The 10 Best Above Ground Pool Pads

best above ground pool pad

Of all the add-ons you might want or need for your above ground pool, a pool pad might not even make the list. This is not because they’re unimportant, but rather just maybe not something you’d automatically think of.

This often overlooked accessory can do a lot of things for your pool and its swimmers you probably never knew. It provides a great barrier between the pool and the ground, protecting both the liner and your feet from sharp, pointy objects.

But once you start shopping around for one of these pads, you’ll quickly realize there are a LOT of choices. So, how do you decide?

There are a few factors to consider, and some qualities to look for. And we’ve put our list together of our top ten picks.

You probably can’t go wrong with any of these, but do pay careful attention to the section titled “4 Considerations for Buying the Best Above Ground Pool Pad” below. This will help steer you to the product that will best meet your needs for your particular pool.

The 10 Best Above Ground Pool Pads

#1. Rhino Pad 24’ Pool Liner Pad 

Rhino Pad 24-Foot Round Pool Liner Pad for Above Ground Swimming Pools | Prevents Punctures | Easy to Install Pool Liner Fabric | Made of Strong Eco-Friendly Material | Extends Life to The Liner
  • PROTECT YOUR LINER - This pool liner pad is made from a special cloth fiber that is thick and durable. Defend your liner against cuts and punctures from rocks, roots, nutgrass, glass and other harmful debris found on the ground. It will provide a flat base that gives an extra layer of armor for your swimming pool floor bottom prior to liner installation.

The Rhino Pad is made from a special cloth fiber that’s thick and durable enough to protect your liner from tears and puncture holes. It gives your pool an extra layer of protection and a flat base.

Pool owners love this pool pad for the soft floor it gives them for their feet. So no matter what chunks of rocks, grass, glass, or other debris gets left behind on the ground, you won’t feel it when you’re swimming.

In addition to liner protection and comfort, this pad creates what is called a vapor barrier underneath the pool that helps prevent corrosion of its metal parts. It’s also eco-friendly, made almost entirely of recycled materials. 

#2. Blue Wave 15-Feet Round Liner Pad 

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Blue Wave 15-Feet Round Liner Pad for Above Ground Pools
  • Above ground pool liner pad only - Blue vinyl liner sold separately

This pool liner pad protects your liner from sharp objects while providing a nice layer of cushion for your feet. It’s great to help prevent leaks that tend to occur with vinyl liners and give swimmers a soft place to land.

Some of the older pads were constructed from foam that is easily punctured, even by grass. But this one is made from a super tough and durable material that won’t tear.

This pad virtually guarantees you’ll never have a bottom liner leak again. And it is cut and seamed specifically for your pool when you order the correct size.

#3. Liner Life Pre-Cut 18’ Round Swimming Pool Liner

Liner Life Pre-Cut Swimming Pool Liner Pad, 18’ Round, White – Made of Strong, Durable Polyester Geotextile Material, Precut to Fit Perfectly, GP18R
  • ABOVEGROUND POOL LINER PAD – The Liner Life Pre-Cut Pool Liner Pad is specifically designed to protect the bottom of your aboveground pool.

The Liner Life liner pad is pre-cut to fit your 18’ round swimming pool for easy installation. It’s made of an extremely durable, high-quality geotextile fabric that will prevent any sharp objects underneath from making their way through.

This will extend the life of your pool by protecting your pool’s vinyl liner and keeping you from having to replace it as often. It also provides a nice cushion for the floor of your pool and keeps foot indentations from forming in the sand base.

#4. Elephant Guard Armor Pool Pad 

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24 ft Round Pool Liner Pad, Elephant Guard Armor Shield Padding
  • EASY INSTALLATION. Pre-cut to fit your size swimming pool.

The Elephant Pad is made from a durable, tear-guard woven material that resists punctures or tears from rocks, glass, grass, or sticks that may surface in the sand under your pool. It’s pre-cut to fit your pool, so there’s no trimming or taping required.

It’s also mold and mildew resistant so it will protect your pool from damage. 

This pad is made to be super tough, so it’s great for terrain that you can’t quite get smooth enough. However, this one is not made to cushion pool floors.

#5. Rhino Pad 12’ x 24’ Oval Pool Liner Pad

Rhino Pad 10-Foot-by-15-Foot Oval Pool Liner Pad for Above Ground Swimming Pools | Prevents Punctures | Easy to Install | Made of Strong Eco-Friendly Material | Extends Life to The Liner
  • PROTECT YOUR LINER - This pool liner pad is made from a special cloth fiber that is thick and durable. Defend your liner against cuts and punctures from rocks, roots, nutgrass, glass and other harmful debris found on the ground. It will provide a flat base that gives an extra layer of armor for your swimming pool floor bottom prior to liner installation.

