When shopping for a hot tub to install at your home or business, it pays to do thorough research before making this major investment.
While many leading manufacturers produce quality hot tubs with excellent features, warranties, and service, unfortunately, the market also has its share of inferior brands selling disappointing products.
By learning warning signs of poorly made tubs prone to problems, you can avoid buyer’s remorse and years of hassles. This article highlights over ten hot tub brands to avoid based on actual customer experiences and expert evaluations.
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What red flags help you identify hot tub brands to avoid?
What hot tub brands to avoid? Reputable hot tub brands offer advanced features and reliably deliver the promised experience. When assessing brands, look for positive customer reviews, comprehensive service contracts and warranties, high-quality insulation, and responsive customer service.
Brands lacking these issues:
- A large number of negative reviews suggests that customers are dissatisfied with the brand’s products or services.
- The lack of a service agreement means that owners will be responsible for the full cost of repairs.
- The absence of positive feedback suggests that there may be underlying problems with the brand’s products or services.
- Limited warranties transfer the cost of repairs to owners.
- Poor insulation reduces the lifespan of the product.
- Unresponsive customer service leaves issues unresolved.
While not definitive, these factors indicate an unreliable brand unable to match claims with reality.
10 worst hot tub brands to avoid
Buying a hot tub is a big investment. You want to make sure you’re getting a product that will last and be worth your money. Here are 10 worst hot tub brands to avoid so you can make an informed decision.
|1. Life Spas||2.8|
|2. Hot Spring Spas||2.5|
|3. Jacuzzi Hot Tubs||3.5|
|4. Caldera Spas||3.5|
|5. Sundance Spas||3.9|
|6. Futura Spas||2.5|
|8. Coleman and Bestway||2.7|
|10. Dimension One Spa||3.2|
1. Life Spas
Life Spas, a California-based company, claims to be a leading hot tub brand. However, analysis of consumer reviews shows consistent issues regarding quality, performance, and customer service.
Almost half of customers have complained about inadequate water heaters prone to overheating. Reviews on sites like Yelp and Consumer Affairs average only 2.5-2.8 stars out of 5.
Many reports ignored complaints and common problems like
- False advertising
- Extremely late deliveries
- Improper functioning, and use of cheap, poor quality materials.
2. Hot Spring Spas
Another California hot tub maker, Hot Spring Spas earns higher quality ratings but shares poor customer service feedback with Life Spas. Despite decent energy-efficiency and performance, their 3.5-star consumer rating mainly reflects hot tub quality, not support.
Like Life Spas, many customers report:
- Unresolved warranty issues
- Limited energy options
- Defective components
- Questionable materials.
- Faulty heaters
3. Jacuzzi Hot Tubs
Jacuzzi hot tub is a well-known and generally top-rated brand for energy-efficient performance, but averages 3.5 consumer rating stars due to subpar customer service. Reviews reveal a common theme of terrible after-sales support.
- Warranty Issues: Failure to repair or replace damaged parts still under warranty in a timely manner.
- Product Issues: Improperly working heaters, low quality materials leading to defective components, limited energy efficiency configuration options
4. Caldera Spas
While a popular hot tub company, Caldera Spas suffers from very poor customer service and products necessitating extremely high maintenance and frequent repairs.
Consumers report issues like
- Frequent maintenance required
- Unresponsive customer service
5. Sundance Spas
Selling hot tubs since 1979, Sundance Spas is known for quality and durable outer construction able to withstand harsh environments. They offer several model lines targeting different markets. Average customer rating is 3.9/5 stars, though older tubs were rated lower. Nevertheless, these remain superior to newer models by competitors.
- Price: Sundance Spas hot tubs can be expensive.
- Maintenance: Sundance Spas hot tubs require regular maintenance.
6. Futura Spas
Futura Spas hot tubs are made with high-quality materials, including acrylic shells, stainless steel jets, and fiberglass insulation. The company offers a variety of features and options, including ozone generators, waterfall jets, and chromotherapy lighting.
