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Best Above Ground Pool Reviews (Buying Guide) 2020

Thinking of a good way to beat the summer heat, have a space where you and the kids can play, or a place where you can exercise? In all of these instances, having an above ground swimming pool can be an excellent idea. With the abundance of the choices, however, which is the best above ground pool? With this, keep on reading and learn from our top recommendations, as well as the factors that should be taken into account in your search for the best within the product category.

Why Above Ground Pools?

It’s not just the question of affordability of in-ground swimming pools, there are many other genuine reasons behind the popularity of above-ground swimming pools.


Above-ground pools offer the excellent flexibility of transportation, it’s  very convenient to bring them from one place to another. They are fold-able and easy to carry around.

Size and Shape

Whether you like oval, round or square-shaped pools, there is one available to match your choice. Speaking about size, the market is well situated to offer you various sizes of above-ground pools to fit within space you have in your backyard.


The biggest reason for the success of this kind of portable swimming pools is that they are super-affordable. You need not shell out big money for having some great time in the water. What’s more, you don’t have to leave your home, fun it taking place at your backyard or lawn garden.

Easy to Set-up

Most of the above-ground pools are easy to set up. By following the instructions provided in the manual (that comes along with the shipment package), you should be setting up the whole thing pretty quickly.

Time saving

No more time spent in travelling to your membership clubs, just look around and jump into the above-ground pool that is sitting in your backyard (don’t take our advice literally and jump, use ladders :-)).

Types of Above Ground Pools

Swimming pools can be extremely relaxing and provides so many benefits. Purchasing a pool is one of the best investments and there are so many that you can choose from. The above ground pool is one of the most popular types of swimming pools. These are more affordable and can instantly upgrade your backyard. There are various types of above ground pools; two of the most common are hard sides and soft sides.

Hard Sides

Manufactured from metal, these hard sides either come in an oval or circular shape. The hard sided pool’s wall is quite flexible, but sheet metal rail lines the top to provide extra durability. The inner liner keeps the water in place.

The construction is a bit complex and preparing the area for such kind of pool installation can involve some kind of work. These can actually withstand more natural wear and tear when compared to the soft-sided pool.

The hard side pools can be built with custom depth as shallow to even 4 feet.

Soft Sides

These are much more affordable than the hard sides, but can be compared in quality. The soft side above ground pools is mostly available in rectangular shapes, possibly also to be found in a circular shape.

Such soft side above pools can be inflatable and also have a metal frame to support the walls. Building pools with soft sides are also quite flexible. Constructing the surfaces with concrete, sand, grass, dirt, and gravel is easy with the soft side pools.

The material used in the make is actually quite similar to that used in bulletproof vests. These take few hours to assemble, which can be easily stored away during the winter months.


Above ground pools also come with the portable option. These are swimming pools that can be setup easily. Such portable pools are made in a way to hold many people at a time. The pools are mostly elliptical shaped and can be fit into the tightest of spots. If long time maintenance is not quite feasible then portable pools are just the best option to avail.

Consumers must always consider asking what’s included with the pool prior to purchase. There are many above ground pools that include the vinyl pool liner, although a lot of others may not. The pump and filter system equipment provides purification benefits.

Some of the above ground pool kits comprise of components that you require setting up the pool in no time. The kit will usually consist of pump and filterladdermaintenance kitsolar blanket, and sanitizing materials.

Apart from the above, add on accessories like cleaners, heaters, fencing, lighting, and games provide more fun and safety. The convenience of such systems is amazing and offers a fun way to enjoy the facilities of a private pool.

6 Best Above Ground Pool Reviews

6. Bestway Steel Pro 12-Foot by 30-Inch Round Frame Pool Set Review

Bestway Steel Pro 12-Foot by 30-Inch Round Frame Pool Set
Bestway Steel Pro 12-Foot by 30-Inch Round Frame Pool Set

This is another option that should not be missed is you are looking for a budget-friendly above ground swimming pool. One thing that makes it an ideal choice for the best above ground pool is the quality of its components. It has durable metal frames and walls that are made from triple layers of strong materials. With such, you can expect this to be a functional addition in the backyard season after season. Another thing that makes this an option that is hard to beat is its ease of setup and taking down. You do not need to be an expert to put the pieces together and to disassemble the pool when it is no longer used. There are issues raised with regards to size of the pump and quality of the flooring, but such should be seen as minor drawbacks.


