What Size Pool Pillow Do You Need for Above Ground Pool?

Are you wondering what size pool pillow you need for your above-ground swimming pool? Choosing the right size is important to protect your pool walls from ice expansion during the winter. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of selecting the most suitable pool pillow size for your specific pool.

Key Takeaways:

  • Pool pillows protect above-ground pool walls from ice expansion during winter by acting as a buffer and distributing the weight of snow and rain on the pool cover.
  • Common pool pillow sizes include 4×5, 4×8, and 4×15 feet, and choosing the right size depends on your pool’s shape and dimensions.
  • Inflating a pool pillow should be done up to 60-80% capacity to allow room for compression, and secured in place using grommets and strings.
  • Regularly inspect pool pillows for signs of wear, tear, and leaks, and replace them if damaged or no longer able to hold air.
  • High-quality, durable pool pillows with features like heavy-duty vinyl construction and reinforced seams can provide better protection and longevity for your pool.

Why Do You Need a Pool Pillow?

Using a pool pillow during the winter season is essential for protecting your above ground pool from damage caused by ice, snow, and rain. In this section, we’ll explore the functions of a pool pillow and their benefits in detail.

Protection from Ice Expansion

Ice expansion is one of the main threats to above ground pools during the winter months. As water in your pool freezes, it expands, exerting pressure on your pool walls and potentially causing them to crack or warp.

A pool pillow, also known as an ice compensator, serves as a buffer between the ice and your pool’s walls. By placing a pool pillow in the center of your pool, you give the ice a cushion to expand towards and reduce the risk of damage to your pool’s structure.

Weight Distribution of Snow and Rain

Another function of a pool pillow is to distribute the weight of snow and rain on your pool cover. Since the pillow is positioned in the center of your pool, it causes the snow and rain to slide towards the edges, preventing the accumulation of debris and water in the middle of the cover.

This weight distribution helps maintain the proper tension on the cover, reducing the likelihood of it collapsing or tearing under the weight of snow and ice. Additionally, it makes removing the cover easier once the winter season is over. None of these are its primary function, but are nice side benefits.

Selecting the Right-Sized Pool Pillow

Choosing the right-sized pool pillow is essential for protecting your pool during the winter months. Your pool’s shape and size will help determine the most suitable pool pillow size. In this section, we’ll discuss the appropriate pool pillow sizes for round pools, oval pools, and inground pools.

Round Pools

When selecting a pool pillow for your round pool, consider the diameter of the pool. The most commonly recommended sizes are 4×5, 4×8, and 4×15 feet. Below is a table to help you choose the right size pool pillow for your round pool:

Pool Diameter Pool Pillow Size
18 feet or less 4×5 feet
19 to 33 feet 4×8 feet
33 feet or more 4×15 feet

Oval Pools

For oval pools, the pool pillow size will also depend on the size and dimensions of the pool. Oval pools usually require a 4.5×15 feet pool pillow. The table below provides a general suggestion for oval pool pillow sizes:

Pool Length Pool Pillow Size
33 feet or less 4×5 feet or 4×8 feet
34 feet or more 4.5×15 feet

Inground Pools

Inground pools typically do not require pool pillows as the walls are secured in place by the soil around it unlike above ground pools. However, if you live in an area with extreme winter conditions or have a unique inground pool design that might benefit from a pool pillow, consult with your pool’s manufacturer to determine the most suitable size.

How Many Pool Pillows Do You Need?

Knowing the number of pool pillows you need is important when preparing your pool for winterization. The number of pillows depends on the size and shape of your above-ground pool.

As a general rule, air pillows are most effective when they remain in the center of the pool and they become less effective when they float around the pool.

For most above-ground pools, whether they are oval or round, a single appropriately-sized pool pillow should be sufficient. However, if you have a larger pool, you might need to consider using more than one pillow.

Here’s a general guideline to help you determine the recommended number of air pillows:

  • Small pools (up to 12’x18′): 1 air pillow
  • Medium pools (12’x18′ to 24’x40′): 2 air pillows
  • Large pools (24’x40′ and larger): 3 or more air pillows

The ultimate goal is to distribute the weight of the ice and snow on your pool cover evenly, thereby reducing the stress on the pool walls. Using the appropriate number of air pillows for your pool size will help achieve this and protect your investment.

