The 8 Best Above Ground Pool Liner For The Money – Reviews 2020

Above ground pools are great for the back garden or even camping trips. If you have one for the kids, or you like having a splash yourself, you'll know they're great fun and low maintenance. By making sure you fit one of the best above ground pool liners for your make and model of pool, you should be guaranteed many hours of hassle free fun.

Best Above Ground Pool Liner

There is a wide range of liner types and thicknesses available, in both overlap and beaded design types. They come in some great looking designs too.

8 Best Above Ground Pool Liner 2020 Reviews

1. Coping Strips for Above Ground Pool Liners


  • Dimensions: 11.25 x 9.75 x 2.63 inches
  • Professional Grade
  • Easy Installation Aid
  • Manufacturer: Quality Pool Products
Coping Strips for Above Ground Pool Liners

From Cobra Coping come these high quality coping strips. Designed to be used with overlap pool liners, they hold the liner in place securely, but are not visible once your pool's top rail is installed. As pool liners wear out with repeated use and over the course of time, so do coping strips.

These hard wearing clips are made of plastic, so will not rust. They fit snugly over the liner, and can be moved while you get it properly fitted in place.

These excellent coping strips will make sure you get the best use of your overlap liner, and come with extra pieces just in case you need them.

2. Gorilla Floor Padding for 18ft Round Above Ground Swimming Pools


  • Dimensions: 11 x 48 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 17.95 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Blue Wave Chemicals
  • No more cutting and taping
Gorilla Floor Padding for 18ft Round Above Ground pool

This Gorilla Pad from Blue Wave is a super tough combination of protection and comfort for you and your pool.

It protects your pool liner from any scratches or punctures, as well as cushioning your pool users from any pointy objects underneath the pool.

The pad is manufactured from a geotextile material which was originally designed for trash dump linings. This means it is extremely tough, and will last for many years.

The Gorilla Pad is cut specially to fit your pool size, and has a seam to prevent any leaks. It is also padded to eliminate the worry of footprints at the bottom of your pool.

3. SmartLine Sunlight 25 Gauge Overlap Above-Ground Swimming Pool Liner


  • Measure Twice, Buy Once
  • Pretty Pleasing Pattern
  • No Trouble To Install
  • Stay Cool In The Pool
3. SmartLine Sunlight 25 Gauge Overlap Above-Ground Swimming Pool Liner

This excellent overlap pool liner will make any pool look like a million dollars. It combines superior materials and manufacture with brilliant design. Once properly fitted, this liner should last for years.

This 24' above ground pool liner is made from hard wearing vinyl, which is bonded with the printed design layer & finally an acrylic top coat.

These three layers will resist the toughest tests from playful feet. The design of the print layer is of shimmering, blue sea water, and is printed using UV resistant technology. This means it will not fade over time in the sun, just stay looking as good as new.

4. In The Swim 24-ft. Round Overlap Above Ground Pool Liner


  • Dimensions: 40 x 14 x 7 inches
  • Weight: 63.7 pounds
  • Manufacturer: Smartline
  • Heavy Duty Material
In The Swim 24-ft. Round Overlap Above Ground Pool Liner

This great pool liner is cleverly designed to look as though the walls of your pool are made of boulders, while the bottom looks like deep blue sea water with sun glinting off its ripples.

It is very robustly made, its panels being double welded for years of use and protection against the weather when the pool is empty. It is also made with UV protection, so it will not fade in the sunlight.

At 20 gauge thickness, this liner will be able to withstand all weathers and boisterous pool antics. It is both beautiful to look at and great value. According to expert this is one of the best pool liners for above ground pools.

5. GLI 24 Foot Round Armor Shield Pool Floor Liner Pad


  • Dimensions: 21 x 23 x 14 inches
  • Weight: 28 pounds
  • Manufacturer: GLI Pool Products
  • Model Number: 24R
GLI 24 Foot Round Armor Shield Pool Floor Liner Pad

From GLI Pool Products comes this top quality floor liner pad. This is designed to be a barrier between the floor or grass of your garden or patio area, and the bottom part of your pool liner.

While the pool liner itself will resist wear and tear by the weather and human activities, this liner will keep safe from damage by hazards such as root growth, or pieces of glass or rock fragments which can be extremely harmful to pool liners.

