Solar Pool Heater

10 Best Solar Pool Heater In 2022: Top Picks & Buying Guide

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The pool season will be short because of the cold winter temperatures unless you live somewhere where it is always warm. The best way to fend off the weather and lengthen the season is to use a pool heater.

The best solar pool heater for your above-ground pool needs to be effective, energy-efficient, and take little to no money to heat your water.

In addition to providing information on some of the top solar pool heaters available, this guide also discusses key features to keep in mind when shopping for one. To make your decision more simple, we took into account various factors and created a list. Continue reading!

Best Solar Pool Heater: Our Top Picks

  • 1. Smart Pool S601 Pool Solar Heaters: Best Overall
  • 2. Fafco 10028 Universal Solar Panel Heating Kit: Runner-up
  • 3. vidaXL Pool Solar Heating Panel: Best Easy Installation
  • 4. Game 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater: Best For Above-Ground
  • 5. SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater: Best Versatile
  • 6. Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater: Best Bang For The Buck
  • 7. SolarPoolSupply Pool Heater System Kit: Best For Inground
  • 8. GAME 4714 SolarPRO Contour Solar Pool Heater for Intex: Best Compact Solar Pool Heater
  • 9. Sun2Solar Blue Solar Cover: Best Solar Cover
  • 10. FlowXtreme NS1002 Flat-Panel Solar Heater: Also Consider

The Best Solar Pool Heater In 2022

1. Smart Pool S601 Pool Solar Heaters: Best Overall

Smart Pool S601 Pool Solar Heaters

This solar pool heating system from Smart Pool is one of the best options for warming up a cold pool because it can raise the temperature by 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. A polypropylene panel measuring 4 feet wide by 20 feet long, or 80 square feet, makes up the Smart Pool system. It can fit pools with a surface area of up to 130 square feet thanks to its large size.

Water is pumped through a network of tubes in the panels by the system using the pool’s current water pump. Before being pumped back into the pool, the tubes heat the water as it moves through them. Despite the fact that the system works well, mounting it to the roof necessitates the purchase of a separate installation kit.


  • Large surface area for inground and above-ground pools
  • Easy to install
  • Uses the pool’s existing pump


  • An installation kit is sold separately

2. Fafco 10028 Universal Solar Panel Heating Kit: Runner-up

Fafco 10028 Universal Solar Panel Heating Kit

This solar panel heating kit from Fafco can warm a lot of water thanks to its large surface area. The 24-foot-long and 4-foot-wide set of panels, which are intended to act as an above-ground pool heater, generates enough heat to increase a pool’s water temperature by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in an 8,000-gallon pool.

The heating kit is simple to install because it can be mounted to a rack or laid flat on the ground. It functions in a manner similar to other flat plate solar heaters by heating water as it is pumped through a network of channels woven into the panel. Additionally, the Fafco system has an easily accessible valve that bypasses the solar panel on overcast days or when heating is not required.


  • Large surface area capable of warming an 8,000-gallon pool
  • Bypass valve can shut off warming cells
  • Easy to install


  • Does not include rack

3. Vidaxl Pool Solar Heating Panel: Best Easy Installation

Vidaxl Pool Solar Heating Panel

This pool solar heating panel is among the simplest to set up and run quickly thanks to its independent design and movable legs. Set the panel up facing the sun using its adjustable legs, then attach the hoses to a typical pool pump. Before being redirected into the pool, the water is heated as it moves through the panels.

This heater is big enough—at 30 inches by 30 inches—to increase the temperature of a small pool by up to 5 degrees Fahrenheit. To increase its heating capacity, it is also simple to add more panels. Its legs can be raised or lowered to change the panel’s angle between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit, allowing the user to position it where it will receive the most sunlight.


  • Easy to install
  • Adjustable angle
  • Durable construction


  • Small surface area doesn’t heat as much water as larger models

4. Game 4721-BB Solarpro Curve Solar Pool Heater: Best For Above-ground

Game 4721-BB Solarpro Curve Solar Pool Heater

This curved model is perfect as a pool heater for an above-ground pool because of its freestanding design. The user can tilt it toward the sun for the best results thanks to its rigid, curved shape and two adjustable legs. Water is pumped through the heating panel’s network of channels using a typical above-ground pool water pump, where it is warmed before being pumped back into the pool.

In roughly 4 days, the pool heater can raise the temperature of an 8,000-gallon pool by 5 degrees Fahrenheit. It is more compact than larger systems that need to be mounted on a roof because it measures only 28 by 45 inches. A number of heaters can be connected for increased warming power; this system is also expandable.


  • Compact size ideal for smaller above-ground pools
  • Can be expanded
  • Adjustable legs allow the user to aim it toward the sun


  • Warms water slowly over a period of days

5. Sunheater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater: Best Versatile

Sunheater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater

This solar pool heater is among the most adaptable choices for warming a cool pool because it can be mounted almost anywhere. It consists of a polypropylene strip that is 20 feet long by 2 feet wide with numerous channels woven through it. The heater is powered by a pool pump that propels water through channels where it is warmed by the sun and then returned to the pool.

