We’ve tried a number of inflatable pools over the years, and found a few that were a lot better than the others. So I’ve decided to put all my research and experience into one post to help you find the best inflatable pool for you.
Best Inflatable Pools:
- Best Overall: Easy Set Pool 6ft by 20in
- Best For Kids: Summer Glow Kiddie Pool
- Best For Adults: Easy Set Pool 8ft by 30in
- Best For Family: Swim Center Lounge Pool
- Best Small: Aquarium Inflatable Pool
- Best Medium: Homech Family Pool
- Best Large: Easy Set Pool 18ft by 48in
- Best With Pump: Bestway Above Ground Pool
- Best Without Pump: Bestway Fast Set Pool
- Best Budget: Crystal Blue Pool
- Best Mid Range: OlarHike Large Family Pool
- Best High End: Easy Set Pool
Below I will go into more detail about these pools. But before going too much further, I wanted to talk about the most important things to consider before you buy. Sure, I made a list of the best inflatable pools by my standard, but let’s make sure the pool you pick will be the best choice for your needs.
What To Look For When Buying An Inflatable Pool
Most inflatable pools are made out of layers of PVC, plastic, vinyl, and polymers. The more durable inflatable pools will be made out of layers of PVC material and rubber composite. Other durable inflatable pools will be made of mostly vinyl, plastic derivatives and polymers.
Don’t get to hung up on the specific material the pool is made out of, most inflatable pools are going to be made out of some kind of plastic. What’s important here is how thick, or how many layers they’ve used. That will determine how long the pool will last you.
A thin walled pool made of vinyl will rip and tear a lot easier than a thick walled pool made of the same vinyl material.
You will find that some pools are made out of plastics containing harmful chemicals in them. These are typically the cheap discount pools with an attractive price tag. All of the pools in this list are made with safe non-toxic materials.
Consider the amount of people you would like to be swimming with at a time as well as how much space you have available for a pool. In most cases you’ll be limited by the amount of space you have to set a pool up in. Also keep in mind the depth of the pool and who will be using it. Adults will not be able to relax in 2 foot deep pool.
If you’re getting a larger pool it may require a pump and filter to keep operating properly throughout the season. Keep this in mind when making your purchase. Many times a pool company will sell the filter and pump separately, and you end up spending more money than buying a whole package of another pool.
Take into account the costs of buying the pool as well as any extra needed equipment, such as pumps, hoses, and filters.
Set Up And Take Down Difficulty
Some pools end up being pretty difficult to set up and take down. For larger pools that stay up throughout the season, this is less of an issue. But the smaller inflatable pools need to be emptied and cleaned every so often, and if you plan on moving the location frequently, set up and take down difficulty becomes more important.
You may want to plan on moving your pool every few days to clean it, but also to prevent the pool from killing your grass.
Of course the price is important to most of us, we want a good pool at a good price. I just wanted to add this section as a warning to avoid the cheap knock off pools you will most likely come across in your search for an inflatable pool.
I’ve gone that route before, and you’ll end up spending more money replacing them, or even worse, you’ll end up throwing it away and just going without a pool all summer. I recommend spending a little extra money on something that will last, you’ll make out in the long run with less headaches.
Best Inflatable Pools
Now lets get into my top picks for best inflatable pools. We’ve spent a lot of time and money trying different pools out over the years, and these are the ones I recommend because I know they’re worth the price.
1. Best Overall: Easy Set Pool 6ft by 20in
You will see different sizes of the Intex Easy Set Pool (link to Amazon) throughout this list, and there’s a reason it was chosen as best overall. This version is the smaller, 6 foot wide model and it doesn’t come with a pump.
The reason I chose this as the best overall is because you don’t need a pump, it’s small, and easy enough to keep clean with just some chemicals and a wipe down every so often. One adult could fit in this pool, with two small children, if you sit cross legged.
Although this model doesn’t come with a pump, it does have three ports in the lining to add a pump if you wanted to. It’s easy enough to clean without one, but if you already had one anyways, you could use it.
It is on the smaller end for adults. But with no kids in it, it’s just big enough for me to stretch out in, and get completely submerged under water if I wanted to.
- Easy to set up
- Inflate top ring, lifts by itself as you fill
- Set up DVD included
- 3-Ply durable material
- Under $40 (without pump)
2. Best For Kids: Summer Glow Kiddie Pool
This pool is our best pick for little kids, once they’re over 6 years old, you’ll want to upgrade from this one though. But for around 20 bucks, this is great pool for little ones. We have a 1 year old, and he loves to sit in this thing and splash away.
We also use this indoors during the winter months, don’t worry we don’t fill it with water, we turn it into a little ball pit instead. It’s very light weight, easy to set up, easy to clean, and easy to move around. Here’s a link to Amazon, for this Summer Sunset Glow Kiddie Pool.
- Durable vinyl material
- Colorful and fun for kids
- 12 inch high walls
- 58 inch by 13 inch
Here’s a video review I did of this pool when we got it for our son to give you an idea of the size and what it looks like in action.
3. Best For Adults: Easy Set Pool 8ft by 30in
This is very similar to our overall pick, just a little bigger for an adult. At 8 feet wide, most adults will be able to completely stretch out and lay in this pool. My wife and I were both able to lay out side by side in fact. This Intex 8ft by 30in Easy Set Pool (link to Amazon) also comes with a filter pump.
