Above Ground Pool

The 6 Best Above-Ground Pools That Haven't Sold Out Yet

Give your backyard a summer upgrade before it's too late
By Zarah Kavarana
April 28, 2021 08:30 PM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.

Related Content

Looking to turn your backyard into the ultimate outdoor oasis? Perhaps you've already invested in your dream grill, spruced up your landscaping, and even added all new patio furniture. But if you're really looking to make the most of your existing open air space, you might want to consider purchasing an above-ground pool to really take your summer to the next level. Unlike inground options, above-ground pools are easier and far less expensive to maintain, so you can enjoy the very same benefits without sacrificing your time and savings.

Whether you're looking for a pool that's large enough to host a wild spring break-style pool party, long enough to swim laps, shallow enough for the kids to safely splash and play, or roomy enough to spend a relaxing day lounging on an inflatable raft, there's an above-ground pool out there for every need — no matter your budget or how much backyard space you're able to spare. If you're just starting your search, keep these two popular above-ground pool styles in mind:

Inflatable: If you're looking for an inexpensive way to splash and soak up the sun, inflatable pools are well worth the purchase. They're an easy-to-setup alternative to heavier metal options — in fact, most only take a few minutes to inflate before you can freely start swimming. They lean on the smaller side with a lightweight composition that allows for easy portability, and they can even be drained and deflated at the end of the season without much fuss. 

Metal Frame: Typically made of steel or aluminum, metal frame above-ground pools are designed for long-lasting durability that'll stand strong against natural elements and continuous use. They tend to be larger, stationary structures, so you won't be able to stow yours away as easily once temperatures drop, and they do require some planning before setup plus more regular maintenance and upkeep. 

To save you further research, we rounded up several of the best above-ground pool picks. And best of all: They're conveniently available at Amazon and Walmart. 

Frame Pool Set
Credit: Amazon

Best Overall: Intex 18’ x 48” Easy Set Pool

You might assume that an inflatable pool isn’t as sturdy as metal alternatives, but this top-rated round above-ground pool from Intex is still super tough, featuring laminated PVC sidewalls that are flexible enough to allow for easy setup and breakdown as well as compact storage capabilities.

It fully sets up in about 30 minutes, and instructions are easy: Simply spread out the pool on sturdy, level ground, inflate the top ring, and fill it with water — a hefty 455 gallons worth. Prop up the included ladder, and you’re ready to dive in and start swimming. The pool also comes with a high-powered pump that filters up to 1,500 gallons of water per hour, ground cloth, debris cover, and drain plug that can be connected to a garden hose to safely drain water away from the pool or house. 

Ideal for families, it also offers additional safety features, like dual suction outlet fittings that improve water circulation for better hygiene and clarity and a ground fault interrupter that shuts off the pump if an electrical current is exposed to the water.

Buy It! Intex 18’ x 48” Easy Set Pool, $741.02; amazon.com

Frame Pool Set
Credit: Amazon

Best for Durability: Intex 18’ x 52” Ultra XTR Pool Set

There’s so much to love about this large 18-foot by 52-inch above-ground pool from Intex that more than 1,700 Amazon reviewers are fans. It comes with a ladder, ground cloth, cover, and sand filter pump that only needs replacing every five years for maximal longevity and minimal maintenance. 

But what shoppers really love about this pool is its outstanding durability that’ll stand the test of time. Its galvanized steel frame is fully surrounded with a powder coating that provides powerful rust protection from the inside and out, while its innovative shape ensures a sturdy hold. The frame easily snaps together with push button T-joint connectors that are precisely engineered for strength and security. And on the inside, a puncture-resistant, three-ply laminated liner features a blue tile print that’s just as tough as the real thing.

