A pool cover is a safety feature that cannot be overlooked. Besides being the first defense against accidents, a cover serves several purposes: it protects your pool from debris, helps your pool retain heat, cuts down on chemical use, and slows down evaporation to conserve water. Not all pool covers are created equal, though! Many pool covers are designed to help with maintenance and energy costs much more than safety. If safety is an important pool cover feature for you, go for one of these:
Mesh safety covers are the lightest weight safety cover option (although, we’re still talking a substantial amount of weight) and when installed and used correctly, they can hold hundreds or even thousands of pounds. Tightly woven, with a trampoline-like design, they allow water to drain through but keep leaves, bugs, and debris out. When it comes to weight, a mesh cover is the lightest option and storage is relatively easy since it will fold up pretty neatly.
On the down side, mesh will still allow dust and dirt to filter through, so while you won’t have sticks and leaves on the bottom of your pool when you reopen it, you will have fine sediment to vacuum. Since rain and melted snow will drip through, you will probably need to pump out your pool periodically.They also allow sunlight to filter in, which encourages algae to grow during the winter months, although the highest quality mesh covers will block nearly all sunlight to minimize this issue.
Solid top covers are usually made of heavyweight vinyl and their solid design makes them an effective barrier against water, sunlight, bugs, yard debris and leaves, even dust and particles. While heavier than mesh, they still fold up and store pretty easily.
On the down side, water will puddle in the center and you’ll need to pump it off periodically. If you don’t, it can break down your cover, shortening its life and quality. Plus, water puddled in the center can even become a drowning risk. You can make things easier with an automatic pump that will live in the center of your pool cover and turn on as needed.
A nice blend between solid top and mesh covers, hybrid covers might be a good option for you. They have a design that’s mostly solid with a line of mesh in the middle to allow water to drain away. Again, all debris will be kept out. You won’t need to pump water off the cover, thanks to the mesh in the center. While some sunlight will filter through, the hybrid cover blocks most of it, so algae growth usually won’t be a problem.
Automatic solid top
The mac daddy of pool covers! Once properly installed, they provide the highest level of protection against accidents. They’re also the easiest to operate. They simply roll open or closed on a track by turning a key or pressing a button. You’ll still need to pump water off the center when it accumulates and sweep off debris.
How to choose
As we said, not all pool covers are designed for safety. If you need a safety cover, this rules out solar covers and tarps.These types of covers either float on your pool or drape over it. Actual safety covers are stretched taught, anchored, and strapped into place.
Now that you know what not to buy, how do you choose which safety cover is perfect for you? Consider which features are most important to you and then check out this ranking:
- Most budget-friendly: mesh covers
- Best for custom pools or ones with water features: mesh, solid top, or hybrid.
- Easiest to open and close pool: automatic solid top
We carry a range of mesh, solid, and automatic safety covers, and would love to help you find the right one for you! Our bestseller, the Coverstar® 7000MS™ High Shade Mesh Cover, offers 99% shade protection to inhibit sunlight and algae growth, comes with a 20-year warranty, and can be custom designed to fit any shape pool.
In the same family, but more budget friendly is the 5000S™ Standard Shade Mesh safety cover. It’s strong, lightweight, easy-to-install, and comes with a 15 year warranty. Want the strongest mesh cover with the best protection? The 9000MX™ Max Shade Mesh is the cover for you! It comes with a whopping 25 year warranty.
More interested in a solid top or automatic option? We’ve got you covered. Click here to discover more about our selection, and then if you have questions or would like a free estimate on a cover for your pool, contact us, and we’d love to help!