The 8 Best Pool Covers of 2023

Keep your water crystal clear with our top pool cover picks.

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Don't let dirt and leaves get in the way of you and a sun-soaked afternoon in the pool. Whether you already have a pool or are planning to build one, pool covers are a wise investment.

Many kinds of pool covers exist, including those designed to keep people and pets from falling into the water, winter covers to protect your pool from the elements, and mesh covers primarily meant to keep the pool a bit cleaner. These large, tarp-like accessories keep dirt and debris out of the water and filter, both aiding functionality and making the pool easier to clean. Pool covers can also help your water retain its heat and even minimize evaporation, saving energy because you won't have to heat or refill your pool as frequently.

When shopping for a pool cover, there are a few things you’ll want to consider. Namely, the size, material, and type of pool it’s compatible with (in-ground or above-ground). You should also look for key qualities such as ease of installation, durability, and maneuverability.

To create this list of the best pool covers, we reviewed dozens of options with these features in mind and spoke with expert Michael Dean, founder of Pool Research, to learn more about what you should look for in a pool cover. Read on to discover the best pool covers, backed by our research.

Best Overall

Happybuy Pool Safety Cover

Happybuy Pool Safety Cover Fits


Why You Should Get It
  • This rectangular cover is durable, meant to be used as a safety cover, and comes with all the hardware you’ll need to install it.

Keep in Mind
  • The tight mesh material may allow rain to fall in, which could disrupt the pool’s chemistry.

We named this pool cover from Happybuy the best overall because it offers multiple benefits, including safety. This cover is for in-ground pools with a rectangular shape and additional sizes are available. When ordering the size meant for a 16- x 30-foot pool, the cover itself measures 18 x 32 feet. The additional 2 feet on each side ensure the pool cover doesn’t stretch. It also means it’s big enough to protect your swimming pool. 

The cover is made from high-strength polypropylene and resists both aging and scratching. It’s triple-stitched for added durability, something that helps with ensuring the pool cover is safe for pets or little ones who may try to step on it. It also is excellent in cutting back on evaporation. Plus, you’ll enjoy a cleaner pool since it effectively keeps debris out.

You’ll need to install the cover, but all of the hardware is included, so no last-minute trips to the store are necessary. The hardware resists corrosion, which is a huge bonus since it will often be wet from splashing around in the pool and the rain or snow. One thing to note is the tight mesh design allows the rain through, so you may need to keep a closer eye on your pool’s chemistry when you’re ready to open it for the season. 

Price at time of publish: $410

Product Details: Size: 16 x 30 feet | Material: Polypropylene | Recommended Pool Type: Rectangular in-ground

Best Budget

Winter Block Aboveground Pool Winter Cover

Winter Block Aboveground Pool Winter Cover


Why You Should Get It
  • If you want a low-cost, lightweight option, this is one of the best pool covers to purchase.

Keep in Mind
  • The lighter material makes it easy to install, but it may not hold up as well as thicker pool covers.

Sometimes, you just want a no-fuss pool cover that won’t blow the budget. In that case, this round pool cover is a good go-to. The cover is meant for an above-ground pool and is sold in nine different sizes, including this 18-foot option. The cover size itself is 21 feet, allowing it to fit neatly over an 18-foot pool.

Made out of laminated polyethylene sheeting with high-density polyethylene stitches, it will keep out falling leaves in the autumn, snow in the winter, and rain in the spring and summer months. It’s lightweight and treated to resist UV rays. However, since the material is lightweight, it may not be as durable for pools in climates that receive tons of snow.

Still, installation is easy. The grommets for the perimeter and the steel cable and winch are all included with the pool cover itself, so you won’t need to guess at the correct hardware to use.

Price at time of publish: $32

Product Details: Size: 18 feet | Material: Plastic | Recommended Pool Type: Round, above-ground

Best Solar

Sun2Solar Blue 16-Foot-by-32-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover

Sun2Solar Blue 16-Foot-by-32-Foot Rectangle Solar Cover


Why You Should Get It
  • This solar cover soaks in and holds heat from the sun, so it’s great for outdoor pools that aren’t heated.

Keep in Mind
  • It isn’t meant to be a durable safety cover, so it’s not a great option for homes with young children.

If you have an outdoor pool but don’t have it heated, try going solar for one of the best pool covers to use. Solar covers, or solar blankets, use light from the sun to heat the pool water.

This pool cover from Sun2Solar comes in 29 different sizes and works for in-ground and above-ground pools, meaning you’re highly likely to find a cover size that works for whatever size pool you have. Plus, the covers are trimmable if you have a pool with a slightly different shape.

It’s made up of thousands of bubbles in a resin material and promises to absorb and hold onto heat from the sun’s UV rays. This means you can cover up the pool after a day of fun in the sun, and the water will stay warm for your next dive (or belly flop). However, it’s not a safety cover, so you may want to skip it if you have little ones around the pool regularly.

The brand also advertises that this cover can cut back on as much as 95% of the evaporation that can happen to uncovered pools. This pool cover will also block leaves and other dirt or debris from falling into your pool, saving you time on cleanup—meaning you have more time for enjoying the pool.

