25 Best Kiddie Pools For Summer Fun

Want a toy that your kids will NEVER get tired of? Buy a Kiddie Pool!
best-kiddie-pools-for-summer

By the way… Big Happy Backyard earns a commission through the following hand-picked links at no extra cost to you.

A kiddie swimming pool can be an awesome, and often, inexpensive option to keep your kids cool and entertained for hours, and all from the comfort of your backyard. I can’t think of another toy that you can buy for so cheap that can bring so much joy to kids for so many hours. This is about the only toy I have ever bought that they just NEVER get bored of.

If you’re got bigger kids who need a more active summer water experience, you may want to also take a look at my Inflatable Backyard Water Park roundup when you’re done here.

I would normally list my top pick here for those of you in a hurry – but with Kiddie Pools there really are so many different options depending on age, features and how much you want to spend. So, just scroll down the quick view table and see if anything strikes your fancy.

Quick View – Best Backyard Kiddie Pools

ProductAgePrice
intex-sunset-glow-baby-pool-product-thumbMost Popular Baby Pool
Intex Sunset Glow Baby Pool
1- 3 yearsCheck Price on Amazon
joyin-whale-baby-shade-beach-play-pool-product-thumbBest Shaded Baby Pool
Joyin Whale Baby Shade Beach Play Pool
12 months and upCheck Price on Amazon
summer-waves-round-inflatable-dinosaur-product-thumnSuper-Cheap Shaded Baby Pool
Summer Waves Round Inflatable Dinosaur or Shark Baby Pool
1 – 3 years
intex-smiley-giraffe-inflatable-baby-pool-product-thumbParent’s Favorite
Intex Smiley Giraffe Inflatable Baby Pool
1 – 3 yearsCheck Price on Amazon
intex-crystal-blue-kids-outdoor-product-thumbBest Value
Intex Crystal Blue Kids Outdoor Inflatable Pool
3 years and upCheck Price on Amazon
joyin-inflatable-kiddie-pool-product-thumb2 Pool Combo Pack
Joyin Inflatable Kiddie Pool, Unicorn or Llama
3 years and upCheck Price on Amazon
xfated-ice-cream-or-watermelon-inflatable-pool-product-thumbGreat Alternative to Standard Kiddie Pool Designs
XFlated Ice Cream or Watermelon Inflatable Pool
3 months and upCheck Price on Amazon
intex-sun-shade-pool-product-thumbRemovable Shade Canopy
Intex Sun Shade Pool
2 years and upCheck Price on Amazon
funboy-art-deco-mini-inflatable-pool-product-thumbMost Fashionable Kiddie Pool
Funboy Art Deco Mini-Inflatable Pool
6 years and upCheck Price on Amazon
splashin-kids-3-in-1-inflatable-sprinkler-pool-water-park-product-thumbBest Kiddie Pool With Sprinkler
Splashin’ Kids 3 in 1 Inflatable Sprinkler Pool Water Park
8 months and upCheck Price on Amazon
intex-mystic-unicorn-spray-pool-product-thumbBest Unicorn Themed Kiddie Pool
Intex Mystic Unicorn Spray Pool
2 years and upCheck Price on Amazon
intex-whale-spray-kiddie-swimming-pool-product-thumbBest Budget Kiddie Pool With Sprinkler
Intex Whale Spray Kiddie Swimming Pool
2 years and upCheck Price on Amazon
intex-dinosaur-inflatable-play-center-product-thumbMost Popular Kiddie Pool with Slide
Intex Dinosaur Inflatable Play Center
2 years and upCheck Price on Amazon
intex-dinoland-inflatable-play-center-product-thumbBest Mini-Waterpark
Intex Dinoland Inflatable Play Center
3 years and upCheck Price on Amazon
sable-inflatable-play-center-and-wading-pool-product-thumbGreat Design – Awesome Slide
Sable Inflatable Play Center & Wading Pool
6 months and upCheck Price on Amazon
intex-rainbow-ring-inflatable-play-center-product-thumbMost Colorful Kiddie Pool/Water Park
Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center
2 years and upCheck Price on Amazon
intex-jungle-play-center-inflatable-pool-with-sprayer-product-thumbCute Jungle Themed Kiddie Pool
Intex Jungle Play Center Inflatable Pool with Sprayer
3 years and upCheck Price on Amazon
step2-play-and-shade-pool-product-thumbBest Toddler Activity Pool
Step2 Play & Shade Pool
24 months – 10 yearsCheck Price on Amazon
summer-escapes-molded-plastic-kids-pool-product-thumbPet Friendly Kiddie Pool
Summer Escapes Molded Plastic Kiddie Pool
Check Price on Amazon
intex-mini-frame-pool-product-thumbBest Metal Framed Kids Pool
Intex Mini Frame Pool
3 years and upCheck Price on Amazon
intex-swim-center-paradise-inflatable-pool-product-thumbBest for Older Kids
Intex Swim Center Paradise Inflatable Pool
3 years and upCheck Price on Amazon
homech-inflatable-swimming-pool-product-thumbBest Inflatable Family Pool
Intex Swim Center Paradise Inflatable Pool
3 years and upCheck Price on Amazon

