Owning and maintaining a swimming pool is expensive, and whilst it is also one of life’s greatest luxuries, it can be so frustrating to find – having spent lots of money already on keeping the pool clean, well-lit, and in working order – that when the sun goes down, it’s suddenly too cold to swim in. Few things could surely be worse; after all, one of the main attractions of owning your own pool is getting to swim in warm water year round, rather than in the bitter coldness of the sea.
The majority of heat loss from a pool which has basked in sun all day is the loss of heat from the water’s surface at night, meaning that during the evening and dark hours, and well into the morning, your pool can become an unfortunately unappealing place. Thankfully, there are remedies for this which don’t break the budget, and solar pool rings – also known as solar sun rings – are one such remedy. These simple, passive inventions operate quite simply: they sit on the surface of your pool during the day, trapping heat to be released overnight.
The only problem is… it seems that however ingenious the idea, the execution leaves a lot to be desired. For this reason, we’ll be taking just a brief look at the very best the market has to offer, but would generally recommend that you think about investing in a solar pool heater instead of these – often cheaper, yes, but inarguably less effective – alternatives.
Having surveyed the market, and ascertained that few solar pool rings are up to the task they purport to be, we have still managed to find you a few items which really do work, and which customers have reviewed highly enough for us to include on this list. Here are their pros and cons, at a glance!
Solar Sun Rings Pool Heater – Set of 6
Shaped like a small frisbee, with a cute, attractive palm tree and beach motif, this pack of 6 solar sun rings from Solar Sun Rings lay atop the surface of your swimming pool during the day, harnessing the heat from the sun – 50% of which they send through to heat your water during the day, and 50% of which is kept between their two layers, to be released at night, once the sun has gone down.
It really is as simple as that. No batteries, no electronics, just a simple passive invention which ensures that the heat loss your pool would usually experience is minimised as effectively as is possible. Utilising heavyweight U.V resistant vinyl, these rings function similarly to a pool cover, except with these you can still swim about, without having to take a cover off and on. This is water heating technology at its most fundamental.
- Simple, straightforward passive technology requiring no installation
- Sun rings allow you to swim whilst they capture heat
- 6 is the perfect pack sized for small-mid sized pools
- Not as effective as solar pool heaters
Solar Sun Rings Pool Heater – Set of 3
Solar Sun Rings (or SSR) are the only brand featured on this list, as unfortunately they’re the only brand seemingly reliable enough to feature, when it comes to solar sun rings. Given that the products are the same, and it’s only the size of the package that changes (this one providing 3 sun rings), the only major difference in buyer consideration is budget.
If you’re not looking to break the bank, but still want to do something about the loss of heat from your swimming pool, then this is probably the package for you. However, 3 really isn’t enough to get the full potential out of this water heating technology.
- Most affordable package on the list
- Attractive design
- Magnetic ‘anchors’ keep them where you want them whilst you swim
- Not enough (even by manufacturer’s guidelines) to capture enough heat to keep a small-mid sized pool warm
- Not as effective as solar pool heaters
Solar Sun Rings Pool Heater – Set of 10
The most expensive of the three packages we’re featuring on this solar pool rings list, it is undoubtedly, however, also the most effective. If you’ve a mid-large sized pool, then you’ll want to take a look at this solar sun ring deal from Solar Sun Rings – the leading brand on this innovative technology.
Ten of these rings, built with two sheets of heavyweight U.V resistant vinyl – the central layer holds insulating air – will get closest to delivering you the effectiveness of an insulating cover, without robbing you of the use of your pool whilst they work. With magnets to attach them to each other, and thus move them into the sunniest part of the pool, or away from where you’re swimming or reclining, we recommend you take a look at this package if you want water heating technology without shelling out for a potentially even more expensive cover or heater.
- Most effective package on the list
- Best version of these products on the market
- Very expensive
- Still not nearly as effective as alternative technologies – covers and solar pool heaters
What should you be looking out for when shopping for solar pool rings?
Size of pool
This is a crucial consideration to make and, we’d say, the first thing to think about. Solar Sun Rings as a company have their own size-guide chart, which you’ll see on any on of the Amazon pages we’ve directed you to above. Essentially, however, the bigger your pool, the more heat can escape from it at night, and thus the more solar sun rings you’ll need to keep your pool warm. We think 6 is a good starting point for any small-mid size pool owner.
This may seem an obvious one, but have a think about why you’re here, before you decide on a package to buy. If your pool is a little colder than you’d like – during the day or at night – then you’re probably one of the people solar pool rings will work best for, as they can deliver a relatively cost-effective means of increasing your pool’s temperature a fraction. If, however, your pool requires a much more reliable and significant increase in heat, then we would seriously recommend considering investing in a solar pool heater, rather than these less effective products.
This is an easy one, what’s your budget? Solar sun rings are expensive for what little heat insulation they offer, but – having said that – they still might be the preferable option, compared to the impracticality of a solar insulation cover, or solar pool heater. If you can stretch, however, then don’t hesitate, head here to read all about solar heaters, rather than skimping on cash and ending up unsatisfied.
Ease of use
This is another important thing to consider. Solar pool rings, for all their faults, are undeniably easy to use – just inflate, arrange or ‘anchor’ with magnets, and throw them in the pool. They really could not be more simple to ‘install’, whereas a pool cover or solar pool heater will require a much more hands-on approach. If it’s a quick and easy solution to a minor problem you’re after, then solar sun rings are for you; if you need something more stable, long-lasting, and cost-effective in the long run, we recommend you stop by our article on the best solar pool heaters on the market for a more reliable alternative.
Having researched the market, we determined two major things for you to consider. One, plain and simple, solar sun rings really aren’t that effective, and despite the ingenuity of their design, you’d need to spend a fair bit, and potentially clog up the swimming-space of your pool with solar pool rings before you achieved your desired levels of temperature retention. And two, of all the solar pool rings on the market, there’s really only one brand – Solar Sun Rings – that are worth your time. As such, we would recommend that you turn your attentions instead to the purchase of a solar pool heater – a technology designed to keep your pool at a nice, constant temperature by utilising the power of the sun, and not taking up any space on the surface of your swimming pool. Head here, to find out more.
Solar sun rings are formed of two layers, and as sunlight passes through the top layer, it traps a little (about 50%) of the light’s heat in the space between the layers (acting effectively as insulation). When the sun goes down, and the rings are no longer being hit by sunlight, the warmth from the insulation is slowly dispersed into the cooling waters of your pool, keeping it a little warmer than it otherwise would be at night.
Solar sun rings are comprised of two sheets of heavyweight U.V resistant vinyl layers, surrounded by an inflatable hoop which helps keep them afloat. Regardless of how effective they can or can’t be, they are undeniably durable and simple in their construction.
This depends on several factors, but the easiest way to ascertain this for yourself is simply to ask yourself how big the heating issue you’ve got on your hands is. If your pool is only under-temperature at certain times of the year, or for only a short period of time each day; if it is always under-temperature, but only by a small margin, then solar sun rings may well be the solar swimming pool heating remedy you need. However, if your pool is greatly below your desired temperature, or very often feels like it requires heating up, then you’d be much better off with a solar pool heater instead.
We’re glad you asked – yes there is! The best way to harness the sustainable, green and environmentally-friendly energy of the sun to heat your pool (and keep it at your optimal temperature) is without doubt getting yourself a solar pool heater, which you can read about (and discover the best related products on the market), here.