When people talk about hot tubs, spas and Jacuzzis, they often use the different terms interchangeably. While this doesn’t cause too much confusion, it’s worth looking at the differences in the different products you can find on the market. That way, if you’re looking for something particular, you can find it more easily.
The whole trend for outdoor bathing as a relaxing, social activity started in California in the 1960s. A hot tub was often just a wine barrel with one end cut off, with the water heated by means of a fire or boiler. The tubs were only big enough for two or three people to enjoy at one time but with views over Californian vineyards at sunset, three’s company.
Spas, named after the Belgian town of Spa where the trend began for healthy water treatments began, can be hot or cold and are used for the intended purpose of health or beauty, rather than strictly for relaxing. The waters around Spa were believed to have especially health-beneficial minerals so people started travelling to take the waters, a trend which soon spread to other towns and cities around Europe spread as far afield as Harrogate in England to Budapest in Hungary, where it seems every large house and hotel has a swimming pool sized spa.
Jacuzzi is a brand name which has become synonymous with whirlpool baths and hydrotherapy. Candido Jacuzzi developed a pump that would create a pain relieving massage water jets for his newborn son who had infantile rheumatoid arthritis. The company was started in the early 20th century making aircraft propellers. Ultimately, it was their experience in producing pumping devices and high quality laminate wood products that Candido applied to bath tubs which would become synonymous with high quality luxury bathing.
When you’re looking for a hot tub or spa for your home there are also a whole range of options. Beyond choosing a simple hot tub, a tub with bubbles, whirlpools or massaging jets, you get options on size, style and location.
Permanent hot tubs can be above ground or in-ground. In ground tubs look fantastic, especially if they’re alongside a swimming pool, however, you do have to consider safety, especially if you have children or pets. You’ll want to have an insulating cover in any case, but a ground level tub should be covered whenever it’s not in use to prevent accidents. It also prevents leaves and wild creatures falling into the water too.
Above ground tubs are safer in terms of people or pets accidentally falling in and pose far fewer logistical problems in terms of installation. All you need is a flat piece of ground or reinforced decking instead of needing large holes dug in your garden. Whenever you’re thinking about having a permanent hot tub or spa installed, it’s important to think about location. You’ll want to place it where it gets most sun, it isn’t overhung by trees, but also where it isn’t overlooked by traffic and passers-by, because privacy is always a key element of relaxation.
One way around such issues is to not install a permanent hot tub at all, instead, look at inflatable, portable and soft tubs.
Portable hot tubs are self contained units that you can take anywhere, set up on a flat surface and just add water! They come in any number of shapes and sizes, plug into the mains and can be ready to use in hours. As well as offering the same features and benefits as a permanent hot tub, these movable hot tubs but are far less expensive and make great use of space if you don’t have a large garden since they can be packed away when the weather becomes too inclement to use them and you want to use your garden for other entertainments.
Smaller yet, but just as practical and comfortable are inflatable hot tubs. These spa tubs are completely self contained and pack up to the size of a small suitcase but when inflated can accommodate anything up to 6-8 people. Don’t worry about blowing them up either, the pump that moves the water around and runs the filter is the same pump that blows the bubbles and fills the inflatable sections of the tub’s structure. All you need do is find a flat surface, start the pump and in a few minutes, start filling it with water.