July 15, 2023
min read
Planning & Design

Choosing the perfect pool shape

Australia's love affair with backyard swimming pools continues to thrive, and with so many different shapes and designs available, it's no wonder people are spoilt for choice. But how do you choose the perfect pool shape for your home? Let us guide you through the various options and considerations to help you make the best decision for your lifestyle and preferences.

Rhiannon Royall
Rectangular swimming pool shape

Short summary

  • Geometric, rectangular, square and multi-sided pools offer timeless appeal in Australia.
  • Organic and freeform shapes such as kidney-shaped, figure 8 or custom freeforms provide a unique aesthetic for the backyard.
  • Consider safety features like pool covers & alarms when choosing between fibreglass vs concrete materials to customise your perfect swimming experience.

Geometric pool shapes

Geometric pool shapes reign supreme in Australia thanks to their timeless appeal and versatility. Rectangular, square, and multi-sided pools are popular choices, offering a range of benefits to suit almost any backyard. These classic shapes accommodate a wide range of activities, from swimming laps to playing games, ensuring that the whole family can enjoy the pool all summer long.

A major advantage of geometric pools, particularly fibreglass swimming pools, is their ease of maintenance. The regular shapes make cleaning a breeze, and they also allow for the addition of paving, decking, seating, and fencing.

Let's dive deeper into the most common geometric pool shapes.

Rectangular pools

Rectangular swimming pool designs

Rectangular pools are a popular choice for their clean lines and functionality. With more usable space than other shapes, these pools are perfect for leisure, entertainment, and swimming laps.

A common design variation features rounded corners, adding a touch of elegance to the classic rectangle. Whether you're looking for a place to hone your swimming strokes or a stylish addition to your backyard, rectangular pools are a versatile option for any home.

Square pools

Square pools, with their four equal sides and right angles, offer a low-maintenance, cost-effective solution for homeowners seeking a pool that provides ample space and usability. These pools are more energy efficient, requiring fewer chemicals and less electricity, and their simple shape makes them easier to install and maintain.

However, they may not be as visually appealing as other pool shapes, so it's essential to weigh the pros and cons before committing to a square pool design.

Multi-sided pools

For those wanting to break away from traditional pool shapes, multi-sided pools offer a creative alternative. These pools feature multiple straight edges or sides, such as hexagons, decagons, and nonagons.

While multi-sided pools may not be as common as rectangular or square pools, they provide a unique aesthetic that can elevate your backyard space and make a statement.

Organic and freeform pool shapes

Organic freeform swimming pool designs

For homeowners seeking a more natural look, organic and freeform pool shapes are an excellent option. These shapes are designed to blend seamlessly with the surrounding landscape, offering a more relaxed and inviting atmosphere. Kidney-shaped, figure-8, and custom freeform pools are popular choices for those looking for a pool that reflects the beauty of nature.

Freeform pools, as their name suggests, can take on virtually any curvilinear shape, allowing for a truly unique and personalised swimming experience. Kidney-shaped pools, while considered freeform, have become more standardised over time, while figure-8 pools offer a distinct shallow area and a separate deeper area.

Let's explore these organic and freeform pool shapes in more detail.

Kidney-shaped pools

Kidney shape swimming pool

Kidney-shaped pools have a long oval shape with an indentation on one side, allowing for a natural placement of a shallow end and a deep end for swimmers. This design is often preferred due to its adaptability to nearly any size of backyard space and its more natural aesthetic.

Some homeowners opt to incorporate a spa in the recessed area or add shrubbery and greenery to enhance its organic appeal.

Figure-8 pools

Figure 8 siwmming pool

Figure-8 pools feature two interconnected circles, with one being larger than the other, creating an aesthetically pleasing design that offers more swimming area than a kidney-shaped pool. However, constructing figure-8 pools can be more challenging than other pool shapes, and they require more space.

Additionally, certain pool accessories, such as slides or diving boards, may not be suitable for them. Nevertheless, their unique design can make them an enchanting addition to your backyard oasis.

Custom freeform pools

Custom freeform pools provide the ultimate in design versatility, allowing for a pool shape that is truly one-of-a-kind. These pools can incorporate unique features such as rocks and waterfalls, creating a naturalistic environment for relaxation and enjoyment.d

Factors to consider when designing a custom freeform pool include the size and shape of the pool, materials used, filtration system, lighting, and decking. With a custom freeform pool, the possibilities for creating a stunning, personalised swimming experience are virtually limitless.

L-shaped and modified pool shapes

L-shaped and modified pool shapes, such as true-L, lazy-L, and T-shaped pools, offer unique designs that can enhance the functionality and aesthetics of your backyard swimming area. These pool shapes provide a distinct delineation between deep and shallow ends, making them particularly appealing for families with young children or for those who enjoy a mix of swimming activities.

With their distinct designs and versatile uses, L-shaped and modified pool shapes allow homeowners to create a personalised swimming experience that caters to their specific needs and preferences.

Let's delve into the various L-shaped and modified pool shapes available.

True-L pools

L-shaped swimming pool designs

True-L pools feature a long, narrow side and a shorter, wider side, providing an asymmetrical design that is well-suited for diving, swimming, and aesthetics. Their unique shape is perfect for those who want a pool that offers a modern aesthetic and optimises the use of space in their backyard.

