The Best Pool Cover Reviews for 2017


 

best-pool-coversLooking for the best pool cover reviews?  You have come to the right place!  After dozens of hours and consulting several experts, we have amassed the largest and most informative pool review article on the internet.  In this review, we list all of the top pool cover companies and break down our top picks based off of 6 metrics: Selection of Sizes/Types, Durability, Price, Aesthetics, Ease of Installation/Removal, and Overall Rating.  We also discuss pool covers in general and provide some valuable insight.  For your convenience, we have listed the top picks in the table below.  To read the more thorough review, just hop right below the table.

 

 

Best Pool Covers – Top 5 Picks

Rank#1#2#3#4#5
ProductArctic Armor
arctic-armor-pool-cover
In the Swim
in-the-swim-pool-cover
Robelle
robelle-pool-cover
Yard Guard
yard-guard-pool-cover
Pool Tux
pooltux-pool-cover
Price (Amazon)$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Overall Rating4-5-stars4-5-stars4-5-stars4-stars4-stars
ProsHuge selection of types and
sizes, some of the best warranties around
Large selection, very competitive prices
Good selection of premade sizes, quality materials are used in all products
Some of the best construction around, no shortcuts taken in construction, huge selection
Some more affordable products available, excellent quality, many different material choices
ConsNot as visually impressive as
some other premium brands, budget choices can be lacking some features
Budget lines don't look as formidable as other brands
Can be somewhat expensive, in-ground covers require a bit extra work
Extremely expensive, quite a bit of iniital setup
Higher end offerings can be quite expensive, not much for above-ground pools
TypeAbove-Ground/In-Ground
Above-Ground/In-Ground
Above-Ground/In-Ground
Above-Ground/In-Ground
Mostly In-ground
DesignNon-mesh and mesh
Non-mesh, mesh, and mesh hybrid
Non-mesh, mesh, and mesh hybrid
Non-mesh, mesh, and mesh hybrid
Non-mesh, mesh, and mesh hybrid
Pre-made shapesround, oval, and rectanglur
round, rectangular
round, rectangular
round, rectangular
round, rectangular
Custom designsYes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes
Breakdown of RatingsArctic ArmorIn the SwimRobelleYard GuardPool Tux
Selection of Sizes/Types5-stars5-stars5-stars5-stars4-5-stars
Durability4-stars5-stars4-stars5-stars4-stars
Price4-stars4-stars3-5-stars2-stars3-5-stars
Aesthetics3-5-stars3-5-stars4-stars4-stars4-stars
Ease of Installation/removal4-stars4-stars4-stars2-5-stars3-5-stars
Full ReviewLinkLinkLinkLinkLink

The Competition

pool-cover-competition

There are quite a few pool cover companies to choose from.  We have done the dirty work and compiled all of them here for your convenience.  Click on any of the names to jump to the full review that we have performed.

All-Safe

Check Out our Full Review

All-Safe is a large pool cover company, primarily specializing in higher-end custom applications.  Their products not only include conventional pool covers but also specialty covers including automatic pool covers and even see-through hard pool covers designed to be walked on.  Some of these are permanent fixtures or require experts to attach and remove.  These premium designs come at a premium price.

Arctic Armor

arctic-armor-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Arctic Armor is another rather large company that has a lot to offer for those shopping for a pool cover.  They have a good combination of materials, sizes, and price points which means that they cater to a very wide audience.  In addition, they offer both custom as well as pre-made covers for standard size pools.  No matter what type of pool you have, Arctic Armor likely has a cover that will work for you.

Bestway

bestway-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Bestway is a popular UK-based swimming pool supplier that offers up its own set of pool covers.  These pool covers are targeted to people with above ground pools who are looking to minimize the blow to their pocket book from their pool cover.  They don’t have a lot of size choices but if you happen to have a pool that meets their specs you should be able to swing it on just about any budget.

Coverstar/CoverLogix

Check Out our Full Review

Coverstar and CoverLogix offer essentially the same products so we have decided to lump them together.  These are high-end brands that offer both standard sizes as well as custom applications for unique pools.  However, they mostly deal with in-ground pools so for those who have an above-ground you might be out of luck.  They are quite expensive but they feel that their superior quality and construction warrants their high asking price.

Doheny’s

dohenys-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Doheny’s specializes in everything related to pools, but despite having to split their attention with other pool accessories they still manage to have an incredibly diverse range of pool covers to choose from.  These pool covers cover all sizes, above-ground and in-ground, and various materials that will vary on performance and asking price.  In addition, they also can create custom in-ground covers for more unique pools.

GLI

gli-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

GLI has a small but proven set of pool covers.  Specifically, they offer both safety and winter covers but seem to be more experienced and known for the safety covers.  In addition, while they do offer above-ground winter covers their expertise seems to be on in-ground covers in both safety and winter products.  Quality is on point but the asking prices can be a bit high depending on your pool and its shape.  They also allow for custom in-ground solutions but again be prepared to pay.

Harris

harris-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Harris pool covers are a UK-based company that make both standard pool covers as well as solar pool covers.  While they are mostly known for their solar pool covers, they do offer a range of mesh materials as well.  They typically focus on in-ground pools but can be made for above-ground pools as well.  Keep in mind that in order to enjoy these unique covers you will have to pay somewhat of a premium asking price.

Hinspergers

hingspergers-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Hinspergers company specializes in poly-related products and a branch of their company deals with pool covers.  All of their pool covers are custom-made and as such are very expensive.  They can do both in-ground and above-ground although we suspect most people with traditional-sized above ground pools will probably look elsewhere.  They do have a nice understanding of poly technology which you do see in their products if you happen to purchase one of their covers.

In the Swim

in-the-swim-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

In the Swim is another company that has a wide variety of pool-related products and accessories.  However, one of their most impressive collections is their pool covers, which span a vast variety of sizes, shapes, materials, applications, and prices.  They really try to find something that works for everybody no matter what their price point is.  Some of their budget items won’t have the premium offerings of some of the other brands but their higher end covers can hang with the best.

Intex

intex-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Intex focuses on low-cost above-ground pool covers in standard and popular sizes.  While they don’t have a lot of products to offer, it is apparent that what they do have is focused on being some of the most affordable pool covers money can buy.  Of course, in order to achieve this, they had to give up some features that are common in more expensive products.

Loop-Loc

loop-loc-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Loop-Loc builds its name around its impressive strength and proven track record.  This company primarily targets custom fits for in-ground pools  and a few types of above-ground pools and it also only deals in safety covers as opposed to solar covers, leaf covers, etc.  While it is on the pricy side, it offers a lot of premium specifications that many competitors can’t compete with.

Merlin

merlin-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Merlin is a pool accessory company that has a few different products including a variety of pool covers.  Their pool covers are typically designed for custom in-ground pools and as such are quite expensive.  For those willing to pay the high price tag you will be able to choose from several different types of material ranging from meshes, mesh hybrids, and solids.  All of Merlin’s products are well-constructed and should last for several years without issue.

Meyco

meyco-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Meyco specializes in in-ground pools in both custom and standard shapes and sizes.  They have been around for many years and established themselves as offering a reliable and high-quality product that will last for many years.  They don’t have a lot of variety in types of pools that they service, but they do have a nice array of color choices and a few different types of cover material.  While the build quality is definitely there, expect to pay a large price tag for one of these pool covers, especially if you are needing a custom shape or size.

Midwest

midwest-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Midwest pool covers deal exclusively in automatic pool covers.  These are expensive in-ground covers for those who don’t want to deal with the hassle of installing and removing their pool covers every season.  While they focus on a very specific niche, Midwest does offer quite a few options in regards to automatic pool covers so somebody in the market for this should be able to find something that works for them.  However, for the vast majority of people these covers won’t make sense either from a monetary standpoint or simply because they are catered to (such as people with above ground pools).

Pool Mate

pool-mate-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Pool Mate tries to tackle the competitive lower-end, non-custom market for pool covers.  They do this but offering a variety of above and in-ground pool covers in popular sizes.  They have both mesh and non-mesh products with various degrees of protection, varying from their very affordable Econo-mesh lines up to their Extreme and Heavy Duty pool covers.  They don’t deal in custom pool covers or super high-end pool covers so for those in the market for that you should look elsewhere.

