A Complete, Unbiased List: What is the Best Swim Spa to Buy in the United States in 2024?

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

Published Apr 29, 2024

Once you realize the potential of swim spas and how they are a faster path to having a pool in your backyard, the next step for most people is often, “which one do I buy?”

“What is the best swim spa?” is a common question for our Hydropool retailers. We understand why: Swim spas are relatively new for most consumers and if you’re buying anything for the first time you want to know what you’re getting is a high-quality product. 

What complicates matters is that many of the brands that build swim spas aren’t as widely known as trusted brands like Chevrolet or Apple. So trying to first figure out who you want to buy from and then what brand is best can be a challenging task.

We believe in answering customer questions at Hydropool and trying to simplify the buying process. So we wanted to point to a few swim spas we thought could be considered “the best.” There are multiple factors in figuring out which is the best swim spa, including:

  • Does the swim spa offer good value for money? 
  • Does it provide a quality swim experience, along with hot tub features? 
  • Does it look good, will it improve the overall appearance of your backyard? 
  • Does it come with the features anyone might want, if they were looking to add a swim spa? 
  • Will it be reliable as it ages? 

We want to be clear: There is no one swim spa that stands out as an industry-agreed upon best swim spa on the market, in the way that Google, say, has established itself as the best search engine. Instead, there are a few brands creating superior swim and recreational experiences. There is such a range of options in the swim spa market that “what is the best swim spa” will in large part come down to what is the best for you and how you intend to use it. 

We were the first company that developed swim spas for the Canadian market, and we are leaders in the U.S. market as well. We sincerely hope that everyone who is considering Hydropool finds a swim spa that matches what they are looking for. We have been in business for more than 40 years and we believe we make one of the best products on the market today. But we also know we will always have competition. 

We’re not afraid of that competition! So in this article we will:

  • Explain what makes a quality swim spa in 2024.
  • Highlight the top companies that make swim spas
  • Explain what makes a good swim in a swim spa

 

 

What is the Best Swim Spa You Can Buy? 

Swim spas come in a sometimes-dizzying array of models, as “what makes the best swim spa” will vary from person to person. 

  • Some people want their swim spa to be a place for family members to play.
  • Others view it chiefly as a place to swim or train.
  • People increasingly select a swim spa instead of a pool, and they often build a deck around it to make it the centerpiece of their backyard.

People buy swim spas for a host of different reasons. Swimming is just one of them. Increasingly, what we have seen are families moving towards swim spas as alternatives to in-ground pools. While originally swim spas were primarily built for athletic types who wanted to excel at triathletes, for example. But increasingly today, they are becoming places to play in, as well as swim in. 

Any swim spas sold today should be able to supply multiple experiences, from fitness to fun to hot tub elements such as massage. Most people would be wise to consider the following four factors when looking for a swim spa.

Swim system: The spa should produce an above average and versatile swim current – you can’t just have one speed for the variety of people who may want to use the spa. You should be able to set the spa cater to a beginner, intermediate and athletic swimmer, so that anyone can use it. 

A range of in-water fitness features: Additional tools, such as a fitness kit that would enable a user to do in pool fitness exercises are now expected from a good swim spa. Guidance should come with any tools so that people can understand how to make the most of them. 

Small pool: Although originally designed for swimming, today people have capitalized on the size of the pool. Any spa needs to function as a small pool as well as a place to actually swim. Swim spas that don’t do well here have too many benches and seats and try to enclose the swim area too much, essentially treating it like a large hot tub, which limits what the spa can do. There is a large portion of the world that likes to use swim spas as a small pool, standing in the water, glass in hand. Your spa should let them do that too. 

It also must be a hot tub: There’s a tricky balance here. In some way you need to have the swim spa serve as a giant hot tub. That can mean two to four seats in any model so people can sit and enjoy the pool, with sufficient jets that provide at least average or better massage in those seats. 

What are the Top Companies Who Make Swim Spas? 

There are three companies that sell the most swim spas in the United States in 2024.

  • Endless Pools, which developed the first swim spa in the United States, and which is based in Alston, Pennsylvania. 
  • Hydropool. It’s located in Mississauga, Ontario in Canada. 
  • Master Spas, a company formed in 1996 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. 

There are many other brands who make swim spas. But in this article, we will take a closer look at the best examples from these three swim spa builders.

