Solar Pool Covers vs Automatic Pool Covers

If you own a pool, you know that keeping it clean and warm can be a challenging and costly task. One way to make pool maintenance more efficient and cost-effective is by using a pool cover. Two popular options for pool covers are solar pool covers and automatic pool covers. In this article, we will compare the features and benefits of each type to help you choose the best option for your pool.

What are Solar Pool Covers?

Solar pool covers (sometimes called solar blankets) are thin, lightweight covers made of durable, UV-resistant plastic material. They float on the surface of the water and are designed to absorb sunlight and transfer heat to the water. Solar pool covers are available in various sizes and can be cut to fit any shape of the pool.


Energy-efficient: Solar pool covers use the sun’s energy to warm the water, reducing the need for a heater and saving energy costs.

Water Conservation: By reducing water evaporation, solar pool covers can help conserve water and reduce the need to add more water to the pool.

Chemical Reduction: Solar pool covers can reduce the need for chemicals in the pool, which can save money and reduce the use of potentially harmful chemicals.

Easy to Install: Solar pool covers are easy to install and remove, and can be cut to fit any pool shape or size.

What are Automatic Pool Covers?


Automatic pool covers are heavy-duty covers made of vinyl or other durable materials. They are designed to cover and uncover the pool with the touch of a button. The cover is mounted on tracks that run along the pool’s edges and can be customized to fit any shape or size.


Safety: Automatic pool covers can provide a level of safety by preventing accidental drowning, especially for families with children or pets. These covers are strong enough to hold the weight of several children or a family of 4 standing on  the cover. 

Heat Retention: Automatic pool covers can help retain heat in the pool, which can save energy costs and extend the swimming season. In this way they act exactly as solar pool covers. An automatic pool cover can save up to 70% of the energy required to heat a pool. Evaporation is the main culprit of heat loss and an auto pool cover greatly reduces evaporation. 

Water Conservation: Automatic pool covers can reduce water evaporation, conserving water and reducing the need to add more water to the pool.

Debris Protection: Automatic pool covers can prevent debris such as leaves, twigs, and dirt from entering the pool, which can reduce the need for cleaning and maintenance.

Solar Pool Covers vs Automatic Pool Covers:

While both solar pool covers and automatic pool covers have their advantages, the best option for you will depend on your needs and budget.

Cost: Solar pool covers are generally less expensive than automatic pool covers. Solar pool covers cost anywhere from $100-$1000, while automatic pool covers can cost around $11,000 or more.

Energy Savings: Automatic pool covers are generally more energy efficient at retaining heat and keeping debris out of the pool. They can also be customized to fit any pool shape or size, while solar pool covers may require cutting to fit.

Safety: One of the main advantage of automatic pool covers is providing a high level of safety by preventing accidental drowning, while solar pool covers do not have this feature.

Ease of Use: Solar pool covers require the homeowner to manually remove the cover when it needs to be used and remove then store the cover whenever pool use is finished. Some people find this a real nuisance. Alternatively, automatic pool covers require professional installation and maintenance but once installed, opening and closing the pool cover simply requires the push of a button. 

In conclusion, both solar pool covers and automatic pool covers can be effective tools for maintaining a clean and warm pool. Solar pool covers are a cheap and efficient option for keeping the water warm and conserving water and energy. Automatic pool covers provide added safety, utmost convenience and ease of use and debris protection, but come with a higher price tag and require professional installation. Ultimately, the best choice will depend on your individual needs, budget, and preferences.

A Third Pool Cover Option 

manual-pool-cover bench in Vancouver and Kelowna

Another option that falls between the solar cover and a fully automatic pool cover is the manual pool cover. This type of cover has all the benefits of a fully motorized automatic pool cover except the user has to manually roll up and expand the cover with an hand crank. 

Pool Covers BC specializes in automatic pool covers and manual pool covers. If you are interested in the cost of a pool cover, contact us using the the handy form below. You can even send us photos of your pool to help us better evaluate your needs and offer pool cover options! 


Fill out the form. A local pool cover installer near you will reply promptly!