Solar pool cover - big box store or pool store?


LifeTime Supporter
Jan 24, 2010
Northern Virginia
I need to get a solar cover for my pool and I've seen the bubble type in the big box hardware store and I'm wondering if I should get one of those or order something from a specialty store? From what I've read in here, a 2 or 3 piece cover is easier to deal with than a one piece cover, so I'm not necessarily looking for a one-piece custom cover.

I've also read that thicker covers last longer but cost more. I'd rather spend a little more now on a thicker cover than buy a whole new one in a year, but I don't know the thickness of the hardware store type.

So, is there a special place I should get my cover from or should I try the hardware store if it's thick enough?


Melt In The Sun

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 29, 2009
Tucson, AZ
I got mine at Lowe's, and it's starting to fall apart after about a year. It will probably survive another season, but leaving blue circles in the pool the whole time. Performance will vary by area as well; since mine sits in the Tucson sun it has about as tough a life as any. I've never had a thick cover, but will probably give that a try next time.

Depending on the shape of your pool, more pieces may be easier to handle. Reels are the way to go if your pool isn't too oddly (sorry I mean creatively) shaped.


LifeTime Supporter
Apr 15, 2007
West Michigan
I got mine on line, just a plane jane blue bubble solar cover. The 18 ft lasted 5 seasons on the Intex, but that was on just June thru Sept. This one is 2+ years old, it came with the used agp. I think it depends on if you only have it on for a few months or if you are lucky enough to live where your pool is open most of the year. For Michigan, I think cheep is the way to go. Kimrst


Gold Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Oct 18, 2009
Jacksonville, FL
I got mine at Lowes last year and it is in very good shape. I paid about $100. You can save some money by ordering it on the internet. It is blue and only 8 mils however it seems to do the trick. I may get a thicker one when this one starts to fall apart. Hope fully I can get a few years out of thsi one.

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