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Best Pool Liners in 2023: Buying Guide

Above-ground pool owners have more liner options now than ever before. Instead of the standard blue or white liner, you can choose from among a countless number of attractive patterns such as mosaic tile and pebbles. However, there is more to consider when selecting a pool liner than just the design.

Best Pool Liners

What Type of Above-Ground Pool Liners Are Available?

In general, manufacturers make three types of above-ground swimming pool liners – overlap liners, beaded liners and j-hook liners. Out of all three liners, overlaps are the most budget-friendly. These liners are designed to stretch and hang about 1 foot over the exterior of the pool wall. Plastic combing is used to keep the liner secure.

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Beaded pool liners stretch to the top of the pool wall. Instead of plastic combing, the liner is simply tucked into a bead channel. The advantage of beaded liners is that they are the easiest to install. If you’re purchasing a beaded liner as a replacement, you don’t have to take off the seats and track.

J-hook liners are known by various names; however, they all share one important characteristic – They can be installed without the need for a bead channel. These pool liners attach to hook-style bead, which creates an extremely tight seal.

Our Recommended Pool Liners in 2023

The choices for pool liners are virtually endless, so picking just one is daunting even if you have a general motif in mind. Take a look at these five pool liners. they are stylish, durable and add just the right touch of pizzazz to any above-ground swimming pool.

4) Swimline 16-Feet Round Blue Overlap Liner

If you’re tired of manually scrubbing your pool’s walls and floors, then you should give the Swimline Overlap Pool Liner a try. It’s made entirely out of vinyl for ease of maintenance. The 20-gauge liner is incredibly durable and can withstand contact with rocks and other sharp objects. You’ll also find that the seams of this pool liner are double-reinforced for extra durability.

The best thing about the Swimline is that it’s compatible with most Intext above-ground pools. If your pool is ripped or you’re worried about it becoming damaged, this 48-52-inch-wide pool liner wraps perfectly along the inner walls. This pool liner comes in a variety of sizes from between 16 and 33 feet in length.

Swimline 16-Feet x 32-Feet Oval Blue Overlap...
  • Constructed of durable, standard gauge vinyl
  • Strong, double-welded seams

3) Smartline Antilles Dolphin 27-Foot Round Liner

If you want to give your pool an exotic look, you’ll love this dolphin pool liner by Smartline.

The 27-foot liner is made for all flat-bottom round pools that measure 48 to 52 inches in height except laminated PVC swimming pools. With a 20-gauge thickness and the use of virgin vinyl, this liner will last for years.

Smartline hand folded the liner to reduce wrinkling and creasing and implemented Lamiclear technology to fight against chemical damage, fading and abrasions. The manufacturer also vulcanized the liner for added durability. Since this is an overlap liner, you don’t need any bead receivers.

Smartline Antilles Dolphin 27-Foot Round Liner

Smartline Waterfall 27-Foot Round Liner |...
  • MEASURE TWICE, BUY ONCE – Whether installing for the first time, or replacing an...
  • PRETTY PLEASING PATTERN - The Waterfall pattern brings nature to your pool with the top...

2) Smartline 24-Foot Round Liner Mosaic Diamond

Smartline’s Mosaic Diamond pool liner displays a natural color palette of deep blue and earth tones, making it appealing to those whose decor tastes lean toward traditional or southwestern. With brown stones that dot the light blue pebble wall underneath the mosaic, the 25-gauge liner looks highly texturized.

Smartline Tuscan 24-Foot Round Pool Liner
Smartline Tuscan 24-Foot Round Pool Liner

Made for 52-inch-tall pools that measure 24 feet in diameter, its Unibead construction allows you to use it as a beaded or a j-hook liner. To ensure the liner doesn’t fail prematurely, Smartline uses lap welding and Lamiclear technology. The virgin vinyl liner is also hand-folded instead of machine-packed to prevent wrinkles.

Smartline Mosaic Diamond 24-Foot Round Liner...
  • PRETTY PLEASING PATTERN - The North American cut material is hand-folded to prevent...
  • MEASURE TWICE, BUY ONCE – Whether installing for the first time, or replacing an...

1) Smartline Cracked Glass 18-Foot Round Liner

This above-ground pool liner by Smartline showcases a beautiful glass mosaic. With shades of blue that range from sapphire to frost, the Cracked Glass pattern is glamorous and almost sparkles in the sunlight. This pool liner is suited for 18-foot-wide round pools with steel walls that are 48 to 52 inches tall.

Smartline Cracked Glass 18-Foot Round Liner

As you would expect from a Smartline liner, this one has Lamiclear technology for protection, and it’s constructed from virgin vinyl. The 20-gauge overlap liner drapes over pool walls with ease for hassle-free installation. Plus, it’s machine cut and welded to create clean lines.

