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Large hot tub embedded in the backyard terrace. A sunny summer's day in the shelter of a green garden. Everyday luxury and relaxation in your own backyard. Spa complex, vacation and traveling concept.

How Much Does a Hot Tub Cost? (2024 Guide)

Typical price range: $2,000 – $35,000

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Default Author Icon Written by Angela Bunt Updated 01/11/2024

Installing a hot tub can bring a splash of luxury to your outdoor space, making your home feel a little more like a resort. However, choosing, installing, maintaining, and purchasing one is a significant commitment for any homeowner.

Buying a hot tub is an investment, but costs can vary widely. Homeowners may pay as little as $2,000 or up to $35,000 depending on materials, installation, and other features. This guide breaks down the factors that impact hot tub costs and provides saving tips.

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In-ground hot tubs typically cost between $15,000 and $20,000

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Average Hot Tub Cost

The cost of a new hot tub depends on several factors, such as the unit’s size, material, and brand. You’ll also need to think about installation costs. An in-ground hot tub costs more than one placed on a spa pad or deck, and you may need to install plumbing or electrical at the site for the tub to function. 

Here are the most common factors that affect hot tub costs.

  • Materials: Hot tub shells come in various materials, including acrylic, plastic, and wood. Acrylic shell hot tubs are the most common but the most expensive. These units are typically insulated, making them more energy-efficient and durable. Wood hot tubs last a long time but require more maintenance. Rotomolded plastic tubs are the least expensive, but they’re not well insulated, affecting their durability and long-term operating costs.
  • Size: The larger the tub, the more expensive it is. A two-person tub might cost $2,000, while a 10-person one can cost $20,000. A bigger spa pad may also be required to install a larger above-ground hot tub, increasing installation costs. 
  • Type: Inflatable and portable hot tubs are more affordable than permanent units. Features such as jets and saltwater can also add to your total cost.

Cost by Cabinet Materials

The exterior part of a hot tub is called the cabinet. This can be made of various materials, such as brick, faux stone, synthetic wood, and wood. Here’s a breakdown of hot tub cost by cabinet material:

Cabinet MaterialCost

Synthetic wood

$2,000–$9,000

Wood

$3,000–$10,000

Brick

$5,000–$12,000

Faux stone

$5,000–$12,000

Faux wood cabinets are more durable and require less maintenance than real wood, but they have very little insulating property, or R-value. A low R-value means low energy efficiency, usually resulting in higher electricity bills to run the tub. Real wood has a higher R-value but can require a lot of maintenance. It must be treated with wood glaze, supplement oil, and wax twice per year. 

Faux stone and brick are both long-lasting, durable, and aesthetically pleasing. The mortar used for these materials is susceptible to water, which may require more regular maintenance and repair. However, the maintenance is less extensive and time-consuming than wood options.

Cost by Size

The bigger the hot tub, the higher the cost. Here’s what you can expect to pay by size:

SizeCost

2–3 people

$2,000–$7,000

4–5 people

$2,000–$12,000

6–7 people

$3,000–$15,000

8–10 people

$5,000–$20,000

Cost by Type

Inflatable hot tubs are inexpensive above-ground alternatives. They’re lightweight, work with a standard 110-volt U.S. household socket, and cost as little as $300. Portable (or plug-in-play) hot tubs are made with harder materials but aren’t as movable. These tubs start around $600. 

Entry-level, hard-sided hot tubs begin at $2,000. Jets increase the price to the $4,000 range. Using saltwater instead of chemical additives requires a special pump and filtration, adding a few hundred dollars to your base price.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for the most common hot tub types.

TypeCost

Inflatable

$300–$1,500

Above-ground

$400–$35,000

Portable

$2,000–$6,000

Saltwater

$2,200–$16,700

Jetted

$4,000–$16,000

In-ground

$15,000–$20,000


Factors Affecting Cost

The price range for a hot tub can vary widely between models, but what you pay will also be determined by factors such as:

  • Above-ground or in-ground installation
  • Brand
  • Electricity use
  • Indoor vs. outdoor location
  • Maintenance
  • Any upgrades or add-ons you choose

Here’s a breakdown of these factors that affect hot tub costs.

Above-ground vs. In-ground

Whether you choose an above-ground or in-ground hot tub significantly impacts price. Above-ground spas range from $400–$20,000, while in-ground hot tubs begin at $8,000. Installation cost is one of the biggest differences between the two. 

