The 12 Best Kiddie Pools for Year-Round Fun

Children-playing-in-pool

Adding a swimming pool to your backyard doesn’t need to involve costly installation or sprawling in-ground pool.

Maybe even an above-ground pool seems slightly large for your requirements, and all you’re really looking for are the best kiddie pools for your little ones to splash around in.

Well, the great news is, there are many kid-friendly pools out there, and we’ve rounded up a dozen of the best options for you today.

Much like a hot tub or Coleman tub, kiddie pools are designed for relaxation rather than serious swimming. As such, you’ll have an easier time on the buying trail. You should consider the following pointers when you’re comparing different pools designed for children to make your life easier and to maximize your chances of finding the right pool for your needs.

  • Dimensions: The best kiddie swimming pools come in all shapes and sizes, and that’s part of the fun. You’ll have every chance of finding exactly what you need if you look hard enough. Look for the total dimensions when inflated and filled rather than the dimensions of the packages. We’ve broken this down for you in the features tab of each product so you can readily compare these pools like-for-like. The depth of the pool that makes the best fit will be informed by the ages of the kids who will use the pool. If inexperienced swimmers are using the pool, avoid buying a deep one. Even if you opt for a shallow pool, though, always supervise your kids when they are near water
  • Materials and lifespan: Most children’s swimming pools are made from vinyl, rubber, hard plastic, or high-density polyethylene. A combination of the water weight, the sun’s UV rays, and the rough treatment dished out by kids means pools come in for a hard life. If you’re looking for a pool that will last longer, you’ll need to be prepared to dig a bit deeper for the privilege. Many of the best kiddie pools come with repair patches bundled, meaning a single small tear doesn’t mean you need a replacement swimming pool
  • Ease of inflation and deflation: Inflating any swimming pool you’ll be using with kids should be quick and easy. The last thing you need is children hyped up for pool time badgering you as you battle with a tasky setup. Most of these pools need to be inflated with a pump, either manual or electric. You will need to make provision for these pumps separately as they are not typically bundled with the pool. Look for pools with drain plugs as this will streamline emptying the water when you’re done
  • Shade/umbrella: Many of the best kiddie pools come with some shade in the form of an umbrella or similar to protect kids from overexposure to the sun’s rays

OK, with those basics in mind, you should now be perfectly placed to compare all the best kiddie pools to determine whether any makes the right fit for your yard this summer.

Jump right in!

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I. The 12 Best Kiddie Pools

1. Our #1 Pick: Intex Inflatable Dinosaur Play Center

Intex-Dinosaur-Inflatable-Play-Center,-98in-X-75in-X-43in,-for-Ages-2+

Features

  • Age range: 24 to 60 months
  • Weight: 9.3 pounds
  • Dimensions: 98 x 75 x 42.9 inches

Pool specialist Intex has a deep bench of all types of residential swimming pool, from sprawling in-ground efforts to smaller above-ground pools like this kiddie play center. What do you get for your money, then?

Firstly, the dinosaur theme is sure to delight little ones. The recommended age range for this pool is 2 to 5 years.

Capacity is reasonably generous at 57 gallons, and the drain plug makes it super-simple to empty the water on-demand.

Made from a soft and forgiving yet durable vinyl, the pool is also built to withstand plenty of rough and tumble. You get a repair patch thrown in for good measure.

A built-in sprayer easily attaches to your garden hose, injecting an extra layer of fun into pool time.

The bulk of user reviews concerning this pool are overwhelmingly positive. The few complaints we could find centered on the difficulty of inflating this kiddie pool.

Whether you’re having a pool party for your kids or you just want to give them some extra stimulation and entertainment this summer, you can’t wrong with this dinosaur-themed pool from the mighty Intex.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 57-gallon capacity
  • Integrated drain plug
  • Repair patch
  • Quite difficult to inflate

2. Intex Inflatable Rainbow Ring

Intex-Rainbow-Ring-Inflatable-Play-Center,-117

Features

  • Age range: 3+ years
  • Weight: 14.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 16 x 16 x 5.5 inches

Next up in our search for the best kiddies pools is another entry from the Intex stable. As you would expect from this pool specialist, you’ll get commendable build quality and lifespan with this pool, even if it’s not the easiest on our shortlist to inflate.

Suitable for children from 3 years and up, the play center is equipped with a slide and plenty of rainbow rings for a real grotto in the back yard. All you’ll need to do is top it up with water.

The integrated water sprayer simply attaches to a garden hose to give your kids another element of fun.

Capacity of 77 gallons is reasonably generous, giving older kids plenty of water to float and play in.

