Pool Fence Vs Pool Cover

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Pools are a great way to beat the heat, but besides the endless fun that can be had, it also poses a serious risk if there is a small child in the family. A small child can drown in a pool if they accidentally fall in, especially if they are not supervised and managed to wander off.

This is the reason why every backyard pool should have a safety device to prevent disasters. There are two popular options, either install a pool fence or get a pool cover, but what are the differences between these two widely used safety barriers?

Read more to find out how they’re different and which ones to watch out for.

Best Pool Fence

Best Pool Cover

Differences Between Pool Covers And Pool Fences

Pool Fences

  • Creates a barrier surrounding the pool.
  • Uses posts drilled into the foundation for support. 
  • Must be tall enough to prevent a child from climbing over it.
  • Cannot protect your pool from debris and dirt, but does not collect precipitation. 
  • Easily access the pool through a gate.

Pool Cover

  • Creates a barrier over the pool water.
  • Uses heavy-duty straps to anchor the safety cover to the brackets. 
  • must be heavy enough to support the average adult or child.
  • The cover prevents debris and dirt from falling into the pool, but also collects precipitation. 
  • Requires unrolling the pool cover to access the pool water. 

Which Is Safer: Pool Cover Or Fence?

A pool cover may provide more safety over a pool fence. Although, each one of these has its own advantages, and are both a good choice if you are looking for a safety barrier around the pool. There is a significant difference in how failsafe the two options are when compared to each other. 

The largest difference in terms of safety is that pool covers envelop the entire pool and leaves no space that may result in a child accidentally falling in.

Compared to a pool fence which does not cover the entire open-air surface area of the pool and so a child that somehow manages to pass through the fence, like through an unlatched gate, can still fall into the pool.

Children climbing over the pool fence is also a possibility, however, mesh safety pool fences do not have these problems as children would not get enough traction against the mesh panels in order to climb over. 

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Is It Better To Keep A Pool Covered Or Uncovered?

It is better to keep a pool covered for reasons pertaining to safety and general pool maintenance. Besides the safety aspect where the pool cover will prevent small children or animals from falling or jumping into the pool, the benefits also include:

  • Prevents dirt from entering the pool. Debris such as leaves and twigs, along with dust, will be collected on top of the swimming pool cover and will be prevented from floating on top of the pool water. This also reduces the time spent on cleaning the pool water. 
  • Slows down algae and mold growth: Photosynthetic bacteria and fungi rely on sunlight to make energy. A swimming pool cover blocks sunlight and so the photosynthetic bacteria and fungi, like in algae and mold, won’t accumulate as quickly compared to water exposed to sunlight. 
  • Conserves water: Swimming pool covers will reduce the amount of water used in maintaining a pool. Winds and heat can cause a decrease in the volume of water in the pool through evaporation or by blowing water away. A pool cover will prevent these by trapping the water under the cover, negating the effects of the wind and the heat. It also reduces the amount of water needed to replenish those that have been lost, by about 30-50%.

Do Pool Covers Keep Kids Out?

Yes, pool covers can keep kids out of the pool water. A properly made pool cover that follows industry standards will have a pool cover that can support at least 435 pounds.

According to the CDC, the normal weight of children at the age of 10 will range from 54-102 lbs for males and 54-106 lbs for females, so a pool cover can easily catch a young child and will support its weight. 

Best Safety Pool Fences

In this section, we present the best picks for the safety pool fence category

  1. PexFix 4 x 12 Feet Pool Fence
  2. VISIGUARD 4’x12’ by Sentry Safety Child Safe Pool Fence

PexFix Pool Fence

This 4 feet tall and 12 feet long pool fence system is supported by aluminum fence posts making it strong, lightweight, and easy to transport, which will come in handy when installing. 

What We Like

  • It spans a wide area
  • Uses Aluminum posts that rust formation


  • Comes only in one color
  • Not much features

VISIGUARD 4’x12’ by Sentry Safety Child Safe Pool Fence

This 12 feet long safety pool fence by Visiguard has a 4 feet tall mesh supported by 5 PVC-coated steel posts, making it more resistant to rust formation. It comes in the colors: white, black, beige, brown, and green.

What We Like

  • Steel fence posts reinforced with PVC.
  • Comes in many colors

Product Cons

  • Not much features

Best Pool Covers

In this section, we listed our best picks for the swimming pool cover category. 

  1. Blue Wave Rectangular In-Ground Pool Safety Cover 
  2. Blue Wave Bronze Round Above Ground Pool Winter Cover

Blue Wave In-Ground Pool Safety Cover

This 16ft x 32ft rectangular in-ground pool cover comes with all the installation tools you need to install this around your pool. It comes with stainless steel springs for better support and the heavy straps are reinforced to prevent fraying, making sure that this pool cover will last long. 

What We Like

  • The underside of the straps is reinforced to prevent fraying
  • Simple installation 
  • A complete installation kit was provided

Product Cons

  • Comes in only one color

Blue Wave Round Above Ground Pool Winter Cover

The first pick on this list is an in-ground pool option, so this time we present the best above-ground pool cover. This is a great budget option but only comes in dark navy blue.

What We Like

  • Comes in multiple sizes for all sorts of above-ground pools
  • Has an 8-year warranty

Product Cons

  • Could be too thin for some people
  • Comes in only one color

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Final Thoughts

Pool safety is always important. If you have a small child, it is mandatory that you install a safety barrier around your pool. When it comes to choosing between a pool fence or pool cover, there are several factors that will lean in favor of a pool cover.

Covering every inch of the pool, preventing children from falling in directly, ease of installation, water conservation, and protecting the pool water from debris all contribute to making the pool cover a more economical and secure choice. 

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