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The Best Hot Tubs

Where Can You Find the Best Hot Tubs?

Do the mere words hot tub give you the dreamy feeling of sinking down in a pool of warm water, relaxing, closing your eyes, feeling the healing massage of the hydro jets on your back and neck, and letting the world slip by? Or perhaps you associate hot tubs with friends or family relaxing together, enjoying a little social time in the warm, bubbly spa.

If you've dreamed of enjoying the relaxation and muscle relief that a spa can offer, and having it in your own yard, we have information for you on the best hot tubs out there. Just sit back and relax. Hot tubs can come in a variety of colors and styles. You can choose the standard model, or you can go up in levels where they add waterfalls, colored lights, and perhaps smart capabilities.

Sunday, June 26th

2022 Hot Tub Reviews

Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award Bullfrog Spas Review 5 Star Rating

Bullfrog Spas

5 Star Rating
  • JetPak jet system is fully customizable
  • Range of prices and models
  • Option for smart capabilities
  • Made in the USA
Top Consumer Reviews Best-In-Class Blue Ribbon Award

Bullfrog is a brand of hot tub that caters to the comfort and massage experience. They have five different series with 27 models, and each model can be customized. They boast an option of varying seat heights in the tub, and the JetPaks can be switched from seat to seat, even when there's water in the tub, so that each person gets the jets they want or need at any time.

The series and their features

Bullfrog has five series of hot tub models:

  • The X Series is their affordable quality, value tub, and starts at $6,695. It has seven models, seats from 3-8 people, and has 21-44 jets. This series includes a cover and integrated water feature.
  • The R Series is their personalized quality, mid-range tub, and starts at $7,995. It also has seven models and seats from 3-8 people. It has 2-4 JetPaks, and starts at $7,995. In addition to the cover and water feature, this series includes their proprietary JetPak jets, and has interior lighting.
  • The A Series is the high-class, advanced and stylish quality hot tub, and starts at $10,995. It has nine models, seats 3-8 people, and has 3-7 JetPaks. The A series has a cover, integrated water feature, JetPak jets, and interior lighting, plus exterior lighting, touchscreen control, brushed stainless jets, and auxiliary jet controls.
  • The STIL spas are focused on holistic wellness, are high class, and start at $13,995. It has two models, seats from 4-6 people, and has 3 JetPaks. Along with a cover, integrated water feature, JetPak jets, interior and exterior lighting, touchscreen control, and brushed stainless jets, it adds a premium exterior cabinet and dedicated filtration pump. It doesn't include auxiliary jet controls.
  • The M Series, their highest line, is the elite class and starts at $19,995. It has three models, seats 9-10 people, and has 6-7 JetPaks. This series includes an integrated water feature, JetPak jets, interior and exterior lighting, touchscreen control, brushed stainless jets, auxiliary jet controls, a premium exterior cabinet, dedicated filtration pump, plus their Simplicity Water Care System, their EOS O3 Enhanced Ozone System, a cover with a Smart Sensor, cover lifter, and adjustable headrests.

Regardless of which series you choose, you can still add features that may not be included in your package. Bullfrog is quite customizable and has much to offer. Their site has a handy-dandy chart to show you what's included in each series, what can be added among the optional features, and what isn't offered at that level.

Are you looking for even more features?

The various series can include a plethora of features, including smart features. If you are looking for even more (and who doesn't want more?), you may add steps to enter the spa more easily, an audio system, and/or Cloud Control2, a smart system, which allows you to oversee your hot tub from anywhere you have internet access.

What sets Bullfrog apart

Bullfrog boasts that they are personalized, powerful, reliable, and efficient. There are five series with 27 models within. If that's not enough choice for you, you can tweak your order by adding on features that may not be included with the model you have chosen. Their proprietary JetPak jets have 18 customizable jet options for various styles of massage. There are also 16 seatback options. The customization is a big selling point of Bullfrog Spas.

Powerful hydrotherapy and more

Bullfrog has powerful hydrotherapy that they say has 90% less plumbing than conventional spas; since less energy is needed to pump water to the jets, you can reap the benefit of a more powerful massage experience. The frame and base of the spa are not made with wood or metal, so it will never rot or corrode. Bullfrog knows that their spas could endure extreme temperatures and so they engineer their products for extreme weather. Since there is less plumbing, full-foam insulation, and a premium cover on a Bullfrog Spa, it is energy efficient. Bullfrog says the monthly cost for an A7L model is $11.81, according to tests.

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Made in the USA

Bullfrog spas are made in the good-ole USA: in Utah, to be exact. They do look worldwide for their materials, but the hot tubs are manufactured in the US. That can make it much easier to get customer service and support when you need it.

Hot tub costs

  • X Series: $6,695 and up
  • R Series: $7,995 and up
  • A Series: $10,995 and up
  • STIL Spas: $13,995 and up
  • M Series: $19,995 and up

JetPaks are the reason you'll say "Ahhhh"

Most models of Bullfrog spas have their proprietary JetPak jets. The jets have 18 different interchangeable massages, depending on the series you choose. Each hydro jet aims for a specific area of the back, neck, and shoulders to massage. Each jet can also vary in power and intensity. Depending on your height, or how high or low you want to sit in the tub, choose your seat with your height in mind. Take your preferred JetPak with you so your hydromassage is perfectly customized to you and your massage desires.

How does it sanitize itself?

There is no salt water or UV sanitation option, which can be the case with other spa brands. Instead, Bullfrog has a Wellspring system that cycles through all of the water in your spa every time there's a filtration cycle. There's an upgrade option for a quieter and more efficient water pump, the ozone sanitation system.

