Is a swim spa worth it?

How do you decide if something is worth it? By resale value? By how much you’ll use it and enjoy it? By how much you get to stand out from your neighbours?

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

Published Nov 25, 2023

How do you decide if something is worth it? By resale value? By how much you’ll use it and enjoy it? By how much you get to stand out from your neighbours? 

It sounds like a simple question, but it isn’t. We understand. We see people wrestle with it in our Hydropool showrooms. They have asked us all of these questions: “Will it add value to my home? Will we use it in a year? Will my friends and family be impressed?”

We wanted to try and give you our best answers to all these questions and their variations. In this article, we will describe what swim spas offer and go over the following:

  • What’s a swim spa and what is it for?
  • Who enjoys swim spas the most?
  • Will a swim spa add value to my home?
  • The pros and cons of owning a swim spa

We hope by the end, you’ll have a solid sense of what a swim spa is worth it for you. 

What is a swim spa?

We get asked this so much, we wrote an entire article on it! You can read it here. Even an average swim spa combines the best of a pool and a hot tub. You can swim in it, get a massage in it and it’s available to you year-round. It doesn’t require permits like a traditional swimming pool and it costs less to maintain.

Can you tell we are fans? We have been in business for more than 40 years at Hydropool and were one of the first to develop swim spa technology in Canada.

Who enjoys swim spas the most and why?

Swim spa buyers are a range, but they are usually bought by the following groups:

  • People with families, who want a place to spend time with their children or grandchildren, where the phones get put down and real conversations can happen. Swim spas (and hot tubs) are great places for people to actually sit and talk. Swim spas are great places to just hang out in that are more fun than your living room.
  • People who want the amenities of a pool but who don’t have the space, time or interest in looking after something that big. A swim spa is about 8 feet by 14 feet, although they do go up to the 20 feet range: for more, click here). So many people looking for pool replacements by them.
  • People who want to train. A swim spa is capable of training elite athletes. It can be used as an aquatic gym, with multiple ways of working out (see our 21-Day challenge, which covers a wide range of workouts here). Triathletes in particular seem to like them as they are great for use year-round.

As these groups are primary buyers of swim spas, we believe they think they are worth it. 

Will a swim spa add value to my home? 

We will defer to real estate agents in your area on this one, but in general we can tell you that yes, when you invest in a swim spa they will add value to your home. Here in the Toronto area in Canada, where Hydropool swim spas are made, swim spas and hot tubs are generally seen to provide a boost to home prices. 

That being said, some people will not bid on a house with a swim spa or hot tub. In that case, one of their great qualities swim spas have is that they are portable. A swim spa can move with you. And as a result, you have the option of including it in your home sale or not. 

What are the pros and cons of owning a swim spa? 

PROS

The cost: Compared to a pool, the swim spa cost is less than half but with all of the fun. 

The range of activities: a swim spa can do anything a hot tub can do, plus you can swim in it and work out in it. You can do more in a swim spa per square foot than any hot tub or pool. 

Wellness treatments: Swim spas are wellness products and many people have found they feel better after using the jets and enjoying the buoyancy that water offers. We don’t make health claims about our swim spas, but many have found that buoyancy assists with muscle and joint relief. 

They don’t require permits: They are portable, so you don’t need permits like you do with a pool.  

They are portable: The perk here is that you can take it with you when you move. It’s your swim spa, after all.

CONS

The cost: Although less expensive than a pool, there is a cost to a swim spa. For a full breakdown, please see this article, which spells out in detail the initial purchase price. There is the cost to buy and the ongoing cost to consider.

They require maintenance: Swim spas take a bit of work, it’s true. We find that most swim spas work fine with about 20 minutes of maintenance each week as well as quarterly fills and refills. You can do it yourself or hire it out, but if you don’t do the maintenance, the swim spa won’t last as long or you’re going to end up with some funky water.  

Installation of a swim spa can be tricky: Cranes and helicopters may have to be used to place your swim spa, depending on your location.

What should I look for in a swim spa? 

Here are the four elements to consider when looking at any range of swim spas:

  • The swim system: Your swim spa should come with a current you can adjust – because if you swim a lot, you’re going to get better. Some spas will have a wider range of settings, so that anyone from a beginner to an elite athlete can use them.
  • Big enough to move in: A good swim spa requires enough space to do other kinds of workouts, such as running in place or fitness routines in the workout area.
  • Pool parties: You will want your swim spa to be a place for recreation as well, in particular if it is meant for children to use it. It should function like a small swimming pool.
  • A hot tub with seats and massage: You want one that can do everything a full-sized hot tub can do for you. That means powerful jets for massage as well as swimming.

For more on what to look for in a swim spa, try this article. 

Is a swim spa worth it? 

We know we are biased when asked this question, because we have been building and selling swim spa models since the 1980s, as one of the original developers of the concept. 

We think a swim spa offers one of the best deals on the market, especially when compared to a pool. A swim spa is an exceptional value in what it can do for you, as a place of recreation, a place for fitness or a place for family to spend time in. 

It also can add value to your home and doesn’t involve a lot of the hassle that comes with installing pools. 

We hope this article answered most of your questions about swim spas. But if it didn’t, we hope you’ll take the time to reach out to own of our dealers with your questions. Find the one closest to you here

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