The pad is mould resistant, very tough and also thick and cushioned. This makes your pool feel great underfoot.

6. SmartLine Waves of Poseidon 25 Gauge Overlap Liner


  • Easure Twice, Buy Once
  • Pretty Pleasing Pattern
  • No Trouble To Instal
  • High Quality Material
SmartLine Waves of Poseidon 25 Gauge Overlap Liner

For pools which might come in for a bit of rough treatment, Smartline have produced this excellent overlap pool liner. At 25 gauge, it is thick enough to withstand the worst pool users or anything the weather can do to it.

The liner is made from 100% virgin vinyl, and has a dual design mixing glistening water with tiny decorative tiling.

The material is UV resistant and its panels are lap welded to eliminate any leakage. To avoid wrinkling of the liner, it is hand packed at the factory. This means it is folded rather than compressed by machinery, and will not be creased when unpacked.

7. Swimline 27'x52" Round Unibead Mosaic Diamond Above Ground Swimming Pool Liner-25 Gauge


  • Pool Size: 27' Round
  • Wall Height: 52"
  • Gauge: 25
  • Model Number: 99996403-PC
Swimline 27'x52" Round Unibead Mosaic Diamond Above Ground Swimming Pool Liner-25 Gauge

Another great pool product from Swimline, this super strong liner is very well made and beautifully designed. Its pattern is a mixture of a Roman style tile mosaic pool surround, above a floor of small, smooth pebbles.

This pool liner is extremely versatile. It is designed to fit with either a standard beading or J-Hook pool.

As it can be fitted with or without a bead receiver, the Unibead design can also be used to replace your current overlap pool liner if you have one. At 25 gauge thick, this pool liner is not only versatile and great looking, it is very hard wearing and therefore long lasting.

8. Quality Pool Products 24 ft Round Pool Liner Pad, Elephant Guard Armor Shield Padding


  • Dimensions: 22 x 20 x 11 inches
  • Helps To Protect and Prevent Rocks
  • One piece construction with no cutting
  • Model Number: 99996403-PC
Quality Pool Products 24 ft Round Pool Liner Pad, Elephant Guard Armor Shield Padding

For those with a large, 24 foot round above ground pool, Quality Pool Products have this tough Elephant brand protector for the floor section of your pool lining.

Designed to be placed on top of a layer of sand, its Guard Armor shield padding acts as a barrier between the bottom of your pool and any hazards which might damage the integrity of the lining.

Unlike other products of this type, the Elephant protector shield is not designed to cushion your pool floor. It is there purely to protect your lining from the harmful effects of roots, rocks and/or nut grass.

Above Ground Pool Liner Buying Guide

Before making your pool liner purchase there are a number of aspects to consider. Below is a guide to the key elements which will help you make the right choice for your requirement and budget.

Type of Liner

There are two main options in terms of recommended above ground pool liners on the market. The choice between a beaded pool liner verses an overlap pool liner will depend on what your pool is designed to facilitate.

Pools that are capable of taking a beaded liner are easy to identify by looking under the top rail inside the pool where you will see the bead receiver if your pool is designed for this type of liner. An overlap liner can be identified by lifting the top rail which will have liner material showing on the outside of the pool which will be clipped in place under the rail.

Shape and Size

One of the most important factors in your above ground pool liner purchase is that you access a product that is the perfect shape and fit for your pool. Oval or round pools of standard size are easy to buy for as most manufacturers make a selection of standard sizes in these shapes. 

Your pool dimensions can be found either somewhere on your pool itself or on the instructions/packaging from when you purchased the pool. 

Quality and Price

The type of liner and its size is determined by your pool itself however, where you do get a choice is in terms of the quality of the liner you purchase. It stands to reason that a thicker liner is higher priced and will, in most cases be more long lasting and durable. 

The type of usage your pool will endure and the weather conditions it will succumb to will all have an impact on your purchase decision.

Design and Color

Once all the technical aspects of your purchase are out of the way you can get on with the best part of choosing which is the best color and design for your liner. Most above ground pools come with a standard blue liner but there are an extensive range of replacement liner designs with everything from underwater scenes of fish, corals and rocks to funky and modern patterns.