Above-ground Hot Tubs

Installation for above-ground hot tubs can cost $3,000–$16,000. Some options, such as an inflatable plug-and-play hot tub, are easy to install yourself. Others require hiring installation technicians. Installing extra plumbing or electricity will also increase cost and should be performed by professionals. Above-ground hot tubs typically cost around $25 to $35 per month to run.

In-ground Hot Tubs

In-ground hot tub installation usually requires excavation, heavy equipment, and trained laborers, making it more expensive. Installation starts at around $16,000 and increases from there. In-ground hot tubs are also more expensive to run, usually costing $30–$100 per month.

Hot Tub Brands

Selecting a luxury hot tub will naturally increase the price. Premium hot tubs from brands such as Jacuzzi, Caldera Spas, and Hot Spring Spas are the most costly. You can choose a smaller tub from a brand name to reduce costs, or consider a less-known brand if you’re set on a large tub.

Electricity Use

A hot tub can add $50–$100 per month to your electrical bill, depending on the model, size, usage, and climate. Luxury hot tubs are better insulated and more energy-efficient than lower-priced models. If reducing energy costs is important to you, you’ll need to invest in a premium hot tub for $15,000 or more.

Depending on your hot tub’s voltage, you may also need to change your electric outlet. A licensed electrician is required to add or upgrade a specialty outlet, increasing total project costs.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Opting for an indoor or outdoor hot tub can also affect price, and installation prices for outdoor tubs are a little more affordable.

Indoor Hot Tubs

Indoor hot tubs are generally installed as a whirlpool-type tub. These tubs are heavy; you may need to install additional floor support to compensate for the weight. You may also want to consider adding ventilation to manage the extra moisture. Not doing so could result in unwanted and expensive moisture problems down the road. Due to the added floor support and ventilation, installing indoor hot tubs is more expensive than outdoor tubs.

Outdoor Hot Tubs

Outdoor hot tubs are also heavy and require support. You don’t want to place them on bare ground or your tub may sink into the dirt. You’ll need some sort of foundation to avoid this, whether it’s a concrete slab, pavers, or decking. Outdoor installations are cheaper, but the hot tub’s life span is reduced due to exposure to the elements. 

Maintenance

You’ll need to maintain your hot tub for an average cost of $500–$1,000 annually. This accounts for cleaning supplies and chemicals. Costs can fluctuate depending on how often you use your hot tub and how well you maintain it.

Here’s what hot tub maintenance involves:

  • Airing out the cover: Remove your hot tub cover and let it air out at least once per month to give it some air. Many experts recommend cleaning the cover with a sponge and mild dish soap to disinfect it.
  • Cleaning the filter: The filter should be cleaned once or twice per month. This will help to keep the motor running properly and your spa free of debris. 
  • Cleaning the tub’s interior: Clean the tub every three to four months. Remove the protective covering and allow it to air out a couple times a week. 
  • Draining and refilling: You should drain and refill your hot tub every three to four months. Otherwise, the chemicals used in the water can build up, deteriorating your hot tub’s lining. 
  • Testing and maintaining chemicals: Ensure that you check the chemicals used for the water two to four times per week. Use a test strip to ensure you have the right levels of alkalinity, calcium, pH, and sanitizer. 

You can hire a company to maintain your hot tub if you don’t have time to keep up this schedule or are heading out of town for a while. This will add $50–$300 to your monthly costs.

Upgrades and Add-ons

There are limitless upgrades and add-ons to customize your hot tub. Aesthetic features such as specialty decking, waterfalls, and lighting can add to your tub’s ambiance. You can also add features such as Bluetooth sound systems, smart speakers, and hot tub TVs. This can add anywhere from $500–$10,000 depending on the customization level.


Types of Hot Tubs

Hot tub costs vary by type, from a more affordable inflatable hot tub to a high-end, fully customized in-ground option. Installation costs also vary depending on your selected model. We’ve listed some of the most common hot tub types below.

