In 2016, we created a blog post, 14 Poolside Must-Haves, that became very popular on Pinterest. Some of the links and products have since become obsolete, so we thought it was time for an update. As you know, installing the pool is just the first step in creating a great back yard. So, here are 11 poolside must-haves (plus more!) to help you make the most of your summer fun.
Please note: The Cameron Team has not been paid or received any other compensation to include any of the products featured on this post, but the author has included affiliate links and content. If you click on a link, they may earn a commission – a high-five for great content!
1. Comfortable Waterproof Seating
If you’re hanging about beside the pool, of course you need comfortable seating!
This KidKraft lounger was one of the most popular products listed on our original blog post. It has a canopy for protection from the sun and cup holders for drinks. Funny enough, we’re pretty sure more people bought it for their dogs than their kids!
But did you know that KidKraft also makes this nice, covered table and bench set for ages 3-8? It can sit 4 to 6 kids and is great for lunch beside the pool.
If you’re looking for something similar to the KidKraft lounger but for tweens to adults, the Tangkula Outdoor Lounger is a good choice. It’s made from UV-protected rattan and has removable cushion covers that can be washed. A drink/book holder pops out of the side and the back rest and canopy are adjustable.
Waterproof Floor Cushion
Perhaps you’re just looking for seating that you can pull out when you have the entire family over or when the kids invite all their friends. This large outdoor floor cushion from BlueBrushGifts is handmade with waterproof fabric and they offer a wide range of prints and colors. It’s flexible enough that it can be laid flat or propped up against a wall like a chair.
If you have a large family or plan on entertaining guests around your pool, a sectional can be a great choice for seating. This water-resistant rattan sectional from Waroom is modular, so it can be arranged to fit beside your pool or in a nearby screened porch. It also has a storage table that can hold pillows, toys, etc.
2. Toy Storage
With owning a swimming pool comes accessories, including inflatables, floaties, divers, pool noodles, googles, and more. These products will help keep them contained when not in use.
Rolling Mesh Bin
This handy mesh storage container has a top rack for pool noodles, a large bottom bin for inflatables, and side pockets for diving toys and goggles. Because it’s on wheels, you can pull it in and out of storage when it’s not in use.
Hanging Mesh Storage
If you’d like a stationary option, Mesh Titan has a bag that you can hang on a fence, the side of your above-ground pool, or between support posts on your home. The mesh fabric helps the toys and floaties stuffed inside dry quickly, and it can easily be removed during the cold months.
3. Additional Small Storage
These products will help you with all the smaller stuff that comes with spending hours outside around the pool.
Keep your family and guests from being burned by keeping sunscreen readily available. This cute storage bucket from HappyToz holds multiple bottles – spray, lotion, kid-safe, sport, etc. You can also choose the color of bucket, font, and font color.
Tabletop Storage Box
This cute painted storage box from JandBCustomKrafts is perfect for holding sunscreen, bug sprays, goggles, sunglasses, and other smaller items that may be needed poolside. The box pictured says “Summer Vibes”, but you can also choose “Pool Vibes” or your own wording.
Keep your towels neat before use with this canvas storage basket from ASouthernBucket. It can hold 5-6 thick medium-sized pool towels (fewer larger beach towels) and has two handles for easy carrying. It’s also made in North Carolina!
4. Towel Rack
Having a dedicated towel rack will keep towels from being strewn across seating and handrails around the pool.
Wall-Mounted Swivel Towel Rack
A wall-mounted swivel towel rack is one of the most convenient and space-saving ways to dry towels and bathing suits wet from the pool (it’s also pretty handy if you just have an outdoor shower). This version from FloatStorage is one of the larger capacity versions. They also have a similar setup if you need a method for storing floats.
Handmade Towel Hooks
There are a lot of handmade towel hooks on Etsy. Some are personalized with your name while others are just really cute, like this flip-flop set made by FunKeyJunkDesigns. You can choose the number and type of hooks, and the color of the flip-flops.
Free-Standing Pool Towel Rack
If screwing a towel rack to the exterior of your home is not an option, there are free-standing towel racks too. This one by TowelMaid is made of furniture-grade PVC (not plumber-grade PVC) that won’t warp or degrade and will last for years. It also has a wide base to prevent it from tipping over in the wind.
Make the poolside area safer for visitors and set the ambience with lighting.
Small solar powered fence lights are great along walkways and around the yard. These ones from Bridika turn on automatically at dusk and have an RGB color feature, which is fun when you’re having parties.
Nothing sets the tone like string patio lights. Hang them between trees, around your screened porch, or from post-to-post over your patio. These lights from Gluroo are 60ft long, shatterproof, and energy-saving because they’re LED. The vintage style bulbs are replaceable, in case one goes out, and each bulb socket has a hook, so you can use a thin rope to reinforce the string when hanging long distances.
Floating Pool Lights
These inflatable 14-inch ball lights are sure to be a favorite among the kids. You can hang them from trees or let them float in the swimming pool. The change to 7 colors and are solar powered, so they recharge during the day.
