How Does a Swim Spa Compare to Lap Swimming?

Over the past several decades, home based swimming pools have undergone an evolution.  A full sized swimming pool requires a lot of space.  And a consequence of all that space is an elevated level of maintenance and operating costs.  In a response to urban development and smaller properties, single lane lap pools were created to allow lap swimming to occur in much smaller areas.  To minimize the swimming tank’s footprint even more, swim spas were developed.  The machine driven current of the swim spa keeps the swimmer in one spot allowing the tank size to be even smaller than a lap pool.  But how does a swim spa compare to lap swimming?  In this article we’ll compare these two methods of swimming to give you a better idea of whether a swim spa might be right for you.

Space Considerations

One of the major attractions of swim spas, and in fact, the reason for their invention, is the size of their footprint.  Most swim spas are less than 20 feet in length and 10 feet in width.  Compared with a 40 foot long lap pool or a much bigger swimming pool, swim spas are able to fit into most backyards and houses.  If you don’t have the capacity for a lap pool or a full sized swimming pool, the swim spa is pretty much your last alternative for swimming at home.

Swimming Experience

There’s no doubt that swimming in a swim spa is different than swimming in a regular pool.  It takes a bit of getting used to positioning yourself properly in a swim spa.  Staying in the middle of the current is key to being held in place while performing a natural feeling swim stroke.  Swim spas with wider and deeper currents make this easier to accomplish.  That said, many people liken the swim spa experience to swimming in a lake or the ocean.  There’s more turbulence than you would encounter in a regular swimming pool.

Seasonal Swimming

One of the major advantages of a swim spa is the ability to operate it through even the coldest weather.  If your area experiences harsh winters, your swimming season will be effectively finished once the cold weather arrives.  Swim spas, on the other hand, hold a much smaller volume of water which allows it to be efficiently heated enough to keep it running through the depths of winter.  If you love outdoor swimming enough to want to do it all year round, the swim spa gives you this opportunity.

Flexibility of Use

Swim spas give you more recreational opportunities than just swimming.  Most swim spas have seating areas complete with massaging jets that can simulate the feeling of a hot tub.  There are also dual tank swim spas that allow you to maintain two different water temperatures that allow the swim spa to be used as a hot tub and swimming pool at the same time.  The main tank can also be used as a plunge pool to cool off and relax in on the hottest of summer days.  Compared to a lap pool, and arguably even a full sized swimming pool, the swim spa gives you a more diverse range of uses.


Swimming pools, lap pools and swim spas are all available across a wide range of prices.  However, if you compare those in the same price range, on the whole, swim spas are cheaper to install than lap pools or full sized swimming pools.  As swim spas typically come as a single unit, they’re much quicker to install than their larger counterparts.  You’ll also find that swim spas are far cheaper to operate than full sized pools.  If your budget is influencing your decision making process, you may want to take a look at swim spas.

To learn more about swim spas in general, download a free buyer’s guide today.

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One thought on “How Does a Swim Spa Compare to Lap Swimming?

  1. I’m a 60 year old woman and love to excercise!. I don’t need large swimming pool with all the up keep. I’m very exciting to learn more about a swim spa. Thank you for the information!

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