If you live in a warm climate or anywhere that gets remotely hot during the summer, having somewhere to swim can make the weather more bearable—and enjoyable. As you’re probably aware, in-ground swimming pools are expensive to install and maintain. Above-ground pools, however, are an affordable alternative. They’re also much easier to set up and can be just as fun as their in-ground counterparts.
Whether you’re looking for a budget-friendly cool-down solution or want to try out a pool before committing to digging a permanent hole in your yard, we’ve got you covered. We rounded up the best above-ground pools currently on the market, including saltwater-ready, rectangular, round, oval, steel-supported, and inflatable picks. Let’s dive in.
Here, the best above ground pools on the market.
For an above-ground option that shines above the rest, we recommend the Intex Ultra XTR Pool Set. Aside from the actual pool, it comes with a sand filter pump, a ladder with slip-resistant steps, a ground cloth, and a cover with a convenient rope tie. The efficient filter pump has a flow rate of 2,100 gallons per hour, plus a built-in timer with preset cycles.
The reliable frame is made of galvanized steel and connects with a precision-engineered locking system, adding to the overall stability and durability of the product. Thanks to a protective powder coating on the interior and exterior walls, this pool also resists rust. The round Intex Ultra XTR is 52 inches tall and 18 feet in diameter. It holds over 6,900 gallons of water and is ready to fill within 45 minutes.
First off, this is a KIDS pool, so if you’re looking for something deep enough to really swim in, you may want to pass by this review and head to the next. If you are LOOKING for a kids pool though, STOP HERE and check this one out!
The Bestway Deluxe Splash pool is a fantastic addition to a small backyard – or a large backyard in which you don’t want to have a pool take up all of the space. It’s not huge, but it’s definitely large enough for some serious water play! Think “a few HUGE steps up” from the classic round kiddie pool, if you wish. Parents and older kids can even enjoy this one with their littles without feeling silly!
This pool takes about 30-40 minutes to set up, and then just add water! It takes 871 gallons of water (3300 L) to fill it (approx. 3-4 hours).
This Homech inflatable swimming pool is great for family get-togethers. It’s large enough to hold between three and five kids plus two adults. A fun, ocean-inspired print decorates the pool’s exterior. A firm PVC design allows this pool to withstand the outdoor elements.
This brand claims easy setup and fast assembly time for this pool, only requiring level ground and an air pump (not included). Reviewers emphasize the point to start inflating on level ground — otherwise the pool won’t sit evenly or fill properly. Sitting at 10 feet wide and 30 inches long, it’s a good size for adults and kids to lounge and swim. A built-in flow control drain makes take-down easy. Also included is a filter pump and cartridge to maintain cleanliness.
Setting up this pool couldn’t be more straightforward — and you’ll likely complete the task in less than 30 minutes. All it takes is spreading it out on a level patch of grass, inflating it from the top ring, and attaching a garden hose to the drain plug to fill it.
Quick and easy setup isn’t the only perk, because the entire package is also a fantastic value. The pool’s sidewalls are made from laminated PVC, and the kit includes a cartridge filter pump, ground cloth and cover, and a ladder. Rounding out this list of features is an automatic pump shutoff if the water comes in contact with an electrical current.
Made from corrosion-resistant metal frames, heavy-duty PVC, and polyester 3-ply sidewalls. Easy to take down for off-season storage. Includes an underwater adhesive repair patch. Can hold up to 580L
Frame is not very stable and stains very easily when not dried off after each use.
This is surely one of the more durable brands being made with thicker flooring to increase shelf life. Aside from its durable powder coated metal frames, another thing that makes this pool set stand out from many other brands is its powerful pump.
If you’re very particular with pump strength and efficiency, then you’ll love this pool. To be a little bit more specific, the pump has a flow rate of 1500 gallons per hour and includes a cartridge filter that reaches a max of 120 volts.
Lastly, it has a total water capacity of about 6423 gallons, allowing you and your friends to soak yourself into the pool.
For under $200, you can own the Intex 118 by 78 by 29.5 Inches swimming pool and install it in your backyard.
