A hot tub is the perfect place to relax and the best hot tubs are just sublime. The hot, bubbling water soothes your sore muscles and creates a calming sensation that’s hard to beat. It turns every gathering into a celebration, and makes a great place for family evenings. Even better, you can put it in your own backyard, so you can hop in at any time. They are much smaller and easier to install than above ground pools, and a fraction of the cost to heat and maintain.
There’s no question that a hot tub is a big investment. As you start looking at different options, you’ll realize quickly that you have many different options to choose from. From portable inflatable models to large, permanent structures, the wide range of style can be dizzying. Most hot tubs use pumps to circulate water; this is what creates the movement and currents. Some models feature high-speed jets, which shoot the water out at high speeds and create a massaging effect on your muscles. Other models include heating units that raise the water to higher temperatures.
Since you’ll be spending a decent amount of money on your hot tub, it’s worth your time to research different options to find a model that suits your lifestyle and your budget. By choosing a hot tub with the features and design elements you need, you can enjoy it for years to come.
Best Hot Tubs Mini Guide
Types of Hot Tubs
Most hot tubs fall into two categories: portable or built-in. Portable models are the most common; they come with a frame that’s designed to stand on its own, so you can install them on most flat surfaces. Within the portable category, you’ll find a broad range of options. Some models are inflatable — all you need to do is fill them with air, and you’re ready to go. Others feature sturdy shells mounted on a frame. The frame is usually made from metal or wood, while the shell might be made from fiberglass, plastic, or acrylic. If you’re a renter, or you don’t want to undertake a big building project, portable hot tubs are a great choice.
The other type of hot tub is a built-in model. These units are often designed and built to meet your specific needs and space availability. You might want an in-ground hot tub next to your pool, for example, or you might want to integrate a hot tub into your landscaping. Since built-in hot tubs are often made to order, they’re usually more expensive. Plus, you can’t take them with you when you move. However, if you’re a homeowner, they’re a great way to increase property value.
How to Clean Hot Tubs
Once you buy a hot tub, one of your biggest maintenance tasks is cleaning. After all, when your hot tub is clean, it functions as designed and helps maintain your family’s health. The first step in cleaning is to flush the lines; to do so, you can buy a flushing product and add it to your hot tub when it’s running. Then, you can drain the hot tub. This helps remove the buildup and grime from inside the tubes.
After you flush the lines, you can clean the interior of the hot tub. This is easy to do using a simple cleaning product; just make sure to check that your favorite cleaner is safe for the hot tub surface. The last step in the process is to rinse out the filters. It’s a good idea to replace older filters once a year.
Keep in mind that once you clean your hot tub, you’ll need to rebalance the water. This involves adding the hot tub chemicals, allowing them to sit, and then testing the chlorine levels. Simply follow the directions on the package to make sure you’re getting the correct level.
Safety Tips for Hot Tubs
Like any other water-based unit, hot tubs require special safety precautions. If you have kids, it’s important to choose a model with a locking top. It’s also a good idea to keep temperatures low enough to protect children; in general, kids can stay in water up to 98 degrees for about 15 minutes. The higher the temperature, the shorter their dips should be.
You can also stay safe by cleaning your hot tub and monitoring your chlorine levels on a regular basis. That way, you’re not at risk from bacteria buildup. Other safety precautions include staying out of the hot tub during lightning storms and installing slip-resistant steps. It’s also advisable to hire a professional electrician to install the electrical system to prevent shocks.
Health Benefits of The Best Hot Tubs
A hot tub might seem like a simple recreational tool, but it also has health benefits. To start, it helps you relax — this helps reduce stress, which in turn helps you maintain a healthier immune system and reduces your risk for a variety of diseases. The warm temperature of a hot tub can also improve the quality of your sleep.
In some cases, hot tubs can also help you lower blood pressure and heal from injuries in less time. Hot tubs have also shown to provide relief from conditions such as fibromyalgia and restless legs syndrome. Keep in mind that you should always check with your doctor before you start using a hot tub for health reasons.
Features to Consider When Buying The Best Hot Tub
With so many hot tub models to choose from, it can be tough to figure out which one is best for you. One way to choose? Look at the features. Some of the options you can choose from include:
Sanitation System: Choose from standard systems or ozone systems, which use fewer chemicals. You can also find models with UV sanitation systems.
Jets: Jets are the units that create the high-speed bubbles in a hot tub. As you look at different models, look for the placement and the number. Jets that are placed near the leg area and backrest can offer the biggest massaging power. The more jets you have, the better the hydrotherapy. Don’t forget to look at the pump size; more jets require a bigger pump to be effective.
Lighting: Some hot tubs come with integrated lights. These bulbs help illuminate the water when it’s on, so you can move safely. Lights also create a fun atmosphere when you’re hot tubbing in the dark.
Size: The size of a hot tub is crucial, especially if you’re very tall. Check the measurements to make sure that you fit into the hot tub comfortably; that way, the jets will hit you at the correct place.
Controls: As you pick a hot tub, look how the controls are positioned. Are they easy to reach while you’re in the hot tub? It’s also important to pick a model with a simple, easy-to-use control panel. Check that the controls are waterproof and sealed to prevent any electrical trouble.
Best Hot Tubs Reviews
If you’re looking for a portable hot tub, this Intex model is a great option. It’s large and round, so it fits up to six people comfortably. Made from Fiber-Tech material, this hot tub prevents punctures and stands up to heavy use. Once you’re ready to set it up, the hot tub can be ready to hold water in approximately 20 minutes — that means that you can take it to a vacation rental or to a new location quickly.