PoolTux

pooltux-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

PoolTux is an experienced pool cover company that has a huge variety of various pool covers both in mesh and as well solids.  They have products that can cater to traditional-shaped pools as well as unique custom shapes and sizes.  However, for those who have above-ground pools you might have to look at other solutions for safety covers since they traditionally focus on in-ground pools.  However, they make winter covers both above and in-ground pools.  While they do have expensive fabrics that are designed to compete with the best, PoolTux also makes some products that are oriented towards people on a tighter budget.

Robelle

robelle-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Robelle has one of the largest selections of pool covers of all varieties, from above-ground to in-ground, in various materials, and for standard sized as well as custom-sized and shaped pools.  They products come with various features that help for them to stand out from their competition.  Prices are typically mid-priced to premium priced so for those who are looking to stay on a super tight budget your finances might be stretched more than you would like.  However, even for the slightly higher asking price we feel that the performance you get is justified.

Swimline

swimline-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Swimline primarily focuses on making covers for traditional shape and sized pools and does so for a very reasonable price.  While they won’t have all of the specialty features of many of the premium lines, they do a good job of producing a viable cover that will last for a few years while being within the budget of most consumers.  They have a few different options to choose from in regards to the type of material.  Most of them revolve around solid components but they do have a Deluxe Mesh line as well.

Yard Guard

yard-guard-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Yard Guard has a huge selection of various types of covers that are designed for everything including above-ground, in-ground, conventional shapes, and also specialty pools that come in unique shapes and sizes.  They tend to be on the expensive side but for the high asking price you get a very well-constructed product that is loaded with premium materials and specifications that help to make the cover last a long time.  They have solid, mesh, and mesh hybrid covers so no matter what you are after they likely have something that can meet your needs.

Ultra Armor MAXX

ultra-armor-maxx-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Ultra Armor MAXX focuses primarily on pre-made sizes for both above-ground and in-ground pools.  They have both mesh and solid covers that vary in their durability and warranty life.  Price ranges vary but they tend to fall in the middle of the road so they should be affordable to everyone except for those who are on a very tight budget.

Water Warden

water-warden-pool-cover

Check Out our Full Review

Water Warden primarily focuses on safety covers and also offers safety nets (which are designed to protect against children and animals falling in rather than stop leafs and debris from falling in).  Their target pool is an in-ground pool and they offer a wide variety of sizes and shapes and even do custom work.  Their prices are up there, however, and for those with above ground pools or that are looking for winter covers you will need to shop elsewhere.

Rating Metrics

rating-metrics

In determining what the best pool cover is, we have compiled a list of considerations that play a major part in determining the quality and viability of a pool cover.  We summarize each below.

Selection of Sizes/Types

This metric refers to the variety of pools that a given pool cover company caters to.  There is a wide range of pools on the market: above-ground pools, in-ground pools, round pools, rectangular pools, custom-shaped pools and all of these come in a variety of sizes.  Because of this, having a pool company that has a broad product line is very helpful as it makes it easier for us to recommend a particular brand to you, the reader.

Durability

Obviously, you want your pool cover to last as many of these products are quite expensive and can be considered a rather large investment.  There is a lot that goes into determining how tough a pool is: the material it is made of, its thickness, the quality of construction and sewing that goes into it, the types and materials used for associated hardware, and ultimately the warranty that the company offers to stand behind its product.  We highly value pool covers that excel at being extra durable as this means a longer life and more time in between you having to purchase a new one.

Price

Price plays a large role in our rating metrics.  Pool covers in particular come in a huge range of asking prices, starting at well under a hundred dollars and going up into the 5 figures.  There are a lot of factors that go into analyzing the asking price of a pool cover.  Typically, premade winter covers in standard sizes will be much cheaper than safety covers designed for a custom pool, so it isn’t entirely fair to blindly compare one pool cover to another.  Rather, we will compare a type of pool cover to that some type of pool cover offered by other brands and see where the prices line up.

Aesthetics

While not as big of a deal to some, aesthetics do play a part in some buyer’s minds when shopping around.  Things such as available color selections, giving off the look of quality, and how a pool cover will look 1, 5, and even 10 years into being used are things to consider.

Ease of installation/removal

We value pool covers that are simple to install, remove, and store.  Nobody wants to be outside fumbling around with a pool cover for long periods of time so companies that have engineered their covers to be as hassle-free as possible are definite positives in our book.

Overall Rating

This rating considers all of the above factors.  We produce an overall rating that we feel encompasses the general idea of a product and gives you, the consumer, a good idea of what type of item you will receive.

Full Reviews

full-reviews-pool-covers

These are the full reviews we have performed for each type of pool cover.  We break down the pros and cons of each and rate them based off of our established rating system.

 

 

 

All-Safe

Selection of Sizes/Types – 3-stars

All-Safe doesn’t have a huge range of materials and specifications for their covers, but what they offer they have a proven track record in.  In regards to materials, they have the traditional safety cover as well as mesh leaf covers.  Where they do stand out is in their hard covers, which aren’t designed for protection as much as they are for hosting parties.  They also offer automatic pool covers which most other companies can’t compete with.  They don’t really work with above ground pool covers at all, which is unfortunate.

Durability – 3-5-stars

These products are made with premium fabrics and construction and boast up to 12-year limited warranties.  While this isn’t the highest we have seen, it is still a solid promise and it shows that they stand behind their product.  Construction seems to not take any shortcuts, with strong stitching and premium metal hardware being used.  The anchors are sturdy and should handle many years of outdoor wear and tear.

Price – 2-stars

These are some of the most expensive pool covers on the market.  This is particularly true in regards to their automatic and hard pool covers as they use exotic materials and require additional components such as electronic motors and storage housings.  While their traditional covers aren’t quite as expensive, you still will have to open your pocket book pretty wide to purchase one.  This is partially due to the fact that they are generally custom covers that are designed specifically for your pool.  If you have a generic sized pool there are many more affordable options out there.

Aesthetics – 5-stars

All-Safe makes a very attractive product.  This is most noticeable in their hard pool covers which can even be made of hardwoods, acrylics, and more.  The design comes together nicely, and you can tell that they put thought into their design.

Ease of installation/removal – 2-5-stars

Most of these covers have a pretty high learning curve in regards to installing and removing.  They will require you to drill into concrete and in the case of the automatic pool cover, you will actually have to fix the structure to the pool and line it up correctly.  The hard covers are very bulky and will likely require expert assistance to properly handle.

Overall Rating – 3-stars

These are very attractive products that have a solid reputation and build quality behind them, but they are a bit lacking in various materials you can choose from.  In addition, for people with above ground pools you are going to have to look elsewhere and many people who have in-ground pools will be scared away from the premium price tag.  That being said if you are willing to pay the high asking price you will receive a very attractive, custom product that should last for many years.


Arctic Armor

arctic-armor-pool-cover-large

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Selection of Sizes/Types – 5-stars

Simply put, Arctic Armor has an incredibly impressive array of sizes and types of covers to choose from.  They have a huge span of both mesh and non-mesh covers that are designed for both in-ground and above-ground pools of all shapes and sizes.  Not only do they have a huge catalog of pre-made sizes but they can also do custom in-ground sizes for those with uniquely shaped pools.

Durability – 4-stars

Arctic Armor finds a happy medium between build quality and asking price.  For those who are on a tighter budget they offer products that give up a few key features (such as much thinner fabric and non rust-proof materials for metal parts) that might help your product survive a few extra winters, but for those who are willing to spend more you will receive a premium offering that can have up to a 20-year limited warranty, which is one of the longest in the business.  Their focus in on using long-lasting polyethylene strands that are 35% stronger than conventional pool covers while being 33% lighter.  In addition, there is 4 feet of overlap to ensure a tight fit.  Other helpful features include UV inhibitors and black undersides to help stop algae growth.

Price – 4-stars

On the lower end, Arctic Armor offers some really impressive prices.  This is most evidence on their 8-year warranty non-mesh above ground covers but also expands to other examples.  You will pay a bit more for their higher warranty products, particularly their 15 and 20 year, but it is still reasonable.  And of course you will pay a pretty high asking price if you decide to go with a fully custom in-ground enclosure, but it is still much cheaper than some of the other competition.

