Top 8 Best Pool Water Heater Reviews For Swimming Pool and Salt Water Pool

best pool heater for saltwater pool

Swimming pool heaters are a pronounced means of adding value to your pool while enjoying your swimming without having to jump into freezing cold waters on an expanded pool season and duration. With the best pool water heater installed near your swimming pool, you can enjoy your cooling and relaxing summertime in your backyard.

Here we introduce the top 8 best pool water heater reviews as well as buying guides for you to reduce the using costs.

What Is the Best Pool Water Heater on the Market?

Is a Pool Heater Worth it?

Yes, installing a water heater can be expensive with prices ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 plus other costs like fuel or electricity bills.

Consider this, having a pool heater allows you to extend your pool season earlier or later than usual. Regardless of the season and weather conditions, you won’t have to dive into a chilly water pool when you have a pool heater. However, what determines whether or not a pool heater is worth it is if the pool can be used without it. But remember, you may have an awesome pool but cut corners on the pool heaters rendering the water in the pool chilly, what’s the point of having it? You might as well not have it at all!

Now that you have known the essence of having a pool heater, what types of water heaters are common and popular in the market?

Picking the Best Pool Water Heaters From Comparison Chart

Types of Pool Water Heaters That You Can Choose

Pool heaters are available in different types. They include:

Heat Pumps:

Compared to gas heaters, heat pumps are expensive upfront but are very cheap to operate as they rely on electricity. Kindly note, though not a big issue, they are not efficient when the air temperature drops below 50 degrees.

  • BEST FOR: In-ground pools that are used regularly and benefit from maintaining an ideal consistent temperature. Non-corrosive design makes it durable for coastal climates.
  • ECONOMICAL HEATING: Using the surrounding air to heat the pool, HeatPro is more economical than propane, natural gas and electric heaters for maintaining the ideal water temperature.
  • UNPARALLELED DURABILITY: Ultra Gold corrosion-resistant technology provides unparalleled durability, even in harsh coastal environments.
  • CORROSION RESISTANT: Titanium heat exchanger ensures maximum heat transfer and provides excellent salt water and chemical corrosion resistance. UV-resistant body panels are impervious to corrosion and deterioration.
  • TRUSTED BRAND: With over 80 years of experience, Hayward is an industry leader in manufacturing advanced pool equipment.

Natural Gas Heaters:

Natural gas pool heaters are expensive to operate because of the fuel cost but heat the pool very quickly. They work well on a pool that is not regularly used and can be turned on when the pool is going to be used and turned off when the pool is not in use.

  • BEST FOR: In-ground pools and spas with a surface area up to 1,200 ft. where natural gas is available. Its low environmental impact makes it ideal for pools and spas located where low-NOx emissions are required.
  • PREMIUM PERFORMANCE: The Hayward Universal H-Series 400,000 BTU Natural Gas Heater delivers fast premium heating performance for years of reliable, long-lasting comfort.
  • CORROSION PROTECTION: The Universal H-Series boasts exceptional protection against corrosion and premature failure caused by unbalanced water chemistry.
  • ENERGY SAVINGS: The efficient, industry-leading design reduces circulation pump run time to provide energy savings.
  • EASY-TO-USE: Intuitive front control panel provides easy operation, service and maintenance.

Solar Heaters:

Solar pool heaters have a much lower operating cost although the upfront cost is almost the same as the gas heaters and electrical heaters.

  • SOLAR POOL HEATER: The GAME SolarPRO Curve Solar Pool Heater has been designed for above-ground and most inground pools. It increases the pool temperature by 5 degrees in 4 days (for an 8,000-gallon pool).
  • DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: We’ve designed this above-ground solar pool heater with high-quality materials that will hold up against frequent exposure to the sun and outdoor elements.
  • UNIQUE CURVED SHAPE: The GAME solar pool heater has been engineered with a unique curved shape that maximizes heat collection. The treaded ports have been added for versatile plumbing options.
  • ADJUSTABLE LEGS: This solar heater is compatible with Intex, Bestways, and most above and inground pools. The adjustable and foldable legs allow the heater to be set for maximum exposure to the sun, along with a clear cover that locks in heat.
  • THE PERFECT GRADUAL HEATER: This solar pool heater is not intended to be a miracle-cure heater. It’s designed to extend your pool season by gradually increasing the water temperature by a few degrees. Maximum heat output with space saving footprint

How Long Should a Pool Heater Last?

For any pool owner, the question of how long a pool heater will last is always on their mind. Any shopper will want to know the service duration any model will give them. A pool heater may last between 7 years to 15 years depending on its maintenance. It is important to note that several factors contribute to your pool heater life span.

Here Are Some Tips to Help You Extend Your Heat Pump Lifespan


Regularly maintaining your heat pump can extend its lifespan way past its warranty. Here are the things to do to ensure that the pool heater is in top shape, ensure that there is proper airflow by removing any debris on top of it, ensure that there is not poor quality water getting into the internal components of the pump, engage a professional to clean internal parts, check the water flow and other electrical connections.

