How to Choose the Right Type of Vinyl Liner Pool Covers

a frozen pool with a green cover.

You know a swimming pool cover is a must-have. Not only do they keep leaves and debris out, especially over the winter months when the pool is not in use, they also improve safety and lengthen the lifespan of chemicals needed to keep the pool clean. Choosing the right cover for your vinyl liner pool is an important part of caring for your vinyl liner pool, but it can be tricky, so to help you, we’re looking at the pros and cons of four different types.

Standard Winter Pool Covers

These are the most basic type of pool cover and are also the least expensive. They look like giant tarps and are held in place with weighted water bags and are solely designed for keeping out leaves and dirt.


  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to install
  • Blocks sunlight which prevents algae growth
  • Easy to store


  • Short lifespan
  • Water tubes need to be replaced every other year.
  • Can’t support much weight, including snow
  • No safety protection
  • Need a pump to remove water from the top

Mesh Swimming Pool Covers

The most common choice, especially in Raleigh, is a mesh pool cover. Made from heavy vinyl or coated polyester, these look like trampolines (but obviously should not be used as such!), and they fit pretty much every pool shape and size. Plus, they attach using springs and anchors, making them very stable, even over several months.

While nearly all mesh pool covers can support weight if a child or pet should walk across the top, be sure to check the weight limits to ensure the proper safety for your home.


  • Microholes allow rain and melted snow to filter through so you don’t need a pump.
  • Lightweight, making it easy to put down and store.
  • Lasts 10 to 15 years
  • Allows sunlight to warm the water earlier in the season


  • Rotten leaf debris and dirt can filter into the pool.
  • Water takes longer to clean and filter at the beginning of summer.
  • Sun exposure can cause algae growth.
  • Heavy rains or snow can cause overflow.

Solid Vinyl Pool Covers

Made from non-permeable vinyl, the only difference between a mesh and a solid pool cover is that solid covers don’t have holes in them. They are installed using the same spring and anchor method as a mesh cover and generally have similar weight limits, offering safety against a child or pet falling in.


  • Blocks 100 percent of sunlight, preventing algae growth
  • Winter chemicals last longer
  • Minimize water evaporation
  • Cleaner water when opening the pool
  • Minimal dirt or debris in the water


  • Lasts 7-10 years which is less than mesh, typically
  • A submersible pump is included and necessary to drain standing water.
  • Heavier and a bit harder to store.

Automatic Pool Covers

Automatic pool covers are custom installed and made from either mesh or solid vinyl. They are custom installed in your pool, and they roll and retract with the push of a button.


  • Professionally installed and no need to remove and store them.
  • Designed for daily use to keep your pool covered even during the summer.
  • Minimizes water evaporation and chemical consumption.


  • Most expensive.
  • They hold in heat and can make the water too warm in the summer.
  • Vinyl material needs replaced every five years or so.
  • Needs a cover pump for the winter months if using solid vinyl.
  • The motor can break down and leave the cover stuck on or off.

Request a Free Quote for a Vinyl Liner Swimming Pool Installation

If you are ready to transform your backyard into a private oasis, we can help. Call us today at 919-586-8556 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a quote for vinyl liner pool installation in Raleigh, Cary, Clayton, Garner, Knightdale, Coats, Middlesex, Wilson Mills, Four Oaks, Wendell, Zebulon, and the surrounding areas.