Best Above Ground Pool Covers

Just like their in-ground counterparts, above ground pools need to be protected during cold months with a cover.  While they’re typically not as expensive, it’s just as important to consider quality and durability for your pool’s protection.  If you are going to close or winterize your pool for the winter, an above ground pool cover is an absolutely necessary accessory.

Winterizing your pool in freezing climates requires an extremely durable wind, weather and sun proof cover. Pool covers keep dust, dirt and debris out of your pool, protect the cap rails and liner from sun damage, and they help prevent algae growth by keeping your pool dark.

A good winter cover makes spring opening an easy chore, and removes most of the winter pool care maintenance (although you’ll still want to drain any rain water that collects on the cover).

There are some essential features for winter covers – they must be larger than the pool, so that the cover’s fabric mostly floats on the water. They should have a tie down system that includes some kind of mechanical tightening device so that you can get the tie down very secure. They should be wind and weather proof, and be able to stand up to the sun’s damaging rays.

After these basics are satisfied, the difference in covers comes down to the fabric they’re made from, their grommet or tie down system, and other special features.

The covers we’ve reviewed are all made of polyethylene fabric which is measured in terms of skrim (a measure of threads per inch) /or weight per square yard. The higher the skrim or weight, the tougher the fabric should be.

After you choose which cover you’ll use, you’ll need to select the size. You want the cover to float on the pool water without being taught at the edges so that it’s not placing weight on the fabric or the top caps of your pool. Pool covers are listed by the pool dimensions, not the cover dimensions, so a 24 foot round pool will usually use a 24 foot round cover.

When you get it, expect that a cover with a 4 foot overlap, will actually measure 28 feet which gives you 2 feet extra on each side. This extra allows the cover to float on the water, and makes it easier to secure around your pool.

If you have large top cap on your pool walls, permanent equipment like a ladder that will stay attached in the winter, or if your manufacturer’s instructions indicate that you should lower the pool water level for the winter, you’ll want to get a cover that’s a size larger than your pool.

Proper setup is also important, and different pools will require different solutions.  After much research and analysis, here are our top above ground pool winter cover reviews for 2018.

Blue Wave Gold Oval Pool Covers

If you have an oval shaped pool, we highly recommend the Blue Wave Gold Oval Cover.  This product is specially designed to protect oval shaped pools.

It covers pools as large as 21 by 41-feet and is both sun and weather proof. The quality and durability of the material will protect your pool from snow, wind, and ice very well. There is also an extra 4 feet of overhang to prevent tears or ripping.

An easy to use cable and winch are included to make effective covering a breeze. Its dark color stunts algae growth, making seasonal cleaning a breeze.  The cover’s durable construction is guaranteed to last 15 years.

With a 4.4 out of 5-star rating and very positive reviews, it is one of the best above ground pool covers we have found.

  • Pros:
  • Protection from sun, snow, wind and ice
  • Highly durable and thick material that is resistant to tears
  • Heavy duty cable and winch tightener is included
  • backed by a 15-year warranty (3-year full rated)
  • Cons:
  • Can be heavy and difficult to maneuver for some
  • Instructions could be a bit more clear

Blue Wave Gold Round Pool Cover

If you happen to have a round pool instead, we also recommend the Blue Wave Gold Round Cover.  It comes in sizes ranging from 12-feet all the way to 33-feet round and includes all the great features of the Blue Wave Oval shaped cover.

This extremely durable cover also comes with a 15-year warranty which is longer than most above ground pools will last!

It has a 4.3 out of 5-star rating with many fantastic customer reviews.

  • Pros:
  • Protection from sun, snow, wind and ice
  • Highly durable and thick material that is resistant to tears
  • Heavy duty cable and winch tightener is included
  • backed by a 15-year warranty (3-year full rated)
  • Cons:
  • Some reviews say it only lasted a couple years
  • Instructions could be a bit more clear

Deluxe Oval Pool Cover

Another great choice for oval pools, the Deluxe cover is one of the best above ground pool covers on the market.  The rule of thirds is implemented well to ensure supreme protection and durability.  Grommets have been woven down the cover every 3 feet.

Triple layer nylon hems are stitched to ensure the Deluxe cover lasts for the long haul. It is then triple laminated in its entirety to enhance durability even further.

Choose your own color as it is reversible with blue on one side and black on the other.  Whichever you select, the Deluxe cover offers superior protection from the sun’s harmful rays. With 3 feet of overhang, it can be easily installed on pools up to 18-feet wide by 36-feet long.

  • Pros:
  • Cover is light-weight and easier to handle
  • An economical choice compared to other brands
  • Includes a vinyl coated cable and winch.
  • Cons:
  • Not as durable as some of the thicker covers
  • Although it is lightweight, still requires more than one person to install


Pool Mate Sandstone Winter Cover

Pool Mate’s sandstone cover is an innovation among pool covers.  It features a powerful polyethylene construction that is further enhanced by seams that are sealed with heat.  The result is a durable material that fully protects against sunlight, algae, leaves, and dirt.

