A dip in the pool is a wonderful way to cool off on a hot summer day! But not everyone wants – or can afford – an inground or permanent above-ground pool. Fortunately, there are a lot of options that allow quick set-up and take-down. An inflatable pool might be just the ticket for you!
Of course, these come with their own advantages and disadvantages. They allow you more flexibility than a more permanent pool. They’re also more affordable. But they are generally smaller, too.
These pools aren’t going to allow for much “swimming”, either. They’re too small for that. But they’re fantastic for sitting in to cool off. And younger children (and even pets) may even be able to splash around.
The Pools We’ll Consider
We had to make some decisions about which pools to include in our list. Too small, and they should be considered kiddie pools. Larger pools require stronger support and are therefore more permanent.
We decided to focus on pools that start around 10 feet across. Some of the best options, though, fall two inches short of that mark, so our real starting point is 118 inches.
They should also have a depth of at least 22 inches. We prefer deeper but again, there are some great ones at that lower level. It might not cover your whole torso when sitting down, but you’ll still be able to sit down and cool off.
What To Consider In An Inflatable Pool
As with any purchase, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are the factors we consider most important.
A bigger pool allows for more people and more refreshment. A rectangular pool that’s 10 feet long and 6 feet wide may be fine for one adult to sit in with small children. It might even work for two adults who don’t mind being close. Several small children could enjoy it. But more than that and there won’t be much room to breathe.
The depth matters, too. Twenty-two inches is enough to sit in but it will barely reach the belly button on most sitting adults. On the other hand, the deeper pools we include here will come to the waist or even a bit higher on most adults.
Don’t forget that you have to take into account the size of your yard, too. You’ll need to allow enough space around the pool to be able to work on it and to get in and out easily.
Ease of installation
Of course, one of the advantages of this type of pool is that it’s easy to set up and take down. So you want to be sure that it meets those qualifications!
You need to have a smooth, flat space to put your pool. It might be necessary to level the ground. That’s usually a one-time job. But if you set it up and take it down over the summer, or from year to year, you’ll want to be sure to clean the spot off any time. Make sure to remove any twigs, rocks, or other things that could puncture it.
The surface where you place where your pool should be hard, as well. Avoid placing it on sand or loose soil.
You’ll want to have an air pump for any inflatable pool. They can take from 20 minutes to an hour to inflate depending on their size.
With any pool, you’ll also have to wait for it to fill. And the time for that will depend on the water pressure at your home and the size of the pool.
In general, there isn’t anything to complicate your inflatable pool’s setup. A smooth, flat surface is key. Inflation and filling it can take a couple of hours. It’s not hard work but it requires some patience!
Ease of care
It’s not hard to care for inflatable pools, either.
There are pumps available that work well with them, and some even include a pump. With a larger pool, that’s a great option so that you don’t have to empty and refill it constantly.
Other than that, you do have to show special care to keep sharp objects from piercing it. That includes carefully removing twigs, pebbles, or anything else from the water or surrounding area. Keep garden tools away from it. It’s even important to avoid wearing jewelry in the pool or when working on it because it could tear the lining.
Cleaning is easy, too, and can be done after draining the pool. If no filter is used, you will likely want to do this every few days.
Yes, some inflatable pools even include accessories! These aren’t the most important part of your purchase, of course, but can be a great help.
The most practical accessory for any pool is a filter, and some inflatables do include them. They aren’t as powerful as you’d need for a permanent pool. Still, they do a decent job keeping your pool water clean.
Another popular accessory is a pool ladder. It’s a huge help if you opt for a deeper pool. They’re designed so they don’t tear the material, too.
Some manufacturers may include toys or other fun add-ons, as well.
Our Picks for the Best Inflatable Swimming Pools
We’ve looked at a lot of inflatable pools, but choose our favorite five to recommend to you. They are all large enough for at least two adults to sit in comfortably, even if it may feel a bit close. Some are large enough for three or four! We’re sure you’ll agree that they make a great way to cool off when the heat and humidity strike.
This round inflatable pool measures 15 feet in diameter and is a comfortable 42 inches deep! It will provide you with endless hours of cool fun.
This model includes an RP-1000 filter pump with two cartridge filters. It’s easy to connect and run. The filters should be replaced every two weeks, though, so you’ll want to have a supply on hand to get through the summer. The pump runs on a standard house 110-volt line.
Accessories include a ladder, a pool cover, and a ground cloth.
The pool holds 3398 gallons when filled to the brim. Of course, you’ll likely keep it a bit below that. But it’s a wonderful size, although it will take a while to fill and add a good bit to your water bill! And of course, you’ll want an air pump to inflate it.
Because of the size of the pool, it’s especially important to set it on firm, level ground. That will help preserve its structure and allow it to support itself.
Overall, the product receives high marks. Any complaints we’ve heard have to do with leaks, and it’s difficult to analyze whether these were the fault of the manufacturer or the user.
There’s a 90-day limited warranty on this product.
Want an even bigger pool? Intex is one of the best-known manufacturers, and this is one of the larger inflatable pools available. It measures 18 feet across with a depth of 48 inches! That’s a capacity of 5455 gallons. The company says it can comfortably hold 6 adults!
An adult or even a pre-teen isn’t going to be able to do serious swimming in this pool. But a younger child could get their feet wet in the sport (pun intended).
A 1500-gph filter pump is included along with two cartridges. Additional Intex cartridges are available and not too expensive.
You can even elect to use saltwater with this model! That cuts down on the need to use chlorine, although it still calls for a lot of care.
A ground cover, pool cover, and ladder are included as well.
The warranty is a weak point, though. It’s only valid for 30 days.
For something smaller and simpler, you might like this rectangular pool from Bestway. It measures 10 feet long by 6 feet wide. The depth is 22 inches. That’s big enough to hold 100 gallons.
That’s not very big, but two adults could sit in it although it would be a bit close. Or it can make a great pool to play in with your young children. It’s great to sit in and cool off!
The three rings of the pool inflate separately. A valve at the bottom allows easy drainage.
There are no accessories other than a patch you can use in case of a mishap. It holds up well, but of course, it is simply inflated plastic so there are always risks of puncture.
You’ll probably want to invest in a plastic tarp to keep leaves and insects out.
The warranty is for “one season” which we assume means a summer.
Another 100-gallon pool, this one from Madaxy sells great for a good reason. It’s high-quality and roomy enough for the whole family to enjoy!
This inflatable pool measures 10 feet by 6 feet by 22 inches deep.
It’s durable and the three rings inflate quickly – according to the company, it only takes about 4 minutes with an electric pump. There isn’t honestly much difference among the models we’ve picked, but this one’s unique point is that it has two drains so you can empty it more quickly. We also like the darker blue and the white trim at the top.
Included with your pool are two repair patches. A tarp would be a good additional purchase.
Toysical offers another 10 foot by 6 foot, 22-inch-deep pool. It’s another great option if you have children or want to be able to sit or lie back and relax with the cool water splashing around you.
What stands out about this model is that it includes a pump! This is a handy addition if you don’t already have one. And it will come in handy for so many other things, like inflating air mattresses for all the guests who are coming to visit!
The pool seems stable and able to support the water along with swimmers. Of course, there are the normal risks of puncture and leaks. However, these seem to be rare issues with this product.
Nothing beats being to cool off on a hot summer day! And when you don’t have the budget or space for a permanent pool, an inflatable one can be just the ticket to a relaxing afternoon for you and the. Choose a size and shape that suits you and prepare to relax in that cool water!