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5 Best Above-Ground Pools Under $500

Just because an above-ground pool is under $500 should not mean it is made of flimsy materials. Instead, pools at this price range can have a reliable filtration system and offer a suitable size and shape for your needs. Easy installation, maintenance, and safety features like a sturdy ladder and protective covers are essential for getting an above-ground pool.

I’ve bought and tested so many above-ground pools over the last ten years that I have lost count. I observed that the models that started rusting within a few months of usage were the cheap ones. This time, I was determined to get an above-ground pool, hoping to use it for the next four years without spending over $500. After extensive research and recommendations, I found a goldmine in the Bestway brand lineup, and it’s been bliss for the past two years.

The Best:  Bestway Steel Pro Round

The Bestway Steel Pro Round Above Ground Pool Set is the best option for an above-ground pool under $500. Its durable steel frame provides stability and longevity, while the included filter pump ensures clean water circulation. With an easy setup and a spacious design, it offers terrific value and enjoyable summer fun.

Now, I won’t be biased here. While the Bestway Steel Pro is an excellent option for a

With the perfect above-ground pool on your patio, there’s a safe spot for your kids to splash around and have a blast. There is no need to worry about deep water or tricky turrets. Plus, it’s a super cool way to beat the heat during those scorching summer days – imagine the joy and laughter as the whole family takes a refreshing dip together.

But it’s easier to imagine. Finding the perfect above-ground pool for the family, especially on a budget, can be challenging. You may be worried about not getting the right size for your needs or settling for a product that is too hard to assemble.  

Now, you don’t have to worry. This review of the top five above-ground pools under $500 takes the guesswork out of your research, making it a breeze to find a pool that ticks all the boxes without breaking the bank.  

Best Choices At a Glance 

Let me mention here that I could single out these products as top picks after rigorous testing and review of their sizes, material quality, durability, installation difficulty, included accessories, and of course, other users’ reviews. 

While comparing with other alternatives, I also ensured that they offer a better value in safety features, aesthetics, and warranty coverage. 

Above-ground pool under $500Why I recommend
1.Bestway Steel ProBest overall
2.Intex 26711EH Prism Frame Best for rugged durability
3.Intex Metal FrameBest for budget
4.TINSUN Round Metal Frame PoolThe best option with accessories
5.Summer Waves 12ft ActiveBest for families with kids

1. Bestway Steel Pro Round Above Ground Pool Set

PRICE: $380

SPECS: Dimensions: 10″ x 30″ | Shape: Round | Water Capacity: 1710 gallons | Frame: Steel |

The Bestway Steel Pro Round Above Ground Pool Set is an all-time favorite for an affordable above-ground pool. It has 10″ x 30″ and 12″ x 30″, perfect size options if you have up to three kids. 

Another applaudable characteristic is that it holds a lot of water and is easy to assemble. After getting this pool, you won’t need extra help to build it. 

So far, I’ve been using the Bestway Steel Pro for two years, and I am confident it’s made to last, thanks to the 3-ply PVC support band surrounding the pool for additional stability to the pool wall. It’s also tear-resistant and won’t fade over time due to sun exposure. 

It’s perfect for a couple of people to float on rafts or the family to splash around in,” says KP, a user from Amazon. 

What I like about this pool

  • Good size for the price
  • Easy to set up
  • Durable steel frame
  • Filter pump and cartridge included

What I don’t like about this pool

  • It doesn’t come with a ladder or any other accessories.
  • Some buyers say the pump with it is poor quality.
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07/17/2024 07:09 am GMT

2. Intex 26711EH Prism Frame Premium Pool Set

PRICE: $170 – $250

SPECS: Dimensions: 12″ x 30″ | Shape: Round | Water Capacity: 1718 gallons  

It took precisely 28 minutes to assemble the Intex 26711EH Prism Frame Premium Pool Set. It’s one of the best affordable options because of its longevity and ease of use. It’s no surprise because Intex is a reputable brand in the above-ground pool business, and many of its models are reliable. 