In fact, if the water is treated properly before the pool is covered, it will still be clean after winter ends and swimming season begins again.  With 4 feet of overhang, installation is surprisingly easy.  And it’s 9.6 lb. weight is easy to handle.

The Pool Mate Sandstone cover is one of the least expensive brands available but don’t let the price fool you.  It is still very durable and highly rated.  It has a 4.3 out of 5-star rating and plenty of great reviews.

  • Pros:
  • All seams are heat sealed for better performance
  • Helps prevent algae growth
  • Professional-quality material using polyethylene
  • Includes a 12 year warranty
  • Cons:
  • Some customers mentioned that the cover is thinner than expected
  • Warranty only covers the first two years. Starting the third year you pay 40% of the retail price

Snow2Winter Ripstopper Pool Cover

The reversible black and green Ripstopper takes pool cover durability to a new level.  It is actually guaranteed not to rip for 15 years of regular use, even if punctured.

To help improve its enduring strength, the Ripstopper includes a winter cover seal to withstand the elements during long, winter months.

It also comes with a large air pillow and even a closing chemical kit to keep your water pristine until next season.

Its polyethylene construction also protects the pool from UV rays.  4 feet of overlap, along with a cable and winch, bring flexibility along with the Ripstopper’s unmatched durability.  It can fit pools reaching up to 33 feet.

The Ripstopper is the ultimate Pool Cover Winterizing Kit.  It includes everything you will need to protect and close your pool for the winter.

  • Pros:
  • 15-Year Limited Manufacturer Warranty / 5-Year Full
  • Double stitched and triple thick hems using UV resistant nylon threads
  • Comes with 4 ft. of overlap allowing for a secure installation
  • Good price for a quality cover
  • Cons:
  • Doesn’t seem to last as long as more expensive covers
  • Cover is thinner than expected according to a few customers

Robelle 3524 Super Winter Cover

The Dura Guard Winter Cover from Robelle is a great choice. It has a green UV resistant on top and black on bottom for maximum darkness (and algae prevention) in the water.

It’s a solid cover with a 4 foot overlap and pairs of grommets placed every four feet. The pairs of grommets let you thread the cable down and back, leaving the cable on the outside where it’s easier to tuck the cover under it.

The scrim on the fabric is 8×8 and it’s a 2.36 oz fabric. It comes with a ten-year warranty which is very impressive.

  • Pros:
  • High Quality 8 x 8 scrim
  • 4 foot foot overlap (Includes 4 feet of extra material, making this cover easier to secure)
  • Includes winch and cable which should be used to secure the cover through the reinforced grommets
  • Includes a 10-year warranty which is the best we’ve seen
  • Cons:
  • The Warranty doesn’t offer a full refund after you’ve had it a few years
  • Cover is thinner than expected according to a few customers


Pool Mate Heavy-Duty Winter Cover

Pool Mate doesn’t share it’s scrim counts or fabric weights, and they explicitly say that their cover is lighter weight than most, but that their seams are heat sealed which makes for better performance.

The Pool Mate 4PM cover comes in several colors, which is a nice touch for flexibility in your yard.

We especially like the silver cover in hopes that it will stand up to UV rays better than darker colors. It also comes with a ten-year warranty.

  • Pros:
  • All seams are heat sealed for better performance
  • Designed to stop algae growth
  • 4-Foot overlap for easy installation
  • Made of Heavy-duty polyethylene
  • Includes a 10-year warranty which higher than most covers
  • Cons:
  • A few customers didn’t think it is as durable as advertised

The Winner:

While there are features we like about all of these covers, the Blue Wave Gold is our favorite. Both the round and oval covers are very high quality and have hundreds of highly rated reviews from happy customers.

They have both the black under side that Robelle offers which will inhibit algae growth and the heat sealed seams of the Pool Mate which we like for strength but it’s the thick, rip resistant, UV protected fabric that really has us won over.

The Blue Wave Gold Round and Blue Wave Gold Oval covers are what we expect to be able to use for many seasons, they’re much less expensive than other covers with similarly durable fabric, and we even like the navy blue top color.

A good cover makes winterizing a pool a breeze by securely sealing the water away from the wind, rain, ice, snow, dirt and debris that it will be subject to.

Opening your pool to clean water, free from dirt, debris and algae makes spring maintenance easy and puts you on a quick path to enjoying your beautiful outdoors.

While the best above ground pool covers mentioned may seem pretty standard, it is the small nuances that will ultimately determine which choice is best for you. The type of environment you live in will ultimately drive the decision.

However, it is important to match the features of a potential cover with the requirements listed in your pool’s owner’s manual.

You may be surprised to find that a certain material or overhang is necessary to accommodate the unique design of your pool. We hope our Above Ground Pool Winter Cover Reviews have been helpful and informative.