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9 Types of Hot Tubs for the Perfect Home Bath

wondering what the types of hot tubs are?. There are several varieties available in the market.  This can make it difficult to decide on which one to choose.

There is nothing more refreshing than having a warm bath in a hot tub after an exhausting day.

If you are shopping around for hot tubs and don’t know which type to choose, here are the different types of hot tubs to help you make an informed decision.

Types of Hot Tubs

1). Portable Hot Tub

Portable hot tubs are the most commonly used variety and are less expensive than other types. There are available in sizes, colors, configuration and are more durable.

The portable units are developed as an alternative to the wooden ones which quickly went of style.

portable hot tub, types of hot tubs

They are also considered more energy-efficient, thereby offering better performance in the long term. They are small hot tubs.

Though they are portable enough to be transported from one location to another, the tubs are quite heavy and require a lot of effort to move. Plus, they also need a special pad to support the weight.

Also Read:

What are hot tubs and their benefits

2). Rotationally Molded Hot Tub

The rotationally molded tubs are also often referred to as “rotomolded” hot tubs.

This is a perfect option for those who want to have hydrotherapy on a budget because they can afford a high-end swim spa tub.

rotationally molded hot tub

These are not lightweight like the inflatable hot tubs but are better in terms of functionality and durability.

However, they’re usually under 300 lbs in weight, and, as such, you can move them to your desired location. You may need an extra pair of hands, though. Nevertheless, the best part about these is the contoured seating, which allows you to relax in the most comfortable position.

They are also very sturdy and are less prone to damage since they are made of a single piece of material, molded into a shape.

However, their plastic appearance can be a turn-off for some users and they are not also efficient. If looks don’t bother you, then these are a good option.

3). Wooden Hot Tub

Wooden tubs are the oldest varieties and have been a source of inspiration for modern hot tub designs.

Originally, they were designed as personal tubs for soaking. In their primitive form, these tubs were fashioned out of discarded barrels and vats.

wooden hot tub

The design was crude and did little for comfort. However, since then, wooden tubs have undergone significant improvements and become the hot tubs that we use now. That said, if you’re considering this option, make sure to first check out the heating source.

There are hot tubs that can be heated with a wood fire heater, electric heater, gas heater, or a combination. The heat source plays a huge role in how quickly your hot water will heat up and where the hot tub will be located.

Wooden tubs are very aesthetically pleasing to some buyers and redwood and cedar hot tubs have the added benefit of providing lovely aromatherapy while you are soaking.

Unfortunately, there are very bulky and also are not any less expensive than the traditional hot tubs.

Another downside to them is that they often require assembly and do not have all the fun features that many bathers may want when they are purchasing a hot tub.

4). Swim or Exercise Spa

If you want to be a bit extravagant and invest in modern technology, a swim or exercise spa is one of the best options.

These tubs are typically built into a deck or in a separate enclosure inside the house, where the owner has sufficient space to swim and exercise.

Naturally, these specialized units are quite bulky, and even though they’re designed as self-contained models, they still require a solid foundation for support.

swim spa

Since they offer you more space than their traditional counterparts, you can easily swim, float, or exercise in them. Honestly, this is an excellent way to get into shape as you can work out in a warm, yet relaxing environment.

Unfortunately, these hot tubs also have their own glitches that cannot be ignored. For instance, these hot tubs are expensive compared to traditional hot tubs.

They are also large and demand dedicated space for installation or construction. The last but not least, swim spas will also have high operating costs. It will require having enough water to create a mini swimming pool and electricity to warm up and maintain the water temperature.

If you choose to invest in a swim spa, make sure to do budgeting ahead to know how much it will cost you to install and to run so as to not run into problems.

5). In-Ground

Most backyard in-ground hot tubs are built adjacent to or as part of an in-ground swimming pool.

Usually, these tubs are custom ob and require a permit and for the work to be done by a professional. This means that they are much more expensive than the hot tubs that you can purchase at the store, but that also means that they can be customized to meet the owners needs.

in ground hot tub

When it comes to in-ground hot tubs, there are two options to choose. The first is to buy a shell that can be placed into  hole that has been dug in the ground.

The other option is to have a concrete hot tub installed. This is great if you are concerned about the aesthetics of your hot tub and how it will look when you compare it to the rest of the yard.

however, because of their higher cost and lower performance, they are a great choice for everyone. They have a higher cost of operation and heating.

Also because they are installed a bit farther from the home, they are less convenient than above-ground hot tubs that are placed right outside of the house.

6). Inflatable

Inflatable hot tubs are quite popular as they’re more affordable and easy to handle. They have portable and lightweight designs making them more convenient and easy to place at the ideal spot you want anytime.

Generally, they are made of laminated PVC or polyester. Inflatable hot tubs come in different shapes and sizes with multiple features to choose from.

inflatable hot tub

To heat the water, you simply need to plug it into a 110V outlet and heat up the water. They also support higher water temperatures, no need for electrical work and these tubs are simple to operate. These are basic hot tubs that aren’t complicated.

