Our Top Picks
"A highly-rated option that comes with everything you need to set it up."
"This 12-foot diameter pool has an affordable price."
Best Above-Ground: Blue Wave Martinique 15ft x 52in Above-Ground Pool at Home Depot
"A sturdy pool that can fit up to eight people comfortably."
Best Kiddie Pool: Intex Crystal Blue Inflatable Pool, 45” x 10" at Amazon
"A small, inflatable mini pool that’s perfect for kiddos."
Best Inflatable: Intex 15' x 48" Inflatable Easy Set Swimming Pool at Walmart
"Quick to set up and easy to take down at the end of the season."
Best for Easy Setup: Intex 18ft X 10ft X 42in Oval Frame Pool Set at Amazon
"This pool can be assembled in about 30 minutes."
"A round swimming pool set that is equipped with a sturdy steel frame."
Best for Kids: Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center at Amazon
"Watch them slide from one pool to the next."
01 of 08
Best Overall: Intex 24ft x 12ft X 52in Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set
You'll be making a splash in no time with this top-rated pool. The Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set comes with everything you need to set up and maintain a large pool, and it can be assembled in one hour or less. It measures 24 feet x 12 feet x 52 inches, which is the perfect size for families and friends to enjoy.
Intex is a leader in above-ground pools with models in various shapes and sizes. This rectangular metal frame pool set features laminated sidewalls and a metal frame that's able to hold 8,403 gallons of water. The set includes a 1,600 GPH Krystal Clear sand filter pump & saltwater system to keep your water free of algae and bacteria. A ladder, ground cloth, pool cover, maintenance kit, and volleyball complete the set.
Customers across the board love this attractive looking pool, saying it will save you a bundle compared to an in-ground pool or another premium above-ground option. People who have upgraded to this model have also commented on the straightforward installation process.
"The puncture-resistant three-ply pool liner feels rugged. We had zero leaks throughout the summer. The kids regularly bumped into and kicked the sides when they were playing with no effect. We even accidentally hit the side of the pool with a shovel, and there wasn't even a scuff."—Kelly Hodgkins, Product Tester
02 of 08
Best Budget: Intex 12ft x 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump
While not a cheap inflatable pool that you can blow up—this pool is a bit more substantial but can hold up all summer long. It comes with a filter so you can be sure your water stays clean as you cool off on hot days. All you need to do to hook up the filter is attach it to your hose and you'll feel safe knowing your family is splashing around in filtered water.
At 12 feet in diameter and 30 inches deep your sure to be able to get the whole family in there. What we love best is that this can be set up in 10 minutes so it doesn't take the whole day to fill. We also love the affordable price that is great for someone who isn't sure how much use they'll get out of this.
03 of 08
Best Above-Ground: Blue Wave Martinique 15ft x 52in Above-Ground Pool
For an above-ground pool that leaves nothing to be desired, opt for the sturdy Blue Wave Martinique Above-Ground Pool. Unlike inflatable pools, this above-ground pool features the stability of a more robust steel frame and a 7-inch metal top rail. There’s nothing to puncture and this pool is made to last, as evidenced by the 25-year limited warranty.
The Blue Wave Martinique holds 5,310 gallons and can fit up to eight people comfortably. To keep maintenance to a minimum, this above-ground pool package ships with a sand filter system with 1 HP pump that users say works well to keep the water clear.
While you can install this above-ground pool yourself, user experience indicates that you’ll likely need three to four people to get the job done. Others opted for professional installation. Either way, once this pool is set up and filled with fresh water, you’ll be eager to jump right in and enjoy all this above-ground pool has to offer for years to come.
04 of 08
Best Kiddie Pool: Intex Crystal Blue Inflatable Pool, 45” x 10"
Give pint-sized swimmers a safe splash zone with a kiddie pool. For an easy-to-inflate and easy-to-empty mini pool, we recommend the frills-free Intex Crystal Blue Inflatable Pool. It's the perfect way to cool kids down on a hot summer day.
At just 10 inches deep and almost 3 feet wide, this pool is designed with kids in mind—and it’s also a popular pick for a doggy pool, too! Inflate and fill with water for fun in the sun, then deflate for easy storage in a garage or outdoor shed. You can use a small air pump to get this pool set up in a hurry, or use lung power if you're feeling ambitious.
