Spool Pool vs. Traditional Pools: Which is Right for You?

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    Did you know that the popularity of pool installation has been increasing exponentially in recent years? Whether it’s for relaxation, exercise, or simply to enhance the aesthetics of their outdoor space, more and more people are opting to have a pool in their backyard. However, with the wide variety of pool types available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one that suits your needs. This is where spool pools and traditional pools come into play.

    Spool pools, also known as cocktail or plunge pools, are compact in size and offer a combination of spa and pool features. On the other hand, traditional pools are larger and offer more space for recreational activities. Understanding the key differences between these two types is essential in making an informed decision about which one would be the best fit for you.

    In this article, we will delve into the definitions of spool pools and traditional pools, exploring their size and space requirements, cost implications, maintenance needs, and potential usage. By the end, you will have a comprehensive understanding of these pool types, which will aid you in making the right choice for your backyard oasis. So let’s dive in and explore the world of spool and traditional pools!

    What is a Spool Pool?

    A spool pool, also known as a spool or a cocktail pool, is a hybrid swimming pool that combines the features of a spa and a pool. It is designed to provide the luxury of a spa and the functionality of a pool in a compact and efficient space. Spool pools are typically smaller in size compared to regular swimming pools, usually ranging from 10 to 16 feet in length and 6 to 8 feet in width.

    The significant feature that sets a spool pool apart from other types of pools is its dual-purpose functionality. It can be used as a traditional swimming pool for exercise and recreational activities, but it also incorporates a built-in spa-like seating or seating area with jets for hydrotherapy and relaxation purposes. This design allows users to enjoy both the benefits of a swimming pool and a spa, making it an ideal choice for homeowners with limited outdoor space or those who desire the convenience of having a pool and a spa in one.

    The origin of spool pools can be traced back to the desire for compact and versatile outdoor aquatic spaces. As homeowners sought to maximize their backyard space, the concept of spool pools emerged, providing a solution that satisfies both the need for a pool and a spa. Spool pools have gained popularity due to their space-saving design, ease of maintenance, and the ability to use them throughout the year. They have become a sought-after option for relaxation, hydrotherapy, and enjoying the benefits of swimming, all in a compact and efficient package.

    What is a Traditional Pool?

    A traditional pool is a popular choice for homeowners who want to enjoy a classic and timeless swimming experience. It typically refers to in-ground or above-ground pools that have a traditional design and shape. In-ground pools are built into the ground, while above-ground pools are installed on top of the ground, often with a surrounding deck.

    Common types of traditional pools include the rectangular pool, which is a classic and straightforward design that provides a large swimming area. The kidney-shaped pool is another popular choice, with its organic and flowing lines resembling the shape of a kidney. Some traditional pools may also feature a Roman or Grecian design, which incorporates elegant and symmetrical elements, such as columns or statues.

    In addition to these common types, there are various styles and designs of traditional pools available. These can include freeform pools, which have a more natural and irregular shape, and geometric pools, which feature well-defined and straight lines. Traditional pools can also be customized with different materials, such as tiled or plastered finishes, and may include features like waterfalls, slides, or diving boards to enhance the swimming experience.

    Overall, a traditional pool offers a classic and enduring style for homeowners who want to create a timeless oasis in their backyard.

    Size and Space Considerations

    When it comes to size and space considerations, spool pools and traditional pools offer different options for individuals with different needs and constraints. Spool pools are known for their compact size, making them suitable for limited spaces. Unlike traditional pools, which can take up a significant amount of yard space, spool pools can fit perfectly in small yards or patios. This makes them a popular choice for urban homes or homes with smaller outdoor areas. The smaller size of spool pools also allows for easier installation in various locations. Their flexibility in installation means that individuals can have a spool pool even if they have limited space or difficult terrain.

    On the other hand, traditional pools offer a variety of sizes to choose from. Whether you want a small, medium, or large pool, there are options available to suit your preferences. However, it is important to consider the space requirements of traditional pools. Larger pools require more yard space, which can have an impact on yard design and landscaping. Homeowners with smaller yards may need to sacrifice a significant portion of their outdoor space to accommodate a traditional pool.

    Spool pools are the ideal choice for those with limited space or a desire for installation flexibility. They are compact in size and can be installed in various locations, making them suitable for small yards or patios. Traditional pools, on the other hand, offer a range of sizes but require larger spaces, which may impact yard design and landscaping. Ultimately, the choice between a spool pool and a traditional pool will depend on individual space requirements and preferences.

    Cost and Installation

    When considering your options for a backyard pool, it’s important to factor in both the cost and the installation process. Two popular choices are spool pools and traditional pools. Let’s take a closer look at the cost and installation details for each.

    Spool Pools: These pools are generally more cost-effective for smaller budgets. The installation time for a spool pool is relatively short, compared to traditional pools. This means you can start enjoying your pool sooner after the installation process is completed.

    Traditional Pools: The cost overview for traditional pools provides a breakdown of costs for different types of pools. While the initial investment for a traditional pool may be higher, it offers long-term value. The installation process for a traditional pool may take longer compared to spool pools due to their larger size and more complex features.

