based on personal experience, several neighbors, and from what I have heard from people in more snow inclined areas.
Like with most covers you’ll want to get an air pillow for the center of your pool. This way, the cover won’t dip into the water which damage the cover. Air pillows are very cheap but will help preserve your cover so they are great investments for all pool covers.
Bottom Line: If you're looking for the best pool cover for above ground pools then you've found it. Affordable, easy to use, and keeps your above ground pool really clear during the winter it's a great option for anyone who doesn't live in areas with intense blizzards.
I live in California so this was a clear favorite for me. Great for areas with light snow, heavy leaves, lots of sun. If you do have heavy snow then look at pool covers made specifically for the winter like the Blue Wave Above Ground Winter Pool Cover.
EDITOR RATING: 4.4/5
In this pool cover review we'll be discussing all of the Robelle pool cover types. The mains ones cover round above ground pools, oval above ground pools, and rectangular in ground pools - they will have anything you need and are among the best pool covers for inground pools and above ground pools.
The above ground pool ones have customizable sizes so when you are taking a look on Amazon just know that you can change the desired size with a click of a button. All of the different types of Robelle covers have a ton of size options so they'll definitely have a cover for your pool.
Setting up Robelle swimming pool covers is pretty easy. Unlike other covers, they come with winches and a cable to hold your cover down. Using them both is important so that the wind won't blow it off and it'll keep your cover nice and tight. This makes the Robelle covers as some of the best pool safety covers.
Personally, I found that the cover size was good with a several feet of overhang so it makes it nice and easy to secure. However, some people seem to complain that there isn't enough and I'm not sure why. Pool covers are bought according to size so the overhang should all be the same with a difference of only a couple of inches so I'm assuming it's probably because they expect more overhang.
The material is pretty high quality for a mid-tier cover and it doesn't wear down much when it's outside with the elements. However, it is a little more thin than Robelle makes it sound so it puts the durability into question a little bit.
It probably won't rip or tear just from being outside, but if there are sharp or large sticks that fall onto it it may create some holes. However, if you make sure it is left alone while it is on then it can last around 2-4 years which is pretty good considering most pool covers only last for 1 season.
Even if it lasts only 2-4 years it does come with a 12 year warranty. I'm not exactly sure what the warranty covers because I haven't had to use it yet, but based on other user's feedback it seems to be a mediocre warranty. This is because holes and tears don't allow you to get a new pool cover so I'm not sure what the warranty covers.
Bottom Line: Robelle probably makes some of the best winter pool cover for above ground pools and inground pools. Robelle pool covers are medium price, but good quality and get the job done.
They might be a little thin but as long as you are careful around them then they can last a long time (~3 years). Not recommended for those with a lot of large trees around.
EDITOR RATING: 4.3/5
Blue Wave's Above Ground Winter Pool Cover is the second best above ground pool cover next to Robelle's. Unfortunately, most of them are pretty cheap so there isn't high standards for the #1 choice, but this is definitely the one.
First of all, it's pretty easy to set up. It comes with its own cable, grommets. For once, the cable is actually the correct size for the advertised pool size!
It's easy to set up since this is one of the few covers that aren't smaller than advertised. I had about 3.5 feet (they claim 4 feet) of overhang which is very good to keep it on the pool without putting a lot of stress on the material.
Unfortunately, the workmanship itself is rather lackluster. Where the material meets the grommets sometimes you can tell it was patchy work. Mine was pretty good, but there are reports of the metal grommets sometimes being crimped shut so if that's the case make sure to quickly return it for your money back.
Although the workmanship itself could be improved, the quality of the material is actually pretty good. It's more durable and thicker than other pool covers which are often thin and tear easily. Additionally, the cover has UV protection so it lasts even longer - even in the sun.
In areas where the sun is really intense (California, Florida) it might not last as long because all UV protection has its limits. However, it's good to note that I'm in California and I'm about to test it for its third straight year so it's not too bad.
Blue Wave advertises this more as a "dirt" pool cover than winter pool cover, but it can do both either way. It does its job by keeping debris out from the pool so when you put it away after the summer/early fall you can trust that nothing will get in.
Additionally, even if your pool wasn't perfect clean before putting on the cover for the off season its bottom material is specially made to slow down algae growth. The pool should be cleaned before putting the cover on it, but if isn't 100% clean it's good to know that when you open up the pool again in the Spring you won't come back to a big, green surprise.
It'll last through most mild snow storms, but may be blown off during the big winds with lots of wind. If your area has really intense blizzards then you should consider purchasing an extra clamp or grommet to really secure it down. When it stays on though it works really well.
