Above ground pools are a great option for a first pool or a young family. They are affordable, easy to remove, and quick to install. See our overview of above ground pool costs for more information. You can also read about preparing your garden for an above ground pool.
If you want to browse the above ground pools, you can visit swimaboveground.com and use your dealer locator to find a dealer near you. “
Our Top Pick
Last update on 2021-04-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Top 10 Best Above Ground Pools To Buy In 2021
Last update on 2021-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
10 Best Above Ground Pools Review
- Overal Dimensions = 81" Height, 32" Depth, 32.5" Width
- Step Dimensions = 10" x 27"
- Assemlby required
- SUMMERTIME FUN: Escape the summer heat and help keep your little ones cool with the Intex Rectangular Frame Baby Pool. Great outdoor fun for ages 6 and up.
- DESIGN: Easy to assemble, ready for water in 30 minutes. Supported by strong, durable steel frames which are powder-coated for rust resistance and beauty; Rust-resistant frame to keep the pool sturdy though many afternoons of splashing.
- CONVENIENT DRAINING: Convenient drain plug connects to garden hose so water can be drained away from pool or house area.
- INCLUDES: Swimming pool and set up instructions for help with set up and maintenance. Pump, filter, cover, and ladder not included.
- SPECIFICATIONS: Pool type: Above ground frame; Material: Heavy-duty PVC and polyester 3-ply side walls; Ages: 6 and up; Color: Blue; Dimensions (L x W x H): 8.5 x 5.3 x 2.13 feet
- ISBN13: 9780071425148
- Condition: New
- Notes: BRAND NEW FROM PUBLISHER! 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions of books sold!
- Tamminen, Terry (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- SWIMMING POOL SET: 10-foot diameter metal frame pool with SFX330 SkimmerPlus filter pump
- DURABLE FRAME: Durable metal frame features a snap-in design for easy setup; Rust-resistant, galvanized steel frame; Triple-layer polyester mesh and heavy gauge PVC material
- EASY SETUP: Ready for water in as little as 45 minutes
- FEATURES: For ages 6+; Includes filter pump, ladder, type D filter cartridge, and repair patch
- SPECIFICATIONS: Water capacity: 1,266 gallons; Color: Blue; Dimensions: 10 feet x 30 inches; Manufacturer warranty: Pool pump: 180 days, Pool liner: 90 days; All other parts: Warrantied as needed (ground cloths and ladders are not warrantied once assembled)
- Water capacity (90%): 4, 231 gal. (16, 015 L)
- 1, 000 gal. (3, 785 L) filter pump included
- Tri-tech enhanced 3-ply liner is durable and puncture-resistant
- Easy, no-tool setup and takedown process
- Contents: 1 pool, 1 filter pump (compatible with Type III cartridge), 1 pool cover, 1 ladder, 1 repair patch
- Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
- Alan TitchMarsh, Charlie Dimmock, Tommy Walsh (Actors)
- John Thornicroft (Director) - John Thornicroft (Producer)
- English (Playback Language)
- English (Subtitle)
- The product is highly durable
- The product is easy to use
- Manufactured in China
- Copper and stainless components
- Lifetime warranty for residential use
- SUMMER FUN: Kids and adults of all ages can enjoy swimming and splashing in Bestway Power Steel oval above ground pool. It's the Smart choice for families because of a durable steel tube frame and minimal-tool assembly; Disclaimer: Please review your HOA rules and restrictions before purchasing this product. Not all housing agencies permit private above-ground pool
- FRAME DESIGN: The 16' x 10' x 42" pool frame is applied with a rust and corrosion-resistant coating to protect the pool from UV and abrasion damage. The connectors are designed to prevent rust and corrosion for enhanced durability.
- RESISTANT TO BENDING OR LEAKING: The Seal & Lock system is a patented frame design that s each joint connection is secure and won't bend or leak from the water pressure. A pin-clip design is another safety feature to ensure stable joint connections.
- NO MORE CHEMICAL FLOATERS ChemConnect chemical dispenser replaces the need for a traditional floating chemical cleaner giving you more room to swim and have fun! It simply attaches to a valve on the pool wall.
