Caldera Spas vs. Bullfrog Spas: A Comparison Guide
In layman’s terms, a caldera is a volcanic crater left by the cone of a volcano after it has erupted and the top has essentially caved in. Caldera® Spas was founded in 1976 and according to their website “is one of the most trusted [spa] brands in the world.”
They are manufactured by Watkins Wellness, which is a division of the much larger MASCO company that sells products for home improvement and new builds through home stores and other similar distributors. They “are a leading provider of decorative and functional plumbing products.” So, Caldera® Spas and their parent company are by no means new to the plumbing and hot tub industry.
Let’s dive into the comparison between Bullfrog Spas® and Caldera® Spas.
Hot Tub Features
According to their online literature, “Our reliable, high-performance spas are designed for comfort, efficient energy use, and simple maintenance…”
This translates to “deep cradling seats and a textured foot ridge®… perfectly positioned hydrotherapy massage…and a whisper-quiet sound dampening design.” In addition to these features, they claim, “Each seat or position in a Caldera® Spa provides a deep massage to a different muscle group.”
The main feature that differentiates Bullfrog Spas® from other brands is the patented JetPak Therapy System™, giving spa owners the option to choose from up to eighteen different massage options that can be changed, moved, and upgraded at any time. This allows each buyer to personalize their spa according to their needs and desires.
JetPak™ options cover every possible back, neck, and shoulder muscle group and massage type that a jet can create, each one focusing on a different style of hydromassage experience that varies in power and
intensity. In addition to this, Bullfrog Spas are made with a variety of seating options, premium features, and the ability to customize the aesthetics of your spa to look spectacular in your yard.
Jets and Massage Therapy
Caldera® spas offer what they call Hot Tub Circuit Therapy®, which appears to be pretty similar to workout circuit training programs in that the idea is that you move from seat to seat, each set of jets positioned to target a different group of muscles in your body until they have all been activated. It’s a great concept and cool idea, especially if you’ve ever been a fan of circuit training workouts.
From their website, by “focusing on one muscle group at a time. You’re able to work on your neck and shoulders, the large muscles of your back, lower back, hamstrings, calves and feet.”
Alternatively, each Bullfrog Spas model that offers the JetPak Therapy System® provides a unique hydromassage experience by targeting different areas of your back, neck, and shoulders and varies in power and intensity. Personalize your spa by selecting your favorites from up to eighteen different JetPak options, and placing your choice of massage options in whatever seat you’d like. You can do this all by staying in your favorite spa seat for the entire length of your time in the spa—if you choose. Or you can also swap from seat to seat and experience all the JetPaks in one sitting. The point is, in a Bullfrog Spa, that’s optional, where this is not something that can be done in spas made by any other company in the market.
“Relax in a premium lounger, enjoy a full-body massage in a deep seat, or hang out in a shallow seat to avoid getting your hair wet. With varying seat types and depths, your whole family can enjoy the spa together” at any time.
Quality, Reliability, and Design
In creating this comparison series, Caldera® is the first spa company that gives details about their spas from top to bottom, so this is a good sign that they are conscious of how their spas are being designed and built. They offer, “contemporary colors, sculpted design, and rugged durability that are Hallmarks of the EcoTech® Cabinet” featured on each spa made by Caldera®.
In addition to the exterior, the Caldera® website claims, “We give special attention to every component detail, from lights and speaker placement to the design of jets, diverters, and pillows—and down to the pattern in the footwell.”
“From precision craftsmanship to rigorous quality control and testing, each Caldera® spa is scrutinized for form, function, fit, and finish… We are committed to the highest level of engineering and construction and back each spa with our exceptional ComfortGuard® limited warranty.”
Each Bullfrog Spa is built on our patented molded ABS EnduraBase™, and EnduraBeam™ structural columns that make up the EnduraFrame™. Because Bullfrog Spas are built with the patented JetPak Therapy System™, they have significantly less plumbing than conventional spas.
Bullfrog Spas are protected by one of the strongest warranties in the industry. The EnduraFrame has up to a lifetime warranty, and the hot tub shell structure has up to a 10-year warranty. Each Bullfrog Spa component and part is well thought out and planned to give you the best hot tub experience possible. Further details about this thoughtful and incredible warranty can be read on the Bullfrog Spas Warranty page.