Aesthetics – 3-5-stars

We are a bit underwhelmed with the cheaper products as you can tell that they skipped on looks in order to lower the price.  The fabric is quite thin and it shows it, and the metal parts can look worn out relatively quickly when exposed to moisture.  The higher-end examples look much more presentable, and their custom products come together quite nicely.  There are enough color choices to choose from to satisfy most people’s needs as well.

Ease of installation/removal – 4-stars

The above-ground choices are a breeze to install and remove, and the in-ground aren’t too bad either.  There will be a bit more initial preparation on the custom in-ground covers so we recommend you get the help of a professional if you aren’t very handy with tools.  When not in use, these covers are easily stored away and are ready to use when the weather becomes cold again.

Overall Rating – 4-5-stars

We really like what Arctic Armor brings to the table, as they seem to cater to just about every audience out there.  Their budget products are still serviceable despite missing some key features and their higher end products offer some of the best warranties in the business.  On the extreme high-end they do a fine job as well, although they may not look quite as impressive as other premium brands in final form.


Bestway

bestway-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types – 2-stars

There aren’t a ton of choices to look at, and if you happen to have an in-ground pool then you are out of luck as they focus primarily on above-ground pools.  In addition, any odd sizes will likely be out of luck as they stick to a few standard round and rectangular sizes.  Furthermore, they don’t offer any sort of custom pool cover program.  The sizes that they do have are limited to two types: fast set and frame.  Both of these are non-mesh so if you are after a cover that can allow water and snow to flow through then you are out of luck.

Durability – 3-stars

Being a budget-oriented brand, they are some shortcuts in build quality.  This is particularly noticeable in the material that is used.  It tends to be on the thin side and not nearly as resilient as many of the competitors.  In addition, the rope that is included to hold down the fabric is on the flimsy side and prone to wear and breaking.  The frame choices provide some much-needed support but still suffer from the weak material that is more tarp-like than anything.

Price – 5-stars

The main selling point here is the great prices.  These products tend to be some of the most affordable you can find, so if you are after a simple cover with minimal out of pocket expenses then you should look into these (assuming you have one of the sizes that they make).

Aesthetics – 2-5-stars

Due to the thin material and rather weak ropes used, these products don’t really look all that great.  They come in a standard blue color that is also prone to fading over time.  The thin material wrinkles easily and doesn’t give much of a professional look at all.

Ease of installation/removal – 4-stars

These products are extremely easy to install and remove due to their lightweight size and simple construction.  Typically above-ground covers are much easier to work with than in-ground covers and since that is all Bestway deals with then you know that going with them will result in little headache at those times that you need to install or remove the cover.  The ropes can be a bit ornery, however, so you might have to look to reinforcing them after a year or two.

Overall Rating – 3-stars

We can definitely appreciate the great prices that Bestway offers, but we feel that they leave a lot on the table in order to meet these price points.  In addition, we would like them to expand to more shapes, sizes, and materials and particularly try their hand at budget in-ground pools.  That being said, if you live in an area that doesn’t have a challenging winter climate these might work out for you if saving money is a top priority.


Coverstar/CoverLogix

Selection of Sizes/Types – 4-stars

These brands offer both mesh and solid vinyl options in a variety of choices as well as automatic pool covers.  In addition, there is a wide range of color choices for each type of mesh material that you can choose from which means that just about everybody will find a palette that works for them.  There are plenty of premade sizes but where Coverstar and CoverLogix really shine is with their custom applications which allow for a custom pool cover for just about any size or shape of pool.  Unfortunately, if you have an above-ground pool you might be out of luck, however.

Durability – 4-5-stars

These pool covers are of very high quality.  There are actually several different types of weaves to choose from.  For mesh, there is 9000MX, 7000MS, and 5000M and for solid vinyl there are 1000V and 500P.  Each one of these has their own unique pros and cons but all promise at least 90% sunblock capabilities as well as excellent tensile strength and abrasion resistance thanks to the high-quality weave and PVC lamination.  They all offer good warranties with the lower-end exchanging shorter warranty periods for more lightweight and easier to handle materials at a more reasonable cost.

Price – 2-5-stars

These products are on the expensive side as they are using high quality material and construction and are oftentimes custom made.  You will save a bit of money if you happen to have a standard-sized pool that doesn’t require custom fitting but even then you will pay a bit more than you would with many other companies.  However, you know that you are getting quality if you are willing to spend the asking price.

Aesthetics – 4-stars

These are very attractive covers.  The combination of many different color options coupled with premium fabric and hardware means that you won’t be embarrassed to show off this cover in the winter.  The automatic pool covers are particularly attractive and look like they are part of the pool and are easily concealed when not in use.

Ease of installation/removal – 3-stars

Due to the tight custom fit of these products they are not the easiest to install.  Someone who is very good with tools and following specific instructions could install one but for most it is recommended to leave it to professionals.  This is particularly true if you happen to purchase an automatic pool cover.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

These are great pool covers for those with in-ground pools looking for a long-term solution that will effectively protect their pool for many years to come.  However, be prepared to pay handily for this product.


 

Doheny’s

dohenys-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types – 5-stars

Out of all of the competition, Doheny’s likely has the largest selection of pool covers.  They come in a huge range of premade sizes that are more affordable and allow for quicker turnaround time while also allowing for custom sizes and shapes as well.  Their selection of both above-ground and in-ground covers are huge and will likely meet the needs of just about everyone.  In addition, they offer a diverse array of materials to choose from in both mesh and non-mesh categories.  These range from their affordable economy lines and go up all the way to their premium Pro-TEK and Ultimate lines.

Durability – 4-5-stars

Depending on which type of cover you go with you may have a simple cover that isn’t overly strong or if you decide to go with one of their more resilient products you will have a cover that can last for the life of your pool.  For instance, their 10 year warranty line is one of their more affordable products and comes with 7x7 stitches per cover, black bottom to stop algae growth, triple laminated seams, and is made of relatively thick polyethylene.  However, if you move up to their stronger materials you get to enjoy even thicker polyethylene that utilizes features such as industrial strength web construction, triple-coated UV polymers, and much more.  These added features can result in warranties that go up to 16 years, which is some of the highest in the industry.

Price – 4-stars

Prices vary wildly with Doheny’s products.  The economy and 10-year choices in premade sizes are very reasonable and should meet just about everyone’s budget while their higher-end materials and particularly their custom in-ground applications can be quite pricey.  That being said, we still feel that overall they are reasonably priced and even on the higher end there are many other brands that ask for much more.  You definitely get your bang for your buck here.

Aesthetics – 3-5-stars

Similar to the asking price, depending on which cover you go with there may be a noticeable drop or increase in appearance.  Unfortunately, their cheaper brands to tend to look the part but their premium products come out being quite attractive and appear to be as strong as they really are.  In regards to colors, Doheny’s has a sort of color coded scheme going on where they color their covers from a particular class a specific color.  For example, their 10-year covers typically come in a dark blue while their Ultimate covers come in a tan color.  We do wish that they offered a bit more flexibility with this in the case where you may want a certain type of product but aren’t in love with the color that they come in.

Ease of installation/removal – 4-stars

Most of these products are pretty simple to install and remove.  The premium brands are a bit thicker and have more overlap which means that they are a bit more burdensome to attach and remove due to the added size and weight but they are still reasonable.  Some of the in-ground options (particularly the custom sizes) will require some use of hand tools so if you are not comfortable handling these then we recommend calling in a professional to do the task.

Overall Rating – 4-stars

Doheny’s really does a great job of not excluding any pool owners from their line of products.  Their diversity in materials, sizes, performance, and price is very impressive and despite tackling such as wide margin of pools they still seem to do quite well in each.  Our only minor complaints come because of the lack of color selection for a given product but this is easily overlooked when looking at the big picture.


GLI

gli-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types – 3-stars

There aren’t a lot of premade sizes available from GLI and what is available is typically in rectangular form.  However, they have you covered for custom shapes.  For people with in-ground pools, your options are really limited and we encourage you to shop elsewhere where there are more choices and at better prices since you may have to go custom if you decide to go with GLI.  They offer both solid and mesh choices in their safety covers and a single choice of material in their winter covers.

