6 Best Solar Heaters For Above-ground Pool 2023: Buyer’s Guide

6 Best Solar Heaters For Above-ground Pool 2023: Buyer's Guide

Here are the top six solar pool heaters currently available. The following models offer the most recent in cutting-edge solar power, unlike the majority of solar pool heaters.

  1. Best Overall: Smartpool S601P SunHeater Solar Heating System
  2. Best Roof Installed: XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Solar Panel Heating System
  3. Best Curved Option: GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater
  4. Best Value: Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System
  5. Best Quality: Kokido Solar Pool Heater
  6. Best Efficiency: SwimJoy Industrial Solar Pool Heater

The ideal solar pool heater for your above-ground pool must be reliable, economical in terms of energy use, and cost little to nothing to operate. When choosing the best solar heating system for your swimming pool, you need to think about your local climate, the length of your swim season, the size of your pool, and the cost to purchase and install a solar heating system for an above-ground pool.

But selecting a solar heater from the variety on the market can be challenging. Simply, there are too many of them, each with different features and specifications. We created this buying guide with that in mind.

To make it easier for you to compare your options later, we’d like to assist you in choosing from the top suggestions. Continue to read the sections that follow.

Best Solar Heaters for Above-ground Pool

Best Overall: Smartpool S601P SunHeater Solar Heating System

Smartpool S601P SunHeater In-Ground Pool Solar Heating System


  • Heats the water even more than advertised
  • Affordable
  • Accessories are readily available


  • Doesn’t come with an installation kit
  • Potential defective parts

For inground and above-ground pool owners, the Smart Pool SunHeater Solar Heating System is a fantastic solar pool heater. It has 80 square feet of panels made of polypropylene materials. 20 feet long by four feet wide, each panel array.

This solar heater is rack- or roof-mountable. However, with the installation kit, you should be able to properly install the panels by following the instructions. Unfortunately, the installation kit is not sold separately. In some situations, this Smart Pool SunHeater can raise the temperature of a pool by more than 10 degrees.

Best Roof Installed: XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Solar Panel Heating System

XtremepowerUS 90105 4"-inch X 10'feet Spa Heater nground/Above Ground  Swimming Pool Solar Panel Heating System


  • Easy installation
  • Simple to roll up and store
  • A slim profile on your roof


  • Quality issues with unevenness
  • May not fare well in extreme climates

Above-ground pool owners looking for a low-cost option to heat their pools should consider the XtremepowerUS solar heater. Because it is simple to install, this is my choice for the best solar panel heating system for roofs. The product uses polypropylene and has a panel tube construction.

If your pumps are any stronger than the 1.5 HP limit, you’ll need a diverter because these panels can only handle that amount of power. The lack of durability is not particularly shocking given the price. The panels frequently malfunction in the sun, according to many testers. If you live in a milder climate, this solar heater can still be a fantastic, affordable option.

Best Curved Option: GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater

GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater


  • Very easy to install
  • Large tubes for more water flow
  • Doesn’t take up much space


  • Requires full sun most of the day to provide heat
  • The legs aren’t as robust as the rest of the unit

The GAME SolarPro Curve Solar Pool Heater is a one-panel curved heater that sits on built-in legs if you’re looking for something a little unique. It can maximize the amount of heat it can collect thanks to its curved shape. This is a fantastic, portable solar heater option, especially for above-ground pools.

But the majority of inground pools can also use this solar heater. Though don’t anticipate your pool to get warm right away with this heater. An 8,000-gallon swimming pool’s water will warm up by about 5 degrees in 4 days thanks to this gradual heater.

When it comes to this product, the price is reasonable, but the product’s lack of durability is somewhat disappointing. But if you can get over the fact that the legs are prone to break, this compact solar heater can really make a difference in heating up your pool.

Best Value: Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System

Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System


  • Made of durable UV-stabilized polyethylene material
  • Easy installation process
  • Beautiful design
  • Eco-friendly
  • Good 10-year warranty


  • Some users ended up using its warranty

In order to properly heat above-ground pools, what are you trying to accomplish? Another dependable and affordable solar pool heater for your above-ground pool is the Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System. Fafco is another reputable brand that is committed to delivering only quality and heavy-duty products to its customers.

A UV-stabilized polyethylene is used to construct the Fafco solar bear heating system. The durability of this substance is well known. As a long-lasting solar pool heater, it is robust and capable of withstanding harsh weather conditions.

The Fafco solar pool heater for above-ground pools is energy-efficient, which I prefer. It has an effective solar panel that uses solar energy to raise the pool’s temperature. Therefore, it is crucial to position your panel where it will receive the most sunlight.

Best Quality: Kokido Solar Pool Heater

Kokido Solar Heater Unit Pool Heater


  • Beautiful appearance
  • Eco-friendly and energy-efficient
  • Durable construction that is sure to last
  • Had an integrated rack for easy setup and maximum sun exposure
  • Easy to install


  • Hose size may not be suitable for standard pools

Because it uses less energy, I favor the Kokido solar pool water heater. It uses only solar energy to raise pool temperature and is outfitted with high-quality solar panels. This heater is a good investment. Extend your summer and enjoy your above-ground pools even during the colder months with this solar heater.

Additionally, the Kokido solar pool heater is reasonably priced. Strong materials were used in its construction. It is built to stand up to exposure to various outdoor weather conditions. You won’t have to buy replacements as often because of its guaranteed long lifespan.

I also appreciate the integrated rack that the Kokido solar pool heater has. It is convenient and useful to me. It enables you to set up your heater at an angle that ensures maximum sunlight exposure for the optimal performance of your heater.

