A staple of leisure and home comfort, a “must have” for every party house, private vacation destination, or bachelor pad, the hot tub is becoming more and more popular as well as affordable with every passing day.
Gone are the times when the hot tub was a luxury item that only the rich could afford. With modern innovations and materials, they have become affordable and accessible to more modest households in modern times.
However, with this new found popularity and accessibility, comes a large variety of options for the buyer. Hot tubs come in different shapes, sizes, materials, seating capacities, and power options. That being said, buyers need to be careful and think long and hard before buying a hot tub, to make sure that they buy the right hot tub for their needs.
Top Hot Tubs for 2018
The Hudson Bay 2 person, 13 Jet Spa, with Stainless Steel Jets is a high-end, economically priced home and garden spa with all the features to give you the best relaxation time you will ever have. A 10ft long, 110v/20amp GFCI cord that plugs into a standard 110 outlet is included with the spa; no need to try and figure out where you can set-up so you can reach an outlet. The Acrylic white shell with fibreglass reinforcement, accented by mocha-colored cabinets, creates a classy look for any home or garden. With a safety-lock cover, spray-foam insulation, 7 vary-colored mood lights, low energy consumption, and high-performance you can’t go wrong with this home-and-garden spa!
All-in-all you can’t go wrong with the Hudson Bay 2 person spa. Set-up with ease, fill, heat, and enjoy coming home in the evening to de-stress and ease those aches-and-pains.
- 110v/20amp, 10ft, GFCI cord allowing you to set your spa up in the location that suits you
- 13 Stainless Steel therapeutic jets designed to relax you with the maximum comfort level
- Classic white shell with mocha cabinets that create an elegant look
- Multi-layer Acrylic reinforced shell with High Density Spray Foam Insulation ensuring that your spa will maintain its temperature whether it is set-up indoors or outdoors
- 7 different mood lights that can be adjusted to suit your fancy
- A non-slip surface and safety-lock cover
- Low energy usage and high performance value allowing you to feel good about your purchase and not guilty about the long-term pocket book
The AquaRest, 2 person, 14 Stainless Steel Jet Spa is the ultimate in relaxation therapy. With its 110V or 220V compatibility you never have to worry about being unable to plug it in. The 9 Led color options and the cascading waterfall add to the atmosphere of peace and relaxation at the end of a long day. Its high energy efficiency ensures that there is no need to worry about an insane power bill and for just an extra touch of comfort, there are 2 built in cup holders to avoid spillage. When it comes to relaxation, this spa has it down to a science!
The overall customer ratings and reviews of the AquaRest, 2 person, 14 Stainless Steel Jet Spa is positive. Aside from the occasional delivery mishap or missing piece of equipment, which was quickly rectified by the seller, this spa has received a 4-out-of-5 to 5-out-of-5 rating.
- Weather resistant exterior makes this a good option for an outdoor spa that will last you through the seasons
- 110v and 220v compatible for quick-and-easy set-up
- Cascading waterfall with 9 LED color options adds a touch of soothing class
- 14 hydrotherapy jets made of durable stainless steel ensure that the cleaning and maintenance of this spa is simple and fast
- Easy “plug and play” no need to fiddle with wiring or specs
- Built in cup-holders make for a great ‘no-spillage’ zone so you can relax in peace
The QCA Spas Model 0 Gemini Plug and Play Hot Tub has a two stage, energy efficient heating system that circulates the heat generated by the pumps and motor back into heating the water. With its Plug and Play capability, in addition to the 15ft GFCI cord which is included, it’s as easy as situating your tub where you want it, plugging it in, adding water, and letting it heat; climb in and enjoy within twenty-four hours!
If you are looking for a comfortable, 2 person hot tub, that provides the benefit of being energy efficient, yet still high-performance than this may be the option for you. On the whole this spa has been highly rated and reviewed by the customers who have purchased it. Plug in, heat up, enjoy!
