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10 Best Solar Pool Heaters Review in 2021 (Updated Guide)

One of the reasons why some people prefer swimming in a pool as opposed to ocean water is because swimming pools have more reliable and predictable temperature levels.

However, with the cost of living going up, it’s becoming increasingly important to save on energy expenses and having the best solar pool heaters is often the first thing to go for. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Nowadays, we have access to effective and eco-friendly solar pool heaters that will keep your pool water feeling pleasant, not just during swimming season, but all year round without the heating costs burning a hole in your pocket with high energy bills. Plus, we’ve gone the extra mile to put together a truly comprehensive guide with all the information you’ll need to find your ideal solar pool heater for your pool type.

Best Solar Pool Heaters – Comparison Table

  • Size: 120 x 27.5 x 16 inches
  • Temperature Increase: 6-10 degrees F
  • Size: 23.23 x 23.23 x 11.3 inches
  • Temperature Increase: NA
  • Size: 43.3 x 9.4 x 27.2 Inches
  • Temperature Increase: 5 Degrees in 4 days
  • Size: 240 x 54 x 2 inches
  • Temperature Increase: 6-10°F (4-6°C)
  • Size: 2.5′ x 20′ Collector Kit
  • Temperature Increase: up to 10 degrees in approximately seven days

What are Solar Pool Heaters? How Do They Work?

What are Solar Pool Heaters

Solar pool heaters are undoubtedly the most inexpensive pool heating mechanisms available out there, and they work just as well as any other heat pump.
The only difference is that solar pool heaters will only work at full capacity when it’s hot out, otherwise its efficiency will significantly diminish when it’s overcast.
These are the type of heater which collects the energy from the sun to warm your pool water.

But this works in a different way as the water from your pool is pumped through the filter which is situated on the solar panels situated on the top of the pool or on the side.

They are similar to the normal solar panels which are known as PV solar panels and there are pipes circulating throughout the bottom of the pool which makes the pool water warm.

There are many pools of solar panels which include flow controlling valve with automatic sensors which can provide you with feasibility and flexibility.

When you set up the desired temperature these features will detect the water temperature coming out of the solar panels and compare it to your desired set temperature.

When the pool water is chilling or cool this device diverts it towards the solar collectors which automatically warms the water according to the temperature, when the pool water is hot so the flow controlling valve stops furthermore hot water entering the pool.

Yes, they work efficiently as they are managed with an automatic solar system and the mechanism hence making them work perfectly fine and produce the best results.

Benefits of Solar Pool Heaters

Essentially there are many benefits of Pool Solar Panels but there are 5 main reasons which can make your mind buy and install this system in your pool.

Like you can have a longer swimming session as an average pool owner might use the pool for up to 4 to 5 months and the rest of the time the water is cold and unbearable.

With the pool solar panel, you can have a proper warm and heated water for your pool even in starting winter months.

Other than that, it saves energy while using solar energy to power it hence saving fuel cost and pollutions.

Thirdly, it helps to save the environment as combustion is the main reason for global warming in this era.

With that said, it requires low maintenance and it quiet and silent hence making this cost-efficient and affordable in every aspect of a budget-oriented person.

10 Best Solar Pool Heaters (Reviewed)

Investing in solar pool heaters is a great way to guarantee that your pool water will feel balmy and pleasant every time you walk into the pool.
That way, you can confidently dive in instead of cautiously tip-toeing in for fear of encountering cold water.
Below we’ve got a good selection of solar pool heaters that we’ve reviewed for you, along with their pros and cons so that it’s easier for you to choose the best option for your unique circumstances.

1- SunQuest Swimming Pool Heater Complete System

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SunQuest Solar panels are designed for both In-ground and Above-ground swimming pools. They are specifically designed to allow better water circulation and less back pressure on your pump.