Durability – 3-5-stars

All GLI products are constructed of premium polyethylene or polypropylene material that is either solid or in weave format.  These materials are quite light while still quite strong and puncture resistant.  In regards to their winter covers, the fabric is very light which means it is easy to handle but might not be as strong as some would hope.  Features that help to assist in strength include hold-tite reinforced seams, double-folded self-edges, PVC coatings, and tighter mesh than much of the competition.

Price – 2-5-stars

The asking price for these products can be on the higher side.  Even their standard sizes will be higher than some would like to pay and their custom examples can reach many thousands of dollars.  While the price is high, they have a proven track record and use quality materials and construction in their work so you know you will get a final product that can perform.

Aesthetics – 3-stars

GLI gives several color choices for their safety covers while not giving a lot of flexibility for their winter covers (likely due to being much less expensive).  Beyond the color choices, the final product is attractive and tends to fit on its desired pool size and shape quite well.  We particularly like how the final look of the mesh is.

Ease of installation/removal – 3-5-stars

What few premade and above-ground sizes there are make it a breeze to install and remove.  This is also thanks in part to using very lightweight fabric that means it is easier to carry and also takes up less space in storage.  Their custom in-ground applications, while on the lighter side, will require proper drilling and fastening techniques upon initial installation but the labor involved is average.

Overall Rating – 3-stars

GLI does a good job with what they offer, but we do wish they gave us more choices in types of material to use, particularly in their winter cover lines.  We can appreciate the quality that goes into what they do offer, however, and feel that its performance justifies what can be a rather high price tag.  If you have a custom shaped pool and are looking for a permanent solution consider giving them a call.  For everyone else, you might be better off looking elsewhere.


Harris

harris-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types – 2-5-stars

For Harris’ solar pool covers, there are several different options to choose from ranging from their 50/50 blue clear hybrid material up to their 100% blue.  This refers to the range of light that is allowed to pass through the material.  They do have some pre-made sizes (mostly rectangular) but are really lacking overall in what sizes are available.  For many people, you would have to go a custom route and see if someone could make a custom cover out of this unique material.  As for the standard mesh, it comes in three tiers starting with their sovereign line and ending with their premium emperor criss-cross line.

Durability – 4-stars

All of their covers are made with quality materials and follow high manufacturing standards.  Various components are included to help make these covers as tough as possible.  Examples of this include using rubber tensioners, anti-chaffing strips, embedding UV ray protection into the surface, have black undersides that protect from algae and using a tight mesh.  All of their covers are also manufactured from tough polypropylene.

Price – 3-stars

These covers run a bit more than a lot of the competition.  This can be especially true if you have a large pool that needs a custom design made for it.  There is a bit of fluctuation depending on which tier of solar and mesh you go with so it is important to set a budget in mind and see what you can come up with.  For those who have a traditional above-ground pool and are on a tight budget you might want to look elsewhere.

Aesthetics – 3-5-stars

Color choices are somewhat limited but the available colors do look nice.  Depending on how much light you want to pass through on their solar covers will actually affect what color they are.  The less light that goes through the more blue that they will appear.  The mesh covers all come in a standard blue cover.  The related components seem to be of acceptable quality and typically hold up and appear to be presentable.

Ease of installation/removal – 2-5-stars

These are actually very simple covers and as such are easy to install, remove, and store.  You are actually expected to trim these covers with scissors to get the desired effect, so this is a bit more labor than you would have to do if purchasing a cover that was designed specifically for your pool size so keep that in mind.

Overall Rating – 3-stars

Harris presents some pretty unique pool covers in their solar line and sticks to the basic proven method in their mesh line.  The biggest thing holding them back is their lack of size choices although we do like that they have a range of materials if you happen to be lucky enough to have a size pool that meets their requirements.  While we like what they have done so far, we feel that they need to expand on it some to reach other pools, particularly those with round pools or above-ground pools.  Finally, the price point is a bit high.


Hinspergers

hinspergers-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types – 2-stars

Hinspergers deals exclusively in custom pools so there isn’t much to say in regards to sizes available.  Technically they can accommodate any pool but most won’t want to deal with the hassle and cost of a custom pool enclosure.  In regards to material options, they only offer a standard poly blend.

Durability – 3-5-stars

These covers are lightweight but still are surprisingly resilient.  It is obvious that Hinspergers knows that they are doing when it comes to polymers and this is reflected in their various products.  In addition, their covers include stainless steel springs and brass hardware so you don’t have to worry about them rusting after a winter season.  Finally, their products have a 10-year warranty.  While this isn’t the highest we have come across, it is still better than most and shows that they are willing to stand behind the quality of their products.

Price – 2-stars

Since all of their covers are custom made, they are extremely expensive.  We recommend people with standard-sized rectangular or round pools (particularly if they are above-ground) look at some other options or you will likely spend much more than you want.  However, if you have a custom shaped pool you should be happy with the product you receive if you are willing to open your pocketbook that wide.

Aesthetics – 3-stars

These are very attractive pool covers and the components come together nicely.  We aren’t positive how much flexibility Hinspergers has in regards to color choices but we wouldn’t be surprised if they can cater to your needs since they deal directly with the polymers that they use.

Ease of installation/removal –

These covers require accurate drill and mount points to function properly and frankly it can be a bit overwhelming for someone who isn’t well-versed in tools.  Even for those willing to tackle the challenge the initial installation process will be a decent amount of work.  However, after the installation, you can enjoy the relative lightweight quality of the cover, which helps to make transport and storage much easier.

Overall Rating –

These covers are definitely of high quality and come together to make a very nice product, but their target audience is a very small group of people who are willing to pay a hefty asking price for a quality pool cover.  If you are one of those people then, by all means, contact HPI and see what they can do for you.  But for everyone else, there are much better choices out there to meet your needs.


In the Swim

in-the-swim-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types –

In the Swim’s selection truly is one of its best selling points.  They have a plentiful supply of covers for round, oval rectangle, and even custom-shaped pools.  In addition, they offer items for both above-ground and in-ground.  For a given pool size there are also several different types of material to choose from, from their economy-class all the way up to their premier Ultimate 3000 class, and plenty of choices in between.  They also have an impressive array of both mesh and non-mesh examples of varying effectiveness and price. They even sell solar blankets.  The only minor complaint is that there aren’t a lot of color choices for a given type of cover.  Rather, there is a sort of color coordination that ties a type of cover to a certain color for easy identification.

Durability –

In the Swim is loaded with features to make their covers extra tough, particularly in the higher-end lines.  They go with a tried and tested polyethylene for nearly all of their covers.  Higher-end examples will come with thicker material that has a tighter weave with fewer seams.  All of their covers have at least 3’ overlap to ensure a tight fit.  In addition, many come with high-resolution filament scrim, rust-resistant aluminum grommets, double-stitched hems, UV-resistant fabric, black underside for anti-algae growth, and much more.  All of this equates to a very impressive cover that should last through years of winter abuse.

Price –

Prices range quite a bit since there are so many different tiers to choose from, but all of them are pretty competitive when compared to other competition.  Even their highest end and custom covers are oftentimes much cheaper than other places.  Despite having great prices they are able to maintain a high quality of work that they proudly stand behind.

Aesthetics –

You definitely can tell that a budget-level cover doesn’t look as formidable as a higher end one such as the Pro-Strength Super Polar Plus.  Little things such as the quality of stitching, the thickness of the seams, the hardware used, and much more play a part.  That being said, we find the mid and upper-tier products to be very attractive and will hold up to scrutiny with the very best.  If you do decide to go the custom route, however, you might find that In the Swim’s bespoke covers aren’t quite as visually impressive as other companies who do custom work (although they are likely to be a fraction of the price).  Finally, we wish there was a great variety of color choices for a given type of cover rather than simply being color-coordinated.  There may be someone who is dead set on a certain type of cover but doesn’t like the only color that they can choose from and this could scare them away from a sale.

