What is The Best Above Ground Solar Pool Heaters in 2021

During the winter, it becomes so uncomfortable to swim in your swimming pool. You can solve this problem with a pool heater.

However, a pool heater is costly, consumes too much energy, and damages the environment as well. To solve all these problems, you can simply use a solar pool heater, especially if you have above ground pool. This heater warms your pool by taking energy from the sun. Thus, it saves energy and money. At the same time, it is environment friendly as well. Besides, you can install it by yourself without any hassle.

You will get all those benefits from the heater only when you get the best above ground solar pool heater. But it is not that easy to find out the best one. That is why we have come up with some top class above ground solar pool heaters along with a buying guide. After over this session, you can easily pick the best one for your pool.

Best Above Ground Solar Pool Heaters

What is the Best Above Ground Solar Pool Heaters for You?

  • Best Overall: SmartPool S240U Pool Solar Heaters
    If you are looking for a temporary solution to your cold pool, this one might be a good option. It will help you make your pool warm faster and keep your pool warm for longer. Take it for one season.
  • Top Rating: Blue Wave Solar Blanket
    “The solar blanket retains heat with its design. So if you are living in an area where sunlight does not remain for a long time, this one can be a perfect option. Anyone having a 15 feet pool and want to retain heat can consider this one. It will provide you warmth even in the cloudy weather. Remember that it will not serve you for a long time. You can use it for maximum of 2-3 years.”
  • Value for the Money: Fafco Solar Bear Economy
    “Anyone who has minimum 6 hours of direct sunlight in the pool can consider this one. It will provide you warm water to enjoy the swim without a huge expense. Since it offers a higher warranty, you can choose it for long time use too.”
  • Best for Round Pool: Sun2Solar Blue Round Solar Cover
    “This is a perfect cover for the people who care about the look of the pool. It will increase the aesthetic look of your pool. Also, it will help you prevent water evaporation. So if you are looking for something to keep your pool heated and prevent evaporation and dirt, this can be the one for you.”
  • Best for Rectangle Pool: SunHeater S120U Universal Heater
    “If you need a pool heater to quickly warm your pool water and keep it warm for a long time, this one might be a good option. It ensures quick warming and easy installation. Also, it lets you use your existing pool pump to reduce any additional cost.”
  • Best for Large Pool: Doheny’s Above Ground Solar Heater
    “It is recommended for the people who have large pools. This heater can make the water quickly. So if you have an average time of direct sunlight of your pool, this one might be an ideal option for you. You can enjoy the warm water for swimming like summer.”
  • Best for Intex Pool: Intex 28685E Solar Heater
    “This small one is suitable for the pool having the capacity of 8000 gal water. So if you have a pool like that and want to warm the water naturally, this one can be the best Intex above ground solar pool heater for you.”

Top 7 Best Above Ground Solar Pool Heaters in 2021

With the increasing demand of solar pool heaters, the market is now flooded with so many models and brands. As a result, it becomes difficult to find out the right one for you, especially if you are new in this field. That is why we have reviewed the top 7 above ground solar pool heaters with their pros and cons. It will help you pick the best one.

1. Best Overall: SmartPool S240U Pool Solar Heaters

Don’t let the season change make your swimming uncomfortable at all. No matter it is winter or summer, you can always enjoy a warm swimming pool with this solar pool heater. Our first pick is the SmartPool S240U Pool Solar Heaters.

If you are looking for a pool heater to make your pool warm faster, this one can be a good option. This solar heater is made of polypropylene materials. Also, it comes with tube-web-tube design. Liquid Heat Shield locks are there too. Of course without any doubt it is one of the best solar heaters in the market.


You will have 2 couples of end caps, 1 roll of Teflon tape, stainless steel build 6 hose clamps, 2 elbows for flex hose connection, and hoses for rubber connector for easy installation. Besides, it has the capacity to raise the water temperature 15 degrees F. For easy storage, it features a Reel System too.


  • Raise temperature up to 15 degree F
  • Captures the most heat possible from free sun energy
  • Flexible to adjust the temperature change
  • Extreme easy to install


  • Cheaply made
  • Might not last longer


2. Top Rating: Blue Wave Solar Blanket

For a long lasting service, you need a solar pool heater that can retain heat for a long time. It will help you get warm water even on a cool cloudy day. Also, it allows you to swim just like you do in summer. The Blue Wave Solar will provide you exactly that. It is designed with the thermal bubbles to retain heat perfectly.


To allow the sunlight enter the water easily and ensure long lasting, it features blue color. This blue color solar blanket is made with high quality UV-protected polymer. It prevents water and chemical evaporation. Besides, it is deterioration resistant as well. Unlike other solar heaters, this one uses passive heating too heat the water up to 15 degree F.