This design can be mounted on a fence, a rack, the ground, or both with regard to above-ground and inground swimming pools. It can raise the temperature in a 15-foot round pool or a 12-by-18-foot oval pool by 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit thanks to its 40 square feet of surface area. Larger pools can be heated by adding more SunHeater pool heaters to the system.


  • Works with inground and above-ground pools
  • Can be set up in multiple locations
  • Easy to install
  • Large surface area


  • Expensive compared with other pool heaters

6. Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater: Best Bang For The Buck

Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater

The majority of solar pool heaters are unsightly additions to one’s yard or roof because they take up a lot of space and take a long time to heat water. This dome-style model is a small choice for above-ground swimming pools, measuring only 22.5 inches by 22.5 inches and 8.5 inches tall. On the interior of the dome, it consists of coils that form a spiral. The dome’s clear plastic cover traps heat, which is used to warm the water as it passes through the coils.

It is compatible with a common pool filter, just like other solar heaters. It generates sufficient warmth to raise the temperature of a 6,000-gallon pool by 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The user of this system can also add additional domes to increase the system’s heating capacity.


  • Small size makes it less conspicuous
  • Adjustable legs
  • Durable rigid construction


  • Not as much heating ability as larger solar pool heaters

7. Solarpoolsupply Pool Heater System Kit: Best For Inground

A solar heater with a large surface area is necessary for large in-ground pools. This pool heater kit’s four 4-by-10-foot panels together with 160 square feet of heating surface can heat a pool with up to 260 square feet of surface area. Each polypropylene panel has a complex system of channels that heats water as it passes through them.

These large-surfaced panels are designed to be mounted to a rooftop. All the components required to attach the panel to the roof and connect it to the pool’s water pump are included in the kit. This adaptable kit is available in sets of four, six, seven, eight, and nine, so the user can adjust it to the size of the pool.


  • Large surface area can heat a lot of water
  • UV-resistant polypropylene construction
  • Includes all required materials for roof installation


  • Demands a lot of space
  • Expensive

8. Game 4714 SolarPRO Contour Solar Pool Heater For Intex: Best Compact Solar Pool Heater

Game 4714 SolarPRO Contour Solar Pool Heater For Intex

The best compact solar pool heater, in my opinion, is the GAME 4714 SolarPRO Contour Solar Pool Heater for Intex. Its distinctive dome shape raises heat containment by utilizing the greenhouse effect. It offers a five-degree increase in water temperature over the course of six days and is simple to install.

This can be a fantastic option for your above-ground pool even though it is not the strongest solar pool heater available. However, it might be best to look elsewhere if you’re looking for a more potent system that can actually raise the temperature of your pool by at least 10 degrees Fahrenheit.


  • Easy to install
  • Durable design
  • Space-saving


  • Must have full sun most of the day for heating effects
  • Leaks due to weak connections

9. Sun2Solar Blue Solar Cover: Best Solar Cover

The final choice on my list is not a typical solar pool heater, but it does deliver results that are comparable. Sun2Solar Blue Solar Cover is the recommended solar cover option. It is a square-shaped cover with heat-trapping air bubbles. You can purchase a solar cover to fit your particular pool because they are available in a range of sizes.

It’s important to remember that pool covers typically last two years. The standard for the sector is that. Particularly in regions with strong sun, this pool cover typically only lasts one season. If you decide that a cover would be a better fit for you, read my guide to the best solar pool covers. You might also want to consider a liquid solar cover.


  • Easy to cut to size
  • Simple to use
  • Keeps your pool clean and war


  • Bubbles may separate from the cover over time

10. Flowxtreme NS1002 Flat-panel Solar Heater: Also Consider

Water is heated as it is pumped through this flat panel solar heater by a network of solar coils. It has two hoses and 1.25- and 1.5-inch attachments, making it simple to connect to a pool’s current filtration system. The user can adjust the model’s angle to face toward the sun using the built-in legs, and mounting it to the ground is simple thanks to the rigid shape created by the plexiglass cover.

Each panel is 41 inches long and 29 inches wide, which is sufficient to heat a small above-ground pool. By purchasing a bypass kit, you can connect multiple units to increase the warming power.


  • Durable rigid construction with a plexiglass cover
  • Adjustable legs
  • Expandable
  • Compact size


  • Doesn’t heat water as well as larger models

Our Verdict

The Smart Pool S601 Pool Solar Heater is a good option for the majority of pool owners who want to warm up a chilly swimming pool thanks to its large surface area that makes it suitable for both above-ground and inground pools and its flexible installation options. The SunHeater S120 Universal Solar Pool Heater may be an excellent option for those looking for a more affordable and portable solution for a small above-ground pool.

How Do Solar Pool Heaters Work?

