Best Easy-Set Pools

Updated October 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
7 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
380 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best easy-set pools

Last Updated October 2019

Cooling off outside in the water on a hot day is one of summer’s greatest pleasures. But inground pools are costly and permanent, while aboveground pools take up a lot of space; public pools don’t offer the convenience and privacy you may seek. That’s why there is the easy-set pool.

These durable, inflatable pools offer convenience and refreshment during the warmer months of the year. They are aboveground pools, most of which are made from laminated PVC, that range in size from five or six feet in diameter up to 12 or 14 feet in length. They tend to rise off the ground only a couple feet, but higher-end models may reach up to four feet in height (or depth, depending on your perspective). They are indeed “easy” to set up: you inflate the top ring of the pool, and then the sides will rise as you add water. 

Though convenient and relatively cheap, easy-set pools do require some work and care to maintain them throughout the season. It’s important to know what you're investing in before purchasing one in order to maximize warm-weather fun. To learn more, keep reading our guide.

Most easy-set pools will advertise two important numbers to describe it. The first is the length or diameter in feet, and the second is the height (and subsequent water depth) in inches.

Key considerations

Location

Foremost, map out the space where you intend to use the easy-set pool. It needs to be an even surface or else the pool will sag to one side, and the water will not sit level throughout. You also risk spilling more water over the edge. When considering where to put the pool, keep in mind that the surrounding area will get wet. Most pools will come with a tarp or material to place underneath, so as to allow the pool to sit on grass, dirt, or pavement with relative safety. Consider the land surrounding the pool, how much direct sunlight you’ll get, and where you’ll want to drain the water out when the time comes. How much space is available may also dictate the size of the pool you purchase.

Size

Easy-set pools come in a variety of shapes and sizes. There are larger ones that can fit 10 or more people, while others are smaller and designed for only a handful of people. Family-sized pools may be larger in diameter or length, but not particularly high to allow for younger kids to enjoy. The largest easy-set pools don’t tend to reach beyond 18 feet in length or four feet in height. The larger the pool, the more work is involved.

Maintenance

To keep from regularly emptying and refilling your pool — and likely wasting a considerable amount of energy and water until it’s repurposed — you will need to treat the water in the pool. This will involve purchasing purifying chemicals or other pool treatment options, which will both involve a monetary investment as well as physical upkeep. Filters may need to be regularly changed, debris will need to be removed, and the water needs to keep circulating. Without proper maintenance, the pool will not be able to be used.

Safety

It’s important to remember that a pool of any size can be dangerous for those who can’t swim or aren’t old enough yet to understand the potential hazards of water. If you have small children around, or even pets, it may be wise to invest in a pool cover to prevent anyone sneaking in when you’re not looking. A fence may also be helpful in keeping those away who shouldn’t be there on their own. Floatation devices or lifejackets may also be worthy investments.

EXPERT TIP

Don’t let their size and simplicity fool you. Easy-set pool can still be dangerous if you’re not practicing safe pool habits.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Ladders

Depending on the size of your pool, it may come with a ladder that fits on the side of the pool to assist with getting in and out. These will likely only come with a pool that is at a certain height and length and not with smaller easy-sets. This is useful because the sides of the pool are not equipped to hold a lot of weight.

Covers

Some easy-set pools will include a convenient cover to use when you’re not enjoying the pool. This protects the water from leaves, debris, and other bits that may find their way to the water. It can also be useful in protecting young ones from jumping in when they’re not supposed to. On hot days, a pool cover may also heat up the water more rapidly than without a cover.

Ground cloth

A ground cloth is a piece of material that is placed between the ground and the pool itself. It’s useful to soften the contact between the bottom of the pool and the ground and prevent anything from poking or disrupting the material.

Filter pump

Most easy-set pools will come with a filter to aid water flow and cleanliness. Water needs to be in regular motion to stay clean, and while the filter may need to be changed with regularity, it’s imperative to making your swim a pleasant one. Smaller, cheaper pools may not come with a filter, however.

EXPERT TIP

Hydrogen peroxide is a natural alternative to chlorine. Make sure to buy some for pool use as it’s a higher concentration than regular household cleaner.


