kids swimming at above ground pool

Best Above Ground Pool: Top 10 Picks

When the summer sun beckons and the temperature rises, there’s no better way to beat the heat and create lasting memories than with a refreshing dip in your above-ground pool. Whether you’re seeking a family-friendly oasis, a space to unwind and relax, or a fun-filled aquatic playground, the world of above-ground pools offers diverse options to suit your needs. In this article, we’ve curated a list of the “Best Above Ground Pool: Top 10 Picks” to guide you through the exciting journey of choosing the perfect pool for your backyard. From durable designs to innovative features, our selection encompasses the finest choices in the world of above-ground pools, ensuring that your summer is filled with cool, clear waters and endless enjoyment.

What Is the Best Above Ground Pool?

An above-ground pool is one that is not dug down into the ground; it sits on a foundation of your choosing. You can either add a ladder to the side or hop over it, depending on the size. The best ones are the ones that suit your family’s needs well and fit into your budget.

Above-ground pools are not permanent and, by their nature, susceptible to holes and damage. But if taken care of correctly, it can last many years. Many people add support beams on the sides to help keep it sturdy for longer.

The Difference Between Above Ground and Inground Pools

Well, of course, an above-ground pool is on top of the foundation, and the inground pool is in the soil or a different foundation. However, there are some differences that play into your decision as to which is best for your family.

The inground pool is permanent; it means giving up yard space for good. The above-ground pool can be taken down at any time. There is a lot of preparation when installing an inground pool. Whereas most of the above-ground pools, other than preparing a foundation, you simply set them up and fill them.

The biggest difference is undeniably the price! Inground pool pools have a much bigger price tag than above-ground pools. Also, the in-ground pool can have many different add-ons that the above-ground pool can not, but those add-ons cost a lot more, of course.

The YouTube video below explains another significant difference between inground pools and above-ground pools: the pump! Please take a moment and watch.

How Long Does the Best Above-Ground Pool Last?

Of course, as with most things, if you take care of it and follow instructions, it will last a very long time. The average above-ground pool can last anywhere from 7 to 15 years, but the liner will only last up to 9 years. That’s if you do not have too much rough activity in there. The inground pool can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years, depending on which type you have installed.

Do You Need a Permit?

Whether or not you need a permit varies with your city and state. It is always a great idea to double-check before you buy an above-ground pool.

There may be forms that have to be filled out and approved before you can start installing your above-ground pool. Also, it’s quite common to be required to keep the pool behind a fence. There may also be fees that have to be paid for you to have the best above-ground pool in your yard.

Some cities also require specific electrical requirements for certain above-ground pool filters. Of course, for property insurance, you will have specific safety requirements around any pool.

How to Install the Best Above-Ground Pool?

Now, this is completely up to you, but you can choose to have it professionally installed or put it up with your own two hands. Just try to remember how long it may take to put up and the difficulties you may face in the process. Also, there are safety issues and equipment you may need depending on the size of the pool.

Going the Professional Route.

Having the best above-ground pool professionally installed may cost a little extra, but it helps you avoid a headache. Most companies will come out and clean up the area in which the pool will be placed. Then they will level the area by digging up all the old soil and installing some type of draining system.

The company should then frame the foundation with the correct measurements of the pool. After that, they should start to put together the pool and may add extra support items to make sure you get many years out of the pool.

This YouTube video shows an example of how one professional company installs the best above-ground pool.

Keeping the work at home. For all of you who have the know-how and can put up your own above-ground pool, it’s simpler to do it yourself. When we say “simple,” we’re not talking about the labor or putting up the pool, but it is a little simpler on your wallet. So, it’s cheaper to do it yourself.

My husband and I have put up and taken down an above-ground pool many times. It’s not very difficult, but it can be tedious and annoying. It’s important to remember to set up an area that is level, or your pools will not last very long. I know that for a fact, as we have in the past, set up above-ground pools like many people do, simply on a tarp. It didn’t stand up to our four kids, who were rough on it, for four years.

The prep you put into your pool foundation and fill will pay off.

