Choosing between a swim spa vs hot tub will depend on a few things, but whether you’ve already got a good grasp of the benefits, or you need some help deciphering between the two, here is everything you need to know so that you can make the right decision.

A swim spa is closer to a swimming pool whereas a hot tub is set to give you the ultimate hydrotherapy experience.

Why choose a Hot Tub?

Hot tubs are great additions to the home if your sole purpose is to relax. If you don’t require the added exercise of a swim spa, then a hot tub is the perfect solution. They’re a hub for entertaining and socialising, and take up less space than a swim spa would.

If size is something you’re contemplating, then a hot tub will take up less room, generally speaking, with smaller models housing two seats, going up to six or eight depending on the make and model. 

Swim spas are designed more for the exercise market, and hot tubs are geared more towards those who are looking for some R&R.

hot tub in garden

Choose a hot tub if you’re looking for:

  • Somewhere to relax
  • A lower-budget option (starting at roughly £3,500)
  • A space to socialise and entertain

Why choose a Swim Spa?

A swim spa is a different type of pool that, although similar to a hot tub in some ways, has a whole different set of benefits to consider. They’re more expensive, bigger to house, and serve a different purpose to hot tubs. Swim spas are designed to be multi-use, designed for both leisure and exercise, meaning that you can indulge in a moment of calm, as well as using it for hydrotherapy and exercise.

Size-wise, they are bigger than most hot tubs, due to the space needed for swimming. However, you won’t need to swim laps of the pool due to the currents keeping you in one spot for your swim, powered by advanced jets and allowing you to practice your front crawl or breast-stroke from the comfort of your own home. You can use them all season round too since your swim spa will reach the same temperature (40°C/104°F) as your hot tub, perfect for the UK!

They’re a lot easier to maintain than a traditional swimming pool, and a lot cheaper with swimming pools coming in between £60,000 – £150,000, but offer a solution that affords both relaxation and a chance to exercise that many people find to be the perfect combination.

Choose a swim spa if you’re looking for:

  • An at-home swimming solution
  • A pool designed for exercise
  • A multi-use pool

How much is a swim spa & hot tub?

If you’re buying new, you can get a hot tub for around £3,500, with an extensive range of models as you move up the price brackets. Swim spas come in at around £11,000 for entry level models, and again, there is a variety of models to suit budget.

Is a hot tub or swim spa bigger?

Swim spas are significantly bigger than your standard hot tub, but hot tubs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. If space is a consideration, make sure you do your research and measurements to ensure you have adequate room for the swim spa or hot tub. 

With either a hot tub or a swim spa, you don’t want to scrimp on space. Just because you have measured the pool or spa, doesn’t mean that it is the only space required. Look at the environment you want to create around these pools and choose and plan accordingly, and consider things like entryways and enclosures that you want to have as part of your garden.

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Features to look out for?

The jets in a swim spa are strategically placed to offer a current and some hydrotherapy benefits, but a hot tub is typically built in with a range of features and has the ultimate bubbly hydro experience. Swim spas are designed to be advanced swimming pools with some additional features, whereas a hot tub is all about pure luxury and those hydrotherapy benefits. Features vary from model to model, and some swim spas are more advanced, as are hot tubs.

What maintenance is required?

Both hot tubs and swim spas require care and maintenance. Both will need professional servicing every 12 months or so, and you will need to consider regular maintenance that needs to be carried out on both of these. Regular maintenance will include draining, filter changes, and checking the chemistry of the water and chlorine levels.

Can children use a swim spa or hot tub?

If your kids are looking for swimming support, and are perhaps slightly older, then a swim spa is a better option as long as they are supervised at all times. Hot tubs are not advised for under 5 year olds and it is best to keep the temperature lower for under 18 year olds. Ensure children and young people are always supervised.