Staff  | BestReviews

Accessories

  • Air pump: You’ll need to inflate the top ring to get the pool going, but most do not include an air pump to do so. Most air pumps can be used for any inflatables, such as beds, couches, or rafts, provided you have a proper-fitting nozzle.
  • Net skimmer:  Depending on the size of the pool, and whether or not you have a cover, you may want to invest in a pool skimmer. They come in various sizes, but even a small one will help immensely in removing debris from the water’s surface.
  • Chemical dispenser: To aid with keeping the water clean and pure, a chemical dispenser may be worth the investment. They are easy to use and relatively cheap: these small floating devices bob around the pool, spreading disinfectants and cleaners.
  • Pool toys: Floaties, diving rings, drink holders, balls, and even rafts make the pool experience more enjoyable.

Price

Easy-set pools have a wide price range depending on the size of the pool. While smaller pools are relatively cheap, larger ones require much more water, energy, and durability, and thus cost considerably more.

Inexpensive: For under $50, you’ll find pools around eight feet in diameter and two or three feet in height. These may or may not come with pumps and covers but will likely only be able to fit four to six people.

Mid-range: For over $50 and up to $150, you can find medium-sized pools, with a 10- or 12-foot diameter. These will come with filter pumps and likely ground cloths and covers.

Expensive: The next price point for easy-set pools is around $250 and above. These pools will be the largest ones available, reaching lengths of up to 18 feet.

EXPERT TIP

Remember that you can recycle the water. Once chemicals have been removed from the pool, the water is good to be reused and doesn’t need to be dumped into the soil.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Check local laws before draining. Most cities and towns will have bylaws for draining pools and hot tubs. This is to protect certain areas from contamination, erosion, and oversaturation.
  • Don’t lean on the sides. Easy-set pools are sturdy, but only to a point. Avoid putting any weight on the sides of the pool. The edge will give way, and water will spill out.
  • Rinse before entering. Making an effort to get rid of any chemicals or products on your body that may muddy the waters will go a long way in helping with pool upkeep. Perfumes, gels, and pet hair, among other things, will require filters to work harder, and you’ll need to clean the pool more frequently.
  • The pool is not year-round. Easy-set pools are not designed with the cold in mind. They should also be stored in a dry place during such times; using them or even leaving them out in the winter will damage then.

Other products we considered

For those seeking something simple and cozy, consider the Intex 6’ x 20’’ Easy-Set Pool. It’s among the cheapest and smallest available but is ready to go quicker than any other — it even comes with a maintenance DVD. Intex has more selections, too, including this 10’ x 30’’ Easy-Set Pool. While a little above average in price for the size, this pool sets itself apart with a cute ocean life design around the side. Lastly, this pool by Summer Waves is among the largest available at 15 feet in diameter. It comes with a filter pump and a chlorinator and has a height of three feet.

Avoid placing the pool on sandy or potentially muddy areas. If the ground underneath moves, the pool will become off-kilter and lose water — and wet sand and mud will further disrupt the pool.

FAQ

Q. How do I clean the pool?
A.
Your pool water will need to keep circulating and maintain a pH balance so as not to turn murky and unhealthy. There are a variety of chemicals and natural solutions from which to choose. You can add chemicals manually or use automatic dispensers. A pool cover will also help keep the water clean to a certain degree. Filters will also collect debris and particles and need to be changed once in a while.
 

Q. How durable is the pool?
A.
Easy-set pools are made to withstand water pressure; they stay erect because of the water within. While they shouldn’t burst with pressure on the sides, they will give and spill out water. A ground cloth will help protect the bottom of the pool from the ground, but the material is durable regardless. It’s also made to withstand heat. However, sharp objects can puncture the material from both inside and out. Make sure to free the space underneath from anything sharp or jagged.
 

Q. How long does the pool take to fill up?
A.
While easy-set pools usually only take around 10 minutes to inflate (a bit longer for larger ones), filling them with water may take a few hours. This is dependent of course on how much water is needed and the pressure and speed of the water being dispensed. Easy-set pools should be filled fully before use.

The team that worked on this review
  • Angela
    Angela
    Editor
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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