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Best Above Ground Hot Tub

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How We Chose And Tested These Hot Tubs

Hot Tub Ideas that fit into your Landscape

The team at Gardeningetc team has reviewed a couple of these hot tubs first-hand so that we can give a fair verdict on which ones are truly the best. We’ve reviewed the first 3 products in this guide, all from Lay-Z-Spa. For those hot tubs we haven’t yet reviewed, we’ve done the research and measured them against specific criteria to their dimensions, water capacity, how many people they seat and of course, how much they cost. We’ve also cross-checked our favourites with customer reviews to make sure the hot tubs on our list live up to expectations.

For an insight into how we evaluate these hot tubs as best, our how we test page has more info on this process.

How Much Do Inground Spas Cost

It depends on how elaborate your design is, but in most cases, an inground spa will be more than an aboveground spa, which cost in the $5,000-10,000 range. Inground spas are cheaper when you use a pre-fab drop-in spa shell, of fiberglass or acrylic, and a spa pack. Concrete spas set in the ground require more work to build, from various tradesmen, which can push the cost to $20,000, or more. So then, we can ‘safely’ say that inground spas are about twice as expensive as aboveground spas, especially if you add-on water features and expensive and extensive decking around the spa.


How Long Do Hot Tubs Last

A hot tub lasts 5 to 20 years on average. The average lifespan of a cheap or low-quality hot tub is up to 5 years if not well maintained. High quality, expensive hot tubs that receive regular maintenance last 20 years or more. A hot tub pump lasts 5 to 10 years on average.

How Long Do Hot Tubs Last?

20 or more

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How Do We Rank The Top 20 Hot Tub Brands

While there are a large number of hot tub brands available heading into 2022, youll probably want to restrict your research to the best hot tub brands on the market. But what are they the best for? Most hot tub manufacturers make a bit of something for everyone, but they all tend to have one or two things that they do particularly well. Some of the better known brands outright specialize in one particular thing and only look at other areas as an afterthought. After all, you wouldnt want to spend a lot of time researching a swim spa company when you are looking for a massage therapy hot tub!

If you havent done so already, read through some of our articles on getting ready to buy a new hot tub so youre ready to start researching the specific brands and models in this list. This overview will take a look at the 20 best hot tub brands available in North America to help you focus your search and save you time and effort.

First, our research comes from the number of replacement covers we make each year for specific brands. With over 30,000 covers sold per year, we have a pretty good indication on what hot tubs are selling! Next, we rely on over 60 years of service in the hot tub industry to add our own personal thoughts and comparisons on all the hot tub brands. Lastly, we listen to our customers and their pros and cons on the hot tubs they have chosen for their backyard. So we feel pretty confident that the list presented is very accurate.

How Many Gallons Per Minute Can A Hot Tub Heater Heat

Best Above Ground Hot Tubs With Durable And Well

The average hot tub holds somewhere between 300-600 gallons of water depending on how many people its designed to hold.

As I mentioned above, there are many sizes and types of hot tub heaters. So combined with the various sizes of hot tubs, and of course, a wide variety of weather, its hard to say 1 number that fits every situation.

That being said, the average hot tub heater will go up between 3 and 6 degrees each hour.

The other variable is whether you leave your heater on continuously or have it cycle on and off. But if youre filling up a medium-sized hot tub of 500 gallons from the hose, youre starting with water thats likely to be around 70°.

So to get to 100°, it would take about 6 hours.

That amounts to about 1.38 gallons a minute being heater by the average hot tub heater. But again, there are a lot of variables, so just use that as a guide.

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Keen To Relax Outdoors Here Are The Top Hot Tubs Available To Buy

If youre in the market for serious luxury relaxation, its crucial that you buy the best hot tub for your money. Because lets face it, its the kind of thing youre only going to buy once. So, whether you’re eyeing a budget inflatable hot tub or a luxurious top-end spa, its crucial you make the right choice.

Once a luxury reserved for the uber-wealthy, these days you can find quality hot tubs in all shapes and sizes and to suit all tastes and budgets. It does, however, certainly pay to do your research before investing, as theres more to hot tubs than just bubbles and lights. And dont forget the long-term costs of running your new hot tub.

Below youll find our concise buying guide to bring you up to speed on some essential hot tub buying information followed by our complete run-down of the best hot tubs you can buy.

Save on the Lay-Z Spa Helsinki

Intex Greywood Deluxe Inflatable Spa Hot Tub


Intex’s Greywood Deluxe Hot Tub comes in two sizes: The larger of the two can fit up to six people, has a 290-gallon capacity, and 170 water jets. The smaller, 4-person model has a 210-gallon capacity, and 140 jets.

What makes both models a lot of fun, though, is the color-changing LED light, which provides a certain style when hot tubbing at night. Both models also come with two foam headrests, and the exterior has a gray wood-style look . They also have a wireless control panel, which lets you adjust the temperature, bubbles, and set a timer for when it should turn on and off. If you want a light show in your hot tub, this is the model for you.

