It is technically the same all over the world whenever summertime comes – acquiring pool ownership is one popular and recognizable dream. Nonetheless, most people are unable to afford to have in-ground swimming pools at the back of their houses.
It could also be a matter of spacing because in-ground pools generally take up lots of room to build and maintain in the long run. Therefore, instead of such an expensive option to be relieved from the summer heat, above ground pools make a much better alternative.
Plus, the entire process of installing an above ground pool filter is considered quicker and easier. It is difficult to regret having a fine pool like that at home, but you certainly need some extra help to decide the current best above ground pools on the market.
Table of Contents
- What are Above Ground Pools?
- The Best Above Ground Pools to Buy in 2021
- Comparison of Top 15 Best Above Ground Pools 2021
- Top 15 Best Above Ground Pools 2021 Reviews
- Meadows Above Ground Pool
- Intex Ultra Frame Above Ground Pool
- Bestway Power Steel Above Ground Pool
- Lake Effect Forever Above Ground Pool
- Splash Pools Oval Deluxe Above Ground Pool
- Intex Ultra XTR Above Ground Pool
- Intex Metal Frame Above Ground Pool
- Cornelius Phoenix Above Ground Pool
- iPool D Set Above Ground Pool
- Summer Waves Above Ground Pool
- Intex Easy Set Above Ground Pool
- Bestway Steel Pro Rectangular Above Ground Pool
- Bestway Steel Pro Max Above Ground Pool
- Intex Prism Frame Above Ground Pool
- Summer Waves Elite Above Ground Pool
- How to Choose the Best Above Ground Pool – Buying Guide
- How to Install Above Ground Pools?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Swim Network Overview
What are Above Ground Pools?
Above ground pools are in significant contrast to in-ground pools due to the overall construction. These swimming pools will arrive in a kit and take a few days to be installed by professionals. The general cost of building above ground pools is more economical.
Of course, above ground pools do come with several limitations related to their size, depth and shape. However, it is certainly easier to deconstruct and transport these pools rather than in-ground ones that have occupied the backyard at a great depth.
One important reminder for potential customers is that above ground pools are not beneficial for professional uses. Your children can still splash around under the sun, while these pools enable regular aqua workout for grownups and fun activities for pets.
You can shelter the pool with an effective above ground pool cover whenever it is not in use. In brief, above ground pools are a refreshing bonding means right at home with a far lower cost and quicker timing compared to installing in-ground pools.
The Best Above Ground Pools to Buy in 2021
Although above ground pools are less complicated both to build and detach, it does not mean these pools cannot stay in place for a long time. Indeed, there are above ground pools that work permanently so I would like to introduce some of the best ones.
- Best Overall: Meadows Above Ground Pool
“Complete bundle kit, polyethylene luster filter, slide-lock ladder.”
- Best Budget: Bestway Steel Pro Rectangular Above Ground Pool
“UV protection frame, locks joint connection, durable performance.”
- Best With Decks: Intex Ultra Frame Above Ground Pool
“Luxurious tile print, powder-coated frame, debris cover with rope.”
- Best for Unlevel Ground: Bestway Power Steel Above Ground Pool
“No tools required, rust-resistant coating, chemical dispenser.”
- Best All Resin Above Ground Pool: Lake Effect Forever
“Resin-coated steel, glistening pattern liner, wrinkle-free material.”
- Best Value for the Money: Splash Pools Oval Deluxe Above Ground Pool
“15-year warranty, wide-mouth skimmer, easy installation video.”
- Best for Cold Climates: Intex Ultra XTR Above Ground Pool
“10-inch filter pump tank, dual suction fittings, great water depth.”
- Best With Pump: Intex Metal Frame Above Ground Pool
“Handles 4,000+ gallons, large ground cloth, maintenance DVD.”
- Best for Adults: Cornelius Phoenix Above Ground Pool
“Elegant wall pattern, 52-inch deep, top covers for verticals.”
- Best for Small Backyards: iPool D Set Above Ground Pool
“6-square footprint, patented dual tether system, free repair kit.”
- Best for Families: Summer Waves Above Ground Pool
“Fashionable exterior, quick setup, one unit of pump and skimmer.”
- Best for Toddlers and Kids: Intex Easy Set Above Ground Pool
“Average height, 15-min water filling, laminated PVC sidewalls.”
