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What Is an Infinity Pool? Cost, Ideas, FAQ

What Is an Infinity Pool? Cost, Ideas, FAQ

Installation & Construction  |  Cost and Pricing  |  Pool Design Guides  |  Swimming Pool Design

Infinity pools are among the most modern and sought after pool designs today.

If you have a gorgeous landscape or waterfront view that you want to show off, an infinity pool can make having that view ten times better.

But what is an infinity pool, how does it work, and does it cost more to build?

River Pools specializes in inground fiberglass pools, and we’re going to give you a quick overview of what goes into an infinity pool, how much more you might expect to pay for yours, and some infinity pool ideas that you can try.
Please note that River Pools does not offer an infinity pool option at this time.

With that being said, let’s get started.



What is an infinity pool? 

An infinity pool, or infinity edge pool, is a swimming pool that has a lowered edge on one or more sides to give it the appearance of going on forever. The water cascades over the edge into a trough and is pumped back into the pool.


infinity edge pool with water cascading over the side

These are also called vanishing edge pools because with no border or coping, the edge of the water appears to blend into the surrounding area (or the sky if installed on a rooftop).


Oceanside infinity pool

Infinity pools might also be referred to as overflow pools because they function similarly, but an overflow pool can be fully inground, whereas an infinity pool needs to be at least partially above ground to create the vanishing edge effect.


Infinity Pool Design 

Most infinity pools are semi inground, but some are installed fully above ground.

Infinity pool shapes can vary across all freeform and linear designs, but we tend to see more rectangular infinity pools than any other shape.


infinity pool by the ocean

Typically a pool of this design will have only one vanishing edge, but it can be installed with vanishing edges on two or more sides (or even on all sides of the pool). Just keep in mind that the more vanishing edges you add to your pool, the more you can expect it to cost.


Infinity Pool Ideas

If you are considering installing an infinity pool in your backyard, here are a few of the best ideas we’ve seen:

  • Install your pool overlooking a natural landscape or body of water
  • Make it a dark bottom pool to increase its reflectiveness
  • Tile the retaining wall on the vanishing edge side
  • Build vanishing edges on all sides of the pool
  • Add lights to your trough (the trough is the basin that catches the overflowing water)


How much does an infinity pool cost? 

Your infinity pool will likely cost at least $20,000 more than a traditional inground pool of equivalent dimensions once you factor in the retaining walls, engineering, and design work. The price of your pool can even double with a vanishing edge if you have an elaborate design or are building on a cliffside. 


Hillside infinity pool with tile


Infinity Pool FAQ

Are infinity pools safe?

Yes, infinity pools are safe. Pool builders and engineers design them with safety in mind and take extra precautions when building them on a hillside or rooftop. And although there may not be coping on the vanishing edge side, there is still a pool wall to keep you and your guests from going over the edge.


Do infinity pools need a skimmer? 

No, infinity pools do not require skimmers due to the overflowing pool design. Debris are forced over the edge with the flow of water and caught in the trough beneath.


Can you put an automatic pool cover on an infinity pool?

Yes, automatic pool covers can be added to infinity pools. However, it can be a lot more difficult to do, so it’s essential that you let your pool builder know early on that you want to add an automatic cover to your vanishing edge pool.

Can a vinyl liner pool be an infinity pool? 

It’s not something that we see a lot, but installing a vinyl liner pool with a vanishing edge is possible. The main deterrent to doing so is the high cost. Most people choose liner pools because they are typically more affordable, but adding a vanishing edge would remove that benefit. 


Can a fiberglass pool be an infinity pool? 

Yes, a fiberglass pool can be an infinity pool. While there are fiberglass models on the market specifically manufactured to be infinity pools, almost any fiberglass pool design can be installed with a vanishing edge.


Have other questions? Leave them for us in the comments, and we will answer them as soon as possible.


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If you're still learning about inground pools and aren't ready to buy one yet, you can browse our resources in our learning center or follow us on Pinterest for more inspiration. 


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Editor's note: This article was updated December 13, 2023.