  • Can Be Assembled and Taken Down in a Snap
  • High-Quality Parts
  • Affordable Price
  • Comes with a Ladder


  • Pump Is too Small
  • Floor Is Prone to Being Punctured

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5. Intex 26377EH Ultra Frame 32-Feet by 16-Feet by 52-Inch Pool Set Review

Intex 26377EH Ultra Frame 32-Feet by 16-Feet by 52-Inch Pool Set
Intex 26377EH Ultra Frame 32-Feet by 16-Feet by 52-Inch Pool Set

Although this is an above ground pool with a luxurious price tag, such should not discourage you from considering such in your choices. Its price is complemented with commendable features, making the product an option that is hard to match. Among others, it is known for its durability as it comes with strong frames and triple-layer side walls. Aside from being easy to assemble, taking down the pool will not also be complicated. The integrated drain plug will allow you to drain water easily. The Krystal Clear Filter that is included in this product is also worth highlighting, providing you with the guarantee of having clean water all the time. The addition of a ladder and a volleyball set also makes it an excellent choice. A lot of people were also happy with the fact that minimal maintenance is required to guarantee that the pool will stay at its best season after season.


  • Quick to Setup
  • Easy to Drain
  • Comes with a Volleyball Set
  • Durable Construction


  • Expensive Price
  • Problems with Corner Brackets

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4. Intex 18-Foot by 52-Inch Ultra Frame Pool Set Review

Intex 18-Foot by 52-Inch Ultra Frame Pool Set
Intex 18-Foot by 52-Inch Ultra Frame Pool Set

Made by one of the most trusted brands in the market for above ground pools, this is another product that has gained the nod of many users. Although this is at the higher-end of the market, many people did not mind spending more to enjoy better quality. It is bigger than the two models that have been earlier mentioned. Similar to other Intex above ground pools, its assembly will never be complicated on your end. The included instructional DVD will provide you with detailed steps on how it can be assembled and taken down. More so, it is constructed with triple layer side walls, making it durable. It is complemented with rigid frames that add up to its durability. The pool has a capacity of 6,981 gallons, which is equivalent to 90% of the size of the pool. There were some, however, who complained about the small size of the filter and pump, as well as inferior customer service in some countries.


  • High-Quality Pump
  • Effortless to Assemble
  • Minimal Maintenance Required
  • Sturdy Frame


  • Filter and Pump Are Small
  • Customer Service Could Be Improved

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3. iPool Deluxe Above Ground Exercise Swimming Pool Review

iPool Deluxe Above Ground Exercise Swimming Pool
iPool Deluxe Above Ground Exercise Swimming Pool

If you are looking for an above ground pool that can prove to be excellent when it comes to being multifunctional, this is one of the best options that should be part of your list. More than just being built for recreation, it can be used to supplement your workout routine. This exercise pool can also be beneficial for injury rehabilitation and swimming lessons. It comes with adjustable Velcro straps that can make it effective for resistance training. More so, it has been also given favorable feedbacks because of its compact footprint. There is no need to have the luxury of space to have this pool in the backyard. There is an included ladder and the walls are also built to offer durability, allowing the pool to withstand many seasons. With an included pool cover, you can also provide the protection that it needs from external elements.


  • Multiple Functionality
  • Compact Design
  • Comes with a Pool Cover
  • Easy-Clean Filter


  • Complicated Installation of Wiring
  • Pump Is too Big for the Filter

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2. Intex 12-Foot by 30-Inch Metal Frame Pool Set Review

Intex 12-Foot by 30-Inch Metal Frame Pool Set
Intex 12-Foot by 30-Inch Metal Frame Pool Set

If budget is your biggest concern when looking for an above ground swimming pool, this will definitely be an option that you will not regret. Its affordable price tag is perhaps one of the reasons why it is amongst the most popular in the market. At such a reasonable price, however, quality is not compensated. It comes with a sturdy metal frame body, which will provide you with the assurance that it will last long. It has a capacity of 1,718 gallons. More so, the Krsytal Clear Filter Pump is also one feature that deserves to be given emphasis. It pumps water at a rate of 530 gallons per hour, while also making sure that water is filtered. There were some complaints, however, with regards to its lack of craftsmanship as the design is very basic. Nonetheless, at its price point, this should not be too much of an issue.


