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Your Comprehensive Buying Guide to Hot Tubs: Tips and Advice for Your Purchase
Your Comprehensive Buying Guide to Hot Tubs: Tips and Advice for Your Purchase
Written by Kimberly Giraldo
Updated over a week ago

If you’ve decided to buy a hot tub, but are not sure where to begin your research, you’ve come to the right place. The Jacuzzi® brand has been a leader and innovator in the market for decades and can provide knowledgeable insight on buying a hot tub. This article serves as a straightforward hot tub buying guide to help you find the best hot tub for your needs.

There are many aspects to consider when buying a hot tub and many factors that will determine the right hot tub for you. Read on to learn more about the important factors you should weigh before buying a hot tub as well as tips and advice for your purchase.

How to Choose the Right Hot Tub for You

A great place to begin your hot tub search is determining your needs and wants. People choose various hot tub models and features for different reasons. You likely have your own “wish list” when it comes to your future hot tub. To ensure you select the right hot tub for you, start by asking yourself some simple questions to determine how your hot tub will most be used—and by whom. Here is a list of questions to get you started:

Who will be using my hot tub?

This is an important question to ask because the answer will help you determine what size hot tub you will need. Based on who will be using the hot tub, such as adults and/or children, you can also best select seating options for your hot tub. For example, a cool down seat is a great option for those with little ones who can then sit up higher out of the water. Read on for more about how seating can be taken into consideration to help you determine other needs for your hot tub.

Do I want my hot tub for relaxation, full-body hydrotherapy, entertainment, socialization, or couple time—or a combination of all of these things?

Seating is a key factor to consider when it comes to how you will be using your hot tub most. For example, if you are looking for relaxation and full-body hydrotherapy, you might consider a hot tub with a lounger. This type of seating allows you to sit in a reclined position while experiencing hydromassage from head to toe. While this is a great option for complete hydromassage, the way you are positioned in a lounger is not as ideal for entertaining and socializing with others in your hot tub.

A hot tub with open seating is more suited for these purposes and can allow for more bathers in your hot tub at one time than a similarly sized hot tub with a lounger. When asking yourself how you want to use your hot tub, consider how the seating options of a particular model will impact that.

How much space do I have and where will I place my hot tub?

You’ll want to measure the space you have reserved for your future hot tub to ensure you choose a model that will fit in it. You’ll also want to allow for space around the hot tub for bathers to get in and out comfortably.

What is my budget?

Naturally, budget will likely come into play when deciding which hot tub is right for you. It is important to note that many spa dealers can help you stay within your budget while purchasing the hot tub of your dreams through financing options and seasonal hot tub sales.

Which features are most important to me?

After answering these questions, you’ll also want to determine which style of hot tub is right for you. This will be easy to pinpoint as you continue to fine-tune what you expect to get out of your hot tub. Various types of hot tubs meet individualized needs. Here are a few types of hot tubs and a brief description of each:

Inflatable Hot Tubs

Just as they sound, inflatable, or blow-up hot tubs, can be inflated with the use of an air blower and then deflated as needed. Most inflatable hot tubs can be simply plugged into a standard outdoor electrical socket and filled with water in about an hour. Inflatable hot tubs fall under the budget hot tub category. With this in mind, they can be a great entry into the hot tub market if budget is your main priority. However, they do not offer hydrotherapy via specialty jets. Rather, they use air jets to create bubbles that simulate a premium hot tub. While they are made with thick reinforced vinyl or latex, they generally do not last as long as other higher-quality hot tub types.

Portable Hot Tubs

The term portable hot tub refers to self-contained units. All the hot tub’s components that heat and filter the water and operate the spa are encompassed within its shell. There are many levels within this category of hot tubs from entry-level to luxury, and each brand and model will offer different features. Most high-quality portable hot tubs are designed to provide excellent hydrotherapy. It is very important to note that while these types of hot tubs are considered portable because they sit above ground and do typically not require any plumbing, the assistance of a professional to deliver and install the hot tub is highly recommended.

In-Ground Hot Tubs

These types of hot tubs are installed or built directly into the ground of landscaping of your home. In-ground hot tubs are often built in conjunction with your swimming pool. Like a portable hot tub, in-ground hot tubs require filtration systems. They will also need water intake and output ports and generally require underground plumbing.

Once you’ve decided upon the type of hot tub that will best suit your needs, there are many factors to consider. When you are preparing for a visit to your local spa dealer, be prepared to ask about the following aspects of a particular hot tub that piques your interest:

Brand Reputation, Materials, and Craftsmanship

The bottom line is a hot tub is a significant investment. You’ll want to ensure you buy the best you can afford so that it will last for many years to come. This often comes down to high-quality products from a reputable and credible brand. You should also ensure the spa is well-designed and made with durable materials.


Powerful, strategically placed jets can create an incredible hot tub experience. If you want a hot tub to experience the benefits of hydrotherapy, you’ll want to choose a spa with a range of jets that target specific areas of the body.

Water Management Systems and Filtration Systems

These are very important for managing and maintaining the health of your hot tub water. It’s a good idea to ask your local spa dealer about how these systems work on a particular spa you’re interested in. Depending on brand and model, higher-level water management systems and filtration systems may be available for an optional upgrade.


Advanced systems can ease the responsibilities of managing and monitoring your hot tub. Most reputable spa brands offer models that are designed to make hot tub ownership mostly hassle-free.

Warranty and Continued Service

A well-made hot tub is designed to last. However, it still may require service, maintenance, or repairs throughout its life. This is why a solid warranty and continued service through your hot tub dealer are so important. Be sure to ask about specifics on warranties as well as how the spa dealer handles continued service.

Other questions to ask are:

Can I do a wet test?

What accessories and upgrades are available?

Do you offer financing options?

Do you anticipate this model going on sale or do you have any specific deals available?

How can I prepare my space for delivery and installation of my hot tub?

When can my hot tub be installed?

You’ll want to take photos of your backyard, specifically the area where you intend to have your hot tub placed. Bring measurements of the area as well. If you schedule a wet test, be sure to:

Feel the jets to see if they are adjustable and ask about massage variety.

Sit in the various seats to make sure the size and depth feels good to you.

Listen to the sounds of the hot tub while running and the waterfall features.

Ask about ease of use when it comes to customizing your hydromassage, adjusting the water temperature, and maintaining the filters.

Ask for a complete demo of all the typical functions of your future hot tub.

Upon seeing a selection of hot tubs first-hand and doing a wet test, you should feel confident that you’ve chosen the best hot tub to suit your needs. Based on the information in this hot tub buying guide, you are now equipped with all the tips and advice you need to find the right hot tub that will provide you with soothing hot tub enjoyment for many years to come.

Affiliations: Jacuzzi® is a registered trademark of Jacuzzi Group. All rights reserved.

Medical disclaimer: This information is not intended to prescribe a particular diagnosis or course of action. We are not medical professionals. Please contact your GP or other medical professional for advice if you have any concerns about your current health or well-being.

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