Buying a hot tub

How Much Does a Hot Tub Cost?

When shopping for hot tubs, you will quickly find that there are several factors that can affect the final price of your dream spa.  And while we would love to provide you with some sort of online price calculator, the reality is that all pricing is set at the local market level.  Which means the best place for you to get pricing on specific models is your local retailer.

What goes into the price of a hot tub?

The biggest factor in hot tub cost is the construction of the spa.  There are basically two options to consider: is the spa acrylic or rotationally molded?

Acrylic spas are traditionally more expensive than rotationally molded spas due in part to the nature of how they are made.  They require more labor and higher material costs which means a more expensive spa for you.

Roto-molded hot tubs on the other hand take much less time and labor to produce, resulting in a hot tub that is naturally more affordable. But don’t mistake the lower price tag to mean lower quality. Roto molded hot tubs are extremely durable since they are made of polyethylene resin. And Watkins Manufacturing, the maker of Fantasy Spas, is the world’s largest producer of hot tubs.  In fact, our factory in Vista is ISO 9001:2008 certified, which means we manufacture our spas in accordance with one the strictest quality management systems around.

Energy Efficiency and Heat Retention

Since above ground hot tubs stay on all the time, you want a spa that is fully insulated and will keep the water hot all the time, with minimal energy consumption.  Quality hot tubs will always have full-foam insulation. Be careful of spas that have their cabinets filled with bags of fluff – those won’t keep the spa insulated nearly as well as filling the entire body cavity with foam. And if you have poor insulation, your hot tub will have to continually heat the water, using more energy and increasing your electric bills.  Fantasy Spas use only full foam insulation and are certified to the strict guidelines set forth by the California Energy Commission for hot tub consumption (the strictest set of guidelines in the country!)

Heater versus Heat Recovery (Thermal Friction)

It seems odd, but some spas don’t have an actual heater. They use what’s called a heat recovery or thermal friction heating system.  This system heats the water by capturing energy from the pump and converting it to heat.  The spa water will still get as hot, and stay as hot, as spas with a traditional heating units. The only difference is the base price of the hot tub.  Hot tubs with thermal friction units will generally have a lower price tag than those with stainless steel heaters.

Does size matter?

It usually does when looking at hot tub price tags.  Small spas, like the Aspire ® that are designed for two people, or small patios are going to have a much lower starting price point than larger spas, like the Fantasy Spas Entice®.

Fire up the Jets!

You will most likely pay more for a hot tub with more jets.  But in all honesty, who needs a 110 jets?  There’s only so many jets a person can enjoy at a time.


Items such as steps, cover lifters and water care systems are usually not included in the base price of a spa, but they make a huge impact on the overall ease of use and enjoyment of a hot tub and are well worth the extra investment. Delivery is another thing to consider. Most acrylic spas weigh upwards of 500 lbs., so you may want to have your local retailer deliver the hot tub for you. Fantasy Spas, on the other hand, weigh less than 300 lbs, and because of their durability, you can easily turn them on their side, put them on a furniture dolly and wheel it into your backyard on your own – potentially saving you hundreds of dollars.

So really, how much does a hot tub cost?

Depending on the construction, make and model, energy efficiency, jets, accessories, etc. hot tub costs can range anywhere from $2,699 to roughly $20,000. If you want to know about our Fantasy Spa models, sends us a request!