One of the most basic – and in many cases one of the hardest – questions that you will have to answer when buying a swim spa is what size it should be. Today, we will help you choose which size of swim spa is right for you and your family. But first, how big are swim spas anyway?
How Big Are Swim Spas?
Swim spas come in a variety of different sizes. Most swim spas, however, are around 8′ wide and are anywhere from 12′ to 21′ long. Different swim spas use this available space in different ways, however, with some swim spas having larger swim areas and others having more space dedicated to massage therapy seats.
How Big Should Your Swim Spa Be?
When determining what size your swim spa should be there are a few questions you should ask yourself. These are:
How Big Is Your Space?
The first step in your swim spa buying process should be measuring the available space in your yard to see what you’re able to fit. After all, there’s no use in looking at 19′ long swim spas if you only have 14′ or 15′ available.
Note: When measuring your yard, remember to account for the space you may need for entry steps and other accessories. You will also need the swim spa to sit on a poured concrete pad that should be at least 1’ longer and wider than the swim spa.
How Many People Will Be Using The Swim Spa?
Once you know how much space you have to work with, it’s time to figure out how much space you’ll need. The first step in determining this is to work out how many people will be using the swim spa at any given time.
If there will only ever be 1 or 2 people using the swim spa, you can pretty much buy any size of swim spa you like. In the interest of saving money, a 12′-14′ swim spa would probably be the best place to start. Any larger and you might just be spending money for more area that you don’t really need.
If, on the other hand, you have a couple of young kids that will regularly have friends over for pool parties, you should look for a larger swim spa. More accurately, you should look for a swim spa that has a large swimming area. As we said earlier, different swim spas utilize their available space differently. The 17AX from Hydropool Swim Spas, for example, has a swimming area bigger than most 19′ swim spas.
How Tall Are The People That Will Be Using The Swim Spa?
If one or more people using the swim spa are quite tall (over 6′ 2″) you might want to consider buying a slightly larger swim spa than you otherwise would. This is because a 12′ or 14′ swim spa simply won’t have a long enough swim tank for them to comfortably swim in. Upsizing to a 16′ or 17′ swim spa will allow them to swim comfortably without fear of hitting their feet or ankles off the seats or steps at the back end of the pool.
How Will You Be Using The Swim Spa?
When it comes to picking out the right swim spa for your family, one of the biggest factors to consider is how you and your family will actually use the swim spa. For simplicity sake, we will split these potential usages into three categories; relaxation, a pool for kids, and fitness.
If you’re looking to use the swim spa as a simple splash pool to relax in, the size of the swim tank is likely going to be less important than the space dedicated to therapy as well as the number of therapy seats. If relaxation and therapy is your focus, you’re going to want to make sure that there are enough therapy seats for everyone that will be using the swim spa at a given time.
If you will be using the swim spa primarily as a pool for your kids your primary focus should be on finding a swim spa with a swim tank that is big enough to accommodate them and any of their friends that they might want to have over.
If you will be using the swim spa for fitness and swimming against the current, you will want to make sure that the swim tank is big enough for you to comfortably swim in. If you’re shorter than 6′ tall, a 14′ swim spa will likely be just fine. If you’re taller than 6′ you may want to consider going up to a 16′ or 17′ model.
Will You Be Using The Swim Spa Year Round?
Another factor that might affect the size of your new swim spa is if you’re planning on using it year round, or just in the warmer months.
One of the major advantages that swim spas have over traditional pools is that they can be used even when the outside temperatures dip below freezing. While many swim spas can be used year round, their running costs do increase as outside temperatures decrease. Buying a slightly smaller swim spa will mean less water to heat and a smaller increase in these costs.
That said, if a smaller swim spa isn’t an option, you can also simply look for a swim spa that is more energy efficient. Hydropool’s Self Cleaning swim spas, for example, feature an extra layer of insulation and ultra-efficient filtration system that together greatly reduce the running costs of the swim spa, especially in the colder months.
What Size Should Your Swim Spa Be?
Assuming that you have no space restrictions, here are some general guidelines for choosing the right size swim spa for your family.
Swim spas in the 12′-14′ range are best if you’re only planning on having 1-4 people use the swim spa at a given time. They should be avoided if you will regularly have 4 or more people using the swim spa or if you’re a person over 6′ tall and are planning on regularly swimming against the current created by the swim jets.
Swim spas in the 16′-17′ range are good all-round swim spas that can be used for fitness, swimming and simple relaxation. They are best for taller people looking to swim against the current, or if you plan on having 4 or more people using the swim spa at a given time.
Swim spas that are 19′ or larger generally have swim tanks that are close to the same size as most 17′ swim spas but have a larger area dedicated to massage therapy seats. They’re generally best if you’re going to need 4 or more dedicated therapy seats.
Dual Temperature Swim Spas
Some swim spa manufacturers offer “dual temp” swim spas. These are swim spas where the swimming end and the therapy ends are separated; allowing you to set both sides to different temperatures and even close one while keeping the other one running.
Dual temp swim spas are usually 19′ or longer but due to the wall needed to separate both the “hot tub” tank and the swimming tank, the swimming tanks are usually not much bigger than a standard 14′ swim spa. If you’re taller and plan on swimming against the current in a dual temp swim spa, double check the size of the swim tank to make sure that it is big enough for you to swim comfortably.