Top 10 Best Above Ground Pools – Reviewed & Rated in 2018
The ultimate guide for the best available the Best Above Ground Pool in 2018!
There are few things that can beat having your own pool at a warm summer day. Installing a in-ground pool can be expensive and time consuming. If you want the benefits of a in-ground pool, for a fraction of the price, and without digging up your backyard, an above ground pool is perfect.
Pools come in all prices, shapes and qualities. Having worked in the industry, and installing both above and in-ground pools, I’ve gained a lot of experience when it comes to which brands to trust and which to stay clear off.
Note that the price isn’t always correlated with quality. Sometimes you can get less for more, or more for less. At our site you will find first hand reviews of the most popular above ground pools.
For the impatient: Click here to see our top 10 Above ground pools right NOW
Today you can buy everything you can imagine online often a lot cheaper than you would normally have to pay in a regular store. Pools are no different. In fact, pools and other ‘niche’ products are often 20-70% cheaper online than what you could expect to pay ‘offline’.
Even though these pools come in large packages, delivery isn’t an issue — nor is the installation process. It’s pretty straight forward, but it can take a day or two if you go for the really big pools — and we advice you gather some friends and family to help you out with that part.
It’s Great! But How Do I Choose My next Above Ground Pool?
Unfortunately, people often think that getting a pool is an unattainable goal. They think it’s too expensive or too hard to maintain when in reality, technology has made pools not only affordable but also easy to take care of. So, what is the best above ground pool for you? Well, there is no straightforward answer to that for several reasons.
1 – Consider Your Budget
The first thing you need to consider when looking for an above ground pool is your budget. In ground pools typically retail anywhere from $30,000 to $70,000, but above ground pools are significantly cheaper than that. Still, there are a variety of things to consider when selecting a budget for the best above ground pool for you. You can get above ground pools for under $500, but as with anything in life, sometimes you get what you pay for. Some above ground pools can reach up to $5,000. That is why it’s important to look at the quality of a pool and determine what features are must havesin a pool. Set a specific budget and then look for a pool that has the features you absolutely must have.
2 – Determine the Location of the Pool
Your next step is going to involve venturing out into your back yard to determine where you are actually going to place the pool. Above ground pools are able to be relocated, but selecting a location in advance will give you an idea of what size pool you should look for.
You will want to consider a few things when selecting the location. You will want to place the pool on an even surface, which means you should avoid tree roots, wells, stumps, or septic tanks with external venting. You will also need electricity to the pool, so consult an electrician to determine the viability of running electricity to the location you are considering. In addition, you will want at least 3 to 5 feet between the pool and any obstacles. Finally, placing pools under trees is also something to avoid, since leaves and other debris will frequently drop into the pool.
3 – Measure the Area to Determine Desired Height and Shape
After you have determined where you would like to place your pool, you will have to measure the available space. Use a measuring tape—seriously invest in one if you don’t already have one!—and measure the space that you have available. You should be able to move around the entire pool easily and make sure there is room for supporting legs, pumps, ladders, etc.
With that information, you will then look into what size and shape of pool is the best option for you. If the space is more oblong, maybe an oval pool is right for you. If you have tighter corners, a square above ground pool might be the best option. Once you determine the size pool you want, it might even be wise to spray paint the outline on the ground to make sure everything fits nicely.
You will also need to select the height of the pool at this stage. Pools range from 36 inches to 54 inches and keep in mind that the higher the pool, likely the more expensive it will be. That’s something to keep in mind when you are trying to select the right above ground pool while still staying in your budget.
4 – Pick Your Pool Type
After you have a size and shape in mind, you will need to determine what type of pool you want. There are three different types: steel, aluminum, and resin pools.
Steel pools are the strongest, but you might experience an issue with rusting over the years. They are more cost effective, though, because they are a bit cheaper. Just be sure to choose one with a galvanized coating to ensure rusting is limited.
Resin pools are another option and these are the most common pools because they are inexpensive and last the longest out of all the types of pools. These pools have a steel frame with the rest of the components made of resin to ensure there is no corrosion or rusting.
Aluminum pools are another option. These pools are great for inclement weather locations because the transparent layer of aluminum oxide is resistant to rust and aging.
Finally, there are inflatable pools. These are extremely cheap, but there are not going to last for more than a season or two and often cause more headaches than they are worth. For a sturdier, long lasting pool, you will want to choose a steel, resin or aluminum pool for your back yard.