A few people had an issue with at least one of the rings not holding air after some rough use—but for the price, if it lasts a season most users are satisfied. If you do develop a leak, you can patch the pool with the included patch kit. Reviewers say this pool is perfect for backyard fun or use it to cool off your pooch during the dog days of summer.Continue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Best Inflatable: Intex 15' x 48" Inflatable Easy Set Swimming Pool
An inflatable pool is a convenient and affordable way to add a swimming pool to your backyard. These pools generally set up quickly and are easy to take down at the end of the season, with minimal parts and pieces. The Intex Inflatable Easy Set Swimming Pool combines all of these advantages for a pool you can start filling in 15 minutes.
Intex’s inflatable swimming pool doesn’t require any tools, which is a big plus for cautious DIYers that don’t have a lot of tools or time. An instructional DVD gives you the step-by-step process you’ll need to get your pool up and ready for 3,736 gallons of water. A 1,000 GPH filter pump will keep the water clean while you splish and splash.
It’s important that you smooth the bottom liner of any wrinkles before filling because customers found that not doing so leads to dirt accumulating on the bottom of the pool. The ladder also didn’t impress some users, who found it unstable. But in general, most people are pleased with the quick setup of this inflatable pool and the easy enjoyment it provides.
06 of 08
Best for Easy Setup: Intex 18ft X 10ft X 42in Oval Frame Pool Set
Spend less time prepping and more time swimming with an easy-to-setup pool. The Intex Oval Frame Pool Set borrows features from the brand’s Easy Set pools and adds the stability and support of a modified frame to create a pool that is simple to set up and sturdy.
At 18 feet long and 42 inches deep, adults and children alike enjoy this oval-shaped pool for pool games or swimming laps. Before you can jump right in, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for this pool that can be assembled in about 30 minutes. One common warning from users is to make sure that you remove all the wrinkles from the liner before fully filling with 2,885 gallons of water. An included Krystal Clear cartridge filter pump will help keep the pool clean, along with regular maintenance.
A few people encountered holes in the liner after use, but they were remedied with a quick patch job. This isn’t surprising since this easy-to-setup pool won’t last forever. However, most people enjoyed several seasons of use before this inflatable pool with frame needed replacing.
07 of 08
Best Round: Bestway Power Steel 14’x 42” Frame Swimming Pool
If you’re looking to go round and round all summer long, hop on a float and take it easy in the Bestway Power Steel Round Swimming Pool. Bestway is the parent company to well-known outdoor brand Coleman, and this well-rated round swimming pool has plenty of fans.
Bestway’s round swimming pool set is equipped with a sturdy steel frame, pool cover, ladder, and 1,000 GPM Flowclear filter pool pump rated for use with up to 5,100 gallons of water. This pool holds 3,440 gallons of water, so the pump is a good match for the size.
People found this round pool to be straightforward to setup and easy to enjoy. A few people mentioned how the design of the included liner and lack of an inflatable top ring made this feel more like a “real” pool, rather than a temporary addition to the backyard. Still, this metal frame swimming pool requires minimal tools for assembly and disassembly, so it’s a snap to put up and take down with the change of seasons.
08 of 08
Best for Kids: Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center
When your kids have graduated passed a basic kiddie pool this play center is the next best thing. Blow it up and watch them slide from one pool to the next, play ring toss, or just splash around and have fun. This pool also has a sprayer so you can attach a hose and keep the kids cool as water splashes them.
Reviewers love how much fun this gave their family at such an affordable price, but many mention an air pump is necessary to fill this up.
What to Look for in an Above-Ground Pool
Shape First, decide whether you prefer a round pool that saves space or a rectangular pool that gives you more room for aquatic activities. The footprint of a round pool is smaller and it requires minimal square footage in your yard. However, if you want to swim laps, you’re better off with a rectangular pool that gives you a longer edge-to-edge distance.
Filter Some above-ground pools include a filter, while other more portable options omit this feature. If you plan to leave your pool up for an extended period of time, make sure you look for a model equipped with a filter to keep the pool safe and sanitary. For smaller above-ground pools that you’ll empty after each use, skip a filter system since the water won’t be sitting stagnant for a prolonged period.
Frame For the sturdiest above-ground pool, look for one that has a metal frame. This will help ensure that the pool holds its shape, even when filled with water and subjected to swimming and splashing. Inflatable pools, on the other hand, tend not to include this feature but make it work due to their smaller size and reduced water volume.