How to Inflate and Install Pool Pillows

Pool pillows are essential for protecting your pool during the winter season, but how do you set them up? In this section, we’ll walk you through the process of inflating and installing pool pillows to ensure your pool stays in optimal condition.

Inflating the Pool Pillow

When it comes to inflating your pool pillow, you’ll want to ensure it’s inflated to its correct capacity.

Inflate your pool pillow only up to 60-80% capacity, as this allows room for compression when placed under the pool cover. Overinflating the pillow may render it less effective in preventing water and ice accumulation.

To inflate the pillow, use a pump or an air compressor, and avoid using your mouth to prevent the introduction of moisture inside the pillow. You can even use a hair dryer using the cool air setting.

Once inflated to the proper capacity, it should still feel relatively soft. After inflation, place duct tape over the air valve to prevent the pillow from deflating over the winter.

 How to Keep Pool Pillow in the Middle of the Pool

After inflating the pillow, you’ll want to secure it in place to ensure it doesn’t move around or deflate. You can use a few methods to secure your pool pillow:

  • Grommets: Some pool pillows come with built-in grommets. Attach a string or rope through these grommets and secure it to your pool’s sides or railing to keep the pillow in place.
  • String: If your pool pillow doesn’t have grommets, you can still use string or rope to secure it. Wrap the string around the pillow and tie it to your pool’s railing or sides to ensure the pillow stays in place.
  • Pillow Pal: A Pillow Pal is a handy accessory for helping to secure your pool pillow. Simply attach the Pillow Pal straps to the pillow and pool cover, ensuring the pillow remains in its desired position.

Remember to check on your pool pillow periodically during the winter months to ensure it’s still properly inflated and secured. By following these simple steps, you can help protect your pool from potential damage caused by ice and water accumulation.

Pool Pillow Maintenance and Troubleshooting

Keeping your pool pillow in good condition is essential for its effectiveness and longevity. In this section, we’ll discuss how to maintain and troubleshoot common issues, such as leaks and punctures, as well as when to replace a pool pillow.

Inspecting for Damage

Regularly inspect your pool pillow for signs of wear and tear. Look for any holes, tears, or punctures that may have occurred. If you notice any signs of damage, you must address them promptly to prevent further issues.

When inspecting your pool pillow, pay close attention to the seams and areas with grommets, as these are common points of weakness. Inflating the pillow and submerging it in water can help you identify any leaks, as air bubbles will form around the puncture.

Replacing a Pool Pillow

If your pool pillow has sustained too much damage or can no longer hold air, it’s time to replace it.

Choose a new pillow that matches your pool size and shape, such as one of the common sizes (4×5, 4×8, or 4×15 feet). Keep in mind that using a properly-sized pillow will yield the best results.

Before installing the new pool pillow, clean the area where the previous pillow was placed. Once the new pillow is inflated and secured, monitor it for any signs of leaks or damage, just like you did with the previous one.

Proper care and maintenance will help ensure your new pool pillow serves you well for many winter seasons to come.

Closing Thoughts

When selecting the perfect pool pillow for your above-ground pool, keep in mind that there are three common sizes to consider: 4×5 feet, 4×8 feet, and 4×15 feet.

The size you choose will largely depend on the dimensions of your pool, as one appropriately-sized pool pillow is typically sufficient for most oval or round above-ground pools.

Using a pool pillow helps alleviate the pressure on your pool walls caused by freezing water, and can also reduce the accumulation of debris on your winter cover.

I highly recommend investing in a durable and reliable pool pillow, as some people have issues with their pool pillows deflating when they use a cheaper one.

When shopping for a pool pillow, remember to consider factors such as the material, durability, and any other features that may be important to you. Some pool pillows offer added benefits like heavy-duty vinyl construction and reinforced seams for extra resilience.

By carefully selecting the right pool pillow size and quality for your specific pool, you will ensure an easier pool closing process and enjoy peace of mind during the winter months.