The Best Pool Heaters in 2024

It’s no fun only being able to enjoy your pool a few months out of the year. Whether you have a small above-ground pool or a larger in-ground pool, it’s an investment you deserve to enjoy anytime you want.

A quality pool heater can allow you to do just that. However, with so many options out there, how do you know which one is best for you and your pool?

Well, that’s where this guide and our pool heater reviews come in. With decades of experience installing and working with every pool heater under the sun, you can rest assured you’ve come to the right place to find the pool heater for you and your home. So, go ahead and dive right in!

Best Pool Heaters:

1. Hayward W3H200FDN Universal H-Series 200,000 BTU Natural Gas Pool and Spa Heater for In-Ground Pools and Spas

The versatile Hayward H200FDN 200,000 BTU Natural Gas Pool Heater is another popular gas model and a shining example of Hayward’s dedication to making efficient, top-quality pool heaters that perform second to none.

Boasting unique, energy-efficient hydraulic performance, the Hayward H200FDN can warm the swimming pool by up to 30 degrees in just over an hour and keep it nice and warm as long as you like for the wildest of pool parties and the coolest of days.

Best of all, it reduces pump circulation as well, which means you can enjoy your pool well into winter without noticing much of a difference in your utility bill.

Like all of Hayward’s top-rated Universal H-Series pool heaters, the Hayward H200FDN 200,000 BTU Natural Gas Pool Heater also features hydraulic performance and offers superior thermal efficiency.

With a polymer header, corrosion-resistant heat exchangers, Cupro nickel combustion chambers, electronic ignition, dual thermostat, and LED display with digital push-button controls, it’s hands down one of the pool heater options available for today’s performance and energy-conscious pool owners.

As one of the top-rated pool heaters being made today, the Hayward H200FDN is also designed with versatility in mind.

For instance, thanks to its Cupro nickel heat exchanger, it can be used with both chlorinated and saltwater pools. It also allows you to connect the ports and the electricity on either side, making installation a breeze.

With all of this going for and a reasonable price tag to boot, this first-class Hayward pool and spa heater is hard to beat.


  • Heats very quickly
  • Easy to install and use
  • Energy-efficient
  • Reasonably priced


  • A little louder than some models

2. Hayward W3H400FDN Universal H-Series 400,000 BTU Natural Gas Pool and Spa Heater for In-Ground Pools and Spas

The Hayward W3H400FDN Universal H-Series 400,000 BTU Pool and Spa Heater utilizes some seriously advanced technology for enhanced adaptability, easy use, and powerful performance, making it arguably the pool heater you’re hard-earned money can buy.

Built for durability, the Hayward W3H400FDN features a Cupro-nickel heat exchanger, which is far superior to the copper heat exchangers found on many less expensive units.

Of course, it’s extremely energy efficient as well, allowing you to enjoy superior thermal and hydraulic efficiencies without paying an arm and a leg each month.

This impressive pool heater also features a patented polymer header for superior hydraulic performance and an intuitive LED control panel for digital diagnostics, temperature readings, and accuracy.

This means you can set your pool to the perfect temperature and dive right in knowing the water will be just right.

It may cost a pretty penny, but, if you’ve been reading swimming pool heaters reviews hoping to find the best of the best, the Hayward W3H400FDN is exactly what you’ve been looking for.


  • Heats water very quickly
  • Easy to install
  • Energy-efficient
  • Easy-to-use digital LED controls
  • Very durable and well-built


  • More expensive than many other options

3. Hayward W3H250FDN Universal H-Series 250,000 BTU Natural Gas Pool and Spa Heater for In-Ground Pools and Spas

Similar to the smaller, less powerful W3H250FDN discussed above except more powerful and capable of heating your pool even quicker, the Hayward W3H250FDN Universal H-Series 300,000 BTU Natural Gas Pool Heater is one of the best around.

