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Top 10 Best Hot Tubs in 2020

Man relaxing in an outdoor hot tub.

Introduction

Today we’ll be taking a look at above-ground spas, also known as Hot Tubs and Jacuzzis.

If you’re a little like me, you freakin love hot tubs. But, you probably also hate the idea of soaking in a public hot tub with a bunch of sweaty strangers at a hotel or gym. It’s pretty gross.

So the alternative is either go without the joy of a hot tub (not advised!), or, pony up for your own one…

If you’ve had a look around, you’ve probably noticed that you can spend anywhere from $600 for an inflatable hot tub, to $5,000+ for a premium 6-7 seater with a billion jets, speaker system, LED lights, chilled cup holders and disco ball (ok, I made up the last couple).

So the question becomes, do you need to spend a fortune, or will a base model still give me 95%+ of the enjoyment?

Are inflatable hot tubs worth it?

I’m writing a whole other post on this, so I’ll go with the short answer, here.

Inflatable spas/hot tubs are great if you’re not sure you’ll regularly use a hot tub. They’re a fantastic way to “test the waters” so to speak, so that you can work out whether you and your family will get the value out of a bigger, non-inflatable tub.

The great news is, if you enjoy the inflatable tub, a proper fibreglass tub is going to blow your freakin mind!

What to keep in mind when choosing a hot tub?

There are really only a few variables you need to keep track of when selecting a tub:

  1. How many people does it seat? We tend to find that the quoted number of seats for most spas is optimistic to say the least. If you think 4 people will regularly be in your spa at the same time, you probably want to go for a 5-6 seater. The whole point of a spa is to chill and relax, which is hard to achieve if you’ve got someone else’s knees in your ribs! Not to mention when the in-laws come to stay and insist on joining you in the spa… sometimes it’s nice to have a little extra space.
  2. Is it well-made and built to last? You’re going to be spending thousands on this thing, so you’re going to want it to last 10+ years. Generally, spas are pretty good and require relatively low maintenance, but you always want to choose a company that has been building spas for 10+ years and has ironed out the kinks. Remember, a spa has electric pumps, heaters, is constantly on, is outside in the elements 365 days per year and is constantly filled with water…
  3. Does it have the features you want? This is a distant 3rd as far as priorities. Apart from the standard feature of being able to heat up quickly or efficiently stay hot, you really don’t need to worry about the other features. Whether the spa has 20 jets or 100 jets is really not important. What does matter is whether you can change the pressure of the jets you have. Some units have multi-stage jet power which is important. Sometimes you want a gentle massage, other times you want a vigorous deep tissue work over.

Hot tubs comparison table

ProductRatingOverall thoughtsLinks

Essential Hot Tubs 67-Jet Syracuse Hot Tub (seats 5-6)

4.2 out of 5

This is a good mid-to-upper range spa with lots of features, heaps of jets and a seating layout that works well for seating up to 6 adults. The control panel and instructions aren’t great when trying to use some of the more advanced features. Fortunately, the customer service is pretty exceptional from these guys.

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Essential Hot Tubs 50-Jet Solara Hot Tub (seats 5-6)

4.7 out of 5

Looks great, is well-made and has tonnes of jets to make your spa-ing one of the most relaxing experiences available. This tub has seats of varying heights, so the it’s great for adults and kids of different heights and sizes. Essential Hot Tubs know what they’re doing.

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Best hot tubs detailed reviews

Essential Hot Tubs 67-Jet Syracuse Hot Tub (seats 5-6)

Essential Hot Tubs 67-Jet Syracuse Hot Tub (seats 5-6)

Product Overview

A great looking tub, especially good if your house has a wooden facade or wooden features. This unit has 3 high performance pumps to ensure you have heaps of jet pressure through the 51 adjustable jets and 16 additional stainless steel jets.

This unit technically has 5 seats, two are Captain’s chairs with padded head rests and rollover neck and shoulder jets (next level, am I right?), but the layout of the seats isn’t too structured, so 6 people can still sit comfortably.

Feature-wise, this thing is more like a spaceship than a hot tub. You’ve got a full digital control unit, but the most useful feature is the 2 bluetooth equipped marine-grade speakers. That’s right, you can connect your phone and start playing your music or podcasts right in the spa.

