Hot Tub vs Jacuzzi vs Spa – What’s the Difference?

Hot water treatment has a range of benefits covering all kinds of health issues that people often face when dealing with the stress of daily life. Spending some time in a hot tub is a great way to unwind, relax, and feel rejuvenated after a long day at work or a busy day spent outdoors.

Hot tubs also have a range of benefits for senior citizens. Soaking in a hot tub can help in relieving pain in joints, increasing blood circulation and promoting better sleep. And above all it provides the relaxing and soothing experience of soaking in a hot tub. Soaking in a hot tub for a small duration as 20-30 minutes can have far reaching benefits.

Hot water therapy has shown to have a positive impact on reducing instances of headaches and migraines. Spending some time relaxing in hot water can also help to make your skin look better as hot water improves blood circulation and flushes out the toxins from your body.

When it comes to hot water treatment, people often choose hot tubs, spas, or jacuzzi. While these terms are used interchangeably, there are several differences in the three of these. If you’re in the market for buying any of these, it helps to know what each term actually stands for and what kind of features you can expect in each. In this article, we are going to take a look at the differences, features, pros and cons of buying hot tubs, spas and jacuzzis.

Differences Between Hot Tub, Spa, Jacuzzi

Hot Tub vs Jacuzzi vs Spa

While the basic function of hot tubs, spas and jacuzzi is the same, to provide hot water for relaxation and rejuvenation among other health benefits, there are basic differences in how each of these operates. Let’s take a look at the each term, its definition and features.

Hot Tubs

SaluSpa Paris AirJet Inflatable Hot Tub W/ LED Light Show

In early times, hot tubs were simple wooden tubs that were held together with metal stripes to ensure they don’t leak water. These were filled with hot water and people used to sit in these for bathing or relaxation. With time, hot tubs have evolved into a variety of models. You can buy inflatable hot tubs, acrylic hot tubs, plastic hot tubs and much more. What differentiates hot tubs from spas is that hot tubs are traditionally placed above the ground. All the plumbing and electrical fittings are already included in the hot tub

Modern hot tubs also come with jets, bubble jets, lights, and more. But if the tub is placed above the ground it is safe to call it a hot tub. Here are some of the common features that you can find in hot tubs.

  • Quick to Heat Up
    Heating the water in a hot tub is easy. You can simply set up a timer and the water will get hot till the temperature you want.
  • Insulated
    The tubs are also insulated and do a great job at keeping the water at an optimum temperature for a long period of time.
  • Portable
    As the hot tubs are made from lightweight material and there are no permanent fixings, it is easy to move them from place to place depending on your needs and requirements.
  • Durable
    Modern hot tubs are made from high quality materials like vinyl that adds to their durability for use through the years.
  • Easy to Maintain
    Portable hot tubs are easy to maintain as they come with a range of accessories for cleaning the tub and keeping the water chemically balanced.
  • Economical
    The hot tubs offer an economical way to heat water as these hot tubs consume very little electricity for heating up the water. As these are insulated, it means water stays hot for a longer period.
  • Spacious
    The hot tubs offer ample space for 4-6 people. These are great for families and small groups of friends.

Hot Tub Video Guide

Pros and Cons of Buying Hot Tubs

Before you buy a hot tub, there are certain things you need to know in order to see if the tub is the right choice for your usage. Here are some of the common pros and cons associated with hot tubs.


  • Hot tubs are easy to set up without the use of any equipment or tools
  • Hot tubs warm up quickly so that you can enjoy with your friends and family members
  • Hot tubs can be deflated and stored away as needed
  • Hot tubs are made from durable materials such as vinyl
  • Hot tubs are easy to maintain as they come with a range of maintenance accessories
  • Hot tubs are portable and easy to move


  • Hot tubs can lose air with time and need to be reinflated
  • Hot tubs have space for only 4-6 people
  • Hot tubs need a lot of electricity and water for use
  • Sitting for too long in hot tubs is not good for health
  • Too hot water can cause burns and other health issues
  • Hot tubs are not beneficial for people with blood circulation related ailments


Hudson Bay 6 Person 19 Jet Spa with Stainless Jets and 110V GFCI

Traditionally, a spa was associated with massage and relaxation. But these days, the term is often used for hot tubs. The one major distinction between hot tubs and spas is that spas are always equipped with high powered jets to create a bubble effect in the water and provide a gentle massage.