This is a great solar pool heater as not only is it compatible with your existing pool pump but also increases the pool water temperature by up to 10 degrees. It also has energy-efficient solar panels that collect maximum solar energy which can be used as pool cover as well.


  • Highly efficient solar panels
  • Special design
  • Increases pool water temperature to 10 degrees
  • Uses a check valve to ensure maximum water flow


  • No replacement warranty

2- Fafco Solar Pool Heating System

Fafco Solar Pool Heating System

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This easy-to-install unit from Fafco is known as the ‘Solar Bear’, and we think it has something to do with how warm it keeps pool water throughout the seasons.
This is largely due to its 20 ft. solar panel, which has a surprisingly easy setup thanks to the lack of connectors.
The Solar Bear continues to impress with durable, UV-resistant construction that includes large 2-inch headers. Basically, this system is ideal for a medium to large-sized swimming pools.
Not only is it made by a reputable company but it’s backed by a 10-year warranty as well.
So if you’re looking for a not so expensive and eco-friendly heating solution for your swimming pool, look no further than the Fafco solar heating system which as the name implies, is designed for above-ground swimming pools.
This system definitely doesn’t disappoint when it comes to quality, longevity, and ease of installation either.


  • Made with UV-resistant materials
  • Super durable and long-lasting
  • It’s easy to install thanks to the lack of connectors
  • Backed by an impressive 10-year warranty!
  • It’s a green pool heating system


  • Some reviewers have complained of leaks when using this system
  • The oversized 20-inch panel needs a fair bit of space

3- GAME 4721 SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater

GAME 4721 SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater

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The SolarPRO Curve is an ideal option for those with a small above-ground swimming pool as it features a nice and compact design with smart technology that enables it to work in a matter of days.
You’ll notice during this time that your pool water will become warm, balmy and very pleasant to swim in.
Its streamlined curved design makes this solar heater very good for the environment and even better for your pocket.
Say goodbye to skyrocketing heating bills as you enjoy the efficiency with which this system uses the sun’s energy to effortlessly heat your pool.
Part of what makes this pool heater so effective is the fact that it collects the sun’s energy at every stage of its ascent and descent across the sky, which enables it to increase the water temperature by 10 degrees within a couple of days.
As compared to other solar pool heaters, the best part about this solar pool heater is that it’s very reasonably priced, very well-made and easy to install too, so you really do get a lot of bang for your buck with this one.


  • Small and compact design
  • Its curved shape makes it very efficient at collecting solar energy
  • Reasonably priced
  • Easy to install
  • Ideal for small to medium-sized above ground pools
  • Eco-friendly and very energy efficient swimming pool heater system


  • The only downside to its smaller size is the fact that it doesn’t provide the level of heat that you’d expect

4- SUNHEATER 2′ X 10′ Solar Pool Heating System

SUNHEATER 2′ X 10′ Solar Pool Heating System

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With dimensions of 2’ by 10’, the SUNHEATER model lives up to its name, as it efficiently collects heat from the sun using a long panel which is connected to the tubes that warm up the water by up to 15 degrees in one go.
The fact that it’s able to provide more or less the same level of heat consistently makes it a really good model for the money, plus it’s well-priced for the quality you get which is great.
It features a lightweight design that makes it fairly simple to install, whether you’re using it for an above-ground or in-ground pool.
SUNHEATER has made it even easier to install this product, as all you have to do is attach it to your existing pump so that it can start working to create a more pleasant ambience in your pool to enjoy at any time of the day.
Sure, it may be a bit difficult to install this system on your own due to the intricacy of the design but it’s very efficient and affordable though.


