Last updated: August 7, 2021

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Welcome to our big pool cover test 2021. Here we present all the pool covers we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best pool cover for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a pool cover.




Summary

  • A pool cover offers protection from dirt and can even reduce the operating costs of the pool in the long run. Thanks to perfect insulation, UV protection and winter resistance, the pool needs to be cleaned less often and the water replaced less frequently. The somewhat more expensive purchase therefore pays off in any case.
  • The choice of a suitable pool cover depends on where you live, your budget and the space available in your garden.
  • Basically, you can choose from a wide range of products: You can choose from tarpaulin covers, electric, inflatable or roller shutter pool covers. A pool enclosure or a walk-on patio cover are also options.

The Best Pool Cover: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a pool cover

What are the benefits of a pool cover?

First and foremost, it protects your pool from dirt, but there are also other benefits of a cover.

Especially in Germany, you can expect severe weather changes within a few days, so it is important to protect your pool from the weather.

However, a pool cover is not only a seasonal investment, but also protects your pool from wetness and dirt in winter, depending on what you buy.

Branches, leaves or vermin should not be companions in your own pool.

With the help of a cover, the pool becomes less dirty and the water can be used for longer. The warmth of the water is also retained for longer with a cover. Therefore, a pool cover is also an environmentally friendly investment.

With crystal-clear water, relaxing and bathing in your own pool is even more fun. The good water quality is guaranteed by a pool cover. (Image source: unsplash.com / James Carol Lee)

Those who opt for a walk-in version of the pool cover can also use it to brighten up their garden. For example, with an adjustable wooden cover.

The pool can quickly be transformed into a terrace. This means that the space of the pool is ideally used even when it is not in use.

A pool cover is particularly worthwhile for inflatable pools. Annoying assembly and disassembly in bad weather conditions are history with a cover.

A pool cover ensures that the water stays clean for longer, which can reduce operating costs in the long run.

In which sizes and pool shapes are pool covers sold?

Basically, the right cover can be found for every pool. The shape of the pool is not a limitation in most cases.

For example, covers are available in standard sizes (ø 244cm - 457cm), but also as custom-made covers in various online shops.

Cover sheets do not have to be bought from the same manufacturer of your pool, as long as they have the same dimensions!

If you are unsure about ordering the size, you should go for the next size up cover option. For an inflatable pool, for example, the protruding ends can simply be tucked under the edge and the tarp can be tightened accordingly using the cords.

Oval and eight-shaped pool shapes can also be protected. Depending on the provider, however, a minimal surcharge must be expected.

When does a pool cover make sense?

The motto is: better than nothing, because a pool cover has many advantages. A pool cover is suitable for both smaller and larger pools.

It is important to winterise your pool in good time so as not to be surprised by frost. But it is also worth covering your pool on colder days in summer to save water and cleaning.

Which material is preferred as a pool cover?

The material depends on your wishes, of course. Adjustable covers, for example, are made of wood, while various covers are made of truck tarpaulins.

The winter-proof covers in particular are made of PVC plastic. Just as often, however, the covers are also made of polyethylene, or PE for short. Both plastics insulate your pool well.

Coverings are usually made of plastic glass or polycarbonate double-skin sheets.

Covering your pool with polycarbonate twin-wall sheets also allows you to swim in bad weather. (Image source: unsplash.com / Bernard Hermant)

How (child) safe are pool covers?

The simple math here is:

Correct dimensions + correct attachment = Safe cover.

The (child-) safest option is, of course, to cover the pool. But tarpaulins and roll-up covers also offer good protection for the pool and children.

These tips will help to make your pool (child) safe:

  • Tight attachment, especially of cover tarpaulins. Once the sheet is on the water, 100 percent protection is not guaranteed.
  • Read the product description carefully. How much weight can the cover hold?
  • The entire pool must be covered!
  • Trip hazards such as cords or eyelets should be avoided as far as possible

How much does a pool cover cost?

The price of a pool cover depends on the type of cover you want and the size of your pool. From very affordable to very expensive, everything is possible.

Particularly inexpensive are pool covers. For a round pool with a diameter of 305 cm, you can buy an inexpensive version for 7.90€. However, a comparable cover is also available for 79€. The price range is therefore very wide.

A mobile wooden pool cover measuring 1m x 4m can cost up to €4,099.

It is therefore impossible to give a general answer, as the prices depend entirely on your pool. Of course, custom-made pool covers are also more expensive.

In this table you will find a rough classification of the prices of pool covers:

Type Size Price
Round cover with PE coating ø366cm 36,95€
Electric roll cover with PVC slats 3m x 3m 1.915€ (1.749€ roll device + 166€ slats)
Electric roll cover with polycarbonate slats 3m x 3m 2.149€ (1.749€ rolling device + 400€ slats)
Pool cover 3,19m x 3,56m x 1m 3.517€
Mobile wooden pool cover 1m x 4m 4.099€ (without installation costs)

Can I build a pool cover myself?

Of course you can. With the appropriate craftsmanship, you can also build your own pool cover.

