The 6 Best Kiddie Pools

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by Ileana Morales Valentine

On hot days, who can resist a refreshing pool? Kids will be thrilled to splash outside, and with the right setup, you can rest easy knowing they’ll be entertained for a while. The best kiddie pool is age-appropriate — whether you have toddlers or teens — and fits your home’s storage space.

Inflatable pools, made from plastic or vinyl, are a popular type of kiddie pool, and they’re convenient to deflate and store. That said, you do have to blow them up. The easiest way to inflate one is with an electric air pump (good news: I’ve included a reliable, affordable one on my list below). It's best to place these lightweight kiddie pools on grassy areas to help prevent holes or tears, but for longevity, look for ones that include repair patches.

A hard plastic pool doesn’t need to be inflated and is more durable, plus it doubles as a sandbox when it’s not being used as a pool — but you’ll need to set aside some room for storage. Either way, larger kiddie pools that you can't easily flip over should have drains that ease the process of removing the water after each use (something you'll want to do to avoid some pretty serious germs).

Kiddie pools can be as simple as a small, round wading pool or come decked out with slides, sprinklers, or other accessories that promise hours of entertainment. Your kid’s age will help determine what kind of kiddie pool is appropriate for them, and I’ve included age-appropriate picks for toddlers as well as pools with enough room for you to cool off, too. While these pools are shallow, adult supervision without distractions is a must to ensure safety.

With all this in mind, here are the six best kiddie pools to add to your backyard for hours of fun — buy one now before they sell out!

1. The Overall Best Inflatable Kiddie Pool

  • Dimensions: 58 x 13 inches
  • For Ages: 2 and up

There will be no regrets about adding this highly rated kiddie pool to your backyard. This inflatable vinyl round pool — with over 3,000 reviews on Amazon — has enough room for multiple kids ages 2 and up, and it's so affordable you might want to go ahead and grab two pools for playdates.

There's no drain hole, but this lightweight pool is easy to flip over to let all the water out. If any holes or tears appear over time, it's a quick fix with the included repair patch.

A helpful review: “I waited until the end of summer to write a review for this pool. It really stood the test of time. I pumped air into it only once in the beginning and it hasn't deflated since. The quality on this is excellent. My 3 year old had enough room to play in it. I'd say it can fit 2 toddlers easily. You really can't go wrong with INTEX brand. We've used their air mattresses too and they are all great quality.”

2. An Inflatable Pool Large Enough For A Family

  • Dimensions: 120 x 72 x 22 inches
  • For Ages: 3 and up

Here's a large kiddie pool worth investing in for the whole family to cool off together. This full-sized inflatable pool maintains a 4.5-star rating with over 10,000 reviews on Amazon and it's made of thick and durable PVC that will last.

This rectangular pool comfortably holds up to two adults and three to five kids ages 3 and up. The walls are particularly sturdy thanks to an exhaust valve designed to prevent leaks and three individual air chambers that also make it a little easier to inflate with an electric air pump. A curved drainpipe and two drain holes make emptying the pool basically effortless, and it comes with two repair patches.

Looking for something similar on a budget? Here's a slightly smaller but more affordable kiddie pool for the family.

A helpful review: “This blow up pool is amazing and a great size for our family of 5! It can easily fit two adults and several kids comfortably. It was very easy to assemble, good quality and is holding up well even with daily use. It’s important to place it on a level surface. We placed padding underneath it to offer further protection from the elements. Highly recommend it! Kids love it and it can fit multiple floaties!”

3. This Fun Inflatable Kiddie Pool With A Slide

  • Dimensions: 100 x 77 x 31 inches
  • For Ages: 3 and up

If your kiddos have the energy to burn, they'll have a blast with this slide kiddie pool. This inflatable pool has a small pool and a larger wading pool connected by a slide, and it comes with an inflatable palm tree and sprinklers on the side of the larger pool. Attach the pool to a hose, turn on your water, and your kids will have everything they need to splash around.

This large pool comfortably holds multiple kids ages 3 and up. There is a drainage plug on this highly rated pool and it comes with a repair patch.

