Hot tubs have been a crucial part of cultures. From the public bathhouses of the Roman era to the best hot tubs today, we rely on this fantastic tool to help us relax and socialize to this day. Hot tubs do not just help us unwind. Using hot tubs can provide significant health benefits, including pain relief, lower stress levels, and better sleep quality.
Buying the best hot tub is not a joke. You are making an essential investment in yourself and for your family when you purchase one of these. Hot tubs also do not come cheap. It can add value to your home and pleasure to your lifestyle. It promotes wellness and can improve your sleep.
Like with any significant investment, you need to conduct thorough research and ensure the best quality product. It will not just help you make the most of a hot tub’s benefits. It is also going to help you maximize the value for money you can get on your investment.
There is an overwhelmingly large number of brands in the market claiming to produce the best hot tubs. Each brand has several products that they can claim are the top products in the industry. It can get quite confusing, picking out the one that is going to be right for your needs.
Not all hot tubs are created the same, and each brand differs from the other. We have created this guide that reviews our top picks for the best hot tubs. Additionally, we’ve included a buying guide that will help you make the ideal purchase decision when you are purchasing the hot tub.
We are confident that by the time you are done reading this guide, you will have all the knowledge to help you make a well-informed buying decision for the best hot tub for your household to benefit from and enjoy.
At a Glance: Our Picks for the Best Hot Tubs in 2021
- 6-Person Inflatable Portable Heated Bubble Hot Tub by Intex Pure Spa
- 14-Jet Newport Hot Tub by Essential Hot Tubs
- 3-Person 14-Jet Spa and Hot Tub by Hudson Bay Spas
- 11-Jet Rotationally Molded Hot Tub by Essential Hot Tubs
- 5-Person 14-Jet Spa by Hudson Bay Spas
- Rock Solid Plug & Play Square Hot Tub by Life Smart
- 6-Person 19-Jet Spa by Hudson Bay Spas
- 20-Jet Arbor Hot Tub by Essential Hot Tubs
- 30-Jet Adelaide Hot Tub by Essential Hot Tubs
- 50-Jet Polara Hot Tub by Essential Hot Tubs
Best Hot Tubs in 2021
Let’s take a closer look at each product in our top picks so you can get a better idea about them before you move on to the buying guide.
The Intex Pure Spa Model 28409E is a fantastic product to start the list of the best hot tubs in 2021. The product was designed to give homeowners a premium experience of a massage using hot water. The product can accommodate six people at the same time, making it ideal for a family or a group of friends. Easy to operate; it is one of our favorite hot tubs in the market right now.
You can quickly adjust the temperature of the hot water jets to get a customized experience as you enjoy the benefits of the hot tub. You no longer have to compromise on your convenience as you bathe and relax in the hot tub at home. The product offers you a more affordable option in terms of its upfront cost and maintenance requirements compared to most other hot tubs in the market.
Customers who already own the hot tub report that it gives them a decent amount of durability without compromising on the support and overall massage experience. Its form factor makes the inflatable hot tub incredibly easy to move around. This affordable product comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty so your mind can be at ease when you purchase this product.
- It can hold up to six people at once
- It is easy to set up and use
- You can enjoy adjustable temperature settings
- It is a cost-effective hot tub
- The hot tub does not have an air pressure indicator
- Replacing the filters on the product sometimes gives an E90 error message
- It is not as energy efficient as most other products
Hudson Bay Spas is a highly famous manufacturer of hot tubs for all budgets and needs. Customers looking for a larger hot tub will like this six-person hot tub with 19 high powered hot water jets. Compared to its efficiency, size, and capacity, it carries a reasonable price tag for homeowners looking for a fantastic deal on a hot tub.
The stylish looking hot tub has an ideal aesthetic to match most contemporary home interiors. The plug and play feature of the hot tub makes it highly convenient to use since you will not need to bother yourself with the wiring when you are setting up the product. The hot tub can operate by simply plugging its cord into a standard power outlet at home.
