How big is a swim spa? A guide to swim spa sizes

You’ve learned about swim spas and you’re getting interested. But as always, logistics get in the way. Can one fit in your garden? How big is a swim spa? How deep are they? Can they go in the ground?

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

Published Nov 14, 2023

You’ve learned about swim spas and you’re getting interested. But as always, logistics get in the way. Can one fit in your garden? How big is a swim spa? How deep are they? Can they go in the ground? 

These are all great questions. And we hear them often at our retail stores! Once you’ve decided that you want to be able to swim in your garden in a swim spa, the next logical step is figuring out how you can. 

That’s what this article is about. We want to answer the most common questions we get about swim spa sizes and installations. We know that most people are buying swim spas for the first time, and as a result, it’s only natural that they have good questions that need answering. 

So in this article, we will tackle the following questions:

  • What’s the most popular size of swim spa?
  • How big is a swim spa?
  • What is the smallest swim spa?
  • What is the largest swim spa?
  • How much does a swim spa weigh?
  • How deep is a swim spa?
  • How much does a swim spa weigh?
  • Can a swim spa be in ground?

After reading it, we hope that you’ll have a solid sense of what sizes swim spas come in and what you may be looking for. 

What’s the most popular size of swim spa? 

The most popular size you can find is 14 feet long x 8 feet wide (4 meters by 2.5 meters). That would be the top-selling size of swim spas around the world. Essentially every manufacturer

makes this size so you will find the most options at this size.

In the U.K., we find the 14-foot swim spa makes up about 30 per cent of Hydropool sales (we have two in this length, the Aquatic Trainer and the Aquatic Sport, as well as a 13-foot AquaPlay FFP). 

There are good reasons why this size is so popular, and why many think it’s the perfect swim spa: 

  • A 14-foot swim spa has a decent amount of space in its swim area for most people to swim in. If you’re under 6 feet, you will be able to swim in it easily.
  • It’s small enough to feel intimate like a hot tub.
  • It also fits in most gardens.
  • It’s the easiest to ship. Swim spas that are longer require more space in shipping crates, and the cost of freight can creep up.

A 14-foot is not the only size out there. It is just the most common! 

How big is a swim spa? 

Most swim spas range from 12 to 21 feet long and are 8 feet wide (Hydropool swim spas range from 13 feet to 19 feet long). 

  • We find 13 feet is large enough to feel like a pool and is large enough for families to use as a fun spa to play in.
  • We find most people find the 14-foot combines the best ability to swim at the best price, while taking the least space. It’s big enough to use the swim spa for fitness, swimming and recreation.
  • We have 16-foot swim spas and 17-foot units, which provide more space for swimming and more of a wow factor for gatherings.
  • Our 19-foot models are long enough to hold a full swim spa and separate hot tub in one combined unit or exist as one large, open swim spa.

Some manufacturers only offer 14-foot models, because of their popularity. Others have a range of sizes similar to what Hydropool offers. Still others go for the extremes. 

How do I decide which swim spa size is best for me?

If you’re trying to decide what size is best for you and you are having trouble deciding, we’d encourage a “wet test.” Which is to say, find a dealer near you and try one or more than one out. These tests can be arranged so you’re the only one in the showroom, if you wish, and they give you a chance to see which size is best.

What shapes do swim spas come in? 

Most swim spas are rectangles. You can find the occasional company that makes swim spas in an L-shape, with one exterior cabinet housing a separate hot tub and swim spa (Tidalfit does this, for example). 

If you do require an L, or a T-shaped set up, we find it can be less expensive and more effective to buy a completely separate hot tub and swim spa. That gives you more flexibility with the build and location of each as well as giving you the pick of which swim spa and which hot tub you’d like.   

What’s the smallest swim spa? 

We have seen swim spas as small as 10 feet. We don’t make one that small because at that point, you’re likely going to bump into the sides of the spa when you swim, as the current will move you around. While we get that size of swim spa would be a fit for some, we don’t think the swimming experience will be worth the price you’d have to pay, and most people would either be better off in a hot tub that size or a slightly larger swim spa. 

What’s the largest swim spa? 

We have seen swim spas as large as 39 feet long. That’s a pretty long swim spa, with unique applications, (since you’re only able to swim into the current at one end of it, you’ve got a loooooong stretch that really would be standing room only). 

Like a stretch limousine, we think it looks impressive, but it’s not something we’d want to use every day (apologies if you’re a celebrity and do use a stretch limo to go everywhere every day).

How deep is a swim spa?

There is some variation across manufacturers:

  • Hydropool swim spas are 53” deep.
  • You will find some swim spas go deeper than that, up to about 5 feet or 60.”
  • Some swim spas are more shallow, as short as 3 feet deep or 36.”

We find 53” is deep enough that your fingers won’t touch the bottom during your stroke. We also find that it’s deep enough to feel sufficiently like a pool.  

How much does a swim spa weigh?

With water, a 14-foot would be about 18,445 lbs. or 8,369 kg. This is why swim spas must be placed on a concrete pad. A hot tub simply requires a flat surface, but a swim spa needs a concrete pad to ensure a flat, stable surface. 

Can a swim spa be placed in the ground?

Yes it can! There are three main options for installing swim spas:

  • Below ground: Many people find that below-ground swim spas are an elegant way to blend the spa into the garden. The trick when building any swim spa below ground is that you require a two-to-three-foot radius built around the spa, in case it ever needs to be accessed for service down the road. You will need a concrete pad at the bottom as well, for stability. You will also need to install a drainage system, with a pump, in case of sizeable rainfall (a pump costs about £80).
  • Partially in-ground: A two-to-three-foot radius around the swim spa is also required here, in case of servicing down the road. In this case, using decking to cover that area is ideal, as it also creates easy steps into the swim spa. The display can be quite stunning with this approach. This is the most popular approach in the UK. You will also need a drainage pump with a partially in-ground swim spa, so that water is drained from the swim spa area at all times.
  • Entirely above ground: This is the easiest and least expensive installation and not surprisingly becoming increasingly common across the UK. Most swim spas are designed to blend into garden backgrounds, standing out with attractive LED lighting in the evening. You will want steps or an at-height deck to enter the swim spa this way, but these can also be easily incorporated into any surrounding area. This is increasing in popularity across the UK.

Any of these options are doable, and each is popular for different reasons. 

What size of swim spa is best?

There’s no one set size that is best for everyone. There’s a range of options, because people use swim spas for different things.  

  • We can tell you the most popular size will be a 14-foot, because it’s large enough to swim in for most people and still function as a good pool replacement. It’s also the least expensive swim spa to ship.
  • Most swim spas are about four feet deep and about eight feet wide, with the length being the biggest variable.
  • Swim spas range from 10 feet long to up to 40 at the extremes. But most are in the 13-to-20-foot range, with stops available in many sizes in-between.

Here’s a tip: If you’re looking for a swim spa, make sure when you measure to allow for a two-foot radius around the area. This is to ensure there’s sufficient space for any servicing down the line.

We wrote this article because we get asked about swim spa sizes. We hope it helped! But if you still have questions, we understand. Feel free to reach out to a dealer near you to get the answers you need, by clicking here. 

Jon Filson is the Senior Content Manager at Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas.

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.