Intex pools

8 Best Intex Pools For 2021: Intex Pool Reviews & Guide

Intex is an American Company that manufactures inflatable furniture, airbeds, and above ground pools. 

Their above ground pools are some of the most affordable in the market. They range from low-cost vinyl pools to premium steel-framed above ground pools. 

They also sell many different sizes ranging from small wading/splashing pools for kids to steel framed pools that are as large as an in-ground swimming pool. 

All their above ground swimming pools are designed for tool-free DIY setup. Most of them come with all the necessary accessories, including a filter pump, ground cloth, and pool cover.

In this buying guide, we review the best above ground pools from Intex. 

If you’d prefer another brand, see our reviews of other brands like Bestway, Splash Pools and Fitmax in our in-depth above ground pool buying guide. 

Why Buy an Intex Pool?

When it comes to above ground pools, Intex offers the best value for money. Intex pools are great if you are looking for an affordable splash pool to keep your kids entertained or a larger pool for swimming. 

Despite their relatively lower prices, Intex pools are well made, come with all the accessories you need and last a long time. 

Something else we love about Intex pools is variety. Whatever kind of above ground pool you are looking for, Intex has it. Options range from small inflatable kiddie pools to big swimming pools that are as large as inground pools. 

The only types of above ground pools Intex does not sell are metal and resin sided pools. 

You can also choose from a wide range of sizes (from 8ft to 32 feet long) and shapes. 

Finally, we love how all Intex pools are designed for DIY set up. If you don’t want to, you don’t need to pay a pro to set it up for you. 

Their larger pools require more work and time to set up, but as long as you have someone helping you, you can set it up yourself. 

What's in this buying guide

Table of Contents

Best Intex Pools - Comparison Table

Intex-Easy-Set-Inflatable-Above-Ground-Pool
  • Easy Set

  • Best small inflatable
  • Size
    18’ x 48”; 5,455 gallons

  • Shape
    Round

  • Materials
    PVC

  • Filter Pump
    1500 GPH Cartridge

  • Accessories
    Ladder, cover, tarp

Intex-Metal-Frame-Pool-Set-–-18ft-X-48in
  • Metal Frame

  • Best long lasting
  • Size
    18’ x 48”; 6,423 gallons

  • Shape
    Round

  • Materials
    PVC + Steel

  • Filter Pump
    1500 GPH Cartridge

  • Accessories
    Ladder, cover, tarp

Intex-Ultra-Frame-Rectangular-Pool
  • Ultra Frame

  • Best for lap swimming
  • Size
    24’ x 12’ x 52”; 8,403 gallons

  • Shape
    Rectangular

  • Materials
    PVC + Steel

  • Filter Pump
    1600 GPH Sand

  • Accessories
    Ladder, cover, tarp, volleyball set, cleaning kit

Intex-Ultra-Frame-Round-Pool-Set-–-18ft-X-52in
  • Ultra Frame Round

  • Best round
  • Size
    18’ x 52”, 6,981 gallons

  • Shape
    Round

  • Materials
    PVC + Steel

  • Filter Pump
    2100 GPH Sand

  • Accessories
    Ladder, cover, tarp

Intex-Prism-Frame-Pool-Set-–-24ft-X-52in
  • Prism Frame

  • Most affordable metal frame pool
  • Size
    24’ x 52”, 12,481 gallons

  • Shape
    Round

  • Materials
    PVC + Steel

  • Filter Pump
    2500 GPH Cartridge

  • Accessories
    Ladder, cover, tarp

Intex-Oval-Frame-Pool-Set-–-20ft-X-12ft-X-48in
  • Oval Frame

  • Best value
  • Size
    20’ x 12’ x 48”, 4,393 gallons

  • Shape
    Oval

  • Materials
    PVC + Steel

  • Filter Pump
    1500 GPH Cartridge

  • Accessories
    Ladder, cover, tarp

Intex 26373EH Ultra XTR Set Above Ground Pool
  • Ultra XTR

  • Largest
  • Size
    32’ x 16’ x 52”, 14,364 gallons

  • Shape
    Rectangular

  • Materials
    PVC + Steel

  • Filter Pump
    2800 GPH Sand

  • Accessories
    Ladder, cover, tarp

Intex Shootin Hoops Swim Center Family Pool
  • Shootin’ Hoops

  • Best kiddie pool
  • Size
    101” x 74” x 51”, 180 gallons

  • Shape
    Irregular

  • Materials
    PVC

  • Filter Pump
    None

  • Accessories
    Basketball hoop and ball

Reviews of the Best Intex Pools

Intex Easy Set pools are great for families that are looking for a small inflatable pool.

