11 Best Solar Pool Heaters: Compare & Save

Sun2Solar Ground Mounted Heating Solar Panel System

It’s always a drag when it’s time to close your pool. But your water tends to get cold quick when summer subsides and fall arrives. But with a pool solar heater, you can open your pool up earlier and close it later by using nothing but solar energy to warm it. So shop through our list of the best solar pool heaters, and get more out of your home’s pool season with a kit you can likely install yourself.

Here are the Best Solar Pool Heaters for Inground and Aboveground Pools

SwimJoy Premium Inground Solar Pool Heating System Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Specialized design ensures that little to no maintenance will be needed.
  • Promises to be wind, wear, and freeze resistant.
  • Industry best 12-year warranty.
Price: $2,180.58 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Solar Pool Supply DIY Solar Pool Heater System Kit Amazon Customer Reviews
  • High-grade materials promises 15 to 20 years of durability.
  • Polypropylene construction is weather and UV resistant. 
  • Installation is easy enough to do on your own.
Price: $1,681.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
SunQuest Solar Swimming Pool Heater Complete System with Roof Kits Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Will work with your existing pool pump.
  • The kit's installation promises to be easy enough to do it yourself.
  • Works for both inground and aboveground pools.
Price: $760.91 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Sungrabber Swimming Pool Heater w/Diverter Valve Kit & Roof Kits Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Sungrabbers states their unit has the "highest heating efficiency in the industry".
  • Compatable with your current pool pump.
  • Installation should be easy enough to do yourself.
Price: $586.38 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Sun2Solar Ground Mounted Heating Solar Panel System Amazon Customer Reviews
  • On the cheaper end of options.
  • Numerous sizes and options for ground or roof.
  • Easy installation.
Price: $264.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Smartpool SunHeater Solar Heating System Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Solar panels are large at 4' x 20' each.
  • One kit includes 80-square feet of panels.
  • Increases your pool's temperature from 6 to 10-degrees.
Price: $249.12 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Panels are sizeable at 2' x 20' each.
  • Great pricepoint, but you'll need several depending on pool size.
  • Comprised of high-grade polypropylene to withstand sun and weather.
Price: $129.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
FlowXtreme Flat-Panel Pool Solar Heater Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Each unit comes with an adapter for soft-sided pools and two installation hoses.
  • The panels have foldable legs built-in to easily prop them up.
  • Very reasonably priced.
Price: $121.17 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
GAME SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater Amazon Customer Reviews
  • An inexpensive kit for smaller pools.
  • Very simple assembly and install.
  • Panels can be propped up with their foldable legs.
Price: $239.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Doheny's Above Ground Solar Heating System Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Can increase water temperatures by 10 to 15-degrees.
  • Simple installation.
  • Compatible with your pool's existing equiptment.
Price: $199.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Intex Above Ground Swimming Pool Water Heater Solar Mat Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Simple assembly.
  • Designed by Intex for Intex pools, so you know they're compatible.
  • Solar mats can be purchased in larger quantities at a discount.
Price: $69.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. SwimJoy Premium Inground Solar Pool Heating System

    Pros:
    • Specialized design ensures that little to no maintenance will be needed.
    • Promises to be wind, wear, and freeze resistant.
    • Industry best 12-year warranty.
    • Numerous sizes available.
    • Roof friendly construction requires minimal connections.
    Cons:
    • Inground only.
    • Pretty expensive.
    • 20% restocking fee if returned.

    The set is made with a specialized design that makes it sleek and nondescript. The SwimJoy Premium Inground Solar Pool Heating System is said to be “the most efficient, maintenance-free [solar] collector on the market today.” Available in sizes ranging from 168-square feet all the way up to 500-square feet, it boasts a design that requires little maintenance and promises to be resilient against strong winds, freezing temperatures, and wear and tear. 

    It doesn’t utilize rubber hoses or metal clamps which are the primary causes of needed maintenance in most sets. Its headers and risers are molded together too, thus eliminating the need for seams and welds that can break down with age. 

    The mounting system SwimJoy utilizes is roof friendly with little roof connections. Minimal hardware is used, keeping installation both great looking and simple. And because SwimJoy touts a 12-year warranty, you can be sure that your hard-earned cash is backed by the warranty in the industry. 

