Owning one of the best hot tubs is a surefire way for relaxing into holiday mode. With Thanksgiving and Christmas on the horizon, making the space to chill (in a good way) with friends and family will help you to relax into quality time away from the office. Whilst the seasons are on the turn from fall through to winter, having a hot tub in the backyard will also entice the family to spend more time outdoors, away from screen-time on the phone and the back-to-back movies that may feel are on repeat.
As with the best swim spas that treat joint pain, hot tubs can also offer a lot more than a social benefit - they also have the ability to soothe sore muscle and loosen up tension in the body. The warmth of the bubbles and water could also help with mental health as you can make some time and space to reflect.
Whilst hot tubs might have a reputation for being an expensive addition to your yard, a good-quality tub doesn't necessarily have to break the bank. More premium models can cost up to $16,000, but many budget-friendly options have good energy efficiency to keep running costs to a minimum. A smaller model will also cost you less. Hot tubs generally range from two-person to eight-person models, so if you entertain regularly or have a large family, you'll want to opt for a bigger design.
Whilst we haven't reviewed the hot tubs that we feature in this guide, we have vetted the brands and spec to showcase the best makes and models of hot tubs to the best of our knowledge. We've also taken a hint from customer reviews to get a feel for their experience using the hot tubs in the their own backyards.
The best hot tubs in 2023
Why you can trust Top Ten Reviews Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.
The hot tubs that we feature in this guide are permanent fixtures. If you're looking for something a little more portable or one that you can store, head to our best inflatable hot tubs for top picks from BestWay, Coleman and Intex.
The best hot tub brand overall
Sundance Spas have a great selection of the best hot tub features, from standard built-in smart capabilities to adjustable Fluidix jets. Most Sundance models are designed for the premium market, with various shapes and sizes for those who like to customize their hob tub (not all other companies in our lineup offer as much).
Of the few reviews on Trustpilot, one customer noted some difficulties with customer service. However, this was outside of the US. The brand also received five-star reviews on maintenance products like the Sundance Spas Sanitizer on Amazon.
However, for those looking for an entry-level hot tub, a few from Sundance Spas will fit the brief. These can range up to $7,999 for entry-level models and up to $11,999 for mid-level spas. These models will have multiple shell, cabinet, and cover color options despite the lower price. You'll also experience premium features such as UV-C water sanitation and waterfalls. It's also worth mentioning that many other companies will charge these as upgrades, so it's great that they're included.
The sheer number of features offered by Sundance Spas helps set this brand apart from the competition. Some top features include the patented Fluidix jets, which don't have moving parts, making them less likely to break down over time. Users can also control the jets to personalize their massage. If you're after a truly luxurious experience, then the Silent Air Injector jets that add fragrances for aromatherapy will enhance the hot tub without compromising the water quality.
The SmartTub mobile app levels up the Sundance Spas. It allows you to remotely monitor and control your hot tub and even schedule repairs or maintenance with a local dealer. The app requires a paid subscription after a year, which is something to factor into the overall cost.
Sundance Spas has outstanding features for those who want a high-quality hot tub, but if you're on a budget, you might be better off looking elsewhere.
The best for fans of luxury living
Jacuzzi is widely considered the most iconic hot tub brand, with a range of 26 models. It has transparent pricing tiers that make it easy to find an option that suits your parameters, but like with other brands, you will get further with a larger budget. Jacuzzi only has two hot tubs in their most affordable range, but five in the luxury category. Whether you want a hot tub for you and one other, or you’re looking to accommodate friends and family, sizes range from two-seater models up to nine-seaters, so it’s easy to find an option to suit your needs.
The Better Business Bureau gives Jacuzzi an “A-” with just seven complaints over the past three years, all closed. Jacuzzi is a well-known and well-loved brand, and many users note that complaints are dealt with promptly.
Although hot tubs are a great source of entertainment and elevate a hosting experience, Jacuzzi was founded to offer hydrotherapy for those suffering from arthritis. Despite the health benefits and foundation, these tubs have an attractive exterior and many color options.
