Should I Get a Hot Tub, Swim Spa or Pool?

Creating the backyard of your dreams has never been easier. Today’s technology has provided a way for you to design a backyard that can fulfill your needs and bring enjoyment all year long, no matter the weather.

Enjoying outdoor time is no longer limited to the summer months when the weather is hot, and you’re searching for some cool relief in a pool.

Now, you can experience the therapeutic benefits of hydrotherapy from a high-quality hot tub and melt your stress away, releasing the tension you’ve been feeling throughout the day.

To go a step further, the development of swim spas has created a unique way to work through an intense swim as easily in the winter as it is in the summer.

Pair that with the option to drift back and ease the tension out of your muscles without even leaving the pool, and you’re opening yourself to endless possibilities for outdoor enjoyment year-round.

While hot tubs have been around for many years, offering people an affordable way to bring additional comfort and relaxation into their lives, swim spas are only just beginning to make their mark, creating waves in the backyard industry. You may be wondering, what exactly is a swim spa?

What is a Swim Spa?

Swim spas have created a way to combine the enjoyment of year-round swimming through heated water and the relaxation and therapeutic benefits of hot tubs.

Swim spas have become the perfect hybrid of a pool and a hot tub. They pair powerful jets that create a flow of water to swim against for a strong workout and hot tub seating with precision jets for a post-workout massage.

They have been growing in popularity and have created a combination people are thrilled about.

This has raised a common question for people who are considering upgrading their backyard:

“Should I get a hot tub, swim spa, or pool for my backyard?”

Pools vs. Hot Tubs vs. Swim Spas

Whether you install a pool in your backyard or include a hot tub or swim spa to finish off your dream space, each one will be a welcome addition and foster lifelong memories for your family and friends. How you use each one and which one is best for your lifestyle will be influenced by many things.

Read on to discover which one is your perfect match!


Pools are your classic summer go-to. With their cool and refreshing water to battle the heat even on the hottest days, pools have created memories for millions of people worldwide. They are a family favourite!

Pools are best for those who have a large backyard. With options like above-ground and inground styles, pools have become widely accessible, with varying prices to fit any budget. Pools are a great addition to any backyard and provide a great space for parties and entertaining alike.

Pools are limited to being used only during the winter months, with the exception of those who install theirs indoors, which for many people simply isn’t possible. This makes them a better fit for climates with warm weather in most, if not all, seasons of the year.

However, if your goal is to have a way to cool off during the summer, and you don’t have a priority on creating a more flexible space for winter, this is a great option and sure to please anyone in your family.

Hot Tubs

Hot tubs are great for smaller spaces, such as small yards, raised decks, and even apartments with terraces that can support one.

Depending on their seating capacity, they often take up less space than swim spas or pools. With seating ranging from two to ten people, you have a wide variety of options to choose from and will easily be able to find one to fit your needs.

Hot tubs can be used all year long and can provide a way to easily access the therapeutic benefits of hydrotherapy.

They mix water that’s heated to the perfect temperature with steady but gentle pressure from the jets to massage your body. This promotes stress relief, muscle relaxation, and improved circulation.

Hot tubs can also be a complementary addition to your fitness regime as well.

They can be a great way to warm up your muscles before a workout and give you a way to do some gentle aquatic exercises. Think of squats or flutter kicks. Doing these in the water helps protect your joints by using the buoyancy of the water to remove the pressure they’re under.

And, of course, hot tubs provide a way to relax and rehabilitate your muscles following a workout, improving circulation and helping your muscles recover faster.

Swim Spa

As explained above, swim spas combine the best of both worlds, mixing the ability to swim year-round while benefiting from the therapeutic benefits of a hot tub.

When you include a swim spa in your backyard, you effectively create a space that supports enjoyment, relaxation, and exercise all year round. Snow will no longer stop you from getting the most enjoyment out of your backyard possible.

Swim spas aren’t just for athletes. With various strength settings, you’ll be able to customize the resistance of your swim to your personal preference. Whether you want a leisurely warmup or an intense challenge, you’ll be able to create an optimal swim environment that’ll feel like it was made just for you.

Gone will be the days of needing a gym membership with pool access, where you’ll be sharing the pool and having to wait for a lane to open up.

With a swim spa, you’ll have easy access to a challenging swim right in your backyard all year long. Imagine the magic of crisp snow falling while you test your endurance with a demanding swim!

Swim spas, however, offer more than just swimming.

Many people add waterproof treadmills and bikes to their swim spas, creating gentle yet effective cardio powerhouses! Now, they can get in an intense workout while protecting their joints from the force and pressure experienced outside of the water.

By doing this with yours, you’ll be able to push yourself to the limit with the confidence of knowing you won’t be feeling that pain radiating through your body afterwards.

Best of all, after testing your body’s endurance and strengthening your muscles, you’ll be able to glide over to one of the hot tub seats, turn on the jets, and feel your muscles release and begin to recover as they’re massaged with powerful yet gentle water pressure.

How Do I Know If a Pool or Spa is Right For Me?

While you were reading through the snippets of each option above, you may have already identified one that sounded ideal to you.

For those looking for a way to be confident in their decision, there are a few things you can consider that will help highlight which option would best suit your life and meet your expectations.

1. Lifestyle

The first thing you want to consider is what kind of lifestyle you live. Think of factors like your daily enjoyment, relaxation needs, and the value you place on entertainment. What you value most will strongly influence whether a hot tub, swim spa, or pool would be your best fit.

2. Climate

Secondly, you want to consider the climate you live in and what problem you want to solve.

Are you looking for a way to cool off in the summer but would rather curl up in front of a fire during the winter?

Then a pool would suit you well. However, if you enjoy being outside in the winter and would love a way to add extra relaxation into your daily life all year round, then a swim spa or hot tub would be the way to go.

3. Maintenance

You’ll also want to consider your expectations with how easy each one is to use and maintain.

While there are some maintenance and cleaning requirements all these products share, such as treating the water, each has unique needs that will influence the time you spend caring for them.

For example, pools will need to be closed each year during the winter months, which can take some time and will require the proper materials. Hot tubs and swim spas, however, need to be drained every few months and thoroughly cleaned before being refilled.

4. Space

Lastly, you’ll want to consider how much space you have in your backyard. This will heavily affect which one you choose.

Hot tubs are the smallest of all the options, while swim spas take up more room as they include a longer body.

Pools are easily the largest option of the three but include different sizes, shapes and style options, such as aboveground and underground, ensuring they can fit in various yards.

It’s important to know the measurements of your yard when deciding which option is right for you, so your backyard can maintain a welcoming feel without becoming too cramped.

High-Quality Hot Tubs, Swim Spas and Pools in British Columbia

Our team at Backyard Living is proud to offer the largest selection of high-quality hot tubs in Surrey and Langley, BC, with top-of-the-line Jacuzzi® Hot Tubs, and Jacuzzi® Swim Spas.

Your health is important to us, and we’re on a mission to improve the lives of every person who walks through our doors.

Contact us today, or visit one of our showrooms to discover the newest addition to your dream backyard!

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