Hot Tub Brands To Avoid
Purchasing a hot tub can be an expensive undertaking. After trawling through different models and deciding which features to go for, you'll then be spending thousands to buy the spa.
Obviously, the last thing you want is to end up with one of the worst hot tubs after spending all that money. In this article, we will point out the things you should look out for when choosing a spa and we'll also review the most reputable brands out there.
Continue reading to learn the red flags you should be looking out for.
Our Top Choices For Hot Tub Brands
- 23 models in 4 collections
- Models to seat 2 to 6 plus people
- Patented jet technology & high-quality, durable components
- Best for luxury hot tubs
2. Bullfrog Spas
- 29 models in 5 collections
- Models to seat 3 to 10 people
- JetPak Therapy system & larger capacity hot tubs
- Best for contemporary design
3. Hot Spring
- 20 models in 3 collections
- Models to sit 2 to 8 people
- Freshwater Salt System & Moto-massage DX jets
- Best for energy-efficiency
4. Sundance Spas
- 23 models in 5 collections
- Models to sit 2 to 6 plus people
- Patented Fluidix jets & Smart Tub System
- Best for affordable hot tubs
Not sure which hot tub to get? Let us help you!
What To Watch Out For:
Let's start by taking a look at some of the things you should check before you become a hot tub owner so you don't end up buying from the worst hot tub brands.
Bad Customer Reviews
You will no doubt find plenty of customer reviews online such as on the Better Business Bureau website or other consumer affairs sites.
Most hot tubs are sold through local dealerships so many of the customer reviews you find online, can relate to customers' experiences with particular local dealers rather than the hot tub manufacturers themselves.
Often consumers complain about things like poor customer service, damage to the hot tub during delivery or installation such as cracked cabinets, long waits for delivery, and delays with maintenance, repairs, parts such as waiting for a new temperature gauge or control panel.
These are all issues that are usually dealt with by the dealership so may not be indicative of the worst hot tub brands but in fact the less reputable spa dealers.
It's worth checking the date for any complaints as if they are a few years old the issues at a particular hot tub dealership may have been resolved by now. In general, look for local dealers with the best customer service reviews and good overall feedback.
Lastly, the more popular the brand is, the more likely you are to find reviews in general as they have a larger proportion of the hot tub market. This doesn't necessarily mean they are the hot tub brands to avoid.
Everyone wants a reliable hot tub model which isn't going to break down every few weeks.
In general, cheaper hot tubs are more likely to be made with lower quality parts and materials which will wear out more quickly compared to their higher-end counterparts.
If you find multiple customer complaints about frequent maintenance being needed or issues with particular parts such as constant repairs being needed for a cracked cabinet or faulty temperature gauge, then maybe consider other brands.
For example, some Life Spas and Laguna Bay Spas customers have reported issues with the water heater on their hot tub model, so it's worth checking to see if these problems have been resolved by these manufacturers before you buy.
Generally, you would expect the best hot tub brands to offer models that last a minimum of ten years.
Before you make your hot tub purchase, check the warranty carefully as a short warranty may be indicative of the hot tub's lifespan. A quality hot tub from a good hot tub brand should come with a fairly comprehensive warranty.
The best hot tubs usually come with at least a five-year warranty on the spa shell and structure. Hot tub warranties also usually cover hot tub plumbing, electrical, parts, and labor.
If you are buying a second-hand hot tub, particularly through a private sale, then the hot tub manufacturer's original warranty will become void as they are often only valid if the hot tub is still owned by the original purchaser.
That being said, if you pick up a second-hand hot tub from a dealer, they often have their own warranty service agreement.
Always take a look at the energy efficiency of the hot tub you are interested in.
The last thing you want is to get a great deal on a hot tub only to find out a few weeks down the line that your energy bills have shot up because of the energy consumption due to your hot tub use.
Also, bear in mind that some types of spas may take longer to heat or have less insulation such as an inflatable hot tub or a portable hot tub.
Most modern hot tubs are usually very energy efficient. Hot tubs with less energy consumption will reach or surpass the strict standards of the California Energy Commission.
Lack Of Service Agreement
The best quality hot tubs from good hot tub brands come with a service agreement.
Having a service agreement usually means your hot tub servicing is free for a particular length of time after making your purchase. Some of the best hot tub brands even offer a lifetime service agreement, which is ideal.
If you buy a hot tub online, check if there are dealerships in your area.