With a ball roller game and toss game included, you won’t regret investing in this pool that’s ideal for kids always eager for stimulation.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 77-gallon capacity
  • Ball game included
  • Water sprayer
  • Not the easiest to inflate

3. Little Tikes Slam ‘n Curve Slide

Little-Tikes-Slam-'n-Curve-Slide,-Multicolor

Features

  • Age range: 5 to 10 years
  • Weight: 44 pounds
  • Dimensions: 168 x 108 x 84 inches

Next up comes a multicolored vinyl slide-styled pool from Little Tikes, so how does this shape up?

Your kids will need to work their way up the steep incline of the rock wall, then they can take advantage of the slide that will send them slithering to the soft and padded bottom of this pool.

Made from a premium and puncture-resistant vinyl, you should get plenty of service from this pool, even if your kids are prone to playing vigorously.

The splash area of the pool contains a basketball hoop for some extra fun.

Stakes come included, allowing you to lash this pool firmly to the ground. You’ll also benefit from a continuous blower to keep your kids cool when the mercury rises.

Aside from a handful of complaints about this pool discoloring over time, we found most user feedback relating to the Little Tikes pool is positive.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Challenging fun for older kids
  • Puncture-resistant material
  • Easy to monitor children
  • Some reported discoloring

4. Intex Mushroom Baby Pool

Intex-Mushroom-baby-Pool,-40

Features

  • Age range: 12 to 36 months
  • Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Dimensions: 40 x 40 x 35 inches

We have yet another kiddie pool from Intex next, this time with a mushroom styling.

Ideal for children from 1 to 3 years, this is a small and lightweight vinyl pool that’s not a good choice if you have older kids looking for some more robust backyard entertainment.

The sunshade will protect smaller kids from the sun’s harmful UV rays while allowing them to enjoy the fresh air and warmth as they paddle in this pool.

Capacity is just 12 gallons, so you won’t need to wait around long for the pool to be filled with water and ready for some action.

The floor of the pool is super-soft and toddler-friendly, while the 5-inch walls offer ample support for smaller swimmers.

This is not the hardest-wearing kiddie pool on our shortlist today, so we would advise clearing up your intended usage before committing to this pool and ended up disappointed. If you have a couple of toddlers in the house, though, this Intex makes a smart bet.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Soft floor ideal for toddlers
  • 12-gallon capacity
  • Integrated sun shade
  • Not the most durable pool

5. For Whole Family: Intex Above-Ground Pool Set

Intex-28211EH-12ft-x-30in-Metal-Frame-Above-Ground-Pool-Set-with-Filter-Pump

Features

  • Age range: For children and adults
  • Weight: 49.1 pounds
  • Dimensions: 144 x 144 x 30 inches

While Intex make some superb kid-friendly pools, the brand comes fully to the fore with their full-sized above-ground pool.

This pool is ideal for the whole family, and comes from the line made with metal frames – we’ll review one of the steel-framed models below.

The side walls on this model are laminated for extra rigidity and lifespan.

Marketed as more rugged than an inflatable pool but less complicated than a steel-framed pool, this might be just what you’re looking for if you want an above-ground pool to accommodate all the family.

With a whopping 1718-gallon capacity, once you’re up and running here, you’ll have the perfect addition to your yard this summer.

The only real complaints we could find in a sea of positive user testimony concern the flimsiness of the ladder. Be sure to negotiate this carefully when you’re climbing in and out of the pool.

With a pump and filter thrown in, you have everything you need to start swimming as soon as you fill your new Intex pool with water. What are you waiting for?

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Strengthened and laminated side walls
  • Ready for water in 30 minutes
  • Krystal Clear cartridge filter pump
  • Ladder is weak and flimsy

6. Step2Play & Shade Pool

Step2-Play-&-Shade-Pool-for-Toddlers-|-Plastic-Kids-Outdoor-Pool,-Multicolor

Features

  • Age range: 3+ years
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Dimensions: 37.5 x 37.5 x 50 inches

If you live somewhere with year-round sun, you’ll doubtless want to provide your kids with a swimming pool if you have space in the back yard. If so, you’ll need to ensure they are properly protected from those powerful UV rays. Step2Play makes that easy for you with this covered kiddie pool that’s one of the most robust on our shortlist.

There is a molded play seat ideal for your kids to rest as they play.

The suggested age limit for this pool is 3 years and up.

Capacity is 12 gallons, so your little ones will have plenty of water to splash around in here.

The umbrella gives your children all the protection they need from the sun while still enjoying the great outdoors.

There are some spinning cups and a water wheel to engage smaller hands and minds.

