Questions to ask yourself before choosing to buy an outdoor spa
When you buy a spa bath or swimming pool or plunge pool for your home, there are plenty of things to consider before you finalising your purchase. When you begin browsing products, you need to weigh up all considerations before making the correct, informed choice of the best spa bath or plunge pool for you.
Do I want a hot tub or a swim spa?
Spas aka hot tubs are great for relaxation, recovery, and generally enjoying time with your family in your backyard.
If you regularly go swimming and like the idea of being able to do pool exercises whenever you want, then a swim spa bath is worth considering.
It is costly and time-consuming to heat a swimming spa as it has such a large body of water. If you buy a swim spa, but you would prefer to have regular hot tub relaxation sessions as well, then you should consider buying either:
- A separate outdoor spa bath with greater choice of seating and massage options
- Or a dual zone swim spa with separate hot spa section
Do I want a portable spa or inground spa?
In-built aka inground hot tubs — either in the ground or in a deck — used to be very popular. They can look great when incorporated into a landscaped outdoor living area.
However, there are a few downsides to installing an inground spa bath, such as:
- Difficult and expensive in-ground spa installation
- Equipment must be placed externally
- Less power to the jets due to longer plumbing
- Higher running costs
- Unable to move the inground spa or sell it onwards
- Major problems if the in-ground spa leaks for tree roots and land
- Limited choice of suppliers and installers
These days we would recommend using a portable hot tub and building this into your deck. Otherwise, you can sink the spa into a pit in the ground and add decking around it. This is due to the many benefits offered by portable spas:
- Simple installation
- Everything is located under the spa for easy servicing
- Maximum power and hydrotherapy hot tub massage
- Lower costs due to better insulation
- Programmable filtration and heating
- Can move or sell it at any time with minimal cost
- Quiet — all equipment is built into the cabinet
- Easy to repair as the cabinet is fully removable
- Full lighting and stereo options
What entry-level type of outdoor spa bath do I want?
Once you have decided on either a portable or in-ground luxury spa bath, you then need to decide what you want in a hot tub. Your preferences will directly affect how much it costs. You need to choose between:
- An affordable entry-level outdoor spa, mainly for cooling off or soaking in hot water. See the Maui Hydrotherapy Spa.
- A mid-price all-rounder that has more features and offers good hydrotherapy hot tub levels. See the Byron Bay Hydrotherapy Hot Tub.
- A top quality massage hydrotherapy spa with premium features and more jets, power, and therapeutic benefits. See the Islander Pro Platinum Hydrotherapy Spa.
This decision will determine your everyday bathing and soaking experience, the price you’ll pay, and the power supply you need.
What’s the best spa for my needs and location?
Determining the particular model you should buy will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- The size of the area you have available
- The number of people you want in your outdoor hot tub at one time
- If you prefer a feeling of roominess
- The style of seating you want, as recliners take more space
- Running costs — the larger it is, the more water is heated
- Your budget — large luxury spa baths are more expensive to run
What is the best seating layout for my needs?
This will directly influence how much you inevitably spend. Spas have four main types of seats.
- Recliner lounges are designed for lying down, and are perfect for when you want to fully relax. These seats often have jets along your legs and on your feet as well as on your back to provide a full body massage. However, they do take up the same amount of room as 3 upright seats.
- Hydrotherapy spa bath seats have many jets to target muscle groups on your back and your feet, providing massage therapeutic relief for aches and pains all over the body.
- Neck and shoulder therapy seats have jets that are located at or above the water line to target your neck and shoulders. They can be very deep and can also be restrictive for tall people, so make sure to sit in them before buying.
- Bench-style and other upright seats often have fewer jets, and are best for children and socialising. They are usually shallower, upright, and allow you to fit more people in your spa.
Visit our Australian spa stores across the country!
If you are unsure about what is best for you, try testing out some hot tubs in person to find the best spa bath for you — or even better, ask for a test soak at one of our hot tub shops.
Knowledgeable, friendly staff are on hand at all our spa retailers to answer any questions you might have. In the end, we want you to feel comfortable that you’ve made the correct choice.