We love these Rhino Pads because they’re eco-friendly, durable, and easy to install. This one is cut specifically for 12’ x 24’ oval pools, but they do come in a variety of different sizes.

Use Rhino Pads to protect your pool liner against punctures and tears from anything on the ground underneath. This prolongs the life of your liner and provides a nice layer of cushion for the pool floor.

#6. Blue Wave 12-Feet Round Liner Pad

Blue Wave 12-Feet Round Liner Pad for Above Ground Pools
  • Above ground pool liner pad only - Blue vinyl liner sold separately

Cut specifically for 12’ round pools, this above ground pool pad is designed to protect your liner from sharp objects. It’s tough and durable to help prevent leaks that would otherwise shorten the life of your liner.

These liners are tough, but also give your pool floor the layer of cushioning swimmers need. 

#7. Rhino Pad 28-Foot Round Pool Liner Pad

Rhino Pad 28-Foot Round Pool Liner Pad for Above Ground Swimming Pools | Prevents Punctures | Easy to Install Pool Liner Fabric | Made of Strong Eco-Friendly Material | Extends Life to The Liner
  • PROTECT YOUR LINER - This pool liner pad is made from a special cloth fiber that is thick and durable. Defend your liner against cuts and punctures from rocks, roots, nutgrass, glass and other harmful debris found on the ground. It will provide a flat base that gives an extra layer of armor for your swimming pool floor bottom prior to liner installation.

Rhino pool pads protect liners from roots, grass, rocks, and other sharp objects that tend to cause problems at the bottoms of vinyl liners. They’re made of eco-friendly materials, so they’re also safe for the environment.

These liner guards are designed to create vapor barriers under the pool, which eliminates corrosion and other metal damage.

You don’t have to do anything extra to make this liner fit your pool. It’s specifically pre-measured for your pool shape and size.

#8. Liner Life Pre-Cut 18’ x 33’ Oval Swimming Pool Liner

Liner Life Pre-Cut Swimming Pool Liner Pad, 18’ x 33’ Oval, White – Made of Strong, Durable Polyester Geotextile Material, Precut to Fit Perfectly, GP1833OV, 360 x 216 Inches
  • ABOVEGROUND POOL LINER PAD – The Liner Life Pre-Cut Pool Liner Pad is specifically designed to protect the bottom of your aboveground pool.

This pre-cut swimming pool liner is designed for any 18’ x 33’ oval pool. It’s constructed from a premium grade polyester geotextile material that will withstand many cuts, tears, and punctures.

This liner pad also provides some cushion for your pool floor and will keep footprint indentions from forming in the sand underneath. 

Using a liner like this that’s cut to fit the exact measurements of your pool keeps you from having to cut and trim the materials.

#9. GLI Armor Shield Pool Pad

GLI 70-0024RD-BLK-160 Round Armor Shield Floor Pad, 24-Feet
  • This armor shield floor pad provides an important protective layer between a vinyl swimming pool liner and it's sand or soil base

The GLI Armor Shield Pool Pad is made for a 24’ round pool. It’s made of a high-quality polypropylene geotextile material that protects your liner from cuts, tears, and punctures caused by roots, grass, and rocks.

It also provides a cushion for your pool floor and reduces convective heat loss within the water. 

This liner is very thin but does its job well. And you won’t have anything to cut and measure if your pool is the size it’s designed for.

#10. Horizon Ventures Underpad

This liner pad is made from a water-resistant synthetic polyester felt that both protects the liner in your pool and creates a nice cushion to walk on.

It’s pre-cut for an 18’ round pool and is easy to install, requiring no cutting or taping. These types of pool pads also provide a barrier to reduce heat loss in the water by insulating it from the cool ground.

What is an Above Ground Pool Pad?

An above ground pool pad is a piece of fabric or padding that protects your pool liner from tears, cuts, and punctures that can be caused by roots, grass, rocks, or other debris underneath.

They’re usually pre-cut to fit specific sizes and shapes of pools. And you place them underneath for that extra layer of defense. 

Pool pads are typically constructed from a synthetic geotextile material that feels a lot like felt. However, it’s a very durable material that will withstand rough textures.

Why You Need an Above Ground Pool Pad

Vinyl pool liners are pretty tough, but they can only withstand so much. And even though you might make every effort to remove anything sharp from the ground underneath, a sharp rock, root, or even glass will eventually make its way to the surface.

