Which swim spa is best for my lifestyle?

Plunge pools, dualzones, heat pumps and hydrotherapy – purchasing a new swim spa can be a little daunting with so many things to take into account, especially when there are so many out there to choose from. From backyard splash pools to elite endurance training, there is a swim spa to suit everybody and every purpose. This guide will help you through all the different types and arm you with the information you need to make an educated decision on which Sapphire swim spa is right for you. This information is our no-nonsense guide to buying something energy efficient, practical and relevant to you or your family’s needs.

Have a look at these videos and information to start thinking about which swim spa will fit your backyard and the features you should choose depending on whether you want it for swim training, kids swimming pool, massage therapy or rehab / mobility / stretching tool.


Swim spas, while larger than normal spas, are smaller than swimming pools. As backyards increasingly grow smaller, swim spas (which typically range from 3m to 6m in length, 2.3m wide and 1.3m deep) have become the perfect solution. If you're thinking about a spa less than 3m in length, then have a look at 'How to Choose a Spa Pool' and maybe one of our 2.0x2.0m spa pool models will suit your space?

A swim spa is a part of your everyday life, so choose one that fits you.

Sapphire Spas are manufactured right here in Australia with optimum components, sourced from the very best within the industry, every Sapphire Spa is backed by our lifecare commitment for peace of mind.  We are Australian made & owned and we are proud of the product quality we have achieved.

We know your new swim spa is one of the most exciting purchases you'll ever make, so we make the experience special. Hand delivered with attention to detail, followed by our lifecare commitment backup via phone support, mySpa@Home tutorials and you tube video demonstrations.

If you have any questions about your new swim spa purchase, we’re right here to help. Sapphire Spas have partnerships with pool & spa stores Australia wide and throughout New Zealand to provide you with a local showroom, delivery, service and support

Sapphire ticks all the boxes, so how do you choose which Sapphire SWIM Spa suits you best? Start by asking yourself the questions below.....


PURPOSE : how do you intend to use your SWIM SPA?

To gain an understanding of yours and your family's expectations, consider the features that are important to you. Which of the Sapphire Spas experiences are you hoping to create? 

‘sapphire kids’ - splash, backyard pool, fun and bubbles

‘sapphire family’ - quality family time, how to get your kids active?

‘sapphire massage’ - hydrotherapy, aching back / neck / shoulders, natural therapies

‘sapphire fitness’ - cardio exercise, swim training, weight loss, body toning

POWER = product model

Speak to your electrician about your available power supply as this will determine how many pumps & massage jets you can run.

PROPERTY : where will spa sit in the backyard?

Creating a picture in your mind of where your spa will sit is an important part of the decision making process. You should also be considering cost of delivery and concrete slab etc.

PRICE : lets talk money

Having a budget in mind will enable you to choose the best spa for your needs, within your price bracket.

PERMISSION : address local regulations

Regulations differ by geographic location so you should consider permit, fencing & certification requirements for your region.


You will feel confident in your spa purchase when you can find a swim spa manufacturer that ticks these boxes.

How long has the company been around?

Look for a company that’s well established in the industry so they’re around to support you and their product in years to come

Is the company Australian owned?

This can be important if you’re after replacement parts or technical support

Are the spas and swim spas actually made in Australia?

If the spas are imported as a complete product, the company possibly won’t have much knowledge on how the spa is built and what’s required to support and repair any issues

Do they claim to be energy efficient?

Do they claim to be energy efficient and can they demonstrate this?

Are the spas made from optimum components and structurally sound?
Will your purchase be protected by a warranty that is honoured by an Australian based company?
Do they provide helpful local customer support?

Swim spas are designed to blend in with the flow of your home. You’ll enjoy using your swim spa every day if it’s close to your living area or outdoor spaces where the family gather, maybe near your backyard BBQ or firepit? Talk to your local retail store for guidance on craning your swim spa into position 

Here are some photos of our customers homes to give you ideas of where a swim spa can be installed:

Structural concrete slab base

The simplest way to add a swim spa to your backyard is to place it onto a structural concrete slab. Learn more about how to 'Prepare for your spa' in our 'Welcome to the Family' section of this site

Structural concrete slab base : under construction

A reinforced concrete slab of at least 150mm thick is a suitable foundation for your swim spa. You must ensure this base is an even, level surface free from cracks, doming or hollows. It’s preferable for the slab to extend at least 200mm outside the spa dimensions for stability.

