Looking to beat the summer heat with a large inflatable pool but not sure which one is right for you? With so many pool options on the market, it can be tricky to find the best inflatable pool that fits your space, needs and budget. This guide will walk you through what to consider when shopping for a large inflatable pool so you can make the splash this summer!

Choosing the Right Large Inflatable Pool for Your Space

Measure Your Space

The first thing you’ll want to do is measure the area where you plan to set up your inflatable pool. Consider the length, width and height of the space. Make sure to account for accessories like pool slides or waterfalls that will take up additional room.

You’ll want about a 6-12 inch buffer between the pool and surrounding structures when inflated. Record your dimensions so you can compare inflatable pool sizes as you shop. An inflatable pool that is too large will overcrowd your space, while one too small won’t be as fun or functional.

Pool Shape

Large inflatable pools come in square, rectangular, oval and round shapes. The shape you choose will depend on your space and preferences.

  • Square and rectangular pools maximize the swimming area in a small space. These are great for fitting in narrow backyard spots.
  • Oval and round pools are ideal for open yard areas as they offer continuous pool walls for maximum fun. Kids especially like the endless running space!
  • Freeform pools offer unique asymmetric shapes that add visual interest to your landscape.

Consider which shape will work best for your available room and aesthetic. Scale drawings of inflatable pools often show dimensions so you can visualize the fit.

Pool Height

Inflatable pool height ranges from 12 inches for wading pools up to 4 feet for deeper family pools. Choose a shallow pool for little kids and pets, while taller pools allow swimming and pool games.

Measure the slope or level of your yard or deck. A yard with a slope may require a pool with adjustable water depths, while a flat deck can accommodate a standard depth pool.

Ensure any above-ground pool ladder or stairs you purchase are the right height for your inflatable pool’s water depth.

Pool Accessories

Large inflatable pools often come with fun add-ons:

  • Pool slides – Choose from straight, curved or spiral slides to amp up the fun. Check that the slide length fits your space.
  • Waterfalls – These features add visual interest and waterfall spray effects. Just be sure your pool filtering system can handle the additional water flow.
  • Inflatable seating – Built-in benches, loungers and exercise equipment add comfort and play options.
  • Sun shades – Attached canopy shades provide respite from the sun. Make sure the shade leaves clearance for the pool slide.
  • Drink holders – Convenient cup holders integrated into the pool lining prevent spills.

Decide if any built-in accessories are must-haves or if you can purchase add-ons separately later.

Pool Material

Inflatable pools are primarily made from three materials:

  • PVC vinyl – The most popular option, PVC vinyl is durable and inexpensive. Look for high denier count or dual-layer construction fabrics for added strength.
  • Polyester mesh – Mesh pool walls let sunlight through for solar heating. These are easy to set up but prone to punctures.
  • Metal frame – For a more permanent above-ground pool, metal frame inflatable pools offer rigid walls less likely to deflate accidentally.

PVC vinyl is best for most inflatable pool needs, providing affordability, flexibility and durability. Stay away from flimsy pool materials that easily rip or deflate.

Filtration System

Larger inflatable pools require a water filtration system to keep water clean since you can’t easily dump and refill them daily like a tiny kiddie pool.

  • No filter – The most budget-friendly option but requires frequent water changes.
  • External filter – Pumps water into a separate filter to remove debris before returning clean water to the pool.
  • Internal filter – A small filter cartridge is integrated into the pool lining to filter as water circulates. It’s convenient but filters less.

Look for large inflatable pools with an external pump and filter for proper water filtration. You may need to purchase hoses separately to connect the system.

weight capacity of inflatable pool

Weight Capacity

Check the maximum weight capacity of any inflatable pool you are considering. The pool’s structure and seams must safely support the weight of both water and pool users.

Standard large inflatable pools support 600-800 lbs, but heavier-duty options are available that can handle up to 3000 lbs capacity.

Extras

  • Ground cloth – A ground tarp helps protect the inflatable pool from debris and damage underneath.
  • Repair kit – Patches and glue let you mend small punctures and holes that may occur.
  • Cover – A fitted pool protects the deflated pool during storage and off-season.

Look for complete pool sets with useful accessories for proper setup, maintenance and storage.

Top Brands

Some of the best inflatable pool brands to look for include:

  • Intex
  • Bestway
  • Summer Waves
  • Jasonwell
  • Sable

These companies offer various sizes and shapes of high-quality vinyl inflatable pools suited for yards or decks. Read reviews to learn about real customer experiences with assembly, durability and overall quality.

Cost

Inflatable pool prices span from $50 on the low end to $500+ for large, high-end options. Here’s what impacts costs:

  • Size – Larger pools cost more.
  • Depth – Deeper pools require more materials.
  • Accessories – Add-ons like slides raise the price.
  • Filter – An external pump and filter system increases costs.
  • Brand – Premium brands charge more than basic models.

Set a pool budget beforehand to filter options to your price range. Do not sacrifice critical safety and durability to save money on a subpar pool. Waiting and saving for a higher-quality pool is better than buying a cheap pool that lasts only one season.

Installation

One of the beauties of an inflatable pool is it requires minimal time and effort to set up. Here are installation tips:

  • Clear the area of sharp objects like sticks and rocks that could puncture the pool liner.
  • Unroll and position the empty pool in your prepped space.
  • Locate the inflation valve(s) and carefully inflate the top ring and side walls with an electric pump. Do not overinflate.
  • Fill the lined pool with water using a garden hose. Stop filling a few inches below the top to allow for pool users.
  • Set up any required hoses, filters and equipment. Turn on filter pumps.
  • Add pool chemicals like chlorine following package directions.
  • Let the pool fill and the filtration system cycle before getting in.

When not in use, drain the pool, disassemble filtration parts, and deflate and store the empty pool in a garage or shed.

Safety Tips

While fun, backyard pools come with risks if not used properly. Be sure to:

  • Never leave kids unattended near water, and keep rescue equipment on hand.
  • Secure above-ground pools against unauthorized access with fencing and locks when not in use.
  • Ensure ladders, stairs and handrails are firmly in place and utilized.
  • Establish pool rules for running, diving and roughhousing.
  • Check water chemicals frequently and adjust as needed.
  • Have CPR instructions posted.
  • Keep electric outlets and pumps safely out of reach and protected from water.

Take time to childproof your inflatable pool to provide a safe place to make summer memories.

Find the Perfect Fit!

Choosing the ideal inflatable pool takes some planning, but the effort is well worth it come summer. Measure your area, determine needed features, read reviews and compare the quality to find the perfect centerpiece for your backyard. With a pool tailored to your space, you’ll be cooling off in style all season long!