Looking at a swim spa? Here is everything you need to know about what they are and how they work so that you can decide if a swim spa is the right purchase for you.

What is a swim spa for?

A swim spa is a large pool that can be used for both exercise and relaxing. The idea is that you can actually swim in a swim spa, using the currents created by the pool to effectively swim on the spot! This means that you get to clock up the lengths without the need for a larger swimming pool which can be costly, and take up a lot of space in your garden.

Of course, we know and love them for exercise, but they actually double up as a great place to relax, too. 

They have spa jets built in so that you can take a moment or ten to relax, and some even have jets that can be tailored to target different parts of the body. 

Some swim spas have a couple of built in seats, while others have loungers and specific areas that are designed for relaxation. The latter is a dual zone swim spa, which doubles up as a hot tub as well as a place for exercising and perfecting your front crawl. 

The temperature can also be changed to accommodate a swim, learning to swim with youngsters, or you can crank it up to get the hot tub feeling.

Swim spas have a range of features and you can look for models that fit your list of requirements. Some of the common features include: 

  • Single or dual zone swim spas
  • Control panel options for temperature, current speed, and jet intensity.
  • Seats and loungers
  • Hydrotherapy jets
  • LED mood Lighting
  • Built in steps or ladder
  • Music, bluetooth or waterproof TV

What is the swimming experience like in a swim spa?

Swimming in a swim spa is much like swimming in a swimming pool. The only difference is that you swim on the spot, and the current facilitates the swimming. It sounds like a novel idea but once you have experienced it, there is little difference between a swim spa and a swimming pool in terms of the swimming experience. Many swim spas also double up as a hot tub, meaning you get the best of both worlds.

Swim spas are fantastic for your well being offering the following advantages:

  • Exercise
  • Hydrotherapy
  • Sleep improvement
  • Weight loss 
  • Stress relief
  • Easing muscle tension 
  • Pain relief 
  • Post-injury recovery
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How big are swim spas?

Swim spas vary in size with some built for one person and others built for multiple occupants. Swim spas are typically between 360cm – 640cm long and around 240cm wide, and can be anywhere between 4’ – 5’ feet deep.

As with any of these purchases, it is best to go and see the swim spas for yourself so that you can size them up in person. 

How do swim spas work?

Swim spas are powered by jets which propel the water and create a current within the pool. This is what keeps you in place when you swim on the spot, along with a tether that can be tied to you when in the pool for further stability during your swim. 

Beginner’s can learn to swim and practice in a swim spa without the fear of a vast open pool of water, and similarly, experienced swimmers can enjoy exercise or better their performance without the need to pause and turn or stop for other swimmers in a communal swimming pool. 

You can change the speed of the current depending on the kind of current and exercise you’re looking for, and also your level of swimming experience. The same goes for the temperature, which means you can teach children to swim in swim spas when accompanied by an adult, with a slow current, the correct safety gear, and a cooler temperature. 

How much are swim spas?

Swim spas can cost anywhere between £10,000 and upwards of £40,000. The cost depends on the size of your swim spa, and the features you’re looking for within it. 

If you were to buy and install a regular swimming pool, you would be looking at costs of between £92,000 and £143,000. So if swimming is on your exercise agenda, a swim spa is much more cost efficient and less invasive of an install than a traditional swimming pool. 

How much does it cost to run a swim spa? 

Running a swim spa has other associated costs on top of the initial purchase, and these in total can range from £80 to £400 per month depending on your usage and swim spa choice. 

These costs include routine maintenance and chemicals, as well as things like your water and electricity bills. 

Electricity costs will be greater the bigger your swim spa, meaning that if you have an average size swim spa, it will use more electricity than that of a two person hot tub. However, they’re not as energy-intensive as you might think, and they still come in at a lot cheaper to run than a swimming pool. 

Water chemicals will be a monthly cost and then, of course, you’re cleaning chemicals on a three to four month basis. You will also need to factor in an annual service to make sure that your swim spa is fighting fit and ready for action.

Electricity£40 – £250
Water£5 – £10
Water chemicals£25 – £85
Service (performed annually)£41.66

What is the difference between a swim spa and hot tub?

The main difference between a swim spa and a hot tub is what you want to use them for. If you’re looking for something that is rooted in exercise and will be able to help you on your fitness journey, then a swim spa is the option for you. 

If you’re looking for something that is tailored to relaxing and leisure, then a hot tub will be a better choice. 

The size is another difference you will notice, as hot tubs can come in a range of sizes, even down to micro hot tubs built for one person, and inflatables ones that can squeeze into smaller spaces. Swim spas need more room and are built for exercises and swimming, so they need to accommodate the range of movement that comes with the activity. 

Pricing is another difference, with hot tubs starting from £3,000 for smaller models, whereas swim spas can cost anywhere between £15,000 to £40,000+. Again, this is due to the size and features that they come with, and they tend to be a specialised and well-planned purchase.

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Installing a swim spa

Installing a swim spa is simple, but there are a few things to consider along the way. 

Laying the foundations

Swim spas, like hot tubs, need the correct foundations beneath them. Think about what you’re building on top of and what you might need to do in order to offer a level and sturdy base for your swim spa, as well as considering the ground surrounding the swim spa to prevent trips and slips. 

In-ground or above ground

Swim spas are available as in-ground structures or above ground. You can also build decking around them to create the illusion of them being in-ground, if you’re looking for an easier middle-ground solution. 

In-ground swim spas look impressive and slick, but they can be harder to install and you need to consider the access points for cleaning, draining, and electrical maintenance. 

Above ground swim spas are easy to install and maintain, but they don’t always have the desired aesthetic or Pinterest – worthy angles that some owners are looking for!

Delivery and access

Swim spas are large objects, so make sure you have adequate means and room for delivery, as if a crane is required you will incur extra charges.