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Pool Safety Covers vs. Winter Pool Covers: Which Cover Should I Get?

By Team Royal - Updated On: 09/05/23

Through the winter months, you want to make sure that your swimming pool is properly secured, covered, and protected so when summer comes around again, it's ready for you to clean up, dive in, and enjoy. Many people, however, find themselves wondering what type of cover they need for their pool during the winter months.

  1. Out of all the different potential uses for a cover, one of the most important is to add an additional layer of safety to your pool for when it is not in use.
  2. The other main purpose of a cover is to protect your pool while it is closed down for the winter.

But what if your goal is to do both things? Do you need both a winter cover and a safety cover?

If you have to buy one cover to best satisfy your needs, which type should it be?

Royal Swimming Pools Safety Covers

What Do Pool Covers Accomplish?

Generally, pool covers serve one of two key roles. Either 1) they are intended to keep your pool protected from debris while it's closed down for the winter, or 2) they help add a layer of safety and security to your backyard space for the members of your family, even the furry ones. When you choose a pool cover, you want to be sure that it's meeting all of your needs. 

What Do Winter Covers Accomplish?

A winter cover is essentially a large tarp that goes over your pool in the wintertime to help keep out debris. 

What are the benefits of pool winter covers

They can protect against damage to the pool as a whole, which will help things run more smoothly during come Springtime. Winter covers:

  • HELP KEEP THE DEBRIS OUT OF THE POOL. Winter mesh covers may only keep out solid debris, while winter solid covers can prevent additional water and snowmelt from making its way into the pool.
  • BLOCK SUNLIGHT. This can help prevent evaporation throughout the winter months as well as decreasing algae growth--both vital elements of keeping your pool as clean as possible even when it's not in use. 
  • INSTALLS QUICKLY AND EASILY. Many winter covers are far easier to install than safety covers, which can ensure that you can prep your pool for winter more quickly.

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Winter covers are designed to make it easier to open your pool next year: protecting your water and preventing you from having to do a great deal of maintenance before you can swim again. They do not, however, offer any additional safety precautions--and if you have children in your neighborhood who might be attracted to the pool even during the winter months, a winter cover can pose an entrapment hazard. 

NOT-SO-FUN-FACT: Have you heard of the Attractive Nuisance Doctrine? It states that landowners may be held liable for injuries to children trespassing on land if the injury is caused by an object on the land that is likely to attract children. That means that if your pool is not properly secured you could as a pool owner could be held liable for injuries or even accidental drownings of neighborhood youth even if they trespassed onto the property.

What Do Safety Covers Accomplish?

Safety covers help protect your pool at any time, not just during the winter. Safety pool covers may be the ideal solution for the winter season, any time you go on vacation or when you will be away from your home and pool for a long period of time. Swimming Pool Safety Cover Benefits

Safety covers: 

  • HELP KEEP MORE DEBRIS AND SUNLIGHT OUT. Safety covers can help protect the pool against the same debris as a winter cover, but moreso in difficult weather conditions. When leaves and limbs are blowing around, a safety cover can help protect your swimming pool from catching all of that debris, which you'll then have to fish out again before you can swim.
  • PREVENT CHILDREN AND PETS FROM TAKING A TUMBLE INTO THE POOL. Swimming pools are tempting for small children and some animals no matter what time of year it is. Many times, children and pets may find themselves running straight toward the water, even if it's covered in snow--or worse when you aren't watching. A properly installed safety cover helps prevent them from getting into the pool.
  • OFFER SOME LEGAL PROTECTION. Without an appropriate safety cover, if a small child or neighborhood pet does wander into your pool, you may be liable. On the other hand, when you install a safety cover, you show your dedication to keeping your pool as safe as possible--which can help prevent you from facing legal repercussions.
  • ARE MORE VISUALLY APPEALING OVER WINTER COVERS. Unlike winter covers, which are often ugly and clunky, safety covers look nicer around your pool--and that means your home and yard will look their best during the winter season, not just during the summer. Go ahead and plan that holiday party!

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In addition to all of their other benefits, safety covers are hardier and more durable than traditional winter covers. This means that you won't have to keep replacing your pool cover quite as often--and you won't need to pay as much attention to it over the winter.

Can a Safety Cover Be Used as a Winter Cover?

Winter Covers vs Safety Covers for Swimming Pools

Safety covers can be used for the same purpose as winter covers, but with a host of added advantages. A safety cover provides the same level of protection against debris, but it also adds an extra element of safety that is critical if there are ever small children around your swimming pool. If you are considering using your safety cover as a winter cover, there are several things to keep in mind. 

You will need to keep an eye on the water level in your pool. When you prepare your pool for winter, make sure that you properly cover your jets and drains to help prevent your pool from losing water throughout the winter. If you do notice your water levels dropping, you may need to add water to the pool so that the cover will continue to function as intended. Learn more about the proper steps to winterize your above ground pool or inground pool here.

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You will need to choose the right cover for your environment. In a warmer winter climate, for example, you may choose a cover with a pump. In other cases, you may prefer a pool cover with a drain that will put excess water back in the pool. Learn more about these solid safety cover types here.

Are you getting ready to prepare your pool for the winter months? If you already have a safety cover, it can be used for the same purpose as a winter cover. On the other hand, if you don't have a cover for your pool, now is the perfect time to buy a safety cover! Contact us today to learn more about our cover options to help keep your pool secure all year. 

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The best safety covers for swimming pools come from Royal Swimming Pools


Here are some additional resources for swimming pool covers: