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5 Best Above-Ground Pool Pads | Reviews + Guide

Taking a dive in an above-ground pool is the perfect way to cool off when the temperature takes a spike. An above-ground swimming pool is a go-to choice for families who want to take advantage of those summer months. The beauty of these pools is that they come in a huge variety of sizes and colors to fit any backyard layout, making it easy for you to find one that suits your needs.

Best Above-Ground Pool Pads

If you are looking to get a pool in a hurry then the above-ground swimming pool should be right up your alley. One of the main advantages of getting yourself an above-ground swimming pool is that there’s no extensive digging involved, as is the case with in-ground pools. The above-ground swimming pool comes in the form of a kit which can either be installed by the buyer or a professional installer.

Many above-ground pool options come along with railing and decking options which either come as part of the kit or can be added later on. Above-ground swimming pools can also be heated if the temperature outside drops. By far, the above-ground swimming pool is the most affordable option for those who want to have the comfort of owning their own swimming pool without having to go through zoning regulations and building laws of a city or county.

Listed below are the 5 best above-ground pool pads from our list:

  • Rhino Pad: This eco-friendly pool pad offers enhanced protection to a pool liner using a durable cloth fiber and an added feature of liner guard technology that extends the lifespan, with the slight drawback of potential wrinkle issues during installation.
  • Gorilla Pool Pad: Developed by industry veterans, Blue Wave Pool Products, this pool pad boasts enhanced leak protection and durability with its sturdy geotextile makeup, and also features a soft comfortable cushion, making it an ideal choice for superior protection.
  • GLI Armor Shield: Renowned for offering unparalleled protection, this pad features a polypropylene geotextile material that prevents punctures and offers a comfortable and smooth surface to walk on, but is only suitable for round above-ground pools.
  • Intex Pool Ground Cloth: This low-cost, versatile pool ground cloth from Intex shields the pool's bottom from debris and uneven surfaces, providing effective and durable protection, but lacks additional padding features.
  • Liner Life LL12R: This pool pad offers robust, puncture-resistant protection for above-ground pools, and is available in various sizes and shapes, potentially requiring installation on sand as per the manufacturer's recommendation.

A good above-ground pool pad is just the thing you need to make sure not only the pool but also its users are kept safe. Investing in a pool pad will ensure that water does not seep from the pool into the steel frame and other metal parts causing them to degrade. It will also keep the users of the above-ground swimming pool safe by providing them with a softer footing.

The popularity of above-ground pool pads has resulted in many manufacturers jumping in to fill the void. As a result, today there are hundreds of companies that are offering pool pads in various shapes and sizes and built from various materials. While this makes it easier for you to choose the perfect one that suits your needs, for many people, the sheer amount of options can make it extremely difficult for them to choose the right above-ground pool pad.

Luckily for you, we have combed the internet and have brought you the best above-ground pool pads that are available in the market today. The pool pads we have on our list offer you unmatched value for money regardless of the size of your above-ground swimming pool.

Here is the list of the 5 best above-ground pool pads that you can use to securely protect the bottom of your pool and keep it safe for you and your family.

1. Rhino Pad - Best Eco-Friendly Pool Pad

If you’re looking for a pool pad that is not only well-made but also offers your pool the protection it needs, then you need to choose the Rhino Pad. This is one product that not only offers protection for your above-ground swimming pool but has been designed to enhance the lifespan of the pool’s liner. The product features a specially designed cloth fiber that is thick and durable. The purpose of that is to protect the pool liner from getting damaged due to foreign objects, such as stones, pebbles, grass, etc.

Added Protection for Your Pool

The Rhino Pad above-ground pool pad has been designed using a special material that defends the liner of the pool against damage. The liner guard technology that’s been used in the design of this pool pad is able to create a barrier at the bottom of the pool which keeps water from corroding the metal components of the swimming pool. This provides an added layer of safety for your pool and ensures that your above-ground pool is going to last a long time.

Unique Design and Protection Capabilities

One of the standout features of the Rhino Pad pool pad that no other product offers is the superior quality and the specially designed material that offers unmatched protection for the pool liner. It does this by using a low-compression, high-density construction that gives it superior resilience as compared to many other pool pads that are available in the market today. This helps protect the interior of the pool as well as its lining.

Eco-Friendly Design

The Rhino Pad delivers at all levels, from providing you with efficient and durable padding to offering added protection for the lining of your pool, the Rhino Pad offers customers the very best in quality and so much more.

Additionally, the Rhino Pad has been designed using eco-friendly materials and also boasts an eco-friendly design. This makes perfect sense since more and more people are looking for products in the market that offer superior quality and are safe for the environment. With the Rhino Pad, those who are looking to invest in a sturdy and well-built above-ground swimming pool pad get both quality and an eco-friendly design.

According to the company, Rhino Pad is constructed using 45% industrial recycled materials and 45% post-consumer materials. This makes Rhino Pad the only above-ground pool pad that not only offers your pool the protection it needs but is also safe for the environment. The 90% recycled materials that represent each Rhino Pad make it the best choice for all those who are looking to get the best protection for their above-ground pool and also want to do their part for the environment.