  2. 2. Solar Pool Supply DIY Solar Pool Heater System Kit

    Pros:
    • High-grade materials promises 15 to 20 years of durability.
    • Polypropylene construction is weather and UV resistant. 
    • Installation is easy enough to do on your own.
    • Comes with a 5-year full and 10-year limited warranty.
    • Numerous sizes available.
    Cons:
    • Install can be complicated.
    • On the expensive side of options.
    • 20% restocking fee applied to all returns.

    The Solar Pool Supply DIY Solar Pool Heater System Kit wants to stake its claim as the easiest pool solar heater to install on the market. The company touts the ability to do it yourself, noting that the kit comes with everything you’ll need to successfully get your solar pool heater going with ease. And with a wide range of sizes available, you should find a kit that works perfectly for your setup. 

    The kit’s collectors are comprised of high-grade precompounded polypropylene. Solar Pool Supply states that this significantly increases the unit’s resistance to UV light. While also making it more durable to high winds and strong weather.

    Because of the set’s high-quality, the company states its DIY Solar Pool Heater System Kit should tout a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. Quality control is assured as each solar panel is examined across over 40 inspections. And they back that claim by offering a 5-year full and 10-year limited warranty. 

  3. 3. SunQuest Solar Swimming Pool Heater Complete System with Roof Kits

    Pros:
    • Will work with your existing pool pump.
    • The kit's installation promises to be easy enough to do it yourself.
    • Works for both inground and aboveground pools.
    • Available in a wide range of sizes.
    • Can increase your water temperatures by up to 10-degrees.
    • 2-inch OD headers ensures better water circulation.
    Cons:
    • While DIY, assembly can still be convoluted if you don't know what you're doing.
    • You'll need to purchase the piping that go from panels to pool separate.
    • No warranty mentioned on listing.

    The SunQuest Solar Swimming Pool Heater Complete System with Roof Kits looks to offer pool owners a high-quality solar set at a fraction of the price. SunQuest states they use panels that are of professional quality, promising “highest rated performance and second-to-none reliability”.

    The kit will be compatible and work with your existing pump. It’s 2-inch OD headers tout better water circulation and less back end pressure on your pump. Best of all, temperatures can be increased by up to 10-degrees with the solar pool heater. Thus helping to get your swimming season started sooner and lasting longer. 

    The SunQuest set is simple enough that you can put it together yourself. And it’s designed so that it will work well with both inground and aboveground pools. 

  4. 4. Sungrabber Swimming Pool Heater w/Diverter Valve Kit & Roof Kits

    Pros:
    • Sungrabbers states their unit has the "highest heating efficiency in the industry".
    • Compatability with your current pool pump.
    • Installation should be easy enough to do yourself.
    • A 310mL bottle of LiquidHeat Solar Blanket is thrown in with purchase.
    • Free alternative from gas/electricity to heat your pool.
    Cons:
    • No size options.
    • 1 1/2" headers instead of 2-inch like others use.
    • 2' x 12' panels are smaller than other options.

    Sungrabber states that their Swimming Pool Heater w/Diverter Valve Kit & Roof Kits touts the “highest heating efficiency in the industry”. It comes with a set of four 2′ x 12′ collector panels that promise to heat your pool quickly. And the set comes with more tube per panel than you’ll find from other brands out there. 

    The kit’s 1 1/2-inch headers promote solid water circulation to get the cold water warmed up efficiently. It comes with easy to follow instructions so that you can handle the install yourself. And the set can be expanded with additional purchases should you need more solar panel coverage to properly heat your pool. 

     

  5. 5. Sun2Solar Ground Mounted Heating Solar Panel System

    Pros:
    • On the cheaper end of options.
    • Numerous sizes and options for ground or roof.
    • Easy installation.
    • 5-year limited warranty included.
    Cons:
    • Won't work well with a high horsepower pump.
    • Hoses not included.
    • May want to upgrade the hardware it comes with.

    The Sun2Solar Ground Mounted Heating Solar Panel System comes with two 2′ x 20′ solar panels that can be used with inground or aboveground pools. The panels are comprised of a flexible and lightweight black polyolefin, designed to be durable against weather and UV while soaking up the sun.