- EASY TO ASSEMBLE POOL SET: Minimal tools are required to install This above ground pool in your backyard. A flow-controlled drain valve provides a simple solution for emptying the excess water. A 1000 GPH cartridge filter pump, ladder, and filter cartridge are included in this pool set.
- EASY SET-UP: The Summer Waves above ground 15 foot x 36 inch pool is easy to set up and is ready for water in 10 minutes with a filter pump. Made for ages 6 and up
- DURABLE: The super tough sidewalls made with 3-ply materials is puncture-resistant and durable filter pump to keep the water crystal clear and clean
- FEATURES: The pump features GFCI to ensure safety of all the swimmers and the filter pump provides improved circulation and filtration for improved water clarity
- CAPACITY: The pool can fit up to 4 people and is perfect for adults and kids and holds up at 2,640 gallons of water when 90-percent full
- PRODUCT INFO: The dimensions of the pool are (L x W x H): 15 x 15 x 3 feet. Includes RX600 filter pump, chlorinator, and a D filter cartridge. Air pump is not included
Last update on 2021-04-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Points To Consider When Buying An Above Ground Pool
To make sure the above ground pool comes and lands on your backyard, there are a few factors you need to review first.
Above ground swimming pools constructed from resin materials have a distinct advantage over steel or aluminum pool parts as they cannot rust or corrode. They also resist denting and warping. High technology and impeccable style combine to bring you innovative and incredible endurance with a resin pool.
Hybrid above ground pools combine the advantages of a steel pool with a resin pool. The materials used, both resin and steel, allow you to benefit from the advantages of both types of pools in one and also provide durability and effectiveness over the years.
Steel component above ground pools are very strong and are considered some of the best above ground pools on the market. Many of these above ground pools use a combination of different metals for various components. Generally the component substitution is done on a combination of the top and bottom plates along with the bottom and top inner stabilizer rails. The steel used is generally a heavy coated zinc metal, aluminum or galvanized metal material.
Aluminum pools have become popular over the last 10 to 15 years because of their ability to handle inclement weather. Aluminum is rust-resistant and, like steel, is often coated to prevent corrosion and oxidization. Aluminum is more flexible than steel, good for handling the movement of water, and is much easier to disassemble and move, as it is much lighter than steel. However, because aluminum pool walls are essentially just panels riveted together, they must be sealed properly to maintain a sound structure.
THE OPTIMUM POOL FOR ANY BACKYARD!
If you’re looking for an Above Ground Pool that is strong, sturdy, and built to last – look no further than Optimum! With its wide variety of installation options in an array of round and oval sizes, Optimum is so versatile, it can be installed to fit any yard – even if it’s not completely flat!
With its 2 inch thick insulated wall panels, all aluminum and stainless steel construction, the Optimum pool offers the best in strength AND versatility. And with Optimum’s compact shipping and quick, easy assembly – you’ll be swimming in no time!
Above Ground Pool vs. In-Ground Pool: Which is Right for You?
Deciding on whether to install an in-ground or above ground pool is usually a pretty personal decision. It will depend on a lot of factors like budget and yard size.
Obviously, in-ground pools are going to require complicated installation. You’ll basically be at the mercy of the contractor you hire and the process they use.
Also, depending on the weather and type of pool you choose, you may be in for a good 6-8 weeks of construction.
Above ground pools, on the other hand, can usually be set up in a matter of minutes. And these types of pools almost never require professional help to be installed.
Some people, however, like to build decking or fencing around them, which could take some time. But this doesn’t necessarily require you to wait to use the pool.
Price is a big factor and probably the main one most people have to think about. According to HomeGuide, the average cost for an in-ground pool is between $28,000 and $55,000!
On top of that, you have to consider the decking or pool surroundings that are necessary. And this can cost several thousand as well.
But an above ground pool is much cheaper. Most models will cost no more than $3,000 and you won’t need to pay a pro.
Not to mention the fact that there won’t be any construction surprises like busted water lines or other damage to worry about.
Another consideration when making this decision is the amount of maintenance you wish to do. Taking care of either type of pool is a chore, but each one comes with its own challenges.