Ease of installation/removal –

All of In the Swim’s covers has been well-engineered to be easy to install and remove.  The higher-end ones can be a bit on the bulky side but that is the price you pay for superior performance so it isn’t really that big of an issue.  As with many other companies, their custom in-ground covers may require drilling into the concrete surrounding the pool in order to put the fastening points so make sure you are familiar with how to use your tools before undergoing this task.

Overall Rating –

In the Swim really impresses us with the huge selection of pool covers spanning across mesh and non-mesh and for above-ground and in-ground pools.  They are able to stay competitive with the other brands on the market while maintaining a pretty competitive price point.  No matter if you are looking for a low-end budget cover for your round above-ground pool or a custom high-end winter enclosure for your massive in-ground pool, In the Swim should have what you need.


 Intex

intex-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types –

There aren’t very many products to choose from.  Specifically, your choices are limited to round above-ground pools that are either 8, 10, 12, 15, or 18 feet in diameter.  If you have any other sized round pool, any rectangular or oval pool, or any in-ground pool then you are out of luck.  For the sizes that are available you can choose between easy set and metal frame options.

Durability –

These are very low-cost products and as such are not very strong.  The fabric that they use is very thin and prone to tearing or ripping.  There is little in the way of support seams or high stitch count.  Because of this, you need to expect the life of one of these covers to be much lower than a lot of other options on the market.  Also, if you live in an area that experiences significant wintery precipitation, high wind speeds, or your pool is located in an area that will cause a lot of debris from trees to fall on it then you might want to try out some other brands.

Price –

That main selling point of Intex pool covers are in their fantastic price.  While they make a lot of sacrifices in the quality and performance departments, the end result is a product that is typically on of the if not the most affordable pool cover on the market.  This is good for those with above ground pools who are on an extremely tight budget and can only afford the bare minum.

Aesthetics –

There isn’t a lot in the way of aesthetics with these.  They are rather weak and they definitely look that part.  You won’t find any impressive stitching or reinforcement that gives off the feel of quality.  Rather, it feels more like a thin tarp than anything else.  Also, there is little in the way of color options.

Ease of installation/removal –

Due to the lightweight material and overall simplicity of these, they are extremely easy to install and remove.  In addition, they can easily be tucked away when not in use.  If you choose a cover that has the metal frame option it is a bit more work to set up and remove but the added support is much needed and work the extra effort.

Overall Rating –

If you are super tight on finances and just need something to last a winter or two then the Intex pool cover might work for you.  That is assuming that you have one of the very few sizes that they offer in above-ground pools.  However, for the vast majority of people, they will be willing to pay the extra price for a higher-quality pool cover or simply wouldn’t be able to purchase a pool cover to begin with since Intex doesn’t have their size or shape.


 Loop-Loc

loop-loc-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types –

If you don’t have an in-ground pool or an above-ground pool with deep pocket books, then you probably are out of luck here.  In addition, if you have a “normal” shaped pool that is a popular size then you can easily find other safety covers that will perform close to as well for much cheaper.  However, for those who have custom in-ground pools, Loop-Loc can create a cover for just about every application.  This company offers two different types of material.  These include their standard mesh as well as their famous ULTRA-LOC II which is a hybrid mesh solid material.

Durability –

These products are of extremely high quality and are intended to last for many years.  This is accomplished through a variety of ways.  First, premium polypropylene is used which has excellent strength in a relatively lightweight package.  In addition, each pool cover is custom designed on a CAD program to ensure nice fit and a proper distribution of weight.  Other features include cable-loc, their patented gapguard child safety intrustion barrier, protect-a-gap, aqual-loc zippers, and much more.  For their ULTRA-LOC II material, you can enjoy 100% sunlight blocking while being 33% lighter.  For above-ground, Loop-Loc used their patented brackets made of 302 stainless steel to help with rigidity as well as using double-thick solid polypropylene webbing straps, non-corrosive double notched aluminum tips, and much more.

Price –

Simply put, these are very expensive products.  They offer a lot in terms of performance and life but it doesn’t come cheap.  For those with custom-sized pools you will likely pay a premium since you will have to go custom but for those with a generic round or rectangle pool in a popular size you will find products for much cheaper elsewhere that will perform at least 80% as well but for a fraction of the price.  Whether that extra 20% of performance is worth the premium is up to you.

Aesthetics –

These are very attractive products.  Since each one is custom made using CAD, you know the final product will look presentable and not appear hacked or thrown together.  The stitching is well-spaced and the brackets are attractive even after years of use.  For the above-ground pools the metal brackets look built-in and don’t give off a feel of being forced.

Ease of installation/removal –

We recommend if you go with an in-ground cover to have the help of a professional unless you are very confident in your abilities.  These covers require accurate drilling and bracketing into concrete and as such they may not be for the faint of heart.  They are actually quite easy to put away when not in use and the relatively lightweight properties of the materials used makes it even simpler.  The above-ground brackets are designed in a way to be easy to mount and remove as well.

Overall Rating –

Loop-Loc is intended for those looking for a premium pool cover and for that reason it comes with a premium price tag.  However, you will enjoy an excellent product that takes no shortcuts in design or manufacturing and should handle whatever you can throw at it.  This company is a bit narrow in their target audience, however, so many people will have to look at other brands either because they don’t carry a cover for their type of pool or simply because it wouldn’t be feasible to pay such a high asking price.


Merlin

merlin-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types –

First off, if you have an above ground pool or are on a tight budget then Merlin isn’t for you.  In addition, if you have a conventional shape and size pool that is in-ground you can find much cheaper options elsewhere.  However, for those with large custom pools and also willing to pay a premium then Merlin will be right down your alley.  They offer several different materials including SmartMesh, Dura-Mesh, Safety Solid, Advance Grade Mesh, Pool Guard, and Kaleidoscapes.  These different materials range from complete mesh to a mesh hybrid all the way to a complete solid.  In addition, Merlin has one of the if not the largest range of colors to choose from on many of their products.

Durability –

All of their products are extremely tough and should last 10 years or more.  This is accomplished through a variety of methods.  It begins with their SmartMesh which is lightweight and allows water through while providing 100% shade (reducing algae growth) as well as impressive burst strength, tear strength, and abrasion resistance.  For even tougher mesh material you could go with Dura-Mesh or even Merlin’s Advanced Grade Mesh which they advertise as having a burst strength that is nearly double that of the completion.  Their solid covers are equally impressive and this is thanks to various features such as three-play supported PVC laminated, heat welds, brass anchors, custom tension straps, and much more.

Price –

For this impressive performance you are going to have a high asking price.  Merlin products are very expensive.  This is not only due to the premium materials and construction that they use but also the fact that you have to have the cover custom made for each pool.  For many the asking price will be simply too high, especially if they can find another pool cover on the market that will work.  But for those who have to resort to custom pool covers you won’t be disappointed if you are willing to spend the high asking priced.

Aesthetics –

We love the huge range of color options that are available, particularly in Merlin’s Kaleidoscapes covers.  You can choose from literally a dozen different colors which means that there is likely something that will work for just about everyone.  No matter what color you choose, the final product looks very professional with well-placed seams and stitches and is very indicative of a high-end product.

Ease of installation/removal –

There is quite a bit of labor involved in installing these pool covers as it requires accurate installation of the fasteners or else it will not properly function.  Once the initial installation is complete, however, maintenance and removal is easy as the straps can be easily snapped off.  The people behind the scenes use advanced CAD software to make sure that the cover is accurately shaped and sized so you don’t have to worry about having to fight with it: simply follow the instructions!

Overall Rating –

These are one of our favorite premium in-ground covers on the market, and for good reason.  The performance is evident and proven and we love the amount of dedication that goes into each cover.  In addition, the fact that you have so many colors to choose from can really help to make your cover stand our (or blend in if that is what you are after).  Like many premium pool cover companies, a lot of people with standard pools and above-ground pools will have to look elsewhere, however.


Meyco

meyco-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types –

Meyco can accommodate just about any shape or size pool, but beyond that their variety is a bit lacking.  They focus on in-ground pools so anybody with any above ground pool it out of luck.  Thankfully they do offer 3 different types of material for their covers.  These include MeycoLite, RuggedMesh, and PermaGuard.  Each has its own unique pros and cons that should align with more people’s needs.

