What’s the Difference Between a Jacuzzi, Hot Tub and Spa?

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Investing in a spa, hot tub, or jacuzzi might be considered pure luxury and indulgence. But soaking in a hot tub of steamy water is an ancient tradition and that also provides many health benefits.

Soaking in a hot tub is a great way to relax, enjoy precious moments with your friends and family, eliminate aches or pains and reduce muscle tensions.

While most people use the terms hot tub, spa, or jacuzzi without knowing the differences, we spell it out for you here.


The word spa and hot tub have been used interchangeably. “Spa” is an American term associated with a hot tub describing a large water container featuring solid jets. The word spa can also imply a foot spa, mud baths, or a place to go for treatments such as a destination spa or beauty salon where you can enjoy massages, facials, and other beauty treatments.

While spas and hot tubs might be used for the same thing, a spa generally used for a custom in-ground pool (often next to a swimming pool) while a hot tub refers to a separate structure with bench seating and therapeutic jets of water that provide a massage type of experience to soothe sore muscles.

Early forms of hot tubs were made of wood, metal, or even recycled materials and often resembled barrels.  Later hot tubs were modernized and made of acrylic, fiberglass, or other materials.

There is no substantial difference between a Jacuzzi and a hot tub other than the brand name. Both describe tubs of hot water with jets of pressured air to produce bubbles and currents for pleasurable or therapeutic purposes. In particular, a Jacuzzi is a brand of hot tub or spa which uses high-powered jets and hot water to offer a soaking experience.


Jacuzzi is a brand name for a company that was started by the Jacuzzi brothers.  They originally made wooden propellers for the military but later revolutionized a pump that could be submerged underwater to create the effect we now enjoy in hot tubs.  By 1970, Jacuzzi invented larger indoor tubs to accommodate groups of people or families.  Jacuzzi become a household name that was synonymous with hot tubs in the 70s.

Today, the Jacuzzi brand has modern-day features including audio with state-of-the-art features that can enable you to connect various devices, speak, and stream music using Bluetooth features. The jacuzzi also features ergonomically designed and advanced seats that offer maximum luxury and perfectly suit your body. They also feature in-built purification systems that ensure a high hygiene level and need less maintenance than other spas or hot tubs. Not only that, the jacuzzi has powerful massage jets, which are known for their ease of use and flexibility.

Hot tubs

Hot tubs have evolved with features such as a flat-screen television, MPS audio system, cushioned headrests, intuitive electronic controls, cascading spillway and waterfalls, LED lighting, massaging jets, and sleek acrylic shells.  While some might prefer a more unplugged experience, there are many options based on your preferences.


Generally, most spas are constructed in-ground, and you cannot relocate them. They can be connected to a swimming pool or designed as stand-alone structures. In many cases, spas have pumping systems connected to a swimming pool if there is any available. Recently, manufacturers have begun to make portable spas, leading to confusion between a hot tub and a spa. On the contrary, a hot tub is a stand-alone structure that can be constructed in or above the ground. A hot tub will have several components as part of its plumbing system.

Hot tubs come as separate structures or there are even portable varieties. With such hot tubs, you can easily move them to a new home because you can drain water and transport them to a new place. On the contrary, a Jacuzzi can be above or in-ground enclosures.

A Jacuzzi will need more space because they need more machinery and water pumps than a hot tub. Since it is installed in-ground for better water insulation and to prevent heat loss. That means, if you wish to sell your home and move to another place, it can be challenging to transport your jacuzzi.

Both a spa and hot tub have their own electrical and plumbing system, while a spa is usually connected to the mechanical and plumbing systems of the main pool.  A hot tub and jacuzzi have instant temperature settings, meaning that you will not wait for a long time to wait for the water to heat up, while a spa will take an extended time to heat water.


Although the only difference between a hot tub and a Jacuzzi is the brand name, their cost varies based on the features, shape, location, and size. Here is the cost breakdown of the spa, hot tub, and jacuzzi.

Hot tub

Some hot tub brands are more affordable and will depend on the brand that you wish to buy. The low range price for a standard hot tub will range between $2,500 to $7,000 and have minimal quality and features.

The mid-range option for a hot tub ranges between $5,000 to $10,000 provide higher quality products and more features.

If you wish to get a more luxurious and higher option, you can get hot, ranging between $10,000 to $20,000. It can even cost more if these are custom features that you are considering.

For budget-minded homeowners, a portable hot tub might be a good option.

Also, weigh the pros and cons of saltwater versus a chlorinated hot tub before you make a decision.


The jacuzzi can be more expensive than hot tubs and spas, but they offer more options. A medium-level Jacuzzi will cost approximately $8,000 to $10,000 which will accommodate between 2 and 5 people. However, if you are considering a luxury Jacuzzi, you will find that its price ranges between $15 000 to $20,000 and can accommodate between 5 and 7 people.


On average, you will expect to pay approximately $2,000 for a low-range spa that can accommodate three people. If you want a mid-range spa that can accommodate five people, it can cost you between $5,000 and $8,000. Further, a high range in-ground swim spa costs approximately $12,000 to $15,0000.