You'll love Bullfrog

Bullfrog spas are mid-range to luxury, and most of the spa series and models can be upgraded to include additional features. You can choose a lower model and upgrade with many of the desired features of a luxury model, but leave out the features that don't please you. On the other hand, if you want your hydromassage spa to have all the extravagant features and then some, that's possible too. Bullfrog is customizable, has a wide range of features in the various series, and brags energy efficiency. The smart system lets you heat up your tub while at home or use their app to begin heating before you walk in the door, so the tub is ready and waiting for you. Bullfrog is a great product, has several luxury features, and also includes the price tag to reflect it. Although it is a close race, Bullfrog takes the first-place finish among hot tub companies.

Jacuzzi Review 4.5 Star Rating

Jacuzzi

4.5 Star Rating
  • Jacuzzi is the pioneer of hot tub spas
  • Offers all ranges of spas from entry level to luxury
  • Jets use powerful water/air combination

Jacuzzi has long been the innovator of hydromassage tubs. They began in 1956 with adding a hose to the existing bathtub for a hydromassage, and have grown gradually to free-standing spas. They remain one of the top innovators and reputable spa companies, offering entry-level to luxury-level spas and boast fantastic energy efficiency.

What's so special about Jacuzzi?

The Jacuzzi brothers came to the US from Italy in the early 1900s. They were innovative in agriculture and aviation and put that to use in their home hydrotherapy methods. In the 1940s, Candido Jacuzzi's son, who was only a toddler, had rheumatoid arthritis. Candido invented a hydrotherapy pump to help his young son find relief. The engineers in the Jacuzzi family created a hydrotherapy product to turn a bathtub into a spa, and in 1956 created the seedling of the series of Jacuzzi hydromassage spa products. Today, Jacuzzis are manufactured in five countries and sold in more than 60 countries around the world. They continue to innovate with smart technology, stay-clean mechanics, and other cutting-edge features.

Pricing

Jacuzzi has a unique pricing system. Where most hot tub companies will tell you the price, or at least the starting price in a category, Jacuzzi gives it a certain number of dollar signs. $$ means that this model of tub is an entry level and should cost in the $4,000-$8,000 range. $$$ means mid-range and should cost in the $8,000-$12,000 range, $$$$ indicates premium tubs and should cost between $12,000-$15,000, and $$$$$ are luxury hot tubs going from $16,000 and up.

It's all in the body-contouring engineering

These hydromassage spa tubs are designed and created using body measurements based on 90% of the population, have seats in the contour of the body, and have placed recessed jets strategically in the human form for personalization. The jets pump both air and water for an exhilarating, efficient massage.

Sanitation

There are two options. You can choose a salt system which generates chlorine from salt, or you can use UV-C technology, which gives you the choice to adjust the right amount of chlorine or bromine for your needs and desires.

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Energy efficiency

Jacuzzi boasts energy-efficient tubs by conserving heat through components that maintain thermal energy, meeting strict energy standards set by the California Energy Commission. Their jet pumps have cost-effective, high-performance power, their circulation pump transfers heat that's created by the motor to the water, they use full-foam insulation, and their covers are well insulated with weather-resistant material to insulate the tub, and therefore save energy. Some reviews say that a downfall of Jacuzzi is that in fact, they are not the most energy-efficient, but we didn't find evidence to back that up.

Hot tub costs

  • J-200 Collection: $4,000 and up
  • J-300 Collection: $8,000 and up
  • J-400 Collection: $12,000 and up
  • J-500 Collection: $16,000 and up

The extras

Jacuzzi offers SmartTub Systems where you can customize your settings to manage your hot tub from afar; change lighting, jets, and temperature; and control the filtration as well as energy savings. The smart system can send you alerts, send diagnostics to your dealer, receive energy usage reports, and determine if there are energy outages. You can also activate your spa from anywhere with your smart home device.

Download the brochure to get more information

Much of the information you might be looking for may not exist on their website. There is, however, an option to download the brochure. Why the brochure must be downloaded rather on a clickable tab doesn't seem to make sense, except that in order to receive that download, they want your name, address, and email. You're actually able to skip some of the requested fields, but they don't tell you that. When you add your email information, you receive emails from both Jacuzzi and a dealer in your area and you're put on subscription. Even the brochure doesn't have a ton of information, perhaps on purpose as to direct you to contact a dealer for the specifics on each model.

Jacuzzi earns their long-term, high reputation

Jacuzzi is the innovator of the hot tub and when one thinks of these spas, they often use hot tub and Jacuzzi synonymously. Jacuzzi's five collections of tubs offer 26 models with price ranges from $4,000 to almost $20,000. We wish it were possible to obtain pricing and other detailed information without having to subscribe to mailing lists. Other than that, Jacuzzi remains highly recommended.

Master Spas Review 4.5 Star Rating

Master Spas

4.5 Star Rating
  • Spas are made in the USA
  • 25 models to choose from
  • Several affordable models
  • Water purification system to remove microorganisms and heavy metals

Master Spas hot tubs offer 25 models to choose from, seating from one to eight people. Master Spas sells several choices at entry level price points, and they don't skimp on the features. If, on the other hand, you are looking for something more luxurious, jump to the Michael Phelps collection.

Your costs may vary

Your pricing will vary based on your local dealer. The prices included in our evaluation represent one dealer's quotes at the time of this review, so please know your costs may be higher or lower.

Impressive features in all models

All of the models, even at their base level, have features that include their LED lighting for a sense of calm, and their EcoPur Charge Master Core Technology, which is a water purification system to help you spend less time and energy maintaining your spa system. It removes heavy metals and microorganisms from the water which can improve the softness and smells of water that might occur without this filtration system. Magnetic therapy has been used for centuries for pain relief and stiffness reduction, so Master Spas has created their Master Force Bio-Magnetic Therapy System to place magnets on the body's pressure points.

StressRelief seats

Each spa contains between 16 and 72 water jets and their StressRelief Neck and Shoulder Seat to release tension in the neck. Additional features can include a cascading waterfall with soothing lights and sounds. All spas also have an optional Wi-Fi module so you can monitor and control your unit from afar. The higher models include foot massage jets.

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Getting a brochure will cost you your email address

There's one brochure for each collection. For each brochure, you'll need to request it with an email address, where you will soon receive emails from both Master Spas and a local dealer. Your email will also be on their subscription list. It would be much easier for the consumer to have all this information on the website, because this tedious email process gets old pretty fast.

Hot tub costs

  • Getaway: $10,000 and up
  • Clarity Spas: $14,000 and up
  • Twilight Series: $17,000 and up
  • Michael Phelps Legend Series: $20,000 and up

They give back to students in need

Master Spas helped to build a school in Rose Hall, Jamaica, in 2013 and another one in 2018. These schools offer multiple learning methods for neurodiversity within their student body. And in the hometown of Master Spas, they partner with a faith-based high school that focuses on helping at-risk students become tomorrow's leaders, especially through vocational training and micro-business opportunities.

We like Master Spas

Even at the entry level, Master Spas doesn't skimp on what it includes, but the price tag is pretty hefty for this starting level in comparison with other highly rated spa companies we've reviewed. The base level spa includes LED lighting, their proprietary EcoPur water purification system, magnetic therapy, and at minimum sixteen jets. Their spas are made in the USA, and the company gives back to schools in their local area as well as to two schools in Jamaica. It will take a little work to find out prices and for each brochure, you'll need to submit your email which will end up on an email-subscription plan. If you don't mind sharing your email and doing a little research to get pricing, Master Spas provides good quality tubs, even at the entry level.

Catalina Spas Review 4 Star Rating

Catalina Spas

4 Star Rating
  • Hand-manufactured in the US
  • Includes more luxury features than other brands
  • UV sanitation included

Catalina Spas has been around since 1977 with a focus on health and relaxation. They are located near Knoxville, Tennessee, and they manufacture and test all their spas by hand. They make sure the spas are made to the personalization of each customer. You choose the spa to best meet your needs and then accessorize it to meet your personality and desires for full relaxation. They recently changed their two-tiered offerings (the Classic series and the Luxury series) to just the one Luxury series. One series keeps it simple and Catalina offers eight models.

Upgraded mechanical features are included

All models include an auto-fill water system. This automation continuously maintains the water level to avoid temperature fluctuations. Their mist system cools your skin on contact with fresh water.

High-end luxury at no extra charge

Many other companies will offer the nicer amenities in their high-end series exclusively, or only offer them as separate upgrades. Catalina has several luxurious features that are included, and others are add-ons. These relaxing... and sometimes unique... features include a number of LED items: backlit magnetic pillows, backlit jets, backlit spillover waterfalls, floating crystal balls, and backlit water fountains. Catalina even offers an optional self-extinguishing fire feature! Also included with all of their tubs is a touchscreen control pad with pre-programmed settings as well as a smart system so you can control and monitor your tub from anywhere. They also include a tough cover, which can withstand over 1,000 pounds on top.

High-level sanitation included at all levels

Catalina Spas includes a UV sanitation system. The UV light deactivates E. coli and other organisms, destroys harmful viruses and bacteria, reduces the use of chemicals and doesn't add smelly chemicals, and has low power consumption. Catalina also includes an ozone sanitation system which breaks down the contaminants in the water, making it easier to maintain the quality of the water.

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Prices not listed on the site

Prices are not available on the website, so you'll contact the number on the web page which puts you directly with their factory, and you don't have to go through a dealer. If you prefer a dealer so you can see the tub in person, they do have retailers that may be local for you. Keep in mind that pricing can vary, depending on the dealer, and that your costs for installation are probably not included.

Hot tub costs

  • From $8,000 and up

For luxury, Catalina is phenomenal

With so many luxurious features that are normally on the most expensive spas or offered as add-ons, Catalina makes it easy for you, and includes some extravagant items with any tub you may purchase. Even a self-extinguishing fire pot, which we haven't seen in any model from any other company, is offered here at Catalina. We love that Catalina is made in the US, is hand-manufactured, and that the company has been around since 1977.

What happened to their Classic line?

As recently as April 2021, Catalina offered a Classic line of tubs in addition to their Luxury line. The Classic tubs were also luxurious, included extravagant features, and carried a lower price point. We love Catalina for what they do offer, but wish they had kept the more affordable Classic line as an added, more budget-friendly series to choose from. If Catalina weren't all Luxury at the luxury price, we would have rated them higher. Be sure to check out the hot tub companies in our review that still have entry-level spas, if that's what you're looking for.

CalSpas Review 4 Star Rating

CalSpas

4 Star Rating
  • Recycled materials
  • 42 models to choose from
  • 6-horsepower motor
  • Anti-aging Twin Pure Silk System
  • Made in the USA

CalSpas is made in the USA, has been around since 1978, and has an entire 42 models of spas to choose from. There are also several add-on options if the model you want doesn't happen to have all you're looking for. So, if you want customization for the ultimate, personalized spa experience, CalSpas delivers. Whatever you can imagine for your hot tub, CalSpas probably has it.

Pick a seat, any seat

Even though a hot tub's seating sounds like a simple concept, CalSpas has designed their seating for your guests as well as for your own full-body comfort. If you want to host friends or have the family in the spa, the bench seat can make room for your group. Just like a regular bench, you can slide down for more people to join. The lounge seat, on the other hand, targets the upper and lower body to help you relax and to soothe your muscles. The ergonomic design of the lounge seats keep the user seated rather than float up off the seat from the pressure of the water. A third seat is the Kool Seat, which allows your body to acclimate to the change in temperature from in the spa to outside in the weather or vice versa, by keeping the person half-immersed when entering or exiting the spa.

Their jets aim to please

Their various types of jets offer several health and comfort benefits. The Velocity Jets are placed in various configurations for maximum massage benefits, and their Adjustable Therapy System has a dedicated motor and control panel for massage personalization.

