Are Hot Tubs Worth It? (The Truth Is Here)


Many ideas come to mind when seeking to unwind after a long day. At the top of these ideas is soaking yourself in a hot tub. But such a good time in a hot tub doesn’t come cheap. The cheapest hot tubs go for as high as $3,000, with luxury models costing north of $16,000. Therefore, you must have wondered if hot tubs are worth spending such a premium on.

Hot tubs are worthy investments provided you get the design, ergonomics, material construction, and water management right. To get the best value for your hot tub, the jet arrangement, seating, filtration system, and accessories must also suit your recreational needs and the space settings of your home.

Before we dive deeper into investigating the wisdom in spending so high on a hot tub, there are some specific questions to ask yourself.

What climes do you live in?

The temperature settings of where you would situate your hot tub influence the comfort you derive from your hot tub. Now hot tubs are best enjoyed when the water temperature is between 37°C-40°C, provided the surrounding temperature is relatively cooler.

If you live in temperate areas that are predominantly hot (through the year), hot tubs are almost not worth it. This is because staying in hot water when the weather itself is already hot makes your hot tub more torment than pleasure.

Does your space have enough ventilation?

Before procuring hot tubs, you have to ensure you have sufficient space allowance for them. It is more than just dumping a hot tub on a slab; you need adequate clearance on all sides of the hot tub for a safer user experience and less strenuous maintenance. 

The average hot tub comes at anywhere between 8′ x 8′ and 5′ x 6′. This means you need no less than 70 sqft of space to sufficiently accommodate your tub, provide the ventilation it needs and also maintain your privacy from the intrusive eyes of neighbors. 

Do you have enough time to maintain a hot tub?

Installing a hot tub is not where the work ends. Hot tubs need diligent maintenance for safe use and longevity. The first is inspecting the pH balance. 

The ideal pH level for a safe hot tub is around 7.2 and 7.8. You must check at least once in 7 days to ensure that your hot tub maintains this slightly alkaline chemical composition.  

As determined by the usage frequency, you could need to change the water in your hot tub every 12 weeks. Filter replacement would also be required (depending on the model and design of the hot tub) every 5-18 months. 

So before splurging on a hot tub, first ask yourself if you are ready for this work. 

Which type of hot tub do you want?

Your preferred style, usage requirements, and budget would also define which hot tub is most suitable for you. Hardshell, wood-fired, and inflatable hot tubs are the three most popular types in the market today.

Is a Hardshell hot tub goof for you?

Innovation and aesthetics are the strongest attractions of this hot tub. But it wouldn’t be fair to say that is all hardshell hot tubs have got to offer. 

The spaciousness of their interior, when combined with their robust jet design and internal heating system, make hardshell hot tubs a worthy acquisition. They can hold up to 8 people.  

On the downside, these hot tubs cost a premium, with some costing over $15,000. They are also not portable, making transporting them a bummer.

Are wood-fired hot tubs good for you?

As inferable from the name, a wood-fired hot tub is made from wooden material, with cedar, larch, and Siberian spruce the most common options. 

These hot tubs have distinctive heating systems as they use a log-fire stove instead of electricity. Yes, this is significant savings on energy spending. 

These hot tubs have this earthen gracefulness. It blends well into your garden, with additional healing capacities that can be leveraged when combined with plant extracts and essential oils. 

Indeed, they are not as expensive as hardshell tubs, with some coming for as low as $1700. Wood-fired hot tubs can hold roughly the same number of people as a Hardshell hot tub and need no chemical maintenance. 

But on the downside, the water temperature in a wood-fired hot tub is not stable. And it takes lots more effort to heat it up compared to using an electric heater, as in the case of hardshell tubs.

Are inflatable hot tubs good for you?

These are the cheapest type of hot tubs. Yes, you can get inflatable hot tubs for a comparably meager $588. They are way more portable, giving you enhanced mobility options.