There are no explicit energy-saving hot tubs, but Jacuzzi designs its tubs to preserve the heat from the motor and use this to warm the water. This will make it slightly more affordable to run, which is great at lowering the overall cost of your tub. The jet system also uses a combination of air and water to provide high-pressure massages, and the jet placement targets key muscles from your neck to your legs.
Warranty differs depending on the hot tub you purchase, but they can go up to ten years on the shell structure and five years on the electrical system. This isn't the best offering in our roundup, but this is quite a standard warranty in the industry.
A swim spa company making great large capacity hot tubs
One of the best hot tubs will be a big investment, even if you’re looking for a more budget-friendly model. After the initial purchase, a hot tub will continue to cost you energy usage too, which is important to not overlook in the buying process. This is where PDC Spas' selling point comes into play. It offers economical models that often cost as little as $1.50 per day. They also meet the California Energy Commission Title 20 energy using testing standards, offering you peace of mind that your spa is more environmentally friendly.
It wasn't easy to immediately find many user reviews for PDC Spas, but many customers gave five-star ratings and noted exceptional support.
Not only does PDC Spas offer some of the best hot tubs on the market, but it has a variety of swim spas and combos, with 16 hot tubs to offer. For those with large families or who enjoy entertaining friends, you’ll be pleased with the larger models that PDC has to choose from. There are two three-person spas, six five-person spas, and four six-and-seven models.
There was also a decent cross-section of prices across each capacity level, with the budget-friendly LifeStyle Series ranging from three-person to seven-person options, so you don’t necessarily need a huge budget to find a bigger spa. These also come with hydrotherapy massage jet technology and a ten-year warranty.
The mid-tier Premium Series features cascading spout water features, LED lighting, and a range of 28 to 62 jets, depending on the model you opt for. Then, for those who want to splash out on a premium choice, the Luxury Series has an impressive 35-year warranty and an upgraded hydrotherapy design for the ultimate relaxation.
The best hot tub company for a budget spa
Master Spas is one of the largest manufacturers of hot tubs, and the even better news is that all of its products are built in the US. The brand offers a healthy mix of unique standard features and impressive upgrades, especially in the entry-level and mid-level price ranges.
One user on Trustpilot commented that the pump failed and no parts were available, and Master Spas don’t use a generic brand of pump. This caused difficulty in replacing it, putting the hot tub out of use.
There are four collections in Master Spas offering: Clarity, Healthy Living, Twilight, and the Michael Phelps Legend Series. With 25 models of hot tubs and swim spas, there are features to suit every requirement and budget. You’ll also have the option to add features such as the Fusion Air sound system, Wi-Fi capabilities, and mobile app compatibility to truly upgrade your hot tub experience. The downside is that you won’t be able to access premium features without paying an extra fee.
Many great standard features include waterfalls, a MasterForce Bio-Magnetic Therapy seat, and a StressRelief Neck and Shoulder Seat. These are great for those who struggle with muscle pain and want to use a hot tub for wellness, as the headrest and downward-facing jets will help relieve any tension in your neck and shoulders.
The MasterBlaster Food Therapy jet system will be a welcome choice for those who want to maximize relaxation. This is available for Master Spas’ two higher-tier lines and features 28 nozzles in two jets for a reflexology-inspired foot massage.
As you may assume, the best features are only available in the more premium ranges, meaning you’ll need a larger budget to enjoy them. However, we would still recommend Master Spas as a fantastic hot tub brand thanks to their entry-level and mid-tier options that work well for those on a stricter budget.
A hot tub company for the best massages
Bullfrog Spas have size tiers of hot tubs, from the most affordable comfort class to the most premium performance class. Unlike some other brands, Bullfrog Spas has the most options in the entry and mid-tier levels, but even these will save you a fair amount of money.
Several customer reviews from Consumer Affairs state issues with their Bullfrog Spas hot tub leaking, especially close to the cut-off date for warranty. This shouldn't be an issue if it's under warranty, but many also noted that the company wouldn't honor a repair or replacement.
The unique JetPak Therapy System allows you to customize your massage with 18 options, each targeting a different type of massage therapy. This is a definite benefit to these tubs as you can select the kind of jets and massage therapy to put in each seat in your new spa. Most hot tubs offer some degree of customization, but it usually extends only to color options and upgradable features.
