15 Best Above Ground Pools: Your Buyer’s Guide

best above ground pools

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Thinking about buying a pool? If so, we’ve got not only 15 of the best above ground pools listed below. We also list the information you need to consider before you make your purchase.

Just do keep in mind, with how crazy the world is right now a lot of pools are selling out fast. That said, I’ll be keeping an eye on this article and updating it daily to bring you the best pools available.

Also Check Out: Best Lawn Games

What are the Best Above Ground Pools For Sale?

Intex 26339EH Ultra XTR Set Above Ground Pool, 24ft X 52in Amazon Customer Reviews
  • HUUUUUUUGE!
  • Rust-protected
  • Will take a nuke to bring it down
Price: $1,438.40 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Summer Waves Elite 14' x 42" Premium Frame Above Ground Swimming Pool Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Looks different
  • Easy to set up
Price: $750.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Intex 24ft X 12ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Two-year manufacturers warranty
  • Huge!
  • Made from high quality galvanized steel
Price: $1,999.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Intex 15ft X 48in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump Amazon Customer Reviews
  • One of the easiest pools to set up
  • Very affordable
  • Good entry point
Price: $699.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Intex 15ft X 48in Metal Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Affordable
  • Easy to set up
  • Low maintenance
Price: $749.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Intex 26373EH Ultra XTR Set Above Ground Pool, 32ft X 16ft X 52in Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Absolutely stunning size
  • Different sizes available
  • Very, very durable
Price: $2,149.96 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Bestway Steel Pro 9.8ft x 5.6ft x 26in Rectangular Pool Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Cheap
  • Great for kids
  • Is solid enough for the price
Price: $239.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Bestway 56625E 31.3 x 16-Foot Rectangular Frame Above Ground Pool Set with Pump Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Absolutely huge
  • Great filter system
  • Durable
Price: $2,299.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Bestway 18' x 9' x 4' Power Steel Frame Above Ground Rectangular Swimming Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Solid design
  • Comes with everything you need
  • More affordable than others
Price: $1,099.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Power Steel 14' x 48" Frame Pool Set Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Good value
  • Decently sized for the price
  • Interior looks good
Price: $1,074.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Intex 12ft X 30in Prism Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Very affordable
  • Easy to set up
  • Loads of positive reviews
Price: $329.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Blue Wava Steel Pool Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Looks stylish
  • More affordable
  • Easy to assemble
Price: $1,249.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Cornelius Phoenix 21' x 52" Steel Frame Above Ground Swimming Pool with Pump & Ladder Kit Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Looks great
  • Very spacious without feeling too big
  • Comes with almost everything you need
Price: $2,265.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Blue Wave Products Martinique 52-inch Pool with Kit Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Loads of space
  • Easy to assemble
  • Comes with everything you need to get up and running
Price: $3,354.90 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Bestway Power Steel Swim Vista 18 x 9 x 4 Foot Swimming Pool Set with Pump Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Looks great when assembled
  • Is actually easy to assemble
  • Uses Tritech material
Price: $1,399.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Intex 26339EH Ultra XTR Set Above Ground Pool, 24ft X 52in, Gray

    Pros:
    • HUUUUUUUGE!
    • Rust-protected
    • Will take a nuke to bring it down
    Cons:
    • Pricey (but not as pricey as some on this list)
    • No other color options
    • May be larger than some families need

    The Intex 26339EH Ultra XTR Set Above Ground Pool is huge! If you’re after a pool to fit the whole family, this is the pool for you. 

    On the durability front, this design makes use of high quality galvanized steel with a powerful interlocking mechanism. Once it’s set up, it’s going to take a nuke to bring this thing down.

    When it comes to rust protection, Intex knows its stuff. Both the inner and outer casing feature powder coating to offer some of the best rust protection going. 

    This set also comes with a 110-120V sand filter pump, pool ladder, ground cloth, and a pool cover. The filter system aims to get water ready for usage within 60 minutes. Nice!

    As I say, this thing is freaking huge. At 24ft by 52in, this is one pool that’s perfect for chilling in on a hot summer’s day. 

  2. 2. Summer Waves Elite 14′ x 42″ Premium Frame Above Ground Swimming Pool

    Pros:
    • Affordable
    • Looks different
    • Easy to set up
    Cons:
    • Not as durable as metal pools
    • Pump won't be as good as the more expensive pools (but will work fine)
    • The dark wicker isn't for everyone

    The Summer Waves Elite 14′ x 42″ Premium Frame Above Ground Swimming Pool is affordable and has the looks. 

