What is a Plunge Pool Used For?

Types of Outdoor Swimming Pools

British Columbia, Canada
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A plunge pool is a small, shallow pool built for the purpose of lounging, wading, and cooling off instead of for swimming and exercising. Some homeowners prefer them because of their lower costs, smaller sizes, easier maintenance, and reduced water requirements. Because of their limited dimensions, plunge pools are shallow.

Since newer homes tend to be built on smaller lots, a plunge pool is a space-saving option.

Plunge pools can be enhanced with upgraded materials and water features like fountains and waterfalls.

Some plunge pools are situated next to outdoor spas or hot tubs for the purpose of cold-plunge therapy. Small cold-water pools have been used for thousands of years in Chinese medicine and were also popular with the Ancient Romans. Many swimmers and athletes like to plunge into a pool of cold water after a heated workout or sauna or spa session, believing it has therapeutic benefits.

Popular in France and Europe

Not surprisingly, plunge pools are popular in France, where many fashion trends and innovations originate. The French like this type of swimming pool--known as a piscine--because:

  • They are economical--smaller and more shallow means it will cost less
  • Less, and therefore easier, to maintain
  • Plunge pools can fit in small gardens, patios, or other limited outdoor spaces
  • Smaller means not as much water is used
  • It requires a smaller amount of chemicals
  • Less space to heat--making it a more environmental and budget-friendly choice

Great for Exercising

This type of pool is also good for low-impact aqua exercises--the type that involves focused stretches involving arms, legs, and abdominal muscles rather than the cardio benefits of lap swimming.

A plunge pool in Florida might be completely different than a plunge pool in Australia. Down under, plunge pools can be equipped with jets that provide targeted massages while you float or sit in the pool. You can also opt for a whirlpool effect to experience a gentle full-body massage. Australian plunge pools can have resistance jets installed for swimming laps in place -- like a swim spa or spool in the United States.


Also Known As: Wading pool

Common Misspellings: plundge, plounge