Comparison of Top 15 Best Above Ground Pools 2021
The most common above ground pool shapes are round, oval and rectangular but this criterion is not the only thing you need to consider. Other factors play an important role in its overall function as well so there has to be a comparison among them.
Top 15 Best Above Ground Pools 2021 Reviews
Getting to know the insights of one above ground pool is difficult enough for most customers, let alone a whole list of diverse pool models. These pools have different benefits and drawbacks so potential users need to see each of them for themselves.
Meadows Above Ground Pool
(Best Overall – Editor’s Choice)
It is almost impossible to find another complete kit of an above ground pool and its useful attachments like this one from Meadows. In order to prevent further wrinkling, the pool material with an impressive Boulder Swirl pattern is completely hand-folded.
This above ground swimming pool only requires a single installation to maintain its position throughout a whole year. The stabilizer rails are made to fit snug over the pool liner without gaps. Its A-frame ladder has safe handrails for people to grab on.
The steel pool walls are coated with fine resin on both sides to protect it from rusting and helps to extend its lifespan. Its valve works with a push-pull mechanism for simplified water flow control. A reusable luster sand filter is available in this pool set.
- The material is hand-folded.
- It takes one time to assemble.
- Its rails hold tight to the liner.
- The safe ladder has handrails.
- Its walls are all resin-coated.
- Its valve enables flow control.
- It includes luster filter media.
- The top of its diverter leaks.
Intex Ultra Frame Above Ground Pool
(Best With Decks)
Intex above ground pools are popular choices to add a nice wooden deck around and this one is not an exception. You can either choose the round or rectangular shape with diverse sizing since all of them contained a strong powder-coated steel frame.
Its outlet fittings include a dual suction to enhance water circulation for more hygiene and clarity in the pool. This pool kit also contains end caps to provide fine stability on its frame. The steps on its removable Intex ladder is completely safe of slip-resistant.
The sand filter pump capacity can handle approximately 2,100 gallons per hour. Its ground cloth and debris cover are effective in delivering extra support to this above ground pool. The brand offers instructional DVDs in all pool purchases to help users.
- It is compatible with decks.
- Its frame is powder-coated.
- It enables hygiene & clarity.
- Its ladder prevents slipping.
- It includes cloth and cover.
- It comes with a DVD guide.
- There are holes in the liner.
Bestway Power Steel Above Ground Pool
(Best for Unlevel Ground)
This above ground pool from Bestway is engineered with an effective flow valve so users can easily drain out excessive water. There is a surrounding 3-ply PVC band to add more pool wall support. Its frame is coated to fight against abrasion and UV risks.
Moreover, its ChemConnect dispenser of chemicals will keep the water clean and evenly spreads a fine chlorine rate in the swimming pool. The seal and lock system of the Bestway pool ensures all joints of its sustainable pipe connection are secured.
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A ground cloth in this pool set is capable of maintaining balance for the whole steel frame to stand on unlevel surfaces without crumbling in use. To prevent the threats of quick bacteria and algae growth, the above ground pool filter performs at its best.
- Its valve drains excess water.
- The frame is non-abrasive.
- The band stabilizes its walls.
- It has a chemical dispenser.
- Its system secures the joints.
- It stands on unlevel grounds.
- Its filter prevents bacterias.
- The lack of setup instructions.
See Also: 15 Best Pool Shocks
Lake Effect Forever Above Ground Pool
(Best All Resin Above Ground Pool)
The durable steel, which is used to build these above ground pool walls, has been galvanized for a high level of protection. Its walls are also coated with resin on both sides to avoid later rusting. This entire pool component set is made for exact fitting.
54 inches is a considerable height that this above ground pool from Lake Effect can provide its customers with. It has an elegant sunlight pattern to make the pool looks like it glistens under the sun all the time. There is a total of 10 verticals to stabilize it.
Its wide-mouth skimmer is truly helpful in collecting irrelevant floating objects on the pool water surface to maintain its hygiene. This Lake Effect above ground pool has been claimed to last for a long period of time due to a series of excellent functions.
- Its steel has been galvanized.
- It contains resin-coated walls.
- The pool height is 54 inches.
- Its sunlight liner is glistening.
- It includes 10 verticals in total.
- The skimmer performs well.
- Its bottom rails are quite short.