Buy It! Intex 18’ x 52” Ultra XTR Pool Set, $1,661.70 (orig.$1,975.75); amazon.com

Frame Pool Set
Credit: Amazon

Best Value: Intex 12’ x 30” Metal Frame Pool Set

Above-ground pools can easily cost upwards of $1,000, but if you live in a region where you’re unable to put yours to use year-round, opting for a more affordable pick is the smarter way to go. You can still splish, splash, and wade the summer away while on a budget with this small above-ground pool. Spread out solo or comfortably sit and soak up the sun with a few friends thanks to a substantial 12-foot diameter. Luckily, it won’t cost you more than $500 but is still packed with all the same features you’d seek from a far more expensive model.

In fact, it’s equally as durable as pricier options with a rust-resistant steel frame that’s held together with an all-around band to keep the frame legs securely in place. Laminated PVC sidewalls are also designed to be resilient, ensuring the pool’s 1,718 gallon capacity is completely leakproof. Unlike many lower priced options, it includes a 530-gallon-per-hour filter pump that’ll keep the water clean and crystal clear, so you can freely enjoy your pool without being chained to a time-wasting maintenance commitment. 

Buy It! Intex 12’ x 30” Metal Frame Pool Set , $429.99; amazon.com

Frame Pool Set
Credit: Walmart

Best Rectangular Above-Ground Pool: Bestway Power Steel 18' x 48" Rectangular Pool Set with Pump

Spanning 18 feet long by 48 inches high, this above-ground pool may not be Olympic size, but its elongated, rectangular shape will still give you plenty of room to take laps like Michael Phelps. 

A pump filters 1,500 gallons of water per hour for a sparkling clean swimming surface, and an included pool cover will keep your water free of debris when not in use. There’s also a ladder for easy entry and exit and a flow-control drain valve that simplifies breakdown when you’re finally ready to stow away your pool at the end of the season. For long-lasting use, its corrosion-resistant steel frame is engineered to guarantee maximum strength and stability, so you can keep using your pool for many summers to come.

Buy It! Bestway Power Steel 18' x 48" Rectangular Pool Set with Pump, $1,117.07; walmart.com

Bestway Power Steel Above Ground Pool
Credit: Amazon

Best Oval Above-Ground Pool: Bestway Power Steel Above Ground Pool

This oval-shaped above-ground pool gives you the best of both worlds with a longer shape and rounded edges for a smaller square footage. Its 14-foot by 18-foot size is generous enough to host a small pool party or just relax and soak up some rays on an inflatable raft, without taking up too much square footage.

Setup is quick and minimal since it doesn’t require extra tools to build — just the help of two to three people. Once it’s running, the pool won’t require much maintenance over time thanks to a rust-resistant steel frame, three-ply wall band, and a precision-engineered locking system that reinforces the structure with remarkable strength. An included filter pump has a speedy flow rate of 530 gallons per hour and works simultaneously with an included chlorine-dispensing device for even spread around the pool. 

Buy It! Bestway Power Steel Above Ground Pool, $1,251.17 (orig. $1,399.00); amazon.com

Frame Pool Set
Credit: Walmart

Best for Kids: Bestway Steel Pro UV Careful Splash-in-Shade Above Ground Pool Set

While this isn’t exactly the type of above-ground pool that’s suitable for sunbathing and margarita sipping, it has everything your little one wants and needs for a summer spent outdoors. You’ll love that its included sunshade features a UPF rating of 40+ for protection against the sun, and they’ll love the cooling water mister at the top that attaches to a garden hose for extra fun in the sun. 

Its small 8-foot by 20-inch size manages to hold up to 446 gallons of water — large enough for a few kids to splash and play without the risk of a dangerously deep bottom. Its tough corrosion-resistant steel metal frame and three-ply liner are both kidproof, though you could never tell by the fun and fruity print on the exterior that makes it feel more age appropriate.

Buy It! Bestway Steel Pro UV Careful Splash-in-Shade Above Ground Pool Set, $162.20 (orig. $300); walmart.com

Do you love a good deal? Sign up for PEOPLE's Shopping newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest sales, plus celebrity fashion, home decor and more.