Above Ground Pools: How to choose the best of 2020

Intex Pool How to choose the best of 2020

Intex Pool

Above ground pools are large, temporary or semi-permanent pools big enough to accommodate the entire family. Whether you’re looking for an extra large inflatable pool or a frame based support structure, there is a pool size for you.

Important Things to Consider

  • The capacity of a swimming pool is measured in gallons or liters, and comes in a variety of depths. Semi-permanent, above ground swimming pools can be as large as 5,000 Gallons (20,000 liters).
  • Pools can have a plastic/metal support frame or be inflatable; shapes vary between round or rectangular, although round is the most common variety.
  • Buying an above ground pool can be affordable, it just depends on the capacity you want. There are models for all budgets, with entry level models costing around $300.

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Buying Guide

Having an above ground pool gives way to a fun and refreshing summer. A swimming pool is not solely for children, there are models with capacity for the whole family. Want to know more? Stay with us until the end of this Buying Guide to choose the right model for you and your family.

Buying Guide

What are the advantages of an above ground pool?

For families that only want to care for a pool for limited seasons of the year or who don’t want to commit to the major investment of a permanent, in-ground pool, an above ground pool is an ideal option.

Most of the larger models are sold in combination with all the necessary accessories for full use, such as a pump, ladder, cover, etc., so you won’t be hit with hidden expenses like an in-ground pool.


  • Easy to purchase
  • Maintenance accessories easily found
  • Frame and inflatable models with a wide range of capacity
  • Larger models come with parts to facilitate assembly and correct use


  • Still requires some level of maintenance
  • Not as durable or long-lasting as an in-ground pool

Inflatable or frame pool?

This is one of the biggest considerations when deciding to invest in an above ground swimming pool. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages.

  • Inflatable: is the easiest to assemble, as it has no structural elements other than the inflatable portion. Ultimately, the long term durability of these pools are less than the frame style pools, but you will save significantly on the price for similar sized models. You are usually confined to circular models in the inflatable style.
  • Frame Structure: Takes longer to assemble, however, since it has a metal or plastic support structure, it is more durable than the inflatable style, for this reason, the largest pools – over 5,000 gallons – are sold only in the frame option. Because frame styles come in circular, square, and rectangular shapes, you will have more options to maximize the use of your yard space.

What are the different pool shapes?

The choice does not end when you decide on a frame or inflatable pool, you still need to think about the best shape. Above ground pools are manufactured in two general shapes: round or square/rectangular. Both models have pros and cons.

  • Round: This model takes up less space and therefore fits more easily in smaller environments. It is an ideal pool style to cool off, as the round and compact size makes swimming difficult.
  • Rectangular: The rectangular pool will require more space for assembly, but the larger models will allow for swimming or greater movement in the pool.

Setting up an above ground pool

The assembly will depend on the style, whether it is inflatable or frame. We recommend that you always follow the manufacturer’s instructions in the assembly manual.The framed pool style has a structure made with rods that must be fitted to support the pool’s sides. The inflatable model, on the other hand, typically just needs to be inflated and filled with water.

Because assembly may differ significantly between manufacturers, we will give some general tips that can be useful for any model.

  • Clear the ground. This is always the first step. Choose where you will place your pool and clean the place where it will be assembled. Make the surface as smooth as possible, avoiding anything that could pierce your pool, especially large, sharp rocks.
  • Consider additional ground protection. Adding a thicker and more resistant canvas to the ground will add an extra layer of protection to the bottom of your pool.
  • Set up near a water source. Make sure your hose reaches the pool easily.

How to clean an above ground pool

Swimming pools with a capacity of more than 650 gallons (2,500 liters) will need to use a filter to maintain good water quality. Therefore, capacity will dictate what kind of maintenance is required. For small pools the water can be replaced when dirty, for large pools having a filter makes this process much easier. Treated water can be used for up to three months, so if the pool is just being used for the summer, you will not need to drain the pool during that time period. The water should be filtered daily even if not being used. In smaller pools that do not have a filter, chlorine should be used and the water should be changed monthly.

With or without a filter, you should use the following products to treat the water: granulated chlorine, algaecide ,and clarifier.

Follow the directions on the bottle, however, typically chlorine should be applied three times a week, 4 grams for every 250 gallons of water, 5 ml of algaecide for every 250 gallons once a week. The clarifier can be used 4 ml per 250 gallons whenever the water is greenish in color.

