If you are searching for the best above ground pool according to consumer reports in 2023 then this post is for you.
There are many ways to maximize your time outdoors in summers, what about pools?
They not only help your kids to have their fun time outdoor but adults to get some exercise too by splashing their hearts in delight.
But, those with limited space in their yards, can’t have the luxury of having in-ground pools installed.
Plus in-ground pools are expensive and cost your arms and legs.
The other alternative is on-ground or above-ground pools.
They are as efficient as in-ground pools, and can easily be installed by spending a small chunk of money of what you would have spent otherwise on in-ground pools.
Don’t think of old-styled on-ground pools which we use to have for kids in the past and get punctured or cracked easily.
Things are far changed, advancements in polyester and PVC have made us enjoy tear-resistant and puncture-resistant pools which last for longer.
Believe me, if you can’t have space for an in-ground pool, and are short on budget, on-ground pools are life-saver.
But not all on-ground pools are designed equal. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and types and are integrated with features.
The overwhelming number of brands is mere enough to confuse a first-timer.
To help you pick the right on-ground pool, and to make you get the most out of your purchase we made a list of the best above ground pools.
These products are hand-picked after personal testing and reading through consumer reports regarding. So Without further ado let’s get started.
7 Best Above Ground Pool Consumer Reports
I have compiled a list of the 7 best above ground pools based on consumer reports 2023.
1. INTEX Prism Frame Pool
If you have limited space in your yard and looking for a small above-ground pool without costing arms and legs that fit the needs of an average family, go with the INTEX Prism-designed Frame pool.
It is a small pool, easier to install, and pretty durable, compared to others in the same price range.
If you talk about durability, I can’t say any other product can share this scale of durability under this price range. It comes with two layers of laminated PVC and an extra layer of reinforced polyester. So, if you ask me the stand apart aspect of this pool, that’s the durability.
The amazing thing about the pool is it comes in different sizes. In case you have a spacious yard or garden to install the pool, you can simply go with a bigger size.
It comes with a pump and filter too, which means the pool can be used with the other models too.
In our testing, we found that the pool requires no tool for installation. The installation process was fast and instant, and with the help of one user, we were able to easily pull it up.
Overall, consumer reports too suggested the performance of this pool is generally good. Many customers were happy with the quality, performance, features, and setup of the tool. Most of the customers affirmed that the pool performs as advertised.
- Durable construction three layers
- Built-in pump and filtration system
- Easy to set up and install
- It comes in multiple sizes to help pick the right size
- The pump performance is not that impressive
2. Bestway Outdoor Rectangular Frame above Ground Pool
If you are on a budget and looking for an affordable ground pool for your kids, I can’t think of any other pool than Bestway Outdoor rectangular ground pool.
Can you imagine buying a pool option for under $100?
This one comes in hands under $80, but keep in mind, that this pool is only good for kids, and can’t be used for adults due to its small size.
In my experience and testing, the assembly of this pool is way easier than you can imagine.
But, I am afraid, you would not like the instruction. The instruction could have been simpler and easier to follow, and upon reading the consumer reports, the brand should start working on making the manual easier to follow.
The pool body comes coated with corrosion and rust-resistant coating and shares a 3-ply reinforced liner.
Not only the pool is tear-resistant, but the solid and durable construction of the side walls makes it long-lasting. The inner side walls are made of a polyester mesh, with 2 outer heavy gauge PVC layers.
This small kid’s designed in-ground pool comes with a built-in flow control drain valve. This drain valve can easily drain the water out of the pool.
You can attach a garden hose to the drain valve, and empty your pool within minutes, without following through with a manual process.
The only downside of having this affordably priced pool is that it does not have a built-in pump. To have water in the pool, you will have to use other many manual methods.
Overall, I can say, this pool is extremely impressive at this price range. Most of the consumers were thrilled because of its low price, and durable construction.
- Highly affordable price range
- Built-in drain valve to easily remove water
- Easy to set up and take down
- Three-layer construction
- No built-in pump
3. INTEX Pool with Cartridge Filter Pump
During the research of this post, we came across many consumers about the difficulty they face in setting up a frame-type on-ground pool.
So, if you too find it hard to pull up a framed pool, and looking for an easier set up a pool that could be assembled merely in minutes, go with this Inflatable pool.
This pool can easily be pulled within minutes and comes with everything you require for an above-ground pool.
It does not come with a frame which does not mean it is not durable or can be cracked. It maintains the top construction quality and shares 3 ply material in its construction. The material is tear-resistant, and can easily last for years without any big issues or trouble.
If you look at the features, I am certain you would easily narrow down this product. It comes literally with everything you require such as a ladder, ground cloth, an Intel 1000 filter pump that helps in easier pumping of the water, Type A and C Krystal Cartridge filter to help you and your family to enjoy crystal clear filtered water swimming.
If you look at the price, the features deserve this price range. Yes, it is pretty expensive and can’t be considered a budget range or cheap-priced product.