This particular model has T-Joint that creates a water-tight seal with the pipe, preventing internal rust from forming. UV inhibitors are also infused for weather resistance and long service life.

Also, this one comes with pump filters 530 GPH and incorporates HydroAeration Technology into the cartridge filter pump, providing improved circulation and filtration. This means you get improved water clarity and increased negative ions – believed to play a positive role in reducing depression, relieving stress, and boosting energy – from this affordable above-ground pool.

Overall, the pool itself is great. But make sure your ground is level. I learned this the hard way while testing this one out because there was a slight slope to my yard, and one side ended up almost 3″ lower than the other. 

Jen Henson, who also purchased this pool on Amazon, says, “The pool was easy to put together, and the complete set-up was quick.

What I like about this pool

  • Slightly higher water capacity for this category
  • Truly rust-resistant (no gimmick here)
  • 1-year warranty

What I don’t like about this pool

  • Some users have found that the pump can struggle to maintain optimal water quality and may require more frequent cleaning or maintenance. 

3. Intex Metal Frame Pool Set

PRICE: $134

SPECS: Dimensions: 10″ x 30″ | Shape: Round | Water Capacity: 1,185 gallons | Frame: Metal 

One of the standout features of the Intex Metal Frame Pool Set is its sturdy construction. The metal frame provides excellent stability, ensuring the pool remains solid and secure even during vigorous splashing sessions. 

According to Intex, this model’s liner has puncture-resistant, triple-layered material, giving you an extra layer of durability and granting peace of mind for long-term use. Also, setting up the pool is a breeze thanks to the instructional DVD and precise assembly instructions.

A popular complaint about this pool is that the pump does not match larger pool sizes. So upgrading to a more powerful pump could significantly enhance the filtration efficiency and water circulation. 

Kimberly Lopez, a reviewer on Amazon, agrees by saying, “It’s overall good for the money, but the pump was not effective for this size pool & we ended up buying another one the same week we got it.”

Also, remember that the pool doesn’t come with a cover, so you’ll order that separately.

What I like about this pool

  • Sturdy metal frame construction
  • Puncture-resistant triple-layered pool liner
  • Easy setup with included instructional DVD

What I don’t like about this pool

  • The cover sells separately.
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07/17/2024 07:09 am GMT

4. TINSUN Round Metal Frame Pool

PRICE: $200

SPECS: Dimensions: 12″ x 33″ | Shape: Round | Water Capacity: 1300 gallons | Frame: Metal 

There’s not much to say for the TINSUN Round Metal Frame Pool. It shares many similarities with many durable above-ground pools within a budget range.

However, this model comes with one filter inlet and two filter outlets that you can use with the included 530 GPH filter pump to provide better circulation and clearer water and live up to expectations.

This is a fantastic option if you only want a small, easy-to-maintain pool for your back patio area. It’s also kid-friendly as it is large enough for your children to play around.

Bernard Hearst, who has purchased this product, says, “The pool size is perfect! We didn’t want to spend tons of money on a pool, especially when we just wanted to relax and tan; this was perfect for my three and 5-year-olds to hang out in! They can all be in there and have enough space.

The most exciting thing about this pool is that it comes with a filter pump, a cover, and attachment hoses for the pump — great value for the $200 if you ask me.

What I like about this pool

  • Comes with attachment horses and covers
  • Reliable filter pump
  • T-Joint snap-in design for quick assembly
  • Amazingly affordable for its value

What I don’t like about this pool

  • Nothing much to say here. Only ensure that you have a level ground to enjoy this pool. 100% of families who have purchased this product, particularly on Amazon, were satisfied.
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5. Summer Waves 12ft Active Above-Ground Pool 

PRICE: $250

SPECS: Dimensions: 12″ x 30″ | Shape: Round | Water Capacity: 1185 gallons | Frame: Metal 

The list of the best above-ground pool under $500 is incomplete without mentioning the Summer Waves 12ft above the ground pool. It is made with a polyester mesh and heavy gauge PVC material. This is a clear indication that it will last season after season.