There are various online tutorials and forums for this. There you will find everything you need to know about the topic.

However, enclosures and mobile covers should be built by professionals to ensure maximum safety.

How do I build a pool cover myself?

There are various instructions on the Internet. Depending on your wishes, you can also build your pool cover yourself.

The type of cover you choose depends entirely on you and your pool cover requirements.

Decision: What types of pool covers are there and which one is right for you?

If you have decided to buy a pool cover, there are several options to choose from:

  • Cover foils
  • Walk-on pool covers
  • Winterproof pool covers
  • Electric pool covers
  • Inflatable pool covers
  • Pool enclosures

The ideal protection should be matched to the shape, type and location of the pool.

The individual cover types will now be presented so that you can weigh up which variant is perfect for you.

What are the characteristics of cover foils and what are their advantages and disadvantages?

Cover foils can be stretched over your pool very quickly and easily.

In most cases, above-ground pools can only be protected by means of tarpaulins. Since these are standardised in their sizes, it is no problem to find the right cover for your pool.

A cover sheet guarantees surface protection and even insulates your pool. However, this type of cover is not suitable for harsh winters, heavy rainfall or storms.

When buying a liner, it is important to make sure that it has small holes through which rainwater can flow. This way, the cover is not unnecessarily weighted down and does not lie directly on the water.

Also make sure that the sheeting is made of polyethylene, or PE for short. This is more robust and can also be used as winter protection when there is little snow.

Advantages
  • Very cheap
  • easy and quick to install
  • available everywhere
Disadvantages
  • Plastic particles can get into the water
  • Most unsafe option
  • Only conditionally winterproof
  • Low UV protection

What are the characteristics of a walk-in pool cover and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A walk-in pool cover is presented here in the form of a pool deck. Usually made of wood, it can be moved electrically if desired and enables the pool to be quickly covered and uncovered.

A walk-in pool cover can be made individually depending on the pool and is therefore also possible for every pool shape. It is also possible to fit a two-part cover.

When not in use, the space of the pool is therefore ideally used and, with the option of a terrace, also beautifies the garden image.

The sturdy wooden cladding withstands heavy snow loads.

This form of covering guarantees safety for children. Even pets do not run the risk of falling into the pool.

Advantages
  • Perfect winter protection
  • Safe for children and pets
  • Wide range of design options
  • Suitable for all pool shapes
  • Quick to set up and cover the pool
Disadvantages
  • High cost
  • Only suitable for medium to large gardens
  • Long months of work
  • Only suitable for swimming pools

What are the characteristics of a winterproof pool cover and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

One of the most frequent questions asked by pool owners is certainly that of a winter-proof cover. There are several options to ensure proper protection during the winter months.

Depending on where you live, the cover should be snow-resistant, which means that it must be able to withstand a certain snow load.

The same applies to UV protection. Swimming pools that are only protected with a cover cannot guarantee crystal-clear water in spring due to the lower UV protection.

Trapezoidal sheets are available as an alternative. Large snow loads as well as high UV protection characterise this pool cover and are particularly suitable for larger pools.

The cover must be ideally secured over the winter months. The tensioning ropes and straps must be well tightened at the pool edge.

The same applies to roll-up protective covers. These are usually made of PVC fabric and can withstand a lot of weight due to the aluminium rods laid out crosswise underneath.

Advantages
  • ideal protection
  • depending on the cover desired, can also be used in summer in bad weather
  • crystal clear water in spring
  • long service life
Disadvantages
  • partly high costs
  • complex fastening
  • cover tarpaulins only conditionally winterproof

What are the advantages and disadvantages of an electric pool cover?

If you want a pool cover that is as uncomplicated as possible, you should go for an electric pool cover. These are usually a little more expensive, but they offer perfect protection for your pool.

Basically, a distinction can be made between the two types of roller cover and patio cover.

In this section, we will take a closer look at the roller cover.

The slats that rest on the water are usually made of either the strong plastic PVC or polycarbonate. However, the latter is more robust and therefore offers better hail protection.

The slats are retracted with the help of a roll-up station. This device can be installed either underwater or above ground, as desired.

Oval and round pool covers are also possible, as the roll-up covers are custom-made.

However, it is important to note that the shape of the cover is very expensive. The roll-up cover alone usually starts at a price of €1,700. Plus the slats and installation, an electric pool cover usually costs over 2000€.

Advantages
  • Practical and comfortable
  • Can be used all year round
  • Robust protection
  • Made to measure
  • Guaranteed insulation
Disadvantages
  • High costs
  • Dependence on experts
  • Only suitable for swimming pools
  • No large loads possible

What are the characteristics of an inflatable pool cover and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An inflatable pool cover consists of two PVC sheets that are attached to the edge of the pool either with eyelets or stones. Air is blown into the tarpaulins through a valve.

When buying an inflatable pool cover, please note that the tarpaulins must be ordered larger, especially if they are secured with stone slabs.

Any pool size and shape can be covered with an inflatable tarpaulin. It is important to note how much weight the cover should be able to withstand, as not all covers are winterproof.

