Because kiddie pools come in so many shapes and sizes, we’ve broken things up into 6 categories so you can jump right to the pools that best suit your needs:
- Baby Pools
- Simple Kiddie Pools
- Kiddie Pools with Sprinklers
- Kiddie Pools with Slides
- Hard Plastic Kids Pools
- Inflatable Family Pools
At the bottom of the roundup we’ve also included a Buying Guide where you can find all of the important considerations to take into account before making a purchase, and a handy comparison table so you can check out all of the prices, sizes and dimensions easily in one spot.
A Note On Kiddie PoolSafety
It’s important to say before going on, that regardless of the swimming pool you choose, it’s imperative that an adult stays with the kids while it is in use. Kiddie pools are plastered with warning labels and for good reason; drowning is one of the leading cause of accidental death for young children.
Stay within arm’s reach while kids are in the pool, and always drain the pool at the end of play. Toddlers can drown in less than 2 inches of water. Draining the pool every day is also a good idea for hygienic reasons since these pools have no filtration.
If you want something with less water for very little ones, check out our article on splash pads and water sprinklers – so much fun and so great on a hot day as an alternative to a kiddie pool.
Now here are the 25 best kiddie pools on the market for all of your summer fun:
Baby Pools 1-3 Years
Most Popular Baby Pool
This adorable colorful baby pool is absolutely perfect for your little water babies who want to splash and play during summer.
Holding up to 18 gallons of water, with a 6.5 inch wall height and including a repair patch and soft inflatable floor, this simple inflatable baby pool will keep any little summer kiddie happy for hours.
The size means it’s easily big enough for one toddler and maybe even two if they’re very little. This colorful three-ringed pool rates highly on Amazon, with 4.4 out of 5 stars. Many parents also mention that the pool doubles nicely as a playpen for their little ones during summer months.
This pool is easy to inflate and deflate for storage or for taking it with you on your summer adventures. It’s made from durable vinyl and there are few reviews complaining of failures in the materials.
What We Like:
Best Shaded Baby Pool
We absolutely love this shaded baby swimming pool. Coming in a super cool whale design and providing great sunshade, this pool can act as a backyard pool, or even a beach tent. It holds less water than the Intex Sunset Glow, but is infinitely better in its provision of sun protection.
It’s also good to note that there’s a little window at the back so your little ones can see what’s going on, or for good 360 degree visibility for parents.
Once again, parents mentioned that they used the pool indoors as a playpen or place to nap when it was emptied and dried inside, making it a versatile space for your little ones to play.
With a soft padded floor, 11-inch wall height and extremely fun design, this pool will keep your little water babies entertained and sun safe for hours.
The best thing about the Joyin Whale is the specific mention of it meeting US safety standards and being made from non-toxic materials. Coming in at 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this is a great choice for any parents.
What We Like:
Super-Cheap Shaded Baby Pool
Parents love these designs and mentioned their little ones loved these pools indoor and dry or outdoors with water.
This model also has a padded floor, included repair patch and is quick to inflate and deflate.. Similar to the Joyin Whale Play Pool, the Summer Waves model provides some sunshade, but is considerably cheaper and you can see where the price difference comes in between the two models.
While the Summer Waves is much cheaper, it doesn’t have some of the features of the Joyin model such as the back windowpane and appears to lack in materials with many parents complaining around the pool quickly deflating.
For us, the main lacking feature is the difference between the generosity of the sunshades, with the Joyin model providing plenty of shade and the Summer Waves just not as much. Since this is a major concern for little babies in summer, it’s something to take into account.
That being said, you may have a back porch with plenty of shade for your water baby to splash around on and so if you’re looking for a cheaper option, this is the baby pool for you. Especially since the Summer Waves model is quite a bit bigger than the Joyin model, so your little ones can have a little friend over to play.
The Summer Waves Round Baby Pool comes in either a dinosaur or shark design so you can choose what will suit your little ones better.
What We Like:
Intex Smiley Giraffe Inflatable Baby Pool
If you’re looking for a baby pool that will provide more than just water play or can double as a play mat, then the Intex Smiley Giraffe Pool is for you!
