3 Best Above-Ground Saltwater Pools for Great Swimming Experience

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Last updated: August 11, 2023
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If you do not want to go into the trouble of digging up a pool in your backyard, you can simply invest in an above-ground pool that will serve the same purposes. It will be the perfect hangout place in summer when you want some peace and relaxation. However, not all above ground pools are compatible with a saltwater system – the salt in the water will simply destroy your pool if you pick the wrong one.

Our search for the best above ground saltwater pools on the market allowed us to consider ten products. However, we narrowed down our final list to just three outstanding options. The Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set emerged as our Editor’s Choice because of its all-in-one functionality. Besides, its Hydro Aeration Technology is impressive as it reduces maintenance work. However, you should consider all the products we have mentioned because they have their own merits.

We took several important features into account when reviewing the products. You need to choose the size and height of the pool based on the dimensions of your backyard. The materials with which the pool is made is especially important for saltwater as it has corrosive properties. The accessories accompanying a pool will determine how easy it is to set up and use.

The article begins with a table listing all the models and then goes on in-depth reviews of each. We have also included a buying guide at the end for your convenience.

Quick Summary

Top 3 Above Ground Saltwater Pools

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  • Size: 32 x 52 ft
  • Height: 16 ft
  • Capacity: 14,364 gal.
  • Materials: galvanized steel, high-strength polyester mesh and thick PVC layers
  • What’s included: sand filter pump, saltwater system, pool ladder, ground cloth, and pool cover

More features: frames with inner and outer powder coating for rust resistance; easy lock system; Hydro Aeration Technology; pump flow rate of 2,650 gal./hr; timer with up to 12-hour pre-set cycles

This unique above-ground saltwater pool has a host of impressive features that you will find useful. It comes with a special frame that is made with the best quality galvanized steel. Moreover, the frame is equipped with the precision-engineered locking system. You can be assured of the high quality of this pool. It will be durable and stable over a long period of time if you use it properly. This product will not fall apart because of rust since it has an encapsulating powder coating both inside and outside. This coating resists the formation of rust, and the pool frame will not corrode.

The pool comes with a 110–120V sand filter pump. It uses a salt-water system that produces a pump flow rate of 2,650 gallons every hour. The corrosion-resistant tank has a 16-inch diameter and will provide you with adequate quantities of water.

The Intex Ultra XTR comes with a removable ladder so that you can get in and out of the pool without any hassle. The steps are slip-resistant and reduce the risk of accidents occurring. The maximum weight capacity of the pool is 300 pounds. The chlorine output of the pool is 11 g/hour. The pool uses Hydro Aeration Technology to improve the circulation and filtration of the water that you can access. As a result, the water becomes clearer and healthier.

You can use the Easy Lock system with the push-button connections to set up the pool easily. The liner is made with puncture-resistant 3-ply material which is durable in nature.

When you use this pool, the water will have a true depth of 45 inches. This will give you a lot of room to move about and swim if you so wish. The dual suction outlet fittings that accompany the pool can boost the circulation of the water and provide better water hygiene.

    What makes it special?
  • Elegant design
  • Powered by the Krystal Clear Filtration system
  • Comes with a Sand Filter pump
  • Uses the Hydro Aeration technology for easy maintenance
  • Corrosion-resistant steel frame
    What cons did we find?
  • Some customers have reported leaking issues
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Best Round Above Ground Saltwater Pool

Intex Ultra XTR Round Pool Set

  • Size: 16 ft in diameter
  • Height: 48 in
  • Capacity: 5,061 gal.
  • Materials: rust-resistant galvanized steel, high-strength polyester mesh and thick PVC layers
  • What’s included: sand filter pump, ladder, ground cloth, and pool cover

More features: frames with inner and outer powder coating for rust resistance; pump flow rate of 1,200 gal./hr; timer with up to 12-hour pre-set cycles

The Intex Ultra XTR™ Frame pool might just be the perfect fit in your backyard for the upcoming summer. The sophisticated design is a win for sure if you do not want to compromise the beauty of the space. This above ground pool combines style and quality together so that you truly have a memorable time with your friends and family. The company offers a 2-year warranty on certain parts of the pool.

This pool is equipped with the Krystal Clear Filtration and Sanitation system that is responsible for keeping the water clean and healthy. The filtration system has high-quality components and comes with a 110–120V Sand Filter pump. The pump and the filter work together to give a powerful performance. The Hydro Aeration Technology allows you to maintain the pool without much hassle. It also improves the circulation of the water so that you face no issues when filling the pool.

The frame of the pool is unique and sturdy. Made with strong galvanized steel, it will not fall apart easily. Moreover, the frame is protected against corrosion and rust. The powder coating inside and outside the frame ensures that rusting does not take place. The design of the steel frame is rather innovative. It is meant to optimize the distribution of the shape and weight of the object so as to provide the highest level of strength. The pool is held together by composite T-joints that have been engineered to provide protection to the metal frame. The joints also make it easy for you to assemble the product. If you are not accustomed to setting up backyard pools, you will appreciate the Easy Lock System that allows you to snap everything together. You will not need any tools.

