Top Pool Heaters – Editors Choice


Pool Heaters are great for extending the use of your pool especially if you live in a colder area, allowing you to keep using your pool in fall and winter months. Recent developments in pool heater technology have allowed quality to go up and prices to go up, meaning now is the perfect time to buy a pool heater.

At Poolhelpers.net we have examined dozens of different pool heaters and narrowed them down to the six best pool heaters available today. We hope our comprehensive pool heater reviews will help you find the right pool heater for yourself.

Our editors have carefully selected six of the best pool heaters for you to decide from, depending on your needs. We provide you a great variety of heater types like Gas, Electric, Solar and Above Ground Pool and Heat Pumps, all of which we have extensively tested and reviewed below. We have included pool heaters of all prices ranges to meet your budget.

After you buy an above ground pool, please check out our buying guides for Pumps, Cleaners, because you will need these in order to maintain your pool.

Here are the pool heaters which have made the cut.

NameTypeRatingLink
Hayward HP50TA Titanium Pool Heater (Top Rated Gas Heater) Gas Heater 5 out of 5 Stars HP50TA Titanium Pool Heater
Hayward Universal H-Series Pool Heater (Runner Up) Gas Heater 4.5 out of 5 Stars Hayward Universal H-Series Pool Heater
Hayward H4120T HeatPro Titanium Pool Heat Pump 4.5 out of 5 Stars Hayward H4120T HeatPro Titanium
Hayward CSPAXI11 11-Kilowatt Electric Heater (Best Electric Heater) Electric Pool Heater 4 out of 5 Stars Hayward CSPAXI11 11-Kilowatt Electric Spa Heater
Smartpool WWS421P Sunheater (Top Ranked Above Ground Pool Heater) Above Ground Pool Heater 4 out of 5 Stars Smartpool WWS421P Sunheater
Smartpool WWS601P Sunheater Solar Pool Heater (Top-Rated Solar Heater) Solar Heater 4 out of 5 Stars Smartpool WWS601P Sunheater Solar Pool Heater


Our Editor’s Top Picks – The Best Pool Heaters


TOP RANKED GAS POOL HEATER

Hayward HP50TA Titanium Pool Heater

This is the only heater on the list that can warm up a pool to 80+ degrees and maintain the temperature for the entire night. The heater includes titanium counter-flow heat exchangers for a durable and high-performing heater even in poor weather conditions. We also noticed that the fan is very quiet in operation, as the heater has an acoustic compressor to prevent the fan from getting too loud. This heater would be a nice compact edition to your pool since it will keep working in the night and in any weather condition.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • High durability Titanium counter-flow heat exchangers
  • Includes an acoustic compressor to reduce sound profile
  • Can maintain a stable temperature for a long time

5-star

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Runner Up

Hayward Universal H-Series Pool Heater

Yet another Hayward heater has made the list of the best! The Hayward H400FDN features a durable cupro-nickel heat exchanger which maintains its long lifespan in harsh acidic or high
flow conditions where other heat exchangers fail. This is combined with a forced draft combustion system that moves air through the combustion chamber to ensure that the heater isn’t affected by the elements.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Includes an LED Control Panel
  • Good price for value
  • Easy installation

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 TOP RANKED ELECTRIC POOL HEATER

Hayward CSPAXI11 11-Kilowatt Electric Spa Heater

 

This pool heater combines efficiency, reliability and compactness all into a great compact package. It is quite inexpensive in comparison with the gas heaters and is a great alternative for those who don’t want to spend too much money on a pool heater. It is also optimal for those who  have a small to mid size pool that doesn’t require an expensive gas model to heat properly.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Efficient, reliable and compact
  • Budget Pricing

4-star

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TOP RANKED SOLAR POOL HEATER

Smartpool WWS601P Sunheater Solar Pool Heaterhay4

This Solar Pool heater may not be as fast as a gas pool heater but it can certainly provide a great swimming experience for at a budget price nonetheless. This heater is great for keeping your pool heated without disturbance as no gas or electricity  is needed. This heater is ideal for people with small pools who don’t want to overspend on a heater and only swim in the summer months.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Budget pricing
  • Doesn’t require gas or electricity
  • Easy to setup

