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What Determines Hot Tub Prices?

Updated: March 22, 2023
By: Jonathan Trout
Jonathan Trout
Content Manager
Jonathan is a former product and content manager for Retirement Living. His background spans sales/marketing, finance, and telecommunications. Jonathan’s expertise in consumer wellness and research-backed data stories helped educate seniors on financial planning, retirement, and community resources. Jonathan graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. in Environmental Sociology.
Content Manager
Edited by: Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith
Sr. Content Manager
As Retirement Living’s senior content manager, Jeff oversees the product and publishing of all retirement, investing, and consumer wellness content on the site. His extensive expertise in brand messaging and creating data-driven stories helps position Retirement Living as a top authority for senior content and community resources.
Sr. Content Manager
What Determines Hot Tub Prices?

If you’re thinking about purchasing a hot tub, you are probably wondering about what all affects the cost. With the full range of sizes, styles, features, and components available, the price ranges anywhere from $3,000 for a bare-bones model to up to $16,000 for a luxury spa.

Here are the factors influencing hot tub prices, like options, features, colors and finishes.

Hot Tub Pricing Tiers

You will find hot tubs in four price ranges: entry level, value, premium, and luxury.

  • Entry level Hot Tubs
    Up to $6,999
    The affordability of entry-level hot tubs makes them ideal for first-time owners new to the health benefits of hot water massage. Most entry-level spas are rotationally molded, which means durable plastic is molded to create the interior spa shell and exterior cabinet.

    hot tub premium

    Premium Hot Tub, Source: Getty

    The shell may have a matte finish compared to the high-gloss finish of more expensive acrylic shells. One benefit to owning a rotationally molded spa is they are lightweight which makes them easy to move from one place to another.

  • Value Hot Tubs
    $7,000 to $9,999
    The value level is the starting point for shiny acrylic shells, attractive wood or faux wood exteriors, and additional jets such as neck or foot jets. Light and water features are common in value spas, but the interior components may not be top quality. Some manufacturers provide fewer features compared to more expensive models to keep manufacturing costs down.

  • Premium Hot Tubs
    $10,000 to $12,999
    Premium spas offer additional features such as several jets, attractive lighting, and water features. Hot tubs in this price range are usually more energy-efficient than less expensive models, reducing your electric bill. They also offer more high-tech control systems such as touchscreens. Premium spas feature high-quality filtration and water care systems that reduce maintenance time, and these hot tubs usually come with a longer warranty compared to lower priced designs.

  • Luxury Hot Tubs
    $13,000 and up
    Luxury hot tubs offer the very best in a relaxing hot water massage. A luxury spa will provide energy savings and minimal upkeep packaged in a simple-to-operate design. You can expect premium jet systems, innovative design, and a top-quality filtration system for crystal clear hot tubbing.

    Both premium and luxury spas come with additional features to make it simpler and easier to maintain and own a hot tub. Hot tubs made of high-end materials can easily last more than 10 years.

While hot tub tiers have the biggest impact on the price, other things contribute to the overall cost as well.

Hot Tub Cost Over Time

It’s a good idea to think about how much your hot tub will cost over time when you’re making your initial purchase. Consider these two things:

  • The durability or expected life of your hot tub
  • Operational costs of your hot tub

Considering these two things combined with the initial price of your hot tub should give you an idea of the lifetime cost. Looking to minimize your lifetime cost? Look for quality construction and energy efficiency when shopping for a hot tub.

Energy Cost of a Hot Tub

hot tub thermo

Source: Bullfrog Spas

When thinking about the lifetime cost of owning a hot tub, it’s important to consider energy efficiency. Energy efficient hot tubs should require less maintenance and use a lot less energy than a standard model.

What makes a hot tub energy efficient? Full-foam insulation everywhere except around pumps and heaters is a key feature. This isolates hot water in the hot tub from cold air. Other ways to make sure your hot tub is energy efficient include a solid foundation, molded composite around the base, air-tight seals, simple plumbing design and a fitted cover. You can find energy efficient hot tubs by looking at hot tub energy use data from the California Energy Commission.

Thanks to quality energy efficient hot tub models, the majority of hot tubs cost around $1 per day to operate, or about $23 a month.

Hot Tub Features and Size

It’s a given that a more spacious hot tub costs more than a smaller economy model, but there are additional features to consider. The features you choose affect the price tag.

New tech advancements that enhance spa comfort and functionality are a part of modern hot tub design. However, this adds to manufacturing costs. Premium and luxury spas come standard with touchscreens, powerful jets, and quality filtration systems, all reflected in the price. Optional add-ons such as entertainment systems, waterfalls, HD monitors, cooling features, and safety steps will up the price as well.

Hot Tub Manufacturing and Quality

To a new buyer, hot tubs all look similar on the outside, but quality manufacturing and components make a big difference when it comes to enjoyment and routine maintenance. A luxury hot tub made with advanced engineering is more durable, reliable, and energy-efficient. Buying the highest quality hot tub within your budget ensures you receive the best return for your investment.

If you plan to set up your spa outside, the durability and quality of the shell and exterior is an important consideration, as harsh weather will affect spa surfaces.

Keep in mind the internal working parts such as jet pumps, heaters, and circulation pumps should be manufactured of high-quality materials, as they are expensive to replace.

Hot Tub Appearance and Design

Hot tubs come in a wide array of shell colors, exterior panel designs, and interesting shapes. You may prefer an eye-pleasing design that blends in well with your landscaping. Alternatively, a modern, cutting-edge design may appeal to you.

Freight Costs

Hot tubs are large and heavy, and shipping costs typically increase the farther the spa is shipped from the manufacturer. For example, if you live in Alaska and order a hot tub in the lower 48 states, you will likely pay more in freight costs compared to a buyer in Dallas.