What Size Pool is Best for a Family of 4?

What size pool is best for a family of 4

If you have a smaller family, you might wonder if the investment for a swimming pool for your home is worth it. Personally, of course, I am always pro-pool. I say it’s a great way to keep any size family together during the summer as a place to relax and enjoy time together.

What size pool is best for a family of 4? It’s a tough question to answer and be exact because every family and budget is different but I do have a recommendation

The perfect size small pool for a family of 4 will typically be a 12’x24′ rectangle pool or an 18′ ft diameter round pool. A depth of 4-5 feet will be sufficient for everyone to enjoy the pool. At this depth, you can still swim, play games, and just kick back and relax. The size and depth of these pool sizes are also good for inexperienced swimmers so it really is the perfect size for a family of 4 with small children.

Don’t forget when budgeting for your pool, that those kiddos have friends too. And hopefully, you do too! So it might be best to plan for a few events during the swim months so that everyone would be able to fit in and enjoy the pool together. Let’s jump in a talk a bit more about small pools.

Small Pool Sizes Can Be Great!

Over the years residential pools have become increasingly smaller compared to a couple of decades ago. This is due to higher costs, tighter budgets, and overall smaller backyard space on newer homes built recently. You can find out even more about that topic in my article all about inground pool sizes.

The advantages of getting a smaller pool will be reduced installation and upfront costs. Expenses for annual maintenance and upkeep will also be less. The smaller surface area makes for less work to keep the pool water clean of debris as well. Which will save you a lot of time.

The 12’x24′ or 18′ diameter sized pools will also fit in nearly every backyard which is an issue if you are planning on going for an inground pool over an above-ground pool.

Should I Get a Small Inground Pool or Above-ground Pool?

I personally believe if you are going to be getting a small pool of this size then getting an above-ground pool is the way to go. The reason is that the cost for a small or big inground pool isn’t really determined by the overall size difference. Inground pools are just expensive no matter what the size is. The size difference of an inground pool might be the difference between a few thousand dollars. The real difference comes with the features and design elements that get added to these pools.

So, if you get a small inground pool, the cost is really going to be quite high for a pool that you might decide is too small as your family grows. The depth of these smaller pools when they are inground is also limited, which might be a deal breaker if your family is into jumping or diving. Not to be confused, the depth of the above-ground pools is the same, but you can easily change it later if you decide that the small above-ground pool just wasn’t deep enough.

If you are looking at this size pool, I think the best answer is to get an above-ground pool. At a later date, you can resell it and then build an inground pool based on the experience you gained with your first small above-ground pool.

What is a Good Above-Ground Pool Size for a Family of 4?

I believe you want to stay with the size I recommended earlier in the article. If you decide to go bigger and the budget is there, then opt for an inground pool. At 12’x24′ you have a lot of really good options for above ground pool that will last a few summers and won’t hurt the pocket. They are also mobile, can be resold, and cost astronomically less than an inground pool. You have options of quick set-up pools like a small Intex or Bestway pool but you can also opt for a sturdier model of pool with steel walls and a liner. If you go for the sturdier option, then maybe look at something slightly bigger as well, maybe a 14’x28′ as you never know when you’ll want to have a bit more space for company. If you have 4 in your family, you might even want to look at getting the best pool size for 5.

Here is a list of some models that might be interesting to check out if you are interested.

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 is a Good Inground Pool Size for a Small Family of 4?

This is where my advice as mentioned previously differs from a lot of other information out there. I don’t think you should build a small inground pool. If you need something small, then I believe you should opt for the above-ground pool. I do understand that some backyards are limited in space, and if this is your forever home or you’ll be staying there for over a decade you might want to get a small inground pool.

I do believe most people opt for the small size based on budget, and I just believe you’ll end up regretting it because of the cost. At a minimum, if you are going to fork out the upfront cost for an inground pool, look at getting a 16’x36′ at least. Even for a family of 4, I believe this is the size you will be happy with. If you want even bigger, you can check out my article about pool sizes for big families.


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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