There’s no shortage of above ground pools available to most consumers. They come in a variety of different styles from the inflatable and temporary blowup pools to steel frame pools of every shape, size, and configuration. Although the blowup models are useful for children or pets, they have a limited lifespan and can’t be expected to last very long. Permanent above ground pools, on the other hand, can last for decades, if properly maintained.

Unfortunately, pool manufacturers and sellers don’t make it very easy on consumers who are looking to add one of these permanent pools to their yard. It can be difficult telling the good models from the models that are just okay. That’s why we’ve decided to do our own research and find out which of these pools are the best, so consumers can find the one that fits their yard and their needs.

Best Permanent Above Ground Pools

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10Intex 18-Foot By 52-Inch Ultra XTR Pool Set


This pool not only provides enough room for a family to swim in but is also designed to last quite a while. It’s made with a durable galvanized steel construction that ensures that the product will last through years of use. It can be quickly set up in about an hour and has a water capacity of approximately 6,900 gallons when it’s filled to 90% capacity. This model also comes with a sand filter pump for keeping the pool’s water in pristine condition, a ground cloth, a pool cover, and an easy-to-use ladder. It’s a pool set that just about any family can enjoy from one swim season to the next.

9Intex 16-Foot By 48-Inch Ultra XTR Pool Set


With a specially designed galvanized frame, a precision locking system and both inner and outer powder coatings on metal components, this permanent above ground pool is designed to last for a very long time. This model can be set up in under an hour, has a water capacity of 5,000 gallons, and comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty. It also comes with a ground cloth, a pool cover, a ladder, and a sand filter pump. All of which makes this pool one of the best ones for a person to set up in their yard for hours of family swimming fun.

8Intex 16-Foot By 42-Inch Prism Frame Pool Set


This rectangular Prism pool set is a great combination of affordability, durability, and style. This pool is 16-foot by 42-inches and has a water capacity of approximately 2,873 gallons. It has an extra-thick floor for increased durability, has a 3-ply liner, and is manufactured with powder-coated metal frames designed to hold up to the elements. It also comes with a cartridge filter pump that’s capable of pumping up to 1,000 gallons of water per hour, a ground cloth, a pool cover, and a pool ladder so swimmers can easily get in and out of the pool.

7Summer Waves 12-Foot By 30-Inch Tan Wicker Pool


Even though most people are familiar with wicker furniture, not many people are all that familiar with pools that have an exterior wicker design like this one. Although this does tend to make this pool seem like a novelty, it’s a great swimming pool for the price. It has a 12-foot diameter, is approximately 2.5-feet deep and holds about 1,800 gallons of water. It’s very durable, sets up in no time flat and comes with an SFX600 filter pump with a Type D filter cartridge. All of which makes it a pool that not only goes well with most people’s outdoor wicker furniture but one that should provide many seasons of swimming fun.

6Intex 12-Foot By 30-Inches Metal Frame Pool


Although this model by Intex is one of the most inexpensive above ground pools to be found on this list, it’s still one that works surprisingly well. It has a decent 12-foot by 30-inch size that is suitable for most backyards, and it’s a more durable option than most of the inflatable pools that can be purchased nowadays. It might not be as durable as steel-walled pools, but it can be used from season to season without much concern. All things taken into consideration, it’s an inexpensive permanent pool that’s a good model for most families.

5Bestway Steel Pro Max Above Ground Pool


This 14-foot steel frame pool is designed to be easy to set up, easy to maintain, and yet is capable of holding up to the elements very well. It features heavy-duty 3-ply polyester walls with PVC reinforcements, and it can be set up in approximately an hour. This pool also comes with a pump for keeping the 2,800 gallons of water in the pool in good condition. Although this pool might not be the most durable one available, it is an inexpensive model that can be used year in and year out without fail. It’s sure to be a pool that consumers get plenty of enjoyment out of each swimming season.

4Bestway 20-Foot By 48-Inch Steel Frame Pool Set


Just about everything a homeowner needs for a day of fun in the sun can be found in this kit. It comes with a 20-foot by 48-inch steel frame pool that has a 90% full capacity of approximately 8,000 gallons. It also comes with a 2,500-gallon filter pump that helps to keep the pool in pristine condition and a protective cover that helps to keep debris out of the pool. Another item this pool set comes with is a 48-inch ladder that’s sure handy to have around when people want to get in and out of the pool. And last but not least, it comes with a ground cover for setting it up.

3Intex 15-Foot Metal Frame Pool Set


This pool set comes with many of the accessories a person needs to enjoy a day swimming. It comes with a 15-foot by 48-inch metal frame pool, a ladder, a ground cloth, and a pool cover. This set also comes with a Krystal Clear filter pump that can pump up to 1,000 gallons of pool water per hour. Another thing that comes with this set is an instructional DVD that gives the consumer concise directions on keeping their pool in tippy-top condition. And since the pool in this pool set has a drain plug, draining and refilling it is always as easy as pie.

