With most public pools and some beaches still closed as temperatures are starting to rise (and stay risen), you may be trying to find other solutions to beat the heat this summer. While there are plenty of things you can do to cool down indoors, doing so outside obviously becomes trickier when public amenities are off limits. Which is why we thought contributors Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur’s recent prediction that “the inflatable backyard pool is going to have a big summer” couldn’t have been more true. In fact, seemingly overnight, many inflatable pools are now quite hard to come by — likely because, even if you only have a roof or a sliver of backyard, you can probably find one that fits inside whatever outdoor space you’re working with.
To help find inflatable pools for different kinds of outdoor spaces (that also look a little more elevated than your average cartoon-covered kiddie pool), we asked interior designers (and our in-house home décor expert) for their thoughts. And then we did a little digging on our own to find more options that, at the time of publication, are currently available and ready to ship from a range of retailers, some of which are more unexpected than others. Given the popularity of inflatable pools right now, we’ll be updating this piece as pools sell out and we find others in stock, so keep checking back.
Most of the pools that the experts recommend measure about five feet in diameter. While some have “kiddie” in their name, this size can fit adults and work well in a variety of outdoor spaces, including an unfinished roof, small (or large) backyards, or even a spacious balcony. Decorist designer Sarah Ramirez told us about the brand PoolCandy, which currently has this five-foot-wide, kicky grapefruit-printed pool in stock. The brand says it can comfortably accommodate two adults.
Cerulo and Mazur pointed us to the inflatable pools from fashion stylist Kristin Myllenbeck’s line Mylle, which they say are “fun without splashing into swan-pool-float territory.” The Mylle pools measure 65 inches in diameter (or just under five and a half feet) and have been sold out for months — but, for now, they’re restocked in three colors: ochre, green, and their original black-and-white-striped number.
In the same bright colors as our favorite Popsicles, this pool that measures 59 inches (or slightly under five feet) in diameter just screams summer to us.
Technically this bright, tomato-red foldable pool is meant for dogs, but at 63 inches (or just over five feet) wide, it will also work for humans. Strategist contributor Regan Stephens says her three daughters — “who, at ages 3, 4, and 8, range in size from pug to pit bull”— spend all afternoon playing in a similar pet pool. The folding design makes it easier to set up, compared to an inflatable pool, and a drainage valve makes it just as easy to empty.
You will need a larger patch of grass to unfurl this modular, family-size, monochromatic pool, but it gets extra points for the built in chairs. It also comes with a drain plug and a repair patch.
On the smaller end of the spectrum, at a little under four-feet long, the size of this inflatable unicorn pool makes it better for kids. But if you’ve got little ones to entertain, it is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. And if she springs a leak, an included repair patch makes fixing it easy. The pool also has a padded base and a drain plug, so you can easily pack it up after a day in the yard.
If you’re looking for a more extravagant option, Wright calls this inflatable pool shaped like a pink convertible a “showstopper.” Made from durable vinyl and PVC, it can comfortably fit two adults. And if you are lucky enough to get invited to an in-ground pool party, it can also double as a float.
Yes, this is technically an inflatable cooler, but if you’re just looking for something to dip your toes in (literally), Ramirez says it makes a great space-saving option that would definitely fit on a smaller balcony or stoop.
While all of the above options work for both kids and adults, they’re a little too deep for the infant set. If you’re looking for a baby pool, this cheerful mushroom-adorned option would do the trick. It has a padded bottom and a sunshade that offers extra UV protection for your little one.
While it’s not inflatable, this personal pool is certainly unlikely. Hannah Faust, a dancer, actor, and interior designer, told us she created a perfectly usable pool using an aluminum tank like this. “I had been using it as an herb garden, but I emptied it out and filled it with my hose.” Also known as a stock-tank pool, Wright says it’s the “perfect idea for the DIY-er” and told us that step-by-step instructions for putting your own stock-tank pool together can be found online. While Faust scored her used aluminum tub on Facebook Marketplace, she says you can find plenty of new ones online, like this one from Tarter. It’s ovular shape makes it kind of like a bathtub, and at roughly two feet wide by four feet long, it would be a perfect size for kids.
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