Buying a hot tub can be really difficult, especially for first time home owners who want to have a nice hot tub as an outdoor centerpiece. If you’re currently in this situation, then you want to scout for only the best hot tubs in the market– those with visual impact and can give you a one-of-a-kind leisure and relaxation experience. The trick in doing that is to look for good old hot tub reviews and keep on reading until the end of this buyer’s guide.
Hot Tub Facts and Figures
- Over 72% of hot tub owners use their tubs at least twice a week.
- Almost 90% of them claim that regular maintenance is not as hard as it looks.
- Nearly 70% like to spend their hot tub session with some company.
- About 90% are outdoor hot tubs, installed on patios and decks.
Based off these four facts, we can figure out the most important factors to look for when buying a hot tub. Those would be (1) the number and placement of hot tub jets, (2) seating, and (3) dimensions. All of this can significantly affect the price of a unit. Let’s shed more light on these three below:
Hot Tub Jets
There are many reasons why a hot tub is a hot item that every house should have. But mainly, people get it for the spa-like hydrotherapy experience. Sometimes you just want to spend a relaxing night with some of your closest friends or finally get that well-deserved time for yourself. A nice warm dip in a hot tub can cure a week’s worth of hard work in and out of the office– severe burnouts, muscle and joint pain from overexertion, abuse of one’s mental capacity, you name it! If you want to get the ultimate pampering done right in the comforts of your own home, your best bet would be a hot tub with adequate and strategically placed jets.
What exactly are hot tub jets, and why are these so important?
Hot tub jets are installed in hot tubs to induce high-speed water currents that target specific areas of the body. Great for alleviating backaches and sore muscles, these parts give the hot tub its hydrotherapeutic quality. Bear in mind that jets and other features from different hot tub brands vary in terms of configuration, placement, and pressure, so it is still best to give the tub a test before purchasing. Small hot tubs, which can accommodate up to three people, will most likely have around 14 to 31 regular and mini jets. Bigger ones, on the other hand, will have around 35 to 74. We will talk more about the different kinds of hot tub jets in the succeeding sections.
Whether you prefer to soak in the hot tub by yourself or with the company of a few good friends is reflected on the seating you decide to purchase. Most hot tubs can fit up to 6-7 people and are almost the size of a small pool. If you’re a party person who loves to invite guests over for a nice feast, some drinks, and a long overdue catch-up, a spacious hot tub would be your best friend-slash-wingman (if conditions apply). On the other hand, if you’re a homebody who values a good self-pampering when there is one, you’ll find smaller tubs to be ideal– maybe something that could fit at least two people so that you can have someone over if you change your mind.
Not all houses are blessed with enough space for a hot tub. When looking for a hot tub, you must take this into account. Measure the area you want to install your hot tub in before going to Home Depot. These measurements should include the depth of the tub, space for hot tub enclosures, and other hot tub accessories that take up the room. You don’t want to end up with an oversized hot tub that would take up most of your patio or deck space. What good are wooden hot tubs if these are placed on insufficient space and such dangerous conditions?
The more spacious or technologically advanced an item is, the pricier it gets– this is the general idea when you go out looking for a particular item in the market. The same idea applies when you buy a hot tub. The two options here would be to get your hot tub from a professional hot tub dealer or standard commercial brands.
Go for a dealer-supported model complete with better insulation and plumbing connections, damage-proof parts, and overall better quality if you have enough money prepared. At a price that’s 30-50% greater than your average big name brands, you’re paying for a high-quality item that comes with high-quality services. Rest assured that you’ll be saving more money in the long run, preventing emergency repairs or costly replacements. Dealer-supported models are especially ideal for homeowners that experience long and relentless winters and colder climates all year long.
Smaller above-ground hot tubs that seat 2-3 people range from $2-5k while the in-ground ones start at $6k. Mid-range hot tubs that seat around 5-7 people would cost you $5-7k. The bigger, more expensive ones with an 8-10 pax capacity can range from $9k to a whopping $20k. And that’s just for a hot tub unit alone. We’re still not talking about maintenance and the hot tub accessories that could make your electricity and water bills skyrocket.
Installation, maintenance, and sanitation are the trifecta of added costs and labor when it comes to water works. While a large percentage of hot tub owners don’t complain much about the work they have to put into keeping a hot tub clean and in tip-top shape, some of them find the financial aspect a bit difficult to maintain. Additional facilities such as water and electricity are required to power up a hot tub. These are directly proportionate to how cost efficient the hot tub is. Hot tub accessories such as hot tub filters, a hot tub pump, and a hot tub heater also contribute largely to the upkeep costs. Maintenance also includes supplies such as hot tub chemicals, replacement filters, and a handy hot tub cleaner, which would cost you around $100 per year, based on tub usage.
