Water play is a great way to keep your baby entertained and cool during the hot summer months. But when choosing a kiddie pool, it can be hard to know where to start. Should you get a hard plastic kiddie pool or an inflatable one? Should you get a small swimming pool for babies or one that your child could use for years to come? What about shade protection?
To help you narrow down your choices, Truly Mama reviewed some of the most popular kiddie pools on the market. Here are our top picks for baby swimming pools to beat the heat this summer.
- Teamson Kids Water Fun Inflatable Kids Castle Kiddie Pool
- Intex Summer Glow Inflatable Baby Swimming Pool
- Summer Waves® 36″ Plastic Wading Kiddie Pool
- Intex 66-Inch Round Inflatable Outdoor Kids Swimming and Wading Watermelon Pool
- Aqua Leisure Tot Sunshade Pool with Canopy and Carry Bag in Turquoise/Multi
- Intex Ocean Inflatable Play Center with Water Sprayer, 100″ x 77″ x 31″
- Banzai Safari 162-Inch x 117-Inch Adventure Pool
- Summer Waves Quick Set 5Ft X 15In Round Inflatable Ring Kiddie Pool, Pink Whale
- Inflatable Paddling Rectangular Family Pool
While I have to say that this kiddie pool is so impressive and I am most definitely considering picking one up for my almost two-year-old, I can also say that as a mom of a toddler, the only potential issue I see with it is the sprinklers–while they are tons of fun, it would be nice if you had the option to turn them off. Sprinklers are all good and grand until the baby gets splashed in the eye or slips and wipes out or gets angry because they can’t stop them from spraying.
- Dimensions: 85 x 82 x 82 inches
- Includes 2 beach balls
- Has 3 clear pool patches for repairs
- Recommended for ages 3 and up
Keep in mind:
Ideally, I’d love the option to turn the sprinkler function off, which I’m not seeing is an option in the product description. Some reviewers also mentioned because this castle is so tall, it can tend to lean over. But other than that, I’ll decree this kiddie pool as officially royally fun!
You only get a 30-day warranty with this pool, so odds are, this isn’t one that will last for the long haul. However, it only weighs 1.3 pounds, so it’s super easy and lightweight to move around or take on-the-go if needed.
- Dimensions: 6.5 x 7 x 2.25 inches
- Made of PVC material
- Inflated size: 34″ x 10″
- Can be used indoors as a ball pit too!
“Perfect baby pool, exactly what we needed! Soft blow up bottom provides some cushion for those slips and falls!”-Walmart.com review
Keep in mind:
Inflatable pools can get holes and tear, so that’s one thing to keep in mind with this choice, but this one comes with a repair patch if you do happen to poke a hole in it.
Having owned one of these plastic pools myself for many children, I will attest they they are a great buy. Not only are they inexpensive, but they just have so many uses. I’ve bought one to keep by our big pool when I’ve had a baby who wasn’t quite ready for the full pool experience, I’ve bought another to keep under the deck for the fur baby in the family to keep cool and I’ve bought still another to keep out in the yard to dip little people’s feet off when they’ve been playing in the yard all day. I think of these pools as a summer must-have.
- No setup needed
- Plastic material that’s super easy to clean (just use a hose!)
- Can be used as a pet pool also
- Dimensions: 36″ x 36″ x 6.9″
“These pools are great for many things! When you kids out grow them fill them full of ice and drinks! Pool party tip!” –Walmart.com review
Keep in mind:
With its hard structure, this pick might not be the most comfortable to sit in for long periods of time, and while this pool is lightweight and relatively easy to carry, it’s also bulky and doesn’t collapse, so it will take up more storage space than collapsible or inflatable options.
But for less than $10, this is Truly Mama’s budget pick, making it a great option to try out and see how your little one likes it. Plus, while most manufacturers suggest inflatable pools for older toddlers and preschoolers, hard plastic pools are suitable for children of all ages, so you can use it for both babies and older children.
For an inflatable kiddie pool, this fun watermelon design packs in a lot. It’s specifically made for durability, with gauge rings and a 7-gauge floor that both help keep it intact and keep the air in the pool (so you’re not constantly inflating it). The walls are 11.5 inches high and as we pointed out, it holds a lot of water.
- Recommended for kids ages 2+
- Dimensions: 3.375 x 12 x 10.5 inches
- Weight: 4.53 pounds
“I thought long and hard before purchasing this because it was a kiddie pool. We needed something for my daughter to splash around in this summer and she’s big for her age. We didn’t have room for (nor could we afford) a bigger pool, though, so I took a chance and got this one. I am so glad I did! It would be nice to have a drain, which is why it has 4 stars instead of 5. We used a small air compressor, but it took FOREVER to inflate all the way. Once we got it, though, it is great! Nice and sturdy…At the time of my original review, I could not speak to durability as we’d had for such a short time, but now I can. It’s great! We inflated this pool for the first time on June 13. It is now July 2. Still completely inflated! We haven’t had to add air one time since the first day. My daughter has played in it several times and all is good. One of the best purchases I’ve ever made!”-Amazon.com review
Keep in mind:
One drawback of this style is that it can potentially kill your grass, especially if it stays in the same spot for several days. If you go with an inflatable or collapsible pool you might consider keeping it on the patio, deck or driveway. If you do decide to use it on grass, dumping it out after using it and moving it to a different spot in the yard next time can help keep your grass green.
