Swim Spa Pros and Cons

Written By Kenneth Wilson  |  0 Comments

Ensuring ease of access and your privacy at the same time? Check.
Having the freedom to swim any time of the day, at any season all year-round? Another check.

Owning a swim spa indeed sounds like a dream to many homeowners. Of course, not everyone has the free space to install a full-sized, above-ground swimming pool in their yard, nor do they have the budget for annual pool maintenance costs. It's why swim spas are becoming a popular alternative to traditional swimming pools nowadays.

Thanks to its limited size, it takes up less space – making it suitable for any garden or yard. It also has a renowned wellness factor that's a good selling point for athletes and health enthusiasts.

In this guide, we'll cover everything you need to know to make educated and economically savvy decisions on whether a swim spa is worth your money or not! And if you're still undecided on whether or not buying a swim spa is the right choice for your needs and preference, read on below as we discuss the many benefits and drawbacks of installing a swim spa in your home.

Swim Spa Features

What makes a swim spa a real crowd-pleaser? Well, it’s best to think of it as a limited swimming pool with counterflow. Its length only runs to about 4 to 6 meters long, which is a stark contrast to a standard swimming pool that spans up to 8 to 12 meters.

It may also be built-in or installed on your patio. However, keep in mind that the installation costs may cost you more if you choose a built-in model.

The counterflow system allows you to keep swimming endlessly in a swim spa. In addition, you can also regulate the power of the flow. It enables you to control the intensity of your training sessions. Relaxing after vigorous exercise is also possible. Simply increase the pool water's temperature and wait for its warmth to calm your mind and body.

Benefits of Swim Spa

Before you hop on Google to search for swim spas near me, it’s best to know the exact benefits of a swim spa. Doing so will help you make an informed decision on whether or not it meets what you’re looking for.

Here are some advantages of buying a swim spa:

free guide


  • Space saving. One of the most popular reasons homeowners opt for a swim spa over a regular swimming pool is that it takes up less space. As previously mentioned, not everyone has the luxury of having enough free area in their yard. Some also do not want to invest a large area of their garden for a pool. A swim spa proves more beneficial, with the average size ranging somewhere around 1/3 the size of a standard swimming pool. It also has a built-in current system that you may adjust to, depending on your swim spa's model and make. Therefore, despite its limited area, you can still theoretically swim long laps as you would in a pool.
  • Hydrotherapy. Many brands have linked hydrotherapy as a significant swim spa benefit, but what is it all about? Simply put, it refers to an ancient water therapy designed for patients in recovery. It has been used by those involved in accidents or any physical injuries to help them regain their strength. With hydrotherapy, you can enjoy a balance of buoyancy, massage, and relaxing temperature levels. As a result, it would help your body recuperate, increase its production of endorphins (known as the natural "feel-good" chemicals), and improve blood circulation. Say you're suffering from a bad case of arthritis, having a swim spa at home can give you an avenue to stretch those muscles, soothe the joints while improving your mobility in general. Suppose your primary purpose of considering a swim spa purchase is leaning towards physical therapy purposes. In that case, it's best to consult a healthcare professional first to confirm if hydrotherapy is beneficial to you.

Other Health Benefits

Aside from hydrotherapy, swim spas may also improve your health in general. Here's a list of health benefits you can enjoy in installing a swim spa at home:

  • Reduced muscle tension. Having a swim spa at home helps you do frequent low-impact aerobic exercises through swimming. You’ll be able to improve your muscular strength and enjoy cardiovascular benefits as well.
  • Lowered Stress LevelsHigh-stress levels can cause problems to your health in the long run. It may also cause fatigue, burn-out, or negatively impact your body’s natural immunity. To help you effectively decrease your stress levels, consider immersing yourself in the therapeutic waters of a swim spa. Undoubtedly, it will help you feel refreshed at the end of a long day.
  • Soothed JointsRecovering from a bad injury? Soothe your joints and body pain by getting in a swim spa's warm waters. It's an excellent solution for when you want to relax your injured joints and muscles. The therapeutic waters can help your body's healing mechanisms.
  • Better FlexibilityFrequent swimming can help stretch your body’s muscles. With the addition of a hot tub soak, you can improve your muscles' condition, leading to a better posture, mobility, and resistance to physical injuries.
  • Weight LossAnother selling point for most swim spa models is their weight-loss potential. Simply put, you can lose weight through water exercises and improve your current muscle tone as well. The stronger the water current, the more challenging and strenuous the workouts are. Fitness enthusiasts will enjoy the addition of a swim spa in their homes!
  • Improved Sleep: A relaxed well-being will help you enjoy deep sleep more often. Once your muscles relax as you dip inside the refreshing waters, all your day's worries and tension will gradually fade away. Your sleeping schedule will soon get better after developing sleep-friendly habits.

Different Usage

Aside from swimming-related purposes, you can use your swim spa as an area to socialize with friends and loved ones.

Invite them over for a rejuvenating soak in the warm waters, and it'll be a good idea for a quick pamper session. After all, we deserve to relax and distress once in a while.

