1. Intex Sun Shade Inflatable Pool.Best all-round inflatable kiddie pool.
The Intex Sun Shade is great for many reasons, but one sticks out in particular: its shade.
Parents can relax in the knowledge that their little ones are safe from harmful UV rays, not to mention heat exhaustion and heat stroke. And because of the sun protection it offers, it means children can play in the pool for longer.
The underwater graphics are a nice touch too. It's rare to find a children's pool that's inoffensive to look at; they often stick out like a sore thumb.
Our only gripe is that the shade is attached to the main pool by four velcro patches, which tend to soften when they come into contact with water.
This can loosen the counter-gripping properties and cause the shade to lean to one side. Be sure to keep the patches dry, and your shade will remain stable and rigid.
If you're worried about your child being exposed to the sun, this will give you (some) peace of mind. And when required – for instance, if the weather is muggy and cloudy – you can always detach the shade.
If you're in the market for a baby pool, be sure to compare this to the Intex Mushroom Baby Pool too. Both are amazing in their own right.
The Intex Sunshade is one of the most reasonably priced kiddie pools for its size.
2. Intex Sunset Glow Pool.Best budget kiddie pool.
Cute, colourful, and convenient, this inflatable pool is made of durable vinyl material, and it has a soft inflatable floor for added comfort (which is especially important if you're placing the pool down on a hard surface like flagstones or decking).
Some would view its size as a bad thing, but I think it's one of its best qualities. Not everyone has acres of space to erect fancy pools, and not everyone has the time or patience to maintain something more extravagant.
If you're a glass-half-empty person, then size might be an issue for you. It's a pool that's suited for younger children to paddle and splash around rather than swim.
Even though it's only a small pool, and doesn't require a huge amount of air to inflate, the way that it's manufactured means that it's tricky to inflate using an electric pump. You have to squeeze the rubber opening while blowing to allow the air to flow through.
While it's true that you get what you pay for in relative terms, your children will still have hours of fun this summer with a basic pool like this. Kids make their own fun!
Do, however, consider it a bonus if it lasts you more than two or three summers of excessive use. Even so, it's likely you'll be due an upgrade then when the kids are anyway...
The Sunset Glow is so cheap! It's one of the most affordable kiddie pools on this list.
3. Yalwix Family Pool.Most spacious kiddie pool.
You and your kids will have plenty of room for splashing around in this 6-person family pool, and it's one of the most cute and fun options on this list.
Heck, even the dogs would love it.
It has a reliable water pump included, and is big enough to attach a slide to it.
The Yalwix holds air particularly well, and you won't have to keep topping it up. (Some of the cheaper imitations have micro leaks and gradually lose air over days; not so in this case).
Make sure you set this up on level ground, and make sure the to blow it up fully - otherwise, the side may collapse (and you'll have a mini flood in your backyard).
Some have complained about the size of the pool not being what was advertised, but this looks like it was isolated to a batch of shipping errors back way back. Since then, others have commented on how the seller’s customer service is top-notch. It gets a green light from us.
The Yalwix is one if the best kiddie pools on Amazon. It looks great, is easy to inflate and holds the air well.
Well built, its likely to last you a couple of summers - as long as your kids don't abuse it too much.
The Yalwix is not cheap, but many equivalent kiddie pools cost 2-3 times as much as this, so it's definitely great value for money
4. Little Tikes Pool.Best premium kiddie pool with slide.
This thing is legendary. The kids will have hours upon hours of fun this summer on this. Don’t let the name fool you! We've had some ten-year-olds having a great time on it too. The Slam 'n Curve has an inflatable climbing wall that the kids have to climb before plummeting down the curved slippery slide. The splash pool at the bottom makes for a fun landing. Oh, this thing has a basketball hoop, too.
Despite its size, parents can see their kids at all times, so it's easy to supervise them and ensure they're safe and not getting up to (too much) mischief.
Don't let the size put you off. You won't have to inflate it manually. The pump will have this blown up in less than a few minutes. It's quite impressive how it just springs to life. Kids love watching that too.
It requires electricity to run, so your bills might start to rack up if used daily for long periods. And the kids will love it, so you have to be prepared for them nagging you every day to blow it up. It could get costly to run.
In terms of its construction, occasionally, the odd bit of stitching may come loose, but that's rarely a cause for concern. The electric air pump blasts air into it constantly, and it would take a serious hole to lose pressure.
The liner underneath the pool isn't great, so we recommend putting a layer of tarpaulin down first and, where possible, always set this up on soft grass (avoid concrete or flags).
It's so tempting, isn't it? You know the kids will have a blast playing in the pool area and going up/down the slide. If you've got a kid's birthday party coming up or a BBQ, this is the perfect excuse to splash out. A moment of spontaneity would give your kids their most memorable summer. If there's a voice inside your head saying 'Do it', then I'm afraid you've got to!
