Above-ground pools have been a game-changer. They are cost-effective, easy to maintain, and are more versatile than their in-ground counterparts. You can set them up anywhere and their portability makes them even more user-friendly.
When it comes to maintaining pools, keeping pools disinfected is a headache. Chlorine has been a preferred choice for a long time. It is best at disinfecting the water, but it is harsh on your skin, hair, and eyes.
Above-ground saltwater pools have gained popularity over the last decade or so and not without a reason. The saltwater system makes the water soft and is gentler on the body.
Although it requires a higher initial investment, a saltwater system is less expensive to run overtime. Also, it requires relatively less maintenance.
However, we all know saltwater can rust metals. Therefore, a saltwater system can completely trust your pool over time if it is made up of any kind of metal.
Thus, if you are looking to run a saltwater system in your pool, you need to be very diligent about what kind of pool you have.
We have taken the pain for you. In this piece here, we have picked some of the best above-ground pools that either come with a saltwater system or you can safely integrate one into it.
Table: Comparing The 10 Best Above Ground Saltwater Pools 2021
Before going further into the discussion, let us mention that not many pools come with pre-built saltwater systems. Usually, you have to buy it separately and install it into the filter pump of the pool. So, the focus of this article is to enlist pools that are compatible with saltwater and its treatment system.
The table displays a brief overview of some of the best pools that suit a saltwater system and are compatible with saltwater systems.
1. Intex 32ft X 16ft X 52in Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set – Rare Package That Needs No Modification
Intex is a household name and needs no introduction. They have quality products at affordable prices and this makes them famous worldwide. They have a huge collection of above-ground pools. Additionally, they come in various shapes and sizes to accommodate the different needs of different users.
The first one to make our list is their huge 32 ft-long rectangular pool set which comes with a saltwater system. These systems are not usually pre-built in most pools but fortunately, Intex has taken a different approach. Let’s hope other companies follow their footsteps and start producing more pools with a pre-installed saltwater system
The overall quality of the pool is impressive. You have a puncture-resistant three-ply material liner. If you would ask me I would say it is pretty hard to puncture it. You can be sure that it is paw and nail resistant. Therefore, you can have your pet with you in the pool.
There is a galvanized steel frame that runs through the liner. This gives the pool strength and rigidity. The galvanized steel often means a zinc coating on steel to prevent rust.
Setting up this pool is easy. First, you need to level the ground and put pavers under the legs. If you have soft ground, the legs will sink in and can collapse on. You may need a couple of helpers as the framing is heavy.
The manual explaining how to attach the hoses and other parts of the pump system does not explain it clearly, so you might need to watch some YouTube videos. Intex says it takes 90 minutes to set up, but I would say it takes more than two hours to get this up and running.
For filtration, this pool comes with Intex’s Krystal Clear Combo which has a sand filter pump and saltwater system.
Other than that, it still works efficiently and comes with all the different hoses and even a skimmer basket that you need to make it work. It works at 2650 gallons per hour which is a bit under-power for my liking, but it does the job albeit slowly and if you don’t have very dirty water.
The overall quality and performance of this pool are top-notch. Also, it comes with several accessories like a ladder, ground cloth, and debris cover.
2. Lake Effect Meadows Reprieve 24′ Round Above Ground Swimming Pool – Get The Scuba Dive Like Feel At Home
Most people are skeptical about above-ground pools because of their durability. No one wants to spend a grand and sometimes even more for a pool that becomes rusty in a year or two. For people like these, we have just the right above-ground water pool that will last you a lifetime with just a little bit of maintenance.
Lake Effect Meadows is an above-ground pool that comes in several sizes and two shapes. The size ranges from 12 inches to 30inches which come in either round or oval shape.
You also get four different options for a floor design that gives it an underground pool like aesthetics. However, the pool we have at hand is 24inches round pool Meadows with a Reprieve floor.
The pool has 52 inches tall walls made up of resin-coated galvanized steel which says it all about its sturdiness and durability. Unlike some of the companies, Lake Effect has coated the resin both on the inside and on the outside for maximum protection against rust.
To make sure there is not even a trace of rust on the components of this pool, Lake Effects have manufactured every single part of it. It means instead of using universal mounting hardware you get the screws, bolts, and nuts specifically made for this above-ground pool. The best part is all this hardware utilizes stainless steel which makes every part of the pool virtually rust-resistant.
What sets this pool apart from the others is its floor which essentially makes you feel as if you are diving into some lake or ocean. The floor covering is printed with pebbles and plants which appear to be real when you dive in. Furthermore, you also have four options to choose from when it comes to the design of its cover. The point is, you get to customize the walls and floor as per your taste and make the whole experience a real delight for you.
