Wooden hot tub

Types of hot hubs

There are such a wide variety of hot tubs available on the market that it can become difficult to know which one is suitable for you. Today we are going to break them all down to help you understand the differences.

Main Types of Hot Tubs

Acrylic hot tub

Acrylic hot tub

One of the most common types of hot tub is the standard acrylic hot tub. This is most likely the tub you would first think of and they are available in a huge variety of sizes, colours, configurations and features.

Quite often acrylic hot tubs are also portable and so although you won’t necessarily want to be picking it up and moving it around the garden every week, it’s handy to know it can be moved if needed.

They are a great choice because of the flexibility that they offer. The only real downside to an acrylic hot tub is that as they are made of plastic and so they do not necessarily have a good aesthetic and therefore can be a bit of an eye sore for some.

Swim & exercise spa hot tub

Swim & exercise spa hot tub

If you like the idea of being able to swim or relax and have the budget to spend a little extra, a swim and exercise spa might be a great option for you.

These are handy hot tubs to have as it gives you various options for what you want to do and achieve.

However, even if budget is not a problem for you, it should be noted that these hot tubs are particularly large and so will take up a lot more space. Not only that but the operating costs are also significantly higher. This is because you effectively have to warm and run a miniature swimming pool. We highly recommend looking into how much this will affect your utility bills.

Wooden hot tub

Wooden hot tub

These tubs are the oldest version of a hot tub and although they fell out of fashion a few years back, they are now (like most things) getting a revival.

Although when originally designed, wooden hot tubs were more for personal use and were on the smaller and less comfortable side. Many improvements have happened over the years to what we now use today.

There are a huge variety of hot tubs on the market, with different features, shapes, sizes, colours and even different means for heating them! Some will require wood fire heaters, electric, gas or even a combination.

If this sounds like the hot tub for you, we recommend a company called Naked Tubs. Based in Huddersfield, Naked Tubs hand make Scandinavian wood fired hot tubs from spruce, larch as well as thermowood.

If you choose a wooden hot tub, to help maximise its life span and keep it looking its best for longer, we 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.

Quick to apply and fast drying, Aquadecks deeply saturates and stabilises wood from within. Doing so allows for minimal cracking, warping and other damage caused by UV rays and moisture.

The two biggest downsides to a wooden hot tub are the price tag and potentially the size and installation process (depending on which one you opt for).

In-ground hot tub

In-ground hot tub

A less common type of hot tub is the in-ground hot tub. They are usually built next to or as part of a swimming pool area. These types of hot tubs are rarely DIY jobs and so you will need to hire professionals or contractors to get them installed. This is likely the most expensive hot tub for this point alone. So, if you have a tight budget, this is unlikely to be the type of hot tub for you.

However, if you do have the cash and the amount of maintenance doesn’t bother you, in-ground hot tubs are great for their flexibility of customisation as well as comfort.

Inflatable hot tub

Inflatable hot tub

These are likely to be the most common choice for hot tubs and there are a few reasons for that;

  • They are quite a lot cheaper than either acrylic or wooden hot tubs
  • Much and easier and faster to install
  • Easy to deflate, move and inflate again

It should be noted that although these types of hot tubs have a lot going for them, they have one big downside. They can become damaged very easily! Although this does mean repairing is also quite quick and easy (think of how you would fix a bicycle tyre), tubs that are made of a stronger material will likely last you much longer and have easier maintenance. It also depends on how often you plan on using it as overuse combined with bad maintenance is a recipe for disaster.

You should also be aware that these types of hot tubs are usually on the smaller side and often don’t come with any features other than standard bubbles. This may well be all you are after and if that’s the case it could be a great option for you. However, there are a few brands out there that do offer more premium inflatable hot tubs and include ones such as large 6-8 seaters, bubble options and even LED lighting.

We always recommend you conduct lots of research from lots of companies to make sure you make the best decision for you and your needs.

Custom made

Custom made hot tub

You may have seen these hot tubs on Instagram or Pinterest. They’re usually made more for show and ‘wow factor’ and so unlikely to be used or wanted by most people.

They are beautiful and can create a wonderful oasis, but a lot of research should be conducted if this is something you prefer the look of in your garden.

Whilst this isn’t a fully comprehensive list, it does point out the most common hot tubs on the market today.

Don’t forget that there are a wide variety of accessories out there, so even if you do opt for a hot tub that is lacking in features, you may be able to do something about it still.


  • Steps for getting in and out of the hot tub
  • Shelter – so you can still use it even if it is raining (we are in the UK after all!)
  • Hot tub covers to keep the water clean
  • Hot tub cover lifters – to assist with the removal of the cover
  • Cushions and/or headrests
  • Aromatherapy diffusers
  • Filters and water purification

We hope you found this post on the different types of hot tubs 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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