Inflatable Pools: Types, Costs, and Ultimate Guide

Inflatable pools are a fun, cost-effective way to cool off and enjoy the outdoors without the expense and hassle of installing a permanent pool. In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about inflatable pools—from types and costs to setup tips and common mistakes.

Let’s make sure your inflatable pool experience is a splash.

What Is an Inflatable Pool?

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Large inflatable pool in a vibrant backyard on a sunny day -- Inflatable Pools
I made this image with AI — Inflatable Pools

An inflatable pool is a portable swimming pool made from durable, flexible materials such as PVC or vinyl.

They are designed to be inflated with air, making them easy to set up, take down, and store.

These pools come in various sizes and shapes, from small kiddie pools to large family-sized options, allowing you to choose the one that best fits your space and needs.

Inflatable pools are ideal for those who want a temporary water feature without the commitment and maintenance of a permanent pool. They are perfect for renters, families with young children, or anyone looking to add a fun element to their backyard during the warmer months.

Despite their temporary nature, inflatable pools can provide hours of entertainment and relaxation when properly cared for.

Types of Inflatable Pools

Inflatable pools come in a wide range of designs to suit different needs and preferences.

Here is a summary chart and detailed descriptions of ten popular types:

Kiddie PoolsSmall, shallow, playful designs$10-$50
Family PoolsLarge, multiple air chambers$50-$150
Rectangular PoolsMore swimming space, ideal for laps$100-$300
Round PoolsTraditional shape, easy setup$50-$200
Oval PoolsStylish, narrow backyard friendly$150-$400
Deep PoolsGreater depth, includes filtration$200-$500
Splash PoolsBuilt-in sprinklers or fountains$20-$100
Inflatable Hot TubsHeated, massage jets$300-$800
Slide PoolsAttached slides, water sprayers$100-$400
Floating PoolsDesigned for lakes, mesh bottoms$100-$300
Types of Inflatable Swimming Pools

1. Kiddie Pools

Kiddie pools are designed for young children. They are typically small and shallow, making them safe for little ones.

These pools often feature playful designs, such as animal shapes or bright colors, and may include built-in toys like slides or water sprayers. Kiddie pools are easy to set up and take down, and they are perfect for introducing toddlers to water play.

Due to their size, they are also easy to clean and maintain.

2. Family Pools

Family pools are larger than kiddie pools and are designed to accommodate multiple people.

They usually have multiple air chambers for added stability and durability.

Some family pools come with built-in seating, cup holders, and even shade canopies, making them ideal for a relaxing day in the water with loved ones. These pools can hold more water, offering a deeper swimming experience.

3. Rectangular Pools

Rectangular inflatable pools offer more swimming space compared to round pools.

They are ideal for those who enjoy lap swimming or want a pool that can host larger gatherings. These pools often come with reinforced sidewalls and a sturdy design to handle more water and activity.

They are perfect for narrow spaces and can fit well in many backyard layouts.

4. Round Pools

Round pools are the traditional shape for inflatable pools.

They are easy to set up and provide a balanced, aesthetically pleasing look in any backyard. These pools are great for casual relaxation and fun water activities. Due to their shape, they distribute water evenly, making them stable and less prone to tipping.

5. Oval Pools

Oval pools offer a stylish alternative to round and rectangular pools. Their elongated shape provides more swimming space while fitting into narrow backyard spaces. These pools are often seen as more modern and can be a focal point of backyard design.

They also offer the advantage of being easier to swim laps in compared to round pools.

6. Deep Pools

Deep inflatable pools cater to older children and adults who want a more immersive swimming experience.

These pools can be up to 4 feet deep and often come with filtration systems to keep the water clean. Deep pools require more careful placement and maintenance but offer a more traditional swimming pool experience.

7. Splash Pools

Splash pools are shallow pools with built-in sprinklers or fountains, providing interactive water play for children.

These pools are easy to set up and can be placed on any flat surface. They offer endless fun and are perfect for younger children who enjoy running and splashing in the water.

8. Inflatable Hot Tubs

Inflatable hot tubs bring the luxury of a spa to your backyard.

These pools come with heating systems and massage jets, offering a relaxing and therapeutic experience. They are perfect for cooler evenings or for those who enjoy the benefits of hydrotherapy.

9. Slide Pools

Slide pools combine the fun of a pool with the excitement of a water slide.