Can A Ground Pool Use Salt Water?

Yes, above-ground pools can be converted to saltwater systems. While traditional above-ground pools typically use chlorine-based sanitation systems, many pool owners opt to switch to saltwater for its perceived advantages, such as reduced maintenance and softer water feel. Converting an above-ground pool to saltwater involves adding a salt chlorine generator (also known as a salt cell or salt chlorinator) to the pool’s filtration system. This device converts the added salt into chlorine through a process called electrolysis, effectively sanitizing the pool water. It’s important to ensure that your above-ground pool is compatible with a saltwater system and to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for proper installation and maintenance to enjoy the benefits of a saltwater pool.

How Often Should You Change the Water in an Above-Ground Pool?

What a great question. We always drain our pool after the summer and store it. For those of you who keep your pool up all year, this question can be answered in a few ways.

Most of the best above-ground pools should not have to be drained more than every few years. With a good pump, water testing, and chemical treatments like chlorine tab, as long as you keep the water clear of debris, you shouldn’t have much trouble keeping the water nice.

If all of that is not keeping it clean, then you should contact a professional pool company and see if there is another option before you drain it. Usually, you can use a shock treatment to kill algae, though you will need to stay out of the water for as long as the treatment advises to make sure it’s safe.

If they advise you to drain it, then you may want to invest in a better pump, which can help keep it clean longer.

Places to Buy the Best Above-Ground Pool

The best above-ground pool can be purchased at any local store that sells pools, but it may be cheaper or at least give you a lot more options if you buy online. That way, you will be able to see many different options of pools.

How We Chose These Above-Ground Pools

We reviewed by checking real customer feedback and professional and retail purchaser reviews. Nothing is quite as good as the information from people who have actually used these pools. So, we dug through and found the best based on user feedback, specifications, and reliability.

Benefits of Above-Ground Pools

moter and child swimming in a pool

Image source: Flickr

Having the best above-ground pool at your home has so many benefits. A huge benefit is the price; above-ground pools are much cheaper than inground pools. Above-ground pools are much easier to install and quicker. The above-ground pool can also come with slides and waterfalls, just like an inground pool.

An above-ground pool is less maintenance, and it is safer than an inground pool. This is because it is unlikely that small children will fall in and drown in the above-ground pool, and in many cases, you can remove the ladder.

It is also much easier to remove an above-ground pool if you no longer want a pool on your property. The best benefit of having an above-ground pool is swimming. I mean, who does not love to take a dip after a long day? Not to mention the low-impact cardio.

Some of the Best Above Ground Pools out There

The best above-ground pool comes in many different shapes and sizes. We have compiled a list of some great above-ground pools. We did not put the list in any particular order. Please take a moment and go through our pool options.

Intex Metal Frame Pool Set

Intex Metal Frame Pool Set, 10-feet x 30-inch

  • Easy-to-assemble
  • 110-120 voltage DFCI
  • Metal frame pool set with filter pump

This Intex metal frame above-ground pool is easy to assemble and comes in a circle shape. The company includes a filter pump, and it can hold up to 1,185 gallons of water. This company states this above-ground pool can be filled up in as little as ten minutes. The dimensions are 30 inches tall and 10 feet in diameter.

This product has a rating of 4.3 out of 5.0- stars on Amazon. Many customers are delighted with their purchase. They say this above-ground pool is the perfect height and very easy to install. A few customers say customer service is awful, and the pump stopped working after a few uses.

Intex Prism Frame Rectangular Pool

Intex 16ft X 8ft X 42in Prism Frame Rectangular Pool Set with Filter…

  • Prism frame pools feature strong powder-coated metal frames combined with the strong 3-ply material liner and a…
  • Enhanced floor thickness for more durability
  • Includes 110-120V cartridge filter pump with a pump flow rate of 1,000 gallons per hour, pool ladder, ground cloth, and…

The Intex Prism oval frame pool set includes a pump with filter, removable ladder, debris cover, and a cloth for under the pool. The company claims the pool will be ready within 60 minutes and holds 2,873 gallons of water. This company makes this above-ground pool with a 3-ply material liner to help keep this pool durable. The Prism pool comes in a rectangular shape and is 16 feet long and 42 inches deep.

