people's choice

The Best Backyard Pools on Amazon, According to Hyperenthusiastic Reviewers

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Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy (like pillows), but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. If our recent exposé on the increasing popularity of stock tank pools got you wishing for an aboveground backyard pool of your own, here’s an easier and decidedly less DIY way to go about it. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)

Best pool for a family of five

4 stars, 1,016 reviews

“I love my Intex pool! We had our first one for six years, and then the metal poles finally rusted, so we bought a new one. I think you can buy new poles, so we’ll do that next time; the liner was in perfect shape. My dogs jump in and out of this thing all day, and if it can withstand that, it can withstand anything. For around $100, you can’t get any better than this.”

Best pool for a family of five who prefer shade

4.6 stars, 24 reviews

“Absolutely love this pool! It is the perfect size for my littles and is a great alternative to your typical easy-set pool. It went up much easier than I anticipated, and my kids love having shade, and the mister has been a wonderful feature. I thought the price was great and foresee years of use from this pool. I have already had a ton of people asking where I got it.”

Best pool for a pool party

4.1 stars, 46 reviews

“This is my second Intex aboveground pool. For those who give it less than five stars, just remember how much you paid for it. It is a $500-or-less pool! For the money spent, this is totally awesome. I learned from my first pool that the sand filter and saltwater system were the way to go. I also have a large concrete pad in the backyard, so leveling is not an issue. Just remember it is less than $500 and ready to go in a few hours. Best $500 I have ever spent. Countless hours of fun with family and friends.”

Best pool for one parent and one kid

Intex Mini Frame Pool

4.1 stars, 109 reviews

“It’s the perfect size for me and my 16-month-old. He has plenty of room to play and can easily get chest-deep in the water. I fit in the pool very comfortably, too, and I’m always within arm’s reach of the kid. We could easily fit another small child or even another adult (although, it might start to feel crowded with a second adult). It was easy to assemble after some thought, as the instructions were a little less than clear. I have it set up on a concrete porch with a foam play mat under it. It’s the perfect amount of cushion.”

Best pool with a waterfall

4 stars, 230 reviews

“Bigger than I expected, and my son loves it to keep cool during the hot days. He’s 5 and too big for kiddie pools, so we got this specifically to put at the end of his slide, and he has had so much fun with it already.”

Best pool with a slide

4.2 stars, 20 reviews

“This is a great, albeit very pink, paddling pool for a toddler. The sprinklers are great, as is the slide. I paid $36 for it and it was well worth it. My daughter does not want to get out of the pool. I wish I’d had such a pool when I was little.”

Best pool for just one baby


4.3 stars, 736 reviews

“This little pool is a good size for our 1-year-old. We use it as a play pen when we’re in the yard, and also as a wading pool with a little bit of water and a few toys. We’ve even used it as a little bed when our son fell asleep at a beach party. Its petite size makes it easy to pack in a bag, and it blows up in little time. It’s also durable, as we’ve used it many times with no leaks or tears so far.”

Best shaded baby pool for fish lovers

4.5 stars, 315 reviews

“My 6-month-old loved his first pool experience in this pool. I love how cute it is, my son smiled and laughed at the big fish as soon as I inflated it. And it’s so comfy, with a nice padded bottom and sturdy padding all around. It’s got the perfect amount of canopy, he can be mostly shaded from the sun, but partly in the sun if we wanted him to be a bit. We just love this pool! I can’t wait to use it all summer long.”

Best pool for pets

4.2 stars, 197 reviews

“I bought this for our Indian Runner ducks. They are very happy with it and love to splash about in it. I’ve had it for about a month now and it has stood up to their sharp little feet. I love that it folds down — that will make for easy storage in the winter.”

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The Best Backyard Pools on Amazon