What to Consider When Buying a Hot Tub

How to Buy a Hot Tub

Are you in the market for a hot tub? You'll need to consider what works for your budget and lifestyle when choosing a portable spa or hot tub (spa and hot tub are used interchangeably in this context). To be portable, a hot tub must be a freestanding unit that is not built into its surroundings and can be transported from one place to another, if circumstances require.

There are some things to consider as you shop for a portable hot tub.


Size: Think about where you're going to place your hot tub once you get it home, considering the space your hot tub will occupy will be a major factor in the decision making process. You'll also want to consider how many people your hot tub holds and what your entertainment/relaxation goals are.

Comfort: When you visit a show room when spa shopping, have a seat. No, really. You should sit in your potential purchase to guarantee that it has the feel and comfort level you're looking for. If your dealer provides a wet test, go for it. It's the only way to really understand how the spa works and how you'll like jet placement, lounge seats, etc. Schedule an appointment with your local dealer and you'll quickly understand its importance.

Therapeutic Use

Hydrotherapy: Now is the time to think about what you want out of your hot tub experience, the answer varies for everyone! Some look for powerful massaging jets that will ease their tense muscles while others are looking for a more casual soaking experience. If you're a part of the former group, be considerate of jets and their placement when you look at a hot tub. As is true of many bells and whistles, more is not always best. Jets are more maximized with placement and power than by sheer number alone. Look for a variety in size and that target specific muscle groups. Make sure that the flow can be adjusted through your jets and that flow strength is customizable.

Air Jet System: If you're looking for a gentle hydrotherapy option, look for tubs that have an air jet system. This expels small air bubbles from openings throughout the acrylic shell and is very soothing for many customers looking for a subtle approach.


Dependability: No one wants to buy a hot tub that isn't going to stand the test of time; potential spa should look for something that will last. Make sure you're paying attention to quality as you shop and look for a hot tub that is built well and utilizes high-quality components/materials that won't break down or deteriorate prematurely.

Choose a dealer that has a good reputation, has been in business for a while, and has great reviews/referrals. It will tell you a lot about the kind of operation they run. Ask your dealer for a copy of the warranty and make sure the dealer and/or hot tub manufacturer are willing and prepared to back it up.

Safety: When you purchase a hot tub, make sure it's a model that has received adequate safety testing through an independent agency like the UL or ETL. When setting up your hot tub at home, use a qualified electrician or technician to make the required connections. Consider getting a locking spa cover to keep your loved ones out of harm's way and always heed the safety advice in your Owner's Manual.

Hot Tub Maintenance Costs

Simple Maintenance: When you shop for a hot tub, you'll want to find one that is easy to care for. This means picking a spa that will maintain its like-new look with minimal effort while keeping the water clear and sanitary.

Elements that you choose to include in your spa setup can really make a significant difference in terms of water quality. An ozone generator like the Corona Discharge (CD) generator puts out a type of ozone that will greatly decrease the amount of sanitizer that is necessary to keep your water chemistry balanced and your water clean. CD systems typically last longer than a traditional ozone generator. Think about how it will work in conjunction with the unit's filtration system. High end hot tubs will typically have circulation pumps that filters water continuously to create optimum flow and heat the water efficiently.

If you want a hot tub to last and maintain a new appearance, pick a hot tub with a simulated wood exterior. This is considerably less difficult to care for than a real wood surround. Check the warranty on the cabinet and talk to your dealer about replacement options should you require them.

Energy Savings: Hot tubs that are able to retain heat are the ones that will cost less money on a month-to-month basis. Look for a hot tub that has been well-insulated around the shell and the plumbing. What's called full foam insulation around the shell in conjunction with a well-fitting spa cover creates a barrier that keeps the cold at bay and helps the hot tub maintain a steady temperature.


The dealer you choose to buy from is as important as choosing the correct hot tub. The dealer will be responsible for your spas delivery and installation, warranty services, ongoing help and support on chemical maintenance, and anything else that may come up that you need help on. A few basics to look for is have they been selling spas long, how long have they been in business, the appearance of their store and showroom, and the impression you receive from their staff. If anything appears off you may want to continue your search.

If you are shopping in Northern Utah we encourage you to visit our local hot tub showroom in Ogden Utah and check out what Sunplay has to offer.

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Miriam Coates
October 12, 2019

looking for a chemical free spa? do you have or can you recommend a company,thanks

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