Best Above Ground Pools 2018 – Reviews and Top 5 Picks

What’s the Best Above Ground Pool?

Finding a good above ground pool for your requirements is not always easy considering the wide range of pools to choose from.

With prices ranging from several hundred dollars to several thousand it is important to get the best pool for your budget.

Here we will take a look at our best above ground pools in terms of price and specifications, giving you the most bang for your buck.

What’s the Best Above Ground Pool?

The Best Above Ground Pool Reviews for 2018

Splash Pools Above Ground Round Pool Package, 18-Feet by 52-Inch

This pool is the most expensive of our top 3 but does give the best experience all-round. Firstly, it’s spacious with a size of 18 feet diameter by 52 inches deep for the smallest in the splash pool range with the largest available being an impressive 30 feet diameter by 52 inch.


With such a large pool the only thing you will need to be concerned with is setting it up which can take quite some time and will require several people (we recommend 4 or more for best results). The first thing you will need to do is read all the assembly instructions so that you can plan each phase and avoid any problems.

There is also quite a bit of preparation work before you can begin to construct the pool such as levelling an area of ground and using a ground sheet to protect the base of the pool from damage and stop weeds growing around the edges of the pool which are difficult to maintain.

Once all the preparation work has been completed you can then begin constructing the pool, fill it and then configure the filter and water cleaning systems.


As mentioned earlier this pool is available in a range of sizes but even the smallest size is still quite large so make sure that you have enough space to put it without it using up all the space in your yard as you will need space to construct it.

The sizes available are:

  • 18 feet by 52 inches
  • 24 feet by 52 inches
  • 27 feet by 52 inches
  • 30 feet by 52 inches

The pool comes with a 1 horsepower sand filter which is sufficient for a pool of this size. The good thing about having a sand filter compared to a cartridge filter is that it is cheap and easy to maintain. For those who may not have used one before the sand filter will need to be ‘backwashed’ every so often to wash out the debris that has been collected from the pool.

This pool does not come with a water cleaning system as standard so buyers may need to invest in one to avoid bacteria and algae forming in the pool water.

Our best above ground pool – the Intex 24 by 12Intex 24 feet by 12 feet by 52 Inch Rectangular Ultra Frame Pool

The Intex 24 by 12 foot rectangular ultra pool is designed as a premium above ground pool that is ideal for large groups of people to use.


It is pretty straight forward to setup for 2 or more people because it weighs around 150lbs, just make sure that the pool is situated on level ground because otherwise the weight of the water can damage the sides if it leans too far in one direction.

Some customers recommend getting a sturdier set of steps for this pool but apart from that most seem to be pleased with the quality of components used. It is highly recommended that you watch the instructional dvd before setting up this pool to avoid any problems and make sure to check that the pool liner is not damaged or faulty before you begin to fill it with water.

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It comes with a 1600gph (gallons per hour) sand filter and salt water system so you should not need to worry about keeping the water clean as these are more than enough to cope with a pool of this size.
We often get people ask ‘Why do I need a sand filter? I don’t live near the beach”, for a person who may not be familiar with pools this is common assumption, however a sand filter cleans the pool water by passing it through the sand and removing any debris. The GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter) for these components will also make sure they are safe should there be an electrical faults and shut them off.

For more information about the pros and cons of sand and cartridge filters check out this guide

A nice addition to this pool set is the water volleyball net which is ideal for keeping the kids entertained at pool parties and can give hours of fun for the whole family whilst providing a great pool activity that can help keep you fit.

As with most above ground pools it comes with a pool cover as standard to stop any leaves and debris from blowing into the pool as well as any birds or wildlife that may get stuck in it.

Another factor to consider with this pool is that it is rectangular which means that it is better for anyone who wants to swim lengths regularly for a good cardio workout compared to a circular or oval shaped above ground pool.

Intex Rectangular Ultra Frame Pool Set, 18-Feet by 9-Feet by 52-Inch

Like a smaller version of the Intex pool above this Intex 18 by 9 is ideal for users who may be short on space outside but still want to be able to cool off and have fun during the summer.

The price of this model is also significantly less but does still provide good value considering the size and quality of this pool.


Like most above ground pools, it is very difficult to assemble this on your own so make sure that you have some extra helpers to avoid any injuries when lifting because this pool set weighs over 280lbs when delivered.

Also make sure that you properly prepare a suitable, flat surface for the pool and watch the instructional DVD before you begin, as correct assembly is vital for avoiding damage to the liner or supporting metal struts when filling the pool for the first time.


