Best Above Ground Pools: Enjoy the Cool Water

During the warm months, being able to soak in the pool to cool down and have fun can be one of the most relaxing and enjoyable things to do.

If you don’t own a swimming pool at home, the best above ground pool will let you still do that. Plus these pools can be taken out whenever you want. They’re much cheaper to get and maintain and you get to enjoy time with friends or family.

Our Picks

Here are the top products for any homeowner who wants to add an above ground pool to their back yard.

Should you want to check out more products,

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Reviews for the Best Above Ground Pools

Intex 12 ft. x 30 in. Metal Frame Pool Set

Best Above Ground Pool for the Money: With its combination of being practically priced and effective in offering great fun for you and the kids in the backyard, this is our top pick.

This is a pool you can install and take apart (if you wish) anytime, unlike in-ground swimming pools which come at a much bigger investment to do either.

We like this product because it use a solid frame along with laminated PVC sidewalls instead of the fully inflatable or soft sided pool. This gives you more stability as well as space inside.

The pool comes with a cartridge filter pump so you can keep the water clean. It also has a garden hose compactible drain plug which allows you to attach the hose to it making draining the water more convenient.

This product comes in 4 sizes with the 12 ft. by 30 in. pool being the most popular one and also the cheapest at around $100 or so. Note that the 12 feet stands for the pool’s diameter while the 30 inches refers to the height of the side rails.

There are 4 sizes to choose from:

  • 12 ft. by 30 in.: for 4-7 people; water capacity at 90% full is 1,718 gallons
  • 15 ft. by 48 in. : water capacity at 90% full is 4,440 gallons
  • 18 ft. by 48 in. : water capacity at 90% full is 6,423 gallons
  • 24 ft. by 52 in. : water capacity at 90% full is 12,481 gallons


Intex 15 ft. x 36 in. Easy Set Pool Set

Cheap Above Ground Pool: Should you prefer not setting up the frame and have something set up in a much shorter period, this will fit your needs better.

This is also a cheaper option compared to the metal frame pool above.

The pool doesn’t require as much setup. You do need to inflate the top ring which serves are the border for the water.

Once you’ve gotten the top ring inflated, all you need to do is place the pool in a flat surface and fill it with water. The air-filled ring will rise and serve as the brim to keep the water in as the hose fills the bottom of the pool.

This devices takes a lot less time to assemble as well as fill compared the unit above. It is however, softer on the sides so it isn’t as firm/stable when you bounce around the borders.

The walls are designed to be durable with 3 layers of material to make it stay in place and not puncture.

This model is available in 6 different sizes, with the 15 ft. by 36 inch and 12 ft. by 30 in. versions being the most popular.

Here are the sizes available:

  • 8 ft. by 30 in.
  • 12 ft. by 30 in.
  • 15 ft. by 36 in.
  • 15 ft. by 42 in.
  • 15 ft. by 48 in.
  • 18 ft. by 49 in.

You’ll note that there are a few 15 ft. pools in the list. These offer the same pool footprint in terms of floor area covered which is a circular 15 foot diameter, however in the 3 available versions you have different heights ranging from the 3 ft. high sidewalls to the 4 ft. high sidewalls.


Intex 24 ft. x 12 ft. x 52 in. Ultra Frame Pool Set

Best Above Ground Pool: This one’s for homeowners who are looking for “fuller sized” alternative to a below ground pool.

This pool comes with a solidly built frame that’s been powder coated and designed to be durable. It’s rectangular shape also offers some space to swim.

This unit does require more assembly compared with the two products above, but this one gives you something that’s closer to an actual swimming pool.

The unit come with instructions as well as a DVD for setup and maintenance. It also includes a ladder to make getting in and out easier as well as a maintenance kit and volleyball set for fun.

This pool comes in 2 versions:

  • One with a sand filter pump
  • Another with a saltwater system along with the pump

It measures 24 feet long by 12 feet wide, and stands 52 inches high offering more height to the water. It fits 8 or more people at a time giving everyone space to play in the water.

The one drawback with this pool is its cost. It’s definitely not cheap and costs more than any of the others in our reviews here.


Bestway 12-Foot by 30-Inch Steel Pro Round Frame Pool Set

This is another option that’s similar to the Intex metal frame pool above. It uses a very similar design and frame as comes in similar sizes.

In total, there are 4 sizes available:

  • 12 ft. by 30 in.
  • 12 ft. by 48 in.
  • 15 ft. by 48 in.
  • 18 ft. by 48 in.

While the floor sizes offered by this brand is similar to the Intex metal frame pool above. You’ll note that for the 12 ft. diameter pool, this one offers a higher 4 ft. high wall version which may be a better option if you like having a higher pool.

Other than that, the only other difference in the pump they come with. As far as the pump goes, we’ll go with the one Intex provides with their product which is stronger and does a better job keeping the water clean.



The best above ground pool will let you enjoy playing in the water when the temperatures start to rise. It’s a great way to cool down and have fun.