The first safety pool safety cover patent was awarded in 1960 to Fred Meyer Jr., who founded a company called Meyco products. In 1978, a co-inventor of the safety cover Bill Donaton, left Meyco and formed Loop-Loc.
Then came Anchor, Cantar (now GLI), Merlin, Hinspergers (HPI), and Rayner in the 80’s and 90’s. Lots of folks make safety pool covers, which one is best?
With so many companies offering so many cover material choices, it can be hard to decide, so here’s my favorites – 2 Solid and 2 Mesh safety covers, in Lightweight and Heavy Duty fabric.
AquaMaster solid safety covers by HPI are made from reinforced vinyl fabric coated to withstand weather and sun, and protect from pool chemicals. AquaMaster covers are sewn together with double seams, on the top and bottom of the cover and feature a center drain panel.
20×40′ Rectangle $959, 10 yr Warranty
HyPerLite solid safety covers by GLI use 4th generation technology to create a cover that is lighter and stronger than any other. PVC coated polyester fabric is strong enough to withstand punctures from tree branches and even strong enough to support deer without breakage.
20×40 Rectangle $1510, 15 yr Warranty
The MeycoLite pool cover by Meyco products is the original mesh pool safety cover that started it all. The woven polyester fabric is much improved over the original, but the design and fabrication is still a classic. Weighs only 4 lbs per 100 sq ft, but is tough as nails.
20×40 Rectangle $850, 10 yr Warranty
The Pro Mesh safety cover blocks 99% of sunlight, preventing algae growth that can be a problem for pools in sunny locations. Pro Mesh is also 50% stronger in tensile strength, and because the fibers are thicker, more resistant to weather, abrasion or tree branch damage.
20×40 Rectangle $1330, 15 yr Warranty
~ Looking at our list of 4 of the best safety pool covers, with example pricing for a 20×40 pool (price your size and shape safety covers here), you really only have two decisions to make:
- Solid or Mesh Safety Cover?
- Lightweight or Heavy Duty?
Installing a safety cover on your inground pool takes just a few hours, and then it’s easy-on, easy-off – no more struggling with slimy solid covers and water bags!
Take it from me, a safety pool cover is definitely worth the extra initial expense. I love mine and wouldn’t go back to a solid cover, even if you paid me to…
InTheSwim Staff Blogger
Posted inBuyer's Guides, Safety Pool CoversTaggedinground pool covers, mesh safety covers, safety coverspermalinkSours: https://blog.intheswim.com/best-safety-cover-for-inground-pools/
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5 Best pool covers you can walk on reviews
Despite the fact that most swimming pool covers appear solid, one important aspect to understand is that not all those covers are designed for you to walk on. If you have pets at your home or toddlers or small children, or if you host parties frequently which involves several people visiting your home, then the best choice for you would be to install a pool cover that can withstand a few hundred pounds. This will help you greatly in avoiding several mishaps in and around your pool.
When you are looking for pool covers that can endure weights, make sure that the feature is mentioned in the product description. This is important because there are many pool covers in the market that are advertised to be durable; remember, just the word durable doesn’t mean a cover can withstand weights of people standing or walking on it.
Types of Walk-On Pool Covers
Walk-on pool covers are basically of two different types: hard walk-on covers and mesh walk-on covers.
When it comes to hard walk-on safety covers, you are left with two options: center drain and cover pump. The former model usually comes with several drains that are designed to prevent accumulation of water. The latter model is usually automatic and is designed to clear away excess water from the surface.
Many mesh walk-on pool covers appear to be unsafe, but the fact is that many of such models are designed and manufactured to be much safer than the previous type. High quality mesh covers can easily withstand over thousand pounds. Howbeit, placing such huge weight on the covers is not always recommended, if you wish to extend its service life.
So to help you make your swimming pool safe and secure for your family and friends, here is our top picks of pool covers you can walk on fearlessly.
