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Hot Tub vs Spa, What’s The Difference?

Hot Tub vs Spa, What's The Difference


This post will give you an overview of what the difference between a hot tub and a spa is, and help you identify the function and appearance of both. Generally speaking the two are often used interchangeably, varying due to regional preferences and industry backgrounds, but different types of baths have different usage scenarios and functions, so follow along with us to find out exactly what the differences are between them!

Functional characteristics:

Typically, a hot tub is simply a synonym for a large bathtub or small pool filled with hot water, which may or may not have jets for hydrotherapy, and it is a completely separate vessel. A spa, on the other hand, is a bathtub or pool that has a therapeutic purpose and has jets and other accessories specifically designed to provide hydrotherapy, relaxation, and massage effects.

hot tub vs spa
hot tub vs spa

Context of Use:

The term hot tub is usually associated with recreational soaking and simple relaxation, and is used only for simple daily rinsing and showering, lacking the functionality dedicated to therapeutic massage in a spa. Instead, spas are naturally designed with adjustable jets, seating configurations, and a number of other hydrotherapeutic options designed primarily to promote the body’s health and add a sense of well-being.

Installation Environment:

A hot tub is usually used in your own home, where all of its plumbing, electrical control systems and other components are built-in, meaning no plumbing is needed, it can be drained at any time, and if you move, you can always relocate it to a new location. A spa, on the other hand, is usually meant to be underground, it takes a long time to fully heat up and requires a lot of energy to keep the heat in, commonly found in hotels or gyms, or if in a residential setting, it’s usually set up as an annex to an in-ground swimming pool.

Final Thought

In short, hot tubs are often seen as places to relax, socialize and enjoy warm water, similar to a large bathtub. Spas, on the other hand, are associated with therapeutic benefits, such as massage and hydrotherapy, and they are seen as places to improve health and well-being.
It’s worth noting that these distinctions aren’t always strictly followed, and the terms are often used interchangeably in casual conversation. In addition, industry practices and regional preferences can influence the application of these terms. When considering the purchase or use of such a facility, it is best to understand the specific features and functions of the product or facility rather than relying solely on the terms “hot tub” or “spa”.

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