Buying a pool is a big decision. You want to make sure you get the best you can for your money instead of something you will have to pour even more money and time into. Above ground pools are a great option for anyone looking for a way to get all the benefits of a swimming pool without the huge costs of an in-ground pool installation.
If you want to find the best above ground pool, you need to get some background knowledge about what makes an above ground pool good or bad. Here in this buyer’s guide for above ground pools, I’ll give you the information you need to help you make the best decision to fit your needs as an individual or a family.
Best Above Ground Pool Reviews
- 1 Best Above Ground Pool Reviews
- 1.1 1. Intex Easy Set 18ft X 48in Pool Set
- 1.2 2. Intex 18ft X 48in Metal Frame Pool Set
- 1.3 3. Summer Waves Elite Above Ground Swimming Pool with Metal Frame
- 1.4 4. Intex Ultra Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump & Saltwater System
- 1.5 5. Intex Rectangular Ultra Frame Pool Set
- 1.6 6. iPool Deluxe Above Ground Exercise Swimming Pool with Filter Pump and Heater Upgrade
- 1.7 7. Heritage TA 301552GP-DXP Taos Complete Above Ground Pool
- 1.8 8. Splash Pools Round Deluxe Pool Package
- 1.9 9. Embassy Pool 4-1800 PARA 100 Above Ground Pool, 18’ ft x 52” inches
- 1.10 10. Wilbar Meadows 24-Feet-By-52-Inch Round Above-Ground Swimming Pool
- 2 What are the benefits of an above ground pool?
- 3 What To Consider When Looking For The Best Above Ground Pool
- 4 How to buy an above ground pool
- 5 Best ways to use above ground pools
- 6 How to Take Care of Your Pool
- 7 Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- 8 Conclusion
Out of the pools available for purchase, these are some of the top rated above ground pools offered to fit a variety of needs:
1. Intex Easy Set 18ft X 48in Pool Set
This product is one of the best above ground pools available on the market. This has the capacity of 5,455 gallons and is made of high-quality laminated PVC sidewalls, making the pool highly durable. Furthermore, the product includes a Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter pump that ensures good circulation of water, making it clear, clean, and refreshing. This also comes with a ground cloth, pool ladder, and debris cover.
Intex Easy Set Pool Available Sizes: 8-feet x 30-inch; 12-feet x 30-inch; 13-feet x 33-inch; 15-feet x 33-inch; 15-feet x 42-inch; 15-feet x 48-inch; 18-feet x 48-inch;
- This above ground pool features a Ground Fault Interrupter, which automatically shuts off the pump whenever the electrical current is exposed to the water.
- This can be easily installed and filled in with water in as fast as 30 minutes.
- This can hold water of up to 5,455 gallons, which is 80% more than the capacity of a small in-ground swimming pool.
- This comes with a ladder for easy access to the pool.
- This also includes a ground cloth and a debris cover that keep the pool off any ground debris.
- This product is made of durably laminated PVC sidewalls that keep the pool sturdy enough for all the activities and actions while having fun inside the pool.
- This also features new dual suction outlet fittings, which greatly improve the circulation of the water.
What Did Customers Have To Say:
Customer reviews revealed that the durability and the large sizes available keep the fun going. This can actually allow a large population of up to 15 to 20 people. Most negative comments refer to the type of location where the pool should be installed, which is preferably completely flat.
2. Intex 18ft X 48in Metal Frame Pool Set
This product features one of the strongest steel frames and laminated PVC sidewalls, making it one of the best above ground pool that can be bought. This can actually hold 90% more water, which is up to 6,423 gallons. In addition, this pool includes new dual suction outlet fittings; these fittings improve the circulation of the water inside the pool. This feature also makes the water clean and clear.
Intex Metal Frame Pool Available Sizes: 10-feet x 30-inch; 12-feet x 30-inch; 14-feet x 42-inch; 15-feet x 48-inch; 15-feet x 42-inch; 18-feet x 48-inch;
- This features a Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter pump that improves the clarity of the water inside the pool.
- The steel frames are very durable, making the pool capable of occupying numerous swimmers.
- This also features a Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter, which instantly shuts off the pump when the electric wires are wet.
- This can be installed within 60 minutes.
- This also includes a ladder, a ground cloth, and a debris cover.
- This also comes with dual suction outlet fittings for an impressive water hygiene.
What did customers have to say?