Featuring an energy-efficient hydraulic design, the Hayward W3H250FDN is capable of heating the largest of pools by up to 20 degrees in under an hour.

Like other Hayward Universal H-Series pool and spa heaters, it also features a polymer header, Cupronickel combustion chambers, corrosion-resistant heat exchangers, dual thermostat, electronic ignition, and modern LED display, all of which combine to provide you with one of the absolute swimming pool heaters in the business.

Performance aside, this mighty little pool heater will save you money as well. In addition to its incredible thermal efficiency, it’s designed to reduce pump circulation and save you even more money. Talk about cool.

You could read endless pool heater reviews and be honestly hard-pressed to find another model as capable as this Hayward. So, if you want a great pool heater, do yourself a favor and check it out today. You’ll be glad you did.


  • Powerful and heats water very quickly
  • Easy to install
  • Energy-efficient
  • Modern, easy-to-use display and control panel
  • Reasonably priced given its performance
  • Very popular


  • Powerful but a little loud in comparison to other models
  • Not weatherproof, so needs to be covered

4. Smart Pool S601 Inground Pool Solar Heating System

Last but not least and the only solar pool heater review on this list, the Smartpool SunHeater Solar Pool Heater is an ideal option for the budget and environmentally conscious.

Similar to other solar pool heaters, the Smartpool SunHeater operates by running pool water through special panels that collect and transfer heat from the sun. The warmed water is then returned via piping back into the pool, thus increasing its overall temperature.

While the power Smartpool SunHeater isn’t capable of heating water as much or as fast as the natural gas or electric model, it works quite reliably as advertised and is a great option for most above-ground pool owners.

Each Smartpool SunHeater features a 4-foot x 20-foot panel array, but you can add as many as you like depending on the size of your pool.

The panels work best when placed on the roof of your home, and while an installation kit is sold separately, most users recommend going the DIY route and purchasing the couplings, fittings, and so on.

Regardless of which route you choose, the Smartpool SunHeater Solar Pool Heater is a great value and ideal if you live in a warm, sunny climate and want to warm up your pool by up to 10 degrees.

It’s good for your wallet and the environment extends the swimming season and makes your pool water more comfortable to swim in. What else could you ask for?


  • Very budget-friendly
  • Well-made and works as advertised
  • No increase in monthly utility bills
  • Able to connect to other panels for heating larger pools
  • Extended warranty


  • DIY but can be a bit tricky to install
  • Not suitable for larger pools
  • Only capable of warming pool water by up to 10 degrees

5. Fibropool Electric Heat Pump

Aside from solar pool heaters, the 55,000 BTU Fibropool Electric Swimming Pool Heat Pump is one of the most environmentally friendly and energy-efficient pool heaters available. With its electricity usage on par with that of a table saw, this is the pool heater to get if lower energy bills are a top priority.

Just because it’s energy-efficient, however, doesn’t mean it’s weak. The 55,000 BTU electric pool heat pump can warm the water of a 10,000-gallon in-ground pool or 21-foot above-ground pool in just a few hours.

While big and bulky, the Fibropool is surprisingly quiet and easy to install. In fact, unlike many other pool heaters out there that require professional installation, this electric unit can be installed in under 20 minutes.

You can read pool heater reviews for hours and be lucky to find such an easy-to-install option.

When you factor in its digital display and control panel, weatherproof construction, titanium heat exchanger, rotary compressor, and helpful flow switch safety feature, it’s easy to see why the Fibropool 55,000 BTU Electric Swimming Pool Heat Pump is included in this list.

If you want a great all-around pool heater designed to extend your swimming season and save you some green, don’t sleep on this Fibropool.


  • Very energy-efficient
  • Low operating cost
  • Durable construction
  • Easy to install
  • Heats well for an electric unit


  • Big and bulky design

6. Hayward W3HP50HA2 HeatPro Heat Pump

It may lack in the BTU department with only a 50,000 BTU output, but the Hayward W3HP50HA2 HeatPro Heat Pump is without a doubt one of the pool heater options on the market today.