Some of their downsides are that they lack durability and are prone to punctures. Also, they don’t have molded seats to make you comfortable if you want to seat for long. Your electricity bill will also increase.

7). Soft-Sided

Soft-sided hot tubs may appear as though they are the same as inflatable hot tubs,  but there are a few differences.

One of the main differences is that soft-sided hot tubs are usually only found for sale on the internet or in a booth at fairs. This is because very few deals stock them in their showrooms.

soft-sided hot tub

Just like inflatable hot tubs, these tubs also use a 110V outlet to heat and operate the tub and do not need any major electrical work.

However, they are not very comfortable to be in for long periods of time, aren’t efficient to run, and do not offer the high-quality performance that traditional hot tubs do.

8). Custom Made

Not getting the type of hot tub you really want?. Then a custom-made hot tub is a way to go. The expenses may vary depending on the features, size, and build material. But it will be worth the cost to have a hot tub custom-made to meet your personal preferences.

custom made hot tub,portable hot tub, types of hot tubs

With this option, you have a say in every aspect of it. Everything will depend on want you want the features, sizes, and aesthetics.

Also, keep in mind the heating source as it is one of the major considerations, and place it in a place that will optimize your power.

9). Wood Fired

Wood-fired hot tubs offer a very unique experience. So, if you are a fan of all things rustic, consider buying a wood-fired hot tub to revive the old-world charm. It requires a lot of preparation to use it though.

wood fired hot tub

One good thing about this tub is that, you don’t need to bother about supplying electricity and hence it can be placed anywhere outside the home. Though this may be an advantage, you should also keep in mind that it depends on fire as its heat source. So, you have to make provision for burning wood on your premises.

Also, you’ll have to keep adding wood in case the water starts to cool. This could be an inconvenience if you’d have to get out mid-bath. Additionally, you must have enough wood to build a fire whenever you want to use the tub.

Hot Tub Features to Look for

Just knowing the type of hot tub you need is not enough. You also need to have an idea of the kind of features you want it to have in order to enhance your bathing experience.

That’s why we’ve made this brief checklist so you can look for these perks.

Massaging Jets

Massaging jets elevates your bathing experience to another level. If you want to up the game, then ensure your hot tub has massaging jets.

Usually, these jets can be angled or moved, so you can target the sore muscles on your body. Also, in some models, you can adjust the speed and pattern of the water flow to your needs.

They also make you feel rejuvenated and energized after the bath. All in all, massaging jets are really fun as they keep the water moving and enhance comfort.

If you are the type that enjoys hitting the hot tub on long tiring days, get one with this cool feature.


LED lights embedded in the tub can help give a colorful view especially if you have kids splashing around in the tub.

You can install lights on the porch roof or the deck, wherever you’ll be using the tub. But it’s more visually appealing to have the lights underneath the water.

Also, if your tub is a bit far from the house and doesn’t receive enough lightning, then having some tub lighting will help you enjoy the bath even when it’s dark.


A cover will prevent leaves, bugs, and dirt from getting into the water and it also helps maintain the water temperature for long, especially if your tub is placed under a shade.

Not using a cover will lead to higher operating costs as the heat will be escaping faster and the tub will draw more electricity or require more fire to heat up. It will also after the time it will take for the tub to heat up to your desired temperature.

Some models come with the cover included while others do not have a cover. In such a case, you’ll have to purchase the cover separately.

Molded Seats

Molded seats on the tub make the bath more comfortable and enjoyable. These seats allow the bathers to sit comfortably and they provide sufficient back support.

Depending on whether you want a private tub or a larger one, you can buy a model with 1, 2, or more seats. Some tubs can accommodate 3 bathers at a time, allowing you to enjoy a private moment with your partner.

Alternatively, the larger units are ideal for entertaining a group of people, providing sufficient seating space.

Pop Up Speakers

If you are a music lover, then I bet you will agree with me that there are few things more enjoyable than listening to music in a hot tub.

But keeping your music electronics with you can be dangerous especially if they come into contact with the water.

When you choose a hot tub that has built-in speakers, then you don’t need to worry about damaging your electronics.

Hot tub speakers are generally waterproof and can tolerate a small amount of water exposure without been damaged.

Cooling Capabilities

While it’s all good to have a hot bath in the cool weather with friends and family, but it’s not all year the weather is cold unless you live in some of the oldest parts of the world.

If you want to enjoy your tub anytime you want, then it’s nice if it has cooling capabilities. This means you can enjoy cooler water during the hot summer months and don’t have to wait for the weather to cool down.

Not all tubs offer this feature, so if it is one that is important to you, then you need to make sure to double-check how cool the tub can make the water.

Drink Holders

This is another feature to look out for. Some tubs come with a built-in drink holder with enough space to also hold a couple of glasses.