Best Efficiency: SwimJoy Industrial Solar Pool Heater

SwimJoy Industrial Solar Pool Heater


  • The mounting method allows for strapless flush while minimizing roof penetrations
  • Easy to install


  • Depending on how frequently it is used, the filter may need to be replaced.

The SwimJoy maximizes flow and increases efficiency. Headers and risers are formed together through a patented manufacturing process creating one solid piece and eliminating seams and welds that can crack with age and stress. This produces the strongest possible connection and ensures a low-maintenance system.

The solar pool heater has a cutting-edge clamping system with a successful track record. It connects panels to PVC plumbing in an efficient manner. For a more effective heating system, the panels are mounted closer together. Additionally, it gets rid of the need for replacement and maintenance of metal clamps and rubber hoses on rooftops.

How to Choose the Best Solar Pool Heater?

You should take into account a number of factors, including your pool’s surrounding space and your access to sunlight.

Local Climate and Pool Season

The warmer your outdoor air is, the less your pool heater will have to work. That also means you can get by with a smaller pool heater. If you have a small pool or a short swimming season, solar heating panels are an eco-friendly way to heat your pool.

However, if you live in a cooler region, a solar pool heater—even one with several panels—might not be sufficient to help you reach a comfortable water temperature. Solar heaters can only raise the temperature by a maximum of 12 degrees.

Pool Size

The more solar panels you need to install to get the right temperature depending on the size of your pool. It might not be possible to achieve it with solar alone if you live somewhere with a naturally cooler climate. It’s not just the size of your pool that matters; it’s also the size of the panels and whether you have an open pool, screened pool, or shaded pool. For roof installations, you also have to account for the size of each panel.

One unit will heat a 6,000–8,000-gallon pool for the most basic solar domes and solar mats. The bypass kits you need to connect multiple units might need to be purchased separately, so read the manufacturer’s descriptions carefully.

Pool Heater Location

A solar dome or mat could be placed on the ground next to the pool with solar pool heating systems. Or you could have it raised off the ground nearby. Many kits enable the installation of a roof or rack. In order to install solar panels in a rack, you’ll need a space big enough to accommodate all the panels and exposed to enough sunlight.

6 Best Solar Heaters For Above-ground Pool 2023: Buyer's Guide

Installation Requirements

The most straightforward solar heaters to install yourself are solar water heaters, but even these installations take time and planning. You can take care of it if your property has enough room and the appropriate tools.


To safely winterize your pool, you must completely remove the solar heater. In order to do this, turn off your circulating system and let the pipes and solar collectors drain. Verify all of the connectors, bypass valves, etc. The parts should be kept dry. Keep everything in a box if you’re storing it in the garage or basement to keep rodents out of the system.

If you run a year-round swimming season, shut the panels down if a hard freeze is expected.


Upkeep of your pool and filtration system takes up the majority of the responsibility for maintaining your solar pool heater. To ensure proper water flow to the collectors, keep the filter clean and the chemicals in balance.

Other Types of Heaters

It’s not for everyone to use solar pool heaters. They rely on sunlight to heat the pool water. A solar pool heater will therefore be useless if you live in an area that experiences excessive cloud cover and rainfall. Make sure your solar panels receive at least 6 to 8 hours per day of direct sunlight for proper operation. You should consider buying a different type of heater if this won’t be possible for you because of your climate or the location of your home.

The two options are heaters that burn gas and heaters that use electricity. But you can combine one of these heaters with a solar blanket if you’re really concerned about energy efficiency.

Conclusion: Best Solar Heaters for Above-ground Pool

In this blog post, we rank the top six solar heaters for above-ground pools so you can pick the model that works best for your home.

  1. Best Overall: Smartpool S601P SunHeater Solar Heating System
  2. Best Roof Installed: XtremepowerUS Inground/Above Ground Solar Panel Heating System
  3. Best Curved Option: GAME 4721-BB SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater
  4. Best Value: Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System
  5. Best Quality: Kokido Solar Pool Heater
  6. Best Efficiency: SwimJoy Industrial Solar Pool Heater

In light of these factors, the Smartpool S601P SunHeater Solar Heating System is our top pick for the best solar heater for above-ground pools. You can choose the level of power you need for your solar heater because it is designed to allow you to connect multiple panels together. For the value, pre-mounted options, we recommend Fafco Solar Bear Economy Heating System.


What Size Solar Pool Heater Do I Need to Heat My Above-ground Pool?

The surface area of the solar panel and the size of your pool must be considered when selecting the ideal solar pool heater size. To cover 50% of your pool’s surface area, you’ll need enough solar panels or tubing. For instance, if your pool’s surface area is 600 square feet, you’ll need 300 square feet of solar panels or tubing to heat it. One unit will suffice for above-ground pools that are up to 8,000 gallons in size. Greater pools call for more units with bypass kits. You’ll also need to consider local landscape features and how much sunlight you get. See How Many Solar Panels to Heat a Pool?

Is Solar Pool Heating Worth It?

Gradually raising the temperature of your pool’s water with solar heating is a cost-effective option. It’s an energy-efficient way to keep your pool warm in warmer climates with lots of sunny days. Solar pool heating isn’t as efficient as gas or electric pool heaters, though, if you live in a cooler climate. Use a solar pool cover to increase the heat generated by the sun. This will help prevent evaporation and heat loss, especially at night.

How Much Warmer Does Solar Heating Make a Pool?

A solar pool water heater typically heats water 8 to 12 degrees warmer than a pool that is not heated. But it might take several days of heating to achieve that. On overcast days and at night, your pool will continue to lose heat. Although it won’t completely stop it, using a solar cover can help to reduce heat loss. Read: How Long Does a Solar Cover Take to Heat a Pool?

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