One of the perfect ways to add a little luxury to your home is by purchasing a hot tub or spa for your backyard or indoor oasis. It is a fantastic way to relax during cool summer nights, and it’s perfect for those chilly winter nights when you want to warm yourself up without cranking the indoor electricity. Plus, the steam that comes off hot tubs can be extremely therapeutic, and they offer a nice way to socialize with close friends, family, and significant others. But, purchasing the best hot tub is a big investment, so you want to make sure you get it right. Here is our UK buying guide for the best hot tubs UK 2020.
What Types of Hot Tubs Are There?
There are generally two categories of hot tubs, those that are portable and those that are in-ground which can also be referred to as custom hot tubs. These two categories are then broken down into sub-categories that define a hot tub by its material.
- A Portable Hot Tub/Spas: this is generally a hot tub that sits above ground and includes a large range of inflatable units and solid units. These can be built out of acrylic, fiberglass, polyethylene (plastics) and even inflated vinyl/latex. In most cases, these types of spas/hot tubs are built with an acrylic outer shell that is mounted to a support structure made out of metal, wood, or ABS. These spas are great for those who want a hot tub that is ergonomic, comfortable, and well defined. These are for hydrotherapy, comfort, and therapeutic measures.
- Acrylic: small in size, easy to move, and are highly durable. You can have multiple seating spaces, massage jets, and underwater lights in these. These can sit 2-7 people or more.
- Inflatable: these are often made from vinyl and are highly durable. These are inflated with automatic pumps and are very easy to set up at home. They can be deflated when not in use.
- Soft-Sided Hot Tubs: these are extremely portable due to their lightweight design, are inexpensive, and are convenient as they can plug into a standard outlet.
- In-ground Hot Tub/Spas: these are typically constructed using a permanent material is hard and designed to a specific use case. They are set into the ground and the top of the hot tub would be located near or just above ground level. These can be built out of concrete, fiberglass, stainless steel, tile, and even copper.
- Cement/Concrete: these can be built above or below ground and are similar to what a pool looks like.
- Wooden Hot Tub: these were popular back in the 1970s and were made out of cedar or redwood. They were assembled with vertical staves and were held together with wooden barrels.
- Roto Molded: these are created with an outer shell and an inner cabinet as one single piece. They come with molded seating.
In-ground spas are very quiet, and they can be customized to fit your landscape. The drawback is that they are time consuming to install and can be very expensive with little room to modify later down the line. These are durable and stylish.
Where Can a Hot Tub Be Put Location-Wise?
When choosing where you want to place your hot tub, there are a few things that you need to be aware of. First, is how large your hot tub is as you will need to ensure that there is enough space for it. Second, hot tubs require a very well-ventilated area, so if you plan on having an indoor hot tub, you need to have proper ventilation installation done. Also consider weather as a factor, because if you aren’t keen on going outside in the winter, having a hot tub outdoors may not be beneficial to you.
An indoor hot tub is a fantastic choice if you are looking for privacy, convenience, and protection from the elements. This means you don’t have to worry about putting on sunscreen or running through the snow during the winter. An indoor hot tub is also great for maximizing space in large homes that have extra rooms.
An outdoor hot tub works well if you are looking for an easy installation or a more budget-friendly installation process. You don’t need to worry as much about ventilation as the excess humidity that your hot tub makes will disperse into the open air. Draining an outdoor hot tub is easier as you simply need to install a drain, attach a short hose, and run the water to a natural drainage site. An outdoor hot tub can be really relaxing if you have a beautiful landscape around you.
What Are The Costs Associated With Running a Hot Tub?
Besides the lump sum cost that is needed to purchase your hot tub upfront and install it, there are also ongoing costs that need to be kept in order to have your hot tub running smoothly all year long. The first expense you are going to see is that your monthly energy bill is going to go up. But, by how much? This is dependent on what type of hot tub you purchase, how large the hot tub is in volume, and how often you use it throughout the year. So, let’s break down the average costs of owning and running a hot tub.
- Initial Upfront Cost: the initial cost is going to include the purchase of the hot tub and the cover that you will need to go with it. The initial purchase can cost you as little as £400 ($600 CAD) for the purchase of the tub, all the way up to, £10,000+ ($17,000+ CAD) or more depending on if you buy an inflatable or a permanent tub. The cover can run you anywhere from £50 to £500.
- Electricity Cost: to run a hot tub, it generally costs about a £1 a day or $1.71 CAD but this can vary widely on the usage, season, and tub size. If you are running your tub in the winter/colder months, then it will cost more to heat the water. You’re looking at £20-100 a month but typically, it falls within the £20-50 range.
- Maintenance Cost: you will also need to set aside some money to purchase maintenance items for your hot tub. This can include things like special cleaning solutions, filters, and nets.
- For cleaning solutions/water treatment, you are minimally going to need cleaner and sanitizer which will run you around £100-200 for the cleaning and £30-60 for the sanitizer for a year’s supply. You may also need items like sponges to help you clean the tub out. Total amount for a year, around £150-300.
- For nets, these are generally quite cheap and will only run you around £20 at most.
- Filters on the other hand are a bit more expensive, coming in around £50-100 for the year.
The only other thing that you will need to factor in is the price needed to add your hot tub to your home insurance. Depending on what type of installation is used and whether it is classed as a separate building or property content, will determine the price for this.
5 Tips for Maintaining Your Hot TubIf you are a new hot tub owner or are someone who moved into a new home that has a hot tub that you want to keep, there are a few steps that you need to take in order to keep your tub performing well for you.