Also, there are attachable drink holders that can be detached after use. It is more beautiful having a hot bath with a glass of your favorite drink.

This is one of the best ways to spend time with your partner or friend as you sip on a drink while the hot water soothes your body.


This feature will virtually transport you to a freshwater pool fed by a waterfall, and you can feel one with nature.

If you have the budget and the provision, simply upgrade your bathing experience to a whole new level by building a hot tub with waterfalls. The sound and feel of running water is inimitable and not something you can enjoy in self-contained baths.

This is not a feature you will find in regular hot tubs. You can either build a custom bath and incorporate this feature or find one with this feature already built in.  If you have the means, it’s definitely something to consider.

Water Treatment System

If your water is hard water, then you would definitely want to consider a hot tub with a water treatment system that can reduce the problems that occur when you are exposed to hard water for extended periods of time.

Hard water is hard on the skin and on bathing suits and it can also reduce the life of your hot tub. That’s why is important to treat the water. Having a hot tub with a built-in water treatment makes it easy to enjoy the tub without worrying about the quality of the water.

Salt Water Compatibility

Saltwater has a sanitizing effect that is not found in freshwater. There are several benefits of saltwater baths, however, not all hot tubs have this sort of capability.

Mostly, people opt for chlorine to clean and disinfect their bathing tubs, but this also has its side effects.

If you’re installing a bath for hydrotherapy, and overall physical improvement, then make sure to purchase a saltwater-compatible model.

Saltwater has an excellent relaxing and healing effect that can heal sores, muscles, and joint pains.

This is also good for people who have arthritis or any form of swelling. Also, saltwater hot tubs are less drying than traditional units.

Since it’s an effective disinfectant, saltwater also keeps things low maintenance. Therefore, investing in this feature is a good idea in the long run.

Energy Rating

The tub can either be powered by a 110V or 240V power outlet. With the 110V, most of these tubs are plugged into any socket and don’t require additional electrical work.

On the other hand, those with a 240V power rating will require a professional to fix the electrical system accordingly.

Usually, these units warm up faster and that also means increased power consumption. These units can support more pumps, but it doesn’t mean that the built-in jets become more powerful.

These are mostly spacious and have high-end features.


The number of occupants who will be using the tub at a time has to also be considered.

2-3 People

These are more popular because of their size and low operational cost. If you are looking for a tub to use alone or with just a partner, then these are the best options.

They are also cheaper and do not occupy alot of space, plus, there are easy to manage and maintain.

4-5 People

These average size tubs are recommended for small size family or group of 4-5 people. They are a little more expensive than private tubs and not the most energy-efficient option.

6-7 people

These are for bigger families or if you like hosting jacuzzi parties, then these will be suitable as the have more generous space to accomodate people.

These large units can seat 6-7 people at a time so you can enjoy and splash around together. These will require a dedicated space as they are not movable tubs.

8+ People

If you want an extra-large tub, you’ll need to dig deep into your pocket. These come with an enormous price tag and incur substantial operational costs.

It’s definitely wasteful for a small family and only makes sense if you often entertain a big group of people.

They offer enough space for all the occupants to spread out and relax. However, it takes some time for the water to reach the desired temperature.

Common Types of Hot tubs Shapes

Circular Hot Tubs

Circular hot tubs have become common now because they are usually smaller, less expensive, and more portable than the traditional square hot tubs.

You can easily use them in limited space areas in your yard especially if you have a small yard that can take a traditionally square tub. These are very intimate hot tubs.

This is an excellent option for private use, providing sufficient space for 1-2 individuals.

Rectangular Hot Tubs

The circular and square hot tub shapes may not offer enough space for one to stretch out. This is particularly an issue for taller individuals who need a little more room to relax.

These give you enough space to move around and can easily immerse yourself and splash around comfortably.

Though they appear bigger than the square units, they have similar advantages. They can easily fit into any corner, yard, patio, or deck.


This is the traditional shape of all hot tubs in the market. These are familiar to most people and usually have clear space delineated for users and they can fit against homes or in the corner of dec kor porch.

If you don’t want your hot tub to draw a lot of attention, then square hot tubs are the way go.

This means that it will not take up a lot of space or an awkward amount of space the way that circular hot tubs, in particular, do.


This kind of hot tub shape is not common because it has to have a specific size, shape location for its installation.

The downside of these hot tubs is that they don’t usually have much room inside of them as traditional square hot tubs do.

However, they can fit into tighter locations and are ideal if you don’t have room for a larger option.

Final Thoughts on the Types of Hot Tubs

In conclusion, these are the different types of hot tubs you can find around. I hope after reading through, you will be able to find what works best for you.

Always keep in mind the location, the budget, and other features you might want to have in your hot tub before you make a final decision. Using a hot tube is an expensive affair, it’s best to choose what will work within your budget.

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