Therefore, all of these would add to the initial cost of the pool which is something you should be mindful of at the time of purchase.
3.Bestway 12752E Steel Pro Above Ground – Decent Pool At A More Than Decent Price
When it comes to above-ground pools people either tend to choose ones with steel walls or inflatable ones. Steel pools are more expensive than their inflatable counterparts but are more durable and hard-wearing.
Inflatable pools, on the contrary, are inexpensive but are vulnerable to punctures and cuts. Plastic pools, on the other hand, sit somewhere in between and provide a fine balance between cost-effectiveness and durability.
This pool we have at hand comes in six different dimensions with two different heights including 30 and 48 inches. The former one fits more in the kids’ category but the 48 serves both kids and adults alike with adequate safety measures. The construction of all these pools is identical except for their dimensions. Therefore, no matter which one you choose quality remains the same.
As mentioned earlier, the material used in its construction is plastic coated with a layer of three-ply PVC for additional integrity and strength. In the frame, Bestway has utilized steel which has been coated with corrosion and rust-resistant chemicals. The overall construction quality is strong enough to withstand minor wear and tear and does not lose its shape even when it is filled to the top.
If we talk about its assembly, being a lightweight pool it is pretty easy to assemble and does not require a professional for the task. You can easily set it up in summer in your backyard and disassemble it when the season is off. It would only take an hour or a half for setting it up with a hand from your partner.
4. Summer Waves Above Ground Pool – Make The Neighbours Envious Of Your Backyard
When it comes to plastic pools, the biggest concern is how that pool responds to exposure to sunlight. While most of them deteriorate on exposure to UV-rays some are strong enough to resist them. Fortunately, the one we at hand finds its place in the latter group.
The pool features a body made up of heavy gauge PVC along with a triple layer of mesh to withstand the elements in the water.
Frame made up of galvanized rust-resistant steel supports the plastic made the body to enhance the overall integrity of the pool. Both of these materials are suitable for the saltwater and resist the harm salt possesses to the pool’s body.
Moving on, the dimensions of this particular pool suit the families with kids over five to six years. At just 2.75 feet depth, it is safer for the kids and minimizes the risks of unfortunate accidents. However, to be on the safer side you must always designate a watcher to make sure no worrisome event takes place.
The built-in filtration pump in this pool is SFX6000 which works just fine in both filtering and skimming the water. I have seen some people replacing it with SFX1000 but you don’t have to give in to peer pressure.
This is because SFX6000 would get the job done most of the time unless there is too much debris in the pool. However, even if you want to replace it, it would not cost you a lot because most stores provide exchange facilities. In just 12-20 bucks your SFX1000 would be ready to go.
What I like the most about this pool is its design and the prints on its wall which are very appealing. It is just the perfect commodity you need to have in your backyard to make it look cool and fun.
5. Intex Oval Prism Frame Pool Set – Solid And Sturdy As Rock
The next entry on our list is again by Intex with yet another PVC pool that checks all the right boxes. For a PVC pool to provide decent longevity it needs to have the lining made from quality material.
Intex has done exactly that and used 3-ply material to make the liner for the pool. The use of this material allows the pool to withstand minor wear and tear and provides good longevity.
However, you need to be careful about the objects you or others bring in this pool. After all, it is fabric and no matter how strong it is objects like knives and blades would rupture this thing apart. PVC pools are a bit more demanding than plastic and metallic ones which is what you should be mindful about.
To support the liner, the pool uses legs or poles of steel and coated with quality powder. The powder essentially is a blend of chemicals and substances that can resist corrosion and rust. Though the legs are strong, as a safety measure don’t let anyone lean against them. If one of them breaks down it will disturb the balance and it could lead to an accident.
While using salt water, the PVC pool serves the best because this fabric is practically inert with salt. There is essentially no corrosion or rusting and the areas which are prone to rust, like legs, have an adequate protective coating.
Intex provides this pool in several dimensions with varying heights and lengths. Each dimension comes in either oval, rectangular, or round shape. The point is, the variety is large enough to choose the size that goes perfectly with the size of your backyard.
In the package, you also get a cartridge filter pump that is capable of filtering 1500 gallons per hour. The catch however is, it only works at 110-120V, so if you have a 240V line you would have to use a specialized adapter with a transformer in it.
6. Intex 15ft X 48in Easy Set Pool – Epitome of User-Friendliness
Be it pools, hot spas, kayaks, or tubes no other company is as good as Intex when it comes to inflatables. The quality of construction and material used in them has always been top-notch which is why Intex finds itself among the most reputed companies worldwide. The next entry on our list is one such product that makes a strong case in its favor.
Intex has not specified the material they have used in this product but it seems like a high-grade polyester. All you need to know is that it is a strong fabric that resists the slight wear and tears subjected to it.
