In-Ground Spas vs. Portable Hot Tubs

In this high speed life, multitasking is essential for moving about your day efficiently. Two-in-one products have been so seamlessly integrated into our world that at this point, we hardly notice them, let alone consider them innovative. Cell phones double as computers. Printers work side jobs as fax machines and scanners. Trains with wifi serve as temporary offices for busy commuters. Couches morph into beds when visitors come around. Pool tables expand into ping pong tables. With all these ways to get two things for the price of one, it really begs the question: are you getting double, or nothing?

Sure, two-in-one products can clearly help us save time in certain situations, but their effectiveness comes at an expense. Typically, it’s the loss of features and a reduction of functionality. Something’s got to give. When you’re shopping for hot tubs and pools, the same rules apply.

Costs and Benefits of Combination Pools and Spas

There’s no doubt about it – combination pools and spas have their benefits. The question is, how much are those benefits worth in comparison with the downsides? From the outside looking in, it seems to be a pragmatic and favourable choice. The truth is, many times it’s not.

Before jumping in, homeowners should consider all sides, including the cons:

Location. With combination pools and spas, the placement of the spa is permanent after it’s built. These types of spas are adjacent to the pool, usually sharing a border wall. Many times you’ll see the hot tub raised a couple of feet above the pool with a small waterfall overflowing from the hot tub into the pool. While this design is beautiful, having the hot tub many steps into your backyard can discourage frequent use. On a cold winter day, you’ll have to run out through the snow or wind in your swimsuit to get into the warm spa, as opposed to just opening your back door and stepping right in.

Performance. One drawback to in-ground hot tubs is their lack of power in comparison with portable spas. Premium and luxury spas typically feature strong pumps and numerous jets, strategically placed to provide a deep, healing massage.

Comfort. Unlike portable spas, which feature comfortable, ergonomic seating, in-ground spas are designed with bench seating that’s typically surfaced with the same material used to surface the rest of the pool (plaster, aggregate, or tile). Not only are these designs and surfaces uncomfortable to sit on, they come with the ugly side effect of swimsuit pilling!

Convenience. Each time you want to use a combination hot tub, you have to turn on its heater. Unlike portable spas, combination hot tubs don’t stay warm when they’re not in use. Because you have to plan to use your spa and leave time for it to reach the right temperature, you may not end up using the spa as much as you really want to.

Operational Costs. In-ground spas are associated with higher monthly energy bills, in part due to the process of heating them up each time they are used.

While at first glance, a combination pool and spa may look great, the above considerations are sure to make any homeowner give it a second thought. Weigh the following factors with the previous:

Separate Pools and Portable Spas Provide the Optimal Solution

In the case of pool tables and ping-pong tables, sometimes an attempt to get two things in one results in ending up with neither. If you want to get the most out of your recreation experience, it’s best to get both a pool table and a ping-pong table. Similarly, to get the most out of your swim and spa experience, an in-ground pool and a portable spa is going to offer the highest quality of enjoyment. Here’s why portable luxury spas are a step up from combination spas:

Energy Efficiency. Portable, standalone hot tubs are far more efficient, energy-wise, than combination hot tubs. This is due the fact that they’re able to maintain temperature between soaks, and are equipped with custom-fitted covers and superior insulation.

Features. Premium and luxury portable spas are frequently outfitted with ergonomic seating, numerous jets and straightforward controls. In addition, owners will enjoy entertainment options, multicolored lighting, waterfalls and customizable jets powered by strong pumps, capable of providing a soothing massage.

Ease of Use. With the option to place your spa just feet from your back door underneath a patio cover, you’re likely to use it frequently, no matter the weather. The addition of a cover lifter will also make getting in and out of your spa as simple as the push of a button.

Backyard Flexibility. Make your Pinterest dreams of a backyard oasis a reality. Whether you’d like to install your new tub on a deck or under a pergola, the choice is yours to do what you want with your backyard.

Now you know all the pros and cons of combination pools and spas. Regardless of your initial opinion on the matter, it’s important to weigh all the considerations and ask yourself what you want and need out your setup. If you’re looking for the best user experience, we’re of the opinion that a portable spa, separate from the pool, is the best way to go.