Ask Maxwell: What’s the Best Inflatable Pool for Summer 2022?

published May 30, 2022
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Credit: Mylle

My daughter is really working on me to get a small, inflatable pool for the yard this summer, but I don’t want to buy something that is ugly and will break. Got any really good recs?


Dear Alison,

With the heatwave that hit lately and deeply understanding wanting to keep kids out of the house and active this summer, I got your back. I’ve never had high regard for plastic inflatable pools because they DO often seem ugly and cheaply made, but lately I’ve been noticing a number of more stylish solutions. One caveat, however, is that by and large these pools get some really heavy usage and aren’t bulletproof, so don’t expect any of them to last for many years. But, hey, if they give your child a summer of joy and then a stick goes through the side by accident in the end of August, maybe it’s had a good life. Nevertheless, I’d shy away from those that are really cheap and tend to be made of thinner material. On to the list!

Credit: Mylle

Kris Myllenbeck’s company, Mylle, makes this very attractive Inflatable Pool – $100 – in a heavyweight vinyl that has a drain at the bottom so it’s easy to break down when you’re done.

Credit: Funboy

Funboy gets points for elevating poolside plastic with great style. Their European Resort Kiddie Pool – $59 – is just one of a few styles they have and which come in their simple circle design.

Credit: Hesung

This one, pulled right from Amazon, Hesung Inflatable Swimming Pool – $74.99 – is my pick for the more typical styles you see out there. I like the shape and the emphasis on the heavier gauge vinyl to keep it alive longer.

Credit: Intex

This last inflatable – The Intex Swim Center – $48.99 – I include because it has the very pleasing addition of the stylish seat and backrest, which means you could even tolerate sitting in the pool with your kids and not be slipping into a tidal waves.

Credit: Shutterstock/Sandra Sapp

Stock Tank Pools (you can get them at Home Depot) are another great idea, but they’re not inflatable, so you have to make a bigger commitment. However, if you’ve got really small children a really small one will suffice and it can easily be stored in a basement or garage. If you want to go down the rabbit hole on this kind of thing, take a look at all these folks and what they’ve done. Meanwhile, over at Cowboy Pools, they’ve designed a bunch of very attractive stocktanks just for pool use.

And take a look at this..

And enjoy! Best, M

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Maxwell Ryan is a father and was an elementary school teacher in NYC before founding Apartment Therapy. He’d love to answer your question: This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids.

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