UPDATED: Sept 14, 2019.
What are the best above ground pools to buy? With so many models and layouts available on the market selecting the right above ground pool for your needs can quickly become confusing. Fundamentally choosing the right adult size above ground pool for your home comes down to having the right information regarding quality, functionality, design, and price.
10 Best Above Ground Pool Reviews
Let’s reviews the 10 best above ground pools with their unique benefits. The reviews are carefully crafted after considering customer feedback, supplier credibility, price, quality, warranty and benefits to ease the purchase decision process.
1. Intex Swimming Pool- Easy Set, 8ft.x30 in
- Extremely easy to setup, install and disassemble
- Made from heavy-duty vinyl
- Unbeatable price
- Various sizes (recommend 15 ft. or 18 ft. for adults)
- Easy to maintain and clean
- Lacks in terms of durability
- Only recommended for areas with level ground
- Does not include filter pump and other equipment
The Intex Easy Set inflatable pool is the ideal choice if you want a pool that is quick to install and easy to maintain. It is extremely cost-effective for the immense joy it provides on a hot summer day and thanks to its heavy-duty vinyl construction it will last at least a few seasons.
This above-ground pool is easy to disassemble and move around – all you must do is deflate, dry, pack and store. Take note that this particular size does not come with a filter pump, ground cloth, or a pool cover.
2. Intex 12ft X 30in Metal Frame Pool Set
- 3 different sizes to choose from
- Durable PVC construction – built to last
- Easy to install
- Comes with a filter pump
- Suitable for both children and adults
- Great value for the price
- Vulnerable to punctures and leaks
- For the bigger sizes would definitely recommend a better filter pump
The Intex Metal frame pool is designed to be easy to set up and install. The pool set comes equipped with all the tools and adds-ons that makes installation and ongoing maintenance less cumbersome.
This intex above ground pool is designed and constructed using a strong durable steel frame. This frame is powder-coated to accentuate the design and also protect against rust. This allows it to accommodate salt water sanitation systems.
3. Intex 14ft X 42in Ultra Frame Pool Set
- Heavy duty construction for added durability and strength
- Comes with a filter pump and many other accessories
- Can take less than an hour to setup
- Compatible with saltwater sanitation systems
- Available in round and rectangular shapes of various sizes
- Only recommended for level surfaces
- More expensive than other similar models
This 14 ft Intex pool is the ideal size for adults and children making it the ideal family pool. The product includes all the equipment necessary for installation and maintenance such as a ground cloth, a removable ladder, filtration pump, and a debris cover.
The Ultra Frame pool is designed to be durable yet extremely easy to assemble and disassemble. Its unique construction uses durable steel frames (that are rust-resistant) and much wider legs at the bottom to improve stability even on softer ground.
4. Bestway Steel Pro 10′ x 30″ Frame Pool Set
- Includes filter pump and repair patch
- A steal for the price
- Heavy duty steel frame construction
- Easy to install and setup
- Flow control valve for easy draining
- All liners are susceptible to leaks and punctures
- Difficult to find right size hoses and equipment
- Recommend a better filter pump for larger sizes
This 10ft. Steel Pro pool set is designed and constructed to be durable while being easy to assemble and disassemble. Using excellent quality materials this Bestway Steel Pro is a steal for the price and definitely worth the countless seasons of fun and relaxation.
This pool size is more suited for children, but adults can also have a blast. An affordable high-quality product that makes swimming pools accessible to the masses.
5. Intex 8ft X 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump
- Made from laminated PVC sidewalls for increased strength
- Relatively inexpensive
- Comes with a filter pump
- Very easy to install
- Only recommended for areas with level ground
- Susceptible to leaks
- Not suitable for adults
Have a child who just can’t get enough of swimming? Don’t have the money for a full sized pool? Don’t worry this Intex might just be what you are looking for. It is fairly inexpensive and occupies little space making it the perfect backyard addition.
Intex is a well-reputed brand and this product does not disappoint. If you are in the market for something small and inexpensive to last a few hot summer seasons than look no further!
