Home / News / What Are Plunge Pools? The Best Plunge Pool Designs & Ideas 2023

What Are Plunge Pools? The Best Plunge Pool Designs & Ideas 2023

Jan 12, 2024Jan 12, 2024

Why designers and HB's Creative Director are obsessed.

You probably saw the recent IG post by stylist and bestselling author Emily Henderson, posting about her new spool (a combination heated spa and plunge pool), and started daydreaming about getting one yourself. But installing any pool, big or small, comes with lots of planning and money, right?

"Plunge pools are different than a traditional pool in that they are typically much smaller bodies of water," Soake® Pools shares with House Beautiful. "Our plunge pools are for year-round use. They can be heated in winter and enjoyed cool in the summer." It's one of the reasons so many people gravitate toward them. It allows you to have the experience of an outdoor pool without a huge footprint or price tag.

We decided to interview Emily Henderson and our Creative Director at House Beautiful, Nick Neubeck, about why a plunge pool was a smart alternative to a swimming pool. "We didn't want a large traditional pool that we would rarely use and it would take up way too much real estate in our yard," noted Henderson. "On top of that the Soake® pool we got has a much shorter lead time, is less maintenance than a traditional pool, and we saved on the bigger construction costs a larger pool accumulates." For Neuberg, it was about saving space and costs. "I chose to go with an oval galvanized stock tank that's ideal for two people and lightweight enough to move. It was under $200, and I can easily drain and refill it, and I can add ice for a cold plunge."The best part about plunge pools is their versatility. They come in an array of sizes, materials, and upgrades so you can get exactly what you want to fit your budget. And a plunge pool can use any sanitation method, so salt water or chlorine is an option. Below we rounded our top ten plunge pools from House Beautiful's archives to inspire your backyard makeover.

Designer Lindsey Lane made the most of a small outdoor space by creating an oasis with a plunge pool off the quaint pool house. An oversized pool float takes lounging outdoors to the next level, and you never have to worry about tipping over in a plunge pool.

This Austin outdoor space designed for Doug Zell, co-founder of Intelligentsia Coffee, by designer and builder John Humphrey, has a hot tub and plunge pool side-by-side so guests can enjoy both options. A bonus feature, the pool ladder is made of solid bronze.

Off of this cottage's primary suite, designer Javier Burkle, added a small pergola and seating area as a backdrop to the pool. The designer often changes up the furnishings in this space for cocktail hours and seated dinners.

The Baja shelf is a shallow landing that you can add to a plunge pool. You can use it to create a lounge area, instead of stepping down into the larger pool right away.

In order to not obstruct the views of this Sonoma property, architect George Bevin and designer Ken Fulk, chose to build a narrow pool around the perimeter of this home. It wraps around the patio and eventually flows into a larger pool behind the house.

In this secret garden, author Frances Schultz finds a way to incorporate a plunge pool into the landscape design of his Hampton cottage. This charming outdoor space is perfectly entertaining and ruminating on his next novel.

Designer Fitz Pullins wasn't going to let a modest size backyard stop him from getting a pool in the backyard. They got creative with their square footage and installed a saltwater dipping pool. They even added a seating area to dine at alfresco.

You'll feel like you're permanently on vacation with this adorable pool house that sits perfectly behind this plunge pool. Float in the water for awhile and then dry off on the daybed.

Janice Parker Landscape Architects focused on creating tranquil surroundings for this plunge pool, using large trees, wild grass, and lounge chairs. It's the perfect spot to to take in the great outdoors.

Instead of losing part of your lawn, opt for a plunge pool that's built-in to your deck like this HGTV smart home. You have extensive space to lounge, dine, and swim contained in one area.

Finally, The Luxury Yurt Has Arrived

77 Chic Patio Decor Ideas to Try in Your Backyard

21 Beautiful Backyard Fire Pit Ideas

12 Clever Stock Tank Pool Ideas and Designs

77 Backyard Ideas to Turn Your Space Into Paradise

50 Tricks for Maximizing a Small Patio

How Much Do Fiberglass Pools Cost?

The 16 Best Pool Landscaping Ideas

50 Pool Designs to Inspire Your Own Escape

A Guide to the 19 Best Outdoor Lighting Options

An Open-Air Cabana by the Pool

Transform Your Outdoor Space into a Chic Terrace