It comes in a rectangular shape and is ideal for family, including kids and grownups.
Note that the adults can lounge inside the pool while the kids swim around.
One astonishing thing is the easy setup design that gives you enough time to relax in the pool and less worrying about the setup.
You can bet it is a strong structure due to the metal supports that help keep the liner in place.
The metal part is coated to prevent rust that can occur when this metal touches water.
Also, you can use this pool without worrying because the walls are made of super-tough laminated material.
You might assume that an inflatable pool isn’t as sturdy as metal alternatives, but this top-rated round above-ground pool from Intex is still super tough, featuring laminated PVC sidewalls that are flexible enough to allow for easy setup and breakdown as well as compact storage capabilities.
It fully sets up in about 30 minutes, and instructions are easy: Simply spread out the pool on sturdy, level ground, inflate the top ring, and fill it with water – a hefty 455 gallons worth. Prop up the included ladder, and you’re ready to dive in and start swimming. The pool also comes with a high-powered pump that filters up to 1,500 gallons of water per hour, ground cloth, debris cover, and drain plug that can be connected to a garden hose to safely drain water away from the pool or house.
Above-ground pools can easily cost upwards of $1,000, but if you live in a region where you’re unable to put yours to use year-round, opting for a more affordable pick is the smarter way to go. You can still splish, splash, and wade the summer away while on a budget with this small above-ground pool. Spread out solo or comfortably sit and soak up the sun with a few friends thanks to a substantial 12-foot diameter. Luckily, it won’t cost you more than $500 but is still packed with all the same features you’d seek from a far more expensive model.
1. When is the best time to get an above ground pool?
Prices for pools can vary throughout the year. The cheapest deals appear from October and onwards through the winter season with prices getting higher again as late spring and summer draw near again. If you have a place to store the unopened boxes, you might want to take advantage of a good deal, however you should keep in mind that if the pool has a problem you will usually not be able to send it back after 30 – 60 days.
2. What type of pool should you get?
There are various types of above ground pools. The most common are the easy set pools and metal frame pools. Easy set pools have soft vinyl or PVC walls and an inflatable ring that lifts up the pool walls as you fill it with water. Metal frame pools are sturdier, as they have steel bars supporting the vinyl or PVC pool liner and can hold up more water in different pool shapes.
3. What shape of pool do you want?
Above ground pools usually come in circle, oval, rectangle, and occasionally square shapes. Depending on what you plan to do with the pool, the shape can make a big difference. Those who want to exercise should get rectangle pools for lap swimming, while those looking to swim recreationally can deal with any shape and should pay more attention to how much space they have to set up the pool.
4. Which brand should you buy?
I recommend getting a more popular or well known brand such as Intex or Bestway. These brands are from larger companies that will be able to handle any issues that may arise with your pool. Getting spare parts, filters, heaters, and other accessories is also easier when you have one of these brands.
I think the easiest way to buy an above ground pool is through Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Homedepot. While you can find them at stores in your area, you might not have as much selection as you will online. Also, when you buy from Amazon you can get benefits such as warranties, best price comparisons, and more. Before you buy, you can check out honest user reviews for each pool you’re interested in instead of just having a salesperson from your local store tell you all about how great the pool is!
Although above ground pools may not have some of the features that many people like about in-ground pools, they make for a wonderful substitute that can be used for many reasons. It’s easy to use an above ground pool for exercise. If you purchase a larger rectangular pool you can do lap swimming, but even in other types of pools it’s possible to exercise by doing resistance training in the water.
If you are more interested in playing and relaxing, above ground pools are perfect for that! Many of them are shallow enough that children can play in the water without much trouble and can really enjoy themselves by playing fun water games without having to worry about the deep end. You can also hop on an inflatable pool float and enjoy the sun and water while you float around in your above ground pool.
Some people that buy these types of pools will build a small wooden deck area around part of the pool with stairs leading up to the pool. This helps to make it easier to get in and out of the pool while also giving swimmers a place to relax when they’re done swimming or else to have a snack or drink poolside.