These pools come with attached inflatable slides and sometimes include water sprayers for extra fun. Slide pools are perfect for energetic children and can provide hours of entertainment.

10. Floating Pools

Floating pools are designed to be used on larger bodies of water like lakes or large in-ground pools. They often have mesh bottoms to allow water flow and keep the pool stable.

These pools are great for lake trips or for adding a unique feature to your existing pool.

Pros and Cons of Inflatable Pools

If you’re considering getting an inflatable pool, it’s helpful to know the good, bad, and ugly about them.


  • Affordable: Cheaper than permanent pools.
  • Portable: Easy to set up and store.
  • Variety: Many sizes and designs to choose from.
  • Fun for All Ages: Options available for kids and adults.


  • Durability: Prone to punctures and wear.
  • Maintenance: Requires regular cleaning and water treatment.
  • Stability: Less stable than permanent pools.
  • Limited Lifespan: Typically last a few seasons.

How to Set Up an Inflatable Pool

Setting up an inflatable pool is straightforward but requires some preparation to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Follow these steps for a smooth setup process:

  1. Choose a Location: Find a flat, level surface free of sharp objects. A well-chosen location will help prevent punctures and ensure the pool remains stable.
  2. Clear the Area: Remove rocks, sticks, and debris from the chosen location. This step is crucial to avoid punctures and uneven surfaces that could damage the pool.
  3. Lay a Ground Cloth: Protect the pool bottom with a tarp or ground cloth. This extra layer helps prevent damage from any remaining small objects on the ground.
  4. Inflate the Pool: Use an electric or manual pump to inflate the pool. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid overinflating, which can weaken the material.
  5. Fill with Water: Connect a garden hose and fill the pool. Fill it to the recommended level to ensure proper use and avoid overloading the pool walls.
  6. Check for Leaks: Inspect the pool for any punctures or leaks. It’s easier to fix these issues before the pool is fully filled.
  7. Add Accessories: Install filters, ladders, or covers if needed. These accessories can enhance the usability and lifespan of your pool.

By following these steps, you can ensure a successful setup and enjoy your inflatable pool with peace of mind.

How to Use Inflatable Pools

Using an inflatable pool properly ensures safety and extends its lifespan. Here are some tips:

  • Safety First: Always supervise children when they are in or around the pool. Inflatable pools can pose a drowning risk, so it’s essential to keep an eye on young swimmers at all times.
  • Keep it Clean: Regularly skim debris from the water’s surface and use pool chemicals to maintain water quality. Clean the pool walls and floor periodically to prevent algae buildup.
  • Cover When Not in Use: Use a pool cover to keep debris out and reduce water evaporation. This practice helps maintain water quality and reduces the need for frequent cleaning.
  • Regular Maintenance: Check for leaks and clean filters regularly. Maintaining your pool will ensure it lasts longer and provides a safe environment for swimming.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy your inflatable pool safely and keep it in good condition for multiple seasons.

Where to Put Your Inflatable Pool

Choosing the right location for your inflatable pool is essential for safety and longevity.

Here are some options:

  • Flat, Level Ground: Ensure stability and prevent uneven wear. A flat surface minimizes the risk of the pool tipping over or water spilling out.
  • Shaded Areas: Reduce water evaporation and UV damage by placing the pool in a shaded area. This can also make the water more comfortable on hot days.
  • Near a Water Source: Easy access for filling and cleaning the pool. Having a water source nearby simplifies maintenance and water changes.
  • Away from Trees: Avoid placing the pool under trees to reduce debris falling into the water. Leaves and branches can make cleaning more difficult.
  • On a Patio or Deck: If sturdy enough, a patio or deck can be a good location. Ensure the surface can support the weight of the filled pool and that it is level.

By carefully selecting the location, you can ensure your inflatable pool is safe, stable, and easy to maintain.

What to Put Under Your Inflatable Pool

Using a proper base under your inflatable pool can prevent damage and improve comfort. Here are some options:

  • Ground Cloth or Tarp: Protect the pool bottom from sharp objects and uneven surfaces. A ground cloth is an affordable and effective option.
  • Foam Pads: Provide extra cushioning and insulation, making the pool more comfortable to use. Foam pads can also help protect the pool bottom.
  • Interlocking Mats: Durable and easy to set up, these mats offer a stable base for your pool. They are a good option for larger pools and can be reused for other purposes.
  • Sand Layer: A thin layer of sand can help level the ground and provide a soft base. Be sure to smooth it out to avoid uneven spots.
  • Old Carpet or Rug: Repurpose old carpet or rugs to create a cushioned base. This can be a cost-effective way to protect your pool.

