The Best Above-Ground Pools For A Backyard Paradise Right Away

Discover the top above-ground pools to transform your backyard into an instant paradise. Learn about various designs, sizes, and materials to find the perfect pool for your outdoor space and enjoy endless fun without the hassle of in-ground installation.

The Best Above-Ground Pools For A Backyard Paradise Right Away

The most excellent above-ground pools are a terrific option for keeping your family cool without committing anything permanent. They are much more economical and just as much fun as in-ground pools. You can also get the pool floats out and begin splashing around immediately. According to Troy Lindbeck, vice president of operations for Pinch A Penny, an online retailer of pool supplies, "instead of taking weeks or months to build, they can be installed, filled, and ready to be enjoyed in a couple of days." In addition, they may be disassembled and moved to another home if the homeowner moves, which is another fantastic perk.

Pool variety

The three primary varieties of above-ground pools are inflatable, metal frame, and hard-sided. All three are available in various sizes, but they differ in their durability and simplicity of setup. The best style for you will depend on your demands and tastes. For instance, a person on a restricted budget would choose an inflatable pool over a more robust model. When purchasing an above-ground pool, you should also think about the inclusion or separate purchase of equipment like ladders and filtration.

  1. Best Overall Above-Ground Pool: Intex Ultra Round Above-Ground Swimming Pool Set
  2. Best Metal Frame Above-Ground Pool: Bestway Steel Pro Frame Pool Set
  3. Best Inflatable Above-Ground Pool: Intex 13-Foot Easy Set Pool
  4. Best Saltwater Above-Ground Pool: Intex 26367EH Ultra XTR Pool Set With Saltwater System
  5. Best Budget Above-Ground Pool: Intex Rectangular Frame Pool
  6. Best Above-Ground Pool For Kids: Bestway Splash in Shade Spray Play Swimming Pool
  7. Best Extra-Large Above-Ground Pool: Ultra XTR Rectangular Swimming Pool Set
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Best Above-Ground Pool

A 18-foot pool that comes with a full accessory set

INTEX 26329EH 18ft x 52in Ultra XTR Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump

  • Dimensions: 18 x 4.3 feet
  • Material: Galvanized steel frame, 3-ply PVC
  • Included Accessories: Removable ladder, ground cloth, debris cover, filter pump
  • Special Product Features: Easy lock assembly system

This 18-foot round pool from Intex can be ideal if you're searching for a long-lasting swimming pool that you can use for many years. With the brand's Easy Lock construction method, which enables DIY setup, it is supported by a powder-coated steel frame and can be assembled and ready for a pool day in about an hour.

The pool has an 18-foot diameter, 4.3-foot depth, and a water capacity of 6,981 gallons. It also includes some essential extras like a ground blanket, pool cover, ladder, and Intex Crystal Clear Sand Filter Pump.


  • Durable frame
  • Fast DIY setup
  • Puncture-resistant liner


  • Ladder could be sturdier

Best Metal Frame Above-Ground Pool

A Circle Pool With A Sturdy Steel Frame And A PVC Belt

Bestway 18ft x 48in Steel Pro Round Frame Above Ground Pool Set with Accessories

  • Dimensions: 18ft x 42 inches
  • Material: Steel frame; PVC lining
  • Included Accessories: Filter pump, ground cloth, pool cover, ladder, garden hose drain adaptor, Chemconnect dispenser, pool vacuum, pool skimmer, 9-foot pole for vacuum/skimmer
  • Special Product Features: Flow-controlled drain valve

Metal-framed above-ground pools are far more robust than inflatable ones while still being simple to pull down during the off-season. With a heavy-duty 3-ply PVC liner and a strengthened belt to keep the frame in place, this Bestway 18-foot pool is supported by a rust-resistant steel frame. The pool has a maximum water capacity of 6,092 gallons and is 4 feet deep.

This circular pool has a variety of attachments, including a filter pump, filter cartridge, ladder, and pool cover, and it is made to be put together by two to three people. When summer is done, a flow-controlled drain valve makes it simple to empty the pool. The pool is also available in various other sizes, with diameters ranging from 10 to 16 feet.