    Installation is simple enough that you can knock it out yourself. Temperatures can increase by around 10-degrees in ideal situations. Energy costs are zero and you could potentially extend your pool season by a few weeks. 

    Sun2Solar doesn’t just offer ground-mounted systems though. They have a full room mounted system if you prefer to go that route too. They also offer panel kits in smaller sizes, as well as just solar panels themselves if you wish to expand upon your setup’s size. And the package comes with a 5-year limited warranty to back your purchase. 

  6. 6. Smartpool SunHeater Solar Heating System

    Pros:
    • Solar panels are large at 4' x 20' each.
    • One kit includes 80-square feet of panels.
    • Increases your pool's temperature from 6 to 10-degrees.
    • 4-year limited warranty included.
    • Compatible with your current pool pump.
    • Works with both inground and aboveground pools.
    Cons:
    • SK21 System Installation Kit is sold separately.
    • No size options.
    • This model doesn't come with an internal baffle to divert water more efficiently.

    The Smartpool SunHeater Solar Heating System looks like it may be one of the best solar pool heaters on the market. The panels are robust in size at 4′ x 20′. However, you’ll have to order its installation kit separate from the solar panels themselves. 

    Using a direct flow system that utilizes one header hole for each heating tube, the set promises to raise your pool’s temperature from 6 to 10-degrees without putting back pressure on your pool pump. Its threaded headers offer flexibility so that you can connect with both aboveground and inground pools. And the mounting channel makes the kit versatile enough to install on numerous surfaces, including a fence.

    Vents are built-in to ensure that integrity remains intact during strong winds. The tube-on-web design helps to make more of the panel’s surface area available for solar absorption. And the panels come with a 4-year limited warranty to back your purchase. 

  7. 7. XtremepowerUS Inground/Aboveground Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System

    Pros:
    • Panels are sizeable at 2' x 20' each.
    • Great pricepoint, but you'll need several depending on pool size.
    • Comprised of high-grade polypropylene to withstand sun and weather.
    • Designed for aboveground and inground pools.
    Cons:
    • Diverter kit is needed for 1.5hp motors and is sold separately.
    • No separate size options available. You'll need to order numerous sets depending on pool size.
    • No warranty listed.

    The XtremepowerUS Inground/Aboveground Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System is a cost-efficient way to get your pool solar heater started. The kit comes with a 2′ x 20′ solar collector that is compatible with both inground and aboveground pools. The company touts the use of “extremely high-grade materials” in their product. Specifically, the system is constructed with lightweight, flexible, and durable black polypropylene. Ensuring that they’ll be able to endure through all forms of weather each year. 

    Little to no maintenance will be required once installed. However, you will need to purchase a diverter kit separately if your pool pump has a motor of 1.5hp or larger. Assembly should be simple enough to handle yourself. Making it an easy way to save energy costs and extend your pool’s season even further throughout the year. 

  8. 8. FlowXtreme Flat-Panel Pool Solar Heater

    Pros:
    • Each unit comes with an adapter for soft-sided pools and two installation hoses.
    • The panels have foldable legs built-in to easily prop them up.
    • Very reasonably priced.
    • DIY installation.
    Cons:
    • Just a 1-year warranty.
    • You'll need to order a few of them.
    • Aboveground pools only.

    The FlowXtreme Flat-Panel Pool Solar Heater looks to be a complete and reliable option to increase your pool’s temperature throughout the season.  The FlowXtreme Solar Dome Heater uses its flat-panel structure to capture sunlight and trap it within its glass encasing. From there, it simply connects to your pool’s filter and pump system to deliver warmth to the water. 

    The set is easy to install and comes with 1.25″ – 1.5″ fittings to ensure compatibility with your aboveground pool. Each of the panels has foldable legs built-in to easily prop them up. Every package includes an adapter for soft-sided pools and two installation hoses so you won’t have to purchase them separately. And the whole kit is backed by a 1-year warranty should anything go wrong with delivery, installation, or usage. 

  9. 9. GAME SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater

    Pros:
    • An inexpensive kit for smaller pools.
    • Very simple assembly and install.
    • Curved shape and clear cover reliably capture and lock in heat.
    • Panels can be propped up with their foldable legs.
    • Crafted with high-quality, durable materials.
    Cons:
    • Designed for smaller pools.
    • Made specifically for Intex & Bestway aboveground and inground pools.
    • Only raises temperatures about 5-degrees.

