Pool slide ideas: 9 refreshing features to up the fun factor

These pool slide ideas are bound to make a splash – from simple styles to elaborate landscaped designs

pool with potted plants and slide
(Image credit: Design Pics Inc/Alamy Stock Photo)

Pool slide ideas are worth thinking about if you want to give your backyard a boost in the fun department. Taking a dip in a cool stretch of water is wonderful for relaxing, sure, but on hot days, making a splash with a slide is a great way to refresh – for kids and adults alike.

There are all sorts of slides to choose from, including affordable off-the-shelf designs and more elaborate, built-in styles that incorporate waterfalls and even atmospheric lighting. We've rounded up a variety to get you inspired for elevating your own pool ideas.

Upgrade your swimming space with our pool slide ideas

Add a slide to your pool landscaping and you'll keep everyone entertained for hours. These looks prove there's a style to suit all sorts of setups.

1. Merge your pool slide with a waterfall

pool with waterfall, rocks, and slide

This scheme combines two eye-catching pool features in one

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We love a pool waterfall. They're a gorgeous way to blend a swimming pool with its surroundings while adding drama and a sense of the great outdoors. Plus, the sound and sight of the water falling only adds to the sensory appeal of these backyard features, and can help block out noisy neighbors, too.

So, if you're thinking about adding one to your own pool design, why not incorporate it with a slide? As demonstrated in this scheme, the result looks fantastic, especially with a backdrop of leafy green plants.

2. Light up the scene for extra ambiance

pool with slide, hot tub, and lights

This pool comes to life after dark

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Pool lighting ideas are important – not just for safety, but also for adding atmosphere and ambiance to a nighttime scene.

Combine with a pool slide and you'll have a fun feature that can be used even once the sun sets. This setup is full of eye-catching factors, from the flickering fire bowls to the tiki torches, all of which add a real sense of adventure to the space alongside stone steps and a waterfall.

3. Combine a pool slide with other fun features

swimming pool with slide, basketball hoop, and patio with loungers

This setup is full of entertainment options

(Image credit: TimAbramowitz/E+/Getty Images)

Slides are a top addition if you want to give your next pool party a boost – most guests will find it hard to resist having a go. But the fun doesn't have to stop there.

If your pool is large enough, there are other features you can add – just ensure you space them out. Here, a basketball hoop promises hours of enjoyment, and a series of contemporary waterfalls are always fun to interact with while adding a heavy dose of style.

Meanwhile, the baja shelf at one end is ideal for those who would rather relax than splash about.

4. Prettify your pool slide with potted plants nearby

pool with slide and potted plants

Potted plants always brighten up a scene

(Image credit: Design Pics Inc/Alamy Stock Photo)

A simple off-the-shelf pool slide may not look as glamorous as a built-in design, but it will still provide plenty of entertainment at a fraction of the cost. And there are lots of easy ways to pep up the surrounding pool deck anyway, to keep it looking stylish.

Plenty of planters filled with colorful blooms is one of the simplest and quickest ways to add color and personality to a pool perimeter. And, such beautiful blooms will help distract from a no-frills slide.

5. Opt for a sleek look with a wide, metal slide

wide metal slide into swimming pool

The perfect pool slide for a modern yard

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When planning your pool design, you may wish to opt for a slide that makes a real statement. Well, a style like this will certainly do the job.

Granted, you'll need plenty of space, but a sleek and sculptural design like this is perfect for pools with a more contemporary aesthetic. Plus, with the generous width, it can accommodate more than one person at a time – great for large families or for those who love to entertain.

6. Add a twist

pool with slide

Up the excitement with your pool slide

(Image credit: Vladimir Godnik/fStop/Getty Images)

Pool slide ideas like this off-the-shelf style may be straightforward, but they're still tons of fun.

The extra twists will up the excitement, making it a bit more daring than a traditional, straight design. Just ensure the water is deep enough to land safely – you'll be shooting out the end at speed!

7. Pick a neutral hue to match the surroundings

pool with slide and diving board

Stick to a cohesive color palette

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A simple way to achieve a harmonious sense of cohesion with any backyard design is to pick a minimal color palette and stick to it. This goes for your pool patio, too – and here, neutral shades of creams and browns have been used across all the features, from the slide and paving to the exterior of the pool house.

Such a space needs to be kept clean to maintain its chic impact, meaning keeping on top of regular maintenance is a must. Our buying guide to pool vacuums will come in handy if you need a tool for the job.

8. Up the sense of adventure with a tube slide

tube slide in backyard

Tube slides aren't just for waterparks

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Tube slides aren't just reserved for holiday parks. If you're a bit of a thrill seeker and have leftover budget going spare, then why not add one to your swimming pool?

Whether fully-enclosed, open, or a bit of both, they'll instantly add excitement to everyone's swimming experience. And that's before you add in any twists and turns to the design.

9. Keep the kids entertained with an inflatable slide

inflatable pool slide with children playing

An inflatable slide will provide hours of fun for a low cost

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Not sure you want to splash out on a large pool slide? For regions where hot summers are short-lived, or for smaller plots where a full-sized pool and slide combo isn't possible, an inflatable setup could be the solution you need. And there are lots available on Amazon (opens in new tab).

Paired with a paddling pool, something like this is a surefire way to keep energetic kids entertained and cool when temperatures soar, and it won't blow all your budget, either. Plus, there's the benefit of them being easy to store away when the seasons turn.

Looking for more garden activities for kids? Our guide has plenty of advice.

How deep should a pool be for a slide?

According to the team at Royal Swimming Pools (opens in new tab), as a guide, you need a water depth of at least 36 inches beneath a slide. The depth should then increase to 42–54 inches as you move away from the slide. They explain how this generally means slides should be positioned in the middle of a pool, safely away from the shallow and deeper ends, both of which could be dangerous. 

However, they do add how specific measurements will vary per slide, so it's best to check the manufacturers' installation instructions.

Can you add a slide to an existing inground pool?

Generally, slides can be added without too much trouble once a pool is already up and running, particularly if you're going for an off-the-shelf product. So, if you've got an existing design and are feeling inspired by the pool slide ideas above, it's likely that it's possible to have one installed.

Of course, it does depend on the type of design you're after – and also your swimming pool shape and the space you have available around your pool. Jason Hughes of River Pools (opens in new tab) explains that most slides need an area of 7'x15' at least. Ensure it won't be blocking off access around the sides.

You'll also need to think about how to supply your slide with water from the pool, although this is a relatively simple task for an experienced plumber or pool specialist.

Holly Crossley
Holly Crossley

The garden was always a big part of Holly's life growing up, as was the surrounding New Forest where she lived. Her appreciation for the great outdoors has only grown since then. She's been an allotment keeper, a professional gardener, and a botanical illustrator – plants are her passion.