Bubble Pool Cover VS. Polycarbonate Pool Enclosure: The Ultimate Comparison

At times, choosing the right swimming pool cover can be very difficult. It is even worse if you can’t differentiate between bubble pool covers and polycarbonate pool enclosures.

In this article, I want to compare bubble pool covers and polycarbonate swimming pool enclosures.

By the end of this article, you should be able to choose the right cover for your pool.

pool cover that will protect your pool from harsh weather conditions. You can swim comfortably during winter.

First, let me start by simple definition and structural design of two swimming pool accessories.

Definition of Bubble Pool Cover and Polycarbonate Pool Enclosure

Bubble pool cover definition

These are flat materials (in form of a flat sheet) used to cover the surface of a pool. The upper side seems to be flat while the lower section (side facing water surface) has air bubbles.

A reason for the name – bubble pool covers. At times, you may call them thermal covers or solar blankets.

Basically, solar blankets depend on solar energy to heat pools. This is a cost effective and cheap way to maintain swimming pool temperature.

Bubble pool covers

A bubble pool cover. Image source – ABGAL Liners & Covers

These covers can heat the swimming pool water, increasing its temperature by up to 8°C. Normally, bubble pool covers absorb sun’s heat during the day and radiate it to the pool surface.

At night, the air bubbles prevent the accumulated heat from escaping into the surrounding environment. They act as an insulator.

Polycarbonate swimming pool enclosure

A pool enclosure is a structure that creates a small “house or cage” with enough space for swimming above the water surface. They are made from extruded aluminum structure and solid polycarbonate sheet.

A fully closed swimming pool enclosure

A Excelite’s retractable swimming pool enclosure

The space between the water surface and the pool enclosure is large to an extent that, you can comfortably swim when they are closed.

I believe at this point, you can clearly see the difference between these structures.

In the next few paragraphs, I will review other features of bubble pool covers and pool enclosures.

This will also include the benefit of every feature before giving a final verdict on the specific bubble cover you should opt for.

Features and Benefits of Bubble Pool Covers vs. Polycarbonate Pool Enclosure

Below are key factors you need to consider before you buy a swimming pool enclosure or bubble pool cover:

Cost of Bubble Pool Cover vs. Pool Enclosure

Quite a number of pool covers cost less than $1,500. In fact, you can get a “good cover” for a price range between $75 and $225.

On the other hand, a low profile swimming pool enclosure costs $2,999. Depending on the size of the swimming pool, an enclosure cost more than $8,000.

Here is a complete fact sheet of the various factors that determine swimming pool enclosure cost.

comparing different swimming pool enclosure prices

Swimming pool enclosure prices

So, should you go for a bubble pool cover or a pool enclosure?

Bubble covers are manufactured from polyethylene, vinyl or polypropylene material. For a fact, even if you follow the recommended care and maintenance procedures, these materials will not last for more than 2 to 3 years.

Again, polyethylene or polypropylene materials, are not strong enough to protect the swimming pool from heavy snow. As snow accumulates on the cover, it will eventually collapse into the pool

 swimming pool cover with snow

A swimming pool cover cannot withstand heavy weight of snow. Image source – Pool Center

On the other hand, pool enclosure is constructed from extruded aluminum rods and solid polycarbonate sheet. This structure can support heavy loads – 900kg distributed within a 1.5m radius.

Furthermore, it can withstand high wind speeds – about 230km/hr. This makes it a perfect choice for regions that experience high wind speed and snow.

Therefore, it will protect your pool from harsh weather conditions. Be it summer or winter.

Moreover, a polycarbonate swimming pool enclosure will last for at least 25 years.

Assuming you buy a bubble pool cover today at $450, how much will you spend in the next 20 years?

It will be a lot ($4,500). So, buying a pool enclosure is economical.

Unless you intend to have a temporary swimming pool; polycarbonate enclosure guarantees long-term cost saving.

Cost Saving Benefits of Bubble Pool Covers vs. Pool Enclosure

This is an important aspect you need to consider when shopping for these swimming pool accessories.

Well, once you cover the swimming pool, you’ll protect it from fluctuating external weather conditions. So, basically expect the following key benefits when you cover the pool using either pool enclosure or bubble pool cover:

  • Prevents water loss through evaporation by up to 98%.
  • Reduces chemical consumption
  • No debris or dust will get in the swimming pool
  • Retain swimming pool temperature.

In this case, the two will reduce the operational costs.

Normally, the bubble pool covers tend to increase swimming pool temperature faster than pool enclosures. They are common in situations where one wishes to increase pool temperature faster – maybe by 8°C.

Pool Enclosure Will Guarantee Swimming Pool Safety; Bubble Covers Won’t

According to a report published on the CDC’s official website, between 2005 and 2014, an average of 3,536 unintentional drowning cases were reported.

