swim spa vs swimming pool
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Should I get a swimming pool or swim spa?

A lot of people want to be able to swim in their own home. And one of the early decisions they need to make is between a swimming pool.

We build and install both swimming pools and swim spas. So we know that while they both allow you to swim, there are a lot of differences between them. And usually one is more right for you than the other. We also don’t have a reason to promote one over the other, because if you are in Scotland then we can help with the purchase and installation of both if we are a good fit.

In this blog, we look at the difference between swimming pools and swim spas. And help you decide which one might be best for you. 

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➡️ Best swimming pool installers in Scotland (that aren’t us)

What is the difference between a swimming pool and swim spa?

You can swim in both. But beyond that swimming pools and swim spas are very different. 

in-ground spaWhen we talk about swimming pools we mean in-ground swimming pools. They are built-in, plumbed in, permanent constructions. There are a few different ways that you can build a swimming pool. But all in-ground swimming pools are permanent fixtures in your home. 

Swimming pools can be built to any size. But they are usually big enough for one or multiple people to swim lengths in. 

Related content:

➡️A comparison: concrete pool vs liner pool vs one-piece pool.

When we talk about swim spas we mean a portable unit that is similar to a hot tub but much larger.

It has a “swim jet” that creates a current for you to swim against. It often has a separate section with seats and jets so that you can get the benefits of hydrotherapy as well as the benefits of exercise.   

➡️What is a swim spa? (and 4 reasons why we love them)

What's the cost difference between pools and swim spas?

Both swimming pools and swim spas are expensive to install. But do they cost the same? Or does the price to install them vary?

How much does a swimming pool cost to install?

A swimming pool installation is a significant investment. The cost of a swimming pool can vary significantly depending on a number of different factors including size, type of construction, features and whether it’s indoors or outdoors. 

Swimming pools can cost on average between £60,000 to £150,000 to install for the swimming pool alone. and the total cost can reach much higher than that with the building costs. 

Related content:

➡️ How much does it cost to install a swimming pool?

How much does a swim spa cost to install?

Again swim spas can vary in cost depending on the manufacturer, size and features. 

The average swim spa costs between £15,000 up to £35,000 for a dual temperature swim spa. So while expensive, swim spas are significantly cheaper to install than swimming pools. 

Related costs:

➡️ How much does it cost to buy a swim spa?

Swiming pool vs swim spa: installation costs

Both are expensive, but in-ground swimming pools are significantly more expensive to install in comparison to swim spas.

What's the running cost difference between pools and swim spas?

When installing a swimming pool or swim spa you need to consider the running costs as well as the upfront installation costs. 

How much does it cost to run a swimming pool per month?

The running costs for swimming pools can vary massively. It can depends on:

✅ The size of the swimming pool

If the pool is indoors or outdoors

✅ The cost of electricity

✅ How you heat your pool

✅ The level of insulation on the swimming pool

✅ The temperature of your swimming pool

✅ Whether you have a pool cover or not

 

But on average a swimming pool can cost between £300 – £600 per month to run. So this can add a lot of money on to the initial running costs. 

Related content:

➡️A comparison: Indoor vs outdoor in-ground swimming pool

➡️A comparison: Overflow vs skimmer swimming pool

How much does it cost to run a swim spa per month?

Again, the running costs of a swim spa can vary depending on a lot of factors. Including:

✅ The size of the swim spas

✅ The insulation on the swim spa

✅ The cost of electricity in your house

✅ What temperature your swim spa is at

The average running costs of a swim are around £70/month to run. So, while it does add onto your bills, it is substantially less per month thatn a swimming pool. 

Related content:

➡️How much does it cost to run a hot tub per month?

➡️How to reduce the monthly running costs of your hot tub?

Swiming pool vs swim spa: running costs

Again, both can be expensive and variable. But again, swimming pools are more expensive to run per month versus swim spas

What's the difference in installation time for pools and swim spas?

There is a big difference in the time and effort required to install a swimming pool in comparison to a swim spa. 

How long does it take to install a swimming pool?

Swimming pools can take quite a long time to complete the installation process. How long exactly will depend on what type of pool you are installing with sprayed concrete pools taking the longest to install. 

However, pools generally take a season (3-4 months) to install. But the entire project can take longer if you are building an indoor swimming pool.

How long does it take to install a swim spa?

Swim spas are fully portable. Which means they can be quickly installed in a morning or an afternoon. All you need before is a suitable base and an electrical installation point. 

This also means that if you ever decide to move you can take them with you so they are less of a commitment than the plumbed-in, permanent swimming pools.   

Related content:

➡️What do I need to do before my hot tub or swim spa is delivered?

➡️Can I sink my hot tub or swim spa into the ground?

Swiming pool vs swim spa: installation time

Swimming pool take longer to install - usually a few months. Swim Spas can be installed in an afternoon.

Whats the difference in how you use pools and swim spas?

Both swimming pools and swim spas are used for swimming. But the way that you use them is slightly different. 

How do you swim in a swimming pool?

Swimming pools can be any size but they are usually large enough for one or more people to swim lengths. This means you swim up one way, turn and swim down the other.

And they usually fir more than one person at a atime so not only can they be used for swimming, but they can be used for socialising with the family.

 

How do you swim in a swim spa?

how much is a swim spaIn comparison, swim spas use swim jets to create a current. This means that you continually swim one way against an artificial current. Swimming in a swim spa emulates open water swimming more than the swimming you would be used to in a swimming pool.

This also usually means that, while a couple of people can sit in the seating area, only one can use the swim section at one time. 

Swiming pool vs swim spa: how you use them?

Swimming pools fit multiple people to swim lengths. Swim Spas can usually fit one person in at a time swimming against the swim jet current.

Swimming pool vs swim spa. Which is better?

The question is not which is better. But which is better for you. Both can be great, but it will depend on your circumstances and what you are looking for. 

If you:

✅ Have an unlimited or high budget for installation and running costs

✅ Are not limited by installation time

✅ Are in your forever home

✅ Want the entire family to be able to use it at one time

Then a swimming pool might be the option for you.

 

However, if:

✅ You want something a little more economical to install and run

✅ Want something that is fast to install & portable

✅ Don’t mind if only one person can swim at a time

Then a swim spa might be a better option for you.

In summary

So, while swimming pools and swim spas are both used for swimming they are both very different. 

The costs, running cost and installation times are very different. And the way in which you use them, and how many people can use them at on time are different. Usually one will suit you much better than the other. 

Hopefully, you understand the differences slightly better. And can use those differences to inform your choice on which one is best for you and your family.

Related content:

➡️What is a swim spa? (and 4 reasons why we love them)

➡️A comparison: Indoor vs outdoor in-ground swimming pool

➡️What you need to think about before you build a swimming pool

Debbie Ekins
Debbie Ekins
Eagle Leisure - Sales & Marketing Manager Mission = to arm you with the knowledge you need to make the best buying decisions. Fuelled by coffee (and naps). Explorer of Scotland and the world.
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