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Buying a Hot Tub

There are few things more relaxing than sitting in your very own backyard hot tub. After a long day at work or an intense workout, a hot tub offers a comfortable, warm sanctuary for you to enjoy. Let's take a look at the models available and find the best one for your home.

 


Types of Hot Tubs

In-ground hot tubs

Like in-ground pools, these hot tubs are built into the ground using a pre-fabricated shell, cement or occasionally, tile.

  • Commercial use - Since they can be designed to hold any number of people, commercial businesses such as hotels and gyms can design built-in hot tubs for a larger maximum number of people.
  • Custom design - If you want to match your hot tub to your backyard aesthetic, an in-ground model will let you customize it match it perfectly.

Acrylic hot tubs

These above-ground spas feature an acrylic hot tub shell inside a wood encasement. They offer various seating arrangements and typically have more jets than other models.

  • Jet configuration - Acrylic models give you the most options to configure the jets to your liking. Helping you hit knots from your legs up to your neck.
  • Traditional look - The vacuum formed and polished finish of an acrylic hot tub leaves it looking glossy and sophisticated.

Roto-molded hot tubs

Also referred to as plug-and-play hot tubs, roto-molded tubs are fully assembled and require no installation. These tubs are single units made of a heat-resistant thermoplastic designed to prevent rust and rot.

Features and considerations of hot tubs

Features and add-ons for your hot tub

  • Freeze protection systems can keep your hot tub from freezing up when you keep it open in the winter time
  • Ozonators push ozone gas into the hot tub water, adding to the sanitation process
  • Some models come with built-in lighting systems or colorful LED lights for nighttime safety and stunning displays
  • Waterfalls add to the aesthetic appeal of your hot tub
  • Built-in sound systems can boost the atmosphere with your favorite tunes
 
Features and add-ons for your hot tub

Hot tub accessories

  • Lockable covers secure your hot tub when it's not in use
  • Insulating covers can lower the amount of evaporation, keep heated water warm and block debris like leaves from falling into the hot tub
  • Thermal blankets maintain heat control when used in conjunction with an insulating cover
  • Built-in or floating skimmers collect debris, body oil and dirt from the water
  • Leaf skimmers gather larger debris like leaves and insects 
  • Most hot tubs do not have built-in steps to get into the spa so you'll need to buy or build them separately
  • Some hot tub steps offer storage for all your spa chemicals and accessories
 
Hot tub accessories

Types of hot tubs

In-ground permanent hot tubs

Much like in-ground pools, these hot tubs are built into the ground using a pre-fabricated shell, cement or occasionally, tile. They can be shaped and sized to fit in your yard with the capacity to accommodate any number of people.

 

  • Capacity: Unlimited
In-ground permanent hot tubs

In-ground hot tubs are best for…

People with built-in pools: If you're already installing a built-in pool, a built-in hot tub right next to your pool is a simple addition that will create an outdoor paradise in your backyard.

 

Commercial use: Because they can be designed to hold any number of people, commercial businesses such as hotels and gyms can design built-in hot tubs for a larger maximum number of people.

 


Acrylic hot tubs

These above-ground spas feature an acrylic hot tub shell inside a wood encasement. These are the most common backyard spas, and they offer seating in different shapes and sizes to accommodate your needs. These spas typically have more jets than other hot tub models.

 

  • Capacity: 2-7 people
Acrylic hot tubs

Acrylic hot tubs are best for…

Traditionalists: When many people think of a private hot tub, they picture acrylic hot tubs. They're perfect for people who aren't ready to try a newer rotational-molded tub or vinyl-liner tub.

 

 

Customization: Acrylic tubs offer a variety of features that you may not find in other spas. Create the perfect experience with varying jet numbers from a couple to over one hundred jets, lighting features, sound systems and more options.

 


Rotational-molded (roto-molded) hot tubs

Also referred to as plug-and-play hot tubs, roto-molded tubs are fully assembled and require no installation. As the moniker suggests, you simply plug the hot tub in, and it's ready to go. These tubs are single units made of a heat-resistant thermoplastic designed to prevent rust and rot.

 

  • Capacity: 4-7 people
Rotational-molded (roto-molded) hot tubs

Roto-molded hot tubs are best for…

A simple spa experience: These tubs don't include many features, which is perfect if you simply want to relax with a few friends in a jetted spa.

 

 

 

 

Frugal shoppers: While some roto-molded hot tubs aren't significantly less expensive than acrylic tubs, the thermoplastic mold is designed with longevity in mind. Your hot tub will last for years, and you'll likely pay slightly less in up-front costs.

 

 


Portable vinyl-liner hot tubs

These hot tubs are made of vinyl with a lightweight, inflatable frame for stability. You can empty, deflate and move these convenient hot tubs when you are finished using them.

 

  • Capacity: 4 people
Portable vinyl-liner hot tubs

Portable vinyl-liner hot tubs are best for…

Seasonal usage: Because these models can easily be deflated, folded and stored, they're ideal for people who only use a hot tub for short periods and store it for the rest of the year.

 

Budget buyers: These models are less expensive than traditional portable hot tubs, so you can enjoy the comfort of a hot tub without making extra room in your budget.