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pool guideAmazon

The Insider Pick:

  • There’s an above-ground pool for almost every space. Whether you’re going for a permanent structure or a seasonal one, we’ve got a pool in our guide that will work for your specific needs.

  • Overall, we like the Intex Ultra Frame swimming pool best because it has a steel frame and heavy-duty triple-ply laminate walls.

Above-ground swimming pools are expensive and a ceaseless chore. Between balancing chemical pH, cleaning, repairing, replacing filtration systems, and winterizing, other people’s pools are surely the best pools. Still, it’s an invaluable luxury to have a place to cool off within the confines of your own backyard, and there are reasonable ways to accommodate a swimming pool without committing to a nightmarish list of maintenance tasks.

We’ve looked through everything from easy-setup and inflatable all-vinyl pools to metal-framed, vinyl-sided, and all-metal pools to come up with a handful of great swimming pools that don’t cost an arm and a leg.

Inflatable and easy-setup pools are the most affordable, but they also carry the shortest lifespan, and generally don’t fare well in the elements over time. In contrast, vinyl pools reinforced with metal and all-metal pools stand a much better chance against wear and tear, weather, and time. All-metal pools can also be left up and winterized, so the daunting proposition of packing up and storing a heavy, confusing mess of plastic and metal goes out the window.

Whether you want to deck out your backyard with a permanent all-metal pool that you can winterize rather than throw away or just give your kids a small pool for splashing around, we’ve got you covered.

Here are our picks for the best swimming pools:

Read more about our picks in the slides below.