How do swimming pool solar blankets work?

A mom using a towel to cover her daughter by the pool.
A swimming pool cover is essential for the maintenance of a pool. Using solar energy is the most efficient way to heat your pool. AzmanJaka / Getty Images

A swimming pool cover is essential for the maintenance of a pool. It keeps rain and debris out of an outdoor pool when it's not in use and reduces evaporation, saving you money on water bills. In addition, a pool cover protects children and pets from drowning. There are many types of swimming pool covers; however, the solar cover, also known as a blanket, not only covers your pool, it captures solar energy to naturally raise the pool's water temperature. It heats the pool during the day and maintains its temperature at night.

Using solar energy is the most efficient, cost-free way to heat your pool, enabling you to save money and extend your swimming season. However, at the same time the sun warms the water in the pool, heat is lost through other factors such as wind and evaporation; a swimming pool solar blanket helps preserve the heat obtained from the sun, reducing your heating costs. In addition to heating the water, a solar blanket helps prolong the effectiveness of pool's chemicals.


A solar blanket looks like a large sheet of bubble wrap. It effectively heats the pool water by allowing more of the sun's rays to enter the pool, while its air bubbles trap the pool's heat during the night. You should keep the cover on as much as possible between swims. Some owners attach a metal reel to one end of the pool deck, making it easy to roll the blanket on and off. You don't have to attach a solar blanket to the sides of the pool; it can float freely on the surface.