Solar mats are a nice alternative to full-blown solar covers. They work in the same way and get the job done. SwimWays’ solar mats are some of the best and worth considering.
In this SwimWays ThermaSpring Solar Mat review I’ll be going over what you need to know before you make a decision on whether or not they are right for you and your pool situation.
SwimWays ThermaSpring Solar Mat Overview
SwimWays brings out a unique product with this one. These solar mats are oval shaped and look give a nice decorative look to your pool. But they don’t just look good, they function also. The mats help heat your pool and maintain the warmer temperatures as well as stop water from evaporating out of your pool.
Each mat is 37.5 x 65.5 inches (95.3 x 166.4 cm) when inflated. But they easily fold up into roughly 1/4 that size for maximum storage potential.
How They Work
You probably already know this, but I’ll go over it briefly anyhow. These mats are inflated around the outside and float on top of the water.
The solar mats absorb the sunlight and become hot. Then they transfer their heat to the water beneath them. Because they are on top of the water, they keep the heat trapped below.
So they help heat up your pool as well as help maintain its heat.
And besides heating they also prevent evaporation, because the water cannot escape. If you were to cover 50% of your pool with these solar mats, that would reduce the evaporation by 50%. And I know that evaporation is a big deal when mid summer comes around and there is hardly any rain (at least where I live).
What Makes Them Great
Their design makes them a great alternative to normal solar pool covers.
You can leave them in all the time!
Because they don’t cover the entire pool and leave openings, you can leave them on all the time.
You would have to take normal solar covers off before swimming in your pool, but with the solar mats you can still swim with them in. So you can keep them heating your pool and preventing evaporation all day long.
Normally you would remove your solar cover mid-day for swimming and other pool activities. But this is the time where the sun is the brightest and evaporation occurs the most. By leaving these mats on you can get the best of both worlds, more heat and less evaporation.
I would however suggest that you do not leave them in if you have children playing in your pool. They are potentially hazardous if someone would swim underneath them and get stuck.
They look nice
Regular solar pool covers have nothing attractive about them. They work great but they are an eyesore.
These solar mats look great in pools and you might even want to leave them in all the time from their looks alone. Their oval shape reminds me of lily pads floating on a pond, and I think that is what they were going for when coming up with the design.
What I Don’t Like About Them
One thing you have to think about when it comes to a lightweight pool accessory such as a solar mat is the wind.
It doesn’t take much wind to get ahold of these and send them flying away. This is a disadvantage compared to normal solar covers. Normal solar covers “stick” to the surface of the water better and you don’t seem to have much of a problem with wind.
If you live in a very windy area you might want consider a different solar cover for your pool.
Are The ThermaSpring Solar Mats Worth Buying?
The bottom line is that these solar mats do indeed work as they are intended. They will heat your pool and help maintain that heat, all the while preventing evaporation and low water levels.
It is suggested that you cover 80% of your pool with these mats, which would greatly benefit the temperature and lengthen your swim season. But of course you can cover however much you want to. The more you cover the more effect it will have.
If pool appearance is important to you then I recommend these rather than the conventional solar covers. They perform the same function just they look a lot more pleasant.
There are downsides, like I mentioned how they do catch wind rather easily. And also they can be a pain to gather when you are taking them out of the pool. But then again conventional solar covers are even more of a pain in my opinion.
I would say that the downsides to these solar mats are minimal and that there are a great buy.
Cheapest Place To Buy
These are retailed at a bunch of different stores but the cheapest place to get them is on Amazon.com. They are currently available for $29.99 a piece. And that is with free shipping which is always nice.
So if you want to try a nice and great looking alternative to conventional solar pool covers then give these a try!