If you can’t take a trip to the pool, bring the pool parties home with the best inflatable pools for any family. You can find the teensy toddler-sized splash pools of your childhood, bedecked with cute patterns and slides, or ones wide enough for whole families and deep enough for grown-ups to sink into.
For a wide space that a four-person family (including adults) could fit inside without feeling cramped, Intex has the perfect choice. Most inflatable pools are more rectangular, so even the larger models make people stay to one end or the other. This circular shape will let you wade laps around each other. It’s very large, so make sure you have a completely flat stretch of backyard to fit it. You’ll also need to invest in a filter pump, as despite its name it takes a while to set up and deflate, and you’ll want to leave the water inside all season rather than regularly dump 1,000 gallons.
Sitting at 10-by-6 feet, this family-sized model doesn’t get too deep but will definitely give youngsters plenty of room. Its PVC material is built to be hard to puncture and BPA-free. Like most of the pools on this list, you’ll need to pay extra for an electric pump, but thankfully filling it won’t take longer than a few minutes. Plus, it has two water valves so draining the water at the end of the day will be fast.
As a kid who was obsessed with my Little Tikes First Slide, 3–10-year-old me would have loved this massive inflated marvel. Kids can climb the “rock” wall then slide into the pool area — which can be filled or left dry for colder days — and play basketball. PVC puncture-proof and shipped with a blower, the Slam ‘n Curve is built for the abuse that multiple children playing on it at once across multiple summers can give. It’s not built to support adults’ and teens’ weight.
A frequent best-seller on sites like Amazon, this pool is just large enough for a few people to splash around or one adult to lounge in on a floating raft. It has three inflatable air chambers that allow you to adjust the height of the pool, though you’ll need to purchase an air pump to inflate it. Unlike some other inflatables, this thick model is relatively safe from punctures and holds air well, so it won’t deflate while you swim.
This guide covers the best inflatable pools, but to be frank, inflatables can be fragile, short-lived and difficult to set up quickly. This foldable pool is made of a thick, durable polymer that folds into a compact, easy-to-store shape, then opens up into pool shape, so no need to wait on an air pump. It’s designed primarily for pets, but pets and young kids can enjoy this no-frills pool. If you do use it for pets, be sure to drain water and clean it regularly.
Some parents will want the same circular, classic pool they played in as a kid, and this Intex pool fits the bill while adding stylish flair. Affordably priced to fit a decent amount of water, this model stands out from the other kiddie pools thanks to its vibrant colors. Be aware, though, that most ringed pools on the inexpensive side tend to deflate quickly compared to nicer models, and it doesn’t have a drain plug so you’ll need to lift and turn it over to remove the water.
This combination sprinkler, splash pad, and wading pool is completely safe for babies and toddlers. It offers enough variation to keep it exciting, and a 5-foot diameter so there’s enough space for a couple of kids. You keep it inflated simply by running the hose, so your water bill may rise but your electricity bill will be spared. The bottom is full of cute illustrations and letters of the alphabet, so your baby can learn even while they’re playing — plus it’s BPA- and phthalates-free.
This tiny pool doubles as a ball pit and actually comes with 25 floatable play balls for your baby to enjoy. It’s tiny enough that only babies and toddlers will enjoy it, but small enough that it’ll fit anywhere (such as in your kid’s room), and can be dried quickly before being brought inside. It also comes with a patch kit in case something pops. You should be able to inflate it easily by mouth or with a bicycle pump.
This is the rare inflatable pool that’s deep enough for adults to actually swim in, with a sprawling 15-foot diameter and 4-foot depth. Like the 10-foot model, this Intex “Easy” Set holds so much water that you’ll want to leave it inflated all season, which means you’ll need to clean it rigorously, keep it covered, and make sure it’s on flat ground before filling. This model comes with a filter pump and a ground fault interrupter that shuts the pump off if wiring is exposed to water.
Do you want to sit with your kids in the pool while they play, but want something a bit more comfortable than the floor? This model has a built-in bench and backrest, giving you just what you need to relax with a front-row view of your kids having fun. You’ll need an electric pump to fill its five air chambers, and you’ll also probably want to buy a sun umbrella.
Keep your toddler safe from sunburn while they relax in their very first pool, protected by a mushroom sunshade. The soft inflatable floor will protect your baby from any hard falls, and the shade will work best when the sun is high in the sky. Other baby pools have canopies that block off one side completely for more protection, but we think your kid will enjoy having multiple ways of climbing out of the pool for other play.
With this surprisingly large kiddie pool, you get extra sun protection for your toddler. It has plenty of padding so they can’t get hurt when they fall, enough space for 11 gallons of water, a breath-through vent on the back, and a cute design. You can blow this up with your breath but may want to find your bicycle pump or electric air pump instead.
Meant for toddlers and younger kids, this play center can also be enjoyed as a non-pool, but lets you attach the garden hose to sprinkle water down on them as they slide. It’s large enough that two or three kids can run and slide from back to front and not bonk into one another. It also comes with decorative lollipops, floating balls for throwing around, and a protective railing.
You can technically pump this inflatable tub full of cold water as well, so it can double as a pool in summer while keeping you warm and cozy in winter. For far cheaper than what you’d spend on a “real” hot tub, you get up to 104 degrees of heat Fahrenheit, air jets for bubbles, water filtration, and a quick-drain valve when you need to collapse it and make space. It ships with the pump you’ll need to inflate it, as well as a pool cover, chemical floater and filter cartridges to keep the water clean.
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As this list has probably made evident, inflatable pools can be a lot of work to pump up and keep clean. The smaller models can be quickly drained, flattened, and scrubbed down, which is smart since standing water can attract mosquitos and algae, among other things. But of the best inflatable pools that are meant for adults or full families, most are so large that dumping water every night would be wasteful, especially in drought states where swimming is more appealing.
That’s why with our favorite pool, the 10-foot Intex Easy Set Up Pool, you’ll need to be prepared for the work that goes into pool ownership — because it’s basically like owning a regular pool. To go with it, you’ll want an electric air pump, a maintenance kit with a hose vacuum on a long pole, and 1-inch chlorinating tablets with a slow chlorine dispenser to keep the water clean. You’ll also need to monitor the water’s pH levels, because if the water becomes too basic the chlorine no longer disinfects properly; adding pH down chemicals will solve the problem. It’s a lot to deal with, but necessary for your family’s health if you plan on keeping your pool full for months at a time.
If that doesn’t sound appealing, you can drain a smaller pool more frequently, but even something kid-sized like the stylish Intex 66-inch Watermelon Kiddie Pool uses about 150 gallons of water per play session. If you’re shopping for a family-sized pool, Sable’s rectangular pool or square pool with seating are both solid choices.
But if you came to shop for your kid or kids, keep in mind how much sun protection they need, whether you want something they can also use in non-swimming seasons, and if you don’t mind reinflating a larger set every time your kid wants to play. A larger set like the Little Tikes Curve ‘n Slide works great for multiple kids year-round, while the Fisher Price 3-Ring Play Pool is an obvious, versatile option for any toddler.
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