Swim Spas vs Swimming Pools

In recent years, both swim spas and traditional pools have seen a remarkable surge in popularity as homeowners seek to create their perfect backyard oasis.

Swim spas feature an ingenious combination of pool and spa features. The benefits of a swim spa are great for fitness enthusiasts and those looking to enjoy hydrotherapy benefits year-round. These compact marvels offer space-saving advantages, making them ideal for smaller yards or urban settings.

On the other hand, traditional pools continue to be favored for their larger swimming areas and ample space for recreational activities and large family gatherings. They have an aesthetic appeal that usually results in a property value boost.

Homeowners holding hands in front of their new house

As the desire for a personal aquatic retreat grows, choosing between swim spas and traditional pools has become a delightful dilemma for homeowners seeking to enhance their outdoor living experience. Making the right decision between the two will lead to countless hours of enjoyment, relaxation, and rejuvenation right in the comfort of your own home.



What are swim spas?

Swim spas are aquatic installations that combine the features of a swimming pool with those of a spa or hot tub. They are typically smaller than traditional pools but larger than standard hot tubs, offering a unique and compact solution for those seeking both relaxation and fitness benefits. Unlike a traditional swimming pool, swim spas can be installed above-ground, semi-in-ground, and fully in-ground.

Advantages of swim spas

Compact and moveable

Their compact design allows them to fit into a variety of outdoor settings, including urban environments. When they are installed above-ground, swim spas can be drained and then moved around. This requires less commitment, yet all the benefits.

Different sizes

Swim spas come in various sizes, offering greater flexibility in customization. This allows homeowners to find a model that perfectly complements their backyard and suits their aesthetic preferences.

Although they have different sizes, most of these fitness spas come in one shape. Rectangles are the industry standard, however, some manufacturers offer models that combine separate swim spa and hot tub units into an L-shape. An example of this is our TidalFit DTL models.

Year-round usability

The temperature can be adjusted to suit personal preferences, enabling year-round usage in any climate. Most of these exercise spas have dual temperature ranges, allowing for a comfortable temperature in colder and warmer climates.

Woman relaxing in a TidalFit swim spa

Hydrotherapy features

Swim spas are equipped with powerful jets that create a continuous current, allowing users to swim in place against the resistance of the water. This design makes them perfect for aquatic workouts, lap swimming, and rehabilitation exercises.

They often come with hydrotherapy jets for relaxation, massage, and stress relief, making them a popular choice for those looking to enjoy the benefits of a spa without the space requirements of a full-sized pool.

Backyard TidalFit

Considerations when choosing a swim spa

When selecting a swim spa for your backyard oasis, there are essential considerations to keep in mind.

1. Assess the available space and the size that would best fit your needs and available area.

Swim spas come in various dimensions, so finding one that complements your outdoor space is crucial.

2. Take into account the installation process and the associated maintenance requirements.

While some swim spas are designed for above-ground installation, others may require in-ground preparation, impacting installation complexity and costs.

3. Understand the maintenance tasks, such as water treatment, filtration, and cleaning

It is vital to ensure you can effectively care for and enjoy your swim spa for years to come.

What are traditional pools?

Traditional pools, or swimming pools, are classic, full-sized swimming installations found in residential properties, resorts, and recreational centers. They are large, in-ground structures designed primarily for swimming and leisure activities.

Backyard Swimming Pool

Benefits of traditional swimming pools

Larger area for swimming and recreation

Traditional pools require more significant space compared to swim spas, making them a popular choice for homeowners with ample outdoor areas. They provide a vast swimming area, ideal for family gatherings, recreational activities, and hosting social events.

Aesthetic and landscaping possibilities

Due to their size and design flexibility, traditional pools offer a wide range of landscape design possibilities to create a personalized and inviting outdoor retreat.

Traditional pools come in various shapes, including rectangular, oval, or kidney-shaped. These options offer different aesthetics to suit the owner’s preferences.

There are also different types of pools: an infinity pool, a lap pool paired with a diving board, an in-ground kiddie pool, and more. Typically, these pools are constructed using materials like concrete, fiberglass, or vinyl, depending on the desired design and budget.

Property value and marketability

Traditional pools are considered valuable assets that can increase a property’s overall worth, especially in regions with warmer climates where pools are highly sought after. They enhance marketability by attracting homebuyers looking for a recreational space to relax, exercise, and enjoy outdoor living.

Woman in a pool holding on to the ledge and smiling

Considerations when choosing a swimming pool

Before deciding on a traditional pool for your backyard, it’s essential to weigh certain factors carefully.

1. Consider the seasonal use and weather dependence

In regions with colder climates or shorter summers, the pool might have limited usability, impacting its overall value.

2. Factor in the ongoing maintenance costs and effort required to keep the pool in top condition.

This includes regular cleaning, water treatment, and potential repairs. These are important responsibilities that you must be prepared for when you take on pool ownership.



In conclusion, the choice between a swim spa and a traditional pool is a significant decision that can greatly impact your lifestyle and well-being. Both options have their unique advantages, and understanding your priorities is key to making the right choice. Whichever option you choose, the hours of enjoyment, fun, and health benefits you’ll gain will make it a valuable addition to your home for years to come.