Splash Pools Oval Deluxe Above Ground Pool
(Best Value for the Money)
The Splash Pools set is not a high-budget above ground pool with attachments for no reason. It is a large pool that can probably fit up to almost 10 adults and children so it would be perfect for extended families. The pool comes with a 1 HP pump and motor.
See Also: 8 Best Pool Booster Pumps
Two pieces of this pool top covers are available and they are made out of molded resin. The painted steel frame of this above ground pool is equipped with extra zinc-coated hardware. Its wide-mouth skimmer controls and filters the pool water.
This resin A-frame pool ladder can be lifted outside when not in use and its barrier is simple to swim through. Its valve supports an optimal backwashing sand filtration system. Its vinyl liner is highly guaranteed to be able to endure almost all weather conditions.
- Its price worths the value.
- Its size fits an entire family.
- It has two resin top covers.
- The steel frame is durable.
- It has a removable ladder.
- Its valve provides filtration.
- Its liner is all-weather vinyl.
- Its packaging is inorganized.
Intex Ultra XTR Above Ground Pool
(Best for Cold Climates)
The pool pump flow in 1 hour of 1,200 gallons is seen as an average but functional frequency to help filter the entire Intex above ground pool. Since it is quite large in size, the amount of time required for 90% of pool water filling is approximately 60 minutes.
Its frame has a great powder coating on both sides that enables strong resistance against premature rusting. The hydro aeration technology guarantees water filtration and circulation at their peak for the best pool clarity. Its connection snaps with push buttons.
Even the removable ladder of this pool from Intex is built from a corrosion-resistant steel frame and its steps prevent slippage. If users want to leave it in cold weather, there is a large debris cover to keep pool water clean and its pump should also be covered.
- It has an effective filter pump.
- It takes 60 mins to fill water.
- The frame is powder-coated.
- It has a hydro aeration tech.
- Its system is button snapped.
- The ladder prevents rusting.
- It can endure cold climates.
- Its verticals may get crippled.
Intex Metal Frame Above Ground Pool
(Best With Pump)
The above ground pool from Intex has been praised for having a drain plug that can be connected to a garden hose and drain out pool water. Its Krystal clear filter pump is a nice feature for the pump rate of 1,000 GPH and the cartridge can be cleaned at ease.
As people are afraid that this pool cannot stay in place in a long time, the kit includes a surrounding band to firmly hold its verticals as well. The water circulation is highly improved due to the dual suction outlet fittings. Its assembly process is quick and simple.
Its steel ladder is manufactured to be compatible with the 48-inch height for the pool access without slippage. This ground cloth is a wide square that enables more pool protection below on the ground. A DVD for both of the setup and maintenance is available.
- Its drain plug is convenient.
- Easy to clean the cartridge.
- It includes an outer band.
- Its water circulation is good.
- The ladder is of pool height.
- It goes with a ground cloth.
- The kit lacks some pieces.
Cornelius Phoenix Above Ground Pool
(Best for Adults)
After a long day at work in the summer, most adults will not be able to resist the desire for relaxation in soothing pool water. The above ground pool from Cornelius has a suitable size for a group of adults to join and an appealing fancy grey pattern.
Its components are entirely made out of steel to ensure an extended lifespan with high sustainability. It is quite surprising to know that this swimming pool can be installed with a screwdriver. The verticals are attached to the pool walls to make it stable.
- It performs well for adults.
- The pattern looks elegant.
- Its pieces are from steel.
- It enables simple assembly.
- Its verticals are attached.
- The rails are quite flimsy.
iPool D Set Above Ground Pool
(Best for Small Backyards)
For customers who do not own a spacious area to install above ground pools, the brand Fitmax has offered us with a small pool that fits into a basement or garage at ease. Its material is woven polyester coated with 5 layers of vinyl for powerful tearing resistance.
The attached heater of this iPool swimming pool is exclusively designed to make it useable throughout all seasons. It includes a unique highlight of a velcro harness that provides fine aqua training and recovering measures for swimmers of all levels.
This pool can hold chlorine and saltwater if users want to simulate the environment of a true-size in-ground swimming pool. Its ladder is made out of stainless steel and lockable to avoid shaking in use. Humidity can be minimized with its large pool cover.
- It is suitable for small areas.
- It is made of woven polyester.
- It comes with a great heater.
- The velcro strap is effective.
- It handles chlorine/saltwater.
- It contains a lockable ladder.