This baby pool has an absolutely adorable giraffe design with a tall smiley giraffe head and a long tail which doubles as a holding spot for the included two inflatable rings and therefore as a great game of ring toss! It also has dangling noise-makers and the floor has a sweet design with other animals on it.
The walls on the Intex Smiley Giraffe are much more shallow than the previous three models, but it’s quite sizable, so you can easily have a couple of little kids splashing around together and playing with the separate included toys if you want.
It comes with a repair kit and is lightweight and inflatable, so it’s easy to inflate and deflate.
It has phenomenal reviews on Amazon and an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars. Lots of parents mention turning the Intex Smiley Giraffe into a ball pit for colder months or indoor play.
Things to Consider
Our big issue with this swimming pool is the lack of sunshade since it’s designed for little babies and sun exposure is a big issue.
Also, be aware that the pictures are a bit deceptive,, this is a very small pool which is only big enough for one baby or toddler, so if you have multiple bundles of joy – keep scrolling.
What We Like:
Simple Round 3-Ring Kiddie Pools
If you’re looking for a simple, durable kiddie swimming pool, then you can’t go wrong with the Intex Crystal Blue.
This pool comes in 2 sizes, I have owned both and my kids seem to have the most fun in the 58″ which is why I featured it here. But there is also an incredibly popular 45-inch model for parents who need a slightly smaller option.
This swimming pool comes with a repair patch and has three chambers with double valves. This is a great option if you have different age ranges of kids who may argue about designs or older kids who may resist “baby” styles of kiddie swimming pools.
We’re starting to get into kiddie pool territory where it would be wise to have an electric pump and while some models will come with a blower, the Intex, being pretty cost effective, unfortunately doesn’t.
Once again, this basic pool can double as a ball pit during colder months if you want to invest in some balls.
Inflatable and lightweight, it easily deflates for storage or transport. With 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this is a great option for anyone looking for a simple kiddie pool.
There is also a much less popular 66″ model of this pool but the reviews are less than stellar, and honestly if you want something that big there are better options available.
What We Like:
2 Pool Combo Pack
For anyone looking for not one, but TWO simple two-ring pool with a little flair, the Joyin Inflatable Kiddie Pools are for you. This unique kiddie pool duo are absolutely adorable and will provide little ones with hours of splashing fun.
The rainbow unicorn and festive llama designs will keep all little kids happy. This duo is great for social little ones or siblings who just need their own space.
We absolutely love that Joyin has given parents the option of providing their kids with their own swimming space with their two distinct designs and at a really reasonable price.
Unfortunately Joyin doesn’t provide water capacity or depth, but the dimensions would probably sit the water capacity at around 14 – 18 gallons.
With it’s included repair kit and 3 separate valves, these pools very positive reviews on Amazon with 5 out of 5 stars (but only five reviews so far).
What We Like:
Great Alternative to Standard Kiddie Pool Designs
XFlated provides us with another great option for a basic three-ring swimming pool with some fun ice cream cone and watermelon designs.
Though the specific water capacity isn’t stated, the dimensions are similar to the Intex model and the wall height is only slightly reduced, so we would guess the capacity is similar or slightly less (76 gallons).
Again, many parents mention using these pools as ball pits (no balls included) of playpens inside with no water during cooler seasons.
With three separate valves and air compartments, the manufacturer recommends that these pools can be blown up without a blower, but makes mention that inflation is quick with an electric blower.
A repair kit is included, but the main concern we have with this model is the recommendation that it should not be used in extreme heat and should be not be exposed to prolonged sunlight. This seems contradictory to its use as a summer kiddie swimming pool and should be taken into account when considering this model.
The price is reasonable, although slightly on the high side for such a basic kiddie pool when you consider the price of the Intex model, which is similar, minus the fun designs. That being said, the XFlated models have excellent reviews on Amazon with 4 out of 5 stars.
What We Like:
Most Fashionable Kiddie Pool
Funboy makes some of the coolest water products around, as a matter of fact celebrities like Kourtney Kardashian and Rhianna have frequently been spotted lounging on their pool floats. So, if you’re looking for a kiddie pool that will look amazing in your Instagram feed these pools would be a great choice.
