Best Baby and Kiddie Pools: A Comprehensive Guide and Review

Published by 
Jess Miller
Last updated: 
March 4, 2024
best baby and kiddie pools

As the weather heats up, all of us want a way to beat the heat. Our kids are no different! Most kids and babies love splashing around in a kiddie pool during the summer months. As adults, a lot of us have fond memories of our experiences with the backyard plastic pool.

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The kiddie pool can serve as an introduction to water as recreation. So, not only does it need to be a good experience for them, but a safe one, for your peace of mind. For the most part, when manufacturers design pools for kids, they have safety in mind.

I have put together this guide to help parents like you and me understand the importance of swimming for children and how to choose the right baby pool.

Best Baby Pools Comparison Table

Tips on how to choose the best baby pool

So, you know that you want a baby pool, but how do you know which one to choose? There are many varieties on the market. From size to color to the material used to make them, you have a lot to inspect before you can make your choice. The best way to make your decision is to take apart each variable and analyze them as a whole.

Consider the features that you need out of a pool. How do you want it to be constructed? Some parents prefer the soft inflatable pools, while others may like a lower-to-the-ground, hard plastic kiddie pool. It’s all up to your preference and the age of your kids. The inflatable pools are best for kids who are at least 3 years and older, whereas the plastic pools can be used by children of any age.

Comfort, design and size should all cross your mind when making your decision. You are the best one to know what works for you and your baby. Of course, while you are looking at these variables, it is important to consider safety. What do people say about safety? Are there any recalls? Check the online reviews to see what people are saying about the pool you’re interested in. Other parents will not steer you wrong.

Most popular baby pool brands


Intex is one of the most popular and highly rated brands of kiddie pools. These pools come in a variety of options, from snapset to inflatable to splash pads. Its products vary in size and style. For toddlers and older children, Intex even manufactures adult swimming pools.


Step2 is a brand that caters to your littlest ones. Toddlers need some cool off time too! It offers a baby pool that comes equipped with an umbrella to provide extra shade.


Monobeach is a popular baby pool. This brand has a portable shade pop up tent with a shallow pool of water at the bottom. Your baby can sit and splash in the water under your careful eye. This offers UV protection and cooling down for your smallest kid.


SwimWays is another popular brand that caters to babies. It offers floatation devices that your baby can play in while in the water. These flotation devices come with a shade for the sun.

H20 Go 

H20 Go specializes in family pools. Inflatable and snapset pools are the most common when it comes to children’s pools. These pools cater towards small children and older ones. They also come in a variety of styles and colors.


Banzai is the creator behind some of the most elaborate backyard waterparks for kids. It has inflatable slides and splash pads. While many of its designs cater to older kids, it does have a design that is special for toddlers. This splashpad comes with a slide, sprinklers and games.

Best Baby Pools

Intex Rainbow Ring Inflatable Play Center

  • Includes water slide, ring toss, water sprayer
  • 77-gallon capacity
  • Toss ball game included

For an affordable play center, this baby pool comes with many great features. These features equal hours of fun for most toddlers. The babies that will get the most use out of this play center are kids from the ages of 2 to 4.

The play center is durable and guaranteed to last. When parts go bad, Intex does sell replacements! While most reviewers only had happy, busy toddlers to celebrate, some did note that it could be difficult to inflate all of the pieces. Expect to practice a little patience.


  • Sturdy
  • Several game options
  • High quality materials


  • Complicated set up

Intex Sun Shade Inflatable Pool

  • 74-gallon capacity
  • Sun shade included
  • Drain plug included
  • 62 inches x 62 inches x 48 inches


  • Sun protection
  • Toddler friendly
  • Affordable


  • Pumping takes time
  • Cover may need reinforcing

For a baby pool, this one is roomy! Even adults can relax in it for a quick cool down with the baby. Of course, Intex had toddlers in mind with this inflatable pool. With a sunshade for added sun protection, your toddler can splash and cool down without the harmful rays from the sun.

While some reviewers said that the shade did not stay in place, others had no trouble with it at all. For its price, it is a great deal for your toddler.

Intex Snorkel Buddies 5ft Snapset Pool

  • 9 ½ inches of water
  • 5 feet x 10 feet
  • Repair patch included


  • Affordable
  • Sturdy
  • For all ages


  • Sides can buckle with too much water
  • Weak bottom

Snapset pools are convenient, no matter which brand you settle for. It’s as easy as unrolling it and filling it up with water. The Intex is no different. This is a large kiddie pool, perfect for older kids and younger ones. Be careful when filling it up too high, as the walls may bend.