A helpful review: “We purchased this pool for our 5 1/2 and 3 year old. This pool is nice and large and has plenty of space for both of my kids to play and splash. My husband has even spent some time in it with them and still left plenty of room to play. The spray that comes out of the sides is a ton of fun and the slide is just right for my kids. [...] It isn't depicted on the Amazon picture, but there is also a little inflatable landing pad at the base of the slide, which is a nice touch. One thing I didn't realize when I ordered is that both pool areas have a drain on the bottom, which I was very pleased to see. [...]”.

4. A Shaded Kiddie Pool For Toddlers

  • Dimensions: 37.5 x 37.5 x 50 inches
  • For Ages: 2 and up

The best kiddie pool for toddlers is a smaller pool that's perfect for a couple of little ones to splash and play. This hard plastic tub comes with toys and an umbrella for some shade; it's like a water table and kiddie pool in one.

This pool has two molded-in seats for kids 2 and up underneath the umbrella, and there are grippy designs on the floor for traction. Toys include three funnel cups and a spinning water wheel that attaches underneath the umbrella.

Tip this highly rated pool over to empty it, and keep in mind that it does have to be stored in full so reviewing the dimensions is key.

A helpful review: “Perfect little pool for toddlers. I like that it is made of thick hard plastic instead of just the blow up kind because at this age, toddlers need something to grab on to and this pool gives them the stability they need when they fall over. The little umbrella works pretty well keeping the sun off them too. I would recommend storing the umbrella when not in use to prolong the life of it though.”

5. This Uniquely Foldable Pool

  • Dimensions: 48 x 48 x 11.8 inches
  • For Ages: Not listed

With a 4.5-star rating on Amazon and over 19,000 reviews, this foldable kiddie pool is a bit of a cult favorite. The pool is made of thick and high-density fiberboard covered in durable PVC with a slip-resistant bottom, so there's no inflation needed. When not in use, it can be folded for compact storage.

This pool is sturdy enough to hold up to use by dogs, but it’s a great size for kids, too. The manufacturer doesn't specify an age minimum for this pool, but reviewers report using it for toddlers and up. Before air-drying the pool and folding it, a drain valve makes quick work of emptying the pool.

A helpful review: “I know it's supposed to be a pet pool but we bought the size Small pool for our almost 2 year old twins to replace the blow up pool we bought last year. We got sick of the blow up pool because we didn't have a place to store it while it was blown up, and hated blowing it up and the time consuming task of collapsing it every time we wanted the girls to use it. This pool is so great for what we need. It's the perfect size for our kids to cool off on a hot day. So easy to pop up, so easy to collapse, and so easy to store! It even comes with a plastic carrying case. While we use it on our porch, I'm also excited to bring it to the beach with us this summer. So easy to travel with! I'm telling everyone with small kids to buy it.”

6. A Splash Pad For Little Ones

  • Dimensions: 60 x 60 inches
  • For Ages: 1 and up

A splash pad with sprinklers is another appealing option for little ones, especially if they don't swim yet. Running through the sprinklers or sitting on the shallow splash pad will entertain and cool off 1-year-olds and up. Plus, the splash pad is decorated with the alphabet and cute animals that will attract a toddler's attention.

This highly rated pick with over 14,000 reviews is a breeze to inflate and is just as easy to tip over to drain since it doesn't fill up with more than an inch or two of water. A repair patch is included for any tears or holes that develop.

A helpful review: “Cutest little splash pad to keep your little one entertained and cool in the summer! My son loves it! It’s easy to hook up to the hose. If you don’t have grass I would recommend putting a tarp down underneath it so it doesn’t get super dirty but even if it does just hose it off. Fit my husband and 1 year old with room for baby to play.”

Nice To Have: A Pump That Does All The Work

An electric air pump will quickly fill up whichever inflatable kiddie pool you choose, and the nozzles with this pick fit most valve sizes. It's a powerful yet compact pump that will be totally worth it to speed up the pool process on hot days. The airflow is 650 liters per minute, and it's a much-loved air pump with a 4.6-star rating on Amazon and over 10,000 reviews.

A helpful review: “This pump is amazing! It is fairly small so it is great for travel and we use it for inflating our kiddie pool for our daughter and any air mattress. I highly recommend!”