Swim spa advantages and disadvantages

What are the reasons to buy a swim spa?

As a swim spa manufacturer, we often think we know why our Barefoot Swim Spas are better than a swimming pool.  However, sometimes our customers know better than we do. When a customer comes along and writes such a fantastic review, we can't wait to share it.
Take a look at what prompted Jeremy and his wife to purchase our Spania SS19 Swim Spa, including their views on swim spa advantages and disadvantages:


"After years of debate about a pool installation at our house, my wife and I finally decided to purchase a swim spa and here’s why. I want to share our experience here in an effort to save others time and headache if they are having the same dilemma.

Advantages: low maintenance compared to pool, year round usage (or close to all year round in CT), Hot water therapy in a pool setting, occupied space in our backyard, and of course… Money!

Disadvantages: Only one person can SWIM at once (unlike a pool that has several lanes), not as big for entertaining like a pool, and swim spas are not as deep.

Now, let me go over these point more in detail, and let’s start with the cons:

Multiple swimmers in pool: With a swimming pool, there is more room and you can have more than one person (like my wife and I simultaneously) swimming in there at once. This would be great if our schedules/workout regimens conflicted, but they don’t 🙂

Not as big for entertaining: If I was a the age where I would throw a “pool party”, the size of a swim spa would be a let down. Even though the SS19 is a 19 foot swim spa, it still doesn’t have the volume a pool has. We don’t entertain much anymore. The one time we did, we actually all got in the swim spa on both sides and took a picture. It was still fun, and great for the party we had last July 4th.

Swim spas aren’t as deep as pools: Barefoot spas makes a few swim spas that are “deep”. They add about a foot to the overall depth of the swim spa. We looked at those, and after consideration, we decided the classic depth is plenty for us. We are not extremely tall people, and we just don’t see the advantage. A pool with a deep end would be nice just to be able to do some diving, etc, but that sort of goes along with the space issue and the more room you get out of a pool, and that whole thing.

Now let me get in to the Advantages of a Swim Spa over a pool. If you have more things, let me know and I can add them to this list, but these reasons were the biggest for us, and they are the main reasons we decided against a pool, and went with a beautiful swim spa.

Low maintenance compared to a pool: The SS19 Swim Spa is extremely low maintenance. We opted to get the high end ozonator (Ozo by Barefoot Spas). This is one that almost completely removes the use of chemicals in the water. This translated to healthier skin, fewer irritants in the water for eyes and skin, less time spent maintaining the water, and less money spent on chemcials.

Year round usage: We live in New Haven, CT. I would be exaggerating if I said we use it ALL year round. It gets cold here! We are still out there in late November using the swim area. We open that side back up by April for swimming. However, the hot tub side stays open and is used ALL year round. If we were to get a pool in this climate, we would be looking at roughly 4 months of usage out of the year = not worth it!

Hot water therapy: We priced pools to include a hot tub “area”. They were extremely expensive (I’ll get in to cost later). The other disadvantage with the jetted area in the pool, is the week power behind the jets. The hot tub side of our swim spa includes VERY strong jets. The “spa side” of an in ground pool simply blows air and or a light stream of water. Doesn’t cut it. When it comes to massage, give me the good stuff!

Space a swim spa occupies in a backyard:
Way less than a pool! our barefoot spas SS19 swim spa is 19 feet long by 7.5 feet wide. The pools we looked at were more than 10 times that size. If we did the in ground pool, we would have 0 room in the back (we live on a small lot). I don’t even think there would be enough room for my grill, and we cant have that!

How much does a swim spa cost?

Swim Spas are not cheap, but they are A LOT cheaper than pools. When we looked at in ground pools, we started with a budget around 50k. We soon learned that in order to get what we want out of the pool like for example to include a jacuzzi end, and also to get the surface we like (non liner), we quickly reached a price tag of over 100k. No that is not a typo. One hundred thousand dollars! Thank you, but no, I think I’ll be just fine without the pool! Our swim spa, is the SS19 by Barefoot Spas. It is top of the line, and also the biggest that company makes, so it wasn’t cheap either, but it also wasn’t 100k!


We decided to save the money, the space, and headache of maintenance, and go with a swim spa that we can use year-round, while also reaching a higher level of health and wellness in our lives."

- Jeremy, New Haven, CT

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