Swimming Pool Covers: The Good, the Bad, and the Truth

The summer is coming to an end which means it is time for you to cover your swimming pool for the upcoming winter season. Most people have already sorted themselves out with easy swimming pool cover solution.

But for some, it can be a stressful period.

As a pool owner it’s important to find a way to protect your pool that way it can be ready to go when the weather warms up and the kids are home for summer break.

And it can be overwhelming to try to find the best option available.

This article will dive deep into your three main types of swimming pools covers; looking into all things including their advantages and disadvantages.


What type of swimming pool cover is best for you?

There are a variety of pool covers to choose from. All pool covers work the same way by keeping most debris out of the pool.

They differ in how they keep water off, with even some requiring a pump to eliminate any standing water, which can lead to further issues.

A standard (tarp) winter cover costs somewhere between $175–$425. It requires a pump on top to keep water from collecting on it.

It also keeps out light debris and can last anywhere from 1–3 seasons, to suit your pool cover needs.

A mesh security cover costs somewhere between $1,200–$3,000.

For this, no pump is needed this kind of cover allows water to flow through it, eliminating any standing water.

It does keep out debris and can be used for 10–15 years.

A vinyl made security cover is solid and comes at a cost of around $1,500–$3,500. The vinyl cover uses a pump on top to help you drain away water.

It will also help in keeping off debris. This swimming pool cover can last up to 10 years.

Automatic swimming pool covers can cost around $12,000–$22,000. It offers prompt protection while heating the water effectively.  It can last up to 5 years before you need to replace the cover.

A Standard Winter Cover

Price $175–$425

The Good

  • This cover works great when it comes to keeping out sunlight and other unwanted debris.


The Bad

  • Standard covers are tailored made of a tarp-like material that is supported by water bags. This material is known to last for 1–3 seasons before it would need to be replaced.
  • One negative that is common with this type of cover is that it has very little capacity to hold any mass. To be precise if an animal or person tries to walk over the cover, they will fall in the water.
  • Standard covers require a pump and as such you must be on the watch throughout the off-season to ensure water does not build up on the top of the cover. This can cause the swimming pool cover to submerge.

The Ugly 

  • One thing about this winter cover is that it has a short life span. They range from 1 to 3 seasons. That’s not ideal for longevity.
  • They are also hard to find because of their absence in 7 months out of the year. Their appearance is not the best either.


Pool Winter Safety Cover

Price $1,500–$3,000

The Good

A popular choice for in-ground pool owners. These covers look similar to trampolines. Spring-loaded straps help to harness the cover while anchoring to the concrete. This helps to hold it tightly.

Secure swimming pool covers are of two types: mesh made and solid.

  1. Mesh

This cover is made of a mesh wire material.

This cover is perfect for keeping tree leaves and unwanted dirt out.  It also supports a great amount of mass even during the heavy snow season. No pump is required because it is made of mesh ware. It helps to keep rain water away all season. Once it comes available for the off-season, there no need to worry about cleaning. These swimming pool covers can last for up to 15 years.

  1. Solid

This type of swimming pool cover security is comprised of a solid vinyl material. The main advantage of a solid security cover is that it does let any rainwater to enter. Solid security covers normally have a lasting duration of up to 10 years.

The Bad

  1. Mesh

The main con evident with mesh security covers for the swimming pool is that they let water pass through.  This means the swimming pool water can get dirty during the opening period of the spring season.

This cloudy water becomes clear within 2 to 5 days of opening. It does take some time to get back to normal with some efforts.

  1. Solid

On the negative side of this article, although these solid covers offer a better opening situation, they require a pump on top to work perfectly.

These cover pumps will usually last up to 4 years before they become void and replacing them can cost around $225. Solid covers do not have a long life like mesh covers.

The Ugly

From personal experience, it is difficult to pick any ugly side of security covers.

Automatic Swimming Pool Covers

Price: $12,000–$22,000

The Good

Automatic covers can be found in several forms, hence the reason why they have such a broad price range.

The biggest advantages:

  • They are incredibly good solar covers that offer prompt and robust protection.
  • They also help keep debris and tree leaves away from the swimming pool during the winter season. This helps to reduce the time spent needed to clean and maintain the swimming pool.

The Bad

These tailored covers for swimming pools are made of a vinyl material that will need replacing after 5 years. The cost of replacing these is high and can cost around $2,000–$4,000.  Taking into consideration their initial cost, it can be frustrating for most homeowners.

Another flaw evident in these swimming covers is that most people don’t realize is that they can heat the water greatly. It mostly occurs during July and August when most pool owners want to keep their pool cool.

There are many instances when these auto covers cause water to get over 95°F. This mostly has an effect that feels like taking a shower that is not very welcoming and comfortable at all.


The Ugly


The biggest flaw common with auto covers is how easy they are to break down.

With so many components ranging from motor, ropes, vinyl and aluminum tracks, several parts may break down easily. It is known that after about 3 years auto covers can break down very easily. This can be nagging, when the cover keeps breaking and makes it difficult to be taken off the pool which results in some unhappy swimmers.

The other big flaw common with auto covers is that they are not ideal winter covers. Although they are rated to hold about 2,000 lbs. of weight, heavy snow in the winter period can cause these covers to submerge. This is a huge flaw for pool owners who get snow, because now they must open their cover before a major snowstorm.