hydropool hot tub cover

What Are Hot Tub Covers Made Of?

By providing protection and adding an extra layer of warmth, a durable cover can elevate your overall spa experience. It can even make your hot tub last longer. If you want to be able to choose one that’s built to last, it’s important to understand what covers are made of. Below, we’ll explore the materials used in making a quality hot tub cover and how they work together to create a reliable barrier. Here’s what you should know!

Why Materials Matter for Protection and Insulation

The basic structure of a spa cover is pretty straightforward. It’s typically made of a solid, insulated foam core sealed in a plastic case. Then, it’s enclosed in an exterior jacket made with a strong fabric. These materials give a cover the ability to withstand harsh weather elements, UV rays, and debris. This leads to better protection and prevents wear and tear. Well-insulated materials also allow a cover to trap heat, keeping your hot tub warm and energy-efficient. When these materials work together seamlessly, they create an effective shield that enhances your experience and extends the life of your backyard retreat. Let’s take a closer look at the materials that are most commonly used in high-quality covers:

EPS Foam Core

The inner foam of many premium hot tub covers is made of expanded polystyrene or EPS. It’s a lightweight, rigid material created through a process where tiny beads of polystyrene are expanded and fused together. The result is a foam with a closed-cell structure, meaning it has lots of tiny air pockets trapped within. The air pockets act as barriers to the transfer of heat. This structure provides EPS with excellent insulation properties as well as resistance to water absorption. You can also contact your local hot tub dealer to learn more about other types of foam cores.

Vinyl or WeatherShield Fabric

While foam jackets can be made with different materials, the most popular choice is marine grade vinyl. This type of vinyl is designed to withstand exposure to various weather conditions, making it highly durable. Its “marine-grade” designation means it’s the kind of sturdy vinyl used for boats, so you can trust it to hold up against rain, sun, and other harsh outdoor elements.

Another cover material that’s been gaining in popularity is WeatherShield fabric. It’s a solution-dyed polyester fabric with a urethane coating. This coating enhances UV and water resistance. A cover with a WeatherShield outer layer is typically lighter than a standard vinyl cover. It’s also made of recyclable materials, making it an eco-friendly choice.

Aluminum Support Frames

Well-designed covers usually have frames made with supporting rods. These frames provide structural strength, helping the cover maintain its shape and support heavy loads such as snow or debris. They also prevent sagging or warping. Support rods can also be made of galvanized steel, but aluminum tends to be more popular because it ensures durability without adding unnecessary weight.

Polyester and Nylon Threads

Manufacturers typically use weather-resistant and UV-resistant threads for stitching hot tub covers. Polyester and nylon threads are the two main types commonly used. These threads create sturdy seams that hold everything together, making sure that the cover stays intact over time. When a cover has reinforced stitching using these materials, it has an added layer of protection that helps make it resilient against wear and tear.

Other Factors for Choosing the Right Hot Tub Cover

Whether you’re looking for a replacement hot tub cover or you’re planning to get one for your new spa, considering these additional factors can help you make the best choice:

Foam Density and Taper

When you’re looking at different covers, make sure to check the foam density and thickness. These factors affect the R-value, which is a way to measure how well a material insulates. You should also check the taper. A tapered design allows for rain runoff and keeps the water from pooling. A 2″ taper is common for most covers, but 5” to 3” is ideal if you live in a colder climate.

Resistance to Mold and Mildew

Most covers made with marine-grade vinyl are treated to resist mold and mildew. This treatment is important because these types of fungi can grow in damp and dark places, like under a hot tub cover. If you’re going with a cover made with a different outer layer, make sure that it has mold and mildew inhibitors as well.

Safety Locks

If you want to ensure that your new cover stays in place, look for one that has sturdy locking straps. These safety locks not only prevent the cover from being blown away by strong winds but also keep curious kids or pets from lifting it. They add an extra layer of protection, ensuring that your hot tub remains covered and secure when you’re not using it.

Ease of Handling

While a cover lifter makes it easy to handle your hot tub cover, choosing a cover that’s lightweight and manageable also matters. Look for one that you can easily lift and fold without much effort. This not only makes it more convenient for you but also helps in extending the life of the cover.

The Right Fit

No matter which hot tub cover material you choose, it won’t be able to do its job properly if it doesn’t fit well. Heat can escape through gaps if the cover is too big or too small. To get the right fit, you need to measure your hot tub carefully. A well-fitted cover creates a tight seal that provides maximum protection against heat loss and helps keep your hot tub clean.

Easy Tips for a Long-Lasting Spa Cover

  • Regularly clean the cover by wiping it down regularly with a mild soap and water solution. This helps prevent buildup and keep your cover looking new.
  • Check for any signs of damage and fix issues right away. This can help save you money on potential repairs down the road.
  • If there are overhanging trees nearby, trim the branches to minimize the risk of falling debris.
  • When you’re not using your hot tub cover, store it in a designated area away from direct sunlight and harsh weather conditions.
  • Consider getting a vapor barrier as an upgrade. It’s a wrap made of plastic material that provides an extra layer of protection against water absorption, condensation, and chemical damage.
  • Be gentle when clearing off snow from the cover. Use a soft broom or a brush to avoid scratching or tearing the surface.

The Best Hot Tub Cover Depends on Your Needs

Spa covers come in a wide range of materials and designs, each with its own set of features. The best choice looks different for everyone, and the decision boils down to your specific needs. Consider your climate, how often you use your hot tub, and your budget when picking the right cover. This way, you can find the perfect fit that suits your lifestyle and lasts through all seasons.

If you want to learn more about choosing a hot tub that can elevate your home, you can also download our free buyer’s guide.

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