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BEST ABOVE GROUND SWIMMING POOLS

Best Overall
Intex 12ft x 30in Metal Frame Swimming Pool

Best Pool Without a Frame
Intex Easy Set Up 10 Foot x 30 Inch Pool

Best Rectangular Swimming Pool
Intex 300 x 200 Metal Frame Rectangular Pool

Stuart Price
Last Updated
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Some of the best above ground swimming pools are the main garden attraction for kids. It can be one of the best methods of keeping the little ones active and interested in spending time outdoors. But even adults can benefit from a bit of splasher fun and relaxation out in the sun.

As long as you have sufficient space for a swimming pool in the garden, you don’t need much else to set one up yourself. Most of them come with easy assembly and it takes a few hours to then fill the pool with water. Once they’re full, you can typically use the ladders they come with to easily get inside and start enjoying the water.

  • 1

    Intex 12ft x 30in Metal Frame Swimming Pool

Made for the entire family, this large above ground swimming pool is one of the safest options out there. It features a filtering pump or other pool cleaners which ensures water is always clear and it uses a pump with a flow rate of 530 gallons per hour. With a high capacity pump, it helps filter your water out fast.

With a total water capacity of 1,718 gallons, this swimming pool offers an attractive profile for you and your kids. The manufacturer only recommends it for kids 6 and above. But if you have kids over the age of 6, they can even help with the assembly process.

No tools are needed to put the swimming pool together. It only uses strength pins which snap together so that you can have it assembled quickly. This tool-less approach is also beneficial for safety reasons as you can quickly disassemble the pool as well.

PROS

Made with a round design

Sold with or without a purifier

Based on a deep metal frame

CONS

Soft pump pipes

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    Intex Easy Set Up 10 Foot x 30 Inch Pool

This pool is the largest one from Intex that is safe for kids ages 6 a dup. It features a water capacity of 3,854 litres making it one of the best for you and your family altogether. But this pool also comes in 2 smaller dimensions if you don’t have the advantage of owning a large garden.

We like to see the combination of materials it comes with as well. 3 types of material have been used to make the pool. At its thinnest point, it measures 0.25mm while at its thickest point it measures 0.5mm. Built with a drain plug, the pool is also easy to use. You can rely on this drain plug to empty some of the water collected from the rain easily.

But the pool remains one of the main options for those looking for durability and people who want their kids to use it for years. The combination of 3 materials on its walls and ground cloth makes it a durable construction you can easily erect whenever the hot summer months come around.

PROS

Made with triple walls

Designed with a drain plug

Available in multiple sizes

CONS

Pool cover sold separately

  • 3

    Intex 300 x 200 Metal Frame Rectangular Pool

With a length of 3 meters, this rectangular pool is one of the best above ground swimming pools for large backyards. If you have a large family, you might not have another choice but to simply buy such a large pool kit to fit everybody.

This pool doesn’t come with a pump and you’ll need to cover it up yourself to ensure flies don’t get trapped inside. You also need to use a garden hose to fill it up with water. We estimate at least 3 hours are needed for the process.

Assembly is also easy. Unlike other swimming pools that feature an inflatable top ring, this one comes with a top frame that’s supported by legs. You may even lean against the frame without water going over. It uses a thick 0.5mm base material that’s also durable and which can easily hold the weight of those inside the pool.

PROS

Made with a powder-coated frame

Designed with puncture-resistant triple-layer materials

Assembles in 30 minutes

CONS

No included water pump

  • 4

    Bestway Steel Pro Frame Swimming Pool

Assembled without tools, this large pool measures 305 cm in diameter and 76cm in height. It comes with an easy access ladder since nobody can truly get over its high walls otherwise. Known for its durable construction, this swimming pool is large and highly suitable for families rather than individuals or couples.

It features a durable TriTech material. Using 3-play reinforcement, the material is known for its resilience. It easily deals with water pressure making for one of the most durable products in its class. Since it holds more than 4,000 litres of water, these materials are crucial.

The tool-free assembly also makes it very easy to use. If you don’t have a clue on how to assemble a swimming pool yourself, you might still be looking for the best tips on the installation DVD it comes with. But it’s only about unfolding and setting up the top frame with its supportive legs that you need to care about.

PROS

Large-capacity for large families

Made with a rust-resistant frame

Included filter pump

CONS

Too large for small backyards

  • 5

    Bestway Power Steel Rectangular Frame Pool

This large swimming pool is a good choice when you want to add a bit of depth to your setup. It comes with flow control connectors for easy use. It also features a flow drain valve for all of the water to be drained easily.

Based on a galvanized metal frame, this pool comes with laminated polyester mesh pool liners and it can be used on wooden pool patios. Since it comes with a sand pump, this large pool also ensures the water inside is always going to be clean. With an included access ladder, this pump is also ready to offer a competitive advantage to those who want to get in the pool first.

PROS

Deeper than other pools

Easy assembly

Rectangular shape

CONS

Large for some homes

  • 6

    Bestway BW56408GB Steel Pro Max Swimming Pool

With a large profile and a depth of 30 inches, this swimming pool is one of the leading options for round designs. It features a familiar profile as you might have seen it at your friends or family members with its round walls that are held up by several support legs.

This round pool also features a water pool pump that clears the debris you tend to get inside the pool easily. Made with heavy-duty PVC legs (not metal frame pods) and a top PVC frame, the swimming pool is easy to assemble. You shouldn’t need any help while putting it together yourself.

With 3-ply sidewalls and a seal and lock system that keeps it from premature wear, the swimming pool can be used through the summer. Some might even consider putting it up together with a heat pump a bit earlier in late spring as well.

