Hot tub vs Jacuzzi

Hot tub vs Jacuzzi
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’ve ever looked at a hot tub and called it a Jacuzzi, you’re not alone. When it comes to hot tubs vs Jacuzzis, most people aren’t sure of the difference between them. However, they can be very different, especially when it comes to quality and price.

Read on to discover the differences and similarities between hot tubs and Jacuzzis, as well as tips on weighing up your options when it comes to purchasing. Plus, we’ve talked to registered physiotherapist Katie Knapton, of PhysioFastOnline (opens in new tab), to hear more about the benefits of hydrotherapy for tired and aching muscles. 

If you’re looking for the perfect hot tub for your backyard, you’ll find plenty of options in our guide to the best hot tubs (opens in new tab) or even the best swim spas (opens in new tab), from budget tubs that you can store away over colder months, to luxury tubs that give your garden the wow factor. 

Hot tubs vs Jacuzzi: Differences

What the expert says…

Registered physiotherapist Katie Knapton says, “Spending some time in a hot tub or Jacuzzi can help to relax the muscles and give some pain relief if you have discomfort. It can be a great place to do some gentle movements of the affected area, especially the knees and hips. If you’re undergoing physiotherapy, regular use of a hot tub or Jacuzzi alongside a specific rehabilitation program can be useful too.”

Although people often use either term, hot tubs are a generic term for a tub that you can fill with water and soak in, whilst Jacuzzi is a brand name for a specific type of hot tub. Think of people using Hoover for a vacuum cleaner, and you get the general idea.

Jacuzzi is known for its wide range of hot tubs, though they tend to be at the more expensive end of the market. Founded to offer hydrotherapy to people with arthritis in the ‘60s, it quickly became the go-to brand in the ‘70s and ‘80s for wealthy people who wanted a luxury spa experience at home. 

Every one of Jacuzzi’s hot tubs is fitted with patented jet technology, and capacity ranges from 2 to 6+ people. Higher-end models come equipped with LED lights, connected apps, lounge seating, in-built stereos, waterfall features and more. You can also buy Jacuzzis that are designed to swim in, with currents that keep you in place while you get a full workout. 

Jacuzzi makes much of its patented technologies that are unique to the brand. It also has a great reputation for quality and reliability. All Jacuzzi hot tubs are put through what the company calls “rigorous independent testing” by the California Energy Commission. Jacuzzi claims this means their hot tubs are some of the most energy efficient tubs you can buy.

It’s testament to the success of Jacuzzi that its name has become synonymous with hot tubs. However, there are plenty of other fantastic hot tub brands to choose from that feature affordable options, such as Master Spas Hot Tubs and Intex Inflatable Hot Tubs, or luxury tubs, such as Bullfrog Spas and PDC Spas.

Hot tubs have come a long way in the last decade. You can now find hot tubs that offer everything a Jacuzzi can, and sometimes at much cheaper prices. 

While Jacuzzis tend to have a classic design and cabinetry on the exterior, you can get a wide variation of hot tubs in all shapes, sizes, colors, and finishes. Round hot tubs with wood finishes give a clean Scandi-look, while inflatable options are easily packed away when not in use. You can even purchase wood-fired hot tubs for an authentic Nordic soak.

Hot tubs vs Jacuzzi: Similarities

Both hot tubs and Jacuzzis offer a relaxing hydrotherapy experience in the comfort of your own home or backyard. Both offer multiple jets to pummel and massage aching muscles, while you can easily find hot tubs that offer the same extra features as Jacuzzis, such as control panels, LED lighting, Bluetooth sound systems, and contoured seats.

You can even find hot tubs that offer a swim experience, although these are usually marketed as swim spas (opens in new tab) or swim machines.

Which should you buy?

If you're on a budget, it’s unlikely that Jacuzzi will be your first choice to browse hot tub options. Most Jacuzzis start at tens of thousands of dollars, while inflatable hot tubs (opens in new tab) can start at just a few hundred dollars. Be mindful, though, that budget hot tubs are likely to feature fewer jets, no extra features, and they won’t have insulation for winter.

Hot tubs can be an excellent addition to any garden.

Hot tubs can be an excellent addition to any garden. (Image credit: Getty)

Spending more on a hot tub could get you closer to a Jacuzzi experience. For around three thousand dollars, you could get a hard-shell hot tub and more targeted jets. Double that amount, and you can get a hot tub with insulation, headrest pillows, digital display and LED lighting. Triple it, and you’re into luxury territory, with massaging pillows, underwater lighting and waterfall features similar to a Jacuzzi. 

If you want to use your hot tub all year round, you’ll need to look for one with good insulation. This will keep the water warm for longer and reduce your energy use over the colder months. However, you’ll be laying out more cash at the point of sale.

Warranty is important too. Jacuzzi offer generous warranties, but they differ depending on the product, and not all of the components in your Jacuzzi will be covered for the same period. So it’s worth checking out the small print and weighing up which warranty works best for you. 

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Joanne Lewsley
Customer Advisor, Vacuums, Cleaning and Air Quality

Joanne Lewsley is a UK-based freelance writer and editor, covering health and lifestyle news and features. She creates evidence-based health and parenting content and has worked with some of the world’s best-known brands and websites, including BabyCentre UK and Medical News Today. 

You can read more of Joanne's work and get in touch via her website:

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