Best Above Ground Pool.

Above Ground Pool fun

An easy way to beat the heat this summer, a pool is an excellent choice. Not only can it help you to create an oasis in your backyard, but it can give your family and friends a gathering spot. But how do you know that you're buying the best above ground pool for your lifestyle? This is where I'll help you by reviewing these above ground pools.

The Best Above Ground Pool Reviews and Buyer's Guide

  • Bestway Steel Pro Frame Pool Set 
  • Bestway Steel Pro Deluxe Splash Frame Pool
  • Intex 28241EH Metal Frame Pool Set
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    Intex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool
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    Summer Waves Elite Metal Frame Swimming Pool Package

Above Ground Pool Buying Guide

​There are several important points to consider when you're going to purchase an above ground pool. By doing your research, you'll be able to match your next pool to your lifestyle.

Above Ground Pool Considerations

This step may seem obvious, but you have to consider your potential pool's depth, size, shape, accessories, filter systems, and frame style. This also encompasses how much space you have, your local ordinances and codes, and how flat your ground is.

Area Size

Your above ground pool will take up a substantial area, so ensuring it fits into your allotted space is very important. I recommend researching local pool restrictions, regulations, and ordinances. This is especially pertinent if you live in town or the suburbs, as there are usually restrictions on how much space is required between your pool and the surrounding structures. The dimensions of your pool’s frame requires consideration as it will stick out more.


As a general rule, most above ground pools come in several depths starting at 46 inches (117 cm) and going up to 54 inches (137 cm). The deeper your pool, the more gallons of water it'll hold, increasing the expense to fill. Therefore it is important to consider who is going to use the pool. If you have smaller children, you may want a pool with shorter walls. If it's just adults, you may want taller walls.

Frame materials

Your pool's frame usually consists of any top ledges, upright poles, plates, and the bottom rails. Steel frames are popular due to their sturdiness and resistance to rust. They're also a very inexpensive option. Resin is also fashionable because it is more lightweight and resistant to corrosion than steel, but it's more expensive. There are hybrids of the two materials, which often work out the best for longevity and sturdiness.

Filter and Pump System

The filter and pump system are the core of your pool. Although they're inexpensive in comparison to the pool itself, they provide an invaluable function. The pump circulates water to increase cleanliness, and the filter helps to keep the pool clean and clear. Cartridge filters are very popular for above ground pools. Another option is sand filters.


Pool liner's extend the life of the pool and protect it from damage. It also holds your water in the pool, so if it tears, water will start leaking. Options consist of an overlapped liner, beaded liner, J-hook liner, or an expandable liner. Many pools come with a liner, but you can purchase other ones if the included one doesn't cut it.


You'll want to sanitize your pool water regularly to kill any bacteria that may be lingering in the water. It also helps to fight algae, which is what turns your pool green and slimy. Today, you have the choice of using chlorine tablets, salt, or minerals. Saltwater isn't as harsh on your skin and hair as chlorine is, but it's more expensive. Mineral packs can be used along with chlorine to sanitize the water.


Many people choose an oval pool over a round or square shape because it looks bigger. However, your pool shape is mostly determined by the size of the area you want your pool in. Oval doesn't always mean larger. A 24-foot round-shaped pool will hold more water than a 15-foot by a 30-foot oval pool, and it'll take up less room. They're usually less expensive as well because there are fewer parts.

Above Ground Pool fun

Saltwater or Chlorine Pool

Many people like the appeal of a saltwater pool, however there are pros and cons to both types to consider when deciding between the two different types.

Saltwater Pools

Saltwater pools allow for lower concentrations of chlorine, which is better for your skin and hair. They have fewer maintenance costs, and require less maintenance overall. However, saltwater pools are usually more expensive to install and run. The salt content can also damage surrounding plants, grass, or parts of the pool.

Chlorine Pools

Chlorine pools also remain popular, especially for above ground pools. Although it is chemical based, they're less harsh on the surrounding environment and the pool itself. It will dry out your skin and hair faster than salt water, and you will have to shock (is this the right word?) the pool regularly to upkeep the chlorine content.

The Top Five Above Ground Pool Reviews

Bestway Steel Pro Frame

​This above ground pool package comes with the pool, a 530-gallon (2006 liters, 4240 pints) filter pump, pool cover, ground cloth, ladder, repair patch, and instructional DVD for easy setup and maintenance. The pool's frame is made of rust-resistant and durable steel frames. You also get heavy-duty polyester and PVC walls for added durability. They're tear-resistant and sturdy, so they stay in place once you have them set up.

