A solar cover can raise and maintain the water temperature of your underground, above-ground, or Intex pool. It also reduces your energy bills, minimizes water loss, increases heat retention, and in some cases even reduces the need for chemicals. But all these are dependent on the thickness of the pool cover.
Some of the most recommended pool cover thicknesses for the pool are 12 milliliter and 16 milliliter ones. But which one should you choose? What benefits does a 12 mil cover offer and what makes the 16 mil worth choosing? To answer this question, first, you’ll need to cover a few things before delving into the 12 mil vs 16 mil pool cover main comparison.
Pool Cover Thickness: What to Consider?
The pool cover, also known as tarpaulin, bubble or solar blanket, is a type of cover that not only ensures the safety of the basin but plays a role in heat and water protection.
For a pool cover to be of good quality, two criteria must be taken into account: the thickness and the finish of the cover. These two parameters are very important and should determine your choice.
Knowing that when buying, the thinnest summer tarps are the least expensive. But beware: the thickness of a bubble pool cover is a very important selection criterion. Indeed, the thicker a bubble cover, the more effective it will be (in particular for retaining the heat of the water) and the longer its lifespan.
So, for optimal heat retention, you need to choose a thick pool cover. However, when the cover is too thick, it will take time for sun rays to penetrate and warm the water. But there’s usually no question about their heat retention capacity.
The thickness of a cover for swimming pools, always expressed in microns, can vary from 180 to 500 microns (180, 300, 400, or 500).
Pool cover thicknesses are also expressed in millimeters. The most common size ranges are 8 millimeters, 12 millimeters, and 16 millimeters.
Generally, it is considered that when a pool cover is below 400 microns or 8 ml in thickness, a pool cover has little value from a thermal point of view. In this case, it serves only to prevent debris and leaves from getting into the swimming pool. The ideal range of thickness is therefore 12 and 16 ml. But which is better? A 12 ml or 16 ml pool cover?
What is Thicker 12 mil or 16 mil?
Well, a 12 ml pool cover would be ideal for anyone looking for a pool cover that warms the pool faster. Meanwhile, this also depends on the finish of the cover. A 12 ml cover with a dark finish will warm almost at the same rate as a 16 ml one with the usual blue finish.
On the other hand, a 16 ml pool cover will be ideal for a pool owner looking for something that will last many winter seasons. However, they are usually heavier and more expensive.
So, What Is the Best Thickness for a Pool Solar Cover?
There is no thickness type we can consider the best of the two. It’s only a question of your budget, the durability you want, the weight, and heat-retaining functionality. A 12 ml one is ideal for someone who needs a lightweight and expensive cover that can prevent debris from falling to the pool and warm the pool faster. A 16 ml one takes it to the next level with heat retention but they last longer and are more expensive.
Meanwhile, a 12 ml cover isn’t bad either. We found that a solar pool cover with a thickness between 12 and 16 millimeters offers the best heat storage. Higher millimeter covers absorb more heat. They are more durable against chemical resistance, sun damage, and cracking.