Hot tubs remain a popular addition to any home. They’re great for relaxing, of course, but also ideal for soaking after work-outs and entertaining. Kids can spend hours splashing about, and we can’t think of anything more enjoyable than listening to some tunes with an adult beverage on a weekend evening.

However, they’re still an investment. And with every investment, it’s best to do your due diligence before plunking down hard-earned cash. It’s important to understand all the maintenance issues involved, plus the actual placement of the tub. We’ll cover these issues and then move on to presenting six impressive units. Strap in!

How Much Do Hot Tubs Cost to Run?

How much do hot tubs cost to run?

Hot tubs certainly aren’t free to run, but you’d be surprised how economical some of them are. Several variables affect the bottom line; the model you end up choosing and its respective insulation comes first. Some models frankly do not insulate as well as others. You pay for what you get in the hot tub world, just like anywhere else. If you’re skimping to cut corners, the insulation will suffer.

Up second is the water temperature. Some folks are into moderate heat, while others, for one reason or another, want to feel as if their toes are burning. To each their own, there are no Judgement Judy’s here. But if you like it to be scalding hot, then there are additional heating costs involved.

Electricity costs vary by region, state, county, and city. If you reside in an expensive neighborhood, you can bet operating your hot tub will be more costly than others. This is a challenging variable to control for. If anything, reducing your costs in other areas to smooth out the high hot tub costs could be one strategy to take. And lastly, how often you use the hot tub will result in either an increased or decreased use of chemicals and pumps.

On the high-end, hot tubs can cost roughly $70 per month to operate. This assumes you’re living in a high electricity cost neighborhood and/or in a harsh climate that demands more heat. However, depending on your location and usage, running a hot tub can be as low as $11 per month. That sounds better, but a good first step is asking some others in your neighborhood with hot tubs what they’re paying monthly.   

Are Hot Tubs High Maintenance?

Are hot tubs high maintenance?

Hot tubs do require some maintenance. After all, it’s a giant tub of water sitting in your backyard or porch; not doing anything could really result in a smelly affair. The good news is hot tub technology has come a long, long way. Advancements in water care have cut the time and effort folks used to pour into caring for their tub. For example, most tubs these days are built with synthetic siding as opposed to wood, because real wood tubs were gorgeous, but the maintenance was intense.

At its core, tub maintenance comes down to balancing the water, monitoring the amount of sanitizer, and cleaning the filters. Most hot tub technicians recommend performing a sanitizer and water level test once per week and then cleaning the filters once a month. The sanitizer and water level test takes less than a minute, and the filter clean for another 10 minutes.

That’s not a lot of time, but there is one last item. Approximately once per year, you’ll want to drain and refill the tub. If you’ve got a tub with a floor drain, this is quite easy. If you don’t have a floor drain, it’s a bit more involved, but nothing a couple of hours on a Saturday morning once or twice a year can’t take care of. 

How Close Can a Hot Tub be to the House?

How close should a hot tub be to the house?

Remember the old real-estate saying, “location, location, location?” Well, it applies to hot tubs as well, and where you end up placing your hot tub will weigh heavily on the overall soaking experience. To begin, you don’t want your hot tub far from the house, the principal reason being that you’ll be asking folks to navigate a path with snow or ice to and from the tub in bad weather. That’s not pleasant nor a polite thing to ask of your family and friends. Second, you’ll want to keep the tub close to a power line and water line because it will make things a whole lot easier.

But what is “too close?” Some folks want to avoid the cold as much as possible and will be tempted to place the tub right next to their door. Before going this route, think about the daily traffic that door receives. If you’re hauling groceries in and out, or it’s heavily trafficked, having a hot tub could impede the normal flow of things. Second, if you’ve got an active family or social circle, get ready for screams and laughter to be heard throughout your home with a tub that is just feet away from a main entrance.

Expert tub heads recommend anywhere between six and twelve feet away from the door; anything closer could be uncivilized. 

The Best Hot Tubs You Can Buy Online

SaluSpa Helsinki Inflatable Hot Tub

SulaSpa Helsinki inflatable hot tub.

If you’ve got more than six but less than eight folks interested in soaking it up, the SaluSpa is a natural fit for seven people. The tub measures a comfortable 71 inches wide and 26 inches high. The motor can get the Helsinki cranked up to 104 degrees in no time, and the 81 jets are strategically placed to ensure you get the most relaxing soak after a tough day (or even after a not-so-tough day).

