Without question the most popular type of hot tub is the traditional hot tub also widely known as a portable hot tub. This particular type of hot tub was developed on the heels of its predecessor, the wood hot tub. In the 1970s manufactures began experimenting with new more permanent and durable materials to make hot tubs. Plastic, cast acrylic, and fiberglass soon became the predominant materials for manufacturing hot tubs. Today there are some 70 acrylic and fiberglass hot tub manufacturers in North America ranging in size from small operations building 500 units annually to larger conglomerate manufacturers building 50,000 units annually.
Portable hot tubs continue to evolve with more and more innovations coming down the pike every year. Features like waterfalls, misters, colored LED mood lights, bluetooth, WiFi, stereo systems, popup TVs, and water purifiers are just some of the options that can be ordered on a portable hot tub. There are even some brands offering refrigeration systems that cool the water temperature rather than heat because the ambient air is extremely hot in some regions of the country during certain times of the year (Arizona). Additionally, there are portable hot tubs with vanishing edges that at one time were limited to in-ground hot tubs.
Portable hot tubs also offer the largest array of sizes, shapes, seating configurations, and colors of any other type of hot tub. They are also the most efficient and higher performance because they run on 220v/50amp electrical (note that a 220v setup typically requires a licensed electrician to run a dedicated line and breaker for the hot tub). The 220v electrical provides for a larger heater (5 kw) which has the ability to heat the water up quickly, allows the heater and motor to run simultaneously, and can run multiple jet pumps at the same time. There are some portable hot tubs that run on 110v/15amp, however, they aren’t as efficient and have limited performance similar to a rotationally molded hot tub.
Probably the single most appealing characteristic of portable hot tubs is the advanced hydrotherapy massage. Portable hot tubs can be found with as few as 10 water jets and a small jet pump and as many as 120 water jets with five jet pumps. Some models offer molded neck and shoulder massage jets or massive foot massage jets.
Finally, the pricing of portable hot tub ranges from $3500-$15,000 depending on some of the aforementioned features and variables.