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What is a Spa Bathtub? Choosing the Right Spa Bathtub for you in 2024

When choosing a new bathtub there are many options available. Some bathtubs are designed for small spaces, some for large spaces and others are designed for daily use and others are more specialized. A spa bathtub is one such bathtub-specialized and unique that allows you to enjoy the comforts of an indoor spa in the comfort of your home.

What is a spa bathtub?

A spa bathtub is a large bathtub, either freestanding bathtub or drop-in, that comes with powered jets installed inside. These jets are angled to provide maximum coverage of a person’s body and allows them to either sit or recline to utilize the massage capabilities of the powered jets.

spa bathtub in large bathroom.

Compared to a regular bathtub, a spa bathtub comprises powered jets, a pump and a pump control. The powered jets pump either water or air throughout the bathtub and provide you with a massage effect. The pump pushes air or water through the jets and allows it to continue cycling throughout the course of the bath while the controls handle the intensity and power of the pumps to provide stronger or weaker jets. 

Types of spa bathtubs

When choosing a spa bathtub, there are a few options to choose from: 


The standard spa bathtub is usually a drop-in or self-contained unit that is meant for all users. Although the size is typically quite large, there are numerous handholds and steps to ensure safe entry and exit from the bathtub at all times. 

Spa and Shower Walk-in Combo

A spa and shower combo is a walk-in bathtub with spa jets installed. The purpose of these bathtubs is to assist those with injuries that can benefit from hydrotherapy. Similar to a sauna, they can sit in the walk-in shower and have the jets ease their injuries. The shower combination allows the space to be utilized more frequently compared to a standard spa bathtub as the water demand is reduced.  

Spa vs jacuzzi vs hot tub

Spa vs Jacuzzi

the main difference between a spa and jacuzzi is a Jacuzzi is a brand of hot tub or spa tub, whereas a spa tub describes the type of bathtub.  

example of spa bathtub.

Spa vs Hot tub

There is no difference between a spa and hot tub as they describe the same thing which is a jetted bathtub. 

Besides hot tubs and Jacuzzi, you will probably also stumble upon jetted tubs, whirlpool baths, and therapy baths. They are all quite similar so be sure to check well before you purchase one of them. The biggest difference will, of course, be the price, with Jacuzzis being the most expensive models on the market. 

Hot Tub vs. Jacuzzi Prices

A Jacuzzi hot tub might cost more than a lower-end or even mid-range hot tub since it is a well-known name brand model. Standard hot tubs range in price from $3,000 to $7,000. Entry-level Jacuzzi brand hot tubs, on the other hand, are more expensive, often costing between $5,000 and $9,000. For a detailed comparison and to make an informed decision, refer to a comprehensive bathtub cost guide which can provide insights into various brands, models, and price ranges, helping you choose the best option for your budget and needs.

Prices might rise sharply when you add extra features or alter the size and materials. The improvement that will have the biggest impact is comparing in-ground hot tubs to standalone or portable models. Hot tubs that are standalone or portable are at the lower end of the spectrum, whilst luxury editions and in-ground versions are at the top end.

The Benefits of a Spa Bathtub

A spa bathtub can provide your home with many benefits related to hydrotherapy. 

Cardiovascular improvement

A spa bathtub uses powered jets to help stimulate and promote blood flow. By massaging the whole of your body, the jets will create healthy blood flow throughout your body. Just 10-20 minutes daily can immediately promote healthy blood flow and strengthen your immune system. 

Better Sleep

Better blood flow and more relaxed muscles means your body will sleep better. Throughout the day, your body will tense up due to normal stress from work and other strenuous activities. The jets in a spa tub can help ease and relax the muscles, allowing your body to sleep longer and easier. Better sleep results in better performance both physically and mentally and can help to ward off potentially harmful diseases as well.  

Assist Pain Management

As stated previously, a spa bathtub’s jets can help relax and ease pain in your joints and muscles. This is also true for recovering injuries as you can combine the jets of the spa bathtub with aromatherapy and scented oils to further assist with injuries. Just 10-20 minutes a day can help ease muscle pain and promote movement which is important for long term healing. 

