Home » What is a Pool Skimmer Sock, and Do You Need One?

What is a Pool Skimmer Sock, and Do You Need One?

If you own a pool, you’ve likely experienced small debris floating in the pool. You’re using a skimmer and running your pump regularly, but that doesn’t seem to get everything. Adding a skimmer sock is an easy and inexpensive way to help keep your water cleaner.

What is a Skimmer Sock?

A pool skimmer sock is a thin nylon net that goes inside the skimmer basket. The mesh of the skimmer sock is smaller than the holes on the skimmer basket, so the sock can pick up more debris than the skimmer basket alone.

The very fine netting can catch things like hair, pollen, grass, dirt, and bugs. It can also trap algae to prevent it from getting into the pump system. Ordinarily, these things would make it past the skimmer and into the pump and filter.

Man pulling out skimmer

Why Would You Use a Skimmer Sock?

Using a skimmer sock helps remove additional debris from your pool. It helps to keep your pool filter cleaner. This means less backwashing if you have a sand or DE filter. Or less hosing off and cleaning of cartridges.

As a result, you’ll have cleaner and clearer water.

How Does a Skimmer Sock Work?

A skimmer sock goes into the skimmer basket as an added layer of filtration. The skimmer sock helps to remove finer particles that are too small to be collected by the skimmer alone.

Basically, it acts as an additional layer of filtration. And the better your water is filtered, the clearer your water will be. No more cloudy water.

Where Do You Put a Skimmer Sock?

The skimmer sock goes inside the skimmer basket. It will sit inside the basket trapping the debris that would usually pass through the holes in the skimmer basket.

How Do You Use a Skimmer Sock?

Place the skimmer sock around the rim of the skimmer basket and put the basket back into the skimmer. Over time, it will collect a lot of gunk from your pool. When it’s time to clean, you can remove the sock and rinse it to reuse it or simply throw it away and get a new sock.

You should make sure you check the skimmer regularly. A blocked skimmer can mean the pump loses pressure.

Recommended Skimmer Socks

Not sure where to buy skimmer socks? Here are 3 recommendations to get you started.

Impresa Products 20-Pack of Pool Skimmer Socks

Pool Skimmer Socks
  • Have clearer cleaner water
  • Can be used to speed up cyanuric acid dissolving
  • Fits most skimmer baskets
We're industry experts and only recommend products we would use ourselves. If you click this link, we may earn a commision at no additional cost to you.


Quality nylon material with a strong elastic band makes these socks a great choice. They work for in-ground or above-ground pools. These are available from several stores so they’re easy to find. The estimated use time for each sock is 4-8 weeks. With that lifespan, you should be able to get through your pool season with one pack of these socks.

  • Universal design that fits most brands of skimmers
  • Life expectancy of 4-8 weeks per sock
  • Easy to install and also work with spas and hot tubs
  • Users complain about the sock not fitting well
  • The sock gets lodged in the pool filter when the sock gets full of debris

50 Pack of Pool Skimmer Socks

Pool Skimmer Socks (50 pack)
  • Have clearer cleaner water
  • Catches debris that pass through the filter
  • Will collect hair, dust, leaves & more
We're industry experts and only recommend products we would use ourselves. If you click this link, we may earn a commision at no additional cost to you.


These socks are made from nylon with very tight netting. They have a universal size to fit the majority of skimmers on the market. An elastic band at the top of the sock helps to hold it on the rim of the skimmer basket.

  • The mesh netting is very tight
  • The skimmer basket becomes easier to clean
  • It can be a struggle to get the socks in place
  • The netting needs to be changed very frequently to keep it from stressing the pump

Coopache 30-Pack of Pool Skimmer Socks

Coopache 30-Pack Pool Skimmer Socks
  • Have clearer cleaner water
  • Catches debris that pass through the filter
  • Will collect hair, dust, leaves & more
We're industry experts and only recommend products we would use ourselves. If you click this link, we may earn a commision at no additional cost to you.


The Coopache skimmer socks are super stretchy to offer a one-size-fits-most product. They are made to fit above-ground or in-ground pool skimmers. These socks are also compatible with skimmer baskets with handles.

  • Usage of up to 8 weeks
  • Easy to install, even with a handle in your skimmer basket
  • Can fit variety of shapes and sizes for skimmer baskets
  • The socks are very thin and tear easily
  • They need to be replaced more frequently

Other Ways to Use a Skimmer Sock

Skimmer socks can be useful to help distribute chemicals for your pool. Stabilizer and Cyanuric acid can be placed into the skimmer sock and placed in front of your return jets to help dissolve the chemicals.

It is not recommended to place chlorine into the socks. Chlorine will erode the material of the socks. The concentration of chlorine released might be too strong for your pool water. You also don’t want the chlorine too close to your pool equipment in a concentrated dose because it can cause damage to the pump and filter.

By the way, you should never add chlorine to your skimmer basket. Or most other chemicals for that matter. If you want to read more on this, check out: Should You Add Pool Chemicals to the Skimmer?

When Should You Use a Skimmer Sock?

There is no right or wrong time to add a sock to your pool maintenance routine. They work regardless of if you’re just getting the pool opened or if it’s been open for years.

Socks can be particularly helpful during seasonal changes-like pollen in the spring or leaves dropping in the fall. So, if you don’t use one all the time, you might want to consider using one during times when your pool has heavier debris.

Are Skimmer Socks Effective?

Skimmer socks can be a very low-cost effective way to trap additional particles that the skimmer basket can miss. Many pool owners have reported clearer water after using a skimmer sock.

Downsides to Skimmer Socks

They can fill up with debris quickly and need to be changed or cleaned regularly. Because of the thin material, you can usually only get a few uses out of each sock before it would need to be replaced.

If you don’t clean the socks regularly, the skimmer can get clogged. This will place additional stress on your pool pump because the water flow is reduced.

Alternative to Skimmer Socks

If you’re looking for some DIY alternatives to purchasing skimmer socks, you can try a pair of pantyhose or a hairnet with very fine netting. The material is very similar to the skimmer sock net but not as durable.

Hairnet or hair cap as an alternative to skimmer sock.

How Much Does a Skimmer Sock Cost?

Skimmer socks are sold in packs of 10-50. Prices can range from $10 up to about $40, depending on the quantity and quality of socks you purchase. 

How Long Do the Skimmer Socks Last?

Generally, you should get a few weeks out of each sock. However, you can treat them as disposable and just get a fresh one each time it needs to be changed if you don’t want to clean them.

The life of the skimmer sock does depend on a few different factors.

  • Quality of the Sock
  • Amount of Debris
  • Chemicals Used

First, the quality of the sock material can impact how long it lasts. Second, the amount and type of debris you are collecting can change the life of the sock. The larger, heavier materials are more likely to stretch the sock or cause it to rip.

Using chlorine or other chemicals in the skimmer sock can deteriorate the material and require it to be replaced sooner.

Related Reading: Can You Add a Skimmer to Intex Above Ground Pools?

Should You Get a Skimmer Sock?

We recommend using skimmer socks. For the small cost of the socks, you will save money on maintenance and repairs of your pump and filter. Because the socks can also trap algae, your pool chemical costs can be reduced too.

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