What Is A Swim Spa

You may have seen the term "swim spa" thrown around and wondered whether or not one of these units could be a good choice for your backyard.

The beauty of these unique units is that you have all of the benefits of both a swimming pool and a hot tub.

Come dive in as we explore the world of swim spas so you can determine whether you should buy one!

So, What Is A Swim Spa?

To put it simply, swim spas are unique units that use high-powered current swim jets, which users can swim against continuously.

Similarly to an endless pool, you can continue swimming without ever hitting a wall or having to flip back around.

You get to enjoy all of the best forms of exercise without carving out a large deal of space in your yard.

The average swim spa is much smaller than the average swimming pool.

However, you still have tons of room to move around freely in them. Some swim spas come with dual designs, which have hot tubs attached.

Medium Swim Spa

It should also be noted that swim spas come in a wide variety of sizes and categories. However, any type of swim spa can provide a unique environment that allows you to exercise whenever you want, relax when you need some downtime, and enjoy the fun with your family and friends.

Swim spas are portable, self-contained units that you can install flush into a deck or simply place atop a hard surface, such as a concrete slab.

Pools Vs. Swim Spas

People often compare swim spas vs pools, as they offer many of the same benefits. However, the best way to understand what a swim spa is is by explaining how it differs from a standard pool.

Let's look at a few of the main differentiating factors.


Small Swim Spa

One of the first things that you'll probably notice when looking at swim spas is that they are smaller than swimming pools. See our article on the largest swim spas for the biggest models available. 

People who have smaller homes or yard spaces often opt for swim spas because they don't take up as much real estate.

For large or medium-sized backyards, you might want to add a few more features, such as a garden or play place for the kids.

Essentially, a swim spa creates more space so that you can make the most out of your yard.


One of the other large differentiating factors between pools and swim spas is the cost. On the low end, you can expect to pay around $10,000 for a swim spa. On the higher end, you can expect to pay up to $30,000. For a swimming pool, the average national swim spa cost is around $35,000 and $20,000 on the low end. However, adding additional features, such as fencing, waterfalls, lights, and more, can easily bring that price over $100,000.

In-ground pools are far more pricey when it comes to installation costs, as they always require landscaping costs to be taken into account.

When you install a swim spa, however, all you will need is a GFCI outlet with the right current, which might cost you up to $1,000, and a concrete pad, which can cost an average of $2,000 to pour. Of course, you could choose to install it into your deck for a more cohesive look, though the price of that could vary greatly.

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Year-Round Use

One of the big disadvantages of swimming pools is that there comes a time during the year when you can't use them. In many places, the average swimming season doesn't last any longer than a few months. Of course, you could get a heater for your pool, though the cost of heating a pool is one that many people don't want to swallow. When temperatures begin dropping, you can easily pay hundreds of dollars each month.

With a swim spa, you get year-round use. A swim spa, like a hot tub, utilizes insulation that protects it from the cold. Also like a hot tub, swim spas have built-in heaters so that you can extend your ability to swim throughout the year.


One of the main reasons that people purchase swim spas is for fitness.

Of course, you can enjoy fitness in a pool, though it isn't nearly as versatile as the kind of fitness you can enjoy from a swim spa.

Swim spas have unique designs that utilize swim jets so that you can swim without moving forward.

 You can adjust the water current to match your skills as well. 


There are plenty of unique pieces of equipment that you can install when you buy a swim spa, such as resistance equipment, treadmill units, and more. Beyond using the swim current to swim in, you can use it for resistance routines too.

The beauty of exercising in water is that it is much easier on the body. You don't have to deal with the weight of gravity on land, which can be quite brutal on the muscles and joints.

Comfortable Designs

While you could refer to a pool as comfortable in many ways, they don't come with all of the same comfort components that swim spas come with. Many companies that manufacture swim spas are also hot tub manufacturers. This means that you will find a lot of the same features that you would find in hot tubs, including hydrotherapy jets, ergonomic seating, LED lighting, and more.

The major benefit of having a swim spa that hybridizes a pool and hot tub is that you can enjoy complete relaxation after a hard workout.

Final Thoughts - Should You Get A Swim Spa?

More and more people are beginning to buy swim spas these days.

By now, we hope it is clear how these unique units combine all of the best hot tub and pool attributes in one.

Of course, there are many things to consider when buying a swim spa, which is why it is important to search, look for reviews, and talk to experts, such as local dealers or manufacturers, who can help you find the right model for your needs.

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Tyler Connaghan

Contributing Author