Best Above Ground Pool For Small Backyards

Living in a place with warm weather is sometimes unbearable especially during summertime.  But would you allow yourself to experience this forever?  I guess not! Because there are ways to fight the heat, and having an above-ground pool right beside your home is one of the best.

We are all aware that building an inground swimming pool entails a big amount of money.  It is even hard to maintain.  A more affordable option is buying the best above ground pool for small yards, they are a lot easier to install too.  

Best Above Ground Pools For Small Back Yards

  1. Intex Ultra XTR Frame Set Pool 18ft X 52in [ Best Above Ground Pool – Our Top Pick ]
  2. Intex Ultra Rectangular Pool Set 24ft X 12ft X 52in [Best For Durability]
  3. Bestway Steel Pro Max Above Ground Pool Set 15ft x 48″ [ Best Budget ]
  4. Intex Ultra XTR Frame Rectangular Pool Set 32ft x 16 ftx 52″ [ Best For Slighty Bigger Yards ]
  5. Intex Premium Prism Steel 15ft x 48in

Why an above ground pool is a great alternative for your backyard

  • To reiterate, above ground pools are far more affordable than traditional pools.  
  • There is no need to dig a pit in your yard.  All you need is enough space where you can set up the pool.  
  • It is a low-maintenance kind of pool.

Factors that Will Help You Choose an Above Ground Swimming Pool

Before heading on to a store or to a shopping website, there are few things that you need to know.  Here they are:

Pool Size

When you’re planning to buy an above-ground pool, it is important that you consider measuring your yard first.  It will just be a waste of time getting a pool without figuring out first the dimensions needed.  

It’s common sense to get a pool that is smaller than your yard.  Otherwise, it will just end up in folded and covered in dust in your storage.  

Start measuring the space where you intend to place your above ground pool.  Make sure to leave a few feet on the sides. As much as possible, do this step twice or thrice until you’re completely sure of the measurements.  

Pool Design and Shape

The shape of the pool will really depend on the shape of your yard.  There’s a rectangle, round and oval.  The oval-shaped pool is usually the largest as it can carry up to 20,000 gallons of water.  That’s huge!

If you only have a small yard, you should choose a round pool.  Take the area or diameter of your yard to know what pool size fits in it.  

Type of above ground swimming pool

Above ground, pools come in various types…  The standard pool, which has steel supports, protective powder coating, and puncture-resistant PVC liners.  

32' x 16' x 52" Rectangular Ultra XTR Frame Swimming Pool w/ Pump Framed Swimming Pools Swimming Pool Above Ground Pool Pools for Backyard Outdoor Pool Above Ground Pools Backyard Pool Frame Pool

The other type is the inflatable swimming pool.  Its walls are also made of PVC, but are not supported by a steel frame.  

Inflatable Swimming Pool,Family Inflatable Lounge Above Ground Blow Up Pool for Kiddie, Kids, Adults, Easy Set Swimming Pool for Backyard, Summer Water Party

The price of a standard model typically starts at $600.  If you are looking for a long-lasting pool, then it is worth investing into standard model as it is far more durable.  But if you are short on budget, you should just settle for the inflatable swimming pool. 

Features

When canvassing an above ground pool, know if the pool comes with the necessary accessories or tools that are needed for the setup as well as the cleaning up process.  Pool sets, most of the time, already have a ground cloth, pool liner, debris cover, and a filter pump.  

For bigger pools, a ladder is also included.  You might also want to check if it includes dual-suction outlets and chemical dispensers for effortless cleaning.  

The Best Above Ground Pools that You Can Find 

There are several above-ground pools that are available in the market, but here are the best pools as we rate them.  Are you ready to take your pick and beat the heat?  If you are, then you may start scrolling down. 

Intex Ultra XTR Frame Set Pool 18ft X 52in

Best Above Ground Pool – Our Top

Intex 26329EH Intex-18' X 52" Ultra XTR Frame Set Pool, 18ft X 52in, dark grey

Intex 26329EH Intex-18' X 52" Ultra XTR Frame Set Pool, 18ft X 52in, dark grey
Intex 26329EH Intex-18' X 52" Ultra XTR Frame Set Pool, 18ft X 52in, dark grey
Intex 26329EH Intex-18' X 52" Ultra XTR Frame Set Pool, 18ft X 52in, dark grey

This Intex above ground pool model has one of the best water purification performances because of its sand filter pumps (Intex Krystal Clear) using the Hydro Aeration Technology.  

