Can You Swim in a 4 feet Deep Pool?

Can You swim in a 4ft deep pool?

A 4ft deep pool seems like a small depth to anyone who has experience swimming in much deeper pools. For the last 3 years though, I have been using a 4ft deep pool to swim for exercise and I was surprised to find that I didn’t have any major problems getting my laps in.

Yes, you can swim comfortably in a 4 feet deep pool. This size still allows for swimming exercise laps and it’s actually an ideal depth for new swimmers and those uncomfortable around water. The number of games that can be played by children and adults at this depth is numerous. A 4ft deep pool does not allow for lap swimming by serious adult swimmers training for competition, as the turn is too shallow for most people to rotate their bodies underwater. This pool is also not ideal for jumping and is impossible for diving.

I’ll dive into a bit more information here on what you can use a 4ft pool for if you are looking at building an inground or purchasing an above-ground swimming pool.

Why Swimming in a 4-foot pool isn’t an issue?

Depending on how you swim the distance from the top of the pool water and the bottom of the pool is plenty of space in a 4ft deep pool. For example, I prefer to swim 99% of my laps in freestyle, which doesn’t even put me close to hitting the bottom of the pool from the top of the water. I have swam butterfly, backstroke, and butterfly with no issues in a 4ft deep pool. The turns from end to end do require an adjustment though. As I’ll mention below, this depth isn’t perfect for everything but in regards to swimming, it’s an advantage to create or purchase a pool with a majority of the depth at 4ft.

If you feel like you might want a bit more depth, you can read an article I created for those wondering if a 5ft pool is too shallow.

Can You Jump in a 4-foot Pool?

You can jump into a 4ft pool from the deck but it isn’t safe and could lead to a serious accident if you were to hit the bottom of the pool too hard. For small children, it is possible of course if they are not jumping from a raised platform but just from the pool decking at the same level as the pool water. You can not jump from diving boards or jumping rocks into this depth of pool no matter your age, size, or height. It’s just too dangerous as there is not enough depth to absorb the impact from the jump safely. But again, from my personal experience, a 4-foot pool is not deep enough for adults to jump in comfortably.

Most pool slides are designed to let swimmers fall safely into a pool at 4 feet deep so this is a feature that can be added onto a pool instead of a diving board or jumping rocks!

What is a 4 ft. Deep Pool Used For?

A 4ft deep pool is used to swim laps, learn to swim and play water games such as Marco Polo, basketball, volleyball, and much more. These pools are also great for relaxing in the water without the fear of drowning for adults and teens. This depth might be perfect for families with children and it can reduce the fear of safety issues as most kids will be able to swim in this depth of the pool. With that being said, children should always be monitored and supervised around any depth of the pool.

Sports Pools that are 4 ft. deep

These pools are becoming increasingly popular for homeowners because they provide more safe space for children and those uncomfortable around water. The idea behind the sports pool is that you will have the same depth on both sides of the pool with the middle of the pool being the deepest part. This creates the perfect depth pool for playing games like basketball and volleyball. In a traditional pool, one team would be playing on the slope of the pool to the deep end but in a sports pool, the deeper end would be where the net will be. If these types of games are important for your family, it’s worth considering and you’ll still be able to swim comfortably in these types of pools! I mention this style of pool being my favorite in our article, What depth of pool is best?, I think if you are in the decision process of your pool it is a worthwhile read.

Sports Pool with Shallow Ends
Sports Pool with Shall ends and the Deeper End in the Middle

My Closing Thoughts about Swimming in a 4ft deep pool

Since my dad is a pool builder, we hear lots of feedback from customers after they have designed and built their pools. One thing that you often hear is that customers wish they had created more area of shallow pool depth of around 4ft in the middle of their pool. Deep pools are great for serious swimmers who enjoy treading water, diving, or jumping but most time spent in the pool by children, teens, and both younger and older adults is playing!

In order to play great games like volleyball or basketball, you need to be in a shallow depth like 4ft. These games also require a bit of space, that’s why that extra bit of shallow area comes in quite handy if you vary your pool depth correctly! As we mentioned when answering the question, Can you swim in a 4ft deep pool?, this extended shallow area will not affect the ability to swim. 

While this depth isn’t exactly ideal for serious swimmers, you should really consider what your pool usage would be for and how much of your pool should be at 4ft depth, because not only can you still swim but it creates this giant area of play time for friends and family.


The founder of I wanted a place to share all of the great information from my family to other pool lovers, builders, and those looking to buy a pool.

Can You Swim in a 4 Feet Deep Pool?