The 8 Best Above Ground Pools For 2021 (Review + Buyer’s Guide)

Best Above Ground Pools Review

Last Updated on December 25, 2020

First thing that comes to our mind during summers is having fun in a swimming pool. However, it is not possible for everyone to build a private swimming pool. Also, it is very expensive to build a swimming pool. But not to worry as to the rescue comes above ground pools.

These above ground pools are way too cheap than in-ground swimming pools. Apart from that, the big size of above ground pools allows you to enjoy your time inside it without letting you feel congested. So we are here without best above ground pool reviews of 2021.

Best Above Ground Pools Review

Maintenance of an above ground pool is also cheaper than in-ground ones. Thanks to their construction that does not need any special type of digging tools. Moreover, they come in various size and shape. It allows you to choose the best above ground pool according to your space.

Above ground pools are generally safer than in-ground units. The reason behind so is, they are not that deep. But this does not mean you should not pay attention to safety. Always keep an eye on children and pets while they’re inside the water. Let us now begin with the best above ground pools to make your summer more fun.

IntexCheck on Amazon
IntexCheck on Amazon
IntexCheck on Amazon
IntexCheck on Amazon
BestwayCheck on Amazon
IntexCheck on Amazon
CorneliusCheck on Amazon
MeadowsCheck on Amazon

1. Intex 16ft X 8ft X 42in – Best Overall

Read Customer Reviews Here »

If you’re buying above ground pool for the first time then this Intex model is just perfect. It comes with all necessary setting things. New prism frame of the unit offers many benefits that too under budget.

First of all, it is rectangular in shape measuring 16 ft X 8 ft X 42 in. This much length, width, and depth are good enough to fit adults as well as a school-aged child. Secondly, mosaic tile design on inner liner and cool blue-grey color with white trim look beautiful.

Hydro aeration technology of cartridge filter pump provides better circulation and filtration. In addition, by mixing air and water the aeration process induces oxidation of iron and manganese. As a result, you get sparkling clean water that looks and feels great.

This Intex above ground pool holds up to 2873 gallons of water. Whereas, it takes approximately 60 minutes to set-up the whole unit. It includes a ladder having slip-resistant steps that can hold a maximum 300 lbs of weight. To avoid any damage to your rectangle above ground pool, Intex offers ground cloth.

Key Features:

  • 16 Ft X 8 Ft X 42 In
  • Rectangular shape
  • Hydro aeration technology
  • Removable ladder
  • Dual suction outlet fitting
  • Ground cloth
  • Debris cover
  • Filter pump

Why it’s Worth buying:

  • Cartridge filter pump pumps 1000 gallons(3785 L) per hour
  • Intex includes a DVD for easy set-up and maintenance of the unit
  • Rope tie helps to keep above ground pool cover in place
  • The puncture-resistant 3-ply durable inner liner of the unit will last for years
  • For added protection, it comes with a durable ground cloth
  • Its hydro aeration technology increases negative ions at the water surface that improves air freshness
  • Steel frame of the ladder is strong enough to hold weight up to 300 lbs as well as is removable

2. Intex 15ft X 48in Metal Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Here comes another excellent Intex above ground pool but this time it is round in shape. Just like the above model, this unit also comes with all the necessary set-up elements. In fact, relatively small size eases setting it up. It even includes a DVD to guide you on how to set up your Intex above ground pool.

It has a water capacity of 4440 gallons, the unit takes around 45 minutes to get ready for the water. Speaking of the construction, this unit is very durable all because of its triple-strong sidewalls and metal frame. These walls are reinforced with an all-round band to keep frame legs firmly in place.

Similar to above the Intex above ground pool, this unit also includes crystal clear cartridge filter pump. This pump posses capacity to pump 1000 gallons of water per hour. Also, it is responsible to maintain the water flow rate of 750 gallons per hour.

Let us not forget about its dual suction outlets fittings that improve water circulation resulting in better water hygiene. Apart from that, a drain plug connects to a garden hose so that you can easily drain away water away from the pool or house area. Above all, the price of the product will not affect your budget.

