Hot tubs vs. swim spas

Which One Is Right For You?

a hot tub or a swim spa? What is the difference?

There are two main factors when considering which kind of hot tub is right for you.

Swim spas and hot tubs are both popular additions to a home, but they serve different purposes and come with distinct features. Here are the key differences between a swim spa and a hot tub:


  • Hot Tub: A hot tub, also known as a spa, is primarily designed for relaxation, hydrotherapy, and soaking. It features heated water and often includes massage jets for soothing aching muscles. Hot tubs are great for unwinding, socializing, and enjoying warm water therapy.

  • Swim Spa: A swim spa, on the other hand, is designed for a dual purpose: relaxation and swimming. It features a larger and deeper pool-like area where you can swim against a current or perform aquatic exercises. Swim spas offer a combination of a swimming pool and a hot tub in one unit.


  • Hot Tub: Hot tubs are typically smaller in size and are designed for a smaller group of people, typically accommodating 2 to 8 individuals, depending on the model.

  • Swim Spa: Swim spas are larger and can be significantly longer, providing ample space for swimming and aquatic activities. They can range in size from around 12 to 20 feet in length.

Water Temperature:

  • Hot Tub: Hot tubs maintain a constant high water temperature, usually between 100°F to 104°F (37°C to 40°C), which is ideal for relaxation and hydrotherapy.

  • Swim Spa: Swim spas allow you to adjust the water temperature based on your activity. You can set the water to a warm temperature for relaxation or a cooler temperature for swimming and exercise.


  • Hot Tub: Hot tubs often come with various features such as massage jets, LED lighting, waterfalls, and comfortable seating. They focus on providing a luxurious and relaxing experience.

  • Swim Spa: Swim spas typically include swim currents, resistance jets, and exercise equipment to facilitate swimming and fitness activities. Some models also have built-in hot tub areas for relaxation.

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