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What Are The 5 Best Intex Pools? (Above Ground)

Not everyone has the space or financial freedom to install an inground pool in their backyard.

This is where above ground pools come in, offering homeowners all the perks of a pool at a fraction of the cost — and it’s no secret that Intex makes some of the most innovative above ground pools on the market.

Let’s talk about the best Intex pools available right now, and how to pick one that works for you.

Our Picks For Best Intex Pools

We looked high and low for the best Intex pools across numerous categories, narrowing it down to just a select few.

Best Overall (Recommended)

Intex 28211EH 12ft x 30in Metal...
Intex 28211EH 12ft x 30in Metal...
  • EASY TO USE: An affordable pool that is an...
  • WATER CIRCULATION: Dual suction outlet fittings...
  • PUMP AND FILTER INCLUDED: Included...

Best Small Intex Pool

Intex Easy Set Up 10 Foot x 30 Inch...
Intex Easy Set Up 10 Foot x 30 Inch...
  • 10 ft diameter x 30" (2.5 ft) height. No filter...
  • Very easy to set up, no tools needed
  • Super easy set-up! Ready for water in 15 minutes!

Best Large Intex Pool

Intex 26367EH Ultra XTR Set Above...
Intex 26367EH Ultra XTR Set Above...
  • RELAXING ABOVE GROUND SWIMMING POOL: Swim your...
  • MINIMAL AMOUNT OF MAINTENANCE: Easy maintenance...
  • HYDRO AERATION TECHNOLOGY: Hydro aeration...

What Is An Intex Pool?

Intex is a popular and well respected brand of above ground swimming pools, meaning they rest on flat ground as opposed to being in the ground like inground pools.

You’ll find various types and sizes of Intex swimming pools to fit almost any budget, from small inflatable pools for children to large metal frame pools for large families or even pool parties.

Each pool comes in kit form, with each model including various items. Depending on the pool, you may get some, or all, of the following: a combo pool filter pump, pool cover, pool ladder, ground mat, and even a surface skimmer to scoop up leaves and other common pool debris.

Are Intex Pools Worth It?

There are plenty of good reasons to invest in an Intex pool, but they also come with some drawbacks.

Pros:

  • Easy to install with no construction involved
  • Comes with everything you need
  • Less expensive than traditional above ground pools

Cons

  • Limited size and depth
  • Larger Intex pools can get expensive
  • Needs to be broken down and stored over winter

Types Of Intex Pools

We already touched on the different types of Intex above ground pools, so let’s talk about the key differences and why you might choose one over the other.

Inflatable Intex Pools

Intex Easy Set Up 10 Foot x 30 Inch...
Intex Easy Set Up 10 Foot x 30 Inch...
  • 10 ft diameter x 30" (2.5 ft) height. No filter...
  • Very easy to set up, no tools needed
  • Super easy set-up! Ready for water in 15 minutes!

Inflatable Intex pools are their Easy Set series, and they’re named this because they’re about as simple to set up as a pool can be. This circular pool has a top ring that requires inflation, and once water is added the pool naturally forms. 

It’s made from durable 3-ply polymer and available in various sizes, and comes with the pool shell, filter pump, hoses, and connection adapters.

An oval model with slight wall reinforcements is also available, which could be better for those interested in swimming laps.

Pros:

  • Very easy to set up. Once unfolded, the pool is inflated and the filter pump connected. Fill it up with a garden hose, add the proper chemicals and you have a pool that’s up and running in a matter of hours. 
  • The filter pump only needs to be run between 90 mins and 4 hours per day to cycle the pool water. Traditional pools require 6 to 8 hour run times.
  • The pool can be relocated anywhere you wish. Be sure to use a ground tarp underneath it so the shell doesn’t get damaged.
  • It’s inexpensive. The 10 foot x 30 inch model can be purchased for around $100.

Cons:

  • No inflation pump, ground tarp, pool cover, skimmer basket, or ladder included
  • The filter pump needs to be checked every 2 weeks. If dirty, the filter will need to be replaced (around $10 per filter), which can spike your monthly expenses.
  • Pool is shallow with only 2.5 foot and 4 foot models to choose from.
  • Needs to be set up on a level and sturdy surface (ie. can’t be set up on sand, mud, or loose soil).
  • Needs to be collapsed and stored when pool season is over.

Round Metal Frame Intex Pools

Intex 28211EH 12ft x 30in Metal...
Intex 28211EH 12ft x 30in Metal...
  • EASY TO USE: An affordable pool that is an...
  • WATER CIRCULATION: Dual suction outlet fittings...
  • PUMP AND FILTER INCLUDED: Included...

Round metal frame Intex pools are more robust than the Easy Set series.

These pools are designed with horizontal and vertical beams connected with a T joint, using legs to prop themselves up for added support. The beams are also powder-coated and rust resistant for increased longevity.

Still using the puncture-resistant 3-ply polymer shell, there are multiple sizes available to choose from, and the pool can go up in under 30 minutes.

Pros:

  • Comes with shell, filter pump, pool cover, and ground cloth. Larger models will include a removable ladder as well.
  • Easy to assemble and inexpensive. This series ranges from $180 to $520 in price.
  • Circular pool available in a large 18 foot diameter.

