Traditional wooden hot tub

Hot tub buying guide

Hot tubs are a great addition to any outdoor space. Whether you are looking for a basic inflatable or an ultimate luxury model with all the bells and whistles it can be a little daunting as to which is right for you.

This handy guide will explain the various types and features available to help you find the right hot tub for you.

Before you begin

There are a few things you need to consider before purchasing your hot tub

How much space is available?

First things first. You need to consider where you plan to put your hot tub, how much space you have available and what the access to the space is like. This could affect the hot tub you can use.

Most acrylic and wood hot tubs are delivered fully assembled, so you will need to have easy and wide enough access to where you want it to go.

Inflatable or portable hot tubs are assembled on-site and so this will not cause an issue.

Who will use the hot tub?

Hot tubs can be great for socialising so deciding on how many people will use the hot tub is something you will want to consider as it will depend on the size tub you will need. There are a wide variety of sizes available from compact 2 seaters all the way up to 15!

How will the hot tub be installed?

No matter which size or style you opt for, you will need to have an appropriate patio, deck or concrete base that is at least 15cm thick before installing your hot tub.

Types of hot tub

There are three different types of hot tubs available; acrylic/wooden, portable/inflatable and swim spas.


Traditional wooden hot tub

These are the types of tubs most people think of when they hear the words ‘hot tub’. They are available in a wide variety of sizes, colours and features.

Acrylic hot tubs are a great choice and can have a wide variety of features including massage type bubble settings and lighting. However, as they are made from plastic they do not have what most would describe as a natural aesthetic, causing them to stick out in the garden and take centre stage.

If you are after a natural and sustainable wooden type of hot tub, we recommend Naked Tubs. They are based in Huddersfield and create hand-made, Scandinavian wood-fired hot tubs and saunas from spruce, larch and thermowood.

Opting for a wooden hot tub is not only beautiful to look at but is also economical to heat so will save you money in the long run.

To maximise the life of a wooden hot tub and keep it looking newer for longer, we would recommend using a product such as Aquadecks. Aquadecks is a water-based wood finish that leaves a long-lasting, rich, matt finish for all types of wood.

It is ready to use, dries quickly, has a low odour and because Aquadecks saturates and stabilises wood from within, it has minimal cracking, warping and other damage caused by UV rays and moisture.


Inflatable hot tub

These are a common choice of hot tub for a few reasons:

  • They are cheaper than acrylic or wooden versions
  • Quicker and easier to install
  • Can easily be deflated and re-inflated

However, one of the most common reasons why people may veer away from these types is because they can be fairly easily damaged compared to acrylic or wooden hot tubs. Although they are usually made from a strong PVC type materials, they are obviously more susceptible to damage from sharp objects.

Although you can get a hot tub for a few hundred pounds, careful consideration should be exercised. Usually, these hot tubs are made from a less premium type of material and will likely not come with any features other than standard bubbles. This may be perfect if you do not plan to use it that often and perhaps only 2 people would use it at any one time.

However, due to some brands inferior quality, you may well end up having to pay more in maintenance than the tub itself. Or you may even have to buy a new one altogether if it is overused or not well maintained.

Having said that, there are many great brands out there that offer a huge range of inflatable hot tubs. Some can seat 6-8 people and have a variety of bubble options as well as LED lighting! We recommend you thoroughly research so you can make an informed decision.

Swim spas

Swim spa

The ultimate in hot tub luxury. A swim spa is a mix between a hot tub and a swimming pool! It is perfect if you’re into your fitness and so want a pool, but also want the luxury of a hot tub but do not have the space for both.

Of course, the main downside to having a swim spa is the sheer size of it and of course, the costs. You will require a space of around 17 foot long and be looking at spending £18,000+

However, if you have the money, space and the need, swim spas can be a fantastic addition to your garden.

These can also be available with wood cladding and likewise to the wooden hot tubs, you could use a product such as Aquadecks to protect it and keep it looking fewer for longer.


There are many features available on all types of hot tub. The most commonly sought are:

Jets – The amount and ability to increase or decrease the pressure

Seating – Hot tubs have a wide variety of seating available depending on the model. Be careful when looking at inflatable tubs as some do not have any seating at all.

Lighting – Some tubs are available with internal or external lighting and some have both!

Sound system – You can find hot tubs with a built-in sound system, especially on acrylic models. Some will even have retractable speakers!


To really make you feel comfortable in your hot tub, there are a wide variety of accessories available, such as;

  • Steps to assist with getting in and out of the hot tub
  • Shelter so you can still enjoy your experience even if it is raining or even snowing!
  • Covers to keep your water clean
  • Cover lifters to help assist with the removal of the heavy cover
  • Cushions and headrests for a more comfortable experience
  • Aromatherapy diffusers to aid in offering you a full relaxation experience
  • Filters and water purification to keep your water clean and safe

We hope you found this post helpful. If you have any further tips or advice, please feel free to leave them below. We love hearing from you!

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Owatrol Team
About Owatrol Team

Our team are ready and willing to support you with your requirements whether it is protecting your newly laid deck or renovating a luxury yacht, whatever the application Owatrol has the solution you are looking for.

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