UK Hot Tub Buying Guide: 13 Things to Consider

If you’re after the perfect addition to your home and want to enjoy tranquil moments of relaxation every day, then a hot tub might be just what you need. That said, before investing in one, there are quite a few things to consider. From design preferences, available features, cost considerations and much more – making the right choice is essential.

To help make sure that all your bases are covered when choosing which hot tub to buy, we have put together this comprehensive guide dedicated solely to UK buyers so you can make an informed purchase decision. Discover our top 13 tips for buying a hot tub in the UK.

1. History and Types of Hot Tubs

Hot tubs first originated in Japan centuries ago and were originally called “ofuro”. The ofuro was a basic, small wooden bath used for bathing. In the 1970s, Californian Roy Jacuzzi (yes, the inventor of the popular hot tub brand: Jacuzzi) developed a way to infuse jets into the design, creating an early version of the modern-day hot tub we know today. This invention was so popular that it quickly spread across the United States, becoming an integral part of American culture.

 a hot tub placed near a river

Today, many different types of hot tubs are available on the market. From above-ground models to recessed styles, there is something to suit every budget and lifestyle. Here’s a quick overview of some of the most common types:

Above-ground hot tubs

These are usually made of plastic or acrylic and can be installed quickly with minimal effort, thanks to their lightweight design. They are perfect for those who don’t want to go through all the hassle of installing a more permanent model.

Recessed hot tubs

These are designed to be built into the ground or decking and offer superior insulation compared to other models due to their deep installation depth. They also provide more privacy than above-ground models, as fencing or walls can be completely enclosed.

Portable hot tubs

These are great if you want a hot tub but don’t have space for an above-ground or recessed model. As its name implies, portable hot tubs can be moved from one place to another as needed, making them incredibly versatile and convenient for people living in small spaces or travelling often.

2. Safety Considerations

When shopping for a hot tub, safety should be top of mind. When considering the size, consider how many people will typically use it; it shouldn’t be too crowded when fully occupied. You also want to ensure the liner is durable and well-insulated to keep heat inside efficiently. Check your local area regulations regarding electrical safety to determine which wattage heater would be best for you.

It’s important to consider which type of filter system the hot tub will have—a well-maintained filter system is essential for keeping the water free from bacteria and other contaminants. Finally, ensure your new hot tub has all the safety features, such as anti-skid mats and handrails around the edge. By taking these steps, you’ll enjoy your hot tub with peace of mind knowing that safety comes first.

3. Size and Placement Decisions

When buying a hot tub, it is important to consider size and placement. The ideal size for a hot tub depends on how many people plan to use it and the available space. Consider how much room there is to leave enough space around the hot tub so people can access it easily while allowing enough room for walking and maintenance.

a group of people in a hot tub

Placing a hot tub should be done with proper drainage in mind. You should ensure that water can escape freely from the unit, so there is no risk of flooding or leaks through any walls or floorboards. It should also be installed where it will receive the right amount of shade and sunlight to ensure users remain comfortable while enjoying the tub’s therapeutic qualities.

Round vs Square Hot Tubs

Round hot tubs offer a range of benefits that make them a popular choice for home relaxation. One of the major advantages is their space-saving design, perfect for any size garden or terrace. The round hot tub from Celtic Spas is especially appealing as it has various features to suit all tastes. These include comfy seating styles, varying jet numbers and advanced technologies like Bluetooth audio, temperature control and more. A round hot tub is great for socialising, and some prefer how they look compared to square or rectangular models.

Square hot tubs, on the other hand, are sometimes larger and offer different seating configurations. They also provide more space for the installation of additional jets, so you can enjoy a stronger massage experience compared to round hot tubs. Some people prefer the square shape because they feel it provides better support when lying down on the back or side. They’re also better at fitting into corners, saving space in smaller gardens.

Gazebos for Hot Tubs

Building a gazebo for your hot tub is a great way to upgrade your outdoor space. A gazebo shelters you from the sun and weather, making it a nice place to relax after a dip. Building a gazebo gives you even more privacy while you soak in the soothing bubbles of your hot tub.

When building a gazebo, choosing materials that will withstand rain and other forms of weather while still looking chic enough to enhance your landscape is important. You’ll also need to ensure that the space around the building is large enough to move around easily or even walk in and out of the hot tub. A gazebo for your hot tub is an excellent addition to any backyard oasis.

4. Selecting the Right Material

Buying a hot tub should be an enjoyable experience, so before you make your purchase, it’s important to consider what materials will work best for you. Different options can vary drastically in terms of cost, durability, maintenance needs and more – so it pays to research ahead of time.

From classic choices like acrylic or fibreglass to newer alternatives such as rotomolded plastic or HDPE plastics, there are many possibilities when selecting the right material. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, so take some time and think through the pros and cons before deciding. Depending on how much you’re willing to spend, how often you plan on using your hot tub and how easily you want it to be maintained, one option may be significantly better than another for your unique situation.

5. Energy Efficiency Ratings

When shopping around for a hot tub, it is important to understand the energy efficiency ratings. Not only does this save you money in the long term, but it also helps the environment. A hot tub with a high energy efficiency rating means less carbon footprint and lower electricity bills. Before making a purchase, research the specific model and its associated energy-saving capabilities so you can feel confident that your choice is an environmentally responsible one.

You may even find options like eco-friendly insulation and smart temperature controls that help reduce operating costs and negative environmental impact. Doing some preliminary research will ensure you are investing in an energy-efficient hot tub and make you feel good about contributing to reducing the environmental toll of consuming energy.