Interchangeable JetPaks are available for most models of Bullfrog Spas hot tubs, and they can give you 16 seat-back options for each seat in your spa. These require less tubing and are more energy efficient than many hot tubs.
Bullfrog does sell hot tubs without the JetPak system, but the interchangeable jets are the big selling point of this brand. Aside from the pre-set models, Bullfrog also enables you to design your custom spa. If you need a full body massage in water or suffer muscle and joint issues, these will be the best spas for you.
Some of the best hot tubs for small spaces
With 20 hot tub models on offer, Hot Spring has a good amount available for those who want anything from a two-person to five-person spa.
Many users have noted major issues with leaks and parts failing at the two-year mark. One customer has had over ten service calls while still under warranty, which could cause costly repairs when this ends.
Hot Spring is one of the few brands offering a salt water sanitation system, a huge selling point for anyone reluctant to maintain chemical levels themselves. The saltwater sanitation system is engineered to create a constant supply of chlorine with the interaction of salt and water through electrolysis.
The initial setup can be trickier and more expensive than other systems, but the long-term maintenance is far easier. Saltwater sanitation systems can keep the water clean for up to 12 months, rather than the spa needing to be drained and refilled every three to four months in a normal hot tub.
There are some other tempting features in Hot Spring hot tubs like Moto-Massage DX, which uses two simultaneous streams of water to sweep up and down your back. For those more environmentally conscious, you’ll be pleased to know that Hot Spring focuses on energy-saving features such as dimmable lighting and SmartJet controls that enable you to direct power to only the jets you want to use. All of the Hot Spring hot tubs are certified by the California Energy Commission, too.
The hybrid hot tubs are sure to impress
Marquis Spas has come a long way since it was founded in 1980. The brand is known for creating beautifully crafted hot tubs for a luxurious lounging experience. They focus on hydrotherapy and offer a wide range of customization options. From amped-up audio systems to LED lighting and aromatherapy options, the upgrades won’t disappoint you.
Overall, Marquis Spas have a high customer rating of around four stars. However, some users did mention issues with parts failing. One customer complained that the entire jet system failed, but remember that this was after ten years of use.
The brand has five collections with more than 20 models available, each with a free cover. The price range for these hot tubs begins at around $7,000 and can exceed $20,000 depending on the customization you opt for and the tub tier you choose. With this in mind, Marquis Spas are generally in the mid-range price category.
What sets Marquis Spas apart is their take on hydrotherapy, self-cleaning and skin therapy. They have built a high-flow therapy system into all its collections, which delivers as much water as possible at low pressure, so users can enjoy a relaxing experience whilst soothing muscle discomfort.
Their relationship with the Make-A-Wish Foundation also shows their dedication to hydrotherapy. Marquis Spas help children suffering from critical illnesses with hydrotherapy treatments, with $50 from each purchase going towards this worthy cause.
Some of Marquis Spas also come with ConstantClean technology that automatically runs cleaning cycles for a super fresh soak each time. Its MicroSilk program also helps gently exfoliate your skin with each dip to create a spa-like experience in the comfort of your backyard.
If you want a quality inflatable hot tub, look no further
Intex is one of the US’ most popular inflatable hot tub brands, and they make a range of great tubs for couples and families. The SimpleSpa Bubble Massage is the cheapest Intex hot tub with an MSRP of $824.99, while the flagship model, the PureSpa Jet and Bubble Deluxe Set, is priced at $1,799.99.
Intex has an overall rating of three stars on Amazon and an equal percentage of five-star and one-star reviews. Some people have noted issues with error messages, but overall given the lower cost, customers seem happy with their purchases.
Despite being inflatable, Intex hot tubs are built to last longer than the average of this type. They utilize tougher materials to help them withstand plenty of use outdoors and in different climates - so if you’ve been worried about how an inflatable tub would withstand colder weather, then an Intex model might be for you. They use 3-ply puncture-resistant material on many hot tubs and reinforce them with horizontal beams to ensure they don’t flop over if you rest against the sides or sit on them.
