Having your own backyard hot tub is a dream come true for many homeowners. However, what potential customers don’t realize is that purchasing a hot tub is a lot more complicated than pointing your finger and saying, “That one.” After deciding that a hot tub is the right investment, you need to consider what size to get. In this guide, we’ll briefly go over the most common hot tub sizes, how to size a hot tub, and what factors come into play when choosing a hot tub.
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Standard Hot Tub Sizes
The good news is that nearly any patio can accommodate a hot tub, provided you find a hot tub in the right size. Hot tubs fall into three size categories—small, medium, and large—with different seating capacities. Below, you’ll find descriptions of the three standard hot tub sizes.
Small (Up to 3 people)
Dimensions (in): 68-84 L, 68-80 W, 29-35 H
Small hot tubs are space-efficient, cost several hundreds of dollars less than their larger counterparts, and are perfect for a relaxing, intimate soak with just you and your partner. If you don’t intend on inviting guests into your hot tub, this is the perfect hot tub size for your home. Due to their smaller size and smaller seating capacities, you won’t need to worry as much about maintenance costs, either.
Medium (Up to 6 people)
Dimensions (in): 78-93 L, 76-93 W, 33-.38 H
Medium hot tubs are the most popular kind of hot tubs for homeowners. They’re ideal for growing families of up to six people without feeling too cramped. They come with larger footwells that will allow you and your guests to stretch out your legs for increased comfort. They have a considerably higher upfront cost compared to small hot tubs, but the operational cost per person is much less on average.
Large (More than 7 people)
Dimensions (in): 84-108 L, 84-110 W, 36-38 H
Not only do large hot tubs seat more people, but they also offer more moving room per person. This means less elbow bumping and a more relaxing soak. In addition, if you want to turn your home into the go-to neighborhood hangout place, a large hot tub can definitely help.
Questions to Consider
Before choosing a hot tub, there are several questions that you need to consider. If you’re unable to answer these questions, try reaching out to a dealer to see whether they can offer any input.
1. Where will you install the hot tub?
2. Do I have enough clearance around the hot tub?
3. How easy will it be to access the hot tub from different angles?
4. How many people will use your hot tub?
5. How hard will it be to maintain the hot tub in your backyard/patio/roof/inside your home?
6. How frequently will you use your hot tub?
How to Size a Hot Tub
There are only two factors that come into play when sizing a hot tub, namely, how much space you can allocate to the hot tub in your backyard or patio, and how many people you want to accommodate. After you’ve figured these two factors out, choosing the right hot tub is simply a matter of finding the best-looking one that meets your needs and fits your budget.
Hot Tub Shapes
The three common hot tub shapes are triangular, round, and rectangular. We’ll quickly go over the descriptions and benefits of each of the three hot tub shapes.
Triangular hot tubs have one 90-degree corner that lets them sit snugly in sharp corners. None of the parts that need frequent maintenance are located in the two adjacent sides of the corner, so it’s a great option to have for maximizing space. Triangular hot tubs also only seat up to three people at most, so they’re designed more for private use than anything else.
Like triangular hot tubs, rounded ones are made for smaller groups of people. Their unusual shape means you can place the hot tub anywhere in a room or open area without worrying about it being an eyesore.
Rectangular spas are meant for larger groups of people, often accommodating more than four people (a corner for each person). These hot tubs require plenty of clearance on all four sides for easy entering and exiting. It also holds onto more water, which means you’ll need a reinforced base to keep it from sinking into the ground.
How the Hot Tub Shell Material Impacts Size
The most commonly used materials for hot tub shells are vinyl, rotomolded plastics, and acrylic. The type of material will affect the shapes, designs, and size of the hot tub. Vinyl and rotomolded plastics are generally harder to shape, and thus, are typically made into simple designs that accommodate fewer users. Acrylic shells are a lot more flexible during the manufacturing process, so they generally seat more people comfortably without taking as much space as vinyl or rotomolded plastics.
Hot Tub Buying Guide
Below, you’ll find a quick guide on choosing the right hot tub based on location, delivery, and installation.
First and most importantly, you need to be aware of where you’re going to place the hot tub. Hot tubs can be installed virtually anywhere, from backyards to indoors and even roof entertaining areas. You should speak with a dealer rep to determine potential locations for installation.
Since even hot tubs are bulky and can weigh several hundred pounds, you’ll have to consider any delivery issues that might arise. If there’s a clear line of sight between your driveway and where you wish to install the hot tub, you shouldn’t encounter any problems.
However, you may need to clip tree branches or temporarily remove fences or gates. Some dealers can use cranes to lift hot tubs to their destination, including onto rooftops, but this can mean additional delivery costs.
All hot tubs need to sit atop a leveled, sturdy foundation. Typically, dealers offer concrete bases at least four inches in thickness. In addition, you need to consider how waterproof the area is, as well as all potential plumbing issues.