This is because the swimming pool owners did not follow appropriate safety measures as stipulated by law.

Again, the same sentiments have been echoed by several blogs such as Sun Pool Guide blog. Notably, an article that focuses on the 17 Swimming Pool Safety Tips & Rules Which May Save Your Children’s Life is really handy when it comes to this subject.

In short, I want to make this very CLEAR for you:

Polycarbonate swimming pool enclosure is the SAFEST accessory in the swimming pool industry. With an enclosure, nobody will access the swimming pool environment without your permission.

Remember, a bubble pool cover cannot support much weight therefore, chances of drowning will be high.

The fact that your kids or pets can access the swimming pool surface alone is quite risky. It is this simple, just avoid it at all cost.

Reasons Why I Confidently Endorse Pool Enclosure to be a Safe Pool Accessory

In case you have a swimming pool at home, then you will realize that:

Swimming pool enclosure has a door locking mechanism. With this alone, you can lock the door to prevent unauthorized persons from accessing the swimming pool.

Moreover, there are those with self-locking and self-latching mechanism. This implies, even if you forget to lock the door, it will automatically lock itself.

Don’t you think this is a noble idea?

Of course it is.


A swimming pool enclosure with self-locking door for safety and security

Once the swimming pool enclosure door is locked, nobody can access the pool. Remember, pool enclosures, cover the entire surface of the swimming pool.


A swimming pool enclosure completely cover the pool from external weather conditions.

As you can see, from the swimming pool above, there is an allowance around the pool. Therefore, everyone will be safe.

The polycarbonate and extruded aluminum rods are strong to support the pool from both snow and strong wind.

You can comfortably swim when the enclosure is closed even during heavy rains without worrying about the structure collapsing.

NOTE: Don’t swim in a low profile enclosure during heavy storms.

A low profile swimming pool encosure

As you can see, this space is too small to swim when there is heavy storm.

This space if not large enough.

In short, safety is one of the key reasons why most homeowners opt for an enclosure as opposed to swimming pool bubble covers.

Warranty Period for Bubble Pool Cover vs. Pool Enclosure

Let me tell you one secret about warranty period.

A product that comes with a longer warranty period is a clear indication that the manufacturer trust its products. More importantly, there’s a high possibility that it will last for a long period of time.

All polycarbonate swimming pool enclosures come with a 15 year warranty. This implies that, you pool enclosure will serve you for more than 15 years.

You will not worry about buying a new one.

I think this is what every homeowner wishes to have. It is also the same crucial aspect I had indicated earlier of long-term cost saving.

On the other hand, a bubble pool cover comes with a 2 to 3 year warranty period. So, don’t expect it to serve you for more than 4 years.

Again, based on this fact, I will recommend that you go for a pool enclosure.

 Pool Enclosure is more Convenient, Easy to Use and Reliable than Bubble Pool Cover

Why do I say so?

I’ll explain all the three aspects in details.

First, why do I consider them convenient?

During winter, you’ll cover the pool to protect it from cold and snow. I want to ask you a simple question:

Can you swim when a swimming pool has been covered with a bubble cover?

Different types of swimming pool bubble covers

It is impossible to swim when a pool a swimming pool has bubble covers. Image source – Covers4Pools

I know it will be impossible.

Installing a swimming pool enclosure implies that, you’ll swim whether it is opened or closed. As you can see from this Excelite’s pool enclosure, the space is large enough for more than two individuals to swim comfortably.

A swimming pool with an enclosure

The region within the enclosure is specious enough for swimming

You can swim during winter when there is a storm or cold. In fact, this is actually the real meaning of having an extended swimming season.

Secondly, I find pool enclosures easy to use.

You can close or open the enclosure within a few minutes. A retractable/telescopic cover will slide seamlessly on the rail tracking system.

Swimming pool enclosure price during late spring and summer is quite lower

A pool enclosure opened during summer

This is unlike for the bubble pool cover that you’ll have to roll over the pool surface.

Thirdly, pool enclosures are reliable.

A pool enclosure that has been constructed from solid polycarbonate sheet and extruded aluminum rods is strong and durable. It is an equipment whose credibility and performance cannot be doubted.

For a fact, these are some of the most trending swimming pool enclosure designs.


In short, I can confidently recommend a polycarbonate pool enclosure due to its long-term cost saving, convenience and better safety standards. This is an equipment that meets all the possible safety standards and regulations.

It will protect your pool and its users in all weather conditions. Their lifespan is over 25 years, which is more than six times that of a bubble pool cover.

Feel free to contact us in case you have any questions, inquires or contributions on pool covers. Our team will be ready to assist you.

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