Swim Spa vs. Pool: What You Need to Know

Swimming offers good exercise, relaxation, and fun for family and friends. When you’re looking to add a pool or swim spa to your home, it may seem like the options are endless. The wants and needs of every household are different, but there are a few factors that can help you determine if a swim spa or a pool is right for you.

Here, we’re exploring the similarities and differences between swim spas and pools to help you decide which one suits you best.

The Swim

The biggest difference between a pool and a swim spa is the swim experience. Pools are more natural & less challenging to swim in. Swimming in a pool requires you to turn around at each end, sometimes having to turn multiple times before you ever reach your desired distance. On the other hand, the current in a swim spa allows you to swim in one place without ever reaching the end or having to turn around.

For example, to swim one mile in a 40-foot pool, it would require 132 turns end-to-end. It requires zero turns to swim one mile in a swim spa.

Another benefit is that a swim spa can be used indoors to allow for year-round swimming. This means a longer swimming season than a regular pool. If you place your spa outdoors, you can still use it year-round because the water will be heated.

The Size

Swim spas are typically better for smaller spaces since most of them are smaller than the average pool. Swim spas usually have seating and jets built-in, so it eliminates the need to have both a hot tub and a pool. This leaves more space in your basement, deck, or yard for other activities. They also have the ability to be moved if you ever move to a different home, which is a benefit that does not come with a pool.

Pools are better for parties or larger families because they have more space to accommodate more people. A pool may be a better option if you like to entertain during the warmer months or if you have more space in your yard.


Swim spas with insulated covers will keep heat and water in while keeping dirt and debris out. Spas require far fewer chemicals than pools do because they hold less water and have higher-functioning filtration systems. Some swim spas are even self-cleaning with vacuum systems built-in. Overall, heated swim spas are less costly and more efficient than heated pools.

Even though they cost more upfront, pools are a desirable feature that may add value to your home. Pools may require more maintenance because they take up more space & aren’t self-cleaning. The more water in the pool, the more time it will take to filter and clean it. It takes time to reopen a pool each spring, and the chemicals can be costly.


Pools almost always require site work (excavation, pouring concrete, or building a deck) before they can be installed. The installation of a pool can take weeks to months, from mapping and getting permits to installing the liner and filling it.

The average cost to install a swim spa is much less than that of a pool. The installation process for swim spas is faster and less disruptive. A swim spa will require a concrete foundation, and some can even be recessed in-ground or configured in a deck.

How to Determine Which Is Best For You

Look at the size of your backyard. If you have a smaller space, a swim spa may be the better option.

What will you use it for the most? If you’re wanting hydrotherapy and fitness benefits, a swim spa will better suit those needs. If you intend to use it most for entertaining, a pool will allow you more space.

Do you want to swim year-round? One of the biggest benefits of swim spas is year-round swimming. If you don’t think you’ll utilize it during the colder months, a pool may be a better option.

How much time do you want to dedicate to maintenance? Pools require more attention when it comes to maintenance. If you’d prefer to spend minimal time on maintenance, swim spas are the better option.

Consult with Bassemier’s. Our associates will help you find a swim spa that fits your lifestyle and desires. If a particular spa catches your eye, you can schedule a test soak to make sure that it’s the right fit. Contact us today or visit us in-store to get started.