The price may be a little high compared to other products we have reviewed, but most users believe that the hot tub is worth the money they have spent on it. The high-quality hot water jets give a terrific massage. Some customers did report that it is a little slow in heating the water.
- Comes with a sturdy and good looking hot tub cover
- It has 19 high-quality hot water jets
- It can accommodate up to six people
- It is a bulky hot tub
- Comparatively slow at heating the water
- One of the pricier products we have reviewed.
Essential Hot Tubs has been in the business of making some of the most popular hot tubs in the market for a while. The Newport Hot Tub by the manufacturer is a hot tub designed to accommodate up to four people comfortably and give them a high-quality hydrotherapy experience.
This is a convenient to use plug and play hot tub that you do not need to bother with the wiring for. Simply plug it into a standard power outlet, and you’re good to go. The plug and play system allows you to move the hot tub around. You can install it indoors or outdoors based on your needs. Just remember that it has a solid construction, so you will need help if you plan to move it around.
The manufacturer features a powerful 1.5 horsepower pump in the hot tub that pumps hot water through its efficient jets to give you an excellent massage experience. The digital controls on this product allow you the customizability you require to enjoy the hot tub experience in your home thoroughly.
- It has a high-quality construction
- It is a cost-effective spa
- It features powerful hot water jets for a premium massage experience
- Its plug and play feature makes it simple to set up
- The hot tub cover is relatively lower quality
- Customers have reported issues of leakages
- It is quite heavy and not easy to move around
Hudson Bay Spas is a big name in the world of hot tubs and spas. This three-person model comes in as one of its most popular products to date. The stainless steel jets have a striking look and a powerful performance geared to give you a pleasant and relaxing hydrotherapy massage in the hot tub.
This product is rich with features. The 14 hot water jets are adjustable, allowing you to customize your experience of getting a therapeutic massage from the hot tub. It has LED lights that you can light up based on your mood to create a more relaxing ambiance as you enjoy its health benefits.
The hot tub is quite heavy, weighing 550 pounds. It is convenient to use since it requires no special wiring. It can accommodate three people comfortably. If you do not mind the heavy weight and relative lack of mobility once you set it up, this hot tub could be an ideal investment.
- It has custom-built 14 hot water jets
- The hot tub maintains the optimal temperatures
- This hot tub is easy to maintain
- The product is prone to physical damage
- It has a heavy weight
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The Integrity is a rotationally molded hot tub by Essential Hot Tubs makes it to the list of the best hot tubs for several reasons. It is a premium-quality hot tub that can give you a fantastic massage experience. The product is quite efficient in maintaining the water temperatures to optimum levels, making it cost-effective and reducing its impact on the environment.
This hot tub also comes with an efficient hot tub cover that properly retains heat. You can accommodate four adults in this hot tub comfortably. The product offers you the option of circumventing any complicated wiring for installation. It has a GFCI power cord that allows you to plug it into any standard power outlet in your home indoors and outdoors.
The Integrity has 11 stainless steel hot water jets that give you a premium massage in the hot tub. Its sturdy construction makes it one of the most durable hot tubs we have reviewed in this guide.
- It is a cost-effective hot tub
- The hot tub can operate by plugging into any standard power outlet
- It is a durable product
- It does not come with an operator’s manual
- It has a low-quality cover
Hudson Bay Spas made a hot tub, especially for use outdoors. The five-person hot tub allows you to enjoy a fantastic hot tub experience right in your backyard. Remember that this is a heavy hot tub that weighs just around 600 pounds. If you choose to get one of these, you should keep it in mind that it will need a permanent place to set up so you should choose wisely where you place it.
The heavy weight becomes secondary when you think about the features it boasts. Able to comfortably accommodate five adults, the hot tub has 14 high-efficiency hot water jets that give you a fantastic massage. The stainless steel construction of the jets accentuates the overall look of the hot tub and guarantees high durability. The LED lights can adjust colors based on your preference. Between the customizable hot water jets and the lighting options, you can enjoy a highly immersive massage experience with this hot tub in your home.
