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You definitely need a good pool cover to secure your pool through the winter. It isn’t just to keep leaves, debris and garden critters out. It’s also be a primary safeguard against anyone or anything getting injured or falling in.

We’re going to take a look at the best winter pool covers for above ground and in-ground pool installations, and give you some expert advice on how to choose the right one for your state and winter weather conditions.

There’s plenty of covers available,  but we’ve only chosen the best to include in these reviews. Our pool experts have curated  high end and some budget plastic covers too.

This isn’t an exhaustive list of winter pool covers which you can find anywhere.  In this article you can be sure the ones we’ve highlighted are from trusted manufacturers with a pedigree of producing quality products.

A good winter pool cover not just a nice to have extra, we think it’s an absolute necessity. 

So let’s take a walk through our selected covers with some additional expert buying tips too….

Best Pool Covers For Winter

Mesh Pool Covers

These are the most popular choice of winter pool covers.

The better quality products are made from a 2 ply polypropylene mesh thats been lightly woven to allow rainwater and snow melt through. Of course leaves and debris are caught on top of the cover and don’t end up in the bottom of your pool.

Lightly woven does not mean they’re not strong and durable. In fact many cover manufacturers claim their pool covers can hold astonishing weights.

We’ve actually seen one showing a 600 lb gorilla siting in the middle of it !!  Unfortunately since we don’t have a 600 lb gorilla available for testing we can’t verify their claim. 

This cover doesn’t include a gorilla,  but it does tick a lot of our other boxes.

The Excellent Blue Wave Safety Winter Pool Cover Range
691 Reviews
The Excellent Blue Wave Safety Winter Pool Cover Range
  • Available in five common pool sizes up to 20 x 40 feet.
  • Good quality rust resistant fixings are included. Brass anchor points and Stainless Steel springs.
  • Two color options. highlighted blue or green.
  • 12 Year Pro Rata Warranty.

Obviously a pool cover should never be walked on, but you want to be confident it can be.

Children and pets are surely going to be your main worry.  So it’s comforting to know that installed correctly a good mesh pool cover can easily hold the weight of any adult and a lot more. These covers are also an excellent choice for year round pools running a pool heater. 

They’re generally long lasting too, the absence of strong sunlight in the winter means the polypropylene weave material hardly degrades at all over the years.  The fabric weave also makes it less brittle when subjected to freezing temperatures, so less chance of cracking.   

Next you’ll need rustproof fittings, that’s brass anchors and stainless steel springs.  If they’re not then expect problems and stains on your beautiful pool decking.  If you go low ball on the fitting quality you could end up paying plenty to sort out stains running every few feet around the edge of your pool later on.

Invest a little more and the best pool covers should give many winters of hassle free service. 

Oh, and if you happen to have a 600 lb gorilla at home we’d love to hear how your cover stands up to that guy dancing on it !!

Pools With Walk In Stairs

Specially tailored, ready made pool covers are available to cover in-ground pools with walk in stairs. Walk in pool stairs look great, and are a positive safety feature.  Unfortunately as far as winter pool covers go there’s a rather limited range of pool sizes and stair widths available, but you might get lucky.

Happybuy Pool Winter Safety Cover For Pools With Steps
1,519 Reviews
Happybuy Pool Winter Safety Cover For Pools With Steps
  • Available in three sizes up to 20 x 40 foot with additional 8 x 4 foot step.
  • High quality anchor points and springs made from stainless steel and brass.
  • Only one color options as shown.
  • Triple stitched for durability.

Budget Pool Covers

Cheap and safety aren’t words shouldn’t be found in the same sentence.  But of course there will be some pool installations may not warrant a high end pool safety cover. 

As everyone knows generally speaking any budget item tends to lack quality, and pool covers aren’t any different.

So remember when shopping for a cheaper cover that the fixings are crucial to the security of the cover, and the lower end covers are often supplied with lower end fixings. Logical ? 

Also remember cheaper fixing can rust out during the winter, and might even stain your pool surround.  The fabric is usually OK for a few seasons,  it’s the fittings where the manufactures cut corners.  

Plastic Winter Pool Covers

We call this type of pool covers a budget option because they’re cheaper than the more tailored pool safety covers.  If you’re wanting to simply cover the pool then these might be perfect for you.