With a water capacity of 5,061 gallons, the pool will give you plenty of room to splash about. It comes with a tough 3-ply liner that is highly tear-resistant. The pool has end caps that give your legs a better grip.

    What are our favorite features?
  • Rust-resistant frame
  • Removable ladder with slip-resistant steps
  • Easy to set up
  • Equipped with the Krystal Clear Filtration and Sanitation system
  • Hydro Aeration technology aids in better water flow
    What could be better?
  • Customers have reported problems with the Intex Customer Service
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Most Stylish Above Ground Saltwater Pool

Lake Effect Meadows Reprieve Above Ground Swimming Pool

  • Size: 24 ft in diameter
  • Height: 52 in
  • Capacity: 13,000–14,500 gal.
  • Materials: resin-coated galvanized steel
  • What’s included: overlap liners

More features: overlapped liner; bedrock pattern liner

The Lake Effect Meadows Reprieve Round Swimming Pool offers you great value for your money. The pool is protected by a durable steel wall so that the structure remains intact. You will feel assured to know that the steel was hot dip galvanized to make it stronger and more effective. This super-strong steel wall is further coated with resin both externally and internally. The resin offers protection against premature rusting and increases the lifespan of the wall. When you are swimming in this pool, you will feel protected and safe. The product comes with an easy to use swimming pool kit so that you can set it up just the way you like it. The 25-gauge Bedrock Overlap liner will give your pool additional protection against wear and tear. As you take a dive, you will be greeted by the sight of pebbles and seashells. Bedrock, a North American cut material, is folded manually so as to eliminate permanent creasing or wrinkling. You should keep the liner out in the sun for at least an hour and wait for the vinyl to warm up.

The design of the pool is elegant, and its neutral gray color is versatile. You can place it in any backyard during the summer and have lots of fun. This pool is attached to a durable foundation that can withstand human weight for extended periods of time. It does not come with any universal parts that can cause extra holes. All the parts are made keeping this pool in mind so they can be an exact fit. This will also cut down on the risk of corrosion. The company only uses high-grade nuts, bolts, and fasteners that are made with stainless steel. As a result, your pool does not show rust spots.

This above-ground swimming pool will remain in one place throughout the year and can be used whenever. After the one-time installation, it will be available for use in all seasons. The interlocking stabilizer rails along with the coping strips are designed to lock the liner in place.

    Why is it special?
  • Hot-dip galvanized steel wall coated with resin
  • Stylish Bedrock liner and elegant design
  • Strong foundation
  • Corrosion-resistant
    What are the flaws?
  • Can be difficult to install
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Things to Consider

Traditional chlorine pools have been replaced by saltwater pool systems in the customer’s mind now, and there is no going back. Above-ground saltwater pools are easier to install, and the saltwater causes less irritation to the sensitive areas of the human body as compared to chlorine. However, there are some considerations that you need to keep in mind when you are purchasing an above ground saltwater pool. This buying guide will help you choose the best model for yourself from the list we have provided.

What is a saltwater pool?

A saltwater pool does not function in the same way as a traditional chlorine pool. Instead, it uses a salt-chlorine generator that can convert salt into chlorine. You do not have to feed chlorine into the water directly. After you add the salt, the generator will transform it into chlorine, leaving the water silky and healthy. If you want to use a saltwater pool, you have to invest in an effective salt chlorine generator.

In case you have an existing pool, you can change it to a saltwater pool as long as it is constructed with sturdy and corrosion-resistant materials. However, it might serve you better to buy a readymade above-ground saltwater pool from the market.

When you use the saltwater pool, you will find that the taste of the salt is mild and will not bother you. Saltwater pools are easy to maintain and will provide you with clear water.

Advantages and disadvantages of an above ground saltwater pool

Saltwater pools are by no means a perfect product, but one has to acknowledge that the pros outweigh the cons by a landslide.


  • You will have access to clear and smooth water. The slightly salty taste will actually add to the experience.
  • The annual cost of maintenance is much lesser as compared to traditional pools. As the savings cumulate over the years, the numbers will speak for themselves.
  • You will not be bothered by any pungent chlorine smell. Some people feel suffocated and bothered by the smell of chlorine, and they will greatly appreciate a saltwater pool.
  • Saltwater pools are gentler on the skin, and eyes are compared to chlorine pools. They cause negligible irritation, burning sensations, and damage.
  • Saltwater chlorinators ensure that the water always remains clear.
  • The water will feel silky to the skin because of the salt.
  • You will not have to store up chlorine for your pool separately.

3 Best Above-Ground Saltwater Pools for Great Swimming ExperienceDisadvantages:

  • Replacing parts in a saltwater pool can prove to be expensive. It is necessary that you replace the cell every few years.
  • You might forget to test the water regularly because it always remains clear. The level of chlorine can become too high without you noticing.

Features to consider when choosing an above ground pool

You should be able to evaluate an above-ground saltwater pool by yourself before you make the purchase. The following features are especially important.