With two super cool minimalist design options, ice cream and art deco, Funboy provides kids with a fun cool swim-space which won’t become an eyesore in the backyard.
Made of non-toxic, phthalate-free materials, these pools are sized for two adults or multiple kids, meaning they’re big enough for social kids and parents who need to cool off.
Funboy makes no mention of a repair kit, but does include a drainage plug which is really helpful for emptying and cleaning.
Being inflatable, these kiddie pools are lightweight and easy to store and travel with. Priced slightly higher than the other models of similar sizes, you’re really paying for design.
As a side note, you can purchase matching backyard drink coolers to keep your drinks cold while you’re splashing around in your kiddie pool.
Things to Consider
Funboy’s reviews on Amazon are not great and normally this would preclude me from including the products in my reviews. But after more investigation I found many people mentioning Funboy’s products in a positive light. And they do look pretty great!
BOTTOM LINE: I would ONLY buy this pool for the beautiful design – not as a serious play pool for rowdy kids.
What We Like:
Removable Shade Canopy
The Sunshade Pool is another really great offering from Intex, who really know what they’re doing when it comes to their kiddie pools!
This two-ring pool with full removable sunshade will allow little ones to splash and play in the water for hours. This model also comes with a drainage plug and repair patch and an adorable under-the-sea themed or beachside play outer design.
As with other pools, it can be used inside or out and makes a great indoor playpen or ball pit if you purchase the balls.
This kiddie pool is big enough to easily fit three little ones (or a little one and a parent) and its inflatable design is lightweight and can easily be inflated and deflated, meaning it’s easy to store and travel with.
Again, the size means that it would probably be better to have an electric blower or a hand pump rather than trying to blow it up using lung-power alone! Intex uses premium grade non-toxic materials, which provides peace of mind to parents.
This model rates at 4 out of 5 stars with over 1,000 Amazon reviews and is reasonably priced considering it’s the only simple medium-sized pool with a sunshade.
Intex also sells this pool as the Clearview Aquarium, which is the exact same pool but without the removable sun shade canopy.
What We Like:
Kiddie Pools with Spray or Sprinklers
Best Kiddie Pool With Sprinkler
This is a great shallow sprinkler pool that is perfect for toddlers. It has a cute froggy sprinkler system which your little ones will love. The sprinklers are adjustable, which is a really great feature. You can attach your garden hose to keep the sprinkler going, which is a fun way to keep cool and also fill up the pool.
There are two sizes to choose from with the small size having a 3.2 inch wall and large having a 7 inch wall. Both are made with BPA free materials and meet all safety standards of international children’s toys.
Unfortunately there’s no mention of a repair kit or a drainage plug, but since the pool is inflatable and light and also pretty shallow, a drainage plug may not be necessary. With 4.3 out of 5 stars, this is a great option for parents who want a baby pool with a fun sprinkler extra.
What We Like:
Best Unicorn Themed Kiddie Pool
Who wouldn’t want a gorgeous mythical unicorn to keep them cool this summer? We absolutely love this super fun unicorn design and coming from Intex, it can be relied on to include helpful extras such as the repair kit and drainage plug and is made from non-toxic materials.
The unicorn itself it pretty huge, which is something the kids will absolutely love to see in their backyards. The swimming area is quite small and it holds relatively less water (44 gallons) compared to other pools of a similar size with more standard shapes (75+ gallons).
That being said, it can happily fit a couple of little ones splashing around and having a lovely imaginative time with their unicorn.
The sprayer has a hose attachment isn’t adjustable in height like the previous Splashin’kids model was, but this is likely due to the smaller paddling pool size. With 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this is perfect for anyone who wants a bit of magic in their yard.
What We Like:
Best Budget Kiddie Pool With Sprinkler
Another adorable offering from Intex, this whale design swimming pool a higher, stronger spray than the previous unicorn. It also holds more water (53 gallons) and is a larger paddling area for your little ones without being so deep that there is safety concerns.