We love the power

Their HP pump has a 6-horsepower motor which both heats and circulates the water simultaneously. It also has a reverse-flow cooling system built in. CalSpas features a high-power filtration system with a 24-hour circulating pump which continually and quietly heats the system. Their Adjustable Therapy seat has a dedicated 2-horsepower pump as well as a dedicated control panel, right there within reach. Their titanium heater is designed for longevity, and their LCD display screen offers a full-color display, complete with icons for its functions, including time of day, temperature, modes of operation, and more.

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5 series to choose from

CalSpas offers 5 series of hot tubs for you to choose from:

  • The Patio Series has four models to choose from, seats from 3 to 6 people, and has between 31 and 34 jets for you to enjoy your spa experience. It includes the six-horsepower motor which circulates the water as it heats it, and can also cool it. The efficient titanium heater is included as well. For your enjoyment, they include a cascade waterfall.
  • The Patio X-Series spas have two models to choose from, seat 6 people, include a 240-volt pump; multi-colored, LED-lit corners, and a lighter and more protective cover.
  • The Escape Series has 14 models to choose from, seats 6 or 7 people, has between 39 and 67 jets, includes perimeter LED lighting, a cascade waterfall, a titanium heater, and a 2-pump system.
  • The Escape X-Series has eighteen models to choose from, seats 6 or 7 people, has a premium finish on the cabinet, has the look of natural wood on the exterior, has LED beam light for the corners, and a 4" LED touch screen.
  • The Platinum Spas series has four models to choose from, seats 6, has between 92 and 94 jets, includes a 20" cascade waterfall which is beautiful and also can massage your neck. There's also the titanium heater, adjustable water/air combo control for the jets, the DynaFlow Filter System which can function 24/7 for cleanliness, and the Twin Pure Silk System which creates tiny bubbles that give a silky feeling and encourages collagen and cell regeneration.

Unique features of the tub and cabinet

The cabinet uses a completely-recyclable insulation which produces less waste than the traditional urethane foam. The tub itself is super strong, with a patented 7-layer laminate system that's reinforced with steel and wood.

Hot tub costs

  • Patio Series: $8,195 - $8,395
  • Patio X-Series: $9,795
  • Escape Series: $9,095 - $9,895
  • Escape X-Series: $11,295 - $14,895
  • Platinum Series: $14,395 - $14,895

You have to give your information to get a brochure

In order to receive a brochure, you are required to give a name, mailing address, and email address. You can't just get the full brochure, either; you have to fill in the series and model you are interested in. When you just want to shop for a spa, taking the extra steps of filling out a form, sharing personal information, and having to choose a series and model just to get more details when you really don't know much about their 42 choices of tubs? It's really a turn-off.

Well made, great features, expensive price tag

CalSpas are made in the US, have been around since the 1970s, and are environmentally conscious with the materials in their insulation. They don't skimp on the features, as the pumps offer six-horsepower motors, adjustable jets that perform multiple functions, and can have a full-body hydromassage. Unfortunately, just to download the brochure requires way too much information for our liking, and prices are only found through dealers. The quality is excellent and the prices reflect that; meaning, you'll not find a spa for under $8,000, even for their three-person tub. There are so many features to fall in love with, but the price tag and the effort just to get specific information are two features we don't love.

Marquis Spas Review 3.5 Star Rating

Marquis Spas

3.5 Star Rating
  • Mid-class and luxury-class spas
  • Focus on luxury
  • Anti-aging treatment optional
  • Customizable features

Marquis Spas is an employee-owned company and has been around since 1980. They specialize in mid-range spas which seat from two to seven people. They are beautiful, luxurious spas that provide hydrotherapy to relax the body. Their five collections have more than twenty models available in roughly the $8,000 - $16,000 range. Marquis does include a cover, which many companies do not, so it's something to take into consideration when looking for hot tubs.

Marquis is proud of their "Big 3"

Also included is a cover, which many companies do not include. There's full-foam insulation in the cover to reduce heat loss, saving money on electricity.

  • High-Flow Therapy is a process to deliver much water at a low pressure to achieve the effect of gentle but deep muscle penetration. High-Flow Therapy targets different body zones with its massive flow volumes. You can adjust the water flow between the deep tissue zones with the specialized massage jets.
  • ConstantClean+ is their water-management system. This system in combination with their SmartClean software schedules a high-volume clean cycle twice daily. It also schedules a cleaning within 30 minutes of each spa use. Some series include one of these two features, some include both.
  • MicroSilk injects microbubbles into the water when the massage jets aren't active, and the skin is then cleansed and detoxified more deeply than having non-oxygenated water. These tiny bubbles are tinier than skin pores, so they can penetrate the epidermal layer and remove contaminants. It can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and help with skin irritation.

Also included is a cover, which many companies do not include. There's full-foam insulation in the cover to reduce heat loss, saving money on electricity.

Available options

You can choose a pump with a higher flow rate, audio features with a receiver, twin speakers, and a subwoofer with Bluetooth connectivity, smart technology for your Apple or Android device to monitor and control the tub's temperatures and settings, and control the pumps, lights, filtration cycles from afar. Your cover is included, but you might want a cover lift to make it easier to lift and lower the cover. For easier access to the spa you can purchase steps, or add on a storage bench. For a more luxurious experience, you can include multi-point LED interior spa lighting, exterior accent lighting, and/or stainless steel jet faces. For increased performance, consider buying an additional pump.

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This employee-owned company gives back

Marquis Spas teams with Make-A-Wish to offer the soothing relief of a spa experience to children in the Make-A-Wish program, having granted over 900 spa experience wishes across the country. That's something we can get behind!

Hot tub costs

  • Celebrity: $7,495 - $10,995
  • Marquis Elite: $7,995 - $11,995
  • Vector 21: $8,995 - $12,995
  • Crown: $10,995 - $15,995

Challenging to get prices

If you'd like a brochure, you'll need to submit your contact information. If you'd like pricing, you're required to contact a dealer. Not even general pricing is available on the website. The prices we received were from one dealer, and they could vary depending on where you live. These extra steps as well as sharing personal information are a downside here.