In addition, it is crucial to note that the cheaper the hot tub unit, the more it will cost you per month in maintenance and electricity costs. Energy savings is a property you might want to go into when looking to buy a hot tub. Generic brands that cost cheaper are naturally lesser in quality and have a very limited warranty. Moreover, you’re not ensured that it’s going to last or worse, you’re going to end up with an outstanding electricity and water bill. In this case, “go big or go home” is a fitting quote. If you want a temporary solution to your hot tub desires, you can simply go for an inflatable hot tub.
If you want a hot tub that will match your lifestyle requirements and personality, you may want to check out the different features and technology provisions it has to offer. Hot tubs have a wide array of both essential and fancy features that you can tap to your advantage. Whether you’d rather go for the essential features or luxurious ones depends on how you intend to use your hot tub, as well as how frequent.
Hot Tub Covers and Lifters
Hot tub covers and lifters are two of the most essential features that you must include in your hot tub shopping list. These trap heat inside the hot tub when it is not in use, and keep it free of outdoor debris and fallen leaves. A hot tub cover and lift is especially great for homeowners living in colder climates during the Fall and Winter seasons.
Hot tub covers
Hot tub covers are typically made of fiberglass construction and come in a variety of colors to suit the hot tub and its surroundings. For optimum heat retention, these are designed with industrial-grade foam insulation. The premium models also have underside properties that are resistant to mold and mildew for better sanitation. While there are some hot tubs, standard commercial and dealer-supported ones that come with their own covers, these are often sold separately.
A hot tub cover can weigh up to 75 pounds, and for someone who just wants to enjoy a relaxing soak in the hot tub, hefting it can be quite challenging. If you see yourself having problems with this in the future, it’s best to get a hot tub cover lifter that will make removing and reinstalling the hot tub cover easier for you. While space can be a concern in most hot tub models, most lifters can be installed with only a few inches of clearance.
Hot Tub Jet Options
Hydrotherapy is one of the reasons why hot tubs are emerging as a health and wellness product, rather than a luxury item. As we’ve mentioned before, the hot tub’s ability to provide the ultimate spa-like-experience is based on the placement and number of hot tub jets it carries. There are different types of jets that you should take a mental note of: (1) relaxation jets, (2) rotary jets, and (3) pressure point jets. All of these have individual functions and target specific areas in the body.
Relaxation Jets- Designed to provide a form of acupressure therapy, relaxation jets induce a high or low-powered swirling stream of water. This is used to relieve pain and fatigued muscles due to overexertion.
Rotary Jets- Rotary jets create high impact, spiraling streams of water and are strategically placed to target and massage specific body parts.
Pressure Point Jets- Ideal for people who have arthritis and overworked bodies, pressure point jets offer deep tissue massages for areas of the body that are prone to pain and muscle fatigue. These are typically placed to service the shoulders, back, neck, feet, and calves.
There are several hot tubs in the market with customizable jets, so if you want to be specific with your hot tub needs, simply talk to your dealer about it. This can cost you around $17-$36 for each additional/replacement jet.
A hot tub is not just a place for you to spend a nice day off with yourself. It can also be a great source of entertainment for homeowners who like to party. The two most common entertainment accessories you can include in your hot tub are sound provisions and lighting. These two should be easily controlled via the hot tub’s own control panel or via remote, taking the experience to a whole new level.
Whether you’re using your hot tub to hang out with some good friends, or for a well-deserved me time, you can’t deny that sound provisions can elevate your hot tub experience by a mile. There is therapy in music, and along with the heated waters and hot tub jets, you’ll certainly want to stay in your hot tub forever. Not only will it make you more relaxed when you’re using the hot tub by yourself; it can also be used to get the hot tub crowd moving during parties. With the continuing advancement of technology, today’s hot tubs are equipped with waterproof subwoofers and speakers, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, and access to streaming music. Most people would consider this a luxury, but it’s actually worth every cent!
Since most hot tubs are installed outdoors, lighting is both an essential and entertainment component that you might want to consider. The typical hot tub lighting is 120-volt, UL-rated, and derived from LED technology for its energy saving properties. There is also hot tub lighting that features bright lights changing hue according to your hot tub preference. These can be dimmed on a cold night with a loved one, or brightly lit up to set the party mood. Additionally, safety lights that can be placed around the hot tub exterior are also available in the market. A replacement bulb can cost around $30, depending on its function.
When it comes to combining relaxation with leisure, we simply can’t say no to the satisfaction that a good hot tub can provide. The best part about a relaxing hot tub is that it’s ideal for many situations. It can be used to socialize with guests at a party or relieve the effects of burnouts or stress from work. Outdoor and indoor hot tubs are also great for lazy days– when you just want to pamper yourself with a nice cocktail in hand and laze throughout the weekend. Because of the many applications it serves, more and more people consider hot tubs to be a household investment rather than a luxury.