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Intex Mushroom Baby Pool review: our verdict on this budget summer baby buy

Looking for a way to keep your baby both cool and entertained? We put this super-cute paddling pool with a sun shade to the test - here's what we thought.

By Poppy O'Neill | Last updated Jul 20, 2023


Price on writing: £11.97 | Buy now from Amazon

What we like 

  • Built-in shade

  • Comfy inflatable base

  • Super quick to inflate and fill

  • Perfect for babies and young toddlers

What we don’t like

  • Quickly grown out of

  • Deflates slightly over time

  • Shade doesn’t fall directly over water

Our verdict

When temperatures soar it can be hard to find ways to keep babies and young toddlers both cool and entertained. This cute little pool is a brilliant solution - it provides a small, shallow area for paddling, plus some extra shade from the mushroom canopy. 

While it’s true that a paddling pool of this size will only last one, possibly two summers before your little one grows out of it, the prospect of plonking your baby in a larger paddling pool is pretty daunting for a lot of parents. At the time of writing it’s under £12 so not a huge amount of money to spend on a one-summer wonder, and inflatable paddling pools aren’t known for their longevity. 

The canopy is a nice touch, and keeps the sun off to some extent, but it’s not the right size or angle to provide complete shade, so you’ll still need to find another source of shade and keep an eye on it as the sun moves across the sky. 

All in all, we think this is a fun budget buy that’ll keep little ones happy for hours pottering around in the shallow water. Chuck in a few of their best beach toys or bath toys and you have yourself an educational, creative and cool spot for a baby or toddler to spend the day. 

Related: The best paddling pools, as recommended by Mumsnetters

Key specs

Type of paddling pool: Inflatable | Capacity: 45l | Material: PVC | Dimensions: 102 x 89cm | Weight: 1.4kg

How we tested

We consulted with Mumsnet users to find out more about the paddling pools Mumsnetters have bought their own children and recommend highly. After all, if anyone can give honest advice on the best outdoor toys their kids really love, it's the parents who have tested these products through vigorous, long-term use.

Once we compiled a shortlist of the paddling pools Mumsnetters recommended, we then interviewed our testers, in order to get their insights into what it was like for their family to own this pool. We asked them all about their experiences with the paddling pool, including the ease of set up, safety, design, and how much play value it gives kids. Through turning to real, independent Mumsnet users for reviews, we ensure we get honest opinions and feedback from people just like you.

What’s the Intex Mushroom Baby Pool like to set up?

In short, it’s a doddle. The pool has three separate sections to blow up, each taking 5-10 minutes to fully inflate. If you have an electric pump it’ll be up in seconds, but it’s very doable using just your lungs. 

"It's very small so relatively easy to fill and empty."

Our tester really liked that it didn’t use much water - especially during a hosepipe ban. Whether filled from your garden hose or with a few trips back and forth to the kitchen tap, filling it up doesn’t take long - the pool has a capacity of just 45 litres. 

How does the Intex Mushroom Baby Pool compare to other paddling pools?

There are a number of baby pools with built-in shades on the market, so let’s compare and contrast the Intex Mushroom Baby Pool with two other shaded paddling pools aimed at babies and young toddlers. 

The Babymoov Aquani is considerably more expensive at £64.99, but it provides SPF50+, a removable mosquito net and doubles as a tent for naps. For hanging out in your garden this summer, we think the Intex Mushroom Baby Pool is a better bet - why spend money on extra features that probably won’t get used? However, if you’re planning a trip to hotter climates and want to keep your baby sun-safe without compromising your beach time, the Aquani is worth investing in. 

The Summer Waves Pineapple Shade Pool is more similar in price (and cuteness) to the Mushroom Baby Pool, and its design offers considerably more shade than the mushroom does. Holding 28 litres, the Pineapple has a smaller capacity than the Mushroom, and the larger shade means less room for moving around. For these reasons the Pineapple will probably be grown out of marginally sooner than the Mushroom. 

Read next: The best hammocks for relaxing with a cuppa in your garden

What is the Intex Mushroom Baby Pool like to use?

One brilliant feature of this pool is the inflatable base. Most regular paddling pools sit flat on the ground, which is OK for busy, on-the-go older toddlers and children, but less so for babies who aren’t so mobile. The base on the Mushroom Pool provides a soft, squishy cushion so your baby can play in comfort. 

The ball can double as a ball pit if you want to get more use out of it - just add a bag of play balls for hours of rainy day fun indoors. 

In terms of keeping the paddling pool water clean, it’s best to empty it after each use, give it a spray with some anti-bac and a wipe with an old towel. It’s got such a small capacity, our tester says it’s no bother to fill and empty each time. 

Is the Intex Mushroom Baby Pool good value for money?

At the time of writing, the best price for this pool was Amazon at £11.97, with a RRP of £21.99. If you’re looking at spending around £20, some might go for a pool that offers more in the way of shade, like the Summer Waves Pineapple Shade Pool. 

However, we think it’s great value for money at its current lower price, the perfect summer bargain to have up your sleeve over the warmer months.

About Mumsnet Reviews

All Mumsnet product reviews are written by real parents after weeks of research and testing. We work hard to provide honest and independent advice you can trust. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links in our articles. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage.

About the author

Poppy O'Neill is a Content Editor at Mumsnet and a mother of two. She's been researching and reviewing baby and child products for 2 years, with a particular focus on baby essentials, toys and books for toddlers and outdoor play equipment. From potties to paddling pools and bunk beds to bedtime stories, she loves to deep-dive into research and find the best products out there.

Poppy is also the best-selling children's and parenting author of books such as Don't Worry, Be Happy, The Extraordinary Book That Makes You Feel Happy and Mother Power. She specialises in children's mental health and her books are used by therapists, teachers and SENCOs across the UK. She won the Kate Betts Memorial Prize in 2019, her books have been translated into eight languages and her writing has featured in The Guardian, The Sunday Times and The Sun.

After earning a BA in Creative Writing from the University of Leeds and a PGCert in Fashion and Lifestyle Journalism from University of the Arts London, she worked in fashion for most of her 20s. When her children were young, she undertook an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Chichester and re-trained as an author and freelance writer. When she's not working, Poppy enjoys Pilates, hunting for sea glass on the Sussex coast and playing with tarot cards.