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Hot Tub Prices

Miniature hot tub cheapHot tub prices range from $40 for a dollhouse miniature hot tub kit to over $15,000 for a huge swim spa.  But most hot tub customers are looking for an affordable hot tub in the $3,000 - $5,000 range.

Compare the hot tub categories of Inflatable, Plug & Play, Mid-Range and High End spas in the table below showing some features and the advantages/disadvantages of each category.

Inflatable spas offer many ground floor seating so they don't have dedicated seats or loungers. Plug and play spas allow you to plug them right into a standard power outlet instead of wiring up 220v line(s) with a dedicated GFCI and shutoff box - but they offer a maximum of 1kw heating.

Mid-range spas offer all the features most people need to enjoy a hot tub in the backyard, on the deck or patio. The high end spas have everything including more jets, more pumps, more features and a higher price tag.

Hot Tub Price Comparison

 HOT TUBS Inflatable Plug & Play Mid Range High End
Voltage 120v 120v or 230v 230v 230v
Price Range  $350 - $1,000  $2,000 - $3,500  $3,500 - $5,000  $5000+
Seating  2-4 person  2-5 person  4-6 person  5-8 person


Low Installation Cost

Lowest Price

Low Installation Cost

Lower Operating Cost

Low Price

Durable Shell



Better Jetting

Powerful Heater

Durable Shell

Premium Features

Deluxe Jetting (some over 100 jets)

Underwater Lighting


Takes longer to heat

Vinyl - Not Solid

Floor Seating (some)

Air bubbles instead of water massage (some)


 Takes longer to heat

Less Features and Jets


Medium amount of jets

Lacks high end features like deluxe stereo and underwater LED lighting.

More expensive than plug and play spas

Requires Electrician for Installation of 230v line/box

Requires more space

Higher operating costs (mnre water to heat)

Higher Price

Requires Electrician for Installation of 230v line/box

The price of a hot tub depends on the amount of jets, pumps, type of controls, size of spa, features and accessories.  Then the price is further varied by discount deals given by the retailer or from an online store.   Those prices are a reflection of both the wholesale price set by the manufacturer less any manufacturer incentives or discounts, plus the retail margin added to keep the lights on and the website up.

Hot Tub Shell Material

Whether the hot tub shell is made of vinyl, thermoplastic, thin acrylic with fiberglass or thick acrylic with ABS backing determines the basic cost of the hot tub shell material to the manufacturer.  It is true that the thick ABS-backed acrylic sheets made by Lucite and Aristech are some of the highest priced spa shell materials on the market.  Contrast a spa made from the strong shell acrylic with one made of vinyl or a cheaper thermoplastic, and the costs to produce the spa start to add up.

Spa waterfall jet

High Quality Components

Many hot tub manufacturers choose to use brand name components such as spa packs by Balboa, jets by Waterway or CMP, pumps by AquaFlo or Waterway along with brand name PVC fittings and plumbing parts.  Those that cut corners may use less expensive components which in turn can affect the price.

Manufacturer's Margin

If you are buying a brand name spa from a manufacturer that has been in business for decades, chances are they have figured out a good margin to keep their lights on and employees paid.  Since the hot tub business is a seasonal one, the manufacturer also needs to coordinate production through both the slow periods of January and February as well as the full-steam periods of April and May as well as September-October.   The manufacturer's margin does not affect the retail price as much as the retail margin, so bargaining at the retail level may result in a better price, especially where there is higher competition for the same model spa. 

Hot tub outpost

Reputable Retailer

Nowadays, reputable retailers can be found both in a retail store and online.  Those online retailers that are official dealers/distributors of a particular brand or brands of hot tubs can provide the same level of service as the "brick and mortar" stores with higher overhead costs which do have to be passe onto the consumer.  

Hot Tub Outpost is proud to be an official retailer of QCA Spas as well as other name brand hot tubs and hot tub parts.  That means the customer receives the full factory warranty and after-sales service and support.

Sale Events

Sale events such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Fourth of July and Christmas sales can expose lower prices, especially when shopping online.  However, that begs the question about the pricing for the other 360 or so days a year.  Ask for discount coupons any time of year to get additional discounts, sign up for an online retailer's mailing list and join their Facebook page or Twitter Feed to get notifications of upcoming sales and discount coupons. Buying the same quality item for less is always a great deal.

Price, Quality or Fast Delivery - Pick 2 out of 3


Many spas, just like cars, are custom made to your color specifications along with accessories you like.  The production time on a hot tub is about 3-4 weeks. Allow about a week for shipping.  This gives you the lead time on a brand new, factory direct spa in the color and style of your choice. 

There are also quick ship models that are usually the lower priced, plug and play type spas ready to ship. These come in a limited range of colors (usually white and/or blue) and have limited features, but are priced accordingly and represent great, affordable value in a hot tub.  The plug and play type spas also plug right into a standard 110v power outlet with the provided GFCI power cord, so they require much less installation time and cost.

See the whole range of factory direct hot tubs online at Hot Tub Outpost.