The 9 Best Kiddie Pools of 2021

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Our Top Picks
It has two wading pools, a water slide, and multiple activities to entertain the kids.
Perfect for tiny tots between 1 and 3 years old, it doesn't require too much water to get the pool party started.
Made of durable, colorful plastic, this pool is easy to set up and comes included with a heavy-duty blower and stakes.
The rapid inflate and deflate valves inflate in minutes and the high-quality material stands up against wear and tear.
This will keep kids busy with the hungry dinosaur game, going down the slide and sitting under the palm tree waterfall.
Best Non-Inflatable:
Step2 Play & Shade Pool at Amazon
We love that this pool comes with attachable umbrellas and three funnel cups for scooping and pouring water.
The canopy is UV-resistant and offers full coverage to protect your little one from excessive sun exposure.
This Sable inflatable pool, however, has a built-in bench that’s perfect for grown-up relaxation and family time.
Made for keeping your baby protected from the sun, this cute elephant pool will give you peace of mind and hours of entertainment.

With summer around the corner, now’s the time to invest in a kiddie pool that’ll keep your kids cool and entertained. The best options will last through the season, and depending on your kids' ages, have add-on features to make play more exciting

There are plenty of options to choose from, including one with a slide, one for babies, and an adorable tropical palm printed pool that could double as a floatie. When it comes to picking out a kiddie pool, it is important that you choose an option that is appropriate for your children's age. For young toddlers, a shallow pool that is on the smaller side is more suitable than an oversized option with a high water capacity. Make sure that the pool that you choose is durable and can hold up to your kiddos,

Read on for more on our favorite kiddie pools for summer 2021.

Best Overall: Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center

Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center
What We Like
  • Water Slide

  • Built-In Sprayer

  • 2 Wading Pools

What We Don't Like
  • Air Pump Needed

  • No Shade

This pool by Intex checks all the boxes. It has two wading pools, a water slide, and multiple activities to entertain the kids like ring toss, two ball games, and a built-in sprayer. It fits up to six kids and is best for swimmers ages 2 and up.  

This play center is more than just your average kiddie pool. It will keep the kids occupied for hours on a sunny day and has plenty of added features at a budget-friendly price.

Dimensions: 117 x 76 x 53 inches | Age Recommendation: 2 to 7 years old | Material: Not Listed | Water Capacity: 54 gallons (main pool) and 46 gallons (wading pool)

Best Budget: Intex Sunset Glow Baby Pool

Intex Sunset Glow Baby Pool
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Perfect for Young Toddlers

What We Don't Like
  • Small

This affordable option works well if all you need is to cool off and splash around. Perfect for tiny tots between 1 and 3 years old, it doesn't require too much water to get the pool party started.

This kiddie pool is easy to transport for a day at the beach or a friend's backyard. It’s also the perfect size to double as a ball pit during the colder months.

Dimensions: 34 x 10 inches | Age Recommendation: 1 to 3 years old | Material: Vinyl | Water Capacity: 18 gallons

Best Splurge: Little Tikes Rocky Mountain River Race

Little Tikes Rocky Mountain River Race
What We Like
  • Great for Crowds

  • Climbing Wall

  • Two Slides

What We Don't Like
  • Costly

  • Takedown is Time Consuming

If you don’t mind spending a little more, this Little Tikes inflatable pool featuring a fun waterslide is a crowd-pleaser. Kids can climb the center wall to the top and race down either of the two slides into the pool.  

Made of durable, colorful plastic, this pool is easy to set up thanks to the included heavy-duty blower and stakes to hold in place. Trust us, your kids will love this pool.

Dimensions: 161 x 169 x 103 inches | Age Recommendation: 5 to 10 years old | Material: Plastic | Water Capacity: Not Listed

Best for Multiples: FUNBOY Tropical Palm Kiddie Pool

Funboy tropical palm kiddie pool
What We Like
  • Quick Inflation and Deflation

  • Stylish Print

What We Don't Like
  • No Additions Attached

  • No Shade

This pool is big enough to hold two adults or multiple kids ages 6 or older. Measuring 66 inches in diameter, this Funboy pool works well in a variety of spaces. The rapid inflate and deflate valves inflate in minutes and fans of the product rave about the quality and how well it stands up against wear and tear.  

Funboy uses industry-leading safe, non-toxic, soft-touch vinyl and with its fun, tropical palm print, it will look cute outdoors even when there aren’t kids around.

Dimensions: 66 (diameter) x 18 inches (height) | Age Recommendation: 6 years old and up | Material: Vinyl | Water Capacity: 250 Gallons

Best Play Center: Intex Dinosaur Inflatable Play Center

 Intex Dinosaur Inflatable Play Center
What We Like
  • Palm Tree Waterfall

  • Slide

  • Easy Setup

What We Don't Like
  • Air Pump Required

  • No Shade

A play center is a nice upgrade to your standard kiddie pool. This activity center will keep them busy with the hungry dinosaur game, going down the slide, and sitting under the palm tree waterfall.

Best for ages 3 and up this pool fits 57 gallons of water and with only one pool area the setup is a breeze. Those who have purchased make note that two size attachments are required to blow up with a pump, and the main part needs a larger attachment that is not standard. This is priced well for the hours of fun your family will enjoy.

Dimensions: 98.03 x 75.2 x 42.9 inches | Age Recommendation: 3 years old and up | Material: Vinyl | Water Capacity: 57 gallons

Best Non-Inflatable: Step2 Play & Shade Pool

Step2 Play & Shade Pool
What We Like
  • Minimal Setup

  • Attachable Umbrella

  • Easy to Clean

What We Don't Like
  • Small

  • No Drain

Unlike other inflatable pools, this one is made of hard plastic and requires minimal setup. It features two molded-in seats for your little ones to sit on and is the perfect size for two toddlers who will spend the day socializing and playing together. They will enjoy splashing around and watching the water turn the attached wheel. While a plastic pool is more durable and easier to keep clean, it is bulkier to store during the off-season. 

