When it comes to keeping pets and kids busy and cool during the hot months, options can be limited. But one thing that both human babies and fur babies love is playing in the water. Before you start crunching numbers trying to figure out how you can afford to install a full-sized pool, start smaller. Much smaller. Like, the size of a child or a dog. That’s right, it’s time to get a kiddie pool.
A kiddie pool is an inexpensive way to beat the heat and keep kids and pets entertained for hours. Simple to set up and requiring only a small footprint, the best kiddie pools can be filled with water in a short period of time. They offer time and money savings compared to filling a large above-ground or in-ground pool — by several orders of magnitude. Kiddie pools are also safe for pets and children, although both should never be left unattended near water.
In the colder months, kiddie pools can also be used as ball pits or sandboxes, providing year-round entertainment for kids. They can also double as giant coolers when filled with ice, making them a great addition to parties and large gatherings.
For more on why a kiddie pool should be your next purchase, check out our top four picks below.
1. Jasonwell Foldable Pool
For a pool that can go just about anywhere, try the Jasonwell Foldable Pool. Designed for use by pet owners and parents, the Jasonwell pool is great for keeping dogs, kids and even adults cool on hot days. No inflation is necessary with the Jasonwell, which can be folded in two ways for easy transporting and secure storage. A high-density fiberboard provides a firm base under the extra-tough, slip-resistant PVC inner layer. The pool can be emptied quickly and easily thanks to the side drain. The Jasonwell pool is available in five sizes and can be used as a pool, sandbox and more.
Pros: Jasonwell uses environmentally friendly material that meets ASTM standards and is safe for use by animals and small children.
Cons: Although the pool is designed specifically for use by dogs, Jasonwell still recommends that owners trim their pet’s nails before using the pool so as not to rip the material. The pool is flimsy when not filled with water and some dogs can chew through the material.
2. Intex Easy Set Swimming Pool
For a pool the whole family can enjoy, we recommend the Intex Easy Set Swimming Pool. Big enough to fit two adults and two children, the Easy Set can hold 639 gallons of water. Made from heavy-duty vinyl, users supply their own pump to quickly inflate the pool, which measures 96 inches in diameter and is approximately 2.5 feet deep when fully inflated. Recommended for children ages 6 and up, the Easy Set is a great in-between pool when learning to swim and an inexpensive option for those who want a pool they can completely immerse themselves in during heat waves.
Pros: Using a standard hose, the Easy Set can be fully filled with water in 2-4 hours.
Cons: The Easy Set does not come with a filter pump. A level and smooth surface is a must-have when choosing a setup location for the pool. Stepping into the pool can be difficult and users may want to add a small ladder or stepstool.
3. Intex Mini Frame Pool
Versatile and lightweight, the Intex Mini Frame Pool is not inflatable and doesn’t require a pump, making it easier to place the pool away from a power source. The pool comes with padded horizontal beams for added comfort and short side poles with padded feet to keep the pool in place. A drain plug makes it easy to empty the 89-gallon pool, while a patch repair kit enables users to fix small holes in the thick vinyl if necessary. The Mini Frame is available in blue and bright green.
Pros: Once assembled, the Mini Frame is 12 inches high, which makes it possible for most children ages 3 and up and larger dogs to step into the pool without the assistance of an adult or ramp.
Cons: The Mini Frame pool does not come with instructions and as a result, set up can be difficult.
4. Intex Kid’s Summer Sunset Glow Pool
The most affordable pool on our list is the traditional kiddie style pool from Intex. The Kid’s Summer Sunset Glow Pool is a lightweight inflatable pool that uses a bright rainbow color palette that young swimmers will love. Like the Intex Mini Frame Pool, the Sunset Glow pool is 12 inches high, making it easy for small children and dogs to get in and out of the pool. Made with durable vinyl, the pool measures 58” in diameter when fully inflated.
Pros: The Sunset Glow Pool has a slightly padded inflatable bottom that provides an added layer of cushioning.
Cons: Users must supply their own pump to inflate the pool. The pool can be deflated and stored, but likely won’t make it through more than one season of continued use.