Above Ground Pool Covers Buyer's Guide

pool-closed for winter

It has been a warm autumn; now finally starting to cool off. It's time to get ready to cover the pool. If you do not have a pool cover we are here to guide you through finding the right cover for you.

First, we need to establish your priorities for your new swimming pool cover. What's important to you in a pool cover?

Are you looking for a cheap pool cover that you can throw out at the end of the winter? Are you looking for something that will last for a few years, or do you want the best pool cover that will last much longer?


My first recommendation is to not purchase a cover based solely on the warranty. And although they are valid, pro-rated warranties of 8 to 16 years, you may reasonably expect the cover to likely last only half of the warranty period - before tree limbs, ice and other "acts of God" take their toll.

All In The Swim above ground pool covers have at least a 4 foot overlap, triple stitched fabric border, vinyl coated cable and winch, U.V. protection and can be purchased with cover clips to secure the cover onto the top ledge.

Solid Winter Covers


Solid pool covers are designed to keep debris and sunlight out of the water, making it easier to clean the pool in the spring. Aboveground pool covers are held onto the pool by a vinyl coated cable and winch (cable tightener).

Pool covers are rated by a weave count - the higher the weave count, the stronger and heavier the cover will be.

Also, the higher the weave count is, the longer the warranty will be, and in turn, the longer the cover lifespan.


Our best solid pool cover is the Ultimate Pool Cover. These covers have a stronger weave and an anti-rip coating that make them much stronger than the standard covers. Additionally, the grommets have a brass insert that locks them into the edge to prevent the grommets from coming loose from the fabric edge.

Mesh Pool Covers


Not to be confused with mesh safety covers, these drape across the water surface just like a solid pool cover. Mesh pool covers for aboveground pools are more easily cleaned in the spring because they will allow water to pass through.

Mesh covers will decrease cover cleanup but may add to pool water clean up in the spring, as fine silt is able to pass through.

With a mesh cover, the pool should be drained enough to accommodate for the additional water of rain and melting snow. It's also advised to use an air pillow with a mesh cover, and pull it tight, so that leaves and debris are not sitting in the water.

Our customers that buy a mesh pool cover for their aboveground pool find them to be much easier to maintain during the winter, with only some extra vacuuming come spring. They are also extremely durable and rip resistant.

Combination Cover


Here is a solid pool cover with a mesh panel. This will keep most of the small debris out of the pool while still allowing water to pass into the pool.

Additionally, this cover stretches straight across the pool and attaches to the pool uprights with rubber straps, instead of cable & winch.

Just attach the clips near the bottom of each upright, and connect the rubber straps from the cover grommets to the clips (not shown above). The lower you install the clips, the tighter the cover will be, keeping it above the water level.

So, as you can see, there are many different pool covers to select from - but the key is for you to find the correct one for you. While you're thinking about that, here's some popular aboveground pool cover gear.

Solid Pool Cover Accessories

  • Cover Clips – Plastic clips designed to clip an above ground pool cover onto the bottom of the top rail, securing the cover in high winds.
  • Air Pillow – When inflated and placed under the cover, air pillows prevent a solid ice sheet from forming, which could damage the pool.
  • Wall Bags – Wall bags lay on the pool cover, and prevent 'wind whip', which can damage an aboveground pool cover.
  • Aquador – Allows you to avoid draining your pool for winterizing, by creating a water tight seal around the face of the skimmer. (Note: you will have to drain your pool below the skimmer to initially install the Aquador faceplate).
  • Above-Ground Pool Cover Pumps – Small pump removes rain water from the top of a pool cover to reduce stress, and prevent small holes from opening up.

We have nearly 50,000 swimming pool covers in stock, at the time of this writing, so I'm sure we have one for you! If you have some questions I didn't answer, please leave a comment below, or give our helpful pool cover experts a call.

Have a good fall!

In The Swim makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and In The Swim assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. In The Swim assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.