    The pearl white is becoming the new vogue, and it definitely beats having a plastic-looking shell if you’re after something that stands out. 

    In terms of size, this pool has a diameter of 14-feet, which is enough to fit a few people, but not quite enough for a pool party. 

    As for the depth, it’s around 3.5 feet, with a water capacity of 3,300-gallons. Enough to sit down in, not so much for standing. 

    In terms of durability, that’s where things get a little vague. Other Summer Waves pool sets feature a triple layer polyester mesh and heavy gauge PVC material, so I would expect similar specifications here. 

    Obviously, this won’t be as strong as metal, but at this price-point, it’ll get the job done.

    It also comes with a filter pump, which again, does the job, but don’t expect anything too great at this price point. 

  3. 3. Intex 24ft X 12ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump

    Pros:
    • Two-year manufacturers warranty
    • Huge!
    • Made from high quality galvanized steel
    Cons:
    • Setup time says 60 minutes - three-hours is more realistic
    • You'll need to purchase pool separately
    • Warrenty could be longer

    The Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set has a lot of options. 

    First, let’s start with the different sizes. 

    The pool we’ve picked is 24ft X 12ft X 52in, which, as you can probably tell, is massive, and easily large enough to fit multiple people.

    It all really comes down to how much space you have in your garden versus how much you’d like to spend. 

    The pool we’ve listed here comes with a 110-120V sand filter pump, which has a pump flow rate of 2,100 gallons per hour. Something that’s essential for keeping a nice clean pool. This whole set also includes a ladder, ground cloth, and pool cover. 

    The rust-resistant pool itself is made from high quality galvanized steel with an engineered locking system, so you won’t need to worry about it breaking down any time soon.

    That said, Intex does offer a two-year manufacturer warranty should anything go awry. 

  4. 4. Intex 15ft X 48in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump

    Pros:
    • One of the easiest pools to set up
    • Very affordable
    • Good entry point
    Cons:
    • If the airbag rips, the water will pour out
    • Not the best looking design
    • Cover can be difficult to get on for some customers

    The Intex 15ft X 48in Easy Pool Set isn’t the best looking pool on this list, but it is one of the cheaper options. 

    Let’s start with what this set gets right. 

    It comes with a ground fault interrupter, which will shut off the pump if the electrical current is exposed to water. 

    It’s also very easy to set up and doesn’t use a river’s worth of water because of its modest size (736 gallons to be exact). 

    And as it’s Intex, it comes with the Krystal clear cartridge filter pump, 1,000 GPH (110-120V), a ladder, ground cloth, and cover. 

    So, let’s move on to the negatives. 

    The sides are made from super-tough laminated PVC, meaning it is durable, but as with most cheaper pools, isn’t as strong as metal. 

    There’s also the fact this looks like a kids pool rather than one adults can sit and relax in on a nice sunny day. 

    That said, if you’re on a budget, there’s nothing wrong with buying a cheaper pool then upgrading at a later date. 

    If you’re not fussed about looks, this pool will suffice. 

  5. 5. Intex 15ft X 48in Metal Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump

    Pros:
    • Affordable
    • Easy to set up
    • Low maintenance
    Cons:
    • Won't be as long-lasting as the more expensive sets
    • It's worth investing in a better filter system
    • A handful of customers had issues with holes in the tarp

    Not all pools need to break the bank, so consider this budget option. Some of the best above ground pools can be the cheapest depending on what you’re after. 

    The Intex 15ft X 48in Metal Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump is super-durable thanks to its reinforced laminated sidewalls. 

    The dual suction outlet fittings help with water circulation, too. Meaning not only will your water be cleaner, it’ll also be clearer. 

    Also included in this set is the cartridge filter pump 1,000 GPH (110 – 120V), an entry ladder. ground cloth, and a cover. 

    And, yes, the filter pump adheres to UL and CSA standards. 

  6. 6. Intex Ultra XTR Set Above Ground Pool 32ft X 16ft X 52in

    Pros:
    • Absolutely stunning size
    • Different sizes available
    • Very, very durable
    Cons:
    • Cost
    • Set up is a lot of work
    • I feel like I should list the cost a second time

    There’s no getting away from the fact the Intex 26373EH Ultra XTR Set is pricey. That said, it is worth the investment, and just look at how HUGE this thing is. 

    Let’s talk about the quality on offer first. 

    This set includes a high quality galvanized steel frame complete with inner and outer powder coating to protect against rust. 

    Likewise, the wall itself is made from puncture-resistant three-ply material similar to the Tri-tech material we’ve seen in other pools.

    If you manage to break this thing, I’ll be very impressed. 

