Swimming Pool Blanket Cover VS. Polycarbonate Pool Enclosure: The Ultimate Comparison

If you want to protect a pool from harsh weather conditions, then it is important to choose the right pool cover. In this article, I will compare two essential accessories – swimming pool blanket cover vs. polycarbonate swimming pool enclosure.

I am going to use a simple format that will help you understand all the essential aspects of these pool covers.

In my last swimming pool covers article, I did compare quite a number of accessories you can use to protect a swimming pool. Today, I want to narrow down to only two pool covers.

So, here we go:

Definition of Swimming Pool Blanket Cover Vs. Polycarbonate Pool Enclosure

What is a:

Swimming Pool Blanket Cover

A blanket, swimming pool cover is a piece of material that you can spread on the surface of a swimming pool. It protects the swimming pool water surface from the external environment.

Swimming Pool Blanket Cover VS. Polycarbonate Pool Enclose

Homeowner cover the pool with a blanket cover

They come in different colors and designs. Some of the most common materials include PVC coated tarpaulin, vinyl, etc.

Polycarbonate Pool Enclosure

This is an enclosed surface (taking the form of a building structure) that protects the swimming pool from the external environment conditions.

Swimming Pool Blanket Cover VS. Polycarbonate Pool Enclosure

A swimming pool fully covered with a retractable polycarbonate pool enclosure

It is constructed from extruded aluminum rods and solid polycarbonate sheets.

In short, both pool enclosure and pool blanket covers are designed to cover the pool. However, as you’ll see in the next sections, they are quite different.

This is, in terms of their structure, features, pros and cons.

Keep reading to discover more:

The Structure of Pool Blanket Vs. Pool Enclosure

From the above images, you can see there’s a clear difference the structures of these two swimming pool covers.

First, let’s review the swimming pool blanket covers:

This is a flat piece of material that you can spread on the swimming pool surface. The cover comes with holes at its edges that you can use to secure it above the pool.

You should tighten both ends to ensure the cover doesn’t sag above the pool surface.


A swimming pool cover secured at all ends, forming a flat surface on the surface.

A pool cover can be cut to the exact size of the pool as you can see in the image above. The space between the cover and the water surface is very small.

On the other hand;

A pool enclosure is a “protruding structure” that covers the pool surface. That is, the space between the cover and swimming pool water surface is larger than that of the pool cover.


A retractable swimming pool enclosure with its doors open.

In fact, one can easily swim when the enclosure is fully closed. This space varies depending on the designs and type of pool enclosures.

You can opt for high or low profile swimming pool enclosures.

From this alone, it is quite clear that a pool enclosure is more convenient than the cover. This is for the simple reason that, you can’t swim when the cover is closed.

Next, I will introduce to features of swimming pool blanket covers and pool enclosures.

Features & Benefits of Swimming Pool Blanket Cover Vs. Polycarbonate Pool Enclosure

Below are key features of:

Swimming Pool Blanket Cover

Although there are different types and designs of pool blanket covers, here are some of the main features of this accessory:

  • Those made of polypropylene are strong and can support more weight
  • Blocks 100% ultraviolet radiation, hence reducing pool chemical decomposition and algae growth.
  • Completely covers the pool from the external environment thereby reducing maintenance and operational costs.
  • When reinforced with strong straps, it can be used as a safety pool cover.
  • The automated covers are easy to open and close
  • They are weather proof as the cover is not affected by the fluctuating weather conditions
  • Blocks wind that may cause swimming pool water evaporation
  • Affordable since most cost less than $2,000
  • Can increase swimming pool temperature by up to 10 °C.
  • Available in custom design options

All the nine features may vary depending on the type of swimming pool blanket cover. This is determined by the type of material and the thickness of the material cover.

Polycarbonate Swimming Pool Enclosure

Pool enclosure is popular among very many homeowners. It has the following key features:

  • Available in different size options – high, medium and low profile sizes
  • You can get custom designs
  • Block 100% ultraviolet radiation, thus preventing algae growth, chemical decomposition and water evaporation.
  • Maintaining swimming pool temperature
  • Strong and durable – can serve you for more than 25 years
  • For retractable options, you can have either an indoor or outdoor environment depending on the cover is closed or fully opened.
  • Spacious as there is enough space for people to swim even when the cover is closed.
  • Expensive compared to the pool covers
  • Are attractive than pool covers
  • Pool enhancements such as LED lights, beds, flower vases or chairs can be incorporated depending on the size of the enclosure.
  • Better safety due to a strong structure and lockable door mechanism
  • Extend the swimming season as you can swim during winter and summer. You can swim when the cover is closed as you’ll be protected from cold weather and snow.
  • Completely protects the swimming pool environment. Neither kids nor intruders can access the area without your permission.