Price at time of publish: $195

Product Details: Size: Varies from 4 x 8 feet up to 30 x 50 feet | Material: Resin | Recommended Pool Type: Rectangular pools

Best for Above-Ground

Robelle 3524-4 Winter Round Above-Ground Pool Cover

Robelle 3524-4 Winter Round Above-Ground Pool Cover


Why You Should Get It
  • When you want a heavy-duty cover for your above-ground pool, this cover is the way to go with its 10-year warranty.

Keep in Mind
  • You’ll need to purchase cover clips and ​a ​cover wrap separately​ to create a secure fit.​

These are the best pool covers for outdoor above-ground pools that are round in shape. The polyethylene material is durable and stands up to harsh weather. The pool cover itself is solid rather than mesh or another porous material. It will keep out snow during the winter and rain in the springtime, so you won’t need to worry about your pool’s chemistry altering because of precipitation.

The cover size measures 28 feet, designed to fit a 24-foot pool. The additional 4 feet allow the pool cover to install easier. Buying this cover also means you receive a winch and cable along with grommets to securely cover your pool for the colder months. You could opt for cover clips and a cover wrap if you want to be sure the cover is extra secure, but those are sold separately.

Choose from eight different pool cover sizes, all meant for outdoor, above-ground, round pools. Each size offered comes with a 10-year warranty for added peace of mind.

Price at time of publish: $90

Product Details: Size: Varies from 12-foot up to 33-foot pools | Material: Polyethylene | Recommended Pool Type: Round, above-ground

Best for Safety

Blue Wave Rectangular Blue In-Ground Safety Pool Cover

Blue Wave Rectangular Blue In-Ground Safety Pool Cover

Home Depot

Why You Should Get It
  • If you have pets or small children around the pool often, it’s smart to invest in this safety cover.

Keep in Mind
  • The cover is strong, but its mesh material will let water into the pool.

Keeping people and pets safe by the pool should be a top priority if you have a pool in your backyard. Part of staying safe means investing in a quality safety cover for the pool, and this one does the job. It’s designed for in-ground pools and holds up to a whopping 4,000 pounds of weight, also known as its break strength. As a plus, it’s also available in several sizes, ranging from 14 x 28 feet to 20 x 40 feet.

The cover is a polyethylene, two-ply mesh material that’s made for safety. Keep in mind that the mesh material does let water into the pool, though it fends off falling leaves and other debris you don’t want to see floating in your pool. 

While the cover is over the pool, it’s held tight with brass anchors. The anchors sit level with the pool deck when you take the cover off. Ordering this cover means you also receive everything you need to install it, including the brass anchors, stainless steel springs, a specially designed installation tool, and a bag to keep everything handily in one place.

It’s easy to remove the cover when you want to take a dip or relax on a floatie—you can cover or uncover your pool in just five minutes or so. The pool cover comes with a 12-year warranty as a bonus. 

Price at time of publish: $785

Product Details: Size: Varies from 14 x 28 feet to 20 x 40 feet | Material: Polyethylene | Recommended Pool Type: In-ground

Best Mesh

In The Swim Premier 20 x 40-Foot Rectangular In-Ground Pool Leaf Net Cover

In The Swim Premier 20 x 40-Foot Rectangular In-Ground Pool Leaf Net Cover


Why You Should Get It
  • Use this mesh pool cover to keep debris out of the pool during your pool’s busy season or to layer on your winter cover for easy clean-up of falling leaves.

Keep in Mind
  • The cover is specifically meant to keep leaves out of the pool, so the mesh doesn’t provide any safety protection or protection against the weather.

Keeping your pool clean can feel like a part-time job during the warmer months. Having a mesh cover, like this one from In The Swim, to keep out as much debris as possible can be an incredible time saver. It’s made out of polyethylene knitted together to create the mesh material. This highly porous mesh material is specifically meant to help you keep leaves out of the pool.

It’s not going to hold up to anyone standing on it, and it won’t keep out precipitation. Because of this, the cover may not be for you if you’re concerned about keeping out the rain or preventing the pool water from evaporating. Still, you can pair it with a winter cover as soon as autumn approaches to provide double protection for your pool.

This cover is for in-ground pools and measures 20 x 40 feet. It’s backed by a two-year limited warranty and a one-year full warranty should any problems arise.

Price at time of publish: $107

Product Details: Size: 20 x 40 feet | Material: Polyethylene | Recommended Pool Type: In-ground

Best for Inflatable Pools

Reinmoson Inflatable Pool Cover Fits Pool Under

 Reinmoson Inflatable Pool Cover Fits Pool Under


Why You Should Get It
  • Order this pool cover if you want to protect your inflatable pool with a tear-resistant cover that stands up to the sunshine.

Keep in Mind
  • The lifespan of the cover is only three to five years.

Even inflatable pools need covers—after all, they can still catch falling leaves or dirt. This polyethylene cover with five layers is the best pool cover for inflatable pools because it fits so many different sizes and shapes. As long as your pool is under 130 inches high and 72 inches wide, this cover will work. It can even be used on a metal frame pool sitting above-ground, adding to its versatility. 

