Buying a Hot Tub: The Only Guide You'll Need

An introduction and essential tips for a wonderful addition to your home.

After a long day, relaxing in a hot tub is one of the finest ways to unwind. They provide a variety of health benefits, such as stress relaxation, pain relief, and better sleep. It's like having your own personal spa when you own one.

The price of a hot tub can range from $2,000 to $16,000 or more. The cost of an appliance is ultimately determined by its size and kind, as well as the accessories you choose. Compare different types, materials, and features to see which ones are ideal for your lifestyle and budget.

What exactly is a hot tub?

A hot tub is a tub filled with heated water that can accommodate at least two people. Hot tubs, unlike traditional bathtubs, are meant to accommodate numerous people at the same time. They can be used for hydrotherapy, relaxation, or simply for entertainment.

The shell of a hot tub is held in place by an outside cabinet. The water is held in the shell, which is the innermost part of the hot tub. Pumps flow water in and out of the tub, jets massage tight muscles, and filters keep the water clean in hot tubs.

Most hot tub owners install them outside on their deck or patio because hot tubs are large and slosh water around. Above-ground or in-ground tubs are available, with above-ground tubs being the less expensive choice. Remember that hot tubs require regular maintenance, therefore accessibility is crucial.

Shell materials for hot tubs

Acrylic, vinyl, or rotomolded plastic are commonly used for hot tub shells. The type of shell you select will affect the price of the appliance, so pick the best option for your budget.


Acrylic hot tub shells are thought to be among the most enduring on the market. They're made by heating a single sheet of acrylic until it begins to melt, then laying it over a created mold. Vacuums remove trapped air between the mold and the acrylic sheet, resulting in a smooth, seamless finish.

Because acrylic hot tubs are heavy, they are difficult to move. Installing one is a significant investment, but their longevity and ability to maintain a consistent temperature make it worthwhile. Acrylic hot tub shells are more expensive than vinyl or rotomolded plastic shells, costing on average $4,000 to $16,000.


Hot tubs attached to in-ground swimming pools frequently have vinyl liners. To give vinyl hot tub liners their shape, manufacturers place the vinyl on a frame composed of cement or similar durable material.

Vinyl liners are inexpensive to create, costing anything from $4,000 to $12,000. While vinyl hot tubs are less expensive than acrylic tubs, they do have a few drawbacks. They don't retain heat properly, causing your hot tub's motor to work harder and thus driving up your electricity bill. Vinyl is also less durable than other materials for hot tub shells.

Plastic that has been rotomolded

Rotomolded plastic hot tub molds are made of polyethylene and are lightweight and portable. They're normally priced between $2,500 and $6,000. They're created from plastic powder that's poured to a mold and heated.

Although rotomolded plastic hot tubs outperform vinyl tubs in terms of functionality, they still fall short when it comes to heat retention. If an acrylic tub is out of your price range, rotomolded plastic tubs are an excellent alternative.

Acrylic ranging from $4,000 to $16,000

Vinyl ranging from $4,000 to $12,000

Plastic that has been rotomolded ranging from $2,000 to $6,000

Size-based costs

The larger the hot tub, the higher the price. The size of a hot tub is determined by the number of people who can use it. The tubs range in size from a conventional two-person tub to a 10-person party tub. When choosing the size of a hot tub to purchase, consider the size of your family.

2 PERSON / $2,000 - $6,000

 4 PERSON / $2,500 - $8,000

 6 PERSON / $3,000 - $12,000

 8 PERSON / $4,000 - $14,000

 10 PERSON / $5,000 - $16,000

Type-based costs


Above-ground hot tubs range in price from $2,000 to $12,000, including installation. These are the most prevalent forms of hot tubs because they don't require excavation and therefore cost less to install.

Above-ground hot tubs are also accessible, making them very simple to maintain. However, if you have mobility problems, getting in and out may be difficult.


Because they require professional installation, in-ground hot tubs are more expensive than above-ground tubs. Excavation, electrical work, gas hookups, and plumbing are all examples of labor.

They're pricey, but they're easy to get into and out of, and they look great when incorporated into a deck or patio. They are also beneficial.

Installation-based costs

Installation costs are modest if you buy a prefabricated above-ground hot tub. Delivery and transportation will most likely cost between $200 and $400. Although you can do much of the setup yourself, a professional can complete it for an additional $200 to $800.

If you don't already have a patio or deck to put your hot tub on, you may need to build a foundation for it. Labor and supplies for laying a foundation can cost up to $2,000 total.

Although custom hot tubs are more costly than prefabricated models, they may be tailored to fit your house and preferences flawlessly. Because they must suit your location properly, custom above-ground and in-ground hot tubs are more challenging to install. A custom hot tub installation will cost between $1,000 and $2,000. Installation of an in-ground bespoke hot tub might cost upwards of $2,000.

You can save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars by installing your hot tub yourself. This is something you should only do if you've done it before. Electrical and plumbing work is frequently included in DIY hot tub installations, which can be dangerous and costly to fix if mistakes are made. It's also possible to void the appliance's warranty if you do it yourself.

Maintenance costs

Checking the water chemical levels, cleaning the filter, and cleaning the inside of the tub are all part of maintaining your hot tub. Check the chemical levels in your tub's water at least weekly and more frequently if you use it every day. Every two or three weeks, clean the filter, and every two months, thoroughly clean the inside of the hot tub. Use a skimmer to remove dirt and dust from inside the tub between interior cleanings.

You won't have to pay for labor, just materials, if you maintain your tub yourself. Cleaning supplies can set you back around $20 per month. Professional hot tub care is available from pool companies for $50 to $200 each month, based on what has to be done.

A well-kept hot tub can operate for up to 25 years.

Added costs

Customizing your hot tub can help you get more enjoyment out of it. You may adjust the tub's seats and configuration, as well as add extras to make the relaxing experience more enjoyable.

JETS / $75 - $200

AUDIO / $150 - $500

LIGHTS / $30 - $60 per light

STEPS / $60 - $400

HEADRESTS / $15 - $100 each

COVER / $75 - $400

DRINK HOLDERS / $25 - $60 each

Choosing the best option

Assess the area where your hot tub will be installed first. Include the cost of a foundation if you don't already have one. Consider how often you'll use the hot tub and how many people it'll hold—if you have a large family or like to entertain friends, a large hot tub is a good choice.

You'll be able to determine a cost for your hot tub based on these considerations. Then you may decide whatever material you want it to be made of and whether or not you want to add any extras. Monthly (or annual) maintenance expenditures should also be considered. The ideal hot tub for you will include all of the materials and extras that satisfy your requirements while also allowing you to relax.