If you want to enhance your backyard or garden with a refreshing hot tub for you, your family, and guests, you must know how tasking and difficult it can be to find the size that fits it all. The great selection of different types, models and brands, makes it nearly impossible to choose the right option. More importantly, this same large selection leaves a lot of room for making a bad decision and choosing a brand that won’t work well for you.
There are dozens of different brands that make hot tubs, and they also make multiple models in the process, which makes decisions even more difficult. To add to that, there’s more chance that you can choose a bad brand or a bad product with so many options to cover.
There’s just no chance to easily cover all the types of hot tubs and brands to make them and explain what they promise to deliver for the money that you’re paying.
While a lot of hot tub brands are relatively approachable with the right payment plan, a lot of people who are just at the beginning of their process to create a retreat oasis can manage to find the right information about the right hot tubs to buy.
With that being said, we created an extensive list of 5 brands that you should avoid for one or several reasons. We won’t call them out directly, but we’ll highlight the things we found annoying when it comes to buying them.
We strive to deliver a list of hot tubs that will give you insight into what you’re getting for the bucks. Getting something as exciting and relaxing as a hot tub shouldn’t be a nuisance or a drag for you, it should be a nice experience, which is why we’re also going to tell you what features to focus on when you both want to buy from some brand and avoid it.
Finally, you can take a look at three hot tub models that we recommend for their amazing features, and the reputable companies that went above and beyond to provide a great experience, and skilled customer service workers that will make the overall shopping and maintenance process painless.
What Do Hot Tub Brands To Avoid Have In Common?
Here we’ll look into the “features” as well as disadvantages that a lot of hot tub brands and manufacturers share in common. Be on the look for these as they’ll help you decide which brand you want to shop from.
This one should be obvious. Now and then, a bad customer review or two will happen. That’s normal because no manufacturer can 100% confirm that all products will work 100% of the time and won’t ship defective.
However, if some manufacturer is actively bad-mouthed, and their products are being complained about at all times, you should do your research to see what’s true and what’s not the truth. A company can have a bad reputation for many things like reviews, high prices, poor community and safety standards, being defective, bad customer service, and many other reasons that we will discuss further down as we write this guide.
Bad reviews are easy to notice and they will appear on both Amazon, Walmart, New Egg, and other wholesale websites, but less frequently on the official site and online store because it’s easier to filter out those websites.
Editor’s note: Keep in mind that you should focus only on detailed and constructive criticism and reviews. Those reviews that are insulting the product and manufacturer and use actual bad words were written in the heat of the moment and likely shouldn’t be valued.
Practically Non-Existent Warranty or Guarantee
Depending on the policy of the law or policy of the website where the product is being sold you should be able to have some kind of guarantee that will provide you back the money if the product doesn’t fit you or you’re not satisfied.
Low-level hot tubs that usually don’t meet the customer requirements don’t come with that and are usually there to bait the customer into buying it and then not accept the returns unless the product came damaged. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t apply to all products, but usually it can happen with both pricier and cheaper models.
Warranty is a bit different thing to discuss. It’s ridiculous to promise one to two years of warranty when buying something as large and sensitive as a hot tub. The hot tub is an expensive addition to your home. It’s not a toy, and definitely not something that you will want to swap every 1 to 2 years, so warranties that last as long don’t make much sense.
The warranty should last longer. But, still, that didn’t stop some manufacturers from offering these products without any warranty, so in case your hot tub breaks in a couple of months you won’t be able to replace the bad parts.
Oftentimes, manufacturers will say that warranty applies only to some parts of the product, leaving you unable to get them replaced and getting to save money in the process.
Imported Parts Or Whole Product
To be sure that you’re getting a durable product that adheres to all manufacturing standards and regulations, you should strive to get a hot tub that is manufactured in the USA, along with all the parts that will be used for it.
Oftentimes cheaper products and their brands are delivering parts from third world countries and then manufacturing them in the USA. Sometimes, that’s not even the case, and the product is manufactured outside the USA.
Poor Customer Service
Another thing that also contributes to the poor reputation of some brands is that they have poor customer service. What does that mean? If you’re wanting to buy a new hot tub, but you prefer to do it over the phone to get more confirmed first-hand information, you may get turned away if the person behind the phone is unpleasant towards you.
