why are hot tubs so expensive

The Top Reasons Why Hot Tubs Can Be So Expensive

A lot of people think that installing a hot tub on your property or in your home is a large investment, but it may surprise you to learn that there is a broad price range associated with this project when you start looking at available products.

You could easily exceed $20,000 on a single hot tub if you really wanted something luxurious, but there are also entry-level hot tubs that are much less expensive.

But why are hot tubs so expensive?

The short answer is that hot tubs can get very expensive very quickly, depending on several factors. The most significant cost factors include the style, size, features, finishes, colors, and components you can’t live without on your model.

We’re going to break down the average price tiers, plus the most important consideration you want to keep in mind when you’re trying to price out your new hot tub’s cost below.

Pricing Tiers for Hot Tubs

Before you start shopping, you want to set a realistic budget for your new hot tub. This will give you an idea of what pricing tier you should focus on so you don’t get overwhelmed, and the most popular options are:

Entry-Level Hot Tubs – $6,999 and lower

Entry-level hot tubs are more affordable, and it makes them an excellent option for first-time hot tub owners that are brand new to the idea of owning one.

Most of the hot tubs in this category come rotationally molded, and this means that they feature a durable plastic mold that creates both the exterior cabinet and the interior shell.

The molded plastic shell could have a matte finish on it instead of a more high-gloss finish the acrylic shells boast.

However, this molded plastic shell makes the structure lightweight and relatively easy to move if you want to reposition it or put it away for storage purposes.

Value Hot Tubs – $7,000 to $9,999

The second tier is the value level, and this is where the shinier acrylic shells, faux or real wood exteriors, and more jet options like a foot or neck jets come into play.

Water and light features are also very common with this tier, and the interior components of this hot tub can be very high quality.

Some companies will list fewer features at this level compared to the more expensive models in an attempt to keep the costs lower.

Premium Hot Tubs – $10,000 to $12,999

When you hit the premium level, your hot tub starts getting the option to add attractive lighting, several jets, and water features.

They’re usually more energy-efficient at this stage than lower-end models to help reduce your electric bill, and they have more high-tech control systems on them like touchscreens.

These spas also give you access to high-quality water care and filtration systems that can lower your maintenance costs, and they have longer warranties attached than other tiers.

Luxury Hot Tubs – $13,000 and Up

You’ll get the very best that hot tubs have to offer with this top tier, and you get more energy savings with minimal upkeep, all wrapped in a design that is very simple to operate.

You can get premium-level jet systems, excellent filtration systems to ensure you have clear water, and innovative designs to match your decor.

Additionally, both luxury and premium hot tubs come with a host of additional features that make them easier and less time-consuming to maintain.

The materials easily allow this product to last more than 10 years, and this includes surviving heavy usage.

The Biggest Factors That Impact Hot Tub Prices

Now that you know what the most popular tiers are for pricing, you’ll want to know what the biggest factors are that will make your hot tub pricing fluctuate.

As it can quickly climb, it’s important to figure out what you absolutely need and what features you can cut out to stay on budget.

Energy Efficiency

You will pay more upfront if you choose a hot tub that has a higher energy-efficiency rating, but it’ll cause your ongoing energy costs to be much lower. So, this will help you save more money over the long run.

For the majority of people, the cost to run a hot tub with a higher energy efficiency rating is only $10.00 to $20.00 more a month, but this can increase if you live in a colder climate and run your hot tub constantly.

Body Design

You get the choice of an inground, inflatable, or portable model when you pick out your hot tub, and the body design you pick will directly impact your total costs.

Inground models are the most expensive option out of the three because they have a much more permanent design with an installation process that typically involves specialized equipment and professional contractors.

You have to add in excavation, cement foundation pouring, design work, and landscaping to your hot tub price, but you get a higher customization level that the other two body styles don’t offer.

A portable hot tub is a bit of a misnomer because it’s technically portable, but this is still a large-scale project to take on.

You get a solid frame encased in a lightweight acrylic shell, but it’s still decently cumbersome and bulky.

They’re not as permanent as inground models, but they have slightly higher price points than inflatable models because you get more room to customize items when you purchase them.

Inflatable models are the least expensive option, and you can easily purchase one off the internet from a reputable supplier for less than $1,000.

However, your costs can quickly go up due to the amount of maintenance you have to perform, the energy costs, and you’ll sacrifice comfort because you’re not able to customize them to your needs.


The bigger your hot tub is, the more you’ll have to pay for it upfront. Bigger hot tubs tend to offer more features, have more seating, and come designed to comfortably hold more people.

But, they also need stronger heaters and pumps with more water jets, so this tends to drive your pieces up very quickly for purchasing and maintaining them.


You can easily influence how much your hot tub costs by deciding what added features and accessories you want it to have, including steps, removable spa pillows, umbrellas, water care technology, wireless entertainment systems, and a remote control system.

Each of these items will drive up your costs, and a model that contains jets and more lighting features will cost more than a model that doesn’t have these features installed.

Hot Tub Maintenance Cost Factors

Along with the upfront costs, you have to worry about how much you’ll pay for ongoing maintenance.

For example, many hot tub dealers will offer a variety of service packages when you buy your hot tub, and they can include an in-home consultation, maintenance products, installation, and service visits above your warranty. Adding any of these service packages can increase the price.

If you pick your hot tub from a stadium parking lot sale or a big box store, you could get a lower price. However, the seller could be long gone by the time you need service or have questions or concerns.

So, it’s a good idea to pay a little more and buy from a reputable dealer that has a local store so you can get in touch with them if you need to.

Bottom Line

There are lower-cost hot tubs available for almost any budget, but your costs can start to stack up quickly depending on the tier you choose from how energy-efficient the model is, the size, body design, and any extra features you want.

Carefully consider what you want and build the hot tub of your dreams while staying inside of your budget.

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