  • Temperature control. Unless you installed a heater thermostat in your traditional pool, chances are – you may be unable to adjust its water temperature at a whim. In contrast, owning a swim spa gives you total control over water temperature. You may set it late 20 degrees Celsius when swimming and adjust it to 40 degrees Celsius afterward for an idle, relaxing soak. Depending on your make, your swim spa’s water jets may also give you a calming massage.
  • All-year-round use. When winter comes, standard pool owners will need to bid their pool a temporary goodbye. The winterization costs will also require them to pay some additional running expenses. On the contrary, you can go for a swim at your swim spa regardless of the current weather condition or season. Thanks to its innovative heating system, which you can adjust to fit your preferences, your swim spa is technically suitable for year-round usage. Simply adjust the water's temperature and fine-tune it until you find a comfortable level – even if it's raining cats and dogs outside. In the summer, you may opt to make the water a bit cooler than average. Once the winter season begins, you may use it as a hot tub to keep yourself warm on cold nights. It's best to think of a swim spa as the perfect blend of combination hot tub and spa, plus a convenient year-round use!
  • Energy efficiency. The energy-efficient aspect in keeping a swim spa is an excellent consideration for homeowners who want to trim down on monthly electricity bills. Since a swim spa has a well-insulated cover, you can count on its improved energy efficiency. If you have a below-ground swim spa installation, it will also improve its insulation further. Several high-end swim spa models also offer a pressurized filtration system, reducing the energy spent cleaning the water. Some brands also feature advanced energy-efficient filtration systems, which you can consider as you browse for possible options.
  • Easier, less expensive installation. On average, installing a swim spa will only cost you about half the total installation fees on a traditional swimming pool. However, it does not include the additional expenses in keeping a pool, such as higher insurance costs and necessary fence installation (one requirement in some neighborhoods). It will also be faster to install a swim spa, spanning around one afternoon once a solid surface is settled. A pool, on the other hand, will take about 2 to 4 weeks.

Drawbacks of Swim Spa

As the adage goes, all that glitters is not gold – which may also be true when buying a swim spa. It also has a unique set of drawbacks you need to consider, just like making any purchase. Let’s take a closer look at some cons of having a swim spa installed:

  • Expensive running costs. A disadvantage in keeping a swim spa is its running costs, which may be costly for some homeowners even if it ensures energy efficiency. Since you will need a warmer temperature than in traditional swimming pools, you will need to spend on higher heating costs to maintain its heat for quite some time. Furthermore, the jet stream installed inside the swim spa also requires additional energy costs when running.
  • Artificial counterflow feel. The artificial counterflow indeed feels different compared to a genuine countercurrent, making it another disadvantage for the swim spa regardless of the counterflow's strength. Some swimmers may be used to the natural flow, so it may be challenging for them to make a sudden transition to a swim spa setting.
  • Uncomparable appeal to a swimming pool. Unfortunately, size does matter when it comes to pools. Even a built-in swim spa can't give you the 'wow' factor and the fantastic visual appeal that an expansive swimming pool can provide. More importantly, a swim spa cannot accommodate many people, making large pool parties quite impossible.
  • Suits fitness enthusiasts more. The majority of swim spas are designed for exercise, which significantly suits athletic swimmers and fitness enthusiasts. However, children and casual swimmers will less likely enjoy swimming and playing in a swim spa due to its limited size, making it an everyday personal use for athletes.
  • Swimming unreal lengths. Due to its size, a person can only swim on one spot against the current, which deprives people of swimming starting from one end to another. While it heavily depends on a person's preference, keep in mind that a swim spa is still very beneficial for exercising and practicing strokes despite its limited space.
  • Swim current. The currents produced by swim spas might become turbulent, which may cause a difficult swimming experience for its swimmers. Despite this, some companies create swim spa jets that are powerful enough to evenly distribute the current, making for more accessible and lighter swimming. It also comes with easy controls to allow users to adjust the swim current depending on their ability freely.

Are Swim Spas Worth Your Money?

At the end of the day, swim spas prove beneficial to homeowners who are into wellness or planning to make healthier lifestyle changes. With a swim spa, you can do your training within the comfort of your home without having to drop by the nearest gym.

You do not need to be a professional swimmer or an athlete to enjoy a swim spa. Keep in mind that it can be of great use for just about anyone! Also, you do not need to worry about heavy rains and downpours – you can still use your swim spa, especially if you opt for indoor installations.

Consider a swim spa as an investment for health purposes, recreation, and wellness. If all the features and advantages of a swim spa make you wish to have one, this investment is worth every penny.

With over 40 registered brands, dozens of models, and make – it's best to consult a dealer to help you find the perfect swim spa to meet all of your needs.

About the Author

I can build it, and I can help you get the patio enclosure you want! I got my start in the Florida patio industry back in the 70s as a young general laborer looking for something to make a few bucks. At the time I never thought it would end up as my career. Over the years I grew beyond the laborer position, becoming a foreman, superintendent, and then into executive management for some of the largest patio contractors, and material vendors. Now into retirement and slightly bored, I offer consulting services to new and existing contractors, and publish this website to help the people who love their patio's and screen enclosures the most - YOU!

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