This is expensive compared to the other pools in this review, but when compared to inflatable bounce house pool combos, it's one of the most highly sought-after. So that tells you not only do we think it's worth it, but thousands of others do, too.
5. Intex Ultra XTR Ground Kiddie Pool.Best premium kiddie pool.
This thing is fantastic for kids who can swim. It's bigger (and deeper - at 132cm) than most kiddie pools. In fact, it's so big that you won't feel like you're in a kiddie pool. It can comfortably fit between six to eight kids (or adults) inside, and you still won't bump into each other.
You can expect to get use out of this over many seasons. Some have had theirs for almost ten years, and theirs is still going strong!
The kids can play rough in it every single day of the summer holidays, and it still stands its ground. It's big enough that the kids won't outgrow it, so you won't feel the need to continuously upgrade, saving you money in the long run.
The ladder is fine for kids under 100 lbs, but it's unstable and wobbly for adults. If a 200 lb adult stands at the top, it feels as though there's an earthquake happening. It wobbles even with a small teenager.
I recommend buying a more stable locking ladder or, if you're partial to a bit of DIY, building a small wood deck to help you get in and out of the pool. Some have also suggested not to insert the ladder into the pool as the base can tear the pool liner.
You will need to spend some time levelling the ground to ensure its stability and prevent damage. If the ground is not level, the weight of the water in the pool can cause it to lean, bow, or even collapse.
The kids will love this, and truthfully, so will adults. It's great for all, except perhaps for babies and toddlers. For those living in a hot climate, having a pool of this size can make it so much more tolerable. And it's convenient to take a refreshing dip whenever the need arises. Not only great for daily use, but this is also a solid bet if you're planning a pool party for several kids.
This is the most expensive kiddie pool in this review, and, consequently, the most hassle. But it's well worth the money when you consider how many years of fun you'll get out of it.
6. Intex Ice Cream Stand Playhouse.Best themed kiddie pool.
Toddlers' faces light up when they see a pool as vibrant as this. It's like a playhouse and pool bundled into one. It comes with these super-cute inflatable ice creams, so the little ones can pretend to play ice cream shops together (which seems to be a firm favourite these days popularised by TV and YouTube shows).
The pool is lightweight but sturdy, and it's the perfect size for babies and toddlers. Even older kids up to the age of eight can play too. I love that this can be used with or without water. So, if your little one becomes attached to it, you can always bring it inside when the weather worsens.
This doesn’t fill up much like typical inflatable pools, but it’s enough to splash around in and keep kids cool.
The shelf you put the ice creams on attaches to the pool frame by velcro on each side. But the velcro doesn't stick very well when wet, and the shelf tends to just hang there. Some double-sided sticky tape will keep this in place, though.
This is one of the few pools in which kids can be imaginative and do role-play. It keeps them occupied while the adults can sit back and supervise. The kids will love it so much that they'll likely complain when it's time to go inside. It also offers some shade, so the little ones won't be constantly exposed to the sun's rays.
It's one of the most affordable novelty pools that money can buy.
Also, it's manufactured by Intex, so you know you're paying for quality.
7. Intex Mushroom Baby Pool.Best kiddie pool for babies.
The is one of the cutest baby pools on the market for babies. It features a fun mushroom design, and the mushroom cap itself provides decent shade, as do the stems. Even though it's one of the smallest kiddie pools in this review, it's the perfect size for babies who can sit upright. Babies are enclosed and will feel protected in their own little aquatic bubble as they experience their first outdoor pool experience safely.
You can also use this indoors as a ball pit or fill it with soft toys. It doubles up as a cosy little den for your little one to hide in! It's got a comfy inflatable mat lining the bottom, which provides a soft landing if babies topple over.
The only drawback is that the mushroom doesn't always stand up straight, though this seems to be an aesthetic issue rather than a functional issue.
The shade still works just as well. When using outside, we filled the pool with water, and the weight kept it balanced. Without something weighing it down, it does tend to tilt to the side.
If you're looking for a baby pool, you can't go wrong with this one. It offers a safe and enjoyable way for babies to play and cool off during hot summer days. Also, being one of the smallest pools, it's super easy to set up and store when not in use. You can only really fit one baby in at a time, so if you have twins or a friend's baby joining an Intex Sun Shade would be the most suitable.
The most affordable option for parents who want to provide their children with a fun and safe water play experience. A bargain!
8. V-Hanver Foldable Pool.Toughest kiddie pool ever.
A wild card! Okay, hear me out. It's a pet pool, but in my defence, there's a picture of a kid in the product photo. The V-HANVER Foldable Pool is one of the few hard plastic pools on the market (it's not inflatable). If you have pets as well as children, you'll be hard-pressed trying to keep them out of the pool, and a stray claw here or there is often the cause of kids' pools bursting.