Even though it’s inflatable, this Intex hot tub isn’t short on features. The control panel is simple and easy to use, and the included heating system ensures that your water is always the right temperature. The simple control panel and an integrated heating system. With 170 different jets, you can relax completely. This model comes with two filters and a built-in filtration system.
- Sturdy, puncture-resistant material
- User-friendly control panel
- Easy maintenance
- Long heating time
Compact and affordable, this SaluSpa Miami hot tub is a great way to enjoy hydrotherapy without the high price tag. When it’s inflated, it can hold up to four adults. The best thing about this model is its Rapid Heating System; all you need to do is use the digital control panel to choose a temperature. Then, the system heats up quickly to a max temperature of 104 degrees fahrenheit. The exterior features an I-beam design to prevent the sides from buckling, so you can relax.
This hot tub comes with a cover, chemical floater, and filter cartridge for convenience.
- Durable construction
- Includes chemicals and filter
- Fast heating
- Outer mesh cover might not stand up to heavy use
When it comes to easy setup and use, it’s hard to beat this Coleman inflatable hot tub. The included pump, which drives the jets, can also be used to inflate the unit quickly. When you’re ready to store the hot tub, the drain valve in the floor lets the water out fast, and two handles make it easy to transport the unit wherever you need to go. With its three-ply PVC design, this hot tub is strong enough to hold four people. The walls and floor are soft, making it easy to relax.
This unit comes with everything you need to get started, including chemicals and a pump.
- Cushioned floor for comfort
- Easy setup
- Includes chemicals, pump, filter, and cover
- Pump isn’t always reliable
Although this hot tub is inflatable, it doesn’t look like it — the wood-print exterior gives it an elegant, traditional look that’s beautiful on your deck or patio. The digital control panel makes it easy to control the Air Jet system, which includes 83 different jets for maximum water circulation. Live in a cold area? The integrated freeze shield stops the water from freezing, so you don’t have to worry about part damage. This hot tub comes with a ground cloth and reinforced cover for protection.
- Includes safety clips for protection
- Durable construction
- Air jet system creates constant bubbles
- Long heating time
If you love bubbles, this Intex PureSpa hot tub is a good choice. It comes with a bubble massager, so it creates a constant flow of water throughout the unit. To activate the jets, simply use the user-friendly control panel. Made from heavy-duty FiberTech material, this three-ply tub is sturdy enough to hold up to four people. Between uses, simply deflate it and store it in the included carrying case.
6. Goplus 4-6 Person Inflatable Hot Tub Portable Outdoor Spa Bubble Jet Massage Spa w/Accessories Set (4-Person, Black)
Made from heavy-duty, smooth material, this Goplus hot tub is designed for both indoor and outdoor use. Inside, the 360-degree jet design surrounds you with bubbles, creating an all-over massaging effect. When it’s fully inflated, this hot tub is big enough to hold four people. Sturdy I-beams inside the walls help prevent them from buckling. Plus, it comes with everything you need to set up and use the unit, including a pump, a cover, and filter cartridges.
- Durable construction
- 360-degree bubbles
- Simple control panel
- Does not include seats
If you’re working with limited space, this SaluSpa Siena hot tub is a great choice. It features an oblong design, so it can fit into a narrow spot on your deck. The unique shape makes it easy to stretch out — or, you can accommodate two people comfortably. We love the automatic timer, which helps you save energy and enjoy hot water when you want it. This hot tub includes a convenient middle shelf to hold your phone, drinks, or other small items.
- 120 air jet massage system
- Includes chemical floater
- Easyr-replace filters
- Holds only two people
8. American Spas AM-630LM 5-Person 30-Jet Lounger Spa with Backlit LED Waterfall, 5.5Kw Titanium Heater, Tuscany Sun and Mahogany
This American Spas hot tub features a sturdy, fixed frame, so you can install it without worrying about punctures or outdoor temperatures. It comes with a titanium heater, which runs silently and heats the water quickly. Inside, the HydroClear Ozonator keeps your water clean at all times, allowing you to go longer between routine maintenance sessions. When it comes to comfort, this model is hard to beat, thanks to 30 high-powered jets and five molded seats. The backlit LED waterfall creates a cozy ambiance.
- LED waterfall feature
- Molded seats for comfort
- Insulating fiberglass panels
- Electrical panel doesn’t allow customers to access service function
9. American Spas AM-730LS 6-Person 30-Jet Lounger Spa with Backlit LED Waterfall, 5.5Kw Titanium Heater, Sterling and Smoke
Host up to 6 people in this American Spas hot tub, which features molded seats to keep everyone comfortable. With 30 carefully-placed jets, this tub creates a massaging effect at every seat. The exterior is built from a seven-layer laminate system that includes steel, wood, and acrylic; this means that you never need to worry about leaks or damage due to the elements. In the evening, the backlit waterfall brings the hot tub to life.
- Sturdy construction
- Includes HydroClear ozonator
- Can run in the winter
- Unit is very heavy
10. American Spas AM-628TM 2-Person 28-Jet Triangle Spa, Plug-In-Play system, with Multi Color Spa Light, Cover
Make the most of a compact deck with this American Spas hot tub. It features a unique triangular design, so you can tuck it into a corner and maintain traffic patterns with ease. With its molded seats, this hot tub fits two people comfortably. The best part of this hot tub? It comes with a convenient plug and play kit that allows easy installation and setup.
- Quiet operation
- Durable stainless steel jets
- Easy installation
- Cover can be difficult to use