The upper ring of the pool is inflatable which essentially makes the entire structure stand. The design is innovative and unique as you can adjust the height of the pool as well. You can always add more water when you need to have a little fun yourself and drain some of it to make it more suitable for children.
The question is how is that different? Every pool essentially works in the same way but this is where you are wrong. Though you can adjust the water levels in the pools you cannot modify the heights of the wall. However, in this, as the water levels lower the height automatically comes down which makes it easy for kids to climb in and out.
As mentioned earlier, the PVC pools are suitable for saltwater as no chemical reaction takes place between these two. Therefore, you would not have to worry about the durability while filling it with saltwater.
7. Bestway 56631E Power Steel Above Ground Pool – Price That Is Within Everybody’s Reach
The next entry in our list is again by Bestway with a pool that has everything and comes at a highly affordable price. The low price of the product might make some people skeptical about its quality but let me assure you Bestway would never let you down when it comes to the quality of their products.
Power Steel is a PVC pool that uses a metallic frame to support itself. It uses a 3-ply PVC which is strong enough to withstand abuses users have to offer. The triple-ply makes it a thicker fabric which makes it harder to pierce or puncture. Most importantly, this material does not produce any reaction with salt water which is why it has good longevity.
The frame that supports this 3-ply PVC has steel construction which has a protective coating on it. The protective coating not only prevents rusting but also protects the UV-rays of the sun. The combination of strong material and proper coating layers makes it one of the highly durable pools in the market.
Moving on, the pool comes with a pre-built sand filter which works efficiently in keeping the water clear. Furthermore, all the other accessories like a ladder, pool cover, and ground cloth come in the package as well.
8. Summer Waves Above-Ground Frame Pool – Nothing Better Than This To Beat The Scorching Heat
In case you were looking for a pool where all of your family could hang out together, Summer Waves has just the right one for you. It is a 14 x 4 feet round-shaped pool that is large enough to fit a family of six to seven.
At 48 inches deep, it is ideal for both adults and kids as both can enjoy it equally. However, with kids, there is always a risk of accidents which is why you must always designate a water watcher.
Like most PVC pools, Summer Waves has used three-ply mesh with heavy gauge PVC to construct its linings. The material is strong enough to withstand minor abrasions and the abuses users offer during the use. However, with material like this, there is always a risk of puncture so you must take adequate precautions.
The liner gets support from a steel frame that features zinc coating on it to protect from rust and corrosion. The frame does not require any professional help or tool and can be snapped into each other using just your hands. Despite that, every joint is fixed and sturdy and does not allow the frame to bend or break down.
It uses an SFX1000 filter pump which has an excellent reputation for both skimming and filtering the water. However, like in most cases, you would have to install a separate salt chlorine generator to maintain the saltwater system. In case, you are happy with the chlorinated water the filter pump and the chlorinator would do an amazing job for you.
9. Intex 18ft X 10ft X 42in Oval Frame Pool Set – Now The Water Will Never Get Turbid
Intex Oval is an upgraded version of Intex “Easy Set-Up”, the one we mentioned earlier, with a larger size and better technologies. The fundamental designs of both pools are the same but the oval frame features some subtle changes.
To get this pool up, you would have to inflate the upper ring similar to the Intex Prism. However, since the size of this pool is larger the inflated ring alone cannot keep this pool up.
For this purpose, it uses a metallic frame that supports it from the sides. Don’t confuse this frame with PVC pools as it is very different and is as simple as a stand.
Setting it up is quite an easy job and does not require you to hire a professional. However, you need to be mindful of the surface this pool sits at. The surface should be plain and smooth like grass but sandpits and loose soils should be avoided.
If you have used Intex products before, you must know how seriously they take their qualities. Just like all the other products, this pool is durable, sturdy, and built to last. The inflatable part is essentially puncture resistant when subjected to long nails or paws or animals. However, to be on the safer side you must take sufficient measures to avoid any sharp objects in the pool.
The pool comes with a Krystal Clear cartridge pump capable of filtering 1000 gallons per hour. To be honest, I have seen better, and considering the size of this pool this pump should have been bigger. Nonetheless, it gets the job done albeit slowly.
10. Intex 28273EH Rectangular Frame Above-Ground Swimming Pool – Comfort And Convenience Personified
When it comes to kids you need to be careful about the type of pool you choose for them. The pools need to be thick enough to stand the wear and tear kids would offer. An ordinary PVC pool would not do the job so you need a thicker one.
For this exact reason, Intex has used heavy-duty PVC so the chances of punctures are almost negligible. Furthermore, this pool has the support of a metallic frame that increases the strength and integrity of the pool.