Low deck around most of spa

A low deck can be constructed around the base of your swim spa to give the appearance of an inbuilt spa.

Low deck around most of spa : under construction

Access panel doors would need to be modified onsite according to the design & height of your decking so consult your installer. Manufacturers' recommendation is decking at or below 400mm up the side of your swim spa

Deck up to your swim spa to create an inbuilt look

Deck constructed at the full height of your swim spa, creates easy access and seated areas around entry points. Access to equipment panels will then be from underneath the decking

Deck up to your swim spa : during construction

Photo during construction shows framework underneath decking to allow access to equipment panels

Retaining wall along one side

On a hillside, the easiest way to install is to excavate and build a retaining wall along one side of your swim spa. This allows easy access to equipment once the spa is positioned approx 1m from the wall and also from the open side

Retaining wall along one side : during construction

Photo during construction to show the layout of retaining wall 

Swim spas are designed for daily use, so when you're choosing between different brands, consider the features that are needed to ensure a reliable spa, that you can count on every day. Easy water maintenance is the most important feature of any swim spa; our dedicated filtration pump teamed with Ozone & combination Clearzone sanitisation systems automate this part of swim spa ownership as much as possible to give you more time for enjoyment. Our POWERsmart operating equipment is the most efficient way to hold your spa at the desired temperature so it's ready to use at any time. The more highly spec'd Sapphire swim spa models are manufactured with an add-on external heat and cool pump to keep your spa at the set temperature 24/7, using up to 75% less energy than an electric element. Insulated by our heatlock+ system, Sapphire have created the most energy efficient swim spas you can buy these days.

Sapphire have designed our range of swim spas to address as many of the common reasons our customers are looking to incorporate a spa into their everyday life.

If you have back problems, a daily gentle hydro massage may assist in your recovery or at least keep the muscles warm and moving. If you’ve been trying to lose the last few stubborn kgs or firm up your hips, thighs and buttock muscles, stimulate blood flow to these areas in one of our full body sculpting loungers; enjoy the benefits of muscle stimulation in the comfort of your own backyard.


Swim jets integrated into your spa pool can simulate a lap session at your local pool, a high endurance ocean swim, a demanding 10km run or a fat burning walk down the street. Exercising in water is more demanding than land-based activity; your muscles are challenged from all directions by the surrounding water. So as you swim, walk, jog or run against the powerful swim jets, you multiply the benefit of your cardio workout just by being in water.

Resistance work/body building

Take a resistance band into your spa and just experiment. During the development of our swim spa models, we've considered how you would use them to exercise. We have been trialing all the classic exercises you can perform with a band, and found that we can increase the intensity of the workout by creating further resistance and instability when powering up the swim jets.

Core strength

Yoga and pilates are becoming increasingly popular for developing core strength. Supported by the buoyancy of the surrounding water, you can work your core by simply standing against the water pressure of your swim jets.


Take your core strength training one step further, by introducing a number of upper and lower body exercises to create a smooth, toned body shape. Simple squats, calf raises, leg lifts and directional arm movements against the water will engage both your inner core for stability and all muscle groups within the body.

Maintaining motion in older years

As our population ages, it is becoming more and more important to maintain the health of the elderly. One way that this can be done is by keeping their muscles active through exercises. Old age tends to bring about a lack of mobility in both arms and legs which means that staying fit becomes increasingly difficult without some help.

Weight loss

Regular low impact exercise is recommended by weight loss professionals as a ‘fat burning’ activity. If regular exercise is not always possible, or if you are just feeling lazy, a spa pool can simulate the beneficial effects of exercise.


Once your swim training is complete, move across to the therapy seats, packed with a powerful array of jets, to stimulate blood flow & encourage muscle recovery.


The warm water of your spa will increase blood flow, enhancing your workout with greater mobility and protecting your muscles with a more effective post training stretch.

The Hub of your Home

A swim spa will be a much used addition as it becomes 'the hub of your home'. Solar heating can’t warm your swimming pool enough for your kids to ‘jump in’ all year 'round! Imagine if they could enjoy some healthy outdoor exercise in your swim spa to help ‘burn off’ excess energy.


Swim Spas


Swim Spas

A Sapphire swim spa is a great way to enjoy all the benefits of a spa and a pool in the comfort of your own home. Swim Spas offer many benefits over traditional pools, they are portable and self-contained, so there’s no need for excavation or plumbing work. They can replace a gym membership, with your choice of swim jet configurations to ensure you can walk, run or competitively swim in your own backyard. They also replace your masseuse, make the most of your free time sitting back and enjoying the hydrotherapy massage jets as they wash away your muscle aches and pains. Plus, with their integral heating, a Sapphire Spas swim spa is a true all-seasons swimming pool solution. Make the most of your time with a Sapphire Spas swim spa, the perfect way to work out, relax or play.