It is also worth taking into consideration your pools surroundings. If your outdoor terrace or garden area has a theme color running through it or specific colored garden furniture then you may look to have the liner link in with this theme. Alternatively, you could look at something totally different so your pool stands out as a central point to your outdoor area.

Which Is Better 20 Gauge Or 25 Gauge Pool Liner?

In terms of pool liners, gauge means thickness. As vinyl is the material involved, this is already a very tough, durable lining for any pool. 20 gauge means a thickness of 0.46 millimeters, whereas 25 gauge is 0.57 millimeters.

While it might seem obvious that a larger gauge, or thicker width, would be more long lasting than a smaller one, this is not necessarily the case. Higher gauge liners might be more durable, but are still vulnerable to the same hazards as 20 gauge liners.

Most above ground pools use 20 gauge liners. This lining is quite a bit cheaper than 25 gauge, and still usually comes with a 15 year warranty.

What Are The Different Types Of Above Ground Pool Liners?

Above ground pool liners come in different gauges and designs. There are also different ways to attach the liners to your pool. Depending on how much time and effort you want your above ground pool to take up, you may want to consider what the different installation methods are.

Here is our latest advice on the differences:

Overlap liners

These pool liners come with more material than is needed to line your pool. This means that there is an overlap at the pool's edge, which you need to attach securely to your pool. This is done by fitting coping strips. It is a simple and flexible way to work, but does sometimes mean there is too much extra lining material, which can look unsightly.

U Bead liners

These require a bead receiver or track which fits around the top of your pool. The edge of the liner snaps into a U shaped lip in the beading, which goes around the whole circumference of your pool. These tracks are expensive, as they are long. For a 24 foot pool, you would need over 75 feet of beading.

J Bead liners

These are liners which look like upside down Js. They attach to the top edge of your pool, but have their own track which attaches to your liner material. J Bead liners are flexible and easy to install. They are widely used because they are reliable and very difficult to get wrong.

E-Z Bead liners

These liners are a combination of the J Bead and the U Bead liner. It can be hung over the side of your pool like a J Bead, but also has a perforated line underneath which can be used to cut the beading. This leaves you with a standard U Bead liner, so giving you extra flexibility.

Above Ground Pool Liner Replacement Cost: Proper Guidance

The cost of replacing above ground pool liners is much cheaper than for those of in ground pools. As we have seen with the different types of liner, if you need to buy a beading track, this will increase your expense considerably.

As replacement linings can cost anything between $100 and $600, the cost of investing over $100 on a U Bead track needs serious consideration.

The cost of lining material depends on the size of your pool and the gauge of the vinyl. Most above ground pools use 20 gauge, which has a 15 year warranty. Overlap lining on a small, 12 foot pool costs as little as $100.

Above Ground Pool Liner Installation

Installing an over ground pool liner is not a difficult job, but will vary in terms of time and difficulty depending on whether you are replacing a liner or installing a new one.

When replacing a liner, it is important to pick a day which is sunny and warm. Obviously, your pool needs to be empty. If it is raining, this will just increase the weight of everything you need to move, and fitting will be difficult.

After unpacking, roll out your liner at the pool's base. This is where hand packing at the factory proves its worth, as this minimizes the creases in the material. When you have installed it, the pool lining should be completely smooth, from the edge to the base of your pool.

If you have a U Bead liner, installing replacement liners is more simple than with other liner types. Just fit the beading into the receiving track around the pool edge.

For overlap liners, stretch the material out in a north, south, east, west pattern, to even out the process as much as possible. When the liner is fully stretched over the entire pool edge, attach the coping strips, making sure any excess is on the outside of the pool.

Once the lining is attached, replace the pool edging.

Final Note

For many families, over ground pools are a great value and safe way of having the benefits of a backyard pool without having to excavate your property. They are flexible enough to be taken on camping trips, making them even better value.

Once you are confident in installing your liner, replacement will not be a problem. As we have seen with our review of the best above ground pool liner for the money, there is a great deal of choice out there to make your pool easy to maintain, and keep using. An above ground pool can give years of pleasure for the whole family.

  • June 15, 2020
Flora Smith

Home and Garden Enthusiast. I have been a blogger for the last 10 years from different brands and media as well. I have loved pool technology my whole life and decided to start OpenRoom to share my life experiences on pool and it's different aspects.

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