Modern spas come with various types of bubble jets that can be customized and controlled as per the user’s desire. The overall effect is that the jets can be chosen to massage specific body parts that further helps in alleviating pain in joints and muscles. Here are some of the common features of spas.

  • Tub location
    Traditionally, spas were located at ground level instead of above ground like hot tubs. These days, modern spa systems are located above the ground or near pools.
  • Powerful Jet Systems
    The focus on the spa is to provide an overall feeling of relaxation through massage effect. That’s why the spas use high powered jets of air that make bubbles in the water.
  • Material
    Spas are generally made from fiberglass or acrylic that adds to their durability. Once installed, with proper maintenance, these will last you for years.
  • Seating arrangement
    Spas have a definite seating arrangement in the tub as the water pressure needs to be directed in proper areas. Hot tubs and Jacuzzis might or might not offer the seating arrangement.
  • Added Energy Expenditure
    Spas not only heat the water, but also blow hot air to create jets of water for a massage effect. This in turn means more power expenditure for spa users.
  • Choice of Spa Type
    Spa users can choose whether they want a portable spa that they can move around as per their wish or they want to go with an in-ground construction. Both types of spas have their advantages and disadvantages.
  • Accessories
    Spas can also be equipped with a host of accessories that add to the features and capabilities of these units. Different colored lights, the number of jets, adjustable jets, water cleaners and much more can be added to spas.

Spa Video Guide

Pros and Cons of Buying Spas

Spas are great when you want to relax and unwind with friends. Here are some pros and cons associated with spas that can help you to make a better decision regarding buying a spa.


  • A spa can be customized with number of jets
  • The power of jets can also be modified as per user’s requirements
  • Spas can be above ground or based at ground level
  • Spas are highly durable as they’re made from acrylic or fiberglass
  • Spas come with an in-built seating arrangement
  • Spas can be added with more features as per user’s requirements


  • Spas consume a lot of electricity for operating jets and heating up the water
  • Spas need regular cleaning and maintenance for proper usage
  • Additional plumbing is needed for a fixed spa
  • Spas can often be a hotbed for bacteria and other harmful microorganisms
  • Spending too much time in a spa tub can harm the skin


American Spas AM-730LM 6-Person 30-Jet Lounger Spa with Backlit LED Waterfall

Jacuzzi is a company that first started manufacturing spas. But over time they got so popular that the brand became a generic term for spas. So, if you’re thinking of buying a Jacuzzi and it doesn’t have the Jacuzzi brand name on it, you’re probably looking for a spa.

That said, modern Jacuzzis comes equipped with a range of services and features that make them stand out of the crowd of hot tubs and spas. These are high end devices that include all the comforts you can expect from a hot tub, but not every hot tub can be called as a Jacuzzi. Here are some of the common features you can expect from a Jacuzzi.

  • Fixed Construction
    A Jacuzzi contains a lot of features which is why you will always find a Jacuzzi set in place with all the plumbing and electrical fittings already in place.
  • Durable
    As the components and fixtures used in a Jacuzzi are high quality, these are extremely durable as well.
  • Varied Size
    The size of the Jacuzzi depends on the place where you want to get it installed. Jacuzzis come in various sizes, from a couple only Jacuzzi to tubs that can accommodate the whole family.
  • High Powered Jets
    The jets in a Jacuzzi can be customized as per the buyer’s wishes. From the number of jets to the power and intensity of the jets, everything can be customized for a fulfilling and amazing Jacuzzi experience.
  • Modern Design
    The design of a Jacuzzi is made to complement the decor of any place where it is installed. The shape, color, and material used for creating the Jacuzzi is premium grade and once you use it you will realize why it is valued so highly.
  • Highly Adjustable
    Every aspect of the Jacuzzi from the water pressure to the temperature to the amount of air in the bubbles, can be customized as per user’s needs and requirements.

Jacuzzi Video Guide

Pros and Cons of Buying Jacuzzi

While Jacuzzi is a brand name that has become popular as a stand-in for a product, there are several pros and cons associated with a Jacuzzi. Let’s have a look at some of these pros and cons.