- 8 graphite gray jets
- 120v/15amp outlet and 15ft GFCI cord
- 5 BHP energy-efficient pumps
- Two stage heating system (frictional pump heating and heat recovery system)
The Home and Garden Spas 3 Person 31 Jet Spa has 31 Stainless Steel jets located in strategic positions to ensure that the areas that receive the most stress from day-to-day movement are gently massaged and soothed into comfortable relaxation. A factory installed Ozone Generate keeps this tub nearly maintenance free and allows you the peace of mind that your spa is both clean and sanitary in the long run. In addition, the control panel is easily accessed and is user –friendly and a spa cover is included to ensure the safety of your kids, cats, and dogs.
Enjoy the relaxation and comfort of the Home and Garden, 3 person, 31 jet Spa and all of the features that it includes. Come home from a long day of work to a hot tub that soothes away your stress and allows you to enjoy your evening in a calm frame of mind!
- 7 LED lights which can be set to suit your mood
- Measurements of 31’H x 82’W x 60’L; plenty of room to seat three people
- 31 Stainless Steel jets that are located in such a manner that the calves, feet, neck, and shoulder areas are all covered
- A control panel that is user-friendly with ease of access
- Factory installed Ozone Generator ensuring that your spa is always clean and kept running up to its highest potential
- A 6HP pump and 4.0Kw heater keep your water temperature steady and water-flow ongoing
- Acrylic slip-resistant surface and multi-layer fibreglass shell which helps to ensure your safety
- 220v/50amp electrical outlet is required for this model
- A 4” x 2” durable spa cover is included
The Lifesmart Rock Solid, Simplicity Plug And Play, 4 Person Spa with 12 Jets, is built with your comfort and enjoyment in mind. With an easy to use digital control interface and a comfort dial that allows you to adjust the water-to-air ratio this spa is simple, but classic, in design. A seating capacity of 4 makes for a great family tub or just for that romantic evening that you have planned with your partner. In addition to all of this the top cover is designed to latch tightly, ensuring that no heat escapes which means keeping your power bill down, and ensures that no accidents happen. Built for safety, comfort, and affordability you can’t go wrong with this uniquely elegant spa!
For the size of the spa it is not all that difficult to set up or maneuver, something that is not all that common among the competition. The majority of customers who have purchased this model have been more than satisfied with its performance, with the only downside being that it seats 2 adults and 2 kids comfortably but not 4 adults at the same time. For the price this is a great, long-lasting option to choose from.
- Digital control interface, Balboa Deluxe, simple to utilize with easy access
- 12 therapeutic jets and waterfall with a red and blue interchangeable mood light
- A RockSolid Sahara sandstone construction
- 110v Plug and Play feature, no extra wiring required, so no need to call in a professional installer
- Top cover built to aid in energy preservation with a lock system for safety
- A comfort dial created to allow you to balance the air and water mix with ease
- Capacity seating for 4 people
- Fully-insulated spray foam insulation to prevent heat leakage
The Hudson Bay, 4 Person, 14 Jet Spa with Stainless Jets is a great addition to any home. Whether you set it up indoors or outdoors this spa is built to last with its pressure treated ABS frame and base, built in ozonator that keeps your spa clean and running for a long time to come, and a 6HP EnergyRite pump that ensures low energy consumption and high performance. The 14 Stainless Steel jets are strategically located to give you the maximum amount of relaxation and the addition of the 2 LED light fountains with 7 underwater, color variant, LED lights simply adds to your enjoyment. The addition of the lockable top cover adds to your peace of mind as a safety measure and also maintains the temperature of your spa without overloading your pocketbook.
This Home and Garden Spa has received a whooping 5-out-of-5 star rating from its customers. Its long-lasting durability, low energy cost, elegant appearance, and user-friendly features have made it a favorite on the market.
- 2x LED light-fountains that add to your enjoyment
- 7 LED underwater lights with variety color options
- Digital Balboa control interface that is user-friendly and accessible
- 220v/15amp electrical outlet required
- An EnergyRite 6HP pump for low energy consumption and excellent performance
- 14 Stainless Steel therapeutic jets strategically located for that perfect hydrotherapy message
- Pressure treated ABS base and frame for extended durability
- 6 Person capacity
- Safety cover with locking mechanism for your peace of mind
- Built in ozonator that keeps your spa running smoothly and clean
The American Spas AM-630LS, 5-Person, 30-Jet Lounger Spa with Backlit LED Waterfall is a classic in the market of indoor/outdoor spas. With a 7-layer, laminate and steel construction, which is additionally reinforced with steel and wood, creates a spa with extra durability and a long life-expectancy. A HydroClear Ozonator keeps your spa at its best by maintaining the water quality and ensuring a high-water flow. The 5.5Kw Titanium heat is so quiet it can barely be heard and runs at a high performance capacity while at the same time being very energy efficient. In addition, the spa can be set to ‘economy’ mode which doubly ensures its energy efficiency. If you’re looking for the ultimate in relaxation, without breaking the bank, then this may be the option for you!
