Choosing a Pool Solar Blanket

Which is the Best Solar Pool Blanket?

A swimming pool solar blanket can help keep your pool warmer by at least a few degrees, if not more, so you can enjoy swimming earlier and later in the season. Solar pool blankets come in several forms: solar pills or balls, solar fish, and solar rings.

Each of these pool solar heating blankets is supposed to prevent evaporation and keep your pool water warmer. Which one is the best choice for you?

Solar Pills or Solar Balls

Solar pills form a liquid solar blanket for your pool. The ingredients inside the pill dispense into the pool, creating an invisible film or protective layer over the water surface. Once you drop the pill into the pool, you can pretty much forget about it for 30 days.

The pill itself is not necessarily affected by wind - it just floats in the pool. However, if the water surface is disturbed at all by wind or activity, the protective layer is disturbed and evaporation will occur. One solar pill or ball will treat up to 12,000 gallons of water for one month. Each one costs between $10-$20 depending on the size of your pool.

Customers who have used the solar pills seem to like them due to their convenience.

Solar Fish

Solar fish are another type of liquid pool solar blanket. It's a tropical fish dispenser filled with a liquid called LiquidHeat(tm). The liquid is activated once it comes into contact with the pool water, creating an invisible layer of protection over the surface of the water. The smallest size solar fish will treat up to 400 square feet for one month. Larger pools require two or three fish to lower the evaporation factor and keep heat in the pool water.

The effectiveness of solar fish is similar to solar pills in that wind or activity will disturb the invisible layer of protection, which means the water isn't gaining any heat during those times. However, a still night with no wind will allow your pool water to heat up at least a few degrees. What do the consumers say?

  • Convenient

  • Pool must receive direct sunlight to work properly

  • Secure the fish to a ladder so they don't get caught in skimmer or automatic pool cleaning systems

  • Cost of $10-$17 per month is reasonable compared to investing in a solar blanket

Solar Pool Rings

Solar pool rings are not liquid pool solar blankets, but rather a device that is designed and manufactured from dual pieces of vinyl that are heavy and resistant to ultraviolet rays.

In between the top clear layer and the bottom blue layer is a layer of air. The sunlight passes through the top layer, absorbs into the blue layer and in turn is supposed to heat the pool water. Each durable sun ring has six magnets inside to help them connect with one another to form a solar layer across the pool surface.

Consumer Thoughts on Solar Rings

These are some of the experiences that pool owners who use solar rings have shared.

  • High winds cause rings to bunch up - very difficult to separate

  • Magnets are strong enough to inhibit movements of children and pets - remove always before allowing swimming

  • Rings sink and get caught in skimmer

  • Not great for climates where sunlight fluctuates a lot

  • Collect dirt and debris easily

  • Very pricey at $200 for 10 rings

  • Didn't warm up the pool much if at all

Your choice of a pool solar blanket will depend on several factors, not the least of which is convenience and cost. Some consumers have decided that the investment in a permanent solar blanket is the best choice overall, whereas others prefer the temporary solutions such as solar pills, solar fish, and solar rings.


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