The last thing you want is to wait for servicing or repair because the particular hot tub brand you have chosen has only a handful of dealerships nationwide and the nearest branch is hours away.
Very Cheap Price
You might be able to get a great deal on a hot tub during the sales. Also, particular retailers have special events, such as the Costco Roadshow, where you can pick up a significantly discounted hot tub from some of the best hot tub brands, because of their particular business model.
However, if you buy a really cheap hot tub, you get what you pay for in terms of quality, energy efficiency, and reliability. A cheap hot tub will be made with lower quality materials and parts so may end up costing more in the long run in terms of maintenance and repairs.
Four Trustworthy Hot Tub Brands
So we've looked at some of the things you should consider so you don't end up with one of the worst hot tubs. Rather than focusing on hot tub brands to avoid, let's take a peek at some of the most reputable best-selling brands on the market.
Jacuzzi - Best For Luxury Hot Tubs
Jacuzzi Hot Tubs is the most famous brand and one of the best brands out there.
They offer a great selection of hot tubs in terms of size, quality, and features, with twenty-three spa models in four distinction collections they have seating capacities for two people to six-plus people.
They offer energy-efficient models with some of the best features for massage therapy such as their patented air and water jet technology. They have plenty of additional features available so you can customize your hot tub.
Jacuzzi hot tubs come with a high-quality guarantee. Their spas are produced with a special molding method which produces an acrylic shell many times stronger and more durable than the fiberglass counterpart.
Bullfrog Spas - Best For Contemporary Design
Bullfrog Spas offer some of the best hot tubs when it comes to high-end luxury and modern design.
Bullfrog offers five collections and a total of twenty-nine models from three-seaters up to ten-seater hot tubs.
If you are looking for something different from the standard hot tub, the best hot tub collection for a contemporary-looking spa is in their STIL collection.
The Bullfrog hot tubs are energy efficient and they have their patented Jetpak Therapy System that allows you to individualize your massage experience.
Their high-end luxury hot tubs offer a large number of premium features.
Hot Springs - Best For Energy Efficiency
The Hot Spring Spas brand offers three large collections comprising twenty delightful models from two-seater models to seven-seater hot tubs.
Hot Springs hot tubs have great features such as the Freshwater Salt System that cleanses the spa water by naturally producing chlorine so you don't have to add a load of extra chemicals.
These hot tubs also have excellent hydrotherapy features such as the unique Moto-Massage DX jet and also their SmartJet System helps keep energy use to a minimum making these hot tubs very energy efficient.
Sundance Spas - Best For Affordable Hot Tubs
Sundance Spas offer twenty-three fabulous hot tubs over five different collections. From compact two-seater hot tubs to larger spacious hot tubs that can accommodate six or more people, they have a great selection.
Sundance Spas have plenty of great features so you can customize your spa, plus their prices are very reasonable. Enjoy Sundance Spas patented jet system called Fluidex which was developed with experts in fluid dynamics and delivers the right balance of massage, buoyancy, and warmth for the perfect spa experience.
Sundance Spas' easy-to-use Smart Tub System lets you control your spa settings through an app on your phone adding another level of convenience.
J-400, J-300, J-200, Jacuzzi Play
M Series, STIL, A Series, R Series, X Series
Sundance Splash Series
Number of Models
2 to 6+ people
3 to 10 people
2 to 8 people
2 to 6+ people
Patented jet technology, durable spa shell
Jetpak Therapy Systems,
Large sized hot tubs
Freshwater Salt System, Moto-massage DX jets
Patented Fluidix jets, Smart Tub System
Best For Luxury Hot Tubs
Best For Contemporary Design
Best For Energy Efficiency
Best For Affordable Hot Tubs
The Final Verdict
Good luck finding the right hot tub! I hope our article has been helpful and that you know now what to check for when you are hot tub shopping.
At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Cheaper hot tub models with shorter warranties are more likely to not last as long as high-end hot tubs.
To see other reputable brand names, visit our Best Hot Tub Brands page.
If you are interested in buying a new hot tub, save time by completing the questionnaire below. You will be sent multiple pricing quotes based on your ideal hot tub setup, from reputable local dealerships.
About The Author
Bobby Gifford // Staff Writer
Bobby Gifford has over 17 years of experience with hot tubs and swimming pools. He has owned one pool and several hot tub brands over the years and has a wide scope of knowledge including buying information, maintenance and industry trends.