In order for your pool water to reach your solar collectors, which are solar panels, a series of valves must be opened. Water enters the collectors where it is heated by solar energy. The pool receives heated water again. Until the pool reaches the temperature you want, the cycle is repeated.

Although there are many different types of materials for solar heaters, polymer systems are the most popular for above-ground pools.

Polymer Solar Heating Systems

PVC, polypropylene, rubber, plastic, and other materials can all be used to create polymer systems. The most popular options for above-ground pools are the mat and coil configurations, which you can find. Many are reasonably priced and have simple installation procedures. Additionally, they can typically be mounted on a rooftop, deck, or the ground near the pool.

These models, however, are unsuitable for regions that frequently experience below-freezing temperatures and necessitate seasonal draining. This may cause material damage to the solar heater.

Flat Vs. Mounted Solar Heaters

You have the choice of flat-lying or pre-mounted polymer systems. When using a mounted model, such as a dome, the system is already tilted and elevated off the ground. It couldn’t be simpler to set up. Additionally, dome configurations are preferable in confined spaces where there isn’t enough room for a full mat to be laid out. Flat-lying options, on the other hand, can capture more sunlight and can be mounted on sunny locations like a rooftop.

Buying Guide For The Best Solar Pool Heater

You should keep in mind a number of factors, including how much space you have around your pool and your access to sunlight.

Local Climate And Pool Season

Your pool heater will use less energy the warmer your outdoor air is. This also implies that a pool heater of lower capacity will suffice. Solar heating panels are an eco-friendly way to heat your pool if it is small or if the swimming season is short.

A solar pool heater may not be sufficient to help you reach a comfortable water temperature if you live in a cooler climate, even if it has multiple panels. The maximum temperature increase that solar heaters can make is about 12 degrees.

Pool Size

You’ll need more solar panels to get the right temperature for a bigger pool. If your location has a naturally cooler climate, using solar energy alone might not be an option.

Not only the size of your pool, but also the size of the panels and whether you have an open pool, screened pool, or shaded pool are important factors. The size of each panel must also be taken into consideration when installing solar panels on roofs.

One unit will heat a 6,000–8,000 gallon pool for the most basic solar domes and solar mats. You may need to buy the bypass kits you need to connect multiple units separately, so read the manufacturer’s descriptions carefully.

Pool Heater Location

A solar dome or mat could be placed on the ground next to the pool with solar pool heating systems. The alternative is to have it raised off the ground close by. Many kits enable the installation of a roof or rack. You’ll need a space big enough to hold all the panels and that also receives the required amount of sun exposure if you decide to install a rack.

Installation Requirements

Although solar heaters are the easiest to install on your own, planning and actual installation take time. You can take care of it if your property has enough room and the proper tools.


To safely winterize your pool, you must completely remove the solar heater from it. This entails turning off your circulating system and letting the pipes and solar collectors drain. Examine every connector, bypass valve, etc. The parts should be kept dry when not in use. Keep everything in a box if you’re storing it in the garage or basement to keep rodents out of the system.

Close the panels if a hard freeze is predicted if you operate a year-round swimming season.


Taking care of your pool and filtration system is the most important aspect of maintaining your solar pool heater. To ensure proper water flow to the collectors, keep the filter clean and the chemicals in balance.

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Frequently Asked Questions

You require additional assistance choosing the best solar heater. Following are some frequently asked queries and their responses.

What Are The Advantages Of Solar Pool Heaters?

Without the use of electricity, a solar pool heater can warm pool water by up to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Long Does Solar-heated Swimming Pools Last?

Before the material starts to degrade from exposure to UV rays and high temperatures, the majority of solar pool heaters last 10 to 15 years.

How Big Of A Solar Pool Heater Do I Need For An Above-ground Pool?

The size of your pool and the surface area of the solar panel must be taken into consideration when selecting the solar pool heater. To cover 50% of the surface area of your pool, you’ll need enough solar panels or tubing. You would require 300 square feet of solar panels or tubing to heat a pool with a surface area of 600 square feet, for instance. One unit will suffice for above-ground pools that are up to 8,000 gallons in size. Additional units with bypass kits are needed for larger pools. The type of local landscape and the amount of sunlight you receive must also be taken into account.

Is Solar Pool Heating Worthwhile?

actical way to gradually raise the temperature of your pool’s water is through solar heating. It’s an energy-efficient way to keep your pool warm in warmer climates with lots of sunny days. Solar pool heating isn’t as efficient as gas or electric pool heaters, though, if you live in a cooler climate. Use a solar pool cover to boost the heat produced by the sun. In particular at night, this will stop heat loss and evaporation.

How Much Warmer Does Solar Heating Make A Pool?

A solar pool water heater typically heats water 8 to 12 degrees warmer than a pool that is not heated. But it might take several days of heating before that happens. During the night and on cloudy days, your pool will continue to lose heat. Although it won’t completely stop it, using a solar cover can help to reduce heat loss.

Read More: How Big Are Solar Panels?

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