It is important that the entire pool is covered and that the cover is fitted correctly and firmly.

By attaching an inflatable pool cover, the solar foil can be saved in summer. Depending on the weather, the dome-shaped one also defies snow and rain.

Advantages
  • Robust material
  • Suitable for every pool type
  • Inexpensive
Disadvantages
  • Optimal protection strongly dependent on fastening
  • Rapid wear and tear
  • Constant assembly and disassembly

What are the characteristics of a pool enclosure and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A distinction can be made between two types of enclosure: On the one hand, there is the so-called convertible dome enclosure and, on the other hand, pool enclosures made of glass.

Regarding the Cabrio Dome cover, it should be said that it is only suitable for round pools. It should also only be used in summer, as it does not provide sufficient winter protection. The Cabrio Dome cover is also not recommended for stormy regions.

However, if you are looking for a pool cover that is only intended to keep dirt out and insulate the pool water, you can use a convertible dome cover.

Advantages
  • Good insulation
  • Inexpensive
  • Good UV protection
Disadvantages
  • Not winterproof
  • Not storm resistant
  • Only suitable for round pools

An alternative that is a little more expensive but guarantees ideal protection all year round is the polycarbonate roof.

The plastic is particularly robust and is ideal for insulation. Thanks to the optimal insulation and the glass material, the pool can heat up better and the heat is not lost.

Thanks to the roof, the pool can also be used in winter.

The enclosure can be adapted to the customer's wishes. This means that both round and square pools can be covered.

Advantages
  • Year-round protection
  • Year-round pool use
  • Good UV protection
  • Ideal insulation
  • Significantly lower operating costs
  • No plastic particles in the water
Disadvantages
  • Very expensive
  • Only for swimming pools
  • "Pool look" is lost
  • Complex installation

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate pool covers

Here we will show you which criteria you can use to decide between the many pool covers available.

The following criteria play a role:

  • Weatherproof
  • (Child) safety
  • Material

Weather resistance

How weatherproof or winterproof a pool cover should be naturally always depends on the location of the pool.

In a region that enjoys sunshine most of the time and is rarely exposed to rain or even snow, the pool naturally does not need extreme protection. A tarpaulin is perfectly adequate for this. Special attention should be paid to UV protection.

If it rains frequently in summer and sometimes snows in winter, an inflatable or roller cover is best for you. Both the PVC film and the polycarbonate slats offer reliable protection against rain and can also withstand a certain snow load.

An Icelandic hotel protects its pool with a cover in winter. (Image source: unsplash.com / Roan Lavery)

If you can be sure that the winter will be hard and that storms or heavy rain in the summer are no exceptions, you should think about the following pool covers: a terrace cover or a roof.

It is therefore important that you buy a pool cover that is perfectly suited to the weather conditions at your home.

(Child) safety

If you have pets or children at home, it is even more important to cover your pool.

To ensure this safety, the most important criterion when buying a cover is that the entire pool is covered and no corners are left open.

However, the safety of a pool cover can also be guaranteed by the nature of the cover. This means that especially in the case of cover tarpaulins, care must be taken to ensure that there are no unwanted holes in the cover. Therefore, it is particularly advisable not to buy used covers.

Child safety of the pool must be ensured even when it is not in use. (Image source: unspalsh.com / Katherine Auguste)

It is also important to check how much weight the desired pool cover can withstand. Cover tarpaulins and roll-up covers are therefore not recommended, as they can only withstand a certain amount of weight and only allow the pool to be walked on for a short time.

Material

Many pool covers mean many different materials.

In general, it is important to ensure that the pool cover has good UV protection. The same can be said about insulation. Only efficient materials can reduce the operating costs of the pool in the long run.

Experts agree that polycarbonate is particularly well designed for hail and snow due to its robustness. Winter-proof cover sheets should be made of PEB films.

Note: Plastic cover sheets can get plastic particles into your water!

With roll-up covers, it is recommended to work with as many cross poles as possible to stabilise the cover and so that heavier loads can also be carried.

If you are unsure about ordering a pool cover, you should always go for a larger version. Especially for pools that do not have standardised dimensions.

Here is a small overview for rough orientation:

Requirement Recommendation
Keep dirt out Cover foil made of PVC, Convertible Dome cover
Winterproof Cover foil made of PEB, Inflatable pool cover made of PVC, Walk-on wooden deck, Polycarbonate (lamellae or double web panels, Trapezoidal sheets
Large load Polycarbonate (lamellae or double web panels), Trapezoidal sheets, Walk-on wooden deck

Facts worth knowing about pool covers

Why does the pool cover have holes?

If you discover holes in your pool cover after buying it, you should not panic at first.

These small holes are there to let the rainwater run off. This function is useful for tarpaulins or roll-up covers, as the water on top of the tarpaulin does not sink any further and can thus easily run off.

It is nevertheless very important to store the cover securely when it is not in use so that no larger holes or tears develop which then actually no longer guarantee protection.

Image source: 123rf.com / stocksolutions

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