9 Cheap Swimming Pools That Are a Step Up From the Kiddie Pool


It’s that wonderful time of year again when the sun comes out and the flowers bloom — and you get to sweat in all the heat. Sounds like it’s time for you to dive into your backyard pool. One problem though: you don’t have a pool (yet.) 

Cheap swimming pools are everywhere this time of year, but that doesn’t mean they’re worth buying. Undoubtedly, some of them will leak air (or water!) faster than it took you to blow the pool up and fill it with water. So if you want to level up from the traditional kiddie pool and find a quality — yet still cheap — pool for summer 2021, we are here to help. 

There are some great alternatives to the traditional (i.e., “outrageously expensive”) in-ground pools that you can inflate or build in your backyard. All of these cheap above-ground swimming pools are available online and can be delivered right to your door in just a few days — unless, of course, you can’t wait and opt for overnight shipping. 

These portable pools can go almost anywhere in your backyard (just make sure the ground is level) and before you know it, you’ll be cooling off in some nice, cold water. Our picks are a step above the kiddie pools (speaking of kiddie pools, here are your best choices).

Best Pool for Families

Intex Portable Inflatable Swimming Pool

Image: Amazon.com

If you are looking to help your family cool off during the summer without having to go too far from home, this family-sized pool can be set up in your backyard very quickly. Even with its large size, this pool is designed with portability in mind. In addition to a filtered water pump, this set also comes with a ground cloth and debris cover so you can put it just about anywhere and protect it when it’s not in use all summer long. 

Things to Consider: Make sure that you place it on completely flat ground to avoid any trouble. 

Why We Love It: This pool comes with everything you need to quickly set it up in your backyard and is big enough for the whole family. It can also be taken down at the end of summer and stored during the colder seasons.

Promising Review: “We are loving this pool. It is so much bigger and better than I anticipated. So far the filter is fine. The cover is great! I would recommend this pool.” – Amy K.

$299.99 at Amazon.com

Best Pool for Quick Setup 

FUNAVO Full-Sized Family Inflatable Pool

Image: Amazon.com

When you want to cool off during the hottest days of summer, you want to do it quickly! This inflatable pool is just the right size for you and a friend to jump in — and it inflates in no time, thanks to an included air pump. All you need is about five minutes to set it up. It’s very durable, and the pool walls are thick compared to other inflatable pools of this size. 

Things to Consider: You can even collapse this pool and bring it inside to use as a ball pit or inside play area. 

Why We Love It: It’s safe to assume that if you have an air pump in your house, you probably don’t know where it is. One of the biggest perks of this pool is that the pump is included with the pool.

Promising Review: “This is a nice, sturdy pool and feels like it will last. The design is fun and the bonus garden hose drain pipe helps point the water in the direction we prefer when draining. Nice pool.” – Small~Town~Girl

$64.99 at Amazon.com

Best Non-Inflatable Pool

Intex Rectangular Frame Backyard Swimming Pool

Image: Target.com

If you’re considering a nice, portable backyard pool, you want one that’s easy to set up and take down. This pool fits the bill. It is made with a strong, rust-resistant frame, so that it can be built and moved easily into place — before you put in all the water of course! 

Things to Consider: With this pool’s design, you won’t be facing many of the issues that come with inflatable pools, such as overinflation or holes in the plastic causing it to deflate.

Why We Love It: The pool’s lining hangs inside of the sturdy metal frame so you won’t have to inflate the pool, look for an air pump, or worry that the lining will pop under pressure. It’s easy-to-assemble structures let you assemble and disassemble the pool quickly — not counting the time it takes to fill the pool and drain it after you’re done.  

Promising Review: “The perfect pool to lay out in and get some sun. Very sturdy and well made. Put it together in half an hour. I love it!!” – Angela

$129.99 at Target.com

Best Pool for Cooling Off 

AQCSS Inflatable Swimming Pool with Sprinkler

Image: Amazon.com

If you’re looking to upgrade your old kiddie pool, this may be just what you are looking for. This pool holds tight thanks to its thick lining and it can survive your kids splashing and playing in it. An added bonus for this pool is the sprinkler system that can be attached to any generic garden hose. 

Things to Consider: The sprinkler shoots up over the pool creating a fun effect that takes this kiddie pool to the next level. 

Why We Love It: The sturdy design and unique sprinkler system make this a great pool for kids but it’s deep enough for adults to enjoy too.

Promising Review: “It is big enough and deep enough for these 5 to 7-year-olds and the sprinkler from all four sides is the winner. They can not only swim but jump around and have the showering cool waterfall.” – Zak

$65.99 at Amazon.com

Best Pool for Kids

Hamdol Inflatable Kiddie Pool with Sprinkler

Image: Amazon.com

When you’re shopping for a kiddie pool, you probably want to look for one that’s colorful and playful. This kid-friendly pool is just what you and your family need to bring that little extra something special to those hot summer days. This pool is designed with a very thick lining (twice as thick as some other kiddie pools) to prevent puncturing and it features a cartoony, blow-up elephant on the front. 