    In a similar vein, the ladder features high-impact slip-resistant steps and is boasts a  corrosion-resistant steel frame. It also has a weight capacity of 300 pounds. 

    Should you run into any issues, this pool comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty. You shouldn’t run into any issues given how trusted Intex is, but it’s there should you need it. 

    One thing you’ll need to consider, however, is the size factor. Obviously this thing is big, but it’s hard to picture just how large it is. I’d highly recommend measuring up your area prior to purchase just to be safe. 

    I’d also consider maybe getting a friend around to help unload this beast from the truck. You could also pay someone to build it, but that’s totally up to you. 

    On the sand filter front, we’ve got a water flow rate of 2,800 gallons per hour, a system flow rate of 2,150 gallons per hour, and a timer with 12 pre-set cycles. This is one filter that actually does that job, too, and you shouldn’t need to replace it for a better one. 

    In closing, yes, it’s pricey, but if this isn’t one of the best above ground pools out there, I’ll metaphorically eat my hat. 

  7. 7. Bestway Steel Pro 9.8ft x 5.6ft x 26in Rectangular

    Pros:
    • Cheap
    • Great for kids
    • Is solid enough for the price
    Cons:
    • Filter won't be great
    • Isn't going to last as long as a more expensive pool
    • Isn't the ideal size for the whole family

    On a budget and after something for the kids? Why not try the Bestway Steel Pro 9.8ft x 5.6ft x 26in Rectangular Pool?

    This isn’t the best above ground pool on this list, but if you’re trying to save money, it’ll get the job done. 

    How durable is it? The lightweight PVC will add structural integrity to your pool and keep the shape. As for the walls, they’re tear-resistant and should hold up. Not as long as metal or Tri-tech, but at this price, it’ll do. 

    It does come with a built-in flow control drain valve to make draining it easier and it comes with a 330 GPH Filter Pump.

    This isn’t a huge problem, but if you’re refilling it for every use or if you want to keep it up 24/7, I’d advise picking up a decent water filter. 

    As a basic, much cheaper option for outdoor pools, this pool is great for kids.

    Just keep in mind sometimes it’s better to bite the bullet and buy a more expensive pool to save more money in the long run.

  8. 8. Bestway 31.3 x 16-Foot Rectangular Frame Above Ground Pool Set with Pump

    Pros:
    • Absolutely huge
    • Great filter system
    • Durable
    Cons:
    • Several customers have mentioned missing parts (hoses mostly)
    • Instruction manual is daunting
    • Some customers would have preferred a stronger pump

    The Bestway 31.3 x 16-Foot Rectangular Frame Above Ground Pool Set is the stuff dream-pools are made of. 

    This thing is MASSIVE. Whether it’s a place for the family to chill out in on a sunny day or if you want to fit your entire street in for some reason, this pool has the size factor. 

    Getting into the specifics, the side walls and wall band are built from Tritech material, meaning they’ll resist damage and won’t collapse under certain weather conditions. 

    (FYI: The Tritech material is a layer of high-quality polyester mesh sandwiched between two layers of ultra-strong PVC.)

    In short, it won’t be breaking any time soon.

    Also, the seal and lock systems offer a secure pipe connection, so this thing will stay standing long after you’ve set it up.

    The 2000 Gal/HR sand filter pump on this bad boy is incredible, as well. 

    It’s durable, corrosion-resistant, and has a strainer for picking out leaves and any other debris that finds its way in.

    Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s also one of the best above ground pools there is. 

  9. 9. Bestway 18′ x 9′ x 4′ Power Steel Frame Rectangular Swimming Pool

    Pros:
    • Solid design
    • Comes with everything you need
    • More affordable than others
    Cons:
    • Walls won't be as strong as metal
    • Filter isn't the best but will get the job done
    • Not as large as other pools on this list

    The Bestway 18′ x 9′ x 4′ Power Steel Frame Above Ground Rectangular Swimming is a medium-sized pool at a low price. 

    First up, let’s talk durability. This is one pool built to last thanks to the corrosion-resistant metal frame and Tri-tech material. 

    Of course, the walls won’t be as secure as if they were metal, but the difference in price between Tri-tech versus metal is sure to cause pause for thought. Do you need something indestructible or could you save several hundred bucks and make do with Tri-tech, which is still super durable? 

    As for what Tri-tech is, it’s a three-layer material comprised of a polyester mesh core between two layers of heavy-duty PVC. It may not be metal, but it will last so long as you don’t go at it with a hunting knife or something similar. 