Marquis Spas offers innovative options at a mid-range price

The high-flow water system offering a powerful but gentle, deep massage sounds heavenly, doesn't it? And the oxygenation system gently beading oxygen on your skin, cleansing and purifying sounds quite gratifying. These options are unique to Marquis Spas, and so is offering a cover at no additional cost. Marquis has a wide range of spas at the mid-price range, it's employee-owned, and offers spa experiences to children in the Make-A-Wish program.

Room to improve

We Marquis Spas offered pricing, or at least price ranges, on their website, as well as a brochure with more detailed features and specifications - so that there wasn't the additional, and perhaps lengthy, step of contacting a dealer and giving away personal information. We also wish it had hot tubs at an entry-level for those who want the luxury of just having a spa. For all these reasons, Marquis Spas earns a better-than-average rating but comes up a little short of earning our highest recommendation.

HotSpring Spas Review 3.5 Star Rating

HotSpring Spas

3.5 Star Rating
  • Ease of shopping with only 20 model choices
  • Made in the US
  • Energy efficient
  • Salt-water sanitation system

HotSpring Spas has been around since 1977 and is located in Vista, California. They are so proud of their spas and manufacturing that they offer factory tours. Their spa capacities range from two to seven people. If you are looking for a smaller tub, for fewer people, HotSprings has several to choose from, which isn't the case with most hot tub manufacturers. They use salt water sanitation, so their hot tubs require fewer chemicals.

Jets for the ultimate massage

HotSpring hot tubs boast innovation with jets that spray up and down your back for a relaxing, full-back massage. They have various different jets that are manually adjustable, and placed exactly where the body needs them.

Easy to choose the right model

With three collections and 20 models to choose from within those collections, HotSpring keeps spa-shopping simple so you can get right to deciding which hot tub is best for you.

  • The Hot Spot Collection has six models, up to 17 jets, and seats from two to seven people. It has a Frog Ease sanitizing system which releases sanitizer and minerals to keep the water soft, clear and clean; has FiberCor insulation; a no-fault heater, insulated cover, multi-color LED lighting; and an LCD control panel.
  • The Limelight Collection has five models to choose from and seats from four to seven people. It is Freshwater Salt System ready, has dual-action filtration, has Fibercor insulation in the cabinet, a SmartJet System, SilentFlo 5000 circulation pump,a titanium no-fault heater, and has color LCD controls and exterior lighting.
  • The Highlife Collection has nine models to choose from and can seat from three to seven people. This collection is Freshwater Salt System ready, has Moto-Massage DX jets which are moving jets that fan up and down your back, manually-controlled jet faces, a system to filter the water to keep it crystal clear, a wireless remote control, full-foam insulation, a durable tub and base pan, wireless touchscreen control, customizable LED zone lighting, and exterior lighting.

Ample options to customize your hot tub

Options for the HotSpring Spas include cover lifters, a Covercradle to glide the cover off the tub, upgraded cover options, steps to better enter the tub, an umbrella, towel tree, handrail, a water cooling system for hotter weather, and a Bluetooth music system or monitor for listening or viewing pleasure. For your visual pleasure and soothing experience, some tubs include (while others have as optional) zone lighting, interior and exterior lighting, fountains, and waterfalls.

Salt water system for sanitation and clear water

The salt water system that HotSpring uses is a simple way to keep spa water clean, clear, and sanitized for up to a full year. The little bit of salt that's added generates chlorine automatically so you spend more time enjoying your spa rather than monitoring the system and adding chemicals. Their ozone system comes with an oxidizer for protection against impurities. Their Frog Ease system, with their entry-level spas, creates a softer-feeling water that is virtually chemical-odor-free since it uses very little chlorine.

Energy efficient

Some of the tubs use 1/2-pound density urethane foam that fully insulates the space between the tub shell and its cabinet. Higher-model tubs have FiberCor insulation, which insulates between the tub and shell at a 2-pound density. Even better are the tubs with multiple layers of varying-density foam to minimize gaps and maximize efficiency. The tubs have a dedicated pump to continuously circulate the water, using less energy for your utility bill. The most energy-efficient spas can cost as little as $10-$20 per month to run, according to HotSpring.

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Getting a brochure can be tedious

If you'd like detailed information about the spas, collections, and models, you'll need to download a brochure. It surprises us as to why the brochure isn't just a click away, but instead you have to give your name, mailing address and email address, or you cannot download the brochure. They also want to know which one spa model you are interested in - and that's tough to do if you don't already have a specific hot tub in mind.

Hot tub costs

  • Hot Spot Collection: $6,800 - $8,600
  • Limelight Collection: $10,600 - $19,500
  • Highlife Collection: $12,700 - $18,400

Pricing via the website is vague

Neither the website nor the brochure include prices or price ranges. The website uses a vague $$$$ system, but without a dollar-value per dollar-sign, it's not a buyer-friendly method. For pricing information, you'll have to contact a dealer. The dealer we contacted gave us the prices listed in this review. Pricing in your area may vary a bit. We were also informed that there could be a nice cash discount, so be sure to inquire if you're able to pay in cash.

Simple shopping makes decision-making quicker

We like that there are only three collections of spas to choose from. Some manufacturers have several collections, and several models within each collection, making your head spin. There are at most nine models within a collection, and they can vary in the number of seats possible, eliminating a few right away if you know how many people you want to seat. The salt-water system helps keep the water clean and clear while also helping you to spend more time in the spa rather than monitoring chemical levels.

We are a fan of HotSpring - for smaller hot tubs

Although HotSprings loses us in the tedium of having to give out your personal information before being allowed to download a brochure and the dollar-sign hint at pricing rather than giving price ranges outright, we still think there's a lot to love here. If you are interested in a smaller tub, HotSprings is great, as they have five choices. However, if you're looking for a party tub for eight or more, that's not possible with HotSpring, so check out our other spa reviews for tubs that can meet your needs.