PROS

It holds 4.678 litres of water

30-inch deep

Included drain valve

CONS

Only available on blue

  • 7

    Bestway Rectangular Frame Swimming Pool

With dimensions of 3 x 2 meters, the rectangular above ground swimming pool is easy to install. It requires no tools as you simple need to put the PVC frame and the laminated materials together before filling it with water.

Made with corrosion-resistant materials, this swimming pool is big enough for the entire family. With a 3.300L capacity, it certainly is a bit smaller than the Bestway pool above. But it’s also a bit more practical if you don’t have sufficient backyard space or sufficient room on your patio.

PROS

Made from 3-layer Tritech

Only fills to 90% capacity

Made with a built-in drain valve

CONS

It needs a heater in Northern UK

How to choose the best swimming pool

Choosing the best swimming pool isn’t always an easy task. It can be difficult to comprehend which of the swimming pools made today can be practical for your home. But you only need flat ground and sufficient space to put an above ground swimming pool together. Some of the best pools of the moment are made with tool-less installation and this is why it’s worth reading the following guide that explains a few features and directions you should be taking when buying your swimming pool.

Inflatable swimming pools vs frame-supported pools

Inflatable swimming pools use air to stand up. You can easily confuse them with kids’ pools or hot tubs. But even inflatable pools can be used by adults and it can be an easy task of assembly given you only needs an air pump to install it.

Other swimming pools rely on a top frame which holds the sidewalls and which is supported by PVC legs. This design is also practical and you don’t need any tools to put it together. Furthermore, you might not even realize how practical this setup is.

Both of these are practical and it’s only up to you to decide which works best. Both of these designs need a quick access ladder and both can easily be used by adults and kids as any other spare parts to be added to the pool.

Rectangular vs round above ground pool

Which shape is right for you? The shape of the swimming pool needs to match the space in your backyard. You need to ensure the swimming pool fits in your garden or on the patio. At the same time, you need to allow access routes around the swimming pool for safety reasons. It’s one of the most important aspects when it comes to easy installation.

The swimming pool with a round shape tends to favour easy access from all sides. A square swimming pool doesn’t allow you to access the pool from the square edges. Some of the swimming pools listed above are made with both of these designs.

Sand filter pump

If you already own an above ground swimming pool, you know just how messy it can get. Pool cleaning is crucial as it water treatment. Waking in with bare feet tends to bring all types of debris to the swimming pool such as sand and dirt. But a sand filter pump is what you need in your pool. It filters out water continuously. It drives water from the pool on one end pushing it out on another end. This is how your water ends up always being clean as sand particles are tramped in the filter for good.

You’ll also notice this feature isn’t offered for all above ground swimming pools as opposed to inground pools.. This is why it’s so important to simply find the right swimming pool from the start as you might be investing in a filter pump later on.

Pool accessories

Access ladders and protective canopies also tend to increase the cost of the entire setup. You can simply choose the type of above-ground pool you want to use with all of these accessories inside the pack. But you can also purchase them separately.

We highly recommend a free-delivery pool ladder. While most pools come with an access ladder, there still are a few designs that don’t include it. This is why you need to find the right space for your ladder and only use it to access the pool if you want to stay clear of possible accidents.

Final words

Choosing the best above ground swimming pools is not an easy task. Its capacity for all of your family members is important. But you also need to consider aspects such as installation and durability.

At the moment, the summer is still rather short in most UK parts and you should learn how to make the most of it if you simply want to have fun during the summer months. This means also looking at its potential downsides such as low height or low size which might limit the water sports you can play, as an example.

But the best above ground swimming pools are also easy to install. You shouldn’t rely on a professional to come and install it for you, even if this service is offered by Amazon with some pools. Easy installation with no tools often means you can install the swimming pool set yourself. All of the listed pools above come with illustrated instructions that help you set it up in a few minutes. It’s also crucial to find the right swimming pool that is easy to disassemble and in this case, included drainage can help direct the water out to a certain area of your garden.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long do above ground pools last?

Pools assembled above the ground typically last between 3 and 5 years. They are some of the best when it comes to a low-cost investment that lasts for a few years. It’s even cheaper to replace it after a few years when compared to the cost of building and maintaining a standard swimming pool built into the ground.

What's the deepest above ground pool available?

Some of the deepest above ground pools now come with a depth of up to 8 feet. They are highly useful to those who want to use them as adults with no children. When you have kids, you need to ensure they’re having fun in the pool only under your supervision.

How often should you change the water in an above ground pool?

You should change the water in your above ground swimming pool at least once per seasons. Since you won’t be using it during the wintertime if you’re living in the UK, you certainly need to drain it during the winter months (where a pool heater might also help). However, we’ve seen cases where water stays in the swimming pool throughout the winter. Frost can damage it irremediably, however, and you should drain the water out after the summer season.

How many chlorine tablets do I need for a 12ft pool?

You should use 2-3 chlorine tablets, bromine or pool chemicals on your 12ft pool. Adding too much chlorine isn’t too wise either. But where can you find information on how many chlorine tablets to use in other swimming pools? You can check the paddling pool’s instructions for information on chlorine content. You may also want to check the chlorine tablet descriptions for detailed information on the right amount for your pool. You can also use test strips to check the chlorine content in your poo. Same day delivery is offered on these strips when you buy online.

Do I need a cement foundation for my above ground swimming pool?

Most swimming pool brands such as Plastica don’t need a foundation. You might even install one on soft surfaces such as directly on the grass. At the same time, we’ve seen these above ground pools installed on hard surfaces such as on wood, especially on patios. But ideally, you don’t want a very hard surface in your pool for comfort levels as you want to stand on a dampening surface such as the lawn.

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