Intex is also well known for using bubble jets, filling its top-rated model, the PureSpa Jet, and Bubble Deluxe Set, with 140 individual bubble sets. This creates a premium water-based massage, and they’re effective at soothing aches and pains. While they won’t be as powerful as the jets used on other hot tubs in this guide, for the money, you will still be able to achieve a good massage.
A top-rated hot tub company with the biggest range of spas
If you’ve been frustrated by small offerings from brands and are searching for range, Cal Spas has the largest number of hot tub models in this guide. In total, they have 51 hot tub models, and each comes in various colors to pick from. They have different shapes on offer, including oval, triangular, and even traditional square-shaped designs.
Reviews of Cal Spas hot tubs are generally very positive, with one user noting that they've repurchased products from them for decades, and when they began having issues with their second tub, Cal Spas were quick to service it with no qualms.
Cal Spas has plenty of upgrade options to tailor your tub to your exact style, taste, and needs. This means you can find the exact Cal Spas hot tub for your home, but it can be tricky to wade through the details. If you’re hunting for a new hot tub online, it can be hard to compare the Cal Spa models without talking to someone from the brand.
Regarding USP, this brand is another rare one with a saltwater sanitation system. This can be more expensive to implement, but it will save you plenty of time in upkeep as it can keep the water clean for up to 12 months instead of having to drain and refill the water every three months in a usual system. It also features UV-C and ozone options, and a special hydrotherapy system called the Fountain of Youth.
This feature creates small bubbles that increase the amount of oxygen in the water, giving it a soft, luxurious feel to encourage cell and collagen regeneration. For maximum comfort, you can also select an adjustable therapy seat to control the power and type of jet blast to suit your exact preferences.
Catalina Spas has plenty of options for jazzing up your home hot tub
If you want the ultimate luxurious hot tub experience, Catalina Spas would be the right brand for you. They don’t have many budget-friendly options available, and prices begin at around $5,000 for their mid-range and $8,000 for their Luxury range (before add-ons).
Catalina Spas' reviews were hard to come by online, and many were poor one-star ratings. Multiple users said their tubs arrived with major faults, which isn't ideal with such a huge investment purchase.
Catalina Spas are known for their customization options, with the ability to add waterfalls, magnetic pillows and choose the color scheme of your tub. You can make these tubs your own and turn them into a huge feature in your yard with truly premium features.
Even if you choose not to add customization options, there are still many features to be impressed with. The most budget model, the CL360L, has LED lighted controls, underwater lights, and Bluetooth-compatible speakers. On the other end of the spectrum, the Luxury range features cupholders, various sanitization systems, and HydroFalls. We’re big fans of the Luxury range’s Gecko K-100 color touch screen, which enables you to alter the settings of your spa, run cleaning programs and keep up to date on how it’s performing. It’s also Wi-Fi enabled and can be controlled via your smartphone too.
Catalina Spas has two ranges to choose from; Classic and Luxury. The Classic range includes eight products, while the Luxury range has six. This is smaller than other manufacturers, but the personalization options make up for the lack of choice in models.
How to choose the best hot tub
The best hot tub will be a big investment for your yard, so you must feel confident with your decision. This starts with thoroughly researching which features to look out for before you commit to a new hot tub. It can be tricky to know where to start, especially with so many upgrades and specs, so we’ve rounded up some of the most important things to consider when shopping.
First, consider how many people will use the hot tub, and second, the available space. Small hot tubs fit two to three people comfortably, while larger ones can fit eight or more. Most hot tub manufacturers’ websites list the dimensions of each tub and how many people it will comfortably sit, so you can consider all aspects to be sure you’re picking the right size.
Many users love hot tubs for the hydrotherapy benefits they provide. The number of jets in the tub and the placement and type of hydrotherapy the jets deliver are essential features to consider when buying a hot tub. Different companies use techniques to imitate massage types, from deep tissue to light caress.
Some also use a combination of water and air, high-pressure or even high-flow jets. If you suffer from joint and muscle tension, look for a hot tub with lounge seats and leg or feet jets. Some spa models combine hydrotherapy and aromatherapy for a spa-like experience.
