Buying The Best Above Ground Pool: What to Look for When Choosing One

If you’re looking for the best above ground pool, you’ll want to know what to look for. In this article, we’ll tell you all about the best above ground pools, from the best quality ones to those that have a lot of features.

A pool is a fantastic investment. It can bring hours of fun and enjoyment for all members of the family.

If you’re in the market for a new and the best above ground pool, this article offers a few points to consider before carrying out a final decision to buy one.

Types of Above Ground Pools

First, you’re going to want to figure out what type of pool you’ll be getting. There are several types of above-ground pools you can buy; that’s why it’s important to know what each one is for.

Once you know the types of pools you need, it will be easier to find the best one for your needs.

Inflatable Above Ground Pool

Inflatable pool in green grass

Inflatable swimming pools are the least priced, the easiest to maintain, and the most straightforward to install. To inflate them, you’ll need an air pump, but other than that, there’s not much to it. Depending on the size and style of the pool, the entire installation can take less than an hour to finish.

Moreover, some inflatable above-ground pool doesn’t need chemicals or a filter for upkeep. Still, those who own an above-ground pool with a filter need to be emptied, cleaned, and refilled regularly. 

Inflatable pools are available in different sizes, ranging from kiddie pools that are just 24 inches wide by 3 or 4 inches deep to 92 inches wide and 22 inches deep versions. For families with small children, several inflatable pools are designed specifically for them. Some of them are equipped with inflatable slides, water sprinklers, or water curtains as part of their overall layout.

They are significantly less expensive than the other pool kinds, which makes them an excellent alternative for people on a tight budget. When not in use, inflatables are also very convenient to store. So if you’re looking for the easiest option to assemble and maintain, this might be the best above ground pool for you.

Steel Frame

Steel Frame Pools with trees in the back

The best above ground pools usually come with steel frames that are both robust and long-lasting. The frame is built with vertical poles and side rails. The sidewalls and bottom support are made of thick plastic, vinyl, resin, or PVC.

Steel frames offer good strength to support a larger and deeper pool. Pools on a steel frame need filters and pool chemicals to keep the water healthy. This type of above-ground pool also needs more groundwork than the inflatable one.

Steel frames in above-ground pools have certain drawbacks. It’s bulky, heavy, common to rust, and gets too hot under the sun. To combat rust, you can choose powder-coated or galvanized steel to resist corrosion. Also, as part of regular upkeep, it would be better to inspect the frame for wear and tear that leads to rust.

Many steel-frame pools are semi-permanent because they are difficult to store and require a lot of maintenance. Because of this, a steel frame is ideal for people who intend to leave their pool in place year-round rather than removing it.

Resin Frame

Resin Frame Pool in the Backyard

Resin pools are made of vinyl that is reinforced with fiberglass rods. Resin pools are generally thicker, heavier, and more sturdy than rubber or steel-framed above-ground pools. Some models are fireproof and easy to handle. The highest quality pool resin frames can last up to decades and tend to be among the best above ground pools. 

Resin-framed above-ground pools are the most expensive of the pool types. Pool chemicals such as chlorine and bromine can corrode the pool’s shell over time; however, some resin materials make the pool resistant to these chemicals.

You can easily dismantle some resin-framed pools for easy storage; however, some are not. Like steel-frame, resin-frame above-ground pools need regular maintenance like emptying the pool of water, cleaning the filter, and vacuuming the walls. 

Aluminum Frame

Aluminum has the same strength as steel but is lighter and more resistant to rust making these kinds of frames a great option when looking for the best above ground pool. Aluminum is equivalent to steel in the majority of ways and is also prone to oxidation.

Keep in mind that regular maintenance is also necessary to avoid any issues that might damage or reduce the lifetime of your above-ground swimming pool. 

Hybrid Frame

Hybrid Frame Swimming Pool

Hybrid pools are a mix of steel and resin. They’re constructed with vertical steel poles and resin bottom support, and side rails. The part of the frame that’s more exposed from the sun makes up the resin, while the steel provides strong support for the frame.

Steel and resin components are used in the construction of hybrid pools. They are constructed from varied materials, including steel vertical uprights, resin joints, and side rails. Plastic components are used for the parts of frames exposed to the sun and water, whereas steel is used for the vertical portions of frames that require more structural strength to sustain them.

These models combine resin and a steel frame, which minimizes some of the disadvantages of each. A hybrid pool is more expensive than a steel-framed pool, but it is cheaper than an all-resin pool.

Semi Inground

Semi-inground swimming pools, also known as radiant pools, combine the two styles: an in-ground pool and an above-ground pool. These pools are less costly than in-ground pools, and they allow for greater customization than a conventional above-ground pool.

These types are easier to install on slopes and uneven ground, and you can use them in yards where a standard in-ground pool is hard to build.

In contrast to above-ground pools, radiant pools are more permanent because you can’t remove them at the end of the season like an above-ground pool. Many of them usually look like in-ground models, making them the best above ground pool if you want a less expensive option that looks similar to an in-ground swimming pool.

What to Look at When Choosing the Best Above Ground Pool

You should consider the size, shape, depth, liner type, thickness, and landscaping when looking for the best above ground pool for you. Also, how much maintenance you want to put also comes into play when buying the best above ground pool. 