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:

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

Intex Sunset Glow Baby Pool

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:

Repair kit included
Soft inflatable floor for little ones
Great price
Can double as a playpen during colder months
Lightweight and portable

Our Concerns:

Very simple with no added extras
Some parents complain that it doesn’t hold enough water
Designed for little babies, but no sun protection

Buy on Amazon

Joyin Whale Baby Shade Beach Play Pool

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:

Built in sun protection
Soft padded floor
Super cool whale design
Meets US safety standards and is non-toxic

Our Concerns:

No mention of a repair kit
Some parents complained of quick deflation
Pricier than other models

Buy on Amazon

Summer Waves Round Inflatable Dinosaur Baby Pool

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:

Sunshade for sun protection
Soft padded floor
2 awesome designs to choose between
Repair kit included
Great price
Bigger than previous models we reviewed

Our Concerns:

Sunshade not as generous as other models
Many parents complain about quick deflation
No information about how water capacity

Intex Smiley Giraffe Inflatable Baby Pool

Parent’s Favorite

Intex Smiley Giraffe Kiddie 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:

Thoughtful added extras with rings and noisemakers
Very cute design and suitable for little babies being shallow
Included repair patch
Great price for the size and included features

Our Concerns:

No outlet to dump out the water
No sunshade despite being designed for little babies

Simple Round 3-Ring Kiddie Pools

Intex Crystal Blue Kids Outdoor Inflatable 58 inch Swimming Pool

Best Value


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:

Ideal for anyone looking for a cost effective basic pool
Comes with a repair patch
Deep enough for very little kids to grow into or for families with an age range
Super durable walls with three 8-gauge thick rings

Our Concerns:

No fun accessories or designs
No sunshade

Buy on Amazon

Joyin Inflatable Kiddie Pool Unicorn & Llama Combo

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:

Two pools for a cost effective low price
Repair kit included
Super fun unique separate designs

Our Concerns:

No sunshade
No information on water capacity or depth
No drainage plug

Buy on Amazon

XFlated Ice Cream or Watermelon Inflatable Pool

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:

Repair kit included
Two adorable designs to choose from
Three separate valves and air compartments

Our Concerns:

No information on water capacity
Manufacturer states avoidance of prolonged sunlight exposure
No sunshade or drainage plug

Buy on Amazon

Funboy Art Deco Mini-Inflatable Pool

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:

Two very cool minimal designs to choose from
Drainage plug included
Big enough for two adults or multiple kids

Our Concerns:

No extra accessories
No sunshade
No mention of a repair kit

Buy on Amazon

Intex Sun Shade Pool

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:

Removable sunshade
Two sweet designs to choose from
Bigger than the other simple two/three-ring swimming pools
Includes a drainage plug
Includes a repair kit

Our Concerns:

Some parents complain about the stability of the sunshade
Some parents complain about deflation issues
No extra accessories

Buy on Amazon

Kiddie Pools with Spray or Sprinklers

Splashin’kids 3 in 1 Inflatable Sprinkler Pool Water Park

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:

Shallow and perfect for little babies
Cute froggy sprinkler with adjustable sprinkler height
A great first pool for babies and toddlers

Our Concerns:

No repair kit
No drainage plug
No sunshade despite being aimed at younger age groups

Buy on Amazon

Intex Mystic Unicorn Spray Pool

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:

Magical Unicorn design
Sprayer with garden hose attachment
Included repair kit
Included drainage plug