The Blue Wave Above Ground Dirt Cover comes with a 12 year warranty, but only the first 2 years provide full coverage. After that, it's pro rated and you still need to pay shipping. It's not the best warranty, but at least it's not the worst.
The fact that the first 2 years is fully covered is already better than most other pool cover warranties out there.
Bottom Line: This is definitely the best winter cover for above ground pool - especially when you take price into consideration. It is inexpensive and does its job pretty well that has a nice extra feature of reducing algae build up. It'll also keep the debris out of the pool and is guaranteed to last at least 2 seasons (with the warranty) so it is a good buy that is worth considering.
EDITOR RATING: 3.4/5
Intex is one of the biggest pool product manufacturers and is best known for their above ground pools. Naturally, they created some pool covers for their pools so it's one of the best above ground pool covers for Intex pools.
Quick Tip: If you want an easy, no hassle clean pool then you'll definitely want to check out the top above ground pool vacuums.
While this swimming pool cover is specifically made for their brand of Intex Metal Frame Pools 15 feet, it will also work with other brands of pools and even inflatables that have a 15 foot diameter or less. Don't purchase it even if you have a 16 diameter foot pool.
First of all, it's not the easiest to set up. You can't expect it to just perfectly drape over your pool purchasing extra rope (it comes with 1 rope) or clamps. It'll go on your pool without extra rope or clamps but it can be blown off by wind and might sag into your pool towards the middle.
Personally, clamps is a lot easier to set up and they are relatively cheap so I would recommend going with them. It also fixes the problem of sagging and the cover being blown off by wind.
Using clamps is the best way to keep your pool cover nice and tight over your Intex above ground pool. If you use clamps the cover is really the perfect size - it has enough overhang and is nice and firm when tightened.
Unfortunately, even with the clamps the tightness doesn't always stay stay. Since it's a cheap pool cover it's made out of cheap materials and it wears down. Within about a year it will start drooping from the wear.
One way to combat this is to continuously tighten your cover as it starts drooping and things out. This won't work forever, because while keeping the pool cover tight makes it work better and keep debris out of your pool, it also puts stress on it. The stress continues to thin it out and will eventually cause tears.
A nice extra feature is that it has drain holes to reduce water build up on top. Excess water on top wears it down very quickly so the drain holes help minimize the problem. They aren't perfect though and some wear will still stay on the cover so after it rains you will want to shake the water off.
Unfortunately, the holes are a little bigger than they should be. Because of their size sometimes leaves fall into the pool. It's not a problem if you don't have trees around, and isn't a big problem overall.
However, you expect a pool cover to keep all debris out from the pool so that you don't have to pay attention to it when you're not using it. Leaving debris in your pool for months at a time (even if it's not much) can sometimes result in algae.
Overall, it's not that helpful as a pool cover. It works fine the first year, but it's still a pain to set up because you also need to purchase clamps for it to work well. The water holes allow debris to get in which is not what you want your pool cover to do but if you don't have trees nearby then it's fine.
Bottom Line: The Intex 15 Foot Above Ground Pool Cover is an okay pool cover, but is the best swimming pool cover for intex pools. Still, it doesn't save you the time and energy that you would hope.
It's a low quality cheap pool cleaner and you may have to keep purchasing them every 1-2 years. We recommend going with a different pool cover that is a little more expensive, but will save you money over the years and will cause you less headache.
EDITOR RATING: 3.9/5
The In the Swim Round Above Ground Winter Pool Cover is a pretty good winter cover option.
It's great overall as a general pool cover too as it'll also reduce evaporation and make sure debris doesn't get into it. It's on the cheaper side so don't expect it to be the best one you can get that will last for 10 years. With that said, it's a good pool cover for the money.
When you take it out of the package you'll notice that the quality is pretty good and feels pretty durable because, well, it is. It also comes with a winch and some cable for an easy set up which is nice because you don't have to go out and buy extra materials like you do with other pool covers.
Unfortunately, it runs a little smaller than advertised. It's a 24' foot pool that is supposed to have 3 feet overhang but we found that it was closer to 2 for us so if your pool is 24' or above consider getting the next size to get more overhang and keep the swimming pool cover nice and secure.
Having a low amount of overhang can make it hard to secure if there is a lot of wind, but for us we don't have a lot of wind so it isn't a problem. On that note you probably don't need to get a larger one if your area doesn't have a lot of wind like ours.