Customer reviews have shown satisfaction in the smooth operation and sturdy features of the AM-630LS, 5 person spa. It is a bit of extra work to have it hard-wired, but in the long run this spa simply cannot be beat!
- 30 Stainless Steel, individually controlled on/off jet flow for each seat
- A HydroClear Ozonator to keep your spa hygienically clean and running smoothly
- 240V 5.0 BHP jet pump that provides the equivalent performance of two regular pumps
- 5Kw Titanium heater that is unobtrusive when running and highly efficient
- 50 Ft. re-usable filters that are easily accessed and provide proficient filtration
- Steel/Wood reinforced 7 multi-layer laminate and steel construction for extra durability
- One Energy Saver Thermo Layer Insulation Blanket for use as a safety cover and to maintain the heat temperature
The Home and Garden, 6 Person, 90 Jet Spa with MP3 Auxiliary Output is the height of luxury. This spa features and inbuilt MP3 auxiliary with 2 speakers and a subwoofer that creates the perfect sound. The 90 Stainless Steel jets are located to ensure the maximum amount of relaxation and stress-relief. With two 6HP EnergyRite pumps that create strong water flow and maintain a low energy cost this spa is luxurious while also being affordable. In addition, the sterling colored shell with synthetic mocha cabinetry makes this model easy to clean and classy looking to boot!
This model has received a 4-out-of-5 star rating in the majority of customer reviews, which can be found online. If you are looking for something affordable, but still really want to spoil yourself or your partner than the Home and Garden, 6 person, 90 jet spa is the one for you.
- Digital Balboa controls for easy access and use
- 90 Stainless Steel jets with 1x 14-jet massage insert and 2x 7-jet inserts
- 220V/50amp hard-wiring needed
- 2 cup holders with LED lighting
- An MP3 Auxiliary output with 2x speakers and 1x subwoofer
- 2x 6HP EnergyRite pumps for premium performance and low energy costs
- ABS pressure-treated base for increased stability and durability
- Synthetic maintenance-free mocha cabinetry with a sterling shell
How to select your next hot tub
As we all know, the exponential rise in popularity that hot tubs have had in recent times has led to a rise in options and variety on the market. This means that there is a lot of choices and a lot of options when it comes to selecting a hot tub.
It goes without saying that you should aim to get the best hot tub for your needs, however, it can become rather tricky to do so with so many options for you to choose from.
That being said, how can you select your next hot tub?
Indoors or outdoors?
One of the more basic things you will have to figure out is where the hot tub will be installed. There are choices available for both indoor and outdoor use, each with its own strengths and weaknesses.
Indoor hot tubs
Are more similar to bathtubs, but with more than 1 occupant. Usually, they can sit anywhere from 1 to 3 occupants at the same time, while more luxurious and custom-made indoor hot tubs can allow for up to 5 occupants. They also tend to be a lot easier to connect to plumbing systems and installations, and they offer a larger and more solid level of privacy.
The problem with indoor hot tubs is the fact that they often times require you to have a lot of space available in the bathroom for its installation, or even require you to replace your existing bathtub with the hot tub in question.
Outdoor hot tubs
Are a lot bulkier and a lot better suited for outdoor use than their interior counterparts. They are able to seat anywhere from 2 to 8 occupants, with luxurious custom models going as far as to eat 10 occupants at the same time. They require special changes and connection to be made to the existing plumbing system in order to be installed.
The greatest advantage that these hot tubs bring to the table is the fact that they are slot stronger and a lot more resilient than interior ones, however, they also need a bit more attention and maintenance. Even with the new self-cleaning options and features, they still require cleaning at least once every 1-2 weeks, depending on how much the hot tub is being used.