Durability –

All of Meyco’s products are extremely reliable.  This is thanks to the usage of premium polypropylene as well as the usage of premium hardware such as brass and stainless steel and deep channeled abrasion strips.  All of this equates to a high-quality product that will last for many years.  In fact, Meyco stands behind its pools by offering a standard 12-year limited warranty.

Price – 

These are expensive covers as they use high-quality materials and manufacturing processes.  For those with a standard shape and size of in-ground pool you will save some since they won’t have to custom-make you a cover but for those who have uniquely shaped covers be prepared to pay a high asking price.

Aesthetics – 

We really like the overall look of these covers, no matter which of the 3 types of material you go with.  Not only are the threads and hardware of high quality and assembled in a very aesthetically pleasing way, but there are several different color choices that you can pick from to add a bit of variety.  Even after a few years, the attractive look of these products stays intact.

Ease of installation/removal –

While if you happen to have a traditional shaped pool installation is fairly straightforward, for those with more exotic shapes be prepared for quite a bit of initial setup.  You will be expected to drill and bracket the holsters which if not done properly can not only be visually unappealing but can also affect the functionality of the cover.  In regards to removal and storage, there are thinner materials used by other competitors but the extra bit of thickness in these products isn’t so overbearing as to cause too much of an additional headache.

Overall Rating –

Meyco offers a high-quality product targeted mostly for those who have specialty in-ground pools and also those with traditional shapes and sizes who are wanted to go with a premium offering.  The materials, construction, and reputation are definitely there but it doesn’t come at a cheap price.  We like that you can add a bit of variety by going with several different color options and the different types of mesh and non-mesh materials that you can choose from allows for a unique final feel.


Midwest

midwest-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types –

Obviously, Midwest won’t have as large of a selection of products as many other companies since they deal exclusively in in-ground pools, but for those people, they do have a decent variety of choices.  While most other brands will vary their cover material, Midwest stands out in how the set up their automatic covers.  They have several options including deck unit with bench, recessed top track, flush track, and much more.  These allow for great customization of how the cover is stored but we do wish that they offered more in terms of various types of covers.  They also can alter the color depending on an individual’s needs.

Durability –

The covers are of acceptable quality but are by no means the best on the market.  This might be due to the fact that they have to be capable of being rolled up to be stored in the housing and easily able to be unrolled at any given time.  Because of this requirement they cannot be as thick and rigid as some of the competition which likely plays a role in how strong they can be.  One good thing about an automatic pool cover is that, when not in use, the cover is adequately stored and protected which will help prolong the life of the cover.

Price –

The asking price for these covers is extremely high.  This is for several reasons.  First, the materials used are of high quality.  Second, the pools are typically custom so this requires additional back-end effort to create a solution for each pool.  Finally, these covers come with a housing (sometimes motor-driven) which adds substantial costs to the final product.  It is very convenient and takes a lot of effort out of pool maintenance but it comes at a very high cost.

Aesthetics –

Midwest does a fantastic job of concealing their pool covers when not in use and even when they are in use they look pretty nice.  This is thanks to a combination of the great engineering and design that goes into the housing plus the high-grade materials and construction that goes into the cover.  The final product is something that you can truly be proud of and in some cases, you can hardly tell there is even a cover there!

Ease of installation/removal –

Due to the complex nature and planning that has to go into an automatic pool cover for custom pool, initial installation effort is very high.  However, the trade-off is that after you get through this process overall maintenance is very simple as you don’t’ have to worry about manually removing and replacing the cover each season.  In the long run, this pays off huge and is a big reason why many people opt for an automatic pool cover.

Overall Rating –

Midwest really narrows down their target audience but for those in the market for an in-ground automatic pool cover they should be very pleased.  It is obvious that Midwest knows what is necessary to make a proper product from the high quality materials that they use to the excellent engineering and design behind the automatic feature on their pool covers.  And having a variety of color choices is a nice touch as well.  That being said, these covers are extremely expensive so for many it will simply be out of reach from an economic standpoint.


Pool Mate

pool-mate-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types –

Pool Mate offers a few different types of pool cover products: Pro, Econo-Mesh, Pro-Mesh XL, Heavy Duty, Extreme, and Sandstone.  This means that no matter if you are looking for a conventional mesh, a solid, or something in between, there should be a solution that is close to what you need.  That being said, Pool Mate won’t offer every size and shape of pool cover.  In fact, if you don’t have a traditional round or rectangular pool cover in a popular size you might have to shop elsewhere and for anybody with a custom pool shape, you will be completely out of luck.

Durability –

Being somewhat of a budget line, you won’t enjoy the impressive performance that more expensive pool covers offer.  There are certain features that simply aren’t present in these products in order for them to fall within their price point.  However, the Heavy Duty, Pro-Mesh XL, and Extreme lines still do an acceptable job overall of holding up in their target environment.  Pre-Mesh XL and Extreme, for instance, are designed to handle environments with high precipitation.  These products are made of polyethylene and in the premium offerings they come with 4’ interval grommets and reinforced bindings.

Price –

The biggest selling point here is the great price.  The Econo-Mesh line will be among some of the most affordable pool covers you will find, and even the higher-end lines aren’t super expensive.  This makes these great for someone who is on a tight pool budget, assuming that they have the size you are looking for.

Aesthetics –

These are very straightforward designs that show the quality you would expect for the price.  In addition, there aren’t a lot of choices when it comes to varying colors outside of blue and black/gray.  The one exception is in Sandstone line which comes in a tan format.

Ease of installation/removal –

These are very lightweight and simple products which mean that they are a breeze to install, remove, and store.  The extra overhang means that you don’t have to be super precise when fastening them to the pool and make above-ground pool particularly easy to deal with.

Overall Rating –

These are an acceptable entry-level line for those not looking to spend a ton of money but still expect decent performance.  For those on a super strict budget, the Econo-Mesh line should be more than suitable and for those willing to open your pocket book a bit more you should be content with their higher offerings.  However, many people will simply be out of luck due to the somewhat restrictive size and shape choices that Pool Mate offers.


PoolTux

pooltux-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types –

We are really impressed with the number of different types of mesh, solids, and mesh hybrids that this company has.  These include examples such as King99 mesh, Royal mesh, Emperor Solid, King lightweight solid, and much more.  We also are glad that they decide to include some products designed for above-ground pools since many premium companies seem to overlook this market.  Their various products seem to span a large margin so most people should be able to find a product that meets their needs.

Durability –

At the highest level, there are covers that have an impressive 25-year limited warranty.  This is among the longest warranties in the industry and shows that PoolTux will stand behind its product.  This is accomplished by going with high-quality materials and premium manufacturing processes.  In addition, there are other features that help to boost overall performance.  These include things like triple layered polyethylene material with heat seal seams, woven polyethylene core, UV inhibitors, non-rusting 1” grommets, vinyl coated steel lockdown cables, and much more.  In the lower end models they still offer 8, 10, and 15 year warranties which is still impressive.

Price –

Prices vary quite a bit with these products since they span such a huge range of audiences.  On the lowest end, the regular Royal and Mesh covers find a happy medium between performance and price.  While there will be cheaper options out there, the increase performance and warranty you get is worth the cost bump in our opinion.  On this highest end, the premium products can be quite expensive particularly if you are putting them into a custom in-ground application.  But for the build quality and extremely long warranty we still see justification in their asking prices.

Aesthetics –

There are a few colors to choose from in most of their products and the overall appearance seems to emboss quality construction no matter what color or type of product you choose.  You can see a noticeable difference between the highest end and the lowest end examples but the budget lines still don’t look bad.  The hardware will also be able to handle the elements and be attractive after years of use.

Ease of installation/removal – 

Ease of installation and removal can vary a bit here.  The above-ground covers are pretty straightforward, although the higher-end fabrics can be a bit heavier than comparable examples from other companies.  This means that they will be a little tougher to move around and take up more room in storage but it is by no means a deal breaker.  The in-ground covers can be a bit more work since they will require precise drilling and mounting but once this initial effort is finished that aren’t too burdensome.