- Unfulfilled claims
- Weak filtration
- Low-quality materials
- Confusing controls
- Sharp plastic edges
Scoring extremely low on every customer satisfaction metric, Thermospa brand hot tub brands to avoid in 2017 pose many problems.
- No local dealer support network
- Long shipping times
8. Coleman and Bestway
Coleman and Bestway inflatable hot tub brands to avoid Canada consistently underperform expectations. Slow water heating and weak jets characterize their low-quality builds.
Coleman and Bestway is built with low-quality materials
- Questionable materials
- Faster component degradation
- Performance vs. claims
Aleko is a leading manufacturer of inflatable hot tubs, saunas, and other outdoor living products. The company was founded in 2006 and is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Aleko’s hot tubs are known for their affordable prices, easy setup, and comfortable design.
- Temperature regulation issues
- Inoperable units
- Short warranty: The three-month warranty is inadequate for equipment that is prone to breakage.
- Inflation issues: The uneven inflation of the product causes aesthetic problems.
- Poor customer service: Customer service support often falls short of expectations.
10. Dimension One Spa
Seeking feedback on Dimension One’s website yields no reviews, but third-party consumer sites average them at a mediocre 3.2 stars.
Dimension One Spa has short lifespan
- Early breakdowns: Problems start appearing very early in the hot tub’s lifespan.
- Lack of delivery instructions: Customers are not provided with any delivery instructions, leading to confusion and frustration.
- Design flaws: The hot tubs have fundamental design flaws that cause pumps, hoses, and fittings to degrade and fail quickly.
7 most reliable hot tub brands
When it comes to buying a hot tub, reliability is key. You want a tub that will last for years and provide you with years of enjoyment. Here are seven of the most reliable hot tub brands on the market.
1. Master Spa (Healthy Living Series)
Master Spa hot tubs offer the best value, emphasizing customization. They integrate sanitation systems and wireless audio connectivity.
The therapeutic Healthy Living series features ergonomic jetted seating targeting pressure points. Its biomechanical and surround sound systems provide full-body relaxation.
- High-quality construction: Many reviewers praise the durability and longevity of Master Spas hot tubs. They appreciate the use of high-quality materials and construction techniques.
- Effective hydrotherapy: Master Spas are known for their powerful jets and targeted therapy options. Users often report relief from pain, stress, and muscle soreness after using their Master Spa hot tubs.
- Ease of use: Master Spas are generally considered to be user-friendly, with intuitive controls and easy-to-maintain systems.
Overall rating: 4.0 out of 5
2. Bullfrog Spa (R Series)
This series is the most energy-efficient model of Bullfrog Spa. They come in 2-8 capacity hot tubs with lots of customization options.
The main selling point of these models would be their JetPack Therapy System featuring 18 types of massage therapy and 16 seat back options for each of the hot tub seats.
Aside from this, they are well-rated and have a good reputation for their customer service. They also come in mid-range prices and a lot of upgrades that you can choose from in between.
The Bullfrog Spa (R Series) is an amazing hot tub. It is so relaxing and therapeutic. I love the variety of jets and the different seating options. I also appreciate how easy it is to clean and maintain. I would definitely recommend this hot tub to anyone looking for a high-quality product.
Overall rating: 4.2 out of 5
3. Essential Hot Tubs (67-Jet Syracuse Hot Tub)
Major consumer sites give Essential’s 67-jet model a 4.7-star average rating for unparalleled comfort. Strategically angled backrests and jets target sore areas.
An automated heating controller reduces energy waste. The full-foam insulation retains heat efficiently as well.
- Spacious and comfortable: The Syracuse Hot Tub can seat up to 5-6 people and has a variety of seating options, including two captain’s chairs and a lounger.
- Powerful jets: The Syracuse Hot Tub has 67 jets, including 51 stainless steel two-tone adjustable jets and 16 stainless steel jets.
