Spa vs Jacuzzi – What’s the Difference and Which One Should You Choose?
What is a Spa?
The terms “spa”, “hot tub”, and “jacuzzi” are often used interchangeably but they are in fact slightly different products, so picking which one you want is not as simple as spa vs jacuzzi.
The term spa is wide ranging, covering a variety of products from in-ground spas (like the kind you would have with a swimming pool or at a gym) and indoor bath spas (jetted tubs), or whirlpool baths, to outdoor, above-ground portable spas. In-ground spas and indoor bath spas require specialised plumbing and can be expensive to install. In-ground spas are also expensive to maintain, and often not particularly comfortable if they are made from concrete or other hard material. Indoor spas, or whirlpool baths, use a lot of water as you need to fill them and empty them with every use.
Above-ground, portable spas are most commonly referred to as hot tubs. A hot tub or portable spa is a completely self-contained unit with all plumbing, the electrical control system and other components, built inside the hot tub cabinet. This means that there is no plumbing required. A hot tub can be placed on decking, a balcony (being aware of weight limitations for your chosen structure of course) or in your garden. You simply fill with a hose and it can be drained anytime, and even relocated to a new home if you move. As the water stays in the hot tub, you treat it with chemicals to keep it clean and you don’t have to fill and empty it as often as you do with an indoor spa. Hot tubs can range from very simple designs with a few jets, to swim spas and massage spas with an extremely high jet count. Modern hot tubs generally offer a superior experience to in-ground spas as they are more comfortable, more energy efficient, easier to maintain, and provide a better massage. If flexibility, good price and a great product are what you’re after, a hot tub from a recommended retailer such as Aqua Pulse Spas is the way to go.
The third term, Jacuzzi®, is actually a brand name for a spa that is sometimes incorrectly used as a generic term. The Jacuzzi brothers invented the first underwater jet which was originally used in bathtubs, and called it a Jacuzzi jet. The Jacuzzi® brand today is a trademark for spa bathtubs as well as portable hot tubs – but since Jacuzzi® is a brand name, of course not every hot tub or spa is a Jacuzzi® product. So, if you’re asking “spa vs jacuzzi” what you probably mean is bath spa vs inground outdoor spa or hot tub.
History of Spas
The word “spa” originally referred to a location of a mineral or natural hot spring. In ancient times, people traveled huge distances to bathe and enjoy the restorative effects of hot springs. Over time, these hot places became the holiday destinations for the wealthy, offering various types of entertainment, and other health and social experiences. Bath Spa in the southwest of England is one such place which still thrives to this day. Originally home to the Roman Baths, it became popular again in Victorian times when high society visited to take the waters and relax in the hot springs.
Centuries later, with the invention of electricity, people no longer had to travel to a natural hot spring to enjoy a hot soak, and the term “spa” took on an additional meaning: besides being a location where a person might go to be pampered with a soak and massage, a spa came to refer to a hot tub or whirlpool bath, too.