This pool has a 1200gph filter pump with GFCI which is enough for a pool of this size, however several customers preferred to get a larger sand filter with this pool for the best results and reduce the amount of time spent cleaning the filter.

This pool does not come with a saltwater system for keeping the water clean so anyone looking to buy this pool will also need to get a water cleaning system to stop algae and bacteria from growing.

As mentioned earlier this pool is smaller than others in the Intex range but is a good size for up to 4 people to use without feeling cramped. So if you are looking for an affordable pool to keep your kids entertained during the summer then this is a good choice.

The pool liner and metal struts are pretty good quality overall as they are the same type used in the more expensive above ground pools from Intex.

The ladder is ok considering the price of this pool however if you are expecting to use this pool everyday then it may be worth getting a much sturdier pool ladder to give the best experience as the standard one can become wobbly after extensive usage so make sure to check the fixings often before you use it.

Choosing The Best Above Ground Pool For Your Requirements

When choosing the best above ground pool there are several factors that will affect which one you should go for to get the best overall experience.

Choosing The Best Above Ground Pool For Your Requirements


The first factor you need to consider is how much you are willing to spend on an above ground pool, and also if that budget is sufficient to get a pool that will actually be worth the money and not leave you disappointed.

For a good above ground pool which will be large enough for a family of 5 you can expect to spend around $1000 to $1500 to get one that will last. This includes any extras such as a quality set of pool steps, good water cleaning system and sand filter.


The other main factor that will determine which pool you should get is how much space you have available to put it. So if you have a small yard and don’t want the pool to completely take over the space during the summer months then a smaller pool will be the obvious choice.


You will also need to consider the pool liner and how likely it is that they could be damaged, so if you have dogs that like to swim or ones that like to dig up the yard then a thicker pool liner is a must to avoid punctures. We recommend vinyl liners that are 20 gauge or more.

Are You A Swimmer?

Finally you should figure out what you will use your pool for, so if you are intending to use it as a simple way to keep cool and the kids entertained in the summer then most pools can do this.

However if you are looking for a pool that you can also swim in aswell then the shape and size of the pool will need to be suitable also, so for example a large (25 ft+) pool that is rectangular would be better for swimming.

The Top 5 Best Above Ground Pools

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It’s that time again! Time to get a new swimming pool. But which one do I choose? How do I know what the best ones are? On this site you will find A LOT of information. Here you will learn what to look out for, what to avoid, and see the best above ground pools out there. We will give you detailed product information and help you in making the best decision in your purchase. Since we have done plenty of research, you should feel confident in knowing that the information is very accurate and the products are some of the best ones out there. Of course, you don’t have to take our word for it. Check out everything we have to offer. Also feel free to check out any of our other pages to get additional information on anything else you are looking for.

What to look out for

Whether you have owned a swimming pool or not, you must know that buying a good pool is going to be a priority.

You are NOT going to want to buy something cheap and have it break or end up with a lot of products. This is why you are going to want to purchase a pool from a trusted brand. Here is a list of the top brand names you can trust:

  • Atlantic Pools
  • Alberca and Chois Pools
  • Aqua Leader
  • Doughboy Pools
  • Intex Pools

Feel confident buying any of these since they are some of the best out there. You are also going to want to take into account how often you need to change the pool liners and how expensive is it to replace. Consider the shape and size of the pool. Make sure that you pool is fitting for your backyard or any other location you decide to use. Below you are going to find the top selling and best above ground pools out there, and then some additional information on what you will need to know when buying pools.

1. Intex Easy Set Round Pool Set

Product Description

This pool is one of the easiest out there to setup. It comes with a filter pump and DVD. This is one of the most reliable pools and have the best value on the market! The only thing that you really have to decide on is the size that will be best in your backyard or where ever else you decide to put it.

Product Details

  • 12-Foot by 30-Inch
  • Shipping Weight: 37 pounds
  • Instructional DVD included
  • Filter Pump
  • Easy to carry and assemble

2. Intex Family Size Round Metal Frame Pool Set

Product Description

This is a galvanized steel frame Intex metal frame pool set. This pool has rust-resistant materials used to preserve it and give it added strength over time. You can drain the pool easy since it has a drain plug. It comes with a filter pump.

Product Details

  • 12-Foot by 30-Inch
  • Shipping Weight: 72 pounds
  • Rust-resistant materials
  • Drain plug
  • Filter pump
  • 3 separate layers of material for strength
  • Instructional DVD included
  • Ready for water in 30 minutes

3. Intex 54979EG Rectangular Ultra Frame Pool

Product Description

This pool is an ultra frame rectangular pool set. It has plus deluxe cleaning systems and is designed for around 6 adults. It is uniquely designed for durability and strength. It is easy to setup and easy to clean.

