A hot tub can be an amazing investment for you and your family, and offer incredible benefits in therapy, relaxation, and stress-relief right at home. That said, hot tubs are a big investment and your hot tub purchase needs to be researched and evaluated before you make a decision on the right model for you. That means digging deeper than just the upfront costs and flashy gimmicks (do you really need a TV that pops out of the side?), and looking at what really makes a hot tub, a quality choice.
Ask yourself the following questions if you’re considering buying a hot tub:
What is my budget & what do I really need to spend up-front?
Hot tub pricing can vary from $4,000 up to well over $20,000 depending on the retailer. Different price points can reflect different features, jetting, and size. When you’re making your decision for which hot tub to buy, you should start with quality. You also need to consider how much your hot tub will cost to operate over time and the expected life and durability based on product reviews. These factors, combined with your initial purchase price, will give you a better estimate of the lifetime cost of this investment.
Where is the hot tub going?
As you comparatively shop, you’ll start to find that most hot tubs are square or rectangular (the 321 is the only model we offer in a circular shape) and have a footprint between 6 and 8 feet. Before you enter into a showroom or start looking at models online, measure out the space where you intend to place your tub. Keep in mind, you will need an added space of 1 to 2 feet around at least two-sides of the hot tub to allow for maintenance and accommodate accessories.
How many seats do you need?
If you are planning on using your hot tub for yourself or you and your spouse, a smaller 2-4 person capacity will be perfect. If you are a family of 5 and are looking for something you and your kids can enjoy together socially, look for a spa that fits more. When you’re looking at hot tubs, remember that price doesn’t necessarily equal number of seats. We have large and small hot tubs across our 700, 500, and 300 Series, so your budget doesn’t mean you won’t be able to afford a larger tub. If you have children, finding a model with a cool-down seat is important as it allows smaller bodies to safely perch higher above the water.
What is the primary way you’ll be using it?
Are you looking for a place for friends? For you and your spouse? Or is it deep-tissue hydrotherapy you’re after? There’s plenty of models that offer all of these benefits, but when you’re looking at how to maximize your investment, it’s smart to weigh your expectations and prioritize which benefits are the most important to you.
If you are looking for a place for entertaining large groups, go for size and seating. If you are looking for more advanced jetting and massage seating, then look at options that have more horsepower and ergonomic moulding. This will also help you determine whether features like a lounger seat or a built-in sound system are really something you will get use of.
What’s it made of?
Most high-quality hot tubs are made with acrylic. Acrylic is a hard, durable plastic that is resistant to chemical and UV damage. When you look at hot tubs at a lower price point from unreliable manufacturers, you are likely seeing moulding that is made from rotary plastics. This is the same kind of material you will find in a kayak or a portable table. This is why it is so important to pay particular attention and educate yourself on the materials that are used. Ensure you find a durable, acrylic shell that is stain and scratch resistant, long-lasting cabinetry, and look for an intuitive control system that is accessible and easy-to-use at nighttime.
What about on-going costs?
It should come as no surprise that hot tubs require electricity to heat and circulate water, and power the jets and lights. New hot tub owners should therefore expect a rise in their electricity bill following installation. So how much? That really depends on the type of hot tub you end up buying (many tubs list out their estimated energy usage online, so be sure to check up and compare), the temperature you set the water, and the frequency of use. Outside of the hot tub itself, fluctuations will also occur due to the climate you live in and the cost of electricity in your specific location.
So what’s the best way to make the best decision for you? Do your research online about the questions above, find reviews from existing owners, and if you can, try before you buy! When you come into your local Beachcomber Store you can not only find all the answers you’re looking for, you can also try it for yourself with a wet test!