Best Above Ground Pools for Kiddies and Adults

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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Adding an above-ground swimming pool to your property can serve as an ideal place for relaxation for your family. Its nonpermanent nature ensures that you can enjoy some seasonal fun whenever needed. They are more cost-effective and easier to maintain compared to in-ground pools. Also, with a host of styles available, you can choose one that best suits you. Resin pools, steel or even a hybrid of both are sturdy options you can consider. For families on a budget, the best inflatable models work suitably well.

Check out our top picks below, with their reviews of what they work best for together and their pros and cons.

1. Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Above Ground Pool Set-Best rectangular above ground pool

INTEX 26363EH 24ft x 12ft x 52in Ultra XTR Pool Set...
  • 26363EH 24´x12´x52" Ultra XTR Rectangular Frame Pool
  • Classic rectangular shape, elegant dark gray liner with...
  • Maintenance is incredibly easy since sand only needs routine...
  • Uniquely designed frame combines high quality galvanized steel...
  • Encapsulating inner and outer powder coating ensures the ultimate...

The Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set features a galvanized steel frame and a 52inch height that makes this model feel like an inground pool that offers adequate space to swim. Its set-up process is approximately 90 minutes, but getting your site ready could take some more time. This ultra frame rectangular pool has a maximum capacity of 32 feet by 16 feet. It is 52 inches deep, holding 14364 gallons at 90% water capacity with a water flow rate of 2,800 gallons per hour, and therefore can be used with users who are six years and above.

This Rectangular Pool Set is a saltwater system and offers low chlorine levels as compared to chlorinated pools. It is a complete set as it comes with the pool and its heavy-duty PVC frame, a sand filter pump, a ladder, a saltwater system, a pool cover, debris cover, and ground cloth. Notably, the pool frame is steel, but it has been painted with a rust-resistance layer to minimize corrosion from general use or the sun. The rectangular pool can be packed during the cold months and does not need to stay out all year long.


  • It has a saltwater system that avoids heavy chlorination of standard chlorine pools.
  • The set comes with every piece of equipment you might need as it is a complete kit.
  • It has a quick drain feature for easy cleanup.
  • The price is affordable.
  • The ultra frame pool comes with a sand filter pump.
  • The pool is large enough for a large family.
  • Corrosion-resistant


  • It needs several people to assemble.
  • The liner is quite heavy and might need to be smoothened out.
  • Does not have a filtration unit or pump.

2. Intex Ultra XTR Above Ground Round Pool Set- Best deep above ground pool

INTEX 26329EH 18ft x 52in Ultra XTR Pool Set with Sand...
  • 26329EH 18´ x 52" Ultra XTR Frame Pool
  • Comes equipped exclusively with Intex Krystal Clear sand filter...
  • Maintenance is incredibly easy since sand only needs routine...
  • Uniquely designed frame combines high quality galvanized steel...
  • Encapsulating inner and outer powder coating ensures the ultimate...

Intex Ultra XTR above ground pool best works if you are looking for a hard-side pool for use with your entire family. Intex Ultra XTR is a rectangular pool that measures 24feet by 12 feet and 52 inches in height with a galvanized steel frame that is powder coated and therefore increases the durability. It features D-shaped tubular pieces that provide additional strength for holding the large water capacity and 100 gallons of water flow rate.

The Intex Ultra XTR galvanized steel frame pool best works with a saltwater system and comes with a unique locking system that eases the installation process. The inflatable pool comes with all the necessary tools like a ladder for ease of entry and exit, a pool cover, a sand filter pump, a saltwater pump system, debris cover, and ground cloth. The level ground pool is similar to in-ground pools in terms of the liner, which mimics the tiles, the space you need since it's quite large, the size, and accessories.


  • It comes with an accessory kit and a pump.
  • It can withstand multiple seasons without breaking down.
  • The assembly is a snap-in that requires no tools.
  • Unique locking system
  • Sand filter pump
  • Galvanized metal frame


  • It can be deep for young children.
  • It needs multiple people to set it up.