Key Features:

  • 15 Ft X 48 In
  • Round shape
  • Metal frame
  • All-round band
  • 15-1/2 ft square ground cloth
  • Debris cover
  • Removable ladder
  • 110-120 V filter pump

Why it’s Worth buying:

  • Sturdy metal frames along with all-round band help to keep walls of the unit firmly in place
  • The drain plug easily connects to any garden hose in order to remove water from the above ground pool
  • The corrosion-resistant steel frame of the ladder can hold weight up to 300 lb
  • 4440 gallons of water capacity along with 42-inch depth can easily fit 5-6 adults
  • Rope tie on edge keeps the cover from blowing away in high winds
  • Low price of the product makes it an excellent above ground pool under 500 from Intex

3. Intex 24ft X 12ft X 52in – The Best Rated Above Ground Pool (Rectangular Shape with Sand Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover)

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Do you love to play water volleyball? Then here comes a perfect product for you among different Intex above ground pools. Thanks to its sturdy rectangular shape and heavy-duty pool frames. These frames are powder coated so that rust cannot catch up easily.

With 45 inches of depth and 8400 gallons of capacity, you’ll enjoy your water volleyball like never before. Also, the large size of the unit can fit many adults at once. It is one of the best above ground pool if you are going to throw pool parties.

The easy lock system of this rectangular above ground pool snaps together with no additional tools.

It takes around 60 minutes for the unit to get ready for the water. Whereas, a sand filter pump provides a flow rate of 2100 GPH. While system flow rate is around 1600 GPH. In order to maintain clarity and hygiene inside the pool, it features dual suction outlet fitting. So conclusively, it is one of the best above ground pools in terms of size, quality, and money.

Key Features:

  • 24 Ft X 12 Ft X 52 In
  • Rectangular pool
  • Dual suction outlet fitting
  • Easy lock system
  • Puncture-resistant material
  • Sand filter pump
  • 52-inch removable ladder

Why it’s Worth buying:

  • Large size and rectangular shape of the unit is ideal for playing volleyball inside it
  • Sturdy metal frame locks together without the need of any tools
  • Comes with a ground cloth that adds one more layer of safety while placing the unit
  • Durable pool cover prevents debris and dust from entering in water
  • The unit can easily fit 8-10 adults without any worry
  • Its hydro aeration technology improves water circulation, clarity and negative ions on the surface

4. Intex Metal Frame Pool Set – Includes Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Yes, we know that Intex is dominating our best above ground pool reviews. This is because their products are quite popular among buyers due to its high built-up quality. And so we present you a round shape unit measuring 14ft X 42in.

This unit is best for relaxing inside water rather than swimming. And similar to rest of intex above ground pools, this model also includes ladder, drop cloth and cover. In spite of offering such wonderful features, the price of the unit is very low. And due to this reason, it stands as best above ground pool under $500.

Snap-on joints of metal frames eliminate the need of buying any tools. Also, it is very easy to set-up this unit with the help of 2 persons. All you need to do is layout liner on level ground, join the frame and fill water.

It will take around 45 minutes to get water to the surface. In order to make things more easy for you, it features a drain plug. You can easily drain away water through this plug away from house area. In short, it is the best above ground pool for the money.

Key Features:

  • 14ft X 42in
  • Round shape
  • 120 V filter pump with GFCI
  • Drain plug
  • Durable drop cloth
  • Sturdy metal frame

Why it’s Worth buying:

  • This product is good to buy if you’re tight on budget
  • No need to worry about emptying of water as it accepts garden hose connection for the same
  • You do not need any tool for joining metal frames together
  • Includes all components for proper assembly and working
  • Rust-coat on frames ensures their long life
  • Shape and size of the unit is perfect for children as well as adults

5. Steel Pro 15′ x 42″ Review – Cheap Above Ground Pool

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Beat the heat this summer without burning a hole in your pocket. If you are looking for a best cheap above ground pool then this might be a perfect product for you. Firstly, it is round in shape measuring 15 feet and 48 inches. Such size is good enough to fit 7-8 persons to have fun together.

Speaking of its construction, walls of the unit are made with advance tri-tech material having 3 separate layers. The inner 2 layers in combination with an outer polyester layer are responsible for the durability of the product.

Connector and clips of this cheap above ground pool ease setting up the unit. In addition to that, an all-around rubber band firmly holds the metal frames in place. So enjoy the splash of happiness this summer without worrying about the stability of the unit. 

