I've just closed our oval AGP this weekend, slipped in a 4 x 8 foot pillow and put on the winter cover. Drained down 4 inches below the return which is the lowest port in the pool, and discovered I have about an 18 inch void from the top rail to the water line where the cover is resting. The cover comes with "a generous 4 foot overlap" which now is not enough as it does not hang straight down from the rails to the water line. If I remove the pillow I might have enough slack to pull the cover to the ends of the pool, thereby taking strain off the end top rails as the cover fills with rain/snow water. Do you REALLY need a pillow? (Yes, it freezes hard in Central IL.) They say it takes the crush as the pool freezes over. How can it do that if it's floating on the surface? Approximately >95% of the pillow is above the water line. They say that it keeps the cover off the water and aids in spring pump-out. Who cares if the cover is touching the water? Isn't it already in contact with most of the surface already? Provided the cover pump is not on a seam of the cover, I bet with or without a pillow, the pump-out rate would be the same. I'm not going to do anything until I get some feedback, but does anyone out there have proof that a pillow is needed, or is it something we do because "we've always done it". Next year I'm going to buy a larger cover, but for this season I'm going to use the Armorkote cover that I bought, with or without a pillow!