What is the cheapest swim spa? (Considerations, costs, features, and more)

Swim spas and plunge pools are so much fun. They’re also versatile and great for aqua fitness and relaxation. If you’re after a swim spa at your place you may be wondering how much they cost. In this article, we look at the cheapest swim spas to help you decide where to start.

cheapest swim spa hero

A swim spa is a great addition to your backyard, but more than that, it can be a great investment to improve your health, fitness, and quality of life. If you have been considering buying a swim spa and looking for options that won’t break the bank, this article is for you.

What is a swim spa?

Swim spas are a combination of a swimming pool and therapeutic spa and are bigger than spa pools. They create a strong current you can swim against, making it a great choice for those who love swimming and aquafitness. Some swim spas come with different hydromassage seats where you can relax and recover after a training session.

Click the button below to learn more about swim spas.

Plunge pool

What is a plunge pool?

Plunge pools are smaller than swimming pools, but function similarly. In simple terms, a plunge pool is a smaller version of the traditional swimming pool.

Swim spas without swim jets are often called plunge pools. The key difference between a swim spa and a plunge pool is that a swim spa has powerful jets that generate a strong current you can swim against.

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Is a cheap swim spa worth it?

Swim spa prices range greatly and they can be a great investment for your health and wellness. Before committing to buying a “cheap” swim spa, you might want to take a closer look at what you could be getting if it’s true value for money.

Swim spas can range in price from $19,999 to $89,999+ depending on the quality, size, and features included.

The upfront cost is not the only factor to consider when buying a cheap swim spa. As a general rule, the lower the price the lower the quality. While you might save money on the initial price of the cheap swim spa, you could end up spending more in the long term on running costs or replacing poor-quality parts and equipment.

Why do cheaper swim spas typically cost more to run than more expensive options? Well, they often have less insulation, which makes them less energy efficient.

Watch: Spa insulation review

Another factor to consider is the material used for the swim spa shell. This is important as, unlike most other spa parts, the shell can’t be replaced. Therefore it’s crucial to choose a durable shell material.

Some cheap swim spas aren’t made with US-made acrylic shells which is the most robust shell material and what we always recommend. US-made acrylic shells are durable, energy-efficient, and aesthetic.

Acrylic spa shell

The material used in a spa frame also has a big impact on how long the spa can last. The best spa frame material is a treated timber or injection-moulded plastic frame as they are impervious to rot, mildew, or vermin damage. Both treated timber and injection-moulded plastic frame can last the lifetime of your spa without any problems.

Powerful Vortex™ Swim Jets

Another important consideration when looking for a swim spa is the number of swim jets and swim pumps.

Swim spas with more swim jets and swim pumps tend to cost more so if this is something you would like, then you’ll need to factor that into your budget.

You could also consider a swim spa with one to three swim jets as an intermediate alternative. If you’re a medium to advanced swimmer and want to enjoy more challenging water workouts, a swim spa with three to four swim jets is ideal.

Aqua fitness swim tether system

A cheaper compromise could be buying a plunge pool (a swim spa with no swim jets) and using a swimming tether system that’s attached to you at one end and the swim spa perimeter at the other.

Click the button below to learn more about swim tethers.

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What is the best cheap swim spa in Australia?

While there are risks with buying a cheap swim spa, provided you know what to look for, you can still get a good quality product in the lower price bracket.

Here are some of the cheapest swim spas in Australia that we think offer great value for money:

  • Sun & Soul™ SOUL4500™ Swim Spa - Price starts at $21,990
  • Vortex™ Aquagym Max Pro+ Swim Spa - Price starts at $25,990
  • Oasis Spas™ Aqua life 4.4M Hydro™ Swim Spa - Price starts at $29,748
  • Alpine Spas™ Olympia Swim Spa™ - Price starts at $29,995

Click the button below to learn more about these swim spas in our detailed review.

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Can I afford a swim spa?

Swim spas are a big investment. If you’re not sure you can afford a swim spa but still want to buy one you do have a few options.

Most retailers now offer finance options that let you ‘buy now, pay later’. This way, you can enjoy the swim spa with your family now, and pay it off over time.

To learn more about spa financing, click on the button below.

Buying a second-hand or used swim spa is also an option. However, be aware that this does come with some risks including reduced or no warranty, unknown maintenance history, difficulty getting replacement parts, potentially increased running costs and more.

Before you dive in and buy a second-hand swim spa or plunge pool, make sure you know what you’re in for. Read the article below for full details on the pros and cons of used vs second-hand spas.

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Swim spa or swimming pool - Which is cheaper?

If you’re looking at cheap or budget-friendly swim spas you may have also thought about swimming pools and how they compare cost-wise.

swimming pool vs swim spa

Swim spas are generally less expensive than swimming pools. You can buy a good quality one for between $20,000 and $30,000.

On top of the cost of buying the swim spa, you will need to include any installation costs. For example, a concrete pad to sit the swim spa on and an electrical connection. You may also need fencing depending on your local council's requirements. So, combining the cost of the swim spa with installation expenses you could expect to spend between $30,000 to $40,000 in total.

In comparison, the cost of an average-sized (10m x 4.5m) inground swimming pool with fencing, can start at around $50,000 and $60,000 to $100,000+. The overall cost will depend a lot on the type of installation, materials used, and any landscaping you might want.

You can learn more about the costs of swim spas and swimming pools in our detailed article below.

Bear in mind, when comparing swim pools and swim spas there’s more to consider than just price. You should also decide which is the better investment.

Swim spas can be a great choice if you want a spa and swimming pool in one so you get two great products in one. Depending on your needs, a swim spa could be a much better investment than a pool because:

  • It’s completely portable, and you can take your investment with you if you decide to move.
  • You can sell it if you decide it's not for you.
  • It's cheaper to heat than a typical pool that has 30,000 litres of water whereas a standard-sized swim spa contains 5,000 to 6,000 litres.
  • You get a better return on your investment as, because it’s heated, you can use it year-round

Click the button below to learn why a swim spa is better than a swimming pool in our detailed article.

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In summary

Swim spas are popular for a reason! They are portable, compact, relatively easy to install compared to swimming pools, versatile – with a swim spa at one end and hydrotherapy spa at the other, and (unlike most pools) can be enjoyed year-round, 24/7.

If you’ve been dreaming of owning a swim spa but have been put off by the cost - we hope this article has helped you decide if it’s worth the investment.

Want to know whether a plunge pool or a swim spa is the right fit for you? The best way to find out is to try them out for yourself!

Most Spa World™ showrooms allow you to try out or ‘wet test’ a spa or swim spa in store. All you need are your togs.

Got more questions? Our Ultimate Spa Buyers Guide is a helpful resource for anyone interested in purchasing a plunge pool or swim spa.

We are always here to help! Please feel free to click the button below for more information.

Disclaimer: In this article, we’ve used brand names not affiliated with Spa World™, Sun & Soul™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd, the parent company of Spa World™ All information including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing and may change without notice.

The following registered trademarks are owned by companies not affiliated in any way with Spa World™ or Vortex Leisure Pty Ltd: Alpine Spas™ trademark is owned by Alpine Spas Limited. Oasis Spas™ trademark is owned by Oasis Leisure Products Pty Ltd.

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