Hot Tub Shopping Guide
Shopping for a spa, particularly the first time around can be daunting. There are hundreds of models on the market with loads of optional features, and the last thing you want to do is make the wrong selection.
There's no need to panic! In our hot tub shopping guide, you will learn about each of the important factors to consider. We'll clarify hot tub prices, sizes, types, and take a look at the best brands out there.
Continue reading and take our pro tips with you when picking out your new hot tub!
Not sure which hot tub to get? Let us help you!
There is an enormous variation in the prices of hot tubs. The price of buying a hot tub will vary depending on various factors such as the size, shop, model, brand, features, and location. Sometimes to find the best price, shop around and try more than one store.
For those on a small budget, you can pick up a basic hot tub for as little as a few thousand dollars. These entry-level tubs are usually priced at around $2,000 to $5,000 but if you are looking for something even cheaper, take a look at inflatable hot tubs. These easy-to-set-up spas can be bought for under $500.
Valued priced hot tubs cost between about $6,000 and $8,000. These usually offer a lot more features and hydrotherapy benefits compared to the basic entry-level spas.
A decent mid-range spa will set you back $9,000 to $12,000. These hot tubs generally offer some luxury features and technology, as well as better build quality compared to cheaper spas.
Moving on to the luxury spas with their wide variety of premium and luxury features and upgrades. Quality high-end spas have a price of around $13,000 to $16,000 or more.
Finally, if you looking for the epitome of hot tubs, with all the hot tub accessories and features, state-0f-the-art technology, and the pinnacle of spa design, an elite-level hot tub can be priced around $17,000 to well over $23,000.
Of course, don't forget to factor in how much it will cost to deliver and install your tub. Installation costs will vary depending on the type and size of your hot tub and where you are putting your spa, for example, your backyard or indoors. In general, a hot tub can cost a few hundred to several thousand dollars to install.
Rather than trying to muddle through calculating the price yourself, click on the button below. You'll get pricing quotes based on your perfect hot tub from dealers in your neighborhood.
Hot Tub Types
Let's take a look at some of the different types of hot tubs on the market, so you get a clearer idea of what you are after.
Conventional Hot Tubs
Conventional hot tubs are usually the 240V spas which are available in various sizes and seating configurations, as well as with a wide variety of features and gadgets, depending on the brand and model.
From high-end feature-rich expensive luxury models to simpler spas with a few features, the range in this particular category is pretty huge.
Many conventional hot tub brands offer various additional features so there is usually the option to upgrade your spa.
If you decide to go for one of these consider the installation costs as you have various options, like with a pool, such as the in-ground or above-ground setup plus you need the services of an electrical, so it can get pricy.
Cedar Hot Tubs
If you want something uber traditional consider a cedar hot tub.
These spas are crafted with beautiful cedar wood for that stunning rustic look.
Wooden spas are usually round in shape and are very customizable with various options to choose from when it comes to size, seats, jets, and other features.
You can also get more traditional heating methods like wood-fired heaters as well as modern electric hot tub heaters.
You might like to consider a traditional Japanese soaking tub. A bit like a very deep, hot bath these are also produced by some of the cedar wood hot tub companies.
When it comes to the lifespan of a cedar wood hot tub, don't worry too much, as cedarwood has a natural resistance to rot, so with proper care can last years.
Cedar hot tubs usually sit in the value to mid-range pricing bracket so won't break the bank.
Stainless Steel Hot Tubs
At the opposite end of the spectrum to the very traditional wooden hot tubs, you have stainless steel hot tubs.
If you are after that contemporary, stylish, clean look then consider a stainless steel hot tub.
Stainless steel hot tubs are generally created as custom builds so you get any size, shape, and features you want so the prices can get very high depending on what design you have decided to roll with.
These hot tubs are very hygienic and easy to clean, so are perfect for hospitality locations as well as in the domestic setting. They are also very hardwearing, durable, and resistant to the weather and corrosion, so you won't be needing to replace the spa in a hurry. Some of the companies that produce stainless steel hot tubs also produce spas in copper metal as well as other custom metal products such as bathroom and kitchen fittings.
Plug-And-Play Hot Tubs
Plug-And-Play hot tubs are a great choice if you want to keep costs to a minimum.
They are usually more basic, value models since they are lower powered, 110V as opposed to 240V for a conventional spa.
