Is a hot tub and a spa the same thing?

Don’t you wish you had a hot tub right about now? It would be great to get home from  a long day at work, grab a bite to eat, and then slip out back to enjoy your hot tub. The  relaxing heat, the powerful jets, the luxurious space, and…wait, are we describing a  hot tub or a spa? As it turns out, the terms are used almost interchangeably, and it can  be confusing when trying to decide which you have (or want for your home). So, are a  hot tub and spa the same thing, or are they, in fact, different? Let’s look at each before  answering that question. 

Technically, what is a hot tub? 

A hot tub is a heated tub of water that sits outside of your home. It’s smaller than a spa  and can be portable or semi-permanent. Indeed, you’ll often find portable blow-up hot  tubs at your local retail stores. They require less power, and can sometimes function  using your standard outside outlet. 

So then technically, what is a spa? 

A spa must include more high-end features to officially be called such. Those include  more powerful jets, larger seating options, and are considered to be a permanent  fixture. In other words, once you’ve installed your spa, it stays there — much like a  pool. And also like a pool, a spa can include both in-ground and above-ground  options. A spa requires more power than a hot tub due to its heating capabilities and  jets.  

So are a hot tub and a spa the same thing? 

Technically speaking, no they’re not! It’s as simple as that. A spa is a more luxurious  version of a hot tub, has a permanent installation, and has more features. 

Why are the terms used interchangeably? 

It’s a fair question to ask. After all, both are essentially tubs of water that sit outside of  your home where you can soak and relax. 

The interchange of terminology is simply a byproduct of human conversation. It’s like  how everyone refers to tissue as a Kleenex or all tablet computers as iPads. Both are  their own thing, yet get lumped together with their similar brethren. 

Which should I buy: a hot tub or a spa? 

Ah, here comes the tough question! Ultimately, which you choose to buy between a hot  tub and a spa will depend on a few things, such as your: 

• Budget 

• Goals 

• Space 

And most importantly, your power situation. A basic hot tub may be able to run off of  your standard outlet, though that’s far from the safest option. A better solution might  be to dedicate space for it; then again, if you’re tearing it down each winter, perhaps 

not. Of course, a spa will require the professional assistance of a residential electrician,  especially if you also are planning for (or already have) a pool on your property as well. 

Let us know if you’d like to learn more about how we can help with either type of setup  and installation. Contact us or give us a call at (614) 660-5879.

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