What's more, you don't need a pump to inflate, nor do you need to wait for it to deflate – or fold it over a bajliion times until every last breath has been purged (from both the inflatable and you!). It folds up neatly in a matter of seconds, which is perfect for storage. They come in a few different sizes too.
The sides have been known to weaken after continual use, particularly if pets jump on them as they enter and exit the pool. It's best to fill the pool generously as the weight of the water reinforces the shape of the pool and makes the sides much less prone to movement.
Where possible, avoid excessive leaning and reclining against the sides. This is definitely a pool for the kiddies and doggies. If you're looking for a pool that the whole family can enjoy, consider the INTEX Metal Frame Pool.
This is a great pool if you've got pets who can't resist joining in on the action. It's made of high-quality PVC, making it durable and resistant to tears from claws. It's best used for two to three small children for a more relaxed splash and play experience rather than boisterous activities. It won't take the kind of punishment that some of the other toddler pools can. If you want something tough that can withstand crazy kids, the Slam 'N Curve will not disappoint.
Well worth the money considering that it's the most convenient pool in this review, being one that doesn't require inflation and the easiest to store.
9. Garden Backyard Water Park.Best kiddie pool with a slide.
Without a doubt the most multi-functional kiddie pool on our list. It has a range of activities, including a wading pool, fountain arch, donut fountain, sprayers, pool slide and a waterfall (there's even a little valve where the garden hose connects to the water feature that lets you control the intensity of the water shooting out).
Hard to believe that this is all included.
You get a little water park in your own backyard. The park theme adds an extra element of fun for toddlers, and the pool can hold up to 3 kids simultaneously.
It feels like there are a million sections that have to be inflated (and deflated) individually. Don't skimp on an electric pump. You'll wish you had one if you're relying on lung power alone. It'll take you around 30 minutes to inflate manually.
The slide is quite small, and there's not a big enough incline to make it exciting for older kids. It's not that slippery, even when the waterfall is on, so add a little soapy water to reduce friction (make sure this doesn't run off into the pool). Also, the steps leading to the slide are pretty flimsy and will sag if children over 40 lbs climb them.
Because there's so much going on here, playing is entertaining. There won't be any arguing about whose turn it is to play with this or that because there's so much to keep the kids occupied. Getting kids to share can be a nightmare when a product has only one fun feature, but you don't have that issue here! *Slurps mocktail.
There aren't many other water play centres out there that are reasonably priced – certainly not with as many fun features.
5 Factors To Consider When Buying The Best Kiddie Pool.
Leave no stone unturned in your search for the best kiddie pool and consider these five factors:
Consider the size of the pool and how many children will be using it. Ensure that it's big enough for everyone to move around comfortably.
Safety features such as a fence, a cover, or a non-slip surface are especially important if you have very young kids.
A pool made from durable materials that can withstand wear and tear, sun exposure, and the weight of children playing in it.
Some kiddie pools come with accessories such as sprayers, slides, or games. Consider whether these features will add to your child's enjoyment of the pool. Not every kid likes them.
5. Storage and Maintenance.
Some pools are easy to deflate and store, while others may require more maintenance and cleaning.
What Are Some Safety Tips For Kids Using Pools?
Sorry to be the annoying Health and Safety person, but when it comes to kids, we need to be vigilant at all times. Here are some tips for you to bear in mind:
- Teach children to swim at an early age, and ensure that they know how to tread water and float.
- Ensure that the pool area is properly fenced and secure. Gates should be self-closing and self-latching, with latches out of reach of children.
- Teach children to never run, push, or jump on others near the pool.
- Ensure that children do not dive into shallow water.
- Keep the pool area free from tripping hazards, such as hose pipes, cables, toys, or furniture.
What Fun Games And Activities Can I Play In A Wading Pool?
Some fun games and activities that kids can play in a kiddie pool are games with water toys, such as water guns or squirters, and playing with beach balls or pool noodles.
If your pool is bigger, why not play a game of Marco Polo, and set up a mini obstacle course with floaties and pool rings?
Kids can also play games like "Red Light, Green Light" or "Duck, Duck, Splash".
How Do I Teach My Child To Swim In A Kids' Pool?
To teach a child to swim in a kiddie pool, start by having them blow bubbles to get comfortable with having their face in the water. Practice floating on their back and stomach (hover your hands beneath them, just in case).
Use kickboards and pool noodles for kicking and gliding.
Teach proper breathing techniques by inhaling through the mouth and exhaling through the nose or mouth.
Lastly, make it fun and engaging by using games, toys, and positive reinforcement to keep them motivated.