  • Affordable Price
  • Durable Construction
  • Easy to Setup
  • Stable


  • Lacking Craftsmanship
  • Poor Customer Service

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1. Intex Rectangular Ultra Frame 24-Feet by 12-Feet by 52-Inch Pool Set Review

Intex Rectangular Ultra Frame 24-Feet by 12-Feet by 52-Inch Pool Set
Intex Rectangular Ultra Frame 24-Feet by 12-Feet by 52-Inch Pool Set

This is another option that should not be missed by people who are searching for the best above ground pool. With dimensions of 24 Feet x 12 Feet x 52 Inches, it offers more than enough space for the whole family to enjoy. It might be more expensive than the models that have been previously mentioned, but price should, not be an issue because quality is beyond superior. It has a capacity of 8,403 gallons, which is equal to 90% of the size of the pool. For most users, it is also commendable that it comes with durable components, including the frames and the walls, as well as the ladder that is included. Similar to other Intex above ground swimming pools, its assembly can also be finished without the need to sweat. Its filter system is also excellent, providing you with the assurance that the pool will have water that is remarkable when it comes to clarity.


  • Setup Can Be Completed in a Snap
  • Stylish Design
  • Sturdy Metal Frame
  • Thick Liner
  • Filter System Runs Quietly
  • High-Quality Sand Filter


  • No Patch Kit
  • Poor Customer Service

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Factors to Consider in Choosing the Best Above Ground Pool

  • Size: Before you start shopping for a new above ground pool, the first thing that should be done is to measure the amount of space that is available in the backyard. Of course, the size should have the right fit, while leaving some more space for you to move with ease. The size of the pool will also depend on the number of people who will be using such.
  • Materials: Most of the above ground swimming pools available in the market are made from vinyl liner, which is supported by frames that are made from steel or aluminum. See to it that the materials have superior quality. They should offer safety, stability, and longevity.
  • Reviews: To help you decide on the best above ground pool, it will also help to consult with what other people have to say, specifically through online reviews. Their experiences and insights will help you to weigh the pros and cons of the choices that you will have.
  • Installation: Ideally, the best above ground pool is one that can be easily assembled. The assembly must be completed in the absence of requiring extensive technical knowledge. There should be also no need to hire someone just to complete its assembly. It will be good if the package comes with an instructional DVD to guide you through the process.
  • Price: It is important to have a specified budget beforehand. You should specify how much you can spend and stick to such. Nonetheless, keep in mind that being cheap does not always mean being the best. More often than not, you should be paying more if you want to be assured of being able to enjoy better quality.
  • Safety: Aesthetics should not dominate safety when it comes to factors that you consider in looking for the best above ground pool. Make sure to choose a pool that has been quality tested to ensure its standards. It should be made from durable materials so that it will be stable. Electrical components must not be exposed.
  • Accessories: To be assured that you are getting the most out of what you will be paying for, consider the accessories and other inclusions. In some instances, aside from the actual pool and filter, it will also include ladder, ground cloth, and cover that will help to protect the pool from harsh elements.

Also Read: Intex Oval Pool Review

FAQ’s about Above Ground Pools

Above ground pools have many similarities with in-ground pools currently. Just like the in ground swimming pools, they have tile borders, heaters, fiber optic lights and automatic cleaners. It is factual that these pools have many advantages over in-ground swimming pools, and their use has escalated over the recent past.

These pools are considerably cheap, faster and easy to install and require little yard space as compared to in ground pools. Selecting the best Above Ground Pool is quite challenging and people have so many questions that need answers before settling on a particular pool type. This article answers some of the frequently asked questions by customers who wish to install above ground pool

What are the different types of Above Ground Pools?

There are two basic types of the above ground pools. These are ring pools and frame pools. Ring pools commonly known as a float to fill inexpensive and are 3-feet high and 12-feet in diameter. The frame pools are more permanent and quite expensive. They come in different shapes and sizes and have an interior pool liner and a metal frame. However, purchasing above ground pool is determined by some factors because people have different pocketbooks, styles and tastes. You will have to figure out the depth of the pool, the shape, and size and the pattern that fits your backyard perfectly.

How much does above ground pool cost?

Above ground, pools occur in two main types but in different styles. The cost of a ring pool is around $ 300 and is subject to vary depending on some reasons such as the supplier and region you are buying from. Frame pools are very expensive and a bare bone frame pool cost at around $4000 and it can even cost double that price if you add particulars such as high-end patterned liner or wood frame to fit perfectly in the landscape.

