Best Water Temperature for Swimming

Determining the best water temperature for swimming is a hot topic in the pool management industry. While there are some who may like the temperature hot, others may prefer a cooler temperature surface for specific activities.

Regardless of your personal preference, choosing the best temperature for the pool depends on the activity you are doing and facility that is hosting the pool.

Is this for a personal pool at home? A commercial pool which will host practice swimming events for bigger competitions? Or an actual site for the biggest competitions like the Olympics?

The Best Water Temperature For Swimming In  Competitions

Pools should be comfortable; any patron will certainly agree with that. However, there are also scenarios in which the swimmers may not actually be interested with the feel of the water; rather they are only interested with the possibility of being able to swim as fast as possible. Professional swimmers need different swimming pool conditions compared to an average swimmer, for which even water from your regular best garden hose will do just fine, temperature wise.

The Best Competitive Swimmer EVER!According to Swim University, competitive swimmers need pools with a cooler temperature of water – ideally 78 degrees Fahrenheit or 26 degrees Celcius. Temperatures that are either equal to, or even below 77 degrees are already considered cold for competitive athletes.

When the temperature becomes warmer, competitive swimmers  actually end up using more energy to regulate their warm body temperature. This can cause them to end up overheating in the water, thus negatively affecting their performance.

If your pool is still too cold to meet these conditions and just needs a small boost in temperature, you may want to look into using the best solar pool covers to heat up your pool. These can boost pool temperatures 3-10 degrees (varies per location) and can help provide a great competitive swimming training environment.

Decades ago it was thought that a warmer swimming pool temperature – about 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 29.5 degrees Celcius  was seen as ideal to keep the muscles warm. However, professional swimmers quickly found out that it actually worsened their performance! Could you imagine swimming in water that warm?

Best Water Temperature for Swimming for Casual Swimers

Most swimming pools range from 76 to 78 degrees. According to the United States Water Fitness Association, this is the temperature in which people feel comfortable with.

At the same time, specific age groups may also feel the advantage of targeted ranges of temperatures. For instance, 3 to 5 year old children may best enjoy a temperature range of 86 to 90 degrees because they can’t adjust to different temperatures as well, while 6 to 13 year old learners enjoy a range of 84 to 86 degrees. Public swimming pools are so crowded!

Public swimming pools are so crowded!This is also the same temperature range that is advisable for those who are planning to engage in recreational swimming activities, diving, synchronized swimming, water walking, as well as basic lap swimming.

Warmer temperatures are more comfortable to the average person so we enjoy water warmer than competitive swimmers. For average adults about 83-84 degrees Fahrenheit is best. 

Note that these temperatures are quite warm and swimming pools often do not get that warm naturally. In this case it is a great idea to use an awesome swimming pool heater or, alternatively, a top pool heat pump to help you heat your pool and make the water comfortable.

If there are more people swimming in the water, you best water temperature for swimming would be lower – about 1-3 degrees lower based on the size of your pool and the number of people.

That is because the temperature is expected to increase with more people and activity into the water so thinking ahead will result in a much more comfortable temperature. Nobody enjoys a hot swimming pool!

Finding the Right Temperature

In determining the best pool temperature, it is important to plan accordingly before setup. After all, it is not cost effective on your part to mess around with your thermostat or pool heater. You’ll want to adjust accordingly based on the size of your pool, how many people there are, and how warm your pool normally gets compared to outside.

If you are looking for that single temperature that can serve various purposes, you will be delighted to know that the Washington Post recommends a good temperature at 85 degrees. This, however, was based on the experience at the Great Waves Waterpark at Virginia, where the manager discovered an increase in patrons by maintaining the temperature at 85 degrees.

Going above that meant losing some of their customers. In the end, whatever the temperature you choose for your pool, it is very important to ensure that you take into consideration the activities that potential swimmers and users have in mind.

Laurie S.

As a multi home owner for 15 years I've tried out a ton of pool products and methods and have found out the best ones that work for me. I love helping out other people with real, honest advice and spending time with my family. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me in the about or through a comment.

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