Ordering & Inquiries
Best Swim Spas
Why Buy Swim Spas?
We spent 40 hours evaluating 10 swim spa companies online comparing current systems, various kinds of jets, customer service, selection, price and accessories. While hot tubs are designed for soaking and relaxing, swim spas are usually larger with jets that make a current you can swim against for a workout or physical therapy or even just for fun. The cost of a swim spa varies by model and where you want it installed, so you’ll need to request a quote from the company of your choosing. Our research shows PDC is the best swim spa website because of its large selection, strong swim current systems, quick customer service and lots of fun options, so we recommend you go to them for a quote.
PDC Spas has a big selection of swim spas with a lot of current power, jet customization options and responsive customer service. A handy product comparison chart on the website makes shopping for a swim spa extremely easy. The chart lists all of the company’s available swim spa models along with details and specifications like the kind of jets it has, its filtration system, dimensions, lighting options and other accessories. You can choose between models with three jets that create the swimming current or a dual prop propulsion system if you want a really strong current. It’s really easy to see the difference between the brands available so that if for instance, you know you want cascading water sports, you’re going to need a Synergy swim spa or a Tru Swim swim spa, not a Vitality. In total you have 14 models of swim spas to pick from, which is the most any website we evaluated had to offer alongside Hydropool.
You can personalize your PDC swim spa with audio options, LED lights and a lot of different size and jet options ideal for family fun, therapy or a thorough workout. Most swim spa websites require you send in an official inquiry to see any prices, but this service will take you to BuyPDC.com and show you a multitude of hot tubs that are on sale and will ship to you with no added shipping costs. This is only available in some areas though but when we inquired, we were told we could get one shipped to our zip code in northern Utah. To be clear, we don’t recommend you buy a hot tub and try to assemble it yourself unless you have some experience in the field.
We asked for more information from PDC swim spas and got a call about seven hours later, one of the best response times of the websites we tested as some didn’t even respond to our inquiry at all. With swim spas between 1,792 and 2,700 gallons available and lots of online video so you can see how they all work, you’re going to find the swim spa you want at PDC.
Endless Pools - Best Value
Endless Pools is the best value option for swim spas because you can build your own online and see a price quote right away. Endless Pools is the only website we evaluated that posted all MSRP prices up front. This convenience means you can build and dream about your potential backyard addition without having to talk to a salesperson and feel the pressure to buy right away.
This feature was a little hard to find, but a quick chat with a customer service representative online made quick work of it. If you’re going to build your own pool you do have to know a little about the terminology and what you want in a swim spa, as it asks you to select which liner you want and which coping system, for example. You can go for something smaller around 1,200 gallons or all the way up to 2,395 gallons. It isn’t the biggest range of swim spa sizes out there, but you still have a lot of other design options you can customize, like jets and lighting.
One of the main reasons to get a swim spa is being able to swim laps while stationary as the swim spa creates a current you can swim against. Endless Pools spas have a 16-inch propeller for this function, which makes a stronger current than the systems that just use jets. With Endless Pools, the swim current will be wider than your body, deeper than your stroke and bubble-free.
Because the prices are listed on the build your own swim spa portion of the website we entered contact information but didn’t submit an official price quote inquiry. Even so, we got an informational mailer and DVD in the mail postmarked the day after we used the website and a phone call from a helpful customer service rep in six days. Endless Pools is lacking in the accessories department, but they do sell underwater exercise equipment ideal for anyone trying to stay fit and limber. You can also get a traditional hot tub from Endless Pools.
SwimEx - Best for Exercise
SwimEx swim spas are ideal for staying in shape and post-physical therapy work at home. This company provides users with a lot of information about therapy and underwater exercise equipment. You can buy an Aqua Bike or underwater treadmill along with an aquatic exercise DVD set to help you along in your fitness journey. There are only six base swim spa models available but you can customize it to make it your own and choose from the largest selection of sizes we found. Whether you want a smaller 2,600-gallon unit or a whopping 7,700-gallon mega pool, SwimEx has a lot to choose from.
If you want something that’s not quite a pool but not quite a swim spa, SwimEx also sells residential pools, hot and cold plunge pools and professional-grade swim spas. We focused on the company’s residential options, which were several S Series options and the 2015 Triton model. SwimEx spas create swimming current with a paddlewheel, which is much more powerful than those that use jets. This means these spas are perfect for swimming laps without having to build an entire pool in your backyard. On top of these spas having some serious oomph, we sent in a quote request on a Thursday morning and got a response the next day, the third fastest response time of the websites we tested.