The secure covering will help to protect your pool when it's not in use, and it fits tightly around the top with a drawstring pull. The ground cover helps to protect your pool from any debris like rocks or roots that may damage the bottom once it's set up. It also has an easy instructional DVD to ensure that you set this pool up correctly and that it runs at peak performance all season long.


  • The pool has a heavy-duty steel, PVC, and polyester frame.
  • You get everything you need to upkeep and protect your pool in one package.


  • Some customers noticed that the pump may not be powerful enough to keep up with the pool's needs. (source)
  • Some people had difficultly with their customer service (source).

Bestway Steel Pro Deluxe Splash Frame Pool

​Bestway's Steel Pro Deluxe Splash Frame Pool holds up to 872 gallons (3301 liters, 6976 pints), and the walls are made out of heavy-duty PVC and polyester for added durability and longevity. It features a very easy setup and tear down process with rigid metal poles and snap together corner supports. This pool has been designed and tested to be as easy as possible, and this means that you can start enjoying your pool sooner.

You'll get a built-in flow control valve, and this allows you to attach your garden hose at this point and fill your pool. You can also open it to drain in if you need to clean it or if it's time to tear down for the season. When you set it up, it is slightly larger than advertised due to the supports. It comes with a convenient ground cover to prevent sticks, rocks, or other debris from poking through it.


  • It's easy to set up and tear down.
  • The pool has a durable metal frame.


  • Some customers noticed that the joints are prone to breaking down (source).
  • The drain is around 4 inches from the bottom, which has reportedly made it difficult to drain completely (source).

Intex 28241EH Metal Frame Pool Set

​Intex's metal frame pool comes in several sizes so it can be customized for your convenience. The sidewalls are laminated for extra durability, and they come with additional reinforcement around the bottom to hold the frame and walls in place. This kit comes with the pool, pump, filter, ground cover, debris cover, and a ladder so you have everything you need.

​The drain plug allows you to attach a garden hose and fill it quickly, or you can open it to drain it as well. You'll also get an easy-to-follow instructional video to assist with pool set up and maintenance. The outlet fittings are dual suction to keep a constant flow of water going to the pool to improve the cleanliness of the water.


  • The pool can be set up in as little as 45 minutes.
  • You get everything you need in one kit.


  • Some people noticed that the pool lining was thin, and this can lead to durability issues (source).
  • Depending on the conditions, the filters may have trouble keeping up with the pool (source).

Intex Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool

​This Intex pool comes with several options, and if you're looking for the best above ground pool, you can't ignore this one. You can choose from a saltwater or normal setup, along with two different filter choices. The base is supported by a powder coated stainless steel frame for added durability and longevity.

​The pool's sidewalls are made out of laminated PVC, so they're tough and difficult to tear or break, and you get a convenient drain plug that makes filling and draining this pool an easy and hassle-free process. The dual suction fittings allow for constant water circulation, and you get the pool, pump, filter, pool cover, ground cloth, and a ladder all in one convenient kit. The pool cover will help to protect your pool when it's not in use, and it fits securely.


  • The pool comes with a rust-resistant steel frame.
  • The drainage plug makes it easy to fill or drain the pool.


  • In windy conditions, some customers noticed that the pool's cover tends to tear at the grommets (source).
  • There is no set up instructional DVD included, and some customers found this made setup tricky (source).

Summer Waves Elite Metal Frame Swimming

​This soft sided metal frame pool is sturdy while having slight ‘give’ on the sides for comfort. The poles are heavy-duty PVC lined with reinforced polyester mesh. There is also a fortified band along the middle of the pool to keep the poles in place. The filtration system helps to keep the pool clean, and you get a sturdy A-frame ladder with the pool.

This pool is designed to be very easy to set up and tear down. There is a slight issue with a slow leak around where the filter connects to the pool, but it's not a huge deal. You also want to get this pool on as flat of a surface as possible, for even weight distribution around the pool.


  • The reinforcement band adds another layer of durability.
  • The pool comes with a powerful filter and a ladder.


  • A few people who purchased this pool noticed that there is sometimes a slight leak around the filter's connection point.
  • The skimmer basket is made out of plastic, and some people commented on it's durability.


My choice for the best above ground pool is the Intex 28241EH Metal Frame Pool Set. You get everything you need to set up and maintain your above ground pool in one convenient package. The pool's walls are triple laminated to be durable, and there is an additional ring that runs around the bottom of the pool to hold the poles in place.

It comes with an easy setup DVD, and the drainage valve is great for hassle-free set up and tear down. All of these points make this pool my choice for the best above ground pool.