When you’re shopping for a new hot tub, look into the materials used in the construction. Most hot tubs use an acrylic interior shell supported by a frame of either treated wood or metal and surrounded by a wood or synthetic cabinet. As long as it isn’t exposed to the elements, the frame should last the lifetime of your hot tub, no matter what it’s made out of.
Insulation is another important factor to look for, as this directly affects operating costs. A poorly insulated spa costs more to heat because the heather has to run more to keep water at a set temperature, and overworking the components can cause premature malfunction.
If you live in a colder climate, a well-insulated hot tub will be essential for heating the water. Look for a full-foam insulated hot tub rather than a model with partial foam insulation or one that uses a thermal wrap.
Chlorine vs saltwater
Spa water purification plays a vital role in the health of your hot tub, and whichever one you choose, it will need to be maintained, so it’s important to know the difference between these two types.
Chlorine has been used to keep hot tub water clean for decades and helps to eliminate bacteria and other nasties from the water in your tub. Chlorine (a combination of oxygen and hydrogen in water) usually comes in a liquid or dissolvable solid form and effectively kills salmonella, bacteria, and some viruses such as influenza and E.coli.
Chlorine does have some drawbacks, though. Firstly, it smells. Secondly, while weak, hydrochlorous acid is still an acid that can irritate your eyes and skin. It also needs a lot of upkeep, so you’ll have to test your chlorine level at least once a week, but more if you use it regularly. You’ll also have to test the pH level of the water. Thankfully, many of the best hot tub brands package their tubs with water care kits and full instructions, making it easy for you.
Any hot tub can become a saltwater hot tub if you add a salt chlorine generator. Saltwater hot tubs have far less salt than seawater and are regarded by some as a more natural solution. Some saltwater systems claim to clean and sanitize your hot tub water for up to a year, so you can soak and forget about that side.
The benefits of a saltwater hot tub include increased water softness and buoyancy and how it’s far gentler on your skin and eyes compared to chlorine. It doesn’t smell either, and it’s cheaper to run and maintain overall than a chlorine system.
However, some saltwater hot tub disadvantages include an initial higher cost on the salt water system and the higher risk of corrosion to any metal parts in your hot tub. The water temperature also needs to stay about 60℉ to work effectively when killing microorganisms, which could increase energy bills.
Hot tub FAQs
How much do the best hot tubs cost?
Do your homework. We’d recommend viewing a hot tub in person, if possible, to do a wet test. It is best to try the hot tub out before buying it, as the molded seats are designed for an average person, and if you are on the smaller or taller size, these seats can become uncomfortable.
However, there are many features to consider when buying a hot tub, from seating style (do you want lounge-style seating, therapeutic seats, or cool-down seats?) to jet type, the water filtration system (salt, ozone, or UV-C?), and more. Try to choose an energy-efficient hot tub, too.
How much does a good hot tub cost?
A hot tub can cost anywhere from $3,000 for a budget-priced tub to over $16,000 for a top-of-the-line spa with custom upgrades. Generally, inflatable hot tubs are the cheapest; above-ground hot tubs are more moderately priced, and in-the-ground hot tubs are the most expensive.
Your budget will dictate which options are available, so consider how much you have to spend on your new hot tub. Also, it's a good idea to research how much a certain hot tub might cost to run and maintain (and make sure you choose an option with a lifetime guarantee).
Hot tub manufacturers rarely list the prices of hot tubs online because several factors affect the price of each sale, including geography, dealer promotions, and even the time of year. Of course, this also allows retailers to negotiate a higher price with people who don’t have good bartering skills.
Many hot tub companies will categorize their selections into price ranges: budget, entry-level, mid-level, premium, and luxury. However, some won't provide price guidelines unless you enquire. Bear in mind that the final price of your hot tub might differ significantly from the price after you've included any upgrades or extras, installation, and operating costs.
Are hot tubs expensive to run?
How much it costs to run a hot tub depends on your situation. Your running costs will depend on your energy supplier, where you live, and your hot tub of choice, as well as how often you plan on enjoying those gorgeously warm bubbles. The bigger your tub, the more capacity it can hold, meaning the more energy it will use to heat the water.
