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7 Best Above-Ground Swimming Pools of 2021

Stay cool as things heat up by enjoying a relaxing swim! We’ve rounded up a list of the best above ground swimming pools for you and your family.
Updated Mar 26, 2021
Written By
Dashia Starr | Home Security Writer
Evaluated over 90 safety products to help you protect what matters most. Check our Methodology

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues into the summer, families have to find warmer weather activities with a low virus spread risk. Pool days are a great option — but what if you don’t have one? We’ve narrowed down the best above-ground swimming pools to have delivered to your door if you’re still cautious about social interaction and prefer staying safe at home. 

Above-ground swimming pools are popular home pool choices for families that aren’t looking for permanent, in-ground pool options. They vary in material, size, cost, and setup. You’ll still need to consider placement, sizing and what type is best for you to clean. Before installing an above-ground pool, keep electrical wiring, draining and placement in mind to correctly set-up a pool outside of your home.

The Top 3 Features to Shop for When Buying Above Ground Pools

  • Debris pool cove

    Some above-ground pools come with pool covers to protect your pool from rust, bacteria, debris, or weathering during the winter months. If your pool doesn’t come with one, they’re usually easy to find separately. Your pool manufacturer may also sell pool covers online to fit your pool perfectly.

  • Ladder

    Ladders are the best way to get in and out of the pool safely. Look for a non-slip ladder with wide steps that hold up to at least 250 pounds. Keep in mind that your ladder will need to be sturdy enough to prevent any pool injuries.

  • Filter pump

    You’re going to need a filter and a water pump to keep your pool clean. Some manufacturers, like Intel, offer a two-in-one filter pump to discard water and keep your pool clean. Remember to change filters regularly, so you always have a clean, safe swimming pool. 

    You can also add some accessories for water fun, including waterproof Bluetooth speakers, LED lights and canopies. Be sure that anything you add is safe and has a low hazard risk.

Compare Above Ground Pools

Intex Prism Swimming Pool (15 feet by 42 inches)

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Homech Family Inflatable Pool

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Sable Inflatable Pool

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GOOGO Family Inflatable Swimming Pool - Small

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Zhifou Inflatable Swimming Pool

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Pentaero Inflatable Swimming Pool

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Intex Rainbow Cloud Inflatable Kiddie Pool

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Rating
4 stars5 stars5 stars4.5 stars3 stars5 stars4 stars
Type
Metal frameInflatableInflatableInflatableInflatableInflatableInflatable
Size
180 x 180 x 42 inches 118 x 72 x 22 inches 92 X 56 X 20 inches 92 x 56 x 20 inches 86.5 x 52.5 x 19.5 inches 49.2 x 34.6 x 19.6 inches 56 x 47 x 33 inches

The 7 Best Above-Ground Pools

  • Best Pool Kit

    Intex Prism Swimming Pool (15 feet by 42 inches)

    Our rating

    Our take

    This Intex swimming pool comes with a filter pump, ladder, cover, and ground cloth. It has a metal frame made with a three-ply puncture-resistant material for durability. Hydro Aeration Technology™ helps to keep the pool clean and free of debris.

    Stand-out features include

    • Size: 180 x 180 x 42 inches
    • Kit includes a filter pump, ladder, cover, and ground cloth
    • Features Hydro Aeration Technology™
  • Best Family Pool

    Homech Family Inflatable Pool

    Our rating

    Our take

    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.

    Stand-out features include

    • Size: 118 x 72 x 22 inches
    • Can hold between three and five kids plus two adults
    • Made with PVC and BPA-free materials
  • Best Inflatable Kiddie Pool

    Sable Inflatable Pool

    Our rating

    Our take

    This Sable inflatable swimming pool is great for up to three kids and two adults. It’s made with premium PVC material, providing a thicker design than most inflatable pools. The two water valves allow you to easily and quickly drain for take-down

    Stand-out features include

    • Size: 92 X 56 X 20 inches
    • Holds up to three kids and two adults
    • Inflatable in as little as three to four minutes
  • GOOGO Family Inflatable Swimming Pool - Small

    Our rating

    Our take

    Get ready for fun in the sun with the GOOGO Family Inflatable Swimming Pool. Two to three kids and one adult can occupy the pool at one time. This pool has a BPA-free material design and comes with two inflatable beach balls and two repair patches.

