Jacuzzi vs Hot Tub (What’s the Difference and Which is Better?)

A cropped image of a couple's pair of feet enjoying an outdoor jacuzzi.

A lot of people use the term hot tub and the Jacuzzi brand interchangeably, but there are quite a few differences between the two. When it comes to Jacuzzi vs a standard hot tub, which one is better? Let’s take a closer look at what sets these two products apart.


What Is a Jacuzzi?

Jacuzzi is a hot tub brand name for an American company with Italian ties. While they started manufacturing parts for airplanes, Jacuzzi soon expanded and began making a jetted bathtub. They continued to advance their technology and, today, they focus mainly on hot tub models and at-home spas.

Jacuzzi is known for its top-of-the-line quality and uses many sought-after modern features in their designs. They were the first to introduce advancements like modern hot tub plumbing and hydro jets and have continued to lead the way when it comes to hot tub design.

An outdoor jacuzzi at the rooftop.

What makes a Jacuzzi hot tub special? In addition to the modern hot tub design and minimalist look, Jacuzzi hot tubs give the user a lot of control. They were one of the first brands to add whirlpool tub features, and they offer adjustable flow, temperature, and massaging effects so you can truly get a hot water therapy experience. The controls are intuitively designed and very easy to use.

Something that stands out about Jacuzzis is that they’re made of some of the most durable materials around. With the right care and maintenance, a Jacuzzi can last twenty years or more. While most people think that Jacuzzis are only available in large sizes that seat six or more people, there are smaller options available that seat only two or three. These smaller sizes are not as compact as comparable hot tubs, but they are much more affordable than a full-size Jacuzzi.

Advantages of a Jacuzzi

Because they are of such high quality, Jacuzzis have several advantages. They heat the water faster and more efficiently. Not only do you not have to wait as long for the water to heat up, but operating costs are usually lower as well, even with the working whirlpool and massage jets. In fact, with average use, you may not notice much of a change in your electric bill.

Because Jacuzzis have more options and settings, they are ideal for people with chronic pain or sore muscles who use their Jacuzzi therapeutically. All hot tubs are relaxing, but a jacuzzi takes it up a level and the effects last for hours.

Disadvantages of a Jacuzzi

Jacuzzis are significantly more expensive than most of their competitors because they are made so well and have so many advanced features. On top of that, you have to factor in installation costs, which may be quite significant.

With hot tubs, there are a lot of options, like inflatable and plug n play, that is very simple to install and can even be moved easily from one location to another. This is not the case with a Jacuzzi, which requires proper installation and several contractors to make sure it’s done right.

Jacuzzis have to be fit to the correct electrical wiring and voltage, which often requires an upgraded line from what is common in most homes. They’re also quite heavy, and depending on where you are installing it, the flooring or ground may need to be reinforced to withstand the load.

Jacuzzis are not an easily portable hot tub. They may add value to your home if you choose to sell, but whether or not you can take it with you when you move depends on the size of the Jacuzzi and where it’s installed. Most people find the cost and hassle of removing, relocating, and reinstalling a Jacuzzi aren’t worth the hassle. If you are planning to move in the future, it’s worth considering if it’s worth installing a Jacuzzi in your current home or if you should wait until you settle in your new one.

What Is a Hot Tub?

An outdoor hot tub with a stunning view of nature.

All Jacuzzis are hot tubs, but not all hot tubs are Jacuzzis. There are many types and brands of hot tubs out there, including inflatable, plug n play, rotomolded, and traditional. Some models are quite advanced, with bubble jets, a jetted tub, touch panels, and adjustable modes, while others are very simple.

There are a lot of size options for hot tubs, too, which makes it easy to find something that meets your needs. Generally, hot tubs are much easier to set up. There are a lot of inflatables and plug n play models that just have to be plugged into a standard outlet and filled with water. This means they’re not only convenient to set up in the first place, but they’re also easy to remove and reinstall if necessary. They don’t require any special electric or plumbing hookups and are generally easy to maintain.

Depending on the style you choose, a hot tub could last a long time with rotomolded or traditional options having a lifespan comparable to a Jacuzzi when well taken care of.

Advantages of Hot Tubs

Because there are so many types of hot tubs to choose from, there’s something for everyone. If you have a small budget and not a lot of room to spare, a small inflatable hot tub gives you all the benefits of a hot tub without the big price tag. That said, if you want something a little more decadent, some traditional hot tubs rival a Jacuzzi when it comes to looks, function, and price.

Disadvantages of Hot Tubs

Because most hot tubs are not on the same level as a Jacuzzi, they take a lot longer to heat up. Putting a cover on the hot tub can help, but they lose heat quickly when the cover is removed and the hot tub is in use.

While hot tubs do have water jets, most of them are no match for the power and variety of Jacuzzi. High-quality hot tubs can have extremely effective jets, but even the top models tend to fall a bit shy of the effectiveness of a Jacuzzi.

Who Should Buy a Jacuzzi?

A private luxury jacuzzi.

If you are looking for something permanent and are ready to invest a bit of money, a Jacuzzi is the way to go. Jacuzzis are of impeccable quality and a brand that you can trust. They have customizable settings and are built to last decades. You don’t have to shop around because you already know you’re getting one of the best products out there.

The biggest thing to keep in mind about getting a Jacuzzi is that installation is pretty involved. You will probably need to hire an electrician and perhaps a plumber. If you’re having your Jacuzzi installed inside, you should also hire a contractor to make sure the floor is reinforced and can handle the weight of the Jacuzzi when it’s filled with water and people.

Who Should Buy a Hot Tub?

An outdoor hot tub as seen in the night.

The best thing about hot tubs is that there are so many options available. No matter how much space you have in your home or your budget, there’s a hot tub for you.

If you don’t have a lot of room and aren’t looking to spend a lot of money, inflatable hot tubs are extremely affordable and can be packed away and stored easily. Plug n play and rotomolded designs are more of the middle ground and come in a variety of sizes and prices.

There are a lot of traditional hot tubs available, too, and some of them rival Jacuzzi. That said, when you get a traditional hot tub that’s of the highest quality, the cost will be comparable to a Jacuzzi and installation will be just as complicated and expensive.

If you have a specific budget you’re hoping to stick to or if you only have a small space to work with, a hot tub is a way to go. There are so many options available that you are sure to find something that works for you.

Which Is Better?

When it comes to Jacuzzi vs hot tub, it’s hard to say which is better. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Which one is better depends on which one is better for you.

If budget is no object and you’re looking to make a serious investment, a Jacuzzi is better. They look better, last longer, and you have a lot more control over the jets. Jacuzzis have a slight edge in performance, too, so if you’re planning to use it therapeutically, a Jacuzzi is worth it. You don’t even have to shop around because you know that you’re getting the best of the best.

If you have time to shop around and are more concerned with the budget, look into a hot tub. There are so many to choose from, you’ll certainly find one that’s right for you. There are a lot of inexpensive options that fall very short of the quality of a Jacuzzi, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, you might be able to find something comparable for a little less money.

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