Best swim spas 2024: rest your mind and your muscles with the best swimmable spas for relaxation, hydrotherapy and exercise

Best swim spas
(Image credit: Michael Phelps Swim Spa)

The best swim spas are a big investment, but they deliver big benefits. Whether you're looking for the ultimate in relaxation or want to give unhappy muscles a rest after a long day, they're fantastic places for rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Some of the bigger ones are also pretty great for your social or family life.

We're not talking a few hundred bucks here: you can expect to pay at least $20,000 for a decent swim spa. But that's because the installation involves a lot of hydropower. The best swim spas come with a host of high-powered jets that you can adjust and power up to get them just so, whether that's a gently bubbling pool or a foamy workout for your muscles. You can even create a current to swim against as part of your fitness routine – and some go a step further and include underwater treadmills so you can get your steps in while you soak. 

Many of the best swim spas also enable you to incorporate hydrotherapy. Those typically have extra safety features such as grippy surfaces or extra grips for easy and safe movement and extra support when in the water.

In this guide, we'll discuss the pros and cons of the best swim spas. However, if the size or price is a little too much for what you have in mind, don't worry: we also have guides to the best hot tubs and inflatable hot tubs, which aren't quite so space-intensive or expensive.

Find a contractor

Don't forget that many swim spas will need an electrician to be installed correctly. Networx helps you find the perfect company or contractor to help you install your swim spa. Use them to get the best quotes from companies that serve your area.

The best swim spas we recommend in 2024

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The best swim spa brand overall

(Image credit: PDC Spas)

1. PDC Spas

PDC Spas has the biggest and best selection of swim spas

Reasons to buy

14 swim spa models
Huge level of customization
Options for all ages and fitness levels

Reasons to avoid

Lots of options is overwhelming

PDC Spas has a wide range of swim spas with different options for people of varying ages and fitness levels. There are many choices for different current powers and jet customization. The product comparison chart on the PDC Spas website is a useful tool when choosing the swim spa that suits you, as it lists every available swim spa along with its details and specifications, including jet type, dimensions, lighting options, and other attachments. 

To create a current for swimming and fitness, you can choose between a very strong dual propulsion system or a three-jet system. It's easy to see the differences between PDC's models. A Synergy or TruSwim would be the best choice for you if you want cascading water spouts rather than a Vitality model. PDC Spas has 19 models to choose from, which is by far the most of any company we have reviewed. 

Your PDC Spas swim spa can be personalized heavily with LED lights and audio features. Its swim spas come in sizes from 1,792 to 2,700 gallons and feature many jet options, depending on whether you will use your spa for family relaxation, physiotherapy, or exercise. 

The best exercise pools with hydrotherapy

Best swim spas: A woman in a blue swimsuit performs a rowing exercise in a H2X Fitness Swim Spa

(Image credit: H2X Fitness Swim Spas)

2. H2X Fitness Swim Spas

One of the best swim spa ranges for fitness and relaxation

Reasons to buy

Excellent range of swim spas
Superb hydrotherapy features
Spas with built-in hot tubs too
Wi-Fi connectivity option available

If you're looking for a brand that features great build quality and a wide range of exercise pools, you might want to consider H2X Fitness Swim Spas. H2X Fitness is owned by Master Spas, which is known for producing durable, well-built spas that will last a long time. 

H2X Fitness Swim Spas receives overwhelmingly positive customer reviews, with the small number of negative reviews focusing on problems with authorized sellers of the spas rather than faults with the exercise pools. All of the swim spas are American-made, manufactured in Indiana, and can be produced with a range of shell and skirting color options. 

Each spa has a different number of stainless steel jets, with some forming a resistance current that you can swim against. You can get a thorough workout in their H2X Fitness pool, making them a great option if you are looking to find a swim spa for a cardio workout. 

The parent company, Master Spas, teamed up with a Hydrotherapy expert to devise rehabilitation and fitness programs that can aid weight loss and arthritis pain. 

H2X Fitness Swim Spas can also come with several useful extra features at an increased price. Many people will find that the extras are worth the money, as you can upgrade your swim spa to have features such as a WiFi Module so that you can control the pool via the app. You can also get enhanced water purification, keeping the water in your swim spa fresh for longer. 