If you can’t decide between a swim spa or spa pool the myDualzone is the perfect choice. This 2-in-1 swim spa and spa pool offers all the benefits of owning both. The 2.2m x 2m spa pool offers superb relaxation for up to five people. It includes seats completed with neck and should massagers, including two recliner positions of different lengths to suit users of any height. The swim spa is 4m long and being a dedicated swim spa, is long enough for any user to get a full workout. The Dualzone comes with up to five pumps, including three dedicated swim jet pumps giving the swim spa enough power for professional swim training, or you can dial the power right back to still to suit users of any capability. With a myriad of customisations and add-ons including in-bult HiFi, remote-control and water spouts, the Dualzone is ideal for those who want the best of both worlds.



Plunge Pools


Plunge Pools

Sapphire Spas plunge pools offer a year-round alternative to traditional swimming pools. With efficient heating systems, you can keep the pool warm in winter and cool it down in summer. Additionally, including swim jets allows for light exercise or fun water play for kids.


Now you get to choose the colour of your spa and cabinet to match with your backyard landscaping. Sapphire Spas is always looking at new colour options to keep ahead of market trends; please talk to your local Sapphire Spas retail store about our extensive colour selection (limited edition options are also available depending on current stock)

Click here to view our extensive range of colours options =>> 

Questions you may have when buying a swim spa

How do you maintain a swim spa?

Your Sapphire Spa is manufactured from the highest grade acrylic material available. To ensure that it keeps its finish for many years, a small amount of maintenance is required periodically.

You can read through this blog for some helpful information on Swim Spa Maintenance.

Why is a swim spas better than a swimming pool?

Exercising in water has added benefits to land-based activity. Your muscles are challenged from all directions by the surrounding water as you swim, jog, walk, run, tone and stretch. Massage jets will stimulate to multiply the benefits of exercise <read more>

Does a swim spa need a concrete pad?

When filled with water a swim spa can weigh several tonnes so any swim spa will need a stable, even surface that’s capable of supporting its weight. Sapphire Spas recommend that you prepare a reinforced concrete slab of at least 150mm thick when installing our swim spas. You must ensure this base is an even, level surface free from cracks, doming or hollows. Never attempt to pack any object under your swim spa if the concrete slab is not entirely level as you may cause damage and void your warranty.

To protect the electrical equipment within the portable spa cabinet, ensure the surrounding area has adequate slope to drain well away from your swim spa. Consider areas that may flood or collect water in heavy rainfall and attempt to avoid those or provide appropriate drainage. 

It’s preferable for the slab to extend at least 200mm outside the spa dimensions for stability. Another consideration is the installation position of a heat and cool pump if you’re installing one or plan to in the future. As these units also need to be placed on a solid, level surface close to your swim spa, you may find it worthwhile to pour the concrete a little wider in this area to allow for it.

A structural engineer must be consulted if you’re considering installing your swim spa onto a decked area. 

Do not install a swim spa on grass, paving or an uneven surface or you will void your warranty and cause problems for yourself due to the weight of your swim spa, the large volume of water it holds and also the people enjoying the spa. 

As you’re investing a significant amount of money into the purchase of a swim spa, of course you’ll want to protect your investment and install it correctly to avoid damage and disappointment.

Sapphire swim spas are manufactured with a convenient drain hose (so you don’t need to pump the water from your swim spa when required) which can be extended from within your cabinet so consider access to a drain nearby for this purpose.

How fast can you swim in a swim spa?

Sapphire swim spas have been designed to accommodate all fitness levels by adjusting the number of swim jets that are running as you swim. You can lower the speed for a lower paced, long endurance swim or turn them right up for a faster speed session.

With all FOUR pumps on, you’ll get a strong jet stream from your 4 x swim jets, allowing even a competent swimmer to swim steadily without outrunning the flow or touching the end of the swim spa.

Read more in our blog 'Can you really swim in a swim spa?'

What's the average cost of a swim spa?

Quality swim spas range in price from $25,000 for a plunge model to $60,000. The price of a swim spa is affected mainly by the physical size of the spa, the equipment that powers it and the quality of the materials and build. Obviously the larger the swim spa, the more raw materials are required to build it so it will be more costly. 