Our Top Picks Of 5 Best Pool Covers You Can Walk On Are…
Blue Wave In Ground Pool Safety Cover
Operating in the pool industry for over ten years, Blue Wave is now one of the leading manufacturers of pool products in the country. With the aim of offering consumers high quality products that are designed to surpass their expectations, the company has excelled in producing walk-on pool covers of similar quality as well. The In Ground pool safety cover designed by Blue Wave is strong enough to help you protect your kids as well as pets while also securing your pool from getting contaminated by external dirt and debris. The cover comes with a Dirt Defender that is completely resilient to hold even your whole family, as claimed by the manufacturer, but is also light in weight to make it easy for you to cover your pool and remove it within a matter of minutes. This cover is available in two different sizes: 16 by 32 feet and 18 by 36 feet, so it can be accommodated on pools of varied sizes. Also, you can choose from two colors – green or blue based on your interest. (click here for more user reviews…)
Arctic Armor Safety Cover
This mesh walk-on pool cover from Arctic Armor is made of high quality polypropylene that has the ability to inhibit UV rays and makes this cover extremely durable. The Arctic Armor safety pool cover has break strength to endure more than 4000 lbs, and is supported by brass anchors that can enhance its looks and safety even when the cover is not being used. The pool cover can best protect your swimming pool during winter season as well. Its delicate design enables rain water to easily permeate, blocking out leaves and other debris. The manufacturer provides 12 year warranty for this cover, which makes it even more reliable. (click here for more user reviews…)
GLI Safety Pool Cover
GLI Pool Products is a company that has been constantly innovating and introducing new pool products to the industry. Their current product is this commercial grade mesh safety pool cover that is among the strongest. With break strength of over 4000 pounds, this pool cover also makes water drainage easy and keeps away leaves and debris from dirtying your pool. Backed up by 12 year warranty, the GLI walk-on pool cover is one of the affordable options available. (click here for more user reviews…)
Water Warden Mesh Safety Cover
Water Warden develops, manufactures, and sells good quality swimming pool safety products for everyday use. The mesh safety cover is known to be constructed with high quality material that competes with the quality of products from other leading manufacturers at competitive prices. Available in a whole lot of different sizes, colors and shapes, this walk-on cover model from the manufacturer offers complete pool coverage and is light in weight to make installation, removal, and storage easy. (click here for more user reviews…)
Loop Loc Safety Pool Cover
Loop Loc walk-on safety pool cover is known to be tested and rated by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), which makes this cover one of highly durable and reliable models in the market today. The solid weave construction of this cover easily blocks away unwanted debris and also sunlight, and allows only melting snow and rain water to seep through to your pool. Designed to withstand even the weight of an elephant, this pool cover is equipped with additional straps to make the fit proper and safe. With comprehensive 15 year warranty, the Loop Loc pool cover is an ideal choice for you to protect your pets and children from drowning. (click here for more user reviews…)
Drowning is one of the common causes of children’s death around homes. Walk-on swimming pool safety covers will help you protect your kids from such misery, giving you the most needed peace of mind.
I am going to help you choose the best safety cover for your inground swimming pool. I will do this by explaining the different types of safety covers, brands, what they cost, warranty, Pro’s and Con’s, and finally installation costs.
I sell almost every brand of safety cover on the market. I know who has the best materials, who makes the strongest covers, who is relying on their brand name to sell inferior covers at higher prices, how to get the best price when buying a cover etc…
I have compared all the materials from each of the manufacturers below, and in my opinion, one heavy grade solid cover is the same as another. The 95% mesh is the same as any other brand, and 98% mesh is the same material as every other manufacturer. I am pretty sure they are all buying materials from the same supply companies.
These brands are the top five best pool safety cover manufacturers on the planet. I considered, inspected and evaluated 10 companies before settling on these. Dollar for dollar, you can not do better on price or strength than the two companies I recommend in this article.
I recommend two companies because one cost less for stock covers (rectangles), while the other cost less for custom covers (kidney and lagoon style).
*This article is about winter pool covers for inground pools, thus does not include -automatic pool covers.*
Safety Pool Cover Reviews
I review and discuss the following safety cover manufacturers:
- Loop Loc
- Mighty Pools Co.
I do have a marketing agenda, I want to sell you a cover! But, I promise you this: I am not trying to steer you to any specific manufacturer because of margins (potential profit). I am just giving you the facts as I know them, and hopefully we can do business on a cover.
I am going to tell you point blank – What I would put on my own pool and why. I think by the time you are finished reading the facts and my opinions, you will realize a couple things 1. I have a lot of of experience, and 2. You feel much more comfortable choosing a cover.
Loop Loc Safety Covers
For the longest time I exclusively sold Loop Loc Safety Covers. They’re know for Bubbles the elephant walking on the cover. They basically invented the market along with MEYCO.
For many years I was a snob about new safety cover companies that came along after, I basically looked at new companies as making knock-off pool covers. I was guilty of contempt prior to investigation, that is until a few years ago when I started looking at the competition.
I often recommend their Ultra Loc with Drain panels.
One of the best things about Loop Loc is that they have the most stock size covers. So for others, a pool that is 15×30 would require a custom cover (more expensive. Not so with Loop Loc, they have that size, and many others.
Loop Loc has decided not to sell a high shade / 98 mesh cover. This is because they are so dense that they don’t drain as well as 95 mesh. 98 mesh cover are known for clogging with dirt and pollen.
Loop Loc does not sell a extra strong spring for their covers. Again this was a choice made at Loop Loc. They know that the years when we get a lot of snow, it is better that the spring break rather than their cover rip. I have actually seen covers saved, because the springs let go.
I personally like the Ultra Loc with drain panels.
