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Best Entry-Level Tub (Pros, Cons, Pricing and Comparisons)
Best Entry-Level Tub (Pros, Cons, Pricing and Comparisons)
Written by Kimberly Giraldo
Updated over a week ago

If you’re looking for a hot tub, you’ve probably done some research about how much a hot tub costs and where your budget lands you. And if it puts you in the entry-level hot tub category, there are plenty of choices out there to choose from.

Here at Jacuzzi® hot tubs, we get asked all the time what the best entry-level hot tub is. This is a common question, and in this article, we’ll explore four hot tub collections for those looking for an entry-level spa, looking at their pros, cons, and features.

How Much Does a Entry-Level Hot Tub Cost?

An entry-level hot tub can usually cost anywhere between $7,500- $12,000. This can vary based on the initial price of the model as well as additional upgrades and extras.

Asking your dealer about potential upgrades and how much they cost will help you gauge whether or not they will fit into your budget.

What Should I be Looking for in a Hot Tub?

There are various factors that go into making a hot tub, but there are certain key considerations to look out for when it comes to purchasing one.

1. Build quality

Having a hot tub that’s built to withstand all season’s weather so you can use it all year round is important. Make sure you find a spa that has a sturdy build and uses quality materials to ensure it last a long time. Quality materials and workmanship will often times be backed by a better factory warranty - which provides better peace of mind.

2. Energy efficiency

When looking for a hot tub, it’s key to understand how much energy the hot tub will use and what type of features the spa has to help with efficiency. Insulation varies from hot tub and brand, with different methods being used to insulate heat generated by the spa. Some brands offer systems that can reduce energy usage by varying heating cycles to run when energy rates are lowest as well as being adaptable to your usage preferences. Any spa you consider should pass the California Energy Commission’s standards for energy consumption.

3. Jet quality

The massage you receive is a big part of owning a hot tub, so make sure the hot tub you’re looking at has the right kind of jets and massage options for you and anyone else using it. Many consumers consider jet massage to be a top reason for hot tub ownership. Be sure the jets feel the way you want and can be adjusted for various tolerance levels and needs.

4. Seating options

Hot tubs come with various seating styles and are one of the big advantages of manufactured hot tubs as opposed to built-in spas that use pool construction materials. Your personal comfort and the comfort of others using your hot tub is very important to the right spa purchase. Make sure the hot tub you’re looking at has the right seating options you want. Also check the depth of the seats relative to water level, you don’t want to be half out of the water or need a snorkel to enjoy your spa.

5. Water care

Some hot tubs offer advanced water filtering and cleansing systems that make maintenance easier and less costly over the time of ownership. Ask your dealership what systems are standard and what additional options there may be to ensure cleaner water with less maintenance.

6. Style and colors

Matching your personal style and tastes along with properly matching the décor of the location the spa will be installed is also important. Various hot tubs come in a variety of colors and cabinet styles that must be considered.

J-200™ Collection

J-200™ collection price

Prices $8,500-$12,000

J-200™ collection overview

The Jacuzzi J-200™ range gives you access to the Jacuzzi® brand, known for its quality built hot tubs, starting the industry over 60 years ago and offers great value for money.

With seating available from 3-person hot tubs up to 7-person models, there’s choice of size and seating options, with a lounge seat offered in the J-215™, J-235™ and the J-275™ models.

Any hot tub in the J-200™ collection can be upgraded with SmartTub® system giving you remote access to all features and functions of your hot tub. This allows you to control everything from temperature to lights while providing real-time data on your hot tub health anywhere with a cellular connection. This doesn’t come as standard, however, so it will be an additional cost if you want it installed.

The J-200™ collection features the proprietary jets, and the number of jets varies from 19 on the smaller models up to 45 on the largest. The downside to this is it’s not the very best hydromassage Jacuzzi® hot tubs has to offer, so if you’re looking to experience a better massage, you might want to look at the J-300™ collection.

It also features the CLEARRAY® UV-C technology for its water treatment. Utilizing UV light to help break down waterborne pathogens. This is a method that works with either bromine or chlorine, giving you flexibility in the sanitizer you choose.

Insulation wise, the J-200™ collection is fully insulated, providing energy-efficient heat retention and has a synthetic base that’ resistant to the elements. This helps keep the heat in the hot tub and not escaping into the ground.

Main features

Proprietary Jacuzzi® jets

Lounge seat hot tub options

CLEARRAY® UV-C technology

Adjustable air control

Tool-free removable cabinet panels

SmartTub® system compatible


- Jacuzzi® quality- A reliable brand and hot tub experience

- Varied Seating options- A seat for all the family or friends

- Hydromassage- Experience a great massage in any seat


- No circulation pump- Only jet pumps on some of the models

- Few extras- Not many upgrades or extras but can have SmartTub® system installed

Hydropool Serenity Collection

Serenity collection price

Prices start from $7,850 -$10,800

Serenity collection overview

The Serenity collection is made by Hydropool and is one of two collections the company makes, the other being the top-of-the-line Signature Self-Cleaning range.

Serenity comes in six models, which offer a range of seating from four to six people, and from 31 to 51 jets, depending on the selection. There are choices with a lounger and without within the line-up.

The Serenity is built in Canada and made to withstand Canadian winters with a WeatherSeal cabinet. The Serenity collection also features ThermalWise insulation, an insulated thermal shield blanket which covers the pipes, cabinet and floor, to efficiently reflect heat generated from the pumps back into the hot tub water.

