How Deep Should an Inground Pool Be?


How deep should an inground pool be? Pools can be any depth that suits the people using them, from 6’ to 8 or 9’ (for diving), with a 1.5’ lounge area at the edge. Is everyone using the pool completely comfortable in the water? If not, an area where someone will have footing will be necessary. 

Determining how you’ll use your pool is essential before deciding the depth (and shape) of your pool. 

How deep should an inground pool be? Consider the following ideas before contemplating:

  • A fibreglass pool can more easily accommodate varied slopes and depths than a vinyl inground pool.
  • Always talk to a professional pool designer/installer during the idea stage of your pool. There may be installation parameters. 
  • Passion Pool & Pond can provide insights about depth and pool shape depending on how you feel you would use it most. 
  • With over a decade of pool design and professional installations, we will help you create the perfect pool for you and your family. See our reviews. 
  • We are indeed passionate about pools.

How will you primarily make use of your pool?


Water sports and mild recreation: 
A larger shallow area with a max depth of 38” will work best. A slope or gradient can go from 38 – 48” or 38 – 60” and even have a much more shallow area on one side. 


A pool with a diving board should be longer than a typical pool. It should be wider to allow more space between it and the shallow area. Alternatively, a side L-shape can accommodate a shallow area. A minimum diving depth of 8, 9, or 10’ is needed.


Lap swimming:
Swimming laps is a fantastic form of exercise. A 6 ft deep pool is typically installed with a 2.5 – 3.5’ shallow area for lounging.


Multiple uses / multiple depths:
38” is a typical shallow water depth that allows pool parties, sports activities, and water games. Depths of 18, 38, 48, and 60” can be staggered.


Lounging, kid wading, or tanning ledge:
If you have the option, a shallow area of 1.5’ (18”) is a bonus for children and in-water lounging chairs.


Steps provide a wonderful dimension to a pool. They offer an easy descent into the pool and provide multi-levels for entertaining and relaxing.

The depth of an inground pool will consider the skill level of the people swimming.

There are people that are nervous about being in pools, and for those people, consider ensuring an area of 3’ depth to make them feel at ease.

The pool depth should be comfortable for everyone. 

Even if there are height discrepancies between people, there should be areas where shorter people can feel comfortable.

Read more about pool depths here.

How deep should an inground pool be for future resale value?

Although owning a pool isn’t about the people who may enjoy it after you, it will always help the resale value if you ensure you’ve allowed an area of your pool where anyone can stand and get their footing. 

Read our blog post about the resale value of a home with a pool.


How deep an inground pool is may depend on your budget.
If you love to dive, know that added pool depth will be necessary. That excavation and installation of a deeper pool will cost more. Most people spend most of their time in the more shallow areas, and if the cost is significant, a lap pool depth may be better suited.