These items can puncture or tear your liner, causing it to spring a leak that’s not so easy to fix. Liner pads provide an extra layer of defense against this situation. They’re made from a tough (usually polypropylene) fabric that will keep sharp objects at bay.

Not only that, but they also provide a little padding for your feet. Imagine if those sharp objects will poke through your pool how they’ll feel on your feet!

Additionally, pool pads provide a vapor barrier that prevents a lot of the moisture that corrodes the metal on your pool. 

It basically prolongs the life of your liner and makes swimming more comfortable.

4 Considerations for Buying the Best Above Ground Pool Pad

  1. The size of your pool

First, you’ll need to measure your pool if you don’t already know the size. Most pool liners you can buy now are pre-cut for specific sizes. 

Pool pads used to require a lot of cutting and taping, but we’ve come a long way, baby!

  1. Your climate

Many pool pads are mold and mildew-resistant, but not all of them. If you live in a particularly humid climate, you should check your product to see if that’s one of its features.

In other words, you might want to steer clear of the felt-like pads since they will absorb the moisture and fall apart if there’s too much of it coming from the outside.

  1. What’s under your pool?

Whether your pool sits on a concrete, sand, or grass surface, there’s a pool pad that will work best for you. Just pay careful attention to the recommendations of the pads you’re thinking about buying.

  1. Heat loss

Personally, I would always choose a pad that gave me a little extra heat retention, but that might not be something you care about. 

If it is, though, check to make sure your liner is designed to prevent convective heat loss. Some specifically say that, but look for other terms such as “vapor barrier” or “insulation.”

Features to Look for in the Best Above Ground Pool Pad

  • Padding. Make sure the liner you buy is padded for added cushioning. Depending on what your pool is sitting on, the ground underneath can be pretty uncomfortable on your feet.

  • Ease-of-installation. The pool pads of old required a lot of measuring, cutting, and taping. It was a pain! But newer pool pads are cut pretty well to spec and you can find one for almost any size pool.

  • Materials. Of course, you need to know what materials the pad is made out of and how well it will hold up. For one thing, it’s best to look for a mold and mildew-resistant pad. This means it’s not permeable and won’t let moisture in. For another thing, the most durable fabrics mean the most protection for your liner.

How to Properly Install an Above Ground Pool Pad

Installing an above ground pool pad is a fairly simple process, but you might need more than one set of hands to do it properly.

You’ll obviously need to do this before you install your pool, but you need to have the exact place you want it mapped out.

A pool pad actually makes it a little easier, because if you have the right size, it will give you a good idea of the space it will take up.

In other words, it’s like having a cutout of your pool you can place around your yard to decide where you want it.

Once you know where you want it, it’s important to lay it out flat, removing any wrinkles and folds. This is where another set of hands comes in handy.

Try to do this on a calm day with no wind, especially for the thinner liners.

You’ll then place your pool liner or frame on top of it. This part will depend on the manufacturer’s instructions for setting up the pool.

You may need some help keeping it in place while you get the pool laid out, but once it has some weight on it, it should stay where you want it.

Best Above Ground Pool Pad FAQs

What is the best above ground pool pad?

The best above ground pool pad for you depends a lot on the type of pool you have and what it’s sitting on. However, our pick for a great all-around pad is the Rhino Guard Pad.

This pad is really tough and does a good job at protecting the liner from damage. But it’s also soft and cushioning for the feet. 

Additionally, this pad is mold and mildew resistant.

What is the best material to put under an above ground pool?

There are several things you can put under an above ground pool for stability and longevity. Concrete pads, sand, foam, padding, and grass are all examples of popular choices.

But as far as the best material to put under your pool, that’s fairly debatable. 

If you’re planning on keeping your pool around for many years, pouring a concrete base is a good idea.This material helps keep moisture from building up and eroding the metal parts of the pool.

In addition to that, though, a pool liner pad helps with further protecting the liner and giving the floor some cushion.

Are pool liner pads worth it?

Pool liner pads are not a necessity, but they’re definitely worth the very small investment you’ll make. 

They protect your liner from unnecessary damage resulting from rocks and other debris. They also provide a nice cushion for your feet on the floor of the pool.

Many of them also provide a vapor barrier, which helps keep moisture from building up underneath and eroding the metal, as well as giving you an extra layer of insulation.

What do I put under my above ground pool for grass?

A pool liner pad is a must-have for pools on grass. The grass may make the floor a little softer, but it can also cause problems for your liner, such as tearing or puncturing.

Conclusion

While nobody says you must have a liner pad for your pool, you can probably see why it’s a good idea. This is especially true if you plan on keeping your pool around for a while, since it can prolong the life of your liner.

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