We love that this pool comes with attachable umbrellas and three funnel cups for scooping and pouring water. Although it holds up to 12 gallons of water, that's all that is required to get the most out of this pool. 

Dimensions: 37.5 x 37.5 x 50 inches | Age Recommendation: 2 years old and up | Material: Plastic | Water Capacity: 12 gallons

Best with Shade: Bestway H2OGO! Splash-in-Shade Play Pool

H2OGO! Splash-in-Shade Play Pool
What We Like
  • UV-Resistant Canopy

  • Great for Whole Family

What We Don't Like
  • No Pump

Some days are hotter than others, which is why we love this pick from Bestway featuring an extra-large canopy. The canopy is UV-resistant and offers full coverage to protect your little one from excessive sun exposure. 

The wide sidewalls make this pool super comfortable and the fun marine designs make it extra fun. It holds about 78 gallons of water and is best for two kids ages 2 and up. This pool is a great inexpensive option that’s perfect for playdates.

Dimensions: 8 feet x 20 inches | Age Recommendation: 2 years old and up | Material: Polyester | Water Capacity: 78 gallons

Best for The Whole Family: Sable Inflatable Pool with Backrest

Sable Inflatable Pool
What We Like
  • Built-In Bench

  • Large Water Capacity

What We Don't Like
  • No Shade

  • Takes Up a Lot of Space

Let’s face it, kiddie pools are not made to necessarily be comfortable for adults, though it's a total plus if they are. This Sable inflatable pool, however, has a built-in bench that’s perfect for grown-up relaxation. This pool holds 200 gallons of water and is great for the family to hang out in for the day.

It includes five air chambers for quick and easy inflation and deflation. Take a seat on the bench, grab a drink, and watch the kids splash and play for hours. If you are looking for a kiddie pool that doubles as an adult pool, this is the one.

Dimensions: 88 x 85 x 21 inches | Age Recommendation: 3 years old and up | Material: Not Listed | Water Capacity: 203 gallons

Best for Babies: SwimSchool Splash Play Mat

Swim School Splash play mat
What We Like
  • Attachable Canopy

  • Stackable Toy Rings

What We Don't Like
  • Only Fits One Baby

Made for keeping your baby protected from the sun, this cute elephant pool will give you peace of mind and hours of entertainment. It's easy to blow up and has a built-in sprinkler for added enjoyment. The internal diameter measures 28.3 inches and is built for one baby to sit comfortably. 

Unlike most other baby pools this pool has an additional cushion that adds comfort for your little one and protects your lawn and holds just enough water for the baby to cool off on a hot day.

Dimensions: 2 x 15.75 x 13.62 inches | Age Recommendation: 6 to 18 months | Material: Mesh and PVC Plastic | Water Capacity: Not Listed

Final Verdict

Turn your backyard into a personal waterpark with the Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play pool (view on Amazon). With a slide, sprinkler, and pool area, your kids will enjoy hours of endless fun.

For an option that even the big kids and grown-ups can enjoy, the Sable Inflatable Pool (view on Amazon) has a large water capacity and plenty of space for everyone.

What to Look for When Buying a Kiddie Pool

Age-Appropriate

Before purchasing a kiddie pool, make sure it’s age-appropriate for your children. Some kiddie pools are designed for younger children, like babies and toddlers, while others are geared toward older kids and hold a higher water capacity. 

In addition to checking the pool’s age recommendation, it’s up to you to be up to date on pool safety. Drowning is the number one cause of death, after birth defects, for kids from ages 1 to 4. Tragically, drowning can happen in the blink of an eye, silently, and in only an inch or two of water.

To ensure your children are completely safe, install a fence around large pools, designate a water watcher, and be up to date on CPR training. All of these can save your child’s life, or another child’s, while they’re simply playing in the water or the yard near a pool. 

Durable

There are typically two main types of materials when it comes to kiddie pools: vinyl and plastic. While there are other materials, like polyester, kiddie pools are usually inflatable or hard plastic. So, it’s up to you on which material you personally prefer because there are pros and cons to each material. 

Inflatable, vinyl kiddie pools are great because they’re portable and can be taken down once you’re finished using them. However, because they are soft, it’s easy for a tear or hole to appear easily. 

If you’re looking for a more durable material, check out kiddie pools made from hard plastic. They’re usually budget-friendly at any big retailer and will last longer than a vinyl material. They usually don’t have a drain, though, but have an easy setup as they don’t require an air pump or any similar attachments. 

Water Capacity 

Be sure to see how much water capacity the kiddie pool you’re considering can hold. Knowing how much water can fit in the pool is important for several different reasons. 

Some kiddie pools are big enough that many parents and caregivers will keep the water clean with chlorine tablets and other chemicals like a traditional pool. This will keep the pool properly balanced and sanitized without overusing any chemicals.

If you have a smaller child, filling up the pool to the correct water level can be a safety issue. While it is important to never leave a child unattended, it's also important not to allow a child to be in an overfilled pool either.

Why Trust Verywell Family?

Deanna McCormack is a copywriter and marketing professional who writes product reviews for parents and families. She lives with her two kids under 3 in sunny Arizona where they swim almost every day of the year.

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Article Sources
Verywell Family uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Pool dangers and drowning prevention―when it’s not swimming time. HealthyChildren.org.

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