6. Coleman 18′ x 48″ Power Steel Frame Above-Ground Swimming Pool Set
- ideal pool for large sized families
- Rust-resistant metal frame
- Comes with many add-ons
- Relatively easy to assemble and maintain
- Highly durable
- Only recommended for use on level ground
This Coleman above ground pool set is the ideal large sized family pool on a budget. More than big enough to hold adults and children alike this is the ultimate backyard family fun time entertainment.
Reinforced PVC and triple layer polyester sidewall coupled with a metal frame make this above ground pool one that will last year after year without falling apart. With all the add-ons that come with it makes this Coleman a great buy for the price.
7. Intex 18ft X 10ft X 42in Oval Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover
- Sturdy, durable and practical oval frame design
- Aesthetically pleasing design
- Many add-ons including a filter pump, ladder, ground cloth, pool cover and instructional DVD
- Extremely attractive price for such a large size pool
- Easy installation and setup
- May require a more powerful filter pump
One of Intex’s most popular and stylish above-ground pool designs is the right choice if you are looking for something cool, affordable and large in size. At such a great price this product is a steal, especially since it comes with all the add-ons you would ever need.
For a large, affordable and easy to install above-ground pool the Intex Oval Frame Pool Set is one of the best in its class.
8. H2OGO! My First Frame Pool
- Heavy duty PVC and 3-ply polyester side wall construction
- Easy to assemble and disassemble
- Comes with a repair patch
- Great for kids and pets
- Easy to clean
- Too small for adults
- Only recommended for level ground
- Susceptible to leaks and tears
The H2OGO is an affordable little pool that is ideal for pets and children alike. Thanks to its sturdy and well-thought-out design it is easy to assemble and disassemble. Also, since its small it is very easy to maintain and can fit almost any available space out in the backyard.
Ideal for pet owners or parents with young children as it is small, durable and fairly inexpensive.
9. Intex 24ft X 12ft X 52in Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set
- Large pool ideal for adults and families
- Relatively easy to install for such a large sized pool
- Engineered to last thanks to its heavy-duty construction
- Comes with many add-ons
- More expensive than its counterparts
- Can only be used on perfectly level ground
One of Intex’s more premium models this above-ground pool has the aesthetics along with the functionality to back it up. Its heavy duty construction makes it extremely strong and long-lasting giving it the look and feel of a high end swimming pool for a fraction of the cost.
Even though it may seem expensive this above ground pool is a steal for the price. For such levels of durability, size and add-ons this is the ideal large size budget pool solution.
10. Intex 86″ x 59″ x 23″ Rectangular Frame Above Ground Baby Splash Pool
- Rectangular shape makes it great for kids learning to swim
- Steel frame design adds to durability and strength
- Easy to assemble
- Very affordable
- Heavy duty laminated sidewall
- Not suitable for adults
- Can only be placed on level ground
A small yet reliable intex pool that is a favorite among customers for its quality, price and ease of assembly. The rectangular shape looks great and also adds to the functionality and practicality of the pool.
If you are in the market for a small pool for your pet or kids, this can be a great choice.
Benefits of An Above Ground Pool
They are several benefits to purchasing an above ground pool as compared to an in-ground pool. These benefits are as follows:
An above-ground pool is a fraction of the cost as compared to an in ground pool which start at about $20,000. It is also half as expensive to maintain and the best ones can easily last decades.
If you are looking for an adult sized pool on a budget that is the right size for your family, an above-ground pool is the ideal choice for you.
Many Models & Layouts
Above-ground pools come in all kinds of shapes, size and materials which make them suitable for almost any home. With so many ready-made options available buyers have complete control over the style, layout and cost of their dream pool.
Easy Set up & Installation
An in-ground pool can take weeks if not months to set up and be swimming ready. On the other hand an above-ground pool is easy to set up and install and it can take no more than a few days to have it swim ready with perfect sparkling water.
Safer for Adults & Children
The best above-ground pool can prove to be safer than in-ground pools as they have a higher entry point which results in fewer slips and accidental falls into the pool or the area around it. The best and most durable above ground pools have fencing around the pool as well as reinforced walls which add to its safety.
