Why are Hot Tubs so Expensive?

There’s no doubt that a hot tub is a major purchase. In fact, if you wanted a top of the line, inground system you could spend the equivalent of a brand new, small car. So, why are hot tubs so expensive? In reality you can spend as little or as much as you want on a hot tub. You can get a cheap, inflatable, model off the internet for less than a thousand dollars. Or you can go all out and spend tens of thousands of dollars. To give you a better idea of why hot tubs cost what they do, we’ve put together an article to help you learn how they’re priced.

Inflatable, Portable and Inground

The type of hot tub and the materials it’s made of will have a huge effect on how much your will cost. On the more economical end of the scale are inflatable hot tubs. And while the upfront cost of inflatable hot tubs might be low, because of a lack of insulation, water heating costs will generally be higher than with other types – especially if you live in an area with a colder climate. They also won’t last as long as portables or ingrounds.

Portable hot tubs might not have the most accurate name as they’re often large, bulky and difficult to move – especially when compared with inflatable hot tubs. But the name is to differentiate them from inground hot tubs which are definitely not easily moved. Portable hot tubs occupy the middle ground when it comes to price. Typically built with a tough, acrylic or fibreglass shell encased in a sturdy, insulated frame, portable hot tubs are much more durable than their inflatable counterparts.

Inground hot tubs are by far the most expensive of the bunch. Most of the expense has to do with installation which typically requires excavation, concrete work and landscaping. That said, inground hot tubs are generally completely customizable and can often add value to a property when properly done. They should also last much longer than inflatable or portable models.


The bigger your hot tub the more it will cost you. A two person model will hold much less water than an eight or 10 seater and means it’ll have fewer water jets and likely require a smaller pump and water heater. The additional materials and parts required for the larger hot tubs will inflate their price accordingly.


When it comes to add ons and accessories, the hot tub industry has really outdone itself. While a bare bones hot tub will get the job done, having things like a stereo or lighting system, Wi-Fi capabilities, a waterfall or even basic things such as an insulated cover or a set of stairs will increase the cost proportionately.


There’s a massively wide range of quality in the hot tub world. Fly-by-night companies and no name brands come and go all the time. And while you’ll usually pay less for these types of hot tubs, their quality most often leaves a lot to be desired. On the other hand there are well known brand names that have been making hot tubs for several decades. These companies live and die by their reputation and therefore need to produce quality, albeit more expensive, products. Whether the price of that quality is worth it really depends on what you’re looking for in a hot tub.

Add Ons

There are several types of add ons that can greatly affect the price of your hot tub. For those who are sensitive to chlorine, ozone generators or saltwater systems can make their experience much more comfortable – for a price. A self cleaning system will inflate the sticker price of the hot tub, but may actually save money over the long run. Whether these types of add ons are worth the added expense comes down to your budget and personal preferences.

Now that you’ve learned a bit more about the things that affect a hot tub’s price, download a free buyer’s guide today.

HT Guide

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