Above ground pools are a little easier to maintain, mainly because they hold less water and are easier to drain. If you experience a problem with algae in one of these, you can usually drain it entirely and refill it without much problem.
In-ground pools can be a little harder to drain and clean, however. They usually have a lot more water and a more complicated drainage system.
Also, if an in-ground pool needs repair, it will often require the help of a professional. But with an above ground pool, you can easily patch it up yourself or replace it if necessary.
Pros of Using an Above Ground Pool
As you can see from the comparison, there are a lot of pros to using an above ground pool. The ease of installation, lower price, and easier maintenance are at the top of the list. But in addition, here are a few you might not have thought of:
- Portability. This is an especially helpful feature if you’re renting a home or planning to move within the next few years. You can simply take the pool with you when you go.
- Variety of shapes and sizes. If you install an in-ground pool, you’re pretty much stuck with the size and shape you choose forever. But with an above ground pool, you can choose whatever you like and have the option to change it down the road. This is helpful if your pool needs change as your children grow.
- Increased safety. All pools should be surrounded with some type of enclosure. But with an above ground pool, you have one more barrier of entry. Simply remove the ladder after swimming, making it more difficult for little ones to climb over the side.
- Less damage. For an in-ground pool, you’ll obviously have to dig up some of your yard. This may be a non-issue if a pool is your dream. But if you ever change your mind, it’s a lot harder to rebuild your yard than it would be if you just had to move an above ground pool and plant some sod.
Types of Above Ground Pools
There are several different types of above ground pools. Some are made sturdier and intended to be a little more permanent than others.
Steel Frame Pools
We put several steel frame pools on our top ten list. The liners on these pools are typically made from durable PVC vinyl and held together with easy-to-assemble steel frames.
The beauty of these pools is that they are easy to maintain and sturdy, but just as easy to take down and remove if necessary.
Inflatable pools are usually made with the same type of vinyl as the liners of steel frame pools. The difference is there is no frame holding these up.
They’re constructed sort of like bowls with inflatable top rings. The water inside the pool is what holds its shape.
Inflatable pools can be extremely temporary, meaning they can be used on rental properties or summer spots where you don’t plan on leaving them up past swimming season.
These are different from steel frame pools in that the sides and bottom are constructed out of metal, rather than just the frame.
These pools are considered some of the strongest on the market and can be made a little more permanent than other above ground models.
Resin pools are a little less common, but a good choice in above ground pools. The bottoms and walls of these models are made out of a resin material that won’t dent or warp like metal often can.
These pools are usually used with saltwater pools since they resist corrosion. They also stay cool to the touch rather than absorbing heat from the sun like metal does.
5 Things to Look For in an Above Ground Pool
Once you’ve made the decision to actually purchase an above ground pool, there are a few important things you should look for.
- Warranty. One of the first things I would ask before making a purchase this big is what type of warranty it comes with. Most companies offer them, but the terms can vary quite a bit. Bestway and Intex, for example, offers a 90-day warranty on its pools and parts.
- Accessories. The next thing I would look for is what comes with it. You’ll need a filtration system for any pool, so it’s ideal if the one you buy comes with it. It’s also best if it comes with the ground cover that goes underneath it and a ladder for entering and exiting. These are purchases you don’t want to have to make separately when most pools come with them.
- Good reviews. You can find reviews for any product you want to buy. If it’s available on Amazon, just check the reviews there. These people are usually verified buyers so there are less paid reviewers. Seeing what real people say about the pool will help you decide if it’s the one for you or not.
- Size and shape. The size and shape is important, but based entirely on your own particular needs. Take accurate measurements of your yard, but be sure to account for how much space you need outside the pool area.
- Quality materials. The pools we listed are all made out of durable materials made to withstand the elements. But if you venture outside the list, make sure you check the quality of the liners, as well as the frames.
Best Above Ground Pool Brands: Intex vs. Bestway
You’ve probably noticed we’re somewhat partial to Intex and Bestway when it comes to above ground pools. But there are a few differences that make each one stand out in its own way.