Our Concerns:

Smaller water capacity
Can’t adjust sprayer
High price point compared to other pools
No sunshade

Buy on Amazon

Intex Whale Spray Kiddie Swimming Pool

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:

Great whale design with overhead tail spray
Sprayer has hose attachment
Include repair kit
Included drainage plug for easy deflation and emptying

Our Concerns:

No sunshade
Some complaints about the tail deflating

Buy on Amazon

Kiddie Pools with Slides

Intex Dinosaur Inflatable Play Center

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:

SO many features! Super cool bright dinosaur design
Included repair kit
Included drainage plug
Padded landing mat

Our Concerns:

High price point with no electric blower
The high setting for the water sprayer was too powerful
No sunshade
Complaints about holes and rips

Buy on Amazon

Intex Dinoland Inflatable Play Center

Best Mini-Waterpark

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:

Amazing features who love water but are all about ball games
Super fun dinosaur design with bright colors
Padded landing Mat
Repair kit included
Drainage plug included

Our Concerns:

High price point with no blower included
No sunshade
Needs constant water hose connection

Buy on Amazon

Sable Inflatable Play Center & Wading Pool

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:

Super durable construction
Plenty of water sprayers and sprinklers
Big enough for a couple of little ones to play at once

Our Concerns:

Not as many features as other models at this price-point
No repair kit or drainage plug
No sunshade

Check Price On Amazon

Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center

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:

Huge number of positive reviews
Bright colors and amazing suite of features for little one who need more than just water for entertainment
Included repair kit
Included drainage plug

Our Concerns:

Requires an electric blower for inflation which isn’t included
No sunshade

Buy on Amazon

Intex Jungle Play Center Inflatable Pool with Sprayer

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:

Perfect for smaller backyards
Extra games for little ones who need more than just water
Fun jungle theme will inspire imaginative play
Included repair kit
Included drainage plug

Our Concerns:

No sunshade
Lots of compartments to inflate – requires an electric blower (not included)

Buy on Amazon

Hard Plastic Kids Pools

Step2 Play & Shade Pool

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:

Molded in seats and extra accessories
Sunshade for sun protection
Space saving in size

Our Concerns:

Kid will grow out of this quickly
Potentially hard edges

Buy on Amazon

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:

Hard plastic is incredibly durable and will last forever
Available in multiple colors
Big enough for a couple of kids and can accommodate pets since it’s easy to clean
Lightweight with no assembly required

Our Concerns:

No sunshade
Hard edges which could cause injuries

Intex Mini Frame Pool

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:

Easy assembly
Padded framing
Easy disassembly for storage
Repair kit included
Drainage plug included

Our Concerns:

Legs may rust over time
No extra features
No sunshade

Buy on Amazon

Inflatable Family Pools

Intex Swim Center Paradise Inflatable Pool

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:

Fun beach-themed design
Huge lagoon swimming pool for the whole family
High sidewall to keep splashes in
Contains a repair kit

Our Concerns:

No sunshade
No extra features to keep kids entertained

Buy on Amazon

Homech Inflatable Swimming Pool

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.

Check Price On Amazon

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

children playing on kiddie pool

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.

Safety

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

2 sizes of kiddie pools at the backyard

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.

Pool Accessories

little girl enjoying her kiddie pool

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.

Inflatable

siblings in an inflatable kiddie pool

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

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.

Non-Inflatable Vinyl

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.

Budget

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.