  • Above-ground: Above-ground hot tubs can be affordable but can quickly increase in cost if you choose a high-quality, custom model. These tubs require a foundation for installation, so consider that when making your budget.
  • In-ground: These tubs cost more than above-ground hot tubs simply because of the installation process. You can customize the features as you would with an above-ground hot tub, but you’ll need to pay someone to excavate the site as well as run plumbing and electricity.
  • Inflatable: Inflatable hot tubs are the least expensive, but they have some downsides. They’re known for being less comfortable and only have a life span of about five years.
  • Jetted: Jetted tubs are perfect for people seeking hydrotherapy. These tubs can have anywhere from 15–50 powerful jets that help ease soreness and muscle tension. 
  • Portable: These tubs are also less expensive and can be moved from place to place. They come in a wide range of materials and seating arrangements.
  • Saltwater: A saltwater hot tub is a nice option for those looking to avoid harsh chemicals. However, they require specialty water care systems.

Professional vs. DIY

Installing a hot tub is a big job. Not only is it heavy and cumbersome, but it can also require plumbing and electrical connections.

Professional Hot Tub Installation

It’s best to hire a professional for hot tub installation. They’ll have the proper equipment and know-how and be able to ensure any electrical wiring is up to code. Your local hot tub dealer can typically recommend an installer.

DIY Hot Tub Installation

You may think that do-it-yourself (DIY) installation is a good way to save money, but unless you’re using an inflatable hot tub, this isn’t recommended. Incorrect wiring could cause your system to short-circuit, spark a fire, or cause a number of other dangerous outcomes. Installing your hot tub incorrectly could also void any warranty coverage you may have.


Signs That You Need To Repair a Hot Tub

Cleaning and maintaining your hot tub is crucial to its longevity. You may encounter problems if you fall off-schedule.

Here are some telltale signs that you need to repair your hot tub.

  • Bad smelling water: Chemical smell is normal, but a rotten smell indicates that the water is stagnant and not circulating properly. This is usually a problem within the filtration system.
  • Cold water with poor circulation: Cold water in a hot tub is a sure sign of a problem. It’s most often due to a control panel issue.
  • Leaks: Leaks can sometimes be hard to find, but it’s possible to fix them on your own.
  • Water discoloration: Water can turn green from algae, or even sometimes black. You can try balancing the chemicals, but a pipe may be corroded if that doesn’t fix your problem.

Life Expectancy of Hot Tubs

Hot tubs last anywhere from 5 to 20 years, depending on the frequency of use and quality of the hot tub. Keeping your hot tub well-maintained allows it to remain in use as long as possible. Primary ways you can shorten your hot tub’s life expectancy include neglecting to clean it, forgetting to air out the cover, and skipping regular cleanings.


How To Save on Hot Tub Costs

There are many ways to keep your hot tub costs low. Here are some ideas to save money.

  • Buy a smaller hot tub: The hot tub itself costs more than installation or ongoing maintenance. Choose a smaller tub at a lower price to reduce your overall project budget. If you’re concerned about the size, visit a showroom and check it out in person. You may want a premium hot tub that sits eight people but a tub half the size can work just as well.
  • Get multiple estimates: Compare at least three different hot tub retailers to find the best price. Compare the hot tub size, features, and energy efficiency. Many hot tub retailers mark-up their prices as high as 40%, so there’s room to negotiate. Research the estimated purchase price for your desired hot tub and have a predetermined price range in mind.
  • Opt out of customizations: You can save money by reducing the number of customized features. Limit jet counts, water features, and other unnecessary add-ons. Homeowners can also save by considering lesser-known brands.
  • Look for end-of-season sales: The best time to shop for hot tubs is during end-of-season sales in late summer. During the fall, retailers will drop prices on quality hot tubs to move inventory. Homeowners should consider shopping in winter to find low prices for discontinued hot tub models.

Our Conclusion

Hot tubs can be a great place to relax and unwind, but also a major commitment in terms of time, installation, and upkeep. Homeowners should be sure to ue a professional installer and to maintain their hot tub regularly in order to get the most out of this investment. However, with so many different options, you’re sure to find a hot tub that fits your budget.


FAQs About Hot Tub Costs

What are the pros and cons of owning a hot tub?

A hot tub provides a great place to unwind that can be enjoyed for most of the year. However, hot tubs can be expensive and require regular maintenance.

Is it expensive to maintain a hot tub?

Maintaining a hot tub generally costs $500–$1,000 annually. However, falling behind schedule on maintenance can cause problems that result in more expensive repairs.

How much does it cost to operate hot tubs?

A modern and well-insulated hot tub costs about $20–$40 in electricity each month. Older models may be less energy-efficient and therefore more expensive.

What is the typical cost of a hot tub?

A typical hot tub that seats four people costs between $2,000 and $8,000. Expect to pay more or less based on the materials and customization level.

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