Hot Tub vs Swimming Pool

How Similar Are Hot Tubs and Swimming Pools?

It pays to be well informed before making a major purchase. Deciding between a hot tub or a swimming pool should be preceded by thoughtful research and information gathering so you’re able to make the right decision. Investing in something that’s rarely used or doesn’t provide the options you were looking for will invariably lead to disappointment. There are many differences between hot tubs and swimming pools, but there are many similarities as well. How similar are hot tubs and swimming pools? In this article, we’ll find out.

Cleaning and Maintenance

There are many similarities when it comes to cleaning and maintaining hot tubs and swimming pools. Both require routine water testing and adding chemicals to the water to keep it clean, safe, fresh and comfortable. Following a regular cleaning and maintenance schedule will ensure the water stays fresh and the various mechanical components work as they should. One way in which swimming pools and hot tubs differ is when it comes to draining the water. Hot tubs require draining and a thorough internal cleaning several times a year. A swimming pool that’s well maintained and kept clean can go much longer without having to drain the entire pool.


When it comes to cost, both swimming pools and hot tubs have, in the past, been considered quite expensive. However, innovations in hot tub manufacturing have significantly reduced the prices at the lower end of the hot tub scale. It’s now possible to buy an inflatable hot tub for less than a thousand dollars. Whether a hot tub at that price point would last more than a couple of years is debatable, but no longer do you have to pony up several thousand dollars for the luxury of owning a hot tub. Generally speaking, swimming pools are more expensive than hot tubs. Unless you’re considering an inflatable kiddie pool, you’ll need to spend several thousand dollars for one that allows you to properly swim laps. Swimming pools also generally cost more to install. Even some of the more high-end hot tubs can be up and running within a day, whereas it will take several days to several weeks or months for the installation of a full-sized swimming pool. Because of their smaller size, hot tubs are usually cheaper to operate than a full-sized swimming pool. You’ll use fewer chemicals, less water and lower amounts of electricity running a hot tub.


If space is an issue, a hot tub will be able to fit into a much more compact area. Full-sized swimming pools aren’t always an option for urban dwellers these days. With smaller plots of land or condo-sized patios, a hot tub may be the only thing that fits. That’s not to say you can’t buy small swimming pools. However, if swimming is a priority, having at least 35 to 40 feet of swimming space is recommended. Similarly, even the largest hot tub will be overcrowded if you have 15 or 20 people over for a party. If entertaining a large number of guests is high on your priority list, a swimming pool might be the better option.

Water Temperature

While most hot tubs max out at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, if you’re experiencing hot weather, there’s no rule saying that you can’t turn off the water heater and use it as a plunge pool. That said, it’s not as easy to raise the temperature of a full-sized swimming pool to hot tub-like levels. Swimming pools contain too much water to be able to economically heat them to high temperatures. Most swimming pool owners operate their pools between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now that you have a better idea of some of the similarities between hot tubs and swimming pools, download a free buyer’s guide for more information.

Hot Tub Guide

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