Sundance Spas Review 3.5 Star Rating

Sundance Spas

3.5 Star Rating
  • Affordable spas
  • In existence since 1979
  • Tubs made to endure harsh weather
  • Seats from 2 to more than 6 people

Since 1979, Sundance has been offering well-made hot tubs. With this retailer, you'll get five series of spas: the 680, 780, 880, 990, and Sundance Splash series. The Sundance Splash are family-friendly and budget-friendly; after that, the higher the series number, the more advanced the features.

The Sundance Series

  • The Sundance Splash series starts at $4,499 and is the most affordable solution which invites time for family. This series is focused on family use, but the site doesn't say how many each tub will seat. The Splash models have two-toned jets that are adjustable, stainless steel detailing, comfort pillows, as well as LED corner lighting and an LED-lit adjustable water fountain. They're constructed with Syncrylic material and full-foam insulation. They have a simplified digital control system, and an easy-to-use filtration system.
  • The 680 series starts at $7,070 and seats four to more than 6 people. The tub has UV-resistant cabinetry along with stainless steel trim, and is available in various sizes and shapes. You can turn on ambient, interior lighting, or even contact your dealer to get the advanced controls that can be used from your smart device. The filtration system utilizes UV-C technology.
  • The 780 series starts at $9,960 and seats from 2 to more than 6 people. The Fluidix Jets have up to 6 massage varieties for your neck and back. Their Accu-Pressure seat offers a deep-tissue massage to relieve and relax the muscles and tension. The control panel can light up for ease of use in the day or night. An option for the SmartTub system is available.
  • The 880 series starts at $13,960 and seats 2 to more than 6 people. This series includes the exterior features of the other series, and adds exterior lighting and illuminated grab bars. The jets on this series have more than 10 massage varieties on their Fluidix Jets and also have the AccuPressure seat for a seat massage.
  • The 980 series starts at $19,400 and seats 5 to 6 or more people. The cabinetry on this series is more elegant with a geometric design and has a low profile for ease of entry and exit. They add a lounge deck and a top rail that is flat for additional seating. The Fluidix Jets have 10 variations in massage and offer a wide coverage for a more enveloping hydromassage.

Sundance Spas are wrapped in UV-resistant materials, The tub is constructed with Syncrylic material, uses full-foam insulation, and is meant to withstand harsh weather. All models have an easy-to-use filtration system and have capability for smart communication. Each of the series has a different level of filtration system and massage jets:

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Detailed information hard to find

The pricing isn't listed on the website, but it has many places to click for more information and to download the brochure. (We're wondering why one would need to download a brochure when there's a website that seems perfectly capable of containing such information.) When you click to download the brochure, they want your full name, home address, email address, and phone number. We were able to submit with just an email, but ended up getting subscribed to Sundance and also the local store they recommended.

Hot tub costs

  • Sundance Splash Series: $4,499 and up
  • 680 Series: $7,070 and up
  • 780 Series: $9,960 and up
  • 880 Series: $13,960 and up
  • 990 Series: $19,400 and up

The process is frustrating

Sundance has so many proprietary materials and mechanics that it's hard to sift through them to find the information you really want without a different trademark name to each feature. We found the plethora of proprietary names as well as the annoyance of the hoops just to download the brochure quite annoying and distracting. We love the tubs but don't love the drudgery.

Reviews are mixed

Reviewers love the sturdy features of the hot tubs here and the longevity of the company, as did we. Sundance is highly rated on some sites; in fact, it has been ranked as #1 by some experts. However, the reviews on the retailer's Better Business Bureau listing are poor - 1 or 2 stars - and Sundance hasn't replied to these comments. Some complaints are regarding workmanship, others are regarding poor customer service, which seems to be the dealer and not Sundance itself, and many of the frustrations seemed to occur during the height of supply chain issues in the past.

Good, but not our top choice

All things considered, however, Sundance has a history of a good product, they offer a wide variety of hot tubs, and price options. They earn a slightly better-than-average rating.

AquaRest Spas Review 3 Star Rating

AquaRest Spas

3 Star Rating
  • Few models to choose from makes easy shopping
  • Plug in, add water from the hose, heat, and enjoy
  • Can purchase from manufacturer or big box store

AquaRest has been making hot tubs for 25 years, and they understand what hot tub shoppers are looking for. They can seat between 2 and 6 adults and include 20 or more jets. While in the factory, before each tub is shipped, it undergoes a 24-hour water test to make sure it meets the company's standards. Each tub also has full-foam insulation and a marine-grade vinyl thermal cover so that the heat stays in the tub, keeping your utility bill lower. You can purchase factory-direct, through a big-box store, or through a dealer, where you may be able to give it a wet-test -- get in the spa full of water and test out all the features. You're just not going to get all the bells-and-whistles you'll see with hot tub brands who specialize in high-end, luxury designs.

Easy to run

All spas require a standard household 120V/15AMP outlet for use. You can upgrade to 120/240V as an option, though. Fill the tub with your garden hose and plug it in. Once the water heats to your desired temperature, hop in and feel the stress start to melt away.

Four collections, nine model choices

AquaRest keeps it simple with only nine models to choose from. If you'll be a first-time spa owner, you may be overwhelmed with other companies and the many models to choose from plus their several options to consider. AquaRest might be a refreshing opportunity with only these nine models and four series:

  • Select Spas have two models in this category: the 300 which is in a triangle shape and seats two adults, and the 400, which is in a square shape and seats four adults. Both include the thermal-locking cover, bucket loungers with arch support for your back, 20 stainless steel jets, digital controls, 1.5 HPR 1-speed pump, multi-color LED backlit waterfall, Easy Kleen 100% filtration system, full-foam insulation, and the EZ Access water drain valve.
  • Elite Spas have two models, including the 500 which seats five adults, and the 600 which seats six. They include the same features as the Select series, but add ozone.
  • The Premium Spa line includes four models at this level: the 300 which is in a triangle shape and seats two adults; the 400, in a square shape and seats four adults; the 500 which seats five; and the 600 which seats six. The Premium line includes all that the Elite line has, but includes a 2 HPR (horsepower) 2-speed pump rather than the 1.5 HPR 1-speed pump.
  • Daydream Spa. There is only one spa at this level: the 4500. It seats six adults and includes the thermal-locking cover, but in black. This luxury line includes all of the features of the Premium line, but has 45 stainless steel jets, 3 HPR 2-speed pump, convertible 1kW/4kW electric heater, barrier foam insulation, and multicolor LED exterior lighting.