Ground Placement

Pools need a strategic placement in the yard. Some localities have laws governing how near a pool may be built to a property line or a power pole, while others have no restrictions at all. Make sure to contact your state to know the law where you are.

Place the pool as far away from trees, electricity lines, concrete, and other landscaping or structures as possible, as they might cause damage to the pool’s material or result in unwanted debris getting in the pool. It is also necessary for the ground to be level even.

Uneven ground leads the water to exert greater pressure on specific sections of the pool, weakening the pool’s overall structure, even if you have made sure to buy the best above ground pool for your needs.

The Size and Shape of the Pool Size

Finding the proper sIze and shape of an above-ground swimming pool is one of the most important things when purchasing one

Size and shape is an essential factor when looking for the best above ground pool. An overly large pool can be challenging to maintain, while a small one can be cramped for swimmers. A standard-sized pool is about 20 feet in diameter and about 6 inches deep at its deepest point but may vary based on individual preference or local laws. 

Besides the size, shape also plays a significant role when choosing the best above-ground pool for you. Round pools are preferred because they offer more free space than other shapes (triangular and rectangular). Half circles are also good options but require more space than regular circular ones.

Important: “Never leave a kid unsupervised in a pool, regardless of the size or height of the pool’s walls. Children can drown in very small amounts of water—even a few inches —especially if they fall, hit their heads, or become unconscious. Every day, two out of every ten persons who die by drowning are youngsters under the age of fourteen. Consider adding safety measures such as a fence and a pool alarm to help avoid tragedies from happening.”

Matt, founder of Swim University®.

Pool Depth

The Depth is important when choosing the best above-ground pool

It would help if you also considered the depth of the pool, as this is another feature that may have a major impact on your swimming pool experience.

A shallow pool is not ideal for lap swimming because you need at least three feet of water to swim effectively, but a deep one can swallow you up and make it difficult to keep track of where you are. Also, take into account the depth of the entire surface, as some pools have sloped bottoms.

Pool Liner Type and Thickness

A pool liner protects the pool, helps to retain water, and aids in the maintenance of the pool’s general structural integrity. Overlapping, beaded, J-hook (uni-bead), and expandable liners are the four types of liners available. 

Various types of liners attach to pools in multiple ways; some, such as expandable versions, are better suited to bigger pools than others. The liner should be flexible enough to conform to the contour of the pool while still being robust enough to contain water without becoming unmanageable. 

A thickness of about 20mm achieves a good mix between strength, flexibility, thickness, and weight while also being very inexpensive.

Ease of Installation

Some pools are very easy to set up, while others are pretty difficult. You should know whether you are ready for an installation process that might be time-consuming. Also, to keep things easy, you should choose a pool designed with the right components and comes with everything needed for installation.

So if you have chosen to get an above-ground pool, the next step is to measure the height of your yard. If your backyard is not big enough for an in-ground pool to fit in, then the size of the above-ground pool will also determine the height of your yard.

You can have a narrower or broader pool, but this will depend on its shape and how much space it has for malleable features.

Safety and Permit Requirements

For some localities, you’ll need a permit to install a pool, but others have safety standards that are the same as those for in-ground pools. T

hey may also require you to maintain a specific distance between the pool and the property boundary. Call proper authorities to ensure that your pool installation is legal and in compliance with the law. 


Accessories often come with the purchase of a pool, but you should be aware that they can significantly drive up the expense for your pool. Some accessories you might not need at all, while others are crucial to your pool experience.

Also, find out whether any additional accessories are available if anything breaks during installation.

Required Maintenance

Vacuuming above ground pool as part of maintenance

Small, inflatable pools, such as the sort you need to empty after each use, require little to no upkeep and are incredibly low-maintenance. You can simply drain the water and dry them after refreshing swimming. 

After each usage, just empty and dry the containers. Any swimming pool that requires hundreds of gallons of water is a different story. A pool may require a pump and filters to circulate the water and remove debris and chlorine tablets or salt in the case of a saltwater swimming pool.

You may need to do periodic shock treatments to keep algae from developing. You should also check the levels of chlorine and pH regularly.

If you’re using it once or twice a week, you may skip the upkeep by using an inflatable pool that you can quickly drain. Once you’ve finished using them, just empty and dry them out. It’s a different story if the pool uses several thousand gallons of water.

You’ll need additional equipment for saltwater pools such as a pump, filters, chlorine tablets, and salt. Shock treatments are also sometimes necessary to prevent the growth of algae.

Additional Accessories

Above-ground ground pool owners frequently require extra accessories for essential pool care maintenance that you should include in the pool’s overall expense.

Here are a few things that you’ll be needing soon:

  • Net skimmer
  • Ladder
  • Pool alarm
  • Chlorine generator
    Learn more about the efficiency, effectiveness, and cost-saving features of salt chlorine generator.
  • Pool light
    Learn about floating pool lights – their purpose, the misconceptions, types, usage, and the best pool light that you can get to accent your pool.

Bottom Line

As you can see, there are many things to consider before deciding on the best above-ground pool for you. You should evaluate your needs and limitations and how much of an investment is necessary to maximize your use of the pool.

A pool that fits your lifestyle is also essential due to maintenance requirements which are intensive for larger pools with more water. We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and found it helpful in deciding which pool is suitable for you.

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