People who eventually faced a problem with the hot tub they bought might sometimes have to wait for days to get to the customer support agent and even then wait even longer for service technicians to show up and work on the issue.
Sometimes, customer service won’t even talk about solving the actual problem but decline warranty requests or a request for returns which truly contributes to the bad reputation of the brand.
A Lot Of Work
We know that a lot of people want to save up some money when they are buying something as expensive as a hot tub, but it would seem a bit inappropriate to buy a product that you wanted to save upon, and then constantly have things break.
Hot tubs are generally considered a high-maintenance device because it involves a lot of water, water heaters, and other electric parts that make the overall experience of the hot tub mesmerizing and fun. However, there’s too much maintenance even for devices such as hot tubs.
If you already paid a lot to own one, and you have to pay even more to repair it, perhaps that brand is not worth it.
As we were saying earlier, a hot tub involves a lot of electric parts and smaller devices that make it work what was designed to do. However, insulation between the water and electric parts has to be flawless so that users can remain protected.
That being said, a good insulation process is performed both outside and inside the tub. If poor materials were used to ensure the insulation was enough, it’s likely not going to last for long. Shady manufacturers usually don’t give a warranty for the insulation quality.
Similarly like with a warranty, don’t settle for the manufacturers that don’t give you a service agreement. Of course, the service agreement is not expected to be a lifetime agreement, but at least for a limited time, the company should provide customers with maintenance and repairs to make everything easier and simplified.
5 Worst Hot Tub Brands To Avoid
Here is a list of 5 hot tub brands to avoid, as recommended by the list of features we already told you to be cautious about.
Disclaimer: With this article, we don’t want to directly discourage you from buying from some brand. This article is purely informational and is based on the brand information online and customer reviews and complaints regarding things like quality, warranty, service agreement, customer service, and other properties.
- Why avoid it: Poor insulation and burning of smaller components.
- Warranty: Unavailable
- Customer Service: Poor
Life Spas is a company that specializes in selling hot tubs and jacuzzis as well as other equipment such as that for maintenance and chemicals that help filter the water in hot tubs.
Life Spas are regularly being complained about because of their poor insulation. Additionally, the hot tub maker is being accused by the customers to have installed a low-quality heater that easily overheats and causes malfunction and burning of other smaller components.
The brand is now massively canceled and their products can hardly be found as more than 40% of customers complain. Lastly, the customer service doesn’t actively respond to the customers, which is another big fat minus for this company.
Editor’s notes: Upon visiting the official Life Spa website, we noticed that they only sell accessories and equipment for fitness and lifestyle using hot tubs. It seems to us that they no longer sell hot tubs, but we’d still encourage users to steer clear away from this brand because other vendors could still be selling these tubs, or you can stumble upon them on second-hand sites and reselling platforms.
Hot Spring Spas
- Why avoid it: The biggest issue is with the customer service and annual maintenance services.
- Warranty: 5-year component warranty
- Customer Service: Could be better
This brand makes hot tubs and jacuzzi tubs of all sizes, shapes, and kinds, with different capacities, features, and benefits for the users. Something we also don’t like is that the website is not designed to be fast and a lot of parts are confusingly explained.
This brand is not necessarily bad when it comes to the work it puts in designing its hot tubs. What’s upsetting, however, is that a lot of bad work is going to the customer service that is slow and mostly takes a long time before they figure what product you’re explicitly talking about.
A service agreement is often not expected and users are left waiting for the annual maintenance for months.
- Why avoid it: The repairs are expensive to perform and the technical staff won’t hurry in assisting. Frequent malfunctions are a dealbreaker.
- Warranty: It depends on the model.
- Customer Service: Could be better
Caldera Spas is one of the more notable brands which gives a great value for the money. It, however, lacks the variety of different products it offers compared to other brands and won’t contain enough options for many.
With so many modern features, one would think that Caldera Spa is a brand that shouldn’t be avoided, but it doesn’t seem that way. A lot of consumers complain that Caldera is just a lot of hard work for maintenance.
