What is the difference between hot tubs and spas?

In today's world, you might hear people referring to the Jacuzzi in their backyard as a hot tub or spa interchangeably. Today, both terms are used interchangeably, though they actually originally had different meanings, much like comforters and bedspreads. Jacuzzi is the trade name for all of these devices, just as Kleenex and Xerox are used to describe facial tissues and copiers, respectively. However, there are actually a few key differences between the two types of water tubs.

A hot tub is traditionally a wooden tub that holds more than one bather at a time. The water inside a hot tub is heated so that all bathers can enjoy a nice soak. Redwood and cedar are some of the most popular woods used to construct hot tubs. Unlike spas, hot tubs did not traditionally have jets in them, though many modern models do. Because the water is usually still, traditional-style hot tubs often develop a slippery film which can be hazardous if bathers are not careful getting in and out of the tub. Modern hot tubs & spas both have jets now, which have made hot tubs popular once again. Additionally, wooden hot tub manufacturers now use filters to help keep the water clean and free of gunk.


The origin of the spa

While spas and hot tubs are essentially the same thing, manufacturers like to use the term "spa" to describe a fiberglass or plastic tub equipped with massaging jets. This term was originally used to differentiate the tubs and make it clear that spas were more sanitary and fun than a boring old wooden hot tub. Spas can also come in any number of shapes and styles, while wooden hot tubs have traditionally been found only in circular designs. Spas feature molded seats that are more ergonomic than a standard wooden bench in a hot tub. Portable spas and hot tubs alike are both designed to rest above ground so you can take them with you when you move, or place them into another location during seasons that you don't typically use them.

In the battle of hot tubs vs. spas, it would seem that spas are winning the day. However, there is something nice and rustic about a traditional hot tub. Indeed, many spa manufacturers encase their fiberglass models with a wooden skirt to add some rustic appeal. Since many wooden hot tubs now have the same features as their spa counterparts, the difference really boils down to your preference. If you need help deciding, let Sears give you a hand. With a variety of hot tub and spa styles, you can look at all the options to choose the perfect water therapy tub for you.

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