Every homeowner has had the same dream: to own a pool or spa to relax, exercise, or have some fun in the sun. But once you start shopping around, you realize there are many ways to make that dream come true. 

A typical internal struggle prospective pool owners face is determining whether they should invest in a pool or save some cash and stick with a swim spa. Let’s put those arguments to rest and find a definitive answer so you can start living your new life as a pool or spa owner.


It won’t surprise anyone to learn that in-ground pools will be more expensive than swim spas in virtually every way. Pools may also require you to shell out even more money to deal with landscaping issues, permits, labor, and more. Even if you could afford an in-ground swimming pool, you may get all your needs met with a swim spa, freeing up money for other home improvements.

Swim spas come with their own start-up costs, but pools will likely have similar costs and are usually at a higher price point since they’re much larger. Pools are also expensive to run, with heating bills in cooler months going well over a few hundred dollars a month. Swim spas can run for about half that price!


If time is money, swimming pools get another ding on how much they cost. In-ground pools take quite a while to install – anywhere between a week and multiple months, depending on the pool’s size and the contractor working on it. That doesn’t even include the potential landscaping needed or any delays and inspections. 

A hot tub in a backyard with a pergola and blue lounge chairs

Swim spas are the complete opposite. As long as you have the pad and electrical wiring ready, you can have one fully installed and functional in less than a day. They’re also highly mobile, so you can take them with you when you move, which would be impossible with an in-ground pool. 


Pools need a lot of maintenance. You’ll spend much more time than you’d like adding chemicals, skimming out leaves and twigs, and vacuuming the bottom of your pool. Some swimming pool maintenance isn’t complicated. But again, it comes down to time. Not everyone has potential hours to dedicate to their pool’s maintenance every week.

Swim spas already have pools beat when it comes to maintenance since they’re usually smaller. But they also come with sophisticated filtration systems that do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. The maintenance is similar to an in-ground pool in that you’ll add and test pool chemicals. But since you can accomplish your maintenance in a fraction of the time, it’s much more manageable for the average homeowner.

Fun and Fitness Factor

The fun factor is where pools and swim spas overlap a bit more. Pools undoubtedly have the upper hand if you want enough space to throw a pool party with lots of people. But many swim spas are still reasonably large and could fit four or five people. So if your main goal is to throw fun parties, technically, either could work. It all comes down to how big of a guest list you’d like to have and how many people would be in the water at any given time.

parents are playing with kids in swim spa

Fitness also adds some interesting points to the conversation. Swim spas have many benefits if you plan to swim to get in shape. They come with current systems that you can adjust to match your skill level, helping you meet your goals and train to improve. 

You could also easily run laps in a traditional swimming pool, but doing so isn’t as straightforward. You’ll need one that’s large enough and preferably rectangular. Not only that, but there’s less customization than you’d get with a swim spa. Still, a standard swimming pool can certainly deliver the fun and fitness factors, albeit with some differences compared to swim spas.

Year-Round Use

In places like New England, where chilly winters and cool temps limit our pool time to just about five months a year, swim spas are a game-changer! Imagine being able to enjoy a relaxing swim or a refreshing dip anytime you fancy, regardless of the snow falling outside. With their handy temperature control, these swim spas keep the water warm and welcoming, even during the frostiest of winter months. This means you can stick to your swimming routine and enjoy your favorite water activities all year round! Having a swim spa feels like having a little piece of summer that never fades, making it a delightful and valuable addition to any New England home.

Contact New England Spas for a Savvy Swim Spa Experience

Are you sold on swim spas, or do you have more questions we can answer? Contact the team at New England Spas today, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions. We have everything you can think of to turn your home into a relaxing resort, so let’s make your dream come true!