How deep are Inground pools (4 important factors)

There are some things that can transform your boring backyard into something no less than paradise. Inground pools are one of them. Pools allow you to spend quality time with your family in your backyard. You can sit along your poolside to take a sunbath or you can swim for a couple of laps to relieve your stress and refresh your mind.  The depth of the pool is the most important factor in all those entertaining activities.

The depth of an inground pool depends mainly on the purpose of the pool. You cannot dive in a shallow 3 or 4 feet pool. It can cause many injuries. Similarly, a deeper pool is not recommended for your little ones. In this article, I will explain all of those queries regarding how deep are inground pools meant to be and some recommended depths.

Diving, age of your children, and your preferred recreational activities are some of the main factors that determine the pool depth. You can construct a multi-depth pool that can serve both children and adults. The budget is also an important parameter because deeper pools are more costly. Lastly, some safety concerns are related to inground pools and their depth.

Now let us dive down in the depths of the above-mentioned factors and help you to decide the correct depth for your pool.

How deep are Inground poolsHow deep are Inground pools depends on purpose

As I mentioned before, the depth of the pool is directly concerned with the purpose of the pool. You need a wider and deeper pool if you are into diving. On the other hand, you need only 3 to 4 feet deep pool if you want to just relax and play some games like water polo. Here are the main factors that affect the depth of the swimming pool.

1.Age of children

How deep are Inground poolsIf you are building a pool for your children, the ideal depth is 18 inches to 3 feet. There are no depth recommendations when it comes to your young ones, yet 2 feet are considered safe for toddlers. A depth of 3 deep is very handy if your child is 5 years or older. Many people tend to build a separate pool corner for their children. And as their children grow old, they shift them to the deeper side of the pool. You can also build an L shape pool with different depths. They are very useful for children who are passionate about swimming.

2.Water sports and recreation

Everyone loves to enjoy the summer heat while drinking cold beverages and playing some water sports. Well, 3.5 to 4 feet is the minimum recommended height if you want to enjoy different water games. Depth should be even in all areas. It makes standing and playing different games in the pool very easy, despite water resistance. You can play games like Basketball, Frisbee, and Volleyball in your pool. A height of 3.5-4 feet is good for movement and shallow swimming. Multiple depths should be avoided in these pools as it can cause hindrance in movement or even result in injury.

3. Cooling off

The ideal depth for this purpose is also 3.5-4 feet. You need to have waist-high water for relaxing and cooling off.  You also need a shallower area where you can put your loungers and dips your toes in the water.  As I mentioned before, it is also the recommended height for water sports and also for shallow swimming. This provides you a multipurpose pool with the same budget and same height.

How deep are Inground pools4.Diving

Diving requires a deep pool to ensure a good and safe experience.  It mainly depends upon the height of the diver and the position of diving. 4-5 feet deep pool is the minimum safe depth if you run and casually jump into the water. It should be deep enough to absorb the impact and save your legs and knees from any damage. It is worth considering the height of swimmers if only 2 or 3 people are swimming in the pool.

If you are really into swimming and love to improve your diving skills, then your pool should be at least 10 feet deep to accommodate head-first diving.  You can install a diving board and with a 10 feet deep pool and professional training, you are good to go.

One last thing I would like to mention is that diving and swimming requires a deeper and rectangular-shaped pool. So if you are building a pool-specific for swimming and diving, you must consider this important fact.

Ideal pool for both kids and adults

A pool with multiple depths is the recommended pool in these cases. Those backyard pools do not cost hefty extra amounts and they usually meet the safety requirements as well. You can build a shallow end like 3-3.5 feet for your children that steadily transits to a deep 5 feet pool. In this way, you can enjoy Water Frisbee without the tension of your child’s safety.

Many times people also build unconventional L-shaped pools with separate shallow and deep compartments. They are much safer multi-depth pools and it is recommended for swimmers and other professionals. Adding multiple depths to your pool, no doubt increases it cost a little bit but it worth every extra penny.

Cost-Depth Relation

Most of us can easily deduce that there is a direct relationship between the cost and depth of a pool. It is because that more depth requires extra days and manpower. Moreover, deeper pools also increase the requirement of raw material like cement and steel rods, which in turn cost more money. They also require more water to operate and more chemicals for cleaning.

If you are a hardcore swimmer then I recommend 10-12 feet deep pool. Yes, they cost more money for initial construction and maintenance but it’s a small price to pay for your vigor and passion. Consider your pool usage before building one. It will help you to adjust your budget accordingly and you will be to come with good pool design.

Safety Concerns

Safety is a very important factor to consider while building your pool. Minor scratches and bruises are common injuries that take place while playing in the swimming pools. Children are most prone to these injuries. Those do not result in any disability or permanent damage and, are not important.

Injuries occurring during diving and jumping are worth discussing. According to a Journal Article, 67 neck injuries took place while diving and sliding in swimming pools. Neck injuries can lead to paralysis, loss in sensation, and even death.

Many steps can be taken to prevent those injuries. A few simple and cheap ideas are as follow:

  • Fencing can be done around the pool to prevent unnecessarily rushing from the distance
  • Build the pool in a way so you can keep an eye on children from your house
  • Small children should not be allowed to play in the pool alone
  • If you want to practice diving, make sure your the pool is deep enough
  • Kids age between 10-14 years should abstain from diving
  • Pool cleaning should be done regularly to avoid any deposition on the floor which results in slipping

You must drain the pool after using it or when an adult is not around. It will save your precious little ones from many injuries.


In the end, I would like to mention that there is no perfect safe depth recommendation. All this information is based on the result of Google and Wikipedia.  For your convenience, I have summarized the above-mentioned depths in a table.

For children

18 inches-3 feet

For water sports

3-3.5 feet

For cooling off

3-3.5 feet

For diving

10 feet

All the other factors like safety, costs, and depth, etc: all depend on the purpose of the pool. If you are building it for children then proper safety measures should be taken to prevent any grievance. For adults, the depth should be above the waist.

I hope I was able to clear your queries regarding ‘How deep are inground pools’. However if you cannot afford an inground concrete pool, you can CLICK HERE to check a complete article on backyard pool ideas on a budget. Furthermore, you can ask any question regarding this in the comment section below. Now all you need is some budget to build your pool and time to relax and enjoy it.

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