Appearing as if you are at the edge of a waterfall, an infinity pool offers a beautiful sight from within and without. It features at least one edge where the water flows over the side, creating a visual illusion that there is no edge at all.
An infinity, or vanishing-edge pool, was designed to enhance the sensory experience of a typical swimming pool. When built in the right location, an infinity pool eliminates boundaries between you and the great expanse beyond. While infinity pools are associated with luxury lifestyles, they are becoming increasingly common and accessible worldwide.
Infinity pool purpose
An infinity pool tricks the eye, giving the impression that the pool is limitless, extending into the horizon or over an edge. Depending on where the infinity pool is located, it may feel like the pool is connected to another body of water, such as a lake or ocean, or cascades off the side of a building.
While this illusion may be initially jarring when you’re in it, for many, it creates a strong connection with the surrounding area. Such pools are associated with photogenic, breathtaking or humbling views.
Most infinity pools are for relaxation, where users can wade, drink and bask in the sun. They are geared toward adults, particularly the ones constructed at luxury resorts. While they are safe to use, some private infinity pools may forbid kids. They are less designed with swimming or playing in mind and more about enjoying views and feeling at peace.
Some reflecting pools may incorporate the edgeless design, enhancing its aesthetic. These may be constructed in public gardens, memorial sites or national monuments.
How an infinity pool works
Infinity pools call for careful planning and elaborate engineering to achieve the unique design. They need to be well-supported in the ground or structure due to the unique locations they inhabit, which are typically in tall buildings or alongside cliffs or hills.
To create the infinity edge, a side of the pool is constructed to be slightly below the water level, typically a fraction of an inch. Below the edge is a trough or basin that collects the falling water and recycles it back into the pool. This allows the water to flow slowly and calmly over the edge and return back. An infinity pool may have one or more infinity edges.
An infinity pool’s location is crucial to its visual impact. An infinity pool in a closed-off backyard, where the edge drops a few feet, does not have the same impact as ones that look out at a distance.
The best infinity pools are often found in two kinds of places. The first are those situated on the top floors of luxury high-rise hotels where they can provide a unique view of a city with the sense you might fall over the side. These pools tend to have a social atmosphere, paired with fancy cocktails and lively music.
Infinity pools are also frequently built in tropical resorts, where they are positioned along a coast and give the impression they extend into an ocean, blurring the line between manufactured structures and natural waters. These pools are often billed as introspective and calming and usually positioned to view a beautiful sunrise or sunset.
While most infinity pools are constructed by businesses, they may be built on private residences as well, though, for a high price.
Infinity pools require a bit more maintenance than a traditional pool. In addition to investing in a skimmer and pool cleaner to tend to the main structure, users need to carefully and frequently clean the basin as well. Any debris will need to be removed from the basin quickly to keep water cycling back to the main pool.
Notable infinity pools
Address Beach Resort
This luxury hotel in Dubai boasts the highest infinity pool globally, sitting atop a skyscraper at almost 1,000 feet above the ground. It follows a portion of the exterior on the 77th floor, extending over 300 feet long and over 50 feet wide.
The hotel is situated along Dubai’s beachfront, offering a unique view of the city for those who aren’t afraid of heights. However, the pool is only open to hotel guests.
This pool is also located in Dubai, having bowed only a few months after the Address Beach Resort pool in 2021. The Aura Skypool has the distinction of being the first 360-degree infinity pool in the world. The pool extends around the entirety of the building, with every edge seemingly falling off into the sky.
On the 55th floor, the pool is roughly 600 feet above the ground, offering views in every direction of iconic landmarks and beautiful beaches.
Fountains at Versailles
The historic Palace of Versailles is home to stunning landscapes, beloved works of art and dozens of fountains and pools. One such pool, in which statues of animals are seen battling, is credited with being the first, albeit simple, infinity pool. Built in the 1600s, the reflecting pool features a submerged edge to allow water to flow over the side to another pool below.
A private residence in Palm Springs, California, shot to fame in the 1970s when it was featured in the James Bond film “Diamonds Are Forever.” Designed by American architect John Lautner, it features a large, open-air circular living room with a canonical ceiling and a pool with a modest infinity edge.
What you need to enjoy an infinity pool
Infinity pools make for wonderful photos, but dropping your phone in the water could be disastrous. This cell phone lanyard by Gear Beast offers you convenience and peace of mind at a low price. It’s also designed to avoid covering your camera lens. Sold by Amazon
Enjoy your favorite tunes while you swim with this portable waterproof Bluetooth speaker. It can run for 12 hours on a single charge. Sold by Amazon
Martha Stewart Collection Rainbow Stripe Beach Towel
Dry off in style with this large, colorful towel made from 100% cotton. It features a sheared velour face for extra softness. Sold by Macy’s
Sun Bum Original SPF 70 Sunscreen
You can still get sunburnt in a pool, especially if you’re focused on the cool effects of the water and stunning views. This vegan-friendly, oil-free sunscreen by Sun Bum boasts a high SPF and better withstands water than most competitors. Sold by Amazon
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Anthony Marcusa writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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