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Lap Pool vs Leisure Pool: Which Is Best for You

Lap Pool vs Leisure Pool: Which Is Best for YouPhoto from Unsplash

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Pools are a significant investment, considering installation, maintenance, and repair costs. When you decide to purchase one, you’ll want to select the most suitable one for your needs and yard. Many people with a large amount of outdoor space are torn between installing a lap or a leisure pool, and we at %COMPANY% understand why.

Each type of pool serves a distinct purpose and caters to different needs and preferences. So, if you’re on the fence, join us as we examine the key differences between lap pools and leisure pools, helping you make an informed choice that satisfies your lifestyle and goals.

Understanding Lap Pools

A lap pool is built solely for swimming laps and exercise. These pools are typically rectangular in shape, with lengths ranging from 40 to 75 feet and widths between 8 to 12 feet.

Lap pools are the ideal choice for serious swimmers, triathletes, or anyone looking to maintain a regular exercise routine or train for competitions. On the other hand, they’re also a good option for anyone interested in a sleek-looking pool.

Lap pool features include the following:

  • Consistent depth throughout the pool, usually ranging from 4 to 6 feet
  • Straight, unobstructed design for efficient lap swimming
  • Optional lane markers or dividers for multiple swimmers
  • Durable construction to withstand frequent use and resistance training

Understanding Leisure Pools

A leisure pool, also known as a recreational pool, is designed for relaxation, entertainment, and family fun. These pools come in various shapes and sizes, often featuring curves, built-in seating areas, and shallow ends for children. Leisure pools may also incorporate additional features like waterfalls, slides, or attached spas, creating a backyard oasis for all ages.

Leisure pools aim to offer something for everybody as they cater to the diverse needs of every pool lover. Plus, they can be customized, making them a suitable option for anyone looking for a particular style.

Leisure pool features include the following:

  • Varying depths, with shallow areas for children and deeper sections for swimming or diving
  • Integrated seating areas, such as benches or tanning ledges, if desired
  • Decorative elements like waterfalls, fountains, or rock formations
  • Optional features like slides, diving boards, or attached spas

Factors to Consider

It’s one thing to be drawn to a particular pool style, but selecting the best one requires some effort. Taking the time to evaluate the specific features of each will be the key to choosing the best one for you.

Space and Layout

Due to their length, lap pools require a significant amount of space, making them better suited for larger backyards or properties with ample room.

Leisure pools can be made smaller and offer greater versatility in size and shape. This adaptability makes them suitable for smaller outdoor areas or yards with irregular layouts.

Purpose and Usage

If your primary goal is to swim laps for exercise or training, a lap pool is the obvious choice.

However, if you’re looking for a pool that can accommodate various activities like lounging, playing games, or entertaining guests, a leisure pool may be more suitable for your needs.


Lap pools generally have a higher upfront cost due to the materials required for construction. On average, they have higher maintenance costs, as they require more chemicals and energy to keep the water circulating and clean. That said, they’re often straightforward in shape, so it might be easier to design them than a larger leisure pool.

While still an investment, leisure pools may be more cost-effective from an installation and maintenance perspective. However, if customization is desired, the costs can increase quickly.

Maintenance and Upkeep Demands

Both lap pools and leisure pools require regular maintenance to ensure optimal water quality, safety, and longevity.

This includes tasks like:

  • Cleaning
  • Chemical balancing
  • Equipment maintenance

While leisure pools may have slightly lower maintenance requirements due to their smaller size and fewer features, it’s essential to factor in the ongoing costs and time commitment for either pool type.

Lap Pool Advantages

  • Ideal for serious swimmers and exercise enthusiasts
  • Provides a dedicated space for lap swimming and training
  • Can be used for water aerobics classes
  • Offers a consistent depth, making it easier to swim laps without interruption
  • The elegant, narrow design can add style to any backyard

Leisure Pool Advantages

  • Versatile design allows for various activities and entertainment
  • Shallow areas are perfect for children and non-swimmers
  • Incorporates features like waterfalls, slides, and built-in seating for added enjoyment
  • Creates a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere for family gatherings and parties

Can’t Choose? Combine for the Best of Both Worlds

If you have the space and budget, you may consider combining a lap and leisure pool. This design would feature a main recreational area in a square or circular shape with an additional space of at least a lane wide jutting out to combine with the main pool for a good lap swimming distance.

Lap swimmers might have to accept a change in depth throughout the course of a lap, which might not be the best for a serious, competitive swimmer. However, this combination allows you to reap the benefits of both types of pools, catering to different preferences within your household or social circle. It also allows you to switch between dedicated exercise and leisurely relaxation.

Professional Consultation

Now that you have all the information you need, the next step is to consult with professional pool contractors or designers. An industry expert can provide valuable insights, assess your requirements, and recommend the best pool type and design for your property and lifestyle.

Additionally, they can walk you through the permitting process, ensure compliance with local regulations, and oversee the installation process for a seamless and stress-free experience. Whether you want to install a prefabricated pool or build a customized one, a pool contractor will take care of it all.

Dive Into Your Ideal Backyard Pool With Our Help

Choosing between a lap pool and a leisure pool ultimately depends on your priorities, space constraints, budget, and lifestyle preferences. By considering your needs and consulting with professionals, you can make an informed decision that will provide years of enjoyment in your backyard.

%COMPANY% is a seasoned pool construction company and can guide you through the construction and installation process from start to finish. Reach us at %PHONE1% today to get your pool planning started.

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