Chilling in the pool

The 4 Best Solar Pool Heaters to Stay Warm All Year Round

Discover the top solar pool heaters of 2023, providing cost-effective and efficient solutions to keep your swimming pool comfortably warm throughout the year.

If you're looking for an affordable and efficient solution to heat your swimming pool, a solar pool heater is your answer. However, it's crucial to ensure that the heater you choose can generate sufficient heat even during the winter season.

Solar heaters operate using solar panels, but they receive less sunlight exposure in winter, resulting in reduced heat generation. To overcome this, opt for a heater with more solar panels or larger-sized panels. This will enhance the heater's efficiency, enabling it to generate ample heat and raise the water temperature effectively.

Moreover, above ground pools require more efficient heaters compared to inground pools. This is because heat escapes through the sides and top of an above ground pool. Conversely, in an inground pool, the surrounding soil acts as insulation, preventing heat loss through the sides.

Here are the key features to consider when searching for the perfect solar pool heater to heat your pool:

  1. Efficiency: The most crucial factor to consider when purchasing a solar pool heater. High-efficiency models can heat your pool faster, which is especially important for larger pools or above ground pools. However, if you have a small pool with lower heating needs, you can compromise slightly on efficiency.
  2. Size: Larger solar pool heaters receive more sunlight exposure, allowing them to heat your pool more rapidly. However, they require more space. Conversely, smaller heaters take up less space but are less efficient. Find a balance between available installation space and efficiency when selecting the heater size.
  3. Warranty: Solar pool heaters are outdoor equipment exposed to harsh weather conditions. Despite their durability, they remain vulnerable to damage. Therefore, opt for a solar pool heater with the longest warranty period available.

In addition to these primary factors, there are several other considerations mentioned in the "Buying Guide" that you should keep in mind.

Before diving into the comprehensive "Buying Guide," you can explore our curated list of the Best Solar Pool Heaters to purchase in 2023. We have taken various parameters into account to simplify your decision-making process.

1. SmartPool Solar Pool Heater

The S601 Pool Solar Heater, earning the top spot on our list of the best solar pool heaters for 2023, is truly remarkable. Smart Pool, with over 20 years of expertise in delivering effective solar pool heaters, has crafted a product that excels in heating both in-ground and above-ground pools.

Utilizing a direct flow system, the S601 pool solar heater employs heating tubes with header holes to efficiently warm your pool. Equipped with 80 square feet of solar panels, this heater raises the pool water temperature by an impressive 6-10°F (4-6°C). Each panel measures 20 feet in length and 4 feet in width.

To connect the solar heater, you'll need to link it to an existing water pump. The heating collectors can be conveniently positioned near your pool or on your rooftop, and there's even a solar pool cover available to provide added protection. Installing the pump itself is a straightforward process, although it's worth noting that the installation kit needs to be purchased separately, as it is not included with the product.

The solar panels are constructed from durable polypropylene material and boast a fiberglass coating over the molded header, ensuring longevity and resilience.


  • Fiberglass-coated heater
  • Increases pool temperature by 6-10°F (4-6°C)
  • Large-sized solar panels for maximum heat absorption
  • Durable construction
  • Ideal for in-ground swimming pools


  • Requires more space due to its large size
  • Installation kit needs to be purchased separately

The S601 Pool Solar Heater from Smart Pool combines efficiency, durability, and reliable heating performance, making it an excellent choice for pool owners seeking an effective solar heating solution in 2023. Cost- 363$.

2. Fafco Solar Pool Heater

Fafco, one of the pioneering American companies in solar water heating, takes a different approach to enhance the efficiency of its products. Instead of relying on advanced technology, Fafco focuses on making small design tweaks and employing environmentally friendly practices.

The solar pool heater from Fafco measures 20 feet in length and 2 feet in width, offering a superior heating solution for your swimming pool. This solar-powered heating system is specifically designed for above-ground pools and prioritizes environmental sustainability.

One notable feature is its tilted system, which significantly boosts effectiveness. By tilting the heater 10 to 30 degrees towards the South, it receives maximum sunlight exposure, resulting in faster pool heating. This effect is particularly pronounced between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. when sunlight is abundant.

