All in all, there's only one true answer for this according to the pros. It depends on what your ultimate goals are. We've found that for most people, a hot tub is exactly what they're looking for. However, in some cases, having a swim spa is a much better solution, especially if there is a rehabilitative medical condition that is to be treated. Regardless of which you end up purchasing, having hot tub covers and/or spa covers make maintaining your spa or tub much easier.
A hot tub is the best form of relaxation and deep heating solution available. If you have arthritis or other type of bone and joint ailments, being able to sit in a hot tub and allow the heat to not only soak into the bones and joints but to increase blood circulation and relax the muscles and tendons is the best way to treat them. Professionals recommend having a hot tub cover to keep out contaminants and debris as well as reducing evaporation and chemical loss so the hot tub stays as effective as possible.
However, if the need for physical therapy is present or you have a desire for a low impact, strength building and cardio exercise regimen without the need for a lot of equipment, a swim spa is your best choice. Swimming is a great choice for people who have been injured and needs to rebuild strength in their arms and legs and provides great cardiovascular exercise as well. With the various settings you have available in a swim spa, you can ramp up your routines, getting all of the benefits of a swimming pool in a small space.
A spa cover is just as important as a hot tub cover, and, since more swim spas are outdoors while a good portion of hot tubs are either in a cabana or in a bathroom, they may be even more so. The pros recommend using covers to keep out both dirt and leaf debris as well as reducing the need to add water due to evaporation and to reduce chemical needs.