While you can play rough in this pool, it does come with patches, in case there are any tears.

Intex Kiddie Pool - Kid's Summer Sunset Glow Design

  • 58 inches x 13 inches
  • Durable vinyl construction
  • 12-inch walls


  • Sturdy
  • Hard to puncture
  • Easy to inflate
  • Large enough for multiple children


  • Plastic closures may need reinforcing

This is a small but simple inflatable pool. This is one of the best because not only is it simple and easy to transport, but it is durable. It’s not going to end up tearing or ripping as soon as you put it up. Your child should get an ample amount of playtime out of it.

Intex 57444EP Dinosaur Play Center

  • Water flows to palm tree sprayer and waterfall
  • Landing mat
  • 57-gallon capacity
  • Repair patch included


  • Fun design
  • Fits multiple children
  • Several options for gameplay


  • Not suited for high water pressure

This is a great looking play center. With a waterfall, sprinkler and slide, it equals to hours of playtime for your tot. If your kid likes dinosaurs, he or she will absolutely love this play center. It’s one of the best baby pools with a fun play center and all at an affordable price.

One concern is that you do need to be careful of the water pressure. Too much pressure and water will spray everywhere, making it hard to see.

Step2 Play and Shade Pool

  • Two molded seats
  • 40-inch umbrella attached to pool
  • Molded designs on bottom for traction


  • No-slip bottom
  • Easy assembly
  • Sun protection
  • Game included


  • Small in size

When it comes to toddler pools, this is probably the sturdiest one on the list. It’s made of a hard plastic and is known to last. Since it is intended for toddlers, it isn’t a large pool. It has enough room for two small children to fit in comfortably.

With an umbrella and cup game, this pool offers hours of fun for toddlers. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a pool that can fit more children or larger ones, this may not be the best fit.

What’s the best baby pool?

All of the pools listed here are outstanding. They are all affordable and many of them have several features. When it came to choosing the best pool, I had to go with the Step2 Play and Shade Pool. This pool is incredible for toddlers. It is safe, with a non-slip floor and two seats for your baby to sit down and relax. It is also equipped with an umbrella to protect against sun damage.

In addition, it’s easy to set up, easy to clean, and while it runs a little higher than the simpler pools, it is more than worth its price. It’s the type of pool that will keep your children entertained for hours.

How the best baby pool was picked

All of the pools on this list are among the best. With affordable options and safe, high-quality materials, you can count on your kids having a good time whatever pool you choose. I chose the Step2 Play and Shade pool as the best baby pool because of its great reviews and high-quality material.

It is a higher price, but you are getting many features for that price. It is made of a hard plastic and is easy to set up, easy to clean, and can last you all summer and beyond. I especially looked at reviews that explained how long the person had owned the pool. As you know, sometimes you can get several years out of a good play area. In this case, several reviewers had their pools for years. This is a good sign for those who want something that lasts.

Baby Pool FAQs

At what age can my baby go in the pool?

If you have a private kiddie pool, then you can start playing with your baby in the water any time after 6 weeks of age. If you would rather take your baby to a public pool, you should wait until they are at least 6 months, however. This is because you cannot control the temperature of the water or the noise level at a public pool.

On what temperature should a baby pool be set?

For infants, you want the water to be about 89 degrees Fahrenheit for them to be comfortable; anything cooler than that and it could be too cold for them. Babies are lot more sensitive to temperature. However, as your child ages, anything less than 84 degrees should be fine. Make sure to test the water yourself. If it is too cold for you, then it is too cold for your kid.

What should a baby wear in a baby pool?

When it comes to baby swimwear, you need to make sure that you have a baby swim diaper. These waterproof diapers keep your baby from soiling the water around him or her. If they do happen to wet their diaper, make sure to change it right away. Other than swim diapers, babies have several swimsuit options or can simply wear their swim diaper.

Can a baby go in a baby pool with a diaper rash?

Yes, your baby can! Now, when it comes to swimming with a diaper rash, make sure that you apply plenty of diaper rash cream underneath the swim diaper. However, if you are using a personal plastic baby pool, I suggest that you don’t chlorinate it, as the chlorine could irritate or burn the area.

Can a baby go in a baby pool with a regular diaper?

Always use a swim diaper! They are for water use. Regular diapers will absorb fluid and reach their limits quickly. After this, they become too heavy for your child and can start breaking apart in the water. Cloth diapers are not any better either. These diapers will become heavy and sag, leading to leaks.

Can a baby go in a baby pool with an ear infection?