But if you’re a pet owner or have children you’ll definitely need to secure the pool. These covers are not suitable for that, they just drape over and into the pool.

The Durable Buffalo Blizzard Basic Winter Cover
558 Reviews
The Durable Buffalo Blizzard Basic Winter Cover
  • A huge range of sizes available up to 30 x 50 feet.
  • Four grades of cover quality available.
  • Five different colors to choose from.
  • Comes with a Pro Rata Warranty.


Remember we’re just talking covers here, they take no weight, and also need a little care and maintenance throughout the winter. 

Also remember that they might cope with a very light snow fall but not a blizzard.

Another thing to bear in mind when purchasing is that they need to be secured and  this is usually done using water filled tubes to weigh down the cover edges. This can be a plus point because it’s non-invasive, and doesn’t require drilling fixing points in the pool surround like a real safety pool cover does. 

Water Tubes  Pool Cover Weights
3,061 Reviews
Water Tubes  Pool Cover Weights
  • Pack of 2 x 10 foot double tubes.
  • Puncture resistant durable vinyl.

In milder winter conditions this method of securing the cover is fine. Gale force winds obviously not, but then in fairness only real safety pool covers can stand up to severe weather like this for long.

The last purchase you’ll need to make if you choose one of these plastic pool covers is a small pump to drain off rainwater that tends to pool in their centre. Many owners use a large inflatable ball or tube laying on top of the water to help drain the rain water to the cover edge. This make pumping it out easier and safer.

FibroPool Electric Swimming Pool Cover Drain Pump
5,773 Reviews
FibroPool Electric Swimming Pool Cover Drain Pump

  • Useful pump for in ground or above ground pool covers.
  • 16 foot power cord to 110v source.
  • A 16 foot evacuation hose is also included..
  • 75 Watts motor. Pumps 600 GPH

Although these accessories add to the cost of what starts out as a cheap option, when you add everything together you’ll still probably looking at paying around half of the price of an equivalent sized pool safety cover.

Leaf Nets

These are handy helpers to the main winter pool cover. They’re handy helpers for the pool owner too.  Not an indispensable accessory. We put them on our “nice to have “ list but they certainly can make winter pool maintenance a little easier.

Anyone with trees near the pool will definitely benefit from one of these nets.

Made to lay over the main cover, they make leaf and debris round up and removal a breeze !! They’re super lightweight, and catch everything that’s found it’s way on to the top of the pool cover. That means wind blown debris is easily removed before it rots down and causes an unpleasant soggy mess. It’s visually unpleasant, and a pain to remove.

Made to lay over the main cover, they make leaf and debris round up and removal a breeze !! They’re super lightweight, and catch everything that’s found it’s way on to the top of the pool cover. That means wind blown debris is easily removed before it rots down and causes an unpleasant soggy mess. It’s visually unpleasant, and a pain to remove.

It’s visually unpleasant, and a pain to remove.

The Excellent Blue Wave Safety Winter Pool Cover Range
691 Reviews
The Excellent Blue Wave Safety Winter Pool Cover Range
  • Available in five common pool sizes up to 20 x 40 feet.
  • Good quality rust resistant fixings are included. Brass anchor points and Stainless Steel springs.
  • Two color options. highlighted blue or green.
  • 12 Year Pro Rata Warranty.


Because they can’t easily billow in the wind they don’t need really a secure fixing so are simply held down by water filled tubes placed around the edge of net. That should be enough weight to hold them in place. Simple, effective and cheap. Now who doesn’t like that combination ?

Winter Above Ground Pool Covers

Pretty much all the best above ground pools come with covers. The covers from our experience is an accessory that manufacturers do tend to cut costs on. 

The pool and pump are usually great, but the cover, and the access steps often leave a lot to be desired. If you’re an Intex pool owners there are replacement covers available for their pools. But not all models and sizes are easily found on-line.

Fortunately there’s plenty of third party vendors offering an almost bewildering array of sizes and colours to suit your pool.

For some reason finding a replacement cover for a rectangular pool can be more challenging than round or oval.  We are particularly impressed with this range. We’ve highlighted their round cover but they also stock oval ones too.

