We spent 35 hours researching and testing 14 different kinds of pool covers and found that fit, ease of set up, and cost were the most important factors that consumers focused on when shopping for a pool cover. The Robelle 3724-4 Supreme Pool Cover scored high above the rest in all categories and is our overall pick. This heavy-duty pool cover is UV resistant and features a black bottom that will keep algae from growing. The four-foot overlap makes securing the cover much easier and efficient. The high scrim count ensures durability and longevity so you don’t have to replace the cover every year.
Above Ground Pool Cover Buying Guide
If you are wondering whether getting a pool cover for your above ground pool is necessary take a look at the buying guide below. We will explain the benefits of having an above ground pool cover and help you find the right one for your specific needs.
Pool Cover Benefits
Pool covers solve two major problems. They reduce the amount of time you have to spend cleaning and maintaining your pool all year round, especially during the winter months. When the cold weather sets in and the pool isn’t used as much, if at all, the winds that kick up in fall can blow leaves and other kinds of debris into your pool.
They are also very important for safety providing you get the right pool cover for your size and shape of pool. An above ground pool cover that has been properly installed on top of your pool can add an additional layer of protection especially if you do not have a fence around your pool.
It is very important that you install you above ground pool cover properly to ensure the best safety for any kids or pets that might be around the pool when it is not in use. An improperly installed pool cover can actually be more hazardous to pets and kids than not having one at all so make sure that you get it put on the right way so everyone is safer.
The importance of winterizing your above ground pool
Both in-ground and above ground pools require maintenance to keep them looking their best; this includes winterizing which has many steps. These steps include draining the pump and adding chemicals and covering the pool with the proper pool cover so debris that can cause damage to the pump system is prevented. Taking the time to winterize your pool with the right tools, including a quality pool cover, will extend the life of your pool.
Above Ground Pool Cover Features
Longer lasting, quality-made pool covers are made from premium materials that won’t fray, tear or corrode. There are several features that you want to look for when it comes to making a decision on the right pool cover for your needs.
High Weight Capacity – If one of your primary objectives for a pool cover is to add safety, then look for a cover that has a high weight capacity that will hold should a child or pet fall on top. Double stitching and reinforced edges add to the weight capacity and make the cover strong enough to handle heavy loads without tearing or ripping.
Premium Materials – Look for pool covers that have been made from tough materials that can withstand the elements without losing integrity.
Proper Sizing – Getting the right size pool cover is critical to ensure safety and proper protection for the pool. A pool cover that is too small or significantly too big won’t be much protection at all and can pose a greater safety risk as well. The way covers are sized is typically 4 feet of overhang, so if your pool is 24 feet in diameter, the cover will actually be 28 feet. This overhang allows you to secure the cover correctly.
Black Underside – You may have noticed that a lot of pool covers have black undersides. This feature prevents the growth of algae so your pool stays cleaner.
Metal Grommets – The grommets that are incorporated into the pool cover give you proper anchor points in which to secure the cover properly. They also prevent the cover from ripping when you do tie it down.
Solar – Solar pool covers allow for proper heat transfer and keep the heat inside the pool where it belongs. Most solar covers are blue or clear.
Types of Above Ground Pool Covers
There are several different types of pool covers on the market that you can choose from. Below we have listed the different types of pool covers available on the market.
Solid Winter – The solid type of pool cover is designed to keep sunlight, leaves, and other debris out of the pool. This makes it a lot easier to clean and get ready in the spring when the weather starts warning up. A pool cover for above ground pools is held securely in place with a cable and winch that tightens the cable. Keep in mind that the righter the weave count is of the pool cover the stronger and more durable it is. Warranties are usually longer with high weave count covers since the cover is a lot more durable and will last a lot longer overall.
Mesh – Mesh pool covers allow water to pass through the cover which can make the cover cleanup easier but will add to the water cleanup since there will be debris and fine silt, etc. that will be able to pass through the cover. Make sure to drain a bit of water out of the pool to allow for the additional rain water and melting snow that will add to the water volume. When using a mesh cover, make sure you use an air pillow and then ensure the cover is pulled tightly across so leaves, etc. that collect on top do not sit in the water. Mesh covers are very popular with consumers because they offer less maintenance during the winter. You’ll need to do a little more cleaning of the water come spring, but that is it. Mesh covers are rip resistant and a very durable choice for protecting your above ground pool.
Combo – A combination pool cover is one that incorporates both types and features a solid cover that has a mesh panel. This keeps the majority of the debris out while still allowing rain water to pass through the mesh. Instead of the usual winch and cable that is used with most solid covers, this type of cover stretches across the pool and is attached to the uprights via rubber straps. If you attach the clips for the cover toward the bottom of the uprights, the cover will pull tightly across the top of the pool keeping it from dropping down into the water.
Purchasing an Above Ground Pool Cover
There are several steps you can follow when it comes time to purchase a pool cover for your above ground pool. We have listed these simple steps above.
1. Measure your pool properly – Before you start shopping for a pool cover, measure your pool. Don’t forget to include the top rails of the pool into your final measurement. Some pools are designed with wider top rails that will need to be included or the fit of the cover will be off. Write down you measurements.
2. Reduce your water level – You will be reducing your water level when it comes time to close up your pool and this will need to be accounted for when you decide on the right size. Most of the pool covers on the market have enough cover to compensate for a 12” drop in the water level. If you drain the pool more than that, it may be necessary to purchase a larger cover to accommodate this extra water drop.
3. Look for pool covers with the appropriate size you need – You will typically see two sizes in the description for the cover the pool size and cover size. Most covers allow for a 4 foot overlap so you will see a cover for a 12 foot pool actually measure 16 feet.
4. Check over your cover – When you get your cover delivered, you will need to do a few things to ensure it is in proper condition. Take it out of the box and measure it first of all. You want to be certain it is the right size for your pool and in the beginning is the time to find out if it is not, not when you are trying to cover the pool and then find out it is the wrong size. If it is not the right size, immediately contact the manufacturer.
Purchasing the right above ground pool cover can make much easier work of maintaining your pool, especially in the wintertime. With all of the options and choices on the market, feeling overwhelmed and confused is perfectly understandable.
The three top rated above ground pool covers featured above are all excellent examples of high quality covers that do a great job protecting your pool, adding safety for your kids and pets while the pool is covered, and makes getting it ready for winter much easier.
Any one of these three covers will be a great cover for your pool. If you didn’t see what you were looking for in the three top rated choices, the buying guide we provided gave you information on pool cover features, things to consider, and the steps to purchasing your new cover. With this information you will be able to make a confident decision and end up with an above ground pool cover that takes care of all your pool covering needs.