What is a swim spa? (Costs, features, considerations and more...)


There’s no denying it – swimming pools can be great fun. As long as you have enough money, enough space, and the perfect climate, that is.

The fact is, swimming pools are expensive to install and maintain, take up lots of room, and are almost exclusively designed to hold cold water and be used in warm weather.

Swim spas, on the other hand, can hold either hot or cold water, allowing you to enjoy them all-year-round. 

So, what is a swim spa?

Swim spas are similar to spa pools, but are much larger and deeper – generally 4m–8m in length and 1.3m-1.5m in depth.

Large swim jets create a continuous current or stream of moving water, which you can swim against. In essence, swim spas are to swimming what treadmills are to running - you ‘swim in place’, without moving forward.

Because you can get all the benefits of swimming without needing a long lane to travel down, swim spas are a compact solution that can be used virtually anywhere. 

That makes it easier to stay fit, healthy, and relaxed as well. No matter how chilly the weather may be, you can always get in a workout or soak away the aches and pains. That’s why swim spas play an important role in many high-level athletes’ training regimes. 

Of course, you don’t have to use your swim spa for workouts. You can simply splash about and enjoy them as you would a family pool. Some models even have different zones, with a swimming area at one end and a traditional spa/hot tub at the other!

How much is a swim spa?


As a general rule of thumb, swim spas cost more than a spa pool and less than a swimming pool.

Of course, like everything in life, swim spas vary dramatically in price depending on the features you require and the quality of the brand you’re dealing with.

You could spend anywhere from $12,999 to $89,999, but as a broad guideline, anything from $20,000 to $30,000 should be plenty to secure a good quality swim spa.

Compare that with the cost of an average (10m x 4.5m) in-ground swimming pool, at $40,000 - $50,000, and you’re already looking at huge savings. 

To dive deeper into swim spa costs, read this detailed article.

To start the decision-making process, check out our full range here. 

How much does a swim spa cost to run?

The savings don’t end with your initial investment.

Swim spas are relatively cheap to run, thanks primarily to their insulated, hard cover. This cover not only keeps out leaves and debris but also prevents evaporation, reducing up to 70% of the heat loss. 

Although it’s impossible to define a final running cost, a 4.5m swim spa, fitted with a heat pump and used 2-3 times a week over winter, would likely add around $100-$200 a month to your power bill, depending on how high you set the water temperature.

Find out more about what a swim spa would cost to run. 

Can you use a swim spa in winter?

Of course! You can use your swim spa year-round, cranking up the temperature in winter, and dialing it back in summer.

Because of this, you really get your money’s worth with a swim spa, unlike a traditional swimming pool, which will likely sit dormant during the cooler months. 

Can a swim spa be installed 'in-ground'?

It sure can – as long as you factor in a couple of key considerations.

You’ll need to ensure there’s enough room around the swim spa to allow access, and so that pumps, heaters, plumbing, and controls can be reached through the panels under the spa. 

You’ll also need to allow for a drainage pit of at least 1m x 1m. For example, a 4m x 2.3m swim spa will require a 5.5m x 3.3m hole, with another 1m x 1m hole for drainage. 

For some helpful tips for installing a swim spa in-ground, click here. 

How much does it cost to install a swim spa?

To install your swim spa, you’ll need a concrete pad for it to sit on. Depending on your local council regulations, you may also require fencing.

All up, the installation costs of your new swim spa could add between $10,000 and $20,000 to the final price – with any other decking/landscaping you desire on top of that. 

What is the best swim spa in New Zealand?

There’s a wide range of swim spas on the market in New Zealand, varying in size, quality and price.

Based on a number of factors – including design, build, durability and reliability – several brands stand out from the crowd. 

Jacuzzi® are the original inventors of the spa pool and to this day are one of the largest distributors of spas and swim spas in the world. Their pools are incredibly reliable, and offer a range of benefits, including enhanced insulation, better water quality, and a unique hydromassage system. 


Vortex® is a design-led wellness company that also produces exceptional swim spas. They have five different models to choose from, including the Hydrozone pool which features a separate hydrotherapy spa!

Their swim spas are made from ultra-tough US-made acrylic shells, and include bearing-less jets, quality steel frames and flexible PVC plumbing.

The final mention goes to Endless Pools®. They have three swim spa ranges to choose from, including the Fitness System, the Exercise System and the Recreation Series. 

The modular design of Endless Pools® swim spas means you can install them in a variety of locations, while their robust ABS-backed acrylic shell makes them incredibly hard-wearing. They also have a unique swim system that uses propulsion rather than a pump (available on their premium models) and even an optional underwater treadmill system!

Learn more about these three swim spa brands in this article on the best swim spas in New Zealand.

Both Vortex® and Jacuzzi® swim spas are available exclusively through Spa World Australia and New Zealand.  Endless Pools® swim spas are sold in New Zealand by HotSpring® Spas.

For more information, visit the Spa World product pages where you can find all of our spas, swim spas and prices.  

Our Ultimate Spa Buyers Guide is also a fantastic resource for anyone interested in purchasing a spa or swim spa.