    Ultimately, the choice between a spool pool and a traditional pool depends on your budget and long-term investment goals. Spool pools are a more cost-effective option for those with smaller budgets and limited installation time. On the other hand, traditional pools may require a higher initial investment but offer the potential for long-term value. Consider your budget, installation timeline, and long-term goals when making a decision. Consulting with a professional pool builder can also help you determine the best fit for your needs and preferences.

    Maintenance and Upkeep

    Maintenance and upkeep for spool pools are notably easier due to their smaller size. With less square footage to clean and maintain, owners can expect a significant reduction in the time and effort required to keep their spool pools in optimal condition. The minimal size of spool pools not only makes it convenient to maintain, but it also results in lower operational costs. Heating, cleaning, and chemical use are all required in a pool, regardless of its size. However, the reduced volume of water in spool pools means less energy is needed for heating, resulting in cost savings. Additionally, fewer cleaning products and chemicals are required, further reducing operational expenses.

    On the other hand, traditional pools demand more extensive maintenance needs due to their larger size. Cleaning and upkeep for larger pools can be a time-consuming and labor-intensive task. Additionally, the larger volume of water in traditional pools requires more energy to heat, leading to higher operational costs.

    The size difference between spool pools and traditional pools directly affects the effort and resources needed for maintenance and upkeep. Spool pool owners can enjoy a hassle-free experience when it comes to maintaining their pool, requiring less time, effort, and money. In contrast, traditional pool owners will encounter more demanding maintenance requirements and higher operational costs due to the larger size of their pools.

    Usage and Functionality

    Spool Pools are versatile and convenient as they serve the dual function of both a small swimming pool and a spa. This unique feature allows individuals to enjoy the benefits of relaxation, hydrotherapy, and exercise all in one space. With the possibility of year-round use due to heating features, spool pools ensure that individuals can indulge in their favorite activities regardless of the season.

    On the other hand, traditional pools are designed primarily for recreational use. They are perfect for swimming laps, practicing diving, or hosting large gatherings. With their expansive size, traditional pools provide ample space for families to have fun and enjoy pool parties. Moreover, customization options such as diving boards, slides, and extensive landscaping enable individuals to personalize their pool according to their preferences and needs.

    Whether individuals seek a calming sanctuary for relaxation and therapy, or a lively recreational space for family-friendly activities, both spool pools and traditional pools cater to their unique usage and functionality requirements. With their distinct features, spool pools offer individuals the luxury of experiencing both a swimming pool and a spa, whereas traditional pools provide an extensive space for various recreational activities. Ultimately, the choice between the two depends on individual preferences, needs, and the desired functionality of the pool space.

    Personal and Lifestyle Considerations

    When considering options for a personal pool, it is essential to take into account various personal and lifestyle considerations. Two popular choices are spool pools and traditional pools, each with its own advantages and suitability for different individuals or families.

    Spool pools, ideal for singles, couples, and small families with limited space, are a great choice for those seeking a combination of spa and pool features in a compact size. These pools are perfect for individuals who have limited space in their yards but still want to enjoy the benefits of both a spa and a pool. The smaller size of spool pools also makes them easier to maintain and more energy-efficient.

    On the other hand, traditional pools are more suitable for larger families, avid swimmers, and those with ample yard space. If you have space in your backyard and enjoy swimming, a traditional pool is a perfect fit. Traditional pools are also a great option for those with an active lifestyle and who frequently entertain guests. With a traditional pool, you have ample space to swim and enjoy water-related activities, making it a fantastic addition to a home.

    When choosing between a spool pool and a traditional pool, it is crucial to take your personal preferences and lifestyle into account. If you have limited space but still want the benefits of both a spa and a pool, a spool pool may be the best choice for you. However, if you have ample yard space and prioritize swimming and entertaining, a traditional pool would be the ideal option. Consider your needs, available space, and how you envision using your pool to make the best decision for your personal and lifestyle considerations.


    The main differences between spool pools and traditional pools lie in their size, purpose, and design. Spool pools are smaller in size and are typically designed for relaxation and entertainment, while traditional pools are larger and can be used for exercise and swimming. Spool pools also offer various luxurious features and can be customized to suit individual preferences. On the other hand, traditional pools provide more space for swimming and have deeper water depths.

    When it comes to choosing the right pool type, it is crucial to consider personal needs, available space, and budget. Spool pools are ideal for those who have limited space or desire a more intimate and luxurious pool experience. However, if you enjoy swimming laps or have a large family, a traditional pool may be more suitable for you. To make an informed decision, it is recommended to consult with pool professionals who can guide you based on your specific requirements. They can help determine the feasibility of installing a pool in your space, suggest various design options, and provide an estimate of the costs involved.

    Ultimately, whether you choose a spool pool or a traditional pool, it is essential to carefully evaluate your needs and preferences. Consider all the factors mentioned above and make a decision that will provide the utmost enjoyment and value for your investment. So, take the time to explore your options, consult with experts, and make a well-informed choice for your own personal oasis.