5 – Start Shopping for the Best Above Ground Pool!
After you’ve gone through the above steps to determine your budget, where you will put your pool, what size pool you’d like, and what type of pool you are interested in, there is only one thing left to do—start shopping for the best above ground pool! But where do you find above ground pools? What is the best place to shop for above ground pools? Local pool stores are one option, but with one, maybe two in close proximity to your home, you are limited on options and price comparisons.
That is why more people are turning to online shopping. Whether you shop online through pool supply stores or at a behemoth like Amazon, you are likely to find better deals and a much wider selection online. Plus, if you shop somewhere like Amazon, you can also get the benefit of reading reviews to determine if a pool lives up to it’s reputation.
So here are the best above ground pools for 2018!
Top 10 Best Above Ground Pools for 2018
1. Intex Metal Frame Pool Set
Purchasing a pool can be a great way to cool off during the summer months. If you’re hindered by a tight budget and an in-ground pool is out of the question, the Intex 12ft X 30in Metal Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump is a great, affordable option.
The circular above ground pool is 12 feet in diameter and has a 30-inch depth. With a 1,718 gallon water capacity, the sleek pool is a great addition in any back yard and can hold even large families.
While the pool is unable to be positioned on mud, sand or any other loose soil, if a hard, flat surface is available, set up can be completed in less than thirty minutes. You simply spread the liner, assemble the metal frame and fill it up your garden hose. With tough triple laminated PVC sidewalls that are puncture resistant and a rust resistant steel frame, this family sized pool is built to last multiple seasons.
The Intex 12ft X 30in Metal Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump also comes with a filter pump capable of pumping 530 gallons of water per hour. Dual suction outlet fittings also improve the circulation to create better clarity and hygiene. The pool is easy to clean, easy to install and easy to enjoy!
- The Intex 12ft X 30in Metal Frame Pool Set with Filter Pump is built with 3-ply laminated PVC and galvanized steel for strength and durability.
- The circular above ground pool can hold the entire family with a 30-inch depth and 1,781 gallon water capacity.
- Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter pump, set-up DVD and a 1-year limited warranty are included in the pool set
- Drain plugs are compatible with standard garden hoses to enable water to drain away from house or pool
- Dual suction outlet fittings included to improve water circulation for better clarity and water hygiene. This keeps water swimmable all the time
- Includes ground fault circuit breaker to shut off pump if exposed to water
2. Rectangular Ultra Frame Pool Set
The Rectangular Ultra Frame Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump is an excellent choice if you are looking for a durable, easy set-up/take-down above ground pool.
The pool’s frame is made of steel, laminated PVC sidewalls, and an anti-rust coating. So long as you ensure that the ground you set the pool up on is solid and level, the assemblage can take as little as an hour. In addition to its sturdy frame and features, the pools simple, classic design is a benefit to any backyard. When compared with other above ground pools, this pool has stood out as longer lasting, more attractively featured, larger, and more easily cleaned than other pools.
To begin,it is best to watch the instructional DVDs before attempting to set-up the pool. The ground cloth, debris cover, and removable ladder are not unwieldy and can be moved and fastened quickly and easily; no struggling to get things into place when the weather changes. This pool is an ideal size for a small family with plenty of room to swim and play.
The package includes:
- Debris cover
- Ground cloth
- Removable ladder
- Instructional DVDs, and Sand filter pump (110-120v)
- Sand filter pump (110-120v)
- Sturdy, easily constructed frame made of thick, solid, PVC sidewalls and steel framing
- A 1,200gph Krystal Clear sand filter pump that takes only 60 minutes to have the pool ready
- A drainage system that is compatible with an everyday water hose making it effortless to drain and clean
- A water capacity of 4,545 gallons which fills 90% of the pool, and;
- Dual suction outlet fittings which improve the clarity and cleanliness of the pool water.
3. Intex Oval Frame Pool Set
Sometimes during the summer months, you just can’t beat the heat. A pool might can be a great way to do that, but you also don’t want to break your budget. Thankfully, the Intex Oval Frame Pool Set is available as affordable and quality pool.
The stylish above ground pool is 18 feet long by 10 feet wide and features a depth of 42 inches. It’s great for small family parties or to help the neighborhood kids cool off on a hot summer’s day.
While it may be easy on the wallet, the pool doesnt lack when it comes to quality. The Intex Oval Frame Pool Set consists of a sturdy steel frame with triple strength PVC to ensure it lasts season after season. With a sleek oval design, it’s great for yards of any size. Even narrow yards can accommodate this classy looking above ground pool.