If there is a malfunction or a need to repair any part of the tub, the customer service would take too long to address it, and the repair staff would take a long time to get out and fix the problem.
More often than not, customers have to repair malfunctions on their own and because there’s a lack of ozone and UVC- sanitation, it can happen that the tub will clog up.
- Why avoid it: The lack of variety and inconsistency in providing tubs for more people while advertising the availability of larger tubs.
- Warranty: 5 and 7 years depending on the model.
- Customer Service: Could be better
This brand has a lot of mixed reviews. Similar to Caldera Spa, the brand has a great reputation and has served thousands of satisfied customers. It also has a great selection of spas.
They are designed in a way that is different compared to other hot tubs on the market. That being said, there is a lack of variety of these hot tubs where you’ll find difficulties getting the hot tub that loyally can host more than 4 people in it.
Addressing complaints can also be quite ineffective because customer service is slow and lacking in solving problems with the advertised size of the tubs. Sometimes they wouldn’t address the problem in the same tub and would take forever to send a technical team to check and repair the tub.
- Why avoid it: Difficult website to navigate through and a lot of maintenance and repairs are required.
- Warranty: 1 year on labor repairs, 3 years warranty on parts, depends on models.
- Customer service: Could be better.
Some of you may act surprised when you see this brand on the list. However, there are a few things we had to note out. This brand does a great job at making insulation and its marketing strategy is also powerful. They are manufactured in Canada and are great at making a shell.
Even though they are advertised to have modern technology and innovative way of designing their hot tubs, Arctic Spas benefits end at the robust shells and insulations.
All the tubs require a lot of care and maintenance, and customer service is hard to reach. Some customers reported that they have to wait for up to a week for an email response, while phone calls are often unfruitful. Sometimes it feels as if this brand spends more money on marketing than designing tubs that will last.
Things to Look For When Buying A Good Hot Tub
A reputable hot tub brand will always leave the things you should focus on to get great quality of the tub. This can include different features which we will highlight shortly. Of course, you should read the above features too and make sure to look for nothing like that.
- Type – The first thing you need to check is whether you’re getting yourself an in-ground hot tub that needs high-end assembling or a portable type of hot tub that is more flexible. This is completely up to you. However, assembling the tub will be more expensive.
- Size – There are different size standards so, sometimes it’s necessary to make measurements and calculations on your own. Also, make sure to look at the pictures and weight limit to make sure the size of the hot tub you want to buy is the appropriate one.
- Filtration – Always make sure that there is a proper filtration capacity and that the tub filter engine is strong enough to handle multiple people inside the hot tub.
- Jet count – There is no ideal jet count. It highly depends on the size of the hot tub and how strong the engine is, as well as other electronic parts.
- Pumps – Keep in mind that the pump power is measured in horsepower and corresponds to the size of the hot tub.
- Frequent maintenance – Maintenance check should be performed once in 6 months or once a year. Some more reputable brands will remind the customers that it’s time instead of consumers chasing the repair staff online.
- Good insulation – Although modern hot tubs have more energy-efficient materials, there’s no material compromise when it comes to insulation.
- Extended warranty – Hot tubs are meant to last, just look at their price. An opportunity to extend the warranty for cheap is more than welcome.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hot Tub Brands – FAQ
As you can see, buying a hot tub is no joke. Here are the most important questions you need to be answered when shopping for the most reliable hot tub.
Should You Buy Hot Tub From Reputable Brand?
Absolutely. It’s easier to check the reputation of a reputable brand, read reviews across the internet and online shops, while also informing yourself about the brand through Google reviews and forums such as Reddit and Quora.
What Is The Most Unreliable Hot Tub Brand?
Given that 45% and even more customers are unsatisfied and that right now it’s practically impossible to find a hot tub from this brand, Life Spas is the most unreliable and all-around worst brand that you can work with. Their accessories are fine, or at least better than the hot tubs they used to make.
What Is The Most Reliable Hot Tub Brand?
Master Spa is the best all-around brand to work with. However, for some people, they can be too expensive. What’s great about this brand is that you no longer have to worry about the accurate size and whether the product has enough jets and proper filtration storage. You can customize your product and make it the way you like. Maintenance and upgrades are easy with technical staff being reliable.