The Best Overall Swim Spas

The best overall swim spa must be able to do it all! Fun, frolicking, swimming, with the potential for peaceful moments and powerful massage. Here are three models that live up to that promise, in alphabetical order:

  • The Endless Spa E500 model has Endless Spa’s top-of-the-line swimming experience with a propeller-created current, while providing 15 feet of space to swim or play in. The 58” deep spa also offers three hydromassage seats at one end of the spa so it can double as an effective hot tub. Its available options include a treadmill, an aqua bike, a rowing kit and a floor mirror. It also comes with standard LED lights for nighttime parties.
  • The Hydropool AquaTrainer AX in the Aquatic collection is 14.5 feet of water fun. The swim spa features hot tub seats at each end, for four in total, and it is 53” deep. The current is created by Hydropool’s patented V-Twin jets, which can be adjusted for a casual swim or cranked all the way up for competitive swimmers. The swim spa also comes with Hydropool’s unique self-cleaning system, which cleans your spa’s water every 45 minutes. 
  • The Master Spas H2X Trainer 15D Swim Spa is the leading seller for Master Spas. It creates its current with jets, with a specific plate design to cut down on turbulence. It comes with three seats, including a neck and shoulder seat, all at one end of the swim spa, for a hot tub and massage experience. Waterline lighting comes standard for quiet evenings and so does the H2Xercise Kit, which includes resistance tubing and row bars, for aquatic workouts. 

What Makes a Good Swim in a Swim Spa? 

You’re able to swim in a swim spa without reaching the other side, because the spa can generate a current to swim against. This can be done well with two systems:

  1. Jets push water back at you as you swim, allowing you to swim against their pressure. There are two problems with most jet systems:
  2. They create a great deal of turbulence in the water with force so you’re swimming into a rapid, essentially.
  3. They can’t create enough of a current and then require a swimmer to use a tether to remain in place. 

Hydropool fixes both problems by using a patented V-Twin jet system that creates a strong, spa-wide current, but without creating turbulence at the same time. Water enters the spa’s jet system through a large grate in the water called the “Current Collector.”

The water is then compressed through the first V, so it’s pressurized, just like water is when you press your thumb on it like you would with a garden hose. The water is then shot through the point of the second V in the system, and then into the wider part of the V, which funnels it out into the body of the spa. 

Visually, if you can picture water flowing through this >< you will have the right idea. That process creates a flat, steady and strong current in the swim spa (and if you don’t believe it here, we encourage you to try it yourselves). 

It’s probably easier if you watch this: Have a look at the video here. 

  1. Propellers, which sit behind a grate in the swim spa and create a current effect through the entire pool. The water is both captured and propelled by the propeller at one end of the swim spa. There, a propeller churns the water through a grill or series of outlets, which re-channels the water into the spa. The propeller system is easily adjustable for different speeds. It takes up a bit of space in your swim spa, but it works to create a strong current. 

What are the Best Swim Spas for Swimming? 

These swim spas all feature each company’s top of the line swim systems, and an elongated space for swimming. None of them require a tether for the swim experience. 

  • The Endless Pool DX 20 is a 20-foot swim spa that starts at $60,999 USD, according to the company website, but that comes with a separated hot tub (Hydropool offers this feature as well, but as part of its Aquatic collection). The company’s largest swim spa without a hot tub attachment is 17 feet long. It still comes with three massage seats, all in a row, at one end of the tub, while the propeller sits at the opposite end, behind a grill in the spa that spreads out the propeller-blasted water into a steady current. The swim current that can be adjusted for variable swim speeds. In this line there’s also a 15-foot model with no seating at all, but slightly wider, for another take on the swim experience. 
  • Hydropool 19’ Executive Trainer – This is a 19-foot model with the entire spa being available for a swimmable experience. It features massage seating for two as well as the company’s patented Self-Cleaning technology. The Current Collector reduces turbulence and waves reflecting off the sides of the spa, taking in the water as it is pushed by the current through the spa. Adjustable current strength is also part of the package, so that everyone from beginners to triathletes can use the swim function. Hydropool offers the Executive in a 16-foot model as well but the 19-foot outsells it. 
  • Michael Phelps Swim Spas – There are three versions of this line, a 16-foot model called the Force Deep, the Signature Deep at 18 feet and a 19-foot model called the Momentum, which includes a separate built-in hot tub. The Wave XP Pro system powers all of them, with a propeller creating a strong current that runs from 0-100, so a wide variety of swimmers can use the spa. Models come with the H2Xercise Fitness System, which includes a set of rowing bars. 

What is the Best Overall Swim Spa in 2024?

There is no one model that towers above all others in the world of swim spas. There are three brands which have technology that lead the swim spa market: Endless Spas, Hydropool and Master Spa. These three have established an ability to make a strong current that is easy to swim against without the swimmer having to use a tether to hold them in place. As a result, each has models that are well built for anyone who wants to use their swim spas to train or swim in regularly. 

But swim spas have become used for more than just swimming. Most are sold today as competitors to in-ground pools. As a result, companies are selling more swim spas designed to offer swimming but as part of a spa that offers a quality hot tub experience and a place for families to play. Those spas are increasingly becoming the type that customers are buying. 

And why not? Swim spas offer a lot of opportunities for fun, for intimacy and for athleticism. If you’re interested in talking to a Hydropool swim spa dealer about one, click here. 

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