The high-quality heat pump can warm a 13,000-gallon pool well into the 80s within just a couple of days. If that weren’t impressive enough, the Hayward W3HP50HA2 is also super energy efficient. It may cost more than a standard electric heater or gas pool heater with more BTUs, but its 84 percent efficiency rating will save you a ton each month on your utility bill.

Unlike big and bulky pool heaters that take up space and are difficult to install, this impressive Hayward boasts a compact, lightweight design. It also offers a myriad of features designed to boost its performance and make it easier to use.

For example, it features a premium Ultra Gold coated evaporator coil, and titanium corrosion-resistant heat exchanger giving you complete control over the unit with the press of a button.

When you factor in its quiet operation and extremely durable polypropylene exterior construction, it’s easy to see why the Hayward W3HP50HA2 HeatPro Heat Pump is consistently recommended in pool heater reviews as one of the best options around.


  • Compact, lightweight, and easy to install
  • First-class titanium heat exchanger
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Energy-efficient
  • Ultra-quiet operation


  • Somewhat costly for its BTU output

7. Raypak Electric Spa Heater

You won’t find it mentioned in many pool heater reviews and it lacks the pool heater ratings of the popular models above, but as far as true electric pool and spa heaters are concerned, the Raypak 11kw Electric Spa Heater is one of the best.

Designed to be durable, dependable, and provide you with high-performance efficiency, the Raypak is a wise choice for heating a spa or small above-ground pool.

Although it doesn’t meet low NOx requirements, it has a corrosion-free construction that’s built to last for years and an efficiency rating of 83 percent, earning it two thumbs up in both durability and performance.

The 11kw RayPack Electric Spa Heater only puts out 37,500 BTUs, so it’s not ideal for large in-ground pools.

However, thanks to its heavy-duty heating elements, high-limit temperature control, pressure control switch, and high-quality thermostat, it performs extremely well and is an ideal heating solution for spas and most above-ground pools.


  • Inexpensive heating option
  • Well-made and built to last
  • Easy to install


  • Not suited for larger pools
  • Doesn’t meet low NOx emission standards

8. Pentair 460792 Stainless Steel MasterTemp Grey

The Pentair 460792 Stainless Steel MasterTemp Natural Gas Pool Heater delivers the reliability, efficiency, and convenience thousands of pool owners have come to expect from the Pentair brand.

Made to be one of the pool heater options on the market, the incredibly efficient Pentair 460792 is equipped with all of the bells and whistles and can heat a large in-ground pool in record time.

To achieve this, the popular 175,000 BTU pool heater features a fully pre-mixed heating system with an ultra-efficient gas and air mixture, hot surface pilot light, and push-button controls that put its power completely in your hands.

Speaking of power, the Pentair has plenty of safety features to harness its power as well.

With a high limit switch, stack flue sensor, water pressure switch, and a manual gas shut-off, you can rest easy knowing it will never overheat and always perform at its best. With every pool heater feature, you could ask for, it’s an option to keep on your shortlist.


  • Extremely energy-efficient
  • Capable of quickly heating the largest of swimming pools
  • Durable, rust-proof exterior
  • Modern digital display and easy-to-use controls
  • Compatible with Easy Touch automation technology


  • Not the easiest pool heater to install

9. Pentair 460737 MasterTemp 400K BTU Propane Gas High-Performance Eco-Friendly Heater

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As one of the pool heaters being made today, the Pentair 460737 MasterTemp sets the bar in terms of heating efficiency. Harnessing the heating power of natural gas and providing 400,000 BTUs of heat output, it’s capable of quickly heating pools to 40,000 gallons in size.

This makes it an excellent option for any in-ground pool owner in search of instant gratification and comfortable quick dips.