  • Rust-resistant frame
  • Reinforced belt
  • Additional sizes available


  • Short warranty period

Best Inflatable Above-Ground Pool

An affordable choice that can be set up in a matter of minutes

Intex 28141EH 13ft x 33" Easy Set Inflatable Swimming Pool w/530 GPH Filter Pump

  • Dimensions: 13 x 2.75 feet
  • Material: Laminated PVC
  • Included Accessories: Filter pump
  • Special Product Features: 10-minute assembly

This inflatable pool from Intex is simple to put together and incredibly affordable if you want an above-ground pool that will only be used occasionally. It only needs to have the top ring inflated, which takes around 10 minutes, before it is ready to be submerged in water. With a circumference of 13 feet and a depth of 2.75 feet, the pool is on the smaller side and can store 530 gallons of water.

This inflatable pool has a Krystal Clear cartridge filter pump that is incredibly simple to set up and comprises a puncture-resistant, 3-ply laminated PVC. As a result, the pool is unbeatable in terms of affordability and setup simplicity, even though it may not be the most durable option available.


  • Affordable
  • Quick and easy to setup
  • Lightweight


  • Not very durable

Best Saltwater Above-Ground Pool

Salt water filter and a huge rectangular pool

INTEX 26367EH 24ft x 12ft x 52in Ultra XTR Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System

  • Dimensions: 24 x 12 x 4.3 feet
  • Material: Steel frame, PVC liner
  • Included Accessories: Pool ladder, ground cloth, sand filter, pool cover
  • Special Product Features: Saltwater-compatible filter

You don't like how your hair smells like chlorine, do you? This rectangular above-ground pool has a saltwater filter pump system that sanitizes your pool with milder chemicals. The steel frame that supports the pool's 24-foot length and 12-foot width is covered with a thick, three-ply PVC liner. It is 4.3 feet deep and has an 8,403-gallon water capacity.

This pool includes a ladder, a ground cloth, a debris cover, and the Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump and Saltwater System unit. Thanks to its Easy Lock construction mechanism, it can be put together in about an hour, but it is considerably more straightforward if you have assistance.


  • Large size
  • Saltwater system
  • DIY installation


  • Ladder is poor quality

Best Budget Above-Ground Pool

A Cost-Effective Choice That Is Simple To Build

Intex 118-by-78-by-29-1/2-Inch Rectangular Frame Pool

  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 6.6 x 2.5 feet
  • Material: Metal frame, laminated PVC liner
  • Included Accessories: N/A
  • Special Product Features: N/A

Although above-ground pools can be more affordable than in-ground ones, pools can be a significant financial commitment. There are four sizes for the rectangular shape, which is supported by a rust-proof metal frame and lined with laminated PVC.

It is simple to assemble this above-ground pool but remember that you will need to buy a filter and any other necessary equipment separately.


  • Good value
  • Easy to assemble


  • No accessories
  • Not very deep

Best Above-Ground Pool For Kids

An Amusing Pool With A Sun Canopy

Bestway 8' x 20" Above Ground Kids Round Swimming Pool with Shaded Canopy, Fruit - 49

  • Dimensions: 8 x 1.6 feet
  • Material: Metal frame, 3-ply PVC
  • Included Accessories: Repair patch, UV canopy
  • Special Product Features: Water sprayer, canopy

Children will love splashing around in this 8-foot pool made especially for families. Its shallow design, which is only 1.6 feet deep, and the UV-protection cover it includes keep the pool shaded on hot days. In addition, it has a water sprayer that mounts underneath the canopy and a colorful, entertaining design that kids will surely appreciate.

This little pool includes a PVC lining, a rust-proof metal frame, and a support band around the pool wall. A flow-controlled drain makes removing extra water simple and includes a repair patch in case the liner ever leaks.


  • Shallow design
  • UV-protection canopy
  • Affordable


  • Hard to clean

Best Extra-Large Above-Ground Pool

An Extra Large Choice That Can Fit Lots Of Swimmers

32 ft. x 16 ft. x 52 in. Ultra XTR Rectangular Swimming Pool Set with Pump

  • Dimensions: 32 x 16 x 4.3 feet
  • Material: Galvanized steel frame, PVC liner
  • Included Accessories: Pool ladder, ground cloth, sand filter, pool cover, deluxe pool maintenance kit, volleyball set
  • Special Product Features: Volleyball set, salt water system

If your yard is large, spend more money on an extra-big above-ground pool, like this one from Intex. It is a massive 32 x 16 feet and can contain 14,364 gallons of water. There is undoubtedly enough room for the largest pool parties.