They are usable as single units, as part of a deck, as part of an ensemble or even as integrated units in swimming pools that allow for their installation. An added bonus is the fact that, while they offer less privacy than the interior ones, they promote social interaction and can often time entice friends and family to join you for a small dip.
For how many people?
Another rather important thing to think about is the number of people that will be using this hot tub.
If there is a small number of occupants, between 1 and 3, then you might be better off opting for an interior hot tub. While there are exterior hot tubs designed for such a small number of occupants, they are a bit too small and impractical when compared to other models.
If there is a larger number of occupants, 4 and up, then you are better off opting for an exterior hot tub.
It is important to note that, currently, hot tubs can seat anywhere from 1 to 8 occupants, with custom models going as far as 10 occupants. So regardless of what your preferences are, you will be able to find what you are looking for.
Something to keep in mind here is the fact that hot tubs tend to stick to manageable sizes, so more occupant capacity does not necessarily mean more space and elbow room overall.
How much energy efficiency?
A lot of people don’t give much thought to this when buying a hot tub, but it can make the difference between a sound investment and a money sink.
In the long run, a hot tub can accrue a lot of costs through water and electricity bills. Needless to say, the longer the usage, the higher the costs.
However, these costs can be mitigated in advance by knowing what you’re shopping for. In order to make sure you buy an energy efficient hot tub, make sure you have access to all the information regarding the hot tub itself.
The first giveaway in regards to energy efficiency is the number of jets that the hot tub has. Every single jet needs power and water to work efficiently. That being said, more jets means more consumption. Obviously, you will want to avoid hot tubs with absurd amounts of jets.
Second, you will want to look at the pump itself. See what debit it has, what power consumption it sports and whether or not it gives the user the option to control its output as well as function.
Used or brand new?
This is a touchy subject, however one that is on everyone’s lips when deciding whether or not to purchase a hot tub.
Used hot tubs are cheaper and more affordable, however, the buyer runs the risk dealing with health and sanitation issues with the hot tub, as well as problems and damage left over by the previous owner.
New hot tubs do not present this risk, however, they are a lot more expensive and can be more difficult to install in some situations.
If you’re angling for a used hot tub, make sure you get to inspect it and try it out (filled and functioning) before making the purchase, to make sure that there are no cracks, no breaks, and no damage that you will have to deal with. Make sure that you also set aside the time to clean and disinfect every single square inch of it before you use it for the first time.
If you’re going for a brand new hot tub, make sure your plumbing is able to support it and that you have the financial resources to afford it.
Comfort is, by far, the most important aspect of owning a hot tub. While there are a lot of options, and solutions, on the market with comfort in mind, it is ultimately up to you to figure out which one is the most comfortable choice for you.
As a rule of thumb, each and every occupant should have enough room to extend his arms and legs forward without bothering anyone, as well as enough room in the actual occupant slot to fit himself and still have some room left over, usually totaling half a palm in length.
The best thing to do, in this situation, is to try out the hot tub, empty, and see how you would fit in every single occupant slot. The vast majority of hot tub salesmen and showrooms will allow you to try
What are the different hot tub types?
One of the simplest ways to differentiate the hot tubs on the market is by type. If anything, this will help you have an easier time making up your mind in regards to what hot tubs would be the best ones to pay attention to and ultimately purchase.
There are several types of hot tubs on the current market, with each and every type of hot tub bringing its own advantages and disadvantages to the table.
Outdoor hot tubs
Usually made out of lightweight materials, they are designed to hold anywhere between 3 and 8 occupants.
The biggest advantage that they bring tot he table is the fact that they are often times seen as a statement of wealth and leisure, as well as a way to improve and enhance a social gathering. They provide an overall good user experience and they come in the widest variety of specs and features.
The biggest disadvantage that they have is the fact that they are notorious for their maintenance requirements. If left uncleaned and unsanitized, they develop fetid smells. The vast majority of the new models come with self-cleaning features and programs, however, they still require a good cleaning once a week or once every 2 weeks.
Indoor hot tubs
These are the smallest hot tubs on the market, often times slightly bigger than an average bathtub.
Usually seating 2 or 3 occupants, they are made to be integrated into bathroom or recreational room plumbing. Usually a lot more restricted in terms of features and performance than their outdoor counterparts, they serve as more intimate and more personal hot tub and massage solutions.