Positive reviews highlighted the great quality of the materials used, as well as the sizes of the product. It is very durable, especially the steel frames. On the other hand, negative feedbacks referred to the quality and capacity of the pump. It is not the highest-quality pool set of its kind, and it is not that strong to circulate water in large sizes of pool.
3. Summer Waves Elite Above Ground Swimming Pool with Metal Frame
How does a pool party with a few best friends sounds like? It’s a fun and relaxing way to catch up with each other, right? But there’s just a little snag; you don’t have an inground pool in your backyard.
No worries! This is exactly why Summer Waves Elite Above Ground Swimming Pool is created. This round pool can be easily assembled so that you and your friends can enjoy a night long pool party or have a great morning swimming session with the family.
The Summer Waves Elite Swimming Pool has a total capacity of 4,400 gallons of water and can accommodate an entire family. You can get this either in 15 feet Diameter x 48 inches Deep or 18 feet Diameter x 52 inches Deep.
- Metal frame that is soft-sided yet durable
- SkimmerPlus Filtration System
- Patented Cartridge Filter
- Huge water capacity of 4,400 gallon
What Did Customers Have to Say?
Just like any other product online, people have different opinions about this pool. However, users of this pool, in general, do agree that this is one of the most durable above ground pools in the market. Others say that the filtration technology of this pool is also superb.
4. Intex Ultra Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump & Saltwater System
The ultra frame pools from Intex are a step up from the regular metal frame pools as they have reinforced, laminated PVC side walls with an all-around support band to keep the pool well supported and stronger. This pool set comes in one size, but you have the option of buying it with or without the saltwater system. The set comes with a pool ladder, ground cloth, filter pump, and debris cover.
- Set includes pool, ladder, debris cover, ground cloth, maintenance DVD, and sand filter pump with the option of adding a saltwater system
- Ground fault circuit interrupter helps prevent electric shock
- All-around band adds extra support to the steel frame poles
- Saltwater system gives you a great alternative to chlorine
- Pool size: 18’ x 52” This pool has a 6,981 gallon water capacity
What did customers have to say?
Positive reviewers mentioned that the saltwater system is incredible and works very well for keeping this pool clean. The high quality of the materials is also mentioned frequently. Negative reviewers focused on the poor Intex customer service whenever there was an issue with the pool that needed to be sorted out.
5. Intex Rectangular Ultra Frame Pool Set
If you want a larger pool with the right shape for lap swimming, the Intex rectangular ultra frame might be the best above ground pool set for you. I recommend getting the deluxe pool set instead of the regular set, because it comes with a maintenance kit and volleyball set along with the other accessories.
- Deluxe pool set includes maintenance kit, volleyball set, pool ladder, pump filter, ground cloth, maintenance DVD, and pool debris cover along with the pool itself
- Sturdy design can withstand all sorts of play and exercise without any problems. This pool can last for years
- This pool is compatible with a saltwater system if you choose to buy on to install
- Pool size: 24’ x 12’ x 52” This pool has a water capacity of around 8,500 gallons.
What did customers have to say?
Positive reviews focused on the ease of using the sand filter and how well it worked for cleaning out the pool. Most negative reviewers mentioned that the support U-frames needed to be on a solid surface such as wood, rocks, or concrete, but this fact is not noted in the setup instructions.
6. iPool Deluxe Above Ground Exercise Swimming Pool with Filter Pump and Heater Upgrade
Anyone looking for an exercise pool can get a lot of benefit from this compact pool. It’s small in size because there is a Velcro harness attached to the top that will hold you in place and help you experience the water resistance of lap swimming without needing a full sized pool. The water pool heater included in this set makes it comfortable enough to use all year around.
- Velcro harness is large enough to hold people of many different sizes securely
- This deluxe set comes with a water pool heater, filter pump, cover, pool ladder, ground mat, and patch repair kit
- Compact footprint
- Pool size: 10’ x 6.5’ x 3.1’ (L x W x H) The water capacity of this pool is around 1,500 gallons.
What did customers have to say?
Positive reviewers focused on how the compact size of the pool made it easy to place anywhere indoors and outdoors. Another common praise was for the awesome customer service by Fitmax. Negative reviewers mentioned that the heater gave some trouble with electrical hookups and heater failure.
7. Heritage TA 301552GP-DXP Taos Complete Above Ground Pool
If you’re looking for a larger above ground pool for your yard, this Heritage model might be a good option for you to consider. It is a large oval-shaped pool with an excellent structure and overall sturdy materials. The vinyl interior liner is both comfortable and durable, plus the swirled design looks nice when the pool is full of water.
