Clear vs Blue Solar Cover – Which Color Works Better?

By | April 21, 2016

clear vs blue solar coverThere is much debate in the pool owner world as to which color wins in the “clear vs blue” solar cover match-up. Both solar covers work, but of course you want to know what color solar cover is best?

There are many different color solar covers out there, from clear to blue to black and everything in between. But clear and blue tend to be the most sought after.

Does The Color Really Make A Difference?

Yes, the color does make a difference.

The darker the color of your solar cover, the less sunlight can pass through. And since this sunlight doesn’t pass through, it gets absorbed into the solar cover. So as you could imagine, a black solar cover would absorb the most sunlight, and a clear one the least amount of sunlight.

But just because the darker solar covers absorb more sunlight doesn’t mean they are better for heating you pool. Its actually the opposite and I’ll tell you why.

The Less Sunlight It Absorbs The Better

Solar covers that don’t absorb much sunlight allow it to pass through them into the water beneath. This means that the covers themselves don’t heat up very much. Instead, its the water below that receives most of the heat, which is then trapped underneath the cover.

Darker covers that absorb more sunlight and get hotter. This heat is much more easily released back up into the air. Sure a lot of the heat they absorb gets transferred to the water surface beneath them, but much of that heat rises right up into the air. And that heat is lost forever.

Clear Solar Covers Win The Debate

In my opinion the clear solar covers are the ones to go with. Not only do they heat up your pool more, but they also do so more evenly.

With the darker covers, pretty much all of the heat is transferred from the cover to the water. This leaves a hot layer of water just below the cover.

But with the clear covers you don’t have this problem. They don’t absorb much heat so they don’t have much to transfer to the water. They let the sun pass through and heat up the water itself, without interfering and causing heat loss.

Take This For Example

You can compare solar covers to the way greenhouses work.

Greenhouses have clear plastic or glass covering their cielings and walls. This allows the sunlight to pass through and heat up the inside. Then the heat is trapped underneath the plastic covering the outside (greenhouse effect)

Now think if a greenhouse would have a blue plastic covering. This covering would heat up more itself, but much less sunlight would go through to the inside, and overall the heat of the inside would be less.

This principles of this example are the same as how solar covers would heat up pool water.

Final Thoughts on Clear vs Blue Solar Covers

You could search for days online and there would be all sorts of opinions you would find as to why one color is better than the other. Unfortunately there aren’t any scientific studies that prove one to be better.

But if you take my example above, its obvious what the better choice is.

Now I know that a lot of pool owners go with the blue solar covers because they like the appearance. I get it, you like the blue water look. My advice to you would be that if you insist on getting a blue cover, go with a lighter (more clear) blue. You will get better results.

One thought on “Clear vs Blue Solar Cover – Which Color Works Better?

  1. jim nickel

    By what you said the clear cover does sound like the most efficient to use.

    Weight wise what do you suggest? My pool is 28×12 and I don’t have a reel system. So I can manage the cover, I wil lprobably cut it in the middle length wise. What weight do you suggest 10 mil, 12mil, 14 mil , or 16 mil?

    Something I can manage but will also hold up for a few years.

    Thank You


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