We absolutely love the whale design with water spraying down from the tail with the help of a garden hose attachment. Since this is an Intex model, it includes a repair kit, a drainage plug and is made from non-toxic materials.
It’s big enough to fit several little kids splashing around in their whale pool, but probably needs an electric blower to inflate enough to keep the tail up and make your life easier.
The Intex Whale Spray Kiddie Swimming Pool sits at a really cost-effective price point for the size and fact you get the sprayer included.
With 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this is a seriously great option for little ones who love being sprayed with water while splashing around in their pool.
What We Like:
Kiddie Pools with Slides
Most Popular Kiddie Pool with Slide
Get ready because we’re stepping up into water park territory with this seriously awesome dinosaur adventure land kiddie pool from Intex. This kiddie pool has SO many features to keep your kids entertained and cool this summer.
Features include a palm tree sprayer, overhead waterfall, a volcano slide and a dinosaur ball catcher with six included balls. So many opportunities for imaginative play!
It doesn’t have the biggest water capacity at 57 gallons, but the size of the kiddie pool means that several kids can be using and playing at once, especially with the separate features.
The smaller water capacity also makes it safe for very little ones, although, they should always be supervised. It also has a landing pad for soft slide landings, which is great for any active players.
Since it’s an Intex model, we have an included repair kit and drainage plug as well as the swimming pool being made from non-toxic materials.
This water park could definitely have come with an electric blower at this price point and for it’s size, but unfortunately doesn’t. We would recommend you use one though.
Things to Consider
This model has quite a few negative 1 star reviews on Amazon, with most complaints being about holes and the inflation process. However, the majority of reviewers give it 5 stars and absolutely love it.
What We Like:
Another amazing prehistoric offering from Intex, but with more of a ball focus than the Dinosaur Play Center. These two have VERY similar names, so be sure to double check which one you are buying before committing, because even though they are similar, their features are different.
While the Dinosaur Play Center (see above) is more about water play, this Dinoland Play Center is more about ball games.
Both are fun and colorful and have slides with padded landing pads, but the Dinoland features a T-Rex holding a hoop, a pterodactyl ring toss, volcanic ball roller, six colorful plastic balls AND a moving Dino arch water sprayer.
The Dinoland Play Center holds more water than the Dinosaur Play Center (74 gallons vs 57 gallons) and is slightly larger, but is still shallow enough for the little ones to play safely while being supervised. It can easily accommodate several little kids playing at one, especially with the multiple games on offer!
This model also gets slightly better reviews and seems to be a bit more durable that the previous offering. Again, we don’t have an included blower, but one would be recommended for easy inflation.
This is one of the biggest “Kiddie Pools” you can buy before moving up to a more industrial style water slide or water park.
What We Like:
Great Design – Awesome Slide
This is a more basic play center from Sable, which is truly all about water. Featuring a slide, pools of different depths, side sprinklers which surround your little ones with shooting water and an adjustable water sprayer, this is truly for the water babies in your life.
There’s no information on water capacity or the different water depths of the two pools. It’s not as big as the Dinoland model from Intex and certainly doesn’t have as many features, so it’s probably aimed more at the little ones who like to splash around and gently be sprayed with water, especially since the age limit is 6 months and up.
No mention of a drainage plug or repair kit, but the manufacturer makes mention of the durable, puncture-free BPA-free PVS materials. Despite this, some parents complain about tears but this model receives 4.1 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
What We Like:
Most Colorful Kiddie Pool/Water Park
Who doesn’t want to spend their summer cooling off over the rainbow! Similar to the Intex Dinoland Play Center, the Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center offers water play with lots of other ball games.
Featuring a waterslide, overhead rainbow sprayer that attaches to a garden hose, ring-toss game with 4 included rings, roller ball game with six included balls and bouncing ball toss game. Similar to the Dinoland, this is truly a play center for little ones who need more than just water to entertain them.
Coming from Intex, the materials are non-toxic and this model also includes a repair kit and drainage plug. As with previous models of this size, we see many complaints about the inflation process and it’s clear an electric blower is needed for ease on inflation.