SwimEx also has blogs for personal and professional swim spa use. Health and exercise research is also posted online where you can learn about training and conditioning and how hydrotherapy works. There is even meditation audio for a more relaxed afternoon in your swim spa. While you can’t get accessories like covers or speakers through SwimEx, they do have water care filters so you can easily keep your swim spa clean whether you’re working out or having fun.
Why Trust Us
Since 2015, we’ve been reviewing swim spas. That means we know all about jet propulsion, water features, fitness systems and filtration. Swim spas are a great alternative to a hot tub or pool if you’re looking for some backyard fun, but they’re also great for post-physical therapy treatment and staying in shape.
Christine Schulte, president of the American Physical Therapy Association’s Aquatic Physical Therapy Division, said you should always go to a professional if you need aquatic physical therapy but something like a swim spa can be a great transitional tool afterward for staying in shape.
“We absolutely have patients who go out and purchase pools for their home because they’ve had such success with the therapies,” she said.
Aquatic exercise in a swim spa can be helpful for people with chronic conditions, but Schulte said it varies by person. People with multiple sclerosis, for example, will want to avoid a swim spa because warm water can exacerbate symptoms while people with arthritis tend to prefer a pool that is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
“Putting them in a pool and using depth and buoyancy, it gives them an environment where they can freely move,” Schulte said.
If you’re interested in swimming laps without having to commit to a massive pool, swim spas are a great alternative. Schulte said in her opinion, spas with paddlewheel water current systems are the truest to regular lap swimming.
How We Tested
For testing, we requested a quote from each website. To be as fair as possible, all requests were made during mid-morning hours on a weekday. Our requests were all for a residential address northern Utah and if the website required it, we said we wanted to buy a swim spa in between 1 and 3 months. We then timed how long it took for a salesperson or customer service representative to get back to us and took that into consideration when ranking the websites, with the quicker response times receiving a better ranking. We counted weekend days because there was actually one company which did call us on a Saturday. If we didn’t hear back in seven days we stopped waiting and counted it as a nonresponse.
Of course, we also took a look at all the swim spa systems each company had to offer. We favored those that sold paddlewheel current systems, we they’re usually the strongest. Another thing we favored was a wide selection of therapy and swim jet options. Other factors used to rank these websites include whether or not any informational videos were available and which accessories are for sale. We counted the number of models for sale on each website and also gave preference to websites that have a wider range of swim spa sizes available. While we did count how many models are available, you should know you can personalize most swim spas with more jets, lights and a plethora of other ad-ons, making the actual number of models for sale nearly limitless.
A swim spa is ideal for staying in shape because its jets allow you to use it like a lap pool without having to take up all that space. There are three kinds of swim currents on the market and each one has its pros and cons depending on your needs. Jet propulsion creates current through several jets built into one end of the spa. This option is typically less expensive as it uses air to make the water move, and is therefore not as strong as other types of current systems. Propeller systems are just what they sound like: propellers located at one end of the swim spa spin to create a current that is typically stronger than a jet system. The third kind, a paddlewheel system, pulls water through the swim spa and pushes it out the other side, creating one of the strongest, widest currents available.
If you’re thinking about getting a backyard pool or hot tub, you might want to consider a swim spa instead. Swim spas give you the jets and warmth of a hot tub with the size of a pool, making them perfect for relaxation and fun. Swim spas are also useful exercise and rehabilitation tools for athletes or people with injuries because you can still get a comprehensive workout without straining your muscles and joints. They’re also great for families looking for a smaller pool for kids to play in. You’ll want to take climate into account too because if you and your family experience longer winters, you’re going to get far more use out of a warm swim spa than a traditional outdoor pool.
Installation & Costs
The price of your swim spa is contingent on a lot of things including size and extras. The smaller and simpler the model is, the less it’s going to cost. If you want to add railings, color-changing LED lights, a speaker system and special siding on the outside, your bill is definitely going to be higher. Costs aren’t advertised up front on most of the websites we reviewed so you have to call and ask for a quote, but this is because prices will vary depending on where you live and where you’d like to install the swim spa. Whatever you end up buying, we recommend you the experts from your area swim spa dealership install our new pool for you. And don’t forget: you’re also going to need a cover.