When the temperature rises and the sun shows up, what’s the best way to beat the summer heat? There are many things you can do to cool down, but one of the best is to have a dip at the pool.
For many of us, however, a swimming pool is a luxury we cannot afford. Luckily, that’s not the case with an above ground pool. It is affordable and easy to install, making it the perfect way to relax during the summer months!
Looking for the best above ground pools can be overwhelming with too many options available. Need help finding the right one? Keep on reading and learn from our recommendations.
Benefits of Above Ground Pools’
Need compelling reasons to invest in an above ground pool? Let’s start this guide by looking at the benefits that can convince you to purchase one.
- Affordable: If you want a pool but you don’t have the budget for a traditional in-ground pool, an above ground pool is a perfect alternative. The best thing is that even if they are affordable, as long as you choose the ones from top brands, they never compromise quality.
- Easy to Install: No need to worry about the difficulty of installation. You can do it in a snap, even without professional assistance.
- Space-Efficient: They are available in a variety of sizes, including ones that you can install even when you have a compact backyard. It is also great in terms of mobility since you can easily remove the pool when you need more space.
- Ease of Maintenance: Unlike traditional pools that are built on the ground, their above ground counterparts are easier when it comes to care and maintenance.
Top 10 Best Above Ground Pools by Consumer Reviews for 2020
Below are the top ten products that should be on your list, as well as the features that make them notable.
1. Intex 15ft x 48in Metal Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth, and Pool Cover
If you want a larger and tougher alternative to the pool mentioned above, this is one option that should be on your list. It has a capacity of 4,440 gallons. Take note that the manufacturer recommends filling the pool only at a 90% capacity.
The tough construction of this product is one thing that buyers will love. It is from Intex, so you can expect durability to be exceptional. It has laminated side walls. The reinforcement in the walls makes it tough, allowing it to withstand wear. It also comes with metal legs to keep the pool stable and an all-around frame to keep its legs together.
Like most of the pools from Intex, you will also enjoy the ease of set-up. To make things better, the manufacturer also provides a DVD with instructional videos on how to set-up the pool, as well as how to maintain it properly.
Lastly, it has dual suction outfit fittings. The latter helps to improve water circulation to make it clear and free from contaminants that can be a health risk for users of the pool.
- Tough construction
- Easy to assemble
- Great value for money
- Thin liner
- Can be prone to leaking
2. Intex 15ft x 14in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth, and Pool Cover
If you are looking for above ground pools, Intex is one of the most popular brands. This specific pool is great because it comes with plenty of accessories while also being affordable. It is for people looking for a cheap pool while still enjoying a decent performance.
Ease of installation is one of the strongest suits of this product. According to the manufacturer, it is ready within just 15 minutes! All that you need to do is to spread the ground cloth on an even surface, set the pool on the top, inflate, fill with water, and you are now ready to make a splash.
This Intex above ground pool is also notable because of the Hydro Aeration technology. It improves water circulation and filtration to prevent sediments and fine particles from showing up. It is also effective in improving water clarity.
This technology also increases negative ions to keep the water fresh.
Lastly, the pool has a maximum water capacity of 3,736 gallons. The manufacturer also recommends the use of the inflatable pool only for kids who are six years old and above.
- Easy to assemble
- Made by a reliable brand
- Comes with lots of accessories
- Pump can be better
- Top ring is flimsy
3. Intex 8ft x 30in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter
The design is almost the same as the first pool mentioned in this guide, although, the shape is different. It also comes with an inflatable top ring that helps the pool to stay set on the ground.
If you are a lazy person, this is the perfect pool for you. It is ready within 10 minutes. Once you inflate the top ring, you just have to fill it with water, and it is ready for fun!
It is made of tough laminated PVC wall. While the manufacturer claims that the durability is impressive, some users beg to disagree. There have been complaints about how the construction is quite inferior. People also note how it is prone to leaks. An easy solution to the latter is to choose the right position of the pool.
The pool also comes with a convenient drain plug. All that you need is to connect it to a hose, and it won’t take long before water is finally out of the above ground pool.
- Easy to assemble
- Durability can be an issue
- Prone to leaking
4. Intex 14ft x 42in Ultra Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth, and Pool Cover
Another entry from Intex on our list, one of the things that we love about this above ground pool is its ladder. It comes with a sturdy design to support a maximum weight of 300 pounds. The steps are made of high-impact and non-resistant materials. The steel frame also comes with a special coating to prevent corrosion.
