Hot Tub vs Sauna (Which One Is Best For You?)

By James Brockbank •  Updated: 07/15/21 •  10 min read

What’s the difference between a hot tub vs sauna?

Hot Tub and Sauna differ in their installation, use, and required maintenance. Hot tub installation requires less space than saunas, and their structure is much easier because they don’t need an enclosure. They also differ in maintenance because unlike saunas that require interior scrubbing after every use, the hot tub will only require you to test the water and balance the chemical components at weekly intervals. 

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You could go for a sauna if the intended use is for personal calmness and tranquility. However, if you like spending time with family and friends, listening to loud music, catching up, or even holding parties, a hot tub would be your ideal option.

Hot Tub and Sauna also differ in their use because hot tubs help in cleansing your skin but in a less effective way than the latter because it doesn’t allow you to sweat as much as it happens with saunas.

I all need relaxation after a long and busy day. A hot tub or a sauna is the best alternatives to help you relax and destress. But Hot Tubs and Sauna have some inherent differences that would require you to choose the best option that meets your needs in the best possible way.

If you’ve ever had questions regarding how the two facilities differ, I have prepared this article to give you the details of each for easy selection of the most suitable option.

Let’s get started!

What’s It Like In A Hot Tub?

A hot tub is an answer to your relaxation needs after everything you’ve been through over the day. If you’ve ever wondered what’s it like in a hot tub, it is the place you unwind your day, relax and rejuvenate your spirits amid the soothing massage of the hot tub water. It is also the best place to spend quality time with your family and friends. 

You don’t run out of options when organizing a family party if you have a hot tub in your backyard. You’ll get the chance to catch up with life at the hot tub or even have fun with your children as you soak. The hot tub provides you the opportunity to laugh and have fun with your loved ones.

Sometimes you could lower the hot tub temperatures to the level of a swimming pool for an even better experience. If you want to give your spouse a romantic night, the hot tub is the best place to be! Just turn on some sweet music and pour some wine as you both move to a dreamland. The fact that you can control the hot tub temperatures makes them suitable for all age groups.

Get the best social experience in your hot tubs with the person of your choice. You’ll even find the hot tub more seductive under the cold weather because it feels like soaking into a hot bath. But the hot tub has different experiences resulting from the bubbling water and the massaging experience from the jetted water. That’s how amazing it is to be in a hot tub.

What’s The Point Of Saunas?

When you think about Hot Tub Vs Sauna, it may feel like a hot tub meets all your needs. You could, therefore, wonder what’s the point of saunas. Interestingly, a sauna has many benefits as well. For example, the tranquility and calmness you’ll get from a sauna are far much better than what you’d expect from a hot tub, making them the best choice for enjoyment among couples. Saunas are not for fun games and family events but a place you want to spend quiet time alone, relaxing. 

You’ll also need a sauna if you are interested in cleansing your skin because the sauna exposes every part of your skin, including the face. When the body temperature rises, you’ll start to sweat. Toxins will flush out of the skin from every part and leave you glowing. Although a hot tub has similar benefits, it is not as effective as a sauna.

The other reason you should consider having a sauna is the fact that saunas offer superior benefits to hot tubs when it comes to relaxation and stress relief. Remember that saunas are designed for individual use, meaning that you’ll enjoy your quiet time after a long day of work.

Which Is Better: Hot Tub Or Sauna?

This is an interesting question that I wouldn’t answer directly. But I could guide you into choosing the best between hot tub vs sauna, based on some parameters. For starters, I could recommend hot tubs because they require relatively smaller spaces to install with minor maintenance requirements. The only special requirement is to test the hot tub water for at least a week and keep it at the right balance. You could choose a sauna if you’re interested in saving the costs of operation relating to energy.

It’s challenging to install saunas, and you might need a professional for assistance. Besides, it would help if you were prepared to do a thorough scrubbing of the inner surfaces every time you use a sauna. This could be tiresome to maintain. If you own a hot tub, you’ll only need to keep the proper chemical balance of the water, which is not as complicated as cleaning the sauna.

Comparing the two systems from the above parameters shows that a hot tub could be a better alternative than saunas. But you could choose a sauna if you’re interested in saving the costs of operation relating to energy. However, the health benefits from each of the systems are almost similar.

