Hot tubs have grown in popularity over the last few years and now more homeowners than ever before are looking to install one in their home. In a way it’s not surprising. The challenging economy and increasing pressures of work mean we’re all working harder than ever, and that can lead to stress. We all need a way to deal with that and what better way to combat stress than a hot tub right?
Owning a hot tub is one thing, but looking after it is another. A lot of first time buyers don’t realise that you need to look after your machine otherwise you won’t get the best from it. So if you’re a first time buyer you need to be thinking about how to protect your hot tub, and getting the right cover is where you need to start.
Hot tub covers
Hot tubs are like any other piece of machinery, if you take care of them they will last much longer. Generally, hot tubs are installed outside and that means alongside usual wear and tear you’ve got some addition challenges from the elements which a cover can help you deal with.
Hot tub covers are crucial for keeping your device in working order. They offer a level of protection against the weather and elements. They keep out debris and good covers will even help maintain the water temperature within the tub. A hot tub cover is something you just can’t do without otherwise you’ll end up spending just as much time cleaning the machine as you will using it.
Types of hot tub cover
There are a lot of backyard ideas for how to cover and maintain your hot tub, but for us there are five main choices to consider:
Soft spa covers
These covers are made from durable fabrics which are draped over your hot tub and held fast by straps at the side. The cover is kept taught to keep debris out and often an inflatable pillow is set up underneath to avoid any rain water pooling on the surface.
These are the most common type of hot tub covers because they are the most affordable and accessible. They’re lightweight and easy to set up with minimal hassle, however they aren’t as durable as some other varieties. Even with the inflatable pillow they might not stop rain collecting on the surface. Most importantly these aren’t thermal covers, which means you won’t keep the heat in.
Hard spa covers
Hard spa covers are made from foam cores with vinyl wrapped around them. These are made to fit the specific dimensions of your hot tub and are fastened with clips and straps around the edge of the hot tub. They are generally fitted with a hinge in the middle for easy removal.
These covers are slightly bulkier and can be more expensive than soft spa covers but because they are custom fit for they offer good levels of protection. Hard spa covers should remove the rainwater issue with no room available for it to collect plus these covers are good at insulating your hot tub and keeping heat in. The one negative to beat in mind is that under heavy loads they could bend of break so you shouldn’t rest large weights on top of them.
Aluminium spa covers
The third type of spa cover we see most commonly is the aluminium spa cover. It’s made in a similar fashion to the hard spa covers but features a metal plate on either side of the foam. This then slides on top of your hot tub and the weight will keep it in place covering the device, although you have the option of using straps to keep it in place if you’re in a particularly windy environment.
These are the most expensive type of spa covers and because of the materials they are also the most bulky. However, they offer sturdy protection, there is no rainwater pooling and the seal allows you to retain most of the heat from your hot tub. This is definitely the most robust choice but you might find it hard to put on and take off on your own.
Also known as solar blankets, solar hot tub covers are built to conserve energy using solar panels. The panels cover the device and during the day they absorb and store solar power. This energy and heat is then used to heat the water at night when the sun is down.
Solar covers are fairly expensive and not the easiest to fit but they offer some long term savings. By storing and reusing the energy in the panels they can heat your water, which in turn will lower your running costs. Plus they offer a layer of protection for your hot tub. These are of course only really suitable for sunny environments.
Seasonal covers are slightly different in that they completely cover your whole hot tub and not just the water area. These covers are used for those who have long periods of being unable to use the hot tub and the cover is designed so it will protect against heavy snow or other debris.
Seasonal covers are durable and you can find some reasonably priced models. They are fairly bulky, as they are for protecting your hot tubs during the long winters, but are well suited for those who live in more extreme climates and might have long cold winters.
Choosing your hot tub cover
So how can you tell which hot tub cover is for you? Well this is of course a personal choice and you’ll have to go with which best suits your needs however there are a few points to consider.
The type of hot tub you have will influence the choice you make. If you have a top of the line model then you won’t have to worry about retaining heat because it will warm up very quickly. It will also likely stand up to considerable wear and tear. This may not be true for cheaper models.
The amount of use your hot tub gets will also play a role. If you’re constantly using your device you won’t want to deal with putting on and taking off a bulky and heavy cover repeatedly because it just won’t be practical. Instead you might want to opt for a light spa cover which is easy to remove and replace.
Finally, the weather and other conditions will play a part. If you live in an area with lots of rain or other adverse weather conditions you’ll need a cover that can stand up to that. Hard covers or aluminium covers will better suit you because there is less risk of water pooling.
So the bottom line is that there is plenty of choice out there and it’s worth taking your time to find the right type of cover. Our advice? Go with a hard spa cover because it can offer a good combination of protection and value for money.