The Intex Prism pool has a rating of 4.2 out of 5.0 stars. Customers are delighted with how easy it is to set up, and they love the durability. Unfortunately, enough customers to mention found leaks on the main seams right out of the box.

Cornelius Pools Phoenix

Cornelius Phoenix 18′ x 52″ Above Ground Swimming Pool w/Pump, Ladder…

  • Create your own backyard swimming pool paradise with this easy-to-assemble above-ground pool kit.
  • The round above-ground pool features an 18-foot diameter and is 52 inches deep.
  • A fully integrated sand pump filters 2,400 gallons per hour and features a high-quality, transparent debris trap, so you…

The Cornelius company sends the Phoenix pool with a pool net, phosphate removal chemical, a chemical kit, pool ladder, thru-wall skimmer, pool loner, and a sand filter pump. The shape of this pool is a circle, and it is 52 inches deep and 18 feet in diameter.

This pool has a rating of 4.3 out of 5.0 stars. Customers are very pleased with how easy this pool was to put together and how sturdy it is. A few customers were upset the pool was delivered to either a driveway or curb, and the driver would not deliver to the location in the yard where they needed it.

Lake Effect Meadows Reprieve

Lake Effect Meadows Reprieve 24′ Round Above Ground Swimming Pool |…

  • RESIN COATED STEEL – This elegantly designed above-ground pool features a super strong steel wall that has been hot dipped…
  • BEAUTIFUL BEDROCK PATTERN LINER – Take a dip into the glistening waters of Bedrock and experience the visual of pebbles…
  • ALL YEAR READY – The Meadows Reprieve above-ground swimming pool is designed to remain in place all year round. It…

Lake Effect Pools makes its pool in a 24-foot round shape and 52 inches deep. The galvanized steel is for protection to keep it sturdy. The company makes this product with an overlap liner. You will receive a 25-year manufacturer warranty with this product.

The Lake Effect Meadows Reprieve pool has a rating of 4.1 out of 5.0 stars. Many customers say the quality of the pool is fantastic. There are a few customers who say it is too hard to set up, and pieces are missing.

Bestway Steel Pro

Bestway Steel Pro 9.8ft x 5.6ft x 26in Frame Above Ground Pool Set…

  • Includes one pool, #58382US filter pump (110 120V), 330-gallon pump water flow rate, 280-gallon integrated pool system…
  • Extra-strong side walls are made with three separate layers of material. The inner layer of polyester mesh is laminated to the 2…
  • Easy to set up and take down for off-season storage

The ​Bestway company makes a rectangular shape pool. It comes with a filter and three layers of materials for sturdy walls. The company claims the pool is easy to set up and tear down. This product also has corrosion-resistant metal frames.

This above-ground pool has a rating of 4.3 out of 5.0 stars. So many customers are happy with the size of the pool and how easy it is to put together. Customers are upset that the pool has already been damaged and missing parts.

Bestway Power Steel

Power Steel 16′ x 48″ Frame Pool Set

  • Extra strength side walls are made with advanced TriTech material with three separate layers
  • Heavy-duty rust-resistant metal frames
  • Reinforced rope wraps around the bottom of the pool liner to keep the legs firmly in position.

This is another pool by the Bestway company, but it is round. This Power steel pool comes with a ladder, pump, pool cover, and ground cover. The pool has reinforced straps to hold the legs in place.

This product has a rating of 4.1 out of 5.0 stars on Amazon. Customers love how sturdy this pool is and how easy it is to keep up with. Some customers are disappointed with the pump, saying it is not strong enough.

Summer Waves

Summer Waves 14′ x 36″ Active Frame Stone Slate…

  • The Summer Waves pool set comes with all the necessary components, including the filter pump, ladder, and repair patch, making it easy to set up in your backyard without the need for additional purchases.
  • The metal frame with a stone slate print not only adds an aesthetic touch to your outdoor space but also ensures the pool’s stability and durability, promising years of use.
  • With a 14-foot diameter and 36-inch depth, this pool provides ample space for multiple people to swim and play, making it perfect for families and gatherings.

