How Much Do Hot Tubs Cost? (Costs, Features, & More.)
November 20th, 2022 - 15 Minute Read
Thinking of buying a hot tub, portable hot tub, inflatable hot tub, wood-fired hot tub or something else? Has it got you wondering what the costs, features, pros and cons are of different tub types? Learn the key points you need to know in this article.
When it comes to cost, you’ll find that the hot tub industry has several ranges that hot tubs fall into. We’ll be looking at these price ranges and which hot tubs sit in them, along with some of the features they offer.
So, by the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how much hot tubs will cost and what range your budget will put you in.
What Makes a Quality Hot Tub?
Hot tubs, much like cars, vary in cost depending on the quality of their build and the components going into them. A hot tub is an investment and should be seen as such when looking at hot tub costs and what you can afford.
Factors that can affect the price of a hot tub:
- Size- Larger size hot tubs cost more to produce
- Features- Additional features increase overall prices
- Engineering- Advanced hydro technology produces greater massage benefits and costs more
- Design- Complex molds and shapes can drive up the cost.
- Materials-The cost of raw materials rises and falls depending on the quality
- Quality of the parts and plumbing- Higher grade components impact the overall price
Types of Hot Tub
What is an Inflatable Hot Tub?
Price range: $300- $1500
An inflatable hot tub is just that, inflatable. It uses an air blower to inflate the walls and power the jets, and a portable heater keeps the water warm. An inflatable hot tub can also be set up and used very quickly.
Made using PVC on the lower end and reinforced vinyl on the higher end, inflatable hot tubs don’t have the longevity of hard-shell spas, and those on the cheaper side aren’t durable. This also makes them cheaper to manufacture, however.
Most inflatable spas are round and reinforced with padding on the bottom instead of seating. And they can seat between 3 -7 people, depending on the size you’re looking at.
Features are limited on inflatable hot tubs and tend to be basic if they do. On the more expensive hot tubs, you can get headrests, drink holders, and even lights, should you wish.
One of the benefits of a blow-up spa is the ease of maneuverability, being easy to take down or pop up. But they do require a flat and stable surface like all hot tubs and will need padding underneath.
The material and nature of how inflatable hot tubs are used keep the cost of them down, meaning they are cheap to buy and easy to maintain. However, they aren’t very durable and won’t provide you with a good massage or target specific areas of your body.
- Plug in and play
- Additional headrests and lights on some models
- Easy setup
Are Inflatable Hot Tubs Energy Efficient?
Inflatable spas may not retain as much heat and are often less energy-efficient because of the way they are made. Although the pocket of air in the sidewalls and floor provides some insulation value, it’s typically less than what is found in a permanent hot tub. This means you will most likely pay more to keep an inflatable hot tub heated than you would with a permanent hot tub.
- Affordable- Budget-friendly
- Plug in and Play- Quick setup to start using it in a short time
- Portable- Can be set up just about anywhere
- Easy to maintain- Less maintenance than a permanent hot tub
- Less durable- Not as long-lasting as a hard-shell hot tub
- Limited features- Few options for extras
- Not winter-proof- Not suitable for year-round use
- No seating- On the ground most of the time
- Basic hydromassage- Limited jets and massage options
- Energy efficiency- Less insulation and less energy efficient
Inflatable Hot Tub Collections
- Lay-Z Spa Airjet™ range
- MSpa® Premium series
- Intex® Pure Spa range
What is a Permanent Hot Tub?
Permanent or hard-shell hot tubs come in different shapes and sizes but are made from plastic, wood and sometimes metal. They are a permanent structure that can’t be taken down like an inflatable spa and take up a certain amount of space, so it’s important before purchasing one to ensure you have enough for it to fit.
Permanent hot tubs come in varying ranges of cost too. They offer various features within each range, with more and exclusive ones available on higher-priced hot tubs.
Often permanent hot tubs have the ability to be put in-ground or within decking alongside being freestanding. This adds to the cost of a hot tub during the installation of the spa but can be versatile and help create a fantastic garden or outdoor space.