Easy to maintain
Above-ground pools are generally easier to maintain and some can even be disassembled for storage after the end of the summer season. Using basic filtration systems and chemicals from time to time will ensure sparkling clean healthy refreshing water all season long saving both time and money in the long-run.
Things to Consider Before Purchase
When deciding on what is the best above ground pool for your needs it is important to consider the following:
The Right Pool Size
Carefully measuring out the area where the pool would be placed is instrumental in determining what size pool would be the most ideally suited. Most above-ground pools come in various sizes ranging from 10 ft. to upwards of 20 ft.
A pool that is too big would be harder to maintain and waste both time and money. On the other hand a pool too small would be no fun at all. Accounting for how many people would actually use the pool on a regular basis is also necessary when determining size.
If the pool is meant for adults you would likely prefer something sturdy and big whereas if it meant for children than it can be smaller and less durable.
The Right Shape
The shape of a pool can be an important thing to consider depending on the amount of space available and purpose of use. In most cases above-ground pool come in three shapes; oval, circle and rectangle.
Each shape has its own advantages. The rectangular shape is great for swimming laps while the oval and circle shapes are more for relaxing and watching the kids have a blast in the summer heat.
The Right Material
Understanding the different types of materials that above-ground pools are made of is essential in purchasing one that truly suits your needs. The best above-ground pools use the highest quality materials to enhance durability, strength, flexibility and sturdiness.
An above-ground pool made from high quality materials would result in lesser wear and tear which means less money spent on maintenance and repairs.
If you are looking for something durable and long-lasting than purchasing a pool made from stainless steel, aluminum or high-grade PVC is your best bet. On the other hand if you are looking for something that is affordable and easy to install pools made from PVC, soft vinyl, and resin (a type of plastic) may be better suited for your needs.
Most above ground pools are generally safe as they have high entry points which protect against accidental falls into the pool. Also, the depth of most above-ground pools isn’t deep which makes it safe for children and adults alike.
Other safety related issues to be aware of is ensuring to follow the instruction guide when setting up and installing the pool. A small mistake during installation can have catastrophic results over-time.
Always be on the lookout for deals that include pool equipment such as a pool ladder, ground cloths, filter pumps and debris covers. This is because in most cases getting these items together can end up in a lot of savings and also help save additional time and money searching for parts from other sources.
When purchasing an above ground pool also ensure that all the installation tools and parts come with the product. Buying these separately can be a real drag!
Ease of Set up & Install
Another crucial factor to account for during the decision process is the time and cost for the installation and set up of the above ground pool. Most inflatable and soft material pools are relatively easy to install and can be done by one person without much difficulty.
More durable and long-lasting above ground pools may however require professional expertise during the installation process especially when setting up the filtration system and outer walls.
If you don’t have the experience and time, it might be worthwhile to have the pool experts come install one for you. This would not only save you from a potential nightmare but also ensure that no additional damage is done to the property and surrounding area.
Price is always a factor is any buying decision and the best deals are those that get you the most satisfactory quality product at the lowest price possible. After narrowing down the list of pools that fit your needs price can often be the determining factor in which one you end up choosing.
A well-reputed brand may be slightly more expensive but it is often worth the extra money. This is because their level of customer service and support are much better than new upcoming cheaper brand names.
Quality and warranty terms are also better for renowned brand names that help protect investment and safeguard against future pitfalls.
Popular brands that have been manufacturing for decades have many spare parts available that can be used to easily repair or fix an issue which is not the case for an unknown brand.
Maintenance of Above-Ground Pools
When buying any expensive luxury product its maintenance becomes paramount in order to get the best experience and results. No matter how good a product is made without proper maintenance it is bound to break or fail at some point or another.
Here are some useful tips on how to best maintain above ground pools so that you and your family can enjoy clean, safe and healthy pool water.
Filter Pump Cleaning
Filter pumps are the most important piece of equipment on any pool as it helps keep pool water clean and circulating. The right pump and filter combination helps channel water to move in a circular motion which makes it hard for bacteria and algae to take hold.
Backwashing the filter pump and removing the filter cartridge for cleaning every other week can keep pool water looking sparkling clean with little effort.
