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Why Are Hot Tubs So Expensive? The Shocking Truth!

Why Are Hot Tubs So Expensive
Written by Elizabeth Fincher
Last Update: August 10, 2023

There is very little thing as refreshing as enjoying the company of your loved ones while sitting in a hot tub, especially after a long, tiring day. I’m sure at some point you’ve also wanted to install one at your home. The problem is, hot tubs aren’t cheap.

The price of a hot tub depends on the type, quality, brand, and the number of features they provide.  Today we’ll break down the reasons why hot tubs are so expensive.

Why Are Hot Tubs So Expensive

Why Are Hot Tubs So Expensive

Type: In-ground vs portable vs inflatable

The cost of a hot tub mostly depends on the type.

Inflatable options are comparatively cheaper than other types since they lack many premium features.

Portable and in-ground units are expensive due to their heavy-duty establishments and a variety of features.

Design and construction

Unlike the inflatable hot tubs, in-ground and portable ones come with durable design and construction.

The sophisticated engineering and manufacturing cost a significant proportion of the total price. Manufacturing materials are also a factor for increasing the value.

Advanced features

Like other water recreational items, hot tubs can be expensive too, thanks to their many amazing features. Even the most basic model allows you to relax while soaking in hot water.

With the premium-quality or luxury ones, you will get more than just basic features. The more features a model offers, the costlier it will be.

Brand and quality

Products that come from a reputed brand are always expensive, and there is no exception in hot tubs.

If you go for a model from any famous brand, it will cost you more. Brand and quality are two factors that contribute to the price of hot tubs the most.

Low energy consumption

Some manufacturers put extra effort while designing and constructing the tubs to make them capable of running with less energy consumption. That extra effort adds to the price.

The tub with better electricity efficiency will be more expensive. You can also make your hot tub a bit more energy efficient with a hot tub cover.

Water system

The cost also varies depending on the type of water system. If you rely on a water system based on chlorine, the hot tub would be much cheaper.

On the other hand, saltwater or ozone systems will substantially increase the cost.

Hot tub size

Most hot tubs are designed to contain 2 to 3 persons. The larger ones have the capacity to hold more.

The size of a hot tub differs in price to a great extent. Larger models would be more costly than those of the smaller models. Larger tubs mean more effort, more material and that leads to more price.

Hot tub size chart

In-ground hot tubs are always large in size, which makes them expensive.


The hot tub installation cost varies based on the type, features, location, and size.

You usually need to spend more on in-ground tub installation compared to others. The standard hot tub installation is costly too.

The following factors affect the installation cost:

Location and base

In general, a hard base is required, on which the tub will be placed. A cement or concrete slab can be a great and affordable option.

You can construct a slab yourself, and it will cost you around $150.

If you hire a professional to do the job, that may cost you around $500 to $1500 or more, depending on the size of the slab.

Electrical Wiring

Purchasing the necessary components and hiring a professional electrician will cost you around $1000 to $2000.

Gazebo or Shelter

You better have a shelter or gazebo if you’re planning about installing your tub outdoors. A simple umbrella shelter costs around $500 to $700.

On the contrary, a customized wooden gazebo will set you back a couple of grands.

Overall, you have to pay around $500 to $1000 for above-ground standard tubs. For in-ground ones, the amount can reach up to $5000 or more.

Maintenance costs

Although it is mostly unnoticed, the maintenance cost adds a big amount to the cost of hot tubs. To properly maintain your tub you have to shock and sanitize (chlorine or bromine) your tub weekly. The alkalinity and pH level should be adjusted too. All these things cost around $150 to $250/year.

You can reduce the chemical-related cost by using Oh Yuk! like cleaners while cleaning as it cleans stuck biofilm, bacteria, and other types of contaminants from the pipe.

Another maintenance cost comes from filters. Hot tub filters need to be replaced every 1 to 2 years, which also cuts some money from your pocket.


Hot tubs are heavy and require 5 to 6 persons to move. That’s why the shipping charge is higher.

How Much Do Hot Tubs Actually Cost?

The price of hot tubs varies depending on some factors like type, brand, size, design, materials, construction, and so on.

Let’s have a look at the price chart below for an overall idea.

Type Price Remarks
Entry-level inflatable models Around $300 to $699 Comes with all the basic features. Some advanced features might be available.
Top-quality inflatable models Around $700 to $1000 or slightly more. Along with all the basic features, it includes many impressive features.
Basic level regular models Around $2500 to $4999 Much better than inflatable hot tubs. Comes with entry-level features of a regular model.
Value-priced regular models Around $5000 to $9999 Best for the value. Combined with both entry-level and many great features such as waterfall spouts, LED lights, more jets, better insulation, and so on.
Premium quality regular models Around $10,000 to $14,999 Includes most impressive features
Luxury regular models Around $15,000 to $20,000 or more Offers more than a premium quality model.
In-ground hot tubs Around $15,000 to $30,000 or more Offers the most advanced features and are customizable to your choice.

How Much Do Hot Tubs Cost for Electricity Bills?

The electricity cost depends on the following factors:

  • The unit price for every kWh (kilowatt-hour)
  • The time you keep your tub turned on
  • The temperature of the water you want to reach
  • The quality of insulated cover

Here are a few tips for reducing electric costs.

  • Use the thermostat circuit timer to heat water
  • Reducing the water temperature by a couple of degrees can save you the circuit timer cost
  • Having a hot tub blanket is another way to save electricity

How Long Can Hot Tubs Last?

A top-quality standard or in-ground hot tub can last up to 10- 15 years on average. The lifespan can be extended up to 20 years with effective care and maintenance.

The low-quality or inflatable ones will last around 2 to 3 years. With well-balanced maintenance, you can extend the life cycle but not more than 5 years.

We recommend replacing water every 3 to 6 months. Additionally, using the appropriate cleaning agent is important.

Do Hot Tubs Increase Home Value While Selling?

Although inflatable hot tubs are just like other furniture, a high-quality in-ground or general hot tub can be an asset when you sell your home.

The standard hot tub can be repositioned though. An inground one will surely create value when you sell your house.

It depends on the preference of buyers who will purchase your house. If he does like the hot tub, the price of your home will increase significantly.

No matter if he does like it or not, you can demand more if you own an expensive fix-positioned tub.

Some common hot tub buying mistakes?

  • Everyone puts a lot of emphasis on the initial buying cost without considering how a low-quality tub can increase your cost over its runtime.
  • Not counting installation cost, which may add $1000-$2000 to your actual buying cost.
  • Not being able to fix your actual hot tub buying purpose, which results in buying the wrong type of tub.
  • Not considering the place of the hot tub beforehand and buying the wrong size or unfitting style of the tub.
  • Maintenance cost remains unnoticed and ignorance to have a better filtration system.
  • Ignoring the size, number, and placement of the hot tub jets.
  • Not considering buying from a proper dealer. Poor after-sale service can change the overall experience into a bitter one.

About the author

Elizabeth Fincher

Elizabeth started her career as an interior design artist at a multinational interior design farm. She completed her masters degree from the University of North Texas back in 2010. She was also a Spelling Bee runner-up when she was 14. She took interest in bathroom interior designing after joining her first job. Later she started her own firm as an independent artist. She’s been one of the founding members of Toiletsguide. She examines the design and ergonomics of the units we review and directs the interior decoration team of our in-house research facility. Elizabeth plays piano masterfully and always finds time to entertain us in between our busy schedules.

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