Our rating
4.2
out of 5

Product Features

  • 67 JETS: 51 stainless steel two-tone adjustable jets, and 16 stainless steel jets. Relax with passive therapy or switch to an invigorating massage at the touch of a button.
  • SEATS 5-6: Ergonomic seating for 5-6 including 2 Captain’s Chairs and a Lounger. Sink into a therapy seat and get an intense leg massage in the Lounger or grab an invigorating massage in the Captain’s Chairs while listening to the calming sound of the waterfall.
  • 240 VOLTS: 240V/50A electrical connection required, recommend installing by certified electrician
  • ALL-SEASON: 4kW true all-season stainless steel Balboa heater for year-round enjoyment. Heavy-duty, insulated tapered cover with locking clips included.
  • BLUETOOTH READY: Pair your device to the Bluetooth sound system for relaxation or entertainment.
  • MADE IN THE USA: You can take pride in knowing that your Essential Hot Tub is made right here in the USA.

Pros & Cons

  • Good sturdy lid that keeps the heat in but isn't so heavy that you can't remove it when you want to. Also, the "faux wood" finish on the sides looks good and is going to last soo much better than they old real wood tubs!
  • Make sure you order online, we saw this tub in showrooms for almost twice the price!
  • Tub is great. Service was exceptional. These guys know what they're doing!
  • The instruction manual is unhelpful and the control buttons are quite hard to manage. Customer service/support has been pretty responsive though.
  • The spa is great but the faux wood steps are ugly AF - really cheapens an otherwise premium looking spa. Needless to say, we threw them out immediately.
  • There's no drain on the outside of the tub, so you have to take the access panel off when you want to drain it. An annoying and time consuming inconvenience.
  • More LEDs inside the spa would be great. There seem to be a lot around the edges, but only a couple inside the unit. Not a major issue, just something to consider.

Conclusion

This is a good mid-to-upper range spa with lots of features, heaps of jets and a seating layout that works well for seating up to 6 adults.

Plenty of powerful pumps and multiple flow settings mean this unit will have you relaxing in no time.

The control panel and instructions aren’t great when trying to use some of the more advanced features. Fortunately, the customer service is pretty exceptional from these guys.

Essential Hot Tubs 50-Jet Solara Hot Tub (seats 5-6)

Essential Hot Tubs 50-Jet Solara Hot Tub (seats 5-6)

Product Overview

A modern looking hot tub featuring 50 water jets and a great looking LED waterfall effect. The jets have two levels of intensity and the LEDs will change to almost any color you select.

You’ll comfortably fit 5 people in this spa, 6 if you’re happy to rub shoulders! There are 2 captain’s style chairs and a full length lounger (my favourite). The lounger even has a pillow headrest.

The unit comes in a few different outer colors, but we’ve found the gray is the best to avoid it getting that dirty outdoor furniture. Even so, it’s easy enough to clean and requires little maintenance.

Our rating
4.7
out of 5

Product Features

  • Seats 5-6 adults
  • 50 two-speed jets
  • Outer dimensions: 85″ x 85″ x 36″
  • 400 Gallon Water Capacity
  • 240V/50A Electrical Connection Required
  • 1x 4HP 2spd + 1x 4HP 1spd
  • LED 6” Waterfall feature (water spouts into the tub)

Pros & Cons

  • Feature-packed, comfortable and comes with a heavy-duty lid to keep heat in and dirt/leaves out.
  • More internal space than you'd expect from a unit of this size.
  • Convenient access to the service area and care was clearly taken during the design phase.
  • Comes with an ozonator
  • Reports of some minor leaking from pipes, but a call to the support team should quickly get you fixed.
  • The unit is quite heavy even without water (600-800lbs).

Conclusion

Overall, this is a pretty great spa. It looks great, is well-made and has tonnes of jets to make your spa-ing one of the most relaxing experiences available.

There’s nothing worse than having to sit in a tub where your bum is hardly touching the seat and you’re getting blown around by the jets. This tub has seats of varying heights, so the it’s great for adults and kids of different heights and sizes.

Essential Hot Tubs seem to know what they’re doing. They’ve been in business for many years and are clearly keeping up to date with the latest in spa construction and technology.

The temperature is maintained for quite long even after you turn off the heater. The lid helps in keeping the water warm, though it’s a little pain to close and open it because of the weight.

Conclusion

Ok, so that was a monster post! I don’t think I even realised how much I love hot tubs… Anyway, I hope this was helpful. Leave me a comment below and tell me how much you love spas.

All the best!
Matt

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