For many first time hot tub buyers, one of the most basic questions is also one of the most difficult; what size should their new hot tub be?
Most hot tub manufacturers build their hot tubs in a wide variety of sizes; from 2 person all the way up to 10-12 person! Determining which size is right for you can be tricky when you don’t have any experience owning a hot tub. In this article we will look at a variety of factors that will help you determine what size your new hot tub should be.
How Many People Will Use Your Hot Tub?
The first, and most basic, factor when deciding how big your new hot tub should be is how many people will be using it. While this might seem easy to do, it usually isn’t. For most people, the number of people using their hot tub at any given time can change depending on:
- Visitors. There will likely be times when you have family and friends over. Will the hot tub have enough room to hold these visitors?
- Family Schedules. Are you typically busy with sports or other activities? Do you and your partner work at different times of the day? If so, you may not always use the hot tub at the same time.
- Time Of Year. Everyone has different preferences. Some family members might not want to use the hot tub in the summer, for example, while others might not want to use it in the winter.
- Kids. Over the lifespan of your hot tub, small children can grow up and start becoming regular hot tub users. Older children will also eventually reach the point where they move out of the house and stop using the hot tub.
People vs Seats
A fundamental thing to understand about hot tub sizing is that the amount of seats in a hot tub isn’t necessarily equal to the amount of people that can comfortably use it. For example, most 6 seat hot tubs can only fit 4-5 adults comfortably.
The reason for this is not that the seats are too small, but rather that the footwell of the hot tub is too small. The smaller the footwell is, the more people’s legs and feet will be touching, and the more uncomfortable everyone in the hot tub will be.
In our experience, many hot tub owners don’t have visitors in their hot tub more than a couple of times per year. Buying a hot tub large enough to support an extra 2-4 people for such a rare occasion is usually a waste of money; both in the upfront cost and in the ongoing costs of heating and balancing that extra water.
When deciding how big your hot tub should be, we therefore tell people to focus on how many people will be using the hot tub for the majority of the time and buy one that can comfortably fit that number. That said, if you frequently have company over to your home (more than once per month) it may be wise to buy a hot tub that is a little larger than you might otherwise need.
Hot tubs fit different people in different ways. What might be perfect for one person might be too small for someone else. More often than not, the biggest contributor to this is the height of the person using the hot tub.
Tall people generally don’t fit well into small hot tubs; with the culprit again being the footwell. Some footwells in smaller hot tubs simply aren’t big enough to comfortably fit longer legs; forcing taller people to buy a bigger hot tub than they might otherwise need.
Do You Want A Lounger?
Another factor that you should consider when deciding what size your hot tub should be is if you want a hot tub with a lounge seat (“lounger”) or not. A lounge seat is one which is built for you to use in a more reclined position with your feet up. Many people prefer lounge seats as they let you lay back and relax. They also give you a full body massage, from your feet all the way up to your neck.
The downside of lounge seats is that they take up a lot of room. A hot tub with a lounge seat will generally have 1 less seat, and a smaller footwell, than a similarly sized hot tub that doesn’t have a lounger. If you plan on buying a hot tub with a lounger you should therefore consider getting one that is slightly bigger than you might otherwise have planned on buying.
Where Will The Hot Tub Be Located?
The last factor to look at when deciding how big your hot tub should be the area where the hot tub will be installed. When looking at hot tubs you will want to make sure that you have enough space to fit your chosen hot tub.
If space might be an issue, be sure to measure your install area prior to going hot tub shopping. Keep in mind that accessories like stairs and cover lifters will increase the footprint required by your new hot tub. Cover lifters, for example, generally require 6″ of clearance on either side of the hot tub and 18″ of clearance on the backside of the hot tub to properly function.
How To Decide What Size Your Hot Tub Should Be
With so many potential factors, how will you know what size of hot tub to purchase? Often times, the best way to find out is to simply get everyone in the hot tub to try it out. Before putting any money down, get your family down to the showroom and sit in a couple of hot tubs without water. Make sure that everyone is comfortable and have enough room. Once you think you’ve found the right size, try one larger and one smaller to make sure that you’ve chosen correctly.
Pay close attention to the size of the foot well and make sure that everyone’s legs fit comfortably in it without crowding. Also keep in mind that you will have this hot tub for many years. If you have young children, make sure that they will have room to use it as they grow.
Ultimately, the size of your hot tub will come down to personal preference. Hopefully this guide gave you some good tips to help you choose the size that is right for you. If you have any other questions on hot tub sizing, or anything hot tub related, call us and speak to one of our hot tub sales specialists.