How much does a hot tub cost?

Prices range widely — from $329 to $25,062 upfront

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ThermoSpas Hot Tubs
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Having a year-round spa experience sounds great — “This spa has turned our backyard into our own personal therapeutic resort,” ConsumerAffairs reviewer Angela from New York said about their hot tub — but how much does it cost to own a hot tub of your own?

In general, you can expect to pay anywhere from $329 to $25,062 for the tub itself, $500 to $3,000 if the tub requires installation and $700 to $1,600 a year on maintenance and repairs (as of publishing), but it all depends on the type and size of tub you choose.


Key insights

  • Upfront hot tub prices can range anywhere from $329 to $25,062.
  • Above-ground installation for a hot tub usually costs $500 to $3,000.
  • Maintenance costs average around $500 to $1,000 a year for a hot tub, and sporadic repairs typically cost $200 to $600.

Hot tub cost by type

When it comes to picking a hot tub, the more portable, the more affordable; in general, inflatable hot tubs cost the least, while in-ground acrylic hot tubs cost the most. (While seeking out estimates, be sure to ask retailers if a cover comes with your purchase — this isn’t always included in the price.)

All prices are accurate as of publishing.

Inflatable hot tubs

By far the most affordable option, at $329 to $1,814 as of publishing, inflatable hot tubs are easy to move, making them a great choice if you’re a renter. Inflatable hot tub jets usually aren’t as powerful as those in traditional models, but the tub is made of air-filled vinyl, which means the seating is soft and cushiony.

Acrylic hot tubs

Acrylic plastics are by far the most popular manufacturing material for hot tubs. These tubs are durable and have sought-after features like adjustable jets, quick drains, lights and ergonomic seating. Acrylic tubs are pricey at $2,499 to $19,000 — this large range is mostly due to the number of luxury add-on features available.

The cost of your hot tub also depends on how many add-on features (like lights and ergonomic seating) you choose.

Wooden hot tubs

Because other hot tubs tend to be more durable, less expensive and more energy efficient, wooden hot tubs sell mostly for their classic, rustic appearance and feel. When in use, wooden hot tubs, especially cedar ones, emit an aroma many find pleasant and soothing.

The seating in these hot tubs is usually a simple wooden bench. Wooden hot tubs typically have higher starting costs, ranging from $4,829 to $23,995.

Saltwater hot tubs

You can turn a regular hot tub into a saltwater hot tub simply by adding a salt-chlorine generator, which usually ranges in price from $162 to $1,067. These generators use salt to create chlorine, which then sanitizes the water, making saltwater tubs a great choice for those concerned about exposure to chemicals or those whose skin and eyes are easily irritated.

Saltwater is more stable than chemically treated water, meaning you're likely to spend less money on maintenance — but buying the generator means you’ll pay a little more upfront.

» MORE: Saltwater hot tub pros and cons

Hot tub cost by size

Starting costs typically don’t go up by adding seats; instead, seating pricing is based on how standard the number of seats is. For example, two-seater hot tubs are harder to find, so they start a bit higher than four-seat tubs.

You’re likely to see the widest range in pricing with a four-person hot tub, the most common model size. Most hot tub companies make models that accommodate four to six people; however, a handful of companies make specialty sizes that accommodate 10 people or more.

» MORE: Best hot tub brands

Hot tub installation costs

Unless your hot tub is inflatable or a plug-and-play model, you’ll need to factor in installation fees. Plug-and-play tubs can operate after being plugged into a standard 110-volt outlet. These models are cheaper but often have less powerful jets, less powerful heating and higher energy costs since they don’t have much insulation.

Joseph Melara, the owner of Residential Brokers in Palm Springs, California, told us homeowners should expect to pay $500 to $3,000 for above-ground installation. For in-ground installations, he said the price “can rise dramatically since they require more labor-intensive excavation, building and landscaping tasks.”

Installation costs usually involve some electrical work since most hot tubs need to be plugged into a 220-volt outlet. Nationwide, the average cost of installing a 220-volt outlet is $216. You’ll also need a flat surface, so you may need to hire someone to pour concrete or level your yard.

Hot tub maintenance costs

Hot tub maintenance costs vary based on the model you choose. With some inflatable hot tubs, you can simply drain and replace the water after use rather than using chemicals, meaning you’ll pay nothing in water treatment costs — but your water costs may be high if you refill often.

To maintain a wooden model, you’ll need to treat it with linseed oil (which costs about $42 to $69 a gallon) every one to three years, depending on the climate where you live.

If you opt for a wooden hot tub, make sure to treat it with linseed oil occasionally.

Some manufacturers tout saltwater tubs as virtually maintenance-free, pointing out that you might have to replace the water just once a year. While it’s true saltwater does require much less maintenance and adjustment, government agencies caution it’s still important to test your saltwater hot tub every seven to ten days, just like with other hot tubs.

Regular maintenance vs. repair costs

With most hot tubs, routine maintenance — water testing, filter replacement, cleaning and chemical balancing — is crucial to keeping the tub in good shape. When creating your budget, plan on spending $500 to $1,000 a year on maintenance (this varies by size of the tub, water type — salt or chemically treated — and how often you use it).

» MORE: Most energy-efficient hot tubs

As a hot tub owner, you may also have to pay for occasional, as-needed repairs due to wear and tear, issues with components or leaks, which typically range from $200 to $600.

What are you looking for?

FAQ

How much does a basic hot tub cost?

The average starting price of an acrylic, four-seater hot tub is $3,266.

Are there any additional costs involved in hot tub installation?

Hot tubs must be placed on a level surface, which means you may need to hire someone to create a concrete slab or level your lawn. You also need access to a water source and a 220-volt outlet for most models. Try to budget $500 to $3,000 for installation costs.

What are the typical monthly operating costs for a hot tub?

Although most retailers quote $20 per month, maintenance professionals and real estate agents estimate the average hot tub owner will pay more than that. Expect to pay somewhere between $42 to $83 per month on maintenance and $25 to $59 a month on energy costs to heat the tub.

Can I finance a hot tub purchase?

Most retailers do offer financing; some don’t, though. Several major hot tub retailers list their minimum credit score for hot tub financing as 640.


Article sources
ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
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