Spool Pool: How does it work?

spool pool option designs

Consider a spool pool if you’re deciding between a pool and a spa, have a limited budget, or want the best of both worlds.
Consider a spool pool if you want to build a swimming pool in your backyard but are constrained by space or money, or if you can’t decide between using the pool for exercise and the hot tub for relaxation.

Spool Pool

A spool pool is a little pool with spa-like elements; it looks like a big hot tub but has strong directional jets that produce a current you can swim against. Cocktail pools and plunge pools are other names for spool pools. A lap pool, which is intended for full swim laps, is twice as long as a spool pool.

In the spa and swimming pool industry, the words “spa” and “pool” are combined under the term “spool.” Manufacturers typically do not utilize the phrase while marketing these items, which are typically referred to as “swim spas.”

Spools or swim spas are often prefabricated above-ground features, but you can also have one built in your yard if there isn’t enough room for a full-sized in-ground pool. Above-ground spool pools can be constructed outside on a sizable concrete slab or even indoors in a large garage or basement. A spool is significantly smaller than an in-ground swimming pool, being between 10 to 16 feet long and 6 to 8 feet broad, but at least twice as big as the typical spa. Additional features like built-in seating, ledges, shelving, LED lighting, and waterfalls may be incorporated into spool pool designs.

How does it work?

Spool pool designs

With directing jets, spools produce currents that imitate the bubbly, calming effect of a typical hot tub. However, in a spool, these jets are more potent and are directed in such a way that they produce a strong directional current in the water that you swim or run against. Not all spools are intended for physical activity; some are created as miniature pools that double as hot tubs. In mild winters, even an outside spool could be usable due to the ability to regulate the temperature.

The Michael Phelps Signature Swim Spa (sometimes referred to as MP Signature) is one of Master Spas’ most well-known brands. There are numerous versions in this line with water capacity between 2,000 and 2,400 gallons.

Two components make up these spools: a 50-inch-deep swim chamber and a separate sitting area for spa-style relaxing. Approximate overall sizes range from 8 by 18 to 8 by 20 feet. While some swim spas use the same air jets as regular spas, this line uses a propeller design to create a current, which results in a more realistic current. Standard jets are also included in these spools to improve the relaxation effect.

Exercise in a Spool

A spool has jets that provide a current that you swim against, unlike a swimming pool. As you swim in place, this resistance enables you to obtain excellent exercise in a comparatively small space. The temperature should be kept moderately low while utilizing a swim spa as a pool for exercise because swimming in warm water becomes uncomfortable and can cause you to tyre more quickly.


  •  It might not increase property value as much as a full-sized pool.
  •  Zoning regulations may call for fencing if it’s outside.
  •  In colder climates, heating, and electrical bills can be high.
  •  It might be uncomfortable right now.
  •  Only accommodates one or two persons at once.
  •  Cannot do full laps in a pool like a lap pool or a regular pool.

Costs of Spool Pool

A fully functional swim spa can cost as little as $10,000 for a smaller model or well over $30,000 for a more expensive model with separate spa and swim areas. For instance, the largest Michael helps line spool from Master Spa costs roughly $25,000, while installation fees and other ongoing maintenance charges are not included in this price. A fibreglass or acrylic swim spa can cost a homeowner up to $50,000, including setup, delivery, and installation.

According to national statistics, the average cost for a medium-sized prefabricated swim spa, including installation fees, is about $22,000. 2 A spool pool is still more affordable than a full-sized fiberglass or vinyl in-ground swimming pool, which costs about $60,000, especially when you consider that it combines the benefits of both a pool and a spa into one space-saving water element.

You can purchase a builder’s spool pool kit and hire a pool installation business to install it. Ask nearby pool construction businesses if they provide ideas for spool pools and/or kit installation services.

Frequently Asked Questions

Picture of backyard spool

What is Spool Pool?

Strong pumps can create a flow that swimmers can swim against, which is an excellent substitute for lap pools for those who enjoy working out.
Swimming against a current created by the strong pumps is an excellent alternative to lap pools for people who prefer to exercise.
Depending on the individual design, a spool may feature some of the following:

  •  Dimensions between a standard pool and a spa
  •  Powerful spa jets
  •  Current generation system
  •  Robust heating system
  •  Built-in seating around the perimeter
  •  LED lighting
  •  Water feature

Because they have little outdoor area, many homeowners decide against installing a pool. Others struggle to decide whether they have enough space for a spa and pool. If this describes you, you might want to think about setting up a “spool” in your garden.
A spool is essentially a smaller pool with additional spa-like elements. Spools, which are typically 10 to 16 feet long and 6 to 8 feet broad, are perfect for small spaces or oddly shaped backyards.
Spools are also thought of as a flexible substitute for swimming pools since they let you enjoy mild water on warm days and hotter water for a relaxing experience at night.
Swimming against a current created by the strong jets is an excellent alternative to lap pools for people who prefer to exercise.

Learn how much space a pool actually requires here.
A spool may have one or more of the following features, depending on the specific design:

  •  Dimensions between a spa and a regular pool;
  •  Strong spa jets, a modern generation system
  •  Built-in seating around the ring and a powerful heating system
  •  LED illumination

What is the difference between a spool and a plunge pool?

A spool and a plunge pool are two different things.
A spool pool is a little pool with spa-like elements; it looks like a big hot tub but has strong directed jets that produce a current you can swim against. Cocktail pools and plunge pools are other names for spool pools. A lap pool, which is intended for complete swim laps, is twice as long as a spool pool.
A plunge pool, on the other hand, is a type of swimming pool that is designed for diving or jumping into. It is usually smaller and deeper than a traditional swimming pool, and may have features such as a diving board or slide. The purpose of a plunge pool is for recreational activities such as swimming, diving, and playing, rather than for managing and processing data.

How deep are spool pools?

Spools are small swimming or other water-based recreation pools that are generally 1-2 meters deep. Typically, a backyard pool is 9 meters long, 4.5 meters wide, and between 1.4 and 2 meters deep. Since smaller pools need less time and materials to build, they are often less expensive to install than larger ones.

There are several reasons why someone could decide against having a larger pool and choose a smaller one. First, tiny pools take up less area, making them an excellent choice for folks with little yards or those living in apartments or condos. Second, because there is less water to circulate and filter, they require less maintenance than bigger pools.
Additionally, you may still swim laps, play games, and unwind in small pools, which can be just as enjoyable as big ones.

There are a few considerations to make if you’re thinking of installing a small pool in your house. You must pick the ideal place for your pool. It needs to be placed in a bright area that is far from any trees or other anything that could fall into the pool and harm it. Before you start building, you should also check that the ground is level; otherwise, your collection might not retain water properly.

The next step is to choose the materials you wish to use for your pool’s walls and bottom; available choices include concrete, fiberglass, and vinyl liner.

A spool should I install?

Homeowners have several benefits from installing a spool instead of a regular pool or spa. These consist of the following:

  •  Confined area.
  •  A steep or unusually formed location.
  •  Not being able to afford a pool/spa combination.
  •  Desire flexibility to utilize the feature all year.
  •  Less time-intensive to maintain.
  •  Enhances the outside area’s beauty while yet being practical.
  •  Provides room for a play area or recreational area.