This depends on the type of ear infection your child has. If your child has a regular middle ear infection, then it should not be a problem; your baby should be fine in a pool. However, if your baby is suffering from swimmer’s ear, then you want to avoid his or her contact with swimming until it clears up.

Can a baby go in a baby pool with fever?

If your baby is sick, you should not take him or her swimming. Not only is he or she going to feel terrible, but your baby could also expose others to an illness if you are in public. There is one condition, however. When babies are teething, many of them will run low-grade fevers. If this is the case and your child is not sick, then you can take the baby into the pool.

How many gallons could fill a baby pool?

Baby pools come in many different sizes. From a small 20-gallon pool to a 266-gallon pool, it all depends on size and structure. You should always check the product descriptions for how much water can fill a baby pool. If the water is too deep, a baby pool float can also help.

Different Types of Baby Pools

Inflatable baby pool

  • Inflatable walls
  • Sizes vary
  • Bright summer colors
  • Durable PVC construction


  • Easy to transport
  • Variety of styles
  • Visual appeal


  • Slow set up
  • Fragile

Plastic baby pool

  • ​Sturdy plastic walls
  • ​Variety of colors
  • ​No assembly required
  • ​Low water capacity


  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Accessible to children


  • Difficult to transport
  • Direct sunlight may cause cracking

Intex Deep Sea Blue SnapSet

  • Large capacity
  • No air inflation
  • Includes repair patch
  • Easy to clean


  • Easy to transport
  • Unroll and set up
  • Sturdy vinyl construction


  • Weak bottom

Benefits of baby swimming

Health Benefits

Swimming is healthy for your baby! Being in the water engages his or her senses in a unique way that cannot be experienced anywhere else. Studies show that babies exposed to the water at a young age have more confidence. Additionally, putting them in an experience where they can learn new things is one way to enhance their intelligence. A happy and active baby tends to be a healthier one overall, and swimming helps.

Cost Benefits

You could take your baby to a public pool, but the cost of a pool membership and swimming lessons can start to cost you overall. With a baby pool, you do not spend much at all. No matter the type of kiddie pool you invest in, most are relatively cheap. So cheap that if anything happens to them, it will not be such a burden to replace them the following summer. Additionally, you aren’t spending all of your time on transportation. You just have to bring your baby into the backyard to start your adventure.

Relevant accessories to buy

N' Play Pack of 200 Phthalate Free BPA Free Crush Proof Plastic Ball

These crush-proof plastic balls are for extra games in kiddie pools, or you can alter a kiddie pool into a ball pit for extra fun when the weather cools down. You may also check out our recent review for the best pool toys here.

SwimWays Infant Baby Spring Float

You cannot leave your baby behind when you want to have fun in the pool. This infant spring float shields your baby from the sun while allowing him or her to float along in the pool with you.

i play. by green sprouts Snap Reusable Swim Diaper

If you are planning on a busy summer in the water with your baby, it’s important to invest in a swim diapers. The reusable swim diapers are more cost-effective and environmentally friendly in the end. They come in bright colored materials with cute patterns.

SwimWays Baby Spring Float Sun Canopy

Another baby float, this one will keep your baby safe from the harsh UV rays while he or she is floating in the pool. For most babies, time in the pool with mom or dad has a relaxing and calming feeling.

Elegant Baby Bath Time Fun Rubber Water Squirties

Shaped like little animals, these toys are perfect for the kiddie pool. Kids love to fill them with water only to spray the water back out again.

Step2 Spill & Splash Seaway Water Table

A spill & splash table is a lot of extra fun that your little one can play with in the sun. It’s a little play set that comes with cups and toys to play with in the tubs of water. It even comes with an umbrella to add extra shade to your child’s play.

Safety tips for baby swimming

No matter what your baby is doing, if you are like me, then his or her safety is on your mind at all times. This is going to be especially true when in the pool. Here are a few safety tips to keep your little one safe this summer:

  • Be prepared for anything! Keep a checklist of all the things you may or may not need during your baby’s swim.
  • Use sunscreen! Don’t forget to reapply regularly.
  • Check your baby’s swim diaper often.
  • Keep an eye on your baby’s temperature. Make sure he or she doesn’t get too cold!
  • Always keep a watchful eye on them. Remember how fast accidents can happen.

Final review of best baby pools

Getting your baby introduced to the water early can lead to a lifetime love of swimming and water play. It is a fun way for you and your baby to bond and cool off. Baby pools are not a big investment, and if your kids are anything like mine, they get a lot of fun out of them.

While there are some easy tips to follow to make your experience better, swimming with your baby can be a stress-free and easy experience.

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