Affordable Swim Spas
If you're considering a swim spa purchase, the cost of the premium brands may be offputting. But, are the cheapest swim spas really good enough quality to be a valid swimming pool alternative?
Getting the best swim spa you can afford doesn't have to mean pushing the top end of your price range. Some features cost extra but might not be relevant to your needs, while some brands simply offer better value than others.
Here I'll explain the factors affecting swim spa prices, review brands producing good quality cheap swim spas, and answer questions about the benefits and drawbacks of a swim spa compared to an in-ground or above-ground swimming pool. That way you can make your final decision with confidence.
Not sure which hot tub to get? Let us help you!
Price Guide: How Much Do Swim Spas Cost?
Swim spas can seem very expensive. Although some of the swim spa brands in this review have models from as little as $8000, premium products generally sit in the $25000-30000+ range.
However, compared to the cost of a fixed, in-ground swimming pool sufficiently large for effective swim training, the prices start to look a lot more reasonable. Installation alone for a suitable pool starts at well over $30000, and the running costs are also higher.
There are several different factors contributing to the variation in swim spa prices. The size of the swim spa, number of swim jets, pump power, type of sanitization/filtration system, and any included exercise equipment all make a difference to the bottom line.
Many swim spas also include quite comprehensive, hot tub-style hydrotherapy massage stations with multiple stainless steel jets. These do add to the overall cost but not as significantly as you might expect, and are generally considered well worthwhile on balance.
For more specific pricing information, press the button below and enter your preferences. You'll receive tailored quotes on the most suitable hot tubs and swim spas available in your local area.
The 3 Least Expensive Swim Spa Brands
Arctic Spas Swim Spas
Arctic Spas are a hot tub manufacturer that also produces several swim spas representing exceptional value for money. Not only are these swim spas fairly cheap to buy, but they're also some of the cheapest to run in the whole industry, with daily operational costs as low as $2.
As the name suggests, Arctic Spas pride themselves on every product being a genuine "all-weather" pool. The same combination of a thick fiberglass shell and an exceptional insulation system that helps their users enjoy swimming all year round is a significant contributing factor to their cost-efficiency.
Each model in the Arctic Spas swim spa line is designed to emphasize different benefits. The Kingfisher, for example, is almost exclusively designed for swimming and exercise, while models such as the Wolverine or Ocean have a greater focus on hydrotherapy.
Cheap to buy, low running costs and a wide range of products make Arctic Spas pools a great investment.
TidalFit Swim Spas by Artesian Spas
TidalFit is a subsidiary of Artesian Spas that specializes in fitness pools.
There are 5 swim spa models in the TidalFit line, in addition to 4 swim spa hot tub combo models which feature separate swim spa and hot tub sections.
Although some of these spas can definitely be classed as premium products, the Active EP-12 and Core Swimmer models are two of the cheapest swim spas you'll find.
Although sold as basic options, there are plenty of extras you can use to customize these pools.
The Quad swim jet system is an especially worthwhile upgrade, using larger pumps and four 6-inch diameter swim jets to significantly increase the water-resistance over a standard system.
These aren't just for swimming either, with a wide range of fitness equipment and even entertainment options available for each model. Maintenance costs can also be reduced by choosing their Diamond AOP and Crystal ProPure water sanitization systems.
Endless Pools Swim Spas
Cheap may not be what immediately springs to mind when you think of Endless Pools, being one of the better-known names in the swim spa sector. However, you can pay much less for one of these high-quality swimming and water resistance exercise products than you'd expect.
Endless Pools focus on customization means you can choose your options and pretty much design a custom pool from the ground up. If you aren't after an especially large exercise space with a heap of fancy accessories pre-equipped, you can build an effective swim spa based on the RecSport series R200 model within quite a tight budget.
The main caution is that the cheaper series spas use a lower-powered, 3 swim-jet system so are more suitable for fairly relaxed swimming exercise than serious swim training. If you want that from an Endless Pools spa, you'll need to consider the Fitness System or Swim Cross Exercise System ranges. These use quad swim jets and much more powerful pumps but be prepared to pay significantly more for these premium swim spas.
However, the other exercise benefits, such as options for resistance training or rowing, mean you can always get a great workout without paying for a top-end swim spa and several different types of exercise equipment.
How much does operating a swim spa cost?
A relatively small and highly energy-efficient swim spa can cost as little as $50 per month to run, while larger, more powerful designs can be in the $100-$150 range.
Several factors contribute to the overall running cost of swim spas. The type of water sanitization used will affect whether or not you have to regularly buy and add expensive chemicals, whilst those living in colder climates can find it costs significantly more to keep their swim spa heated than in a warm environment.
However, the biggest influences overall are the size of the pool and the power of the pumps. A 21' swim spa with high-flow motors can use as much as 3x the electricity of a 12' recreational swim spa.
Is a swim spa still worthwhile if I don't like swimming?
Are swim spas worth it? The short answer is yes. Although they take up more space than hot tubs, the extra features and functions of swim spas are worth considering for just about anyone. The water resistance created by the swim jets can be used for various types of exercise besides swimming and you still get the benefit of hydrotherapy massage seats in most models.
Affordable swim spas are out there and some of them are well worth a look. That said, it's worth comparing the cheapest options against some of their mid-range counterparts to see just how much more you can get by being as flexible as possible with your budget.
Higher-powered swim jets, more exercise accessories, and configurations of massage jets to rival many hot tubs can be found surprisingly close to the price point of the cheapest models, especially with the brands discussed in this review.
If you are still planning to buy a swim spa, or just interested in more specific pricing, fill out the form below with your location and preferences. You'll receive the very lowest quotes from local dealers on exactly the type of spa that best suits your needs.
About The Author
Bobby Gifford // Staff Writer
Bobby Gifford has over 17 years of experience with hot tubs and swimming pools. He has owned one pool and several hot tub brands over the years and has a wide scope of knowledge including buying information, maintenance and industry trends.