Swim Spas vs. Plunge Pools

Swim Spas vs. Plunge Pools

For homeowners looking to add a small pool for swimming laps or soaking, the choice often comes down to a swim spa or a plunge pool. While many choose swim spas, customized plunge pools have distinct advantages, making them the premier option for many homeowners.

Swim spas, also known as exercise spas or endless pools, are self-contained acrylic spas with a current-generating system that allows you to swim in place. With swim spas, you get the benefits of a full-size swimming pool compressed into a more compact unit with powerful jets for swimming against the current. However, a customized plunge pool offers a superior swimming and soaking experience.

Plunge pools create a much more natural swimming environment, says Plunge Pool Concepts in Easton, MA, specializing in designing and constructing high-end backyard plunge pools. The expansive space of a plunge pool provides room to swim and move about unencumbered, offering an experience much closer to a full-sized traditional swimming pool than a compact swim spa can provide.



At Plunge Pool Concepts, we offer several plunge pool styles with lengths ranging from 13 feet to 21 feet. Swim spas have a limited maximum length, topping out at about 15 feet. This is less than the recommended 16-foot minimum for a proper lap swimming pool. This extra space in the plunge pools at Plunge Pool Concepts makes a noticeable difference when swimming laps or doing pool exercises.



The rugged 6-inch steel-reinforced concrete shell with Renolit® textured PVC interior of a plunge pool, with upgrade options like tile and pebblesheen plaster interiors, enables true customization that is impossible with the acrylic materials used for swim spa shells. Advanced pool plaster finishes can transform a basic pool used for exercise into a backyard oasis and tranquil escape.


Saltwater Chlorination

Plunge Pool Concepts pools have saltwater chlorination systems for a more natural swimming experience. This technology uses dissolved salt to produce chlorine sanitizer, avoiding handling harsh liquid or tablet chlorine as the systems dramatically reduce chemical odors. In addition, the water feels smooth and gentle on the eyes and skin, bringing a plunge pool swimming and soaking experience to the next level.


Relaxation and Soaking

Regarding relaxation and soaking, the open layout and custom options of a plunge pool deliver a far superior experience to a swim spa. Plunge pools can be designed with integrated bench seating, ledges, and tiered steps, allowing users to sit partially or fully immersed in the blissfully warm water. Adding features like bubblers, churning fountains, and cascading waterfalls takes the tranquil, spa-like atmosphere to the next level. With more room to stretch out and destress, a well-designed plunge pool is genuinely a soaking oasis.


Resistance Swimming

While the primary purpose of a swim spa is to provide a compact water exercise and swimming area through strong jets that generate a current to swim against, plunge pools offer so much more.

At Plunge Pool Concepts, we offer swim tether cords to provide the same swim resistance, and with a bigger pool size, you can get a much better workout with more space to move around.


Excellent Benefits of Swim Tether Cords

In addition to providing resistance swimming, tether cords enable low-impact stability and improve technique, endurance, strength and rehabilitation. They help people of all ages.

  • Resistance Training – The elastic cord provides gentle resistance as you swim, helping build strength and endurance. This makes it easier to swim faster when not using the cord.
  • Perfecting Stroke Technique – The cord keeps you swimming in place so you can focus on perfecting your swimming stroke without having to turn your head to see where the wall is.
  • Rehabilitation – They provide stability for those rehabbing injuries or building strength after an illness/surgery. The cord allows swimming motions without having to move through the water.
  • Kids – Tether cords give children confidence and stability in learning to swim and practicing strokes. The cord keeps them from drifting while allowing arm and leg motions.
  • Low Impact Exercise – Swimming with a tether provides a full-body workout without impact on joints, making it gentle exercise for those with injuries/conditions like arthritis.
  • Cross Training – They add variety to workouts for triathletes and competitive swimmers. The resistance trains different muscles than swimming laps.


Hydrotherapy Jets

Swim spas generally do not have hydrotherapy jets to function like a traditional spa. The jets in a swim spa are explicitly designed to generate a strong current for swimming in place against the water flow, producing a smooth laminar flow not designed for high-pressure massage therapy.

In contrast, the plunge pools at Plunge Pool Concepts can be equipped with an array of hydrotherapy jets. In addition, plunge pools provide ample room for users to sit or lie down for a full-body relaxation experience, which is impossible in a swim spa’s compact swim lane space.

For the most versatile aquatic experience, a plunge pool is better equipped to offer both swimming and true spa-style hydrotherapy.


Which Do You Choose a Swim Spa or a Plunge Pool by Plunge Pool Concepts

A well-designed plunge pool is hard to top for a customized backyard swimming, exercise, and soaking oasis. Plunge pools are a better, more versatile choice. The swim experience is superior, and you get that spacious, welcoming backyard environment that blends beautifully with any size and architectural style landscapes.

So, for those looking to maximize exercise, enjoyment, and aesthetics, a customized plunge pool is a worthwhile investment that delivers lasting benefits.

Contact Plunge Pool Concepts to learn more about our Plunge Pools. Our headquarters is in Easton, MA, however we provide services nationwide.

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