    The GAME SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater is designed to target some of the smaller aboveground pools on the market. However, they state that it will work for many inground pools too. The set is designed so that install is minimal. Each panel features adjustable legs so that you can simply prop them up in your yard or patio alongside the pool. And within a few days, temperatures can increase by up to 5-degrees.

    The unique curved shape of the panels maximizes heat collection. While the clear cover atop the treaded ports helps to lock in the captured warmth. Additional panels can be added to increase the system’s output. And a bypass kit can be added for the flexibility of your water’s transport. The kit is a simple yet effective way to increase the temperature over time. And it won’t have you breaking the bank either. 

  10. 10. Doheny’s Above Ground Solar Heating System

    Pros:
    • Can increase water temperatures by 10 to 15-degrees.
    • Simple installation.
    • Compatible with your pool's existing equiptment.
    • 5-year warranty included.
    Cons:
    • Aboveground pools only.
    • Mounting kit will be needed to complete install.
    • Hoses not included.

    Doheny’s Above Ground Solar Heating System is a great option at a reasonable price to possibly increase your pool’s temperature by up to a whopping 15-degrees. You’ll need to purchase a mounting kit separate to install them, but the 2.5′ x 20′ solar collector it comes with is huge. Using one or two of them should be plenty to get your pool’s season extended by at least a few weeks. 

    Doheny offers a 5-year warranty should anything go wrong with the product. But because its solar collectors are crafted with polypropylene, you shouldn’t have any worries about them holding up through UV and weather. 

  11. 11. Intex Aboveground Swimming Pool Water Heater Solar Mat

    Pros:
    • Simple assembly.
    • Designed by Intex for Intex pools, so you know they're compatible.
    • Solar mats can be purchased in larger quantities at a discount.
    • You can simply place the mats in your yard or patio.
    Cons:
    • May not be compatible with pool brands other Intex.
    • For smaller pools only.
    • Laying solar mats across your yard may not be ideal.

    Intex is bringing its very own option to the solar pool heater table with their Aboveground Swimming Pool Water Heater Solar Mats. At a pretty reasonable price, you can order a set of 2, 3, or 6 solar mats. Each can be laid flat in your yard or patio just outside your pool and be used to soak up the sun’s solar energy. 

    The system can be easily set up to reroute that solar heat directly into your Intex pool. Thus increasing the water’s temperature, and hopefully, giving you and your family a few more weeks throughout the year to enjoy your personal oasis. 

Solar Pool Heater Panels

Forget the need for gas and electricity, solar pool heaters are the new hotness. Getting a solar heater for your pool is not only more cost-efficient, but it also extends the seasonal usage of your beloved aquatic getaway. Some pool solar heaters can push the temperature of your pool upwards of 10-degrees. Thus making it accessible to your family both earlier and later in the season than it normally would. And who wouldn't love being able to hop into their pool for a few more weeks throughout the year?

Solar Heater for Inground Pool

Some of the solar pool heaters on our list are specifically designed for those with inground pools. And the SwimJoy Premium Inground Solar Pool Heating System may just be the best amongst them. 

The system comes with pretty much everything you'll need to get your pool heated with solar power. And it's backed by an industry-best 12-year warranty to give you peace of mind on your purchase. 

Solar Pool Heater DIY

The majority of the kits we've included on our list are simple enough to install on your own. Which makes sense when you're ordering off of Amazon, right? The Solar Pool Supply DIY Solar Pool Heater System Kit is one such option that advertises its ease of install. But the SunQuest Solar Swimming Pool Heater Complete System with Roof Kits gives the DIY nominees a run for their money too. 

Solar Pool Heater Cost

The cost of a solar pool heater kit varies vastly. It's recommended that you order enough panels that would cover 50% of your actual pool's surface area in order to properly supply enough heat. And the larger the pool, obviously the more panels you'll need.

Some of the kits we've featured have options on their item page for different size configurations. However, others only offer one package size and you'll have to order several of them if need be. Our advice would be to find the kit you're most comfortable with and go from there. If they have sizes preconfigured that you need, great! If not, see if it's cost-efficient to order several of them compared to just getting one larger set of equal or better quality. 

 

See Also

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