The 8 Best Inflatable Pools

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This wiki has been updated 22 times since it was first published in July of 2015. No matter what you call them — inflatable pools, blow-up pools, or kiddie pools — these backyard bathers can keep both you and your children cool and comfortable in the sweltering summer heat. You’ll find some on this list with all kinds of features, from lights to sprayers to games, but they all do at least one thing: give you a stress-free splash zone that’ll be the envy of the neighborhood. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best inflatable pool on Amazon.

8. H2OGO! Color Wave

7. Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center

6. Jilong Pentagon Family

5. Fisher-Price 3-Ring

4. Alcott Inflatable for Dogs

3. Intex Sandy Shark Spray Pool

2. Intex Sunset Glow

1. Intex Lazy Fish Shade

Why Go With an Inflatable Pool (Instead of a Plastic One)?

The edges of a plastic pool run sharp and narrow, which means that children may be more prone to injury.

You won't find much difference between an inflatable pool and a plastic one, at least in terms of average size. Manufacturers may add certain accessories, along with minor bells and whistles, but you've got to go a bit deeper to understand why an inflatable pool might be a better buy.

For starters, an inflatable pool is collapsible. This means that during the off-season - or in preparation for any backyard parties - you can deflate the pool and put it out of harm's way. Plastic pools, on the other hand, are not only bulky, but leaving them out during the winter will likely result in some minor surface cracks, as well as paint damage and significant warping.

Plastic-pool advocates will argue that these models are slightly less expensive than their inflatable counterparts. They will also point out that a plastic pool requires zero assembly, which, while true, will only benefit you short-term. A plastic pool's price, in particular, is indicative of its value. Plastic pools are fragile, and they have a tendency to get damaged during shipping.

The edges of a plastic pool run sharp and narrow, which means that children may be more prone to injury. The walls of an inflatable pool, by way of comparison, are designed to feel soft like a cushion for the head.

As a precaution, be sure to anchor an inflatable pool if you happen to drain it (even temporarily). Inflatable pools are lightweight, and a major gust could send one rolling into a jagged object, resulting in a leak. Better to tie the pool to something, as opposed to placing a weight down in its center. Placing any major weight across a rubber lining could - and probably will - result in a tear.

Several Little-Known Uses For an Inflatable Pool

An inflatable pool would be a lot more valuable if you could use it year-round. And the reality is that you can. During the winter months you can fill any inflatable pool with plastic balls to create a playpen for your children. You can also place a baby's feeding chair on top of the pool's inner-lining so there's little risk of getting any stains along your carpet or floor.

You can mix clean water with some dish soap to rinse off any outdoor toys.

Got a hula hoop? If so, you can fill an inflatable pool up with some bubble solution, and then dip the hoop in to create giant bubbles in the backyard. You can mix clean water with some dish soap to rinse off any outdoor toys. Either that or add some shampoo, and then use the pool to bathe your dog.

If you're a runner or you suffer from foot pain, you can use an inflatable pool for soaking in hot or cold water. If you have athlete's foot, just add the appropriate powder (the same goes for alleviating calluses or corns).

An inflatable pool is great for holidays. Assuming you can find a makeshift arch, then you can transform the inflatable pool into a massive Easter basket. If you have a Halloween party, then you can use the pool to bob for apples. If you have a 4th of July party, then you can fill the pool with ice and use it as a beer cooler. If you have a Christmas party, then you can create a Dickens Village by draping a white curtain around the pool and filling the inside with layers of cotton to create the illusion of snow.

A Brief History of the Inflatable Pool

Inflatables - that is to say, hollow, lightweight objects that can be filled with gas (most commonly air) - have been in existence since the 1800s. Their popularity can be traced back to the rubber balloon, which was invented by a British Chemist named Michael Faraday in 1824.

By 1900, industry professionals had improved the science surrounding inflatables. Outer linings were built stronger, very often reinforced. More durable materials opened the door for inflatable rafts and boats, along with inflatable tires, and, of course, inflatable pools.

The inflatable pool became a staple in America during the 1950s.

Pools have been around since the third millennium B.C., at which point they were referred to as baths. The Ancient Romans constructed very elaborate indoor pools. And they were the first to use pools for recreation and exercise. A Roman aristocrat named Gaius Maecenas designed the first-ever heated pool during the first century B.C.

The idea of outdoor swimming became popular in England during the 19th century. Throughout the 1850s, the British began constructing public outdoor pools as a safer alternative to swimming in rivers and streams. The cleanliness and convenience led to private swimming pools being built inside the backyards of estates.

The inflatable pool became a staple in America during the 1950s. The target demographic was middle-class families who wanted an affordable cooling option for their infants and young kids. From the outset, inflatable pools have either been made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) or reinforced rubber. These pools remain marketable because they are safe, lightweight, compact, and inexpensive to produce.

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Melissa Harr
Last updated on May 16, 2018 by Melissa Harr

Melissa Harr is a language-obsessed writer from Chicagoland who holds both a bachelor of arts and master of arts in English. Although she began as a TEFL teacher, earning several teaching certificates and working in both Russia and Vietnam, she moved into freelance writing to satisfy her passion for the written word. She has published full-length courses and books in the realm of arts & crafts and DIY; in fact, most of her non-working time is spent knitting, cleaning, or committing acts of home improvement. Along with an extensive knowledge of tools, home goods, and crafts and organizational supplies, she has ample experience (okay, an obsession) with travel gear, luggage, and the electronics that make modern life more convenient.

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