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Size and Shape Guide for Above Ground Pools

4. 4. 2019 last updated

Size and Shape Guide for Above Ground Pools

You can save thousands of dollars on a swimming pool by opting for an above ground option rather than an in-ground swimming pool. But there are all sorts of questions that come with the decision to purchase an above ground swimming pool.

In-ground pools seem to have so many options, but what about above group pools? Rest assured, you have plenty of options to choose from… especially when it comes to shape and size.

Shapes and Standard Sizes

These pools come in a ton of different sizes and three different shapes. Most above ground pools are round, rectangular, or oval.

Round Pools

Round pools are the most common. They have a standard size range from 10 to 33 feet across (with some really small easy set-up options as small as 6 feet in diameter) and the wall height can be anywhere between 30 and 54 inches high (with the smallest as low as 20 inches). Although 33 feet is a substantial amount of swimming area, round pools aren’t usually useful for laps or sports swimming.

Can I Get an Oval or Rectangular Pool?

Oval and rectangular pools are available, and these shapes usually have sturdier designs. Oval and Rectangular pools taper at the corners to provide an adequate structure to the pool’s sides.

Oval pools range in standard size of 12 or 16 feet wide by 16 to 32 feet long. Oval above ground pools require substantial side support.

Rectangular above ground pools are normally 12 or 16 feet wide and 20 to 32 feet long. Rectangular pools are best for lap pools or pools surrounded by a deck.

For either an oval or a rectangular above ground pool it’s easy to set up a tether system for laps or sports swimming. However, there’s no shape or size for above ground pools that would be quite suitable for diving.

The Pros and Cons of Above Ground Pools

The positives of above ground pools are straightforward. If you’re looking for something to cool off with during the summer that is low maintenance, then an above ground pool is for you. You can put away the pools during the winter and store them in some cases.

One of the biggest pros of an above ground pool is that you save thousands of dollars. In-ground pools cost approximately $20,000, and that a no-frills version. In above-ground pools however, you can find a wide variety of shapes and sizes for less than $1,000.

So, what’s the downside? Well, above ground pools have no impact on property value. If you’re looking to increase the value of your home, an in-ground pool is your best option. In some cases, above ground pools may actually diminish the value of your property. Because they sit on one stretch of land for years at a time, the ground it’s over is cut off from sunlight, and water sources. You may need to reseed or sod your lawn to fill in any gaps from your above ground pool. As previously mentioned, the other downside is that there is no above ground pool option available for diving.

What’s the Deepest Above Ground Pool Option?

There are some variations of partially in-ground pools or the option of above-ground pools with a “deep end” (or “expandable”) liner. However, when it comes to a standard above ground pool options, the deepest you can find is 54 inches or six feet of wall height.

The water line of most pools sits about 6 inches beneath the top of the wall when you account for some water loss from splashing. If you need a pool with water deeper than just under six feet, then you need either a deep-end liner or an in-ground pool.

What Are the Largest and Smallest Options?

Small pools are great for people who have limited space in their backyard; not to mention that it’s a great way to save money. The smallest round pool you can find is about 12 feet in diameter. Oval pools run as small as 12 feet by 16 feet. Rectangle pools cater to the sporting swimmer, so they run a bit larger at 12 feet by 20 feet.

The largest sizes can benefit a large family or anyone who hosts many parties throughout the summer. Round pools run as large as 33 feet in diameter and 4 ½ feet deep. Oval and rectangular pools run deeper than the round options at 6 feet deep. Oval and rectangular pools are made as large as 16 feet wide by 32 feet long.


If you’re looking for a pool but need something that can fit comfortably in your backyard as well as your budget, an above ground option is your best bet. If you’re looking for the best above ground pool option for you, it’s important to get the right size and shape.

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Peter Lloyd
Peter Lloyd

Author and editor with LeisureRate.com since 2017.

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