It got an incredible safety feature too, it got a ground fault circuit interrupter that shuts the pump off if the current is exposed to water to prevent any accident or damage.
The stand-out aspect of this pool still remains its easier installation. As per the consumers and reports, this pool is around 80 percent easier to install and use. It even comes with a protector, you can use that when not using the pool.
- Requires only 15 minutes to set it up
- Comes with a cloth and ladder too
- Integrated pump and filter for crystal clear water
- 3 Ply material construction
- Pretty Expensive
4. INTEX Ultra XTR Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump
If you are looking for an in-ground pool for adults, let me tell you, above-ground pools for adults hardly last longer.
The reason is, that for adults, pools have to be bigger and wider and to hold lots of water inside, it requires sturdiness and quality construction that can hardly be achieved even at the premium price range.
But it seems like INTEX as a brand is adamant about offering adults one of the sturdiest and uniquely designed pools. This pool shares corrosion resistant frame with inner and outer powder coating to provide superior protection.
Its T-joints are specially designed and engineered for optimum strength and durability and offer easier assembly as well.
With durable 3-ply material construction, this pool is going to last for a long. It’s tear-resistant, so don’t be worried about it breaking or cracking.
With Leg endcaps, you can enjoy a supreme grip and stability. The caps easily fit onto the frame posts and provide you with anti-slip performance.
It is a round shape swimming pool that has 192 inches in diameter and 48 inches in height to easily hold up to 5,000 gallons of water.
Consumer reports particularly mentioned the sturdiness and durability. It comes with a strong, durable frame that connects with a uniquely designed locking mechanism to ensure stability and safety. Not just the durability, but the attractive color scheme to grab the eyeballs.
The swimming pool comes with a debris cloth. The debris cloth is made of durable material and prevents your pool from getting debris when not in use.
Don’t forget the ladder. It got a slip-resistant steps ladder that makes it easier to jump into the swimming pool for kids and adults alike.
I was about to forget the sand filter pump. The pool comes with Intex Krystal Clear sand filter pumps with Hydro Aeration technology to provide you with the best filtration performance.
Also Read: Best Robotic Pool Cleaner
- Krystal clear sand filter pump
- Comes with a debris cloth to cover
- Durable corrosion-resistant steel frame constructed with locking mechanism
- It can easily hold up to 5,000 gallons of water
- Small sized, can’t hold weight more than 300 pounds
5. Aquarian Phoenix Round Steel above Ground Pool
If you want a permanent setup of pool in your backyard and are ready to invest in buying a premium constructed and designed above-ground pool, Aquarian Phoenix round steel pool is the best option. It is certainly one of the expensive options, but worth the price and offers enhanced durability.
It is steel constructed pool that offers due durability. Its frame shares 6-inch steel top rails, and 8 inches vertical posts, with 2-piece injection, molded resin connectors. But the steel frame does not include the liner and other accessories, you will have to buy them separately.
The installation is easier, you can put together the steel frame easily. The steel frame though is a little flimsy, and difficult to hold in place, so it would be ideal if you get a hand from your family members.
Well, if you look at the size too, you can easily get the idea that the pool can’t be pulled together alone.
Scrubbing through the consumer reports, most people praise the commendable construction and durability.
The only issue they mentioned is the price range, and above all its installation. Other than that, we found nothing worthy of disadvantages to mention here.
Yes, the price is a big issue, again, I already mentioned that it is not a temporality solution, it is a permanent solution, and going to make you spend your arms and legs.
- Steel constructed frame
- Large easily fit even a large family
- It is an ideal and permanent solution
- Can customize the liner type
- Have to purchase liner separately
6. INTEX Ultra XTR Rectangle Pool
Why do we all love in-ground pools? Because of ease of access and features. What if an in-ground pool offers you in-ground pool access and features?
Yes, the INTEX-designed XTR rectangle pool comes in a rectangle shape and makes you feel like a standard in-ground pool.
Keep in mind, that this rectangle-shaped pool is a different ball game. It is not like other on-ground pools, that’s why it comes at an expensive price range but the features and accessibility you get by spending are really worth it.
The expensive price you spend really shows in the construction and durability of the pool. Its liner, as well as framing, is incredibly durable, and something you would really like to shell out your hard-earned money.
Its Liner is made of a tougher and thicker material, with 50-percent tear-resistant properties.
Whereas the frame is made of galvanized steel which is resistant to corrosion and rust. So, the combo of liner and frame makes the pool stands out in the crowd.
In our experience and testing, the installation was straightforward.
But, it requires a little hand, you can’t get it done alone, will have to take the help of your friends or family members. With 2-3 people, it can easily be pulled up within 2-3 hours.
The standout aspect of this pool is its connectivity to the saltwater water system. The saltwater system although comes in this pool in its bare bone structure, gets the job done and is sufficient for the size of the pool.
It also integrates a ladder, debris cover, and many other extra handy features which make you enjoy the whole swimming experience with your family.
