What Size Pool is Best for a Small Family?

Many people feel that when it comes to a pool, typically bigger is better. This isn’t always the case though for those with smaller family sizes or no plans on hosting gatherings. This begs the question, What size pool is best for a small family?

The best size pool for a small family of 3-4 people is a 12’x24′ rectangular pool or a 15′ diameter round pool. A 12’x24′ pool with a 3.5 ft to 5 ft depth is 288 sq. ft. and averages 10,300 gallons of water. The 15′ diameter round pool with a 4ft depth will hold 21,200 gallons of water. These options are available in both inground and above-ground pools. A smaller pool can save on initial purchase and installation as well as annual maintenance costs. Both of these pools will be suitable for light swimming, relaxation, and games for just a few people.

Let’s discuss a bit more about small pool sizes based on the different types of pools available out there like aboveground Intex or inground fiberglass pools.

What are the Advantages of a Smaller Pool for a Smaller Family?

A smaller pool would be cheaper initially and save you more money year-round. The maintenance on cleaning and keeping the correct pool chemical balance will be easier as well. The biggest advantage to the smaller pool is not having as much of your backyard taken up by the pool and decking. Also, you can squeeze a smaller pool into a tighter space if you have a smaller backyard.

If you do go with a smaller pool build, this might provide you with a few additional funds to allow for some more features to add to your pool if you decide to go with a custom concrete or vinyl liner pool.

A Small Fiberglass pool perfect for a small family or small backyard.
13’x26′ Fiberglass Pool for a Small Family

What are Small Inground Pool Sizes?

When it comes to inground pools you have choices between concrete, fiberglass, or a vinyl-liner pool. A concrete pool is so versatile and customizable that you could really build a pool as small as you want. A 10’x10′ pool really isn’t underheard of that but I don’t think this is the best size pool for a small family. That would be a pool for perhaps a retired couple who don’t plan on having anyone else join them in the pool. Here are some of the smaller sizes available for Vinyl Liner and Fiberglass. You can read more information about pool sizes and depth in our article about inground pool sizes.

TypeInground Pool Sizes(WxL)Depth Ft.Shape
Vinyl Liner12’x20’6’Rectangle
Vinyl Liner14’x285’8”Oval
Fiberglass10’x20’4′ or 5′Rectangle
Fiberglass12’x25′4’6″ or 5’6″Rectangle

What are Small Above-Ground Pool Sizes?

The Small Above Ground Pools that are on the market today are really so interesting in comparison to what we had available years past. Companies like Bestway and Intex have really put some good options on the market for those not interested in the price point that comes with getting an inground pool. Also, the ability to pick up and move your above-ground pool makes these a great option for small family pools.

What size pool is best for a small family? A best way above ground pool is a good option for those on a budget.

Here is a list of some of the more popular above-ground pools on the market these pools often have a choice of smaller sizes which I included:

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

You can also find the above-ground pool kits if you are interested in a smaller pool that is a bit more sturdy. These kits are round or oval shaped, typically 4ft-5ft deep and come in sizes by diameter from 12′-33′. But as mentioned, for your small family the 15′ diameter pool is what you would be looking for if you want one for 3 people or so. If you want something a bit bigger I go more in-depth about pool sizes for the average-size family here.

In conclusion, my opinion for those wondering what size pool for a small family is right for them. I would choose a 16’x36′ inground pool or at least a 20′ round above-ground pool kit but if I couldn’t afford that I would choose a small Intex or Bestway pool to last for a few summers until I could afford to get a slightly bigger more durable pool.

The reason I am choosing a bigger size for the swimming pool than a 12’x24′ as mentioned earlier in the post is that in my experience bigger is typically better. This would give you a decent-sized pool but not one that is overly large. It would satisfy the needs of your small family but also give you space for small gatherings as well.


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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