It comes with a 42-inch ladder to climb in and out of the water. Other than that, a 1000 gallon filter pump helps to keep inside cleaner by filtering out dirt. All in all, decent features makes it fall under the category of best cheap above ground pools.

Key Features:

  • 15′ X 42″
  • Round shape
  • Polyester outer wall
  • 42-inch ladder
  • 1000 gallon filter pump
  • Protective surface cloth
  • Tough cover

Why it’s Worth buying:

  • Tough PVC and polyester outer walls of the unit will last for years
  • ‘T’ connectors and ‘C’ clips easily connect to each other without the need of any tool
  • Cheap price of this unit makes it best above ground pools under 300
  • Size of the unit is large in spite of being inexpensive
  • Flow control drain valve helps in fast and easy draining
  • 3955(approx.) of water capacity fills the tub fast

6. Intex 18ft X 10ft X 42in Oval Frame Above Ground Swimming Pool Set

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Are you bored with round and rectangle shape of units? Then here comes Intex oval above ground pool. The oval frame of the pool is supported by strong, durable steel frames which are powder coated for rust resistance. Such coating help to keep the strength of frames intact for years.

The super-tough laminated PVC sidewalls equally help in long lasting life of the product. Cost of the unit is not too heavy on your pocket. Therefore, which makes it best cheap Intex above ground pool has an oval shape.

Connect the powerful cartridge filter pump to enjoy clean, refreshing water. Also, it is very easy to set-up the entire thing. Just lay down the whole unit on the ground, assemble the frame and inflate the top ring.

The final step is to fill the tub with water and say hello to happy hours of summer. In order to help with the bad smell around the pool, the filter increases the number of negative ions on the water surface. Apart from sturdy construction, the unit also offers 1 year of manufacturers warranty.

Key Features:

  • 18 Ft X 10 Ft X 42 In
  • Oval shape
  • 2885-gallon capacity
  • PVC sidewalls
  • Drain plug
  • 1000 gph filter pump

Why it’s Worth buying:

  • Oval shape maximizes the swimming area as compared to a round shape
  • Metal frames are sturdy as well as resistant to rust
  • Hydro aeration technology is responsible for cleaning water
  • Snap-joints eliminates the need to buy any tool for joining 2 metal frames
  • The unit inflates quickly and thus, gets ready for water in 30 minutes
  • Convenient drain plug that connects to a garden hose helps to drain our water easily

7. Cornelius Phoenix Steel Frame Above Ground Swimming Pool with Pump & Ladder Kit (Size 21′ X 52″)

Read Customer Reviews Here »

If budget is not an issue then this quality above ground pool is best you can get. Unlike other units, that offers polyester sidewalls this one is different. It has steel construction on all sides which makes the unit last for years and years.

Steel construction means fewer chances of tearing or getting a puncture on the surface of walls. Other than that, the unit is very easy to assemble by yourself. All you need to do is place each part properly one by one, fill in water and you’re ready for fun.

Another interesting thing about this above ground swimming pool is, it comes with a sand filter. This sand filter has a pumping capacity of 2400 gallons per hour. Further, it features a powerful 40 GPM pump, 4 position multiport valve, and system base. Not only that, the pool liner fits most 48 and 52-inch pool. While A-frame ladder is perfect for units with walls 48-52 inches tall. In short, it stands as the best quality above ground pools you can get.

Key Features:

  • 21 Ft X 52 In
  • Round shape
  • Steel walls
  • A sand filter pump
  • 21-foot liner
  • A skimmer
  • 4 position multi-port valve
  • A-frame ladder

Why it’s Worth buying:

  • All-steel construction of unit provides durability for years as compared with polyester ones
  • Assembly of the product hardly takes 1/2 an hour if you put all parts together properly
  • 52-inch depth of the pool is great for having fun in summers
  • It comes with A-frame ladder that is suitable for units with walls up to 52 inches tall
  • There are very fewer chances of having a hole on walls as all of them are made of sturdy steel
  • Sharp marble wall design adds an appealing feature to your yard

8. Meadows Round Above-Ground Swimming Pool Complete Bundle Kit (24 Foot by 52 Inch)

Read Customer Reviews Here »

Last on our best above the ground pools review list we have a unit extremely easy to set-up. Unlike units that need to get inflated this one does not need any type of inflation. In fact, all its walls are of steel. As a result, it benefits in two ways, first one is, you do not have to wait too long for unit getting inflated. And secondly, assembly of such units are very much easy than polyester wall ones.