Maintenance will never be a problem as it is extremely easy.  This is because the sand usually just needs routine backwashing.  It can be used for up to 5 years.  

Its unique frame design is made of galvanized steel that is of high quality.  Its locking system was engineered with precision making this above ground pool superior, durable, and stable.  

Its resistance to rust made it even more a blockbuster.  Thanks to its outer and inner protective powder coating.  This is a good choice for meticulous persons aspiring to own an above ground pool.  

What’s good:

  • It is resistant to rust.
  • It comes with a number of useful pool accessories.
  • It is hard-wearing, which can last for many, many years. 
  • Its inner and outer layers are protected by a powder coating.  
  • It has a non-slip ladder, pool cover, and a ground cloth.  
  • Can hold more than 6,900 gallons of water.
  • Its pump can fill the pool with water in an hour. 

What’s not good:

  • It takes a lot of time to set up

Intex Ultra Rectangular Pool Set 24ft X 12ft X 52in

Best For Durability

Intex 24ft X 12ft X 52in Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover

Intex 24ft X 12ft X 52in Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover
Intex 24ft X 12ft X 52in Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover
Intex 24ft X 12ft X 52in Ultra Frame Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump, Ladder, Ground Cloth & Pool Cover

This Intex Ultra Frame above the ground rectangular pool was engineered with precision and promises durability.  Just like the Intex Ultra XTR, its frames are made of sturdy steel and coated with a protective powder inside and out, which makes it rust-resistant.  The protective coat also maintains the beauty of this Intex above ground pool.   

Because of its present-day design and extra strength feature, this has already become one of the benchmarks for lavishness.  Its price is hundreds of dollars higher than the Ultra XTR.    

It is equipped with a Krystal Clear sand filter pump, which delivers clear and sparkling water.  Fill up the Intex pool and get ready to dive in just after an hour.  However, this cannot be set up on soft grounds like on the sand and on loose soil.  

It promotes better pool water circulation and hygiene because of its dual suction outlet fittings.  The pool ladder of this model shows off superior stability and support.  It also comes with a cover, ground cloth, and DVD containing the set-up and maintenance instructions.    

What’s good:

  • The Intex Ultra Frame above ground rectangular pool is very spacious. It can actually accommodate up to 4 adults or 6 kids.   
  • Heavy-duty and durable design.  
  • Simple and easy to set up. On an average, assembly time only takes  about 1 to 2 hours.  
  • It comes with a powerful filter.
  • Its Easy-Lock System push-button connector is used to put together the poles without needing additional tools.  It just simply locks in place quickly. 
  • Puncture-resistant as it has a 3-ply liner.     
  • A tad expensive but very reasonable what you are getting  

What’s not good:

  • The pool area needs to be on solid ground.
  • If your yard is bumpy or soft, it will probably take some time to prepare the site.  
  • It doesn’t come with a pump outlet hose.   
  • Since the support metal bars are long, they are quite difficult to insert into the pool liner.  
  • The ladder is not that sturdy for adults.  

Intex Ultra XTR Frame Rectangular Pool Set 32ft x 16 ftx 52″

Best For Slightly Bigger Yards

Intex 32ft X 16ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System, Ladder, Ground Cloth, Pool Cover, Maintenance Kit & Volleyball

Intex 32ft X 16ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System, Ladder, Ground Cloth, Pool Cover, Maintenance Kit & Volleyball
Intex 32ft X 16ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System, Ladder, Ground Cloth, Pool Cover, Maintenance Kit & Volleyball
Intex 32ft X 16ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System, Ladder, Ground Cloth, Pool Cover, Maintenance Kit & Volleyball

The Intex ground swimming pool from Intex is truly relaxing.  Its gray exterior liner and its classic blue tile-like interior gives it a clean and refreshing look.  The setting up process only takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes.  

It can store up to 14,364 gallons of water or 90% capacity.  This above ground swimming is easy to maintain.  It only requires basic sand routinary backwashing and can be replaced in the 5th year.   

The pump’s Hydro Aeration Technology helps improve the pool’s water filtration and circulation system.  With this, it can consistently deliver clear water and likewise enhance the negative ions.  

Furthermore, a ground cloth, ladder, pool cover, and sand filter are included in this above ground pool kit.  