2Intex 14-Foot Ultra Frame Pool Set


Running around town to find a pool isn’t much fun, and it’s a whole lot worse when the consumer has to buy all of the accessories the pool needs as well. That’s why this pool set is such a great deal. It not only comes with a 14-foot by 42-inch frame pool that has a 90% water capacity of 3,357 gallons, but it also comes with a filter pump, a ladder, a ground cloth, and a pool cover. The pump that comes with this set can pump up to 1,000 gallons per minute and is designed to last the consumer for years. And since this pool can be set up and ready for water in under an hour, there’s no reason why anyone shouldn’t have a pool to swim in.

1Wilbar Impressions 18-Foot Round Pool


No one wants to put up an 18-foot pool at the beginning of summer and then take it down once the summer season has ended. Fortunately, people who buy this permanent above ground pool don’t have to worry about that at all. Once this product is set up, it can remain right where it stands all year round. It’s capable of doing that because it’s made out of high-quality resin-coated steel and it features a steel wall that’s been hot-dip galvanized for increased strength and durability. But this pool just isn’t strong and durable, however. It’s also very attractive and has a bedrock pattern liner that adds a bit of style to it.

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How To Buy A Permanent Above Ground Pool

Buying a permanent above ground pool is a big decision and requires the consumer to do a bit of planning before undertaking this endeavor. The pool’s shape, size, depth, and many other factors have to be considered before buying the pool and there’s plenty to consider about where to place the pool. With those things in mind, we wrote the following guide. A guide that we hope will clarify the whole process, so the consumer can buy the best pool for their needs.

Let’s Talk About Pool Shape

One of the first things to consider is the shape of the pool that a person may want to consider placing in their backyard. And although many people consider this to be merely an aesthetic consideration, it’s also one that may be governed by local ordinances or the rules of the consumer’s neighborhood association or other governing bodies.

Most consumers tend to lean more towards oval pools, but that’s not always the case. Some people may want to instead consider round pools that fit better into the layout of their backyard. And if the consumer is planning to have a deck built around the pool, then an oval pool is usually the logical choice.

Of course, the consumer needs to consider that the shape of their pool is going to determine how much water it holds as well. A 15×30-foot oval pool holds less water than a 24-inch round pool, although the oval pool is likely more expensive. That’s why it’s important to give careful consideration to the pool’s shape before continuing with this guide.

Size And Depth Is Another Consideration

Although the consumer’s choice of the manufacturer will dictate the size and depth of their pool, it’s nonetheless an important consideration to be kept in mind. As a general rule, most pools come in depths of 48-inches through 54-inches. Of course, the deeper the pool, the more water it’s going to hold, so the consumer should factor this into their decision. Another thing they should factor in is the actual size of the pool itself. Not only does the pool have to fit within the size of the yard, but the consumer also has to make sure they buy a size that complies with all local ordinances. If the consumer buys a particular size of the pool and it’s not allowed by their local governing body, then they may be forced to take it down or the local installer might not be able to install it in the first place.

Consider The Pool’s Frame Style

As most people can see from the above list, permanent above ground pools come in several different frame styles. They are made with frames that are made of either steel, resin, aluminum or some hybrid of these materials. Which one is right for the consumer? Well, it all depends on what they are looking for, but below are some things our readers should consider.

  • Steel – Steel is an inexpensive choice for a pool and it’s one of the most popular, or at least it used to be the most popular. It is also one of the heaviest metals for the frame to be made of, but it holds up fairly well to the elements. This material is rust-resistant, but sunlight and saltwater can cause this material to oxidize, so that’s something the consumer should always keep in mind.
  • Resin – Although all-resin frame pools aren’t all that common, they can be found occasionally. This material is strong and won’t rust, so in that sense, it’s very much like steel. What separates it from steel, however. is that it won’t oxidize. Unfortunately, it costs a little bit more than steel, but it is extremely durable so those two sides must be factored in together when looking at these pools.
  • Hybrid – These types of above ground pools are becoming increasingly more popular. That’s because these pools use steel for the main support system, but all of the parts that come into contact with the water are made of resin. This allows the pool to be strong and resistant to the elements, but not be as expensive as all-resin frame pools. That’s why it’s the logical choice for most people.

Pool Liner’s Are Important, Too

The liner is one of the most important parts of the pool. It keeps the pool from leaking, so when choosing a permanent above ground pool, it’s important to give careful consideration to the liner. When it comes to liners, consumers have four different choices available to them. Let’s examine each of these choices and see where they stack up when choosing a new above ground pool.

  • Overlap Liners – These liners attach to the walls of the pool using special strips and the excess hangs over the edge. These liners work well for most applications.
  • Beaded Liners – These liners are made with a bead of vinyl at its tip that’s installed into the pool’s top rails. The biggest flaw of these liners is that water can often get between the walls of the pool and the liner. This isn’t a problem for resin pools but can cause oxidation with steel or hybrid pools.
  • Unibead Liners – These liners are designed to attach to the top of the pool wall, which allows the liner to hand down. This is another liner that works fairly well.
  • Expandable Liners – These liners are designed for pools that have a deep end and a shallow end. Most of them are designed for 4 to 4.3-foot walls but can be expanded to 6-feet to accommodate deeper sections.

In Conclusion

Although we didn’t cover the various pumps that can be used for above ground pools, other articles on this site adequately cover that topic. However, with that being said, we still feel the above information is just about complete and will allow any of our readers to find the best permanent above ground pool for their needs. All they have to do is select one and install it and they’ll be ready for plenty of aquatic fun.