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Above-ground swimming pools are a middle-of-the-road option for those who don’t want the expense or installation hassle of an in-ground pool or the fragility of an inflatable pool. To help you find the best above-ground pool for your home, the This Old House Reviews Team put together this review. Keep reading to learn about our top picks from Amazon as well as factors to consider before making a purchase.
Top 4 Above-Ground Pools
- Best Capacity: Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool
- Best Large Round Pool: Intex Ultra XTR Round Pool
- Best Small Round Pool: Summer Waves Above-Ground Swimming Pool
- Best Oval Pool: Bestway Above-Ground Swimming Pool
Compare Top Above-Ground Pools
|Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool||32 feet x 52 inches||14,364 gallons||Filter pump, ladder, ground cloth, sand filter, and debris cover||2 years|
|Intex Ultra XTR Round Pool||18 feet x 52 inches||6,981 gallons||Filter pump, ladder, ground cloth, and debris cover||2 years|
|Summer Waves Above-Ground Swimming Pool||14 feet x 48 inches||4,000 gallons||Filter pump, filter cartridge, and ladder||Not listed|
|Bestway Above-Ground Swimming Pool||18 feet x 48 inches||5,145 gallons||Filter pump, filter cartridge, ladder, and debris cover||1 year|
Best Capacity: Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool
Best Large Round Pool: Intex Ultra XTR Round Pool
Best Small Round Pool: Summer Waves Above-Ground Swimming Pool
Best Oval Pool: Bestway Above-Ground Swimming Pool
Buying Guide for Above-Ground Pools
Each above-ground pool varies in terms of size, shape, depth, included pool accessories, and more. Read our buying guide below to learn about all of your options before making a purchasing decision.
Above-ground pools come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Consider where you plan to install your pool, and choose a model that fits that space.
Above-ground pool walls are usually between 42 and 54 inches high. If you want a deep pool, choose a pool height around 54 inches. If you have young children and want to minimize the risk of drowning, choose a pool height around 42 inches.
The frames on above-ground pools are usually made of resin, steel, or both. Resin is a popular frame choice because it is resistant to the elements, can withstand minor damage, and remains cool to the touch. However, it’s heavy and expensive. Galvanized steel frames are also used in above-ground pools because of their lightweight nature, affordability, and ability to bend into different shapes. These metal frames usually have a powder coating for rust resistance. Some above-ground pools use a mix of both resin and steel to give you the best qualities of both.
Most models come with the accessories you need to set up and maintain your pool. Common accessories include a pool ladder, filter pump, pool liner, ground cloth, and debris cover.
Above-ground pools have an easy setup compared to in-ground pools, taking about one or two days to assemble as opposed to a few months to build. Your above-ground pool will come with detailed assembly instructions that include steps on how to choose a level plot of land, how to assemble the frame, how to install the liner, and how to fill the pool.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a radiant pool?
Radiant pools are a mix between above-ground and in-ground pools. They’re partially installed into a slope or hill, giving you the appearance of an in-ground pool with all of the benefits of an above-ground pool, including affordability and ease of installation.
Do I have to disassemble my above-ground pool during the winter?
No, but you need to protect it. The process of preparing your pool for winter is called winterization. It involves the following several steps:
- Perform a deep clean of the pool.
- Adjust the water’s pH level, alkalinity, calcium hardness, and chlorine level.
- Add chemicals from a winter closing kit.
- Clear and store the water lines and accessories.
- Install a pool pillow and pool cover.
How do I clean my above-ground pool?
You can clean your above-ground pool in the same way you would clean an in-ground pool. This may include using a net that manually removes large debris from the water’s surface or a vacuum that walks along the bottom and sides of the pool to scrub grime and remove debris.
Why Trust The This Old House Reviews Team
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We recommend products in each review using an intensive research process, spending hours combing through the best available models on Amazon. For a product to make our list of top picks, it must hold a solid sales record on Amazon, have consistently positive customer reviews, and offer unique features, among other factors. After narrowing down our list of recommendations, we conduct additional research and sometimes in-person testing to ensure that the products meet our standards. Once we conclude the research phase, we craft a well-rounded, user-friendly article that includes our recommended products and additional information to help homeowners like you make the right purchase.
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