Assembly is a breeze and by following along with the provided instructional DVD, it can be ready for water in just 30 minutes. The kit also comes with a ladder, ground cloth, pool cover and filter pump. When it’s time to break the pool down after swimming season is over, the drain plugs can easily be hooked up to a standard garden hose to drain water away from the house or yard.
The Intex Oval Frame Pool Set really is a one stop shop for a great way to beat the summer heat.
- Great for family get togethers, friendly gatherings, or neighborhood block parties, the Intex Oval Frame Pool Set is 18 feet long, 10 feet wide and 42 inches deep.
- With rust resistant steel frames and sidewalls made of triple-layered laminated PVC, the pool will last many parties and many seasons
- The Intex Oval Frame Pool Set is an all in one kit. With a filter pump, ladder, pool cover and ground cloth included, you’ll have all you need
- Set up is easy and after watching the instructional DVD, the entire pool can be ready for water after just 30 minutes. It holds 2,885 gallons and can be filled fright from a garden hose
- The included 1,000 Krystal Clare Cartridge filter pump combined with the supplied pool cover maintains clear water for swimmers year-round
4. Steel Pro 15″ x 48″ Frame Pool Set
The Steel Pro 15″ x 48″ Frame Pool Set is a sturdily constructed, round pool, that holds up to 4,231 gallons of water. The frame is made from steel, rust resistant, frames that clip together with ease. The set up of this convenient pool is easily completed in under an hour, and only requires two people to set it up.The pool’s material construction is polyester, 3-ply, PVC panels, held in place by the steel frames; a 3-ply band, which straps around the exterior of the pool, gives additional support to the walls.
- Rust-resistant framing
- Sturdy 3-ply PVC walls
- Exterior 3-ply strap to lend support
- Easy set-up and take-down construction
- A water capacity of up to 90% = 4,231 gallons
- Control drain valve that attaches to a garden
5. Intex Easy Set Pool Set
A pool can be a great way to make a splash this summer and beat the heat. If you are looking for an affordable and quality option, then the Intex 18ft X 48in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover is a great option to consider.
18 feet in diameter and 48 inches deep, this pool set is a great way to keep your family, or the entire neighborhood cool this summer. At 80% full, the Intex above ground pool has a 5,455 gallon water capacity.
Set up is easy and by following the included instructional DVD, the pool can be water ready in just 30 minutes. Simply lay out the liner, inflate the top ring and fill the pool up with a standard garden hose.
The included Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter pump can process 1,500 gallons per hour to keep the water clean and clear. With a ground cloth cover and debris cover as added protection, you can keep strong water hygiene around the clock.
If you’re worried about durability, there is nothing to fear. The Intex 18ft X 48in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover comes with triple strength laminated PVC sidewalls and dual suction outlet fittings.
Built to last, easy to assemble, and large enough to fit the neighborhood, the Intex 18ft X 48in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover can be a great addition to your backyard this season!
- The Intex 18ft X 48in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover has a 5,455 gallon water capacity and is big enough for large family gatherings or even the whole neighborhood.
- The pool set comes with everything you need, including a Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump, ladder, ground cloth and debris cover.
- The super tough triple ply laminated PVC sidewalls are puncture resistant and built to last for multiple seasons.
- By following along with the provided instructional DVD, set up can be completed in thirty minutes.
- Equipped with a ground fault interrupter that shuts off pump if water gets to the electrical current. This is an added safety measure.
- Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter pump can filter 1,500 gallons per hour to keep water clean and hygienic.
6. Intex 15ft X 48in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover
The Intex 15ft X 48in Easy Set Pool Set with Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover is an affordable and quality option for an inground pool. It’s large size and depth make it a good option for families big and small and thedual suction outlet fittings provide better water hygiene and clarity than most other brands.
The tough, 3 ply laminated PVC sidewalls from Intex are stronger than other models. This makes the pool more durable and likely to last for multiple seasons. Instead of buying a new pool year after year, the quality materials used in Intex pools make them built to last.
This Intex above ground model is also equipped with a Ground Fault Interrupter. The special feature keeps swimmers safe and isn’t something you’ll find on just any pool model.
What makes this pool such a great option is that it is ready for water in just 15 minutes. Set up is a breeze and following the included instructional DVD, you’ll have it ready for swimming in no time.
