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Best Above Ground Pool Accessories (2021): Top Five Picks For A Clean And Comfortable Pool

Above-ground pools are known as budget alternatives to in-ground options. But while they’re affordable and oftentimes temporary, maintenance is still part of the game. Fortunately, there are plenty of accessories for your above-ground pool’s upkeep. From pool pads to robot pool cleaners, these are the best pool essentials for more enjoyable swims. Below, discover our top five products for maintaining a clean and comfortable above-ground pool. And if you’re interested, check out our other reviews of pools and hot tubs.

Best Above Ground Pool Accessories Comparison Chart

ModelImageReason To BuyPrice
Liner Life Pre-Cut Swimming Pool Liner Pad Liner Life Pre-Cut Swimming Pool Liner Pad, 18’ Round, White – Made of Strong, Durable Polyester...A simple and cost-friendly way of protecting your above-ground pool.Check Price
Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter PumpIntex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump for Above Ground Pools, 1000 GPH Pump Flow Rate, 110-120V...One of the most reliable cartridge filter and pump systems for your pool.Check Price
Hayward ProSeries Sand FilterHayward W3S166T ProSeries Sand Filter 16 In., Top-Mount for Above-Ground PoolsThis durable sand filter is easy to use and maintain.Check Price
Pentair AquaLuminator Light and Water ReturnPentair 98600000 2010-Convertible AquaLuminator Aboveground Light and Water ReturnAn energy-efficient fixture that enhances the ambiance of above-ground pool.Check Price
Dolphin E10 Robotic Pool CleanerDOLPHIN E10 Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner with Easy to Clean Top Load Filter Basket Ideal for Above...Arguably the best vacuum cleaner designed especially for above-ground pools.Check Price

Best Above Ground Pool Pads

Liner Life offers some of the best above-ground pool pads in the market today.

Best Above Ground Pool Pads
Here’s a look at the 18-inch round pool pad from Liner Life.

Above-ground pools are popular because they’re inexpensive and easy to set up. Simply prop up the walls, lay down the liner, and fill up the pool. But it’s this unfussy setup that also makes them vulnerable to damages from bugs, debris, and other sharp objects. For worry-free swimming, consider getting a pool pad. Liner Life is arguably the most popular brand of pool liner pads in the market today. Available in a range of sizes, it also comes pre-cut for easy installation.

Aside from different sizes, you can get Liner Life pads in round, oval, or rectangle styles. They’re all made from polyester geotextile material that’s tough against sharp objects. Besides extending your pool’s life, it also doubles as a cushion at the base. For swimmers, this means some form of buffer between their feet and objects on the ground.


  • Pre-cut for easy installation
  • Available in different shapes and sizes


  • Felt-like texture can get moldy when wet

Best Above Ground Pool Pump and Filter Combo

The Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump comes highly recommended for above-ground pools.

Best Above Ground Pool Pump and Filter Combo
Here’s a closer look at the Intex above-ground pool filtration system.

Pumps are often referred to as the heart of any pool system. Just like the human organ, they carry water from the pool, through a filter, and back to the pool. They’re the most effective way to evenly distribute chemicals in the pool and keep the water sanitized. For above-ground options, the Intex Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump is one of the most recommended products. Easy to install and clean, the Intex filter pump is great for any above-ground pool up to 6,000 gallons.

The Krystal Clear boasts a pump flow rate of 1,000 gallons per hour (gph) and an in-pool flow rate of 750 gph. Aside from its capacity, Intex’s filter uses the company’s proprietary Hydro Aeration Technology. It’s essentially a fancy term for increasing air content in the water that makes it easier for filters to remove sediments. As a result, you get clean, clear, and refreshing pool waters.


  • Replaceable filter cartridge
  • Hydro aeration technology


  • No on/off feature; needs to be plugged/unplugged

Best Above Ground Pool Sand Filter

Hayward’s ProSeries Sand Filter for above-ground pools is a great and affordable alternative to cartridge filters.

Best Above Ground Pool Sand Filter
The ProSeries Sand Filter from Hayward features multi-port valves, a top diffuser, and corrosion-proof materials.

If you’re not a fan of expensive cartridge filters, then a pool sand filter is a great alternative. Here, the Hayward ProSeries Sand Filter is one of the top-rated options. Unlike cartridge-based models, the Hayward sand filter is easier to use and requires lower maintenance. It’s also capable of removing micron-sized dirt and debris. With its top diffuser, the ProSeries claims even distribution of water across the sand bed as well.