6. Different Heating Methods

When purchasing a hot tub or spa, it is important to consider the different heating methods and technologies available such as electric heaters, gas burners, and heat pumps. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages regarding energy efficiency, cost of operation, and convenience. Electric heaters are the simplest and least expensive heating option for hot tubs.

They heat up faster and provide instant control than gas burners, yet require significant electricity. Gas burners are extremely efficient and economical options; however, they tend to take longer to heat water and may require additional regulations or permits depending on the model.

a woman in a hot tub near a snow-covered forest

Lastly, heat pumps are great all-in-one systems that run off your home’s central HVAC system with relatively little electricity. Heat pumps can save considerable energy over other hot tub heating systems but require more expert installation. Understanding the different heating technology options will help you make an informed choice when buying your next hot tub.

7. Choosing the Best Filters, Jets and Water Features

When choosing a hot tub, selecting the right filter, jets and water features can significantly enhance your bathing experience. Knowing which brands are reliable, the choice of filters available, and what types of jetting systems best suit your needs will help you make an informed decision.

a woman enjoying a vacation in a hot tub

In addition to giving you a luxurious massage, the right combination of jet nozzles and power levels will provide powerful jet streams with minimum turbulence – allowing for relaxed hydrotherapy sessions every time. One should also consider adding beautiful waterfalls, fountains or other special features to their hot tub for added aesthetics and fun. With careful research and consideration, you can be sure to find the perfect combination of affordable filtration and stunning water features that value adds to your experience.

8. Respecting Local Regulations

It’s important to know UK regulations when buying a hot tub. It is essential to consider any legal requirements issued by your local council or landlord if you plan on having the hot tub installed in your yard. Landlords may not allow a tenant to install a hot tub, so checking before taking the plunge into hot tub ownership is important.

UK rules also factor in noise levels and safety guidelines, like ensuring the appropriate fencing is installed around the spa. Even if UK regulations don’t require it, installing a fence around your hot tub can also help neighbours concerned about noise pollution or privacy. Researching local rules will help ensure that all UK regulations are met before installation, allowing you to maximize your enjoyment of your new hot tub without worrying about possible issues.

9. Considering Maintenance Requirements

When shopping for a hot tub, it is important to consider the up-front and long-term maintenance costs. Without proper maintenance, a hot tub can cost much more in repairs than it initially cost to buy. Hot tubs must be regularly cleaned, which requires replacing chemicals and supplies such as chlorine or bromine tablets.

In addition, water should be changed periodically to help reduce the buildup of contaminants that may cause the water to become cloudy. Floating debris must also be removed from the spa using skimming and filter cleaning. Finally, pumps and other mechanisms should be checked and lubricated regularly to ensure the smooth functioning of the hot tub at all times. Considering these considerations when purchasing a hot tub will ensure its longevity and dependability for many years.

10. Shopping Around

Shopping around for a hot tub can be an overwhelming process. With so many makes and models available, evaluating all your options before settling on the perfect tub is essential. Researching the best brands is a great place to start, as they often have top-of-the-line features and long-lasting materials. Reading reviews from other customers is also useful for learning how reliable and durable each tub is. It’s also important to consider the size and shape of the hot tub you’re interested in, with dimensions that fit your space and budget.

Finally, invest in quality maintenance supplies like test strips or filters to keep your hot tub working in optimal condition. Taking the time to shop around when buying a hot tub will save you time, hassle, and money.

11. Exploring Additional Accessories

Owning a hot tub is an exciting experience that opens new possibilities to expand on relaxation and leisure. When selecting the right model and features, it is possible to enhance the experience further with additional accessories such as headrests, tray tables, steps, and water care systems.

 three boys posing inside a hot tub

Headrests provide comfortable seating and make it easier to unwind while soaking in the bubbling waters of your spa. Tray tables come in handy for holding books, drinks, or snacks. Steps provide a safe entry and exit from the spa, allowing users to adjust their height with varying step sizes. Finally, water care systems provide a simpler approach to maintaining your hot tub’s pH levels – which is essential for keeping bacteria at bay. As you can see, several options are available to maximize your hot tub’s potential, making it a well-rounded retreat that fits all of your needs.

12. Buying Hot Tubs on Finance

Hot tub finance options are available if you want to purchase a hot tub but don’t have enough money upfront. These financing plans can help make hot tub ownership more affordable, allowing people to get the hot tub they want without breaking the bank. With various hot tub finance plans and flexible payment terms, it’s now easier to own a hot tub without spending all your savings.

13. Installation Costs

Installing a hot tub seems great, but it’s not something to jump into without researching all your costs. Not only do you need to look at the cost of the tub itself, but you have to factor in the installation costs as well. There are DIY hot tubs that don’t require expert installation and may save more money at first glance. However, installer knowledge will ensure that your hot tub is well-maintained and can reach its full potential for years.

Professional help can be expensive, ranging from several hundred pounds to thousands depending on where you live and what extra features you might need. Do your research and find a reputable company with skilled technicians who stand by their work so you can enjoy your spa worry-free!


There are a lot of important factors to consider when purchasing a hot tub in the UK. Not only is cost important but such aspects as size, maintenance costs, energy usage and the environment must be considered. Choosing the hot tub that best fits your needs and budget will help you get into it faster and enjoy all its benefits.

The experience of having a hot tub in our homes is precious; we can relax and unwind in pleasantly warm water for ultimate pleasure. Once you find the perfect hot tub for your lifestyle, you won’t regret making beautiful memories with your friends and family while enjoying life on an entirely different level. Research your purchase well to have several extraordinary moments with those closest to you inside this peaceful oasis of bubbles!

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