What Are the Differences Between Hot Tubs, Jacuzzis, and Spas?

The words hot tub! Jacuzzi and spa are often associated! but rarely are their differences discussed. So aside for hot water and bubbles! what is the difference between the three. Here we will get to the bottom of this question and discuss the differences between Hot Tubs! Jacuzzi’s! and Spas.

Hot tubs

A hot tub is a small tub or pool with heated water used for hydrotherapy and leisure. They quite often use jets or air vents to create bubbling and massaging effects. 

Hot tub fits the stereotypical image of a Swedish hydrotherapy bath. They are framed with water-friendly timber like Cedar and are tall and round. Traditionally a Swedish style hot tub would be wood fire-heated. There are two main methods of heating the water in a classic hot tub! an internal burner and an external burner.

Internal Burner

This contraption is an efficient system often called a snorkel stove. A snorkel stove is usually galvanized aluminium and is a completely sealed unit aside from a burner door for the wood and a tall chimney for smoke release. The rest of the unit sits sectioned off in the tub and heats the water as the water circulates.

External Burner

An external burner! as the name suggests! sits outside the hot tub. This style of heater works by circulating the water out of the hot tub via a pipe system. These pipes curl around the fire or heat source! and the heated and the water is then re-circulated back into the hot tub. 

When properly engineered! this system can work without the aid of a pump through a process called convection. This method requires no moving parts! but it is a slow process.

Modern hot tubs! still often come traditionally fashioned in Cedar or other soft timbers but can have internally molded seats with strategic jets like a spa. They often use a modern electric or gas heating! and pumping system operates.

However! compared to the traditional wood fire heating method! they are far less energy efficient. The advantage of a modern heating system is the ability to control the temperature of the water! This is a better option if you have children using the hot tub. Or you are someone with heat-sensitive skin.


While there are differences between Hot Tubs! Jacuzzis! and Spas. Hot tubs and spas have a lot in common. They both pump heated water and offer a wide range of health benefits!


  • Soothing and relaxing tired muscles
  • Increasing blood flow
  • Reducing stress
  • Improving skin health and more

A spa! as opposed to a hot tub! tends to be associated with therapy! rather than leisure and relaxation.

Being made primarily for hydrotherapy applications! spas tend to come in a range of different sizes and styles. There can also be a definition placed between a “spa’ and a “spa bath”.


A spa is often located outside of a property and primarily functions as a hydrotherapy utility. They tend to be larger units seating anywhere from two to up to twelve people in larger models.

A spa is usually molded out of fiberglass. And has a variety of seating positions with strategically placed jets for massaging tired muscles and stimulating blood circulation. 

Like a swimming pool! a spa is usually permanently filled with water. The water is kept sanitary via a pump operated filtration system and chemicals like chlorine or salt. A cover can also reduce heating costs and reduce evaporation of the heated water.

Spa Bath

A spa bath sometimes called a “jetted tub”! is a term often used to refer to a traditional bath! that you would find in most bathrooms that modified to have hydrotherapy features. Usually! no more than a two-seater. A spa bath also has strategically placed jets. Designed to massage muscles and improve blood flow! they can also be used as a traditional static bath.

Unlike large custom spas. A spa bath! is filled and emptied with each use. As it requires much less water to operate.

It is worth noting that the bigger the spa! the more water and power resources they require to operate. A spa bath may be a more economical choice when it comes to hydrotherapy. It also does not require chemicals or filtration to remain sanitary and requires much less space and upkeep. Not to mention much less electricity to operate.


The word “Jacuzzi” simply refers to a pioneering brand of portable spa manufacturers in the product’s early conception.

The Jacuzzi company began around 1915! by seven brothers who had immigrated to California from Italy. The Jacuzzi brothers invented a hydrotherapy pump system to treat family members’ arthritis and other ailments. The rest! as they say! is history.

Now you understand the differences between hot tubs! jacuzzis! and spas!  

Need one? or interested in one for your home? The team here at Ezy Spa Movers are an award-winning spa and hot tub delivery and removal company. Providing expert spa services since 2009. We also offer a comprehensive new! and used spa inspection service. Ensure peace of mind when purchasing a spa or hot tub and give us a call. 

Contact our specialist team for expert service and advice! when buying and installing a new spa system for your home. Send us an email. One of our friendly staff will contact you at your next convenience.


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