What Size Above Ground Pool Should I Get?

What Size Above ground Pool Should I get?

The size of your above-ground pool is a big decision. It’s a choice that after you make you will be stuck with for a while, depending on which type of above-ground pool you are purchasing. We want something that will fit into our backyard, and provide enough space for swimming and relaxation, but not be bigger or smaller than what we need.

Determining your pool size isn’t too tricky, it just takes a bit of planning and knowledge about what sizes are on the market and within your budget. Also, the amount of space you have available for your backyard to use for the pool.

The right pool size for your family is one that will hold the average number of people swimming in your pool daily, which needs approx. 130 sq. ft. per person. Your pool should take up 25%-35% of your total backyard space to leave you with enough room for other backyard activities and needs. When considering available space for your pool size, you should add an additional 3′-4′ on the perimeter of your pool for possible future decking but also the space required for the wall supports of the above-ground pool.

Let’s jump into some information about common pool size, dimensions, gallons, and pricing to help you determine what is the right fit for you, your family, and your backyard.

How Deep is the Average Above-Ground Pool?

Typical Above-ground pool depths range from 48″-54″ deep along the walls. The actual water level will depend on how much you fill your pool but it will be generally 6″ below the wall height. The large majority of above-ground pools will have a flat bottom with a consistent depth.

There are some options to have a vinyl liner that will stretch allowing you to dig an area of your above-ground pool deeper to allow for a deep end. These deep-end liner options will go to 6 ft deep on average and will only be available in Steel Wall Pool kits, not on the portable above-ground pool kits like Intex or Bestway models.

How Wide are Above-Ground Pools?

When you discuss the width of pools, especially above-ground pools, you’ll have to take into factor the two different basic shapes, which I’ll get to below. Rectangular/Oval shaped pools are 12 ft-21 ft wide on average. Round above-ground pools are 12 ft.-33 ft. in Diameter.

To measure this out in your backyard, be sure to give yourself about approx 3ft. extra width around the pool.

What is the Length of an Above Ground Pool?

If you are looking at the oval or rectangular option for an above-ground pool you have some choices to choose from. The most popular and average length above-ground pool is 24 ft. long but I give specific ranges for types of above-ground pools below.

Length Ranges of Above-Ground Pools by Type

  • Rectangular Ultra XTR Frame (Intex) 18 ft. – 32 ft.
  • Bestway Brands – 9ft. 3 in. -31 ft. 4 in.
  • Summer Waves 24 ft. – 32 ft.
  • Steel-Wall Pool Kits (Leslies) – 18 ft. – 34 ft.
  • Steel-Wall Pool Kits (PoolWareHouse) 18 ft. – 43 ft.

What is the Largest Above Ground Pool Size?

The absolute largest above-ground pool that you can find on the market will be a 21’x43′ Oval Above Ground Pool with 54″ Steel walls. This pool is approx. 30,000 gallons of water and is an absolute beast of an above-ground swimming pool. If you have an interest in a pool of this size, you can check it out here. If you don’t need something this massive, I would personally recommend checking out the 18’x34′ Oval from Leslies.

What Type of Shapes Are Available for Above-Ground Pools?

The traditional shape of an above-ground pool is round. That’s classic and we all have memories of swimming in pools like this. There are Rectangular and Oval options available these days. The rectangular pool is harder to find in the sturdier steel pool kit models but you can easily find the rectangular shape from Intex, Bestway, and Summer Waves whether they are at your local Lowe’s or Walmart, but you can order those directly online just like the steel wall pool kits.

So, What Size Above Ground Pool Should I Get?

Personally, I believe an inground pool is always the best choice. I do have a bias as the son of an inground pool contractor. If budget is a concern, or you aren’t staying in your home for the long term, then an above-ground pool is a perfectly good option and we have had them at nearly all of our homes until we could afford the inground pool.

If you think you want something that needs to be sturdy and last for 10 summers and more, then you can check out the steel wall pool kit options from Leslies that I linked above. I think the new models from brands like Intex, Bestway, and Summer Waves are really incredible given the price and ease of setup. I think you can’t go wrong with choosing the options below. They have all the common sizes you need to fit into any backyard.

Brand and ModelSizePrice
Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set24ft x 12ft x 52in$1,799.00
Bestway Steel Pro MAX14ft x 4ft x 14in$478.55
Summer Waves Elite Wicker Print Above Ground Pool18ft x 48in$568.99
Intex Easy Set Above Ground Pool18′ x 48″$408.79
Coleman Power Steel Swim Vista Series II Above Ground Pool14′ x 8’x 40″$749.99
Intex Metal Frame Above Ground Pool15′ x 48″$619.99
Wilbar Round Above Ground Pool24′$3,415.00
Summer Escapes Quick Set Above Ground Pool10′ x 2’6″$48.88

What Size Pool For my Family?

A family of 4 should look at getting a 12 ft. x24 ft. Rectangle/Oval or an 18 ft. in Diameter Round Pool.

A Family of 5 should get an 18 ft. x 36 ft. Rectangle/Oval or round pool 24 ft. in Diameter.

A Family of 6 should consider the biggest above-ground pools on the market which are the very large 20 ft. x 40 ft. steel wall above-ground pools. The pool size recommended for a family of 5 will still work but just a bit tighter.


The founder of Coolpoolhelp.com. 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.

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