Things to Consider: Not only is the elephant a playful addition that your kids are sure to love, but its trunk can also be turned into a sprinkler if you attach it to a garden hose.  

Why We Love It: The elephant sprinkler is absolutely adorable and the sprinkler in its trunk is a lot of fun for kids trying to keep cool. The pool also comes with a handy carrying bag that the entire folded pool can fit in.  

Promising Review: “Our toddler is in this pool daily since we got it. We even had a nice mom and dad evening relaxing in the pool. It’s certainly big, the sprinkler part is cute and even adds a nice waterfall effect in the evening when you leave it running on low.” – Jessa

$59.99 at Amazon.com

Best Pool for Your Pooch

Foldable Dog Pool

Image: Amazon.com

When it gets really hot, your dog is probably dreaming of a pool too — especially since they sweat and release heat through their paws. This foldable pool is constructed with strong fiberboard pieces inside the pool’s lining that lets you easily fold and unfold the pool into shape. This pool comes in three different sizes to accommodate small doggies, really big doggies and maybe even a kid looking to splash around with their best friend. 

Things to Consider: The design and smaller size of the pool mean that there is no need to inflate the pool or worry about constructing a metal frame to hold the pool in place. 

Why We Love It: Thanks to its smaller size, it can be folded very flat and takes up very little space. It can easily be taken with you on trips or vacations so that your little pup is never too far from a nice relaxing pool (or a quick bath!)  

Promising Review: “It folds up like an accordion. It saves space and you don’t have the hassle of deflating it each time or having to leave it out to kill the grass.” – Jason & Stefanie

$21.99 at Amazon.com

Best Pool for Toddlers

40-Inch Pineapple Toddler Inflatable Swimming Pool

Image: Walmart.com

If you are a parent of a young toddler, you know how tough it can be to find a pool that’s safe and not too deep for your toddler. This wide and shallow pool is a great way to introduce your toddler to playing in the pool. 

Things to Consider: The large inflatable canopy can give your baby a little extra protection from the sun and its fun pineapple design gives off some serious summer vibes. 

Why We Love It: This is a great way to introduce your toddler to swimsuits and pools without the anxiety of putting them in a pool that is way too big for them. The shallow design of this pool lets them sit comfortable in the water without ever having to worry about the water level getting too high. 

Promising Review: “Perfect size for babies sitting up till age 16 months. The canopy is such a great idea to keep the sun minimal. Sturdy plastic, not flimsy.” – Penny

$11.54 at Walmart.com

Best Pool for Summer Vibes

Fast Set Paradise Palms Inflatable Pool Set

Image: Walmart.com

Looking to go on a tropical vacation without leaving your house? This pool might just be what you are looking for until you can book those plane tickets. This large inflatable pool looks great and is covered in a tropical floral print to really get you in the mood for summer. It’s large enough to accommodate a group of friends and it inflates very easily. This set also comes with a filter pump to help keep the water clean all summer. 

Things to Consider: Make sure that you install it on level ground because many users report having trouble with the pool if it’s built on even slightly sloped land.

Why We Love It: This pool’s tropical images and design just say: Summer! The size is just right for having friends over and while it’s not deep, it’s the perfect depth for small kids and their parents to sit comfortably on the bottom without their heads going under the water. The palm tree also sprays water if you attach it to a garden hose.

Promising Review: “It was extremely easy to set up. It’s the perfect height for my 3-year-old and my 8-year-old has no complaints. I’m comfortable letting them play in it with me outside of it, just watching them. It has a cute design and it really is a perfect size and a good price.” – MrsSparks

$150 at Walmart.com

Best Pool for Couples

Sable Inflatable Pool with Backrest and Built-In Bench

Image: Amazon.com

It’s pretty easy to find an inflatable pool for kids, but what about one for adults and parents? This inflatable pool was built with adults in mind by building an inflatable headrest and bench right into the pool. This portable pool can fit just about anywhere in your backyard and sleek design makes it the perfect place to spend your summer.

Things to Consider: This pool is also large enough for a parent to sit on the bench while their kids play in the other end of the pool. 

Why We Love It: This is a great way for couples to take it easy this summer. The built-in bench and headrest can seat two adults comfortably who want to soak during a hot day or relax at night. This is a good size for an inflatable pool as it is and the bench is one major bonus. 

Promising Review: “This pool inflated quickly given the size and durability. The bench is nice and large and can easily fit two adults. In addition, there [are] nice drain tubes in the bottom of the pool when we are ready to deflate.” – Bailie M.

$67.99 at Amazon.com

The post 9 Cheap Swimming Pools That Are a Step Up From the Kiddie Pool appeared first on The Real Deal by RetailMeNot.

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