Spa, Hot Tub or Jacuzzi – What’s the Difference?

Your backyard is a perfect spot for home amenities and does whatever it takes to complete and create a personal or family getaway, right from the comfort of your own home. You are looking to your backyard and you are planning to renovate and turn it into a charming bliss. One of the popular backyard structures is a luxurious tub filled with hot water that gives you relaxation and as well a therapeutic claim. 

A spa, a hot tub, and Jacuzzi are used interchangeably indicating a tub filled with hot water. They are all wonderful additions to your home or garden that provides warmth, relaxation, and a positive effect in one’s joints and muscle. A spa, a hot tub, and Jacuzzi are used for socialization and therapeutic reasons. Even though a spa, a hot tub, and Jacuzzi provide the same benefits, each term is meant for a specific kind of product. There are some key differences to be aware of in terms of look, maintenance, and usage. 

Let us take a closer look at the differences between a spa, a hot tub, and a Jacuzzi. While we’ll continue to use the terms interchangeably, we will have a better idea of what kind soak you want with the clarification on the variance and nomenclature. 


The word spa, with the rise in popularity of day spas, is often associated with a health resort where people stay overnight or longer. It is a destination where you received beauty treatments such as deep-tissue massage, facials, nail, body wraps, and other pampering treatments. 

To avoid confusion with a day spa, we will use the term spa to describe a spa pool. A spa pool is a small, heated and jetted pools that are built into the ground. They can be an extension of a full swimming pool set into the ground or custom-built. Some are a sturdy portable design that is installed to look like a custom-built in-ground model that can be positioned upon a raised platform. Other is built the same as materials that are pool is constructed, such as concrete, fiberglass or gunite.  

A spa involves water in the treatment of a variety of ailments, you’ll be enjoying a form of hydrotherapy. It is equipped with strong jets that mix air into the water for a more distinct massage effect.  

Hot Tub

A hot tub seems alike with a spa. It also has jets and bubbles that are heated for a warm, relaxing and restorative feeling. This small pool full of heated water is used for hydrotherapy and pleasure. Its powerful circulated jets strategically massage the most stress-prone areas of the body which is beneficial to people suffering from a minor muscle or joint injury. 

A hot tub is more specific in describing that tub with a more strategically placed massaging jets and has experienced a regaining in usage to distinguish from a spa. It has the ability to hold a set of temperatures. You can set a selected temperature and expect to be ready to use anytime you want.

A hot tub is your above-ground option and typically constructed outside on a pool decking but sometimes installed indoor. Most hot tubs are movable for the possibility that you can take them wherever you want.   The plumbing and electrical control systems are built inside the hot tub cabinet. A hot tub can be filled with a garden hose and can be drained anytime. This means that there is no plumbing required.

The term spa and hot tub often used synonymously. There isn’t a major difference but there still differing factors. A hot tub is a free-standing tub of warmed water with heating, tactically placed jets, and built infiltration. A spa is a permanent one, mostly attached or extension of a pool.


Jacuzzi, from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, defines as, a whirlpool bath and a recreational bathing tub or pool. Moreover, Jacuzzi is a brand name that becomes popularly associated and use as a verb to describe a hot tub. It is one of the first and foremost portable spa manufacturers back in the 1970s. It becomes popular that’s why the brand name has been used to refer to the entire category of the product. 

Jacuzzi is a brand name that comes to describe doing something with a similar product with a completely different brand name. Like “Coke” for cola, “Levis” for jeans and “Kleenex” for tissue. Same as trying to “Google” it or to mean typing it into a search engine. Some people don’t realize they are referring to brand name when they really mean hot tub.

The manufacturer, Jacuzzi, has been fighting such brand dilution for years, to keep from becoming generic. But, it has been a tough fight and they haven’t had much luck with that at all. The term Jacuzzi is still widely used referring to a hot tub, even in resort and hotel promotions.  

The terms must be confusing and nobody is responsible for not getting the terms correct. With this article, we hope that this will help you distinguish the difference between a spa, a hot tub, and a Jacuzzi as warm water hydrotherapy. Importantly, they can all be a wonderful addition to your home or backyard with its variety of benefits that depends on your needs and wants.   

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