  • Eco-friendly
  • Features interchangeable connectors
  • Offers great value for money
  • Versatile enough to work for both types of pools
  • Direct flow system
  • This system can increase temperatures


  • The panels are huge and will take up a lot of space
  • Installation requires professional help

5- Smartpool WWS601P Solar Pool Heater

Smartpool WWS601P Solar Pool Heater

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If you want a fast-acting solar pool heater that offers great value for money, then this Smartpool solar heater is for you. It features large panels that are so efficient at collecting the sun’s energy that it can increase your pool’s temperature by 10 to 15 degrees in less than 24 hours.
It’s also made to last with an eco-friendly design as it features solar panels that are connected to the pool pump through purpose-built tubes. Although it’s difficult to install, we’re definitely impressed with its stellar performance.
It also has interchangeable connectors that allow it to operate on above-ground pools as well as it does on in-ground pools, and the direct-flow system is easy to set up once you know-how.


  • This system can increase your pool’s water temperature by up to 15 degrees in less than 24 hours
  • Operates passively
  • Versatile enough for above as well as in-ground pools
  • Features interchangeable connectors
  • Eco-friendly
  • Super-efficient and cost-effective


  • Not very easy to install
  • The panels are gigantic

6- Intex Solar Heater for Above Ground Swimming Pools

Intex Solar Heater for Above Ground Swimming Pools

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Compact sized and thoughtfully designed, the Intex Solar Heater is designed for above-ground pools and works perfectly for small to medium-sized spaces.
It’s also quite small as it measures just 47 x 47 inches, which means that it won’t take up a lot of space after you’ve installed it and will discreetly stay out of sight.
Because you can attach it to any Intex filler pump, this solar heater does an excellent job at warming pool water by up to 10 degrees and circulating it back into the pool quickly so that you experience nearly instant results.
With all that said, one has to keep in mind that the Intex Solar Heater will not provide the same amount and consistency of heat as the larger models featured in this list, but it’s a super heap and still gets the job done when there’s full sunlight out.


  • Super affordable
  • Small and conveniently compact
  • Eco-friendly
  • Energy efficient
  • Works with a wide variety of Intex above-ground pools
  • Easy to install
  • Can generate extra heat by joining the mats together to create a pool cover appearance


  • Don’t expect this system to provide the same level of water heating capabilities offered by the larger models featured in this list
  • It only works with above-ground Intex pools

7- GAME 4714 SolarPRO Solar Pool Heater

GAME 4714 SolarPRO Solar Pool Heater

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If looks and design are as important to you as the quality of construction and durability, then you might want to consider the GAME 4714 SolarPRO for Intex.
As the name implies this system is made for Intex pools only and features a small panel that’s able to heat up pool water quickly while keeping your carbon footprint low.
Its energy-efficient design also includes curling tubes that enable it to collect a significant amount of the sun’s heat in a short amount of time. The dome shape makes it easy to install on your above-ground Intex pool.
You’ll also be glad to know that this soar pool heater is super easy to install and use, and this is in addition to its reasonable price tag. It’s definitely an ideal option for anyone who’s looking for an eco-friendly yet effective and affordable pool heater.


  • The small and lightweight design makes it easy to install
  • Very well priced
  • Super-efficient
  • Features a unique dome design
  • Easy to install and operate


  • While it works more than fine for smaller pools, this solar heater is not cut out for larger sizes
  • It’s made exclusively for Intex pools

8- XtremepowerUS 2′ X 20′ Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System

XtremepowerUS 2′ X 20′ Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System

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This solar pool heater from XtremepowerUS is one of those rare finds that delivers on performance like a high-priced model while it comes at a ridiculously low price.
Measuring at 2ft by 20ft, the Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System is easy to install and has the ability to increase pool water temperatures by up to 15 degrees in just one day.
Yep, you read that right, in just one day!
Apart from saving you money in energy bills, this system is literally one of the cheapest on the market and also one of the most in-demand due to its efficiency at heating up the pool water.
Plus, it works for both above ground and in-ground pools with no problem.
The only hitch we could find with this pool is that it’s too small to effectively heat large-sized in-ground pools but you can always solve that problem by installing two of these instead of one.
While the solar panel itself is quite large, it works really well when it comes to absorbing sunlight to be converted into heat for your pool.


