Mother and Baby

11 of the best paddling pools to cool the whole family down

paddling pool

Whether Summer has officially arrived, or we're having one of those famous British heatwaves in March/October, paddling pools are one of the best ways to keep your little ones cool in the hot weather and have some family fun at the same time.

It can be hard to know which paddling pool to invest in as there are so many options on the market but it’s important to take a few things into consideration when choosing the one for you. The age of your children, the size of the pool, the durability of the material or lining, how easy it is to store and whether it comes with an all-important pump are all key.

There are loads of paddling pools to choose from, whether you want a traditional, simple, round design, or an all-singing all-dancing version with palm trees, a slide, and sprinklers. But whatever you choose, you know your little ones are going to have a whale (!) of a time. 

It may only set you back less than a tenner but this three ring inflatable pool, which comes in three different colours, provides all the water fun your toddlers need. It’s quick to inflate and won’t take long to fill up either. It’s only 45 inches in diameter so perfect if your garden is on the smaller side. Reviewers say it’s excellent value for money too.

Not only will your baby love cooling off in this pool but they’ll be protected from harsh sunlight too thanks to the overhead sunshade and UPF 50+ protection cover. Best of all, its pop-up design means you won’t have to mess around with fiddly pumps and it folds away into a 40cm carry bag when not in use which is ideal if you want to take it on holiday or to a friends’ house.

Little ones will have endless fun in this eye-catching play pool that comes complete with a blow-up dolphin, clown fish, octopus, slide and palm tree sprinkler. There’s plenty of space for three or four children to enjoy playing in and it all folds away nice and flat for easy storage when playtime is over.

Another great option for younger children as they will love the colourful and playful design. The inflatable floor is super comfy and mean it works well on harder ground like a patio or decking, while the built-in sunshade will keep them safe from UV rays. This could even double up as an indoor ball pit when the weather isn’t great.

The whole family can cool off in this fabulous lounge pool that comes with an inflatable bench so adults can sit back and relax while the kids paddle about. There are even two cup holders, which is a nice touch.

There’s lot of fun to be had with this inflatable play centre, which can be used as a ball pit and a paddling pool at the same time. Tots will also love the slide and palm tree sprinkler. With its vibrant and colourful design and focus of play, your little ones will be able to enjoy this pool for hours.

Kids will adore the magical unicorn design of this paddling pool, which has a built-in sprinkler to keep them extra cool as they splash about. This also wins major brownie points for its convenient drain plug.  

This bright and colourful pool will hold three or four children at once, can double up as a ball pit and has a cushioned base.

If time isn't on your side, this splash pad is a brilliant alternative to a traditional paddling pool. It's set up and in use within minutes, easily folds away and is made from sturdy plastic.

This sturdy pool will suit children and dogs, doesn't need inflating so isn't at risk of punctures and folds into a carry bag for easy storage and transport.

For those looking for a small pool for one child, this one is perfect. It can also be used as a ball pit, keeping baby supported with its high sides.

What to read next: 

The best baby sun creams for babies and toddlers

The best baby bath tubs for you and your baby to have a splashing good time

The best ride-on toys for toddlers 2020

Did our top picks help you make your choice? Let us know via social media! We'd love to hear from you! 

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  • Author: Sophie Knight Sophie Knight
  • Job Title: Contributing Editor

Sophie is a journalist and mum of one, and previously edited before moving on to write about family cars for - now Sophie is Commercial Content Editor for M&B, Closer, Heat, Empire, Yours, Garden News, and 

She is passionate about raising awareness around postnatal depression and is a Mental Health First Aider.

Sophie studied History at the University of Sheffield and has been in journalism for 16 years. 

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