You might initially think that this above ground pool is expensive. While the price is indeed quite steep, it is easy to justify because of its inclusions. For instance, there is a ground cover that will prevent dirt and debris from getting in the water. There is also a pool liner, as well as a filter pump.
There is no need to worry about the installation of this pool. While there are others from the same manufacturer that you can set up within ten minutes, this one takes around 45 minutes. Despite such, this should not give you a headache. There is an instructional DVD for step-by-step instructions on how to complete the assembly.
- High-strength construction
- Good ladder
- Comes with an instructional DVD
- Poor quality of the liner
- Pump can easily fail
5. Intex Metal Frame Pool Set
For a space-efficient and affordable option for the best above ground pools, this is one option that should be on your radar. It is a favorite of many users because of its ease of assembly, which is also partly because it is small.
This is perfect if you want a small pool in a backyard with limited space. The water capacity is only 1,185 gallons and you should not fill it beyond 90%. You will be finished filling the pool within just half an hour.
Like most of the above ground pools from Intex, this also comes with Hydro Aeration Technology, which is the one responsible for improving the clarity and circulation of water. This pool filter is powerful, similar to what you will find in the higher-end options on the market.
- Easy to assemble
- Excellent metal frame
- Inferior pump quality
- Poles can bend easily
6. Intex 18ft x 9ft x 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth, & Pool Cover
If you have the luxury of space to spare in the backyard, this is the perfect choice for you. The large size of the above ground pool makes this the perfect choice for small groups. Nonetheless, because of its size, filling it with water can take approximately one hour.
Since it is manufactured by Intex, it comes with high-quality components. One that you will like is the Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump. The tank has a 10-inch diameter and made using rust-resistant materials. The water flow rate of the pump is 1,200 gallons per hour. There is also a timer that you can set from one to 12 hours.
The unique frame design is also excellent. It is made of galvanized steel, which makes it long-lasting. It also has inner and outer powder coating, which allows the frame to resist corrosion. Plus, it has a unique snap-on system to easily connect the pieces.
Lastly, it comes with a two-year warranty from the manufacturer, which should be enough to provide you with peace of mind.
- Durable construction
- Has a removable ladder
- Takes quite a while to fill with water
- Set-up can be tricky
7. Bestway Steel Pro 12’x30” Frame Pool Set
Bestway may not be as superior as Intex when it comes to its overall quality, but it makes a great alternative. Among others, one thing that we love the most in this pool set is its ease of assembly. It only takes a minute before you are ready for a splash!
It is a great choice if you have a small space. The pool accommodates only 1,710 gallons of water. Like the other products on our recommendations, the manufacturer does not recommend filling it beyond 90%.
The Seal and Lock System of the frames of this pool is also great. It minimizes friction and allows the frame to create a secure connection.
You won’t have a hard time emptying water from the pool once you are done using it. There is a built-in flow control drain valve. There is an adaptor wherein you can connect a garden hose. It won’t take long before you drain water out of the pool and you can easily store it.
The warranty that is offered by the manufacturer is six months, which is quite short compared to the above ground pools from Intex.
- Sturdy frame
- Easy to assemble
- Strong liner
- Pump has a poor suction power
- Junky filter
8. Bestway Steel Pro 9.8ft x 5.6ft x 26in Frame Above Ground Pool Set
For a Bestway above ground pool that is bigger than the one mentioned above, this makes a great alternative. This is more affordable compared to the pools from Intex, but that does not mean that the quality is inferior.
While there are many things to love in this product, one of the most notable is the construction of its side walls. It is made of a three-layer material. This provides the reinforcement to withstand the test of time. A combination of polyester and PVC makes the side wall strong. The metal frames, on the other hand, can easily rust.
You don’t need to exert a lot of effort to complete its maintenance. You can set the pool without requiring any tool. Even if it is your first time to own and assemble an above ground pool, things don’t have to be complicated. You can complete the assembly within ten minutes with help from two to three persons.
- Durable construction
- Great value for money
- Easy to assemble
- Poor suction power
- Can be easily prone to rust
9. Summer Waves Elite Wicker Print 16ft x 48in Above Ground Pool
One thing that makes it different from the options mentioned above is its design. It is not boring in terms of aesthetics as it is not made of only plain vinyl. Instead, it has a wicker print that makes it more pleasing.