How to purchase

There are a couple of dealers you can work with, and they are listed at the bottom of AquaRest's home page. You can order directly from AquaRest, or you can find AquaRest spas through some third-party big box retailers. If you're an outlet shopper, there's an online AquaRest Outlet on their website, and it's just a click away.

Pretty energy efficient

The hot tubs include a full-foam cover and some insulation in the tub. Since most of the heat loss can come through the top, having a full-foam cover should definitely help the impact of your spa on your utility bill. Other companies we've rated go all out in their tub insulation as well as full-foam cover, offering even more energy efficiency.

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Ozone sanitation system

AquaRest uses an ozone sanitation system, which converts oxygen into ozone, destroying bacteria and other nastiness. It helps to reduce the need for high doses of chemicals, therefore creating less odor as well.

Hot tub costs

  • Select series: $3,399
  • Elite series: $4,199
  • Premium series: $3,799 - $4,599
  • Daydream Spa: $5,599

Decent reputation

There aren't many complaints about AquaRest. The ones we do see are recommendations to upgrade to 240 volts, as the standard 120 won't heat it as fast. There are a few complaints on the insulation of the tub itself, saying it can lose heat. Their solution was again to upgrade to 240V as adding more heat helped with the tub's heat loss.

Simple is good, but we'd like more

AquaRest is a good company and they keep it simple when it comes to buying a hot tub. If you're the shopper who wants to know about some fun and fancy options for your spa so you can pick and choose for a customizable or semi-customizable hot tub, try our more highly-rated companies who have also been around for twenty years or more. However, if you want a good hot tub, nice price points, and easy decision-making, try AquaRest.

Caldera Spas Review 2.5 Star Rating

Caldera Spas

2.5 Star Rating
  • Energy-efficiency
  • Can seat 2-8 people
  • Optional salt-water sanitation system
  • Adjustable jet pressure

If you would like your buying experience to be as stress-free as your spa experience, Caldera Spas offers only three series of tubs, eliminating the complication of lots of series, lots of models in each series, and lots of add-ons. If simplicity isn't what you're looking for and would rather have a plethora of models, features, and add-ons, you may want to check out some of the other spa companies in our reviews.

Why Caldera?

They focus on the curves and contours of the body; their shape meets your shape. You can control the flow of water for a deeper or a gentler massage. Their Advent screen panel controls the spa functions, and you can run their jets through a pre-set circuit or choose to concentrate jet flow where your body needs the most attention.

They are energy efficient

Caldera boasts that they have some of the most energy-efficient hot tubs on the market, meeting the energy standards set for portable spas by the California Energy Commission. Their insulation, covers, heaters, and pumps all work together to make an energy-efficient product and to help keep your utility bills under control.

From entry level to luxury

Here's what you can expect from each Caldera series:

  • The Vacanza Series has three entry level tubs which have between 35 and 45 jets, and can seat 2-7 people. You can choose your cabinet color and your cover color. They have foot-wall massage, contoured pillows, interior lighting, and a light for diagnostics. They also include a Fiber-Core insulation, a sound-dampening design, and an insulated cover.
  • The Paradise Series has six models to choose from, seats 3-7 people, and includes all of the above and adds Euphoria Jets, handrail assist, and a backlit waterfall. Their digital panel is a higher-end model than that of the Vacanza. This model has a salt-water system, an EnergyPro Circulation System, and a titanium heater.
  • The Utopia Series, which is their luxury line, has six models, seats 4-8 people, and can include up to 74 jets in the 8-seat model. This line includes all of the above plus hip, wrist and neck jets, exterior lighting, diagnostic lights, a touchscreen control panel, and an auxiliary control panel.

Cleaning options

Caldera's higher models offer an upgradeable salt-water sanitation system, which minimizes the upkeep of your spa. They don't offer UV-C or ozone sanitation options.

Looking for more bells and whistles?

Additional accessories offered include cover lifters so one person can remove the cover more easily, exterior handrails, umbrellas, towel trees, and a cooling system for when the weather is hot and you'd like to cool down the tub for use.

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Less is not more

Caldera seems to offer a lot of options and variety when you look at the list above at which features each series includes. However, when you compare Caldera's list of offerings to other brands out there, Caldera falls short. Many rival hot tub companies offer waterfalls, with and without colored lights, cup holders, and smart technology to monitor and control your tub from a distance.

Hot tub costs

  • Vacanza Series: $5,000-$8,000
  • Paradise Series: $7,000-$9,000
  • Utopia Series: $11,000-$18,000

Pricing not offered on the website or brochure

The website offers minimal information, but you can download their brochure for more. However, to download the brochure, you are required to give them your email address as well as a mailing address. The brochure has many photos but little information. You'll need to look up a dealer in your area to fill in all the details including price, so for easy-access to details, Caldera leaves you hanging. Because pricing could depend on the dealer and where you are located, we're wondering, especially on the higher-end spas, if they might be willing to work with you on the final price.

Better for entry-level and mid-level shoppers

Although Caldera has collections for entry-level, mid-level and luxury models, their offerings for the mid-level and luxury models just aren't there. The features included in Caldera offered in their luxury models are nowhere near what other brands offer in their luxury or even their upper mid-line models.

