Have you ever dreamt of heading out into your backyard, slipping into a warm, bubbling hot tub, and letting all of the day’s stressors — not to mention your nagging aches and joint pains — melt away? If that sounds like an unattainable fantasy, we’re here to tell you that a good hot tub is not out of reach. In fact, there’s a wide variety of options on the market that range from the affordable to the lavish, meaning there’s a model out there for everyone — yourself included.
Hot Tub Health Benefits
According to WebMD, the heat from the water widens your blood vessels, which in turn allows blood to make its way through the body, bringing oxygen and nutrients to affected areas. It can also lessen swelling and loosen up any knotted muscles.
Then, there are the mental benefits, as hot tubs have been known to decrease anxiety and stress. Not only does research indicate that the warmth from a hot tub can help you to relax, the massage you receive from its jets can “reduce stress hormones and promote the body to release endorphins, which are natural mood elevators and painkillers,” according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
As if those weren’t reasons enough to invest in one of these delightful machines, a 2016 study also showed that an hour-long soak in a hot bath burned just as many calories as a 30-minute walk, since warm water makes your heart beat faster.
However, for that reason, hot tubs should be used with caution or avoided by those with heart issues. They may also be unsafe for pregnant women, as they increase body temperature.
The Best Hot Tub for Your Home
Unlike swimming pools, the majority of hot tubs on the market today are above-ground — all of the models we’ve selected below are plug-and-play options, which means there’ll be no costly installation fees. More importantly, there’ll also be no need to dig up your backyard.
Before deciding which hot tub is right for you, you’ll want to consider a short list of factors. First up? Price and portability. If you’re looking to spend $500 or less, an inflatable hot tub ($339.82, Amazon) will be your best option. Yes, inflatable. Unlike an inflatable kiddie pool, these models are sturdy, weather-proof, and feature many of the same perks of a traditional hot tub (including massaging jets!). Plus, they come with the added bonus of being easy to move around and store as needed — simply deflate and pack them up!
If you’d prefer a more traditional hot tub, you’ll likely need to be ready to shell out a few thousand dollars. From there, you’ll select the material you prefer (plastic, wood, fiberglass), how many people you want your hot tub to seat, the shape you like most (circular, square, etc.), and whether you want it to plug into an outlet or have it heated by fire.
If energy efficiency is especially important to you, that may also factor into your decision. Depending on where you live and how cold the winters are, you’ll also need to pay close attention to the temperatures your chosen hot tub can withstand. While some are specifically-designed to be enjoyed during the most frigid months (think -49 degrees Fahrenheit!), others won’t be able to brave such elements.
Ready to find your perfect match? Keep scrolling to shop FIRST for Women’s recommendations for the 9 best hot tubs on the market.
See more of our best product recommendations.
We write about products we think our readers will like. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the supplier.
Best 2 Person Hot Tubs
American Spas 2-Person Hot Tub
Where to buy: $4,541.30, Amazon
Because no two people are the same, each seat in American Spas' two-person hot tub comes with its own on/off switch, plus controls to set the pressure and jet direction for the perfect massage. Set-up couldn’t be easier — simply plug the tub into any outlet and turn on the titanium heater (which American Spas calls a “leading edge in the industry") to warm your water up in a flash. Other notable features include 18 stainless steel jets, unique hand massage jets that target palm and wrist tension, underwater LED lights, and a massive bio-clean filter, which promises to keep water clean and clear longer than competitors — something that's extremely important, as improper cleaning can lead to risk of disease. What’s more, it comes with a marine-grade cover made from sun-, rain- and snow- resistant vinyl that's reinforced with steel beams.
Best Round Hot Tub
American Spas 5-Person Round Hot Tub
Where to buy: $3,599 (was $4,299), Home Depot
You’ll have trouble keeping family and friends away with this five-seater option from American Spas! Its specially-designed, contoured seats allow you to lean back while offering up all the support you'll need. What’s more, each guest can control the position and pressure of their own set of jets for a uniquely-customized experience. Made from the thickest acrylic available and reinforced with steel and wood, American Spas’ hot tubs have the “strongest shell in the industry,” so you can rest assured that your investment will hold up against the elements. This model also features energy-saving insulation, a titanium heater that lets you quickly adjust the temperature with one click, and fun LED lights with multiple colors and settings.
Best Wood Fired Hot Tub
Snorkel Hot Tubs 3-Person Scuba Stove
Where to buy: $3,851.99, Wayfair
Made of all-natural Western red cedar wood, this Snorkel Hot Tubs 3-Person wood-fired cedar design is one of the most beautiful tubs on this list. Five feet in diameter and 3 feet high, it can seat up to three adults and one child comfortably, and it comes with a mini-fence to prevent users from bumping into its built-in water-heating stove component. Its interior bench seats are each at different levels to accommodate a variety of heights and depth preferences. They also make it extra-easy to step in and out of the tub! Snorkel Hot Tubs’ wooden model also includes a cover, drain kit, thermometer, and an adorable rubber ducky.
