Purchasing Your First Hot Tub: A Pricing Guide

Having a hot tub in your backyard is the epitome of luxury. Whether you’re relaxing after a long day or hosting a party with friends, there’s nothing better than soaking in some warm bubbly water. However, before you can start enjoying your hot tub, you’ll need to purchase one! Here’s a pricing guide to help you buy your first hot tub.

Hot tubs come in a wide range of prices, depending on the size, features, and brand. The cost starts at around $4,000 and can go up to $30,000 for the top models. Besides the upfront cost, consider installation and maintenance expenses, which can add significantly to the overall cost.

When it comes to hot tubs, the range of options is seemingly endless, and each feature comes with a different price tag. So, it’s important you take your time and figure out what’s worth your money and what’s not. Let’s look at how hot tubs are priced and what you need to consider before making your purchase.

How Much Does the Average Hot Tub Cost?

Wooden hot tub is filled with water on outdoor

An average hot tub costs between $4,000 and $6,000. If we consider the price range available for hot tubs, however, it’s much wider. You can spend as little as $500 on an inflatable hot tub — or over $30,000 on a top-of-the-line model with all the bells and whistles.

Usually, hot tubs are classified into three tiers based on price and features:

Budget: $3,000-$6,000

This tier includes entry-level tubs with basic features like multiple jets, molded seating, and space for a few people. They’re mostly made of durable plastic, so the aesthetics may not be as pleasing as the pricier models. Portable hot tubs usually fall into this category.

Budget honorable Mention: Less Than $1,000

You should also note that, at the bottom of the price ladder for hot tubs, you can find plenty of great inflatable options that will get the job done. Options like the Intex PureSpa Plus (on Amazon) can get you set up with the hot tub experience for a price typically in the $500-800 range.

Mid-Range: $6,000-$10,000

Mid-range hot tubs come with more features like built-in speakers and lights, upgraded jets, and materials like wood or fiber panels. You’ll also find a wider variety of sizes and shapes in this category. The best choices are value-packed models with a good mix of features and performance.

Premium: $10,000-$20,000+

Top-of-the-line hot tubs come with all the bells and whistles. You’ll find features like hydrotherapy jets, fantastic aesthetics, and enough room to comfortably seat a large group. Of course, you’ll also be paying for the luxury brand name.

Even higher-end tubs that offer customized features and designs can cost upwards of $30,000. 

What’s the Average Installation Price of a Hot Tub?

Installing a hot tub can cost anywhere from $500 to $1,500. This price includes the cost of delivery, set up, and electrical hookup. If you need to prepare the site for installation, that will add to the cost.

For example, in-ground hot tubs require excavation, additional plumbing, and permits from the city. Heavy hot tubs need concrete pads for placement. If you want to install a hot tub on the deck, you’d need to reinforce it to ensure it can handle the weight.

Other than these costs, don’t be surprised if you have to pay unexpected fees like a crane rent if your hot tub is too big, ventilation installation for indoor tubs, and so on.

What Are the Different Types of Hot Tubs?

Hot tubs are classified according to how they’re built and their features. The most common types of hot tubs are:


Portable tubs are the most affordable and can be placed either indoors or outdoors. They are plug-and-play types that only need an appropriate electric socket and can be filled with a garden hose.

But unlike cheap inflatable tubs, these portable hot tubs are made of sturdy plastic and vinyl and need ground preparation such as surface pads and plumbing.

Above-Ground (Fixed)

These hot tubs are placed on patios, reinforced decks, or concrete pads. They come in different shapes and sizes and are the most popular type of hot tub. Above-ground hot tubs need proper installation like running electric lines for heaters and pumps, drainage and ventilation ducts in the house, and so on.


As the name suggests, in-ground hot tubs are built into the ground after excavation. In-ground hot tubs are the most expensive and permanent type. They also consume more electricity and require more maintenance. They mostly fell in premium pricing tiers and are made of high-quality materials such as acrylic, granite, stainless steel, etc. 

Salt Water Hot Tubs

Salt water tubs are becoming increasingly popular because of their low chemical involvement and easy maintenance. These tubs use generators to produce their own chlorine from salt water to keep the water clean.

