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Find the best hot tub insulation

Compare the best hot tub insulation types

Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team
hot tub overlooking lake

High-quality insulation helps keep your utility bills low and extend the life span of your hot tub. Full foam is better than partial foam insulation for keeping in heat, and the density of the foam also plays a role in its effectiveness. Multidensity and FiberCor insulation are more expensive but good for increasing the efficiency of your hot tub.

Hot tub insulation types

There are many different ways manufacturers can choose to insulate their tubs. Hot tub insulation foam is usually made out of urethane and sprayed inside the cabinet. Barrier insulation, thermal wraps and FiberCor are also common types of hot tub insulation. 

  • Partial foam insulation: With partial foam insulation, spray foam only fills part of the cabinet. While it won’t add the highest levels of energy efficiency, it’s a solid option if you're primarily concerned with the cost of the hot tub. Partial foam insulation is the most common and affordable option for hot tub insulation.
  • Full foam insulation: Unlike partial foam, this type of foam insulation fills the entire cabinet so no air can escape. Full foam insulation also helps protect parts from movement and makes the shell more durable and stable. Full foam is more expensive than partial foam insulation, but it’s more energy-efficient and effective.
  • Multidensity foam insulation: Manufacturers make multidensity foam by using a variety of density levels when adding foam insulation. This variety allows the manufacturer to put the right level of insulation density where it makes the most sense, leading to the highest level of support and efficiency. However, it’s more expensive because it takes longer to install and costs more to make.
  • Thermal wrap insulation: This is more commonly used in swim spas than hot tubs because it doesn’t add that much insulation in the long run. Thermal wrap insulation blankets the inside or outside of your tub and help keep in some heat. Sometimes the outside wrap can be coated with reflective colors to help minimize the escaping warmth. This insulation is better than no insulation, but it's not the best option overall. However, you can choose to add this to your tub alongside other insulation to provide added benefits. Thermal wraps can also combine with spray foam insulation.
  • Barrier insulation: Barrier insulation coats the inside of the spa cabinet while allowing for air to move through it. This type of insulation allows heat to transfer more effectively without the use of pumps or vents, which are needed when using foam insulation. Reflective foil barriers reflect heat while doubling the barrier for added insulation.
  • FiberCor insulation: This is a new type of proprietary insulation by Watkins Wellness. FiberCor is similar to full foam because it’s sprayed into the cavity. However, instead of foam, this type of insulation uses a fiber similar to wool. It is four times as dense as foam and easier to remove.

What is the best insulation for a hot tub?

The best insulation for hot tubs is full foam, multidensity foam, barrier insulation or FiberCor. When comparing energy-efficient hot tubs, look for full foam or multidensity foam. If the description doesn’t specify full foam, the tub is likely only partially insulated with spray foam.

Insulation typeExamplePrice
Full foamMaster Spas hot tubs$$
Multidensity foamHot Spring Spas hot tubs$$$
Barrier insulationAtera Spas$$$
FiberCor insulationWatkins Wellness hot tubs$$$$

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    Best ways to insulate a hot tub

    Some excellent ways to add more insulation to your hot tub include purchasing a:

    • Hot tub cover: Make sure you have the proper cover and straps to retain heat when the hot tub is not in use. Using a high-quality insulated hot tub cover is the best way to get the most bang for your buck.
    • Hot tub or spa blanket: Investing in a hot tub or spa blanket helps optimize insulation because it floats on top of the water and decreases evaporation.
    • Pump shroud: A pump shroud transfers heat from the hot tub components to the water, which minimizes energy consumption.
    • Hot tub platform: You can reduce contact with the ground by placing your hot tub on a platform, which helps prevent heat from escaping.
    • Spray-foam kit: Owners can use spray-foam kits to improve hot tub insulation, but the DIY process can be complicated.

    Ultimately, the best way to insulate a hot tub is to pay a professional. By consulting a professional, you avoid problems that are a byproduct of beginner mistakes, including mold growth and malfunctioning products.

    Hot tub insulation FAQ

    Why do hot tubs need insulation?
    Hot tubs need insulation to maintain their temperature. Insulation provides an extra layer between your 104-degree water and the cold outside world. Insulation:
    • Increases energy efficiency
    • Protects parts during winter
    • Helps your hot tub last longer
    • Adds structural support to the components

    Without proper insulation, your hot tub requires more energy to maintain the same temperature. Uninsulated hot tubs are more expensive to operate, and their components tend to wear out faster.

    Which insulating material best limits heat loss?
    Multidensity urethane foam and wool-like fibers are the best insulating materials to limit heat loss in hot tubs.
    How do I insulate my hot tub for the winter?
    For winter, we recommend adding more insulation to your hot tub and making sure your cover is free of cracks or other damage. You can also get a floating spa blanket to add more heat retention. Many companies sell additional covers and cover accessories, including wind straps and closed-cell thermal blankets for hot tubs. Insulated spa covers also help protect your tub during colder months.
    Is a frozen hot tub covered by insurance?
    More than likely, your insurance provider won't cover a frozen hot tub. If the tub froze because of a mechanical failure instead of a user error, some insurance policies may cover it. However, even if your insurance company covers a frozen hot tub, it’s probably not worth the increased rates you would pay for the expanded policy.

    Bottom line

    Look for multidensity or full-foam insulation when you’re shopping for a hot tub. Proprietary insulations, like FiberCor, are also smart options, especially if you live in a colder climate. Remember that quality insulation for your hot tub protects your investment and reduces your energy costs. If you already have a hot tub with partial foam insulation, consider a thermal blanket or pump shroud to optimize insulation.

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    Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
    by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kathryn Parkman believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase, which is why she spends hours researching companies and industries for ConsumerAffairs. She believes conscious consumption is everyone's responsibility and that all content deserves integrity.