On the other side, most inflatable hot tubs can’t hold more than four people at once, and their seating arrangement also makes them less comfortable. As for energy consumption, inflatable tubs take more to heat up.

Are hot tubs safe?

Hot tubs are safe, but there are some significant risks to be mindful of when using them. When hot tubs are not adequately treated and maintained, they become a hotbed for bacteria. 

Pseudomonas is one of the most notorious bacteria that thrives in poorly maintained hot tubs and is responsible for the bulk of skin infections you would suffer from using such hot tubs.

Pregnant women are advised not to use hot tubs. This is because of temperature hikes sustained usage of hot tubs can cause, possibly damaging the fetus. 

Research has shown that pregnant women who frequently use hot tubs have an increased risk of having babies with spina bifida or other neural tube malfunctions (associated with birth) like spina bifida.

Don’t get it wrong. This doesn’t mean hot tubs are unsafe. You shouldn’t have issues if you maintain the recommended water chlorine level and stay away from congested hot tubs. 

Also, keep the water temperature optimal. Anywhere higher than 100 Fahrenheit is unhealthy for adults. If you are experiencing dizziness when in a hot tub, get out immediately.

Are hot tubs expensive?

Hot tubs are a relatively high-end entertainment. Except for inflatable hot tubs, the average hot tub goes for at least $2,500, with really premium models going for over $16,000. Medium-value hot tubs cost around $6,000-$12,000.

The construction and performance are the two primary determinants of what you spend on your hot tub. Construction here refers to the interior and external structure as well as the jet system. 

Likewise, performance refers to the hot tub’s energy efficiency, water care, and overall user experience. We would look into some of these subsequently.

Do hot tubs last?

Yes, hot tubs last provided you get the right one. If you go for a hot tub made from low-grade materials, you will spend less, but it would be unfair to expect such a hot tub to last more than five years.

But if you go for top-grade hot tubs and properly maintain them, your hot tub should last more than two decades. 

What type of jets should you choose?

The worthiness of your hot tub is strongly linked with the jet system. Get it wrong and you risk losing a chunk of your hot tub’s therapeutic capacities. 

If your jet size is too small, the pressure from your jet becomes really discomfiting while also limiting the target area for a good massaging effect. 

Aside from the size, the positioning of the jet relative to the seat also matters. For best results, go for jets that are thinner in the mid-section while broader at the bottom and top. 

This more effectively replicates the standard shape of a human back. Hot tubs with this type of jet are more comfortable than those with jets packed in diamond or straight lines.

The jet-jump ratio also matters, buddy. For best results, choose a hot tub with a minimum jet to jump ratio of 25:1.

What filtration system is best for your hot tub?

If you want lesser maintenance work, you have to choose a hot tub with the right filtration system. It is advisable to go for hot tubs with as much autonomy in their water filtration.  

Bigger filters mean less work on your part to sustain optimal water quality. Get a hot tub with a filter at least 100 sqft of filter area for each cartridge.

Where should you install your hot tub: inside or out?

Your hot tub site is a critical consideration. If you choose to install it indoors, your chosen interior space must have sufficient ventilation capacity for the amount of moisture content emitted by the tub.

More than that, an indoor hot tub needs top-class drainage to maintain the structural integrity of your property. 

Of course, it is cheaper to install your hot tub outside. The more its proximity to your home, the better regarding the increasing privacy and lessened installation expenditures. 

If it is too far from your home, you would be spending seriously on excavating a trench to situate your electric cables. And if too far, you would need more electric cables connecting the tub’s electrical panel and your home. These cables don’t come cheap, remember.

Another question on situating your hot tub is setting it on a deck or straight on the ground. If you take the latter approach, you need to factor in the weather conditions of where you stay, especially if you are in colder climes.

On-ground hot tubs tend to suffer shifts from the stress of thawing and melting that comes with the seasonal temperature variations. If you would situate it on a deck, the deck must have the befitting weight capacity to hold users in the tub.