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  • Writer's pictureAqua Warehouse

What Is a Swim Spa and How Does it Work?

Updated: Jan 4, 2023

Are you thinking of getting a swim spa for your home? Do you know there is an actual difference between a swim spa and a swimming pool?

In this article, we'll be highlight everything about swim spas, including their types, benefits, what they are good for, and we will answer few questions you might have.

Swimming pools can be the ideal option for having fun, but conditions that need to be met include the perfect climate, enough space, and money. Swimming pools take up a lot of room, they can be quite costly to install, maintenance is also expensive, and they are mostly wholly designed to hold cold water and be utilised in warm weather.

What Is A Swim Spa?

Precisely, what is a swim spa? A swim spa is an alternative to a swimming pool that gives you the best of both worlds as you can enjoy the therapy of a hot tub and also the benefits of water exercise. Installation of a swim spa is just a fraction of the cost of an inground swimming pool, and it doesn't take as much time to be installed.

Swim spas offer you features and qualities similar to spa pools but are generally deeper and larger as they measure 1.3m-1.5m in depth and 4m-8m in length.

Large swim jets (or you can call it a built-in current system) generate a non-stop stream or current of moving water that you can swim in opposition to. Imagine the times you jog on a treadmill where you are running on a spot but not moving forward.

Swim spas work just like the treadmill, but in water, as you can swim in one spot/place without moving away. As the water flows, you can adjust the flow rate and swim laps without having to change your direction or hit the wall.

Swim spas are designed for year-round use and come with an important innovation known as adjustable massage jets. You have the ability to tweak the temperature to your liking and simply relax in warm water as you lounge or bring it down to the 80s if you are going to be exercising.

They are energy efficient, have an ergonomic design, and can be installed indoors; what else do you want from an open water swimming system.

What Is The Difference Between A Swim Spa And A Hot Tub?

Both swim spas and hot tubs offer a variety of uses and benefits. Most hot tubs, unlike swim spas, are mostly linked to luxurious relaxation; you take to engage in a deep soak to ease sore muscles and take the pressure off your joints.

Swim spas, on the other end, while being designed with exercising in mind, act as the perfect hybrid between swimming pools and hot tubs. A swim spa is ideal for people that love open water swimming and want to keep their fitness up.

While these two systems work in different ways, their offering of the same elements like heating options and high-power jets see that manufacturers can actually produce a two-in-one. Some examples include Master Spas and Endless pools, which are known to offer swim spa models that come with a hot tub installed at the end.

The Michael Phelps signature swim spa from Master Spas and the Original endless pool from Endless Pools are very good swim spa models.

Different Types Of Swim Spas

Before you purchase and invest in a swim spa, you need to know all the details of the different varieties of swim spas so you can choose what you would enjoy without stress. Let us take a look at some of the different types of swim spas available;

  • Paddle Wheels Swim Spas: These swim spas are very distinctive units, and SwimEx is the only brand that offers this patented swim current system. This one uses a large spinning paddlewheel to power the current.

  • Propulsion Swim Spas: With the use of a propeller design, these swim spas are able to generate a current of up to 5000 gallons each minute. The propeller material and sizes vary based on the brands, so their performances will also be different.

  • Jetted Swim Spas: These swim spas create their current with the use of a motor and pump that push water through swim jets. These swim spas normally have between two to eight jets to swim against. Most swim spas in this category utilise a two-speed pump to handle the flow rate through the jets (you get different levels of resistance).

You can also spice up your swim spa with a plethora of accessories like music systems, swim mirrors, and other sleek equipment. Ensure you choose the right swim spa that would suit your lifestyle.

How Does A Swim Spa Work?

The offered by the swim spa cannot be disputed, but how exactly do they achieve this?

Swim spas allow you to swim on the spot, thanks to their built-in current system.

This technology utilises a propeller or jet pump to continuously push the current as the swimmer swims against it.

Water flows in via filtration and suction inlets as it is in a standard hot tub, but here the technology is highly advanced, and it has a faster flow rate, all of which works to facilitate its capabilities.

What Are The Benefits Of Swim Spas?

  • Convenience: It is a popular thought that most people depend on commercial pools to relax and have fun. However, you can enjoy all the relaxing benefits of swimming from the comfort of your own home as you no longer have to worry about using the public pool. Since your home is a closed area, your privacy is assured as only people who are authorised can access the swim spa.