As shared by many of the users of the pool, they are happy with its assembly. It takes only around 45 minutes before you can set-up the pool. The kit comes with detailed instructions on how to complete its installation.
The quality of the steel frame is also impressive. The galvanized high-strength metal frame is corrosion-resistant, so it looks as good as new after several years of using the above ground pool. It has oval tubes for easy connection to the other parts of the frame.
Another thing that you will like in this above ground pool is its SFX1500 filter. It works as a filter pump and a skimmer in one. It has a solid base that prevents the filter from tripping. This feature helps to improve the clarity and quality of water in your pool.
- Wicker print
- High-strength metal frame
- Excellent pump
- Drain plug quality can be better
- Easily prone to leaks
10. Splash Pools Oval Deluxe Pool Package
This is a great option for those who are looking for a large above ground pool. It has dimensions of 30 feet x 15 feet x 52 inches, which makes it one of the largest from the pools on our list. This is perfect for the whole family or a group of friends.
The quality of the materials used in the pool is second to none. One of the most exceptional is the ladder. It is made of sturdy resin. You can also lift the ladder from the side of the pool to prevent unauthorized access.
Its side walls are equally durable. The same thing is true with the metal frames. The hot-dipped galvanized steel is guaranteed to withstand many years of use.
However, the superior quality of the pool does not seem to apply on the filter. Some people noted that it is not that effective in keeping the water clean. Instead, it increases the chances of having sediments present.
- Comes with a sturdy ladder
- High-strength side walls
- Set up can take a while
- Poor quality pump
Types of Above Ground Pools
Being familiar about the types of above ground pools available in the market will help you make the right choice.
- Semi-In-Ground Pool: None of the pools that are mentioned in this buying guide belong to this group. As the name suggests, a part of the pool is buried into the ground. This is a good choice if you plan on building a deck for your above ground pool.
- Resin Pool: Synflex resin is high-quality material in high-end pools. Manufacturers often combine it with other types of resin to bring the cost down. It is great for saltwater application.
- Steel Pool: This is where most of the above ground pools belong. The best asset of steel above ground pools is its strength. There are some instances when the manufacturer combines it with resin as a reinforcement.
- Aluminum Pools: These pools are lighter compared to their steel counterparts. This is perfect for inclement weather since it is easy to move around. Oxidation can be a problem, which leads to rust.
How to Choose the Best Above Ground Pool
With too many options available, which one should you choose? If you are finding it hard to decide, keep on reading and we’ll let you know the most important considerations.
One of the most important considerations is the size. If the users of the pool are mostly kids, you are good with a small one. This can be an above ground pool with an inflatable ring on the top. If it is for adults, choose one that is large enough to fit a group of up to five people.
The size of the pool to choose also depends on the size of the backyard or the place where you will position the pool. If you only have limited space, do not choose a large pool as this only cramps the yard.
The materials used are important because of their direct impact on the quality of the above ground pool. In most of the products mentioned in this guide, they have a steel frame. It is a heavy material that can withstand the test of time. As mentioned earlier, aluminum and resin are also great.
For the side walls, manufacturers often use three layers of several materials to guarantee toughness. It should be strong enough to resist damage and prevent water from leaking off the pool. Vinyl and PVC are common materials that you will find in the side walls of above ground pools.
Most of the above ground pools come with a free pump. For its technical specifications, one of the most important is the flow rate. A higher number is better. This means that it is quick to fill the pool with water. It is frustrating to have a large pool that takes forever to fill.
Ease of Set-Up
One of the many benefits of an above ground pool is the fact that it is easy to set up. This benefit, however, still depends on the model that you will choose. Intex usually provides an instructional DVD to provide you with a detailed guide on how to assemble the pool.
It is also important that you consider the aesthetics of the above ground pool. Most are only color blue with no design. However, there are some options with prints. For instance, one of the products we have mentioned above has a wicker design on its wall.
The pool will inevitably experience a problem at some point. For your peace of mind, it is best to choose one that comes with extensive warranty coverage. The standard warranty is for one year. If possible, look for longer warranty coverage. Some Intex pools are covered by the manufacturer for two years.
Make summer more fun! Invest in the best above ground pools to have a relaxing dip right at your backyard! It is affordable and easy to install. You don’t need to exert a lot of effort in terms of care and maintenance. Consider our suggestions above, and for sure, you won’t go wrong!