Swim Spa vs Swimming Pool

If you’re looking for a way to swim in your own backyard, you may be wondering whether a swim spa or a pool will be best for you. There are a few things you want to consider when making this decision: swimming, other activities, year-round use, energy efficiency, installation costs, and general operational costs. Those operational costs can include the cost of operation, the cost of maintenance, and ultimately the cost of service over the next couple of years.

Swim Experience

In a swimming pool, no matter what size you have, you're going to do a few strokes before having to flip over and go the other way. With a swim spa, there's no turns involved. You are swimming at a consistent pace for however long you choose to swim for. The beauty is that you never have to turn inside the swim spa, it is like swimming on a track.

Fun and Entertainment

The size of a pool makes for a lot of options when it comes to playing games, but don’t write off the versatility of a swim spa. While cannonballs may not be an option, there's a ton of stuff you can do inside a swimming pool that you can also do inside a swim spa, as well as a few things you can’t. For instance, Marco Polo and water gun fights are still a-go in a swim spa.

One thing you can use a swim spa for that you can’t find in a pool (unless you’re planning on getting a seriously expensive pool) is using it as a wave pool. With this wave pool function, many of our customers use a boogie board inside the surf area and essentially boogie board inside the current!

Kids can also use a swim spa as a lazy river. All they have to do is don their life jackets or floaties and get inside the current area, where they’ll get propelled to one end of the swim spa then down to the other end.

Year-Round Use

Just how many months of the year can a swim spa be used versus a pool? In a hot climate, like the South, you can probably use either all year long with no issues. However, in Northern climates, a swimming pool is being used at the maximum for four months out of the year. The nice thing about a swim spa is because it's so well insulated it is an all season pool. With the way it's insulated, and how energy efficient the swim spa is, it can be used with no problem all year long.

Installation Costs

A question that everyone wants to ask is what is the installation time of the swimming pool versus a swim spa, and what is the cost difference between installing a pool versus a swim spa. It generally takes, for an in-ground swimming pool, anywhere from three to five weeks to install that swimming pool. And, that can change based on weather, labor, and a lot of other factors that go into that installation. With a swim spa, you can be up and running in as little as three to five days. Because of this, a swim spa is also significantly less costly than a swimming pool with regards to installation.

Operational Costs

We don't want to ignore the cost of heating. With a swimming pool running at anything more than three to four months it becomes extremely cost prohibitive in a northern climate. The reason for this is a lack of insulation options. There just aren’t sufficient covers to insulate that pool in a way that makes sense. With Hydropool, you have an optional cover for every single one of our swim spas. That, and the spa itself is already insulated from top to bottom so it can be used throughout all four seasons.

Swimming pools are lined, and this lining can often wear down or break. It is very expensive and very painstaking to replace a liner on an in-ground pool. Generally speaking, the liner will last you a long period of time. However, the problem is that -- due to chemistry, use, and weather, they can and will break down eventually. So, the expense of having to replace a liner is quite high. The Hydropool shell on a swim spa, theoretically, should last you forever. The shell interior is warranted for seven years, and the construction is warranted for ten years, but without dropping a hammer on it or something similar, it should last you a lifetime.


The maintenance cost of upkeeping my in-ground swimming pool is quite a lot of money, due to its size, the amount of chemicals you need, and upkeep or replacement of the liner and cover. From an overall perspective, it does cost quite a bit of money to run, and considering that you’re only using it for four months in colder climates, that’s a lot of cost for not a lot of benefit.

On the other hand, Hydropool’s swim spas are self-cleaning, don’t require as many chemicals, and don’t require replacements for covers or liners if they’re taken care of. From a perspective of maintenance, you can do virtually nothing to maintain your swim spa, other than occasionally replacing the chemicals. The sanitation system reduces the amount of chemical costs that you have to put in, and you’ll never have to vacuum or skim it. It really takes care of itself, cleaning 100% of the water in the spa in only 40 minutes. That means that you’re able to do more things, like spending time in your swim spa, than waste time cleaning. 


Cookies help us improve your website experience.
By using our website, you agree to our use of cookies.