Aside from the lack of handles anywhere on this pool, there’s not much else we can find to say against this hardwearing and versatile kid’s pool. See what you think and let us know if you opt for this swimming pool from Step2Play.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Molded pool seat
  • 7-piece water play set
  • Umbrella attachments
  • No handles

7. Bestway Steel Pro Splash-in-Shade Pool

Bestway-Steel-Pro-UV-Careful-8'-x-20

Features

  • Age range: 24+ months
  • Weight: 29 pounds
  • Dimensions: 36 x 11.5 x 8 inches

Bestway is a brand that needs no introduction, so how does their attempt at a children’s swimming pool stack up?

The Steel Pro line of pools come with a robust and long-lasting steel frame.

The fabric used for the rest of this pool unfortunately doesn’t have the same premium feel. That said, this pool is best for much smaller children, so you shouldn’t experience any issues from the DuraPlus fabric despite the flimsy feel.

The nature of the frame means you get no rust developing over time.

Covered to protect your kiddies from the UV rays that could easily burn their tender skin, this is one of the best kid-friendly pools out there from one of the most reputable brands in this space.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Covered pool
  • Corrosion-free steel frame
  • DuraPlus material
  • Setup could be easier

8. H2OGO! Splash-in-Shade Pool

H2OGO!-Splash-in-Shade-Play-Pool-Orange

Features

  • Age range: 3+ years
  • Weight: 29.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 98 x 75 x 42.9 inches

The H20GO! Splash-in-Shade Pool is another entry from the legendary Bestway. As you would expect, you get the trademark combination of price and performance in a neatly designed package.

Finished in bright orange, this pool will make a striking visual statement in your back yard this summer.

The metal frames should resist corrosion and rust, while also providing ample support for the water inside.

The DuraPlus material this pool is made from is designed to resist tears and punctures, while it’s also soft to the touch and kid-safe.

Setting up this pool couldn’t be easier, although you’ll need a couple of extra pairs of hands. The box weighs 30 pounds and you may need some assistance to shift it into place before filling up your pool and making the children’s day.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Premium PVC
  • Galvanized metal frame
  • Water sprayer
  • Very large and bulky

8. Intex Kiddie Pool

Intex-Kiddie-Pool-Kid's-Summer-Sunset-Glow-Design---58

Features

  • Age range: 6+ years
  • Weight: 3.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 24.5 x 9.5 x 22.9 inches

Unsurprisingly, Intex hits another home run with this superb and hardwearing pool that’s perfect for kids from 6 years and up.

Measuring up at 58 x 13 inches when fully inflated, you’ll find the pool provides ample space for several kids to splash around this summer. The water depth of 13 inches is ideal for tiny feet.

The walls of the pool are made from a rugged vinyl that’s built to resist tears and punctures while delivering long-lasting performance.

This pool is quick and easy to inflate, and it’s just as simple to deflate if you want to pack the pool away after use.

The floor of the pool is nicely cushioned and your kids will be comfy playing in this Intex for hours.

If you’re looking for one of the best kiddie pools that doesn’t cost an absolute fortune, place your trust in Intex.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Colorful ring walls
  • Rugged and hardwearing vinyl
  • Easy to inflate
  • Some reported issues with leaking

9. Intex Sunset Glow Baby Pool

Intex-Sunset-Glow-Baby-Pool-(34-in-x-10-in)

Features

  • Age range: 12 to 36 months
  • Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 7.6 x 7.4 x 2.6 inches

As you can see by now, Intex has a stranglehold on this vertical with a large selection of the best kiddie pools at a variety of price points and in multiple styles.

This baby pool is perfect for 1 to 3-year-olds. The trio of bright and vibrant colors are ideal for younger toddlers.

Made from 8-gauge vinyl, build quality is reasonable, although we would like to see a slightly thicker grade of vinyl used. There is a repair patch thrown in.

The soft and inflatable floor is great for tiny feet. As with all kiddie pools, you should not leave younger children unsupervised while they’re splashing around.

The walls of this pool are 6.5 inches high, and the total capacity is 18 gallons.

Almost all reviews of this affordable and inflatable pool are positive, with no meaningful complaints to be found. Overall, this is one of the best kiddie pools out there, and it comes from one of the hardest hitters in the game.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • 22-gallon capacity
  • Repair patch
  • Vibrant colors
  • Smaller kids will need supervision

10. Minnidip Pool: That’s Banana Leaves

Minnidip-Pool:-That's-Banana-Leaves

Features

  • Age range: 6+ years
  • Weight: 7.4 pounds
  • Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 6 inches

As we near the end of our search for the best kiddie pools, Minnidip serves up this banana leaf-themed pool that’s well worth a place on your shortlist.