MEYCO Safety Covers
Meyco pronounced “my-co”, as mentioned above invented the first safety cover back in the day. They’re still selling quality covers like Loop Loc. Except they now also sell a 98 Mesh (Rugged Mesh).
I like their covers but they are usually more expensive than others with no advantage in materials or warranty.
Latham / Coverstar Safety Covers
Latham is a great company and has good quality covers. They sell mesh similar to Loop Loc, and a heavy grade sun blocking mesh also. Along with a large variety of stock sizes, and selection of colors.
Latham has a couple advantages: One; It’s a large selection of stock pool covers. Two; They make the least expensive premium mesh (now called 7000 mesh) stock covers. When you compare a stock 98 mesh pool cover, price, and quality- Lathem vs. any other brand, Latham is usually the least expensive.
GLI Safety Covers
This company has continued to innovate and bring new products to the industry. They currently have a commercial grade mesh cover that is the strongest mesh on the planet. They have helped dealers like me with visa gift card incentives (Strive for five). I get a $150.00 dollar gift card for every five covers I sell.
They have a 72-hour shipping policy on all stock covers. They also provide a flat rate shipping cost of $40.00 anywhere in the United States.
GLI is very smart in offering a repair or replacement safety cover program. If a customer calls me and says they want to repair or replace their cover, GLI sends a box to the customer with paid return shipping, so they can mail the cover to GLI.
GLI checks the cover and offers a repair price. If the cover is beyond repair, they offer to make an exact replica so it fits existing deck anchors. They will do this with any manufacturers cover.
GLI also has a complete line of safety covers, from the super light (yuck), to their extremely durable pro-mesh, to the best mesh cover money can buy.
Merlin Safety Covers
Merlin has a good company, I have not used them much as other manufacturers are usually less expensive and convenient.
Mighty Pools Co. Pool & Spa Enclosures
I had to include these retractable enclosures because they meet all the requirements of a winter safety cover, and they are kick ass awesome
With an average ticket price of roughly 3ok, they too expensive for most people. They do however offer the following additional benefits over traditional safety covers.
- You can keep your pool open during the cold winter months, even in the northeast.
- You can quickly and easily secure your pool during the season.
- Include privacy glass for year round privacy.
- Less water evaporation
- Keep all debris out of your pool, even during the pool season
- If you choose to winterize your pool, you can: reopen pool in spring super fast and easy, monitor and treat water, and eliminate having to pump out water.
Winter Spa enclosures cost an average of just 10k.
Types Of Inground Pool Covers
There used to be three ways to cover a pool for the winter: Plastic tarp with water bags, mesh safety cover, and solid safety cover. Now there are a few variations of mesh and solid added to the mix. I have added another type of safety cover called a retractable enclosure.
- Safety Cover super light mesh
- Safety Cover super light solid
- Safety Cover light mesh
- Safety cover dense mesh
- Safety Cover-Solid with drain panels
- Safety Cover-Solid
- Retractable Enclosures
Tarps come in two types, solid and mesh. These covers sit on top of the pool water and are held in place with water bags or tubes placed around the perimeter of the pool. some people hold these covers in place with bricks, stone, and twine.
Pros and Cons or Tarp Style Winter Covers
You can buy a tarp and water bags for just about any size residential pool for less than $250.00. Also, if you take care to remove all debris and water off the cover before opening the pool, the pool water should be clean and clear.
These covers are not very durable and need to be replaced every 2-4 years. Some water bags will have to be replaced every year. It requires a lot of work to remove all debris and water from this cover when opening pool. These covers are not safeand pose a great danger to children, elderly, and even pets.
Tarp-style on left (before), Loop Loc mesh safety cover on right (after)
Experiment – Place your hand in a plastic shopping bag and make a fist, then submerge it just 8 inches into your pool or bathtub, then try to open your hand. This is to demonstrate what it would be like if you fell in your pool with a tarp cover on it.
There are several types of safety covers; Mesh (most popular), Solid, and Solid with drain panels. There are now three types of mesh: Super light, 95 Mesh (standard), and 98 mesh (premium). Each type of safety cover has its own pros and cons.
I think the super light is garbage, the 95 mesh is basically what Loop Loc and Meyco started the industry with, which is great. The 98 mesh is stronger and blocks out more sunlight preventing algae growth. It should be noted that Loop Loc’s 95 is superior to the rest of the field
Of all cover types, there are a couple of variations. The first variation is grid size; 90% of all covers are either 3′ x 3′, or 5′ x 5′. As you look at this safety cover picture below, take notice of the grid pattern, covers with smaller panels/grids are the strongest.
The next variation is stock versus custom. All cover manufacturers “stock” covers for common pool types and sizes. This is a stock cover above, and like most stock covers, has a 5 foot by a 5-foot grid pattern. Covers that need to be custom measured and manufactured, are usually made with a 3′ x 3′ pattern and cost more.
