Pool Trend: Is a Shipping Container Pool Right for You?

Our 8-Point Comparison sizes up the competition.

Shipping container pools have some perks. They're an eco-friendly, clever alternative to traditional swimming pools and a creative way to repurpose. Let’s take a look at similarities and differences between container pools and Endless Pools® Original Series pools.

This Endless Pool has plenty of room for everyone, even if it's not 40-feet long like a shipping container pool. This modular Endless Pool was customized to a comfy 9-feet by 16-feet by its owner, an open water swimmer in Wanaka, New Zealand. He uses the upgraded current in this Performance Endless Pool to train for his marathon swims.


Shipping containers come in two sizes: 8 feet by 20 feet and 8 feet by 40 feet. Some manufacturers of shipping container pools cut the container's length down to 12 feet for a more space-friendly option.

Endless Pools give you sizing flexibility beyond a few off-the-rack options. Thanks to its modular design, you can customize the size in 1' increments.

The Endless Pools Dual Propulsion pool maxes out at an expansive 16-foot square. For tighter spaces, the Original Endless Pool can have a water area as compact as 7-foot by 12-foot.

Our line of swim spas, called Endless Pools Fitness Systems, offer the same pre-assembled convenience as shipping container pools, with more size options. You can choose from 12-foot, 15-foot, 17-foot, and 20-foot models, with a range of depths and widths.

The Inside Surface

A shipping container pool is more than just a shipping container filled with water. The manufacturer goes through an expensive conversion process.

Typically, they weld another layer of steel inside the corrugated steel walls to make the shipping container watertight from the inside. That second layer of steel adds a great amount of weight to the pool.

Some shipping container pools are then lined with a fiberglass shell. These pools raise the same concerns as traditional fiberglass pools: so-called "spider cracks" can develop in the surface, and like any surface damage, cracked fiberglass is difficult and expensive to repair.

Structurally, the Endless Pools Original pool is a single layer of steel expressly designed to function as a pool. It comes standard with a durable vinyl liner that's thicker than standard pool liners. And a vinyl liner is relatively easy to replace; in most cases, it's only replaced for cosmetic reasons.

Our Endless Pools Fitness Systems feature a 14-gauge galvanized steel frame and three layers of insulation. The shell is an easy-maintenance, durable acrylic that remains a time-tested standard for the spa industry.

You can't do this with a 20-foot container pool! This swimmer enjoys a year-round pool season thanks to the Original Endless Pool installed in his family's sunroom. With an Endless Pool, all components fit easily through standard doorways and down stairs. The retractable cover (lower right) helps retain heat and control humidity. 


A shipping container pool must be lowered into place by a crane. Unless you're getting a custom-trimmed container, it will need to be lowered onto an outdoor space that's 20- to 40-feet long. Endless Pools Fitness Systems are installed the same way and require 20-feet maximum, with less space required for most models.

Endless Pools Original Series pools give you the most versatility. For one, it occupies significantly less space than most shipping container pools. The smallest size has a footprint of about 7 feet by 13 feet.

Since our Original Series pools are modular, you can easily install one indoors; an indoor Endless Pools model gives you a year-round pool season in any weather.

Endless Pools Original Series pools are assembled onsite. We maintain a nationwide network of Independent Service Providers (and an international network of dealer/installers). Handier customers frequently choose a DIY installation, investing their time upfront for greater pool versatility in the years ahead!

The Cover

An in-demand option, a secure pool cover traps in heat, conserves water, and protects your pool from debris and unwanted access.

Compared to one popular shipping container pool company, Endless Pools' manual and automatic covers cost thousands of dollars less.

That's not surprising given that a 40-foot pool needs 40 feet of coverage! Still, the price savings with Endless Pools is notable even against the comparably sized 12-foot container pool.

Both Endless Pools swim spas and modular pools give you the option of using a swim spa cover. These thick, insulated covers come in bi-fold and flexible rollaway options and can be a much lower-cost alternative to secure your pool.

The Swim

A 20-foot or 40-foot shipping container pool occupies a big chunk of outdoor real estate, and still, you can only swim a short lap before you must flip-turn at the wall. The longest shipping container pool is still less than half the length of a 'short course' competition pool!

Using the full length of the container pool for your swim means that either you're using the entire pool all by yourself, or you're maintaining a frustratingly narrow swim lane.

An Endless Pools Original Series pool comes with the industry's best swim current. The fully adjustable current lets you swim in place for the most enjoyable swim experience.

Many top NCAA and Olympic coaches use our Elite pool for stroke refinement. The Elite pool gives the swimmer an authentic swim while allowing the coach an unprecedented, up-close view of the swimmer's technique.

Other Uses

Shipping container pools can be great for family fun. For aquatic exercise, water running, and physical therapy, they're limited by the single depth; for 20- and 40-foot models, the water is about 4.5 feet deep.

That may work for some uses, but what about for a 6'6' adult who wants upper-body resistance? Would a small child, one who's just getting comfortable in the water, feel safe?

Our pools can be customized into a range of depths. Our staff architects and engineers can even customize a pool with multiple depths for a range of uses in the same pool. And our perimeter benches or seating give small kids a safe perch.

For water walking and water running, Endless Pools offers our exclusive Underwater Treadmill. The Underwater Treadmill delivers a low-impact workout that's suitable for everything from triathlon and marathon cross-training to post-surgery rehabilitation.

The Price

For comparison, traditional in-ground pools typically cost anywhere from $35,000 to nearly $65,000, with the average price hovering around $49,000, according to the popular home improvement website, HomeAdvisor.

For one popular line of shipping container pools, base prices range from $16,500 to $39,900. For a comparable price, you can have an Endless Pools Original pool. With Endless Pools, you'll enjoy the industry's best swim-in-place current and the option for an indoor, year-round pool season.

The Company

Shipping container pools are a hot new trend. It's so new that some of the biggest names in the industry installed their first pool only in the last year or two!

Endless Pools was founded in 1988, and in the 30 years since, we've installed tens of thousands of swimming machines in more than 100 countries. Now a division of Masco, a Fortune 500 company, Endless Pools offers customers the security of unlimited, lifetime Customer Service.

Endless Pools offers more than a dozen model choices for a range of goals, lifestyles, and budgets. All models feature some level of customization, including our Underwater Treadmill.

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