First of all, let’s cover what they both have in common. For one thing, they’re both easy to set up, and that goes for all of their models.
Secondly, both brands almost always include ground covers, pumps, and ladders with their pools. Many other brands do this as well, but these two are a little more consistent.
The differences between Intex and Bestway are a little more subtle, but here’s the comparison:
The setup method for both pools is fairly similar for similar models. For example, both inflatable models use an inflatable ring on top and are made of the same material.
However, one reviewer noted that the setup for the Bestway steel frame pool was just a little more difficult than it was for the similar Intex model. She stated that it was slightly difficult “lining up the holes to get the plastic pins in.”
The pool liner is another point of difference in the two brands. Both are made with extremely durable and long-lasting PVC material, but Bestway’s is a little different.
Bestway uses something called Tritech for its liner, which is a “3-layer reinforced material with a polyester mesh core encased between two layers of high gauge PVC material.”
Aside from that, both pool brands are fairly equal as far as we’re concerned. You’re probably safe to just choose the best deal between them once you’ve chosen your pool type.
How to Install an Above Ground Pool
Installing an above ground pool is fairly simple, but certain types can definitely require some manpower. If you’ve purchased anything besides an inflatable pool, you may need to recruit some help.
Prepare The Foundation
The first step is to prepare the foundation. If you plan to leave the pool there for more than just a couple of months, you’ll need to remove any grass or weeds currently growing where it will be placed.
This is not as important if you’re installing a pool with a metal or resin bottom, but if vinyl is at the base, some of that stuff can grow right through it. Also, check your local code to see if you’re required to remove sod in a specified area surrounding the pool.
Level The Foundation
Once this is done, your foundation might need to be leveled. Because of the weight of the pool when it contains water, an unlevel surface can damage the lining or walls by causing them to shift. It can also cause water to accumulate where it shouldn’t, causing corrosion or tearing.
Depending on the type of pool you install, you’ll either need to lay sand or padding underneath it. This way, you’ll have some cushion for your floor as well as protection from tearing.
Sturdy The Foundation
Next, you’ll need to sturdy up the foundation for your frame if you’re using anything other than an inflatable pool. The posts will need stones or other solid material to support them.
These also have to be level to reduce shifting or instability.
Assemble The Frame
Assembling the actual pool is probably the easiest part of the process. Once you’ve got your foundation taken care of, you’ll just need to follow the manufacturer’s directions for putting the pool together.
Basically, you’ll assemble the frame and then create a sand cove. This is a wedge of sand that you build up on the inside of the pool walls to keep the liner in place.
Assemble The Walls & Liner
Inside the frame, you’ll either assemble the walls and liner, or just the liner, depending on the type of pool you have. It’s easiest to lay this liner out completely in a warm spot in the yard to rest. This step makes it a little more pliable.
You’ll then install the liner in the frame, following the instructions that came with the pool.
This may include punching out the perforated holes for the skimmer and pins. Or it may include overlapping the liner for certain types. But it will always include smoothing out the material at the bottom of the pool to get it as wrinkle-free as possible.
Fill The Pool With Water
Now you can fill your pool with water. This can be done in a couple of ways. It’s perfectly acceptable to use a garden hose, but depending on the size of the pool, that could take some time.
Also, when using your hose, it’s best to use a hose filter so that it’s easier to balance the chemistry later. These just keep out excess chlorine and minerals that might be lurking in your municipal supply.
Another option is to hire a water truck service. This is a lot faster than using your hose and may actually end up costing less.
Install The Filter
Finally, you’ll install the filtration system your pool came with. It should be a fairly simple setup if you follow your instructions.
Maintenance for Above Ground Pools
The main thing that makes above ground pool maintenance different than that for in-ground pools is the water capacity. Above ground pools usually hold a lot less water, therefore they’re a little easier to care for.
That doesn’t mean you can skip the maintenance, though. Neglect your above ground pool and you could soon have an overgrowth of algae you don’t wanna mess with!
If you’re brand new to pool care, we put together a really cool guide here that tells you everything you need to know. But here are a few of the basics to get you started.