Overall, I find this pool extremely luxurious to have installed in the back of the yard. Yes, it is expensive, and if you can’t afford to buy this one, leave it and look for any other pool on our list.
- Saltwater system
- Step ladder
- Debris cover integrated to prevent dust
- Galvanized steel frame constructed with steel liner
7. Googo Inflatable Swimming Pool
If you and your family are living in a rental space and you don’t want an expensive and permanent in-ground pool installed in the backyard of your home, go with Googo designed inflatable swimming pool.
It is a temporary solution, an inflatable swimming pool that can easily be taken with you when leaving the space.
Our testing and consumer reports would second our opinion that it is super-easy to set up a pool. It does not require any helping hand, just one person can easily pull it up.
It is a thick and BPA-free PVC material with sidewalls and a bottom-constructed pool that provides extra strength to make it last longer.
I am amazed by experiencing how easily it inflates and deflate. It also comes with built-in drains, to help you easily remove water out of the pool in a matter of seconds.
It got an electric pump, and with the help of that pump, three independent air chambers can easily be filled in minutes.
To help you pick the right size, the pool comes in two sizes, larger for adults and smaller for kids above 3 years old.
One more thing, one consumer mentioned that the smaller size can be used for a ball pit for kids, and he was using one for the purpose.
- Affordable-priced inflatable pool
- Comes in two sizes to help pick the right size
- The smaller version can be used for a ball pit other than a kid pool
- Beach palls, and repair patches included
- The air pump is not included in the price package
Above Ground Pool Buying Guide
Before you move on and buy an above-ground pool there are a few things that should be kept in mind to get the most out of the purchase.
Although we have reviewed the best-on-ground pools here, you can easily pick one from there.
But, in case you don’t like any of them, how would you filter out the best available near you or online. This is the guide designed to help you in filtering out the best available product.
There is more than one type of above-ground swimming pool on the market. So, choose the right type, the type that fits your needs and requirement to help you get the most out of it.
If you want an above-ground pool that takes almost no time in installation and maintenance, go with inflatable pools.
They are easier to inflate and deflate and come in various sizes shapes and features. The downside of having inflatable pools is, that they are susceptible to leaks and overspills.
If you want a durable and permanent solution, go with a steel frame or constructed on-ground pools. They come with a steel frame and are tear-resistant pools. They come with PVC walls or steel walls and are designed to prevent deformation.
Yes, they are hard to set up and expensive but it is a one-time investment and a permanent solution.
Aluminum-constructed above-ground pools are even more expensive than steel but they are rust and corrosion resistant, unlike steel frame on-ground pools. But they are susceptible to oxidation and require proper coating.
Resin on-ground pools to be very famous, they are designed for outdoor installation. They are prone to susceptibility and fading over time.
After the right type of on-ground pool, the shape is the second most important attribute you should decide to get the best out of your product.
Mostly the on-ground pools come in oval and round shapes. The oval shapes of on-ground pools are considered to hold more water and take less space, but in real round shapes hold more water. The oval designs are cheaper and require very few parts in setting up.
Plus, oval-shaped on-ground pools require less space compared to round-shaped. For those with limited space in their yards, it is good to go with an oval-shaped on-ground pool.
Maintenance and installation
Most of us might not make installation an important and worthy aspect but in reality, believe me, installation is one of the crucial things. It’s the installation of the pool that saves lots of your time.
Plus, if the on-ground or above-ground pool requires additional materials to be installed, or parts to attach for installation, the process can take all the time.
If you need an easier to maintain and install a pool, go with inflatable tools. Inflatable tools are easier to inflate and deflate compare to steel and other types of frames.
Pool depth too is a deciding factor, and should be rightly taken into notice before buying a pool. If you are buying an in-ground pool for your children, keep in mind to have a depth of not more than 1-2 feet. For adults though, the depth can be up to 52 inches or so.
Adults like to swim in high-depth pools, thus requiring more maintenance.
If you can’t figure out the features and other things to look for in an on-ground pool, why don’t you rely on our top picks?
After all, we got your back with a list of top pools, you can rely on our option and pick the one that matches your needs requirements, and budget range.
In case you don’t like any of the products from our top picks, you can learn from the buying guide to filter out the best available around you or online.
In the end, we can hope that this guide will help you pick the right option, and after reading this at least you would be able to narrow down some models.
Can you install an above-ground pool yourself?
It depends on the pool you are buying. It depends on the complexity of the pool you are buying. In case you got a steel frame constructed on-ground pool, with lots of added features and specs, it will require more than one person to get it installed.
Yes, there are on-ground pools you can install yourself, like inflatable pools which can be easily installed.
Which are better, round or oval above-ground pools?
It depends on the size of your backyard and available space. If you got space for installation of the pool in an oval shape, go with an oval shape and vice versa.
But if you compare the features and ease of installation, generally oval-shaped pools are complex to install and disassemble, compare to round-shaped pools.