Product Details

  • 1600g sand filter
  • Ladder + barrier
  • Ground cloth
  • Pool cover
  • Deluxe maintenance kit
  • Volleyball set
  • GFCI
  • DVD
  • 24-Feet in length by 12-Feet Wide and 52″ in depth

4. Intex 54481EB Ultra Frame Pool Set

Product Description

This pool is read to use in just 60 minutes! It is great for any yard and includes a volleyball set. This has what is called an ultra-frame, built for durability and strength. It is a family sized pool so you can enjoy swimming with your family or friends.

Product Details

  • Filter pump
  • Ladder + barrier
  • Ground cloth
  • Cover
  • Deluxe main kit
  • Instructional DVD

5. Intex 54469EG Metal Pool

Product Description

This durable Intex pool set has a unique durable frame and is stronger than other metal frame pools. The assembly is easier than any you’ve done before because of the way it is designed. The shape allows the pieces to fit smoothly so there is no hassle! Also, locking pins are not needed.

Product Details

  • 16-Feet by 48-Inch
  • 2000 gallon Saltwater System Combo
  • Ladder + barrier
  • Ground cloth
  • Cover
  • Maintenance Kit
  • Instructional DVD
  • Built-in GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter)

How often should I change my pool liner?

This is a very common question that pool owners have, and one that you will want to know if you are going to be a future owner. If you choose from the best above ground pools, you will have to change your pool liners significantly less. One of the reasons that you would want to change your pool liner is if the pool is leaking and it will not stop. There is only so much that you can do to patch the liner, but if the leaking is not stopping, then you are going to want to replace yours. The next reason is when the printed pattern on the liner is gone, faded, or no longer readable. The is very common and happens from UV light exposure and high chlorine levels over time. Another reason that pool liner needs to be replaced is lack of maintenance. This can cause the liner to become wrinkled and can only be fixed by getting a new liner.

How long does a pool liner last you ask? Well, the average is about 10 years. In ground pools tend to last longer so keep that in mind. If you are in need to replace your liner, just be sure to get the thicker kind. This will unsure that it last longer (with proper maintenance of course) and it’s more resistant to punctures.

When do I change my pool filter?

Again this is another very common, but important question. Most filters (depending on how often you use it) will last several weeks. This means that you would probably be changing the filter cartridges every couple of years since those are good for up to 2,000 hours. Of course, if you are getting in the pool with sun tanning lotion, deodorant, or hair gel, you are lessening the life of your filter.

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There are certain things that you need to look out for that will indicate whether or not you to need to change your filter.

  • Broken Bands
  • Cleanliness
  • Crack on top of the filter (where the plastic is)

These signs will tell you how your filter is doing and whether or not you are going to need a new one. Here is a great deal on a 6 pack of pool filters:

Changing pool water

Most people actually don’t know how often to change their pool water.

Most people actually don’t know how often to change their pool water. Some people hardly ever do it, and others do it more than necessary. There are A LOT of factors that go into changing your pool water. It depends on the size and shape of your pool, how long and how many times a day you run your filter, how often it is used, the temperature, cleanliness, and what kind of chemicals you use. Most people end up changing their pool water once a year. However, if you keep yours clean and take really good care of your pool and equipment, you could change it every 2-3 years. You would just have to drain it 2/3 of the way and then refill it with fresh water once a year.

Other things to consider

Here are some last minute things to keep in mind when you are making your purchase. Keeping your pool nice requires maintenance. Make sure you are cleaning it when needed and changing your pool filters, cartridges and water when needed. Make sure that you are buying a quality one. You can choose from the top 5 rated ones here, but if they are not what you are looking for, keep searching for one that will fit your exact criteria. If you have no criteria or are not sure of exactly what you are looking for, be confident in choosing any of the ones above.

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Best Pool Cleaners Team

We’re a highly specialized group of pool folks who love talking about the most efficient pool pumps, filters, ultraviolet systems and robotic pool cleaners. There’s a lack of reliable product information available to pool owners. How’s a pool owner supposed to make an informed decision? We’re lifetime experts in the swimming pool industry. It’s what we do and what we know. Together, we have over 40 years of combined pool industry experience. This experience gives us a unique understanding of the many ways that swimming pools use and lose energy. When we founded, our goal was to help pool owners just like you to save money on their chemical and energy bills using the latest leading-edge equipment not yet available at your local pool store or through mainstream retailers.

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