All the parts are included in case you want to set this pool up by yourself, but be warned that it’s a bit of a difficult project if you are alone or with only 2 people. Because of the size of the pool, you should have at least 3 or 4 people in total to get this done as efficiently as possible. Once it’s set up, the sturdy frame doesn’t need to be removed for the winter, and you can simply winterize it as you would with any pool.
See more: heritage above ground swimming pool
What Did Customers Say About It?
There are mixed reviews about this pool. Most customers were very happy with the size of the pool and said it was perfect for families and for exercise. It is also a good package deal for the money you are spending, because you get everything you need to set it up and start using it immediately.
However, some of the negative comments on this pool are that it takes a lot of effort to get it set up and that the ladder is unstable. If you’re setting this pool up with a deck, the ladder may not be much of an issue, but for those in more isolated areas the setup could prove to be difficult.
8. Splash Pools Round Deluxe Pool Package
This is an all-inclusive package that has everything needed to set up and use the pool immediately. You can set up the pool yourself by following the included instruction manual, or you could hire a local service to do it for you as it may be a larger undertaking than you think.
There are various sizes available for this pool, all of which are great for families. The larger sizes are perfect for summer pool parties and lap swimming for your own health. All of the pool sizes are built with strong steel support beams and a durable vinyl pool liner inside.
- Package includes a ladder, 1hp pump motor, and a skimmer
- Step-by-step installation shown in the included video
- Strong galvanized steel structural beams for exterior support
- Vinyl interior is strong, durable, and attractive
- Options to upgrade to a more durable vinyl pool liner
- Sizes Available: 18’ ft x 52” inches; 24’ ft x 52” inches; 30’ ft x 15’ ft x 52” inches;45’ ft x 18’ ft x 52” inches
What Did Customers Say About It?
Most customers have had a good experience with this pool. It sets up relatively easily, although there is a bit more manpower needed for the larger sizes than the smaller circular pools. If no ground work is done before you install the pool, the manufacturer’s warranty could be voided and the pool may not be very comfortable for use.
Once the pool is fully set up, most customers had no issues with it except for problems of misuse, such as too many rowdy teenagers in the pool at once. It’s a good pool for families of all sizes, and the filter and pump work hard to keep the water crystal clear all the time.
9. Embassy Pool 4-1800 PARA 100 Above Ground Pool, 18’ ft x 52” inches
This is a great circular pool for anyone that wants a sturdy alternative for semi-permanent installation. It’s good for partial in-ground installation as well as for installation with decking, although you should remember that it’s not the largest pool around.
As far as the structure is concerned, this is a very sturdy pool made of all the best steel supports and a strong vinyl pool liner for the interior. If you properly level the ground before setting it up, you won’t be bothered by issues with pool structure and comfort.
- Sturdy steel top rails and support beams
- Dimensions: 18’ ft x 52” inches
- Attractive creamy tan exterior coloring and blue vinyl liner
- Corrugated pool walls
- Pool package includes: 1 ladder, 1 sand filter, a 1hp pump, and a manual skimmer
What Did Customers Say About It?
Customers seem to be happy with this pool, and they generally recommend it for others as well. It’s a good pool for the money, and it has a long-lasting structure that’s sturdy and durable. While it’s not an enormous size, it’s still good for hosting a pool party or just cooling off when needed. Once it’s set up, guests just winterized the pool and left it up all year around instead of trying to tear it down and set it up again in the warmer months.
10. Wilbar Meadows 24-Feet-By-52-Inch Round Above-Ground Swimming Pool
An elegant round pool, this product has a strong steel, galvanized wall while the pool frame has a resin coating for protection against the elements. The foundation is able to stand up to heavy weights as well as soil corrosion, and, as an added bonus, the pool is easy to install.
- The pool liner design has it overlapping over the top and held in place with coping so your pool does not need a bead receiver
- Pool comes with a Widemouth Skimmer
- Design features a strong steel wall hot dipped galvanized for extra protection
- Pool frame has a resin coating that protects the steel from the elements, keeping it rust-free
- All components uniquely made according to pool specifics
What customers have to say about this pool
Most customers were enamored of the pool, although there were comments that assembly was not too easy. Concerns were raised about the sharp edges of the pool, where exposed areas may, over time, become eroded.
What are the benefits of an above ground pool?
Here are just a few of the benefits you can expect to receive from your new above ground pool:
- Less investment than an in-ground pool. While in-ground pools cost thousands of dollars to install, above ground pools can be less than $150 in some cases. They might not last as long, but are easy to replace and even after buying multiple pools over the years you still won’t have spent as much as you would have on an in-ground pool.