Beyond its amazing heating capabilities, the Pentair 460737 400,000 BTU MasterTemp Pool Heater also features an easy-to-use rotating digital display with digital controls, electronic ignition, water pressure switch, high limit switch, and stack flue sensor to keep it running just like you want whenever you want.

So, if you’ve been left out in the cold and find yourself scouring through pool heater reviews in search of a great gas pool heater for your frigid pool, look no further than this Pentair. It may prove to be your best investment yet.


  • Can quickly heat the largest of pools
  • User-friendly digital controls
  • Corrosion-resistant exterior
  • Very energy-efficient


  • While energy-efficient can be costly to operate

Factors to Consider

If you’re wondering what is the pool heater for you and your home, you’ll be happy to know choosing a pool heater is far from rocket science. However, it does take a little planning and careful consideration.

After all, the last thing you want to do is pony up for a pool heater and go through the installation process only to find out it isn’t suitable for your pool and needs.

There are quite a few factors to consider when deciding on a swimming pool heater, but the very first one to check off the list is the actual type of heater you want for your pool.

  • Solar heaters are inexpensive and won’t cost you a dime after installation, but they only work for smaller pools and take longer to heat up.
  • Electric pool heaters work better, but still, take at least a few hours to begin producing warming results.
  • Natural gas pool heaters work great, but they can be costly to run.
  • You must consider your budget, needs, and lifestyle to pick the right type of pool heater for you.

After deciding on the type of swimming pool heater you want for your pool, you must then determine the right size heater for your pool. Most pool heater reviews simply recommend certain models and neglect to stress the importance of choosing the right size model for your pool. However, this step is critical, so listen up.

Swimming pool heaters are rated according to their BTU output. Each BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is capable of warming water one degree Fahrenheit per pound. Therefore, the greater the BTUs produced by a swimming pool heater, the quicker it will be able to heat a pool.

Since swimming pools are located in different climates and come in different shapes and sizes, to pick the pool heater for your specific pool you must perform some basic math and calculate two variables: the temperature differential and the surface area of your pool.

After you’ve calculated the surface area and temperature differential of your swimming pool, you can refer to the chart below to determine the number of BTUs you’ll need to keep your pool at your desired water temperature.

Heater Size Pool Water Capacity Pool Surface Area

  • 100,000-200,000 BTUs up to 10,000 gallons under 300 square feet
  • 200,000-300,000 BTUs up to 20,000 gallons under 500 square feet
  • 300,000-400,000 BTUs up to 40,000 gallons under 800 square feet
  • 400,000+ BTUs up to 80,000 gallons under 1,200 square feet

When you have calculated the surface area of your pool and considered these factors, choosing a pool heater is simply a matter of checking the numbers against a sizing chart like the one above.

Of course, there are other factors to keep in mind as well. Durability, brand recognition, energy efficiency, ease of installation, and your budget should all be taken into consideration to selecting the very pool heater for you and your pool.


Making the Decision

A quality pool heater can improve your lifestyle and allow you to get the most out of your backyard oasis. However, since different people live in different climates and have different needs, it’s important to use what you just learned to select the right pool heater for you and your pool.

From heat pumps and gas pool heaters to solar and electric pool heaters, there are several different types of pool heaters out there to choose from and dozens of different models all vying for your hard-earned buck. Fortunately for you, you now know more about pool heaters than some technicians, which should make choosing the best one for you and your pool much less daunting.

Whether you want a cheap pool heater for an above-ground pool or have a sizable budget and an in-ground pool, one of the excellent pool heaters above is sure to be a great fit for your budget and needs. All you have left to do is pick one out.

Before you do, however, do yourself a favor and avoid the temptation of buying the cheapest pool heater you come across. It may be tempting to save a buck, but you’ll likely spend more down the line and suffer plenty of frustration along the way. Winter’s right around the corner, so consider your needs, and what you’ve just learned to use, and scroll back up this page to pick out a proven pool heater today!

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