With a combination sand filter and salt-water system pump included in case you wish to skip routine chlorine maintenance, this pool is supported by a galvanized steel frame. A ground blanket, debris cover, pool ladder, and even a volleyball set are included as extras for some friendly competition.


  • Extra large size
  • Saltwater system
  • Volleyball set


  • Low-quality ladder

What Are The Best Above Ground Pool Options?

The best above-ground pool depends on various personal choices, such as your budget and desired pool size. These are the considerations for choosing the ideal above-ground pool for you and your yard.


The ideal above-ground pool for you will rely on your unique demands. They come in several sizes and shapes. Lindbeck states, "You'll want to think about the space you have available and how much of it you're willing to fill with the pool." Additionally, it would be best to consider who will be utilizing the pool, their ages, and how many people will be using it. For instance, some of the larger alternatives are 50 inches deep or more, which can be too deep for younger kids.


Above-ground pools come in three primary varieties: inflatable, metal frame, and hard-sided. Although inflatable solutions are the least expensive and most straightforward to set up, they are less durable due to the lack of a firm frame. Consider a metal frame pool if you want something a little more durable. You can easily pull it down during the cooler months. A PVC liner, which is a sturdy, flexible liner that keeps the water in your pool to avoid leaks, mold, and chemical waste, is often held in place by a rust-resistant steel frame. While these take a little longer to put up than inflatable pools, they are more durable. Hard-sided pools, which are also the most expensive ones, are the most resilient.


Metal frames and PVC liners are frequently utilized in constructing above-ground pools, although they are not the only ones. Multi-ply pool liners are sometimes used, which are more resilient and frequently tear- and puncture-resistant. Additionally, pools with plastic frames are available; they are sometimes less expensive than their more robust counterparts. Just remember that frequent use won't cause them to last as long.


Above-ground swimming pools frequently have features such as strengthened belts, flow-controlled drains, and frame sections that are simple to join. Many pools also have important extras like ladders, coverings, and filter pumps.

Simple Assembly

Above-ground pools have the tremendous advantage of typically not requiring professional installation. However, these pools aren't necessarily simple to set together, so you probably don't want to do it yourself. The installation process will be simpler and quicker with more people on hand.

How Is An Above Ground Pool Installed?

Before installing an above-ground pool, you must level the space where it will sit by placing down a layer of cushioning sand or, if your pool came with one, a ground cover. Then, assemble the frame and fasten the liner according to the manufacturer's instructions. As the faulty installation of your pool "voids your manufacturer's warranty," Lindbeck suggests that you "be sure to read your pool's warranty." (You should use an electric air pump to fill the sides of an inflatable pool with air.) Once everything is put together, fill your pool with water.

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How Is An Above-Ground Pool Cleaned?

You'll need a few things to maintain the cleanliness of your above-ground pool. The filter pump is the most crucial. To assist in filtering out material like dirt, bugs, and leaves, connect it to the water line. It should ideally be used for several hours each day.

A flat skimmer net should be used "on the surface of the pool to remove floating leaves and debris," advises Lindbeck. "To remove algae or debris, scrub the walls and ladder steps with a soft bristles brush. Your skimmer and pump baskets should be empty.

Use a pool vacuum later to clear the pool of algae and other debris periodically. You must physically vacuum your pool to remove any remaining dirt from the floor unless you use an automatic pool cleaner, a robot vacuum cleaner that sweeps your pool floor. When performing routine maintenance, "make sure you're using equipment made for vinyl liners to ensure that you are not damaging the pool."

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How Is An Above-Ground Pool Taken Apart?

Most above-ground pools, except hard-sided types, should be removed once the swimming season ends. First, you need to clean up the pool and drain the water using the drain valve. Then, after removing the inner liner and disassembling the frame, you can store the components in any way you like.

Is Building An Above-Ground Pool More Affordable?

Building an above-ground pool is substantially less expensive than building an in-ground pool. says the average cost of a large above-ground pool is between $1,000 and $2,000 while installing an in-ground pool ranges from $28,000 to $55,000.