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Can you hear the birds singing? Can you see the green plants peeking up through the dirt? Can you feel the sunshine? This can only mean one glorious thing: Spring is upon us, and summer is fast approaching. After a long winter of Covid-conscious social distancing, the imminent possibility of summer staycations, sunny vacations, and an abundance of free time to spend with the people we love most (safely, of course) is the perfect excuse to splurge, just a little, on a social centerpiece. May I please introduce: the inflatable pool.
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Or perhaps this is a mere re-introduction. Last summer, the inflatable pool brought leisure, relaxation, and cheer to backyards across the country—in fact, they were such a hit in 2020 that many retailers struggled to keep them in stock. And we expect the trend to continue.
So, as the summer approaches and we dream of the day we can have pool parties with friends, cold drinks with colleagues, and barbecues with family, check out the best inflatable pools on the market that can help keep you cool all summer long.
1. This pool ideal for family-sized fun in the sun
This 4.5-star rated pool is perfect for the whole family. This classic crowd pleaser is big enough to fit up to two adults and four children. It smartly features a white top lip, which reflects sunlight to ensure that neither you nor your little ones burn fingers getting in and out of the pool. Additionally, it offers a vertical drainpipe for easy drainage when you’re ready to head back inside for some ice cream and AC.
Besides checking all the boxes noted above, Amazon reviewers seem to agree that this pool is remarkably durable. Case in point? One reviewer celebrated that the pool is “still standing even after my husband ran over it (while inflated) with our Jeep.” If that isn’t an endorsement of a tough pool, I’m not sure what is!
Get the Sable Inflatable Pool from Amazon for $67.99
2. A pool that’s basically a birthday party in a box
Transport your kiddos to another era when dinosaurs ran wild. Play baby basketball by tossing balls (included) into the dino’s mouth, slide down the volcanic slope, or dance in the palm tree sprinkler. This adorable 4-star pool is good for kids 2 years old and above, and provides a little extra padding on the pool’s floor to lessen the impact of any slips down the slide. A word of advice from the reviews, though: Go ahead and buy yourself an air pump and save your breath!
Get the Intex Inflatable Dinosaur Water Play Center from Walmart for $52.99
3. A pool to make an understated nautical statement
This pool with nearly 10,000 Amazon reviews can do it all—it’s popular among both parents and those just looking for a place to float in solitude, a book and beer nearby. What makes this 4.6-star rated pool especially remarkable is its smart design featuring three individual air chambers, each on a separate tier. This special construction means that the pool stands extra strong and sturdy, resulting in less water spilling out when someone leans too hard on an edge. Plus, how could you say no to the playful beach theme that decorates the external walls? Cute, but understated.
Get the Homech Inflatable Kiddie Pool from Amazon for 79.99
4. A pool for summer dreamin’
Feel the heat in this adorable heart-shaped pool. This sweet inflation is just big enough for you and your honey, and boasts the impressive ability to inflate in just two minutes. We love this brand not only for its twee designs, but also because FUNBOY is ethically sourced and family-owned.
Need a last-minute summertime date idea? Fill this pool, which has a 4.2-star rating on Amazon, up under the nighttime stars, grab a bottle of wine, and play some of your sweetheart’s favorite music. Now that sounds dreamy, don’t you think?
Get the Clear Pink Heart Inflatable Pool from Amazon for $99
5. This pool to greet the summer season!
The summer vibes we’re getting from this precious, 4.1-star rated pool are off the charts. Help your little one cool off in this cheery, watermelon-inspired pool. You might also consider using this pool as a self-contained sandpit for babies to have a contained tactile experience, or maybe even build their first sandcastle. One last idea we love? Bring this watermelon kiddie pool inside, and turn it into a personal (and hygienic) ball pit!
As an aside, if you’re considering this pool, be sure to double-check the measurements (which come in at 49 inches by 12 inches), as some reviewers were surprised by how small it is.
Get the Inflatable Watermelon Kiddie Pool from Amazon for $19.99
6. Kiddie pool? Try doggie pool
Speaking of the dog days of summer… check out this pool for your canine friend! This pool is a great option for kids, dogs, or, let’s be honest, both. Some of the details that set this pool apart as a great option for the family fur-sibling is that the floor of the pool is notably slip-resistant and is made with a material strong enough that your pooch’s claws won’t pierce the walls.
The other excellent feature is the foldability and portability of this pool, which has a 4.6-star rating on Amazon. This means that you can store this pool easily and inconspicuously. It also means that packing this pool and bringing it to a friend’s yard or another outdoor venue is easy. With this pool, anything is paws-ible!