The smallest one, the 8’ by 30”, is great as a wading pool for kids and small families. The largest one, the 18’ by 48”, is ideal for larger families. 

Materials

This pool is made from a 3-ply liner consisting of two PVC materials sandwiching a polyester mesh in the middle.

This multi-layer construction makes the side walls more robust and more resistant to tears and punctures.

Set-Up ​

The Easy Set Pool can be laid out in 30 minutes or less. This simple DIY process is as follows:

The Easy Set Pool can hold up to 5455 gallons of water (80%). A 110-120 volt Krystal Clear cartridge filter pump is included in the package. 

It’s Hydro Aeration Technology enhances water purity, circulation, and filtration. It also increases negative ions on the water surface (negative ions are good for your skin and health). 

Change the filter every 3 or 4 weeks to ensure the water remains pure. 

Pros

Cons

specifications

If you want something stronger and longer-lasting, we recommend one of the Intex Metal Frame Pool Set sizes.

They consist of a 3-ply liner and a steel frame.

The pool is still easy to set up, so you don’t have to worry about spending extra on a pro. 

Materials

Rust-resistant steel frames not only make the structure stronger but also improve its aesthetic value. 

A round metal frame supports a PVC liner and vertical support frames. They have snap-on joints that allow installation without requiring specialized tools.

Set-Up ​

A ladder, filter pump, ground cloth, and debris cover are some of the accessories you’ll receive with this pool. The pool has a 6423-gallon water capacity (90%). 

A 110-120V Krystal Clear cartridge filter purifies water to ensure you have a refreshing experience in the pool. The pump has an innovative Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter. This device switches off the pump whenever electric current comes into contact with water. 

Intex metal frame pools are among the easiest to install. An ideal setup process conducted by two people shouldn’t last more than 4 hours. The process involves the following steps:

Pros

Cons

specifications

Rectangular pools are popular for their sophisticated appearance. They’re especially suitable if you enjoy lap swimming. The shape also means they fit easily in most backyards. 

The Intex Ultra Frame rectangular pool is perfect for families looking for a large and durable above the ground swimming pool.

Beyond the sturdy metal frame construction, we love the contemporary design. It’ll look great in any backyard.

Materials

Included are heavy-duty steel frames that easily fit together. You don’t need any tools to assemble them.

The liner is made from a durable 3-ply material that is resistant to punctures and tearing. The modern gray finish on the liner doesn’t fade.

Set-Up ​

Assembling the pool takes about an hour. The metal frame snaps together easily without any tools required.

All the accessories you need are provided, including a Krystal clear sand filter pump, ground cloth, pool cover, and ladder.

Because of the size and weight of the filled pool, it’s essential to set it up on the level ground.

Depending on your backyard, you may need to level the ground first or build a concrete pad.

Pros

Cons

specifications

You can buy this above ground pool either with a sand filter pump or with an additional saltwater system.

Its round shape makes it easy to assemble. The steel pieces fit together securely without requiring any tools. 

The construction of the metal frame is study and durable. We also love the modern gray finish on the liner.

Materials

The pool liner consists of a durable 3-ply material. It’s supported with a powder-coated steel frame that’s kept in place by a reinforcing band.

Set-Up ​

Assembly is easy because the metal pieces fit together without needing locking pins.

Check that all parts are there before you begin setting up the pool. Look for a level area and clear the location of any objects that might puncture the pool.

Use the included ground cloth to create a protective barrier between the ground and the pool liner. 

Once you’ve assembled all the parts, ensure the entire structure is stable. You can then add water into the 6981-gallon capacity (90%) pool, making sure to smooth out the wrinkles as the water begins to fill up.

Pros

Cons

specifications

Intex Prism Frame pools are great for those who are looking for a cheaper alternative to the Intex Ultra Frame pools.

The quality of materials is not quite at the same level as the Ultra Frame pools. But you are still guaranteed many seasons of swimming and fun.

