What To Look For When Buying A Hot Tub?

Knowing what features you want to see in a hot tub before you go shopping is extremely crucial. This article outlines some of the key features you should be looking for when buying a hot tub. We also discuss the different types of hot tubs available and show you how to buy a hot tub that suits your needs.

You're in the middle of a long workday, and you're looking forward to taking a nice relaxing soak in your new hot tub. You imagine yourself relaxing in warm water while listening to soothing music, or maybe just drinking or reading a book. But then you're wondering, "What should I look for when buying a hot tub?"

Buying a hot tub can be a daunting experience. You will need to consider many factors, such as how much space you have available in your backyard, how much money you have to spend, and how long you want your hot tub to last. You will also need to consider whether you want a spa, jetted tub, or both.

We'll simplify the process for you. So without much ado, let's go ahead and go through each one. But first, here's a checklist of what to look for in a glance.

Hot Tub Buying Checklist

It's always in your best interest to do due diligence before buying your new hot tub. Make sure to spend some time on each feature and think it through very carefully. Some important things to consider before purchasing a hot tub include:

what to look for when buying a hot tub featured image
  • Type - in-ground, portable, or inflatable
  • Size - small, medium, or large
  • Shape - round, square, triangle (corner hot tub)
  • Capacity - 2-person, 4-person, or 6-person
  • Location - backyard, deck, or bathroom
  • Ease of use - plug and play, or portable
  • Insulation - is it high enough to keep your hot tub comfortable in cold climates?
  • Water filtration - does it have one installed?
  • Extras - massage jets, heated seat, Bluetooth-enabled sound system
  • Price - does it fit my budget?
  • Energy consumption

Key Takeaways: Make sure to bring this list with you, so you know exactly what to look for on your trip to the showroom.

Type: in-ground, portable, or inflatable hot tub?

There are three types of hot tubs: in-ground, portable, and inflatable. In-ground hot tubs are the most popular type and can be installed in your backyard. Portable hot tubs can be used anywhere you want, but they take up more space than in-ground or spa hot tubs. Similarly, inflatable hot tubs can be installed in any part of the house with enough space or strong enough to withstand its weight when filled with water and people.

type in-ground portable or inflatable hot tub

Also, bear in mind different types of hot tubs uses different materials. The type of hot tub material impacts its empty weight, how well it retains heat, lasts for a long time, and looks like. In-ground and portable hot tubs are usually made of stainless steel, fiberglass, and wood and usually last longer. On the other hand, inflatable hot tubs are made of lighter but durable materials like vinyl and PVC.

Hot tubs can be bought at different price levels starting from $200 for inflatables, $2000 for portables, to as much as $12000 for in-ground.

Key Takeaways: Different types will have their own advantages over the other and vice versa, i.e., portability, longevity, and affordability.

Size: small, medium, or large?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. It depends on how much space you have, how many people you want to fit in the hot tub, and how much money you want to spend. To choose the right size hot tub, measure the space to be used and consider how much walking room is needed.

  1. Small Hot Tubs - typically measures up to 7 feet in length and 35 inches in height. It can fit 2-3 people, making it ideal for singles and young couples who have just started out.
  2. Medium hot tub - typically measures up to 7 feet and 9 inches in length and 38.5 inches in height. It's big enough to fit 4-6, making it an ideal choice for a family of 4 or 6.
  3. Large Hot Tub - typically measures up to 9 feet in length and 38 inches in height. This hot tub can accommodate more than seven people - perfect for gatherings and special occasions or just having fun with friends.

The largest pre-fabricated model available has a length of 9' and a width of 9'2". Large hot tubs generally stand 36" to 38" tall. Besides length, width, and height, a third measurement comes into play when considering a hot tub: water depth.

Typically, a hot tub is filled until the water is about five inches from the rim. How much of your body is underwater depends partially on the size and shape of your body and the size and shape of the supporting structure.

Some hot tub seats are very low, while others are higher. Children and shorter adults may prefer a shallower seat. Taller adults tend to favor deeper-set seats.

Plan on inviting guests or relatives over? Make room for a larger tub with more seats. Will you be using the hot tub alone or with just two people at a time? A 2-3 person spa will be perfect if space is limited.

Key Takeaways: The size of your hot tub boils down (no pun intended) to the number of people you want to accommodate and if you have sufficient enough space within your property.

Location and Space

A hot tub needs to sit on a level, sturdy surface like concrete or wooden foundation. It is probably safe to use if the hot tub is less than 2 feet off the ground.

Hot tubs can be placed outdoors on a patio, porch, or deck. Get a better perspective of how your spa will fit by using rope or a garden hose. Take extra precautions if you plan on using it on your deck. Have a professional check your deck if it can withstand the hot tub's total weight, including water and people.

Once you know where you want your spa to go, you should take exact measurements of your chosen space to be sure you are looking at spas within those parameters. If you have a tight space or don't need many seats, you can dial down to a small-sized hot tub.

location and space

Hint: hot tub shape can also make a difference. For instance, you can choose a triangular hot tub if you want to maximize whatever space is available to you. It can accommodate the same number of people but doesn't take too much space.

Always carefully measure the space where you plan to install your hot tub and avoid models that exceed those dimensions. Make sure you measure the space where you will be putting the hot tub and write down the specifications before shopping.

Key Takeaways: Hot tubs work well on almost any kind of surface. Just ensure your deck is strong enough to support its total weight if you plan on putting one upstairs.

Equipment, features, and options

Most hot tubs come with basic features such as a water filter and heater. But there are plenty of other features you can add on to get the most out of your hot tub experience, such as:

  • Adjustable seats and built-in speakers. The adjustable seats make it easy to find your perfect position, while the built-in speakers provide soothing sounds for an immersive experience.
  • Bluetooth audio and LED. Some companies offer optional Bluetooth audio, interior, exterior color LEDs, and lighted water features.
  • Hot tub jets. Hot tub jets are considered the most important feature of a hot tub. People absolutely love the relaxing massage hot tub jets provide.
  • Customized pumps. The ideal hot tub will have multiple pumps to allow maximum jet power and the correct mixture of water and air for just the right massage intensity.

Key Takeaways: Optional features create a more immersive experience on your hot tub. It may cost you more, but the experience is worth it.

Conclusion: What is the best hot tub for the money?

A good rule of thumb is to buy a hot tub that fits your needs and budget. You should consider the size of the hot tub, the features you want, the warranty, and the price. There are a variety of hot tubs on the market, so it is important to do your research to find the best one for you.

If you're looking for a luxury experience, you may want to invest in a more expensive hot tub option. However, if you're on a budget, several affordable options are available on the internet.