Power Connections

Engage the services of a professional to perform all electrical works on your heat pump. Power outages and surges are known to destroy electrical components of a unit, to prevent this, install a surge protector, and ground your wiring.

Heat Exchanger

A majority of heat exchangers are made from copper or cupro-nickel that is highly susceptible to swimming pool chemicals. This can cause premature failure to your component. Consider having a heat exchanger made of titanium as it is cost-efficient and highly durable.

Swimming Pool Water Chemistry

Heat pumps are prone to corrosion from any harsh chemicals that may be present in the pool. Ensure that you have a proper pH level in your pool and install the heater before bromine or chlorine feeders.


A warranty may range anywhere between one to seven years while others go for a lifetime depending on the manufacturer. A warranty cushions you from labor and parts while other manufacturers give a lifetime warranty that covers that cover tubing for the heat pump.

Guides on Choosing the Best Pool Water Heater

Choosing the best pool water heater may prove to be a tricky task. Here are factors to consider before settling on any model.

Type of Heater

There are three types of heaters, gas heaters, heat pumps, and solar heaters. Choose an option that best suits your needs. If maybe you do not have a natural gas line coming to your pool then you will need to consider other options. If you choose a solar heater make sure you have space to install the solar panels with a decent amount of sunlight. When you go for heat pumps/electrical pumps kindly note that they are cost-effective but heat up the pool water much slower than gas heaters.

Size of the Pool

Choose a heater that will warm up your pool effectively. If probably you have a 15,000-gallon pool, do not buy a 5,500-gallon pool heater. Check on the BTU ratings to know whether the heater corresponds with your pool size. The speed at which the water is heated should also be put into consideration. High-powered units take less time to heat up the pool.


The essence of a pool heater is to add a pool use period to many users. Consider buying a pool heater that will be able to withstand harsh climatic conditions and withstand more working hours.


Choose a pool heater that is not only pocket friendly but also gives you value for your money. The price ranges from $100 to $ 3,000. Gas and electric heaters cost $2,000 to $4,000 with other costs incurred during operation. Solar-powered heaters cost less as far as operation costs are concerned but almost the same with gas and electric heaters during upfront purchase.

Reviews of Best Pool Water Heater

1. Best Solar Water Heater For Pool – GAME 4721-bb Solarpro Curve Solar Pool Heater

electric pool heaters for saltwater pools


  • The curved shape allows maximum heat absorption
  • Comes with hoses, Intex adapters, and steel clamps
  • Compatible with above ground pools
  • Threaded ports

This heater uses smart technology and engineering works to provide your pool with ample heat without taking up so much area. This model works best for above ground pools with the aid of its compact design, energy-friendly factor while transforming your pool water temperatures to comfortable levels within a few days.


  • Installation is easy
  • Less costly
  • Works perfect for pools raised above the ground
  • Saves on energy and is environment-friendly


  • The heat it provides does not heat up the pool as much as other solar heating systems do.

2. Best Inground Pool Water Heater – FibroPool FH055 in Ground Swimming Pool Heater

electric swimming pool water heater


  • Uses a 12-gauge 220V power circuit
  • Weighs 120pounds
  • Has a 1.5 inches Copeland differential compressor

This model is the best for both in-ground and above ground pools that are plus or minus 10,000 gallons in size. The design allows you to enjoy more swimming duration with its low operating costs.


  • Perfect size for in-ground and above-ground backyard pools
  • Easy to fit the waterline and power
  • COP efficiency rating is as high as 5.92/6.0
  • Low-cost
  • Environment-friendly pool heating


  • The washer on the water outlet should be replaced with a thicker one to reduce slipping.

3. Best Electric – Hayward W3H150FDN Universal H-Series 150,000 BTU Pool Heater

swimming pool water heater heat pump


  • Have a high-end hydraulic performance system.
  • Cupronickel heat exchanger and totally managed flow reduces chances of corrosion

This heater works well in-ground and big above ground pools providing flexible energy-efficient and environmentally cautious low NOx performance solutions using natural gas. The cupro-nickel heat exchanger feature protects the unit from corrosion and erosion from salt-based chlorine solutions.


  • Low operating costs
  • Low environmental impact
  • Saves on energy


  • The thermocouple on the exhaust gas circuit blows up easily

4. Best Above Ground Solar Heater – XtremepowerUS Swimming Pool Solar Panel 

swimming pool gas water heater


  • Assembly unit is easy to connect
  • Comes with a 2-foot by 20-foot panel
  • Has a conventional tube design
  • Pool heating system has a solar collector

This is a low-cost model that is very easy to install. It is considered the best solar system pool heater in the market money wise. Though big, the 2-foot by 20foot unit works well for in-ground and above ground pools and may heat up the pool water of an average-sized pool by 10-15 degrees in a few days.


