Hot tub and swim spa combos: Possible combinations

We often have people come into our showrooms and want to buy a swim spa, even though they were originally looking at a hot tub.

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

We often have people come into our showrooms and want to buy a swim spa, even though they were originally looking at a hot tub. 

This is often because most people don’t know about swim spas to the same extent that they do about hot tubs. So they didn’t realize they could have one.  

And even fewer realize they could have a hot tub and swim spa combined into one.

Can you have both a swim spa and a hot tub? The answer is yes, both as one unit and as separate ones. 

Because we are asked about all of these options, we wanted to write this article, to illustrate what hot tub and swim spa combinations are out there for you. Your choices are clear on what you can buy when it comes to hot tub and swim spa options. This article is intended to spell them out. 

In this article we will cover:

  • The hot tub solo option
  • The swim spa solo option
  • The hot tub/combined with a swim spa option
  • Buying a separate hot tub and swim spa 

Hopefully, by the end you’ll know what is best for you!

What can I use a hot tub for?

This is a common approach. Hot tubs have been around for decades. People who are looking for hot tubs use them for a variety of approaches: 

  • Family fun
  • Massage jets, also known as hydrotherapy
  • Hot tub parties
  • Relaxing in hot water

Hot tubs are great for all of these things. The main difference between them and swim spas is that you can exercise, including swimming, in a swim spa. 

What can I use a swim spa for?

A swim spa is like a hot tub but stretched. They are about eight feet wide and can be anywhere from 12 feet to 21 feet long, depending on the brand. Swim spas feature a current generated by a propeller or jets that provides enough resistance that someone can swim in place against it.  

Swim spas can do anything a hot tub can do, but add:

  • Aquatic exercise
  • Swimming
  • A pool replacement 

Click here for a video on why a swim spa is better than a pool

If you’re interested in pricing out swim spas, here’s a guide to Swim Spa Costs. 

Can I get a swim spa and hot tub combination? 

Combined hot tubs and swim spas are often called “dual temps” in the hot tub and swim spa industries, as they are able to offer two bodies of water at separate temperatures. They can also be called "dual zone swim spas" or "dual temperature swim spas" or a even "dual zone swim spa."

  • These genuinely combine the best of a traditional swimming pool and a hot tub, making the most of your outdoor living space in as compact a way as possible.
  • They are generally built as a rectangle and are about 20 feet long and eight feet wide, with hot tubs and swim spas in one cabinet or a single unit (one of our competitors called Artesian does create a unit that can be built in an L-shape through its swim spa brand called Tidalfit, if that’s what you’re looking for). 

 There are many advantages in this combined setup, because it combines both a pool and a hot tub. 

  • You are able to set the hot tub at one temperature setting and the swim spa at another. This is key so that while the kids are playing in the swim spa, for example, the adults can relax in the warmth of the hot tub at a balmy 104 degrees. A swim spa is generally set slightly lower than a hot tub. (want more on best temperatures? Click here.)
  • While a swim spa features everything a hot tub does, the seats are often spread out in the corners or jammed together in a tighter space at one end. This is to allow sufficient room for swimming in the swim spa. But a separate hot tub and swim spa allow for close conversations in the hot tub as well as the space for water fitness of a swim spa. 
  • A dual-temp swim spa/hot tub is a prestigious addition to any backyard and a perfect alternative to a pool/hot tub combo. Hydropool’s is a 19-foot swim spa, and most others available are in the 18-21 foot range, while being eight-feet wide. The sheer scale of it will make people respond with “ooohs” and “aaaaahs.”
  • It is ideal for building your landscaping plan around it as a swim spa will act as a focal point in your backyard. 
  • You can drain either the hot tub or the swim spa in the winter or any season you don’t want to use it and just use the part of the spa you prefer. But unlike a pool, you can run a combined unit year-round.

For more on Hydropool’s dual temp models, click here for a look at the multi-purpose AquaSport 19DTAX or here for the AquaTrainer 19DTAX, which has advanced swimming capabilities. Current pricing for each is available on each page. 

Can I get a separate hot tub and a swim spa? 

Of course you can! This popular option allows you the best of all possible worlds, as you can customize your experience in both cases. Benefits include:

  • You can set up your hot tub and swim spa combo however you like in your backyard: In a straight line, near each other or even on opposite sides of your yard or deck. So your design options open up. Separate units may work better or fit better in your backyard.
  • You can choose whichever swim spa and hot tub you like. Hydropool, for example, offers an Executive Trainer series swim spa, which provides our most elite swim. But it doesn’t come as part of the “dual temp” model with an attached hot tub. But you can buy it and a premium hot tub, for example, as an ultimate luxurious experience. 
  • You might also only want a smaller, intimate hot tub or a dramatically larger one than what comes with any attached swim spa and hot tub combo. This option allows you to get the best of all worlds.

Although buying two units will often cost more, there are ways to do this set up so that it costs about the same as buying a combined unit. 

Choosing between a hot tub and swim spa: Which is best for me?

We left out one possible combo in this article, only because we have rarely sold it: Two swim spas! 

We don’t see buyers for that one very often though. Most people find that what works for them is one of the following options:

  • a hot tub, a swim spa
  • a combined hot tub and swim spa, or 
  • both a hot tub and a swim spa work best for them. 


 As a result, this is what most hot tub and swim spa vendors have for sale.

We wrote this article because we get frequently asked about what hot tub and swim spa options are available in terms of size, shape and combinations. 

We find that many people don’t know yet about swim spas, so the idea of a combined separate hot tub and swim spa hasn’t come up as a possible option as they are pondering what to buy.

 If you’re interested in seeing more of the options, try out our hot tub builder, to see what’s best for you. 

Disclaimer: In this article, we’ve used brand names not affiliated with Hydropool or Jacuzzi Brands LLC, the parent company of Hydropool. All information, including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing and may change without notice.

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