Brushing & Vacuuming
Brushing the sides of the pool wall along with the floor will help in keeping algae and other contaminants from sticking on to the surface and being sucked up by a vacuum or filtration system. Brushing and vacuuming once a week is highly recommended for extra clear water.
Using proper equipment like a digital test strip reader can give you a precise idea on your pool waters cleanliness and hygiene. These water testing devices are able to test both pH and sanitization levels which are essential in determining water quality. keeping such equipment on hand can really help in maintaining pool standards to desired levels.
The use of chlorine tablets offers a cost-effective and easy solution to protect against the growth of contaminants as chlorine helps in regulating sanitization levels.
Stabilized and processed chlorine is recommended for above ground pools as they dissolve slower and last longer thanks to UV protection.
Chlorine tablets are ideal for helping maintain sanitization levels and can be easily placed in a skimmer, floater or feeder for continuous sanitization.
Since most above ground pools are kept outside protection against the elements is limited. Debris and contaminants can quickly grow especially after a rainy period that can accelerate algae growth.
In such instances using shock treatment can help bring back water clarity and hygiene much more quickly and effectively. Shock treatment is also fairly inexpensive and produces great results keeping contaminants at bay.
6 Types of Above-Ground Pools
They are five common types of above ground pools available on the market each with its own unique features, benefits and cons. Each type is completely different when it comes to price, durability and functionality.
A pool that is buried close to halfway into the ground is referred to as a semi-in-ground pool. These pools are made from ¼ inch thick tongue and groove aluminum slats that slide together making the pool wall extremely strong and durable.
This type of above ground pool is made for areas that are not on level ground and are amongst the sturdiest most durable above ground pools available on the market. If your yard has a slope or if you have plans to build a deck but want to use as few materials as possible during construction the semi-in-ground pool may be your only choice.
A semi-in-ground pool is also compatible with salt water sanitation systems as they are generally constructed from thick aluminum that doesn’t rust.
Hybrid Above-Ground Pool
Made from a combination of resin and steel the hybrid above ground pool offers both functionality and style. The resin allows for a more modern appearance while the steel adds strength and durability.
The best hybrid pools have steel uprights attached to steel coping while the rest of the construction is made from resin. The material combination allows this type of pool to be cheaper than semi-inground pools while still being able to retain similar levels of strength and durability.
Resin material was first introduced in the 80s for the construction of above ground pools. Over the years its popularity has increased as the material isn’t that expensive which makes resin pools more affordable to the masses.
The best resin above-ground pools are made from Synflex resin. Lower quality resin material cracks during cold weather and softens when it’s hot. Synflex resin or talc filled resin material can withstand temperature changes and has increased durability. Due to their inability to rust resin pools are perfect for saltwater sanitation applications.
Rolled Wall aluminum Pool
Constructed from a single continuous sheet of aluminum this type of pool is generally used for pools with saltwater sanitation systems as rolled aluminum is both durable and rust-proof.
This type of above ground pool is less expensive than semi-in-ground pools and is a smart choice for those looking for an affordable longer term saltwater pool.
Steel is the most recommended material for above ground pool and the preferred choice for most pool installers. However, steel comes in many qualities so if you are to invest in a steel above ground pool it is extremely important to test the quality of steel used in its construction.
Sturdy, durable and long-lasting above ground pools with steel frame constructions are the best all-round above ground pools in terms of quality and price.
Inflatable pools are the most cost-effective and easy to install above ground pools one could buy. Generally made from heavy duty vinyl these pools are ideal for something short-term and relatively inexpensive.
The Bottom Line
If you are new to swimming pools or have no prior experience of owning and maintaining one than above ground pools are highly recommended to start with.
Fairly inexpensive and relatively easy to install above ground pools are a great stepping stone to someday having your very own full-sized inground pool. With so many options, layout and designs there is definitely an above ground pool out there that meets all your needs.
As to the question what are the best above ground pools to buy? Well after reviewing the top 10 best above ground pools it is clear that there can’t be one clear winner. With so many factors that go into deciding which above ground pool is best it all comes down to what are the customer’s core needs.
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