6. Outdoor Smart Plug
By the way, if you’d like to control the outdoor lights or speakers that you plug in, this is the smart plug that I personally use for my Christmas lights. It connects to an app you download on your phone. You can set when each socket turns on and off, which is very hand when you’re as forgetful as me, and it holds up against the weather.
Signs are a great way to add color and set the tone poolside, as well as informing visitors (and reminding littles) of property rules.
Point the Way
Hanging around the pool? Let visitors know. Send them to the backyard with a sign, like this one from CraftsByKrisH. It’s hand painted and can easily be hung on your front door.
There are front door mats that do this, as well. Check out this one from JunieBDesignStudio.
There are many signs for displaying pool rules. They can be large and silly or small and serious. This aluminum sign from IncredibleCanvas is fully customizable. You can choose the background, add your family name, write your own rules, etc. It also comes in 3 sizes.
There are also wood signs that can be customized. NineTwentyFourDesign lets you choose the rules to display, as well as the colors. Their signs are hand painted and sealed to stand up to the elements, but are designed to be displayed on a porch or under a covered patio.
Need something more resilient? CustomWorksByFaith has a garden flag that you can customize.
Is your house a summer hotspot? Make sure you advise your visitors of house rules, like drying off before heading inside. This vintage style sign from ClassicMetalSigns does just that.
You may also want visitors to remove their shoes. This cute sign from ThePaintedOwl89 can easily be hung on or beside the back door.
There are also some really cute doormats that ask people to remove their shoes. Take a look at this one from PaintedStorkDesigns.
8. Drink Holders
Keep drinks and food within arm’s reach so you can enjoy the water as much as possible.
Pool Drink Ledge
For those who have above-ground pools, keeping beverages and important items nearby can be difficult if you don’t have a deck built around the pool. This plan from HorizonDesignStudios on Etsy lets you make a drink ledge out of PVC.
Chips, dip, soda, wine, and fruit…whatever you’re eating, this Diveblast floating tray will keep it nearby. It even has a place to put your phone to keep it out of the water.
9. Things to Keep Your Food Cold and Safe from Bugs
Do you live by the pool all summer? Then a custom ice chest may be a worthwhile investment for you. This double ice chest from VisandClou has two 48-quart ice chests, bottle openers, a stainless steel steam pan for citrus, a towel rack, and drainage valves for easy emptying. It can also be personalized.
Pop-Up Food Covers
If there’s a pool party, there’s food. Unfortunately, that also means there’s flies – real party poopers. Seriously, no one wants what flies leave behind. Thankfully, there are these neat pop-up food covers that help keep flies off food outside. They come in a variety of sizes and are reusable.
Who doesn’t love some good music while playing in the pool? A good waterproof speaker is a must-have for entertaining around the pool. If you can’t afford to have a speaker system installed, there are plenty of good portable wireless speakers.
Blufree makes this Bluetooth speaker that floats, lights up, and has hands-free calling. Even if you don’t let it float around the pool, you can feel assured that it will survive if it’s accidentally dropped in the water.
True Wireless Stereo Speaker
If you have a large back yard and would like to have more than one wireless speaker playing music, you want to use speakers with True Wireless Stereo (TWS). It allows you to pair two audio devices with Bluetooth. This SOWO speaker does just that and will connect up to a device 100 feet away. Plus, it’s waterproof. If you accidentally drop it in the pool, it will float back to the surface. Just keep in mind that it’s not made to be floated around the pool.
11. Backyard Games
When your guests and family members are done swimming, give them something else to do, like these games.
Corn hole has easy rules to understand and can be easily adjusted for kids. A personalized game set is also a fun addition to your back yard games collection. TwoDayDecor has a variety of board designs to choose from. The ones shown here are pretty classic, but they also have more colorful designs.
Don’t you love when they take games from your childhood and make them huge? This 4-in-a-Row game is 3.5 feet tall and made of plastic, so it’s easily waterproof.
Ladder toss is so easy to play, young children even love to play. Some of the complaints about cheaper ladder toss games are the low quality of materials used to make them. This wooden version of ladder toss has lots of good reviews.
This game will suck you in. It’s so simple. Just swing the ring until it lands on the hook. But it’s like darts – you will spend an hour or more trying to perfect your technique. Some homemade versions of this game require installation where you hang the ring from the ceiling, but this one has a telescoping pole so it can be hung anywhere vertical (tree, piling, porch, exterior wall, etc.)
Want the kids to just sit down and chill at the table? Uno Splash is a waterproof version of the game that has a clip to keep all the cards together when they aren’t being used.
Looking for some highly-rated pool toys? Check these out:
GoSports Splash Hoop
Do you love skipping rocks? You’ll likely love Skip Ball.
Foam Water Blasters
They’re easier to refill than water guns.
This set has 30 pieces, including diving sticks and “jewels”.
Did we miss something? Share it in the comments!