  • Retain heat to provide warmth in the cloudy or cold day
  • Blue color lets the sunlight enter properly
  • Can heat up to 15 degree F
  • Reduce water and chemical evaporation


  • Not suitable for large pool
  • Made of cheap materials


3. Value for the Money: Fafco Solar Bear Economy

The solar panel from Fafco has been heating pools since 1972. It is an old company that has installed over 125000 solar systems. Due to its amazing effectiveness, it is called a solar bear. The name implies that it can keep the water warm just like the bear.

It is made of high quality U.V. protected polyethylene. You will have the extra-large 2-inch headers for better heat transfer. Also, you will get smaller 1-1/2-inch headers for low circulation. This solar system consists of a single extra-large collector without any connectors or couplings.


An integral bypass valve is there too to make the system complete. It offers a 10 years warranty as well. Finally, you have the complete installation and user’s manuals for easy installation. You know, installation is a pain when you are new in this field.


  • Ensures better heat transfer and keep the water warm
  • Easy on off feature with the bypass valve
  • Made of tough materials for longevity
  • Comes with detailed installation guide
  • Long time warranty


  • Not wide enough for wide pool
  • Need more time to be heated.


4. Best for Round Pool: Sun2Solar Blue Round Solar Cover

Not everyone cares about the effectiveness only. Some people care for the look as well. Those people look for the aesthetic side along with the effectiveness for any product. Sun2Solar Blue Round Solar Cover can be a great example of good look and useful features. It comes with an amazing blue color to satisfy the aesthetic side. This above ground pool solar cover is designed with the film of thousands of tiny bubbles to retain heat.


It features a solar cover to prevent evaporation of water. This high quality cover is made from durable lightweight resin material. You can cut this cover as you want if your pool is badly shaped or curved. With its slim and lightweight design, you can easily take it off and put on anytime.


  • Retain heat to provide warm water during cloudy and cold day
  • Prevents evaporation to save your valuable water of the pool
  • Made of high quality resin materials for long term service
  • You can cut it as per the demand for easy fitting


  • Might be too large for small pool


5. Best for Rectangle Pool: SunHeater S120U Universal Heater

When it is time to keep your pool warm during the cold weather, you should always look for the best solar pool heater above ground. However, it is not that easy to find at all. But you can consider the SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater as your pool heater. It offers you a way to keep your pool warm without investing any money.

This one comes with simple and easy installation. You can install it on your above ground or inground pool with ease. To ensure maximum sun exposure to your pool water, it features patented web design. It uses the existing pool pump for better efficiency.


With this heater, you can easily raise your pool water temperature up to 15 degree F. It is a USA made product. So you can imagine the quality by yourself. It smoothly captures the sunlight and makes your pool warm.


  • Easy installation with above ground or ground pool
  • Ensures maximum sun exposure with its patented design
  • Can raise temperature up to 15 F
  • Use the existing pump of your pool to reduce additional cost


  • The product is made of cheap materials
  • Not that long lasting


6. Best for Large Pool: Doheny’s Above Ground Solar Heater

Saving your utility bill is really important, especially when it comes to heating your pool water. Also, it is not fair to use energy and damage the environment to make your pool water warm at all. Here comes the natural heating system for the pool. The Doheny’s Solar Heating Systems use the sunlight, capture it, and make your water warm.


This can warm your pool water up to 15 degree F for a warm swimming just like summer. Installation is extremely easy here as it needs your pool pump and equipment only to be installed. It allows pool water to circulate through the solar channels and make the water warm within a short time.

Besides, it comes with a 5 year warranty. So you can use it with full confidence. This one is made of lightweight, polypropylene materials for durability.


  •         Can warm water up to 15 F even in the winter
  •         Extremely easy to install
  •         You need no additional equipment to install it
  •         Make the water within very short time


  •         Might be larger than your pool, not suitable for small pool


7. Best for Intex Pool: Intex 28685E Solar Heater

Our final item is the Intex 28685E Solar Heater. To put on any solar heater easily and take off it from the water, you need a lightweight solar heater. Otherwise, it will be tougher for you to move it and that can discourage you from using it. To solve this problem, the Intex above ground pool heater comes into the market.


It weighs only 6 lbs for easy take off and put on. This makes the installation easier. Besides, since this one can work with some variety of Intex filter pumps, you may not need to buy any additional pump. Also, it uses advanced solar techniques to warm your water naturally.

You will have a 1/4 “hose attachment point along with 2 adapters B for hose connection. A bypass valve is there to make the use of the heater easy.


