There has never been a better time to buy a swim spa!  Swim spas give you a 24/7 fitness and wellness retreat right in your very own home. If you want the quickest and best overview possible on why and how to buy a swim spa, you’ve come to the right place! So, let’s jump right into our top 10 top buying tips for choosing the best swim spa!

1. First and Foremost: Get to Know the Swim Spa Categories

Before we get into any other swim spa tips, you need to know the category first because it’s pretty dynamic and very different depending on what you are looking for. Check this out for the full 411 on swim spas but we’ll give you a super quick overview of the three distinct categories within the swim spa family here:

Entry-level Systems:

As the most affordable options that are easiest on the budget, entry-level systems provide a basic and enjoyable “swim-in-place” experience (some models and brands even offer a turbulence-free experience through airless jets as opposed to the jets that rely on air pressure to generate resistance), space to engage in physical activities like aerobics and rowing, as well as hydromassage benefits similar to those found in a hot tub.

Mid-level Systems:

These powerful systems are geared towards people that want more versatility in the types of exercises (like rowing and resistance workouts) they do and deliver this extra space for more movement. These systems utilize the currents found in entry-level systems but usually employ a greater number of jets geared towards delivering more resistance with a superior feel. These units also deliver a higher degree of hydromassage benefits thanks to more functionality. Compared to entry-level systems, you will have access to more dynamic options with the mid-level systems. As one example (in select brands and models), you can enjoy a dual temperature swim spa with a separate swim and spa area, where each section enables individual temperature control. This means that you can work out at a comfortable temperature level at 82-85 degrees and then go into the spa area for a 104-degree hydromassage soak.

Premium/Premier Systems: 

These systems are the top of the line for the ultimate swim, fitness, and relaxation experience and they give you a 24/7 complete fitness/wellness retreat right at your home. These systems are usually deeper, wider and longer units that allow for the maximum amount of space to accommodate the biggest range of workouts as well as space for others to join and relax. They also administer the highest level of hydromassage through more targeted jets and better ergonomics. This category offers more unique options when it comes to the generation of swim currents and resistance that go beyond jets for the best swim-in-place experience. Some brands utilize propellers or paddlewheels to deliver non-turbulent currents, while others offer swim machines to produce a swimming lane with laminar flow that is deeper and wider than your swimming stroke. And, if you want a swim spa that has a treadmill, this is your category. If you want both the treadmill and the hot tub in one swim spa, it’s also possible here.

2. Enjoy Learning About Swim Spa Health Benefits and Workout Options

At a fraction of the size (and cost) of a traditional in-ground swimming pool, swim spas pack a huge punch. Swim spa therapy is centered on the fact that this product provides aquatic fitness that is more effective and less physically impactful than land-based exercise. At the same time, a swim spa provides therapeutic and wellness benefits like hydromassage. There are so many other health benefits you can read about and many exciting swim spa workout options you can explore as you consider the swim spa model that is right for you.

3. Pick Where Your Swim Spa Will Go

All swim spa models are single-shell, molded acrylic models that arrive pre-plumbed and pre-wired and ready to install on any sound and level surface including outdoor and indoor locations. If you want to learn more about all the possible spots for your swim spa (including outdoor patio, basement, garage, sunroom, or other enclosure) access our swim spa installation guide for some planning and placement inspiration!

4. Know Exactly How Much Space You Have

Once you have a spot in mind, it’s time to do some measuring. We have a swim spa dimensions guide that details the different types of swim spas with the exact information you need to match up the swim spa you want, with the available space that you have.

5. Determine Your Specific Wish List!

This is a fun one! Swim spas truly have it all; it just depends on what you want the most. Since there are so many categories and so many options, we netted this down into one handy Swim Spa “Matchmaker” Checklist that should help you out in a big way.

Swim Spa “Matchmaker” Checklist:

Swimming current

The swim current varies depending on the three distinct categories within the swim spa family:

Entry-level Systems: As the most affordable options that are easiest on the budget, these systems offer a basic and smooth swim-in-place exercise. Some models and brands even offer a turbulence-free experience through airless jets as opposed to the jets that rely on air pressure to generate resistance. If you are looking for more from the swim-in-place experience, continue onto the next two swim spa categories.

Mid-level Systems:These systems utilize the currents found in entry-level systems but usually employ a greater number of jets geared towards delivering more resistance with a superior feel. These systems are for people that want more versatility in the types of exercises they can do and more space to do it. In general, you will have access to more options with the mid-level systems compared to the entry-level systems, including a more customizable swim-in-place experience. If you still want even more, the next swim spa category has it all.