However, they’re expensive because a lot of extra equipment is needed, like the chlorine generator and saltwater chlorinator.

Swim Spas:

This is a hybrid between a hot tub and a pool. Swim spas are long and narrow, usually about 20 feet long. They have jets to create resistance while you swim in place so you can get a workout in a temperature-controlled environment.

Swim spas aren’t common and are very expensive, costing at least $30,000. You’d see this kind of tubs in luxury gyms and spas, where they’re custom-built to specifications.

Which Factors Determine the Price of a Hot Tub?

When you’re ready to purchase your first hot tub, here are some factors that will impact the price:

  • Size: The size of the hot tub is the most significant factor determining the price. A small hot tub for two people will cost much less than a large hot tub that can accommodate six to eight people.
  • Material: Most cheap entry-level hot tubs are made of rotationally-molded polyethylene plastic. They do their job but lack the sheen and durability of more expensive options. Hot tubs made of acrylic are built to last longer, look better, and have more features. The most luxurious hot tubs use wood, metal, and fiberglass to create a stylish look.
  • Features: Hot tubs now offer a plethora of features like hydrotherapy jets, built-in stereo systems, waterfalls, LED lighting, aroma therapy, and more. Of course, the more features you want, the higher the price tag.
  • Design: A simple, functional hot tub will cost less than an elaborately designed one. You can get a hot tub with seating options like contoured loungers, elevated benches, deep chairs, or custom-designed seats. These seats are usually fitted with jets that provide a relaxing massage, hence the value addition.
  • Quality: A better quality hot tub will have thicker walls, a better heating system, stronger pumps and filters, more jets, and a longer warranty. They cost more upfront but are a better investment in the long run.

How to Choose a Quality Hot Tub Retailer

Hot tubs aren’t only a significant investment but also a complex piece of machinery. You’ll want to buy your hot tub from a retailer who knows their stuff and can help you when you need support. So, before you make your purchase, ask these important questions:

  • Do they have a good selection of hot tubs? A quality retailer will offer a range of hot tubs in different sizes, materials, and features.
  • Do they have certified technicians on staff? You’ll need access to qualified technicians who can help you with installation, repairs, and maintenance.
  • How long have they been in business? A retailer with years of experience is more likely to be around when you need them.
  • Do they work with a specific brand? Some retailers work exclusively with one hot tub brand, while others sell multiple brands. It’s better to go with a retailer offering a range of brands so you can have more options.
  • What kind of warranty do they offer? A good retailer will offer a comprehensive warranty that covers the tub, parts, and labor. You should also find out if they have a return policy in case you’re unhappy with the hot tub.
  • What kind of after-sales support do they provide? Ask about their customer service policies. You should be able to reach someone on the phone or location when you have questions or problems.
  • How are the customer reviews? Always look for public reviews of the store. If they have an online presence, it is as easy as looking at google reviews; otherwise, ask your friends and family if they can recommend someone.
  • What’s the delivery and setup process? The hot tub installation is probably the most complicated part of the process. Make sure your retailer has a proper team to handle it so you won’t be left stranded with a hot tub in your living room.

What’s the Average Price of Maintaining a Hot Tub?

Hotel staff worker cleaning the hot tub

Hot tub maintenance includes but is not limited to: electricity, cleaning, chemicals, filter replacement, monthly/yearly service calls, and drain/refills.

The cost of each aspect depends on the size and type of hot tub, how often it’s used, and whether you do the majority of the work yourself or hire someone to do it for you.

Let’s break down each cost on a monthly basis. A medium-sized hot tub uses about $30-$50 worth of electricity per month. Cleaning products and chemicals are the most regular purchases and cost around $30 per month.

Water refills cost less than a dollar. Replacement filters are only needed once every few months, and the cost varies depending on the type of filter. Service calls are only needed if something goes wrong, ranging from $100 to $1000. 

So overall, if everything is going smoothly, you should expect to spend about $100 per month on the hot tub, given that you do the maintenance yourself. If you want to hire professional services, it can cost you about $400 per month. 

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