How to Install an Above Ground Pool?

You will need the following when installing above the ground pool

  • Above ground pool
  • Pool liner
  • Pool liner accessories

Once you have acquired the above, get a working crew and then follow the following step by step installation guide carefully.

Step 1

Preparation of the pools foundation is the initial step. You have to remove any sod that would be under your pool thoroughly and don’t underestimate the stubbornness of grass. Certain grass types like bamboo, nut, and Bermuda grass can grow through an above ground liner and thus need to be eliminated completely. Remember also to remove grass around the pool wall.

Step 2

This involves leveling the ground after sod removal. Level the higher grounds with, the lower grounds. Note that you can’t determine the ground is leveled just by looking hence you will have to use a level or a transit. It is not recommended to build on low levels to match higher ones because the pool’s weight will sink it back to its level.

Step 3

Make sure that you have an adequate drainage before installing your pool. This saves irrelevant maintenance cost and time.

Step 4

After leveling your ground, the nest step is laying the pools foundation. Sand is the commonly used base for above ground pools. It acts as an obstacle between the liner and the ground and also protects the liner from roots, rocks, and any other hard object. The sand also acts as a cushion for the pool’s floor and makes it more comfortable underfoot. For extra liner protection, you can use floor padding.

Step 5

Next is laying the pools frame foundation. Occasionally, patio stones or blocks are used and are sunk until they become even with the ground. These blocks are positioned beneath the pool pools and walls so as to support them. You have to ensure that the blocks are level in all directions, and they are also level with each other.

Step 6

The next step now involves assembling your above ground pool. Above ground pools, installation instructions vary depending on the manufacturer and model. You have to follow the instructions provided in your owner’s handbook carefully. Above ground pools will contain parts such as bottom plates, bottom rails, pool wall, uprights, top rails, upright caps, pool liner coping and hardware. You have to check the parts mentioned earlier before signing the paperwork as you will be responsible for any damage concealed.

Step 7

During the installation process, create a cove when the pool walls and frame are up. A cove is a 6-8 inch sand wedge that is built on the inside border of the pool wall. This is very significant as it provides a protective layer between metal frame of the pool and the line and it also protects the liner from slipping under the pool wall. You have to make a 450 sand wedge and make sure it is even around the pool. Alternative to the sand wedge, you can order pre-manufactured pool coves available in two forms such as peel and stick with an adhesive backing and clip and stick that snaps onto the track of the pool wall.

Step 8

The next step involves installing the pool liner. It is very delicate, and you need to inspect it first before installing. Don’t use any sharp objects when opening the box containing the liner. After opening the box, spread your liner on the ground and inspect it carefully to check for any tears and holes and also confirm that the seams are properly sealed.

Step 9

After inspecting the liner, stretch it out in the sun to be heated so as to make it more flexible and easier to work with. Fill it into your pool and then carefully push it towards the edges to smoothen its floor. Do not pull, stretch or drag the liner.

After your pool is already filled with water, you can now connect it with a filter system, pump, light, heater and any other pool accessory you have.

What Pool Accessories You Need?

The mandatory pool accessories you need after installing include a filter system, a pump, a basic cleaning kit, and a lighting system. Optional accessories include chairs, pool covers, slides, heater, and a fountain.

What is a Pool Liner?

pool liner is a device that protects the wall and floor of your pool. They are available in different models for both in-ground and above ground pools. They are made using high resilient vinyl or artificial material. Pool liners prevent the growth of molds and any form of damage to the pool. There are different types of pool liners such as; overlap, beaded, uni-beaded, and expandable pool liners.

Is Above Ground Pool Safe for Children?

If you have children of any ages, this question is very relevant. It is important to considers the height of the water in the pool together with its safety design for children. Most of above the ground pools are suitable for kids above six years.

What is a Pool Filter?

A pool filter is an equipment used to eliminate debris and oxidized materials from the water and provides currents and circulations in the pool so as to distribute chemicals and protect the formation of algae in the poorly circulated areas.

How to Keep Above Ground Pools Clean?

To ensure that your pool is clean, make sure that there is maximum water circulation through the filter and back to the pool. This minimizes bacteria and algae growth.

Backwash your filter on a weekly basis and once in a season treat it with a chemical cleaner.

You have to note that most of these swimming pools have areas with minimal circulation. You have to ensure that you brush the walls and the pool floor every week to maintain the entire pool clean. You can use an automatic cleaner or a vacuum to remove debris once a week.