- Quick and easy fun for the whole family! Once your pool arrives, you can open up the boxes, set it up, and begin filling it with water immediately. Even with the largest above ground pools you should be ready to swim in less than 2 days.
- Freedom of portability and storage. If you don’t like where you’ve set up the pool originally, you can drain it and move it to a new location. Additionally, over the cold months if you don’t want to winterize your pool you can simply drain it, allow it to dry, and then leave it in a safe place for storage until the weather warms up again.
- Hours of fun each day. What’ better on a hot summer day than playing or relaxing in the water? Above ground pools are the perfect place to spend those sunny summer afternoons and they are a great way to keep the kids busy!
- Above ground pools have found unique usages. With or without trainers, these are ideal for water therapy in those recovering from pain and joint problems. This is as true of humans as well as aging pets or pets with mobility problems. Shallow above ground pools can be safely used to retrain muscles and get strength back in a number of conditions from accidents and injuries to arthritis and paralysis. Research also reveals that autistic children receive unique benefits from swimming, especially swimming with animals. An above ground pool in the backyard makes all such treatments a possibility within easy reach.
What To Consider When Looking For The Best Above Ground Pool
- 1. When is the best time to get an above ground pool?
Prices for pools can vary throughout the year. The cheapest deals appear from October and onwards through the winter season with prices getting higher again as late spring and summer draw near again. If you have a place to store the unopened boxes, you might want to take advantage of a good deal, however you should keep in mind that if the pool has a problem you will usually not be able to send it back after 30 – 60 days.
- 2. What type of pool should you get?
There are various types of above ground pools. The most common are the easy set pools and metal frame pools. Easy set pools have soft vinyl or PVC walls and an inflatable ring that lifts up the pool walls as you fill it with water. Metal frame pools are sturdier, as they have steel bars supporting the vinyl or PVC pool liner and can hold up more water in different pool shapes.
- 3. What shape of pool do you want?
Above ground pools usually come in circle, oval, rectangle, and occasionally square shapes. Depending on what you plan to do with the pool, the shape can make a big difference. Those who want to exercise should get rectangle pools for lap swimming, while those looking to swim recreationally can deal with any shape and should pay more attention to how much space they have to set up the pool.
- 4. Which brand should you buy?
I recommend getting a more popular or well known brand such as Intex or Bestway. These brands are from larger companies that will be able to handle any issues that may arise with your pool. Getting spare parts, filters, heaters, and other accessories is also easier when you have one of these brands.
- 5. How big of a pool do you need?
To answer this question you’ll have to think about how many people will most likely be using the pool at one time. Do you expect to have a large crowd visiting your pool at once or not? Is your family large or small?
- 6. How easy is it to set up the pool?
If you’re planning to set the pool up by yourself, you should find out how easy it is to set up before you order. The last thing you want is to take the boxes out and start setting the pool up before you realize you can’t do it by yourself!
- 7. Is the pool safe?
This question is especially relevant if you have children of any ages. I would recommend that you check the appropriate ages for each pool before buying, as this will take into account how high the water level is as well as the safety of the design for children. Many of the above ground pools you’ll find are great for children of 4 years or older, however some of the taller pools may be better for children 6 years or older.
- 8. What is the pool made of?
When you are looking for the best pool, you have to take into account how strong the pool will be. Spending hours patching up the pool, having to drain the water to fix it, ordering new parts, and shelling out money to replace leaky pieces takes away from the great fun of having a swimming pool in the first place! Make sure your pool is made of strong, durable materials that will last for years.
- 9. What’s included with the purchase of the pool?
While getting the pool by itself might seem like a bargain price, buying a pool set is a wonderful way to be able to use your pool as soon as it arrives. Pool sets usually include the essentials such as a filter pump and pool ladder along with the pool itself.
- 10. Where can the pool be placed at my home?
Before you can know what type of pool you should get, it’s important to plan out where you’re going to place it on your property. Find a relatively flat area (that can be leveled out) and measure it to get an idea about how big of a pool you can get and what shape will fit the best.
How to buy an above ground pool
I think the easiest way to buy an above ground pool is through Amazon, Walmart, eBay, Homedepot. While you can find them at stores in your area, you might not have as much selection as you will online. Also, when you buy from Amazon you can get benefits such as warranties, best price comparisons, and more. Before you buy, you can check out honest user reviews for each pool you’re interested in instead of just having a salesperson from your local store tell you all about how great the pool is!
