Plunge Pools and Lap Pools- What Are Their Main Differences?

Dreaming of a swimming pool in the backyard but don’t have a tonne of room for one? That’s ok there are plenty of options available to you regardless of the size of your backyard. Two popular types are lap pools and plunge pools. Throughout this post, we’ll explain what the main differences are between them and everything else you need to know.

The main differences between lap pools and plunge pools are their shape, and what they can be used for. Below is a breakdown of the two to give you a deeper understanding:

About lap pools

Lap pools are purposefully constructed for exercise purposes and primarily for swimming laps. They are long and narrow in shape and are a perfect swimming pool option for those who want to be able to work on their fitness any time, day, or night from the convenience of their backyard. Functionality-wise they are an ideal fit for backyards that are lacking space or are slender in size. Lap pools can not only be used for swimming laps, but relaxation, water sports, and so much more.

What is the size of a lap pool?

There are various types of laps pools available, and they vary depending on which one you choose. One distinctive thing they have in common is that they are rectangular in shape. Their width is typically around 3 to 4 metres, and their length can be anything from 8 to 12 metres or more. Lap pools aren’t as deep as regular pools, but this is intentional to allow swimmers to walk laps of the pool as well as swim. The average depth of a lap pool is 1.35 metres.

Benefits of choosing a lap pool

  1. They are a fantastic choice for keeping fit

  2. Well-suited to small backyards or those lacking space

  3. They don’t take up as much room as a large swimming pool

  4. Suitable to pair with swim or spa jets and heating

  5. They typically use less water and chemicals than their larger counterparts

  6. Can add value to your home

  7. Various sizes and styles to choose from

  8. They are multipurpose and can be used for fun and fitness

  9. Straightforward to install

  10. This distance from one side to another is considerably less than a family pool, and they are shallower too, which makes them safer for young swimmers.


  1. The installation cost is around the same as a bigger pool

  2. There is usually only enough room for one or two people to do laps at a time

  3. They won’t fit in small or square-shaped backyards

What is the purpose of a lap pool?

A lap pool is designed for swimming laps in however, it can be used for fitness, relaxing and entertaining. The shallow depth is perfect for stretching, exercising, water aerobics, and it’s commonly used to walk and run laps along.

How much does a lap pool cost?

How much a lap pool costs can vary depending on the inclusions you add to it, the site it is being installed on, whether you have good access or not and many other factors. To give you a broad figure, lap pools generally cost $25,000 or more.

How do I know if a lap pool is suited to me?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding if a lap pool is a good fit or not:

  1. Do you have enough room for a lap pool?

  2. Is swimming laps a top priority?

  3. What is your budget?

  4. What will you use your pool for the most?

About plunge pools

The term plunge pool originates from the base of a waterfall where there is usually a small, yet deep pocket of water. Plunge pools are smaller versions of regular-sized pools with some slight variations. They are designed with relaxation and soaking in mind. Plunge pools have become increasingly popular over the years as they fit in small and modest-sized backyards. They feature comfortable seating that runs around a good portion of the pool, this provides a perfect place to sit for hours on end.

What is the size of a plunge pool?

Like lap pools, plunge pools come in various styles, but the average size is around 2 to 4 metres wide by 2 to 7 metres in length. The middle of the pool tends to be deeper and it gets shallower the closer you get to the edges of the pool. The deepest part of the pool can be anything from 1.2 metres deep to 1.7 metres. You’ll find that most plunge pools are square in shape.

Benefits of choosing a plunge pool

  1. They can accommodate a wide variety of backyards, even small and compact sites

  2. Comfortable seating, there’s plenty of room for multiple people to sit at once

  3. They heat effectively, so they are great for aquatic rehabilitation

  4. Can add value to your home

  5. Typically use less water and chemicals

  6. The smaller surface area is quicker and easy to clean

  7. Generous selection to choose from

  8. Fast installation

  9. The smaller size makes it safer for younger swimmers to get from side to side, and the large bench seats provide an ideal spot to rest and play


  1. The length usually hinders swimming laps comfortably

  2. Smaller plunge pools tend to only have enough room for two or three swimmers at any one given time

  3. They cost around the same as a regular-sized pool to install

What is the purpose of a plunge pool?

A plunge pool has two primary purposes, and they are hydrotherapy and relaxation. The flat bottom and shallow depth provide the ideal environment to complete low impact exercises and stretches. They can also be used for playing games, socialising, and paddling around in on a hot summers day.

How much does a plunge pool cost?

The starting price of a plunge pool is around the same as a lap pool, and an entry-level plunge pool usually starts at $25,000 and goes up from there.

How do I know if a plunge pool is suited to me?

Here are some questions to ask yourself when deciding if a plunge pool is a good fit or not:

  1. What do you think you will use your pool for the most?

  2. How much room do you have for a pool?

  3. What’s more important, being able to swim around or relax?

  4. How many people will use the pool at one time?

Both our lap pools and plunge pools have a child safety ledge running around the inside wall and non-slip surfaces and steps. Both are highly compatible with swim and spa jets. Due to their size, smaller lap pools and plunge pools heat exceptionally well, and less powerful equipment is generally needed to run the pool. This can save you money.

After reading about lap pools and plunge pools, we hope that you’re one step closer to finding the perfect swimming pool for your place. One thing for sure, with our extensive collection you are bound to find something you love here at Factory Pools Perth. We specialise in luxurious fibreglass pools and spas, and we have something for every home, lifestyle, and budget. For more information, feel free to contact us or check us out online.