If you want a top-of-the-range swim spa with plenty of happy customers, the H2X Fitness Swim Spa would be a great choice. 

The best value swim spa brand

(Image credit: Endless Pools)

3. Endless Pools

Endless Pools is a great value option where you can see a price quote right away

Reasons to buy

Can build your own spa online and see the price
Both fitness and leisure options available

Reasons to avoid

Few accessories for sale
Pools are often bulky

Endless Pools' website enables you to build your own swim spa and receive an instant price quote, making it the only company on the list we evaluated that gives you all prices up front. We simply entered our contact information into the website, and within six days, we received an information mailer, DVD, and a phone call from a helpful representative from the company. 

The website has a tool that lets you "Build Your Endless Pool." The tool offers a selection of customization options, such as different jets and lighting, along with an instant recommended retail price quote. You will need to know some of the terminology associated with swim spas, as the builder tool will ask you which liner and coping system you want. 

Endless Pools' come in sizes from 1,200 gallons up to a maximum of 2,395 gallons. It isn't the largest size out of the companies that we reviewed, but it is enough for the average person. 

The main reason that people buy swim spas is so that they can swim large lengths without a big pool. Endless Pool swim spas create a strong current with a 16-inch propeller, stronger than the current created by jets. The propeller also creates a bubble-free current that is wider than your body and deeper than your stroke, with consistent and satisfying resistance. Endless Pools don't have many accessories for sale, but they do sell a selection of underwater exercise equipment. 

The best swim spa brand for variety

Best swim spas: A man performs weights exercises in an indoor SwimEx swim spa

(Image credit: SwimEx)

4. SwimEx

SwimEx has a great selection of swim spas at all sizes

Reasons to buy

Sells propeller and paddlewheel current models
Residential, professional-quality and plunge pool options
Options for all abilities and ages

Reasons to avoid

Underwater exercise equipment is costly

SwimEx offers six swim spas, each with different dimensions and water capacities, for different types of aquatic exercise, therapy, and leisure options. 

The 400 OS is the smallest option, holding 2,600 gallons of water. It is small compared to SwimEx's other spas, but it is still large enough for several people to exercise at once without any problems. A paddle wheel creates the resistance water current. The non-skid floor allows for the safety of a wide range of exercises and sports, including workouts with aquatic exercise equipment. 

The SwimEx 1000 S is SwimEx's largest model, holding 7,700 gallons of water. It can hold many people, being large enough for them to swim side by side against the resistance current. If you don't wish to swim, there is also an area for other aquatic exercises and therapy.

The 1000 S also has a running paddle, like an underwater treadmill, for resistance exercises. The swim spa also includes three wells for weight-training workouts. These are all great options if you want a reliable swim spa for exercise, but they can be costly. 

The best swim spa brand for customizable features

(Image credit: Hydropools)

5. Hydropool

The best swim spa for customizing to your specific space

Reasons to buy

Build your own swim spa online and request a price quote
Options for senior living and health care
Designs fit well in small spaces

Reasons to avoid

Slow response time

Hydropool has swim spas for relaxing, working out, or even a little bit of both. With a variety of customizable jet and design options, you’ll be able to find something your entire family can enjoy.

This company has five swim spa lines: AquaPlay, AquaTrainer, ExecutiveTrainer, AquaSport, and ExecutiveSport. In total, there are 14 different models to personalize, the largest selection of the websites we evaluated alongside PDC Spas.

If you don't want to deal with maintenance, Hydropool has what you're looking for. According to promotional information from Hydropool, the company's self-cleaning spas, like the AquaTrainer 14 fX, can filter 100 percent of their water in 45 minutes. These spas can cost between $14,700 and $42,295, though, so they're not cheap.

You can customize most swim spas with steps, an ozone or bromine filtration system, a cover, or various colors of internal shells and external cabinets. Shell options range from the whitest of whites to a dark grey that looks a little like stone. You can get external siding in varying black and grey or even wood so your swim spa blends in seamlessly with your deck. 

The website’s 'build your own' feature is a convenient way to determine what you want in a swim spa and request a price quote online. We did this, and while we received an email immediately saying a sales representative would follow up, we didn’t receive any more information until four days after we requested the quote. If you're looking for something more custom, this is one of the best swim spa options.