Materials

The design is similar to that of Ultra Frame pools – a tough 3-ply liner with a powder-coated steel frame to reinforce it.

Set-Up ​

Installation is easy. Here are the basic steps to follow.

A 110-120V Kristal Clear cartridge filter pump is included in the kit. Other accessories include a pool ladder, ground cloth, and pool cover.

Pros

Cons

specifications

Prefer something different from the usual round and rectangular pools. Try the Intex Oval Frame pool set.

It is surprisingly affordable for a 20ft pool. That’s because it’s not quite a full steel frame pool. It’s a cross between the Intex Easy Set pool set and the Intex Metal Frame pool set.

It’s a great choice for those looking for an affordable Intex above ground pool that can hold an entire family and will last long.

Materials

This oval design gets its stability from the rust-resistant metal frame. The heavy-duty triple layered PVC liner also does a good job of holding over 4,000 gallons of water.

Set-Up ​

Similar to an Easy Set pool, you need to inflate the top ring. Use an electric air compressor to fill it with air quickly.

Making sure the pool is on level ground and sitting on the included ground cloth, assemble the metal frame, and then fill the pool with water.

The pool comes with a Krystal clear cartridge filter pump, though many users recommend upgrading to a more powerful sand filter pump. The included pump is not powerful enough for the pool size.

In addition to the pump and ground cloth, you also get a pool cover and a ladder.

Pros

Cons

specifications

If you want an Intex above ground pool that’s as large as an in-ground pool, we recommend the 32ft by 16ft Intex Ultra XTR pool set. 

With its large size and 52-inch depth, it’s perfect for serious swimmers. It’s also a great choice for large families, or if you often have friends and family over. 

The 32ft Ultra XTR pool set is obviously more expensive than most other Intex pools, but still a whole lot cheaper than building a similar size in-ground swimming pool.

Materials

The Ultra XTR pool uses a sturdy metal frame to support the more than 14,000 gallons of water in the pool. 

The frame is made from galvanized steel with interior and exterior powder coating to prevent rust and corrosion. 

The liner has a 3-ply design that is resistant to tears and punctures. It consists of thick PVC layers that sandwich a tough polyester mesh. 

The liner has a minimalist gray finish on the outside that blends well into any landscaping. On the inside, a blue tile finish results in a classic look. 

Set-Up ​

You may want to call a pro to help you set up the Ultra XTR 32ft pool. It’s heavy and big, requiring several people to set it up. 

But you can still set it up yourself, as long as you have a two or three other people to help. The hardest bit is preparing the ground. 

Because of the weight of the water, you want the pool to sit on stable and flat ground. Otherwise, it could start sinking or may bend to one side. 

Most people opted for sand under the pool with bricks or pavers under the metal legs. 

It takes 2-3 hours to assemble the pool, and another hour or so to hook up the included sand filter. By the way, you’ll need to buy sand for the filter – 77lbs of it. You can get pool filter sand at your local swim store or Walmart. 

The Ultra XTR pool is also available with a saltwater system, if you’d prefer not to add chlorine to your pool. If you get this option, you’ll also need to buy salt for it. 

The 2,800 GPH sand filter pump Intex includes is powerful enough for the 32ft pool. Unlike with some Intex pools, you do not need to buy a more powerful pump. 

Other accessories included in the package are a pool ladder, pool cover and ground cloth. 

Keep in mind that the Ultra XTR pool is big. It covers the same space as a standard 32ft in-ground pool. Make sure you have enough space for it in your backyard. 

Pros

Cons

specifications

Most of the Intex Above Ground pools have a minimum age rating of 6 years. If you have younger kids, we recommend getting a kiddie pool. The Intex Shootin’ Hoops is the best one. It is safe for kids as young as 3 years. 

If you have younger kids, get the Intex Rainbow Cloud inflatable baby pool. It is safe for kids between 1 and 3 years and comes with a built-in sunshade. 

Intex Shootin’ Hoops is not a kid-only pool; it’s meant to be a family pool that’s suitable for both kids and adults. It can fit two or three kids as well as two adults. 

While for adults it’ll be a wading pool, many parents say the water is deep enough that kids can do a bit of swimming. 

As they enjoy splashing in the water, kids can also shoot hoops into the attached basketball hoops. The ball is also included. 