  • Backyard Improvement: A swim spa makes your backyard look that bit more beautiful and sophisticated.

  • Health Benefits: One main advantage of swim spas is the improvement of your quality of life. Your body is going to thank you a lot for getting a swim spa. Some of these advantages include weight loss/maintenance, treating arthritis, reduced stress, eased muscle tension, better sleep. It also makes it easier for you to recover from any injury or surgery.

How Many Years Does A Swim Spa Last?

Just like any equipment you have, your level of maintenance plays a huge role in the lifespan of your swim spa.

A huge factor that influences how long your swim spa lasts depends on how often you clean and the chemicals. You should also ensure that you maintain a stable pH balance in the swim spa.

Swim Spa Activities

There are plenty of swim spa activities you can do alone or with family and friends. These are some swim spa activities you can engage in to feel great and have fun;

  • Strength and Resistance Training: You can train your legs and arms to be stronger as there are fun exercises to perform as you spend time in the water. You can also carry your family along in case anyone wants to lose weight or improve fitness levels.

  • Play a Game: Have fun in your swim spa with your family and friends by engaging in different games. You can choose to play waterproof games like ping pong or cards without leaving the warmth and comfort of the water. With this, you are sure there is enough entertainment for the whole family.

  • Teach Kids to Swim: Another family bonding time in the swim spa involves teaching your kids how to swim. Since you can adjust the water temperature, your kids won't have a hard time with swimming. Everybody in the family can also sit back and enjoy the natural buoyancy of the water.

Can You Actually Swim In A Swim Spa?

The simple answer to this is "yes". Thanks to the current it supplies, you are able to swim in your swim spa without leaving your house.

The robust swim jets supplies a current from one end for you to swim against.

How Hard Is It To Maintain A Swim Spa?

There's not too much to do when it comes to the maintenance of your swim spa. You should also note that they require less maintenance than hot tubs. Ensure you maintain a balance between the pH, calcium hardness, and total alkalinity.

Develop the habit of always sanitising with bromine or chlorine. Also, check and ensure that internal components like the filters are not left dirty.

How Often Should You Change The Water In A Swim Spa?

Depending on the model of swim spa you opted for and the amount of water it holds, it is recommended that you drain the water and replace it anywhere from four to six months. The Master Spas brand recommends changing the water every six months.

How Much Does Swim Spas Cost On Average?

Swim spas vary in shape and size, and as such, their cost too also varies. However, the average cost you should budget to spend on buying a swim spa ranges from £18,000 to £35,000; take that as a broad guide.

Here at Aqua Warehouse, we offer 14 types of premium swim spas for sale ranging from £17,995 to £37,995.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Swim Spa?

There are various factors that affect the cost of running your swim spa;

  • Since you cannot predict whether or not you would need to make repairs or buy new parts, it is ideal to budget about £100 to £150 in case of any emergency.

  • Based on your local climate, you can have your energy cost range from about £50 to £100 monthly. This sees that it is cheaper to run than a swimming pool, especially in the winter season.

  • You would need to buy the necessary chemicals and parts. For this, you should spend about £15 to £35 monthly.

Are Swim Spas Worth The Money?

A swim spa is definitely worth the money to those that are going to utilise it regularly. The swim spa is heated, which makes it prepared for year-round use. So, based on your needs, the swim spa can be a very nice investment. It is not advisable to just walk into a store and get a swim spa if you are only going to be using it for the features hot tubs offer.

Some factors to consider when choosing a swim spa include:

  • Energy Efficiency

  • High-performance pump

  • Lane size

  • Purchase price

  • The main purpose of buying


Do you need to kick back and relax, or do you probably want to improve on your fitness? You can choose to get a swim spa as it gives you the perfect mix of an exercise and relaxation equipment. A swim spa could be just what your home is missing. You should take into account all the information provided in this article as it is the perfect guide that gives you all the knowledge required before you invest in a swim spa.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you put a swim spa in the ground?

You can install your swim spa in the ground, and this would allow integration with your landscaping and become the main focus of your backyard. Most times, modular components are utilised for the installation of in-ground swim spas. This gives them sufficient durability to last for more than a year in addition to being customisable.

What is a good size for a swim spa?

What is the best depth for a swim spa?




Jess Court

I'm Aqua Warehouse Groups Marketing Officer - overseeing all things news worthy in the hot tub industry, with tips and tricks that are bound to make a splash.

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