Caldera® spas work hard to keep their spas energy efficient. From the Caldera® website, “Each of our hot tubs meets the most stringent energy standards established by the California Energy Commission (CEC). Every aspect of your spa’s construction – insulation, heaters, pumps, and even our spa covers – work together to keep your spa water hot, and your energy bills low.”
Bullfrog Spas also work hard to stay efficient, and “every Bullfrog Spa model meets or exceeds the stringent energy guidelines of the California Energy Commission (CEC). Other companies claim it, but data actually shows that Bullfrog Spa models are the most energy-efficient hot tubs in their class. You’ll use significantly less energy when compared to other leading spa brands.”
Form and Function
If you’ve ever tried circuit training at a gym, you know that it has lots of benefits and can be a really great workout. This is likely true for Caldera’s Hot Tub Circuit Therapy®. However, it does require that you get up and switch seats at regular intervals, which makes it a bit more difficult to fully relax in your hot tub, so that’s a consideration to keep in mind.
Alternatively, Bullfrog Spas JetPaks™ make it easy to stay in one seat and swap out the massage options however and whenever you want. It’s not a workout or a therapy system that requires you to move around. You simply choose the area you’d like to target and place the appropriate JetPak in your seat of choice. If you’re looking for relaxing massage, this might be a slightly more appealing option for that reason. Or, if you like the idea of the circuit massage, you can easily switch from seat to seat in your Bullfrog Spa, and still have the option to choose which JetPaks go in your spa.
Water Care Options
Each Caldera spa that’s been made since 2019 has options for a FreshWater® Salt System or FROG® water care system. From the Caldera website, “FROG® brand sanitizing systems feature pre-filled cartridges for no mess, no guess and no stress hot tub care.”
Salt systems are basically chlorine or bromine systems that use electricity to separate out the chlorine from a salt that is added to the water periodically. Salt-based chlorine generation systems are prone to producing levels of chlorine that are sometimes very high, especially compared to low-chlorine-level systems like FROG® @ease®. In addition, salt-based chlorine systems have a tendency to create negative side effects, such as the corrosion of components like heaters, pumps, and the probes and sensors that make the system run. These systems don’t often last the lifetime of the spa, so there’s a high probability that you’ll have to replace the whole system or use another water care system over time.
Bullfrog Spas offers FROG® @Ease® with SmartChlor™, and in addition to this system EOS™ O3 Enhanced Ozone System, a revolutionary automatic water purification system that eliminates impurities using the powerful oxidation properties of O3 gas.
In addition, customers can choose to add on a dedicated Wellspring filtration pump, which is a quiet, vibration-free circulation pump that is more than eight times as effective as standard filtration pumps. Your spa will filter better while consuming up to 60% less operating energy.
Hot Tub Model Comparison
2022 HotSpring Spa Series
Utopia® Series: 6 spa models, ranging from 3-8 seats
Paradise® Series: 6 spa models, ranging from 3-7 seats
Vacanza® Series: 6 spa models, ranging from 2-7 seats
2022 Bullfrog Spas Series
Swim Series – Performance Class: 2 spa models, ranging from 9-13 seats
M Series™ – Elite Class: 4 spa models, ranging from 7-10 seats
STIL™ – Modern Class: 2 spa models, ranging from 4-6 seats
A Series™ – Luxury Class: 9 spa models, ranging from 3-9 seats
R Series™ – Premium Class: 7 spa models, ranging from 3-8 seats
X Series™ – Comfort Class: 7 spa models, ranging from 3-8 seats
The tough part about comparing prices is that they’re going to vary based on models, options, and location. There are so many potential variables that the best thing we can suggest is that you either visit your local hot tub dealers for more information here or visit the company websites where you can get a pricing estimate based on the features and options that are most important to you. Both brands are in a similar pricing class, so it’s going to come down to your ideal choices and what your local dealers have available.
As always, when you’re making a major decision to spend this amount of money, it’s always a good idea to know what you’re looking for before you sign on the dotted line. Aside from comparing each brand side-by-side, another great way to do this is to read customer reviews and see what other customers have to say about each brand. It’s always a good idea to look at multiple reviews that cover a number of topics so you get a wide view of what things have gone right and wrong for other hot tub purchasers.
Good luck with your hot tub buying search.
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