This can mean that often the heater to warm water and jets can't be run on a high setting both at once but they can still deliver a decent relaxing hot tub experience.
A plus side to this also means they can be connected to a standard electrical outlet and don't require hardwiring by an electrician, so installation costs are much lower than that of a conventional 240V spa.
Many reputable brands produce plug-and-play spas and they come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and styles, with various seat options, so you will definitely not be short on choice with this type of spa.
Inflatable hot tubs
A super cheap, easy to maintain, very portable option with pretty much no installation costs, is an inflatable hot tub.
They can be quite durable and versatile as you can set them up in your backyard or an inside room in cooler weather since they can just be plugged into a standard electrical socket.
Storage is easy, simply pack it up when you are done and you don't have to worry about an inflatable hot tub taking up unnecessary space.
Unlike a regular hot tub they tend not to have particularly strong heaters, so it can take some time for the water to heat up. They don't usually have much insulation so lose heat quickly meaning they aren't particularly energy-efficient.
Inflatable hot tubs generally don't have seating like a conventional hot tub. Some inflatable hot tub models have jets but these jets are usually the type that blow air bubbles rather than hydrotherapy water jets.
Which Spa Dimensions Will Suit You Best?
The hot tub dimensions you go for really depend on several factors. These include who will be using the spa, the space you have available, and how much money you have to spend.
If it's a spa just for yourself or you have very limited space, such as just a balcony, consider a one-person hot tub. These are also a good option if you have very limited funds available.
If you are part of a couple, you could consider 2 person hot tubs. If you like a bit more room to spread out consider 3 person hot tubs or even one for four people if you like to entertain guests occasionally. There are plenty of plug-and-play models with these seating numbers so you can still keep costs down if you need to.
When it comes to large-sized spas if you like to enjoy whole family hot tub fun, then there are loads of great 8 person hot tubs. If you want to party in style and are not too worried about a budget, why not take a look at 10 person hot tubs. Obviously, if you pick a larger-sized tub then you also have to make sure you have the space to home it.
**(We have articles titled "one person hot tub", "3 person hot tubs", "8 person hot tubs", and 10 person hot tubs". If you could incorporate those wordings into this section, we would add the links into the article later.)
Most Reliable Hot Tub Brands
There are plenty of great spa brands out there, but if you are not sure which hot tub brand to shop for, let us give you a few ideas of where you could start.
Bullfrog Spas offers the height of luxury in its five distinct hot tub collections. They currently have a whopping twenty-nine spas in total from huge tubs with tens seats down to the smaller three-seater spas.
Their M Series is truly exceptional, offering the pinnacle of luxury spas with all the bells and whistles whilst the STIL collection brings a unique modern design to their luxury tubs.
Bullfrog has their interchangeable Jetpak Therapy System that lets you individualize the massage jets in different seats. If you are after something a bit easier on your wallet or more portable, they do also offer some of their smaller tubs as plug-and-plays.
Undoubtedly the most famous brand when it comes to hot tubs, Jacuzzi has been around for years and very much live up to their name.
With four stunning collections and a total of twenty-nine tubs, from large-sized high-end uber-luxurious hot tubs with loads of seats to more affordable small plug-and-play spas, you will not be short on choice if you shop Jacuzzi.
Jacuzzi hot tubs offer an exceptional hydrotherapy experience and have plenty of great features such as high-tech water purification and filter systems, excellent quality insulation and insulated cover, plenty of jets, cup holders, great warranty cover, and more.
Hot Springs offer twenty different hot tubs from a two-seat tub up to an eight-seat tub.
With a luxury collection for those who want to splash out and customize their spa, and the option of plug-and-play tubs, Hot Springs has something for everyone.
This brand has an extensive number of the more affordable mid-range priced tubs so is worth a look if you are after a six to seven-seater tub, in particular.
Hot Springs' energy-efficient tubs have many excellent features such as the Moto-Massage DX jets, their Freshwater Salt System, water filter system, insulated cover, cup holders, and more.
The Final Verdict
I hope our hot tub buyer's guide has been informative. Before you know it, you will be able to enjoy a seat in your new hot tub for family fun or relax solo with a large glass of wine after a hard day at work.
Now you have all our tips for finding the best hot tub you can go shop with confidence for a hot tub online or in-store.
Don't waste your time trying to find more information and details on the pricing of your ideal hot tub setup. Just complete the questionnaire below for a bundle of quotes from hot tub dealerships in your area.
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.