- Energy efficient: The Syracuse Hot Tub is a 240V hot tub that uses a 4kW Balboa all-season stainless steel heater to ensure maximum heating during the coldest winter nights.
- Easy to maintain: The Syracuse Hot Tub has a no maintenance faux wood exterior and a heavy-duty insulated cover with steps for easy walk-in convenience.
Overall rating: 3.4 out of 5
4. AquaRest Spa (Premium 300)
AquaRest’s Premium 300 two-person hot tub earns recognition for squeezing 20 high-powered jets into a compact yet indestructible frame. LED mood lighting and smooth portability for location changes complement its therapeutic value.
- Affordable: The AquaRest Spa (Premium 300) is one of the more affordable hot tubs on the market, making it a good option for budget-minded buyers.
- Easy to use: The AquaRest Spa (Premium 300) is a plug-and-play hot tub, meaning that it does not require any professional installation. It also has easy-to-use controls.
- Therapeutic benefits: The AquaRest Spa (Premium 300) has 20 stainless steel hydrotherapy jets that provide a variety of therapeutic benefits, such as pain relief, stress reduction, and improved circulation.
Overall rating: 3.6 out of 5
5. Hot Spring (Highlife Envoy)
The Highlife Envoy from Hot Spring provides one of the best saltwater hot tub experiences. Its integrated Fresh Water salt system utilizes a titanium cartridge to automatically adjust water salinity, eliminating harsh chemicals.
Fifteen jets offer multiple massage configurations across the deep contoured seats for up to six bathers. An easy-to-use color touchscreen grants personalized temperature and settings control.
- Comfortable: The Hot Spring (Highlife Envoy) has a variety of seating options, including a captain’s chair and a lounger, and the jets are powerful and adjustable.
- Durable: The Hot Spring (Highlife Envoy) is made with high-quality materials and is built to last.
- Therapeutic: The Hot Spring (Highlife Envoy) has 39 jets that provide a variety of therapeutic benefits, such as pain relief, stress reduction, and improved circulation.
- Energy efficient: The Hot Spring (Highlife Envoy) has a 2-hp pump and a 4kW heater, which means that it is energy efficient and can heat up quickly.
- Easy to use: The Hot Spring (Highlife Envoy) has easy-to-use controls and a touchscreen display.
Overall rating: 4 out of 5
6. Marquis Spas
Marquis Spas makes a budget-friendly brand to consider thanks to quality construction and constant clean technologies keeping water fresh. Their hot tubs typically come with 1-5 year warranties for added peace of mind.
Owners can install customized lighting, audio systems, and more while praising the responsive customer service compared to inferior brands.
- Durable: Marquis Spas hot tubs are made with high-quality materials and are built to last.
- Quality: Marquis Spas hot tubs are known for their high quality craftsmanship and attention to detail.
- Therapeutic: Marquis Spas hot tubs have a variety of jets that provide a variety of therapeutic benefits, such as pain relief, stress reduction, and improved circulation.
- Energy efficient: Marquis Spas hot tubs are energy efficient and have a number of features that help to reduce energy consumption.
- Easy to use: Marquis Spas hot tubs have easy-to-use controls and a touchscreen display.
Overall rating: 4.4 out of 5
7. Nordic Hot Tub
Founded in 1995, Nordic is among the world’s most renowned hot tub manufacturers, highly regarded for affordable pricing despite upscale therapeutic design on par with far pricier brands.
Every Nordic hot tub incorporates the signature Dual Therapy System with adjustable jets targeted along the backs and seats for unparalleled relaxation through increased circulation. From portable home models to large-scale community installations, owners praise these tubs for delivering luxurious experiences.
- Durable: Nordic Hot Tubs are made with high-quality materials and are built to last.
- Quality: Nordic Hot Tubs are known for their high quality craftsmanship and attention to detail.