Robelle Winter Pool Cover for Round Above Ground Pools
17,997 Reviews
Robelle Winter Pool Cover for Round Above Ground Pools

  • A vast range of sizes and colours available up to a 33 foot pool
  • Six  grades of cover quality available.
  • Plenty of different colors to choose from.
  • Comes with a 10 year Pro Rata Warranty.

Heated Pool Covers

If you’re running a pool heater to extend your swimming season though fall and even into winter you’ll need what’s called a solar pool cover. 

It’s can help to add heat during the warmer months. It’s also indispensable for retaining heat produced by your pool heater in the cooler months. Studies have shown this type of cover can cut energy bills up to 70%.  So it’s a great investment well worth using.  We have written a full review of these solar covers here >>

Sun2Solar Blue Solar Pool Cover Range
3,042 Reviews
Sun2Solar Blue Solar Pool Cover Range
  • Excellent thermal retention. We recommended for heated pools but an excellent choice for all installations and all seasons.
  • 3 Year limited warranty.


Regular pool covers don’t retain heat or really add heat to the pool. That’s just not what they’re designed to do. These ones do, they’re a low tech, low cost money saver. Nothing not to like here.

If you’re looking for some free heat in the summer, or to retain paid heat in the winter just buy one. We promise you won’t regret it.

Installing A Pool Safety Cover

If it’s not installed correctly it’s no longer a pool safety cover, it could actually be an accident waiting to happen. 

Of course you don’t need an engineering diploma to do it,  just make sure it’s taut and the fixings are secure when it’s in place and finished. 

If you have an average DIY tool kit, and average skills, fitting a winter pool safety cover is a breeze.

The only thing you may need to purchase is a drill bit and counter sink appropriate to the brass anchor points being buried into the pool surround. It varies between manufacturers but’s generally it’s 3/4 inch for concrete decking.

Most safety covers come with anchors for concrete decking. If you need fixings for wood or composite decking then you’ll need to purchase them separately. 

Great Quality WOOD Deck Brass Anchor for Pool Safety Cover
208 Reviews
Great Quality WOOD Deck Brass Anchor for Pool Safety Cover

  • A pack of 10 high quality spring anchors
  • Requires a 1.5 inch round countersink.
  • We think these really are a class act.

Your pool cover should come with installation instructions so it’s just a matter of following them.

Fortunately there is some margin for error, not that we recommend that. But there is leeway by adjusting buckles and spring tension slightly to iron out any minor mistakes in measurements.

Your cover needs to be quite taut to be effective. That’s why some come with a ratchet to tighten up the strapping because it can’t be effectively tightened by hand. 

Best practice on larger installations is to work from the middle of the pool edges to the corners. Tension opposite sides of the pool as you go.

A job best done by two.

When everything is anchored down go round and tighten up to final tautness, again work from the middle to the corners. Avoid over tightening it’s not necessary. It shouldn’t be tight as a drum,  a small amount of give is good.

Winter Pool Maintenance

No pool covers are maintenance free.

Safety pool covers will need less than flimsy plastic covers as they don’t normally suffer from rainwater pooling. 

Snow is heavy enough, but if ice forms below new snow then the weight on the cover is magnified and puts the anchors and springs in increasing and constant stress.

Snow is heavy enough but if ice forms below new snow then the weight on the cover is magnified and puts the anchors and springs in increasing and constant stress.

Plastic pool cover owners shouldn’t have a snow problem to deal with. They’re not really suitable to carry any weight, so shouldn’t be purchased if you expect snowy winters. 

Because they are generally impervious they do accumulate and pool rainwater though,  so that needs to be pumped off regularly to stop the cover disappearing into the pool. Using the pump isn’t a difficult chore but it does need to be done regularly.

Many owners float large balls or tubes in the pool under the cover to stop rain water pooling.  They can be quite handy things to consider for inground and and above ground pools. 

After taking your winter cover off to stow away it needs to be thoroughly cleaned with fresh water and scrubbed down. Leaf mould and grime need to be cleaned off and the cover well dried before folding/rolling and storing.

If there are difficult areas that won’t clean up then add a little diluted Borax to the area and rescrub. 

Finally we know drying out a winter pool cover in early spring can be challenging,  but storing a wet or damp cover will encourage mildew growth during the summer and leave you with an unpleasant cleaning chore in the fall.

If you have a leaf blower in your shed then we’ve found them useful the speed up the pool cover drying process.

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