Use a protective cover whenever the pool is not being used to protect from dirt and animals.

Finally, run a brush with soft bristles inside the pool once a week, to prevent a slimy pool surface


A swimming pool of any size is legally considered an “attractive nuisance.” An attractive nuisance is any object which may temp a child to trespass on your property and hurt themselves. As far as the law is concerned, it is your responsibility to prevent children from injuring themselves on your property, even if they are not invited, because they do not have the common sense to protect themselves. Whether you agree with this law or not, if your yard doesn’t have a wall or fence to restrict access to your pool, you could be held legally liable for a child that trespasses and drowns or otherwise injures themselves.

You should contact your homeowner’s insurance and ensure that you policy includes an above ground pool. If not, you may need to add pool coverage to your policy.

Purchase Criteria: Choose the best above ground pool for your family

Looking forward to having a pool soon? Before you choose your model, here are some final tips that will help you choose the best option for your home and family.

Main Factors to consider:

  • Intended use
  • Size
  • Shape
  • Accessories included
  • Price

Intended use

Who will use the pool? You, only your children, or are you going to invite some friends? Do you want a pool just to sit and relax or do you want space to move around or swim in the water?

Defining the intended use is essential to choose the right pool for your home.


Consider both the total volume as well as the depth of the pool. There are models from 250 to 5,000 gallons (1,000 to 20,000 liters) quite a variation.

Be mindful of your intended use and how many people will use the pool. The more activities you want to do your pool, the greater the capacity it should have.


A pool can be round, square, or rectangular and have different depths, so it is important pick the best shape to fit your yard space.


Consider buying a model that comes with accessories such a as a filter and ladder to make assembly and use much easier.


What is your available budget? Pools can cost anywhere from $300 to $10,000 depending on the size that you are looking for.

The Best Above Ground Pools: Our Favorites

Have you decided on the ideal capacity for your family? This is one of the main criteria that you should keep in mind. Check out the different models selected and decide how many liters best suit your family. June 2020 Note: these pools seem to be in exceptionally high demand, probably due to the COVID-19 crisis and the coming warm months, you may need to search around to find some this year.

Summer Waves 15ft Quick Set Inflatable Above Ground Swimming Pool

This Pool’s 2,640 gallon capacity means that it can accommodate a small family with plenty of room for small children to swim around. The inflatable design means an easy setup and easy breakdown when the summertime ends.

The pool comes with a filter and chlorinator to keep the water clean. It comes with a circuit breaker and puncture resistant side walls as standard safety features. It takes about 10 minutes to fully filter and chlorinate a new batch of water.

Additionally, it comes with a drain plug which connects to a garden hose to drain pool when needed. Although the convenience of a large inflatable pool is unbeatable, the major con of this type of pool is that the durability and longevity of the pool pales in comparison to frame based pool.


Intex 15ft x 48in Metal Frame Pool Set

This has quite a durable metal framework to maintain the walls lasting and powerful. The side walls have been laminated using a reinforced, all-purpose ring that is going to keep the shape in place. Additionally, it has a thick floor cloth/debris cover that is manufactured from 3-ply substance.

It’s equipped with dual suction sockets to boost water flow for enhanced hygiene and water clarity. Your purchase has a capsule filter pump in 1,000 gallons per hour speed. When it’s time to eliminate water, just join the drain plug into a garden hose it could drain away from the pool and home. There are many impressive features of this pool however there are a number of flaws too. Even though these are distant complaints, those who have employed it are worried that the floor cover/tarp is overly narrow. This might be inadequate to securely cover the floor or dirt to avoid puncturing the bottom of the pool.

Intex 18ft x 52in Ultra XTR Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump

To get a family or for men and women who just like to wade into a pool, the Ultra XTR from Intex is for you. This steps 18ft around and 52 inches deep. It’s galvanized steel frames using a engineered specific locking system that means it is extremely durable.

This has a sand filter pump that has a efficient 2,100-gallon flow rate per hour. In addition you possess a pool ladder that makes it a lot easier to come in and out of the pool along with also a cover to protect it from dust and dirt. In general water capacity of the above floor model is 6,981 gallons that are enough for unlimited water fun for a small household or a bunch of buddies. Its large size makes it tougher and more time to fill. It takes you about an hour to build and fill with water so that you truly have to wait for a very long time to swim.


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