  • Very affordable
  • Super easy to set up and install
  • It can increase water temperatures by 10 to 15 degrees in a short amount of time
  • Versatile enough to install on both above ground and in-ground pools with ease


  • If your pool measures at 80 square feet and above, then you’ll have to purchase more than one of these systems in order to get the job done right
  • It might require a diverter kit

9- Doheny Space Saver Collector

Doheny Space Saver Collector

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Keep your pool water warm all year round with the Space Saver Collector from Doheny.
Its large panel works fast to heat up pool water in just one hour, and it’s able to maintain those warm water temperatures throughout.
Due to the panel’s large size, you might find that it takes up quite a bit of space but it’s well worth it when you consider how quickly it works and how efficient it is.
You’ll also love its beautiful design, which not only looks great but makes it super easy to install on your own as well, without the need for professional help.
The design also comes with direct flow MAX-FLO that’s super-efficient when it comes to water circulation, thus saving you hundreds of dollars in heating bills.
All in all, the Doheny Heating Collector is an eco-friendly pool heating solution that’s designed to be installed in any type or size of the pool.
Plus, it’s backed by a 5-year warranty which says a lot about the manufacturer’s level of confidence in the construction quality and performance of this system.


  • Cost-effective
  • Eco-friendly
  • Easy to install
  • Works with all types of pools and pool pumps
  • Features MAX-FLO design
  • Can heat up your pool to 15 degrees in a super short amount of time


  • The panel is large and needs a lot of space

10- SmartPool Solar Heating System

martPool Solar Heating System

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As the name implies the SmartPool Solar Heating System is suitable for use on all types of swimming pools and pool pumps.
It’s uniquely designed with an efficient heat-transferring tube and solar panel that work seamlessly together.
Installing it is so easy that you can literally do it on your own, and the result is perfect pool water temperature that stays consistently warm. While it may be a bit costly for your budget, you have to keep in mind that the SmartPool has a great track record and has proven technology to back up its performance.
It’s perfect for both in-ground and above-ground swimming pools and can be used with any pool pump.
The dual 2×20 ft. is rather large but it’s well worth it when you consider the combined heating power provided by the black polyolefin construction.
This is complemented further by the heater’s direct flow water circulation which allows it to work fast.
And because it’s suitable for all types of swimming pools it’s an ideal option for anyone that’s looking for quality, durability, and efficiency in their solar pool heater.


  • Incredibly easy to install
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Compatible with all types of swimming pools
  • Features direct flow design for efficient water circulation
  • Comes with all the tools needed for it to start working immediately


  • Those with large swimming pools may want to purchase at least two of these systems
  • The large solar panels require a lot of space

A Complete Buying Guide for Solar Pool Heaters!

Solar Pool Heaters
As with any purchase, it’s important to make a few key considerations when you start shopping for a solar pool heater.
Luckily for you, we’ve covered most of these in the list below to help you choose the best option for your needs.

Size of the Pool

Your pool size matters a great deal when you’re looking for solar pool heaters because it plays a huge role in how the heater operates. Basically, small to medium-sized pool heaters are more suited to small-sized pools while larger pools require a more powerful system, especially if they have a lot of depth.

Build Quality

The type of materials used in constructing the pool heater will also have an effect on its longevity and ability to do its job (which is to heat your pool).
If you’re looking for a durable model that will last longer then you should definitely consider purchasing one with a glass coating, which is a quality that you won’t find in other heaters.

Pool Functionality

It’s important to keep in mind the specific function of your pool as well when purchasing a solar pool heater.
For example, some swimming pools are used for recreational purposes and typically do well with solar pool heaters that can deliver the right temperatures for this purpose.
Other swimming pools are for sports and exercise, and will thus require a heater that provides reliable temperatures.