It’s not quite as big as Dinoland, so it’s a great alternative for anyone with a little less space whose kids are so dinosaur mad. With 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon from an astonishing 4500+ reviews, this is a safe bet for anyone looking to cool down their water babies this summer.
What We Like:
Cute Jungle Themed Kiddie Pool
This is a slightly smaller play center, which is no less fun and will fire up any little one’s imagination!
With an adorable design, including a detachable giraffe and monkey, the Jungle Play Center features a wading pool, slide with landing pad, overhead water sprayer with garden hose attachment, a ring toss and 6 fun balls and hoop.
Another Intex design, we have the usual repair kit and drainage plug included. Despite being a little smaller, it can still happily accommodate two little ones, especially since it includes some detachable games (the giraffe has a hoop). It can still also accommodate siblings of varying age ranges.
There aren’t a huge number of reviews for this model yet, but Intex tends to be a reliable manufacturer, so we’re sure it will be a hit in absolutely no time. It does also have great reviews on other websites, which is reassuring.
What We Like:
Hard Plastic Kids Pools
Best Toddler Activity Pool
This adorable and well-thought out hard plastic kiddie pool is absolutely perfect for a little one who’s content to sit and play in their pool.
With an umbrella to provide shade and sun protection, two molded-in seats in the shade, a 7-piece water play set including three funnel cups and a fun spinning water wheel that attaches to the umbrella and molded in ocean creatures on the bottom for traction.
These features really enhance what could otherwise be a very simple wading pool. Its tiny size means it’s perfect for any backyard.
The hard plastic materials mean that it’s probably not perfect for a rambunctious little one who wants to run around, but for any little one who’s play style is quieter, this is perfect.
The price point is quite high, but the good quality materials mean that you’ll have great durability and have this pool for any future little ones.
What We Like:
Summer Escapes Molded Plastic Kiddie Pool
Pet Friendly Kiddie Pool
This is a more traditional version of a kiddie pool, a hard plastic kiddie pool that you fill up in the morning and tip over at night to empty the water and let it dry. This model is cost effective and comes in multiple bright colors.
It’s perfect for any parent on a budget, especially those with pets who also like to cool off and whose claws might puncture an inflatable model.
These types of pools last forever and are lightweight and easily moved when empty. They’re big enough for a couple of little ones to splash around together.
These hard shell pools also make great sandboxes, and when the weather turns cools you can bring it into the play room for use as a ball pit.
Things To Consider
I love hard plastic kiddie pools for their ease of setup and durability but they have one serious drawback that stops many parents from buying them… They are made from HARD plastic.
With an inflatable pool kids can literally bounce off the walls and not get a scratch – but if they take a fall on the edge of a hard plastic pool it can do some damage.
What We Like:
Best Metal Framed Kids Pool
This model from Intex is a great compromise between a hard plastic and inflatable model. Its hard metal frame is padded and easily assembled and disassembled for storage. It holds about 90 gallons of water, which is a decent amount for splashing about.
It comes with a drainage plug and repair patch and can happily accommodate 2 little ones splashing around. This is a great introductory pool that will provide your kids with the perfect place to cool off and is reasonably prices as such. It receives 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
What We Like:
Inflatable Family Pools
Best for Older Kids
We’re into the big guns! This pool is just as much for the parents as it is for the kids, with dimensions of 103 x 63 x 18 inches and a 151-gallon water capacity. Parents can truly stretch their legs out to cool off while watching their little ones splash around.
There’s no extra features as this one is more of a true pool, but the fun design means that you could play many games as you enjoy the water with your kids.
You will definitely need an electric blower for this pool with its 2 chambers and double valve intake. It also includes a repair patch and shelf box for easy storage. With 4 out of 5 stars on Amazon, this is a great option if you’re looking for an inflatable pool for the whole family.
What We Like:
Best Inflatable Family Pool
The Homech Inflatable is one of the most popular large scale “Kiddie Pools” you can buy and for good reason.
The pool is made from materials that are naphthalene, lead and BPA-free and is 50% thicker than many of its competitors. It can be inflated in less than 4 minutes with an electric pump (not includes) and it has a super-soft inflatable floor to act as a cushion between the ground and your kids.