Wood-Fired Hot Tubs
Price range: $2,100-$11,600
Often seen as the traditional hot tub, a wood-fired spa is heated using a log-fired stove in place of electricity; however, you can purchase electric or gas/propane wooden spas as well.
Typically, they tend to be round in shape and hold 3-10 people with seating. Being a wood- fired process of heating, it can take, on average, anywhere between 3-5 hours depending on the quality of the tub's burner, amount of wood burning, and environmental exposure.
Being heated by wood means the water temperature is constantly in flux, and unlike electrical hot tubs, wood-fired hot tubs will need to have the wood topped up regularly to keep the heat high.
Most wood-fired hot tubs won’t have jets, and any that do will be powered by electricity. They are also limited in features, being more basic in form and function, which keeps overall costs to a minimum.
Not having a filtration or water treatment system like other hard shell hot tubs, the water will need to be changed every time you use it, which means reheating the water afresh, as sanitation and hygiene could become an issue.
- Wood fire heating
- Traditional feel
Wood-Fired Hot Tubs Energy Efficient?
On the surface, a wood-fired hot tub might seem more eco-friendly, as you’re using wood, not electricity, to heat the water. But typically, this requires more time out of the tub to constantly be putting more wood into the fire to heat up. Being fueled by wood, this can lead to variable heat levels in the spa and, in winter, will require more to keep temperatures up.
Unlike an electric spa, which can keep the temperature constant, the water in a wood-fired hot tub will require reheating every time you use it. So, heating times and heat retention can vary.
Depending on the wood-fired hot tub in question, insulation quality can vary, with some having more advanced insulation like a steel frame supported by fiberglass or more basic than this, meaning you could see heat evaporate sooner.
- Environmentally friendly- Highly renewable fuel source in wood
- Cheaper to run than other hot tubs- Can typically keep costs down
- Lower chemical dependency- Less chemicals used over other spas
- Limited space and shape-Typically only available in round design
- Irregular temperature- Variable heat levels while using the spa
- Regular upkeep of wood- Required to keep heating the water
Wood-fired hot tub brands
- Skarsgard Alumi Tubs
- Cotswold Eco Tubs
Entry Level Hot Tubs
Price range: $3,500-$7,000
Many brands offer an entry level hot tub to their spas, with straightforward features that deliver value for money. Depending on the brand, the quality can vary along with the extras they want to put into the spa model.
Rotationally molded hot tubs fall into this range due to their ease of manufacturing and lower production costs. Rotationally molded spas are made from a durable high-density plastic called polyethylene which is poured into a spa-shaped mold and then rotated until it dries. It creates a one-piece plastic hot tub making them lightweight and easy to move.
Entry level spas are a step up over inflatable hot tubs and offer functional lighting and hydromassage. Being made with durable plastic, they differ from acrylic hot tubs in looks and don’t have a shiny fiberglass and acrylic top, though you can get imitations. If you are concerned about the look of your hot tub, this is something to take into account when thinking of a roto-mold hot tub.
- Durable construction
- On frills accessories
- Roto mold is much lighter than other hot tubs
Are Entry Level Hot Tubs Energy Efficiency?
Entry level spas typically have less high-quality insulation in them to keep overall costs down, with acrylic shells retaining heat better than a roto-molded one. A large part of how energy efficient the hot tub is, will be coming down to the manufacturer and the brand.
Cheaper materials will see a decrease in energy efficiency over a spa made with quality materials and an emphasis put on insulation and keeping energy usage optimized.
- Cost-effective for hot tub newcomers- Less expensive for first-time buyers
- Lightweight- Roto-mold spas are lighter than acrylic hot tubs
- Moveable- Easier to move when empty and durable
- Plug in and play- Simple setup for ease of use
- Basic features- Straightforward extras
- Simple hydromassage- Functional rather than extensive
- Limited color choices- Not many options depending on the brand
- Cramped- Might cause issues if tall
- Mobility- This could be an issue for less mobile people
Entry Level Hot Tub Collections
- Dream Maker® Spas Stonehenge collection
- Freeflow® Spas Sport series
- AquaRest® Spa Elite range
Mid-Range Hot Tubs
Price range: $7,000-$12,000
Mid-range or value hot tubs provide more features and quality hydromassage than an entry level spa, with a greater emphasis on providing a great hot tub experience. As such, the price of providing this increases as quality pushes the price up.
