Above-ground pools are cheaper than underground pools, but still offer plenty of space for swimming. When buying an above-ground pool, look for durability and ease of setup and find out which are our top tips.
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On a hot, sunny day, there really is nothing better than taking a dip in a refreshingly cool pool. Not all of us can afford to install a pool in the ground, and inflatable pools just don’t cut it when you actually want to swim.
Enter: above-ground pools.
Aboveground pools are generally quite easy to set up, far cheaper than in-ground pools, and large enough for several people to swim around in.
How to install an above ground swimming pool
First of all, if you want to set up an above-ground pool, you need a decent garden. Sorry to all of your apartment and city dwellers. (Also check with your homeowners association to see if they allow above-ground pools in your neighborhood.) Second, you need solid flooring – don’t put the pool on sand, mud, or loose soil or you will likely find yourself in a sinking action .
Regardless of which pool you buy, specific assembly instructions will be included. The essential thing, however, is that you have metal or PVC tubing that can be joined to the wrapped pool liner. You can fill the pool with your garden hose. Most of these pools are equipped with filter pumps to keep the water circulating and clean.
When you’re ready to remove the pool or change the water, you can attach your hose to the pool drain plug to drain the water from the pool area and your home.
How to take care of an above-ground pool
The stability is great with above-ground pools. If the pool collapses while it is filled with water, you have a pretty bad flooding problem. Just a note: if you live in an area exposed to hurricanes and violent storms, your pool may not be able to withstand anything Mother Nature throws at it and it could break and flood your yard or home. So keep that in mind when you get an above-ground pool.
Because of the amount of water that is in these pools, they need chlorine to maintain the correct pH. A pool pump will also do a lot of work to keep the water clear. The pool water doesn’t need to be changed very often, and it actually helps keep the pool full almost all the time. If there is no water in an above-ground pool, the liner can shrink, warp, and crack. Water helps it maintain its shape and moisture.
In-ground pool vs. above-ground pool vs. inflatable pool
Above-ground pools are “just right” in this Goldilocks trio – they fall right in the middle in terms of price and size. Inflatable pools are pretty cheap, with some options for less than $ 30. In-ground pools aren’t cheap. Installation can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Above-ground pools cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, depending on their size and material.
Above-ground pools are more likely to relate to inflatable pools in terms of setup, but are closer to in-ground pools in terms of size. You have enough space to practice swimming exercises or just float on a pool float.
Here are our tips for the best above-ground pools based on customer reviews, ratings, and independent research.
Durable Lining • Includes a ladder, pool cover and floor cloth. The pump is not the most powerful. This pool has everything you need for a great bathing experience. This above-ground prism frame is wide enough for the whole family and deep enough to actually swim. It’s great for large backyards. The pool liner is made of a durable three-layer material that will withstand punctures, and the frame is made of strong steel tubing that is also durable.
This Intex pool is easy to assemble and only takes about 30 minutes. (It takes longer to fill with water.) In addition to the pool itself, this kit comes with a cartridge filter pump, pool ladder, pool cover, and a ground sheet.
The filter pump is easy to install and only requires a hose connection. It pumps 1,000 gallons per hour and has an easy-to-clean filter cartridge. The ladder is 48 inches high and has non-slip steps for getting in and out of the pool safely. Large size • Includes pool cover, ladder, and pump • Portholes for added fun Windows may leak • Some reviewers have complained that the pump doesn’t work Active swimmers will get a kick out of this fun, huge pool. There’s an added layer of fun with this Coleman pool: it has portholes that allow swimmers to look through the side underwater. This is especially fun for young children and new swimmers.
This pool doesn’t look like your typical above-ground pool – it has a rattan wicker print on the outside walls. Honestly, it looks a bit sticky because it’s not an actual basket, but that’s fine. It makes up for this by being durable and puncture-proof.
Setting up this pool is easy and requires minimal tools. In addition to the steel frame, the pool kit also includes a pool cover, ladder and pump. Drain plug • Multiple size options • Includes filter pump Without a ladder • Pump is not the most powerful You can swim all summer long in this pool without busting the bank.
3. Intex metal frame pool
You still get a large pool with nice features for a reasonable price.
12 feet x 30 inches
For smaller yards and decks, this 12-foot pool still has plenty of space for splashing around and swimming. (If you want something larger, this product list has a few size options.)
The included pump works hard to keep the pool water clean and to circulate the water for better hygiene and clarity. The pool also has a drain plug that attaches to a hose so you can drain the water from where the pool is actually located.
This pool is easy to assemble and the three-layer lining is durable and puncture-proof. It’s ready to fill in about 30 minutes.
The rectangular shape is better for some types of swimming. • Durable. • Doesn’t take up much space. The pump is not very powerful. • The critics have complained about the customer service. Try different swimming movements or relax and float in this pool. This rectangular option has a shape more like an in-ground pool and has the space you need for long-distance swimming. (AKA: You don’t have to swim around in circles.)
The durable, corrosion-resistant frame of this pool is easy to assemble and should only take about 10 minutes with a few people to help assemble. It’s smaller than some of the other pools on this list, and is a little less than 10 feet in length. This makes it good for smaller backyards and spaces that a large, round pool wouldn’t fit.
This is a nice, wallet-friendly option that sits somewhere between a steel-walled pool and an inflatable pool, while still offering some durability. The lining of the pool is made of a robust PVC material that is tear-resistant and does not fade when exposed to sunlight.
Easy to set up and store • Includes repair kit Not as durable as other above ground pools It’s not very deep, but this inflatable pool is wide enough to comfortably accommodate multiple people.
This option from Bestway gives you the ease of setting up an inflatable pool and the size of an above ground pool. While it is inflatable, this pool has a thick layer of PVC siding to support the size and weight.
It doesn’t take long to set up. When you’re ready to drain the water, you can attach a hose to the pool’s valve to drain from the pool or your home.
Because this pool is inflatable, it is easy to store in the colder months. A repair kit is included in the event of damage.
More durable than an inflatable pool • Low price Very small • Not suitable for adults. Children who are learning to swim will have great fun in this long-lasting pool.
6. Intex Mini Frame Pool
This miniature version of an above-ground pool is ideal for young children.
48 x 48 x 12 in
This is not a traditional above ground pool, but if you are working with a small outdoor area and want something other than an inflatable pool, this is a good option. It’s not made for swimming, but it’s good for lounging around and is a suitable size for kids.
This pool is held together with beams padded with foam, which give it a stable structure. It has a drain plug for easy draining of the water and a patch for repair in case you encounter stumbling blocks or cracks.
If you are looking for a full size above ground pool that multiple people can actually swim in, this is not for you. However, it’s a nice little pool that young kids can learn to swim in, and that cools off with limited outdoor space.