Having fun in the sun with a little one is a catch-22 in a way, isn’t it? You need the sun to enjoy splashing off for a cool-down, but that same sun can be harmful to baby’s delicate skin. That’s why this kiddie pool is perfect for babies especially, thanks a built-in UPF 50 shade that sits right over the pool. It provides the perfect amount of shade to keep your little one out of direct sunlight, but still enjoy splashing in the water.
- Canopy is removable
- Includes carry bag
- For ages 2+
- Made of heavy-duty vinyl
- Heavy duty vinyl construction
- Inflated size: 39″ in diameter
- 1-year manufacturer’s warranty
“Nice little pool for my 6 month old to splash around in and it doesn’t take up much room. He’s still young so I sit next to him outside the pool and assist. Product recommends 2+ for this pool FYI. Enjoy some summer fun!”-BuyBuyBaby review
This is a smaller-sized pool, so if you have multiple children, you may want to consider picking up a larger size instead, or reserving this for the baby only.
If you’re looking to take your pool fun up a notch, this is th eone for you! This is more than a pool, because technically it’s a “play center.” (Fancy, right?) Your kids will love all the fun features it has, including a build-in water slide, inflatable palm tree, turtle, whale toy, and a ring toss game. Plus, you gotta love that built-in water sprayer action–just hook it right up to your garden hose.
For little ones, we also love that it includes a wading pool area so you can mix and match kids of every age.
- Recommended for ages 3+
- Wading pool holds 4.5″ of water
- Main pool holds 9″
- Repair patch included
- Dimensions: 100″ x 77″ x 31″
“I bought this for my 2 year old daughter. We live in Houston and it is hot. sheer loves the pool, toys and the slide! The water sprinklers surround the pool and get high! We had three grown adults and my daughter in the pool sat one time! It is worth the money!”-Walmart.com review
Keep in mind:
Some reviewers did note that the slide, while fun, isn’t exactly a super long length, so you may get some accidental slip-n-slide action with little ones sliding right out of the pool.
We love the extra-large size of this pool which makes it great for little ones that want to practice doing laps (is that just my kids??) or entertaining several kids for a sunny day. The safari animals are definitely a fun bonus, especially if you have a toddler who loves zoos.
- Made of PVC
- Folds to sore easily
- Inflated dimensions: 162 x 117 x 32 inches
“I love it! My 17-month-old loves it! I can even fit and just sit and relax with her in the water :)”-BuyBuyBaby.com review
Keep in mind:
A few of the reviews for this pool did mention it has a tendency to get holes more easily than some of the other pools we mentioned, so if you’re set on a safari, you may want to pick up a few repair patches to keep handy as well.
Like Goldilocks searching for the perfect bowl of porridge, this pool is just right. It’s not too big that toddlers couldn’t enjoy it, but it’s also just big enough that they can have freedom to splash and play. Plus, we love that self-rising feature and the sturdy construction.
- Water depth: 15 inches
- Dimensions: 1′ H x 3” W
- 2-layer PVC liner with polyester inner mesh between the layers
- Drain plug
- 106 gallons capacity
“This is a really cute pool! It came on time, and took 30 minutes or less to pump the ring, and fill with water. My 2 year old son absolutely loves it. I also really love that this isn’t an inflatable pool (just the top ring). Im hoping that since it’s the same material as bigger quick set pools it will last the rest of this summer, and possibly the next summer too. I did however only give this pool three stars because it is a lot smaller than I anticipated, and it does NOT have a drain hole. For the price I did expect a little more, but then again, Covid-19 has made all pool prices jump. It says 5ft in diameter, but I, myself am 5ft tall and do not see me being able to lay head to toe in this pool. Overall, I am pleased with this pool, it serves its purpose, my son loves it, it’s super cute, and has fun designs.”–Walmart.com review
Keep in mind:
A few different reviews mentioned the lack of a drain hole that can drain the water quickly. That doesn’t seem like it would be a deal-breaker for me, and it has a drain plug included.
Sometimes, you just gotta join the kids in the pool. Especially on those hot summer days when the afternoons just seem to drag on and on and the stretch between nap time and bedtime is so very long, plopping in a pool with a cool summer beverage may be just what the doctor ordered. This pool comes complete with a lot of adult-friendly features, included a foam bottom that makes it extra comfortable for lounging.
- Dimensions: 1′ 7 1/2 x 8′ 7 1/8” Wx 5′ 8 7/8”
- Made with high-strength hot carbon tough PVC
- Layered independent airbag (meaning if one layer breaks, the pool keeps going strong!)
- Holds hundreds of gallons of water
Keep in mind:
This is a more pricey pool than the others on our list, so be sure it’s one that you’ll be able to get your money’s worth out of before investing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does my baby wear in the pool?
A standard baby swimsuit is just fine for your little one to wear in the pool. If you’re worried about sun exposure, you could get a suit with long sleeves and add a sun hat to keep the rays off your baby’s face. In addition to swimwear, your baby should always wear a specially-designed swim diaper to keep accidents contained.
Can I use my garden hose to fill up the kiddie pool?
Yes, but because kiddie pools are not equipped with water filtration systems, it is recommended to dump out the water after playing and refill before each subsequent use.
How do you keep a kiddie pool clean?
Drain or empty the pool after each use and don’t leave standing water in the pool overnight as this can increase the risk for waterborne illness. After emptying the pool, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends cleaning the pool with a disinfectant and once dry, leaving it in the sun for at least four hours to kill off any other pathogens