A man swimming in a hot tub.

Unwind or Train: The Dual Benefits of Owning a Swim Spa

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Pools and spas are a great investment for your health. Pools offer a wide variety of fitness options and spas are a fantastic way to soothe both mind and body. They create a tremendous pairing of workout and warm down when combined.

But you can also benefit from a smaller and more focused package – a swim-spa. Also known as a never-ending pool or aquatic trainer, it uses special machinery to let you swim in a spa-like environment.

A swim spa is a great option for those looking for a pool to use as a way to improve fitness but don’t have the space for a lap pool or large pool. It combines the benefit of a lap pool with a hot tub in a compact package which is more efficient in space and cost.

Read on to discover how to get all of those advantages and more in your own home.

Defining Swim-Spas

A swim-spa is, as the name suggests, a compact combination of spa and a traditional swimming pool. It’s somewhat larger than a hot tub. Large enough for you to lay on your back, front, or side. But the real magic comes from the fact that the swim-spa has built-in resistance jets. Your body moves forward as you swim. However, at the same time, the jets push the water back. This essentially creates a similar effect to running on a treadmill – but with swimming instead of running. The water current is adjustable to accommodate all types of fitness levels.

They also provide features comparable to a home spa or hot tub. Imagine if you had a home treadmill that gave you a massage after a good run. That’s basically what you get from a swim-spa. It’s both a workout and relaxing cooldown in a singular, compact, form factor.

swim spa insert in a deck
Installing the swim spa in a deck gives the benefits of an inground pool yet still allows for easy access to in workings of the pool’s mechanisms.

Difference Between Hot Tubs and Swim-Spas

The previous description is enough to give you a rough idea of what a swim-spa can do for you. But things get even more exciting as you delve into the finer details. For example, the ways in which it differs from a hot tub.


This is the most easily noticed difference between a swim-spa and a hot tub. A swim-spa is generally about twice the size of a hot tub. This is in large part due to the fact that you’re only going to sit in a hot tub. Whereas a swim-spa needs to accommodate people sitting, swimming, or even a combination of both at the same time.


A hot tub is designed for a relaxing but largely sedentary experience. You’ll typically just sit and relax by yourself or socialize. It’s a great fit for both mental and physical health as the warm water eases away your stress. But a swim-spa can provide that same functionality while also opening up the ability to swim with the same amount of freedom that you’d have in a pool. Additionally, you can use the swim-spa for other exercises like aquatic walking or running, physical therapy, and more. Basically, a hot tub is for relaxing. A swim-spa is for relaxation, active workouts, and almost any form of water-based physical therapy.


A hot tub’s smaller size and simpler functionality usually make it easier to install. And it’s generally lighter, to the point where you won’t have to worry too much about the foundation you install it on. Any solid wooden deck should be strong enough to easily hold a hot tub. But a swim-spa can be a little more complicated. They can be heavy to the point where you might need a reinforced foundation. And they’re large enough that some models might need special equipment in order to get everything properly positioned.


Hot tubs are generally less expensive than a swim-spa. The prices of both will of course differ on a case-by-case basis depending on options, time and place of purchase, etc. But in general, a hot tub will start at somewhere around $3,000. And a swim-spa starts around $13,000. Keep in mind how many features come with a swim-spa though. A high-end hot tub is typically more expensive than a lower end swim-spa. While at the same time, the swim-spa would have a heavy overlap with the hot tub’s features. In addition to offering the ability to take a swim.

Benefits of a Swim-Spa

A swim-spa essentially gives you the workout potential of a pool along with the relaxation found with hot tubs. You can use it as a regular workout environment. But you can also relax, socialize, and luxuriate in it as well. This combination makes it perfect for socializing, home workouts, helping with chronic conditions like arthritis, and more. You can even adjust your workout’s intensity by changing the current’s speed.

woman swim training in a warm swim spa
You can adjust the current of the water to suit the swimming pace you want to keep.

Types Of Swim-Spas

The types of swim-spa differ depending on your needs. Some models come with special jet designs to target muscles on your back or legs. Other models put an emphasis on size to fit solo or group use. And there are even inground models. Other ‘portable’ models are designed for easier transport and contain all of the associated equipment.

How Much Do Swim-Spas Cost On Average?

You’ve probably noticed two important elements of a swim-spa at this point. First, they offer a tremendous number of benefits. Second, they produce those benefits through some pretty inventive high-tech ideas. The combination of these two elements might make you expect an equally impressive price tag. And that was true when they first hit the market. But today you can find them priced between $13,000 and $25,000. What’s more, that generally includes the initial delivery and setup cost. They’re usually more expensive than a hot tub, but not by a huge margin. And that’s pretty amazing when you consider that a swim-spa gives you the benefits of both a pool and a hot tub in a single package.

On top of the lower starting cost you also have a number of options available to tweak the price even further. For example, you can lower the total cost by going for smaller sizes. Or you might choose to go with fewer options if you don’t think you’ll need them.

However, you can also choose the flip side. You can finance any project with Viking Capital to ensure you have the perfect swim-spa of your dreams. You should think about some of the customization options when budgeting. For example, you can go with top-of-the-line options for water jets, resistance bands, and various strength training options. There’s even a wide range of accessories like aqua bikes for underwater cycling for true low-impact exercise, mirrors to monitor your form when swimming and tailored sound systems to help guide your mood.

Can You Put a Swim-Spa in the Ground?

You can even customize your swim-spa by installing it in the ground like an inground pool. However, this will also increase the overall cost. But while this is a more expensive option it also allows for some of the landscaping or decorative options more typically associated with inground pools.

swim spa installed in the ground with tiles surrounding it
Swim spas can be installed directly into the ground to give the properties of a more traditional pool.

How Much Does It Cost To Run A Swim-Spa?

While maintaining a swim-spa is less expensive than a pool there are still some associated costs to keep in mind. The main expenses come from keeping the water clean, maintaining the temperature, and running the pumps. The cost will vary by location and type of swim-spa. But you can expect to pay somewhere between $40 and $130 per month when the system is in active use.

Putting Your New Expertise To Use

A swim-spa is something truly unique. It brings time-tested concepts together with modern technology to essentially create the best of both worlds. You get the health benefits of both pool and spa at the same time. But now that you know about them, the time’s come to take action. If you’re intrigued by the idea then go out and make it a reality in your life.

This blog is based on information available at the time of publishing and for the purpose of sharing information with the public related to swimming pools and projects that can be financed through Viking Capital. Although we strive to be complete and accurate, it is not information that is verified or maintained. It should not be relied upon for making financial decisions. An investment such as a swimming pool is significant. Viking Capital recommends consulting with a financial professional regarding your financing decisions and with pool professionals regarding pool options. To learn what financing options are available for you today, please apply with Viking Capital and you’ll receive your free loan consultation. Click Here to Apply.

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