designer pool covers Two blankets on top of a wooden deck next to a swimming pool.

What’s the difference between a pool cover and a pool blanket?

Keeping your swimming pool in tip-top condition can sometimes feel like a puzzling task. Did you know? A pool cover and a pool blanket serve two distinct purposes. This article will guide you through their differences, helping you make the best choice for your pool.

Dive in to discover more.

Key Takeaways

  • Pool covers and pool blankets have different roles. Covers keep out leaves and save on cleaning, while blankets focus on keeping the pool warm.
  • There are many types of pool covers, like solid, mesh, or solar. Each type has its special use from safety to saving water.
  • Pool blankets usually come in bubble wrap material. They help hold in heat using the sun’s power.
  • The right choice between a cover and a blanket depends on whether you want to stop debris or keep your pool warm.
  • Having either a pool cover or blanket can lead to savings by reducing heating costs or cutting down on cleaning time.

Understanding Pool Covers

A pool covered with a sturdy, solid cover surrounded by fallen leaves.
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Pool covers serve to shield the pool from debris and leaves, reducing the workload of pool cleaning. They come in various types such as solid and mesh covers, each with distinct functionalities.

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Functionality and Purpose

Swimming pool covers serve several key functions. They help maintain water temperature by cutting down on heat loss. This is crucial for keeping the pool warm, especially when it’s not in use.

These covers also play a vital role in reducing evaporation. Less evaporation means less water and chemical loss, making your pool more energy-efficient and cost-effective to maintain.

Beyond just keeping the water warm, certain types like solar pool covers do more—they let solar power through. This warms the water while still acting as a thermal barrier against heat loss.

Bubble covers go even further by transferring sustainable energy directly into the water, bumping up its temperature effectively. So, whether it’s conserving water or cutting down on heating bills, swimming pool covers offer substantial benefits that enhance both functionality and purpose of a typical pool setup.

Different Types and Materials

Choosing the right pool cover matters more than you might think. It’s not just about keeping leaves out; it’s about safety, water temperature, and even your bank balance. Let’s take a peek at the different types and materials on offer.

  1. Solid Pool Covers:
  • These covers are exactly what they sound like: solid, often made of vinyl or polypropylene.
  • They prevent debris from entering the pool and reduce evaporation, helping to keep the water warmer.
  • Solid covers are great for safety as they can support weight, preventing accidental falls into the pool.
  1. Mesh Pool Covers:
  • Mesh covers allow water to pass through but block leaves and other debris.
  • They’re lighter than solid covers, making them easier to handle.
  • Ideal for pools in areas with lots of trees, these covers need less frequent cleaning.
  1. Solar Pool Covers:
  • Made from a plastic bubble material invented by Sealed Air, these covers trap heat from the sun, warming your pool.
  • Their design resembles bubble wrap and floats on the water surface.
  • Solar covers reduce evaporation significantly and are an eco – friendly option for heating your pool.
  1. Thermal Pool Covers:
  • These are designed to retain heat in the swimming pool while also being an effective barrier against debris.
  • Made of insulating foam materials, thermal covers are perfect for maintaining temperature overnight or during cooler days.
  1. Floating Pool Covers:
  • Thick and bulky, floating covers sit directly on the water without being anchored to the sides.
  • Handling them can be a challenge due to their weight; thus, a pool blanket roller is often necessary for larger pools.
  • They shield your pool from debris but aren’t recommended if maintaining temperature is a priority.
  1. Automatic Pool Covers:
  • With just a push of a button, these covers slide over your pool, combining convenience with safety.
  • They can be tailored to fit any pool shape but come with a higher price tag due to their mechanical components.
  1. Safety Pool Covers:
  • Engineered to hold significant weight, safety covers ensure that children and pets cannot access the pool unsupervised.
  • Available in both solid and mesh options, they provide peace of mind alongside their primary function of covering your pool.

Cost Considerations

When considering the addition of a pool cover or pool blanket to your swimming pool, understanding the cost implications is crucial. The financial commitment doesn’t solely rest on the initial purchase price; factors such as durability, maintenance needs, and potential savings on pool running costs all play a significant role. With that in mind, let’s delve into the cost considerations of both options, employing an informative table format to simplify comparison.

