These above ground pools are ideal for cooling off during heat waves

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Which pool is right for you?

This summer, you may face another repercussion of the pandemic: your favorite pool may not open. The ripple started when the pools closed two summers ago. The situation worsened when lifeguard certification programs were closed, leaving no new influx of lifeguards. There is now a labor shortage which may cause many swimming pools to remain closed.

You can solve this dilemma by buying a swimming pool. If you buy a quality above ground pool, it can easily last a decade or more.

Types of Above Ground Pools

When buying an above ground pool, you have several options. The best way to narrow down your selection is to consider how you plan to use your pool and how permanent you want it to be. We’ve divided them into four categories: hard-sided pools, framed pools, inflatable pools, and kiddie pools.

Hard-sided pools

If you are seriously considering having an above ground pool and want to have it for a long time, the only solution is a hard-sided pool. These models are so durable that they will last you two or three decades with proper care. The downside is that this type of above ground pool is also the more expensive option.

Framed pools

A framed pool is a slight step up from a hard-sided pool. These models are made with a sturdy frame that supports a durable yet flexible material that retains water. They are easier to install than hard-sided pools and can be dismantled and stored at the end of the season. It is also possible to leave a quality framed pool year-round, but you must winterize it to prevent damage during the colder months.

Inflatable pools

An inflatable pool is the ultimate comfort. It is easy to assemble, easy to disassemble and easy to store. An inflatable pool is also affordable and you can get them in different shapes and sizes. The only downside to these gems is that the expected lifespan is only two to five seasons. However, it could be a plus if you only want a temporary pool.

Children’s pools

If you have young children or toddlers, a kiddie pool might be all you need. These tiny options are not meant to be kept for long. Rather, they are use-as-needed pools that you can fill and empty as you please. While some kiddie pools are wading-only, others offer activities, so your kids can slide and play games while staying cool. The best models also offer protection from the sun.

The best above ground pools

Blue Wave Affinity Top Rail Resin Pool Set

This premium 24 foot above ground pool is designed to provide many years of enjoyment. In fact, it has a 30-year limited warranty. It is corrosion resistant and features a steel wall with a pleasing pattern that makes it both a focal point and a fun point for your garden.

Sold by Home Depot

Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool

Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool

If you prefer a rectangular pool, this 24-by-12-foot model is a sizeable option. It comes with everything you need including a ladder, filter, pump, groundsheet and more. The sand filter is easy to maintain and only needs to be re-sanded once every five years.

Sold by Amazon and Home Depot

Bestway Deluxe Round Above Ground Pool Set

Bestway Deluxe Round Above Ground Pool Set

It is a 14 foot steel frame pool with a corrosion resistant coating for durability. The construction of the seal and lock prevents any bending or leakage due to water pressure. It is easy to assemble and has an integrated chlorine dispenser to eliminate the need for a floating dispenser.

Sold by Amazon

Intex Easy Set Inflatable Pool

Intex Easy Set Inflatable Pool

The innovative design of this Intex pool can allow you to add water in just 30 minutes. To assemble, simply lay out the pool, inflate the top ring and fill. The laminated PVC sidewalls are extremely durable and the drain plug connects to a garden hose so water can be directed away from your home when draining.

Sold by Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods

Intex metal frame pool with cartridge filter pump

Intex metal frame pool with cartridge filter pump

This 15 foot round pool is 4 feet deep. It consists of laminated sides supported by a metal frame. No tools are required for assembly and it can be ready for the water in less than an hour. For your convenience, the pool includes a DVD that describes installation and maintenance.

Sold by Amazon

Summer Waves Deluxe Comfort Outdoor Inflatable Pool

Summer Waves Deluxe Comfort Outdoor Inflatable Pool

Adults will love this deluxe four-person pool. The 26-inch-deep model has four integrated seats with pillow backs and cup holders. To assemble, all you have to do is inflate and it’s ready to go. There are no accessories (except a repair patch) included with this pool, which is reflected in its low price.

Sold by Amazon

Blueway H2OGO!  My first frame pool

Blueway H2OGO! My first frame pool

If you have kids, this little backyard pool is only 15 inches deep and five feet in diameter. It’s an ideal size for kids to be comfortable in the water, and it’s made of lightweight yet durable PVC, so it’s both fade and tear resistant. It features tool-less assembly and can be ready for the water in minutes.

Sold by Amazon

Intex Rainbow Ring Gaming Center

Intex Rainbow Ring Gaming Center

This inflatable option is more than a swimming pool. It is an activity center for young children. It measures less than 6 inches deep and includes a splash pool, slide, ring toss game, water sprayer and more.

Sold by Amazon and Kohl’s

Intex Mini Frame Pool

Intex Mini Frame Pool

This mini frame pool is another option for young swimmers. It measures 4 feet wide by 4 feet long and 1 foot deep. The frame has foam padded beams for protection and comfort, a drain plug and it comes with a repair kit to repair minor unintended damage.

Sold by Amazon

Monobeach portable shade pool for babies

Monobeach portable shade pool for babies

The ingenious design of this baby shade tent/pool makes it ideal wherever you go. It can be set up indoors as a simple play tent or used as a small mini pool. The back flap opens for more cool air so your baby doesn’t get too hot. When it’s time to go, the tent and pool fold flat for easy transport.

Sold by Amazon

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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.

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