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What’s the Difference Between a Hot Tub and a Jacuzzi?

It’s time to get wet and party!

In this post, we’ll be discussing two ways to do just that: hot tubs and Jacuzzis. Both hot tubs and Jacuzzis are great for socialising, relaxation, and muscle relief, but what’s the difference between a hot tub and a jacuzzi?

Hot Tub vs Jacuzzi: Main Differences

The main jacuzzi and hot tub difference are simply that a wide variety of brands can manufacture hot tubs, whilst this name can refer to only models designed and built by the Jacuzzi brand.

Hot tubs and Jacuzzis can contain all of the same features, including built-in jet whirlpool devices, massage systems, heaters and flat-screen TVs, but only those built by Jacuzzi can benefit from the name recognition of their trademarked brand.

What is a Jacuzzi Tub?

Whilst there can be a bit of confusion between Jacuzzis and hot tubs, there are a few differences but the main difference is that the term Jacuzzi refers to the specific brand that first popularised commercial hot tub use. 

Dating all the way back to the mid-20th century, Jacuzzi hot tubs were invented (unsurprisingly) by the Jacuzzi brothers, who had designed an underwater whirlpool pump intended to provide pain relief to arthritis patients.   

These luxurious early hot tubs became so popular amongst patients that soon the word spread to the wider world, resulting in a burst of popularity and the first commercially available hot tubs, commonly referred to simply as Jacuzzis.

Is Jacuzzi a Brand?

Yes, Jacuzzi was the original hot tub brand. Like Hoover and vacuums, the brand Jacuzzi became a household name synonymous with hot tubs, although there are key differences between a hot tub and a Jacuzzi. So what’s the difference? 

What is a Hot Tub?

young girl in a hot tub with her family

The term hot tub is a much broader description of the spa as a whole, defined by most as a large tub of hot water fitted with a whirlpool device and/or massage jets, designed to relieve pain and muscle aches or simply to relax and socialise in.

Hot tubs began to deviate from the Jacuzzi brand around the 1970s when many hot tubs were made from wood and lacked several of the popular features we enjoy today. You can go back and check the history of hot tubs on this page.

Modern hot tubs (sometimes called spas) are packed with design features like LED lights, electronic controls, cushioned headrests and even flat-screen TVs! But at their core, today’s hot tubs are defined in the same way as they always have been, a whirlpool bath of hot water in which bathers soak for health and wellness benefits.

Which is better Jacuzzi or Hot Tub?

The answer to this question depends on personal preference; whilst the Jacuzzi brothers were the first to develop the modern hot tub, they don’t necessarily make the best or most affordable home hot tub products today.

For example, the benefits of the hot tub market growth in recent years have meant that you’ll often find lesser-known hot tub brands producing excellent hot tubs at a fraction of the price that Jacuzzis sell for. 

In the end, you’re really paying for hot tub brand recognition. Although this often means a high-quality product, you’ll generally find better-valued products elsewhere if you do your research. 

What About Spas And Jetted Tubs – What Are They?

a small hot tub with taps and tiles surrounding it

A spa

The word spa is mainly used interchangeably with the word hot tub to describe the same product. Technically speaking, a spa is traditionally a physical place where you can go to use saunas, swim in a swimming spa pool or receive hydrotherapy treatments. 

Language is constantly changing, so the definition is likely to change as spas become less commonly used than hot tubs. Mostly we’ll have to rely on context for now to make sense of what people mean! 

Jetted tub

The term jetted tub is again commonly used to describe both hot tubs and Jacuzzis, though this one is slightly easier to understand thanks to its descriptive name. 

A jetted hot tub is any hot tub or spa that features underwater massaging jacuzzi jets. This can be a portable spa, a permanent hot tub, or even a jetted bathtub; so long as there is a jet system that pushes water around the body of the hot tub, it can be correctly referred to as a jetted tub. These can often be found in luxury hotel suites and are usually called permanent hot tubs.

To confuse things even further, whirlpool baths are also often called jetted tubs, which is technically correct as they use an underwater pump to propel water around the body of the hot tub. Generally speaking, as long as there is a jet-powered by air or water, you’ve got yourself a jetted hot tub!

What’s the Difference in Cost?

a sunken hot tub on some decking overlooking the sea

This really depends on the specifics of the product you’re looking for. To put it plainly, Jacuzzi brand hot tubs will come with a premium price tag compared to other products, though there are premium hot tubs and swim spas from other brands that can cost £1000’s.

How many people you can fit in a hot tub, the build quality of the hot tub, and the massage system are the main things that affect the price of a hot tub, though many brands will also offer additional features like lights and sound systems that can further increase this. 

Hydropool hot tubs, whirlpool baths with upwards of 170 jets, and space for as many as 8 people will be the most expensive hot tubs no matter who they’re manufactured by, so these days, the Jacuzzi name doesn’t quite carry the same pedigree that it once did due to the increase in popularity of hot tubs.


Is a Jacuzzi worth it?

Do all jacuzzi hot tubs have jets?


We hope this article help answered your question on what is the difference between a jacuzzi and hot tub! The Jacuzzi and hot tub are both great for relaxation and hydrotherapy. The difference between a hot tub and a jacuzzi are not always easy to see and they differ in a few ways, the main one being that Jacuzzis are usually much more luxurious and don’t offer portable inflatable hot tub options. It all depends on the type you want, there are a variety of options that have a different shell, size, colour and other features.

Both have their benefits and all come with different accessories, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference. One thing to keep in mind is that Jacuzzis usually cost quite a bit more than a hot tub. But don’t let that stop you from enjoying either of these amazing products – they’re sure to give you years of enjoyment!

John Devlin

Hello, Welcome to my website. I’m John, and I created the InflatableHotTubGuide while researching these spas nearly a decade ago. Since its creation, the site has become the leading UK resource for many models. As a passionate hot tub user, I love to test and explore all the latest machines this industry keeps creating. I hope you find our content helpful.