Designed for kids from 6 years and up, this pool is also adult-friendly. 5.5 feet wide and 1.5 feet tall, this is a fairly spacious pool perfect if you have growing kids and you don’t want to commit to a pool they’ll rapidly grow out of.

From the stable of La Vaca, the aesthetics are sure to please your kids without ruining the overall look of your yard.

The vinyl is non-toxic, hardwearing, and soft to the touch resulting in one of the most comfortable pools on our list.

Easy to inflate and just as simple to deflate, you won’t regret bringing this kid-friendly swimming pool home. The only problem for the kids will be getting the adults out of the pool to make room!

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Non-toxic and soft-touch vinyl
  • Palm leaf design
  • Easy to inflate and deflate
  • No cover available

11. EverEarth E Lite Waterproof Blanket

EverEarth-E-Lite-Waterproof-Beach-Blanket-&-Kiddie-Pool,-Blue

Features

  • Age range: 36 to 99 months
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Dimensions: 70.9 x 70.9 x 0.2 inches

Last but certainly not least in our selection of the best kiddie pools comes this multipurpose beach blanket and pool.

The recommended age limit for this EverEarth gem is 3 to 8 years, and you’ll provide your little ones in this age range with hours of beach or yard water play.

All EverEarth toys are made from sustainable materials, and the manufacturer supports tree-planting initiatives as well as other sustainability projects.

You can use this model as a beach blanket when it’s deflated, and once it’s full, it doubles up as a small pool for younger kiddies to paddle in.

Once you’re done, the pool sits neatly inside a nifty travel bag, making this not only one of the best kiddie pools, but also one of the most effective travel solutions.

Things We Like Things We Dislike
  • Convertible beach blanket and pool
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Promotes multipurpose water play
  • Quite awkward to use

II. FAQs

1) How many days is it safe to leave water in a kiddie pool?

You should leave the water in most inflatable children’s pools for no more than two weeks. If you are not taking the precaution of adding chlorine to combat bacteria, you should ideally change the pool water every second day. Water not treated with chlorine can become stagnant in as little as 24 hours, so don’t view an inflatable pool for your children as a set-and-forget solution. You owe it the health of your little ones to stay on top of pool water hygiene.

2) What simple steps should I take to maintain my kiddie pool?

As above, treat the water with chlorine to prevent bacteria from growing. Cover the pool when it’s not in use to prevent debris from making its way in. If any debris does get into the pool, remove this using a net. Make sure your kids don’t enter the pool with dirty feet. This is the quickest route to dirty, cloudy water. Use a small pool vacuum to blitz the bottom of the pool from time to time, and whenever it’s starting to look grubby. Take care to stay on top of sun lotion residue building up in the water. With these simple steps, you’ll prolong the lifespan of your kiddie pool while ensuring the swimming environment is as hygienic as possible. For more thorough pool maintenance tips, check out our comprehensive guide to pool maintenance.

3) What is the best way to cover my kiddie pool, then?

If your pool doesn’t come with a cover provided – and most of them don’t – you could use a tarpaulin as an effective makeshift pool cover. Look for a tarp made from polypropylene mesh. These are not only hardwearing, but they also offer the strongest possible sun protection.

4) What form of chlorine works best for kiddie pools?

You should purchase chlorine tabs intended for spa tubs or small swimming pools. These are only suitable for pools containing 100 gallons of water or more, though. All you’ll need is one tablet weekly for pools with less than 200 gallons, and two tablets weekly if the pool contains over 200 gallons of water. The best way to broadcast the chlorine is using a dedicated chlorine float dispenser. Resist the temptation of tossing the tablets directly into the pool.

5) When can a child first start swimming independently?

If you start your baby out in the water between the ages of 6 and 18 months, it will take a further 18 months for them to develop the skills to swim independently. This equates to between 75 and 100 swimming lessons. As mentioned repeatedly today, though, you’ll need to ensure your kids are properly supervised when they’re using a pool, especially if they are not confident in the water.

6) Is it safe to put a small amount of bleach in a kiddie pool?

Yes, using Clorox Regular Bleach will not harm children’s plastic pools.


III. Conclusion

Well, if you arrived here at Wild River Country today without much idea about how to choose the best kiddie pools, that should no longer be the case.

When you’re choosing any pool, you need to focus primarily on the overall dimensions and whether that provides you with a large enough pool environment without overcrowding your back yard.

Stick with any of the children’s pools we review today and you’re in safe hands. We draw your attention to the flaws of these pools rather than purely singing their praises, allowing you to buy with your eyes wide open.

Bookmark our blog before you go and be sure to pop back soon!

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