The Best Above Ground Pool Reviews

Having a pool in the backyard is one-part luxury and one-part necessity. The pool can be a place to cool off on a hot summer’s day. It can also be the place where you entertain family and friends. The kids can learn to swim in the backyard pool. The only problem is that an in-ground pool installation can be ridiculously expensive and you’ll need building permits, coding approvals, and maybe even a conversation with your HOA President.

An above ground pool is your portable alternative. Large above ground pools have framed, supported walls to give you a pool that is just as large as an in-ground pool. Smaller self-rising pools allow you to sit and swim easily – even if you just rent your home.

If you’ve always thought that you couldn’t afford a swimming pool, it’s time to rethink that thought. Above ground swimming pools are affordable, easy to install, and will bring years of enjoyment to your family.

The Best Chart for Above Ground Pools

With so many different makes and models of above ground swimming pools, how can you know which one is right for you? The chart below is a great start. These pools are the top-rated options available for each category of pool right now.

PictureNameOur RatingCapacity (In Gallons)Price
PictureNameOur RatingCapacity (In Gallons)Price
Intex 12x30 Metal Frame Pool Set4.2
Intex 24x12 Uitra Frame Pool Set w/ Sand Filter Pump4.1
Heritage TA Taos Complete Above Ground Pool 15x524.0
Intex 18ft X 48in Ultra Frame Pool Set with Cartridge Filter Pump3.06,423 $
Heritage TA 1852GP-DXP 18x52 Round Above Ground4.5
Embassy Pool Above Ground Swimming Pool5.0
Intex 28375EH Ultra Frame Pool 32x164.0
Bestway 56445E Power Steel Frame Pool Set4.4
Bestway 56472E Power Steel Rectangular Frame Pool Set4.2
iPool Deluxe Above Ground Exercise Swimming Pool4.1

Why You Should Consider an Above Ground Pool This Year

Above ground pools work in just about any size of yard. You can install almost any size pool over the course of a day or a weekend with relative ease. In return, you get the option of enjoying a swim in a convenient fashion whenever it suits you. Hot and humid weather? It doesn’t have to be a bother any more.

You’re also not stuck with the public pool rules and costs either because this is your pool and your rules. When you want to take a splash or a swim, you don’t have to worry about having your annual membership caught up or pay an extra fee. You just put on your trunks or swimsuit and hop into the pool – and even that is optional if you wish.

Above ground pools are also very easy to maintain and manage. With the best pool cleaners and chemistry kits available right now, it only takes a few minutes per day to create pristine waters that you can enjoy whenever you want.

They can withstand many different weather conditions. They can often be installed in areas where in-ground pools may not be permitted. They are very affordable. That’s why this year should be the year that you consider purchasing an above ground pool.

What Are the Benefits of an Above Ground Pool?

Most reviews are going to mention “price” or “convenience” when it comes to the benefits of an above ground pool. That barely scratches the surface of the various advantages you’ll receive when you have a great pool installed in your backyard. In fact, there are 5 key benefits that you’ll receive immediately upon your purchase today.

  1. You get to choose the final size of your pool. As long as you have a flat patch of ground, you’ve got a great place to put an above ground pool. There are so many different sizes, shapes, and depths available in our industry today that virtually every backyard can have a pool installed right now.
  2. You have a pool that is incredibly easy to install. An inflatable above ground pool can be installed, drained, or moved in virtually no time at all. Many pools can be installed with just one person and no tools are usually required. You won’t need to till or dig into your backyard for most of the pools in this category either. Just put up a pool pad, put your pool onto it, and you’re ready to go.
  3. You have a pool that is very easy to maintain. You’ll still need to clean an above ground pool and maintain your water chemistry, but the time and amount of regular cleaning and maintenance is a fraction of what in-ground pools require. And, if you’re concerned about stagnant water, then just purchase a pool with a filtering system.
  4. You have a temporary installation instead of a permanent one. If you don’t like the look of where your above ground pool happens to be, then you can move it. If you’re a renter, you can drain your pool and take it with you. Just take down your panels or deflate the pool and you’re ready to go. These pools are not perpetual and permanent structures.
  5. You can have as much privacy as you want. It’s your backyard. You can put up a fence if you wish or go fence-free. You can install a shade umbrella or get a full dose of Vitamin D from the sunshine. There’s never a worry about being criticized for how you look or the swimwear you enjoy wearing. It’s your pool. Your rules.

