Can You Wear a Wetsuit in a Swimming Pool?

Wearing a wetsuit in a swimming pool might not be a thought that crosses your mind often, but it’s a question worth considering, especially if your local pool is really cold.

Whether or not you can wear a wetsuit in a swimming pool depends entirely on the specific swimming pool you plan to swim at. Some pools are okay with it, and others are not. You will need to get in contact with your pool and get their permission. Assuming you can, know that chlorine can potentially damage your wetsuit.

Can You Wear a Wetsuit in a Swimming Pool

In this article, we’ll dive into the pros and cons associated with wearing a wetsuit in a swimming pool as well as how you can make the most of it.

Are Wetsuits Allowed in Swimming Pools?

Wearing a wetsuit in a swimming pool can be a bit of a tricky topic. It largely depends on the type of pool and the specific regulations at your local facility.

Your best bet is to check with your local pool facility and ask about their specific wetsuit policy. Some pools might be more lenient or even encourage wetsuit use, especially if they host open water swimming or triathlon training sessions. Others might be strictly against it.

But even if you are given the go-ahead to wear a wetsuit at your local pool, there are some potential downsides you need to be wary of.

For starters, if you’re swimming in an indoor heated pool, wearing a wetsuit might cause you to overheat. You will need to choose a wetsuit with the appropriate thickness for the pool’s temperature, such as a 2mm wetsuit or a shorty wetsuit.

Moreover, your swimming technique could be altered by wearing a suit, which could negatively affect your swim training (unless you will be competing in a wetsuit). You might prefer wearing jammers or briefs instead of a wetsuit to prevent overheating and maintain your natural swimming stroke.

In any case, always remember to be courteous to other swimmers and follow the pool rules.

Benefits of Wearing a Wetsuit in a Swimming Pool


One of the key advantages of wearing a wetsuit in a swimming pool is the added buoyancy it provides. This extra lift allows you to float more effortlessly, reducing the strain on your muscles and joints.

As a result, you can swim longer distances with less fatigue, making your pool sessions more enjoyable and productive.

Another benefit of the added buoyancy is that more of your body will be above the water, meaning you will be subject to less hydrodynamic drag, allowing you to swim faster. You can swim anywhere from 3.2 to 12.9% faster while wearing a wetsuit compared to without one.


If the reason you are wearing a wetsuit in the pool is because the pool is too cold, then a wetsuit will keep you nice and cozy for the duration of your swim.

Wetsuits are made of neoprene, a material designed to trap a thin layer of water between your body and the suit. This water heats up and acts as an insulator, keeping you warm even in cooler pool temperatures. Furthermore, the neoprene provides better protection from cold than regular swimwear.

So, wearing a wetsuit in a swimming pool can help you maintain the optimal body temperature and reduce the risk of hypothermia, ensuring a safer and more comfortable swim experience.

Improving Technique

Wearing a wetsuit in the pool can also help improve your swimming technique. The buoyancy provided by the wetsuit lifts your lower body, encouraging better body positioning and alignment. With a more streamlined position, you can focus on refining your strokes and increasing the efficiency of your swimming.

Wetsuit Use in Saltwater & Chlorinated Pools

Chlorine Effects

When you wear a wetsuit in a chlorinated swimming pool, one of the main concerns is the effect of chlorine on the wetsuit material. Chlorine can potentially damage the neoprene, causing it to lose its flexibility and insulating properties. While some people believe it’s fine to wear your wetsuit in a chlorinated pool, others caution against it due to the potential for damage.

Saltwater Effects

For those unaware, a saltwater pool typically has 10 times less salt compared to ocean water. And what will really blow your mind is that saltwater pools are actually sanitized with chlorine. You read that right.

It’s not actually the salt that does the disinfecting; saltwater pools use something called a chlorine generator to convert the salt into chlorine. This process happens a little bit at a time, such that there is only ever the bare minimum amount of chlorine in the pool needed to keep it sanitary.

Ultimately, saltwater pools have less chlorine and salt than chlorinated pools and the ocean respectively, so it should have the least amount of damaging effects on your wetsuit and your health.

Rinsing and Maintenance

No matter what pool you decide to wear your wetsuit in, proper rinsing and maintenance can help mitigate any potential damage.

Make sure to immediately rinse your wetsuit with freshwater after swimming, and use a wetsuit shampoo to help remove any lingering chlorine residue or salt. After rinsing, be sure to thoroughly dry your wetsuit before storing it away.

Keep in mind that even with proper rinsing and maintenance, the long-term exposure to chlorine might lead to some level of degradation. When possible, use your wetsuit in natural bodies of water instead to reduce exposure to harsh pool chemicals.

Adapting Your Swimming Technique

When transitioning from pool swimming to open water swimming such as in a lake or ocean, it’s essential to adapt your technique.

In open water, your legs may be higher in the water due to wetsuit buoyancy, allowing you to reduce your kick tempo compared to pool swimming. This conserves energy while maintaining a streamlined position.

You may also need to focus on keeping your upper body relaxed, so it doesn’t feel constricted by the wetsuit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it safe to wear a wetsuit in a chlorinated pool?

Yes, it is generally safe to wear a wetsuit in a chlorinated pool. However, you should keep in mind that the chlorine may have some impact on the wetsuit’s material over time. To minimize potential damage, make sure to rinse your wetsuit thoroughly with fresh water after each use and occasionally treat it with wetsuit-specific washes.

How does a wetsuit affect buoyancy in a pool?

Wearing a wetsuit in a pool can provide additional buoyancy while swimming. This added buoyancy can help you stay afloat more effortlessly, maintain better body positioning, and move more efficiently through the water.

What thickness should a swimming pool wetsuit be?

Wetsuit thickness depends on the water temperature and your personal preference. For pool swimming, you might prefer a thinner wetsuit, typically around 2-3mm, as pools often have warmer water compared to open water scenarios. Thinner wetsuits are more flexible and less restrictive, making them more comfortable for swimming.

Can I use the same wetsuit for pools and waterparks?

Yes, you can use the same wetsuit for pools and waterparks. However, make sure the wetsuit thickness is appropriate for the specific activities and water temperatures encountered in waterparks. If you plan to spend time in colder water attractions, you might consider a slightly thicker wetsuit for added insulation.

Will wearing a wetsuit keep me warm in a cold pool?

Wearing a wetsuit can definitely help keep you warm in a cold pool. The neoprene material used in wetsuits traps a thin layer of water between the suit and your skin, which heats up with your body warmth, providing insulation against the cold water. The thicker the wetsuit, the more insulation it offers.