Size: 24' | Shape: Round | Material: Geotextile Fabric

2. Gorilla Pool Pad - Best for Superior Leak Protection

This premium quality above-ground pool pad is from Blue Wave Pool Products a well-known company in the pool maintenance industry. The company has been around for a while and knows what the customers look for in a pool pad. This knowledge shows with the new Gorilla Pool pad which offers superior protection that’s hard to compete with. One of the benefits of investing in this particular pool pad is that you get one that offers the best in both function and durability.

Durable Design

The company behind the Gorilla Pool pad, Blue Wave Pool Products has made it clear that it knows pool products like no one else, and it shows with the new pool pad which boasts superior quality and a durable design that has been built to last. What makes this particular pool pad unique are the materials that have been used in the construction of the pool pad.

Superior Leak Protection  

The result is a pool pad that offers unmatched protection against stones, grass, and pebbles. One of the reasons for that is that the Gorilla pool pad has been designed with a material that’s extremely difficult to penetrate.

The material used in its construction is a specially designed geotextile material that’s been combined with an equally strong felt-like material that is 1/8 mm thick, offering superior protection from leaks and other damage. In fact, the Gorilla pool pad is almost impervious to getting damaged when coming in contact with rocks, peddles, grass, and other foreign objects.

Soft Comfortable Cushion

Apart from providing unmatched protection against leaks, the Gorilla pool pads also add a comfortable cushioned layer to the bottom of the above-ground pool, which makes it extremely comfortable to walk on and enjoy the pool area. Additionally, the extra cushioned layer that’s provided by this pool pad also helps eliminate the formation of footprints that normally appear at the bottom of the above-ground swimming pool.

Cut To Size

And as if all that wasn’t enough, Blue Wave Pool Products have made it easy to get their premium pool pad in a size that fits your above-ground pool perfectly. All you have to do is take the size of the above-ground swimming pool and send it to the company to get one tailored to your specific size requirements. Apart from that, you also get to choose from the standard size that’s available that fits most above-ground swimming pools. You are also going to get a handy 90-day warranty to go with the pool pad just in case.

Overall, the Gorilla pool pad that’s designed by Blue Wave Pool Products ensures you get a product that is sturdy, breathable, and long-lasting, making this one of the best investments you can make for your above-ground swimming pool.

Size: 21' | Shape: Round | Material: Geotextile

3. GLI Armor Shield - Best Overall Above-Ground Pool Pad

The GLI Armor Shield is by far one of the best above-ground pool pads that’s available in the market today. In fact, the Armor Shield is so good at doing what it’s supposed to do, that it should have been the first one on our list. Armor Shield is a premium quality pool pad that’s been brought you to by GLI, a company that is no stranger to the above-ground pool industry. The company has years of experience in delivering exceptionally crafted products that are well-made and durable. 

Superior Protection Against Leaks

One of the reasons why GLI is the top player when it comes to designing pool pads is because they simply get what it takes to deliver an above-ground pool pad that offers protection that’s simply unmatched in the industry. It is no surprise that GLI, the manufacturer of the Armor Shield pool pad is the largest manufacturer of swimming pool liners in the US. What this means, is being the top manufacturer of above-ground pool lining they know what it takes to protect the lining of the pools as well. 

With this pool pad, you get superior protection thanks to the heavy-duty materials that have been used in its design. The Armor Shield pool pad features a specially designed polypropylene geotextile material that has been designed specifically to prevent punctures or cuts that are a common occurrence when it comes to above-ground pools. 

In fact, the manufacturers of the Armor Shield pool pad are so positive about the quality of their product that they promise that the design is practically maintenance-free. This means no longer walking around the above-ground pool searching for punctures of scratches to its structure. The durable quality material that’s been used in its design ensures exceptional protection against punctures in the floor pad or lining. 

Comfortable Floor Pad

The polypropylene geotextile material that has been used in its design, also means that you get to have a comfortable floor pad to move on when in the pool. The extra thick cushion is the result of the thick material that’s been used in the design of this pool pad.

Speaking of comfort, the Armor Shield pool pad has also been designed to prevent the formation of footprints which is a common occurrence in an above-ground pool. This means that you get a pool that’s not only safe from leaks but also get a pool that’s smooth and great to walk on.

At the end of the day, the Armor Shield by GLI offers the very best when it comes to protecting the lining of your above-ground swimming pool along with giving you a perfectly smooth surface to walk on.

Size: 24' | Shape: Round | Material: Polypropylene Geotextile

4. Intex Pool Ground Cloth

Intex, a prominent name in the backyard swimming pool industry, offers pool ground cloth as a protective solution for 8ft to 15ft round above-ground pools. Although it is essentially a tarp, this ground cloth effectively prevents potential damage to the pool's bottom by shielding it from debris and rough surfaces.

Cost-Effective Investment

After thorough research and analysis, we found numerous advantages to using the Intex Pool Ground Cloth. Not only is it straightforward to install, but it also successfully safeguards the pool liner from punctures or wear caused by debris or uneven surfaces. This added protection extends the pool's life, making the ground cloth a cost-effective investment. Moreover, its 15.5 sq feet surface area is versatile, accommodating a range of pool sizes from 8ft up to 15ft.