So, which of the two is superior based on the features I have listed above?

I will make this simple and straight forward:

1. Swimming Pool Safety

Swimming pool safety is a major concern for most homeowners. Pool enclosures are safer than the covers.

An installed hot tub enclosure

A locked retractable swimming pool enclosure preventing unauthorized access.

This is because the enclosure prevents people from accessing the pool area. Unlike the cover where kids and animals can still access the swimming pool surface.

2. Extending the Swimming Season

Once the swimming pool cover is in place, you can’t access the pool. These covers are commonly used in situations where pool owners are not planning to use the pool during a specific time frame.


The pool enclosure has a large space that allow kids to swim when the cover is closed

Remember, the space between the cover and the water surface is very small. You can suffocate.

On the other hand, there is a large space between pool enclosure surface and the water surface. This allows you to go about all your swimming activities, whether the cover is closed or opened.

3. The Ability to Decorate the Swimming Pool Environment

With an enclosure, you can easily add more enhancements. This is because you have enough space.


A swimming pool enclosure with an LED lighting system. You can swim when the cover is closed even at night.

4. Protecting the Pool from Snow and wind

The wind can’t blow away the cover since it is flat on the swimming pool bed. However, the cover may not be strong enough to withstand the heavy weight of snow.

Image result for swimming pool enclosure with snow + excelite

A swimming pool enclosure can support the heavy weight of snow during winter

A polycarbonate swimming pool enclosure is designed to carry a load of 900kg distributed within 1.5m. There is no swimming pool blanket cover that can withstand such a huge weight.

5. Cleaning and Maintenance Process

Cleaning vinyl or PVC coated tarpaulin is cumbersome. Unlike the polycarbonate where you need warm water with mild soap.

This is a cheaper way of maintaining the swimming pool enclosure. Here is a simple polycarbonate enclosure cleaning procedure.

The design of the two covers is also an important aspect to consider. For instance, a swimming pool blanket cover is flat, hence, it will accumulate dust and other particles on its surface.

For this reason, you’ll need a long brush to clean the entire surface.

Swimming pool enclosure designs allow for dirt and cleaning detergents to slide to the pool deck. Basically, this makes the cleaning process easy.

Swimming Pool Blanket Cover VS. Polycarbonate Pool Enclosure : The Utimate Comparation

With a gable roof design, all snow and dust will slide down to the swimming pool bed

This makes pool enclosure the only reliable solution.

At this point, you can see clearly why I insist on the polycarbonate swimming pool enclosure is a better option compared to the pool covers.

What are people’s assumptions about pool enclosures in the market?

1.      They are expensive

pool enclosure cost starts from $2,999. On the other hand, you can get a blanket cover for as low as $500.

Definitely, the pool enclosure seems to be expensive, right?

Let me tell you the truth:

Swimming pool enclosures prices start from $2,999 and they are designed to serve you for about 25 years. Also, they come with a 15 year warranty.

I am sure within this period, you shall have used at least eight pool covers. This will still be expensive in the long-run.

This makes pool enclosures a cheap option in the long-run.

2.      Pool enclosures are difficult to install

Swimming pool enclosure installation process is a one-time process. After the process, you’ll open and close the enclosure in less than 5 minutes.

How about covering and opening the swimming pool blanket cover?

You’ll spend a lot of time. This still doesn’t make sense.

So, why do you think I am revealing all these secrets?

I want you to realize than polycarbonate pool enclosures are better than a swimming pool blanket covers.


From above, I can confidently recommend a polycarbonate swimming pool enclosure and not the swimming pool blanket. It is economical to acquire this equipment for $2,999 and it last for more than 25 years.

More importantly, you should focus more on swimming pool covers with long-term cost benefits.

For your contributions, you can use the comment section below. Alternatively, you can contact us for more inquiries about swimming pool enclosures.

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