Growing up, whenever I begged my dad for a pool, he would kindly and patiently explain to me that those took a lot of work. “They’re expensive,” he’d say. “They require regular maintenance,” he’d say. And then finally, “Okay, kiddo, let’s see the thousands of dollars you’ve been saving.”
Well, the joke’s on you, Dad! (Just kidding, you are wise beyond your years.) In-ground pools are a lot of work, but inflatable pools are both incredibly inexpensive and easy to set up; all you need is a pump. And because there are so many different types to choose from these days, I went ahead and found the best inflatable pools for kids, adults, families and even fur babies. Scroll on to find the perfect pool for you to stay cool this summer.
Accidents happen all the time, so it’s important to take the proper safety precautions every time. Start by positioning the pool on flat, even ground to minimize the risk of slipping. Always supervise children around water, and remind them that they should never use the pool without an adult. Keep a phone nearby in case of emergencies. And finally, drain the inflatable pool after each use and flip it over to prevent pests from collecting in stagnant water.
Also, bear in mind that most inflatable pools don’t come with a pump, so you’ll need to purchase one separately. A hand pump like this is great for kiddie pools, while an electric air pump like this is better for play centers, larger dip pools and family-sized setups.
Little ones need a little more to have fun in the sun. So the best pools for babies and toddlers usually include a few thoughtful features: a padded floor to gently cushion their bottoms, a canopy to protect them from UV rays and maybe even some built-in toys to keep them engaged. We love the pint-sized pools below because they’re extra comfy for tots, they’re quick to inflate and they can double as ball pits during the off-season.
When it comes to smaller kids, the spectacle is everything. Earn squeals of delight by opting for an inflatable pool in a fun shape or a play center with all the bells and whistles. The options below can fit multiple kids at once, have cool features like built-in sprinklers and are durable for more active age groups.
For teens and hip adults, only the trendiest inflatable pools will do. Think summery prints, 90s-esque glitter finishes, unique shapes and even LED lights for soaking at night. If you’re eager to chill in style — on your own or with a couple of friends — then start with the most popular dip pools down below.
Looking for an inflatable pool that the whole family will enjoy? Try any of these amazing oversized options. The four-seater and bench-style pools are ideal for lounging, while the more traditional above-ground pools are better for games like Marco Polo or Sharks and Minnows.
Humans aren’t the only ones who would benefit from a pool this summer. But before you teach your new puppy to swim, give your fur baby a bath or help your sweet senior cool off, you’ll need a pool specifically for dogs. (Because their claws are so sharp, they might tear a hole in regular ones.) The four options below are all highly rated for their ease of use and durability.