In addition to that, it does not need any shifting after you install it. Therefore, you can use this above ground pool all round year as it offers easy one-time installation.

Now you might be wondering, what if the steel catches rust if water is present inside it all round year? No need to worry as its super strong steel walls is been hot-dip galvanized for protection.

The copper-bearing steel wall is resin-coated both on inside and outside. It also offers great protection against premature rusting while offering maximum longevity. However, you should drain water down about halfway or few inches below skimmer when the unit is not in use. Doing this will simply protect its walls and extend its life.

Key Features:

  • 24 Ft X 52 In
  • Round shape
  • 0.75-HP pump
  • Wide mouth skimmer
  • A-frame ladder system
  • Interlocking stabilizer rails
  • 10-year limited warranty

Why it’s Worth buying:

    • The product comes with a coping strip for greater durability
    • There is a pre-drilled cutout in the wall to add the skimmer
    • The champagne color on frames compliments look of the wall and will add the touch of beauty to any backyard
    • There are holes for the suction and discharge for the pump
  • You can use the product all around the year without worrying about frames catching rust

Along with pool you might like to have some zero gravity patio chairs so that you can rest a little between your swimming cycles.

Buyer’s Guide

1. Always Buy Complete Pool Set

Buying a complete pool set is always beneficial as you do not have to spend time in search of matching products afterward. Below are some the basic things you should look for.

  • Instructional DVD: Video tutorials are very helpful as compared to written instructions. So if you’re buying an above ground pool for the first time, then check if it comes with a DVD.
  • Removable Ladder: It is not possible to enter a pool above ground without a ladder. So choose a unit that comes with a sturdy ladder having good weight carrying capacity.
  • Ground Cloth: Purpose of ground cloth is to provide an extra layer of protection to the pool bottom. However, you must never place pool on the sand, mud, or any soft loose soil conditions.
  • Debris Cover: A cover simply protects inner material as well as water inside from dust and debris.
  • Complete Pool Frame Set:
  • Pool Liner:
  • Filter Pump: Generally there are 2 types of filter pumps for above ground pools, sand, and cartridge. Both of them their own properties which make them different from each other. However, cartridge filter provides more effective cleaning than sand filters. They also need less pump pressure as well as are easy to maintain.
  • Puncture Resistance 3-PLY Durable Material: This is one main feature to look for if you’re buying an inflatable above ground pool. As inflatable material is more likely to puncture due to a sharp object, you must check if it is puncture-resistant.

2. How to use your above ground pool safely

If you have children under the age of 10, then you have to be extra careful. Check out these safety rules to enjoy the pool without any issue(1, 2, 3).

  • Supervise on Children: Never, we repeat, never take off the eyes from the children in and around the water. Also never leave children alone inside even for short period of time.
  • Learn To Swim in a shallow pool: You should know basic swimming techniques. These things help a lot during unfortunate situations.
  • Secure the pool from kids who don’t know how to swim: Never let a child wander around the pool area especially if he/she doesn’t know how to swim. This increases the risk of drowning so it is better to keep them away from water. You can use non-climbable fences, self-closing or self-latching gates in order to keep children away from the pool.
  • Learn the basic of life-saving skill: Life-saving skills are no harm to learn. You can save a life if you know basic techniques. Therefore, you can get training in basic water rescue skills, first aid, and CPR.
  • Avoid touching pool drain: This is an important point to take note of. The suction from a pool’s drain is so powerful that it can trap an adult underwater. So it is better not to play near suction or drain outlets. Also, you must avoid entering an above ground pool with loose, broken or missing drain cover.

Above ground swimming pools are a great way to enjoy your summer. You don’t have to leave for water parks to have some quality family time. Such pools are easy to set up and can be built up in your backyard. So enjoy your summer while taking dips in your own homemade above ground swimming pool. is reader-supported and a part of the Amazon Affiliates Program. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read our disclosure for more information.

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