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How To Buy The Best Hot Tub

A garden hot tub has jumped to the top of many people’s wish lists for the locked down summer of 2020. They can bring a variety of health benefits and hours of at-home relaxation, but if you’re serious about investing in one, choosing the right type, picking the perfect brand and understanding the associated costs is essential.

A hot tub is a freestanding tub of heated water with filtration and jets. You might also hear the terms ‘jacuzzi’ and spa. A Jacuzzi is actually just a well-known brand name for a hot tub, while a spa is typically a tub thats built into the ground and connected to a pool.

Use our expert hot tub buying guide to find out the different types and brands to choose from and how much you should expect to pay. Plus, we’ve got information on hiring a tub instead.

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Hot Tub Filtration And Sanitation

In-Ground vs. Portable Hot Tubs

The filtration and water sanitation systems in your hot tub keep the water sparking and clean. Spa models use different combinations of chemicals, filters, ozone and UV-C light to make sure your water stays clean.

Most of the models we evaluated use multiple filters to remove dirt and small debris from the water. Many also offer ozone or UV-C sanitation options as standard installation or upgrades. These systems eliminate or neutralize bacteria as well.

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Bestway Saluspa Miami Airjet: Best Inflatable Hot Tub For Two To Four People

The Bestway SaluSpa Miami Airjet inflatable hot tub is an affordable tub with nice features, the best of which being the ability to program a timer to change the temperature in advance. That means no more waiting around for your tub to get to optimum temperature instead, enjoy slipping into the relaxing waters at the exact time you planned.

This model is definitely on the smaller side as inflatable hot tubs go, capable of fitting up to four people, though theres bound to be more legroom if its just the two of you. That means that this is an affordable option for any families who want the tub experience without the hassle.

Its also good to know that this model comes with a filtration system built-in to the multi-function pump, so that your skin wont be irritated by anything nasty. It also works to help circulate chlorine, and keep your new oasis in excellent condition.

Hot Tub Maintenance Costs

Maintaining your hot tub means checking water chemical levels, cleaning the filter and cleaning the inside of the tub. Check water chemical levels at least once a week, more if you use your tub every day. Clean the filter every two or three weeks and fully clean the inside of the hot tub every two months. Between interior cleanings, use a skimmer to remove dirt and debris that makes its way inside the tub.

Maintaining your tub yourself means you wont need to pay for labor, just materials. Cleaning materials will cost you about $20 per month. Pool companies offer professional hot tub maintenance services, which range from $50 to $200 per month, depending on what needs to be done.

A properly maintained hot tub can last up to 25 years.

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Coleman 71x 26portable Spa Inflatable 4

This inflatable hot tub can accommodate up to four people, it heats up quickly to a soothing degree of 104oF and has up to 60 surrounding air jets. This hot tub helps users relax with just a touch of a button as it features a soothing AirJet Spa, integrated water filtration and a rapid heating system.

The floor is cushioned and has a convenient drain valve the bubbling and heating system work together to provide users with a wonderful massage experience. It is made of TriTech 3 ply inflated walls which ensure durability and optimal comfort.

Furthermore, it is reinforced with a cover that features safety lock clips and also an in-built chamber for added insulation. Its easy-to-lift handle enables ease of transport of the spa when its empty. The product features one pool liner, a pool cover, one chemical floater, one spa pump, two filter cartridges , one repair patch, an air pad protector and one AirJet system.


  • It has a durable construction
  • It is comfortable and convenient


How Much Do Inflatable Hot Tubs Cost To Run

The 5 Best Above Ground Hot Tubs in 2020 Reviews

The cost of running an inflatable hot tub depends on a few major factors: electricity, water, filters, cleaning and chemicals. To a lesser degree, other factors will contribute to hot tub maintenance costs, like its size, where you set it up, how often you use it and how strict you are about cleaning it. Electricity costs vary by state, so running a hot tub may be less expensive in Louisiana residents than in Alaska or Hawaii.

In our research, we found that the average cost of running an inflatable hot tubs is $600 per year. If you purchase a larger hot tub and use it more often than three times a week, youll see a higher electricity bill among other costs.

The cost of buying an inflatable hot tub is another consideration. Our list of the best inflatable hot tubs features models costing between $300-$700, depending on their size and features.

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Jacuzzi Hot Tubs And Spas Jacuzzi

This is a brand that has been providing quality hot tubs for so long that their brand name has come to mean any kind of spa or hot tub: people with other brands of tub will still hop in the Jacuzzi® for a soak. There was really no question about where to put Jacuzzi® on this list: this brand is the benchmark against which all other brands tend to be measured.

