Jacuzzi vs Hydropool: An Unbiased Comparison of the best Swim Spas
Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas
“Who makes the best swim spa?” is a great question for anyone looking and one we see online and are asked frequently here at Hydropool. It’s a fair question, because swim spas are a relatively new product, and as an in-ground pool replacement, their cost makes them worthy of doing a little bit of research to ensure you’re getting a good deal.
If you’re reading this article, chances are you're looking to find out which is the best swim spa available.
• Jacuzzi and Hydropool are reputable brands in the world of hot tubs and swim spas. Jacuzzi is California-based, with a long-standing reputation as the company that originally developed the hot tub by first putting jets in a bathtub in the 1950s.
• Hydropool began as a commercial pool company in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, moving into tubs and swim spas in 1980. It was the first Canadian company to develop a swim spa.
In this article, in the most unbiased way possible, we want to take a look at both Jacuzzi and Hydropool’s swim spa lineups.
We know it’s odd to be reading one company write about another’s products. But we know that Hydropool has a unique product and we have always had competition. We believe in educating customers about what we sell compared to other companies. We want to be honest and as unbiased as possible, because we want you to get the best swim spa for you.
Our story will look at the following categories:
• Swim Spa Model Comparison
• Swim Spa Looks/Aesthetics
• Swim Capabilities of each Swim Spa
• Ease of Swim Spa Maintenance
• Swim Spa Massage Options
• Swim Spa Pricing
Which swim spa will be best for you? Let’s dive in and find out.
Jacuzzi vs Hydropool: Swim Spa Model Comparison
Initially, you’d think this element would be straightforward because each of the two companies has three swim spa collections:
• Jacuzzi has PowerPlay, PowerActive and PowerPro collections.
But as each company is different, their collections are also different. The closest swim spa comparison we could come up with is this:
• Jacuzzi’s PowerPlay and Hydropool’s AquaPlay are competitors, as entry points to the swim spa lineups. Both are 13-foot units, designed for a mix of fun and aquatic workouts.
• Jacuzzi’s PowerActive and Hydropool’s AquaSport, within the Aquatic collection, are competitors, both being designed as a place to relax, use as an aquatic workout centre, and provide space for family fun.
• Jacuzzi’s PowerPro and Hydropool’s AquaTrainer, within the Aquatic collection, are competitors, offering serious swim capabilities, as well as space for fitness and family activities.
• At this time, there is no real equivalent on the Jacuzzi side for the Hydropool Executive collection, which is aimed at creating an elite swimming experience first and foremost.
A trend you’ll see developing throughout this article is apparent when comparing sizes. Hydropool has more swim spa sizes available than Jacuzzi, which features 13, 16, 19-foot swim spas. Hydropool counters with 12, 14, 16, 17 and 19-foot options, and is the only one of the two that makes a combined swim spa and hot tub.
Why is this noteworthy? It’s because the two companies have two different philosophies when it comes to building swim spas. Jacuzzi’s approach is to “give you what you need” with options and features included, and a focus on the most common sizes that most people want. Hydropool offers more customization and options with its approach, allowing you to build and design the best swim spa for you.
Neither approach is “right” or “best.” It’s two different ways of building and selling swim spas, and it’s up to you to decide which is the best swim spa for you.
Jacuzzi vs Hydropool: Which Swim Spa Looks Best?
Jacuzzi is the leading brand in the hot tub and swim spa market. It is a luxury, premium producer of hot tubs and swim spas. So it should be no surprise that it puts a considerable effort into ensuring its swim spas are among the most attractive in the industry. Hydropool takes a classic approach with its swim spas, as models are deliberately built not to stand out when it comes to design, but blend in and feel a part of most people’s backyards.
There are a few specific differences worth pointing out:
• The Jacuzzi swim spa has a larger acrylic lip than the Hydropool models, showing off more of the rich acrylic as you approach the swim spa. Its lighting is built-in on each corner and strong horizontal lines. Hydropool has a stainless-steel strip, that Jacuzzi doesn’t have.
• Jacuzzi offers three cabinet colors, adding a lighter grey to the brown and black, while Hydropool sticks to its own versions of black and what it calls Driftwood Brown, which is almost like a brown/grey blend. Each offers three acrylics, in three neutral shades, approximating white, grey and champagne.
Which swim spa looks best? If this guide isn’t enough for you to decide which you prefer, we’d urge you to visit a retailer to see each in person to see which would work best for you.
Jacuzzi vs Hydropool: Which has a Better Swim?
Swim spas create a current that swimmers can swim into. The current is what swimmers swim into so that they don’t reach the other side. The stronger the current, the harder the swimmer has to swim.
• Creating a current isn’t always easy. Both Jacuzzi and Hydropool use jets to create their current, as opposed to a few other manufacturers who use propeller systems. Jets are a common way to do it but many jets create a lot of turbulence in the water, which makes it unpleasant to swim in and not like how a larger in-ground pool works, with flat, stable water.
• Jacuzzi and Hydropool both create stable, flat water with the jet systems they use. The main difference is how much current each is able to move. Jacuzzi can move around 700-800 gallons per minute, while Hydropool can get up to 1400 gpm with its unique V-Twin jets.