    This set also comes with a 1000 GPH sand filter pump, pool cover, ladder, and ground cloth, all of which are things you’ll absolutely need. 

    For the price, this is absolutely a pool you should consider. 

  10. 10. Power Steel 14′ x 48″ Frame Pool Set

    Pros:
    • Good value
    • Decently sized for the price
    • Interior looks good
    Cons:
    • Could use a stronger pump
    • The flat gray color on the outside isn't the most inviting
    • Doesn't look as stylish as others on this list

    The Power Steel 14′ x 48″ Frame Pool Set is about high quality at a lower price-point. 

    In terms of size, we’re talking 14′ x 48″, which isn’t giant, but neither is it super small. It’s a solid middle ground if you’re not looking to spend too much. 

    On the durability front, we’ve got a three-ply PVC support band that surround the pool to add extra stability to the pool wall.

    It’s strong, and should last. 

    As for the pump, we’ve got a 1,000 gallons per hour filter pump. You also get a ground cloth, pool cover, ladder, and filter cartridge included.

    Personally, for this kind of water volume, I’d recommend a pump with a GPH of 900, which this filter manages. Just about. 

    You could upgrade to a better, stronger pump, of course, unless you’re not too fussed about it taking a little longer to fill and clean. 

  11. 11. Intex 12ft X 30in Prism Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump

    Pros:
    • Very affordable
    • Easy to set up
    • Loads of positive reviews
    Cons:
    • An okay filter system
    • Isn't the largest pool
    • Some customers think it tears to easily

    If you’re after affordable, you can’t go wrong with the Intex 12ft X 30in Prism Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump

    In terms of the included filter system, you’ve got a 110-120V cartridge filter pump with a flow rate of around 530 gallons per hour. 

    The pool’s 90 percent water capacity is around 1,718 gallons, so in terms of time to clean, you’re looking around 3-hours and 30-minutes.

    Yes, that’s a long time, but cost is key here. If you love the pool but the filter isn’t to your liking, you can always change it out down the line. 

    As a basic pool, it’s easy to set up, the water filter is manageable, and most importantly, if you’re on a budget this is very affordable. 

    There are better pools on this list, but for the price, this one can’t be beaten. 

  12. 12. Blue Wave Martinique 27-Feet Round, 52-Inches Steel Pool

    Pros:
    • Looks stylish
    • More affordable
    • Easy to assemble
    • Comes with a 25-year limited warranty
    Cons:
    • Doesn't come with a filter system
    • Rails aren't included unless you contact the seller
    • May be too small depending on the size of your family

    Reduce the size and the price comes down. If you’re after something smaller, save some money with the Blue Wave Martinique Steel Pool.

    As this is Blue Wave, quality is at the forefront. Sturdy seven-inch top rails, if you want it, meet Star Galfin coating – the latter of which being a zinc mixed with aluminum coating to protect against corrosion. This pool will not chip!

    Furthermore, the Martinique comes with a 25-year limited warranty, meaning you can buy with confidence. 

    The only real downside is because this is a pool at the lower end of the price scale, it doesn’t come with a filter pump, so you’ll need to procure one from elsewhere. 

  13. 13. Cornelius Pools Phoenix 24′ x 52″ Frame Above Ground Pool Kit with Pump & Ladder

    Pros:
    • Looks great
    • Very spacious without feeling too big
    • Comes with almost everything you need
    Cons:
    • Pricey
    • Ladder isn't all that great
    • Some customers claim it's a pain to set up

    This Cornelius Pools Phoenix 24′ x 52″ Frame Above Ground Pool Kit is for people who want a more hexagonal pool. 

    This pool set comes with everything you could need, specifically, the 21-foot pool, a sand filter pump, a 21-foot pool liner, a skimmer, a pool ladder, a chemical kit, a phosphate removal chemical, and a pool net. 

    The all-steel construction means this thing could almost survive a nuclear blast it’s that durable. 

    And if you’re after a pool that looks the part, the marble wall design really adds to the overall aesthetic. 

    The included sand filter, which boasts 40 GPM, can pump 2,400 gallons of water per hour. So if you want the water cleaned fast, this should do it. 

    While the manufacturer says it’s easy to install, I don’t think I’ve come across an above ground pool that’s easy to set up. 

    So be sure to read the instructions carefully or consider paying a team to set it up for you. 

    The only other real issue I have with this is the ladder. It’s fine, and you’ll be able to get in and out, but it’s not anything special, and some customers have mentioned it feels cheaply made. 

    Ignoring these minor niggles, the Cornelius Pheonix is one of the best above ground pools out there. 

