Hot tubs and swim spas inspire thoughts and feelings of relaxation, luxury, and rejuvenation. The hot, bubbling waters, coupled with soothing jets, provide an escape from the stresses of everyday life. But have you ever wondered where hot tubs and swim spas are made? In this article, we’ll take a journey through the fascinating world of hot tub manufacturing, exploring the top players in the industry and where they are made.
The Hot Tub and Swim Spa Industry: A Global Sensation
Hot tubs have come a long way since their humble origins, evolving from basic wooden structures filled with hot water to sophisticated, technologically advanced therapy systems. Today, the hot tub industry is a global phenomenon, with manufacturers and production facilities located all over the world.
United States: Mainstay for Hot Tub Manufacturing and Innovation
The United States remains a significant player in the hot tub manufacturing industry, with several well-established companies calling it home. Some of the most renowned hot tub manufacturers in the U.S. include Artesian Spas, Marquis Spas, Bullfrog Spas, and American Whirlpool.
U.S. manufacturers continue to dominate as “Made In America” is still the mantra for hot tub buyers. As well, U.S. manufacturers still have the edge on lead times, broader selection of models, and better customer service and warranty support.
Canada: Artisanship in the North
Canada is another North American country that has made major contributions to the hot tub industry. Colder climate and a strong hot tub culture have allowed many hot tub manufacturers like Coast Spas and Arctic Spas to thrive in Canada.
Europe: Quality and Style
Europe also has a thriving hot tub manufacturing sector due to strong demand. Companies like Passion Spas and Superior Wellness Spas have exploded on the scene over the last decade and have established dominance and boxed out many American hot tub manufacturers that were exporting heavily to Europe in early 2000s thru 2015. These brands were also the first to source their manufacturing in China and do distribution in Europe.
Wellis Spa is another very dominant European brand that does both their manufacturing in Europe and distribution to other European countries as well as export hot tubs to the US and Canada.
China: Mass Production
China has played a significant role in the global hot tub market over the past 10 years, with many manufacturers producing affordable hot tubs for worldwide distribution. These factories often leverage advanced manufacturing processes and new technology to produce hot tubs at scale. At this time most of the spas coming into the United States and Europe are private labeled by U.S. and European companies as mentioned above (Passion Spas and Superior Wellness Spas).
Mexico – Just South of the Border
Hot tub manufacturing in Mexico has been going on for over a decade when key players like Jacuzzi Brands (Jacuzzi Hot Tubs, Sundance Spas, Dimension One Spas, etc) and Watkins Wellness (Caldera Spas and HotSpring Spas) opened manufacturing facilities just across the border near Tijuana, Mexico. Less regulations, cheaper labor, and close proximity to get goods back into the United States underscored the decision.
- Hot tub manufacturing involves several intricate steps, from the initial design concept to the final product delivery. These steps typically include:
- Design and Engineering: Skilled designers and engineers create hot tub prototypes and models, incorporating the latest technology and customer feedback.
- Material Selection: Quality materials, such as acrylics, fiberglass, and durable wood/plastic, are chosen to ensure durability, longevity, and performance.
- Fabrication: The chosen materials are molded and shaped to create the hot tub’s structure and shell.
- Plumbing and Electronics: Intricate plumbing systems, pumps, heaters, and control panels are installed to ensure optimal functionality.
- Testing: Rigorous quality control tests and water tests are conducted to ensure that every hot tub meets safety, performance, durability, and energy efficiency standards.
- Assembly: Hot tubs are assembled, and final touches, such as cabinet installation and shell polishing, are completed.
- Distribution and Logistics: Hot tubs and swim spas are packaged and shipped to distributors and retailers via rail, semi trucks, and shipping containers.
The hot tub manufacturing industry has become a global enterprise, with production facilities spanning multiple continents. The industry continues to evolve. Driven by a desire to reduce costs and increase efficiencies which may lead to further deterioration in the made in America brands, however, only time will tell. Understanding where hot tubs are made adds another layer of appreciation for these backyard sanctuaries for wellness and relaxation.
For more information on how to research and compare hot tubs before purchasing please visit our hot tub buyer’s guide pages. You can also click on the pink boxes at the top right of every page to get a free local quotes from dealers in your area. Or, click our “Spa Buyer’s Consult” link above to get one-on-one expert advice on the best hot tubs available in your area.