When it comes to above ground swimming pools, there are two main options to choose from: soft-sided pools and hard-sided pools. With over 3.5 million homeowners enjoying above ground pools, it is important to know the pros and cons of both swimming pool options. LinerWorld wants to share more so you can make the right decision for your above ground pool needs!

Soft-Sided Pools

Soft-sided pools can commonly be purchased at big box or online retailers. Typically blue in color, the walls of a soft-sided pool also act as the liner. The material is a hearty vinyl and the water allows it to holds its shape. Soft-sided swimming pools can be purchased, set-up, and used all in one day.

Pros of Soft-Sided Pools:

  • Low purchase points: Commonly under $1,000, soft-sided pools fit within any budget.
  • Easy to install framework: The only things you need are a flat surface and a few hours of time to get your pool up and running.
  • Accessible to buy: Many large retailers stock soft-sided pools in their seasonal sections.
  • No additional equipment costs: Everything you need to set-up this above ground pool comes in the box.

Cons of Soft-Sided Pools:

  • Longevity: Lower purchase points mean lower quality. Soft-sided pools last for a few seasons depending on your geographical area and pool maintenance
  • Lack of Protection from the Elements: With no protective shell, soft-sided swimming pools are susceptible to tears and punctures. Inclement weather, mowing the lawn and general use all puts your pool at risk.
  • Difficult Maintenance: Soft-sided pool walls acts as a liner, making maintenance and repair difficult. If there is a puncture or hole, the entire unit generally must be replaced.
  • Finding Level Ground: With a do-it-yourself set-up, finding a completely level ground in your backyard space can be tough and a huge downfall of soft-sided pools

Hard-Sided Pools:

Hard-sided pools are characterized by their durability and permanent location in a backyard setting. Professionally installed, hard-sided pools allow owners to incorporate lush landscape, beautiful decks, and fun features for a more enjoyable environment. These swimming pools have a hard exterior and a vinyl pool liner, making the interior smooth, protected from the elements, and long lasting.

Pros of Hard-Sided Pools:

  • Features: Hard-sided pools can host a variety of add-ons such as pool lighting, slides, and solar products.
  • Longevity: Above ground pools are built to last. Made to withstand harsh winter conditions, there is no need to worry about taking your pool down to protect it from the elements in the offseason. Hard-sided pools feature long life-spans as well.
  • Integration: Made to last decades, hard-sided pools are integrated into the landscapes of backyards. Commonly accompanied by a deck, hard-sided swimming pools are perfect to soak up the sun in.
  • Cost: Compared to its in ground pool counterpart, hard-sided above ground pools are a cost-effective alternative that is still permanent, integrated, and fun to use!
  • Easy to Replace Pool Liners: Replacing your hard-sided pool liner is necessary routine maintenance. Fortunately, above ground pool liners are easy to measure, order, and replace yourself. Available in overlap and beaded pool liner options, there is a style for any swimming pool type.  

Cons of Hard-Side Pools

  • Winterization: Hard-sided pools need to be winterized in order to be properly maintained through the cold-weather months. This process can add on a few extra hours to your weekend to-do list and requires the purchase of a winter pool cover.
  • Maintenance Costs: Hard-sided swimming pools require additional maintenance costs compared to soft-sided pools. Additional purchases may include pool floats & games, automatic vacuums, and pool stairs.

LinerWorld offers durable swimming pool liners that are the strongest product on the market. At great low prices, our pool liners will keep their vibrancy and sturdiness for years to come. Not in the market for a liner? Check out LinerWorld’s pool floats & games to enhance your time in the pool!