What’s good:

  • It has a slip-resistant and rust-proof steel frame pool ladder.  
  • It is equipped with a Krystal Clear Sand Filter Pump and Saltwater System that features a rust-resistant tank.  
  • Aside from having an innovative design, the frames are made of high-quality galvanized steel protected with a powder coating.  
  • This above ground pool includes a warranty.  

What’s not good

  • It does not include salt.  You need to purchase your own.

Intex Premium Prism Steel 15ft x 48in

Intex 26741EH 15ft x 48in Greywood Premium Prism Steel Frame Outdoor Above Ground Swimming Pool Set with Cover, Ladder, & Pump

Intex 26741EH 15ft x 48in Greywood Premium Prism Steel Frame Outdoor Above Ground Swimming Pool Set with Cover, Ladder, & Pump
Intex 26741EH 15ft x 48in Greywood Premium Prism Steel Frame Outdoor Above Ground Swimming Pool Set with Cover, Ladder, & Pump
Intex 26741EH 15ft x 48in Greywood Premium Prism Steel Frame Outdoor Above Ground Swimming Pool Set with Cover, Ladder, & Pump

This Intex Greywood Premium above ground pool is perfect for large families as it measures 15 ft by 4 ft. and can hold up to 4,440 gallons of water.  It is recommended for kids ages 6 years old and up.  

It has a filter pump with remarkable power.  Do you know why? Because it can pump 1,000 gallons of water within an hour.  Impressive, isn’t it?

It allows you to keep your pool stay sanitized and clear because of its Hydro Aeration pump technology.  Because of this, you will surely enjoy your pool’s excellent water quality.  

Like other Intex above ground pools, this model was created with outstanding durability and appearance.  Its liner that consists a 3-ply material makes it puncture-resistant.

What’s good:

  • It has an innovative T-joint that requires no pins.
  • It has a large and thick profile frame making it very durable and long-lasting.  
  • Fast to assemble without any tools required.  

What’s not good:

  • Sand filter has to be bought separately.

Bestway Steel Pro Max Above Ground Pool Set 15ft x 48″

Best Budget

Bestway 15' x 48" Steel Pro Max Above Ground Pool Set

Bestway 15' x 48" Steel Pro Max Above Ground Pool Set
Bestway 15' x 48" Steel Pro Max Above Ground Pool Set
Bestway 15' x 48" Steel Pro Max Above Ground Pool Set

The Bestway Power Steel above ground swimming pool can be one of the best amenities that you can add in your yard.  It has a 90% water capacity that can hold around 4,231 gallons of water.

It has a filter pump that is capable of pumping 1,000 gallons per hour.  Its triple-ply feature makes it puncture-resistant and long-lasting, which of course depends on how you take care of it.  

It very easy to set up and dismantle.  Surprisingly, you do not need any tools to do this.  

When you buy a Bestway above-ground pool, it already includes a filter, pump, cover, and ladder.  The metal frames, which serve as the foundation of the pool, are all rust-resistant.  

It has an integrated ChemConnect dispenser that is responsible for maintaining an ideal chemical balance in your pool.  

What’s good:

  • It only occupies a small area.   
  • It is so easy to assemble and dismantle.  

What’s not good:

  • The post clips go in and out, which is a bit worrisome, especially for kids.  
  • The seams are not pulled well together.  This might cause leaks in the future.  Or, it might not even be able to manage the allowable number of people in the pool.
  • The pool cover looks inferior and flimsy.
  • The electric cord is too short.   

Installing an above ground pool

Installing an above-ground pool is going to be dependent on the model that you purchased, but… in general terms, there is a standard process of assembling it.  

Step 1: Cleaning the area.

Clean the area surface where you’ll be positioning your above-ground pool.  If needed, level out the area, and lay down the ground cloth followed by the bottom plate.

Step 2: Attaching structure

Attach the metal bars to the plate until the entire perimeter is completely sheltered. 

Attach the vertical sidebars to the frame’s bottom part. 

Always check if you’re working with the correct metal bars as they may all look the same.  If not done correctly, it will not stand in position correctly.    

Step 3: Lay the lining

Lay down the lining starting from the bottom of the plate then to the walls.  Once you’re done putting the lining, check if everything is balanced. Make sure that all sides are at a similar height.  

Cleaning your swimming pool

Tools needed for cleaning an above-ground pool

1. Pool skimmer/Pool Net

The award-winning PoolSkim uses the power of the water returning to the pool to create a venturi suction that draws all floating debris like a magnet and is collected in a sturdy nylon mesh clip-on bag.