The giant (120″ x 72″) pool holds a respectable 312 gallons of water making it the largest pool on our list. The manufactures says that it can hold up to 2 adults plus 3-5 kids making it a true “Family Pool”.
If you are not ready to commit to the headache and maintenance of a traditional above ground pool the Homech is a great alternative.
Things To Consider
Just remember that unlike traditional pools there are no filtration systems on kiddie pools, even large ones like the Homech. This means you will be constantly draining and refilling the pool whenever your kids want to swim… and 312 gallons is alot of water to toss out every weekend.
I always use the water from my kiddie pools to water my plants, but I have never owned a 312 gallon kiddie pool like the Homech! That would water alot of tomatoes.
If wasting that much water offends your environmental sensibilities you can take a look at Homech’s smaller family pool. The dimensions are 92″ x 56″ and it only holds 162 gallons of water. The smaller size is just as popular and well rated as its bigger brother, but strangely you will only save around $10 bucks on the price.
Kiddie Pool Buying Guide
By now you’ve probably read through our recommendations and seen how many awesome options there are for kiddie pools and you’re wondering how to narrow your decision down. Lucky for you, I’ve got you covered once more!
Below we’ve run through everything you could possibly need to consider when deciding which kiddie pool to buy, from safety to price and everything in between.
A word of warning before we continue. We said this at the start of the article, but it’s worth repeating. Regardless of the swimming pool you choose, it’s incredibly important that an adult stays with and supervises the little ones at all times.
Toddlers can down in only inches of water so it’s never worth leaving them, even for a second. Additionally, you should always drain a pool once you’ve finished using it for both safety and hygiene reasons.
Age of Kids
How old are they now and how long will they use the pool for?
A great first step is thinking about the age of your kid(s) and how long you think they’ll use their inflatable pool for. This will dictate your decision massively. Each model will have age restrictions and some, with features such as slides, will also have weight restrictions.
If you have older kids, or are considering something for the whole family, then it’s important to consider the age and weight limits on the models (we include this on all of our reviews).
If you have little ones who just love the water, then consider buying something that will grow with them. If you take proper care of your kiddie pool, then you’ll get a few years use out of it, as many are durable and can be used season after season.
Supervision, Hazards, Sun Shades
Safety is an incredibly important consideration. As mentioned above, children should be carefully supervised at all times when it comes to any water based toys or play.
As long as kids are being supervised, the majority of basic pools are incredibly safe other than some potential for slipping/falling type injuries. Some pools come with accessories such as slides, which pose more of a risk, particularly if they’re poorly inflated, but the risk is relatively low, particularly with adult supervision.
That being said, it’s really important to ensure that you have enough space around your kiddie pool to avoid tripping hazards. If you choose an inflatable pool, you also want enough room to make sure there’s nothing that could possibly puncture your new summer toy.
Another important safety consideration is sun exposure. Some Kiddie pools will come with sunshades, which provides really great protection for little ones. This is especially important for kids aged three and below who should be avoiding prolonged sun exposure as much as possible.
Size & Available Backyard Space
Usable space, Size & Shape of the pool, Storage
As mentioned above, you really want to make sure you have enough usable garden space for your pool. Usable space is a different beast to just enough room in your backyard.
Usable space means unobstructed space, a garden hose that reaches your kiddie pool, ample space around it for running around without colliding with anything and without the chance of puncture for inflatables.
The space you have also needs to be flat and preferably grass, although some parents like to put tarps or rubber matting under their kiddie pools to prevent grassy pool water and sliding for both kids and the pool itself.
If you have a fairly small backyard space, don’t despair. Swimming pools come in all shapes and sizes and will take up different space depending on their size. The best thing to do it to measure your usable space and have those set dimensions when considering which model to buy.
Finally consider how much storage capacity you will have if you pack your kiddie swimming pool up for the winter. Most inflatable models can disassemble down to a pretty small size, meaning easy storage, but molded plastic models will need to be stored as is.
Shades, Slides, Sprayers, Balls, Hoops and More!
