Hot tub covers act as a layer of protection for your hot tub, they trap in heat, keep the water clean and keep running costs down.
Being a product that plays a big role in the life and running of a hot tub, we know that you may have a lot of questions about covers. You may be wondering how long hot tub covers last, how much they cost and how to make them last the distance.
Whether you’re thinking about purchasing a hot tub, a new owner, or just simply want to learn a little bit more about hot tub covers in the UK, then this is going to be the read for you!
This article will answer all the questions that you may or may not have even thought about, it's always good to be clued up about everything surrounding such a large investment!
In this article, we’ve used brand names not affiliated with Jacuzzi Group. You can see the list of the brand owners at the bottom of this article. All information, including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing (April 25, 2023) and may change without notice.
What is a hot tub cover?
It may sound like a silly question to some people, but if you are considering the investment of your first hot tub and don’t know much about them, you may be new to the fact that covers are an essential addition to any hot water product, whether it be hot tubs, swim spas or swimming pools.
A hot tub cover provides a thermal layer of protection that sit on the top of your hot tub to trap in heat, keep debris (such as leaves) out of the water and shield your product from the elements.
What are hot tub covers made of?
There are many types of hot tub covers on the market. These include inflatable covers, hardcoverand, automated hot tub covers, the list seems endless. The material depends on the brand’s innovation as well as the cover type you’re looking at.
While carrying out your hot tub cover research, you will come to realise that the most popular materials used is vinyl and foam. Vinyl or other UV resistant materials for the outer and foam insulation interior. The main reason for this is that vinyl can be UV and water resistant, and foam is a key insulating material.
Some covers are designed for certain weather conditions. For example, you live in an above average hot or cold climate, it would be good to look into covers with materials that work well with your location.
Make sure you do your research into hot tub covers as the materials used are detrimental to how long it will last, as well as its ability to lock in heat will impact overall running costs.
How much do hot tub covers weigh?
Depending on materials, you can find that a brand-new hot tub cover can weigh anywhere between 50-70 Ibs. You may be thinking ‘that’s heavy!’ and you're right. Many people choose to install a cover lifter to make adding or removing the cover much easier.
Why do hot tub covers get heavier over time?
After owning your cover for a good few years, you may notice that it feels heavier compared to when you bought it. This will be due to water ingress, which is where the water and condensation starts to saturate the foam core.
If air becomes trapped within the air bubbles of the foam, the insulation properties of the cover will start to decrease.
Every cover is going to get ingress, but if you maintain it well, cover lifter and do everything you can to minimise damage as excessive damage will speed up the degradation of water ingress.
Why should I buy a hot tub cover?
Covers are arguably one of the most important components to your hot tub, noted down below are just some of the many problems you can avoid by owning one:
Water heat loss
Bugs, leaves, sticks and other debris
Clogged filters and pipes
Spending extra money on running costs and chemicals to clean the water and heat your tub.
General wear and tear when not in use
Small pets or children slipping in
Paying more than needed in energy costs and water bills due to heat and water loss
How much does a hot tub cover cost?
The price of hot tubs covers varies massively on the type of cover, the quality, the brand and much more. Covers usually come with the initial purchase price of your product however, it will be good to clue up on how much a replacement may cost you down the road.
The average price for hot tub covers is around £200-500 and can go up to £1,200+ for a premium one. Like similar investments in this price category, the price tag usually correlates with the materials and innovation behind the product.
For hot tub cover lifters, you will be looking around £100-200, which you can install yourself or through an authorised technician. Whereas an automated gazebo cover can be anything from £8,000 to £16,000, depending on the delivery and labour involved.
‘Blankets’ that cover the whole hot tub with a thinner layer of protection can also retail for around £100-200.
What makes a quality hot tub cover?
What makes a cover a ‘good quality’ is mainly determined by the design, materials and manufacturing process. The more innovation boxes these factors tick, the greater the lifespan, efficiency and quality of the cover.
Some other points that go into the making of a quality hot tub cover include:
-Tapered edges – a thicker middle which tapers at the ends ensures falling rain or snow can run off the sides of the hot tub without creating moisture build-up
-UV resistant materials– resistant to UV, humidity and mould and helps cover last longer
-Heavy duty insulation material – helps retain heat in the water and increases energy saving potential
-Vacuum seal– ensures heat retention in the water with little room for warmth to escape
-Product stitching - The stitching is detrimental to a cover's life span, double stitching will improve longevity.
To put it simply, a hot tub cover is used for protection and heat retention. If it if the cover can do both things efficiently, it essentially is a good product.
How long do hot tub covers last?
Hot tub covers last anything between 2 years to more than 7years. The general rule of thumb is that a cover will last around 5 years with good maintenance, there are many components that can influence its lifespan.
It is hard to determine exactly how long hot tub covers last, factors such as the initial quality, how you take care of them and the climate at your home can all affect how long you can keep a cover before it needs replacing.
How can I make my hot tub cover last longer?