- Understand the Ins & Outs of Your Hot Tub. The first order of business is to understand your hot tub. You are going to want to locate the manual if it is a hot tub that you are acquiring from a home you are moving into or you are going to need to read the manual that comes with the hot tub on delivery. Read the instructions that come with it, talk with the representative of the tub, or contact the makers of the tub if you have any questions. Beyond this, learn about the controls and what they do, familiarize yourself with the features it has and what model it is, and make sure to locate the serial number.
- Circulate that Water! If the water in your hot tub is standing still, it is a breeding ground for bacteria. You do not want to get into a tub that has had standing water in it without cleaning it first. Always keep the water in your tub circulating, as this will distribute the cleaning and sanitization products throughout the water and keep algae out.
- When to Drain & Clean Your Tub? While having dirty water in your tub is obviously not good for it, you also need to ensure that the outer part of your tub (the shell) is clean and that the filters are also clean. This means that you will need to drain your hot tub every three to four months for average use. If you use your spa a lot, you will want to drain and clean it sooner than this. Always check the waterline for scum and debris, as you don’t want this to build up on your seats. As for the filters, you can either rinse them, spray them, or soak them to clean them. Keep the outside of the tub free of leaves, spiders, and dust.
- Manage the Chemical Levels. Just like a pool, you need to manage the chemistry levels of the water. This means that you need to check the pH levels, the alkalinity, and how sanitized the water is. You can either have the water tested or you can use a sanitation system at home.
- Winterize it in the Colder Months. Your spa can be used all year long, but you may want to purchase winter blankets to help protect the components so that they do not freeze. You also want to make sure that the cover fits properly, and seals shut so that there is no wear and tear on the inside of the tub. If your cover is cracked, faded, or sags, you will need to replace it. If you get ice around your tub, never pry it off, instead pour warm water over it and let it melt away. Clear away snow gently.
6 of the Top UK Hot Tubs for 2020 – Product Overview Guide
Cheap Hot Tubs U.K.
Lets take a look at the best cheap hot tubs in the U.K. These ones are at the lower end of the price range however are still fantastic and a great starting point if this is your first hot tub.
The Lay-Z-Spa Vegas Hot Tub is transportable yet still retains an extremely sturdy structure. It is very easy to set up and has plenty of room but does take a full 24-hours to heat up. Once heated, it holds in the heat well but does require you to provide lighting. Pros: It can be stored away easily, comes with a DVD set up guide, and can be heated to 40˚C. It also comes with a functioning jet system. Cons: No lighting system in place and only really excellent for sporadic use.
The Intex Octagonal Pure Spa is another inflatable hot tub that comes with a whole host of features including a built-in hard water treatment system, a built-in control panel for adjusting the heat, 140-heated bubble jets, and two replaceable filter cartridges. You also receive an inflation hose, carry bag, floating chlorine dispenser, and a 3-way test strip. Highly durable and can survive light scratches. Pros: It’s easy to get in and out of, it is cheap to run, and the chemical balance is easy to maintain. Cons: It only heats between 20-40˚C, can be noisy, and uses up filters quickly.
Mid-Range Hot Tubs in the UK
This inflatable hot tub comes with 132 whisper quiet air jets that produces an extremely luxurious and relaxing experience. This hot tub is square in shape, comes in a charcoal color, and can fit 6 people comfortably. The material is a 6-layer reinforced PVC with a PVC liner which makes it quite durable for an inflatable hot tub. It also comes with a 4-hour auto-filtration function, a built-in heater, and an external control system. Plus, it has a safety buckle design to connect the lid to the ground mat for a secure close. Pros: It can self-inflate, has a pre-set heating timer, and comes with tons of parts including a DVD manual, ground mat, garden hose adaptor, filter cartridge pack, wired controller, and cover. Con: not as large as other inflatable hot tubs for cheaper pricing.
Lay-Z-Spa Helsinki Hot Tub
Another inflatable hot tub that can be set up in less than 10-minutes, The lay-Z-Spa Helsinki Hot Tub comes with a dashing wood-design exterior. It can comfortably fit 5-7 people and heats up to 40˚C. Pros: Freeze shield technology which stops the water from freezing in cold temperatures, rapid heat technology system that lets you heat and filter the water at the same time, and 87 air jets that give a relaxing massage experience. It also comes with a cushioned floor, drop stitch material, a ground fault detection system, and an energy saving timer. Cons: you can only use water filtration chemicals that are recommended by the company.
High End Hot Tubs in the UK
The Whirlpool Barracuda Hot Tub Spa is fantastic for those who have limited outdoor space but still want to have a hot tub with hydrotherapy features. It comes with eight large nozzles and four small chrome-plated ones, a built-in speaker/radio system, two headrests, and LED lighting. Other things that it comes with is a switch water pressure regulator, a towel holder, a leakage protection system, and a steel frame. Comes with all the parts for installation as well. Cons: A higher price than the others above and it only comes in black with chrome accents which doesn’t suit everyone’s taste.
This plug and play spa can seat up to six people comfortably and is aimed at being suitable for the entire family. It is built to be therapeutic, offering a full-body hydro massage that targets one’s legs, back, calves, and feet. It has 35 hydro-massage stainless steel jets that can be adjusted pressure-wise, multiple seat variations with a no-float lounger that comes with adjustable and directional massage jets. Other features include a glacier filtration system for crystal clear water, blackout insulation, an entertainment system with Bluetooth, MP3 audio and speakers. It also comes with a multi-colored LED mood lighting, a cascading waterfall, and a built-in aromatherapy canister. The downside is that you aren’t likely to put this indoors as it can weigh up to 2000 pounds when filled, which could be disastrous if there was ever a leak. Comes in at £6,449.34.