The ABS bottom and a base frame allow this product to handle extreme pressure. It is a product built to stand the test of time and give you a pleasurable hydrotherapy experience for years to come.
- It is a fantastic looking hot tub
- The hot tub has a lockable cover
- It is an energy-efficient product
- You need to maintain the filter constantly
Life Smart’s Rock Solid Plug and Play Square Hot Tub has a self-explanatory name. It is a rock-solid product with the capacity to accommodate up to four adults at a time. The manufacturer claims that it is a very simple hot tub to set up and operate. Consumer reports corroborate that thanks to its plug and play system. You do not need to worry about complicated wiring when you’re installing this hot tub. You just have to plug it into a standard power outlet in your home.
The product weighs 295 pounds, making it one of the most lightweight plug and play hot tubs we have reviewed in this guide. It is a lot more durable than most similar products in the market. You can easily transport it outdoors or use it indoors. It has excellent insulation, which allows it to maintain optimum water temperatures. You can easily use it in outdoor conditions where there is cold weather without worrying about excessive heat loss.
Overall, customers who have bought the product have not reported a lot of issues except with the plastic surface that is prone to some damage over the years.
- It is a comfortable and cozy hot tub
- It is lightweight and portable
- The hot tub can accommodate four people at once
- It has a plastic surface that is prone to damage long-term
If you are looking for a luxurious spa experience from your hot tub, Essential Hot Tubs’ Arbor Hot Tub might do the trick. It is a top-notch product made to stand the test of time and provide you a unique and fantastic hot tub experience. The hot tub has enough room to accommodate five people at the same time. Its 20 high-quality hot water jets give you a phenomenal hydrotherapy experience.
The hot tub does not just have fantastic features. It looks as good as it can operate with its stainless steel finish. The granite resin is fully insulated to ensure high heat retention to make an energy-efficient hot tub. The plug and play design of the hot tub makes it easy for you to carry it outdoors or keep it indoors. The 480-pound weight might make it a little difficult to transport, but it could be well worth the effort.
The hot tub comes with a 240V electrical unit that you can plug into a standard power outlet so you can easily enjoy its performance. The product has an insulated and tapered cover that allows you to seal the heat whenever the product isn’t in use. The device is a little tricky to set up due to its bulkiness and weight.
- It has a smooth and comfortable interior
- It is a fantastic looking hot tub
- The hot tub is cost-effective
- It has temperature adjustment options
- The hot tub has a durable construction
- A little tricky to set up
Essential Hot Tubs is a renowned manufacturer when it comes to hot tubs and spas. It should not be surprising that so many of the products among our top picks for the best hot tubs in 2021 are made by then. The 30-Jet Adelaide Hot Tub by the brand is another high-quality, yet affordable, hot tub that gives you a premium quality experience that you can expect from the most luxurious hot tub products in the industry.
The Adelaide has an extremely functional design with its 30 fully adjustable hot water jets. The hot tub can accommodate up to five people at the same time and give them an amazing massage experience. The extremely functional design is also aesthetically pleasing and it comes with a few intricate touches that set Adelaide a class apart from the rest. The drink trays, for instance, add that classy touch which makes it look more expensive than it is.
The Adelaide may offer you a luxury hot tub experience at a lower price compared to the very top in the industry, but it is pricier than most of the products we’ve reviewed in the guide. Another slightly annoying aspect of it is the access to the panel that contains the drain hose. It is challenging to get to the drain hose.
It has 30 Fully adjustable hot water jets
It has a Balboa stainless steel all-season heater
The product has comfortable and luxurious seating
It has an icebox area and a tray for drinks for added luxury
It is slightly expensive
Challenging to access the drain hose panel
The Polara 50-Jet hot tub by Essential Hot Tubs is a high-quality hot tub designed to give users a relaxing and comfortable experience. It is a spacious spa that can accommodate up to six people comfortably and provide them with a premium hydrotherapy experience. There is a lounger in this hot tub as well.