Where an in-ground swimming pool might require a building permit, professional assessments, and other added installation costs that can take the price of your pool upward of $20,000, there are many above ground pool options that cost less than $500.

The choice is clear. An above ground pool makes backyard fun affordable for everyone.

Common Issues with Above Ground Pools and How to Fix Them

It can be easy to look at an above ground pool purchase through rose-colored glasses. Like with any product, there are some common issues that customers may encounter with their ownership of a pool like this. Let’s address those issues and how to correct them right now.

You may be required to put up a barricade around your pool. Some communities do require above ground pools to be fenced or have a safety barricade installed according to local building codes. This is often because of the threat of a pet or a child entering your pool without authorization. You’ll want to double-check with your HOA and local building authorities to make sure your above ground pool is in compliance with all rules before finalizing your purchase.

You may damage your property. Above ground pools can hold tens of thousands of gallons of water. The sheer weight of the water can damage the ground the pool sits upon. Should the pool have a catastrophic release, the water and the chemicals you’ve placed into it will flood your yard. Before installing your pool, you’ll want to check on your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy to determine what your exact options are and if you may need a policy upgrade.

An above ground pool may be easier to damage. Since most pools in this category tend to have vinyl liners and fiberglass frames, they can be somewhat easy to puncture – even if you do everything right. One sharp stick blown into your yard from the wind can be enough to damage your pool to an extent that it becomes unusable without a repair. Try to place the pool in a location where debris is less of a risk.

How to Find the Best Above Ground Pool for Me

Finding the best above ground pool for your backyard means understanding your spatial requirements. You’ll need to compare the dimensions of the pool you want with the space your backyard has. The best place to do that is through trial reports and pool reviews like you’ll find right here.

You’ll also need to look at certain specific features that you may want to have with your above ground pool. This includes filtration, suction lines, liner type, and exterior materials. Some above ground pools are inflatable or will have self-rising sides as the pool fills with water. Others require walls that are installed on a track. Pick out the features you want now so that the shopping process is easier to complete.

Cost is always a factor. Shop for a pool that fits within your budget so you don’t have to worry about the burden of debt as you relax in your pool. Owning a pool should be fun!

The final factor to think about is the ongoing maintenance costs you’ll face. Some pools require gas heaters to maintain water temperature. Others are “plug and play” models. You may have a filter or you may need to purchase a filtering unit separately. Do you want a saltwater system to maintain pool water purity or are you going to use chlorine? Or bromine?

What Are the Prices of the Best Above Ground Pools?

In taking a look at the best above ground pool reviews here and across the internet, the consensus is that the average price of an above ground pool is about $2,000. You have inflatable options that can cost less than $500 and fully framed pools that can let you swim laps which cost over $10,000. Whatever the case may be, there is something that can fit your budget right now when you use these reviews to your advantage.

What Do Our Reviews Have to Say?

Intex 12×30 Metal Frame

Now this isn’t the biggest pool in the world. It’s 144x144x30 inches in diameter, which gives a large family enough room for everyone to sit in the cool water or splash around. The weight of the pool is also enough for one person to manage if need be during the installation process at just over 55 pounds. We found the claim that you could install this pool in 30 minutes to be accurate assuming you had the ground preparation work completed beforehand.

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Intex Ultra Frame Set

For a pool that is relatively large, the Intex Ultra Frame Pool Set is relatively light at just 150 pounds or so. Two people can set this pool up pretty easily. Add in the sand filter pump that processes 2,100 gallons per hour and you’ve got the strength to support high-end automatic cleaning equipment if you wish.

