There are few better ways to cool down when the summer heat strikes than taking a dip in the pool. Unfortunately, not all of us have the luxury of having an in-ground or expensive above-ground pool in our backyard. Inflatable pools are an affordable, easy-to-set-up option, and they're just as much fun as their permanent counterparts.
The Summer Waves Above Ground Pool with Pump stands out as the best choice if trying to truly recreate the experience of having a large installed pool in your backyard. It measures 12 feet in diameter so that the whole family can use it together, and it has a built-in pump that uses chlorinator cartridges to keep the water clean.
The first thing to consider when selecting an inflatable pool is its size and shape. Inflatable pools come in round, oval, rectangular and square options. Consider how each shape will fit in with your backyard.
When it comes to the size, along with how well it will fit in your space, you should also consider how many people you want it to accommodate. You can buy a small pool designed for a child or two or a large pool that can fit the whole family or multiple adults.
Inflatable pools come in depths ranging from as shallow as 6 inches to as deep as 3 feet or more. Shallow pools will be safer for very young children, while deeper ones will be more enjoyable for older children and adults. Though children should never swim without adult supervision.
Inflatable pools with individual air chambers are going to be more durable and have more structure. They also generally hold air better and for longer, so you won’t need to inflate them as often.
BPA is a chemical found in many plastics, but there is a concern that it can contribute to various health issues. According to Mayo Clinic, these range from behavioral issues in children to high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes to abnormal fetal development. This is generally more of a concern when BPA is used in food containers and serving dishes. Still, there is a high possibility that children will wind up accidentally drinking some of the pool water, so it makes sense to buy an inflatable pool made from BPA-free materials.
Some inflatable pools are made with children in mind, while the whole family can use others. If buying one for children, you may want to consider choosing a model with bright colors and fun graphics. Conversely, if getting an inflatable pool for the whole family or just yourself, you may prefer a simple, solid-colored option.
If you want to leave your inflatable pool set up and filled with water for long periods, look for one that works with chlorine and features a filter to remove debris from the water. Filter pumps are usually only found on large models that can hold several hundred gallons.
To make a pool either more fun or more comfortable, some manufacturers add extra accessories to them. These may include water sprays, integrated slides and activities in kids models, or backrests and benches in pools designed for adults.
It is almost inevitable that your inflatable pool will wind up with a small air leak at some point. Because of this, it is a smart idea to look for one that comes with a couple of repair patches.
Stagnant water can become a breeding ground for mosquitoes and several types of bacteria that could potentially pose health risks. Because of this, it is crucial to keep your pool water clean. The best way to do so is to treat it with chlorine or other sanitizers. Unfortunately, not all inflatable pools work with sanitizing chemicals, especially small ones without a pump and filter. Your next best option is to empty the water at the end of each day and simply refill it before your next use.
Depending on the overall dimensions and various extras, inflatable pools may cost anywhere from $20-$400.
A. How long an inflatable pool lasts depends entirely on the build quality. Some very low-cost models may only last a single season or two before they deteriorate and stop holding water or air, while better models can easily last several years with proper care.
A. If you just have a very small inflatable pool designed for a couple of children, you may not need to put anything underneath it all. If you have a larger inflatable pool, it usually requires a ground cloth, interlocking foam tiles or even an old carpet underneath to prevent punctures and other damage from rough ground or sharp sticks and stones.
Summer Waves Above Ground Pool with Pump
What you need to know: At 12 feet in diameter and 3-feet deep, this durable PVC pool is ideal for the whole family.
What you’ll love: It is equipped with a built-in filter and pump and comes with replacement filter cartridge to help keep the water clean.
What you should consider: Chlorine cartridges sold separately.
Where to buy: Sold by Wayfair
iBaseToy Store Inflatable Swimming Pool
What you need to know: This affordably priced pool is perfectly sized for a few young children to play around in and features bright and cheery graphics for fun.
What you’ll love: At 12 inches deep, it is safe for kids as young as three and uses sturdier materials than most other options in its price range.
What you should consider: It recommends using an electric pump, which is not included.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Aquadoo Family Swimming Inflatable Pool
What you need to know: Large enough for an adult to stretch but shallow enough that it’s suitable for children, the Aquadoo Inflatable pool is an excellent choice for families.
What you’ll love: It’s available in a solid-colored option or with kid-friendly graphics, is made from BPA-free materials and has three separate air chambers for added durability.
What you should consider: Some people have received units that have trouble holding air overnight.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.