Premier/Premium Systems: These systems are designed to deliver the best swimming and exercise experience. This category offers more unique options when it comes to the generation of swim currents and resistance that go beyond jets for the best swim-in-place experience. Some brands utilize propellers or paddlewheels to deliver non-turbulent currents, while others offer swim machines to produce a swimming lane with laminar flow that is deeper and wider than your swimming stroke. If you want the best swim experience that most mimics swimming in open water with zero turbulence, you’ll want to explore premium/premier systems more with your local swim spa dealer.

Seating with hydromassage jets

Hydromassage therapy options will range across different swim spa makes and models, but as a general rule of thumb, you’ll get much more hydromassage functionality from the upper tiers of swim spas. Talk to your local swim spa dealer about what you are looking for.

“A swim spa with a hot tub”

This is an exciting system with separate swim and spa areas with individual temperature controls, allowing you to work out in a comfortable 82-85 degrees and then go to the spa area for a 104-degrees hydromassage soak. Talk to your local swim spa dealer about the select mid-level and premium/premier systems that have this dynamic functionality.

Hydraulically run underwater treadmill

An underwater treadmill (that can be combined with the swim current for increased resistance against core, leg, and upper body muscle groups) is a great workout without the harsh land-based impact to the body. This aquatic treadmill is exclusive to select premium/premier systems, and you can discuss specifics with your local swim spa dealer.

Other fitness accessories

All these accessories can be used in any swim spa model:

  • Aquabike for underwater cycling
  • Row bar kit with resistance gear for strength training
  • Swim tether (all swim spa models come equipped with an anchor for attaching an optional swim tether) for beginner swimmers and anyone looking to improve form with additional support
  • Underwater mirror for a monitoring form that stays in place on the swim spa floor
Bluetooth® Sound System

Compatible with all models. This can pair with Bluetooth-enabled devices to stream audio and play music for an enhanced swim spa experience.

Wifi modules & mobile apps

These have optional plug and play functionality to pair up with Wi-Fi-enabled devices to control swim spa settings like temperature, lights, jets, etc. (Please note, if you are looking for things like fitness app pairings or pace displays, you’ll want to discuss premium/premier systems with your local swim spa dealer).

6. Time to Fine-Tune Your Budget

Keep in mind that this is a long-term investment into having your very own 24/7 fitness and wellness retreat. From the above checklist, you already know that the swim spa price range will be totally dependent on the swim spa make and model, and accessories that you choose. As a very general category range, you can spend anywhere from ~$17,000 – $52,800 on a swim spa but check out our swim spa pricing resource for more specifics. And, once you have an idea of your budget, talk to your local swim spa dealer about financing options – remembering to think about your long-term fitness and relaxation goals for many years to come. You’ll want to invest in the model that will fulfill your lifestyle needs and wants the best.

7. Find A Reputable Swim Spa Dealer

Since this swim spa purchase is an important investment, find a reputable, local swim spa dealer. Make sure they have been in business for a long time, have good customer reviews, are fully knowledgeable about swim spas and all their components, are available for post-purchase questions and assistance, and are focused on finding you the right swim spa over just getting the sale.

8. Compare, Contrast, And Go Test the Swim Spa Top Contenders!

You are getting close now! Go visit your local swim spa dealership and see your short-list of top favorites in person and test them out. If you fall in love with the right one, talk specifics (financing, warranties, accessories, maintenance) with your swim spa dealer to ensure you are fully informed about your new future swim spa.

9. Finalize the Details of Your Swim Spa Purchase to Ensure Installation Day Is A breeze

This is where you dot the i’s and cross your t’s. It’s always the final details you need to pay the most attention to, so be clear on your payment plans, your warranty details, and installation requirements for both you and your swim spa technicians. If you look at our installation planning guide you can ensure delivery day goes as planned, so it’s worth the read!

10. Maintain Your Swim Spa Investment!

It’s finally here – the swim spa of your dreams! Protect and maximize your swim spa experience with proper maintenance. Spoiler alert: For the immense amount of time you’ll spend enjoying your swim spa, you’ll spend a pretty minimal amount of time maintaining it!

Ready to Choose and Buy Your Swim Spa?

At Mainely Tubs, we are here for you throughout the entire process – from initial consideration, to swim spa comparisons, and to delivery day. When you are ready, give us a call, email us, or pop by our showrooms in Scarborough, Maine or Rye, New Hampshire. We’re always happy to help you make the first steps to becoming a swim spa owner!

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