Solar Pool Heaters Cost

Of course, you must also consider your budget and make sure that the pool heater you purchase is priced just right while offering good value for money. 
You also have to keep in mind that you will get what you pay for since expensive solar heaters are usually the most effective, but you can still get good quality systems within a reasonable price range.

How to Install a Solar Power Heater? 

Swimming in the cold and freezing water can be really painful and exhausting and while you are swimming in a cold and freezing water for a long time can affect your health.

While creating skin diseases hence if you are a person who lives in cold environment then there are many solutions for you to keep your pool warm such as pool heater which can relatively be expensive and can wind up a ton of money in installing them.

But if you want an affordable and inexpensive option then I would suggest that you should go with Solar Pool heater which can be inexpensive and in your budget.

While that it is easy and affordable to install as it circulates the pipes under the pool from which motor generated warm water which is done by a solar panel which is situated on top or on the side provides the warm water and through the pipes it is added into the pool.

It runs fuel-free hence without making any type of population but there is only one downside of this process as this needs warm weather and sunshine which is not always available in some places hence choose this option when you are living in a warm and sunny place with cold atmosphere.

Solar Heaters in Above Ground and In-Ground Pools

Basically, every house owner who owns a swimming pool comes across this question or option whether to go with above ground pool or in-ground pool.

Above ground pool in affordable and inexpensive rather than In-ground pool which can be expensive while hard to maintain with its high maintenance cost hence most of the consumers opt with and above ground pool as installing a Solar heater can also be easy and convenient.

The best option when you are dependent on solar power heater and which will be cost-efficient as when you own an above ground pool then you can have the solar pool heater installed easily and cost-efficient hence making the above pool the best option if you need a solar pool heater.

But when you own an In-ground pool then you can install the Solar pool heater but it can be expensive and not efficient as it takes more space and is expensive when compared to the above pool solar heater.

Other than that, this can be very inconvenient to run as this is installed inside the pool which later can’t be effective and responsive.

How to Winterize the Solar Pool Heater? 

There is no special care when it comes to the winterizing process of the Solar heater as you just have to consider vital things when the pool season is off during winters.

You can’t leave the Solar collectors producing warm water for your pool continuously so this is the key method to do the winterizing process on the solar collectors.

First, you have to turn the pipe circulation system off so that it doesn’t change the water temperature with that you should allow the solar collector’s pipes to drain the present water in them.

And then Isolate collectors with a gate or ball valve in the collector feed line and a check valve in the collector return line, while you should switch the solar control to the bypass position.

With that after the winter season is gone and the pool is now functional then you may turn on the filtering system and you should switch the Solar pool heater back to auto.

How Much do these Solar Pool Heaters Raise the Temperature of Water in a Pool? 

When it comes to swimming nobody wants to swim in harsh and skin tearing water conditions as the water even in summer kept open top can become cold and unbearable that’s why most people opt for the electric or solar pool heater.

Talking about the electric I will come on that in the FAQ so stay tuned to this article, with that the question is how much does a Solar pool heater raise the temperature of the water.

As it comes to a swimming pool it is always cold so to maintain a bearable and suitable water temperature the Solar pool heaters increases the temperature of the pool water by 5 to 10 degree Celsius or 10 to 20-degree Fahrenheit respected to the current pool conditions.

Each time when water passes through the solar panels and the filter to hence making the pool temperature warm and suitable for us to swim.

How to Install Solar Pool Heaters on the Roof? (Steps!)

solar pool heater

When it comes to mounting the Solar panels on top of the roof it is the best idea as to when solar panels are situated on the roof they collect more sun rays to turn it into heating energy hence this could be the best option for you.

But in other words, it could be expensive and costly as you have to consider some of the techniques and key features when it comes to installing the Solar pool heating panels on your house roof.

1- Exposure Rate

When it comes to installing the Solar panels on the roof you should consider that they are receiving proper exposure of sun rays.