Durable Material

The Intex Pool Ground Cloth is made of durable material that is designed to withstand the wear and tear of regular use. Additionally, the cloth prevents the proliferation of mold and mildew by allowing water to evaporate quickly.

Size: 15.5' | Shape: Square | Material: N/A

5. Liner Life LL12R Above Ground Pad

The Liner Life LL12R Above Ground Pad is designed to protect the bottom of aboveground pools and extend the life of the liner. This pad is constructed from strong and durable puncture-resistant polyester geotextile material that offers extra cushioning and protection to your pool.

Comes In a Variety of Shapes and Sizes

One of the standout features of the Liner Life LL12R Above Ground Pad is the convenience of its pre-cut shape, which simplifies the installation process. With a variety of available shapes and sizes (for round, oval, and rectangular pools), it's easy to find the perfect fit for your particular pool.


The material used in the pad is both strong and puncture-resistant, offering better protection compared to other similar products in the market. Although the manufacturer recommends installing the pad on the sand, users have reported successful installation on regular hard ground, showing its versatility.

Size: 12' | Shape: Round | Material: Polyester Geotextile

What is the Best Above-Ground Pool Pad?

This section presents a straightforward comparison of top-rated above-ground pool pads, focusing on essential product specifications. The accompanying table outlines key attributes, including size, shape, and material.

Rhino Pad24'RoundGeotextile Fabric
Gorilla Pool Pad21'RoundGeotextile
GLI Armor Shield24'RoundPolypropylene Geotextile
Intex Pool Ground Cloth15.5'SquareN/A
Liner Life LL12R Above Ground Pad12'RoundPolyester Geotextile

Importance of a Pool Pad

While above-ground pool owners often obsess over the various parts of their swimming pool. From the pumps and pool lining to the plates, rails, and structure of the above-ground pool, every part is thoroughly researched and scrutinized before being purchased, and for good reason. After all, you wouldn’t want your above-ground pool to fall apart because of faulty equipment.

However, one area that above-ground pool owners often miss when choosing a pool is the pads. Surprisingly, the pool pad also happens to be one of the most important parts of an above-ground swimming pool.

This is mainly because a well-constructed pool pad provides users with a soft footing that keeps them safe from injuries while using the pool area. It also keeps stones and other sharp objects from damaging the pool. Keeping this in mind, choosing the best pool pad will ensure that your above-ground swimming pool is going to be safe to use and more enjoyable.

Why You Need an Above-Ground Pool Pad?

An above-ground pool pad is instrumental to the longevity of your swimming pool as it adds protection to the pool liner. It safeguards the liner from coming into contact with sharp objects like rocks or pebbles, thereby prolonging the life of your pool. Without a pool pad, the liner would be prone to damage, significantly reducing the lifespan of your above-ground swimming pool.

What Material Is the Pool Pad Made of?

The material of the pool pad plays a significant role in its durability and effectiveness. The best above-ground pool pads are typically made of geotextile or a similar material, renowned for its strength and durability. Another popular choice is the polyester geotextile material, also known for its protective qualities. Regardless of the choice, it's crucial that the pool pad is lightweight and has a layer of cushioning for enhanced protection and longevity.

Is a Pool Pad Water Resistant?

Water resistance is a vital feature of an above-ground pool pad. However, not all pool pads possess this capability. One option highly touted for its water-resistant properties is the "vapor barrier." It prevents water from seeping into the iron frame of the swimming pool, prolonging the pool’s lifespan, thereby acting as an effective protection mechanism.

Is a pool pad a replacement for sand or a tarp?

Depending on the type and thickness of the pool pad, it may eliminate the need for sand or a tarp. Yet, some prefer to incorporate a tarp or sand layer alongside the pad for enhanced protection against weeds or moisture.

Can I use a pool pad with any type of above-ground pool?

Yes, pool pads can be utilized with all kinds of above-ground pools. However, it's important to ensure that the pool pad is appropriately sized and compatible with your specific pool model to prevent damage or suboptimal pool performance.

How do I choose the best pool pad for my above-ground pool?

Choosing the best pool pad involves considering various factors such as pad thickness, durability, insulation, and ease of installation. High-quality material and sufficient thickness provide superior protection and insulation. Consider the size of your pool and your budget as well.

Can I use multiple types of pool pad materials together for improved protection?

Absolutely, some pool owners use a combination of different pool pads for supplementary protection or insulation. In such instances, ensure proper installation to prevent uneven padding or bunching.

How do I install an above-ground pool pad?

Installation starts by leveling the ground and eliminating any stones or debris. Position the pool pad at the desired spot and trim it to fit your pool size, if necessary. Secure or join any extra pieces, and then assemble the pool on top by following the manufacturer's instructions.

How often do I need to replace an above-ground pool pad?

The lifespan of a pool pad varies depending on its material type and quality. Some pads might last a few years, while others can endure much longer. Regular inspection can help you determine when a replacement is needed.