Smartline Cracked Glass 18-Foot Round Liner |...
  • MEASURE TWICE, BUY ONCE – Whether installing for the first time, or replacing an...
  • PRETTY PLEASING PATTERN - The Cracked Glass pool liner provides a beautiful mosaic of blue...

A Short Guide to Choosing a Pool Liner

You just want a pool liner that suits your tastes and stands up to all the summer fun you plan to have. To find a pool liner that’s attractive and durable without spending a ton of money, you must be able to separate the essential features from the superfluous.

Must-Have Features

The feature that matters the most is the pattern of the pool liner. Considering that liners can last for almost a decade, or longer, you don’t want to be stuck with one that you don’t like or doesn’t match your outdoor furniture and landscaping.

Of course, it must be sized for the shape and dimensions of your swimming pool – If a manufacturer says the liner fits a 48-inch-tall pool, don’t try to put it on your 52-inch-tall pool.

What To Know When Choosing a Pool Liner

You also want a liner that’s made of quality material. This means you should stick with a virgin vinyl pool liner, not one that uses recycled vinyl. Strong seams are also important. The best liner seams are those with overlapping edges instead of joined edges.

Extra Features

Some features are nice to have but not necessary for durability. For instance, a hand-folded liner may have fewer wrinkles when unfolded, but you can still dewrinkle the liner during installation if it’s machine-packed.

Technology that reduces damage from UV rays and pool chemicals may seem like a must-have, but it does little to extend the liner’s lifespan in the long-run as fading is inevitable regardless.

Best Above Ground Pool Liners


What Gauge Pool Liner Do I Need?

The thickness of a pool liner is described as its gauge. Sometimes, the gauge is referred to in mils, which is thousandths of an inch. Many people mistakenly believe that a liner’s gauge has a huge impact on its durability; however, dry rot and faded ink are the two biggest factors that contribute to a liner’s breakdown.

Since the liner you choose will be on your swimming pool for years, focus on the way it looks, not the thickness. This is not to say that the gauge is inconsequential, but it isn’t as crucial to buyer satisfaction as the style of the liner.

The only situations that warrant a thick liner are if your pool sees a lot of activity on a frequent basis or you let your dogs take a dip with you.

What Do Manufacturers Mean by Virgin Vinyl?

Not all liners are equal in terms of material. The gold standard for above-ground pool liners is virgin vinyl, which is vinyl that does not contain any recycled vinyl or plastic.

Virgin vinyl is the most durable liner material, and it lasts longer than other materials like plastic and recycled vinyl.

Plastic and recycled vinyl liners do not stack up to the reliability of virgin vinyl liners. Pool liners made of recycled vinyl or plastic are not as flexible as their virgin vinyl counterparts. Therefore, they lack the wherewithal to withstand harsh weather, and they do not offer as good of a fit.

Best Above Ground Pool Liners

How Long Does a Vinyl Liner Last?

While there is no specific lifespan for vinyl liners, they typically last anywhere from 7 years to 15 years. The climate of the region where you live plays a role in the longevity of your swimming pool’s vinyl liner.

For instance, a pool liner used in the Northeast may have a longer life expectancy than the same liner used in the Southwest.

How Can I Maintain the Integrity of My Pool Liner?

There are plenty of steps you can take to keep your pool liner in excellent shape. Keep the pool water’s chlorine and pH levels within an acceptable range, and only use vinyl-friendly chemicals that dissolve while suspended in the water instead of on the pool’s floor.

When you vacuum your pool, avoid scraping the liner; otherwise, small holes may form. Also, make it habit to conduct a periodic check for rust, which you can blast away with a corrosion-removal spray.

Don’t forget yard maintenance. There should always be 1 to 2 feet of vegetation-free ground around the pool.

How To Choose A Swimming Pool Liner

How Do I Measure My Pool?

The way you measure your pool for a liner depends on the shape of the swimming pool. If your pool is rectangular, simply measure the width and length from one inside wall to the other. For a round pool, you’ll need to get the diameter with the inside of the wall being the endpoints. To measure an oval pool, start at each end’s center on the inside wall and measure the pool’s width.

No matter the shape of your pool, you’ll also need to determine its height. You can do so by measuring from the bottom to the waterline. If you are planning to buy a beaded liner, you’ll need to measure the exterior of the wall from top track to bottom track.

Pool Liner | Recommended

If you have any questions or comments, please add them below in the comment section. Similarly, please let us know if you spot any mistakes or omissions. Thanks!

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Last Update: 2024-04-14 | Affiliate links/Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the author

Hi I’m Alex, founder of HouseholdMe.com and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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