PoolSkim Pool Skimmer and Pool Cleaner

Stargoods Pool Skimmer deep bag, with its high capacity, will help you to have a better spring leaf cleanup, besides it has a fine mesh for collecting small debris, pine cones, small twigs, trap floating garbage, even the smallest particles.

Stargoods Pool Skimmer Net, Heavy Duty Leaf Rake Cleaning Tool, Fine Mesh Net Bag Catcher

2. Pool hose

A high-performance hose provides the maximum flow rate and allows for the proper full suction, so you can keep your pool clean and ready for use, and you can focus on what’s most important, enjoying your pool! The swivel cuff allows for kink-free maneuverability with no tangles. 

U.S. Pool Supply 1-1/2" x 50 Foot Professional Heavy Duty Spiral Wound Swimming Pool Vacuum Hose with Kink-Free Swivel Cuff, Flexible - Connect to Vacuum Heads, Skimmer, Filter Pump Inlet, Accessories

3. Pool Vacuum

This high-tech, super-effective pool cleaner can be used by both professionals and do-it-yourself bodies. Easy to use and fast, the Aiper Smart Pool Cleaner features a high-tech motor with ultra-powerful torque, which provides maximum lifting power. 2.1 inches suction cup, which can be firmly attached to the poolside without being affected by waves and currents. Ultra-quiet, low vibration, and noise-reducing motor.

AIPER SMART Cordless Automatic Pool Cleaner, Strong Suction with 2pcs Upgraded Motors, Lightweight, IPX8 Waterproof, Auto-dock Robotic Pool Cleaner, Ideal for Above/In-ground Flat Pool Up to 538+Sq Ft

AIPER SMART Cordless Automatic Pool Cleaner, Strong Suction with 2pcs Upgraded Motors, Lightweight, IPX8 Waterproof, Auto-dock Robotic Pool Cleaner, Ideal for Above/In-ground Flat Pool Up to 538+Sq Ft
AIPER SMART Cordless Automatic Pool Cleaner, Strong Suction with 2pcs Upgraded Motors, Lightweight, IPX8 Waterproof, Auto-dock Robotic Pool Cleaner, Ideal for Above/In-ground Flat Pool Up to 538+Sq Ft
AIPER SMART Cordless Automatic Pool Cleaner, Strong Suction with 2pcs Upgraded Motors, Lightweight, IPX8 Waterproof, Auto-dock Robotic Pool Cleaner, Ideal for Above/In-ground Flat Pool Up to 538+Sq Ft

Improving your above ground pool build

If you want to take your swimming pool a step further then consider building a pool deck around the structure. This gives your backyard pool a more defined and fitting look. See these ground pool deck idea photos for some inspiration turning a simple small backyard pool into the perfect pool and backyard oasis in your outdoor space.

Additionally, you could expand by adding a small inground pool or semi inground pool with a swim spa or cocktail pool as I like to call them.

improving backyard above ground pool

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a good size pool for a small backyard?

A good size pool for a small backyard is 10 feet by 10 feet. It should be about three feet deep for soaking and floating, and four to five feet deep for best lap pool action. Back yards vary in size and so do pools. You want to find the balance between the pool area and the remaining space in your backyard. The choice is yours.

What swimming pool shape is best for a small backyard?

In general, round pools are the most popular option for small backyards. A round pool will look smaller than a rectangular pool of the same size. Depending on the shape of your backyard, a rectangle shape may fit your backyard better.

How to maintain a small above ground pool?

You should install a sump pump in your house, test the chlorine level, do weekly shock treatments, test the pH level, run the pool’s pump at least eight hours per day, clean and replace the filter, clean out the pump and skimmer baskets, and vacuum often.

Can an above ground pool look nice?

Yes. You can build decking up and around your above ground pool to start, then add furniture to the decking and potted plants to make a real feature of your backyard. Alternatively, build a decking wall around the pool, extend the decking out on one side for a platform with a Pergola then on the other sides have raised beds growing your favorite plants. Just a few ideas for you.

Conclusion

There are a lot of commendable above-ground pools.  But before choosing or buying one, make sure to keep in mind the different factors that can influence your decision.  

  1. Determine the size of your yard.
  2. Know what shape of above ground pool perfectly matches your yard.
  3. Choose between a standard pool and an inflatable pool based on your budget.
  4. Identify the features that are available.

Time to get your swimming suits ready! Enjoy!

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