- Therapeutic: Nordic Hot Tubs have a variety of jets that provide a variety of therapeutic benefits, such as pain relief, stress reduction, and improved circulation.
- Energy efficient: Nordic Hot Tubs are energy efficient and have a number of features that help to reduce energy consumption.
- Easy to use: Nordic Hot Tubs have easy-to-use controls and a touchscreen display.
Overall rating: 5 out of 5
What should I look for when buying a hot tub?
When purchasing a hot tub, there are many factors to consider, including size, features, and budget. Here are the top 8 things you should look for when buying a hot tub:
- Types: Consider portable acrylic or polyethylene versus concrete in-ground for easier installation and upgrades.
- Size: Measure space and regular users to determine capacity, which informs power needs.
- Features: Prioritize entertainment systems, lighting, advanced water purification, high filtration, etc.
- Jet Count: Higher jet counts don’t necessarily mean better massage. Evaluate configurations.
- Pumps: Right-size pump horsepower to jet counts for proper functionality.
- Construction: Choose energy efficient builds to save long-term via durability and lower electrical costs.
- Warranties: Avoid limited coverage from unresponsive brands.
- Costs: Quality costs more upfront but saves money over time through reduced maintenance and repairs.
Here are some of the worst hot tub brands to avoid, based on consumer reviews and expert opinions:
How much is a brand-new hot tub?
The price of a brand-new hot tub varies depending on its type, size, and features. Here’s a breakdown of the cost ranges:
- Entry Level: $3,000 – $7,000
- Best Value: $6,000 – $9,000
- Premium Range: $9,000 – $12,000
- Luxury Range: $12,000 and above
While the upfront cost may seem daunting, consider the long-term value and enjoyment a hot tub can provide, along with its therapeutic benefits.
When is the best time to buy a hot tub?
According to Consumer Reports, the ideal times to purchase a hot tub are during promotional sales two weeks before and after major holidays, such as Labor Day and Memorial Day. Local dealerships often offer significant discounts during state fairs, so keep an eye out for those opportunities.
What temperature should I keep my hot tub in when not in use?
If you don’t plan to use your hot tub for an extended period, maintain it at a temperature of 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit). Continuously turning it on and off after each use can lead to increased energy consumption. 30 degrees Celsius is the optimal temperature for an idle hot tub, preventing excessive energy consumption due to extreme temperatures.
How much energy does a hot tub use per run?
The average energy consumption of a hot tub using a 120V heater is around 3,000 watts for at least two hours of usage. Larger heaters with higher wattage ratings can consume up to 7,500 watts. Regarding energy costs, Consumer Affairs notes that energy-efficient hot tubs and well-maintained models can operate for as low as $1.50 per day.
How high maintenance are hot tubs?
According to user experiences and popular reviews, hot tubs typically require 12 hours of maintenance checks per inspection. Additionally, annual filter replacements cost around $175. Moreover, consider the cost of chemicals for the purification system, which averages around $230.
How long do hot tubs last?
Cheaper hot tubs may have a lifespan of only five years, emphasizing the importance of investing in high-quality models that can last from 10 to 25 years. Proper maintenance is crucial to maximize the lifespan of any hot tub. Additionally, remember to drain and refill your hot tub every three months.
In conclusion, not all hot tub manufacturers live up to their marketing claims in real-world performance and durability. Brands described here like Life Spas, Dimension One, Thermospa, and several others usually fail to satisfy most owners according to extensive negative feedback across review sites, forums, and owner communities.
Weigh these worst-rated hot tub brands to avoid as you compare models and prices. Opting for quality construction, generous warranties, and responsive customer service serves your interests best over time. Taking a bit more time upfront to research and select a tub from a reputable brand will pay off for many years of relaxing and trouble-free hot tub enjoyment.
- Top 132 Hot Spring Spas Reviews From Homeowners | ConsumerAffairs®. (2023, November 26). ConsumerAffairs. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/homeowners/hot-spring-spas.html