3. Intex Prism Frame Pool Set-Best Affordable Pool

INTEX 26701EH 10ft x 30in Prism Frame Pool with...
  • SUMMERTIME FUN: The Intex 10ft x 30in metal frame above ground...
  • DURABLE BUILD: The sturdy metal frame is powder coated for rust...
  • EASY-SET-UP: An affordable and easy-to-set-up is ready for water...
  • PRODUCT INFO: The Intex pool set comes with the pool,...
  • DISCLAIMER: Please review your HOA rules and restrictions before...

Intex Prism frame pool best works for a family looking for a budget pool because it's the cheapest among these ground pool reviews. However, some families might find it to be a bit shallow since it's only 30 inches high and has a capacity of 1185 gallons of water, but the height works great for kids. It has a powder-coated steel frame with a 3ply liner that prevents the pool from collapsing, and you don't have to worry about the air like in the inflatable pools.

Intex Prism above ground round pool also features the hydro aeration technology that keeps the pool clean. It also comes with a slip-resistant 48 inches ladder for safety when entering and exiting, a cartridge filter pump, a ground cloth, and a pool cover. However, with an 18 feet in diameter, it requires constant maintenance with constant refilling and emptying.


  • It is easy to set up.
  • Uses the hydro aeration technology
  • The lining is a durable 3ply material and thus prevents punctures.
  • The set comes with a filter pump, ground cloth pool cover, and ladder.
  • Budget-friendly above ground pool
  • A strong powder-coated metal frame holds the shape.
  • Greywood color for those who don't like the standard blue color


  • It can be somehow shallow for big kids or adults.
  • The filter is not that strong to filter out the daily gunk out.
  • The pump is not that powerful.

4. Bestway Steel Pro Above-Ground Pool-Best for small kids

Bestway 56417 Steel Pro Above Ground, 12ft x 30 Inch |...
  • ENDLESS SUMMER FUN: Kids and adults of all ages can enjoy...
  • SUPERIOR FRAME DESIGN: The pool frames are applied with a rust...
  • MADE TO LAST: A durable, yet lightweight PVC material provides...
  • EASY TO ASSEMBLE: No tools are required to install this above...
  • NO MORE CHEMICAL FLOATERS: Chemconnect chemical dispenser...

Bestway above-ground pool is made of high-quality, durable materials and a reliable frame design and is an ideal kiddie pool without worrying whether they can swim. However, Bestway Pro above-ground pool has other larger sizes with different heights, but all sizes use the same joint design creating a stable above-ground pool. This round above-ground model does not feature a ground cloth, pump, or ladder, so you will need to buy them because the price only covers the above-ground pool and frame.

The pool frame has a UV and rust-resistant coating that makes it more durable and corrosion-resistant. Bestway round pool model features a flow control drain valve that provides a controlled release of water. The above ground pool has a PVC material covering the walls and floor, plus a 3ply PVC band around the base that offers extra support.


  • Budget-friendly
  • It is easy to assemble.
  • The Bestway Steel Pro frame is made of a stainless steel frame that provides excellent corrosion-resistant.
  • The ground pool best works for small kids.
  • It does not need any tools for assembling.
  • The pools come with a flow control drain feature.


  • It does not come with a filter pump ladder.

5. Intex Easy Set Pool Set with Filter-Best Frameless Pool and Best Budget Model

Intex 15ft X 48in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump,...
  • Equipped with the Ground Fault Interrupter, which is an added...
  • Ready for water in 15 minutes, - simply spread out on level...
  • Water capacity: (80%) 3,736 gallons. Includes: Krystal Clear...
  • SUPER-TOUGH laminated PVC sidewalls. Convenient drain plug that...
  • New dual suction outlet fittings improve water circulation...

Intex Easy Set Pool Set is the best above-ground frameless pool and works for users who don't like dealing with frames and long-term setups since it has a three-step setup process. They use a laminated PVC that strengthens their walls and makes them durable. With 15 feet in diameter, 48inches deep, and holding 736 gallons of water at 80%, they provide plenty of space for everyone.