Cons:

  • Although it comes with a cover, the pool must be broken down and stored during the winter months to avoid damaging the pool.
  • Can only choose from 2 depths: 2.5 feet and 4 feet.
  • The filter requires maintenance every 2 weeks. Once dirty, a new one needs to be used. These cost around $10 each.

Rectangular Metal Frame Intex Pools

Intex 26367EH Ultra XTR Set Above...
Intex 26367EH Ultra XTR Set Above...
  • RELAXING ABOVE GROUND SWIMMING POOL: Swim your...
  • MINIMAL AMOUNT OF MAINTENANCE: Easy maintenance...
  • HYDRO AERATION TECHNOLOGY: Hydro aeration...

Rectangular metal frame Intex pools are similar to their rounded cousins, however they’re premium models in the Intex hierarchy. 

The Prism Frame pool not only comes in rectangular models, but oval and round as well. The frame itself will depend on the shape of the pool. 

The circular models have T joint legs like the round metal frame Intex pools, but the oval and rectangular models need more support and have U-shaped legs. They’re also designed with a light grey exterior to provide contrast to the inner blue lining on the pool.

The other rectangular model is Intex’s top tier series: the Ultra XLR Frame pool. These are the cream of the crop, boasting a 2 year warranty (all other models have 1 year), a sand filter pump, and a 50% stronger liner that will last for years due to its high-quality materials.

Pros:

  • Both Prism Frame and Ultra XLR frames use stronger alloy compared to Intex’s metal frame pools. 
  • Ultra XLR pools provide the largest size (32 x 16 ft), and depth (5 feet) out of all the Intex models
  • All rectangular pools come with a filter pump, ground tarp, ladder, and pool cover. 
  • XLR pools come with a sand filter that only needs sand replacement every 5 years. 
  • Some XLR models include a saltwater system for a gentler water

Cons:

  • They can be expensive. Top end Prism Frame pools are almost $1000, while Ultra XLR series are the most expensive, between $1500 and $2500.
  • Takes longer to set up and break down for the winter months.
  • Filter pump needs to work longer on large pools and will also use up filters faster than with smaller pools. These added costs will increase your monthly budget.

Features You Need To Consider

Now let’s talk about the most important features to consider when it comes to choosing an Intex swimming pool.

Pool Size And Depth

One of the downsides when it comes to above ground pools is they maintain a uniform depth throughout. 

With Intex pools, most small to midsize models have a depth of either 2.5 feet or 4 feet, and the large models can go up to 5 feet. Pool shapes are either circular, oval, or rectangular.

Where pool size is concerned, you have a pretty wide range of choices. The smallest Intex pool is a circular model measuring 8 feet in diameter, while the largest pool they make is rectangular and measuring 32 feet x 16 feet. 

Included Filter And Pump

Pools need to keep their water clean, and one of the bonuses of choosing an Intex pool is they include a combination filter pump with all of their pools.

This makes it easy to cycle your pool water. However, you should know that the bigger the pool, the longer you’ll have to run the filter pump. 

Additionally, it requires you check it every 2 weeks to ensure its operating properly. 

A dirty Intex pool filter cannot be washed, only replaced. These filters cost around $10 a pop. Some high end models use a sand filter with a saltwater system. For this type of filter, it only needs to be swapped out every 5 years.

Included Accessories

Intex will include accessories with their pools. Typically, the bigger and more expensive the pool, the more things will be included.

Small entry and mid level pools usually only come with the pool shell and filter pump. As the size of the pool increases, and it gets harder to climb into the pool, Intex will include a ladder for convenience. 

Other things you’ll get as the size and quality goes up is a pool cover, and ground cloth. The top of the line XLR model will even include a volleyball net!

Optional accessories Intex sells are a skimmer basket, pool bench, foot bath, and floating pool speaker.

Build Material

Every Intex pool uses a strong, 3-ply polymer material for the pool walls and floor. As you go up in models, the quality gets better. 

Entry level pools are inflatable and not as high quality as Intex pools that use metal or galvanized steel frames for increased durability and ruggedness. 

The Ultra XLR series has the highest quality build materials boasting 50% stronger polymer with strong steel framing.

Assembly Time

Intex pools are designed for easy and fast assembly. At most, you’ll have to read a few instructions and connect the frame and some hoses. They’re really one of the easiest pools to put together.

Depending the size you go for, you may need an extra pair of hands. For the most part, however, Intex pools can be fully set up in anywhere from 30 mins to a few hours. 

Of note, disassembling the pool and storing it is required if you live in a 4 season climate. Some areas with mild winters can get away with leaving the pool out for all 4 seasons, but in general you’ll want to protect your pool from the elements by storing it indoors during the winter.

Our Top Pick

Intex 28211EH 12ft x 30in Metal...
Intex 28211EH 12ft x 30in Metal...
  • EASY TO USE: An affordable pool that is an...
  • WATER CIRCULATION: Dual suction outlet fittings...
  • PUMP AND FILTER INCLUDED: Included...

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