The Difference Between a Swim Spa and Lap Pool

With the increasing popularity of swim spas, you might be wondering what the difference between a spa and a pool is? What makes one better suited for your space and home than the other? There are quite a few similarities when comparing a lap pool and swim spa. Both are great options, but before you can decide on one, here’s what you need to know about the specifics of both.

How is a Swim Spa Different From a Lap Pool?

Swim spas are known as “the best of both worlds” because they combine all of the benefits you would receive from a hot tub and a pool. They provide endless opportunities to exercise and play and are often looked at as a little home gym. Swim spas provide a space conducive to getting an excellent workout and an exceptional swim. With their jet technology, you’re able to swim in one place with nothing more than the jets and your momentum. With Hydropool swim spas, you don’t need a tether (though there is the option to use one), as you can set the jets to whichever level you feel most comfortable in and begin swimming against the current. Expanding on the jet features of a swim spa, you are not only able to swim against them and exercise with them, but you can also sit back and relax just as you would in a hot tub. Go from swimming to getting a relaxing massage with ease. 

Although, when speaking about swimming in particular, many people would assume that a lap pool is a superior choice, either one provides an excellent swimming environment. In contrast, lap pools are long pools where you can do laps back and forth, hence the name. Similar to how you might rent out a lane for lane swimming, lap pools will provide a similar effect. They are also versatile enough to be used as a standard pool where all of your family and friends can gather to play, swim, or relax. 

The Size Difference Between the Two

Of course, lap pools are significantly longer than swim spas and can be anywhere from 40 feet to 75 feet long. Now that’s a lot of pool. But it’s necessary to ensure that swimmers have enough distance to have an uninterrupted swim. However, this also means a lot of space will be needed for installation, which might not be possible for everyone. 

This is where the option of a swim spa comes into play. Generally between 12 to 21 feet long, swim spas are compact and provide endless opportunities for similar play, fun and swimming. Along with the space needed to house a swim spa or lap pool, there is also the associated cost and time needed to install them. When installing a lap pool, because there can be such a range in its length, the size will heavily influence these factors. The digging and landscaping will also be affected by the size that you choose for a lap pool.  

Alternatively, a swim spa installation will require less work overall because of its compact size. Whether it’s an above-ground installation or in-ground, the space and time needed to bring your swim spa home and set it up is much more simple. Though compact in size, the swimming that you can do in a swim spa can be equally as challenging if you want it to be. With a quick adjustment of the jet settings, even the most competitive athletes can get the swim they desire.

The Cost Difference Between the Two

As previously mentioned, the installation that comes with a lap pool will simply be more because of its size. More materials are needed, and more excavation will be done. Custom concrete inground lap pools start around 100,000 dollars. There is quite a range for a variety of reasons, and since your location can be one of them, it’s best to reach out to a pool retailer near you to inquire about specific prices within your area. The same is also to be said about a swim spa. The price will vary depending on make, model, size, and any customization aspects. With that said, generally speaking, swim spas can cost anywhere from 25,000 to 55,000 dollars.

What Are the Similarities Between the Two?

We’ve talked about what sets a swim spa and lap pool apart, but now it’s time to touch on the similarities. Both provide an excellent space for the whole family to get together and swim, play, exercise or relax. Regardless of what you’re looking for, both will make perfect additions to your home. It’s simply more about your space, budget and preferences that will influence your decision in the end. 

To learn more about adding a swim spa to your home, download our free buyer’s guide.


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