Get Bent: 4 Great Reasons to Choose an L-Shaped Pool

The classic inground swimming pool is rectangular in shape and roughly twice as long as it is wide. There are good reasons for this. It allows for different water depths and activities, blends with most architectural styles, and pleases the eye with its simple, time-tested beauty.

It’s no wonder that when it comes to pool shape, most people stick to the straight and narrow (so to speak). However, for those looking to throw their pool design a curve, an L-shaped pool offers some unique advantages. Here are four compelling reasons to consider this variation on the standard rectangular pool.

1. Divide and conquer

Whether it’s a true L-shaped pool with a 90-degree corner, or a lazy L-shaped pool with a more gradual bend, this pool shape gives you two clearly defined areas. Exactly what those areas are for is up to you, but typically the two legs of an L-shaped inground pool are of different water depths and geared toward different activities.

One popular option is to have a longer leg that serves as an activity area or lap pool, while a shorter leg provides a spot for lounging. The shorter leg could even be a baja shelf where adults can dip their toes and young children can splash around. As you might imagine, a setup like this is ideal for a family of mixed ages and inclinations.

Lazy L-shaped swimming pool in the backyard of a luxury home
Lazy L-shaped pools feature a more gradual bend than true L-shaped pools.

2. Tuck away those pool steps

Steps give your inground pool a grand entrance that you don’t get from ladders. However, they also tend to take up a lot of space and get in the way of activities. An L-shaped pool presents an elegant solution to this problem, giving the steps an out-of-the-way home on one of its legs.

In fact, steps could be all you have on one leg of an L-shaped pool. Make the top step oversized, and you have a shallow lounging area to go with your convenient entry point.

3. Lock it in

L-shaped pools are often designed to wrap around the corner of a house or an outdoor room. This “locked in” appearance can make the pool seem like a more integral part of the property. It also offers a wider array of vantage points to and from the pool.

As with kidney shaped pools, the bend of an L-shaped swimming pool can also serve as a place for other things you want to integrate closely into your poolscape. An inground spa is the first thing that comes to mind. However, it could just as easily be an outdoor bar, fire pit, or just a primo sunbathing spot.

An L-shaped pool wrapped tightly around a house.
This L-shaped pool fits like a glove.

4. Be original

Did we mention that rectangular pools are really popular? An L-shaped pool represents an offbeat alternative, but one that doesn’t stray too far from the classic design. If you live in an area where residential pools are common, choosing an L-shaped pool could make your property stand out in a way that appeals to both you and potential buyers down the road.

Of course, there are downsides to every pool design, and L-shaped pools are no exception. We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that these pools tend to have more area and thus are typically more expensive than the average inground pool. If you have your heart set on a fiberglass pool, you may be somewhat limited in your choice of L-shaped pool shells. And, perhaps most significantly, choosing any non-rectangular shape typically means forgoing an automatic pool cover.

Despite those drawbacks, the popularity of L-shaped pools appears to be on the rise in 2023. While the standard rectangular pool still dominates, prospective pool owners are increasingly turning toward novel layouts and features. For many of them, an L-shaped pool offers a whole new angle on a familiar pool design.