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Best Hot Tub Brands

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by Kate Williams, Ph.D. ConsumerAffairs Research Team

The hot tub industry has several major players and is quite a competitive market. Companies have stepped up in recent years with innovative technologies, especially around hydrotherapy used in treating diseases like arthritis.

Whether they need a hot tub for recreational or therapeutic purposes, consumers should take time to learn about current trends in the hot tub market in order to find a tub that fits their budget, as well as their personal and health needs.

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Best WarrantyRead Reviews
  • 8 hot tub models available
  • 20-year structural warranty on all hot tub models
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Best SelectionRead Reviews
  • 60 hot tub models available
  • 5-year or 10-year structural warranties available
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Best ValueRead Reviews
  • 23 hot tub models available
  • 5-year or 10-year structural warranties available

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ThermoSpas Hot Tubs
Read 278 Reviews

Choose colors, jets and accessories to custom design your hot tub. Models hold 2–12 adults and include an air-cleaning system and co-generated heating system. 20-year warranty. Financing available. Prices start around $4,000.

Marquis Spas
Read 584 Reviews

These American-made, award-winning hot tubs seat 1–10. Choose from triangular, square, rectangular or round. Customize your hot tub with accessories including benches, shelving and storage areas. Prices start around $3,000.

Master Spas, Inc.
Read 473 Reviews

American-made, energy-efficient portable spas; patented system applies magnetic therapy to pressure points across your shoulders, back and neck. Choose from 26 models that seat 2–8. Prices start around $3,200.

Cal Spas
Read 658 Reviews

These American-made, award-winning hot tubs include customizable therapy options and adjustable jets. More than 250 product models available. Models hold 2–12 people.

Hot Spring Spas
Read 51 Reviews

These hot tubs provide traditional, Hydromassage and directional water jets. An ACE saltwater system automatically generates chlorine and other cleaners. Pricing starts at $3,000. Models hold 2–8 people.

Sundance Spas
Read 27 Reviews

Patented jet technology means no moving parts and less wear and tear. Adjust temperature and energy efficiency via a smartphone app. Choose from 25 models that seat 2–8.

Jacuzzi Hot Tubs
Read 51 Reviews

Hot tubs come in 26 models and hold 2–9 people. Jets provide full neck and back coverage. Ergonomic seats and headrest maximize the benefits of hydromassage.

Dimension One Spas
Read 12 Reviews

Seats in spas are based on more than 100 measurements of the human body. Patented shell carries a lifetime warranty against cracks, leaks and fading. Choose from 21 models that hold 2–8 people.

Caldera Spas
Read 10 Reviews

Choose from 15 models that hold 2–8 people. Create a customized ambiance with details such as LED illumination, the sound of waterfalls and entertainment systems.

Life Spas
Read 18 Reviews

These American-made hot tubs are priced as low as $25 a month. Choose from 28 models that seat 2–9. Ergonomically designed with wide bucket seats and deep foot wells. Some models offer cool-down seats.

How to buy a hot tub

  1. Decide on the right size hot tub
    The size of your hot tub will depend on the number of people who will use it, the seating style you want and the size of the space where it will be installed. You can buy a small hot tub that can accommodate 2—3 people or a large hot tub that can accommodate up to eight.
    • Make sure you have enough space to install your hot tub
    • Choose an area in your yard or home that has adequate room for drainage, ventilation and access for doing maintenance on the hot tub when needed
    • Check building codes and zoning laws in your neighborhood to make sure they allow for the installation of hot tubs
  2. Determine your budget
    Hot tub prices range from less expensive portable spas to eight and 10-person acrylic tubs. Price is highly dependent on brand, size and features, so shopping around is a good idea.
  3. Choose your hot tub features
    There are a lot of features to consider when purchasing a hot tub. Choosing the right ones will ensure you have the best experience possible with your new hot tub.
  4. Find the right hot tub brand
    You want to buy your hot tub from a manufacturer that sells high-quality hot tubs, has a track record that they can be proud of and offers lifetime warranties for all their hot tubs. Talk to several dealers who are selling their products and customers who have bought their products.
    • Visit a hot tub showroom to schedule a wet test so you can "try before you buy"
    • Narrow down your options, then read customer reviews before making your final choice

Hot tub features to consider

Seating style

hot tub on balcony

Whether you’ll be using your hot tub for therapy or relaxation, you need a seating style that meets those needs.

  • Lounge seating: Lounge seats, such as those in some Master Spas hot tubs, are for those who are seeking a relaxing experience. Ergonomically designed seats can fit every contour of your body for therapeutic comfort. This type of seating allows for lying nearly horizontal in the water, creating an almost weightless feeling.
  • Therapeutic comfort seats: These seats provide extra massage points, usually at the neck, back and shoulders. Some companies offer deep soak seats that put you as low as you can go to provide relief to your neck and spine.
  • Cool-down seats: Cool-down seats allow the body to remain partially out of the water. Besides being the coolest part of the hot tub, these are good for transitions in and out of the tub and usually provide leg, ankle and foot massage jets.

Water filtration

Water filtration systems help keep your hot tub water clean, healthy and safe. Filtration captures the visible debris floating on the water surface while water purification gets rid of microorganisms not seen with the naked eye. Common purification systems use ozone, saltwater and UV to disinfect the water.