Of course, you’ll be wanting any investment to have the greatest lifespan possible. Here’s some key recommendations to keep a hot tub cover in best working condition and last the distance:
Clean regularly - Even if you’re not using your hot tub for an extended period, make sure that you clean your cover regularly. This will avoid dirt, debris building up and eventually eating away at the protective layer of your cover.
Hot tub cover lifter - A cover being manually removed and sat on the floor will cause more wear and tear than it would with a cover lifter. Cover lifters cause minimal strain to cover and some even work so that the cover never touches the floor!
Protectant spray - Purchasing a protection spray is a great way to extend longevity of a cover. Vinyl or plastic protection sprays, or UV protection sprays can fight against oxidisation, cracking and fading that could occur
Cover - UV rays can crack or fade cover surfaces. A gazebo or some sort of cover can help with this problem, some cover lifters can also double up as an over cover! As for cold weather and snow being an issue, a tarp cover in winter could be a good option.
No direct pressure - Even though they are extremely sturdy and will be able to hold the weight, don’t sit on the cover or let animals or children sit or stand on it. This can cause ‘sagging’ in the middle, general damage and is dangerous overall.
Air it out - Don’t forget about the inside! Warm steam can be a cause for mould, to prevent mould or water logging, (whenever the weather allows it) try and wipe the underside of your cover with a mild chorine spray and let it air dry!
When should I replace a hot tub cover?
When it is ‘sagging in the middle’- Rain or debris can collect over time when your hot tub is not in use, causing the corners of the covet to loosen and the seal to break.
Bad Smell- Extended periods of humidity may cause mould on the interior or exterior over time and therefore an additional bad smell.
Broken locks- If the straps, locks or hinges are broken it would be a good idea to replace the cover as it may blow off on a windy day, or cause gaps in the insulation.
Difficult to move- Water may have saturated the foam core.
Damage- Any damages such as tears, holes, or undone stitching can lead to heat escaping.
What is a hot tub summer cover?
A summer hot tub cover is a little bit different from your average cover which will usually come with the purchase of your product.
Also known as a ‘spa bag’ or ‘spa blanket’, a hot tub summer cover is a cover which completely covers a hot tub on all sides and from top to bottom.
A thermal cover is typically a lot thinner compared to the ‘normal’ hot tub cover, with a lot of brands creating theirs with PVC or woven polyethylene material which can protect from wind, rain and debris.
Although there is a layer of protection and insulation, we wouldn’t recommend a hot tub thermal cover as the only long-term cover for your hot tub, but more as a ‘cover for your cover’. This will also protect the bottom half of your product, which your thicker cover probably won't reach.
How do you take hot tub covers off?
You can take a hot tub cover off by undoing any clips that may be holding it down, folding it backwards onto itself then sliding the folded cover carefully onto the ground where it can sit on its side to avoid getting damaged.
Considering that hot tub covers can be a weighty bit of kit to move, and the fact that they have nowhere to sit but sideways on the floor, investing in a cover lifter is a good option.
What is a cover lifter?
A cover lifter is a metal or plastic frame that either sits at the side of your hot tub or is attached to it and holds your cover off the ground. It works as your assistant, taking the weight of the cover and making the process light and simple for you as the owner.
A cover lifter can lengthen the lifespan of the cover by preventing it from being pulled further than it needs to be and placed on the floor, and consequently saves your back as (especially for people on the smaller side), moving a hefty cover all the time can take a toll on your body!
You may also like to consider an automated cover. It looks like a gazebo, but the roof of it has an insulated hot tub cover built into it and can automatically come down and sit on your hot tub when not in use.
What hot tub covers can I buy in the UK?
You can purchase inflatable hot tub covers from brands such as Lay-Z-Spa ™ for anywhere between £49.99 and £179.99.
Lay-Z-Spa ™ does not have any branded retail stores but just about any home and garden store sell them and they are available on their website.
You can buy regular covers for hard shell hot tubs online or in store from garden centres or outdoor product brands. Some covers are even model specific such as ProLast™ which you can purchase here.
As for automated covers that also double up as gazebos, Happy Hot Tubs have three choices to choose from. They are priced from £10,495 to £16,995.
How do I swap my hot tub cover?
If your hot tub cover is in need of a change and you’re not sure how to go about it, you can ask your retailer or any store specialists; what will be the most practical option for the cover you have in mind.
You can order online or in store and either swap it over yourself, or a lot of retailers can offer a ‘swap service’ where they will deliver your new cover and take your old one to be disposed of or recycled in the correct way.
After reading this article you should have a better understanding of the key role a cover plays with the investment of a hot tub. Yes, it may seem like a very simple topic but as you can see, there’s many questions that can crop up while doing your research and we hope we’ve covered them for you.
A quality cover will keep your hot tub in great condition, lock in heat, make maintenance easier, and when the time comes to replace it, you’ll be well aware of the benefits it brings!
Interested in learning more about the Jacuzzi® ProLast™ covers? Click the button below to learn more about the three options available.