Lap Pool vs Plunge Pool – The Differences You Need to Know
Feb 12, 2023

Whether you live in a townhouse or want to keep a patch of grass for the kids or dog to play with, there’s no reason you can’t have the summer oasis of your dreams. Installing a small swimming pool will give you a place to cool down in the heat of the Aussie summer without taking up your whole backyard. Because of their compact size, lap pools and plunge pools are generally more affordable to install and maintain than a larger family pool design. If you’re considering a pool for your property, a lap pool or plunge pool will provide everything you need without taking up as much backyard space as a conventional design. But which is the better option? Let’s take a look.

What Is A Lap Pool?

Lap pools are long and rectangular, measuring on average 2.5 metres across x 10 metres long.  While their primary use is for fitness and health, lap pools are great for kids pool parties. Lap pools generally have a depth of around 2.3 metres, though this changes depending on the style you get. Some people prefer shallow depths; others prefer deeper. 


  • Lap pools are ideal for keeping you fit
  • They can be used for fun as well
  • Suited to narrow or shallow backyards
  • Take up less space than conventional inground swimming pools
  • Great for athletes
  • Easy installation
  • A lap pool can be customised with heating or swim jets for harder workouts 


  • Not suited for small or square backyards
  • Generally have splash decks or extended seating areas
  • Despite being smaller, the cost to install and maintain a lap pool is similar to a family pool.

What Is A Plunge Pool?

Also known as a dipping pool, plunge pools generally measure around 3-5 metres in length x 2 metres in width and typically around 1.5 metres in depth. They are installed in-ground and are often just a bit bigger than a spa and a lot smaller than your typical family fibreglass inground pool. Plunge pools have two main purposes: relaxation and aquatic rehabilitation. Their shallow depth and flat bottom make them perfect for low impact exercise and recovery from injury. 


  • Less impact on the environment
  • Suitable for smaller yards or patio spaces
  • Take up less space than conventional swimming pools
  • Visually appealing
  • Easy to incorporate into a simple or lavish backyard landscaping design
  • Easy to clean and requires less maintenance
  • Can be customised with heating and swim jets
  • Cost less to keep running with fewer chemicals and less water needed
  • Cheaper and faster to install than large fibreglass pools 


  • There isn’t a lot of space for kids to “play”
  • Not great for entertaining guests as they only fit a few people
  • Not large enough for exercise (swim jets solve that problem!)
  • Shallow depth can be dangerous for kids who love to jump into the pool
  • Plunge pool requires the same gate and fencing requirements, despite being smaller

Which One Is Best For Your Home?

Deciding whether you want a plunge pool or a lap pool depends on the space you have and your usage requirements. There’s plenty of choices available either way, and with Narellan Pools, all designs have their unique features and benefits. For example, if you have just a small corner of your backyard free, you’re probably thinking there’s no chance of fitting a pool in, but you’re wrong. 

The Oasis plunge pool fits neatly into the corner of and backyard. It’s a compact triangular shape that transforms an uninspiring garden space into a relaxing haven. The Eden has a single depth and is great for low impact exercise or cooling off in the summer, while the Nirvana is perfect for doing laps with a deep swimming area and dual steps. 

Making The Right Choice With Narellan Pools

When it comes to plunge pools and lap pools, Narellan Pools are the experts. Our Local Pool Builders have an abundance of experience in the installation of all types of inground swimming pools, including small inground pools and large inground pools. Whether you’re after a modest plunge pool or a distinct lap pool, our team is on hand to help you choose the perfect size, design and colour. So make the right fibreglass inground pool choice for your property – get in touch with our team today.

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