It has completely adjustable 50-jets that are an attractive feature in the product. The addition of this top-notch hot tub to your home will give the comfort you can experience at home a substantial upgrade. The installation and operation of this hot tub are quite simple. You can easily use the hot tub to enjoy some alone time relaxing or use it for a social gathering of a few people.
The highly efficient hot tub is made using durable materials that will give you maximum comfort and relaxation for a long time. Its stainless steel heater and efficient hydrotherapy jets make one of the most exciting hot tub experiences you can get.
- It has a durable construction
- It features lounger seating
- Its 50 fully adjustable hydrotherapy jets
- It is an energy-efficient hot tub
- Strong cover insulation keeps the heat in
- It provides a premium hydrotherapy experience
- It is an expensive product
- The instruction manual is not very comprehensive
Buying Guide for the Best Hot Tubs in 2021
When you are buying a hot tub, there are several things you need to consider before you even look for a product. In this buying guide, we are first going to discuss the decisions you have to make before you start looking for the product. Each product has its own advantages and disadvantages based on how you plan to use it. Use the following tips that will help you narrow down the options you will consider when you are looking for the best hot tubs.
Decide the right type of hot tub
First things first, you need to decide the correct kind of hot tub. Companies sell various kinds of hot tubs like in-ground and portable hot tubs, In-ground hot tubs are typically referred to as spas as well. You will see both terms used interchangeably for the products we have mentioned in the guide.
Here is a look at the different types of hot tubs you can consider:
- Rotationally Molded Hot Tubs: Rotationally molded hot tubs, or rotomolded hot tubs, are manufactured as a single unit. They have several features like molded seating, decorative lights, and they are more durable than the other types of hot tubs.
- Plug-and-play Hot Tubs: Plug-and-play hot tubs are portable hot tubs that operate at 110V. They can consume up to 1,500W of energy, and you can plug them into a standard power outlet. They are easy to install and use at home.
- Portable Hot Tubs: Portable hot tubs are usually made of acrylic material that has high durability. They are movable, but it can be a challenge moving them around without the help of a professional technician.
- Inflatable Hot Tubs: Inflatable hot tubs are more portable than generic portable hot tubs. They are made using affordable, compact, but less sturdy materials compared to portable hot tubs.
- Swim Spas: Swim spas include hot tub features and offer you a compact area where you can swim against a resisting current. They can also include heated jets and hydrotherapy seats.
Determine the right size and shape
Once you determine the type of hot tub you want to buy, you should choose the size. The size depends on the number of people who will use the hot tub, the kind of seating you want, and where the hot tub will be installed. Larger hot tubs are excellent for entertainment and socializing, but they take up a lot of space. Smaller hot tubs provide a more intimate experience.
There are hot tubs that can accommodate as few as two people to as many as eight. Manufacturers also make hot tubs in varying shapes. They can be square, rectangular, round, or even customized shapes. A hot tub should seamlessly add to your home. Its design should match your décor and your aesthetic.
Decide the features you want
Not all hot tubs are made the same. Consider the features individual products have to offer when you are looking to buy the best hot tub. There are hot tubs with a primary focus on hydrotherapy and relaxation, and there are products that are centered more towards entertainment and lounge seating.
Many of the best hot tubs let you control lights, pumps, heater components, and several other features through control panels. Some hot tubs even include sound systems, remote monitoring, and sanitation systems.
Consider the environmental impact of the hot tub
Using a hot tub, just like any appliance, will affect the environment. New hot tubs are considerably more environmentally friendly by being more energy-efficient compared to the products on the market a decade ago. Still, modern hot tubs require a significant amount of energy to work.
It is always an excellent idea to get environmentally-friendly hot tubs. Consider a product that will help you save on your energy consumption and keep the adverse effects on the environment to a minimum.
