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Best Inflatable Pools

Updated May 2018
Why trust BestReviews?
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.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
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.
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

  • 66 Models Considered
  • 13 Hours Researched
  • 1 Experts Interviewed
  • 124 Consumers Consulted
  • Zero products received from manufacturers.

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

    Why trust BestReviews?
    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.
    BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
    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.

    Shopping guide for best inflatable pools

    Last Updated May 2018

    When the weather heats up, cooling off in a pool is sometimes the only thing that brings any relief. But adding an inground pool or even a permanent aboveground pool to your yard can be a costly, time-consuming project. That’s why an inflatable pool is the best option if you want instant gratification.

    But choosing an inflatable pool can be tricky because there are so many options on the market. If you don’t buy the right one, you could wind up wasting money on a pool that won’t even make it through one summer. To make sure that you take home the right inflatable pool, you need to know what material, size, shape, and other features are the best fit for your family and yard.

    Are you ready to buy an inflatable pool? You’ll find our top choices in the matrix above. If you’re looking for general tips on inflatable pools, take a look at our shopping guide below.

    Before setting up an inflatable pool, check that your yard is fairly level and clear of rocks and other sharp objects that could puncture the material.

    Why buy an inflatable pool?

    An inflatable pool is an aboveground pool, but unlike aboveground models that have metal or plastic frames, inflatable pools are made entirely of vinyl or other soft material. That makes the unfilled pool extremely lightweight, so you can easily take it down and move it or store it for the winter. A high-quality inflatable pool is very durable, and it will stay in place when your family is playing in the water.

    Inflatable pool benefits

    • Inexpensive: Building an inground pool can cost more than $20,000, and many permanent aboveground pools can run a few thousand dollars. A good-quality inflatable pool usually costs a few hundred dollars.

    • Easy to set up: An aboveground pool with a frame can take several hours to set up, while an inflatable pool usually takes less than about 45 minutes to inflate, so you can be filling it with water within an hour.

    • Easy to move: Because an inflatable pool is lightweight and easy to set up, you can empty it and move it around your yard with ease. That makes it an ideal option if you’re renting a home because you can take the pool with you when you move. An inflatable pool is also easy to deflate and store in your garage or shed for the winter.

    • Easy to clean and maintain: Inflatable pools are usually made of material that is very easy to clean. You simply wipe it down if it gets dirty.

    Large enough for the whole family

    You can set up the spacious Intex Easy Set pool in half an hour. There’s enough room for a family of at least six to cool off as well as play games and water sports. No need to drain and refill – the cartridge filter pump keeps the water sparkling through a summer full of fun.

    Inflatable pool features to consider

    Material

    The quality of an inflatable pool’s material determines how durable and stable the pool is. For a high-quality pool, look for one made with a combination of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and rubber. Pools that are made with a few layers of PVC are usually the most durable and sturdy.

    Size

    After considering the material, the size of an inflatable pool is the most important consideration when you’re trying to make sure it will work well for your family. When you’re choosing a size, remember to take into account the space that the pool will take up in your yard so you can be sure that you have enough space to set it up.

    • 3 feet in diameter: Small inflatable pools work best for one or two children.

    • 5 to 6 feet in diameter: Mid-size inflatable pools work well for a few children and an adult to supervise.

    • 20 feet in diameter: Large inflatable pools can accommodate multiple children and adults, so they work well for the entire family.
       

    Pay attention to the depth of the pool, too. A deep inflatable pool poses the same drowning risk for children as an inground pool.

    Shape

    Most inflatable pools are round or oval, but you can also find some rectangular models. Rectangular pools are ideal if your yard is short on space, while oval styles work best if you have a narrow yard. In general, round inflatable pools require the most space, particularly if you’re dealing with a larger model.

    Design

    Many inflatable pools are designed with children in mind, so you can find models in bright colors and patterns. Some may even feature your child’s favorite cartoon and movie characters. But if you’re looking for an inflatable pool for the whole family, you may prefer a simpler design. There are many inflatable options available in solid colors, such as blue or white.

    Extras

    Many inflatable pools are geared toward kids, so they often include features to make swimming more appealing for children.

    • Built-in slides

    • Water sprayers

    • Games

    • Volleyball net
       

    Larger, deeper inflatable may also include a removable ladder to make getting in and out easier.

    EXPERT TIP

    Inflatable pools may be small, but they still pose a drowning hazard. Place a barrier around the pool when it’s not in use to keep children and pets from accidentally falling in.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Prolonged exposure to the sun can weaken the PVC material of an inflatable pool. If you aren’t using your pool, store it away from the sun or move it to a shady spot in your yard.


    Staff  | BestReviews
    EXPERT TIP

    Clean your inflatable pool thoroughly before putting it away for the nest season. Also, when storing the inflatable pool away, don’t fold it too tight or it might crack along the folds.


    Staff  | BestReviews

    Inflatable pool prices

    Inflatable pools vary in price depending on size and the quality of the material. In general, you can expect to pay between $10 and $410.

    • Budget friendly

    Small inflatable pools made from lower-quality PVC usually cost from $10 to $50.

    • Mid-range

    Medium inflatable pools made from higher-quality PVC usually cost from $50 to $175.

    • Expensive

    Large inflatable pools made from a combination of high-quality PVC and rubber usually cost from $175 to $410.

    Ideal pool for lounging

    With soft, wide sidewalls perfect for sitting, the Intex Swim Center offers enough room and comfort for a family of four to cool off in the heat. It comes with a patch kit in case the vinyl gets damaged.

    Tips

    • Always supervise children or pets around an inflatable pool. Even a small, shallow pool is a drowning hazard.

    • Keep sharp objects away from the pool. Make sure that children never play with toys with sharp edges in an inflatable pool. They could easily tear the vinyl.

    • Patch holes in the pool. If your inflatable pool springs a leak and you don’t have a permanent patch kit, you can temporarily repair the puncture with a piece of duct tape that is slightly larger than the hole.

    • Store the pool safely. Place your inflatable pool in some type of protective bag when you put it away for the winter.
    While dogs might enjoy cooling off in an inflatable pool, it’s best to keep them out because their nails can puncture the material.

    FAQ

    Q. How long does an inflatable pool usually last?

    A. It depends on the quality of the material that the pool’s made of and how well you take care of it. A high-quality inflatable pool that’s handled carefully can usually last three to six years. On the other hand, an inflatable pool of lower quality may only last a summer or two.

    Q. How long does it take to set up an inflatable pool?

    A. The setup time for an inflatable pool depends on its size. A small pool usually takes about 20 minutes to inflate and 30 to 60 minutes to fill with water. A mid-size pool can take about 40 minutes to inflate and 60 to 90 minutes to fill. A large pool can take up to an hour to inflate and two hours to fill.

    Q. How long can you leave the water in an inflatable pool?

    A. A large inflatable pool will often come equipped with a filter that removes contaminants from the water. If you treat the water with chlorine or other sanitizers, you can leave the pool filled indefinitely. Small and medium pools typically don’t have filter systems, so they should be emptied after each use.

    The team that worked on this review
    • Bronwyn
      Bronwyn
      Editor
    • Devangana
      Devangana
      Web Producer
    • Eliza
      Eliza
      Production Manager
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Jennifer
      Jennifer
      Writer
    • Melissa
      Melissa
      Senior Editor