What is the Best Air Temperature for Swimming?

Robert Wimberly

What is the Best Air Temperature for Swimming

What is the best air temperature for swimming? Well, there’s no one right answer. It really depends on what you prefer and a few other factors like how well you handle the cold and what kind of swimming you’re into – whether you’re just splashing around or doing some serious laps.

For most people, the comfortable air temperature for swimming usually falls between 70-80°F (21-27°C), but of course, there’s more to it, so let’s dive into the nitty-gritty.

Temperature Characteristics
below 70°F can be too cold for many people
70-80°F comfortable air temp for most swimmers
above 82°F can be a bit toasty for some
above 86ºF can be dangerous

The Ideal Air Temperature for Swimming

1. Indoor Pools


For indoor pools, the rule of thumb is to keep the air temperature about two degrees warmer than the water temperature. Whether you’re using Fahrenheit or Celsius this works fine, as long as you stick to the same unit of measurement for air and water. Just be sure not to go beyond a maximum of 86ºF (30ºC)!

2. Outdoor Pools


The good pool temp to swim in outdoor pools is a little different. Because we can’t control outdoor air temperature, there’s no fixed “perfect” air temperature for swimming. However, what we can control is water temperature.

If the outdoor air is colder than 70ºF, aiming to maintain an outdoor pool’s water temperature within the range of 78-82ºF year-round is a great idea. This range allows swimmers to enjoy the pool without feeling too chilly or too hot.

3. When is It Too Cold and Too Hot?


If the swimming weather air temp goes below minimum 70°F (21°C), you might find outdoor swimming a bit too cold, which could lead to shivering and general discomfort. And when the air temperature climbs above 82°F (27.8°C), things can get a bit too toasty for comfortable swimming.

4. The Connection Between Water and Air Swimming Pool Temperature


When the air is colder than the pool water, it can lead to a perceptibly cooler water experience. Conversely, during warmer air conditions, the pool water retains a more comfortably good temperature.

Other Factors Affecting Ideal Air Temperature

1. Personal Preference


Some people find cooler water and air temperatures invigorating, whereas others lean towards the comfort of warmer conditions.

There are also other factors like age and health conditions that should be taken into consideration. For instance, what might be a decent temperature for babies, might not be good for seniors.

2. Type of Swimming


Competitive swimmers often opt for slightly cooler air temperatures to prevent overheating during intense workouts, while casual swimmers might prefer warmer air temperatures for leisurely enjoyment.

3. Energy Efficiency


While providing a comfortable environment is important, energy efficiency also matters. Maintaining an excessively high air temperature for indoor pools can lead to increased energy consumption and operational costs.

4. Design and Architecture


The design of the pool facility, including factors like the type of building, insulation, and use of natural light, can influence the overall thermal comfort of the space.

Checking the Pool’s Temperature Guideline

If you’re using a community pool or any pool that is subject to local regulations, it’s essential to check local regulations set by health departments, local authorities, or other governing bodies. If the information is not available online, get in touch with the pool management or the responsible authority and ask away.


If a friend or a family member ever asks you, what is the best air temperature for swimming? You don’t have to worry anymore because now you know the answer.

Remember, the perfect weather for swimming is always when you get that sweet spot between 70-80°F. This comfortable swimming temperature range is when you can ensure safety and utmost comfort.

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