This unit includes a pool liner, pool cover, a hand pump for inflation, a regular spa pump, two Type VI filter cartridges, plus a handy repair kit. Total water capacity is an impressive 297 gallons and the aluminum foil coating keeps the water warm for optimized soaking.  

To learn more, click here.

Intex PureSpa Greywood Deluxe Inflatable Hot Tub

Intex Purespa inflatable hot tub.

This tub is great for a variety of reasons. But at the risk of sounding superficial, the best thing about the PureSpa is the color! Greywood is just as it sounds – a wood design with shades of grey. It might not sound exciting, but aesthetically this is an A+. Color aside, you can pamper up to six adults comfortably in the Intex tub with 170 high-powered jets pumping out that 104-degree water.

The controls are wireless, and the tub has enough juice to operate for roughly 48 hours on a full charge. This tub is a snap to set up and can then be deflated for easy storage. The beauty of a tub like this one is placement is up to you. You can inflate and deflate so you’re clearly not wed to one specific spot in your backyard.

To read reviews, click here.

ALEKO Round Inflatable Jetted Hot Tub

Round inflatable jetted hot tub by Aleko.

Another fantastic inflatable option, the ALEKO tub is a powerful number with 210 gallons and a max temperature of 108 degrees. This a smaller tub than some of the others we’ve reviewed, but it’s perfect for four people, and anything over will get a bit cramped. But if four is the most you have in the household, then you can’t go wrong with this tub.

There are 130 high-powered bubble jets strategically placed throughout the tub, and the fitted cover keeps this number safe and sound outdoors. Included are a 1500 watt power pack, a 12 Volt AC filter pump, a 600-watt bubbler, and a 1200-watt heater. An excellent choice for smaller households!

To see pricing, click here.

MSpa Super Camaro Relaxation and Hydrotherapy Inflatable Hot Tub

Inflatable hot tub by MSpa.

We were excited about this one; anytime the word “Camaro” is involved, the power is likely impressive. The coolest characteristic, however, with the MSpa Camaro is the classy step stool it comes with. It’s more like a step platform placed at the base of the MSpa, permitting easy entry and exit from this tub.

On the operational side, the MSpa features 138 air jets, a six-layer laminated PVC, and a variable speed blower that adjusts between three distinct levels. While this tub is advertised for up to six folks, a couple of online reviews suggested that only “six hyper-skinny” people would fit in this tub. The reality is three to four “normal-sized adults.” We’ll let you be the judge on what category you and your friends and loved ones fall into.    

Ready to buy? Click here.

Essential Hot Tubs 30-Jet 2020 Adelaide Hot Tub

30-jet hot tub in espresso color by Essential Hot Tubs.

This tub has a feature we absolutely love – Captain’s Chairs! Yes, the Captain Chair is the most sought after seating position in any hot tub, and the Adelaide brings not just one Captain’s Chair but two.

And while Captain’s Chairs are great, the rest of your guests certainly require seating. The good news is Essential recognizes this and incorporated ergonomic seating for up to four additional guests. This tub is a plug and play unit, which means you can power the whole operation via a standard 120V/15A outlet. Made Stateside, the Adelaide is great for all seasons and also comes with an insulated and tapered cover with handy locking clips.

Love it? Click here to learn more.

Intex PureSpa 4 Person Home Outdoor Inflatable Hot Tub

Intex Purespa 4 person outdoor inflatable hot tub.

The phrase “total relaxation” is peppered throughout the description of this luxurious unit from Intex. Judging by the photos alone, total relaxation does not appear far from the truth. With room for four adults, this tub features a hard water treatment. While this sounds a tad aggressive, hard water treatments end up making the water gentler on the skin.

The tub comes with a generous six Type S1 filter cartridges, a spa tub cover, a floating pool chlorine dispenser, an inflation hose, and cover straps that also feature a child security lock. Set-up is quick and easy, and in less than 20 minutes, this unit is ready to go.

To read reviews, click here.

To Sum It Up

We can’t think of a better home investment than a hot tub. The benefits and entertainment are endless, but there is a monthly cost to consider. We reviewed how your location, local electricity rates, and the weather can affect monthly maintenance costs. We also touched on the location of your hot tub and the ideal position in your yard. Lastly, before getting to our hot tub reviews, we outlined the maintenance issues to be aware of.

The hot tubs we reviewed were a mix between standard and inflatable tubs. Decades ago people lifted their noses to the notion of an inflatable tub, but the technology has come a long way, and inflatable tubs today are highly efficient soaking machines. Any of these six are a worthy choice, no doubt about it. 

Psssst…..Check out Why You Need a Winter Survival Kit for Home next!