The cheapest to run swim spas

Best swim spas: Arctic Spas swim spas

(Image credit: Arctic Spas)

6. Arctic Spa

Offering quick service, Arctic Spas models are also cheap to run

Reasons to buy

Most cost under $2 a day to operate
Specialists in spas for all climates
App-compatible spas

Reasons to avoid

Isn’t a very large variety of swim spa sizes

Arctic Spas has a quick sales team and many customizable swim spas, so you can live extravagantly or find a more affordable unit that will fit your family’s needs.

Arctic Spas offers seven base swim spa models to customize: Hudson, Kingfisher, Wolverine, Ocean, Athabascan, and Okanagan. Each has unique qualities and options you can adapt to fit your lifestyle, whether you want to work out or just have fun with the kids. In most cases, these swim spas cost less than $2.00 daily.

The Athabascan Swim Spa is an all-weather pool with a large swimming area and 1,347 gallons of water. Its heat-transfer pure fiberglass shell and insulation system trap warmth even during colder months. The Kingfisher is also an all-weather pool and has lights swimmers can use to make sure they're swimming straight against the pool's current. 

You can use a smartphone app to run your swim spa from afar, opt for a speaker system, and even buy a fancy cover to protect your investment. The website also has many informational videos to make your decision a little easier. 

The range of sizes is the smallest of the websites we evaluated, with spas as small as 1,347 and only as large as 1,453, but this range does seem to be the most common size of swim spas on the market. There isn’t any workout equipment for sale, but this website’s wide range of customizable swim spas makes it worth a look. 

How we chose the best swim spas for this guide

We know that buying a swim spa is a serious investment, so we’ve spent plenty of time researching the standout options on the market. That includes ensuring we have options within this list that customers are searching for, like exercise spas, and options that can truly benefit your health and well-being (like hydrotherapy spas). 

We’ve strived to include a range of sizes and styles of swim spas here to cover all tastes. The massaging jets are also a hugely important part of swim spas to help you and your muscles unwind, meaning the kind of water jet propulsion systems were high on our checklist, too. 

It’s crucial that the retailer you purchase your swim spa from makes the experience as seamless as possible. We noted how promptly and thoroughly retailers within this round-up responded to our questions. To personalize your purchase, we’ve also looked into extras that can enhance your spa at home, from spa covers to sound systems and LED lights. 

Swim spa FAQs

How does a swim spa work?

Swim spas are mostly shaped like a traditional swimming pool, but they also include jets like a hot tub. But these jets create a current to swim against to strengthen muscle groups and extend your endurance. The jets have different settings to vary current speeds, so you’re continually challenged as your strength increases.

The jets can be replaced with a propeller for more advanced swimmers who enjoy a more challenging swim. These propellers are usually designed to push the swimmer backward at the front of the swim spa and give them greater resistance to push against. These models are usually more expensive than the jet models, with prices starting in the $25,000 range. 

Swim spas with paddlewheels are the most expensive design and usually cost $35,000 or more, but they offer an excellent current to swim against. This design creates a cycle of water that is removed from the back of the tank and reintroduced to the front to create a smooth and stable current. 

Some swim spas have treads at the bottom, much like a treadmill. These allow you to walk in your pool, providing a different workout. And you can still use your jets to create resistance during your run. Sidebars offer not only support but also a means for additional water aerobic exercise. Some swim spa models, including those offered by Endless Pools, support mobile fitness apps that monitor your workout and send the results to an online fitness trainer.

Several swim spa models have a section dedicated to cool down and relaxation. This area generally holds no more than one or two people at a time, and its jets mimic those found in traditional hot tubs. This area helps massage tired or sore muscles and lets you decompress after a good workout.

A woman relaxes in a swim spa

(Image credit: Getty)

Who makes the best swim spas?

Of course, we also looked at each company's swim spa systems. We favored those that sell spas with paddlewheel current systems since they’re usually the strongest. We preferred companies with a wide selection of therapy and swim jets.

We counted the number of swim spa models for sale on each website and gave preference to companies that make models in a wide range of sizes. Since you can personalize most swim spas by adding more jets, lights, and other features, the actual number of models for sale is nearly limitless.