If you want to fit a couple adults and some kids in this pool, it will feel a little cramped. I suggest going for the larger version, which made our list for best large pool below.
- Filter pump included (110-120 volt)
- Easy to set up
- PVC sidewall material
- Included set up maintenance DVD
- Drain plug can connect to a garden hose
4. Best For Family: Swim Center Lounge Pool
The best for family was a tough call, we almost went with the easy set above, but decided that was better for adults, and this Swim Center Lounge Pool from Amazon was better for families.
This is a great choice for families with small children especially because of the seating bench. The adults can relax on the lounger section and watch the kids play in the open area of the pool.
- Plastic material
- 88″ Length by 85″ Width by 30″ Height
- Drain plug and repair patch included
- 2 Air chambers
Here’s a quick video showing the unboxing and set up this pool to give you an idea of its size.
5. Best Small: Aquarium Inflatable Pool
This is a great small pool for under 20 bucks. It’s a step up from our best for kids pick, but is still really only useful for the little ones. An adult could sit up in this pool, but wouldn’t be able to do much else. Here’s the link to Amazon for the Swim Center Aquarium Pool.
This pool is another great one for bringing indoors and using as a ball pit through the winter months.
- 12 gauge vinyl material
- For ages 3 and up
- Frosted with colorful print
- 62″ Length by 62″ Width by 19″ Height
6. Best Medium: Homech Family Pool
For under 100 bucks this Homech Family Inflatable Pool on Amazon has a super cool feature, the bottom inflates slightly. It creates a soft safety cushion on the bottom of the pool. It’s nice to sit in because of it. But as an adult, that’s really all you can do in it.
It’s about 10 feet long, enough room for an adult to lay out and get fully submerged in it. For a medium sized pool, it’s a very durable pool that will last for years.
- Very durable, long life span
- Soft, safe for kids
- Easy set up
- 3 Air chambers
7. Best Large: Easy Set Pool 18ft by 48in
This is the best pool for bigger groups of people, or if you just want the extra room for yourself. At 18 feet wide, this Intex 18ft by 48in Above Ground Pool on Amazon has enough room for you to spread out and cool off from the heat.
It comes with a filter pump, 6 filters, and is very similar to some of our other picks on this list, except it’s bigger.
- 18′ Wide by 48″ Height
- Easy to set up
- Includes 1500 GPH filter pump (110-120 volt)
- Electrical safety features (GFCI)
- Large enough for multiple people
Here’s an in-depth video review of the 15 foot version on this pool. It’s the same pool just slightly smaller. The video’s a bit long, but very thorough and informative.
8. Best With Pump: Bestway Above Ground Pool
I wanted to include a good sized pool that was an alternative to the Intex brand easy set inflatable options. This Bestway Above Ground Pool on Amazon comes in a variety of sizes to fit your needs and has a filter pump included for most models.
The Bestway and Intex are very similar in sizes and operation, the key differences are looks and price. The Bestway pool is typically a little cheaper and shorter depending on the size you get.
- Multiple sizes available
- Filter pump included (110-120 volt)
- East set up
- 12 ft wide by 30 inches tall
Here’s the Bestway pool set up video so you can see what you’ll be getting yourself into. This is a similar set up to other inflatable above ground pools.
9. Best Without Pump: Bestway Fast Set Pool
For an inflatable above ground pool to be worth the time and energy without having a pump, the pool needs to be small. A larger pool would too much hassle to keep clean without a pump.
This Bestway Fast Set Pool (link to Amazon) is similar to the Bestway pool with a pump above, just smaller, around 6 ft wide, 20 inches tall, and is easy to keep clean without needing a pump.
- 6 ft wide by 20 inches tall
- Easy set up
- Includes a repair patch
- 3 Layered side walls
Here’s a quick time-lapse video showing the set up of this pool.
10. Best Budget: Crystal Blue Pool
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to cool down this summer, consider this Crystal Blue Inflatable Pool on Amazon. This is really only big enough for kids to play in, but for around 12 bucks, it’s a decent pool.
- Includes repair patch
- 45″ wide by 10″ tall (can only fill 6.5″ of water)
- Recommended ages 2+
11. Best Mid Range: OlarHike Large Family Pool
This pool is best used for sitting and relaxing in. The kids will be able to jump and splash around, but adults will not be able to swim around. The OlarHike Large Family Pool (link to Amazon) is 85″ by 22″, just enough for an adult to lay out and fully submerge under water.
- Easy to set up
- Thick PVC material
- 400 Gallon water capacity
- Multiple air chambers
12. Best High End: Easy Set Pool
This Easy Set Inflatable Above Ground Pool found on Amazon was also our pick for Best Large inflatable pool. I know it’s kind of a cop out to put the same pool in the list twice, but that’s because it is the absolute best high end and largest above ground inflatable pool you can get for the money.
This 18 foot wide pool is around 5 feet deep and comes with a 1500 gallons per hour pump, making keeping it clean a breeze.
I don’t need to go into a ton of detail here since you’ve already seen this pool earlier in the list. Instead, here’s an in-depth video explanation of the set up including some helpful tips on storage and yearly usage.
I hope I was able to help you with this post, and all my trial and error. A lot of these pools are inexpensive, and stepping up to a larger size may only cost you a few more bucks.
Consider the size you want to get, and keep in mind many of these pools will last for years. So if you have growing kiddos, you may be better off getting a size your family can grow into, rather than having to purchase a new pool every other year.