Fewer features means simplified decision making

With few options to choose from, making a decision within the Caldera collections, especially for features found in an entry-level hot tub, should be an easy one. If, instead, you have shopped with a different company that may have several series with many, varying features per series plus a plethora of costly options to add, you might have just put your hands up and given up out of overwhelm. If too many series and too many options is too much, stick with Caldera.

Not our top option

With Caldera, what you see is what you get, and three levels of hot tub series with fewer options could make your decision-making easy and less time-consuming. While choosing a hot tub is streamlined, Caldera complicates the process of actually getting detailed information and pricing. If you're looking to customize and add some bells and whistles, peruse other brands that we have rated more highly.

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Continued from above...

Even still, you can customize by choosing a level that best suits your needs and then add on features to make your spa into your own style. Prices often start around $3,000 and with more luxury and more add-ons, you can reach a price tag of over $20,000. Remember that the price may not include delivery and probably does not include installation. In fact, some spa companies don't offer installation, which may mean you'll have to hire out.

As you shop around for a hot tub, there are so many things to consider! It can be overwhelming trying to understand all of the options and which spa design is going to be the ideal fit for what you've pictured in your mind for fun and relaxation. You can focus your search more effectively by knowing what you prefer in these areas:

  • Size. Hot tubs can vary in size from three to ten seats, so think about how many people you'll want to have in your spa at once. If you're looking for small and intimate, and perhaps have limited space, consider a tub that seats 3-4 people. Larger tubs can seat 7-10 people; these will have a larger footprint in your space and take longer to heat, which means more stress on your utility bill. There may also be an option for lounge seating in your tub. You would sit more reclined, and there would be more jets along the length of your body. It's a great feature, but each lounger can take the spot of two regular seats, so plan accordingly.
  • Type of hydromassage. Some brands offer a gentle, low pressure, all-water massage and others have a powerful half-water/half-air jet stream for a deep massage. There are other jet options to choose from for your comfort, such as leg, feet, and neck jets, or a wrap-around-the-side body stream for more of an all-over effect.
  • Location and environment. Plan where you will like your spa. Is there room enough for the size you are considering? Most tubs are about 7' x 7', but yours will be bigger if you want to seat more people. The factors to consider for weather are the cover and insulation. The full-foam insulated covers help keep the interior from the elements and extreme temperatures, as most of the heat is lost through the top of the tub. The insulation helps keep the heat inside and prevents the heater from overworking itself.
  • Local availability. Can you visit a dealer in person to see the hot tubs on the showroom floor, or even get a "wet test" where you can try it out with water in it? You can see how strong the jets are and how it feels when you adjust them to your body.
  • Reputation. It's always a good idea to see what other customers have to say about the hot tub company. Keep in mind that the installation and servicing may be done by a third-party business, so you'll want to look into their track record as well.

TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular brands of hot tubs on the market today. We're confident that this information will help you find the spa that will deliver the ultimate in relaxation and fun for many years to come!

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Hot Tub FAQ

When people think of hot tubs, they generally think of relaxing in them for pleasure. Although this is their main purpose, they are also great for hydrotherapy, pain relief, muscle relaxation, calorie burning, and more. There are a surprising amount of health benefits that come from lounging in a warm body of water.
When deciding what size of hot tub to buy, measure the area where you plan to put the hot tub. Leave a few extra feet on at least one side for getting in and out and doing maintenance. Other factors to consider are how many people you want to be able to fit in the hot tub together. You'll usually find ones that fit anywhere from 2-7 people, which will be a big factor in determining the overall cost.
Hot tubs will range from $3,000 to over $16,000 based on the performance, size, accessories, and design. For people getting a hot tub for their first time, they'll likely be happy with something in the $3,000 to $7,000 range that will meet all their needs. Some people choose to finance their hot tubs and make monthly payments on them since they are a considerably big purchase to make. That way they don't have to pay for it all upfront.
Luckily, hot tubs aren't very high maintenance. If you stick to the 3 C's of circulation, cleaning, and chemistry, you're set! It helps to set a schedule to check the hot tub filter to make sure nothing is getting in the way of water circulating freely. Also schedule times to clean out debris, scum, or stray critters that can dirty your hot tub. Last but not least, make sure you maintain a healthy pH and alkaline level in your hot tub by checking your chemicals and adjusting them as needed. Carefully read the instruction manual that comes with your particular model to be aware of all the parts that may need replacing after a certain period of time.
You'll probably find yourself making more choices than you first thought once you start your hot tub shopping journey. For starters, do you want a square hot tub? A circular hot tub? Or a hexagon-shaped hot tub? Not only are there multiple options for the shape, but also the exterior color and material, interior materials, color, light features, seating arrangements, where you want the jets, and much more. You'll be able to choose a hot tub to match the aesthetic of your home and patio.
Hot tubs and saunas can serve similar purposes for people, but in completely different ways. A sauna is a room where infrared heat or steam is emitted to produce a feeling of relaxation, increase blood flow, loosen muscles, and sweat for weight loss. Hot tubs allow people to be immersed completely in warm or hot water to loosen joints, relax muscles, improve mood, and increase blood flow. Many people opt for hot tubs over saunas because they are more versatile and tend to work easier in the existing spaces people have outside their home.
Hot tubs are usually in the backyard on a flat surface like a cement pad, deck, under a gazebo, or on the patio. Consider how close to the house you want your hot tub for getting in and out during cold weather, having to go to the bathroom, or drying off and changing. Do you want it in a secluded area where you can't be seen by neighbors? Consider the aesthetic appeal of a hot tub and where it might look pretty and be enhanced by landscaping and lights.
If you're worried about having a hot tub dropped on your doorstep with no way to move it, fear no more! Most hot tub deliveries come with a crew that will place your hot tub in the exact location you want it and get it set up for you. Since hot tubs are big and heavy, you're not expected to hoist it around on your own. This is a good time to take advantage of the crew's expertise and learn your way around your new hot tub and all the neat features it comes with!
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