The “Summer Waves 14′ x 36″ Active Frame Stone Slate Print Metal Frame Outdoor Backyard Above Ground Swimming Pool Set” is a comprehensive package designed for easy and enjoyable summer swimming in your backyard. This above-ground pool boasts a spacious 14-foot diameter and a depth of 36 inches, providing plenty of room for family and friends to cool off during hot summer days. The pool features an attractive stone slate print metal frame, adding an aesthetic touch to your outdoor space. The set includes a filter pump to maintain water clarity and hygiene, a ladder for convenient entry and exit, and a repair patch for minor fixes. With this all-in-one package, you can quickly set up your own outdoor swimming oasis for endless summer fun.

Summer Waves Elite Wicker 18ft x 48in Round Above Ground

Summer Waves Elite Wicker 18ft x 48in Round Above Ground Frame Pool…

  • 18-foot diameter round frame above-ground pool with 48-inch pool walls
  • Rust-resistant, galvanized steel frame stands up to heavy use and the elements
  • Constructed of triple-layer polyester mesh and heavy gauge PVC material

This Summer Waves Elite Wicker pool is round, 18 feet in diameter, and 48 inches deep. This pool has a galvanized steel frame and is rust-resistant. The Summer Waves company claims this pool can be ready within 60 minutes. The company also sends a deluxe maintenance kit with your purchase.

Elite Wicker Pool has a rating of 4.1 out of 5.0 stars. Customers love the wicker design and say it is easy to set up. A couple of customers are upset; the filter does not work well.

Intex 12′ x 30″ Metal Frame

Intex 12′ x 30″ Metal Frame Set Above Ground Swimming Pool with Filter…

  • Intex Manufacturer warranty: 30 30-day warranty against Factory Defects. The warranty does not cover tears, rips, or holes.
  • Part number: 28031E
  • Intex 12 x 2.5 Foot Metal Frame Above Ground Pool and Filter

This Intex metal frame is round and is 12 feet in diameter and 30 inches deep. The company sends you a filter and cover for this pool. The Intex claims you can fill this pool up in 30 minutes, and the company gives a 30-day manufacturer warranty.

This above-ground pool from Intex has a rating of 4.0 out of 5.0 stars. Customers say this pool is sturdy and great for all ages. A couple of customers are upset that pieces were missing and the cover had a hole in it.


Bestway: Power Steel 9’3″ x 6’5″ x 33″

The “Bestway Power Steel 9’3″ x 6’5″ x 33″ Above Ground Pool Set” is a versatile and family-friendly outdoor pool designed to provide a convenient and enjoyable swimming experience. With a spacious rectangular shape and a water capacity of 937 gallons, it offers ample room for family fun and relaxation. This pool is built to last, featuring corrosion and puncture-resistant materials, ensuring its durability over time. The set includes a ChemConnect dispenser for easy pool maintenance, a filter, and a pump to ensure water clarity and hygiene. Whether you’re seeking a refreshing dip on a hot day or a place for family gatherings, this pool set offers a reliable and cost-effective solution for outdoor aquatic enjoyment.


Which Is the Best Above Ground Pool for You?


Now, the big question is, which is the best above-ground pool for you? And, let’s be honest, it all comes down to your personal preferences.

First, you would want to decide what shape would look best in your yard. Then, what size is best for you, and if you have kids, can they swim? You may need a shallow pool. Or if you are like me and have a huge family, you will need the biggest above-ground pool ever made.

Also, there are many options for designs on the sides of some above-ground pools. You could also order one with all the supplies you will need, like a pump, ladder, pool cover, and much more.

So, at the end of the day, it comes down to what is best for you and how much you are willing to spend for the best above-ground pool.

Do you own an above-ground pool? If so, what do you love most about it, and what do you like least? Please leave your comments in the section below.

Featured Image via Pixabay


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.