Reputable brands like Hydropool®, Jacuzzi® or HotSpring® carry hot tubs in this price range in a lower-cost collections. They often provide access to a brand’s technology and engineering.
Mid-Range Hot Tub Collections
- Jacuzzi® J-280™ collection
- Hydropool® Classic collection
- HotSpring® Hot Spot® collection
- Bullfrog® Spas R Series™
- Caldera® Spas Paradise series
Premium Hot Tubs
Price range: $12,000-$18,000
A premium hot tub delivers more than a mid-range in quality and features but less than a luxury spa, typically having access to some, but not all, of a brand’s maximum features.
Premium hot tubs often offer a greater choice of features over a mid-range or entry level spa, allowing you to customize the hot tub, typically offering more variety of cabinet and acrylic shell covers as well.
Jet technology, spa comforts, more advanced hydromassage, and water filtration options can be attained in hot tubs falling into this range, with variable prices depending on what model or options you choose.
- High quality and variety
- Lots of extras to choose from
- Energy efficient insulation
- Access to advanced features
Are Premium Hot Tubs Energy Efficient?
Yes, premium hot tubs often share the same level of insulation quality as luxury hot tubs, offering high heat retention and redistribution using full foam insulation as one example. Premium spas tend to allow upgrades to high filtration as well, to maximize water treatment systems such as UV or salt water.
- Choice of options- Greater customization over mid-range level spas
- Advanced features- Gives you the choice of luxury options
- Exclusive benefits- Can offer exclusive seats or therapy jets depending on the brand
- Not the very best- Not the maximum features each brand offers
- Optional features- You might have to pay more for specific features
Premium Hot Tub Collections
- Jacuzzi® J-300™ collections
- Hydropool® Serenity collection
- HotSpring® Limelight® collection
- Bullfrog® R Series™
Luxury Hot Tubs
Price range: $18,000 to over $25,000
Luxury hot tubs offer a wealth of premium features and include the very best hydromassage options that a hot tub company can offer. They usually have a range of premium extras and features that come as part of the package.
This all comes at a cost, however, as the increased price is due to the premium jetting, plumbing and parts, along with specialized seating options and advanced filtration and sanitization.
These all impact the price, increasing it due to their high quality nature, but offer the very best in comfort and hydromassage options.
- Remote control of your hot tub is usually standard
- High quality display screens
- High end jetting and massage options
- Premium lighting
- Exclusive seating styles
- Advanced sanitation systems
Are Luxury Hot Tubs Energy Efficient?
Luxury hot tubs provide the pinnacle of energy efficiency, with many high-end brands strenuously designing spas that provide excellent heat retention and redistribution. Utilizing different insulation types, such as full foam or thermal blankets, luxury spas also provide quality components to maximize energy usage.
- Exclusive features- Unique options only found on the very best spas
- Premium features as standard- Offers the very best often as standard
- More options and customization- Greater choice over the hot tub you want
- Premium price- Top end of the price range, not suitable for those on a budget
- Expensive parts- Will cost more to replace
Luxury Hot Tubs Collections
- Hydropool® Signature collection
- Jacuzzi® J-400™ collection
- HotSpring® HighLife™ collection
- Bullfrog® Spas M Series™ spas
We hope you’ve now got a much better understanding of how much hot tubs cost and the features they can come with. It’s important to understand the range of hot tubs out there, and what kind of hot tubs are on offer to you based on your budget.
All ranges of hot tubs offer something different, and we hope this has cleared up some of the confusion around how much they cost.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Jacuzzi® hot tubs, check out our collections or
discover why hot tubs are great for your health and well-being.
We hope this has helped you, and we wish you luck in the search for the perfect hot tub for you.
Disclaimer: In this article we’ve used brand names not affiliated with Jacuzzi® or Hydropool®. All information, including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing and may change without notice.
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