Home » Pool Cover Reviews: Solar Blankets Vs Thermal

Pool Cover Reviews: Solar Blankets Vs Thermal

There are many types of pool covers on the market today. There is a lot of confusion as to which cover to get and today I hope to help you move one step closer to making a decision.

Solar or Thermal Pool Blanket?

2014-08-06_1052 We get asked which is better, what rates higher or gets better reviews. The short answer is no pool cover is better than the other.  It all depends on your individual situation. Some pool covers will suit your needs more than others.

5 Reasons to Choose a Solar Pool Cover

    • Economical Choice – solar pool covers are a great cost effective pool blanket. They cost from $150 to $900 and give many of the benefits a thermal cover gives.
    • Heats Up Pool Water – solar covers actually heat the pool water. A thermal cover doesn’t. This is possible because the solar pool cover is translucent and has the ability to let the sun’s rays through into the water. Since a thermal cover doesn’t let light through, it doesn’t have this ability. A solar pool cover can heat pool water up to 8 degrees Celsius.
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    • Reduces Evaporation – like thermal pool covers, solar pool covers also cut up to 97% of evaporation. And it’s evaporation that is responsible for the majority of heat loss in your pool. It also causes chemical loss. Put simply, cutting evaporation will give you warmer pool water, reduce the amount of chemicals needed and you won’t need to top your pool up anywhere near as much.
    • Retains Heat – Although it doesn’t retain as much heat as a thermal pool cover, a solar blanket will still retain some heat. The air in the bubbles act as an insulator to keep your water warmer.
    • Life Time – solar pool covers can last as little as 8 months and as long as 5 or more years. The lifespan varies greatly between brands. Cheap covers normally lasting only a year or so.

5 Reasons to Choose a Thermal Pool Cover

    • You Have a Larger Budget – thermal blankets are a step up in the market and do cost more($900 to $1500).So it’s really a matter of weighing up the benefits to decide if the extra cost is worth it for you. For many people it is worth the cost.
    • Retains More of the Heat –thermal blankets are known to retain much more heat and can be twice as effective as a solar pool cover in doing this. Thermal covers are made from foam like material, which is an excellent insulator. If you have pool heating and spend a lot of money on heating costs, a thermal cover could be a good choice for you.
    • Last Longer –Yes, thermal blankets do generally last longer than solar pool blankets. Often thermal covers will last 8-10 years. So given the extra life of the product, the extra investment may be worth it.
    • Reduces Evaporation – Thermal pool covers are very effective at reducing evaporation and can cut up to 97% of evaporation, much like solar covers.
    • Looks Nicer – arguably thermal pool covers can look nicer than solar pool covers.  I’ll leave it for you to decide though.

Thermal Covers Vs.Solar Covers – Benefits

           Benefit                        Solar Pool Cover          Thermal Pool Cover
Ability to Retain Heat  Good  Excellent
Cost   $150 to $900  $900 to $1500
Heats Up Pool Water Yes   No
Reduces Evaporation  Excellent  Excellent
Life span  1-6 years  7-11 years



Our Recommendation

Our recommendation is to get a thermal pool cover if you have a larger budget and if you are spending a lot of money on heating your pool water.

Get a solar pool cover if you have a moderate budget, want to heat your water, reduce evaporation and retain some of the heat.  You’ll get most of the benefits that a thermal pool cover gives you at much lower cost.

Recommended Products

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Related Reading:
AquaBlanket Pool Cover Review – Pool + Spa Magazine
Do pool covers really heat the water?
Solar Pool Cover vs. Thermal Pool Blanket
Kidney Shaped Swimming Pool Covers – My Perfect Pool

2 thoughts on “Pool Cover Reviews: Solar Blankets Vs Thermal”

  1. I live in an adult community and covering the pool to reserve heat is a big problem. The pool is kidney shaped so it is difficult to find a cover to fit. We improvise using a rectangular cover that is difficult to get off and on daily. We currently have roll up reel that has failed us and the cover is falling a part after 3 years. We are looking for an alternative cover. Any ideas?


    • Thanks for the question Cliff. You can usually cut to size any solar pool cover. Just lay the product over the top of the pool and cut to size with household scissors. Leave an overlap of 10cm or so. Here’s a link to our article detailing this:


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