5 Best Above Ground Pool Cleaner Reviews

No matter the type of pool you own, you probably want that pool to maintain its clean, sparkling blue water. Some people choose to hire a person or a company to keep their pools clean.

However, there are many products on the market that can help you keep a clean pool on your own containing the features that specially applies for your above ground pool.

So, let’s take a look at the 5 top above ground pool cleaners money can buy!

1. Hayward 500 Aqua Bug Above-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner Review

Hayward 500 Aqua Bug Above-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner
Hayward 500 Aqua Bug Above-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner

Pool owners will never clean manually again with Hayward 500 Aqua Bug Above-Ground Automatic Pool Cleaner because it automatically cleans the entire bottom of all shapes and sizes of above-ground pools. It is really easy to assemble and designed for trouble-free operation.

The Hayward 500 uses a unique turbine gearing system to provide constant balanced water flow to ensure gentle movement across the bottom of the pool and quiet operation. The contoured head design makes Aqua Bug complete the steering pattern in minimal time.

It includes a 32-foot hose. This pool cleaner works very well for above-ground pools even with a deep end and has a very simple design that runs off the skimmer.

Aqua bug even cleans in 30 minutes a pool with large circle of deteriorated or broken leaves, softened bark and hackberries in the bottom of it after a storm.

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2. Baracuda W01698 Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner Review

Baracuda W01698 Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
Baracuda W01698 Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

Baracuda W01698 Ranger Suction Side Automatic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner is an affordable way to effectively clean any above-ground pool including dished-out bottoms of up to 72 inches.

This dependable pool cleaner removes debris, dirt, twigs, bugs, leaves and even pebbles without requiring extra plumbing that causes additional energy cost.

This pool cleaner features only one moving part which is the diaphragm, so the flapper noise commonly caused by most pool vacuums is eliminated.

The Baracuda Ranger is pre-assembled and can be installed in minutes with no tools required. It has extra-large wheel deflector so it won’t get caught on steps, ladders or in corners so it keeps on cleaning the pool.

The hyper disc makes the cleaner glide seamlessly along the pool’s bottom, up the slides and around the steps so the entire pool gets cleaned.

It operates simply with low maintenance because it has no gears and flappers. It also comes with 32-foot hose.

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3. Pentair 360100 Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark Above-Ground Pool Cleaner Review

Pentair 360100 Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
Pentair 360100 Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

The Kreepy Krauly Lil Shark is certainly the “big fish” in the underwater world of above-ground pool cleaners. With its two-way cleaning action, this voracious predator is fast and effective at removing the toughest grime.

Built for a long life the unique vortex chamber features a single moving part, which ensures the Lil Shark will be cleaning your pool for years to come.

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4. Pentair Kreepy Krauly K50600 Automatic Pool Cleaner Review

Pentair Kreepy Krauly K50600 Automatic Pool Cleaner
Pentair Kreepy Krauly K50600 Automatic Pool Cleaner

Kreepy Krauly Pool Cleaner for swimming pools is among America’s reliable automatic pool vacuum cleaners and it cleans fiberglass, vinyl and gunite pool types which include the walls.

Engineered to only have one moving part, this pool cleaner minimizes operation cost while it cleans the entire pool from tile line to floor. It doesn’t use electrical cords so it is completely safe for swimmers.

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5. Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner Review

Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner
Aquabot APRVJR Pool Rover Junior Robotic Above-Ground Pool Cleaner

Aqua Products APRV Pool Rover Robotic Above-Ground Bowl Shaped Pool Cleaner is a computerized, fully-automatic robotic cleaner with its own drive motor and filtration system and cleans within one hour a 24-inch dished out or flat above-ground pools whether oval, rectangular or round in shape.

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Finally for Cleaners

These are the top 5 above-ground pool cleaners you can find presently. With so many positive feedbacks the above-ground pool cleaners mentioned above, it didn’t take long for the people to know this product well. So, when you do make a decision about buying a cleaner for your above-ground pool, make sure it is the best!


Do not make things harder for you. Do not decide on the basis of price alone. At the end of the day, it is important to consider what other people have to say. In this case, keep your eye on the six models that have been earlier mentioned for the best above ground pool. These pools have received favorable feedbacks from its users and can provide you with the confidence that choosing such will be a decision that you won’t regret.

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