Difference Between Mesh and Solid Pool Safety Covers: What’s the Best for You?

Pool covers are vital for keeping your pool safe. If you’re looking for the best pool cover for your needs, why not find out the difference between mesh and solid pool safety covers? Read more here.

A mesh pool cover is an alternative to the traditional solid pool safety covers. Mesh covers typically use a mesh-like material to cover and protect the pool and do not entirely enclose the water’s surface. 

This article will provide you with comparisons between mesh and solid pool covers to help you choose which safety cover type is right for your pool.

Mesh Pool Safety Covers

Mesh Pool Cover

Mesh safety covers are like a large strainer. This type of safety cover prevents leaves, insects, and other debris from falling right into the pool. However, the water from run-off, fine particles, and UV rays from the sun will still find their way into your pool. 

These components make an excellent algae/bacteria cocktail. I know what you’re thinking; it sounds really horrible. 

Here’s the advantage, though. A mesh safety cover requires far less maintenance over the whole Winter season. The cover rarely needs to be pumped or drained because the water travels through the gaps of the mesh safety cover.

The breeze blows the debris off the safety cover, which is a good thing. This makes your off-season routine less difficult. You’ll only have to remove the bigger debris. But in this case, you’ll have to spend the majority of cleaning time when the pool spring season begins. 

Mesh Pool Safety Cover Pros

  • Lighter and more convenient to handle
  • Snow and rain can easily go through the gaps of the mesh, which prevents water from accumulating, meaning less maintenance over winter.
  • Mesh can collect leaves and other large debris
  • Mesh has greater longevity than solid covers (assuming appropriately maintained)

Solid Pool Safety Covers

Pool Safety Cover

Solid covers are typically huge and heavy-duty, which is good for longevity but not convenient for the average consumer. This solid cover is more expensive than a mesh safety cover because you are paying for its durability.

The main advantage is that it prevents nearly 100% of debris from entering the pool. 

The trade-off is that a solid safety cover requires some Winter upkeep. Because precipitation, snow, and debris will not filter into the pool, you must remove them before it gets too heavy. So, you have to sweep all the debris and drain the water to prevent accumulation on the cover.

Bear in mind that extra weight will result in the cover sagging. Over time, a sagging safety cover is more prone to fail.

Solid Pool Safety Cover Pros

  • Safety covers completely block out the sun, preventing the growth of algae, which can stain your pool.
  • Maintenance is easier when the spring season ​comes
  • Keeps finer debris out of the pool
  • Better, stronger, and more durable material

Mesh vs. Solid Cover Types

Mesh Safety Cover Types

The primary difference between mesh cover types is the amount of UV radiation that the cover prevents. The greater the amount of UV protection, the fewer bacteria and algae will develop. Mesh safety cover prevents chemicals from exhaustion, reducing the amount of chemicals you need to add to your pool.

Standard Mesh

Some pool suppliers refer to standard mesh as 12 Year Mesh. This sort of safety cover is the most inexpensive of all safety covers. 

Using this safety cover is advisable for pool owners who’ve experienced a strong winter in their place. 

  • The most cost-effective safety cover
  • Blocks 89%-91% of UV
  • Lightweight construction allows for simpler installation and removal

High Shade Mesh

High shade mesh covers are also known as Super Mesh or 20 Year Super Mesh, depending on the manufacturer. This type of mesh safety cover is of superior quality and provides excellent UV protection.

This cover has a tighter weave that covers 99 percent of the sunlight, making it less for algae to develop. This makes Spring cleanup way easier than a standard mesh safety cover.   

This safety cover is best suited for mild to moderate winter areas with modest snowfall, such as the Pacific Northwest. Additionally, this best serves people who generally prefer to do all the maintenance in the Spring. 

  • Blocks out 99% of the sun’s rays preventing algae development.
  • Strong and lightweight for easy installation and removal
  • Most favored type of mesh for pool owners

Solid Safety Cover Types

The solid type of safety cover is a larger and thicker version of the standard mesh cover. 

Solid Safety Cover With Drain

A solid safety cover with a drain can help to decrease the amount of water that accumulates on the cover. However, the disadvantage is that water will pass through your pool via the drain.

This safety cover is a fantastic choice for pool owners who prefer to stretch out the maintenance throughout the winter and the spring seasons. i.e., a little of each, but not a lot of either.

  • 100% block the UV
  • Less upkeep over Spring and Winter

Solid Safety Cover With Pump

The solid safety cover with an automatic pump is the big daddy of safety covers. It is also the most expensive. A solid safety cover with a pump offers all the advantages of a solid safety cover with a drain. However, no amount of water will get into your swimming pool. Instead, the pump of the safety cover will suck off the water out of the surface.

When there is no run-off water in the pool, you will have a cleaner pool come Spring opening. In other words, you’ll spend less time and money making your pool ready to swim in when the time comes.

“A solid safety cover with a pump is not suggested for places with extreme winter because the pump can freeze out and cannot function.” -Laxi, experienced pool writer.

  • 100% block the UV
  • Less pool upkeep over Spring
  • Nothing can penetrate the pool in the offseason, not even sunlight

Safety Cover Maintenance

Automatic Swimming Pool Cover

A safety cover is a vital part of winter. But you have to check on your safety cover monthly to prevent water from freezing, which results in cracking and tearing.

The most common cause of a leaky safety pool cover is a tear from snow and branches. Inspect for these rips and patches and use a good UV sun-blocking material paint over the rip to prevent sunlight from breaking down your safety cover. 

Also, wash your cover with a hypochlorite solution (sodium-free bleach) every two weeks to remove any algae growth. Another good tip is to trim the tree branches around the pool to prevent snow and rain from getting into your safety pool cover. 


A pool safety cover is essential for preventing water intrusion in winter. Many safety covers are available for pools, but it all comes down to what you need the best. Solid covers are more durable than mesh covers and provide better protection against UV rays, but they are usually heavier and require more maintenance.

You can find articles about swimming pool safety and maintenance on our website. We have listed a few below. Happy Swimming!

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