Ready to get your splash on? Here’s a detailed look at the best rectangular above-ground swimming pools for every budget and taste.
The sun is out, the tans are tanning, and it’s time to throw down on some leisure time in the backyard.
One of the best ways to beat the heat and unleash summer fun is with your own rectangular backyard pool. But, but… I can hear you thinking. Sounds pricey. To which I have some good news—your own backyard pool doesn’t have to break the bank.
Above-ground swimming pools have never been cheaper thanks to the surging demand (and resulting competition) for them over the past few years.
There are plenty of different types of rectangular above-ground swim pools on the market.
Some are primed for saltwater, some supported with steel, some packaged with all of the cleaning and maintenance goodies you’ll need to care for it, and some that are even designed to blend in with your patio furniture.
And no need to excavate a big hole behind your house with these picks for my favorite rectangular above-ground swimming pools.
Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Above Ground Pool
⭐ Best overall large rectangular above-ground pool
Intex is one of the leaders when it comes to backyard swimming pools. Whether it’s inflatable pools, heaters for above-ground pools, or even their line of pool loungers, Intex is an industry champion.
But they are best known for their deep roster of above-ground swimming pools.
The Ultra XTR is a perfect example of how Intex nails the basics and does so at a price that most families can afford. The Ultra XTR has built-in Hydro Aeration to help filter and circulate pool water (keeping it sparkling clean, along the way).
The Intex Ultra XTR is a complete backyard pool set, including Intex’s Krsystal Clear Sand Filter Pump, a removable pool ladder, a mat to put under the pool, and even a pool cover that keeps debris out of the water between swims.
Sizing varies, with a 16ft by 4ft model as well as the King Daddy size, a whopping 32ft by 16ft. Intex also offers an optional saltwater system (saltwater chlorinators are great as they chlorinate the water without using as much chlorine, reducing the smell).
Pricing depends on the size of pool you end up choosing, but when you consider the cost savings that come with getting the full set of pool equipment versus piece-meal purchasing it all, you get an awesome combination of Intex’s high quality along with a reasonable price (check Amazon for current pricing and up-to-date stock).
Bestway Steel Pro Rectangular Above Ground Pool
⭐ Best budget-friendly rectangular above ground swim pool
Bestway is another one of the biggie names for backyard pools, making long-lasting and budget-friendly pools for epic backyard fun.
Built for kids and adults alike, the Steel Pro is an affordable rectangular above-ground pool that is also highly durable (which is obviously super key!).
The pool walls are made with a proprietary material called TriTech which is two layers of PVC nylon sandwiching polyester mesh. This kind of material is exceptionally tough and tear-resistant.
See also: Bestway Pools Compared — Which One is Right for You?
The steel frame is specially coated to avoid rusting and corrosion, and a thick PVC band lines the pool for extra stability while you are splashing around in the water.
Assembly takes about 10-15 minutes and doesn’t require any specialized tools or hardware to put together—everything you need to get started is in the box.
While the Bestway Steel Pro Rectangular Above Ground Pool is very cheap—only around $100-200 depending on the size you choose—there are some things you will want to invest in to make the most of your new pool, including a filter pump and a cover to keep bugs, leaves and debris out of the water between swims.
For people and families looking for an affordable rectangular backyard pool, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than the Bestway Steel Pro.
Summer Waves Rectangular Frame Above Ground Pool
⭐ Best rectangular above ground pool that looks like furniture
The Summer Waves Rectangular Above Ground Pool doesn’t really look like a pool—it looks more like a piece of furniture. With an external shell that is dark gray wicker, this pool goes against the grain by being fun to swim in and a pleasure to look at.
With lots of space for all of your friends and family (okay, maybe not all), this 32-ft by 16-ft pool is constructed with a three-layer poly mesh that resists tears and framed with metal that has been coated to prevent rust and corrosion.
One of the big challenges that new pool owners face is the amount of work that is required to keep the pool water clean.
Fortunately, this pool removes some of the issues that come with uncirculated (aka dirty) pool water by shipping it with a cleaning kit (telescoping pool pole, pool brush and a pool skimmer net) and a sand filter pump, that works to circulate and clean your pool water, ensuring that the pool is ready to be enjoyed again tomorrow.
Summer Waves also ships this thing with a pool cover and a pool ladder, giving you everything you need to conquer summer and let the good times roll.
Intex Rectangular Frame Safe Splash Pool
⭐ Best rectangular above ground pool for young children
One of the best things you can do with babies and toddlers is getting them used to the water. The benefits of baby swimming are plenty and they are awesome.
And while there are plenty of excellent inflatable kiddie pools out there, your family might want something that both parents and another sibling or two can get into on those hot summer days.
Within Intex’s deep list of above-ground pools is this small pool designed for little swimmers. With a water capacity of 439 gallons, an easy drain plug (that can be expelled through a hose away from the house), and a sturdy and rust-resistant steel frame, you and your little ones can splash safely under the sun.
The Intex Safe Splash is also very affordable.
The 7’ x 4’11” x 2’ version pictured below retails for around $100 (check Amazon for current pricing and availability). For larger children and families, Intex also offers a Safe Splash Pool that is nearly double the size.
Rectangular Above Ground Swim Pools — FAQs
How do I choose the right rectangular above ground pool for me?
There are some key things to consider when shopping around for the perfect pool for you:
Rectangular above ground pools have some unique benefits compared to round pools (detailed below) that make them more efficient in utilizing backyard space. This typically means you can go larger when choosing a pool.
Set or standalone pool
Some above-ground pools come as a set, including a pool pump cover, ground cloth, and even a ladder. Others are purely a pool.
For larger above-ground pools, you will definitely want a pump and filter to help keep the water clean and swimmable. Purchasing a set can reduce some of the increased a-la-carte pricing of purchasing everything separately.
Swim pools need to work as hard as you play in the water. For higher volume use, look for a frame that is made of steel. PVC tubing is more common in inexpensive pools, but aren’t as stable as the metal framed pools.
Of course, price is a huge consideration for anyone looking to invest in a pool. While rectangular above ground pools don’t last forever (you can expect up to 10-15 years of use with proper maintenance and storage during the off-season), consider how much you are willing to pay for the pool.
And remember to factor in the accessories you will need to clean and protect the pool when assessing cost.
What are the benefits of rectangular above ground swimming pools?
The main benefit of pools shaped as a rectangle versus round pools is that they use space more efficiently.
This means that the pool can be lined up against a deck, lined up against a corner of your yard/home, and are best suited for yards that are narrow.
Additionally, rectangular above ground pools are much better suited for swimming laps.
Round pools do provide superior wall strength as the amount of water pressure is equal all the way around the edge. Round pools tend to be more affordable because they have less steel and structural components to keep the walls strong and steady.
What is the average cost of rectangular above-ground pools?
They range widely in price from $100 for a small 7-ft pool all the way up to $2,000 for the 32-ft long pools.
There are other costs involved, including a pump and filter (if not included as a pool set) as well as the cleaning chemicals, pool cover, and ground cloth.
And of course, the maintenance and cleaning of the pool water, which should be attended to at least a couple of times per week.
The Bottom Line
Nothing beats cooling down and splashing around in the backyard during hot and sweaty summer days.
Rectangular above ground pools are an excellent option for a less permanent pool (like an in-ground or even a permanent above ground pool), reducing costs and maintenance.
The Intex Ultra XTR continues to rank alone as our top pick, thanks to the durable design, pleasing aesthetics, included accessories, and huge range of size options.
Ultimately, the pool you choose will match your budget and needs.
Choose the best rectangular above ground pool from our list above, and get your summer on!
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