While there are a few facts to consider when selecting a cover for your pool, the most important aspects to keep in mind are safety and maintenance. The following are some pros and cons to the three basic types of covers for in ground pools:
These types of covers are put across the pool and water tubes are placed around the edges holding it in place. No sunlight or dirt will get thru the cover, however water will build up on top, which will require to be pumped off. In addition, the water tubes will need to be replaced every couple of years.
These types of covers are stretched across the pool, and the springs that are attached to the cover get hooked onto an anchor. These covers come in either mesh or solid. The solid design are safer if you have kids or pets, since they can walk on top of it without falling thru, however the downside of the solid design is that there will be water buildup on the cover that will have to be pumped off.
The mesh design require much less work since there would be no water buildup on top, however these types of cover will also allow sunlight and dirt thru, and the pool will need to be cleaned up prior to use.
A solar cover is merely used to maintain the heat in the swimming pool. It simply floats on the top of the pools surface, not secured in any way. These do not provide any safety, and do not protect the pool from sunlight and dirt.