You are ready to purchase your first hot tub and want to know if you are missing anything? Accessories! Yes, when it comes to hot tubs there a handful of accessories that are a must and several other discretionary ones that are there for maintenance, convenience, fun, or safety.
Below you will find a brief list and explanation of the most popular and common hot tub accessories.
Must Have Hot Tub Accessories
Hot Tub Cover Lifters – Cover lifters are arguably the number one must have accessory when it comes to owning a hot tub. The accessory is a piece of hardware designed to attach to the hot tub and hot tub cover making it easy for one person to open and remove a hot tub cover without struggle. It also prevents the cover from being dropped onto the ground and getting beat up. There are three common designs to cover lifters and they range in price from $150-$400.
The first design is what we will refer to as a “high-mount coverlifter”. This particular design mounts to the side of the hot tub cabinet just a few inches under the shell and when the cover is in the open position approximately 1/3 of it drops below the top of the hot tub and 2/3 sits above the top of the shell. The 2/3 that sticks up creates a nice privacy wall if you have onlooking neighbors.
The second design is what we will call a “low-mount coverlifter”. This design mounts to the side of the hot tub cabinet at the bottom, just a few inches of the ground. When the cover is in the open position then approximately 2/3 of the cover rests below the top of the hot tub and only 1/3 sticks above of the top of the hot tub. This particular design is preferred by these who want to maximize a view and avoid any obstructions when sitting in the hot tub.
The third design is what we call a “hydraulic coverlifter”. A hydraulic lift mounts directly under the hot tub shell (almost flush with the acrylic) and is great when minimal clearance is needed because when it’s in the open position it only requires 6” or less. This is great if your hot tub backs up against a fence orr a wall. Or if you want to recess the hot tub into a deck. Equally important, is the ease of use with this lift design as the hydraulic shocks mounted on each of the two sides makes the cover a breeze to open (virtually no effort). It is also important to note that with this particular lift design, almost 100% of the cover rests on top of the hot tub shell and makes for a great privacy screen on one side.
Hot Tub Steps – Most hot tubs have a height of 36” or more which is too high to climb into. Unless your hot tub is built into a deck or recessed into a vault you will need a set of external steps to get in and out of the hot tub. External steps come in varying heights but most of them are around 18”. They also come in plastic or wood with plastic being the most popular. Steps range in price from $60-$200.
Hot Tub Safety Accessories
Safety Rails and Hand Rails – Hand rails are great option for those needing something to hold on to when getting in and out of the hot tub. There are several different mounting styles depending on the application. Most handrails also swivel so that they can be positioned outside the hot tub when getting in and inside the hot tub when getting out.
Water Cushions (booster seats) – Seat depth can vary depending on the hot tub. For hot tubs with deep seats it is nice to have a water cushion or hot tub booster seat. It is also nice for small children. These pillows range in price from $20-70 depending on quality and design.
Hot Tub Convenience Accessories
Hot Tub Drink Trays and Bar Tables – Who doesn’t like having a frosty beverage or a delicious snack while relaxing in the hot tub? A spa-side drink tray or larger bar table is great for placing beverages, meals, snacks, or even resting your cell phone, book, or Bluetooth speaker. There are many different designs out there to choose from but consider one that swivels in and out of the hot tub for greater convenience and access while bathing.
Hot Tub Vacuums and Poles Skimmers – Hot tubs will inevitably have debris settling on the floor and the seats from bathers tracking them in on the bottoms of their feet or from trees and other surroundings. Pole skimmers and hot tub vacuums making removing this debris a breeze. Pole skimmers are simply a mesh net used for skimming the surface debris and can even work for scooping larger debris from the bottom of the hot tub. Spa vacuums use a suction method and are great from smaller particles and debris resting on seats and the hot tub floor.
Hot Tub Umbrellas – If you want to use your hot tub rain or shine then a spa umbrella is just the right accessory. Spa umbrellas are a nice alternative to a gazebo or enclosure if you’re looking for a little temporary shelter when the weather is not cooperating. Hot tub umbrellas are generally 8-9’ in diameter and swivel and tilt to block the sun as well as keep our rain and snow. The umbrella portion is collapsible and removable in case of severe wind or for easy storage when not being used. The mounting designs is also very sturdy as the umbrella sits in base/stand that has a plate that slides underneath the hot tub for support.
Hot Tub Towel Bars – Simple and convenient, a towel bar is nice accessory that attaches to the cabinet of the hot tub and gives you someplace to rest your towel while soaking in your hot tub.
Portable Hot Tub Pads – Also referred to as synthetic hot tub pads, these are a great alternative to pouring a concrete slab or other permanent hot tub foundation. They can be set on any flat, level surface and create a turnkey hot tub foundation. They don’t have the permanence of a deck or concrete and can be moved or taken with you if you choose to sell your home.
Hot Tub Waterproof Speaker Systems – Integrated hot tub sound systems are becoming less and less popular these days as hot tubs (water) and electronics don’t seem to ever last. With the advent and proliferation of Bluetooth speaker systems there is a ton of great portable, waterproof speaker systems now available on the market that can be used outdoors with the hot tub at a fraction of the cost of a built-in stereo system in the hot tub.
Hot Tub Aromatherapy – Hot tub friendly aromatherapy oils and aromatherapy salts have also gained popularity in hot tubs. There are dozens of scents that can be added to a hot tub during a bathing session to make a relaxing soak even more pleasant.
Hot Tub Games and Toys – There are many games and toys available for hot tub and swim spas. From squirt guns to waterproof playing cards there is too many fun choices to list.