As part of our research, we also spoke with a regional representative for Master Spas. Kevin Richards explained some of the industry's workings, what to look for, questions to ask, and where to purchase a swim spa. For example, most swim spa companies have clearance sales in November and December to accommodate newer models that typically hit showrooms in early February. It isn’t uncommon for people to get a quote during the clearance season, but it won’t be valid once new models are delivered.

Richards also encourages you to purchase a swim spa directly from a reputable dealer in your area. Installing your spa may involve plumbing or electrical work, and a dealer can recommend a respected tradesperson to ensure your spa’s warranty is not compromised during self-installation.

What is the difference between swim spas and hot tubs?

The main difference between swim spas and hot tubs is the flow rate of the water, as swim spas have a higher flow rate. Plus, the technology of the swim jets in exercise pools is far more advanced. 

Swim jets help create currents against which you can walk, run, or swim to get your hit of in-pool cardio. Plus, just like their name suggests, swim spas offer you an exercise solution at home, whatever the weather. In addition to being able to swim, run, or walk against a swim spa’s current, you can enjoy a range of other aquatic exercises. 

Whether this is utilizing its under-water treadmill, lifting specialized water weights, or enjoying a pedal on a bike. You can, of course, buy a swim spa with a built-in hot tub, which means you get the best of both worlds. However, these do come with a higher price tag. Tubs are better known for their relaxation and hydrotherapy benefits, thanks to their jets' soft and soothing bubbling motions. 

A woman performs weight training in a swim spa

(Image credit: Getty)

What are the health benefits of a swim spa?

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. However, a home swim spa can be a great transitional tool for staying in shape.

“We have patients who go out and purchase pools for their home because they’ve had such success with the therapies,” she said. And if you’re interested in swimming laps without installing a massive pool, swim spas are a great alternative. Schulte said that spas with paddlewheel water current systems create an experience truest to regular lap swimming.

Aquatic exercise in a swim spa can be helpful for people with chronic conditions, but Schulte said it varies by person. For example, people with multiple sclerosis should avoid a swim spa because warm water can exacerbate symptoms. In contrast, people with arthritis tend to prefer a pool that is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

“Putting them in a pool and using depth and buoyancy gives them an environment where they can freely move,” Schulte said.

A woman relaxes in a heated swim spa after a swimming workout

(Image credit: Getty)

How much do swim spas cost?

As you might have guessed, the price of your swim spa will entirely depend on the size, style, and features you’ve selected as part of the personalization process. To put a ballpark figure on this investment to help you start your journey, you will find that simple, stripped-back models can cost about $4,000, with the price rising to anything upward of $30,000 for those all-important modifications, like exercise machines built in.

Of course, this is a serious sum of money to consider paying. However, according to HFS Financial, a company that specializes in home improvement loans, it is likely to be an investment that will really make a tangible difference to your home. Their research shows that benefits can include improved sleep, reduced stress, and muscle pain relief. 

You can also view it as a way to add value to your property and the all-important factor of fun. Your swimming jets don’t need to be on all the time, so you can enjoy social time with family and friends in your spa, too, and become everyone’s favorite house to visit.

Swim spa safety tips

Safety is the top priority after you’ve installed your swim spa in your home. This report from the CDC is an essential read if you’re a new owner. You should never leave children younger than 15 unattended near a swim spa, even if they aren’t in the water. 

Away from the spa, ensure your backyard is engineered for safety. That includes pulling up or removing ladders to the spa when they are not in use. A reliable safety cover will also help to keep pets or children from harm, as well as a well-installed fence. 

A good clean-up operation after you’ve used your spa will help to keep safety at the forefront, too. That includes keeping drinks, food, and toys far from the area once you’ve finished socializing. As with any public pool, if you enforce rules such as no running or diving, then things should stay calm and organized. Showering before entering your swim spa is good for safety and maintenance, too.

Anna Burleson

Anna Burleson hails from South Dakota and worked as a writer and reviewer for a number of sites, including Top Ten Reviews. She has written for Top Ten Reviews across a number of subjects and her knowledge is very broad. Primarily, Anna has covered dating apps for this site, along with things like flower delivery and even sewing machines.