What Customers are Saying
Reviews for this pool are mostly favorable. Customers love how easy it is to set up and breakdown the pool year after year and the inflatable model lasted over 5 years.One thing that users complain about is the fact that the pool must be set on completely level ground or there are issues keeping water in. This is addressed in the instructional DVD, so following along will help avoid problems.
- Dimensions: 15 feet x 48 inches with a 3,736-gallon water capacity
- Triple laminated PVC sidewalls are durable and built to last
- Manufacturer provides 90 limited warranty
- Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter pump moves 1,000 gallons per hour
- Comes with pump, ladder, ground cloth, debris cover and instructional DVD
7. Intex Rectangular Ultra Frame Pool Set, 24-Feet by 12-Feet by 52-Inch
The Intex Rectangular Ultra Frame Pool Set, 24-Feet by 12-Feet by 52-Inch is a large above ground pool that can fit your family or the entire neighborhood. With 8,500-gallon water capacity and 52 inches deep, it’s great for children and adults alike.
The new Hydro Aeration Technology utilized in this pool is what sets it above the competition. Used only by Intex, the advanced technology puts Intex pools in the upper echelon of the Above Ground Pool Industry. It results in a sparkling pool that is clear and hygienic for all swimmers.
Another reason to love the Intex Rectangular Ultra Frame Pool Set is innovative design. The easy lock system makes the pool easy to set up and the powder brushed steel frame is durable, sleek and sturdy. Add super resistant triple ply PVC material to the design and you have a pool that lasts for years.
This pool set also comes with everything you need. You’ll get a filter pump, ladder, ground cloth, cover and everything needed to set up. Within an hour you can have the pool ready to enjoy for seasons to come.
What Customers are Saying
Overall, the Intex Rectangular Ultra Frame Pool Set, 24-Feet by 12-Feet by 52-Inch received strong reviews. Positive reviewers loved how easy the pool was to set up and its durability. Negatives listed included the necessity of the pool needing to be on completely level ground and the sturdiness of the ladder, but those issues are easily overcome.
- Dimensions: 24 feet x 12 feet x 52 inches with 8,500-gallon water capacity
- Constructed from sturdy, rust resistant powder coated steel frame and durable PVD sidewalls that will last for years.
- Comes with everything you need, including: ladder, pool liner, cover, ground cloth ladder and filter
- The Krystal Clear Sand Filter pump keeps water clear and hygienic, processing 1,600 gallons per minute
8. Intex 18ft X 52in Ultra Frame Pool
When it comes to above ground pools, the Intex 18ft X 52in Ultra Frame Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover is a step above the rest. As one of the leading above ground pools in the marketplace, this is a great option to beat the heat this summer.
This above ground pool has a sleek design that will make your neighbors jealous. Some above ground pools leave a lot to be desired, but the unique look of this pool creates a fun atmosphere in your back yard.
The round shape provides enough room to accommodate up to 8 adults without taking up too much room in your backyard. Another great thing about this Intex pool is that it is easy to set up. The steel frame connects without tools, meaning you can be ready to add water in just an hour.
If you’re worried about keeping up hygiene and water quality, Intex offers advanced options that the competition cannot match. Their Hydro Aeration Technology induces oxidation of iron and manganese that keeps your pool sparkling and hygienic around the clock.
What Customers are Saying
The Intex 18ft X 52in Ultra Frame Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover has gotten great reviews overall. Customers love how easy the pool is to set up and that it offers affordable quality. Some reviewers reported that the package came without all of the listed parts, but by contacting Intex within the 90 day warranty period, these issues can easily be resolved.
- The durable triple ply sidewalls and powder coated steel frames makes the pool last season after season
- Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump has 2,100 gallon per hour flow rate to provide enhanced water hygiene for swimmers
- Pool set includes everything you need, including: top cover, ground cloth, pool liner, pool frame, sand filter pump, ladder, and instructional DVD
- Drain plugs easily connect to garden hose to make emptying a breeze
- Dimensions: 18 feet x 52 inches with 6,981 gallon water capacity
9. iPool D Set (iPool I with Deluxe Filter Pump and Heater Combination)
An Exercise pool can be a great purchase but often comes with a hefty price tag. The iPool D Set (iPool I with Deluxe Filter Pump and Heater Combination) is a great affordable alternative.
This above ground exercise pool is 7 feet by 10 feet and its compact footprint makes it a perfect fit for your garage or basement. With the ability to fit indoors, you can work out no matter the time of year. It also comes with a 5.5 kw heater so your water will always be a comfortable temperature
Another great thing about the iPool D Set is that it is easy to assemble. It comes with everything you need and the instructional DVD provides a detailed guide.