Kiddie Pool Comparison Table

best-kiddie-pools-for-summer
NameStyleApproximate PriceRecommended AgeWater capacityWater DepthSize (approx.)Features
Intex Sunset Glow Baby PoolInflatable19.911-3 years18 gal6.5″34″ diaRepair patch, soft inflatable floor, fun colors
Joyin Whale Baby Shade Beach Play PoolInflatable44.991+ year 14 gal11″54″ x 56″Sunshade, fun whale design, padded floor
Summer Waves Round Inflatable Dinosaur / Shark Baby PoolInflatable181-3 yearsNo infoNo Info49″ x 40″Sunshade, fun dinosaur or shark design, soft padded floor, repair patch
Intex Smiley Giraffe Inflatable Baby PoolInflatable$6.12 – $161-3 years14 gal4″44″ x 36″Super cute giraffe design, Ring toss (tail), red hoops, noisemakers, repair patch
Intex Crystal Blue Kids Outdoor Inflatable 58” Swimming PoolInflatable$10 – $21.803+ years76 gal13″58″ diaRepair patch included, 3 air chambers with double valves
Joyin Inflatable Kiddie Pool Unicorn or LlamaInflatable47.003+ yearsNo info6.2″47″ diaRepair patch, two adorable designs included, 3 separate valves
Xflated Ice Cream/ Watermelon Inflatable PoolInflatable$29.99 – $35.993+ months No info10.5″45″ diaRepair patch, two fun designs to choose from, 3 separate valves
Intex Sun Shade PoolInflatable$25 – $39.992+ years74 gal8.5″62″ x 62″Sunshade, Drainage valve, repair kit, two designs to choose from
Funboy Art Deco / Ice Cream Mini Inflatable PoolInflatable593+ yearsNo info18″66″ diaDrainage plus, two super cool minimalist deigns to choose from
Splashin’Kids 3 in 1 Inflatable Sprinkler Pool Water Park (Large)Inflatable$34.89 8+ monthsNo info7″65″ x 40″Adjustable double sprinklers, garden hose attachment, Available in smaller size too
Intex Mystic Unicorn Spray PoolInflatable63.312+ years 44 gal6.5″107″ x 76″Fun unicorn design, sprayer with garden hose attachment, repair kit, drainage plug,
Intex Whale Spray Kiddie Swimming PoolInflatable$20.14 – $282+ years53 gal7″79″ x 77″Overhead sprayer with garden hose attachment, drainage plug, repair kit
Intex Dinosaur Inflatable Play CenterInflatable1223+ years57 gal6 3/8″98″ x 75″Slide, palm tree sprayer, overhead waterfall, repair patch, landing mat, drainage plug, dinosaur ball catcher with 6 balls
Intex Dinoland Inflatable Play CenterInflatable$74.96 – $1443+ years74 gal6″131″ x 90″Slide, movable dino arch water spray with garden hose attachment, padded landing pad, repair kit, drainage plug, dino hoop, ring toss, ball roller
Sable Inflatable Play Center & Wading PoolInflatable$126 – $182.586+ monthsNo infoNo info110″ x 71″Slide, side water sprayers, angle-adjustable sprinkler, padded landing mat, repair patches, different water depths
Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play CenterInflatable$110 – $1892-7 yearsMain Pool – 54 gal , Wading Pool 46 gal5.5″/8″117″ x 76″Slide, ring toss with 4 inflatable rings, water sprayer with garden hose attachment, ball roller game, ball toss game with six plastic balls, padded landing mat, drainage plug, repair kit
Intex Jungle Play Center Inflatable Pool with SprayerInflatable$39.99 – $49.992 + years77 gal5.5″85″ x 74″Slide, detachable monkey & giraffe, 6 fun balls included, ring toss, water sprayer with garden hose attachment, landing pad, drainage plug, repair patches
Step2 Play & Shade PoolHard Shell74.992-6 years12 galNo info37.5″ dia40 inch umbrella, 3 funnel cups and cup holders, fun spinning wheel, 7-piece water play set, molded in seats
Summer Escapes Molded Plastic Kiddie PoolHard Shell153+ yearsNo info11.4″59″ diaLightweight for easy transport, available in multiple fun colors
Intex Square Frame Kiddie PoolDurable vinyl & metal$37.28 – $97.993+ years89 gal9.5″48″ diaPadded frame, galvanized metal steel frame, drain plug, repair patch
Intex Swim Center Paradise Inflatable PoolInflatable110.983+ years169 gal12″103″ x 63″Dual air chambers, repair patch, high sidewall, 2 air chambers, double valve intake, free flow exhaust valve
Homech Inflatable Swimming PoolInflatable1393+ years312 gal22″120″ x 72″3 air chambers, free flow exhaust valve, curved drainpipe, 2 drainage holes, repair patch
Sable Inflatable Family Swim CenterInflatable139.996+ months312 gal20″118″ x 72″3 air chambers, vertical drain pipe, 2 drainage valves
Intex Mandarin Swim Center Family PoolInflatable1353-15 years137 gal13″90″ x 58″Repair patch, drainage patch, 2 air chambers
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