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Top 10 Best Above Ground Pools for Kids

There's no better way to spend a hot summer day than by swimming in a cool, refreshing pool. For kids in particular, it's the perfect way to burn off extra energy and spend time with friends. But what if you don't have the space or budget for a backyard inground pool? Well, fear not, because today we are talking about the best above ground pools for kids that are not only budget-friendly, but will give your kiddos a water-filled summer to remember!

PRO TIP: Always assemble inflatable and soft side pools on soft, level ground. Rough, uneven terrain can cause your pool liner to tear and leak. We recommend keeping a patch kit on hand in case you need to make any repairs.

Kiddie Pools

Kiddie pools are the perfect way to let even the littlest guppies in your life enjoy the water! Full-sized pools can be intimidating for tiny swimmers, and can present safety concerns for children who are just learning how to swim. Plus, assembling these tot-friendly pools is a piece of cake. All you need is an air pump and water.

However, even though kiddie pools are much smaller and shallower than standard pools, they still pose risks to children of all ages. Always have at least one responsible adult watch the pool at all times when children are around. Check out our blog, National Water Safety Month, for more water safety information and tips on how to keep swimmers safe.

1. Rae Dunn Polka Dot Mini Pool

rae dunn polka dot mini pool

With a stylish polka dot design and cute sayings, like "Float" and "Hello Summer" on the bottom, these pint-sized round pools are perfect for any backyard bash! This inflatable pool is a great choice for babies and toddlers, as the 4-foot diameter and 10-inch depth keeps little ones within arms reach at all times. And with an affordable price tag of under $40, you can stock up on more than one to ensure everyone has plenty of splash time during parties or playdates.

2. Bestway 6' Fill 'N Fun Play Pool

The Bestway Fill 'N Fun is slightly larger than the Rae Dunn Mini Pool, but still offers a cute, kid-friendly design and durable build. Made of sturdy, solid PVC walls, this pool requires minimal setup time and is ready to go in minutes. The 6-foot diameter and 15-inch depth offers more room for kids to swim and splash, while still providing a safe and controlled area.

Small Inflatable Pools for Kids

When your children are ready to move on from kiddie pools, these small inflatable pools provide the perfect transition. The slightly increased size and depth help kids gain confidence and develop their swimming skills in a fun, no-pressure environment. Plus, the affordable price tags make these pools hard to resist, and easy to replace.

1. Intex Paradise Seashore Pool

intex paradise seashore inflatable pool

You can have a tropical vacation right in your backyard with the Intex Paradise Seashore pool, for under $40! Colorful and durable, this hardy pool inflates in minutes and holds nearly 170 gallons of water. Over 8 feet long and 5 feet wide, the Paradise Seashore pool easily holds multiple kids, making it great for summer playdates.

2. Bestway 8' Fast Set Inflatable Pool

If you're looking for an affordable, easy-to-assemble above ground pool that will last for years, look no further than the Bestway Fast Set 8' pool. Simple maintenance and a speedy setup make this inflatable pool a great choice for families. And unlike the previously mentioned pools, the Bestway Fast Set comes with a filter pump and filter cartridge to help keep the water fresh and clean, even after repeated use.

Large Inflatable Pools for Kids

When it's time to upgrade your backyard oasis, a large inflatable pool is the way to go. Not only can these pools fit multiple people, but their easy maintenance and longevity make them a top pick for busy, active families. While some of these pools can cost upwards of $420, their durability makes them a worthwhile investment.

1. Intex Easy Set 12' Round Pool

The Intex Easy Set 12' Round pool is the perfect middle ground between a smaller inflatable pool and a much larger soft-side pool. With enough space for kids, adults, and maybe even a small pool float, the Intex Easy Set 12' offers endless hours of fun in the sun! This pool inflates in just 10 minutes, and comes with a cartridge filter pump to maintain clean and healthy water.

2. Bestway Paradise Palms 15' Round Pool

Get ready to be the envy of your neighborhood with the stylish Bestway Paradise Palms 15' Round pool. Complete with a fun palm tree sprayer, this large inflatable pool is sure to be a hit among both adults and kids. 33-inches of depth provides the perfect amount of room for kids to swim underwater, while not being too deep.

3. Intex Easy Set 15' Round Pool

As the big brother to the 12-foot pool, the Intex Easy Set 15' Round Inflatable pool boasts all the same features as its smaller counterpart, plus three extra feet of play space. The enhanced three-layer liner is puncture resistant and built to withstand the sun's harsh UV rays, guaranteeing your enjoyment of this pool year after year.

Soft Side Pools for Kids

It's time to take off the floaties and put on your snorkels — we're not in the kiddie pool anymore! Soft-sided above ground pools are much larger and more permanent than the aforementioned inflatable pools. While they also come with a bigger price tag, their sound structure and larger capacity make them worth every penny. So, if you're planning a pool-party-filled summer, these pools are perfect for you.

1. Bestway Steel Pro Max 14' Round Pool

First in line is the petite, 48-inch deep Bestway 14' Steel Pro Max Round pool. Moderately priced at under $800, this steel-framed pool package includes a filter pump, pool cover, and ladder. Not to mention, this pool is a breeze to assemble and take down for off-season storage.

2. Intex Ultra Frame 9'x18' Rectangle Metal Frame Pool

Next up is the top-rated Intex Ultra Frame 9'x18' Rectangle Metal Frame pool. Boasting a rust-resistant steel frame, this elegant pool holds nearly 5,550 gallons and is over 50-inches deep, offering ample space for kids to splash and play. While the price might be a bit steep, at almost $1,300, you certainly get what you pay for. Not only does this pool come with a ladder and debris cover, it also includes a complete sand filter system. All you need to do is add water!

3. Intex Ultra Frame 12'x24' Rectangle Metal Frame Pool

And rounding out our list of soft side pools is the Intex Ultra Frame 12'x 24' Metal Frame pool. This goliath comes with all the fixings of the 9'x18' model, plus an extra 3,000 gallons of water capacity.

You don't need an inground pool for your kids to have a great time swimming! Whether you have a tiny-tot just learning how to float, or an active group of teenagers needing to burn off some energy, we have a pool for you. Check out our entire list of the best pools for kids online at

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