Customers love the patented dual tether system that makes workouts a breeze. The harness is adjustable and unlike other brands, can increase and decrease resistance to desired amount. It can also handle swimmers of any size.
What Customers are Saying
The iPool D Set (iPool I with Deluxe Filter Pump and Heater Combination) is a set that received glowing reviews from customers. Reviewers love that this exercise pool comes with a heater that keeps water a comfortable temperature. They also enjoy how easy the swim harness is to use during a workout. In regards of the negatives, some customers mentioned that the liner split, but the company was quick to replace it.
- Dimensions: 7 feet x 10 feet x 45 inches with a 1,500 gallon water capacity
- It’s built to last with a strong zinc coated galvanized steel frame and durable five ply polyester weaver liner
- Everything you need in included: ladder, filter pump, floor sheet, heater, repair kit, vinyl cover and instructional set up DVD
- Velcro harness supplied and capable of handling swimmers of any size
10. Bestway Steel Pro 12′ x 30″ Frame Pool Set
The Bestway Steel Pro 12′ x 30″ Frame Pool Set is a above ground pool that is the perfect size for a smaller backyard. With a 12 foot diameter and 30 inch depth, it’s great for both adults and children.
With a triple ply wall, the Bestway Steel Pro 12′ x 30″ Frame Pool Set is built to stand the test of time. Other brands will rust after a season, but this pool set is constructed from rust resistant steel frames.
Another feature that sets this model ahead of the competition is its ease of assembly. The ‘T’ Connectors and ‘T’ Clips are easily fitted together and since they are hidden by PVC flaps, they don’t detract from the overall look of the pool.
A flow control drain valve that connects to your garden hose also makes emptying the pool at the end of the season a breeze. Not all brands include a hose-adaptable drain that enables water to be directed away from the house, but this model does.
If you’re worried about water hygiene, this model also comes with a quality 330 gallon filter pump, which keeps water clean and clear and is something that isn’t always included with other brands.
What Customers are Saying
The Steel Pro 12′ x 30″ Frame Pool Set has received strong reviews. Customers love how easy to assemble to pool is and that it doesn’t require tools to construct. Some reviewers did note that replacement parts can be difficult to find and that the bottom occasionally gets creases when not installed on level ground.
- Dimensions: 12 feet x 30 inches with 1,710 gallon water capacity
- Constructed from durable triple ply PVC polyester and rust resistant metal frame
- Includes heavy duty patch repair kit, instructional DVD, 330 gallon filter pump and cartridge
- ‘T’ Connectors and ‘T’ Clips make the pool easy to set up within an hour with only a screwdriver necessary for assembly
- Comes with a 330 gallon filter pump that keeps water clean and clear for swimmers
Why Buy an Above Ground Pool?
You might wonder why you should buy an above ground pool instead of a in ground pool. In ground pools might be more aesthetically pleasing than the alternative, but above ground pools actually have many advantages. Keep reading to see exactly why above ground pools should be taken into consideration.
One of the biggest advantages that above ground pools has over an inground pool is that they are less expensive. In ground pools are much more expensive because you need to hire a contractor, have the ground dug out and the pool filled and finished. With above ground pools, you can spend hundreds instead of tens of thousands to add them to your backyard. In ground pools might not be in your budget, but an above ground pool certainly might be!
Another benefit that above ground pools offer is that they are much easier to install. When you look into in ground pools, you must hire a professional contractor or pool installation company to do the work for you. That not only drives up cost, but it can also lead to lengthy delays. Instead of waiting weeks or even months, an easy set above ground pool allows you to have a pool delivered and installed within days.
First Time Owners
For the first time pool owners: If you’re not entirely sure if this is for you, or if you have small kids and you’re not sure if they would like to use the pool for many years to come, installing a above-ground pool is cheaper and easier than having people build you a in-ground one. Many beginners aren’t sure if they can keep up with the maintenance, and this is a cheap and easy ticket to the pool world.
Finally, above ground pools are much more portable than in ground pools. They are able to be installed and broken down every year, which means you don’t need to worry about lengthy and costly weatherization procedures year after year. If you want to rearrange your backyard to accommodate an extended porch or new play set for the kids, you can easily do that with an above ground pool. They can be disassembled and reassembled in just a few hours and that is simply not the case with in ground pools.