4-star

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TOP ABOVE GROUND POOL HEATER

Smartpool WWS421P Sunheater

This pool heater is the first heater on our list that is designed to work with any above ground pool. This heater warm up the pool using solar panels to conduct heat into the water. Some reviewers on amazon state that they heat up their pools by over 10 degrees in the summer time. Unfortunately, since it is a solar model this pool heater takes a long time to heat, sometimes several days. However, it is quite cheap compared to other pool heaters and works with well above ground pools .

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Compatible with most above ground pools
  • Cheaper than most heater models
  • Solar models don’t generate any pollution
  • Doesn’t require gas or electricity

4-star

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TOP POOL HEAT PUMP

Hayward H4120T HeatPro Titanium

The Hayward HP21404T is a great choice for those who want a heater that is energy efficient and also durable and reliable. This heater features rust and corrosion resistant double coated UV-resistant body panels which, along with a titanium heat exchanger, increase efficiency and product life. There is little that can go wrong with this pool heater.

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Titanium Heat Exchanger
  • UV-resistant body panels
  • Reliable and durable

Check Price on Amazon

Benefits of having a pool heater

  • Owning a pool heater will extend the usability of a pool
  • You can relax in a warm pool instead of a cold and freezing pool
  • Warmer water is better at relieving pain and relaxing
  • Pool Heaters are relatively low cost to maintain
  • Depending on the model, even in 50 degree weather you can swim

What pool heater model should I get?

Our editor also compiled a list of factors that should help you decide which type of pool heater you should buy.


Solar Pool Heater

Solar pool heaters are the best option for those who don’t want to spend too much money on a pool heater and have a small pool that doesn’t require a large heater. Solar pool heaters on average much slower and less effective than gas or electric heaters but cost less and don’t require gas or electricity to operate and pretty much operate without any interference after setup. They also require a pump to pump the water in and out of the pool to heat up and this also requires extra money.

Pros

  • Uses the energy of the sun for less environmentally harmful carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Compared to gas and electric pool heaters, requires less maintenance
  • Solar powered pool heaters generally decently for the price with the right installation methods

Cons

  • Way slower than gas heaters
  • Take longer to setup than other heater types
  • Requires pump

Electric Pool Heater

Electric pool heaters are a great option for the “middle-way” approach to buying a pool heater. This is the best option for those who don’t want to spend a large amount on their gas bill and buying a gas heater but still want a faster and more convenient option than a solar heater.

Pros

  • Doesn't emit carbon dioxide
  • A lot faster than solar pool heaters
  • Good middle-way approach to solar and gas types

Cons

  • Still require electricity
  • More expensive than solar models

Natural Gas Pool Heater

These are the top-tier of pool heaters, they are the fastest, most reliable, and sadly, most expensive tiers of heaters. They require you to spend money on gas to keep them running and they also pump emissions into the environment, however, they are also faster and can heat up larger pools than an electric or solar model can.

Pros

  • Most efficient for heating a pool for quickly and in a short period of time
  • Ideal for the consumer who does not use their pool regularly
  • A great quality about gas pool heaters is that they easily heat up a pool in regards to Heat Pumps, Electric or Solar heaters.

Cons

  • A lot less environmentally friendly than other heater types
  • Require natural gas or propane (depending on the model)
  • Generally Loud

Heat Pumps

These are great options for those who want the speed and reliability of a gas heater, but without the costs in gas used. Heat pumps use electricity to pull heat from the air or water to heat up your pool. These are usually much more efficient than gas heaters and have seen an increase in popularity.

Pros

  • Efficiency and Speed combine
  • A good alternative to gas and electric
  • Don't pollute as much as gas models do

Cons

  • Still require electricity
  • Less environmentally friendly than solar pool heater

 


Factors to consider when buying a pool heater

Don’t know what where to start? Here are some factors to consider


What is your price range?