Intex Easy Pool set supplies the users with everything they need to use, like a pump and filter that filters 1000 gallons per hour, a removable ladder, debris cover, ground cover, and a set-up DVD for additional instructions. The model uses dual suction outlet fittings to ensure the water is clear and moving. It can be folded for storage if the user does not want to keep it out all year long.


  • It is easy to set up.
  • It has a dual suction outlet that helps filter the water more effectively.
  • The set comes with a ladder, which helps users not damage the pool's sides and rings.
  • The drain plug empties through a connected garden hose.
  • It comes with a filter pump.
  • Intex easy set pool offers compact storage when its deflated


  • Not the best above ground pools for families with small children who can fall in or pets that can damage the ring
  • It is a small size pool set.
  • It is not that durable as it lasts up to three seasons.

What to Consider Before Purchasing the Best Above Ground Pools

1. The Shape

There are different shapes, styles, lengths of the swimming pool. Most above ground pools are oval or round, but your yard's size determines the shape you choose. Oval pools are thought to be larger and hold more water, but the round ones hold more water. However, oval pools that look more like an in-ground pool are less expensive because they have few parts.

2. Installation and Maintenance

It is crucial to consider the amount of upkeep you need for the above-ground you choose. Check if it comes with additional materials to install your pool, or you need to buy, or if you need any professional help. It is generally easier to maintain an inflatable pool. The best inflatable pools can be easily inflated, drained, and deflated, unlike the steel frame, which needs year-round maintenance and cannot be taken down quickly.

3. Budget and Cost

Above-ground swimming pools are a cheaper option than in-ground pools, but they need to be durable. It is tempting to consider choosing a cheap pool to save some money but look for more than the price when looking for the best above-ground pool. Sometimes low-cost pool might need replacement sooner than later because it lasts only a few months, which might turn out expensive as you have to keep on replacing it.

4. Pool Depth

The proper depth of the pool best depends on who is the user of the pool. For young children, they can drown in 1 or 2 inches of water. However, some kiddie pools have walls that are up to 6 inches high, holding 4 inches. Old swimmers use deep pools that can range up to 52 inches and hold more water. More water means more depth, and therefore there is a need for more maintenance, such as extra debris removal and regular filter changes.

5. Size and Shape

The dimensions of your yard depending on the size of the above-ground pool. However, some local municipalities or homeowners have size restrictions with a backyard pool.

6. Who will use the pool.

Who is using the best above ground pool determines the kind of pool you purchase. Young children may need lower pool walls safety, while adults or teenagers can be okay with deeper pools depending on how tall they are.

7. Pool Liner Type and Thickness

A liner protects the pool's bottom and walls to make it last longer by holding the water in place. There are four types of liners: beaded, overlap, J-hook(uni-bead), and expandable. The liner is responsible for protecting the pool that retains water and maintaining the overall pool structure.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best brand of above ground pools?

According to our review, the best brand is Intex, which has several above-ground models in the market, and we have listed our top picks above. Their pumps are also made of good quality, and most of them are saltwater pools.

2. Can above ground swimming pools be heated?

Above ground pool can be safely and efficiently heated using solar heaters and a solar cover without causing any damage to the pool.

3. Are above ground pools worth the money?

An above-ground pool is worth the money because it will help you save money because of their affordable prices and the reduced expenses and low operating costs that they bring along. The installation is also easy and quick and is relatively safe.

4. How long do above-ground pools last?

The longevity of an above-ground pool depends on the quality of the materials and how well they have been maintained. Generally, most above ground pools last between 7 to 15 years, but they need replacements every 5 to 9 years for liners. However, some pools last longer because they are made of hard-sided resin and have 20-25 year warranties.

5. How do you maintain an above-ground pool?

You should check your pool consistently and pay it attention occasionally. The owners should clean filters and replace them regularly while testing chlorine levels weekly while also performing regular shock treatments. The pool pump should run for about 6 to 8 hours a day and remove any debris after using a skimmer.

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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