By choosing the right material to put under your pool, you can enhance comfort and extend the life of your inflatable pool.

How to Choose the Best Inflatable Pool for Your Backyard

Choosing the right inflatable pool for your backyard involves considering several factors to ensure it meets your needs and fits your space.

Here’s how to make the best choice:

Assess Your Space

  • Measure Your Yard: Start by measuring the available space in your backyard. Consider the dimensions of the pool and ensure there is enough room for setup and access around it.
  • Consider Ground Conditions: Choose a flat, level area free from sharp objects. The ground should be stable and able to support the weight of the filled pool.

Determine Usage

  • Family Size and Activities: Think about how many people will use the pool and what activities you’ll enjoy. Larger families may need a bigger pool, while kids might prefer one with built-in toys or slides.
  • Age of Users: Select a pool that is appropriate for the ages of the users. Kiddie pools are great for toddlers, while deeper pools may be better for older children and adults.

Evaluate Features

  • Shape and Design: Inflatable pools come in various shapes, including round, rectangular, and oval. Choose a shape that fits your space and aesthetic preferences.
  • Depth and Size: Consider the depth and size of the pool. Deeper pools offer a more immersive experience but require more water and maintenance.
  • Additional Features: Look for features such as built-in seating, cup holders, or shade canopies. These can enhance the pool experience and provide extra comfort.

Check Quality and Durability

  • Material: Opt for pools made from high-quality, durable materials like PVC or vinyl. Thicker materials are more resistant to punctures and wear.
  • Construction: Pools with multiple air chambers offer better stability and are less likely to collapse if one chamber is punctured.

Budget Considerations

  • Price Range: Inflatable pools come in a wide price range. Set a budget and look for options within that range. Remember that larger, more feature-rich pools will cost more.
  • Maintenance Costs: Factor in the cost of maintenance, including water treatment chemicals, repair kits, and accessories like covers and pumps.

Read Reviews and Ratings

  • Customer Feedback: Check online reviews and ratings to learn about the experiences of other users. Look for comments on durability, ease of setup, and overall satisfaction.
  • Brand Reputation: Choose a reputable brand known for producing quality inflatable pools. Established brands often offer better customer support and warranties.

Here is a good video about the best inflatable pools:

YouTube Video by Outdoor Gear — Inflatable Pools

FAQs About Inflatable Pools

You might still have some questions about inflatable pools — like, how long do they last and can you heat them up?

Find out the answers to these questions and more below.

How Long Do Inflatable Pools Last?

With proper care, inflatable pools can last 1-3 years. The lifespan depends on the quality of the material, how well it is maintained, and how often it is used. Regularly checking for and repairing leaks can extend the life of your pool.

Can I Use an Inflatable Pool Indoors?

Yes, you can use an inflatable pool indoors, but you need to ensure proper drainage and protection for your floors. Place the pool on a waterproof surface and have a plan for draining the water without causing damage to your home.

How Do I Repair a Puncture?

To repair a puncture, use a patch kit specifically designed for inflatable pools. Clean and dry the affected area, apply the adhesive and patch, and let it cure according to the instructions. Always keep a patch kit on hand for quick repairs.

What Size Pool Should I Get?

The size of the pool depends on the number of users and available space. Measure your yard and consider the intended use of the pool. For families, a larger pool with a depth suitable for all ages is ideal.

Are Inflatable Pools Safe for Pets?

Inflatable pools can be safe for pets, but supervision is necessary. Trim your pet’s nails to prevent punctures and introduce them to the pool gradually. Always monitor your pet while they are in or near the pool to ensure safety.

Can I Heat My Inflatable Pool?

Yes, you can heat your inflatable pool using solar covers or heaters designed for inflatable pools. Solar covers are an eco-friendly option that can raise the water temperature by several degrees. Electric or propane heaters can also be used for a more consistent temperature.

Final Thoughts: Inflatable Pools

Inflatable pools are a fantastic addition to any backyard.

They offer fun, relaxation, and a great way to cool off during the summer months. By understanding the different types, setup processes, and maintenance tips, you can enjoy a hassle-free inflatable pool experience.

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