6 Best Above-Ground Pools for Warm Weather Fun
Here's a selection of standout above-ground pools for every taste and budget.
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Above-ground pools are less expensive and easier to maintain than in-ground pools. Plus, there are many styles of backyard swimming pools to choose from. Go with steel, resin or hybrid (combination of steel and resin) for something durable and long-lasting. For the budget-minded, there are inflatable above-ground pools. Check out our top six above-ground pool picks by category.
The Best Above Ground Pools
Best Overall Above Ground Pool
Intex Ultra XTR Pool Set
Nearly 6,000 Amazon reviewers give the Intex Ultra XTR Pool Set a big thumbs-up. It boasts a sturdy powder-coated steel frame and a durable, three-ply liner designed to stand up to UV light. The popular 18-foot-by-9-foot-by-52-inch rectangular model holds more than 4,500 gallons of water and comes with essential pool accessories: A filter pump, removable ladder, pool cover and ground cloth. Set up is super quick with this above-ground pool—it’ll be up and ready for water in about an hour, so you don’t have to suffer another hot day without the break of a cool backyard pool.
- Steel frame supports shape and weight distribution
- Durable construction
- Quick to set up
- Includes pool ladder, ground cloth, sand filter and pool cover
- Will likely require some site preparation with wood or concrete pads
Best Above Ground Pool for a Small Space
Intex Metal Frame Pool
There’s a lot to like about the Intex Metal Frame Pool if you’re in the market for something more compact. This 10-foot-by-30-inch pool accommodates up to four people and almost 1,200 gallons of water.
The rust-resistant powder-coated metal construction features laminated sidewalls held in place by a tight band. Another plus is that it only takes 45 minutes to install with an instructional DVD for guidance.
- Ideal for smaller backyards, accommodates up to 4 people
- Very affordable
- Metal frame support
- Easy and quick to set up
- Does not include pool cover or ladder
- Must be installed close to a power source for the pump
Best Budget Above Ground Pool
Bestway Steel Pro Rectangular Pool
For a highly-rated above-ground pool that won’t break the bank, consider the Bestway Steel Pro Pool.
It comes in six sizes, the smallest size setting you back just $80. It’s made from polyester mesh encased between two layers of PVC and held up by corrosion-resistant metal frames. It only takes two or three people about 10 minutes to set it up, with no special tools required.
- Extremely affordable
- Great for kids
- Steel frame support
- Takes up little storage space
- Pool walls may be less durable than other above ground pool options
Best Splurge Above Ground Pool
Lomart Embassy Resin Hard Wall Savannah Pool Package
If you’re looking for a high-quality above-ground pool kit, we’ve found it. The Lomart Embassy Savannah Pool Package includes an overlap liner, filtration system, ladder, skimmer, suction vacuum and wall light.
This kit has some of the strongest and most durable pool walls on the above-ground pool market. Coupled with its thick, sturdy frame, this pool is a great choice if you plan to build a surrounding deck or seating. This pool is made to stay put in your backyard for many years and several seasons of family fun to come.
- All-inclusive pool system kit
- Galvanized-steel frame
- Resin uprights and top rails for corrosion resistance
- Contemporary design
- Safe for adding a saltwater system
- Very expensive, but top quality
Best Inflatable Above Ground Pool
Intex Easy Pool Set
Inflatable above ground pools such as this Intex Easy Pool Set are inexpensive and easy to set up. This model is made from a high-quality, three-layer material that’s resistant to punctures.
Reviewers give the pool top marks as long as it’s placed on level ground. “My kids love the pool so that is the ultimate measure,” writes one reviewer. “It is a nice pool to swim in and spend some time at the end of the day.”
- Super easy to set up
- Very affordable
- Comes with a filter pump
- Not as durable steel-supported above ground pools
Best Saltwater Above Ground Pool
Intex Ultra XTR Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System
Saltwater pools are known to be less harsh on your hair and skin than chlorine pools. So, if you’re looking for an above-ground pool with a saltwater filter pump system, look no further. The Intex Ultra XTR Pool Set has a sand filter pump and saltwater system.
This pool has a steel frame and a thick PVC liner. It’s about 4-1/3 feet deep and comes with several accessories, including a ground cloth, pool cover and ladder. This 24-foot-by-12-foot pool takes about an hour to assemble and is a great option if you’re not a fan of having chlorine affect your hair and your kids’ hair.
- Compatible with saltwater pool system
- Minimal amount of maintenance required
- Supported with steel and PVC frame
- Includes liner, ladder, filter pump, ground cloth and cover
- More expensive than other above ground pool options
What to Look for When Buying an Above Ground Pool
When shopping for an above-ground pool, there are many things to take into consideration. But ultimately, how you select which above-ground pool is right for you will come down to personal preferences, yard space and budget.
The best size and shape of an above-ground pool depends on how many people will be using the pool and their ages. If your above-ground pool will be used by small children, you’ll likely want a pool that’s less than four feet deep.
How We Found the Best Above Ground Pools
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject-matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
How long do above-ground pools last?
While the lifespan depends on the construction of the pool, above-ground pools generally last around 10-15 years. However, some inflatable options may not last as long, as their pool walls are less durable than those made with resin and PVC.
Is it a good idea to have an above-ground pool?
The plus side to buying an above ground pool is that it is far less expensive (and less time consuming) than having an in-ground pool installed. While above ground pools typically do not add any additional value to your home, they’re a more feasible option for many families who want the luxury of a pool in their backyard without shelling out tens of thousands of dollars.
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