Overall Rating – 

Overall we really enjoy what PoolTux brings to the table across all of their lines of products.  The quality is noticeable from their budget lines all the way to the premium lines.  While there are cheaper choices out there, the build quality and impressive warranty justify the slight uptick in asking price.  We also are glad that they provide a few different color choices and also cater to people with above-ground pools.


Robelle

robelle-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types –

There are an extremely impressive number of product choices with Robelle.  In fact, it can sometimes be overwhelming trying to pick just one!  They have a number of pool cover series, including their popular Classic series, their Designer series, their Tech series, and a nice selection of mesh covers.  They offer both of their groups of series in above-ground and in-ground formats, with unique features that benefit both, respectively.  Also, for those who have custom in-ground pools, Robelle can create a custom application that meets your needs in any of their cover materials.

Durability –

For the most part, these products are very durable.  There is quite a bit of variance across the product lines, with some focusing more on being affordable and lightweight while others being on the thicker side which allows for more durability and tear resistance.  The Economy and Super lines won’t last as long as many of the premium brands but are still more than capable while the Superior and Ultimate lines will compete with the best in the industry.  This is thanks to many features including rip shield technology which helps to prevent hole punctures, a strong polyethylene core, fusion extreme manufacturing processes, 4’ fabric overlap, self-edge edge with double chain stitching/stitched on binding, UV blocking coating, and much more.

Price –

Asking prices for these product typically range from middle of the road up to premium-priced.  While we feel that their asking prices are typically justified through their performance, for some it will simply be out of their budgeted range.  For those that can and are willing to spend a bit extra you will enjoy a quality product that will hold its own against any other brand at that same price bracket.

Aesthetics –  

These are very attractive covers with a wide range of color choices.  The overall look that these covers give off is of very high quality and you can really see and appreciate the detailed stitching and sealing technology the goes into ensuring that the cover stays in one piece and resists tears.  Our only minor complaint that is oftentimes a particular color is tied to a particular tier or product so if you happen to want a color but don’t want the connected type of fabric you may be out of luck.

Ease of installation/removal – 

Maintenance is about average to above average depending on if you go with an above-ground or in-ground solution.  Many of these covers are a bit on the thick and heavy side which can make them a little more difficult to remove and store and the in-ground covers will require a bit extra initial setup and removal steps but they are by no means deal-breakers.

Overall Rating –

The selection and quality across the board is very impressive and we are confident that everybody can find a pool cover solution, be it for an in-ground custom pool or a generic above-ground pool.  Prices are competitive but will generally be in the mid to high price range so for some it might be too much.  There are also plenty of color choices and the visual appeal is definitely there.


Swimline

swimline-pool-cover-full

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Selection of Sizes/Types –

While this company has a nice array of sizes, they are mostly limited to round and oval shapes.  For those with a custom shape or an oddly-sized pool you might have better look shopping for other companies who focus on more custom applications.  We do like that they service both in-ground as well as above-ground pools, however.  You can choose from a variety of solid covers as well as Swimline’s specialty mesh line.

Durability –

Despite being somewhat of a budget line, durability is better than average.  This is thanks to using premium materials and not cutting huge corners in construction.  For instance, Swimline opts for stainless steel over cheaper metals for many of the components.  In addition, they have other features such as super-strength interlock weaves for their fabrics, 4 to 5 foot fabric overlap, and they use material that has 3 times the normal tear strength of standard fabrics.

Price –

Asking prices are for the most part pretty competitive and tend to be on the lower end when compared with much of the competition.  This is great for those on a relatively tight pool budget but that are still looking for quality products that will last a while.  Their above-ground covers are particularly affordable and should be within just about everyone’s budget.  Their solid covers do have a bit of an asking range depending on if you go with their lower-end Super Guard line or up to their higher-end offerings such as Super Gold.

Aesthetics –

There aren’t a huge number of color choices but there is some variance between colors for each type of material which helps for identification purposes as well as adding a bit of variety.  The overall product quality is decent and should pass most people’s visual tests.  We particularly like the Supreme Guard with binding as the additional threads used for the binding gives off a very professional and durable look.

Ease of installation/removal – 

Installation and removal are pretty simple, particularly on their above-ground pools.  Even on their in-ground they are not that difficult since they focus on simple round and oval shapes which are much easier to install and remove than compared to more complex shapes.  The fabric is thin enough that you shouldn’t have a problem finding somewhere to store it during the warm months.

Overall Rating –

We feel that Swimline offers a quality set of products from their lowest end up to their highest end.  There is enough of a variety in available sizes to accommodate many who have both above-ground as well as in-ground pools.  And the build quality and materials used are more than enough for their reasonable asking price.  However, for those with elaborate in-ground pools, you will likely have to shop around for a different solution from a different company.


Yard Guard

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Selection of Sizes/Types –

Yard Guard has one of the largest selections of sizes and types out of all of its competition.  This not only  includes a huge array of shapes and standard sizes that a lot of people have, but they can also make a custom-tailored solution for your pool if you went the custom route.  Their specific product lines include Deck Lock (in both solid and mesh), Deck Lock Aquamaster, Ultimate Cover, Armor Kote, Woven Poly Covers, and Enviro Covers.  Each of these has a unique twist that makes it stand out from a lot of its competition.

Durability –

There is a decent range of life and toughness of their product but even the more affordable options are incredibly tough.  At the top of the range, their Armor Kote and Ultimate Covers are some of the longest-lasting in the industry, which means you can expect years of performance out of them.  This is thanks to a variety of features including UV coating, triple stitching across tack, box tacks at all perimeter stress points, additional straps, raised rub strips, water bag loops, 3 to 4-foot overlap, patented lace coats, and much more.

Price –

These are among the most expensive products you will come across.  This is especially true if you decide to have a fully custom cover made and go with one of their premium brands.  Their woven poly covers and deck locks can be a bit more affordable but they will still be much pricier than a lot of their competition.  However, for those willing to pay the high asking price you will receive a quality product that should meet even the most demanding conditions.

Aesthetics –

The covers themselves look very nice and give off a feel of high quality and craftsmanship.  To add to this, each cover comes in a few different color selections which can help you to stand out if that is what you are after.  While there isn’t quite the customization in colors as some other brands, there is still enough variety to make most people content.

Ease of installation/removal –

These are very precise covers and such they will require quite a bit of initial setup.  Thankfully, many are also on the lighter side which means that they will be a breeze to remove and store once that initial laborious setup labor is completed.

Overall Rating – 

We really enjoy the product that Yard Guard has to offer.  There is an impressive range of cover types that go across solid, mesh, and everything in between and none of these have any major flaws.  In addition, the fact that they have products for above-ground, in-ground, and all shapes and sizes you could think of means that they can cater to just about everyone.  Just remember that these products are not cheap so for those on a tight budget you might not be able to swing it.  However, for those who do have the finances to do so, we definitely recommend Yard Guard pool covers.


Ultra Armor MAXX

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Selection of Sizes/Types –

There are three types of covers that Ultra Armor MAXX offers: silver, gold, and platinum.  These names correlate to how long of a warranty they have (8 years, 12 years, and 15 years, respectively).  They make these covers for above-ground and in-ground pools and in mesh and solid form.  For those with custom-shaped and oddly-shaped pools, however, you may be out of luck since they only make covers in popular standard sizes.

Durability –

The durability of these covers isn’t bad.  They take advantage of polypropylene materials which have a proven track record in the pool cover industry.  The Silver line is sort of the budget offering and as such it doesn’t have all of the premium features that equate to an extremely long life.  However, the Gold and particularly the Platinum bump up the toughness a notch thanks to things such as hem double folds, non-corrosive grommets, up to 5’ overlap, and much thicker material.  The 15-year warranty that Platinum promises is among the longest in the industry which we are quite impressed with.

Price –

Prices overall fall about middle of the road.  The Silver covers are closer to being budget, the Gold are firmly placed in the mid-range, and the Platinum can creep up closer to those of other premium brands.  We feel that their prices are justifiable for the quality that you receive.  There will be cheaper options that don’t last as long and also more expensive options that perform even better so it will really be up to the individual to determine what their budget considerations are.

Aesthetics –

These are pretty plain-looking covers that don’t give off the high-quality vibe that some of its competition does.  In addition, there aren’t as much color options which we were a bit disappointed in.  The Platinum models do look noticeably tough, however.

