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Hot Tub or Spa: What's the Difference?

You may be wondering, What is the difference between a hot tub and a spa?

The short answer is nothing, as it is a common practice for manufacturers to use hot tub and spa synonymously. The more in-depth answer, however, is that hot tubs and portable spas are manufactured tubs that can be installed aboveground or inground and do not necessarily have to remain in the same location. Permanent spas, on the other hand, are typically built inground, often accompanying or connected to a swimming pool; they become an integral part of a property's hardscape. These non-portable spas are usually made of poured concrete, while hot tubs and portable spas are composed of an interior shell (typically made of acrylic or another synthetic material) and an exterior cabinet, most often made of real or synthetic wood.

Both a hot tub and a spa can be distinguished from a whirlpool tub, which is found in a bathroom and is filled and drained after each use. A hot tub or spa uses sanitized, filtered and circulated water and is only drained several times a year for maintenance.

More importantly, a hot tub or spa offers a number of benefits that will not only increase the value of your home, but will also improve your health, your well-being and your relationships with those you love. With advantages like these, the thought of unwinding in warm, swirling waters after a long day is almost too hard to resist. But among the vast number of hot tub models, which vary in everything from size to number of jets to entertaining add-ons, how do you decide which one will fit your lifestyle?