Manufacturers make stock covers mostly for rectangle pools and rectangle pools with steps. Kidney shaped pools and non-standard shapes need to be measured for a custom made cover specific to that pool.
Mesh Safety Pool Cover
As previously mentioned these are the most popular, and least expensive of all safety covers. Water passes through these covers and blocks debris from getting in the pool.
These are great durable covers that last as long as 17 years. They are easy to put on and remove. There is no standing water for bugs to collect and breed (mosquitoes). They provide peace of mind for parents and pet owners. These covers weigh less than the other safety cover options.
The thinner 95 mesh allows quite a bit of dust and sunlight through. Algae growth, and dirt coats the bottom of your pool. Because all water gets through, you may have to pump some water out of your pool, if we get a lot of rain before the temperature drops (you don’t want the freeze line on your pool tile or light).
Mesh 98 Con is that they do not drain as good as less dense mesh covers, and clog with dirt and pollen.
Solid Safety Covers
Solid safety covers are not hard like you might think, they fold up same as a mesh cover for storage. They are called solid because they do not allow water to pass through. Solid covers require a pump to remove melted snow and accumulated rainwater.
These covers keep out all water and dirt and block sunlight that will grow algae. They are stronger than 95 mesh covers.
These covers cost about a thousand dollars more than regular 95 mesh covers. They are also heavier and harder to handle. You need to use a pump, and you can’t leave the pump on the cover once the temperatures drop below freezing. You will have to re-install pump again when ice thaws and there is standing water (freezing temps can damage pump).
Solid Safety Covers With Drain Panels
Solid covers with drain panels offer all the benefits of a solid cover without the need for a pump.
It does not let much dirt into the pool and blocks algae from growing. Does not require a pump.
Usually, cost $750.00 more than a standard mesh cover. It is harder to carry and manage than a mesh.
Cost Of Inground Pool Safety Covers
The safety cover market has become very competitive, so fortunately for you, prices are coming down.
Cost of Cover Installation
The cost of installation ranges between $250.00 and $600.00, with the average cost probably being around $350.00. If you have a stamped cement deck, I would include another $100.00 for trim rings. Stamp concrete decks tend to chip a lot when drilling holes for the anchors.
There are two types of stamped concrete in my opinion. Those that have cracked and those that are going to crack.
If you have patio stones, you can include another couple hundred to cover the cost of the 15″ aluminum anchor tubes that are needed, and sometimes, another 1 or 2 hundred for cement and labor to secure every third or fourth pipe for safety.
Installing custom covers cost more than installing stock covers, mainly because installing custom covers requires a lot more drilling. Custom covers usually have a smaller grid pattern and a lot more anchor points. Larger covers generally have more anchor points and more drilling too. Large free form covers have the most anchor points.
Safety Pool Cover Warranty
All these companies offer the same “Prorated” warranty (puke /garbage). After just 2 years, they are almost useless. Never buy anything in the pool world because you like the warranty. If there are any manufacturers defects you will be good. But even during the first two years, you have to pay to ship the cover in for inspection.
If your pool cover gets caved in by snow or ice. Your warranty will do you know good, as that would not be a manufacturers defect. All these companies have the same basic 2 years prorated warranty. So there is no advantage to buying one cover over another.
When To Buy Safety Cover
Here in Massachusetts, we have a tax free holiday every year. At this point, if you live out of state, you don’t have to worry, if you buy your cover from me. We only collect taxes for Massachusetts customers.
Massachusetts orders must be paid in full before the end of the tax holiday.
Bubbles the Elephant (Loop Loc Mascot) walked on the original 95 mesh, the only thing I didn’t like about the 95 mesh was how much algae grew during the offseason.
If I were buying a new cover today and owned a kidney-shaped pool (free form), there is no doubt I would buy a solid with drain panels. If I owned a common rectangle pool and could buy a stock cover to fit it, I would probably still buy a solid with drain panels.
If I were buying a 95 mesh or a solid with drain panels in 2016, I would probably buy from Loop Loc. If I were buying a 98 high shade mesh, I would probably buy a Latham Pool Cover.
Latham has the least expensive premium 98 mesh stock covers.
Despite what these companies say. I am convinced they’re all using the same suppliers to buy cover making materials. With the exception of some of the cheapo garbage manufacturers
I hope now after reading these pool cover reviews you feel more confident in your ability to choose the right safety cover for you. I encourage you to reach out to us via our contact form with your pool width and length for a free email quote. Just measure from inside pool wall to inside pool wall.
For help measuring your pool for a safety cover please read our article on Safety Cover Measuring
Published by MGK Pool Service
30 year veteran in the pool industry. Having had many career path changes over the years. I began in the pool industry, and looks like I will finish my working life in the pool industry. View more posts
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.GLI HyPerLite Safety Cover Green
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