  14. 14. Blue Wave Products Martinique 52-inch Deep Pool with Starter Kit

    Pros:
    • Loads of space
    • Easy to assemble
    • Comes with everything you need to get up and running (and cleaning)
    • Looks stylish
    Cons:
    • Pricey
    • Not many reviews
    • Filter system may not be powerful enough (but will do)

    The Blue Wave Products Martinique 52-inch Pool is perfect for people who are new pools. 

    First, let’s talk specs. This is a 15 by 30-foot oval pool which makes use of Star Galfin protected steel components. The walls are made from steel, so if it’s durability you’re looking for, you’re in luck.  

    The main hook here is getting everything you need to get up and running all in one set. It comes with a starter kit, which includes an overlap liner, frame entry ladder, Blue Wave filter system with a hi-flow pump, as well as detailed instructions. You’re also free to contact the seller and further customize what you do and don’t need.  

    Of course, this thing is pricey, as you’d expect from something which uses sturdy metal walls. That said, it looks super stylish when it’s fully set up, and, most importantly, it’s built to last. 

  15. 15. Bestway Power Steel Swim Vista 18 x 9 x 4 Foot Swimming Pool Set with Pump

    Pros:
    • Looks great when assembled
    • Is actually easy to assemble
    • Uses Tritech material
    Cons:
    • Not many reviews
    • Is a bit pricey
    • The brown wicker design isn't to everyone's taste

    If you’re after a mid-range pool that has tons of personality, go with the Bestway Power Steel Swim Vista Swimming Pool Set with Pump.

    In terms of size, this baby is 18 x 9 x 4. It’s not the biggest on this list, but it’s still a good size. 

    The side walls and the wall band are all built from Tritech material (a layer of durable polyester between two layers of strong PVC) which helps to avoid general damage and protects against bad weather conditions. 

    As with the other Bestway pools on this list, the seal and lock system helps to provide a secure pipe connection, meaning the frame won’t fall down.

    What’s great about this pool is just how simple it is to put together.

    This isn’t a pool that requires a bachelor’s to assemble, thankfully. 

    If you’re after style and ease, this is the pool for you.

Everything You Need to Know About Buying a New Pool

As you can probably guess, buying a pool isn't something you want to do on an impulse. Take the time to weigh up all the pros and cons before even thinking about hitting that buy button.

How Much Should You Spend on a Pool?

First things first, it's worth taking a moment to think about a budget. Have a rough ballpark figure and go from there.

While the cheaper pools will do the job, I'd personally advise against it. They're more likely to break (or tear in most cases due to the materials that make up the outer walls), and some don't include important elements like a filtering system to keep the pool clean.

That's not to say you need to jump from the cheapest to the most expensive, but spending a little bit extra saves you money in the long run.

Next, get a rough idea of the size of your garden, preferably in feet. Larger pools are always more fun, but the last thing you want is a pool that completely covers your garden. This may sound obvious, but it's a factor every potential pool purchaser needs to consider.

How to Keep Your Pool Clean

A pool needs to be kept clean. Not just from things like fallen leaves or dirt, but the water itself also needs to stay clean to avoid waterborne bacteria. 

Technically you could empty it out after every use, scrub it so it sparkles, then refill it, but who the hell has that kind of time on their hands?

That's why I recommend always picking a sand filtering system to suit your needs.

The majority on this list do come with a filtering system of some description, and they all do a solid job of cleaning. That said, it all comes down to how much time you want to spend leaving the filtering system to do its job.

Some will clean the water in around three hours, but if that feels too long, it's worth picking up a more powerful system to cut the time down.

Of course, not everyone will mind having to wait a few hours before hopping in. It all depends on preference.

(It should be noted, WikiHow has a great selection of tips for keeping a clean pool)

One final point before we hop into the list. Consider whether you can build it alone or whether you'll need help.

Most pools come with instructions, but even then, the larger the pool, the more complex getting it up and running will be.

If you can rope people into helping you, great. The more the merrier. If you can't, however, I'd suggest paying someone who knows what they're doing to install it.

This may sound like blasphemy, but there's an equal number of customers who've pulled their hair out trying to fit it manually to those who've paid for a pro to install it.

Also when it is being fitted, make sure it's being built on flat, solid ground. Mud, or a soft surface, need to be made level and stable, because there's no way you're moving a pool once it's set up.

If all this sounds a little daunting, it's not actually that bad. So long as you have all points in the back of your mind when you make your purchase, you can't go wrong, and you'll soon be sitting knee-deep in water on a warm summer's day faster than you can say "Always supervise children when they're in the pool."

See Also:

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