Stress relaxer

The jets of a spa bathtub are designed to help relax tension and relieve stress in your muscles. Due to the position of the jets, they provide maximum coverage of your body to ensure that every area of your body is massaged by the jets. This in combination with the soothing temperature of the water helps to alleviate stress.  

Reduce blood pressure

Similar to many of the health benefits listed above, spa jets can help reduce blood pressure. This is due to reducing stress in the body in combination with promoting healthy blood flow and oxygen throughout your body. Reduced blood pressure can help you avoid complications such as stroke and heart attacks.  

Manages muscle ache

If you’re experiencing muscle soreness, a quick soak in the tub could help. Sore, worn-out muscles get better in a hot tub because heat facilitates the release of tight muscles and promotes blood flow, while also relieving joint pressure. For mild to severe muscular soreness, hot water can be an excellent substitute for over-the-counter painkillers. However, don’t spend longer than fifteen minutes in the hot water. An excessive amount of blood flow to your muscles might cause edema.

The Negatives of a Spa Bathtub

A spa bathtub may seem to provide a great many health benefits, but there are certainly drawbacks to owning one.  

Difficult installation

Compared to other bathtub types, spa bathtubs are more complicated to install. This is due to the larger size of the bathtub in addition to their shape. Spa bathtubs are generally larger to accommodate the jets that are installed inside, making them unwieldy to install compared to more traditional designs.   

Consistent maintenance

The defining aspect of a spa bathtub happens to also be a source of consistent maintenance. The powered jets of a spa tub need to be routinely cared for and cleaned out to ensure that they are properly functioning. Even so, a common issue with spa tubs is that the motor or pump will malfunction, requiring a replacement. In addition, your utilities bill will increase as the spa tub will require even more water than a normal bathtub to run, increasing your maintenance costs.   

Expensive Parts

As stated previously, maintenance will be a constant aspect of owning a spa bathtub. Since spa bathtubs are more of a niche purchase, the parts tend to be more rare and specialized, making them a great deal more expensive compared to standard bathtub parts. This means that a spa bathtub is much more expensive to repair and maintain as a result.  

Impractical for everyday use

Daily use of a spa bathtub will result in a very expensive water bill, making it a special use bathtub. Which is a large drawback as a bathtub should be used more frequently, but due to it’s high maintenance cost, spa bathtubs are just not practical for everyday use. 

How many people can fit into a spa bathtub?

A spa bathtub is designed to seat at least 2 people comfortably, with a maximum of 4-5 for larger models. In general, the average size can usually allow 4 people to sit, but the space might be a little too cramped. When planning your bathroom layout, it’s important to consider standard bathtub dimensions to ensure that the spa bathtub fits well within your available space while providing optimal comfort for its users.

2 people is the recommended starting point as this size allows both people to recline and relax comfortably without invading each other’s space. The larger model allows 4-5 people to sit comfortably, with a maximum of around 7-8 people, although this size is quite rare compared to the standard size. 

Standard Sizes of a Spa Bathtub

Below are the most common sizes of a spa bathtub, with 48-54 inches being ideal for 2 people and 68-79+inches for 4 people and beyond.  

  • 48 to 54 inches for 2 people-This size allows for 2 people to sit comfortably with a maximum capacity of 4 people. 
  • 68 to 79 inches for 4 people-This size range allows 4 people to relax comfortably with a maximum capacity of 7-8 people.  

Is a Spa Bathtub Worth it?

In general, a spa bathtub can provide your household with a whole host of health benefits. Just 10-20 minutes of soaking with the jets can promote healthy blood flow, ease stress and help alleviate serious injuries. On the other hand, spa bathtubs are larger than other bathtubs, have a limited use and are quite expensive to maintain. If anyone in your household has health issues that can be resolved with hydrotherapy, and you can handle the maintenance costs, then a spa bathtub is certainly worth it.

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