Most models of kiddie pools are just that, swimming pools. They come in varying sizes depending on whether you’re looking for toddlers or the whole family, but they’re essentially just bodies of water.
BUT! If you’re looking for something that provides your little ones with more than just swimming, then there are some really great options for you. There are inflatable models that come with slides, basketball hoops, ring toss and even water fountains or sprayers to keep the kiddies cool when they’re playing in their pool.
There are also really fun options that can be transferred to winter ball pits and therefore be used all year round if you have space for them inside. There are also models with sunshades for the very little ones to protect them from excessive sun exposure.
We can’t forget all of the super fun design options either! From giant fish, sharks and zoo animals to unicorns or donuts, these kiddie pools will stimulate every imagination while providing summer fun.
If you’re after something with even more features, check out our blog on the best inflatable water slides and water parks as many of these have tones of fun accessories and still have enough water for splashing around and cooling off.
Materials & Durability
Inflatable, Hard Plastic or Vinyl
Care and How Hard Your Kids Play
You actually have a fair amount of choice when it comes to materials for your kiddie swimming pool. Many are inflatable (which comes with it’s own set of choices), but you can also get hard plastic and non-inflatable durable vinyl options.
There are pros and cons to each of these options. Inflatable is likely to suffer from rips or punctures and many models will come with repair kits to combat this. Hard plastic is just that – hard! So it might be too tough on little ones.
For all materials you want a good functional outlet to drain water from the pool – this is better for cleaning and storing and is better to get dirty water out of the pool.
When considering which material to choose, also think about how your kids play. Whether they’re the sit and splash type or the running around types because this may impact the firmness of the material that you choose.
As mentioned above, tears and rips are major failures with any inflatable toy. Proper maintenance and case will help to prevent damage to your inflatable pool. Some parents place tarps underneath their inflatable pools to prevent damage.
Making sure there’s enough space around your kiddie pool will also help to dodge tears and punctures. Additionally, many models come with their own repair kids, so be sure to check to see if your choice comes with a repair kit (we make mention of this in our reviews where relevant).
When it comes to inflatable pools, there are several types of materials used by manufacturers:
- Laminated polyester
- Chemical Grade Nylon
- PVC (Polyvinyl chloride)
Most manufacturers choose PVC over other materials due to its quality of elasticity and high quality PVC will usually last for years with considered care. Chemical grade nylon is another great choice as it’s also good in terms of elasticity and is also durable and lightweight.
If you think you’ll use your pool for a long time and especially if you’re choosing something for use by the whole family, then durability will be important. Check for double, triple, or even quadruple stitching which will increase durability of inflatable swimming pools.
Many inflatable models will work better with a constantly running air pump. A blower will make your life much easier when you blow the pool up initially as well. Some pools will come with their own pump and others will require you to have your own. It’s good to take note of reviews in this case because if you choose a model with a slide, a constantly running blower is likely necessary to keep your pool inflated. In this case you’ll need an outdoor extension cord for electricity.
Inflatable swimming pools will often deflate and collapse to almost nothing, which is a big draw card for any parent who is short on storage.
Hard plastic lives up to its name – it’s hard! And so it’s more likely to cause injury if your little one is prone to tripping or falling because they won’t be cushioned by the soft inflatable surface. Hard plastic pools also have slightly sharper edges due to the hardness of the plastic and the design, so look carefully at the edges when choosing models.
All of that being said, hard plastic swimming pools can be stored as-is, are often lightweight and are easy to clean and store, which is attractive for many parents. As you can see by the length of this section, there’s also less fuss with pumps or electrical outlets. Hard plastic swimming pools rarely have the fun features of their inflatable friends, so they’re great for those who just want a pool and aren’t worried about extras.
These are a great alternative to the hard plastic for those who don’t want to fuss with the inflatable swimming pool options. These pools are usually made up of a frame and a vinyl container. The frame is usually padded which takes care of the potential for injuries and these are a great option for any home kiddie pool.
The budget for your kiddie pool will vary wildly depending on features and materials. Generally you can get a pool for a little one for as low as $15/$20. For a bigger model that fits the whole family or has fancier features, you’ll be looking to pay closer to $120/$130.