This above ground pool set also comes with a ladder, a ground cloth, and a debris cover so you can easily maintain the integrity of your water without added costs. At 24 feet by 24 feet in dimension and a little over 4 feet of depth, you even have some limited swimming ability in this pool when fully constructed as well.

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Heritage Taos

Although this is an above ground pool, we feel like it’s more of a permanent installation. The weight of the frame is nearly 900 pounds, so you’re going to need help moving it into position. It’s also the type of pool that will require yard leveling and some sand underneath the pool to help support the weight of it. This also means that you’re going to need to take the time to winterize this pool each year when the winter months come along.

If you’re looking for something that is portable, then this isn’t the pool for you. If you’re looking for something that is strong enough to last multiple seasons without the complications of an in-ground pool installation, however, then this is one of the best above ground pools to consider today.

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Intex Ultra

This pool isn’t going to stun you with a ton of advanced features. What it does do is get all of the basics right. You can get into and out of this pool fairly easily, even when your feet are wet. The instructions for setting up this pool are relatively easy to follow. The pool filter does a reasonably good job of keeping the water clean and your chemistry balanced. Just be prepared for the filling process to take around 8 hours after you complete the assembly of this pool. It’s big, but it provides an enormous amount of fun for everyone.

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Heritage Round

You’re going to need to prepare the ground for the installation of this pool before it arrives. The work it takes to install the pool on a prepared site is a 4-6 hour endeavor, depending on how many people you have helping. The step-by-step DVD is mostly helpful, though there are a few steps you might need to look at a couple of times to make sure you’re getting them right. It looks great, is incredibly sturdy, and all of the parts received were of excellent quality. We weren’t disappointed by the final result and think you’ll enjoy it as well.

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Embassy Pool PARA100

Even high quality pools often need to be moved from time to time for repairs or maintenance. The Embassy Pool PARA100 Above Ground Swimming Pool is a completely different experience. It offers the same things many other pools do: 18 feet in diameter, 52 inches of depth, and a great visual aesthetic. We discovered it also comes with several additional advantages. And unlike other pool packages which offer additional accessories, the ladder for this particular pool is surprisingly strong and stable.

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Intex 28375EH

Above ground pools can come in many different sizes. There are the really small inflatable pools that are good for an afternoon of backyard kid fun. Then there are pools like the Intex 28375EH Large Ultra Frame Pool Set. This massive 32-foot by 16-foot pool can hold over 14,000 gallons of water at 90% capacity. This gives you enough space for resistance swimming, splashing, and other pool fun without getting into anyone’s boundaries. It’s strong, resilient, and perfect for a medium-to-large backyard.

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Bestway Power Steel

This is the pool to use for smaller families or homes with smaller yards where affordability is a primary concern. Of course there are thicker liners and larger frames that are available for sale in our industry today. You’re also going to pay a lot more for those added features. This is a basic pool that meets basic needs in a professional way. It sets up easily, holds water well, and will provide you with consistency all season long. Make sure you take a second look at this pool if cost is a primary concern.

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Bestway Rectangular

We appreciated how easy it was to actually build this pool. In particular, the clips and connectors which hold the vinyl liner in place are really easy to tighten and lock. You do need to double-check that you’ve locked the clips and connectors during the installation process, however, because the spring-loaded pins which help to give the U-supports some weight balance will not work properly if not locked. That creates a rather unpleasant surprise when you’re working on filling up the pool.

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iPool Deluxe

This is the above ground pool option you’ll want to consider if exercise is your primary desire to own a pool. It’s small enough that you can set it up indoors, but durable enough that it can operate as a solo above ground pool outside. It’s compatible with saltwater systems and the PVC coated fabric will also stand up to chlorine treatments if you want to use them. It only holds 1,500 gallons, but the water resistance gets you the water workout you need. It may not be for everyone, but we found this to be an innovative pool for our industry.

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The best above ground pool reviews will help you find the best way to enjoy a hot day in the privacy of your own backyard. Find the features you need, get the size of pool you want, and make your purchase today. It will be an investment you’ll continue to enjoy for years to come.