Get Into a Routine
Maintaining your pool should be a routine that you schedule weekly, but there are also a few tasks you need to take care of every day.
First of all, leaves, frogs, and other debris needs to be cleaned out with a net on a regular basis. Try enlisting the kids for help if you’re short on time. They’ll think it’s fun for a while.
The chemistry of your pool water is the most important thing to maintain. Testing kits come in either strips or vial kits that you can easily read.
It’s ideal to check this 2-3 times a week, but if you’re having problems balancing it, you might have to do it daily. And shocking your pool with an extra dose of chlorine is recommended weekly, but at a minimum, once a month.
There are also some situations where you’ll need to keep an extra close eye on your levels. Storms, pool parties, or pool spills are all good examples.
In these cases, it’s best to shock your pool, then test the levels every day until they’re back in balance.
The other thing you’ll need to do is brush and vacuum your pool weekly. This keeps debris and algae spores from developing and wreaking havoc on your water.
During your weekly routine, it’s also important to check for small tears or leaks that could worsen over time. If you catch them early, they’re easier to patch.
Most Frequently Asked Questions by Buyers
How can I calculate how much water the pool will hold?
To calculate how many gallons of water your new pool will hold, there’s a simple formula to help you with the math.
You’ll need the height, width, and length of your pool.
Let’s say you buy a rectangular pool that measures 18ft x 10ft and is 4ft tall. Your formula would then be: Length x width x depth x 7.5 = 18 x 10 x 4x 7.5 = 5,400 gallons.
Now, for a 10ft x 4ft circular pool, the formula looks a bit different. Instead, you will use: Pi x radius squared x depth x 7.5 = 3.14 x 25 x 4 x 7.5 = 2355 gallons.
How do I keep the water clean?
There are many ways to ensure your pool water remains clean and crystal clear. You’ll need some specific equipment and some chemicals to maintain hygienic water quality.
Pool cleaning tools include telescoping poles, test kits, vacuums, skimmers, and filters. There are also automatic cleaners that you can use to keep your pool clean, but you’ll still need skimmers for removing bugs, leaves, and other debris. It’s also important to keep your pool covered when it’s not in use so that the water will remain clean and uncontaminated.
Filters are also crucial to maintain the cleanliness and clarity of your pool water. Whether you opt for sand filters or salt filters, you want to make sure that you’re filtering your pool water at least 8 hours every day. Make sure to clean your lead basket regularly as well to keep your filter system running smoothly.
Another common way to maintain clean water is by making use of chemicals such as chlorine. This is where test kits come in handy as chlorine changes the pH of your water. Make sure to research and find out how to properly use chlorine and other chemical additives to keep your pool water up to sanitary standards.
Do I need a permit for my pool?
Yes and no – or rather, it really depends. Every municipality and district is different. So, you’ll have to do some research on your own. However, many cities and towns do require a permit for anything deeper than 24inches.
You may also have to follow some guidelines to be allowed a pool on your property, such as extra fencing, locks, and electrical services.
How long does an above ground pool last?
This depends entirely on the pool, as well as the normal weather in your area. Many pools are built to last for years on end, while others may last a season or two before needing to be replaced.
The level of care and proper maintenance that your pool receives will also significantly impact its life expectancy. Things like proper draining and drying before storage are absolutely essential.
How do I decide what size pool I need?
Your backyard size, family size, and budget are the top indicators of how big your pool should be. If you have one small child and a low budget, a small 10ft pool might be your best bet.
If you have a large yard and enjoy summer get-togethers with friends and family, a larger 22ft pool might be your ideal. This is an entirely personal decision and largely depends on your specific circumstances. When looking for pools, no matter your budget or other circumstances, make sure you have enough room in your backyard so that your pool won’t be touching fences, trees, or gardens.
You also need to consider the maintenance and the time-consuming process of cleaning the pool when deciding on how big your pool should be. If you live alone or with a partner, you don’t want a large pool that will take up hours of your time every week to clean up.
How do I get the most life out of my pool liner?
There are several ways to get the most out of your pool liner. Maintaining proper chemical levels is very important. If your chlorine level is too low, you may end up with algae growing in your pool. But, if the chlorine content is too high, it will damage your liner. Regularly testing your chemicals will ensure that your liner isn’t destroyed by this entirely preventable issue.