If you want to avoid hefty bills, take some time to consider exactly which size of a hot tub is right for you, so you can prevent potentially unused space from racking up running costs unnecessarily.
Better insulation is the key to energy efficiency, so choose a reliable hot tub manufacturer who goes the extra mile with their materials to ensure heat stays inside. That includes insulation within your tub’s shell and the cover you choose whenever it’s out of use.
Another external factor that will affect your hot tub running costs is your location, as energy prices vary across states and climates; in colder places, your hot tub will have to work extra hard to maintain a warm water temperature.
Maintenance is essential to owning a hot tub, and the cost of cleaning materials is also worth factoring in regarding finances. Whilst some tubs have self-cleaning systems, others require traditional bottled chemicals to be added regularly, which creates monthly expenses.
If regular cleaning dampens your hot tub dreams, then self-cleaning systems may not cost much more than buying products each month to keep your appliance in good shape and are worth investigating.
Which hot tubs have the best warranty?
Investing in a hot tub for your home will bring boundless fun and relaxation into your home, but how can you feel reassured about your purchase for years to come? A sturdy warranty will give you peace of mind regarding your tub and mean that there’s help on hand if you run into various issues.
In the top-rated brands we looked at, warranties can stretch from one year to 35 years, and often, the type of warranty attached to a tub will depend on how high-end it is. For example, a luxury range of tubs within the PDC brand has a 35-year warranty to back it up so that you can feel reassured when splashing the cash that there’s a hefty guarantee to back your purchase up. Other brands offer a blanket warranty on all their models, such as ThermoSpas, which will cover ten years after purchase.
Taking the plunge and installing a hot tub is a major financial decision, so it’s well worth factoring in a good warranty for your purchase. Look at the small print of any guarantee, and check whether it covers the shell, plumbing parts, or the whole model.
Where should you put your hot tub?
Where will your hot tub go? This will be a major factor in deciding which type of hot tube to get and the features you'll need, so plan the location of your hot tub carefully. If you place a hot tub outside, choosing a model that holds heat well so you’re not wasting energy by constantly reheating it is best.
You might also want to consider the view, the distance from your house, and how visible you will be to your neighbors. If you are placing your hot tub indoors, you might want to choose a well-ventilated area so condensation doesn’t damage your home.
What about hot tub filtration and sanitation?
Your hot tub's filtration and water sanitation systems keep the water sparking and clean. Spa models use different combinations of chemicals, filters, ozone, and UV-C light to clean your water.
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.
What are the best hot tub upgrades and extras to consider?
Upgrades and extras can make a real difference when it comes to getting the hot tub of your dreams. So whilst jets and pumps are essential, a bunch of add-ons are also available to take your comfort to the next level. Unsurprisingly, one favorite among hot tub users is Bluetooth-connected speakers because everyone wants to blast out their favorite tunes as they soak.
You can change that, plus LED mood lighting to create different types of ambiance. These aesthetic features will get your hot tub party off to a great start and get your guests into fun and relaxation.
If you like the convenience of controlling your appliances from your phone, the best hot tub for you is one with smart features. For example, luxury hot tubs often have touchscreen controls so you can get your temperature and cleaning settings just right and compatibility with your smartphone to control your hot tub from wherever you are. If you don’t want to lift a finger when it comes to your tub, look out for models with self-cleaning programs to make maintenance a breeze.
Waterfalls and water features are other additions that can add real pizzazz to your new hot tub, with the look and sound of running water adding a further element of peace and relaxation. And don’t forget about making space for snacks, too, with cup holders and coolers available for those who like to keep their food and beverages close to hand while relaxing in an outdoor tub.
How will your hot tub look on the outside?
Most hot tubs we reviewed come in multiple shell and cabinet styles, with manufacturers offering more options for higher-tier product lines. Though not necessarily the most important aspect of your hot tub, appearance plays a role in your spa's relaxing effects. Choosing a shell and UV-resistant cabinet in colors that blend in with your backyard creates a more laid-back setting rather than an eye sore.