Get the Toozey Foldable Dog Pool from Amazon for $47.99
7. A pool you can really see yourself in
The truth of the matter is that not everyone lives in a home with ample yard space for a pool—and that’s ok! But when you’re working with minimum space, you probably want maximum statement and function. Well, look no further! Urban Outfitters has done it again with this stylish, deep-blue showstopper. The almond shape of this pool makes it perfect for stretching out while ensuring that there is space to luxuriate even in a smaller, or strangely shaped space.
Get the Eye Mini Inflatable Pool from Urban Outfitters for $64
8. A pool that provides protection from the sun
Talk about having it made in the shade. This pool has a 4.2-star rating on Amazon and removable sun shade to help protect the youngsters from sunburn while they spend hours splashing in the water. Depending on the position of the sun, some rays may sneak under the cover. But a simple fix from one reviewer was to augment the coverage for her toddler by placing a blanket on the side of the structure for additional coverage. Just be sure to load up on sunscreen, whether your kids are relaxing in the sun or shade.
Some reviewers report having some trouble keeping the sun-protection structure sitting straight, but others have noted that ensuring that the top is fully inflated prevents any issue.
Get the Intex Sun Shade Inflatable Pool from Amazon for $48.99
9. This pool that promises a little extra support
Our summer battlecry is that we want maximum comfort for minimum effort. Sure, that means a pool in our very own backyard, but it also just might mean going into full relaxation mode on this one-of-a-kind pool with a built-in bench while leaning back against this supportive backrest. One reviewer of this 4.5-star rated item raved that, “[t]he lounge seat is the absolute freaking best” and is also “comfortable and surprisingly supportive.”
We’re dreaming of catching some rays, sipping on piña coladas (maybe from one of these cocktail kits), and getting lost in the season’s juiciest beach reads.
Get the Sable Inflatable Pool with Backrest and Built-in Bench from Amazon for $99.99
10. This pool is the mane event
A rainbow unicorn pool—need I say more? This flying majesty is big enough for two kids to frolic in, and it even has a bonus feature. Connect your garden hose to the tail, and watch as a spring of water rains down on the kiddos. It’s a pool! It’s a sprinkler! No, it’s both at the same time! Plus, at under $30, this is an absolute steal.
Settle down and saddle up to ride this beauty to a land of cotton candy clouds and sweet dreams.
Get the Intex Mystic Unicorn Spray Inflatable Pool from Dick’s Sporting Goods for $24.99
11. This no-fuss pool
It’s a whole new world in this quick-inflating pool, which has a 4-star rating on Amazon. Unlike the majority of its competitors, this pool requires that you inflate only the top ring, making it a breeze to set up. This pool is round and on the bigger side, with an 8-foot diameter and a 2.5-foot depth.
Another plus is that this pool comes with a filter pump to keep the water clean and clear so you spend as little time as possible on setup and maintenance, and dedicate more time to getting your money’s worth and squeezing every last second of relaxation from your backyard vacation.
Get the Summer Waves Inflatable Above Ground Pool from Amazon for $129.99
12. Pool? You mean water park?
When I look at this fun-tastic inflatable mountain, the song from the Six Flags commercial pops into my head. I can’t help it, this 4.5-star rated pick fills me with joy. With a climbing wall, two slides, and a splash pool, this behemoth promises to keep the kids busy for hours of sun-soaked fun. Don’t forget the fun bonus detail that is the “dump bucket,” which sits at the climbing wall’s peak and periodically drenches whoever is bold enough to attempt to conquer the inflated cliff.
Get the Little Tikes Rocky Mountain River Race Inflatable Slide Bouncer from Amazon for $469
13. Baby’s first pool
Keep your baby cool, protected in the shade, and comfy-cozy seated on the floor of this adorable inflatable pool. A defining feature, besides the overall aesthetic, is the inflated floor of the pool, which ensures that your bundle of joy is sitting happy. This sweet pool is best for children between the ages of 1 and 3 years old. In addition to the fun and function, this pool is great for photo-ops of your little one, especially seated under the classic red mushroom top.
Get the Intex Mushroom Baby Pool from Dick’s Sporting Goods for $16.99
14. A mini-pool so you don’t forget the drinks
This inflatable drink cooler is tip-top trendy. Plant prints are always à la mode, and paired with the pop of pink, this mini-pool is a real eye-catcher. This drink cooler boasts the capacity for three bags of ice and up to 18 cans. Set it down on a nearby table, on the grass between lawn chairs, or let it float freely from friend to friend in the pool. Now that’s refreshment!
Get the Tropical Palm Pool Drink Cooler from FUNBOY for $25
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.