A woman in an outdoor hot tub extending her arms in the air.

5 Features to Look for in an Outdoor Hot Tub

Outdoor Hot Tubs

You don’t have to invite yourself over to your friend’s house on a Friday night or spend big bucks on a vacation to enjoy a soak in a hot tub. Outdoor hot tubs have become affordable purchases, letting your wallet breathe a sigh of relief while you take your backyard to the next level.

The Perks of Owning an Outdoor Hot Tub

Who doesn’t love unwinding after a long day in a hot tub? It’s like a trip to the spa, but in your backyard. Hot tubs are often recommended for those suffering from sore and achy muscles, but anyone who needs a bit of a stress relief can benefit immensely with a dip in a hot tub.

Similar to having a pool but at the fraction of the expenses of upkeep and installation, a hot tub is also an excellent way to entertain friends and family. There are other advantages of hot tubs too. They can be enjoyed year-round and they don’t need to be winterized. If you live in a four-season climate, you will certainly get more out of your investment with a hot tub over a pool.

Advantages of a hot tub:

  • Beneficial for stress relief.
  • Can ease muscle aches and pains.
  • Offers a great time for family and friends.
  • Considerably less expensive than an outdoor pool.
  • Can be used year-round.
  • No winterizing process needed.
  • Available in a variety of styles and sizes to fit your lifestyle.
  • Wide range of prices that can fit most budgets.

Best Features to Look For

There are a few add-ons and features to consider before you make your purchase. Even the cheapest hot tub is still an investment. Think about the style and size first before you look into other features.

1. Design

First, decide what style is best for your home. Are you looking for something permanent to complete your dream backyard? Then an inground hot tub will be for you. Perhaps you want something less pricey and not as permanent. An above ground hot tub is the ideal choice for the more casual hot tub enthusiast. If you want something cheap and simple, then an inflatable hot tub is perfect to get you what you need with little setup and cost.

2. Jets

Jets are the defining feature of a hot tub, but the most important thing to remember is to not focus on how many jets a hot tub has but where they are located. The more jets a hot tub is equipped with, the more expensive it is, and if they are in areas you don’t need, then there is no sense in paying for them.

Instead, think about where you want tension relief. Do you suffer from back pain or are your shoulders tense? Then seek out a hot tub with jets that focus on these areas. If you are looking for a full-body massage experience, then definitely opt for more jets!

3. LED Lighting

Let’s face it, you may not necessarily need LED lighting for a hot tub, but LED light shows are undoubtedly cool. If you want to find ways to save on your purchase, skip the LED lighting. If you are going for a fun entertaining hot tub, then consider the ambience that LED lights provide, especially if you want to use it at night with friends.

4. Reclining Seats

You can find hot tubs with reclining seats, but this extra perk really depends on how much you plan on kicking back and relaxing in your hot tub. If a hot tub is a serious investment for you and you plan on utilizing it for a full spa feel and to relieve aches and pains, then going for add-ons like the reclining seats can be worth your while.

5. Stereo

Bluetooth technology has become so commonplace that it is almost difficult to find products that don’t sport Bluetooth connections. Hot tubs are no exception, and this may be a feature you will find included in the majority of hot tubs manufacturers produce. However, it could be an extra cost to buy an outdoor hot tub with waterproof speakers that wirelessly connect, which is something to think about as to whether or not you need them. For entertaining friends, waterproof stereos aren’t a bad idea.

Food for Thought: Other Considerations


There are three main types of hot tubs: above ground, inground and inflatable. No matter your budget or outdoor space, you will find a hot tub that works best for you and your lifestyle.

Above ground hot tubs are arguably the most popular type. They’re less expensive and easier to install and operate than their inground counterparts. These hot tubs work via electrical hard wiring or a connection to an outdoor electrical outlet. You can purchase above-ground hot tubs in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Inground hot tubs, like their name suggests, are built into the ground. They’re often installed alongside inground pools. As you can imagine, these inground hot tubs are beautiful and create a seamless look in your backyard but are the most expensive option.

Finally, for those looking for a casual and inexpensive option, meet the inflatable hot tub. If you don’t feel like committing to having a hot tub installed inground or an above ground, then an inflatable hot tub is the perfect middleman. Although these hot tubs aren’t as long-lasting because of their latex or vinyl material, they still serve their purpose as a decent substitute for the real deal.


Hot tubs come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll want to think about what size is right for you and your needs. If you are planning on having large parties of people to enjoy the hot tub, consider getting one that fits the maximum amount of people, like one equipped to seat seven or more. Smaller hot tubs can fit four people. If you have kids, you will need to get a hot tub with different levels of seating.


The type of material the hot tub is comprised of will affect its durability, energy efficiency and the method used to clean it.

Acrylic is the most common type of material used for hot tubs. It is the heaviest material and the most energy efficient. Plastic is also common; it is lightweight and durable, but it doesn’t retain heat as well. Next, there is vinyl. Vinyl is the most inexpensive, but it doesn’t last as long as acrylic or plastic. Vinyl is often used for inflatable hot tubs. Hot tubs can also be made from solid wood, although these hot tubs are a little different as they aren’t available with jets. Wood hot tubs are the eco-friendliest and energy efficient but are more difficult to maintain.


A serious consideration for anyone looking to buy a hot tub is the maintenance. No matter what type of hot tub you choose, you will need to sanitize it. Chlorine, bromine and saltwater are all methods of sanitizing hot tubs. An ozonator is another sanitation method that skips the chemical treatment of hot tub and opts for an all-natural way to clean.