The metallic frame has a protective coating on it to prevent it from rust and corrosion. Therefore, the kids can jump around and splash the water without worrying about the damages to the frame.
The depth of the pool is just 33inhes which is ideal for the kids as it minimizes the chances of unfortunate accidents. Also, the kids can easily get in and out without needing any help for you. However, it is wise to keep a water watcher to cut down the risks of accidents to zero.
Intex hasn’t installed a filter pump probably because it is not safer for kids as it increases the chances of electric shocks. The absence of a pump means there is no electricity in the pool surrounding which is good for a pool like this. However, in case you want to fill it up with saltwater, you will need a filtration pump which is what you should be mindful of.
To-The-Point Buyer’s Guide For Above-Ground Salt Water Pools
Most people think of an above-ground saltwater pool as a one-time investment that assures lifetime service. This is true to some extent, but only if you are able to get a pool suitable to withstand the atmospheric conditions you live in.
An inflatable pool would never provide good longevity if you live in states like Florida and Texas. Though it would be good enough in states with mild heat, in the scorching heat of Texas it will deteriorate in just months.
1. Material of Construction
When it comes to material, You would usually find three types of above-ground saltwater pools including plastic or PVC, compact steel, and Inflatable pools. Each of these pools has its advantages and disadvantages but overall compact steel pools are way better than the other two.
The compact steel pools have walls made up of steel which are coated with several protective materials. These are solid, sturdy, and hard pools which are quite tough when you subject them to abuse. Unless you intentionally want to damage these pools, they would not sustain any damages and provide you with lifetime longevity. The problem though is their price which is too high compared to their inflatable and plastic counterparts.
An average compact swimming pool costs around 800-1200$ which is on the expensive side. This is why people tend to go towards inflatables and plastic pools which cost much less than this. Among these two, inflatable ones are even cheaper but so is the quality when you compare them to plastic.
Plastic, on the other hand, provides a balance between these two and gives users a variety of options. There are different grades of plastic and as they go higher so do their price and quality. Therefore, users can find a grade for themselves that provides a balance between cost-effectiveness and durability.
2. Filteration System
Filtration system helps in keeping the water in the pool fresh by removing the harmful chemicals from it. If a filtration system cleans the water effectively, it will consequently increase the overall life of the pool.
The problem is that not all the pools come with such a system and sometimes those that come do not perform adequately. In very rare cases, you get an excellent filtration system with your pool that does not need any replacement. However, in most cases, you would have to change your filtration system so you need have to spare extra money for it.
In some cases, though, these filtration systems are not needed like the pools of shorter sizes made for kids. In such cases, you can drain the water out and fill it with the new ones when it gets dirty.
3. Ease of Set-Up
Most people tend to choose above-ground pools because they are significantly easier to set up but it is not always the same. If the convenience in setting up and ease of moving around is your priority you need to look for a few things. For starters, you need to make sure that you would need not any professional help or tool to set the pool up.
For that purpose, you need to look at the components of the pool and how exactly they are built. The PVC and inflatable pools usually come with components that can be snapped together simply by hand. However, these components are delicate and demanding compared to steel screws and bolts.
On the other hand, the pools that require professional help and use screws and bolts are stronger and sturdier. The problem with such a pool though is they are not easy to move around and always need you to hire professionals for the task.
The point is, you need to choose between sturdiness and ease of setup. Now, it is up to you to decide which one suits you and your backyard the best.
4. Pool Accessories
When we talk about pool accessories, we usually mean objects like a ladder, ground cloth, and protective cover. These accessories might not seem as important but they play a key role in improving the durability of the pool.
A good protective cover helps to keep the debris and the animal away from the pool that can damage the pool. Similarly, ground cloth made from quality material acts as a buffer between ground and pool.
In summers especially when the pool is on a solid cemented surface the ground gets hot which can damage the pool, Therefore, in such cases, it is important to have a quality cloth to protect the pool from that heat.
The point is, at the time of purchase you must look for these accessories to improve the longevity of the pool. If a certain pool comes with them but has a higher price than the one that does not always choose the former one.
Frequently Asked Question
Above-ground saltwater pools are decent alternatives to traditional swimming pools. Their cost is significantly lower than those and does not need a lot of maintenance as well. These days numerous companies are producing these pools and it gets tough to choose the right one. Therefore, we compiled a list to let you know about some of the best such pools that are available in the market.
We have mentioned almost every type of above-ground saltwater pool to give you a variety of choices. Some of these pools cost much more than others but every penny seems worth it once you put them to use. There are some budget-friendly options as well which will provide you an excellent value for money.
This is all we had on the best above ground saltwater pools. We hope we have helped you in your decision making or at least helped you in narrowing down your options. In case you have something to add or a question in mind feel free to let us know in the section below.