Child in inflatable pool (Photo: FamVeld/Shutterstock)
Photo: FamVeld/Shutterstock

10 Best Inflatable Pools for Kids

If a staycation is on your radar for summer 2020 (and let’s be honest, it probably is), you might want to invest in some toys and gadgets for the backyard, such as a blow-up swimming pool. Inflatable pools offer hours of entertainment on hot days (often followed by extra-long naps so you can sip a frozen cocktail on the patio).

What to Look for in an Inflatable Pool for the Backyard

This backyard essential is affordable, simple to set up, and way easier to maintain than an in-ground pool. And, bonus, many inflatable pools come with bonus pool toys or shade structures, too. You’ll want to buy one that’s made of non-toxic materials, rugged enough to tough out multiple summers, and large enough for you to cool off in the pool with them.

We also recommend investing in a good-quality air pump (you’ll thank us later). Here are our picks for this year’s best inflatable pools for kids. 

1. Intex Ocean Inflatable Play Center

Children ages two and up will love the Intex Ocean Inflatable Play Center, which feels more like a backyard water park than a swimming pool. It features fun, bright colors and has two pool areas: one small area and a larger wading pool. There’s also a waterslide, an inflatable palm tree, and inflatable turtle, whale, and ring toss games.

An adjustable built-in spraying rim will keep little ones cool on scorching hot days, and the pools are six inches deep, shallow enough for toddlers to safely play in while you keep a close watch. When it’s time to store it away, this blow-up swimming pool is the a cinch to disassemble. 

2. Homech Family Inflatable Swimming Pool

If you’re looking for a full-size pool the entire family can lounge in, we recommend the Homech Family Inflatable Swimming Pool. Crafted from BPA- and lead-free materials, this durable and spacious blow-up pool can hold up to two adults plus five children. It’s much thicker than many on the market, which makes it a smart choice for water-loving families that plan on spending lots of time splashing around.

The floor is inflatable, too, offering more protection for younger kids. The pool inflates in about four minutes with a pump, and has three individual air chambers with double intake and free-flow exhaust valves, so there’s no air or water leaking out. There are two built-in curved water valves that help the pool drain quickly when it’s time to take it down. Bonus: An inflatable white top ring reflects the sun’s heat, so you won’t burn yourself getting in or resting against it.

3. Intex Ice Cream Stand Inflatable Playhouse and Pool

Is it a pool or an ice cream stand? You decide, because the Intex Ice Cream Stand Inflatable Playhouse and Pool is actually both! Designed for children ages two to six and made of durable vinyl, this kiddie pool can also be transformed into an imaginary ice cream parlor, and it comes with three oversized inflatable ice cream treats and built-in holders so your budding entrepreneurs can set up a pretend side hustle.

This small inflatable pool can be filled with about five inches of water, allowing your little one to cool down on hot days. Bonus: When summer’s over, set it up in the playroom for year-round creative play.

4. BigMouth Inc. Cheeseburger Lil’ Inflatable 5′ Kiddie Pool

Nothing says summer like jumping into a giant hamburger pool, right? We love the sturdy BigMouth Inc. Cheeseburger Lil’ Inflatable 5′ Kiddie Pool because there’s plenty of room for young tots to splash about with their toys. The design is fantastic, with a large burger patty fully loaded with veggies and cheese.

At five feet wide, this inflatable pool is big enough for two adults to sneak in a quick dip, too. The air valve makes it a breeze to inflate or deflate, and the pool stores flat when not in use.

Pro tip: Fill it with plastic balls in the off-season for year-round fun, or with ice and cold soft drinks at your next outdoor barbecue.

5. Taylor Toy Bestway Space Ship Swimming Pool for Kids 

If your family is big on space-themed adventures, they’ll love the Taylor Toy Bestway Space Ship Swimming Pool for Kids. This large inflatable pool has three air chambers, so the padded sides are extra-comfy and safe. It looks really cool, too, and kids ages three and up will feel like they’re floating in a flying saucer or futuristic space movie right in their backyard. A plug on the bottom of the pool makes drainage a snap when you’re ready to put it away. 

6. ZOTOP Flamingo Inflatable Pool

Nothing says tropical escape like the ZOTOP Flamingo Inflatable Pool, and the bright pink bird shape will delight small kids ages three and up. Portable enough to bring to the grandparents’ house or to set up on the lawn, this kiddie pool has enough room for two toddlers to comfortably splash around.

Each air chamber has its own safety non-returning valve, making it a breeze to inflate with a pump in minutes, and the built-in drain plug at the bottom works quickly. Bonus: It can double as a drinks cooler at family barbecues. 

7. Inflatable Watermelon Kiddie Pool

Beat the heat with this oversized Inflatable Watermelon Kiddie Pool, which makes swimming even more fun. Designed to look just like the sweet summer treat, this 45-by-10.5-inch pool has plenty of room for up to five children. It’s made from PVC and comes with a repair patch just in case someone punctures it. It’s super easy to inflate the three individual watermelon rings, and then fill the central part with up to 89 gallons of water from your hose.

This durable pool is low enough for younger kids to easily climb in and out of, but deep enough for them to sit inside and lean against the comfy walls. Plus, you won’t have to tip it over to empty the water because there’s a drain plug at the bottom that makes this task easy.

8. Intex Easy Set Up 10-Foot x 30-Inch Pool

Intex makes a variety of giant inflatable pools. This easy-to-set-up pool isn’t the company’s largest, but at 10 feet wide it’s plenty big enough for a family with even older tweens and teens to soak comfortably together in the back yard, or for a few smaller kids to play together and feel like they’re in a “real” pool.

9. Intex Sun Shade Inflatable Pool for Ages 2+

We love this pool’s extra large sun shade, which makes it safer for younger kids to play in the inflatable pool for hours on end without worrying about the sun. The sun shade is removable, too, for those times when you want the sun to heat up the water. There’s also a convenient drain plug and an included repair patch for when play gets rough.

10. JOYIN Whale Baby Kiddie Pool Play Tent 

Adventurous kids will enjoy swimming in the “mouth” of this inflatable JOYIN Whale Baby Kiddie Pool and Play Tent. Made of heavy-duty, non-toxic materials, this pool has plenty of space for two or three small children, plus it provides built-in shade you’ll be thankful for on especially hot days.

It holds 14 gallons of water and features a padded bottom for extra comfort. Set it up on the grass, or use it in an in-ground pool so your toddler can float in it. It even doubles as the perfect spot for a nap after you drain out the water and dry it off. 

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Wendy Helfenbaum
Montreal-based Wendy Helfenbaum is a journalist, content strategist, and TV producer who writes for dozens of digital and print magazines, as well as many brands. Wendy loves cruising, adventure travel, and venturing off the beaten path with her husband and teenage son, and she can pack a carry-on bag like nobody’s business.