It measures 12″ x 30″ and includes a strong metal frame with a snap-in design. This ensures that you assemble it without struggle.

Summer Waves is among the top brands that produce the best above-ground pools, including inflatables, pool flats, and filtration systems.

This 12ft Active Above-Ground Pool has redefined what it means to have steady clean, refreshing water in your backyard by including the SkimmerPlus SFX600 Filter Pump 110~120V. 

It also features the GFCI plug and Type D filter cartridge, and I like how the filter pump conveniently attaches to the sidewall. So you don’t have to worry about tripping.

What I like about this pool

  • It comes with a repair patch.

What I don’t like about this pool

  • The pool may require extra effort to ensure proper alignment and stability.
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07/17/2024 07:09 am GMT

Expert Advice On Choosing An Above-Ground Pool (On A Budget)

Professional service providers often advise that soft-sided above-ground pools have the advantages of inexpensiveness, mobility, convenience, and a wide variety.

But before buying these pools, you must ensure the ground where you’ll install it is level.

The expert pool retailers also emphasized the importance of considering material quality and durability. This is why buying from reputable brands like Intext, Bestway, and Swimmer Waves, is a good choice.

E-Z Pool Suppliers, a pool installation, repair, and maintenance provider in the U.S.,  emphasize these factors in their customer awareness video below. 

Wrapping up: Not All Options Under $500 Are Garbage

Contrary to popular opinion, you don’t necessarily have to splurge before getting a long-lasting above-ground pool. Many inexpensive above-ground pools stand the test of time and come with unique accessories. What matters is what you have in mind while shopping.

When searching for the best swimming pool under $500, you must evaluate the size and shape to ensure it fits your space. Also, check the material quality (reinforced PVC or steel frames are preferable). Remember to go with a reliable filtration system and easy-to-use maintenance accessories.

In a recent article, we tested and reviewed the best pool pumps for above-the-ground pools. 

Did you find this guide helpful? Then let me know in the comments.


What is the best inexpensive above-ground pool?

The Intex Round Metal Frame Pool with Filter Pump is praised as the best inexpensive above-ground pool. It doesn’t have the lowest price point in the market, but it is affordable, easy to set up, and includes a ground fault circuit interrupter, making it an excellent value. However, it needs to be close to a power source for the pump and doesn’t include a cover or ladder.

What is the most durable above-ground pool?

The most durable above-ground pool is the Intex Ultra XTR Frame Pool. Made from high-quality materials, including a strong steel frame and puncture-resistant triple-layered PVC liner, it can withstand heavy use and adverse weather conditions, making it a top choice in the market right now for long-lasting above-ground pools.

What is the most affordable type of pool?

The most affordable type of pool is an above-ground pool. These pools are generally less expensive to purchase and install than in-ground ones. They have lower construction costs, and you can easily remove or relocate them. 

How long do cheap above-ground pools last?

Cheap above-ground pools typically have a lifespan of about 3 to 5 years with proper care and maintenance. However, durability and longevity depend on the quality of the pool, materials used, climate conditions, and frequency of use. 

What time of year are pools cheapest?

Pools are generally cheapest during the off-season when demand is lower. Prices tend to drop during colder months, such as fall and winter, as people are less likely to be interested in swimming. 

What is the easiest pool to maintain?

The easiest pool to maintain depends on your preferences and circumstances. However, in general, above-ground pools with a basic filtration system and simple cleaning requirements are relatively easier to maintain than in-ground pools. 

The maintenance includes cleaning the pool surface, maintaining water balance, and ensuring proper filtration and circulation.


  • Raoul Hayes

    Raoul Lobo is a seasoned expert in the realm of home appliances and environmental comfort. As a prominent author at, Raoul's passion and expertise shine through in his insightful articles and guides. With years of hands-on experience, he has become a trusted source for readers seeking advice on pools, washers, dryers, and a wide range of other appliances.

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