The size of the pool is an important consideration because it must fit well in your backyard. If you have limited space in your backyard, it will not make sense to invest in a very large pool. You will not be able to place it properly. On the other hand, if you have access to a large backyard space and you know that many people will use the pool, you can buy a big pool. For example, the Intex Ultra XTR Round Pool Set measures 16 ft in diameter while the Lake Effect Meadows Reprieve Round Swimming Pool measures 24 ft in diameter.

3 Best Above-Ground Saltwater Pools for Great Swimming ExperienceHeight

The height of the pool will determine how deep the water will be. The deeper the pool is, the more water it will be able to hold. If you know that small children will play in the pool, then it is best to opt for shorter wall heights. On the other hand, if you want to have a deeper end in your pool or just enough depth to splash around a bit, then you should opt for taller wall heights. Your final choice will depend on how shallow you want the water to be.

Materials used

The construction of the pool frame is something that should be foremost on your mind. The frame should be sturdy and resistant to corrosion so that the saltwater can do no damage. Most above-ground pools have frames made with steel, aluminum, or resin. Some pools use a hybrid of these materials. Steel walls are the least expensive but also the heaviest. Make sure that the steel is treated to prevent rust because regular steel has a tendency to corrode and oxidize faster when exposed to the saltwater and sunlight. Resin, on the other hand, is more expensive but it does not rust, oxidize or corrode.

Hybrid pools utilize both steel and resin to create the perfect frame.

Accessories included

Most above-ground saltwater pools come with a set of accessories so that you do not have to make separate purchases. These items are customized for the model you are buying, and hence they perform better. For example, the Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set comes with a sand filter pump, a pool ladder, ground cloth, a saltwater system, and a pool cover.

Other features

After you have narrowed down your list based on the above parameters, you can take a look at other factors like warranty and color options. Do not settle for a product that does not have a warranty period. Also, make sure that the pool suits the aesthetic of your backyard before you actually purchase it. Check out the different color and liner choices to find a combination you like.

How to maintain an above ground saltwater pool

Saltwater pools are not very difficult to maintain. You do not even have to spend a lot on yearly maintenance. All you have to do is keep an eye on the pH and chlorine levels of the pool. It becomes easy to forget about this because the water remains clear because of the generator. Ideally, you should check the levels at least once a week.

If you find that the chlorine level is too high, then you can reduce the output of the generator or use chlorine neutralizing chemicals. On the other hand, you can use muriatic acid for reducing excess pH levels and soda ash for increasing pH levels.

You should also inspect your chlorine generator visually once in every three months. Check if the machine is giving any warnings and then take steps accordingly.


What a good salinity level of a saltwater pool should be?

When it comes to saltwater pools, you should be careful because you do not want the water in the pool to be overly saline. The acceptable salinity level of any saltwater pool is around 3,000-4,000 ppm. At this level, everyone who uses the pool will remain safe and not suffer any kind of harm. However, the values are not absolutely fixed. You can choose the level of salinity that you prefer, but remember to do your research first.

Can’t I just add a salt chlorine generator to my pool?

It would be wrong to say that you absolutely cannot transform your existing above-ground pool into a saltwater pool. If you invest in an effective salt chlorine generator, you will be able to get the job done. However, the problem will begin afterward when you start using the pool if the materials constituting the walls of the pool are not corrosion resistant. Saltwater is known to cause damage to many materials, and they corrode or rust over time until the structure falls apart. If you want to use a salt-chlorine generator, make sure that the pool is made with materials that can withstand the effects of saltwater.

What salt should I use in a saltwater pool?

You cannot just use any type of salt in your saltwater pool, or else you will run the risk of damaging the entire structure of the model. You need to be specific about the quality of the salt when you are using it in your swimming pool. Ideally, you should use 99% pure mined salt that is meant for swimming pools. It is better if the salt is food-grade, granular, and non-iodized so that no harm will come to you even if you ingest a little bit of water.

Are saltwater pools more budget-friendly than chlorine pools?

If you are planning to install a salt-chlorine generator, then you will have to shell out around $600–$2,000. However, you will not have to spend more than $50–$100 per year on the yearly maintenance of a saltwater pool. You can replace the cell unit every 3–7 years at the cost of $700–$900. On the other hand, you will have to spend around $250–$300 per year if you are maintaining a traditional chlorine pool. There is a marked difference in the amount of money you will have to invest over a period of time. A traditional chlorine pool is definitely not a better deal than a saltwater pool.

Our verdict

We stand by all the three above-ground saltwater pools we have mentioned. All of them are user-friendly and functional.

We cannot sign off, however, without mentioning our favorite Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set once more. Made with corrosion-resistant galvanized steel and high-strength polyester mesh, the pool is durable and sturdy. It comes equipped with a saltwater system and a sand filter pump to ensure that the water in your pool is clean and sanitary. The combination of high-strength polyester mesh and thick PVC layers ensures that the pool does not fall apart. All the accessories are of high quality, and you will have no complaints. With a capacity of 14,364 gallons, the pool will give your entire family enough space to have fun. The easy lock system will allow you to set it up within a few minutes.

Now that we have concluded our research on the best above ground saltwater pools, what will you choose?

Total Score
Intex Ultra XTR Rectangular Pool Set with Sand Filter Pump & Saltwater System - Editor’s Choice
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