The price of pool heaters can vary greatly. Gas heaters are can be quite expensive, as high as $2000+. On the other hand, Solar heaters can cost less than 300$. Remember to also consider installation costs and monthly operating costs when choosing your heater.

You could also buy an electric pool heater which usually lies in-between the 2 extremes of prices and combines elements of both. Electric heaters can be quicker than a solar heater and also have less pollution than a gas heater, but they are still not as fast as a gas heater and still require electricity (which will contribute to your electricity bill in a negative way). This approach is usually favored by those who don’t have large pools and don’t wish to overspend on a gas heater.

Although gas heaters are expensive, they are usually much faster and easier to setup. Solar heaters, while cheap, can be incredibly slow at heating and are painful to set up. Gas heaters also cost a lot to maintain and you will need to buy gas regularly. Consider whether you would like to have a fast and easy to use gas heater over a cheap but slow solar heating system or the middle-road electric heater approach.

If you want an expensive option that will pay off in the long run, take a look at heat pumps. These devices use electricity to pump heat into your water from a heat source such as air. These are a great option for those who seek the speed of a gas without the pollution and inefficiency.

How much heating capacity do you need?

Your heater will have a heating capacity, this heat capacity will determine if the model can heat up your pool in or not

The heating capacity required for your pool largely depends on the volume of your pool. Naturally, the more water you have in your pool, the longer it will take to heat up. Heaters with larger heating capacities can heat your pool faster but also consume more power. Generally, the larger your pool, the higher your heaters heating capacity should be.

What type of pool heater is best in your climate?

If you live in an area where natural gas is not readily available, buying a natural gas pool heater will be much more expensive than buying a solar or electric pool heater. You could also supplement your natural gas heater with a propane heater instead.

Similar to this, an electric pool heater will be useless if your house or residence does not have electricity to use in your pool heater. So you really shouldn’t buy an electric pool heater in this case!

A solar pool heater would also be inefficient in an area with little sunshine or has a lot of rain because you wouldn’t be able to have a long enough exposure time to have the pool gather enough heat.

If you also live in a cold environment, you may need a heater that has a larger heating capacity than expected because the cold environment will cause the pool to cool off quicker.

What type of pool do you have?

An in-ground pool will have radically different specifications compared to an above ground pool. Above ground pools have a different class of pool heaters specifically dedicated to them (although some above ground models can work with non-optimized heater models). Make sure to consider this carefully when buying a pool heater.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Do I need help to install a pool heater?

We recommend that first-time buyers get help to install the heater. If you are not familiar with the parts and connections in a pool heater, it can be difficult to install. Damage to the heater is also a possibility.

Where can I buy a pool heater?

We have links to the top pool heaters on our website. If you wish to purchase a different heater, visit Amazon.

Are pool heaters expensive?

The price of a pool heater can vary greatly depending on the size and type. The cheapest ones start at $300 for solar while the most expensive can cost up to 3000$ for gas pump (data from poolcenter.com). There are also monthly and maintenance costs associated with some heaters. For example solar heaters require water pumps, gas heaters require natural gas or propane and electric heaters require electricity to run properly. 

Are pool heaters bad for the environment?

For the most part, pool heaters are not eco-friendly, with the exception of solar heaters. This comes at a price, however, as solar heaters and other eco-friendly heaters are a lot slower.

How far should you place the pool heater to reduce noise?

We recommend placing the pool heater at least 10 feet away from the pool. Not is it only more aesthetically pleasing, it will reduce noise from the heater as well. Some heaters, such as electric heaters, do not make much noise, while gas heaters can be noisy.


Conclusion

Purchasing a pool heater is an excellent option will allow you to get the most out of your swimming pool swim according to your schedule. A swimming pool heater can extend the amount of time you can comfortably swim during the day, and allow you to swim into the fall months and the beginning of the winter months as well. Pool heaters also have a very low operating costs, perfect for the money-conscious consumer. Thank you for checking our website out, also don’t forget to check out our other great guides such as our guide to the best above ground pools and our guide to the best inflatable hot tubs and spas.