The hidden costs that you should be aware of though, are possibly the most important! For example, a 5.0metre swim spa made from a formed sheet of acrylic, encased in a timber or plastic cabinet will look very similar from all manufacturers. It’s what’s inside the cabinet that you need to carefully consider. 

- the number of pumps that power a swim spa alters it’s cost dramatically; some swim spas may be powered by just 1 x pump compared with a more costly swim spa which has 4 x pumps providing a much better water pressure through the jets. You possibly won’t even be able to actually swim against the jets in a swim spa with only 2 pumps as the jet pressure is too low to hold your body buoyant and in place during your strokes

- insulation is also another important consideration. As it costs you money to heat your swim spa, you should check how well insulated it is inside the cabinet. A well insulated swim spa should have foam sprayed onto the underside of the moulded acrylic shell and also attached to the inside of the cabinet walls for the most effective prevention of heat loss. Beware of some spas that are foam filled or have loose foam within the cabinet as they may cause issues with the workings of your spa. A well-fitted swim spa cover is also an added layer of protection against heat loss so purchase a sturdy, thick hardcover with your swim spa to save on heating costs

- heater capability and efficiency is also where some manufacturers may take shortcuts. Beware of cheaper swim spas which have less powerful heating equipment which is not matched to efficiently heat the larger body of water in a swim spa. Swim spas will not be heated efficiently just with the inbuilt heater system alone; most will require at least an 8.8kw external electric heater. These days, an efficient external heat pump will hold your swim spa at temperature and ready to use for a reasonable heating cost

- when purchasing a swim spa, don’t forget to factor in the delivery and installation costs as most will require a crane to lift into your backyard and the minimum of a suitable concrete base and electrician to complete the power hook up. 

Do your own due diligence on any new or second hand (which have no warranty) swim spas to ensure the manufacturer is available to support the product if needed.

How long does it take to install a swim spa?

1 x day for delivery and hook up

Once you have prepared a suitable concrete base for your swim spa, the crane delivery and electrical hook up could take place all in one day, then you just have to wait for it to fill with water. 

Due to the weight of most swim spas, they need to be craned into your backyard. This typically only takes an hour or so once you’ve prepared the site.

Once the swim spa is in place, a licensed electrician will be needed to complete the power hook up. If you book your electrician in advance, the electrical connection could be prepared earlier so hook up can be completed on delivery day.

As long as you have a stable base for your spa to sit on, a smaller spa pool can also be crane lifted or maneouvered into place with man power and a trolley in an hour or so.


2 x days for concrete

Most concreters would take a day to excavate, box out and prepare for the concrete slab, then return another day to pour the concrete. Once you've left the concrete to cure for at least a week, you're ready to organise crane delivery. 

Many people want to install their swim spa into a deck or build a deck around the swim spa for ease of access and aesthetics of backyard landscaping. Of course you can add decking and backyard landscaping to a swim spa but expect this to take longer than simply placing it on a concrete slab. Decking, permits, safety fencing (if required) and the construction will usually take place over a number days but you will be able to organise some of these elements prior to delivery.. 

The addition of a swim spa to your backyard is exciting for all family members. Take your time to prepare once you decide to purchase one and the installation should go smoothly.


Can you put a swim spa inground?

Swim spas can look amazing when seamlessly installed into your backyard decking. The surrounding area then gives the feel of an inground swimming pool as you can sit on the edge and dangle your feet in. Installing swim spas partially inground also allows you to sit on the edge to easily get in and out of the pool.

You can install a portable swim spa almost anywhere you want as long as you allow for access to the equipment within the cabinet. 

Portable spa pools and swim spas are not suitable for digging into the dirt like a swimming pool however, as they have more intricate plumbing hoses, electrical equipment and heating systems within the surrounding cabinet

If you're unsure, you can always have your swim spa installed onto a minimum 150mm thick reinforced concrete slab, then decide the rest later.....

Do swim spas increase the value of your home?

A swim spa that is well integrated into the property will increase the value of your home if you consider these aspects

An extension of your home so it’s close and comfortable to use every day

Outdoor living is one of the most valued aspects of a home

Outdoor living is one of the most valued aspects of a home. If you install your new swim spa within view of the house, you can easily supervise the kids & water maintenance will be close and convenient. Sapphire Spas enhance ease of use with a good sanitisation system.


If it’s economical to heat with an efficient heat and cool pump