Therefore, choose from what you want to achieve. A sauna should be your choice if you’re looking for an intense detox. But if you want something you can have fun games, family events, and ample time with friends, then there’s no better alternative to a hot tub.

How Hot Tubs And Saunas Are Similar?

A hot tub and a sauna are similar in some ways. For example, they’re both perfect if you’re trying to lose weight. Experts report that soaking in a hot tub or sitting in a sauna for about 20 minutes increases your metabolism like a person taking a long walk. Any of the two systems increases the body temperatures, making the blood vessels dilate and increase blood circulation. 

The stored fat is broken down to provide the extra energy needed to support the increased body activities. The intense burning of calories causes loss of weight, giving you a slimmer and healthier body. The weight loss benefit is one of the reasons many people incorporate hot tubs and saunas in their weight loss routines.

Both the hot tubs and the saunas serve as perfect relaxing sites where you’ll unwind and clear stresses after a busy day. A single session in either the hot tub or the sauna helps release the “feel good” hormones that help your body heal from any anxieties and bodily tensions, giving you a good mood.

Besides, increased circulation transports more oxygenated blood into the brain, rejuvenating your spirits to make you refreshed. This makes your brain function more efficiently to make you better relaxed.

You should also note that both the hot tub and sauna improve your well-being. They can alleviate muscle and joint pains. The heat acting on your muscles helps in loosening the tightness and tensions.


Hot Tub Installation Compared to Sauna Installation

Hot Tub Vs Sauna installation is another critical consideration you need to understand. Hot tubs are easier to install because they are normally placed outdoors and do not require any special enclosures. The location requirements are a flat and a firm surface capable of supporting the unit’s weight with its water. You could provide a decking around the selected location to keep the pump and the filters, while electrical access will be needed for powering the pump. You should also install the hot tub near a water source for easy filling. 

You can do all these installation activities yourself except for a few cases where professional help could be needed for electrical and plumbing works.

Sauna installation is more complex because it means occupying an interior space or constructing a modular enclosure outdoors. You’ll need to build a sauna from the foundation using a prefab kit. The foundation and other steps require technical skills that only professionals could provide.

You need to hire an electrician to connect the light switch, the switch, and the heater controls. A plumber will be required if the heater is based on gas. You could also insulate the walls and the ceiling to make your system energy-efficient. You’ll then cover the insulation with cedar paneling to provide the interior ceiling and walls of the sauna. You will also need to provide a door, seats, and finishing details when installing a sauna.

Although an indoor installation of a hot tub could be a challenge, a sauna is much more involving and expensive to install.

What’s Better For Sore Muscles: Hot Tub Or Sauna?

I have seen that both the sauna and hot tub have similar health benefits. The benefit comes from the heat, either from the steam bath for a sauna or hot water for a hot tub. Each of the two systems has a superior benefit over the other. For saunas, the temperatures are higher and can help expand and loosen the muscles, creating a healing effect if you’re sore. Hot tubs have the same benefit as saunas from the temperature of their water. But they have an added benefit of bubbling and massaging effect from the jets located around the shell. 

Hot tubs are better than sauna for relieving sore muscles because of the weightless water effects. Besides, the water jets exert pressure on the sore muscles. When these effects are combined with the heat from the hot tub water, the results are more excellent than a sauna could provide.

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Hot Tub vs Sauna: Conclusion

hot tub vs sauna

You have learned that the difference between a hot tub and a sauna is in their use, installation, and maintenance. Saunas are steam baths that help with comprehensive detoxification and a facility for personal relaxation. Hot tubs are suitable for fun games with friends and family.

The maintenance requirements for saunas are more extensive, while their installation is cost-intensive compared to hot tubs. When you’re in a hot tub, you expect to enjoy all forms of social engagement with family and friends and still relax and enjoy a soothing massage.

But saunas are still necessary for your calmness, tranquillity, and intense detoxification. When I compare a hot tub and a sauna, I recommend hot tubs because of their tiny space requirements, less labor and costs in installation, and low maintenance costs.

A hot tub works better in relieving sore muscles over saunas because of the extra jet massage and water bubbling experiences.

I hope you found this article on hot tubs vs saunas helpful.

Thanks for visiting

James Brockbank