- The cover prevents humidity.
- Its heater needs special wiring.
Summer Waves Above Ground Pool
(Best for Families)
The material to manufacture this above ground pool from Summer Waves is a polyester mesh of 3 layers and heavy-gauge PVC to endure external pressure with ease. The pool is capable of handling approximately 1,600 gallons in a complete fill.
It has a charming dark wicker pattern that adds extra refinement to any backyards. This swimming pool size is ideal for the entire family to gather and splash around on a hot summer day. Its tube connection frame has been made sturdier and will last for long.
The special SFX6000 filter pump can also function as a skimmer for this Summer Waves pool and it is attached right on the sidewalls to avoid unwanted tripping. You can manage to set up this above ground pool in minutes with very few construction tools.
- Its material resists impact.
- The pattern is impressive.
- It fits a whole large family.
- Its frame is created to last.
- Pump and skimmer in one.
- It enables quick installation.
- Water spills out of its pump.
Intex Easy Set Above Ground Pool
(Best for Toddlers and Kids)
This Intex above ground pool is true of what its name implies – an easy and rapid setup process with nearly 4,000 gallons of water filling in just 15 minutes. Children from 6 years old would definitely be fascinated and safe in a narrow pool like this.
Its PVC sidewalls are laminated to be solid so there is a low chance to lose elasticity in the future. As usual, the removable pool ladder is made to suit its height and has a non-corrosive frame. This brand sells replacement parts in case of any manufacturer defections.
A drain plug is available for your convenience to drain the pool water when being connected to a garden hose. The pool from Intex even contains a fault interrupter that will shut down its filter pump if there are signs of electrical current exposure to water.
- Its setup is fast and easy.
- It is great for kids from 6.
- Its sidewalls are fine PVC.
- The ladder is non-abrasion.
- It contains a drain plug.
- There is a fault interrupter.
- It has a split in the seam.
See Also: 17 Best Kiddie Pools
Bestway Steel Pro Rectangular Above Ground Pool
Compared to inflatable above ground pools, this option would be much more stable and durable through time. The rectangular pool frame has a non-corrosive coating that secures it from abrasion. There is a PVC support band to stabilize this pool wall.
It often takes about 10 minutes with some people in the family and no extra tools for a complete assembly. The polyester mesh is combined with dual PVC layers to make this pool lightweight and strong at once. Its price is inexpensive since there are no attachments.
To make sure the above ground pool does not bend under water pressure, it has a unique system to seal and lock all of the joint connections. Its flow control valve is built-in for quick water filling and draining. Summer never ends when this pool takes part.
- Its frame is corrosion-resistant.
- Its PVC band supports the wall.
- It does not need tools to build.
- It is both strong and lightweight.
- It goes at a reasonable price.
- The joint connection is locked.
- A built-in valve for flow control.
- The bottom is not made right.
Bestway Steel Pro Max Above Ground Pool
(Best With Support Band)
Excess pool water is easily dealt with this provided drain valve of the Bestway above ground pool. The lightweight PVC pool material cannot be torn apart and its color will not fade out through time. This swimming pool is a brilliant choice for both kids and adults.
There is a PVC support band that surrounds the exterior pool frame to add structural integrity to it. Its frame is coated with a rust-resistant layer for battling later abrasion as well. The entire pool and its accessories can be set up with no professional tools.
It is important to secure its joint connections so this pool from Bestway already has a locking system for sealing them. The pool cartridge filter pump enables a hassle-free cleanup. This above ground pool kit does not cost much considering its attachments.
- It has a convenient valve.
- Its material prevents fading.
- It goes with a support band.
- The frame cannot corrode.
- It has a lock & seal system.
- Easy to clean the cartridge.
- The plug design is defective.
Intex Prism Frame Above Ground Pool
(Best to Increase Negative Ions)
Negative ions are known to be beneficial for swimming pool water in general and this pool from Intex is capable of increasing them. Its filter pump can also improve water filtration and circulation so the pool is clearer with a considerable amount of negative ions.
In this pool kit, the brand Intex offers their customers a guidance DVD to help with both the setup and maintenance process. The Intex pool features the benefits of most metal frames with a powder-coated tubing connection and a fashionable pool liner.
In case users want to add extra protection to this pool top and bottom, a ground cloth and a debris cover are available. The slip-resistant ladder steps ensure maximum safety while using and it is capable of handling the heaviest weight of around 300 lbs.
