Last Updated: June 4, 2021
Ah, the above ground pool. An affordable, low maintenance (as far pools go anyway) way to turn your backyard into a true oasis.
If you are like most families you have, at one point or another, dreamed of turning your backyard into the most popular spot in the neighborhood by investing in a nice pool. You were probably then scared off by the price tag.
We get it. Pools have traditionally been inaccessibly expensive. The good news for consumers, however, is that that just isn’t the case anymore.
It is true that finding an affordable above ground pool can be a tough task. But it isn’t an impossible one. Today we assembled the best cheap above ground pools 2021 review guide to help you find the perfect pool for your family.
|Best Overall||Intex 12ft x 30in Metal Frame Above Ground Pool||
|Bestway Steel Pro 15′ x 48″ Above-Ground Pool Set||
|Best Value||Intex 12ft X 30in Easy Set Above Ground Pool||
|Intex 86″ x 59″ x 23″ Rectangular Above-Ground Pool||
First up we have the durable and affordable Intex 12 foot by 30-inch metal frame pool set. This unit one our top slot by maximizing durability with a heavy-duty metal frame, and tough plastic liners.
Ruggedness is one of the big calling cards of an Intex pool. It is how they market themselves, and for good reason. Their products do seem to stand the test of time in a way that other budget brands can’t match.
Another thing we really liked about this pool is that just about anyone is going to be able to get it up and running. Above ground pools can, in some cases require professional assistance to start out with. That isn’t the case here.
Most people will be able to setup this unit on their own. In fact, Intex claims that it can be ready for water in thirty minutes.
At twelve feet, it is also fairly sizable, and it even comes with a filter and pump, meaning you will have just about everything you could need to start using it right away.
All of this said, we do have some concerns regarding the pump. We’ve seen multiple reports from users saying their pump lasted only one season.
Granted, this is probably a relatively rare defect—not something most people will encounter. Still it is a con that could end up being pricey down the line.
Coming in at a close second, the Bestway Steel Pro frame pool set. This bad boy is considerably more sizable than the last that we looked at, coming in at an impressive 15’ x 48”.
Like the Intex, you get a rust-resistant steel frame, with PVC piping, and a durable synthetic plastic liner making up the rest of the body.
The Bestway Steel Pro also features an easy setup. So, why didn’t this pool find itself in our top slot?
Price is one reason. The extra dimensions that come with this pool account for a price tag that is almost twice that of the Intex. Granted, this pool is definitely still cheap, but considering how similar it is to our top choice, it seems to be a little bit marked up.
That aside, it is a great pool that will be very pleasing to many buyers.
If you are looking for an extra cheap pool, you might appreciate our best for the money pick, the Intex Easy Pool Set. This unit found itself in third by offering plenty of quality for a price that you just can’t beat.
This is actually an inflatable pool, which has obvious pros and cons. On the one hand, it can be prepared for water in about ten minutes, so there is certainly a strong element of instant gratification.
On the other hand, even the best inflatable has a limited life expectancy.
That is the big con here. This pool isn’t going to last forever—probably just a couple of summers at most.
Still, for the money, you may not mind buying it again and again. It even comes with a small pump and filter to keep the water nice and fresh.
Last, we have yet another pool from Intex. The Rectangular frame Splash Pool. This is one the smallest pool on our list today, but it is also one of the most affordable.
You get a set of features similar to what we saw with the other Intex pools here. Tough vinyl siding, and a strong steel frame.
Unfortunately, we did notice that the rectangular frame you get here is a little bit more vulnerable to rust than we like to see. Rust will shorten the life expectancy of a pool considerably.
It also doesn’t come with a pump or filter, which means you will need to buy one separately.
Let’s now take a look at some buying considerations that will make your decision a little bit easier.
Pools in this price range aren’t going to be enormous. Still, you can actually get options that are sized big enough for the whole family to comfortably enjoy themselves.
If you are buying for a big family, anything in the 12-15 foot range will be suitable.
If you’re looking for a pool for your dog, we recommend buying a separate one that’s built for that purpose.
We saw two different types of styles today: inflatable, or solid frames.
Naturally, inflatables are going to be easier to set up and much more affordable. They also will have a short life expectancy.
Solid frame pools will have the potential to last at least a few seasons if you get the right one.
The style you choose will ultimately just depend on what you hope to get out of the purchase.
Last but not least, be sure to check if the accessories are included. Pump, filter, ladder, etc. If they aren’t included, be prepared to spend an extra $100+ getting them.
Now that our cheap above ground pool reviews have shown you your options, it is time to make a decision. If you still aren’t clear on which of these affordable options is right for you, we can offer our recommendations.
We found that the Intext really went above and beyond the quality expectations that you can expect to get with a budget pool.
However, if you really want to be thrifty, our best for the money pick, the Intex Easy Pool Set, is a good way to maximize value and still get a good product.
That said, those are just our thoughts. Now that you have read this guide you can study the market with an informed eye and be confident when you make your final choice.
If you’re looking for a pool pump to go with your pool, then you could read our new guide here.
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