With the largest network of dealers, Jacuzzi® will be able to provide your hot tub with the applicable service needed through its lifetime. Jacuzzi® tubs generally work without problems and do so for a very long time especially when fitted with a taperedweathershield cover. Jacuzzi® owners often comment on the great balance between the number of options available and ease of use. Because Jacuzzi® uses aerated jets you can safely use essential oils in your tub without damaging the water filtration system with residue, which is a great way to relieve stress and muscle pain to improve your overall wellness. They also use waste heat from the motor to help maintain water temperature, which provides some decent energy savings over the life of the spa.

The Jacuzzi® Story

From there, the Jacuzzi® brand grew and branched out to making home spas! The development over the years is amazing and Jacuzzi® has been at the forefront of innovation with the most dealer outlets around the world to service their customers.

Hot Tub Build Quality

When shopping, look into the materials used in the hot tubs construction. Most hot tubs use an acrylic interior shell supported by a frame made of either treated wood or metal and surrounded by a wood or synthetic cabinet. As long as it isnt exposed to elements, the frame should last the lifetime of your hot tub, no matter what its made of.

Pay more attention to the hot tubs insulation, as this directly affects operating costs. A poorly insulated spa costs more to heat because the heater has to run more to keep water at a set temperature, and overworking the components can lead to early malfunction.

Getting a well-insulated hot tub is particularly important in locations that reach low temperatures. To this end, look for a full-foam insulated hot tub rather than a model with partial foam insulation or one that just uses a thermal wrap.

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Whats The Best Hot Tub

So whats the best type of hot tub for you, in-ground or portable? Well, it depends on a number of factors. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Where in your yard do you want your hot tub located?
  • Do you want a hot tub that is always hot and ready to go, or are you OK with waiting for it to heat up?
  • What do you need in terms of jets and massage?
  • How important are features like lighting, water enhancements, and entertainment options to you?
  • Are you willing to do some of your own spa maintenance and up-keep?
  • What is your budget?

Consider all of the above when hot tub shopping, and talk to your local dealer about any questions or concerns. See if you can try out some different spas , to see what hot tub therapy works for you. Youre making an amazing investment into your overall wellness!

Arctic Spas And Hot Tubs Arctic Spas

How to Set Up a Hot Tub on Your Roof

Arctic spas are one of the best hot tub brands in the world because of their innovation within the hot tub industry. They are the first company to design and produce all-weather swim spas, making them perfect for you if youre hoping to use your spa year round! Known for their unique technology, they are renowned for their incredibly efficient heat recovery system and insulation package. Therefore, this brand makes hot tubs highly efficient in even the coldest climates especially when paired with one of The Cover Guys weathershield fabric spa covers.

In addition, Arctic Spas was one of the first hot tub companies to allow smart phone control and monitoring of your hot tub for easy maintenance right from your device. Arctics latest innovation as part of their cutting edge approach to the hot tub and swim spa industry is The Spa Boy, which allows you to manage heat and sanitation of your hot tub remotely!

Arctic Knows How to Insulate: A Must for Hot Tub Owners in Northern Climaates

If youre building a backyard oasis as part of your plan to improve your environmental and mental wellness while spending more time at home this year, this brand is perfect for you with a nice line of outdoor equipment to complement your hot tub, including gazebos, grill houses and wooden accessories for a calming backyard design.

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What Surface Can My Hot Tub Go On

As long as you put your hot tub on a solid base and can run electrics to it you can put it anywhere! Though it is always advised to use a RCD-protected socket and not an extension lead.

The area required of course depends on the size of the hot tub you choose consider the circumference for the hot tub itself, plus additional access room.

Corner spots are good for providing a little shelter from the wind, however, having your hot tub right next to the wall of your home is probably too close. The steam that comes from the water may seep into windows and water splashed from the tub may cause a slippery walkway. You’ll also want to avoid placing it under a tree to prevent leaves and debris from raining down while you’re soaking.

There’s plenty more hot tub ideas in our design guide too.

Should You Sink Your Hot Tub In The Ground

A sunken hot tub allows you to enjoy an unobstructed view of the surrounding landscape as you soak away the stress. Choosing this type of installation allows for a custom look that you can enhance through your backyard design. Stone paths, a lush garden, or custom decking can complement the spa.

But it might not be the right choice for everyone and every space. Ask yourself if you are willing to spend the extra money on the installation and any future service. Are you in a forever home?

If you have some reservations, consider a semi-recessed hot tub. With this installation, about 12 inches of the spa is above the ground. Many people find its easier to get in and out of the hot tub. Plus, you will have room for a traditional cover and cover lift.

Alternately, you can have an illusion hot tub design. With this backyard design, the hot tub is installed next to a raised deck. The top of the spa looks flush with the decking but part of the hot tub is exposed, with steps nearby so you can get in easily and safely.

Whether you choose an in-ground hot tub or another installation style, you can create a space that is both functional and beautiful. Through fencing, patio pavers, perennials and other landscape options, you can have your own oasis.

Need more help? Download our Backyard Planning Guide for installation requirements and tips.

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