The Hot Tub Buyer’s Guide

Hot Tub Buying Tips for New Buyers

There is a lot to consider when buying a hot tub. From where to put the hot tub to what add-on’s are best for you, it can start to become overwhelming when searching for the best hot tub. To make your choice more simple we have put together a hot tub buying guide so you can conveniently find all the information you need before your big purchase.



What to know before you purchase:


Codes and Permits – Before purchasing a hot tub, check your state and municipality for applicable plumbing, electrical and building codes. If you live in a community with a homeowners association, find out if they permit hot tubs. Some communities might prohibit them.

Safety Barriers – Many states and municipalities have residential codes that require fences or other safety barriers around the hot tub to restrict access and help prevent accidents.

Where is the best place for a hot tub?

Hot tubs can be placed in numerous places indoors or outdoors such as a patio, porch, or deck. With most square hot tubs measuring between six and eight feet in length, make sure that you measure the area you want to place the hot tub before you start looking. You should also check for how much surrounding space you might need to accommodate a cover, steps, or equipment. Some more things to consider when finding a place for your hot tub include:

  • Flat, level, and solid surface
  • Accessible power and water
  • Adequate drainage

How many people will be using the hot tub?

Consider who might be using the hot tub. If you have a large family or want to use the hot tub for entertainment, you will want to go for maximum accommodation. If you want your spa to be a place where you can escape and unwind, look for a smaller spa that will fit the number of people that you want using it.

What voltage is better for your needs?

When it comes to hot tubs there are two options for voltage, 110v or 220v, both bring different benefits depending on your needs and budget.

110 Volt – This is a standard outlet that your home already has. 110-volt plugs These hot tubs tend to be more budget-friendly but it will take longer to heat up the hot tub and to circulate the water. 

220 Volt – Installing a 220- volt plug will save you time heating up your water and it will be easier to maintain the water temperature when the cover is off. The downside is that you will need to hire an electrician to hardwire your spa which can increase the overall cost of your hot tub

What material works best for you?

An important decision when choosing a hot tub is choosing the right material for your needs. The spa shell not only determines the look of the hot tub, but also its cost, insulation, and strength.

Acrylic -Acrylic is the most common spa shell material because it is beautiful, durable, and versatile. Since molds form it into contoured shapes this material makes for comfortable, form-fitting seating in a range of sizes. 

Resin Unicast – Molded resin jacuzzis are built with the shell and cabinet as one piece. This creates a strong, durable spa similar to an acrylic hot tub. The difference resin spas have fewer jets and a lower price. 

Vinyl – Vinyl hot tubs are a low-cost option with very few features. There are two types of vinyl spa: the cheap inflatable hot tub and the more expensive soft-sided spa.

What additional features should you consider?

 Make sure to buy a spa with the right jets for your needs. smaller jets provide a targeted massage to relieve pressure points, and bigger jets relieve larger muscles while giving a deep tissue massage. To maximize your hot tub experience, there are additional components that add to your enjoyment. If you want your hot tub to stand out or have a more personalized touch consider purchasing a hot tub with a stereo, speakers and Bluetooth technology, waterfalls, lights, pillows, or cup holders. 

When is the best time to buy?

  • During the end and beginning of a new year when dealers are trying to clear space for new inventory and models
  • Around seasonal holidays when manufacturers offer special sales promotions (Memorial Day and Labor Day are known to offer some of the best deals)
  • Around normally slower months such as February or October when dealers are more willing to offer discounts

Where should you purchase a hot tub?

Finding where to buy your new hot tub can be difficult, make sure to avoid common tricks when shopping at traditional spa dealers, big box stores, and online hot tub sellers and always buy from a reputable and hot tub literate source.

Spa Dealer -Dealers offer a wide selection of spa brands and models so you can get a feel for all your options. Most dealers even offer test spas so you can see what you like before buying. When buying from a dealer their expertise is extremely important after you buy. They can teach you how to care for and maintain your spa and will provide any maintenance and warranty services you need.

Big Box Stores – These retailers will have the least amount of expertise in regards to helping you with information about the product but oftentimes they will have low-cost deals. 

Online – Getting a spa online is typically the least expensive option upfront but comes at a big risk. If you go this route make sure you know how to or can have someone install the hot tub for you. 

What cost fits your budget?

Although hot tubs may cost slightly different depending on where you live, you can generally expect hot tubs to fall into these 4 tiers: 

LUXURY TIER – $13,000 to $18,000

Fully-featured, high-quality, and efficient.

HIGH TIER – $9,000 to $12,000

Very well-built and therapeutic but generally offer fewer features than the top models.

MID TIER – $5,000 to $8,000

Reliable and comfortable but don’t offer the best therapy options.

LOW-END TIER – $2,000 TO $4,000

Cheaply made and not expected to last many years.



Now that you know the strategies for how to choose a hot tub, you’re ready to start considering your options. If you find yourself needing more information visit a hot tub expert in San Luis Obispo County. For more information on local experts in the hot tub and pool industry, visit



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