Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map!

Inground Pool Alternatives

By Eric Love ; Updated September 21, 2017

Inground swimming pools may be the most common type of swimming pool in the United States, but it also is the most expensive. After monthly cleanings and purification, along with the cost of a filtration system and the sheer cost of construction the pool itself, many homeowners are left wondering why they embarked on the task in the first place. Inground swimming pools are also very expensive to install, costing the homeowner thousands of dollars and possibly the encumbrance of repaying a loan. There are alternatives to inground swimming pools that can offer hours of enjoyment and family fun, without the same amount of cost and maintenance.

Portable Pools

Wading pools and inflatable pools are cost effective and easy to move about the yard. Generally, a lot smaller than your average inground pool, these models are popular with children and have been on the market for years. The owner should be as cautious with portable pools as she would with an inground pool. The risk of drowning is still there, particularly with young children, and a responsible adult should monitor all activities. Because of their small size, portable pools do not come with much in the line of safety gear that a standard pool does. The cleaning process is easier with portable pools than with inground pools and takes far less time away from using the pool.

Above-Ground Pools

The most stylish alternative to the inground pool is its above-ground counterpart. Above-ground pools range in design and construction from the cheaper plastic models to elaborate and decorative models with child safety alarms and filtration systems. Still much more inexpensive than an inground pool, above-ground models have been gaining in popularity for years and show the signs of increasing fame with every new innovation. Many have decks of various architecture and are available with slides. The homeowner must keep safety in mind; the only difference between inground and above-ground pools is how deep they are located at ground level. There are safety products available for purchase to secure the pool at the locations that above ground pools are purchased.

Hot Tubs

Hot tubs can provide hours of enjoyment when used as an alternative to inground pools. Although not large enough for regular swimming activities, adults can appreciate the warm water and relaxation that a hot tub can offer; hot tubs are generally not recommended for use by children. Hot tubs can also be used as a therapeutic remedy for sore muscles and aching joints, something not offered by a normal inground swimming pool. While hot tubs can be expensive, they are far less expensive than installing an in-ground pool.


Any alternative to inground swimming pools will require some upkeep and maintenance. The amount of involvement will depend on the type of pool or hot tub purchased. Ensuring that your outdoor equipment works properly and is properly cleaned and sanitized helps protect you and your loved ones against any injuries and other safety hazards.