  • Affordable
  • Installation is easy
  • Works well for in-ground and above-ground pools


  • May require a diverter kit
  • More than one
  • Panel unit required for bigger pools

5. Best For Spa – UCEDER Pool Spa Part Hot Tub Thermostat

water heater for pool prices


  • Incoloy800 steel thermostat element
  • 2KW /110V-120V
  • Comes with a 1.5″ outlet

This is an easy to install model suitable for water not exceeding 400US gallons. The model allows you to set your desired temperature, when the gets to your setting it will automatically stop, and when the temperatures drop down it will heat up your water to the set temperature.


  • Heats up water until your set temperature.
  • Easy to install
  • Adjustable thermostat


  • Cannot be used in large water pools

6. Best Portable – Goplus Solar Dome Swimming Pool Heater

above ground pool electric water heater


  • Connects to 1.5 inch hoses
  • Uses polypropylene materials

The Goplus Solar Dome allows magnified solar energy captured by black coiled hoses to heat up your pool without the need of electricity or gas connections. Its efficiency is aided by the polypropylene materials used.


  • The dome design impacts efficiency and outlook
  • Requires less installation space
  • Less costly
  • Easy installation
  • Environmentally friendly


  • More heaters will be required if you were to heat medium to larger pools

7. Best Natural Gas – Raypak 014940 336000 BTU Digital Pool Heater 

pool water heater gas


  • Uses natural gas
  • Product dimensions are 32 x 31 x 45 inches
  • Digital control

This model gives you value for money investment throughout the year providing reliability and efficiency. The Raypak model allows you to enjoy your pool when fall arrives, first chill of winter and in summer and spring when the evening gets chilly.


  • Built-in wind-resistant design
  • Smart Design


  • May not be easy to operate

8. SunHeater S120U Universal Solar Pool Heater 

salt water pool heater price


  • Raises pool water temperature 6-10 degrees
  • The universal system allows it to be used in-ground and above ground
  • Product dimensions 120 by 27.5 by 16 inches

This model can be used in-ground and above ground pools and can be installed on the ground, on the roof, and on a rack. This unit uses an existing pool pump.


  • Easy to install
  • The design allows maximum exposure to the sun


  • Works on small pools

How Do You Know if Your Pool Is Heated?

Different pool heaters work differently and others may take a longer time to heat up the water in your pool. Gas-powered heaters work well and take less time to heat up the water in the pool unlike the electric-powered/ heat pump and solar-powered heaters. Ensure that the pool heater raises the temperature of the water in the pool to comfortable temperatures of 79 to 82 degrees. This helps you to know whether the heater is functioning properly or not.

Is it Expensive to Heat a Pool?

A good pool heater keeps the water in your pool in a comfortable swimming temperature between 78 to 83 degrees. So how much will it cost you to heat a pool?

All this depends on the type of heat pump used. Well, according to research the cost may also vary depending on how you use your pool. It is estimated that the cost to heat an outdoor pool that has an air temperature of 78 degrees using a gas heater will cost you $1,400 per year and get to $1,900 at 80 degrees and $2,350 for 82 degrees. This study focused on a 1,000 square foot pool with the climatic conditions of the months and days of May 1 to September 30. Notably, when a pool cover was used, the costs dropped significantly. This is because the pool did not lose its heat from evaporation.

Compared to natural gas heaters, an electric pool heater uses less power overall. Studies show that it will cost you around $740 a year to heat an outdoor pool to 78 degrees, $975 to heat up to 80 degrees, and $1220 to 82 degrees. This is also based on a 1,000 square foot pool. Adding a pool cover reduces the costs to $105, $150, and $200 respectively.

How Well Do Pool Heaters Work?

Pool heaters don’t work the same in as much as they have the same purpose. They are categorized based on their sources of power.

Heat Pumps

It works by drawing air from outside and circulating it through an outer evaporator air coil. The heat from the outside air is absorbed by liquid refrigerant within the evaporator coil turning it into gas. This gas becomes warm and it is passed through the compressor where heat is increased. The hot gas in turn transfers its heat to the water that is pumped through the heat exchanger. The water heats up in the circulation and flows back at a comfortable temperature into the pool.


They work with the aid of solar panels that are installed either on the ground or roof depending on the sun’s direction. The solar panels harness the radiant heat from the sun and heat up the thermal components in the solar heaters. Water is pumped through small tubes in the solar panels which in turn heats it up. This is a continuous process that occurs provided the panel temperature is higher than the pool water temperature.

Natural Gas

They are known to heat up the pool very quickly compared to the other heaters. How does it really work? Natural gases are burnt in a combustion chamber while cold pool water is pumped through piping inside the chamber during heating. The temperature of the pool water is raised to a comfortable level and pumped back into the pool. The process is repeated until the desired temperature is achieved.

Final Thoughts

The thought of having a pool heater is funny because it eventually means you are investing more in the pool. But worry not! This is a sound investment because it allows you to enjoy your pool all through regardless of the weather conditions. Choose the best pool heater from the list above.


David: Penn State-educated Mechanical Engineer and Business-savvy Fluid Dynamics Specialist. Balances family plumbing business support with a thriving engineering career at a top, undisclosed company. (they want it that way) I help Will with plumbing and HVAC needs on his Real Estate.

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