Hot tubs ease joint and muscle pain, reduce stress and anxiety, promote relaxation and are great for entertaining in any season. With so many options, however, it can be difficult choosing the perfect hot tub. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best hot tubs in Baltimore so you can spend less time shopping and start relaxing sooner.
Hot tubs are great for entertaining guests and can increase your home’s value, and their health benefits are even better. Regular soaks in a hot tub improve blood circulation and heart health by increasing cardiac volume.
Studies indicate that immersion in a hot tub can lower blood pressure, assist in weight loss, help with the management of diabetes, promote clearer skin and reduce headaches, but perhaps the most well-known benefits of hot tubs are stress relief, relaxation and pain relief.
Hydrotherapy, aka use of a hot tub, has such dramatic effects on pain management that hot tubs are often lauded as lifesavers by people who have back pain, fibromyalgia or chronic pain. The Arthritis Foundation credits soaking in warm water with prolonged pain relief post-soak.
Additional benefits to hot tub use include:
Reduce muscle spasms
Dilate blood vessels to improve recovery time
The cost of a hot tub in Baltimore
Dealers generally have a wide selection of hot tubs to fit almost any budget, and the prices for hot tubs in Baltimore can range from $3,000 to $18,000 or more. The cost will depend on what features you’d like your hot tub to have and how many people it seats. Professional installation generally costs $300 to $500, so be sure to include that in your budget.
Some insurance plans will cover part or all of the purchase price if your doctor prescribes hot tub use to treat pain or inflammation from a documented injury or persistent condition. If you’re buying a hot tub for therapy, be sure to talk to your insurance provider first.
If your insurance doesn’t cover the cost of a hot tub, you might be able to write it off as a medical expense on your taxes, but you’ll need to show the primary purpose for the tub is to cure, mitigate, treat or prevent a disease. It’s best to consult your accountant to determine what you need to do before claiming the deduction. Many manufacturers in Baltimore also offer financing.
Popular hot tub features in Baltimore
Before you start shopping, it’s helpful to decide what you want in a hot tub. Manufacturers make hot tubs in many styles with dozens of features. Some important considerations include:
Number of seats: You’ll need to purchase a larger model if you plan to use a hot tub for entertaining. If it’s primary use is therapeutic, you may just need a one- or two-person model.
Type of seats: All seats should promote good posture and cradle you to prevent floating upward. Multiple styles of seats are available, including lounge seats that allow you to recline and cool-down seats that let you rest partially out of the water.
Number and placement of jets: Not all hot tub jets are the same. Rotary jets are the most versatile and provide therapeutic massage. Relaxation jets are gentle and create a soothing, bubbling water flow, and pressure point jets provide strong water flow to relieve key stress points on the body.
Heat retention: Hot tubs can be used year-round in Baltimore with the proper planning. Purchasing one with a layer of insulation between the frame and shell will keep the water hot during any season.
Built-in speakers or stereo system: Whether you’re using your hot tub for entertaining and relaxing, having the right music makes a difference. Some hot tubs come with built-in Bluetooth speakers or a stereo system to make sure you can listen to whatever music fits your mood.
Shell material: Entry-level hot tubs are often made of rotomolded plastic. These tubs are lightweight and easy to move but less durable. Acrylic hot tubs, known for their durability, are the most popular models in Baltimore and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
Accessories: There are different types of accessories for your hot tub, including shelving, drawers, stairs and exterior lighting. Choosing the right accessories can turn your hot tub into the centerpiece of your backyard landscaping.
Installing a hot tub in Baltimore
Unless you have experience installing hot tubs, having it professionally installed protects your purchase from accidental damage. Most Baltimore dealers offer installation service, which includes getting permits. Many hot tubs use a standard outlet, though larger models may require the installation of a 240-volt outlet. No plumbing modifications are necessary to install a hot tub.
If you choose to perform the installation yourself, you’ll need to obtain electrical and building permits. You can apply for a permit online from the Baltimore Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). If you live in the greater Baltimore area, you’ll need to obtain a building permit and comply with the County’s pool, hot tub and swim spa barrier regulations.
Maintaining a hot tub in Baltimore
Regardless of the hot tub, you’ll need to do some maintenance. The level and type of maintenance vary by tub and manufacturer, but low-maintenance and self-cleaning hot tubs are available.
Many dealerships also have service departments that perform required maintenance. If you decide to maintain your hot tub yourself, ask your dealership for tips and see if they provide free water testing and sell the necessary supplies.
ThermoSpas is known for its affordable, highly customizable hot tubs. The manufacturer sells directly to customers and provides a free on-site inspection. Every hot tub undergoes a 100-point inspection before being shipped. While most Baltimore customers say they had an excellent experience with ThermoSpas from start to finish, some reviews say customer service could be better.
MasterSpas has hot tubs for every customer, whether they’re looking for fitness, relaxation, entertainment or family fun. The company’s spas have features such as noise reduction, exercise systems and low-maintenance options. Customers in Baltimore say this award-winning manufacturer has a great product but lacks in installation and maintenance support.
Sweetwater Pool & Spa Center
Sweetwater Pool & Spa Center is a family-owned and -operated business that has been serving the Baltimore area for more than 40 years. Sweetwater Pool & Spa Center services and sells pools, hot tubs and everything needed for year-round use, maintenance and care. Baltimore residents say Sweetwater is a go-to spot for trustworthy and dependable service.
Regina Pools & Spas
Regina Pools & Spas has been in business selling and installing pools and spas since 1979. The company’s services include hot tub maintenance, repair and renovation. Baltimore customers say this award-winning, family-owned and -operated business has a knowledgeable and friendly staff who provide hands-on service and are always happy to answer questions.