How Much Does a Hot Tub Cost?
Your Hot Tub Pricing Guide
How much does a hot tub cost? It’s an important question every serious spa shopper asks, but admittedly one that brands aren’t always great at answering. Everybody almost instinctively knows roughly how much cars cost, or TVs, or standard home appliances. However, hot tubs are not a consumer item that most people know too much about until they are ready to buy. That’s a problem this article will solve, helping you understand hot tub pricing better, allowing you to make an informed purchase decision with your amazing new hot tub.
Ok, before we go too far, a little explanation of why hot tub pricing is so challenging. I understand what likely brought you here and how it goes. You decide you want a hot tub so you start to research it online. You can find all kinds of information on features, build quality, and other benefits. But as you start to look for hot tub prices, you run into a bit of a brick wall, especially where many of the top quality hot tub brands are concerned.
Hot tubs are sometimes highly customized. Additionally, they cost a lot to ship to different locales. And hot tub markets vary regionally. A spa in San Francisco is likely to cost more than the same spa almost anywhere else. For these reasons and some others, prices for nearly all high-quality hot tubs have generally been established and communicated by local dealers. Since spa pricing, even for the same model, can vary somewhat by location and, in order to avoid cross-market confusion, hot tub prices from many brands are not posted online.
However, in this article, I want to help you navigate the hot tub pricing process by giving you information on what you can generally expect to pay for a hot tub, based on factors like type, quality, and size, along with what you can expect to pay over the lifetime of the spa in energy and maintenance. And I’ll tell you where to get the MSRP for your Bullfrog Spa.
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Get an Instant Price Quote on a Custom Bullfrog Spa You Design Online
Before we get too deep into our explanation, it occurs to us that you may just be here looking for a price on say a Bullfrog Spas M7 hot tub. If that’s the case, simply proceed to our Design Studio software, configure your specific spa model with the colors, JetPaks, features, options you prefer, and enter your information to save your design.
Once you’re done, you’ll get an instant MSRP quote based on the options you picked. Keep in mind that MSRP is just the brand’s suggested pricing. Your dealer will often have additional pricing incentives available.
Get a Local Price in Your Area
The very best place to get very specific hot tub pricing, including current specials, is by making a visit to your local Authorized Bullfrog Spas Dealer. These businesses offer the best support, service, and prices on hot tubs and spas in your area. Your local dealer also offers local knowledge of water chemistry, building codes, and climate that will help you get set up correctly.
Prices on Hot Tubs
ELITE LUXURY – $16,000 to $22,000
These are the absolute best hot tubs in terms of build quality, features, and options. Elite luxury hot tubs can be priced from $16,000 to $22,000 or more in the United States and Canada. It is expected in this tier that your spa will be both designed and engineered better than any other. Elite class spas offer every feature available on today’s spas like ultra-versatile seating designs, cover sensor technology, connected control systems, premium ozone sanitation, proprietary water care, and Simplicity filtration. These spas will also be designed to the highest aesthetic standards, something you’ll be proud to show off as a centerpiece of a well-appointed backyard environment.
Pay close attention to the technology, versatility of seating, design awards, advancements in water care, location of manufacturing facilities, engineering technologies, and materials used throughout the spa structure.
LUXURY – $12,000 to $15,000
Premium luxury-class hot tubs will be built only by the top manufacturers, offering premium acrylic shells with a substantial warranty and well-built wood-free frames. This category will cost around $12,000 – $15,000 in the USA and Canada. It is expected in this tier that your spa will offer premium engineering, be built-in a hi-tech domestic factory, and will make use of top-quality materials. These hot tubs should also offer a wide range of customization options, including connected technologies and the JetPak Therapy System. These custom options allow you to completely personalize your spa to your needs and preferences.
PREMIUM – $8,000 to $11,000
Most premium-class hot tubs are built by the top manufacturers, offer quality acrylic shells, and well-built frames and cabinets. This category will cost around $8,000 – $11,000 in the USA and Canada. To assess whether a spa merits this range consider things like how well the hot tub is engineered, what materials it uses, what jet technology is used, where it is made, and the overall reputation of the company. Using these factors you can determine which hot tubs will give you the best value in this price range.
VALUE – $5,000 to $7,000
The same quality hot tub manufacturers mentioned above usually offer a value-class spa line that will cost $5,000 – $7,000. These spas usually have fewer features and less complete hydrotherapy, but still offer decent reliability, warranties, and comfort.
As you shop, you will also find other companies selling lesser quality spas in this price range. Many big-box retailers will pass off a poor quality spa as “premium” in this price range. Even some spa companies that have been around for a while offer lesser quality spas in this range.