Their main advantage is the fact that they are a lot easier to connect to indoor plumbing and access in case of repairs or adjustments, as well as maintain and clean over time.
Their main disadvantage is the fact that they are usually quite small and will often time require a bathroom overhaul, especially if the plumbing and the house are quite old, to begin with. This can easily be mitigated with a bit of planning and making sure that the existing plumbing can accommodate a hot tub.
Wooden hot tubs
As the name implies, they are made out of wood. In fact, they are designed in such a way that they imitate colonial bathtubs, but with the modern conveniences offered by modern plumbing and water jets.
There are different styles and variations of wooden hot tubs, some with incorporated heating, some with built-in stoves, some with different shapes and layouts, but they all share a common basic principle.
Their main advantage is the fact that they are very comfortable, customizable, and can often time be tailor-made to fit strict and stringent spatial limitations, as well as fit the needs of each and every user.
Their main disadvantage is the fact that they need regular upkeep, besides the normal cleaning and sanitizing. The wood itself requires maintenance and careful treatment throughout its life. The good news here is that, if something does happen, these are the simplest hot tubs to repair. All you need is wooden planks, nails, and lacker.
Inflatable hot tubs
These hot tubs are more angled towards temporary use and are perfect for places where space is limited, or for infrequent use.
They are inflatable, meaning that they can easily be inflated and used, however, once they are no longer in use they can be deflated and stored away. They come in different sizes, can seat between 2 and 6 occupants, and can be found in a multitude of designs.
Their main advantage is the amount of convenience that they provide the user, being able to save a lot of space, as well as allowing for easier transport and even use while traveling. Not to mention the fact that they are among the easiest hot tubs to clean and maintain.
Their main disadvantage is the fact that they can easily be ruptured if not careful, not to mention the fact that they have the smallest projected lifespan of them all.
Saltwater hot tubs
Used mainly for therapeutic and physical treatment purposes, these hot tubs are specifically designed to be used with saltwater.
The hot tubs themselves are stronger and more resilient than normal hot tubs, but at the same time, they require a bit more upkeep and maintenance in order to be kept running in optimal conditions.
Their biggest advantage, by far, is the fact that they are a lot more therapeutic and a lot more beneficial than other hot tubs, from a medicinal point of view.
Their biggest disadvantage is the fact that they require a lot more effort in order to get up and running, calibrating the salt and PH levels.
Cement hot tubs
These are the “permanent” hot tubs, the ones that will never change place, nor be altered in any way, shape, or form, after they have been finished.
They are essentially swimming pools, but smaller and with hot water jets, which are often times made to fit the specifications and needs of the client, without a preset model or template.
Usually found integrated into swimming pools as well as standalone units, they are among the more expensive hot tubs, as well as the longer lasting ones.
Their main advantage is the fact that they are built to last literally anything, being made out of cement rather than composite materials or metal alloys.
Their main disadvantage is the fact that they require a larger financial investment as well as a longer overall time commitment than other hot tubs, not to mention the fact that the decision to own a cement hot tub is not easily reversible.
Stainless steel hot tubs
These are, more or less, the champions of hot tubs when it comes to performance. Because they are made out of metal, they can be designed in literally any and every single way in order to fit the needs of the clients.
They are a common sight in large athletic clubs as well as in professional sports teams training facilities as recuperation and therapeutic tools, however, they are available to the general consumer base.
Their main advantage is the fact that they have no actual limitations nor drawbacks when it comes to performances and how far they can be pushed. Not to mention the fact that they are very difficult to damage and very easy to clean and maintain.
Their main disadvantage is the fact that they are very heavy, cumbersome and difficult to install. This, however, is a temporary problem, and it becomes a non-issue as soon as the hot tub is installed.
There are a lot of options for you to choose from when it comes to hot tubs. Each and every single option has its own characteristics, advantages, disadvantages, and unique features.
Remember to take a good hard look at what you have at your disposal, your budget, the space that you have available, your needs, your wants and what exactly it is that you are looking to get out of a hot tub.
As soon as you have a clear answer and you know what is available to you, you can make a decision and choose the best hot tub for you and your needs.