As if they don’t then they won’t do as good as they should so the perfect position is to install them on the southeastern side of the roof as the sun is on the peak of emitting its heat and rays hence Solar panels can collect enough heat to run whole day approximately.

2- Measurements

When you have selected a perfect side of the roof now it comes to the measurements of the pool and the roof if you order a Solar pool heater according to your roof size which can be medium size and you decide to put a small Solar pool heating panels then it can be small for a particular pool and it won’t provide enough heat to the pool.

That if you order a large Solar heating system and it does not fit on to your roof then it could be waste of time and money so my suggestion is to consider the measurements of the pool and your roof.

3- Check Permit and Confirmation

When it comes to a solar pool heater it can be heavy and in some areas around the world, it requires a proper authority and permission to install such a heavy product on the roof.

As it can be dangerous if the roof is made with light and durable materials it can’t hold off such heavy machinery so, you need to have permission when installing a solar pool heater on the roof.

4- Install the Heater Box

When you order a Solar heater system you would get a Heater Box or in other words, you can call it casing which comes handy when installing the Solar panels.

As it has complete instructions of how to install a heating system but mainly it includes the card of the simple installation and it is included with a utility box which includes all the screws, clamps, brackets and spacers.

5- Pipes

When it comes to pipes of the heating system then you can get normal PVC pipes as they can be the best and cheap option for this situation and they perform well while that the cost can be in having long pipes to run down the pool while heating it.

So, be sure what to do as it can be the best option for you.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

solar pool heater

Solar or Electric Heater?

It is completely up to you whether to opt for an electric heater or Solar pool heater but there are many disadvantages as an electric heater can take up a ton of energy from your electricity which can eventually be costly.

So most of the people opt for a Solar pool heater as it doesn’t consume any type of energy which can cost you it only runs on the solar energy hence being inexpensive and environmentally friendly.

What Size Solar Pool Heater Do I Need?

When you are buying a solar pool heater you should consider the size and dimensions of the heater and space while your pool.

It can depend on the size of a pool as if your pool is big then you should opt for a bigger Poll heater or if your pool is compact and small then go for a small heater.

If you buy a big Pool heater than your pool then it can be waste of money and space or if you buy a small Pool Heater than the pool so it cannot work sufficiently and can’t provide heated water enough.

Is it Really Profitable to Obtain a Solar Heater for An Above Ground Pool in Particular?

When you own an above ground pool then you should opt for a Solar pool Heater as they are above ground and it can be easy to install a Pool heater on above ground pools.

Hence it can be very profitable as it would take less cost while in installation and it can save a ton of money when it comes to maintaining the Solar pool heater.

How Do I Assemble a Complete Solar Heater?

It is quite simple when it comes to installing a Solar Pool heater first you need to set up the solar collectors on a perfect place from where it can collect proper heat from the sun.

With that done set up the filtration system which will control the water flow and temperature other than that, you should set up the pipes and hoses inside the pool so that it can provide heated water directly into the pool hence see, it is simple.

It is even more simple as it will include a guide that will instruct you step by step how to set up the Solar pool Heaters.

Summing Up!

There’s no denying that solar-powered pool heaters are the best thing for swimming pool owners.
Not only do they keep your pool nice and warm when the sun is out, but most of them are easy to install and come at an affordable price as well.
As you can see from our reviews above, there’s quite a wide variety of systems available for you to choose from, and if we were to recommend just one it would have to be the Doheny 4′ x 10′ Space Saver Solar Heating Collector..
It’s a thoughtfully designed system with the ability to heat up your pool water by up to 15 degrees in a short amount of time.
We also love how energy-efficient and eco-friendly it is, which makes it an ideal option for the environmentally-conscious consumer who wants to keep their carbon footprint low without breaking the bank.
This system definitely ticks all the boxes for us and comes highly recommended for any pool owner. Especially when your stuck at home during the covid pandemic and all you can do is stay home and swim.

Robert Laswell
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Last update on 2021-06-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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