With its large size and 52-inch depth, it’s perfect for serious swimmers. It’s also a great choice for large families, or if you often have friends and family over. 

The 32ft Ultra XTR pool set is obviously more expensive than most other Intex pools, but still a whole lot cheaper than building a similar size in-ground swimming pool.

Materials

The Intex Shootin’ Hoops pool is made from heavy duty PVC. It measures 101in x 74in x 51in when inflated and holds 180 gallons of water. 

Set-Up ​

Setting up the pool is easy and quick. Unlike Easy Set pools where you only inflate the top ring, the Shootin’ Hoops pool is fully inflatable. Use an electric pump to quickly inflate it to size. 

Because the pool is small, you don’t need a filter pump and it doesn’t come with one. Just make sure you replace the water every 1-2 days to keep it sanitary. If you don’t want to replace the water that often, add a bit of chlorine. This will keep the water sanitary for a week. 

The pool has a drain plug for easy draining. You can connect a garden hose to drain the water where you want. If you’ll not be using any chlorine, you can use the water in the garden.

Pros

Cons

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Types of Intex Pools

Intex categorizes their above ground pools based on construction and materials. Here are the different categories. 

Inflatable kiddie/family pools: These are the cheapest Intex pools. They are fully inflatable and made from PVC. They are small (usually no more than 8ft long), so most don’t need a filter pump. 

Easy Set pools: The next step up from kiddie pools. Easy set pools are bigger (up to 18ft long) and can hold more people. They are made from PVC with an inflatable top ring. Most come with a filter pump to keep the water clean. 

Metal frame pools: If you want a bigger and sturdier Intex pool that will last a long time, get one of their metal frame pools. They consist of a PVC liner and an easy to assemble metal frame. While stronger, metal frame pools are also pricier. Because of how the frame is designed, Intex frame pools are just as small as Easy Set pools.

Prism frame pools: If you want a metal frame Intex pool that’s big, upgrade to a Prism frame pool. Prism frame pools have slanting metal supports that can hold up more water. You can get a Prism frame pool that’s 24 feet long. Prism frame pools have a gray exterior and blue tile interior. 

Ultra XTR Frame pools (also called Ultra Frame): These are the biggest, sturdiest and most expensive of Intex pools. If you want a serious backyard pool that’s as big as an inground pool, go with Ultra XTR. The largest size in this category measures 32 feet by 16 feet and has a depth of 52 inches. 

Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Intex Above Ground Pool

Type of Intex Pool 

Check our breakdown of the different types of Intex pools above.   

If you want a pool just for your toddlers, a Kiddie pool will do. If you have older kids or want a pool big enough for parents to get in as well, get an Easy Set pool. 

If you want an Intex pool that’s sturdier and more durable than the Easy Set pools, get an Intex metal frame pool. For even more longevity, get a Prism frame pool. 

If you want a big Intex above ground pool, get an Ultra XTR frame pool.

Size

Even within the above categories, Intex sells different pool sizes. The best Intex pool size depends on the following factors.

  • Space available in your backyard. An 8ft or 10ft pool is small enough to set up on the driveway. A 32ft pool will need loads of space. 
  • Family size. The bigger your family, the bigger the pool you should get. If the pool is just for kids, an 8ft or 10ft pool will do. For a small family of 4-6, get a 10-15 ft pool. Large families should get a pool that’s at least 15 feet long.     
  • Swimming vs. wading: Kids can swim even in a small 10ft pool with a 30-inch depth. Older kids need something bigger that is at least 48” deep. If you want something parents can comfortably swim in, get an Intex pool that’s at least 24” long and 48-52 inches deep. But if you just want to lounge in the pool as your kids swim and splash, a smaller 10-20ft pool will do. 
  • Budget. A bigger pool will cost you more. So balance between your swimming needs and how much money you are willing to spend. The good thing about Intex pools is that they are designed for easy DIY setup. So you can afford to splurge on a bigger pool since you don’t have to spend a dime setting it up (larger pools may require extra spending on materials to prepare the ground). 

Pump Size

All Intex above ground pools come with a filter pump. Check the size of the pump to make sure it can handle the amount of water in the pool.
An underpowered pump will struggle to keep the pool clean since it doesn’t pump the water through the filter fast enough.
For the smaller pools up to 20ft long, a 1500 to 2000 GPH pump should be adequate. For larger pools, make sure the pump is rated between 2000 and 3000 GPH.
If you get a pool with an underpowered pump, you’ll need to buy a more powerful filter pump.