Best Rated Hot Tubs
Essential Hot Tubs 20-Jet Arbor Hot Tub
Where to buy: $2,199, Amazon
With a 4.5 star Amazon rating and $2K price tag, Essential Hot Tubs’ 20-jet Arbor hot tub is not only one of the best-rated options on the market, it's one of the most affordable. Simply plug it into a standard 120V outlet, choose between a relaxing or a deep therapy massage, and let its 20 stainless steel jets go to work. Proudly made in the USA, this tub is crafted from durable resin and has an insulated interior. It also comes with an insulated cover (complete with locking clips) to keep it clean and secure when not in use. There are six contoured seats, making it a great choice if you plan to soak with your family and friends, plus, its stainless steel heater ensures you can use it year-round.
Take it from this reviewer, who noted, “It’s worth every penny for what you are buying!”
Best Portable Hot Tub
Intex PureSpa Portable Bubble Massage Spa
Where to buy: $453.39 (was $499.99), Amazon
Believe it or not, this portable hot tub from Intex, which seats up to four adults, can be collapsed to fit into a convenient carrier bag, making it a fabulous option if you’re planning on transporting (or storing) your relaxation device. Made of puncture-resistant material, it inflates quickly, while grab handles make it even easier to move. It also shares plenty of great features with traditional models, such as a temperature range that spans from 68 to 104 degrees Fahrenheit and 120 high-powered bubble jets. The easy-to-use control panel lets you activate them at your leisure, and a built-in hard water treatment system means the water will be gentle on your skin— and your bathing suit!
Best Above Ground Hot Tub
AquaRest Spas Select 300 Jet Plug and Play Hot Tub
Where to buy: $2,163.20 (was $3,499.99), Wayfair
Believe it or not, not all hot tubs are made to withstand the cold winter months. This two-seater, above-ground AquaRest Select 300 tub, on the other hand, is constructed from thermal polyethylene plastic that can brave the elements (down to -49 degrees Fahrenheit with wind chill) without cracking, peeling, or fading. Full-foam insulation and a tight-sealed cover keep heat in for optimum energy efficiency. It also boasts an impressive number of features for a comfortable soaking experience, including lumbar arch support, 20 multi-level stainless steel jets, and a patented multi-color cascading waterfall with nine settings. No wonder it has a 4.6-star rating on Wayfair!
Wrote one happy buyer: "We couldn't be happier with this little spa. For the price and size, I don't think you could ask for more. ...If you are looking for an inexpensive, fun, relaxing spa to sip a glass of wine ... you have hit the jackpot."
Best Inflatable Hot Tubs
Coleman SaluSpa Inflatable Hot Tub Spa
Where to buy: $339.82 (was $599.99), Amazon
Sit back, relax, and unwind anywhere you like with Coleman SaluSpa’s inflatable hot tub spa. It’s easily-inflated with the included pump, and can be deflated just as easily, making it a breeze to store and transport. Made of puncture- and UV-resistant material, this spa is built using I-beam construction, which means it will keep its shape, even if you sit on its edge. Just like a standard hot tub, it's got a digital control panel for temperature adjustment (up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit) and jet pressure that can be controlled with a single click. There’s also an automatic timer that controls the heating system, turning it on and off as needed to conserve energy. A cover and cushioned floor mat are included.
Most Energy Efficient Hot Tub
Lifesmart Coronado DLX 7-Person Spa
Where to buy: $6,499, Home Depot
Given the amount of water you’ll need to heat (and keep warm!) to enjoy your new hot tub, energy efficiency is a key factor to consider when choosing a bigger model, like this seven-person option from Lifesmart. Not only does its Coronado DLX meet the “stringent mandate for hot tub energy consumption,” which is set by the California Energy Commission, the company prides itself on having superior efficiency that’ll save you serious cash on your energy bill thanks to its smart thermometer, which will lower the tub’s temperature when it’s not in use. In other nice-to-haves, it's got 65 hydrotherapy jets (including a 14-jet “turbo blaster” for the ultimate back massage) and four foot massage jets. Its temperature, lighting, and jets are all controlled with one topside panel.
Most Unique Hot Tubs
Alfi FireHotTub Portable Fire Hot Tub
Where to buy: $4,599.99 (was $6,950), Wayfair
If you’re searching for a conversation starter, or simply want something completely out of the ordinary, then this Alfi Fire Hot Tub is for you! Unlike the other tubs on this list, ALFI’s model uses actual fire, rather than a power outlet, to heat up your water, so you can grill up your favorite food or make s'mores over the flames while you’re lounging! To use it, you’ll need to fill its base (which is made of durable acrylic and a fiberglass core) with hose water, set up your fire (safely covered by the provided stainless steel windscreen), and wait approximately two hours for it to reach 100 degrees. This unconventional design comes in a number of standout colors.