Pool Pillow: Winter Maintenance Techniques That Work Effectively

A pool pillow is a tiny, inflated vinyl cushion that sits between the winter cover and the pool surface. It is a relatively simple technique, but a highly effective one. It is suitable for both above-ground and in-ground pools.

Summer is a season when everyone enjoys their pool. However, after the summer weather passes and the leaves begin to change, many pool owners are unsure how to care for their pool effectively throughout the chilly winter season.

Winterizing your pool frequently results in ripped pool covers and structural damage caused by the accumulation of ice and snow. However, this does not have to be the case. Savvy pool owners may avoid the classic winter horror stories by including a pool pillow into their winter cover.

What Is a Pool Air Pillow and Can It Help You

Blue pool pillow

A pool pillow is a tiny, inflated vinyl pillow between the winter cover and the center of your pool surface. The techniques are relatively simple, but it is a highly successful winter maintenance technique. They are suitable for both above-ground and in-ground pools.

You can put the air pillow at the center of the pool and let it float during the offseason. It functions as an ice compensator, managing the impacts of winter rain, snow, and ice buildup.

Placing the inflated pillows under the pool cover creates a void on the water’s surface. Pressure increases as ice, rain, and snow accumulate. The function of the pool pillow is to resist the pressure as the ice expands toward the space between the pool air pillow and the pool cover.

Additionally, a pool cushion keeps rain, leaves, and snow from gathering in the pool’s center. Rather than that, debris accumulates at the pool’s outside borders, where you can easily reach and remove it.

You should not fully inflate pool pillows. There must be some space saved for the compression when the device absorbs the expansion of ice. 

Normally, ice expands outward in the absence of an air pillow. Expanding increases the strain on the pool cover, the pool walls, as well as your pool supplies and equipment. The expansion of your cover, liner, and walls might eventually cause significant structural damage.

Do You Need a Pool Pillow?

Even if they aren’t absolutely 100% necessary, winter pool cushions are really useful.  They protect your pool from ice expansion and provide even weight distribution, which is why we strongly advise pool owners to use them.

Steps in Using a Pool Air Pillow for Winter

An inflation pump air used for pool pillow

Using a pool pillow is easy to incorporate in the process of winterizing your pool this winter. Here are some brief steps you can follow so that you can use your air pillow correctly.

Step 1. Inflate the pool air pillow to only 60 percent to 80 percent of its capacity to allow compression.

Step 2. Secure both ends of the pillow with solid twine or thin rope; the pillow should have grommets on the edges for this reason.

Step 3. Put the pillow in the center of the pool’s surface.

Step 4. Secure the threads to the pool’s edge to hold the pillow in place.

Step 5. Make sure to keep the winter cover above the pillow while you’re putting it in the pool for the winter. (This may be made simpler if you have a friend or two to assist you.)

Step 6. Close and secure the cover.

If the pool pillow drifts while you’re laying the cover, you may reposition it using a pole placed beneath the cover. Just ensure that it is not sharp enough to penetrate the pillow, the cover, or both.

Important: “We strongly advise you use an actual pool air pillow for this reason. Inner tubes or workout balls will operate less effectively if they work in cold temperatures at all!” -Matt, founder of Swim University

Closing your above-ground pool for the winter using a pool air pillow is a cost-effective and straightforward approach to protect your pool from damage caused by freezing weather and ice.

Tips for Buying the Right Pool Pillow

Pool during winter

When winterizing your pool, make sure to utilize a specialist pool air pillow. Makeshift alternatives, such as floating flamingos or exercise balls, will not suffice.

These do-it-yourself options may be beneficial, but they lack the appropriate design for the job.

A good pool pillow’s design is critical. Because the pad must remain inflated throughout the offseason, it must be extremely durable.

Waterproof vinyl material is used to construct the greatest pool air pillows, which are resistant to puncture. When a soft material cushion is used to protect the device from punctures and deflation, it will block the area between the device and the pool cover. Look for a company that provides a warranty in the event that the product fails.

Author’s Note

Proper maintenance and care of your pool during the winter months will ensure that no leaks occur and prevent any costly repairs later. Pool pillows are eco-friendly and easy to use.

Their installation doesn’t take much time, and they can be easily removed and stored for use next year or sold to others who need them. Now you can get out there and winterize your pool like an expert!

Listed below are some more pool articles you will surely find useful. Be sure to check them out! Learn more about pools here.

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About the author

Maria Anderson

I am an arts and design lover. My passion are swimming pools and gardening. Follow me in our family project ThePoolPassion.com where we want to help everyone to make their dream pool become reality.

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