Ease of installation/removal –

Since all of these covers come in standard pre-made sizes they are super simple to install and remove.  This is particularly true in the above-ground covers.  There is plenty of overlap as well so you won’t be fumbling around trying to squeeze the cover on a pool that barely fits (assuming, of course, you purchase the correct size!).  They are also thin enough to be easy to store in the warm months.

Overall Rating – 

Ultra Armor MAXX overall does an acceptable job of competing in the mid-ranged market.  They have an adequate level of selections that vary in price and warranty life, and all of them have performance levels that are acceptable.  We do with that they would venture into custom pool sizes and offer a few more color choices but these are only minor issues.


Water Warden

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Selection of Sizes/Types – 

We are really impressed with Water Warden’s huge range of choices for in-ground pools.  They have 136 different sizes and colors in stock which make for a quite turnaround if you happen to have a pool that meets those measurements.  And for those with a custom pool or a pool that falls outside the stocked covers they will make you a custom cover as well.  Their safety covers come in both mesh and solid materials.  In addition, they will also do this for the safety nets that they manufacture.  However, beyond this, their choices are a bit lacking.  They don’t offer any sort of winter cover or leaf cover and they target in-ground pools so people with above-ground pools might be out of luck.

Durability – 

This company offers an impressive 15 year prorated warranty on their mesh covers and a 20 year prorated warranty on their solid covers.  This is some of the highest in the industry and is attributed to their usage of premium materials and manufacturing methods.  These include things such as 2-play strapping that is triple-stitched, large x-tacking on all straps, #304 stainless steel spring in the PVC sleeves, non-corrosive aluminum tips on all strips, 2’ overlap, abrasion-resistant pads, and much more.

Price – 

These covers are a bit on the pricey side, particularly if you have to have one custom-made for you.  That being said, if you do happen to have a pool that falls under their list of premade covers you will save a few bucks there.  However, for those on a tight pool budget you will likely have to pay more than you are comfortable with.

Aesthetics – 

These covers look very impressive and give off a feel of high quality.  The hardware is all metal and corrosion-resistant and should pass visual tests for many years.  There are also several color choices which are a lot more than many of the other premium cover companies can say.

Ease of installation/removal – 

The pre-made sizes are surprisingly pretty straightforward to install and shouldn’t take as long as many people think.  And, once the initial installation procedure is complete, removal and insertion of the cover only takes a few minutes.  For those with custom pool covers there may be a bit more finesse involved to have a proper fit that also looks nice but again once these initial steps are completed, maintenance is minimal.

Overall Rating – 

We really like what Water Warden has to offer here in regards to safety covers and net covers.  Their quality is on point and is backed by one of the best warranties in the industry.  We also like the impressive look of the product and the many color options you choose from.  However, we do wish that those looking for winter covers or that own above-ground pools had more options.  In addition, the high price tag, while justified, may scare some people off from trying this brand.

What are the Different Types of Pool Covers?

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There is quite a bit of confusion out there when it comes to pool covers.  Honestly, a lot of pool cover companies don’t do a very good job of explaining the difference in pool cover types.  To help simplify this matter, we are going to break down each type of pool cover and go an overview of them.

There are essentially three different types of pool covers: Winter pool covers, safety pool covers, and net pool covers.

Winter Pool Covers

Winter pool covers are covers that are designed to be put over your pool in the winter months (or any time that your pool won’t be in use for an extended period of time).  Their main function is to stop debris such as dirt, leaves, and other organic life from being able to enter the pool and also minimize algae growth in the pool water.  They can be solid (which stops fluid from being able to pass through) or mesh (which will allow rain and snow to filter through).  Typically they are held in place by water bags or some other type of spring-loaded mechanism and are easily removed when necessary.  It is important to note that winter pool covers are not designed to hold significant amounts of weight and are prone to caving in if something heavy is placed on top.  Also, winter pool covers are typically much more affordable than a safety pool cover.

Safety Pool Cover

A safety pool cover is designed to create a protective barrier that can handle animals, kids, and other objects being placed on top of the cover without it caving in.  These covers are designed more for protection rather than storage and are generally used in more short-term applications but some people still prefer to use them for winter storage as well.  Typically they are also more aesthetically pleasing.  Similar to winter pool covers, safety pool covers can be both mesh as well as solid.  They are held in place thanks to brackets that are oftentimes drilled directly in the ground around the pool.  These covers are much more involved and initial setup and removal times are significantly higher.  Furthermore, they are generally much more expensive then winter pool covers.

Net Pool Cover

A net pool cover focuses simply on keeping large debris out of a pool on a short-term basis.  These can be good in the fall months if a lot of leaves are falling or if a big storm is on the way that is going to kick up a lot of debris.  However, they will not offer up the protection that a safety pool cover or even a winter pool cover can offer.  That being said, they are extremely affordable and are a breeze to put on and take off.  We recommend that you invest in a longer-term solution that you get with a winter pool cover or a safety pool cover but a net pool cover can still be helpful in certain scenarios.

Solid vs. Mesh Pool Covers

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We receive a lot of questions about what is better between a solid and a mesh pool cover.  While we can’t tell you which is better (as it depends on the individual and their scenario) we can go over the pros and cons of each.

Solid Pool Cover

A solid pool cover contains solid material that does not allow water to pass through.  The major added benefit of this is that it also doesn’t allow sunlight to pass through, which can make keeping algae growth in check significantly easier.  In addition, small debris and dirt can still pass through mesh, meaning that your water underneath could be very dirty and require extensive filtering and cleaning before you can use it in the spring or summer.  With a solid cover your water will be much cleaner.

There are a few issues with solid pool covers, however.  They are much heavier than mesh covers which mean that they are more of an effort to install and remove and also take up more room in storage.  In addition, since water can’t pass through you will likely have pools of water that are sitting on top of the cover which will have to be vacuuming or pumped off (they make bumps specifically for this).

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Mesh Pool Cover

A mesh pool cover is comprised of strings of material that are cross-stitched to form a mesh pattern.  These gaps are small enough to stop most debris from being able to pass through while still allowing for water to get through.  There are a few benefits to this design over a solid pool cover.  First, they are typically much more lightweight which makes them easier to handle and store when not in use.  Second, you don’t have to deal with pumping water off the surface since it can pass through.

Some cons are that some dirt will pass through so you have a much higher change of having cloudy water when you open your pool back up.  In addition, some lighter meshes will allow some sunlight through which can spawn algae growth.  Finally, since water can pass through you are more likely to overflow your pool (particularly if you live in an area with a lot of precipitation in the winter) so you will need to monitor this and use a pump to remove excess water.

Mesh Hybrid Pool Covers

Some companies are coming out with mesh hybrid pool covers.  These covers either have much tighter mesh stitching or multiple layers of mesh, which still allow for water to pass through but block even more dirt and algae-causing sunlight from getting through.  We really like these covers but they can be on the expensive side and will be a bit bulkier than a standard mesh cover.

Above-Ground vs. In-Ground Pool Covers

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Other than the obvious visual differences, above-ground and in-ground pool covers do have some differences in construction, design, and application.  First, above-ground pool covers tend to be more affordable as they often come in generic shapes and sizes.  Pool cover companies will typically have a catalog of premade pool cover sizes that will fit most generic above-ground pools.  This takes the requirement for custom design out of the equation and gives you a much more affordable product.

As for fit, above-ground pool covers will oftentimes have 3 feet or more of overlap.  This allows you to essentially “wrap” the cover around the outside wall of the pool.  This overlap helps to make it easier to secure the pool cover in place and also provides additional protection from outside elements such as debris and critters from finding a way inside the pool.  They will be held in place either by water bags, straps, or various types of springs.

In-ground pool covers will generally be on the more expensive side.  This is especially true for those with custom in-ground pool designs which will require a custom pool cover to be constructed specifically for your pool.  Even for generic shapes and sizes, special fasteners will need to be used which add both to complexity as well as costs.

You won’t get as much overlap with in-ground pool covers as you do with above-ground pool covers, and these covers (particularly safety covers) will be stretched much tighter to allow for a snug fit.