Once it's deployed on your site you'll find it's quite durable. The high grade plastic material really does its job and doesn't get worn out as quickly as other covers which tends to quickly degrade in 6 months to a year. It also has some UV protection so maybe that's why it doesn't get worn out as fast as other covers.
Unfortunately, it comes with a lackluster warranty. While other covers come with a warranty of anywhere from 1-12 years I got mine with an 8 month warranty. The warranty itself is good but you are unlikely to benefit from it since it is so short and potential problems tend to show up after 1.5 or 2 years.
Bottom Line: In the Swim's pool covers are overall pretty good and worth a buy. There are some better options out there (such as Robelle) but they can be good alternatives and are very affordable.
They aren't ideal for windy environments and if they are in them consider getting an extra clamp to make sure it's nice and secure. Also, be sure to buy a size larger than what they recommend since the overhang is less than advertised.
EDITOR RATING: 3.8/5
The DeluxePlus Above Ground Winter Pool Cover does its job. It'll protect your pool and do its job, but it won't wow anyone.
First of all, it is a little thinner than expected. The description says it'll last 8 years, but it seems like it'll last closer to 4 or 6 years based on seeing how it is shaping up after 3 years of use at a neighbor's pool. However, that amount of time still makes it a great deal.
It'll get some holes and tears over the years but it's nothing that can't really be fixed without masking tape if you want to do some small patches yourself and not shell out money for a new cover. Unfortunately, it does look just like a glorified tarp so it's hard to say it was made specifically for pool covers or not.
2 areas where it excels in is:
1) Extremely secure
2) Ultraviolet ray protection
It's extremely secure and won't be blasted off by strong winds because it has triple laminated grommets every 3 feet. This gives it an extra strong holding that won't wear out the edges because the pressure will be evenly distributed.
It's UV ray protection is decent for a pool cover, and has definitely extended the life of the cover. This is coming from someone who lives in California so if you live in an area with less sun it may be able to last longer than the estimated 4-6 years.
Bottom Line: It's a decent quality pool cover that does its job pretty well. The best reason to buy it is because it lasts longer than cheap covers even though this one is quite inexpensive itself.
EDITOR RATING: 3.8/5
It's no surprise that the Blue Wave Oval Above Ground Pool Cover is a pool cover that gets the job done.
While this oval pool cover isn't Blue Wave's best work it's one of the few options for oval above ground pools.
The Blue Wave Oval is pretty similar to most other Blue Wave cover products. Like the other covers, it is a little thin. It's not as thin as other, lower quality pool covers, but it's not exactly going to impress or wow you with how thick and durable it is.
Because of its thinness and average quality material it typically only lasts 1-2 seasons, but don't get your hopes up - just expect it to last 1.
However, there are a lot of things that make users like the cover. For example, it's actually the correct size for the pool size you buy it for. Many other pool covers tend to run smaller than expected and in that case it's a better idea to buy a larger cover which is annoying.
However, with this Blue Wave Pool Cover you can just buy it for your actual pool size and have it be a great fit. With 4 feet of overhang it'll stay nice and snug - even in areas with some wind. Additionally, because there is so much overhang you won't put a lot of strain on it by making it nice and tight.
What helps the overhang and keep it secure is that strong cable and winch tightener for the metal grommets. This will make sure the cover stays on and will prevent it from sagging in the middle, thus offering your pool maximum protection.
On the bottom side of the material (the pool side) there is a black, anti algae bottom material. It won't prevent algae but at least it'll slow down the growth of it. Even if your pool isn't perfectly clean or some debris gets in over the winter you won't see an ugly green mess and do a lot of cleaning to get rid of it.
Bottom Line: There aren't a lot of options for oval pool covers. While it's not the best pool cover available, it's still a pretty good option that gets the job done. However, if you want more for your money and don't want to buy one every season then you'll probably want the Robelle Oval Pool Cover which is a little pricier but much better quality and will last 2-4 seasons.
EDITOR RATING: 3.5/5
If you're familiar with Intex products then it won't surprise you when I say that the Intex 10 Foot Pool Cover is very average.
Intex tends to make products that just work. There's nothing wrong with that - in fact it's pretty good, but you'll never be amazed or blown away them. The same goes for their pool covers.
The Intex Above Ground Pool Cover is specifically made for Intex pools, but works for any round pools that are less than 9 feet or less. Honestly, the covers run a little small so if you have a 10 foot pool you should get a larger size.
You'd be lucky to get a foot of overhang if you get the recommended one for your pool which is why you need an upgrade. Even if you get a foot of overhang it's not enough to keep your pool cover securely on if there is light wind and it will put a lot of strain on your cover.