- It improves water circulation.
- It can develop negative ions.
- It has an instructional DVD.
- Its frame is seen as durable.
- It includes a cloth and a cover.
- The ladder prevents slippage.
- Customer service is not good.
Summer Waves Elite Above Ground Pool
(Best With Skimmer)
The Summer Waves above ground pool is attached with a vacuum and its hose in the set for particle suction straight out of it. This pool is claimed to be more durable than 80% of other frames to withstand extended use. Its 4,000 gallons capacity is reasonable.
The pool skimmer system delivers a full skimming performance all over the surface and its integral basket is removable for cleaning. You can insert a 1-in chlorine tablet to the cartridge to purify this pool water. Its A-frame ladder is built to be quite sturdy.
- It comes with a leaf vacuum.
- It is promised to be durable.
- It has an average capacity.
- It can skim the entire surface.
- It handles a chlorine tablet.
- Its ladder has a solid frame.
- Its drain hole might leak out.
How to Choose the Best Above Ground Pool – Buying Guide
There are indeed loads of different factors for their potential customers to take into account to purchase above ground pools, which are much more confusing than the pool shape and water capacity. Here are my suggestions for essential features worth considering.
Common Pool Frame
The most common frame material for above ground pools is hot-dip galvanized steel since it is approved of being sustainable in a long time. With a reinforced pool frame, you only need a single purchase and use the pool for good.
Apparently, steeled swimming pools are more stable than inflatable ones. The frame must be corrosion-resistant and prevents early rusting for a standard lifespan. A majority of them are engineered with a snap-in pipe/tube connection for rapid setup.
Several pool bundle kits comprise an all-around band to stabilize the external pool verticals. Top covers and top ledges are available for certain models. Sometimes, the pools have bottom rails but these details need to be built with precision for an exact fitting.
Pool Water Draining
Inside a random above ground pool set, it will either include a convenient drain plug or a built-in valve to drain pool water out as fast as the filling process. This piece is often connected to an outer hose in the backyard to operate.
People who change the water every time they finish using a swimming pool tend to look for this feature in targeted pool kits. It is an act worth commending as the pool water is renewed after each use (especially chlorine water) to improve the hygienic level.
You should always read the product description to make sure the fancied above ground pool set contains required attachments. A few brands only sell the pool with no accessories so that is what customers should be conscious of.
The list of possible attachments in a pool kit includes a ground cloth for extra bottom protection, a large pool cover from debris and reduces the humidity rate, a stainless steel removable A-frame ladder and a sand filter pump of different GPH frequencies.
In addition, a certain number of above ground pool packages might come along with a wide-mouth skimmer to pull in unwanted dirt from the pool. An individual swimming pool is certainly less expensive than a whole complete set, but the value in return is fantastic.
How to Install Above Ground Pools?
These are the most basic steps to install above ground pools: lay the pool on a level surface, assemble its frame or inflate required pars then fill water in at the common rate of 8-90%. All of the joint connections need to be highly sealed to prevent sudden collapse.
The surrounding verticals are either stuck on their walls or installed with top covers to support the pool frame. A filter pump is crucial and often hooked up with an outer hose. The skimmer is less popular but it still performs well inside the pool to purify it.
Advanced pool models will also contain dual suction outlet fittings to improve water circulation. Most above ground pool ladders are removable. The ground cloth is to protect the bottom. A debris cover with rope tie is available to keep it from blowing off.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some frequently asked questions about above ground pools.
Swim Network Overview
To sum up, I cannot disagree that above ground pools are widely favored due to their impressive performances at a surprisingly affordable price. Plus, the required areas to install these pools are more flexible than digging a whole yard for in-ground ones.
As far as I am concerned, I would crown the best overall above ground pool to the Meadows Above Ground Pool without hesitation. A pool that will look nice with an additional deck installation is undeniably the Intex Ultra Frame Above Ground Pool.
Regarding the Bestway Power Steel Above Ground Pool, it is a rare fine choice for unlevel surfaces. When it is time for a whole extended family with both adults and kids to have fun, the Summer Waves Above Ground Pool would be the most ideal pool.
In case the best above ground pools reviewed in this article have not caught your attention and stimulate a wish to purchase any of them, you can always make use of the well-prepared buying guide to help you determine better among multiple other products.
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