  •         Extremely lightweight to put on and take off
  •         Easy to install with various pump
  •         Use natural solar tech to save the environment
  •         Features bypass valve for easy turn off and on


  •         Not suitable for a large pool


How to Choose a Solar Pool Heater

Not everyone has equal knowledge of the solar pool heater. That is why it becomes tough to choose the best solar above ground pool heater even if you have the list of some good heaters. That is why we have come up with some tips so that you can pick the best one easily.

Consider the shape of the pool

Before choosing any pool heater, you should consider the shape of your pool. Not all the pools are rectangle shaped or round shaped or square shaped. Some pools have uncommon shapes as well. So consider the pool shape and based on that, pick the right heater.

Consider the size

Along with the shape, you should consider the size as well. Not all the heaters come with the same size. Not all the heaters are suitable for large or small pools. You should measure the pool size and choose the heater accordingly. Some heaters offer customization or easy fittings too. If possible, choose those heaters.

Know your weather

Though you are buying a pool heater for winter for sure, you need to know the weather of your area for sure. If your area does not get enough sunlight, the heater might not work well and make your pool warm. It should get enough sunlight. So know your weather and make sure you have enough sunlight.

How much warmth you want

Some pool heaters come with the capability to make the water warm enough. Where some heaters do not have that capacity. So know how much warmth you want and based on that, choose a pool heater. This consideration will make your heater perfect for you.

Its materials

Finally, check for the materials. If the materials are not good enough, it might not work for a long time. Your money may get wasted with poorly built solar pool heaters. So make sure your chosen pool heater is made of good quality materials.


How Solar Pool Heating Systems Work

Solar pool heating system is one of the most popular, cost effective, and environment friendly ways to make your pool water warm. But do you know how it works? Well, to enrich your knowledge, we are going to tell you how exactly it works.

Solar panel heating system comes with 4 basic parts. A pump, a solar collector, a filter, and a valve.

The pool water is pumped to the solar collector. The main job of the pump is to circulate the water to the collector, then filter, and then the pool. On the other hand, the collector basically circulates the water inside it and makes it warm with the help of sunlight.

When the water gets warm in the collector, it comes out to the pool through a filter. Its filter removes the debris, dirt, and leaves. The valve is there to turn the water circulation to the collector off and on. It can be manual or automated.

When the temperature of the collector is high, the valve gets open or needs to open. Only then it can make the water warm. This method can be used to make water cool in the hot weather area. The collector will make the water cool if its temperature is lower than the pool.


How to Install a Solar Pool Heater

Installing the solar panel is not that tough. You can do it with some basic equipment and basic knowledge. Even you do not have to be a plumber as well. All you have to do is to follow these steps.

First, select a perfect place to place the collector. Since the collector will collect the heat, it should be placed in such a place where it gets the maximum heat. In order to ensure that, make sure it is directly faced to the sun.

In the winter, the sun rises in the east-south area. So make sure the collector is faced slightly south so it gets direct sunlight for a long time. Also, choose a place where there is no barrier to stop the sunlight.

After that, it is time to connect the pump to the collector. Some solar panels do not require any additional pump, it can work with the existing pool pump. You will see an inlet port through which the water will come into the collector from the pool. Connect the pump to this port with the hose or PVC pipe.

Then there is an outlet port through which the heated water goes from the collector to the pool. Most of the pools have an additional port to let water into the pool. Now connect to the outlet port and pool wall through a pipe or hose.

You are almost done. Add a valve to control the circulation of the water. Enjoy.


Frequently Asked Questions

How can I heat my above ground pool fast?

Heating the above ground swimming pool is really important when it is winter. You can do it several ways. Using a gas heater, pool heater pump, and wood burning heater can be some amazing solutions to heat fast. However, if you think economically and environment-friendly, a solar panel heater or blanket can be the best option. For the one having enough sunlight, there is nothing better than a solar panel.

How can I heat my pool cheaply?

Using a gas heater, pool heater pump, and wood burning heater are some good ways to heat your pool. But when it comes to the cheapest and most effective way, surely, solar panel heaters are the best. It allows you to heat your pool without wasting any energy or utility at all. It uses sunlight and transforms the heat to the pool.

Is solar pool heating worth it?

Well, with the solar panel heater, you can significantly reduce the utility cost. At the same time, it saves energy and thus, saves the environment. And it is most effective as well. So of course, it is worth it for sure.

Final verdict

Getting the best above ground solar pool heater is really important. When you have the best pool heater, you can reduce your utility cost, increase the efficiency, save the environment, and enjoy the warm water. At the same time, it lasts longer and warms the water fast. Besides, a good one can help you keep your water clean and fresh. Without a good solar panel heater, you cannot even imagine all those benefits. That is why we have reviewed some amazing solar panel heaters with their pros and cons. It will help you pick the best one. So do not waste your time hesitating to choose one. Follow our buying guide and place an order now.

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