Buying a hot tub is an investment in your health and well-being. There aren’t many better ways to wash off a stressful day than kicking back in your own private spa. Hot tubs also offer hydrotherapy benefits like soothing sore and aching muscles, improving your mood, and even helping you get more restful sleep.
Not to mention, your family and friends will be begging to come to take a dip in your new hot tub.
However, even though the pinnacle of relaxation is right around the corner, buying a hot tub can be quite stressful. These 4 tips will take the anxiety out of the buying process so you can get right to unwinding.
Most homeowners use their hot tubs outside, so you’ll need to determine where you’d like to install the tub on your property.
Smaller hot tubs make a perfect addition to a deck, but larger hot tubs will likely need to be installed in your yard. You should measure your space and outline the hot tub’s dimensions so you can get a feel for the amount of room you’ll need to dedicate to your hot tub.
Additionally, many hot tubs require access to electricity to power their jets. You’ll need to have an outlet nearby or hire an electrician to run a new electrical line for your tub. It will be more cost-effective to have the tub positioned closer to your home than in a remote section of your property.
Are you getting the hot tub so you and your spouse can relax in private? You could get by with a smaller tub with only 2 or 3 seats.
Or do you plan on using it with your family or intend to throw parties with your neighbors? You’ll need a larger tub with room to stretch out and maybe even room for a bench seat.
Of course, the location of the tub may also limit the size. If you want to install your hot tub on your patio, you may only have space for a smaller tub.
Hot tub shells (the part you sit in) come in a variety of materials. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.
Often considered the best material for a hot tub shell, acrylic is highly durable and an acrylic shell can last you decades if it’s properly maintained. Contoured designs also provide the most comfortable seating, with many different molds available for all body types. Acrylic shells are also among the most visually striking hot tub designs.
Their main downside? A high-quality acrylic shell is often an expensive investment. They’re also quite heavy, making moving the hot tub difficult.
A vinyl shell will be placed over a supporting frame, usually made of concrete. These vinyl-lined tubs are usually found in tandem with inground swimming pools. Vinyl is one of the cheapest hot tub shell materials, so those looking to save a little money will be intrigued by them.
However, vinyl shells are limited in form and function. They need to be fitted over a supporting structure, so they’re less comfortable than the contoured seating acrylic shells offer. They also won’t retain heat well, so the money you save on installation may be spent on electricity. Still, they’re a good option for a budget-friendly build.
Molded plastic shells strike a balance between the comfort and durability of an acrylic shell and the cost-effectiveness of a vinyl shell. Plastic shells are smooth and comfortable to sit in and lightweight, which allows you to easily relocate the tub.
Like vinyl shells, plastic is not a great insulator and has limited heat retention properties. They also lack the glossy finish of an acrylic shell, so some may find their aesthetic lacking.
The perfect hot tub is more than just a pool of warm water. You need jets, lights, and maybe some lounge seating to really savor the experience.
To reap all those hydrotherapeutic benefits, you’ll need a hot tub with a robust assortment of jets. Look for jets that combine air and water, as those provide the best and most consistent pressure.
Jets come in many shapes and sizes. Some rotate water in a circle, some offer a steady stream of pressure in one direction, and some provide a pulsing action. Many tubs come in a variety of jet styles.
However, many future hot tub owners fall for high jet counts, but more isn’t always better. More jets lower the pressure output of each individual jet and require a stronger and less energy-efficient pump.
Your hot tub party wouldn’t be complete without music, so you may want to install a stereo with your hot tub. Most hot tub stereos are similar to the kind of marine radio you’d find on a boat and easily pair with a device via Bluetooth.
As for speakers, you can decide between buoyant water-proof speakers or opt for a hot tub with a built-in sound system.
Since you’ll likely be using your hot tub at night, you’ll need some sort of lighting set up. It’s trendy and cost-efficient to install water-proof LEDs. You can even change their color to set the mood.
If you’re willing to forgo the party atmosphere and prefer to relax in solitude may want to add a lounge seat to their hot tub. It’s the perfect place to stretch out comfortably while you soak.
However, it takes up valuable space, so those looking to have guests over will want to skip the lounge.