Is an 18-foot Above-Ground Pool Big Enough?

Is an 18 foot above ground pool big enough?

The daunting question for anyone looking to get a pool is whether this pool going to be big enough. Specifically, with the 18-foot above-ground pool, it’s a good question to ask because it isn’t small but it isn’t big. It’s right in the middle and you do risk getting a pool that you feel is too small with this size.

Pool owners will usually give the advice that bigger is better when it comes to your pool if it fits and you can afford it. I believe this as well, but let’s dig in and answer the question. Is an 18 ft. above-ground pool big enough?

The 18 ft. in diameter above-ground pool from brands like Bestway and Intex is 254 sq. ft. and will hold approximately 4,800 – 6,000 gallons of water depending on your wall height. These pools will comfortably fit a family of 4 but could be used for up to 6-8 people during a pool party. This pool isn’t huge though so during a party, most owners do wish they had something bigger.

I’ll answer some more questions about the 18-foot above-ground pool along with some recommendations by fellow pool owners.

Is an 18 ft Above Ground Pool Big Enough for a Small Family?

Yes, this pool would be perfect for a small family looking to get some swim time in during the summer. These size pools only fall short when you want to accommodate groups larger than 6 Adults. It will begin to get a bit tight. It’s okay for socializing but there won’t be too much room for playing games, swimming, or for everyone floating without bumping into each other. This size pool is suitable for kids and their friends though for small get together. If you have a huge get together, you might want to look at the biggest above-ground pools on the market in that article I wrote.

We have an 18ft. We are a family of 4. Our kids are teens and they always had friends over during the summer and there was always plenty of room in the pool.

E.S., Facebook Above Ground Pool Owners Group

I agree with the sentiment above by E.S., this pool would be plenty big for a family of 4 with the occasional get-together for the kids.

If you plan on having more swimmers than 4-5 on a usual basis, then I believe you should take a look at going a size up which I’ll discuss later in the article.

How Much is the 18 ft Above Ground Pool?

You have a few options of brands to choose from along with type. Above-ground pools have soft wall brands that are really popular like Intex, Bestway, Summer Waves, and Coleman. Then you have the metal walled above-ground pools that you can get from companies like Doughboy and Leslie’s.

The soft wall pools are cheaper, and easier to set up, but are less durable and will be replaced within a few years’ time. Personally, I believe the soft walls are a great option if you are a first-time pool owner, operating on a tight budget, or do not plan on being in your current home for the long term. You can always upgrade to an inground or metal wall above-ground pool at a later date. Like the above-ground pool owner C.C., I really enjoyed her post and thought it was sweet.

We used the 18 ft Intex in the background for 5 summers, and it sure was a good little pool. I had no issues with it. I put it up with the help of my 60 year old mom, and I definitely got my money’s worth.

My kids are 21, 18, and 14 now, and I’m excited to offer something a little bigger and nicer for them and their friends for many years to come.

I’m sorry, I’m just so excited!!

C.C, Facebook Group for Above Ground Pool Owners

18 ft. Soft Wall Above Ground Pool By Type, Wall Size, and Price

BrandWall HeightPrice
Intex Ultra Frame52″$1,269.99
Coleman Power Steel Frame48″$889.98
Summer Waves Elite48″$884.99
Bestway Steel Pro Frame48″$699.99
Prices from Amazon on March 7th, 2023

18 ft. Metal Wall Above Ground Pool By Type, Wall Size, and Price

BrandWall HeightPrice
Mt. Loch52″$2,688.00
Aquarian Phoenix52″$1,799.99
Prices from Amazon and Pool Warehouse on March 7th, 2023

The links above will take you to the pools listed in the table, feel free to look around for something you like and many of these pools have the same style in different sizes if you decide you would like to go bigger or even smaller. You can check out my article here about above-ground pool sizes for more information too!

What are the Pros and Cons of the 18 ft. Above Ground Pool?

Pools are all going to share similar traits so the pros and cons of each different size are pretty direct. One thing that you might want to consider though is the upfront costs and maintenance upkeep costs. A smaller pool will save you on things like:

  • Pool Pump and Filter
  • Pool Chemicals
  • Monthly Utilities, especially if Heating
  • Heating is a pro, It is much easier to heat a small pool like this

I believe there is only one big con to having this size pool, this is obviously that it’s going to get tight if you have more people. With the larger size pools, it’s almost difficult to have enough people at a party to make the pool feel crowded. That isn’t going to be the case here, after about 6 people you will notice that the pool is small.

Should I Consider the 21 ft. Pool instead of the 18 ft. Pool?

The most common size up from 18 ft in diameter is 21 ft. in diameter and I absolutely think that you should consider it. If the upfront cost to have the additional 3ft in diameter is within a few hundred or just a couple of thousand dollars more, I think you have to pull the trigger if you have the space in your backyard. You won’t recommend it, and as the common saying among pool owners goes, “No one has ever said they wish their pool was smaller!”. I do believe that from my own experience with our above-ground pools as well but I also believe it applies to inground pools. If you are thinking about sizing up and having the space, you might even consider taking a look at the 24 ft. pool, I wrote an article about that size that you can check out here.


The founder of I wanted a place to share all of the great information from my family to other pool lovers, builders, and those looking to buy a pool.

Recent Posts