Everybody loves to sit back and relax in hot swirling water after having a tough day. While all three of these products offer a nice therapeutic session, they are not the same. In fact, the vast majority of people who decide to invest in a new tub stumble upon the same question – What’s the difference between these three types of tubs?

Even though some differences are pretty subtle, they still exist. It might not be easy to break these three types down to a comprehensible level, but it’s also not that hard to get the hang of the most important elements and aspects of these tubs. Either way, in case you’re planning on investing in a new tub, it would probably be a good idea to get familiar with the most important differences so that you can choose the suiting one for your needs. Once we break it down, you will be able to comprehend better the pros and cons of each type.

Hot tubs

A hot tub can be a large tub or a small pool filled with heated water and mostly used for therapy or pleasure. Some hot tubs feature integrated jets that are usually used for massage purposes. Unlike a typical bathtub, a hot tub is designed for more than one person. In fact, the vast majority of modern models were designed to accommodate four people. When it comes to ideal location, these tubs can be installed both indoors and outdoors. Furthermore, the water in these is not changed after every use but is kept clean and sanitary by using similar methods to those used in typical swimming pools. One of the main differences between this and other types is that most people don’t use shampoos and soaps in wet-jetted tubs. However, they can be used in air-jetted tubs, even though it’s usually frowned upon.

There are several types of hot tubs, but the most popular ones are portable and regular. As one can assume, portable tubs are great for people who don’t want to install it once and for all but instead want some mobility and versatility. These tend to be a bit cheaper in comparison to regular ones, but it’s not always the case. In fact, there are some models that cost up into the tens of thousands of dollars and come with all sorts of additional features and auxiliary modes. 

Regular tubs are quite similar to portable ones with a few differences. The most important one is the fact that they can’t be moved once installed. Maintenance can be a tedious nuisance and you’ll more than likely pay a higher price for a regular model in comparison to a portable one. Make sure you know all the pros and cons of these two types because the portable vs. regular hot tubs thing is a never-ending battle.


Contrary to popular belief, the term “Spa” is associated with water treatment which is also known as balneotherapy. Similarly, spa resorts are places that typically offer different forms of hydrotherapy. Now, hydrotherapy and the importance of mineral water have been discovered many centuries ago and used by some ancient civilizations during prehistoric times. There are plenty of ways to become healthier, and Spa treatment is definitely one of them.

On the other hand, “Spa” is often used as a term for the American type of hot tubs. The main difference between an American hot tub and any other is that these are equipped with particularly strong jets that mix air and water violently thus creating a swirling effect which can be used for therapeutic purposes. When it comes to placement, these can be installed above ground as well as in-ground, depending on the location. Furthermore, these are also used as a part of a larger swimming pool which is known as a “pool and spa” combo.


This category is probably the most confusing one for many people. You can often hear other people refer to hot tubs as Jacuzzis, which is not far from the truth, but it’s definitely not entirely correct. Jacuzzi is a well-known brand in the industry and they mostly make portable tubs. Jacuzzi is in the same situation as Velcro as both of these brands are used to refer to the entire category of products even though they are only brands.

The importance of hydrotherapy

Now that we’ve solved the confusion between these types and brands, it’s time to see which one does what when it comes to therapeutic properties. As mentioned, hydrotherapy is great for alleviating the issues with injuries, arthritis, diseases, and etcetera. Most people use hydrotherapy to soothe the pain, but some also enjoy relaxing in a hot tub after a rough day because it’s one of the proven ways to feel less stressed fast.

The benefits of hydrotherapy include an increase in the metabolic rate and digestion activity, hydration of cells, boosting the immune system, and improving the function of internal organs. The best thing about it is that anyone can use the perks of hydrotherapy whether it’s a child, adult, or an elderly person.  The overall concepts of hydrotherapy may seem complex, but it doesn’t take much to get familiar with the basics.
Other benefits include –

Calming effects and sleep improvement are two popular reasons why people end up investing in one of these products. The water jets usually serve as a trigger for cells to open up, but they also have massage purposes. It’s widely known that massage can help with a lot of things including pain in the bones and muscles and instead of paying for sessions with a professional masseuse many people decide to deal with it themselves by spending time in a hot tub.

Respiratory infections can also be prevented or minimized thanks to the therapeutic properties of hot water and steam. By using hot water and steam, you are making your body produce mucus which is a mechanism your body uses to get rid of the infection as quickly as possible. Some people even use compounds such as menthol in order to speed up the process.

Blood pressure problems can be regulated with cold water hydrotherapy. Since cold water closes the capillaries on the skin, the blood is then diverted towards the internal organs such as the heart, liver, and lungs. This effect causes an increase in blood flow to essential internal organs which consequently results in better performance.

Precautionary measures

Even though hydrotherapy has many beneficial aspects, it’s definitely not a harmless endeavor. In fact, too much cold or heat can have a negative effect on your body. The reason behind this is pretty simple – not all people react the same to different types of therapy.

It is strongly recommended that you consult a physician before opting for water therapy. For example, people with severe heart issues should avoid exposing themselves to sudden changes in temperature as it can cause heart failure and consequently end up with a fatal outcome.

Also, if you enter the world of hydrotherapy, make sure to monitor your progress throughout the sessions and fine-tune your needs accordingly. It all comes down to how you feel instead of what effect it has on your body. In case you don’t feel comfortable, there is no reason to push it. There are plenty of other methods that can be used to alleviate the pain or simply relax after a stressful week.