Looking for a unique bathing experience for your home? Then consider an Ofuro bathtub. An Ofuro tub is a Japanese-style bathtub where the bathtub is deeper, with the walls of the tub being square or rectangular instead of sloped to allow for deeper immersion and more relaxed bathing.
Differences Between an Ofuro and a Hot Tub
The primary difference between an ofuro and a traditional hot tub is the design. Japanese style ofuro is generally square or rectangular shaped to provide total immersion for the bather, whereas traditional hot tubs are round in design. Hot tubs use powered jets to massage areas of the body, whereas ofuro use heated water and total immersion to accomplish the same effect.
Ofuro tubs provide your home with a few benefits, so here is what you can expect an ofuro bathtub to bring to your home:
Beautiful/unique-Ofuro bathtubs are quite unique in their appearance and function when compared to other bathtubs on the market. Although expensive, the tradeoff is a one-of-a-kind bathing experience.
Total soaking tubs-Ofuro tubs are designed for total immersion soaking, allowing your body to enjoy the relaxing water fully. In addition, long soaks in warm water have been known to provide health benefits.
Add value to the home-Due to their price and rarity, ofuro tubs can greatly impact the value of your home, making it highly desirable.
Highly customizable-Ofuro tubs can be made from a wide variety of different wood, providing a great deal of visual and material flexibility depending on the needs of your home.
There are some drawbacks to an ofuro tub, so keep these in mind when purchasing:
Very expensive-Ofuro tubs are very expensive, costing almost 20x as much as a normal bathtub. The price also extends into it’s maintenance and care as the wood will need to be resealed every few years to ensure longevity.
Not designed for cleaning the body-Ofuro bathtubs are not designed for traditional bathing, similar to a hot tub or jacuzzi. This makes the tub even more of a luxury item as it can’t be used for daily baths.
Ofuro bathtubs are available in a few material variants:
Cedar-A strong wood with high strength that is durable and less likely to crack and warp. Cedar is a strong choice because it offers great stability so long as it is properly sealed.
Teak-Teak is a dense, close-grained hardwood that is sourced in from southeast asia. It has a golden color with a smooth grain and texture. The wood is high in natural oils, making it strong, durable, and water-resistant.
Hinoki-A cypress originating from Japan, Hinoki is revered for its beauty, durability, and natural fragrance. Hinoki is a highly prized wood, but its durability is slightly lower. It will require more frequent resealing over time.
Benefits of a Long Soak
Long soaks in hot water help ease joint inflammation and reduce pain in the sore and tight muscles. It also helps lower blood pressure and promote healthier breathing as it places more pressure in the lungs. Long soaks in warm water also promote blood flow which can help boost your immunity and promote long-term health.
The primary disadvantage of an ofuro tub is the price. Ofuro tubs are difficult to justify compared to other bathtubs on the market. Their material will also require consistent maintenance to ensure its longevity. For those not used to an ofuro bathtub, this can be a hefty price tag overall.
Average Cost of an Ofuro Tub
The average cost of an ofuro tub is anywhere between $4000-6,000, so it is quite pricey. However, there are few maintenance costs associated with the tub, and the craftsmanship of the actual tub should last several lifetimes, which makes it an overall worthwhile investment.
How Hot Can an Ofuro Get?
The design of an ofuro is meant to trap heat which allows it to reach temperatures close to 107 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. For that reason, it is always important to exercise caution when using an ofuro and to monitor the heat levels accordingly.
Regarding installation choices, there are two primary options: Rectangular or Circular. Both tubs are very similar, with the largest difference being the installation space. Rectangular tubs will be more difficult to install initially but require less space overall whereas circular tubs will need to be placed in a corner or the center of a room.
Is an Ofuro Tub Right for You?
This answer will ultimately depend on you. An ofuro tub is certainly a luxury tub that offers a unique experience. Ofuro tubs are highly customizable, have a unique look and will increase the value of your home. They are also much safer than a traditional bathtub since you do not need to balance, and you can sit more comfortably. The design makes it ideal for elderly individuals and those with movement impair as they can safely submerge their body and enjoy the long soak without the danger of slipping or falling. That being said, it is drastically more expensive than any other bathtub on the market without any additional features, but keep in mind that you are paying for the expert craftsmanship of the tub.