lap pool vs swim spa

Lap Swimming at Home: Compare Your Options

A lap pool can hold a lot of appeal — for avid swimmers and homeowners with small backyards. You can float on a raft or get in a workout without the commute to the pool or the crowded swim lanes. 

But the process of installing a lap pool is more than summer mornings refining your freestyle stroke. It can require permits, lengthy construction timeline, and additional landscaping. It’s a big project, especially for a pool that you can use for just a few months a year (depending on where you live).

A Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa, though, offers the benefits of an in-ground swimming pool without digging up the yard. And the lap pool alternative also offers more versatility and family fun, too!

If you are considering a lap pool, a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa is a better alternative. There are three models in the series, which is manufactured by Master Spas, and there is a swim spa for any space.

Before you schedule contractors and the excavator rolls in, check out this lap pool comparison and four things you should consider.

lap pool comparison
A lap pool is often a narrow rectangle with space to swim laps but not much more. A Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa offers a continuous swimming experience, as well as the benefits of a hot tub.

Lap Pool Comparison

Area requirements

Lap Pool: The space required for a lap pool will depend on the design. However, you must also consider proper clearance, which can add 10 feet to the overall length and 6 feet to the width. Decking and patio options can also add to the space needed for a lap pool.

Swim Spa: When planning for your swim spa installation, it is ideal to budget three feet of clearance on all sides of the spa. Periodic maintenance checks require entry into the equipment bay and therefore easy access to this area is important. Other installation requirements include access to electrical and a water source. For more information, be sure to download our Backyard Planning Guide.

lap pool comparison
Do you want to swim at home? Consider your space and how big of a project you want to take on when comparing an in-ground lap pool and a Michael Phelps Swim Spa.

Year-Round Use

Lap Pool: The season for a pool is dependent on where you live and whether you choose to heat the pool. Installing a heated pool will add to the total cost.

Swim Spa: When making a swim spa and lap pool comparison, remember that a swim spa by Master Spas is built to be used year-round, no matter the climate. As a self-contained unit, it features full-foam insulation to help maintain water temperature. There’s also a built-in heater and a touchscreen panel so that you can set the water to your perfect temperature. 

Pool Cost

Lap Pool: A small pool might seem like a cheaper option when compared to more lavish options. According to Home Advisor, the average lap pool costs $43,800, The final price tag of a backyard pool project can vary, with more affordable options and those that cost more than $100,000. The lap pool material — fiberglass, vinyl vinyl liner, or concrete — affects the cost. The size and features, such as lighting and heat, can also affect how much a lap pool costs. 

Swim Spa: The price of a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa includes the unit and the features you choose. If you are interested in a Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa, you can request pricing from a Master Spas retailer. However, the swim spa price range is between $20,000 and $50,000.

lap pool vs swim spa
When shopping for a lap pool, consider your available space, budget, and how your family will use it.

Pool Design and Size

Lap Pool: Often narrower and longer in design, a lap pool needs to be at least 4 feet wide for swimming. A traditional backyard swimming pool will be between 8 and 10 feet wide. The longer the pool, the easier it will be to get in a good workout. When working with a contractor on your backyard pool design, be sure to factor in how you will get in and out of the pool. Will you want steps? Do you need a grab rail? If it’s something that you want, you can also add an adjoining spa.  

Swim Spa: Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spas are ideal for small backyards. There are three models, which range from 17 feet to 19 feet in length and are 8 feet wide. Select the acrylic and skirting colors to complement your landscape and outdoor space. You can also add lighting packages and a Bluetooth sound system. The MP Momentum Deep is a 19-foot swim spa that has two bodies of water — a swim area and an adjoining hot tub. But if you want more room to swim, the 18-foot MP Signature Deep is spacious while still featuring hydrotherapy seats. If you prefer a custom look, you can install a raised deck to give the appearance of an in-ground swim spa installation. Be sure that there’s access to the swim spa control panel for easy maintenance and service.