26 November 2019
Different Types of Hot Tub: Which One Is Best for You?
The hot tub was once seen as a luxury item that was only enjoyed by the rich and famous - an extravagant expense that ‘regular folk’ could only enjoy on their summer holidays and at their local gym.
Today, however, as many as one in ten UK households have an outdoor spa area with a hot tub at its focal point and this is primarily because there are so many choices to consider now. Modern hot tubs range in price from thousands of pounds to just a few hundred pounds.
Investing in any hot tub, however, is not only a major financial decision - but an aesthetic one too. It needs to take into account your budget and the size of your garden, what benefits you aiming to get from the use of a hot tub and how frequently.
Below we’ve singled out the most common types of hot tub to help you come to an informed decision on which will be most suitable for your home.
Option #1: Inflatable
A relatively modern addition to the hot tub market, these outdoor spas are not only the most affordable ‘gateway’ option on the market but have the added benefit of being easy to move - simply deflate and re-inflate then plug them into the mains! Typically built from laminated PVC or polyester, they are surprisingly sturdy and can get quite hot. However, they are also less comfy than other models (eg no moulded seats) and can be accidentally be punctured. Not only that, but they typically cost more to heat than conventional spas. A nice idea, but perhaps only for those who are unsure and want to test the idea of having a hot tub before moving onto a ‘proper’ hot tub.
Option #2:Tiled Built-in
These hot tubs are typically built alongside a swimming pool installation - a bespoke installation designed and built by a professional pool company. As a result, this is perhaps the most expensive option to consider. However, inbuilt hot tubs are the most aesthetically pleasing and can be built to your exact specifications – you can even decide how many massage jets are incorporated! If you are planning to have a bespoke pool, now is the time to think about whether you want to integrate a hot tub. Conventional wisdom says that the running costs of inbuilt models tend to have lower than above-ground hot tubs.
Wooden spas were the first hot tubs, designed many decades ago as personal soak tubs (outdoor baths). They are generally heated by either a wood fire, gas, or electric heater, and are comfortably the most ‘pretty’ option on the market.
As they are all built bespoke, however, they are pricey and they will take up a lot of room. They take a long time to heat and they lack all the bells and whistles of more modern alternatives. But for the ‘wow factor’ alone they are at least worthy of consideration.
Option #5:Portable spa
The most popular options for those that feel they are ready to upgrade from the inflatable spa are the lightweight portable spas, which are what most people will immediately picture when you mention the phrase ‘hot tub’.
More durable than their wooden and inflatable cousins and boasting more potential features (from massage jets and lighting to moulded seats and even in-built entertainment systems), this is essentially the ‘gold standard’ of non-inbuilt spas and pairs wonderfully with an indoor or outdoor pool.
It is worth mentioning, however, that whilst they are technically ‘portable’, these units are not easy to move and require special pads in place to support their weight. So, location and functionality are key considerations.
There are, of course, other options to consider. Lightweight, rotationally moulded tubs are wonderful as home hydrotherapy solutions and for professional athletes, swimming, and exercise spas that can be used for training are also a legitimate option.
However, for the majority of people wishing to dip their toes into the world of home spa luxury, any of the above mentioned options are a good place to start doing more in-depth research.
At London Swimming Pool Company we specialise in swimming pool and inground spa design, construction and refurbishment, so if you need advice on a pool or inground spa, contact us for an initial discussion – there’s no substitute for expert advice.