Think about the maintenance
Before you consider your options, you need to know about how much short- and long-term maintenance it will require. Hot tubs with filtration systems help keep the water clean and reduce the maintenance requirements of the product. Traditional hot tubs require manually adding sanitizers to the tub once in a while to reduce the chances of algae and other microorganisms developing in the water.
Regardless of the type of hot tub you purchase, there are a few maintenance tips that you need to consider all the time. Make sure you:
- Deep clean the filter every month
- Test the pH levels of the water
- Drain the hot tub every few months and clean it before your refill the tub with fresh water
- Replace the filter every year
Determine your budget
The cost is always going to be a critical factor when you are buying a hot tub. The size, type, shape, and features will determine the upfront cost of the hot tub. Besides the initial amount you will spend on purchasing the hot tub, there are professional installation costs and maintenance costs to consider.
Buy the best hot tub that is within your budget without compromising on the necessary features you are looking for in the product.
Consider where you will place it
Choosing the right type, size, and shape will be irrelevant if you do not have the space to accommodate the hot tub. The best place to put an above-ground hot tub is on a reinforced deck or a solid concrete slab. You can also place it under a pergola or a gazebo.
You need to select an area in your home, indoors or outdoors, where the hot tub will go. The space you use it in should have adequate room for ventilation, drainage, and you need to have access to take care of the hot tub’s maintenance requirements.
What to Look for in a Hot Tub
Now, we are going to take a look at all the things you need to look for in the best hot tub. Understanding these aspects will play a major role in the decision you make for buying the right hot tub.
Hot tubs come in all types of materials. The exterior cabinet of the hot tub is what everybody sees. They are available in a variety of colors, patterns, textures, and materials.
When you are looking at your options, look for a product that has an exterior cabinet matching your requirements for the space it will occupy. Besides the aesthetics, you need to look for construction material that is sturdy and durable. Acrylic and rotationally molded hot tubs are popular due to their durability, but they are heavier and difficult to move around. Vinyl hot tubs cost less and are more portable, but they do not offer similar durability.
Types of Jets
Hot tubs use high-pressure jets that massage your muscles and improve blood circulation in the body. The ideal hot tub should have jets positioned strategically to provide you massages for the hydrotherapy you want. The placement of jets and the number of jets can play a significant part in your overall experience of using the hot tub.
Hot tub seats
Different hot tubs feature varying kinds of seats. You need to choose a seating style that will meet your requirements from the hot tub. Contour seats, for instance, include armrests and neck rests, which help with the massage experience. Barrie-free seats encourage better movement from one part of the hot tub to another.
Pivot seats allow you to change your position in the hot tub and adjust the type of massage you can receive. Therapeutic comfort seats provide additional massage points at the back, shoulders, and neck. Cooldown seats offer you the option of sitting slightly out of the water so you can cool down without getting out of the hot tub.
The hot tub filtration system
The filtration system of a hot tub is critical for its efficiency and ensures the smooth operation of all its systems. You need to avoid filters that are made of paper blends or cotton because you will find yourself replacing them quite often.
Suction filter systems are the best. They provide easy access for maintenance. Located on the side of the tub, they suck water in through the pump, jets, and heater. The filtration system removes visible debris from the water as well as purifying it to make the water safer to use.
Hot tub insulation
The insulation system is also vital for the hot tub. It protects some of the more delicate components of the hot tub as well as increasing its efficiency, so it uses less energy. High-quality insulation is a sign of an excellent hot tub. Hot tubs can have full foam, partial, and barrier insulation. Avoid using spray foam insulation since it can accumulate water.
The Best Hot Tub FAQs
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about hot tubs that can help you when you are making your decision to buy the best hot tub for your home in 2021.
Q. Do I need to install plumbing?
A. Depending on the type of hot tub you get for your home, you might need to get plumbing installed. We have included a mixture of hot tubs in this guide. There are a few models that simply require a garden hose connection to operate without the need to install additional plumbing.