Ideal for above-ground pools, the Hayward sand filter is equipped with a self-cleaning lateral system for more efficient cleans. This should make it easier to clean the inside of the device through backwashing. Hayward’s best-selling pool filter is also made from sturdy, corrosion-resistant material for all-weather performance. Based on reviews, it’s guaranteed to work for years to come.


  • Durable construction
  • Easy to maintain and clean


  • Some issues with the tightness of the fittings

Best Above Ground Pool Lights

Pentair’s AquaLuminator Light and Water Return fixture can elevate your above-ground poolside experience.

Best Above Ground Pool Lights
The AquaLuminator comes with all the installation components you need out of the box.

Just because it’s an above-ground pool doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Getting pool lights for those evening swims and late-night parties is a great way to elevate your poolside experience. Installing them doesn’t have to be a chore either. Pentair’s AquaLuminator Light and Water Return, for instance, fit in most above-ground pools’ existing water return holes. Since the water return and light fixture are combined in one unit, it’s more energy-efficient, too.

Pentair shares that the AquaLuminator comes with a 25-ft. plug-in cord. It’s also a 3,000-hour bulb marketed as 200% brighter than most above-ground pool lights. Every purchase of this pool light will include two color lenses as well — perfect for changing the mood. Moreover, Pentair shares these fixtures can work in salt systems up to 6,000 ppm in salinity.


  • Plug and play installation
  • Comes with colored lenses


  • Pressure cleaner and fountain attachments are not included

Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum

Maytronics’ Dolphin E10 is a highly recommended vacuum cleaner designed specifically for above-ground pools.

Best Above Ground Pool Vacuum
The easy-to-use Dolphin E10 is the perfect solution for cleaning the floor of above-ground pools.

Nothing can be more off-putting than a dirty pool. But like most homeowners would know, cleaning a pool can be taxing. Fortunately, pool vacuum cleaners have made the task less of a hassle. If you’re in the market for one, consider the Dolphin E10 Robotic Pool Cleaner. This automatic vacuum cleaner sports a compact and lightweight body specifically designed for above-ground pools. In addition, the Dolphin E10 features an easy-clean net canister for more effective filtration — great for sucking dust and debris.

What makes this appliance a favorite, however, is its simplicity. You don’t need any additional pumps or hoses to operate the Dolphin E10. When it’s time to pull it from the waters, a quick-release component dumps excess water for light lifting, too. Maytronics, the designer of this robovac, shares that the E10 has a cleaning cycle of 1.5 hours and is equipped with a 12-meter cable. The best part is that it also carries a two-year warranty.


  • Lightweight and compact
  • Quick water release


  • Fine filter is sold separately


Among the best above-ground pool accessories reviewed, the Liner Life Pool Pads and Dolphin E10 Robotic Pool Vacuum Cleaner are the standouts.

Our picks for the best above-ground pool accessories cover protection, cleaning, and ambiance. All five products come well-recommended and are fairly affordable in their price points. But two of these accessories truly stand out — the Liner Life pool pads and the Dolphin E10 pool vacuum cleaner.

While the Pentair pool lights are great and the filters from Intex and Hayward are must-haves, there’s no essential more accessible than the Liner Life pool pads. These pre-cut materials are easy to lay down and are a simple way of protecting and extending the life of your above-ground pool. Meanwhile, the Dolphin E10 is a no-fuss device for cleaning your pool. It’s compact and lightweight, providing homeowners a hassle-free way of maintaining their pool.


📌 What accessories do I need for my above-ground pool?

Cleaning and protective essentials are the top accessories for above-ground pools. Pool pads, filters, pumps, and vacuum cleaners are must-haves. These products and devices can extend the life of your above-ground pool. Once you have these, you can consider looking into canopy shades, pool lights, slides, and inflatables.

📌 Does the Dolphin E10 Robotic Pool Cleaner come with a mobile app?

No, the Dolphin E10 Robotic Pool Cleaner does not come with a companion app.

📌 What kind of above-ground pools work best with the Intex filter and pump?

According to Intex, its Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter works best with oval-framed pools with a size of 15 ft. x 15 ft. or 18 ft. by 10 ft.

📌 How long is the warranty on the Hayward Sand Filter?

Hayward’s ProSeries pool sand filter carries a one-year warranty.

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.