Pool Cover vs. Pool Net: How Do I Choose?

tan pool net installed on an irregular pool

If your home has a swimming pool, you know that safety should be a constant priority. This is especially true if you have small children at home; statistics show that 23% of all child drownings happen in a swimming pool.

Here at Lifeguard on Duty, we are passionate about keeping families safe anytime they’re near the pool. Whether you have toddlers in your home, grandkids who visit every summer, elderly loved ones with balance issues, or even water-loving pets, we want to help you keep everyone safe and dry! That’s why we offer high-quality, long-lasting pool safety equipment, including pool covers and nets.

At first glance, these two options may seem very similar. They both prevent people or animals from falling into the water, and they both offer low-profile protection that won’t obstruct your view of the pool. However, there are a few key differences between these two safety solutions — and these differences may be the deciding factor for your family. 

So, how do you choose between a pool cover and a pool net? Let’s discuss these two safety options and see which one is best for your family’s needs.

What is a Pool Cover?

A pool cover is a large sheet, typically made from mesh, that stretches across the surface of your inground pool. The cover attaches to anchors embedded in the pool deck by strong straps, which keep them in place and give you a secure hold that no kids or pets will be able to bypass. Both covers are easy to remove, store, and replace, which makes them a great option for families that use their pool frequently.

Lifeguard on Duty offers two types of pool cover: the durable mesh cover (also called a winter cover) and the lightweight leaf cover. The winter cover is made from heavy-duty mesh that meets ASTM safety standards. In fact, it’s strong enough to hold 485 lbs (though we advise you not to walk on the cover).

 lightweight leaf pool cover installed on a pool
lightweight leaf pool cover installed on a pool

Winter covers protect your loved ones from falling into the water, but it also prevents other things from getting into your pool. The sturdy mesh keeps leaves, snow, and other debris out! This is great for families who close their pool during the winter months, as it can help keep the water balanced and minimize pool maintenance (though it’s important to note that rainwater can pass through the cover, so always check your pH levels when reopening the pool).

In contrast, the leaf cover is a lightweight polyethylene that prevents leaves and debris from settling in the water (it also allows rainwater to pass through). While this cover isn’t as sturdy as the winter cover, it does create a barrier over the water that can help prevent a serious accident. This is a great option for families that have older kids, or grandparents whose little ones aren’t with them daily.

And of course, both types of pool cover offer one significant benefit: they allow you to see your pool 24/7. Your pool is often a focal point of your yard, and pool covers allow you to keep that focal point without sacrificing safety.

What is a Pool Net?

A pool net (as the name suggests) is a net that stretches across the pool and stops children, adults, and pets from becoming submerged in the water. 

 tan swimming pool net installed
 tan swimming pool net installed

Our pool nets are made from 5mm, UV-resistant polyethylene netting, which is both strong enough to withstand human body weight and durable enough to last for years. Our nets are woven into 3 ½-inch squares, which are small enough to prevent a child or pet from falling through it and into the pool. 

The pool net differs from the pool cover in two key ways: firstly, it does not protect against debris. While a pool net will keep your loved ones from suffering an injury or drowning incident — and while the 3 ½-inch squares may keep out large leaves — the net will still allow snow, dirt, or other small particles to settle in the water.

Secondly, a pool net is much cheaper than a pool cover. An average pool net will cost between $1,500 and $3,000, but a typical pool cover costs about $2,500 to $4,500. Ultimately, a pool net is a great choice for families that want to stay safe while sticking to a budget.

Which is Right for Me?

Pool cover, pool net… Which is right for you? The answer depends entirely on your family’s specific needs. 

What is your budget? How often are your loved ones using the pool? Is anyone in your home an inexperienced swimmer? Does your home get a lot of falling leaves or high winds? These questions can help you determine which pool safety option is best for you.

If your family has toddlers or small pets, or if your home gets a lot of debris in the fall and winter, you’ll likely be better off with a pool cover.

If everyone in your home can swim and you’re looking to minimize pool maintenance, a leaf cover may be right for you.

If you’re only concerned with safety (and you want to save a little money), a pool net will meet your needs just fine. 

And of course, if you want an even greater degree of protection, you can always install a pool net and cover together! 

Get Quality Pool Safety Solutions

Whether you opt for a pool cover or pool net (or both!), you won’t find a better installer than Lifeguard on Duty. Our team has 2 decades of dedication and experience, and we’re always happy to go the extra mile and give you the safety solution you need to help you sleep soundly.

If you’re ready to get started, contact our team today. We can give you a free estimate within just a few hours, and we’re here to answer any questions you may have.

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