Last updated: August 7, 2021

Our method

13Products analysed

27Hours spent

14Evaluated articles

68User reviews

Welcome to our big pool heater test 2021. Here we present all the pool heaters that 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 heater 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 heater.




Summary

  • A pool heater ensures a pleasantly warm water temperature. Heating with solar energy is environmentally friendly and time-consuming.
  • You can choose between three heating models depending on your preference: Solar heaters, solar mats and heat pumps.
  • Here, the models that work with solar energy are much more cost-effective than the heat pumps that run on electricity.

The Best Pool Heater: Our Choices

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

How can the pool heater be optimally positioned?

When positioning the pool heater, you should make sure that it can absorb a lot of sunlight. It is most efficient to position the solar surface of the pool heater at a slight angle towards the south. In this way, the midday sun can be perfectly utilised and the energy of the setting sun can be absorbed later.

How long does it take before you notice the water heating up when using solar energy?

It can be said that with sunshine it takes about 2-3 days until the pool water becomes noticeably warmer. However, this statement should be understood as a rough guideline.

Did you know that the thermal conductivity of water is 25 times higher than that of air?

This means that you cool down much faster in water and a temperature that is considered comfortable or even hot on land can quickly lead to hypothermia in water.

On the one hand, the speed of heating depends on the incidence of sunlight and the size of your pool. On the other hand, warmth is also an individual feeling, so the perception can vary from person to person.

How much does a pool heater cost?

The cost of pool heaters varies greatly from type to type. The price of heat pumps is usually so high that they are out of the question for normal consumers.

The following table shows you the price range of the different models.
Heating type Price range
Solar heating 70-600 €
Solar tarp 18-250 €
Heat pump 950-3500 €

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

Basically, a distinction can be made between three different types of heaters:

  • Solar heating
  • Solar mat
  • Heat pump

In the following text section we would like to briefly introduce the respective types.

Frau am Pool

A pool heater ensures a pleasant water temperature in the swimming pool. A distinction is made between three types of heating: solar heating, solar mat and heat pump. (Free photos: pixabay.com)

Solar heating

Most solar heaters heat the water without its own power supply, but with the help of the filter pump.

Solar heaters are equipped with plastic tubes that can absorb and store solar heat. The heater is not located directly in the pool itself, but is connected to the pool via two hoses.

Advantages
  • No additional power consumption
  • Comparatively cheap
  • Environmentally friendly
Disadvantages
  • Depends on solar radiation
  • Depends on pump power
  • No temperature regulation
  • Requires large installation area

Water from the pool reaches the heater via one of the hoses and is heated there with the stored heat. This heated water then returns to the pool via the second hose. In this way, the pool is gradually heated.

For this water circulation, you need a pool pump to which the heater can be connected if the heater model does not have its own integrated pump.

Solar heaters achieve a heating of 1-3 degrees.

The solar mat

Solar mats are simply placed on the surface of the water and transfer the heat from the sun's rays directly to the water.

Due to the material of the mat, the heating of the water is much more effective and long-term than through natural sunlight.

When buying, make sure that the size of the mat matches the size of your pool.

Advantages
  • Cheap alternative
  • Reduces the need for cleaning
  • Adaptable size and shape
  • High heating potential
Disadvantages
  • Dependent on solar radiation
  • Unpleasant to handle
  • Partly only the water surface is heated

The heat pump

The heat pump basically works in a similar way to solar heating, except that it is powered by electricity and can thus achieve much higher heating.

Advantages
  • Warms independently of solar radiation
  • Desired temperature can be specified
  • Reliable heating
  • High heating potential
Disadvantages
  • Very price-intensive
  • Consumes a lot of electricity

With the heat pump, water is also pumped out of the pool, heated and then pumped back into the pool. This is all done using electricity. The way heat pumps work is thus naturally more efficient and reliable. However, they are also far more cost-intensive than solar-powered models.

Due to the high purchase costs, we have only focused on solar mats and solar pool heaters in our product comparison and left out the much more expensive electric pumps.

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

You should consider the following aspects when buying a pool heater:

  • Heating
  • Dimensions
  • Pool size
  • Necessary accessories
  • Flow rate

In the following text section, we would like to give you a brief overview of relevant criteria, similar to the pool robots. For this purpose, we present the 5 criteria mentioned above to give you an idea of which features are particularly important for your personal purchase decision.

Maximum heating

The maximum heating is the most important performance criterion of a pool heater. It indicates by how many degrees Celsius the temperature can be increased through the use of a pool heater

Similar to the cleanliness of the pool, a comfortable temperature of the pool water is extremely important for a pleasant swimming experience. To achieve this temperature, you have various heating alternatives that have different performance potentials.

Did you know that the optimal water temperature is between 25 and 27°C?

Most people find a water temperature below 25°C too cold. Competition pools in swimming pools have a temperature of 27°C, as this is perceived as pleasant and increases performance. It is also important to remember that the surrounding air should always be warmer than the water.

Solar pool heaters are able to increase the water temperature by up to 5 ° C. A solar mat even makes it possible to increase the temperature by up to 8 °C. But with these two alternatives, the prerequisite for water heating is of course the available sunshine.

At this point we would like to mention that you can also combine several solar pool heaters or a solar pool heater with a solar mat and thus increase the heating.

If you want your pool water to be comfortably warm even on less sunny days, you have to use an electrically operated heat pump. All you have to do is set the desired temperature and the device will work until the temperature is reached. On average, electric heat pumps can heat the pool water up to 40 °C.

The maximum heating indicates by how many degrees a pool heater can heat the pool water. Solar mats can increase the temperature by up to 8 °C. (Photo: Maxim Malevich / 123RF.com)

Dimensions

Especially with the two solar-powered alternatives, the dimensions of the device, or rather the mat, are of great importance.

The solar energy is always collected and stored via so-called solar collectors.

The larger the area of the collectors, the more energy can be stored.

With solar pool heaters, therefore, the question inevitably arises as to where these solar collectors can be located or attached. If you have a large pool, you will inevitably need large-area collectors. These can become a disruptive factor in the garden design.

The size of solar mats is of great relevance, as ideally they should cover the entire pool surface. Electrically operated heat pumps are usually rather small. Therefore, finding a suitable place for them is usually unproblematic.

Pool size

The larger your pool, the more powerful your pool heater must be.

As already mentioned, a solar mat should be large enough to completely cover the water surface. Here you have the option of cutting the mat into the desired shape and size.

When using a solar pool heater, the size of the solar collectors should be adapted to the size of your pool.

If you prefer an electric pool heater, you must make sure that the power is sufficient for the size of your pool.

Necessary accessories

Both the solar pool heater and the electrically operated pool heater require external energy sources.

Only the solar mat can heat the water completely without accessories. The solar pool heater must be connected to a pool pump so that the water can be pumped through the system. This means that the power of your pool pump should be greater than the recommended power for the size of your pool.

If you have an electric pool pump, there must be a power source near your pool to which the heater can be connected.

Flow rate

The flow rate is an indicator of the pump's performance. It indicates how many litres of water can be pumped through the system and heated in one hour.

The flow rate is therefore the criterion that provides information about how long the heater needs to heat the entire pool noticeably. It should therefore be relatively high for larger pools.

Facts worth knowing about pool heating

Can you build a pool heater yourself?

With a certain amount of basic craftsmanship, it is certainly possible to build a pool heater yourself that works with solar energy.

On the Internet you will find many detailed instructions on how to do this. You can also find some clear explanations of how to build a pool heater on the video portal YouTube.

Picture source: pixabay.com / pasja1000

Why you can trust me?

Reviews