Chlorine vs. Saltwater System

Most Intex pools are the standard chlorine type. You regularly add chlorine to the water to keep it clean and clear. 

If, however, too much chlorine in water affects you, consider getting a saltwater system. Intex offers some of their pools with a saltwater system. 

A saltwater system still generates chlorine, but less of it. Keep in mind you’ll need to regularly replenish the salt. 

Accessories

Intex includes the following standard accessories with all their pools:

  • Ground cloth/tarp
  • Pool debris cover
  • Removable ladder 

Some pools come with extra accessories such as a basketball hoop or a volleyball set.

Frequently Asked Questions About Intex Above-ground Pools

above ground pool cost

Can you leave an Intex above ground pool up during winter?

It depends on the climate of the area where you live.

If you live in a cold region where winter temperatures regularly drop below 32F, it’s a good idea to take the pool down.

Drain the pool first then disassemble it. Store the pool, fittings, and filter pump somewhere dry and protected from the elements.

If you live in a warmer climate where winters don’t get too cold, you can just winterize your pool.

Clean the pool one last time and balance the chemicals to reduce the risk of bacterial and algae growth during winter.

Disconnect the fittings and pool pump and store them in the garage or anywhere that’s dry and well protected from the elements. Also, remove other accessories such as the ladder.

Make sure all pool inlets and outlets are closed then add winterizing chemicals to the water.

Cover the pool with a winter cover.

What size Intex pool should I get?

It depends on your needs. If you are getting a pool for your kids, the 18ft X 48in Easy Set pool is perfect.

If you want something bigger for the entire family, a 24ft by 12ft size is ideal. For larger families, get the 32ft long Intex pools.

How easy are Intex pools to install?

Most Intex above ground pools is designed for easy DIY installation. You don’t need any tools or a pro to set up any of their pools, even the larger 24ft, and 32ft sizes.

Most of the pools come with everything you need, including a ground cloth, a pool cover, and a filter pump.

As soon as the pool arrives, it is ready to set up.

Do I need to put sand under an Intex pool?

If you can’t find a level area on your backyard, you may have to use sand to flatten the ground before you set up the pool.

For larger, and thus heavier, above ground Intex pools, some homeowners prefer building a concrete pad to provide a more robust and level surface.

But if you can find a completely flat area on your backyard, you don’t need to do any of these.

How do I get wrinkles out of my Intex pool?

There’s some art to setting up an Intex pool. You have to get the wrinkles out when start filling it with water; otherwise, the wrinkles will be impossible to remove until you drain the pool.

Once you assemble the pool, put in a garden hose and let an inch or two of water get into the pool. Then get in and work out the wrinkles around the edges using your hands and feet.

This can take some time, especially if you have a large pool, but it ensures the pool fills out properly without wrinkles.

How long does an Intex pool last?

Vinyl-only pools such as the Easy Set ones last for 3-7 years before the liner gives out.

Intex’s pricier pools that have a multi-layer liner and metal frame have a longer lifespan of 7-15 years. The liner is usually the first to wear out, requiring replacement after 7-9 years.

The exact lifespan of your Intex swimming pool depends a lot on how well you take care of it.

Are Intex pools any good?

Intex pools offer the best value for your money compared to other above ground pools in the market. They are well made and they last long. 

We particularly love their metal framed pools. The 3-ply liner and strong metal frame ensures you’ll enjoy your pool for years. 

Can grass grow through the pool liner?

Yes, some hard grasses can puncture the liner especially for Easy Set and Kiddie pools. That’s why Intex includes a ground cloth with every pool. It forms a protective barrier between the liner and the ground. 

Do I need to buy a pump for my Intex pool?

Usually, no. Most Intex above ground pools come with a filter pump. The only reason you may need to buy another one is if the included pump is not strong enough for the pool size. 

Conclusion

Intex Above Ground Pools

Intex above ground pools is great for families looking for affordable, high quality and durable above ground pool that is easy to install and maintain.

Whether you are looking for a kids’ wading pool or a large family swimming pool, there’s an Intex size to meet every family’s needs.