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Inground Pool Winter Covers: What You Should Know

Inground Pool Winter Covers: What You Should Know

Although we all would love for the nice, warm weather to stick around here in the Midwest, fall weather is here and winter is on its way. And you know what that means if you’re a pool owner—it’s time to close those pools and cover them for the season until summer comes back around next year.

There’s a lot that goes into closing inground swimming pools, and if you’d like to take a look at all of the steps you can read our article How To Close An Inground Pool. However, for the sake of this article, we’re just going to focus on what you should know about winter covers for inground pools.

We’ll be discussing types of covers, costs, pros, cons, and more!

At Royal Pools and More, we close pools each year and install winter covers for rectangular and shaped pools, both of which require different covers to make sure the entire pool is covered and protected during the winter months.

And since winter covers are an integral part of keeping your inground pool protected during the offseason, we want you to be educated on your options, their characteristics, prices, and what they can do for your pool! Knowledge is the key when it comes to all things swimming pools, and when you’re educated, you can make the best decision for you, your family, and your pool.

So let’s get started!

Safety Pool Covers

Safety covers can endure a massive amount of weight, which is important for those fall, winter, and spring months because rain water, snow, and even ice can pile up on the cover. Of course, you’ll want to remove these substances as quickly as possible, but until then, you’ll definitely need a cover that can provide tremendous support for the pool.

These covers require brass cover anchors to be installed around the pool so they can be attached to the patio for a snug fit. The end result looks similar to a trampoline—but don’t get tempted to jump on it!

Security covers come in two different types, mesh and solid, and can range from $2,400.00 – $6,000.00 depending on the quality. YES, when it comes to pool covers you will pay more for higher-quality materials.

Mesh Safety Pool Covers

The mesh material that these covers are made of makes it easy for water to pass through instead of accumulating on the cover, weighing it down then eventually having to pump it off.

Now, this does mean that the pool water may become dirtier because of the rainwater that passes through the cover and into the pool, but if you use the proper chemicals throughout the winter, you’ll do your best to combat this issue.


For people like us who live in the Midwest, this could be a viable option as we tend to see a lot of rain, sleet, snow, ice, etc. during the pool offseason. A mesh cover will combat these substances and prevent them from piling up on the cover. However, you should still clear the cover from any substances or debris when needed.

Mesh covers typically last between 10-15 years and are slightly cheaper than solid security covers, so they’re a great long-term investment.

Here is a link to our manufacturer ANCHOR Industries DEFENDER MESH SAFTEY COVER!

Solid Safety Covers

Solid safety covers are made of a sturdier vinyl material that does not allow water to pass through to the pool like mesh covers do. Therefore, water, ice, snow, and other debris will remain on the cover, requiring you to clear the cover of these substances so they do not build up and weigh the cover down. To assist with the removal of water, melted snow, and melted ice, you’ll need to have a cover pump that rests on the cover and siphons water to other areas of your property away from the pool.


Solid security covers typically last between 7-11 years and are slightly more expensive than mesh security covers. However, if you want to protect your pool from outside water, ice, or snow, this could be a better option for you. Typically if the water is balanced and clean at closing, you will open in the spring with crystal-clear water!

Here is a link to our manufacturer ANCHOR Industries Classic Cover and 5 Star Safety Cover!

Standard Winter Pool Covers

Standard winter covers also known as water bag covers are similar to a tarp, meaning they effectively keep dirt and debris from making their way to the pool itself. However, they’re not as safe as security covers and might not even meet the pool safety requirements of your town or county.

You see, a standard winter cover is placed over the pool and held in place by sandbags, water blocks that freeze, or water bags. Although their purpose is to keep the cover in place, they can easily be moved if enough water, ice, or snow builds up on the cover. Therefore, you’ll need to attempt to combat this by using a cover pump that is designed to siphon water away from the cover to other areas of your property.


These covers are much cheaper than security covers as they range between $125 – $450. However, they have a fairly short lifespan of 1-3 years before you need to buy a new one.

The important thing to note is that even though they’re fairly cheap, you’ll end up having to purchase multiple replacement covers over your pool’s lifespan. And keep in mind that they might not even be an option if they don’t meet your town or county’s pool regulations.

When Should You Cover Your Pool for the Winter?

For us here in the Midwest, we recommend that you close and cover your pool around the end of September to the end of October.

This gives you enough time to enjoy those last few warm days by the pool and get everything closed and ready for the winter before fall officially arrives!

We hope that this gave you some insight into what kind of winter pool covers are available to you and provided you with valuable knowledge that will bring you closer to making your final decision!

To read more about pool closings and covers, visit our Learning Center and check out some featured articles listed below!