The Difference Between A Hot Tub And A Spa

Hot tubs and spas are often confused for each other. This is mainly because they have several similar features. For instance, both hot tubs and spas have built-in jets that provide comfort, warmth, relaxation, and a massaging effect on the user. The two products are also used for therapeutic and relaxation purposes. However, there are clear differences between hot tubs and spas (hot tubs Vs. spas), which will be discussed in this post.

What is a hot tub?

A hot tub is a large tub with massage jets strategically placed for massage, relaxation, therapeutic, and pleasure purposes. Hot tubs are usually fully self-contained. All hot tub plumbings and electrical control systems are built within a cabinet known as the hot tub cabinet. The cabinet also hosts several other components of the vessel. For this reason, when installing or bringing a hot tub home, you do not have to hire a plumber or do any external plumbing. Most hot tubs are also designed with a hose that allows you to drain them at any time. It is also important to mention that hot tubs are usually placed above the ground. This element gives you the freedom to move them to different locations in your home at any time.

Most hot tub brands include the ability to maintain or hold a set temperature in their product design. Technological advancements have also made it possible for users to set selected temperatures and heat the water before they get it. Most of the time, the technology works so that you do not have to wait for the water to heat up before getting in.

What is a spa?

A spa is a body of water built into the ground. It is often constructed as an extension of a pool. Other times, it is built adjacent to the swimming pool. Spas are common at hotels and gyms. These devices usually have a seat and jets built in their perimeter. Most of the time, spas are custom-made. This means that you cannot purchase a spa and install it into the ground. The construction of spas usually requires a permit from the local authority. The process also has to be done by professional contractors.

What is the difference?

  • The primary differentiating factor between a hot tub and a spa is that a hot tub is constructed or installed above the ground, and a spa is constructed into the ground. Sometimes, hot tubs are referred to as portable spas.
  • Another difference is that hot tubs can be purchased from stores while spas are usually custom made
  • Additionally, hot tubs are more advanced in technology than spas. For this reason, spas usually take longer to heat up than hot tubs.
  • Spas are costlier than hot tubs. For this reason, spas are common at hotels and gyms, while hot tubs are common in homes.


The terms spa and hot tub are often used interchangeably. The content above explains the differences between the two vessels. However, you can choose to get either of the two for your house. This is because they function in the same way and offer similar benefits.