  • A Jacuzzi is an advanced version of a hot tub or a spa
  • A Jacuzzi offers a luxurious hot bath experience
  • A Jacuzzi is equipped with lights, jets, and in-built seats
  • A Jacuzzi is available in various sizes and shapes
  • A Jacuzzi can be installed in the house or next to pool


  • A Jacuzzi is more expensive than a hot tub or a spa
  • A Jacuzzi need extensive maintenance and upkeep
  • A Jacuzzi is not portable, it needs ample space to be fixed
  • A Jacuzzi need professional assistance for fixing it

FAQs About Hot Tubs, Spas and Jacuzzi

Q1): I Recently Got a Hot Tub Installed in My House. Now I Can’t Get the Temperature to an Optimum Level. the Water Has Been Heating for More Than a Day. Is There Anything I Can Do to Speed Up the Heating?

There can be several causes for the water taking a long time to heat. You should check if all the power connections are in the right place. You can also try putting a thermal cover over the tub while it is heating to prevent heat from escaping. If nothing else works, try calling the customer care of your hot tub’s manufacturer and troubleshoot the issue through there.

Q2): I Have Parents Who Are Both Suffering from Pain in Joints. Which Hot Tub Solution Would Be Best for Them to Provide Them with Massage Like Benefits?

You can choose from hot tubs with jets or spas for massage like benefits. If you’re looking for an advanced solution, you can also go for a Jacuzzi as it allows you to control the number of air bubbles and their pressure as well.

Q3): I Want a Custom Spa Solution. What Are Some of the Accessories That I Can Add to the Spa?

For spa accessories, most people choose number of jets and their placement. You can talk to your spa seller beforehand with your plans and get the type of jets you want. You can also get mood lifting soft lights installed in your spa. Another popular addition is an Ozonator that injects ozone gas in the spa water to clean it. An electronic display meter is a must for a spa and you can get one that offers a complete range of features.

Q4): My Control Panel of My Spa Is Showing an Error Code. What Could Be the Reason for It?

The error code could be because of any number of reasons, but one of the most common reason is dirty filters. With time, the spa’s water gets cleaned up and the filters get blocked, once they’re so blocked that they can not clean any more water, they need to be cleaned. Check your spa’s water filters and clean them if they’re blocked. If the error code still persists, check with the customer care department of your spa’s manufacturer.

Q5): I Have Kids and Pets in the House and I Don’t Want Them to Be Near the Spa without My Supervision. How Can I Make the Spa Safer for My Family?

You can get spa covers that have locks on them. Once locked, no one will be able to get into the spa. These spa covers also add to the looks of the spa and help in maintaining the heat when the water is heating up and once it’s hot.

Q6): Can You Offer Any Tips on Maintenance of the Hot Tubs or Spas?

Most spas and hot tubs are easy to maintain. Simply keep them covered when not in use and once you fill in the water make sure the chemical balance is right for usage. Follow the instructions give by your tub’s manufacturer for specific cleaning methods. Every once in awhile, drain the tub, dry it out, and clean it with a mild soap solution. When not in use, store your tub in a cool, dark place that is free from moisture.


Buying a hot tub, spa, or jacuzzi depends on your personal preference, requirements, and budget. While you’d still be able to enjoy a hot water soak experience with any of the three devices, it is important to know what each device specifically does. If you’re going for therapeutic massages, it’s best to get a spa that can offer you a large number of jets that provide a massage experience.

If you move around a lot and you always need to carry your stuff with you, you can get a simple inflatable hot tub. These hot tubs are easy to install and you don’t even need any tools to set them up properly. These tubs can also be stored away so that there is no need to refit all the plumbing and electricals.

At last, there is the jacuzzi, which has evolved from a brand name into a product in itself. When you’re aiming for a high end experience, you should check out Jacuzzis that offer the best in everything from heated water to luxurious jets that make the water feel like a warm massage.

All said and done, choosing a hot water tub, spa, or jacuzzi depends on your budget and preference. And given the various benefits of hot water treatment, any of these will suffice to suit your purposes. For more information about hot water tubs, spas, and jacuzzis, please browse through our website. You can also leave a comment below this article in case you have any queries or suggestions and our team will get back to you at the earliest.


Hi, I'm Richard the Chief Editor at I worked in the Hot tub maintenance field for a few years, and I thought to share my knowledge about Hot tub on our blog. My team and I share useful information related to Hot Tubs.

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