The Serenity collection offers you a good hydromassage experience within a hot tub that is great value for money, coming with standard waterfall and lighting packages. The upside is the varied seating options you have in the lineup, giving you and the family/guests plenty of relaxing seats to enjoy while providing good energy efficiency.

The downside to the Serenity collection is that while you’ll receive a good hydromassage, the Signature edition adds more capabilities with an advanced Zone Therapy system for a full-body massage. While Serenity provides form and function, it also doesn’t offer Signature’s self-clean capabilities, which make that line of hot tubs easier to maintain.

Main Features

AquaBlade WaterFall feature

Moon Lighting system

HydroWise thermal shield insulation

Varied seating options

Optional EZ PureOzone water system


- Lounger- Lounge chair available on most models

- Footwell- Open footwell for ease of movement

- Small footprint- Making it fit in smaller spaces


- Flashier, more luxurious models exist – this hot tub is about value

- Not the best hydromassage - While still a good, not the best Hydropool offers

- Self-cleaning only available on higher trim – Hydropool’s Signature is easier to maintain

Hot Spring® Hot Spot® collection

Hot Spring® Hot Spot® price

Prices $7,500-$14,999

Hot Spring® Hot Spot Overview

As the Entry-Level hot tub collection offered by Hot Spring®, there are six different models to choose from, giving you varied seating options and sizes ranging from a 2-person hot tub up to a 7-person spa.

All of the models have an open footwell for ease of movement, with three of the hot tubs providing a lounge seat option. Jet numbers range from a little as 11 on the TX model up to 40 in their Rhythm™ 7-person hot tub.

The jet types vary from rotational and directional jets, with two of the models, TX and SX, offering a Moto-Massage® jet, a special jet that produces a steady stream of water up and down your back.

The Hot Spot® series also boasts the FROG® in-line sanitizing system; a bromine-based sanitizer meant to work effectively in warm water. It’s integrated into the shell of the spa to work continuously to sanitize the hot tub water. The downside to this is that you’re locked into bromine as your sanitizer, which you may or may not want, depending on your circumstances.

The Hot Spot® series features FiberCor® insulation in two of their three main collections. This differs from the perimeter foam or thermal blanket insulation used by Jacuzzi®, Sundance® Spas, and Hydropool®, respectively.

Instead of filling the cabinet with full foam as an insulator, FiberCor® fills the cabinet with blown-in, wool-like non-hazardous fibre that has four times the density of polyurethane foam. Its non-hazardous too, and being an inorganic material is resistant to mildew and mold.

Cabinet colors come in three types, while the acrylic shell cover has four options to choose from. So if you’re looking for choice, the Hot Spot® has several to offer.

Hot Spring® utilises a FreshWater® Salt System in some of their hot tubs, but the downside of the Hot Spot® collection is this isn’t an option. So if you were looking for a saltwater system, you might need to look at one of their other series.

Main Features

FreshWater® ozone system (optional)

FROG® In-Line cartridge ready

FiberCor® insulation

No-Fault® heater

LCD display screen


- Model choice- Six choices with varying seating options

- FiberCor® insulation- Unique insulation type

- Jet range- Mix of jet types for a varied massage


- Bromine only- Limited to a bromine system

- Moto-Massage®jet- Only available on two out of six models

Sundance® 680™ Series

Sundance 680™ series price

Prices $8,500-$12,000

Sundance 680™ Series Overview

The Sundance 680™ series offers six different hot tubs ranging from 3-person models up to 7-person hot tubs, with the Edison® winning the WhatSpa? best buy award 2022. They range from 23 jets on the smaller models up to 44 with the larger ones.

Seating wise, two models feature open seating and a central jet dome, two others offer a lounge seat. Lastly there are two that are smaller spas intended for patio use.

Therapy jets in the 680™ series offer 6 different types of jets to help with deep tissue, pressure point and muscle release and all six models come with stainless steel jet trim.

As for water treatment, the 680™ series uses the MicroClean® Mini filtration system and CLEARRAY® UV-C Technology, which utilises UV light to help eliminate pathogens and reduce maintenance.

Main Features

CLEARRAY® UV-C Technology​ water filtration system

Open footwell

Large filters with MicroClean® Mini filtration system

6 jet types

Exterior Cabinet lighting


- Plug in and play model available- Easy to install with a standard household outlet

- Pivot bench- Unique to the 680™ series for targeted back relief


- No circulation pump- Only jet pumps on some of the models

- Few extras- Not many upgrades or extras but can have SmartTub® system installed


All of the hot tub ranges offer something different for someone looking to purchase an Entry-Level hot tub. The good news is there are plenty of options, but we always encourage customers to try out the hot tub they’re thinking of purchasing.

If you’ve settled on a hot tubs you’re interested in, arrange a test drive of the spa with the brand’s dealer, so you can fully experience what the hot tub will be like before purchasing it. This is one of the best ways to get a feel for if the hot tub is for you and if it meets your requirements.

While there are more hot tub brands to consider that offer Entry-Level hot tubs, we wanted to create a list to show off some of the options available to you in our search based on our experience as a manufacturer.

We hope this article has been helpful in showing you some of the best Entry-Level hot tubs on offer today from some of the major brands on the market and helped you have a better understanding of what features they offer.

Disclaimer: In this article we’ve used brand names not affiliated with Jacuzzi Group. All information, including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing, has been attained by public sources and may change without notice.

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