However, true-L pools can be pricier to construct compared to other pool shapes and may require additional upkeep due to their asymmetrical shape.

Lazy-L pools

Lazy-L shaped swimming pool designs

Lazy-L pools offer an organic shape with a shorter offset compared to true-L pools, creating a distinct delineation between the deep and shallow ends. This pool shape is visually appealing and provides a more natural look, but it can be more challenging to clean and maintain due to its unique design.

When selecting a lazy-L pool, consider factors such as size, shape, materials used, and cost to ensure it is the perfect fit for your backyard oasis.

T-shaped pools

T-shaped swimming pool designs

T-shaped pools offer increased swimming area and are suitable for larger backyards, featuring a main rectangular pool with an additional rectangular pool connected to it, forming a “T” shape. These pools provide ample space for various activities and can be tailored to suit the needs of serious swimmers and families alike.

However, T-shaped pools may be pricier to construct and sustain than other pool shapes and may require more space.

Specialty pool designs

Specialty pool designs cater to specific needs and preferences, offering unique and customised options for homeowners who desire a more personalised swimming experience. These pool designs include lap pools for fitness enthusiasts, plunge pools for relaxation, and infinity pools for those seeking a luxurious and visually stunning addition to their backyard.

Each specialty pool design offers its own set of benefits, allowing homeowners to create a swimming environment that perfectly suits their lifestyle and preferences. Let's explore these specialty pool designs in more detail.

Lap pools

Lap pools, typically rectangular in shape and ranging in length from 10 to 50 feet, are designed specifically for swimming laps and enhancing fitness. These pools are perfect for those who want a dedicated space for exercise while saving space in their backyard.

Lap pools provide a great cardiovascular workout, aiding in muscle strength and lung capacity development.

Plunge pools

Plunge pools are small, shallow pools designed for cooling off or providing a relaxing environment. Usually round or oval in shape and ranging in size from 10 to 20 feet in diameter, plunge pools are an excellent way to beat the heat during the summertime and can be utilised for exercise or leisure.

Their compact size makes them an ideal choice for homeowners with limited backyard space.

Infinity pools

Infinity pools are the epitome of luxury, featuring a vanishing edge that creates the illusion of the pool extending into the horizon. These pools are generally rectangular in shape and range from 10 to 50 feet in length.

While they provide a visually stunning addition to any backyard, infinity pools require more maintenance than traditional pools and must adhere to strict safety regulations in Australia, such as fencing requirements.

Customising your pool

Taking the time to customise your pool can make a significant investment in your home, potentially increasing its value should you choose to move. Personalising your pool allows you to create a swimming environment that perfectly suits your needs, preferences, and backyard space. Some customisation options include pool and spa combos for relaxation and hydrotherapy, safety features to ensure the well-being of pool users, and colour choices to coordinate with the ambiance of your outdoor space.

From pool shapes and sizes to unique features and designs, the options for customising your pool are virtually limitless. Let's explore some popular customisation options.

Pool and spa combos

Pool and spa combos provide the benefits of both swimming and hydrotherapy in one convenient package, making them a popular choice for homeowners who want to maximise their relaxation options.

By incorporating a spa in your pool design, you can enjoy the soothing effects of hydrotherapy jets and the refreshing experience of swimming in one cohesive design.

Safety features

Safety should always be a top priority when it comes to your swimming pool. Customising your pool with safety features such as pool covers, fencing, and alarms can provide peace of mind and ensure the well-being of pool users.

Additionally, safety nets, life jackets, and wristbands can be utilised to further enhance the safety of your pool area.

Colour choices

The colour of your pool can have a significant impact on the overall ambiance of your outdoor space. Available colour options for pools include white, blue, grey, green, tan, brown, black, and sandstone. Traditional options such as white offer a crisp and vivid surface, while other colours can create a more relaxed or natural atmosphere.

Ultimately, the pool finish should be selected to coordinate with the ambiance you wish to create in your backyard oasis.

Fibreglass vs. concrete pools

When it comes to choosing the perfect pool shape and material, fibreglass and concrete pools are two popular options. Fibreglass pools are pre-manufactured, moulded pools constructed from a fibreglass shell, while concrete pools are custom-built pools constructed from concrete. Each material offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks, so it's essential to weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

Fibreglass pools offer a more efficient installation process, require less maintenance, feature a smooth surface that is easier to clean and less prone to algae growth, and are gentler on the skin. On the other hand, concrete pools boast increased durability, can be tailored to any size or shape, and provide more design possibilities, such as waterfalls, slides, and spas.

Ultimately, the choice between fibreglass and concrete pools will depend on your specific needs, preferences, and budget.


In conclusion, choosing the perfect pool shape for your home involves considering various factors such as the size of your backyard, the desired activities, and the overall aesthetics you wish to achieve. From geometric and organic shapes to L-shaped, modified, and specialty pool designs, there is a pool shape to suit every lifestyle and preference. By customising your pool with unique features, safety measures, and colour choices, you can create a swimming environment that not only enhances the value of your home, but also provides endless enjoyment for you and your family.

Rhiannon Royall
Pool Builder Operations
I'm a pool enthusiast turned designer with 25 years of industry experience. Creating dream pools is my passion, and I'm thrilled to help builders and homeowners bring their visions to life through Poolz.
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