How much does a hot tub cost? Well, the simple answer is: it depends on your hot tub. A bare-bones rotationally-molded hot tub, at the absolute lowest end of the spectrum, can cost around $2,500. At the other end, the best portable hot tubs commercially available might exceed $16,000. The reason there’s such a large difference is that there is a broad range of hot tub sizes, features, materials, designs, and performance available.
Pricing can also vary based on warranty, ongoing service, and customer location. So basically the answer is that the price of your hot tub depends on what you want in your hot tub. Do you value low energy bills, powerful jets, and durable materials? Do aesthetic considerations, like a streamlined and comfortable design, multicolored lighting, and waterfalls make a big difference to you? Here’s a quick guide to the major features available in different spas that can affect their price:
The bigger the hot tub, the bigger the price tag (generally). Larger hot tubs require more materials to build, and require larger pumps to power their jets. They also take up more space in delivery trucks and on showroom floors. What size hot tub you need depends on how you’re looking to use it. If you only expect to use a hot tub individually or as a couple, or for therapeutic reasons, you may prefer a more intimate spa. On the other hand, if your family expects to use a hot tub together, or you plan on regularly entertaining, then a more spacious hot tub likely makes more sense.
If you’re into entertaining, the 8-person Utopia® Series Cantabria® may pique your interest.
At its most basic level, a hot tub is simply a container for hot water. But most of us expect quite a bit more from our spa experience, and most hot tubs offer some level of that. High-end spas will come with both functional and cosmetic features such as advanced jet systems, powerful, silent pumps, intuitive control panels, entertainment options, and premium water care systems that reduce the need for chemicals. In addition, top-tier hot tubs often come standard with multicolored lighting and beautiful waterfalls. The more features a spa includes, the higher the price will be. To decide which features may matter most to you, think of how you’ll be using your spa. If you expect many guests, a state-of-the-art built-in audio entertainment system and colored lighting might make a big difference. If you’re looking for single-person hydrotherapy, powerful, varied jets might be more important.
A variety of powerful jets targeting different areas of the body can be ideal if you’re seeking rejuvenating hydrotherapy from your spa.
Lower-end hot tubs are typically made of rotationally-molded plastic. These spas are easier to transport and install than higher-end acrylic models, and are less expensive to produce. However, the higher-priced acrylic is stronger, lasts longer, and insulates better than rotationally-molded plastic. At the low end, some hot tubs have no insulation at all. Better hot tubs have at least one type of insulation, while the best hot tubs use multiple types of insulation, including a full foam that doubles as structural support. This is more expensive than using a single type of insulation, but is more energy efficient. That increased energy efficiency can actually save money in heating costs over the years. High-end exterior siding is resistant to the effects of sun, wind, rain, and snow, while top-of-the-line interior surfaces are resistant to scratches, stains, and sun damage. So, if you know you want to enjoy your hot tub for years and years, it might make sense for you to invest upfront in high-quality, durable materials.
Higher-end spas like the Utopia Tahitian® feature acrylic shells that are durable, fade-resistant, and insulate well.
Not all hot tubs are designed equally. In many lower-end hot tubs, a user has to struggle to not constantly float to the surface, or must squat with their feet on the bottom. By contrast, higher-end spas are designed with ergonomic seats that keep users optimally located, even during hydromassage sessions from their powerful jets. Their control panels will be placed within arm’s length, and seats will be arranged to fit the maximum number of occupants spaciously and intuitively. These hot tubs are designed to be aesthetically appealing as well, serving as the backyard’s centerpiece with inviting colors, textures, shapes, lines, and interior and exterior lighting. A good hot tub is more than just an amusement, it’s part of its owner’s lifestyle. When debating how important design is, think of how it impacts both your experience and your perception of your spa.
Take a test soak in a hot tub from the Utopia® series, and you’ll feel the effectiveness of deliberate seat and jet design.
Although it may not seem so at first glance, there are many differences in performance between low- and high-end hot tubs. Though low-end spas might have many jets, their pumps are likely underpowered, providing a less intense and less satisfying hydrotherapy experience than the strong pumps in high-end hot tubs allow. The best hot tubs include quiet yet powerful circulation pumps, which move water through the filters and the heater. Cheaper hot tubs run on 110 volts, which take a while to heat up. Once hot, these spas have difficulty maintaining temperature while also powering massage jets. More expensive hot tubs upgrade to 220 volts, which can easily power jets while maintaining temperature and even running an entertainment system. High-end spas are engineered more efficiently as well, with multiple layers of dense foam insulation. These hot tubs also include base pans, which protect interior components while keeping heat from leaching into the ground. Performance can make a big difference in how much you enjoy your hot tub over the years, and the level of satisfaction you can enjoy from it.
Strong pumps that power a variety of innovatively designed jets can provide an elevated hydrotherapy experience.
Not all hot tubs come with quality guarantees from their manufacturers. While these may be less expensive up front, should the hot tub fail because of a defect, the customer will be forced to pay for repairs or purchase a new one at full price. A good hot tub warranty will cover the product for five to ten years after purchase, ensuring that its owners can enjoy their spa without any cause to worry. Likewise, premium and luxury hot tubs can come with comprehensive service agreements from your dealer, including delivery, installation, relocation, water quality testing, repairs, maintenance, and cleaning. While hot tubs without service agreements are less expensive, you may end up paying the difference in the time and labor you must put in to keep a low-end spa running smoothly. Simply put, the easier, quicker, and more effective your hot tub is to use, the more likely you are to want to use it regularly. By keeping your water clean and safe with regular maintenance or an in-line water care system, you’ll be making sure your spa continues to be a regular, relaxing part of your everyday life.
Your hot tub dealer will be your partner through your entire spa experience, from installation to maintenance years down the road.
Now that you have a good idea of which features matter the most to you in a hot tub, here’s a guide to determine which level of spa comes with those features. With your preferred tier in mind, you should have a good idea of how much your ideal hot tub may cost.
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