AspectPool CoverPool Blanket
Initial CostVaries based on type (solid, mesh, automatic) and manufacturerGenerally lower than pool covers, competitive prices for bubble wrap covers
Long-term SavingsHigh – through water conservation, reduced energy, chemical, and cleaning costsMedium – primarily through water evaporation prevention
DurabilityTypically higher, especially for solid and automatic coversLower in comparison, with the need for more frequent replacements
MaintenanceDependent on type; automatic covers require more sophisticated maintenanceSimpler maintenance but requires regular monitoring for wear and tear
Material and DesignExtensive options available, affecting both aesthetics and functionalityPrimarily bubble wrap; limited designs but effective for heat retention and evaporation prevention

In the table, we’ve broken down the primary cost considerations for both pool covers and pool blankets. Pool covers, with their varied types and materials, offer robust long-term savings and durability but come with a higher initial cost. Pool blankets, on the other hand, are more budget-friendly upfront and excel in preventing water evaporation—a key aspect of pool maintenance that can lead to significant savings. However, they may lack the comprehensive advantages offered by pool covers, such as enhanced safety and reduced chemical usage, which contribute to their cost-effectiveness over time.

Ultimately, the decision between a pool cover and pool blanket hinges on your specific needs, budget, and pool usage patterns. Assessing these aspects upfront will ensure that your investment not only enhances the functionality and enjoyment of your pool but also contributes to considerable cost savings in the long run.

Deep Dive into Pool Blankets

A solar pool cover floating on a clear blue pool with people.
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Pool blankets serve as a thermal barrier, making them essential for controlling the pool’s temperature. They are crafted from materials such as bubble wrap, vinyl, and polyethylene.

These durable sheets work by slowing down energy transfer between the pool water and the air above it. This means they help keep the water warmer for longer periods, reducing heating costs significantly during cooler months.

Different types of pool blankets offer unique benefits. Solar pool covers, for instance, harness the power of the sun to warm your swimming area naturally. The bubble wrap version is popular due to its cost-effectiveness and ease of use; however, if you’re looking for something more robust, vinyl or insulating foam covers might be up your alley—the latter providing superior warmth retention at a higher price point but offering better durability against harsh weather conditions.

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Key Differences: Pool Cover vs Pool Blanket

Pool covers act as a protective shield, preventing debris and leaves from entering the pool, while pool blankets are primarily designed to retain heat through insulation. For a detailed comparison of their functionalities and materials, read on!

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In Terms of Functionality

Covering your pool helps in several ways, from water conservation to energy efficiency. A solid cover blocks debris and reduces cleaning time. It also stops water evaporation, meaning less refilling and fewer chemicals needed.

This is a smart move for both your wallet and the environment.

On the other hand, a pool blanket excels at trapping heat. Think of it like insulation for your pool. It lets solar power warm up the water while preventing that heat from escaping when the air gets cooler.

Especially with solar blankets, you’re looking at a win-win: warmer water without cranking up the heating bills. They float right on top of the water—no ties required—and this simplicity adds an extra layer of convenience for daily use.

In Terms of Material and Design

Pool covers and pool blankets differ significantly in their materials and design, offering unique benefits for swimming pool protection. Pool covers come in solid or mesh varieties, designed to cover the entire surface of the pool securely.

They play a crucial role in ensuring safety and keeping debris out. In contrast, a solar blanket — crafted from bubble cover technology — focuses on thermal efficiency by utilising sustainable energy transfer to warm the water.

A solar blanket is essentially a large sheet of plastic that harnesses sunlight to increase water temperature while reducing heat evaporation. This innovative design not only maintains an inviting pool temperature but also contributes to energy conservation by minimising the need for artificial heating.

Safety floating covers offer a protective layer, whereas mesh designs ensure cleanliness without significantly affecting water temperature. Each type serves a purpose beyond mere aesthetics — whether it’s conserving water, saving energy or preventing accidents.


Choosing between a pool cover and a pool blanket depends largely on what you need. If it’s keeping leaves and debris away, covers are your best bet. Want to keep the water warm? Blankets shine here.

Remember, while covers offer solid protection against winter’s harshness, blankets excel in heat retention through all seasons. Ultimately, your choice shapes how well your swimming area meets expectations year-round.


1. What is the difference between a pool cover and a pool blanket?

A pool cover is typically a solid material designed to completely seal off the pool, while a pool blanket is usually a lightweight, floating cover that rests on the water’s surface.

2. Are there benefits to using a pool cover over a pool blanket?

Yes, a solid pool cover provides better insulation, limits evaporation, and offers more effective protection against debris compared to a floating pool blanket.

3. Can I use both a pool cover and a pool blanket together?

Yes, using both simultaneously can provide enhanced insulation and reduce heat loss from the water while also ensuring comprehensive protection against debris.

4. Do I need special equipment for installing either of these?

No, installation typically requires minimal equipment such as straps or anchors for securing the covers in place.

5. Are there specific maintenance requirements for either option?

Both options require periodic cleaning to prevent debris buildup and ensure their effectiveness in preserving water quality and temperature.