Q. How do I clean the water?
A. To make the most of your experience of using the hot tub, properly maintaining the water is a necessity. Keeping the water clean is not a big hassle. Each manufacturer gives a detailed instruction manual with their hot tubs that will contain information about how to properly maintain the water in the product while you use it. Simply follow the instructions given regarding the product in the manual for maintaining the water quality.
Q. How often do I need to clean the hot tub?
A. Most manufacturers will recommend that you drain and clean your hot tub at least four times a year. Depending on how frequently you use your spa and hot tub and how well you maintain the water, that is an ideal period between cleaning the hot tub. Most cases require only an hour to clean the hot tub. Keeping up the maintenance of the hot tub regularly will help you get the best out of it for a long time.
Q. What is hydrotherapy?
A. Hydrotherapy is the culmination of the effects that massage, buoyancy, and heat have. The heat helps to dilate blood vessels, allowing improved blood flow throughout the body. It helps a decent amount of blood flow to any damaged or sore muscle and tissue in your body. The greater blood flow to those areas of the body increases the nutrients and oxygen to those areas and helps them heal faster.
The massage provided by the jets in the hot tub helps the muscles relax and mitigates the pressure on the nerves. It also helps blood circulation throughout the body, quickening the natural healing process of the human body. The buoyancy decreases the weight of the body while it is in the water, relieving strain on joints and muscles.
Hydrotherapy is known as an effective way to relieve stress and help the body recover faster.
Q. Does a bigger pump give me a better massage in the hot tub?
A. The size of the pump does not make a difference as significant as the efficiency of the jets does when it comes to the experience of the massage in a hot tub. Several manufacturers boast about the horsepower the pumps in their hot tubs have. The horsepower for the initial thrust of the pump is higher than the operating horsepower.
The real difference is in how efficient the plumbing of the hot tub is and how effective the jets are. A lower horsepower pump that has excellent jets and efficient plumbing will give you a massage the same as a higher horsepower pump can. You need to focus on getting a comfortable massage from the hot tub rather than the strongest one. The horsepower should be enough to give you a relaxing experience.
Q. What should I know about calcium levels?
A. The water that comes from the mainline will have minerals like calcium and magnesium. Exposure to those minerals can result in a mineral buildup that can affect the performance of your hot tub in the long run. You can maintain a balance in mineral levels of the water so that you can avoid getting cloudy water in the hot tub and reduce the chances of corrosion. Higher calcium levels might require using a softener. If the calcium levels are too low, you might need a calcium booster to get the level back up to make the water optimal for use in the hot tub.
Q. Do I need to use a water conditioner?
A. Water conditioners for hot tubs usually target the buildup of minerals in your hot tub and the pipes. Using a water conditioner will help you control the buildup and increase your hot tub’s long-term efficiency. There are several hot tub water conditioners you can choose from to get the job done.
Q. Do I need to use a pH testing kit?
A. Testing the pH level of the water is a crucial aspect of water care. It is quite simple. You need to take a small sample of water from the hot tub, dip a small pH testing strip in it and wait for a few seconds. The chart provided with the pH testing kit will show you what color of the strip will be for the corresponding pH level. If the pH levels are too high or too low, you should use corresponding products to balance out the pH levels and keep it closer to pH7.
Q. What do I need to know about the pH level?
A. The pH level of water tells you how acidic or alkaline the water is. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14. The lower the pH level is, the more acidic the water will be. pH7 is neutral water, and if the pH goes higher than 7, the water becomes more alkaline. Low pH levels can contribute to corrosion, and higher pH levels contribute to mineral buildup.
Q. Is the hot tub installed indoors or outdoors?
A. A spa can be installed both indoors and outdoors, depending on the type of product you have. If you want to install the spa indoors, you have to consider whether it can fit through the door, and you have adequate space to accommodate it indoors.
As you might have seen in our top picks, hot tubs can differentiate by a large margin from each other. Conducting your due diligence can make a world of difference when you are looking for the best hot tub. We hope that between the guide and the reviews, you will be able to find the perfect hot tub for your home.
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Last update on 2021-01-28 at 11:34 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API