  • Salt system: Salt systems kill germs with naturally produced chlorine. Many prefer this method to adding chlorine or bromine tablets to the water and say that the water feels softer and silkier with a salt system.
  • Ozone system: Ozone works in combination with chlorine and bromine to kill germs and bacteria. In addition, ozone breaks down residue from soap, shampoo and makeup that finds its way into the water.
  • UV-C system: A relatively new player in the hot tub filtration market, this method uses a high-intensity UV germicidal light ray to kill germs.

Jet types

Your ideal hot tub should feature a combination of jet types strategically positioned in various massage styles that provide the hot tub therapy you’re looking for. Some of the best companies, like ThermoSpas, offer an opportunity to tailor the jets to your individual therapeutic needs with up to 70 jet selections.

  • Rotary jets: Also known as therapy jets, these are used for therapeutic massage and are the most versatile jets.
  • Relaxation jets: These jets have a larger and softer flow and create a gentle and relaxing bubbling motion.
  • Pressure point jets: Pressure point jets provide a tight, intense water flow that can be used to stimulate pressure points on the body.

Pumps

A pump powers the circulation of water and operation of jets. Some hot tubs have more than one pump to deliver various functions such as controlling jet power to particular seats. The type and number of pumps needed will depend on the jet power, the speed you need and the energy you’re expected to consume.

Ambiance options

woman relaxing in hot tub

Some of today's coolest hot tubs come with options for creating ambiance for bathers, creating an immersive experience.

  • Sound system: Hot tubs can be equipped with a sound system. Generally, the speakers are built into the top lip near headrests, and they can often be controlled wirelessly via Bluetooth.
  • Decorative lighting: Lighting can be placed in the hot tub as well as along the top or outside. Lighting can change the mood from soft and relaxing to exciting and energetic.
  • Hot tub color: A hot tub’s color can complement the environment and set the tone for bathers. From blues and browns to black, the hot tub color can set the mood in many ways.

Hot tub accessories

There is a nearly endless list of accessories available for hot tubs, from items that make owning a hot tub more convenient to those that protect the hot tub or add comfort.

  • Remote monitoring: Many home systems, such as security and heating systems, are now taking advantage of remote access. Hot tubs are no exception, and consumers can now turn the hot tub up to the desired temperature to be ready when they get home.
  • Coverall: Hot tubs come with a cover, but for tubs that are left unattended for long periods of time, such as those in a second home, a coverall can greatly increase the life of the hot tub and the tub surround.
  • Spa pillow: Say goodbye to wet, lumpy towel rests. A spa pillow will cradle the head and neck. Some hot tub manufacturers offer these luxurious pillows built into the tub itself.

Types of hot tubs

Vinyl hot tub

Also known as soft tubs or portable tubs, these are inflatable hot tubs that are easy to move.

  • Pros: Portable and affordable
  • Cons: Fewer features available; serve better as a temporary option than a long-term one

Unicast hot tub

Also known as roto-molded, a unicast tub consists of the tub and the surrounding cabinet which are molded as one single hot tub piece.

  • Pros: Strong, durable, and attractive; have the potential for features like molded seating and lighting packages
  • Cons: Usually not capable of having as many jets as higher-end hot tubs

Acrylic hot tub

This is the most popular type of hot tub that comes in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

  • Pros: Durable and excellent for outdoor use with complex contours and shapes available
  • Cons: Difficult to relocate and will likely require an electrician
Not sure how to choose?

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Hot tub expert reviews

Cal Spas

Founded in 1979, this company is an innovator in the hot tub business, holding 28 trademarks and 48 design patents. This company offers a wide variety of patio hot tubs, in-ground hot tubs and Swim Pro swim spas.

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ThermoSpas Hot Tubs

This company has been manufacturing hot tubs since 1983 and selling directly to consumers since 1995. They are based in the U.S.

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Master Spas, Inc.

Headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana, this company is the world’s largest swim spa manufacturer and is among the largest portable spa and hot tub manufacturers. It offers a number of hot tub brands for sale across the United States.

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Marquis Spas

This company makes hot tubs and, through its subsidiary Aquatic Training Vessels, swim spas. The company has been in business since 1980 and is headquartered in Independence, Oregon. All its hot tub are manufactured in the United States and are sold at dealerships throughout the country.

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Jacuzzi Hot Tubs

This company’s headquarters is located in Chino, California. The company is considered the gold standard in hot tubs, and they're sold in more than 1,000 locations in 60 countries throughout the world.

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Sundance Spas

Founded in 1979 in Costa Mesa, CA, this company now has 750 retail locations in the United States. In addition, the company can be found in more than 60 countries through its International Dealer Network.

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Hot Spring Spas

Founded in 1977, this is the world's top-selling brand. They're made by award-winning hot tub manufacturer, Watkins Manufacturing.

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Caldera Spas

This company, part of Watkins Manufacturing, an industry-leading producer of premium spas, is a member of the Masco family of home products.

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Dimension One Spas

This company was founded in La Mesa, California, in 1977. The company is now located in Carlsbad, California, and sells hot tubs and swim spas through its network of independent retailers in the United States and around the world.

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Profile picture of Kate Williams, Ph.D.
Kate Williams, Ph.D. ConsumerAffairs Research Team

As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kate Williams, Ph.D. believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase. She spends countless hours researching companies and industries before writing buyers guides to make sure consumers have all the information they need to make smart, informed buying decisions.