    Stand-out features include

    • Size: 92 x 56 x 20 inches
    • Kit includes two inflatable beach balls and two repair patches
    • Can hold two to three kids and one adult
  • Zhifou Inflatable Swimming Pool

    Our rating

    Our take

    The Zhifou has a thermal insulation foam to prevent leaks. It’s made of PVC material and layered thermal fusion technology for a durable above-ground pool. The pool comfortably fits three adults and three children. It’s easy to install by simply inflating and deflating and small enough to fit in a bag.

    Stand-out features include

    • Size: 86.5 x 52.5 x 19.5 inches
    • Made of PVC material
    • Easy to set-up using inflation
  • Showing 5 of 7 items

5 Common Types of Above-Ground Pools

You can choose from several types of above-ground pools. Most are easy to self-install, but some may require professional help. Above-ground pools also vary in cost, material and cleaning. Here are some of the most popular types families choose from:

  • Inflatable Inflatable swimming pools are the easiest to set-up and take down by inflation and deflation. They’re also more affordable than steel, aluminum and resin pools. One drawback is that they can be susceptible to leaks and overspills.

  • KiddieMost kiddie pools are small and inflatable. Some come with additional designs for fun. No matter how shallow these pools are, parents will still need to keep an eye on children as they play.

  • Steel  — Steel swimming pools are durable and designed to resist deformation. These pools are generally stronger than aluminum and resin pools. One downside is that steel pools can rust over time unless you purchase one with a galvanized coating.

  • Aluminum  — While lighter than steel, aluminum pools are still strong and designed to resist corrosion. However, aluminum pools are susceptible to oxidation without the proper coating.
  • Resin Resin is a type of plastic, but these pools are still strong and built to last in outdoor elements. Resin pools can be susceptible to fading and cracking over time.

Factors to Consider Before Installing an Above-Ground Pool

Before you buy an above-ground pool, there are a few factors to keep in mind. Every above-ground pool doesn’t work for every home. Remember these shopping tips to pick the perfect pool for your home
  • Pool Type

    There are several types of above-ground pools to consider, including inflatable, steel, resin, and aluminum pools. Inflatable pools, from kiddie to adult, are the easiest to set-up. They are also the most affordable, but you will need to keep an eye out for tears and leaks over time. 

    Steel pools are the strongest. However, they are more susceptible to corrosion and rust. If you’d prefer a steel pool, choose one with a galvanized coating to prevent corrosion and rust over time. On the other hand, aluminum pools don’t corrode or rust. One downside to aluminum pools is that they can oxidize over time. Lastly, resin pools have become a popular choice. These pools typically feature steel walls and won’t oxidize or rust. Nevertheless, they are susceptible to cracking and fading.

  • Cost

    One of the biggest perks of choosing an above-ground pool is cost. While the cost of in-ground pools can range anywhere between $10,000 to upwards of $70,000, you can purchase an above-ground pool for families for less than $200.

  • Water

    You won’t be able to use any type of water to fill your pool. Experts recommend salt or chlorine to treat the water for safe use. Some pool owners prefer chlorine because it makes cleaning your pool easy with liquids or pods. Others prefer salt because it’s better for your skin. It all comes down to your personal preference. 

  • Placement

    Be careful where you place your above-ground pool. For comfort, you may want a shady area instead of direct sun. You should choose a space where there’s even, solid grounding. Avoid any hills or soiled areas that could keep your pool from being set-up sturdily. You’ll also want to follow all pool safety tips for kids.     

  • Sizing

    The size of your pool will determine how many people can comfortably fit at once. The pool’s size will also tell you whether it will fit your preferred space in the yard. It’s best to measure your yard before buying to ensure you choose the right size. 

Our Top Pick: Intex Round Prism Frame Pool Set

We recommend this Intex above-ground pool because it comes in several shapes and sizes to fit your preference. Best of all, it’s easy to self-install without tools or professionals. 

The Intex Round Prism Frame Pool Set is made of durable polymer material and includes a rust-resistant steel frame. You can expect to have about 3 feet of water in the pool for playing or swimming. However, you may need to level your ground with sand for a sturdy setup. The pool comes with a removable ladder, filter pump, pool cover, and ground cloth. Compared to other options, this pool is the best for affordability, installation and durability over time

Frequently Asked Questions About Above-Ground Pools






 


Home Security Writer

Dashia Starr

Dashia researches and writes on all things home automation and security. She focuses on the latest news, products, and providers to share only the best with you.

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