• Jacuzzi offers up to five swim speed settings, while Hydropool offers up to 10.
• Jacuzzi uses suction to control what’s called the “reflective wave.” If you create a current in a swimming pool, it creates a reflective wave once it hits a wall, which again creates turbulence in the water. On the Aquatic series, Hydropool uses the hips of the swim spa to first absorb the wave and then direct it into intakes. Jacuzzi uses suction to achieve the same effect.
• On Hydropool’s Executive series, Hydropool removes the hips and the intakes and replaces them with what’s called a Current Collector. The Collector swallows the current as it hits the opposing wall and then re-directs the water back to the front of the swim spa through pipes running down the walls of the swim spa. The Executive Trainer is an elite-level swimming machine, and this is why we said there is no real equivalent in Jacuzzi’s lineup.
You may not need that much swimming power in your swim spa, or you may want the most possible. What Jacuzzi is very good as identifying the range that most people need and providing a swim spa that achieves that. Hydropool seeks to provide a wider range of options for people to allow for customization.
Jacuzzi vs Hydropool: Which Swim Spa is Better at Massage?
Hydropool has a unique Zone Therapy approach to massage, which provides a full-body massage as you move from chair to chair in the swim spa. It’s been designed to make sure your major muscle groups and pain points get the attention they need.
If massage is important to you, we want to be clear that while Hydropool offers a quality massage in its swim spas, Jacuzzi provides a more powerful massage. It features a third pump and an extra diverter, which allows you to direct the massage where you want. The third pump also allows for more jets to be sufficiently powered (you can add as many jets as you like, but if you don’t have the power to support them, you’re actually making your swim spa work less well).
As we will discuss later, Jacuzzi is a premium product. So the question may become: Is Jacuzzi the best swim spa for the money? If you have any doubts on this, we’d encourage you to see a retailer who lets you try the massage function in the swim spa itself. Most good retailers will provide this service so you can see if it works for you.
Jacuzzi vs Hydropool: Which Swim Spa is Easier to Maintain?
This is a traditional strong suit for Hydropool. But the two companies are very similar here.
• Both use steel frames, and both use a combination of foam and thermal blanket insulation.
• Their filtration systems are similar as well, with the exception that Jacuzzi doesn’t filter off the bottom, like Hydropool does.
• Both have systems that use ozone and UV to help clean the water as well.
• Both feature rollaway covers, but Jacuzzi’s base cover is stronger and arguably better looking.
The key difference is the unique self-cleaning system Hydropool has on its Aquatic and Executive swim spa collections. Hydropool has a unique patented system based on the commercial pool industry, which features a filter placed at the bottom of the spa, which catches everything in it.
This is because of Hydropool’s history, as it began as a commercial pool company. When it began building swim spas, it built them the same way the company made commercial, or public, pools. Debris in water either floats or sinks, and commercial pools are designed to capture both, as they are regulated much more vigorously than swim spas are. Hydropool’s swim spas though are built to that standard, as they are built the exact same way.
But both are good swim spa builders. It’s up to you to decide how much maintenance is to you.
Jacuzzi vs Hydropool: Which Swim Spa is Better on Price?
At the time of this writing, we couldn’t find pricing on Jacuzzi’s website, other than they start at $16,000 (U.S.). Hydropool does put its pricing on its website.
Pricewise, Jacuzzi’s “options included” approach means its swim spas will generally be more than Hydropool’s. For example, the swim spas have a finer cabinet and include things like lighting options and waterfalls that Hydropool often features as optional. Specifically, waterfalls are optional on the Aquatic Sports collection and up. Hydropool’s approach is so that price isn’t as much of a barrier to buying a swim spa and you can customize it how you want, while Jacuzzi wants you to have everything you could have in one package. Neither approach is wrong – it’s up to the customer to decide what they are looking for.
Jacuzzi vs Hydropool: Which has the Best Swim Spa?
If you’re looking at swim spas, at some point you’ll come across Jacuzzi and Hydropool. They are two of the leading swim spa makers in North America and both supply their products globally.
Jacuzzi is the most well-known company there is in the hot tub industry, as it is a global brand with a history that goes back 100 years. Hydropool is a smaller Canadian company, based in Mississauga, but with an engineering background that saw it become one of the first swim spa providers in the world.
Which is right for you? The key difference between the companies is the range of options that Hydropool offers as opposed to the “all options in” approach that Jacuzzi favours.
• Hydropool offers elite swim capability, a wider range of sizes and options such as waterfalls and lighting packages.
• Jacuzzi offers swim capabilities that are aimed to provide quality swims for most people, focuses on the most popular sizes of swim spas and builds in lighting and waterfall packages, rather than making them optional.
We wrote this story so you could see the difference between the brands, their approach and what each company’s swim spas have to offer. Which is right for you? It’s always the question you want to ask. If you have this or other questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a Hydropool retailer. Click here to find the one closest to 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.
Jon Filson is the senior content manager at Hydropool Swim Spas and Hot Tubs.