Loading, please wait...
(for 16x32-foot cover, installed)
(for 16x32-foot cover, installed)
(for 16x32-foot cover, installed)
Get free advice and estimates from swimming pool builders in your city.
If you have an inground pool in your yard, then you already know that you need to install a safety cover over it before you close it up at the end of the season. Safety covers help keep children, pets, and other creatures out of your pool to prevent drownings. They also help keep your pool clean and in good condition for the year ahead.
The two most common types of pool covers are mesh and solid. Both have advantages and disadvantages that you need to consider. We outline the differences between the two types below so that you can make an informed decision for your pool.
When both covers are installed properly, they completely cover the top surface of your pool, anchored at several points around the perimeter. Both types come in a variety of colors and shapes to match differently shaped pools.
The biggest difference in appearance is the surface texture. Solid pool covers have a plastic or vinyl 1 appearance that has no holes. It is completely solid all the way across and smooth to the touch.
Mesh pool covers are very fine, tightly knit fibers that allow water to pass through but not debris. So, they have a more textured look than a solid cover. Aesthetically, neither is meant to enhance your pool’s appearance, but you may prefer the look of one over the other.
Mesh covers are much lighter than solid covers, which means that they can often be installed by a single person. For this reason, homeowners who want to close their pool themselves for the winter often opt for this cover.
Solid covers are much heavier and, therefore, more difficult to install. They often require two or more people to place properly. So, if you do not have the manpower at home, you may need to hire a professional pool company to put it on for you.
In both cases, however, your pool decking 2 material is the biggest obstacle in the initial installation since the hardware needs to be drilled and inserted into your deck to hold the cover in place. If you have this hardware in place already, the installation of the actual cover is fairly straightforward. The cover is pulled over the pool, straps on the top of the cover are pulled to the grommets or hardware in the deck, and hooked into them. The straps are installed evenly around the pool. The initial straps go on the easiest, but the last few straps may take some tension to get into the correct position.
If you do not have the hardware, your pool deck 2 will determine the type of bit required to drill the grommets and hardware into place. For this, you should have a professional do the installation, particularly if your pool is not rectangular.
Mesh covers are significantly less expensive than solid covers both to purchase and install. A mesh cover costs between $1,200 and $3,000, depending on the shape and size of the pool.
A solid cover costs between $1,800 and $3,600 for the same shape and size as a mesh cover, about $600 more on average. Initial installation of any cover will cost between $500 and $1,000 depending on the size of the pool. Ongoing installation costs between $100 and $500, with solid covers costing closer to $500 and mesh closer to $100, again depending on the size and shape of the pool.
Therefore, a 16 x 32-foot pool with a mesh cover professionally installed will cost about $2,700 on average for initial installation, while the same size cover in a solid material will cost about $3,700.
Mesh pool covers are designed to allow water to pass through the surface into the pool so that it does not collect on top. A solid cover, however, allows the water to collect and puddle in the middle. Therefore, a pump 3 is necessary to remove the water. Part of the higher cost of the solid cover is the addition of the pump. Automatic pumps are available that turn themselves on when the water reaches a certain depth, but manual pumps are often less expensive. With a manual pump, you must operate the pump as needed to get the water off the cover.
Mesh covers are significantly lighter than solid covers, being made of vinyl fibers rather than solid vinyl. For this reason, they can often be installed and removed by a single person. Solid covers need a minimum of two people to handle, both to move from one place to another and to get the necessary tension on the straps when installing. Many people opt for professional installation for solid covers.
Solid covers block 100% of the UV light from entering your pool, while mesh covers block only 99%. Because chlorine breaks down in the presence of UV light, you may find that a mesh cover requires you to add more chlorine at the end of use, depending on the path of the sun, time of year, and what the chlorine 4 levels were to start.
The biggest advantage that a solid cover has is that nothing can get through the cover into the pool, including water. While mesh covers are designed to filter out large debris, small particles can get into the water, such as fallen leaves that have begun to decompose. This means that when you reopen the pool in the spring, there may be sediment on the bottom that needs to be cleaned.
In most cases, mesh covers are treated to prevent 99% of sunlight from getting in, which helps prevent algae growth. However, if you live in an area with excessive amounts of sunlight, even that 1% could lead to algae under the right circumstances. Solid covers prevent all sunlight from getting in, which prevents algae growth.
Because solid covers collect water on the surface, if this water is not drained, it can pose a drowning hazard for children and pets. This is why the pump is necessary when using a solid cover. In addition, the vinyl can become slippery. While it is not advised to walk on the cover, doing so when it is wet could cause a fall.
Mesh covers are less likely to remain wet, and because they do not collect water, they are less likely to pose a drowning risk.
Protecting your pool is important, and whether you choose a mesh or solid cover, there are plenty of options out there. Here are just a few of our favorites in both categories to help make your decision a little easier.
BEST OVERALL: Happybuy Pool Safety Cover
Available in a range of sizes and styles to suit all pools, this Happybuy high quality mesh pool cover is easy to install with simple stretch springs and grounding bolts, coming with all the tools you need for set-up. It's made from tough yet soft material that's eco-friendly, non-toxic, and resistant to high temperatures too, as well as being long-lasting to keep your pool protected for years to come.
BEST VALUE: WICHEMI Safety Pool Cover
Next up, we have this great value option from WICHEMI. Large enough to cover 16' x 38' pools and also available in a slightly more expensive 20' x 40' variant, this mesh cover is easy to install and gets the job done, keeping your pool clean and free of dirt and debris when not in use. It's also a very tough material that won't pose a risk to children or pets and can even stand up to heavy snowfall.
ALSO CONSIDER: Blue Wave In Ground Pool Safety Cover
Available in various sizes from 14' x 28' all the way up to 20' x 40', this mesh pool cover ships with brass anchors, stainless steel springs, and all the tools you need for easy installation, as well as a storage bag to keep everything safe when not in use. It features multi-seamed stitching for additional safety and durability, as well as a high-scrim mesh panel design that allows water to pass through while filtering out dirt and debris.
BEST OVERALL: Loop Loc Ultra Loc Solid Pool Cover
When it comes to strong, solid pool covers, Loop Loc is one of the best names in the business, and the brand's Ultra Loc design is one of the best. This product is made from 100% polypropylene to provide immense strength and durability while also being surprisingly lightweight when compared to other solid covers, which allows for easier installation. It drains quickly and is eco-friendly too.
BEST VALUE: Robelle 352040R
If you're looking for a relatively affordable solid pool cover, this Robelle offering isn't a bad choice. It's available in various sizes and styles to suit even the largest of pools, coming with 5 feet of extra material to overflow at the sides and make it easy to secure in place. There are water bag loops every four feet along this cover that can be used with water tubes for simple installation, and it ships with a 10-year warranty too.
ALSO CONSIDER: Blue Wave Royal Blue Pool Cover
Also available in various sizes to suit your pool, this strong and reliable solid pool cover from Blue Wave can withstand extreme temperatures and all the elements, keeping your pool water safe and shielded from snow, rain, dirt, and debris. It ships with a 15-year warranty and has five feet of overflow material for simple and speedy installation.
Our experts independently research and recommend the best products. Retailers cannot influence or pay for the placement, reviews, or ratings of products. Fixr.com participates in the Amazon Services, LLC Associates Program and other affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn commissions on qualifying purchases made using our links to retailer sites.