Pay attention to these things to determine quality in this range: established brand, established dealer sales channel (not online or big box), consumer feedback, domestic manufacturing (made in USA or Canada).
ENTRY-LEVEL – $2,000 TO $4,000
Cheap entry-level hot tubs will cost you around $2,000 – $4,000. There are really only a few manufacturers making a reasonable entry-level spa in this range. Try to determine the better brands, however, if this is the price range where you’re looking, it is wise to beware.
Many spas in this price range are made using methods that produce a product with a limited usable life. Many of these spas are built to be inflatable, are roto-molded like your kayak or folding pic-nic table, or are built with poor materials and workmanship from knock-off overseas companies. These hot tubs can be ok if you’re looking for a very short-term or no-frills experience. One more consideration also creeps in at this price level – cost to operate. Most of these “low cost” hot tubs are so poorly insulated you will end up paying far more in the long run for the electricity to operate them. This leads us to something else you’ll want to factor into your decision – cost over time.
If you insist on a hot tub in this range, you’ll want to pay attention to these things to determine quality in this low-end range: type of materials, ongoing energy costs, and reputation of the manufacturer.
Something to Consider, Hot Tub Costs Over Time
When you’re making your decision on which hot tub to buy you should, of course, start with initial quality. You also need to consider how much your hot tub will cost to operate over time. This decision has 2 basic components.
- The expected life of your hot tub or durability
- The cost of operation associated with your hot tub
These factors, combined with your initial purchase price will give you the lifetime cost of ownership for your spa. Look for 2 things to minimize your lifetime cost of ownership – quality construction and energy efficiency.
Energy Cost of a Hot Tub
Using the example above, in reality, the quality spa actually costs less overall over time. It lasts longer and eliminates the need to reinstall a new spa every few years. And, in addition to longevity, a quality spa will also use far less energy and require less maintenance.
High quality spas are usually full foam insulated except for the area where pumps and heaters are located. This helps to isolate the hot water in the spa from the cold and keep warmth within. Full foam insulated spas require much less energy to keep them ready to use.
One way to find energy efficient hot tubs is to look at the data compiled by the California Energy Commission, which keeps hot tub energy use statistics. Pay attention to the spa brands that consistently show at the top of these lists.
A Few More Important Factors to Consider in Hot Tub Pricing
It would be easy to simply say that you get what you pay for in hot tubs. While this is obviously true of many if not most consumer goods, there are unfortunately a few companies out there that prey on the general lack of understanding of what makes a true quality hot tub.
Keep in mind that the vast majority of dedicated spa retailers out there are honest and hard-working and carry great products, they wouldn’t stay in business otherwise. There are only a few of these companies to watch out for and you can usually pick them out by their tactics. Watch out for things like high-pressure in-home presentations, traveling “spa shows” that really only feature spas sold by one company and other fly-by-night tactics. What’s most important when looking at an investment like a quality portable spa is understanding how to evaluate quality brands and quality retailers, then looking at pricing in terms of the total value you are getting for your dollar.
You Will Love a Quality Hot Tub for Years to Come
Hot tubs are extremely nice to own for many reasons. So it makes sense that you will want to own yours for as long as possible. When you decide to go with a top-quality spa, engineered, and built to last, you will have always-ready hydrotherapy, relaxation, and fun right in your own backyard. No other product offers as many health and lifestyle benefits.
So, consider the quality and value first when making your decision on which hot tub is best for you. Your purchase price may be a little higher, but you will be rewarded with better features, better hydrotherapy, and a lower cost of ownership over time.
How to Assess Total Value
Keep in mind that these are outdoor hot tubs. They are exposed to the environment every day, all day. A well-built hot tub will last you much longer than a poor quality spa, often a decade or more. This means your initial purchase price will be spread over more years of use. Then also factor in energy costs over time. Deduct this from the purchase price. Lastly, add the somewhat intangible factor of user experience. This will be measured by your enjoyment, minus the possible frustrations of ownership.
Example: A quality spa that costs you $10,000 initially and lasts 10 years costs you the same per year as a poor quality spa that costs you $3,000 and only lasts for a little over 3 years. Actually, the quality spa costs you much less when energy use is factored in. As explained above, cheap hot tubs almost always use more energy. The scales tip even further in the direction of the quality spa when an absolutely incredible worry-free user experience is weighed against one wrought with frustration and down time.
In the end, quality simply pays for itself.
Get a Local Price on a Hot Tub
Design Your Hot Tub with Design Studio and Get a Local Price Quote!
Get a local price quote on a Bullfrog Spa model in your area by starting with our Design Studio software. Build your spa just the way you like it. Once you finish, you’ll receive your instant price quote.