Hot Tub VS Pool: Which To Buy? (Check This Out!)

By James Brockbank •  Updated: 12/02/21 •  12 min read

Hot tub vs pool comparison.

A hot tub is an excellent choice if you have limited space and a smaller budget. Hot tubs are also great for relaxation and can often be used all year. Pools are great for people with more space, larger budgets, who want to entertain friends and family, and who exercise more. 

Stop wasting time and money with hot tub maintenance and confusing water chemistry! The Hot Tub Handbook and Video Course will help keep your hot tub balanced, sanitized, and crystal clear all the time.

Check out my list of high-quality hot tub products to help keep your hot tub clean and running great all year long!

My recommended product to help you test your hot tub or pool water for accurate pH, alkalinity, bromine, and chlorine readings is the AquaCheck Trutest Digital Reader.

Nobody would mind the luxury of having a pool and a hot tub in their backyard. But this will remain a dream to many because the backyard space might be constraining. 

And even if you have the luxury of space, funds could be a constraint if you’re looking to install both, so you’re left to compare a hot tub vs a pool. 

The ultimate decision on which is better when you compare the two is up to you. It’s always good to know the good and the bad side of both before you can decide. 

Your personal preference and taste will also be a significant determinant of which of the two you’ll choose. 

I don’t want you to make mistakes with your decision because it will cost you a lot of money to have either of the two. 

By the end of this article, you’ll be more confident in knowing if a hot tub or a pool is best for your case.

Let’s get started!

Hot Tubs Vs Pools: Which Should I Buy?

You should buy a hot tub if you don’t have sufficient space to install a pool. Hot tubs are also cheaper to run if you plan to use the hot and will take less time to install. 

You can also buy a hot tub for extra fitness and fun, for more extended use across the year, and if you are looking to enjoy lower maintenance costs. 

Most modern hot tubs like Hydro pools have self-cleansing mechanisms that make maintenance more accessible than traditional pools. 

But you can buy a pool if you’re looking to have many people swimming and using the outdoor space in the summer seasons. 

Pools are an excellent option if you have enough space in your yard because they’ll require a bigger space to run. 

Benefits Of Pools

  1. Exercise
  2. Kid-friendly
  3. Cool Summer Swimming
  4. Size
  5. Fun


Pools are incredible for people looking to exercise the body. Specifically, pools will help you to gain muscle strength, lose weight and improve your stamina. You can accomplish these exercises by practicing low-impact exercises and doing swimming laps. 


Statistics show that many have an incredible love of dipping in pools. It’s among the favorite spots where they create childhood memories. In addition, children will love to play with you or your siblings in the pool when they’re not in school. 

Therefore, pools are a great option if you’re looking to bring fun to your kids in their own backyard. 

Cool Summer Swimming

Pools are perfect for dipping on hot summer days because they will help cool off the body from the high temperatures. In addition, the benefit of dipping in cold water on a hot summer day is always a good time.

Therefore, pools give a euphoric feeling in the summer months. 


If you have the money and space, you can have a big pool on your property. This will translate to more fun, especially when you have invited friends to your home. It also opens more space for exercising. 


Unlike the hot tubs where you spend time relaxing after a busy and stressful day, pools are pure fun. You can have a diving contest with your kids, capture the flag games, play ball in the pool, and many more.

In addition, you can invite friends or create the best moments with your friends and children. 

Benefits of Hot Tubs

  1. Relaxation
  2. Hydrotherapy
  3. Cost
  4. Less Maintenance


After spending a busy day at work, you want to relax and get yourself back in readiness for another day. The best way to do this is while soaking in a hot tub. The warm, bubbling effect from the hot tub calms and soothes you to relaxation. 


The effects of water coming from hot tub jets can do magic to your body. It can help to improve your blood circulation, relieve soreness on the muscles and reduce joint pains. If you choose to buy a hot tub, you can alleviate these pains and sleep better every day. 


When I compared the hot tubs to home pools, I found that hot tubs are more affordable. Interestingly, they come with many other benefits like music systems, seating, and dazzling LED lighting but will still cost less than pools.

Less Maintenance

When I compared hot tubs to traditional pools, I realized that a hot tub requires less maintenance. In addition, you’ll spend most of your time relaxing and less time working if you choose a hot tub

Cost Of Pools

The cost of an above-the-ground pool will typically range between $ 6000 and $10000. But for an inground pool, the price can be as high as $40000 or more. 

For most people, this forms the basis of making a decision. It’s always good to factor in the price of buying/installing and running a pool when making your choices. 

The two most significant cost factors when buying a hot tub are installation and the purchase cost. In addition, the cost of the pools varies between the above-ground and in-ground pools, where the latter is the most expensive. 

The inground pools are incredibly costly compared to the hot tub and an above-the-ground pool in terms of installation. Most of the associated costs come from the landscaping and fencing required for compliance with the local pool guidelines. 

Ideally, plan and set aside an amount equal to 50% of the purchase costs for your pool to cater for installation costs, permits, and costs associated with landscaping. If you’re going with an above-the-ground option, the price might be a third or even lower, depending on the model you have chosen. 

Cost Of Hot Tubs

A hot tub can cost between $5000 and $30000. Installation can cost between $1000 to $1500. Maintenance can cost between $30 and $40 per month.