The cover is easy to install because of the elastic built right into it. The elastic grips the corners of an inflatable pool, somewhat similar to how a fitted sheet grips the corners of a bed. Depending on the size of your pool, you could tuck any excess cover underneath the pool for added security against gusty winds. It lasts for about three to five years, which typically works well with inflatable pools.

If you’re looking for a longer-lasting cover, this might not be one of the best pool covers for you. On the other hand, the cover resists tearing, and it’s even resistant to UV rays. The reasonable price and the installation that takes about 20 seconds make this a great choice for inflatable pools. 

Price at time of publish: $38

Product Details: Size: 135 x 108 inches | Material: Polyethylene | Recommended Pool Type: Inflatable pools

Best In-Ground

Pool Mate 352545RPM Heavy-Duty Blue Winter Pool Cover

 Pool Mate 352545RPM Heavy-Duty Blue Winter Pool Cover


Why You Should Get It
  • If you don’t want rain or water to pass through your pool cover during winter, this is the best pool cover for in-ground pools.

Keep in Mind
  • You’ll need to buy water tubes to install the cover.

Pool safety is important, and so is keeping your pool clean. This includes preventing rain and snow from entering the swimming pool, knocking its chemistry off balance. If you don’t have little ones at the pool very often, then this winter cover is going to be one of the best pool covers for you.

Use this cover during the winter when you’re not swimming in or otherwise enjoying the pool. This polyethylene pool cover is solid rather than woven or mesh, so it won’t let water through it. Plus, its seams are sealed with heat, providing even more protection from precipitation. The top of the cover is treated with a coating that resists damage from the sun’s rays.

Though the cover comes complete with water tube loops for easy installation, the water tubes that hold the cover in place must be purchased separately. (It’s designed to work with the water tubes because the cover floats on the water.) To that end, be sure to go up in size if your pool has steps or a seat to allow the cover to float on the pool water. The 12 different cover sizes make it easy to find something that will cover your pool.

Price at time of publish: $140

Product Details: Size: Varies from 12 x 14 feet up to 30 x 60 feet | Material: Polyethylene | Recommended Pool Type: In-ground

The Bottom Line

The Happybuy Pool Safety Cover is our pick for the best overall pool cover for its safety features and durability. If you’re shopping on a budget, try the Winter Block Aboveground Pool Winter Cover. The pool cover is lightweight and easy to install.

What to Know About Pool Covers Before Shopping


When it comes to the size of your pool cover, Michael Dean, founder of Pool Research, says it’s “pretty straightforward.” Choose a pool cover that fits both the size and the shape of your pool. Those with freeform-shaped pools “may need multiple covers, a custom cover, or just one big enough to cover all the freeform edges.”


Several materials exist for pool covers. Dean tells us the least expensive option will be a “thin, tarp-like material, and it’s cheap for a reason.” It’s not very durable, so he advises against it if you’re looking for a safety cover or pools located in “extreme climates.”

Dean adds that mesh covers are popular; they’re more durable than tarp-style covers, and they protect from debris. He says they can be a decent option for pools indoors. However, he adds that they don’t offer much protection from the sun, and they let water through, “which can mess with your pool chemistry pretty badly.”

Vinyl pool covers are another common cover material, and they come in varying thicknesses. Depending on how thick the material is, vinyl covers are typically used in higher quality winter and safety covers. Dean says, “I recommend it for most pool owners since it will save you safety headaches and some maintenance costs over time.”

Recommended Pool Type

You’ll want to pay attention to whether a cover is meant for above-ground or in-ground pools, Dean says. “There are companies that design covers specifically for one or the other, so read the details carefully to make sure it lines up with the pool you have.”

Your Questions, Answered

When should you use a pool cover?

Dean says that pool covers can be used all year. He recommends “leaving it on when your pool isn't in use, at night, during windy weather, and in the winter.” Dean adds, “Using it often reduces water evaporation, helps retain heat, adds safety, keeps out debris, and helps with cleaning and maintenance (all of which saves you money).” He also notes it’s important to remove the cover once in a while during pool season to let the water “breathe” and to “perform regular maintenance.”

How much does a pool cover reduce evaporation?

As noted, pool covers can help reduce evaporation. Dean explains, “Your pool can lose anywhere from 2 millimeters to 2 inches of water every week because of evaporation (depending on the size of the pool and climate).” In fact, he says having a pool cover in place could “reduce water evaporation up to about 90% when in use.”

What is the difference between a safety cover and a winter cover?

A safety cover is “physically anchored to your pool deck,” according to Dean. He notes they’re one of the safer choices if you have children at the pool. Winter covers, on the other hand, are generally designed to block UV light, protect against harsh weather, and keep out debris when the pool isn’t in use.

Who We Are

This article was written by Brittany VanDerBill, a freelance lifestyle and travel writer whose work has been published with several Dotdash Meredith brands. To create this list, she researched various types of pool covers with high ratings and contacted Michael Dean, founder of Pool Research.

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