It has water drain holes so that if there is excess water sitting on the cover then it will go down into the actual pool. This is good and bad.
It's good because it will keep your cover lasting longer and prevent nasty, dirty water build up on top of your pool that bugs and mosquitos love to breed in. This makes it relatively hands off.
However, it's bad because it lets some leaves and other debris into the pool and also can change the pH of your pool. It's not ideal for winterization since you'll want to check up on it every month to make sure no algae is growing from all the debris and water the cover let inside the pool.
It tends to last just one season if you buy the "recommended size" but if you upgrade to a size larger than it'll probably last 2-3 years instead so it's worth paying the extra couple of bucks for a larger size.
Bottom Line: If you're looking for a cheap pool cover then it is an okay choice. It does its job and nothing more. Just make sure you buy a size larger than they recommend or you'll have a tough time putting it on and keeping it on - especially if you have wind in your area.
How to Choose the Best Pool Covers
Even though we have our own rating system in our pool cover reviews the ones that we like may not be the best one for you. I’m in California so we tend to have a lot more sun and less extreme weather conditions. While I did do a LOT of research about how the covers deal with snow and blizzards your experiences may vary.
With that in mind there are several things to keep in mind when selecting the right pool cover and we go over each of them in detail.
This is a no brainer. Whenever anyone buys anything price is one of the biggest factors when it comes to making a purchase. The biggest thing to keep in mind is that you get what you pay for.
There are some pool covers that are only $20-$30 out there, and it shows. These pool covers will do their job but tend to be made of poor quality and may even be shipped with tears and other manufacturing mistakes. They tend to only last 1 season.
There are other covers that are more in the $45-$80 range and these are higher quality than the bottom of the barrel covers. They’re not the best quality, but they’ll do their job well and will typically last 2-4 seasons. They also come with a warranty.
Pool covers above 100 tend to very high quality that will last for 6-10 years normally. They are more expensive but when you do the math per year they are much better options than the cheap pool cleaners.
They will give you less headaches and will be something you’re truly proud of. Take your budget into account but remember that buying a pool cover is an investment that will definitely pay off.
Some pool covers are a PAIN to put on and if you’re putting them on and off multiple times in a season you want one that is very easy. The easiest way to make sure it’s easy is if it has at least 2 feet of overlap (in all directions), comes with a cord/rope, and has winches & grommets.
If the cover comes with all of these then generally it will be pretty easy to set up. Extreme weather conditions such as heavy winds or blizzards may require extra materials such as clamps to help you stabilize your pool, but generally the default will be enough.
Most pool covers can be put on by one person, but 2 makes it a lot easier. The less overlap there is the harder it will be to get the pool cover nice and secure on your pool.
If you have an inground pool then the process is much easier and simpler. The installation may require some minor handyman assistance though.
Consider Material & Quality
Like we mentioned before – you get what you pay for. Don’t expect to buy the cheapest pool cover on the list and expect it to be made out of top of the line material and last 50 years. It’s not going to happen.
Personally, I think it’s worth it to buy the better quality pool covers. It requires more money up front but it saves money over the years and time from having to deal with the hassle of ordering new pool covers since better quality covers last longer.
How well does it protect your pool?
One of the great benefits to pool covers is that they help keep your pool clean. Naturally, most of them keep debris out to some degree, but there are others that will really keep all debris out.
If you have heavy debris you don’t want to ket a cover with a lot of large holes (to prevent water build up) because debris will go through and dirty up your pool.
Also, if your pool is algae prone make sure you get a cover with a black bottom surface that slows down algae growth. That way, even if you didn’t put the perfect amount of pool winterization chemicals and there’s a little debris that gets in there will be very little algae (if any) that grows.
Consider Weather Conditions
I mention I live in California because it’s important. I don’t deal with snow or a lot of rain – just leaves and a lot of sun. If you have all of the above then you really want the highest quality pool cover as the lower quality ones will probably get ripped to shreds from all of the different environmental conditions.
Most covers can handle light and medium snow well, while the best winter pool covers will be thicker and specifically made for pool winterization. They’re a little pricier than the cheap covers, but make sure you get one that will do its job.
There are a LOT of factors to take into consideration when it comes to buying a pool cover. I made the process easier by choosing our favorites which will actually work in all weather conditions, but there are a lot of factors to take into consideration.
Remember, you want pool covers to make your life easier, but they can’t do that if you purchase the wrong one. If there is any doubt about any of our best pool cover reviews then be sure to let us know in the comments below.
We’re always happy to help.