Maintaining your water levels is also an important way of preserving your pool liner. Fluctuating water levels can result in warping, which will drastically shorten its lifespan.
Also, when you need to repair a tear or clean your pool, be sure to leave at least a foot of water at the bottom. This will prevent the liner from shrinking, warping, or otherwise losing its shape.
Speaking of tears, you want to repair liner tears as quickly as possible to prevent potential warping and utter destruction altogether. In fact, there’s a special patching glue you can buy online or at your local pool supply store that will allow you to patch tears without having to drain your pool. The benefits of this method come twofold – you don’t have to pay a higher water bill to fill the entire pool back up, and you preserve your liner by not having to drain the pool and risk warping.
Finally, proper cleaning of your liner is the most effective way to extend its lifespan. Your liner requires occasional cleaning with a tool specifically designed for the job. When cleaning, be sure to avoid abrasive things like steel wool, as this will cause damage and weaken the liner. If you’re unsure which tool you should use to clean and protect your pool liner, talk to a professional at your local pool supply store before any cleaning is started.
How can I light my pool?
There are countless options for floating lights that would be a wonderful addition to any pool, and there are many options for overhead or deck illumination for your pool as well.
Where can I purchase an above ground pool?
Nearly every city has a pool supply store, but buying online is a much better option overall. You can easily compare pools online, save favorites while you consider your options, and they usually come with free shipping that saves you a lot of hassle and a big expense.
Shopping online, in particular, is a great choice because there are hundreds of options and dealers to choose from, plus you can browse hundreds of reviews and ratings for every pool you’re considering to get the low-down before making your final selection.
Finding a pool with the exact features you want is super easy when ordering over the web, and in the modern day and age – it’s our preferred and highly recommended method to get the pool you want at an unbeatable price.
Can an above ground pool have a deep end?
They absolutely can! Above ground pools can feature deep ends that extend up to 8ft. However, it is important to note that if you’re looking for an above ground pool with a deep end, it will have to be a larger pool since the slope must be gradual, and smaller pools simply do not have space.
There is also the option of a semi-inground pool if you’re not ready to commit to a fully in-ground option, but want the depth that it can offer. Make sure to look at the cost of a semi-inground pool and how it compares to an above ground variant before committing to the project.
How long does it take to install an above ground pool?
The length of time to install an above ground pool varies wildly depending on the size and type of pool you get. Smaller pools or inflatable ones can be water ready in as little as 30 minutes, while larger or more complicated pools can take several hours to set up and prepare properly.
If you’re getting a higher-end above ground pool, it may take several hours and a professional to install it properly. However, most of the pools we’ve covered can be set up in under an hour, depending on your handyman capabilities, and whether or not you have a few helpers to speed things up a bit.
What accessories does an above ground pool need?
Every pool needs a debris cover, ground cover, and filter pump. Some pools also require a ladder for safe entering and exiting of the pool as well.
For cleaning purposes, you’ll need skimmers, telescoping poles, and chlorine or chemical dispensers. And while you’re at it, don’t forget test kits!
And of course, every pool needs a good set of colorful floaties!
Especially if your kids will be playing in the pool regularly, you’ll want beach balls and pool noodles and other assorted water-based accessories and games to keep them entertained all day long.
We hope our guide to choosing the best possible above ground pool for you and your family was helpful. The most important piece of advice we can give you about choosing a pool is to take your time and get a good feel for what you really need while accounting for space, budget, and any additional costs. At the very least – every pool needs a good bit of space and some level ground!
Before deciding on a pool, give some thought to the amount of work that pool maintenance can be, especially if you’re considering a larger pool or will be looking after it on your own.
Preparing your backyard for a pool is also a lot of work and needs to be done before you ever order your chosen pool. But as soon as you’ve got everything in order – you’re on your way to endless water-fun and some cool summer backyard hangouts. Thanks for reading, and we hope that our guide to the 10 best above ground pools gave you some inspiration and helped put a few new options on your short-list!