Fafco's solar heating system offers flexible mounting options, allowing you to install it close to the pool on the ground, on a rack, or on the roof. However, please note that the installation kit needs to be purchased separately.


  • Environmentally friendly solar panels
  • Ideal for above-ground swimming pools
  • Tilted system to maximize sunlight absorption
  • Flexible mounting options and straightforward installation process


  • Professional assistance required for installation

Fafco's solar pool heater stands out for its environmentally conscious design and efficient heating performance. With its versatile installation options and focus on sustainability, it is an excellent choice for above-ground pool owners looking to harness the power of solar energy. Cost 300$.

3. Game Solar Pool Heater

Game's 4721-BB solar heater stands out with its innovative curved design, specifically engineered to maximize heat collection. Whether you have an above-ground or in-ground swimming pool, this heater excels in effectively heating your pool.

With the help of its unique curve design, this solar pool heater can raise the temperature of an 8,000-gallon pool by 5 degrees in just 4 days. The increased curvature allows for enhanced heat collection, surpassing the performance of conventional flat designs and efficiently heating your pool water.

Moreover, the heater comes with adjustable and foldable legs, providing flexibility in positioning. You can easily adjust the legs to place the heater in a location that receives maximum sunlight exposure. Additionally, the heater features a clear cover on its surface, which helps trap heat and further improve its efficiency.

Game has constructed this solar pool heater using high-quality materials, ensuring exceptional durability even with regular exposure to sunlight and outdoor elements.

Thanks to its compact size, the heater can be easily installed anywhere, taking up minimal space. It is compatible with popular brands such as Intex and Bestway, as well as most other above-ground and in-ground pools.

The heater is equipped with threaded ports, offering flexible plumbing options. The kit includes convenient accessories such as Intex adapters, two hoses, and clamps for easy installation.


  • Unique curved design for maximum sunlight exposure
  • Adjustable legs for flexible positioning
  • Clear cover on the surface to trap heat
  • Raises the temperature of an 8,000-gallon pool by 5 degrees in 4 days
  • Suitable for above-ground and in-ground pools
  • Accessories include Intex adapters, two hoses, and clamps


  • Small in size, resulting in relatively lower heat collection
  • Not suitable for large-sized pools

Game's 4721-BB solar heater offers a reliable and efficient heating solution with its innovative curved design and thoughtful features. It is an excellent choice for pool owners looking to maximize heat absorption and effectively warm their pools. Cost-350$.

4. SunHeater Solar Pool Heater

SunHeater's S120U universal solar pool heater offers a cost-effective solution for efficiently heating your swimming pool. Its versatility and straightforward installation process have made it one of the preferred choices among solar pool heaters in the United States.

Unlike Game's curved solar pool heater, SunHeater's S120U features its own patented design with a unique web-like structure. This design enables the heater to maximize its exposure to sunlight, allowing you to raise your pool's temperature by 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

The installation process is simple and user-friendly, even for those without prior experience. You can easily install the heater yourself, although it's worth noting that the necessary hardware equipment for installation needs to be purchased separately. A detailed installation manual can be found online to guide you through the process.

To connect the heater, you can utilize your existing pool pump—there's no need to invest in a new one. As for the panels, you have the flexibility to mount them on the roof, ground, rack, or fence, catering to your specific installation preferences. Additionally, this heater is suitable for both in-ground and above-ground pools.


  • Affordable option
  • Versatile—suitable for both in-ground and above-ground pools
  • Mountable on roof, ground, rack, or fence
  • Patented web design for optimal sunlight exposure
  • Simple DIY installation process
  • Increases pool temperature by 6 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit


  • Not suitable for large-sized pools
  • Durability may not be as high as other options

SunHeater's S120U universal solar pool heater offers an affordable and versatile solution for pool owners seeking effective heating. While it may not be suitable for larger pools and its durability may be slightly lower, its performance and ease of installation make it a compelling choice for many. Cost- 450$.