Best ways to use above ground pools
Although above ground pools may not have some of the features that many people like about in-ground pools, they make for a wonderful substitute that can be used for many reasons. It’s easy to use an above ground pool for exercise. If you purchase a larger rectangular pool you can do lap swimming, but even in other types of pools it’s possible to exercise by doing resistance training in the water.
If you are more interested in playing and relaxing, above ground pools are perfect for that! Many of them are shallow enough that children can play in the water without much trouble and can really enjoy themselves by playing fun water games without having to worry about the deep end. You can also hop on an inflatable pool float and enjoy the sun and water while you float around in your above ground pool.
Some people that buy these types of pools will build a small wooden deck area around part of the pool with stairs leading up to the pool. This helps to make it easier to get in and out of the pool while also giving swimmers a place to relax when they’re done swimming or else to have a snack or drink poolside.
How to Take Care of Your Pool
Whether buying the best above ground pool, fiberglass pool, or hot tub on the market, there are is one thing to keep in mind – in order to maintain a healthy pool environment you need to take care of the water! The two most obvious things to think about is water circulation, and of course, cleaning the sides and bottom of the pool itself.
Firstly, let’s take a look at the importance of water circulation in a pool.
What is meant by pool circulation?
A pool’s circulation system ensures that your pool water is flowing on the one hand, while it ensures all added chemicals are distributed throughout the pool. Your pool’s circulation system includes the swimming pool pump, the pool filter, skimmers, drains, and returns. These parts all work together and see to it that your pool’s water remains healthy.
“But how does it do that?” you might ask. This is a great question!
Essentially, water is drawn out of the pool through the pool skimmers. The water then moves through the skimmer basket where larger pieces of debris such as leaves, for example, are removed. The water then moves through a filter, which removes anything not caught by the skimmer basket. Depending on the type of pool pump you have, the water may be treated (and heated) before it is returned to the pool. The end result is a pool with clean, safe water.
All you need to do now is add some pool toys, your swimming goggles, and your waterproof fitness tracker if swimming for fitness is your thing! If you want to add to the experience, you can even switch on your mp3 player for swimming!
Your next question may be “But what about that gooey, slimy stuff and leaves that accumulate on the sides and bottom of the pool?”
Well, although the pool circulatory system takes care of everything floating on top of the water, it is not enough to take care of whatever sinks to the bottom or accumulates on the sides! But for this, too, there is a solution! An automatic pool cleaner!
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
- Can these pools be delivered to my location?
Amazon shipment can be delivered all over the USA
- What’s the best way to fill an above ground pool?
Once you pick out the best above ground pool, you can either use your own water source such as a garden hose or have the necessary gallons of water delivered by a tanker truck to quickly fill the pool.
- What kind of warranty is available?
Most of the pools listed above have a 1 year warranty when purchased new, but you’ll want to check with the manufacturer to make sure.
- What’s the required maintenance for a pool?
Many pools simply need to be vacuumed once per week, skimmed to remove debris, and filtered in order to keep the water clean. Depending on what chemical method you’re using, either saltwater or chlorine, the maintenance might be different.
- How do I level out the ground to place my pool?
You can find more information about leveling the ground and installing an above ground pool here.
- How deep are above ground pools?
Because the walls are submitted to a lot of pressure, the maximum height is around 54 inches, meaning that the maximum pool depth is about 52 inches.
- How could I drain my above ground pool?
This depends on whether your pool comes with an outlet. If so, open it, and let the water flow out. Alternatively, you can attach a hose to the outlet and allow the water to flow out where you want.
You can also use an electric pump to do the job, or do it manually by siphoning out the water using hosepipes. For the latter, you need to insert one part of the hosepipe into the water and suck on the other end until the water starts coming through. Make sure not to swallow any water! The more hoses you insert into the pool, the quicker it will drain.
- Do you need a fence around an above ground pool?
Strictly speaking, probably not, but this depends on the pool. Does it have stairs? Is it easily accessible by children or pets? The golden rule might apply here: rather be safe than sorry and install a fence.
If you’re going to make a big decision such as buying an above ground pool, you’ll want to make sure you’re making the best decision to fit you and your family’s needs. The best above ground pool for you might not be the same one as for someone else, as each buyer has their own specific needs. Hopefully, I’ve been able to give you some good advice and recommendations to assist you in your search for the perfect pool to enjoy this summer!