When you compare hot tubs to home pools, you’ll find that hot tubs are more affordable to buy and install. Besides, it is much cheaper to use hot water from a hot tub than from a pool. 

Hot tubs are reasonably priced when you look at the additional features and amenities that come preinstalled. Unlike pools, most modern hot tubs will come with a music system, smart controls, dazzling LED lighting, and seating where you can enjoy watching football. 

Providing any additional features on the home pools will skyrocket the costs significantly. For example, a pool installed with features like a diving board, customized shape, and waterfall is way expensive than a typical pool. So from this point of analysis, hit tubs will always offer you an incredible cost-benefit.  

The installation cost of a hot tub is lower than pools. This is because the installation requires a simple hook up to electricity at a dedicated GFCI that might cost you approximately $1000 to $1500. 

You’ll also incur some costs in preparing the hot tub base using the poured concrete, an exercise that might cost you around $1500 to $2500. 

It’s always good to note that you can partially or fully bury a hot tub to get the look of an inground pool. But you don’t have to do this immediately, especially if you want to spread the costs across the year. 

Our final recommendation from this perspective is that small above-the-ground hot tubs are the most ideal for anyone working with a constrained budget. 

But if you have an average budget, then a hot tub will work best for you. But you can install an inground hot tub if you’re working with an open budget.

Cons Of Hot Tubs

  1. Size
  2. Less Exercise
  3. The Purchasing Cost

Hot tubs are a modern solution designed carefully with integrated technology to address most of the flaws associated with the earlier models and swimming pools. However, there are a few negatives associated with hot tubs. 


Unlike pools, hot tubs are very limiting in size. Even the most significant hot tub model is not sizeable enough to compare to a swimming pool. Therefore, you could be very limited in swimming space if you have installed a hot tub instead of a pool in your backyard. 

Less Exercise

Although a hot tub will offer you many incredible health benefits like relieving the soreness on your muscles, you cannot exercise in a hot tub. 

The opportunity to stretch and work out your muscles as you swim in the water is unavailable for hot tub owners like pool owners. 

Instead, you only have to sit back and relax with the warm, bubbling, and massaging effect from the hot tub. 

The Purchasing Cost

A hot tub is less expensive to buy than an above-the-ground pool. This is a factor that can influence your purchase decision. 

Chemicals are also less expensive due to the less amount of water and usage frequency.

Cons Of Pools

  1. Size
  2. Installation Time
  3. Usability Across The Year
  4. Maintenance


Pools are limiting when it comes to the installation space. So even if you have enough money to buy and install a pool, you might be forced to forgo the choice of purchasing a pool if your backyard space is insufficient. Today, lots are getting smaller and smaller. 

You’ll also be competing in the small space available with other structures where your kids will be playing. Besides, you might need space to cater for pets, outdoor family fun and sports, and a small garden. 

You might find a swimming pool constraining because of its relatively more extensive space requirements when you way all these factors.

Installation Time

It takes a much longer duration to install a pool than it takes to install a hot tub. For example, did you know that you could take between 3 and 7 days to install an above-the-ground pool and have it running properly?

The case is even worse with the inground pools because installation can take between 7 and 21 days. 

The installation time can extend because of interferences from the weather or the process of obtaining permits. Ideally, permits can take up to one week. 

If you factor in the inspections by authorities after the installation that can take some additional days, you’ll find that getting your pools ready to use can be time-consuming. 

Remember that a hot tub will typically take about 24 hours to get everything ready! 

Usability Across The Year

If you live in an area that experiences snowfall in the winter months, the length of using a swimming pool is very short. 

There are regions where you cannot exceed the length of using a pool beyond 4 or 5 months unless you use a heater, which can also be costly. 

When you compare this to the hot tubs, you’ll find that you can use them all year round because they are adequately insulated to prevent temperature losses even under freezing temperatures. 

On the same note, the cost of maintaining the water temperatures throughout the year is lower because of insulation. 


Pools require a lot of maintenance work when compared to hot tubs. Therefore, it’s upon you to know if you’ll have some time every day to work on your pool before using it. 

Which Is Better Hot Tub or Pool?

I believe that deciding the best choice between a hot tub and a pool is purely an individual decision. But from my experience and past research, we’d advise you to choose a hot tub over a pool. 


Hot tubs outweigh pools on many factors like usability across the year, purchasing, installation and maintenance costs, health, and installation time. 

A hot tub will also work if you’re limited by space or when you’re looking to make great memories with your family. 

Can You Use a Hot Tub as a Swimming Pool?

Yes, you can use a hot tub like a swimming pool in a couple of ways. First, you can use a hot tub as a cold swimming pool by lowering the spa’s temperatures. 

You can also use a hot tub like a swimming pool for health benefits.

Although you can’t do laps in a hot tub, relaxing in the hot tub will relieve you from muscle aches and soreness. Hot tubs are also known to improve metabolism and help with weight loss like the pools. 

For those thinking of buying a pool for family fun and enjoyment, it is good to note that hot tubs can serve this very purpose.

Hot Tub vs Pool: Conclusion

hot tub vs pool

Different aspects come into play when choosing between a hot tub and a pool. Some of these aspects include space available, money, weather, and usage frequency.

From my experience, a hot tub is much better than a pool for a backyard setting if you’re on a limited budget and want to use it all year.

I hope this article on hot tubs vs pools was helpful.

Thanks for visiting

James Brockbank