Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas
Anyone selling a hot tub in Canada had best make it stand up in cold weather. If it’s -20C outside and you want to sit in your hot tub and keep the water at 104F next February, you will want a hot tub that can handle that kind of cold climate.
But which brands can handle both heat and snow? Which are built to handle Canada’s blistering hot summers and bitter chilly winter weather?
Dealers who sell Hydropool hot tubs are frequently asked, “what are the best brands of hot tubs?” So even though this is a bit unusual, we wanted to answer that question for you. With this article we will walk you through some of our competition. We hope that everyone finds a Hydropool hot tub to purchase, but we understand you may have unique needs or want a type of hot tub we don’t sell and might consider one of our competitors. We have always understood we will have competition.
We know Hydropool hot tubs can handle weather from all parts of the country, as we have operated in Canada for more than 40 years. Our hot tubs have been tested through time to stand up to everything Canada has to offer, from British Columbia to New Brunswick. Each of our hot tubs are made at company headquarters in Mississauga but we sell our hot tubs all over the country and have for decades.
We’re not the only company in Canada though. There are many hot tub companies selling across the country, and without a clear guide on who is building quality hot tubs, it can be difficult for consumers to know which brands are best.
We’re proud of our lineup, and we will always be happy to show anyone that what we have to offer is up there with the best hot tubs for cold climates. But we know comparison shopping happens, so this article will explain, in as clear and unbiased way as possible:
• Why you should consider a Canadian-made hot tub first and foremost in Canada’s climate
• What to look for in a quality hot tub, wherever it is made
• Three of the top Canadian-made hot tub companies
• A list of quality U.S.-based brands
Why Should You Consider Buying a Canadian-made Hot Tub?
There are several good reasons why you may want to consider Canadian-made hot tubs. Among them are:
• Lowered shipping costs: Hot tubs are large and shipping costs can add up, especially in a country as big as Canada. When buying, this is something to ensure you ask about pre-purchase.
• Market understanding: In the hot tub industry, companies typically build their tub to be able thrive in their home country first. It would be extremely difficult for any of the companies we discuss in this article to have lasted as long as they have if they couldn’t serve a local market.
• Take care of home: A desire to support local industry. Local companies are job-providers in local markets, and for many customers this a good reason to buy from Canadian companies.
What Should You Look for in a Hot Tub for Cold Climates?
Our best advice on how to shop for a quality hot tub includes the following tips:
• Understand what your needs are first. For example, you will want to answer the following questions before you decide to buy:
• Do you want a hot tub for your whole family to enjoy?
• Is it for you and your partner to relax in?
• Are you looking for a good massage or just want the pleasure of a warm outdoor bath?
• Will you use it extensively in the winter?
• What is your price range?
• How much time and effort do you want to spend cleaning and maintaining your tub?
• How much room do I have for the tub itself?
• Has the company been in business for a long time?
• If the company has been in business for many years, you can feel more assurance that the hot tub dealer has proven standards for quality and service.
• Do you like the dealer and has the dealership been helpful?
• Having a quality relationship with a dealer is like finding a good mechanic for your car. It helps so much! We strongly encourage you to buy from a dealer you get to know and trust, as they will be there to help you with any issues that arise.
• Has the hot tub been manufactured with your location in mind?
• California is the world leader in establishing standards for hot tubs through an agency called the California Energy Commission. If you want to sell in California, for example, a company’s hot tubs must pass the CEC’s level of testing (note: All Hydropool hot tubs are CEC-approved). We suggest taking a similar approach to California when you shop for a hot tub, asking questions to ensure that any product you’re considering is capable of handling Canadian climate over time.
Three of the Best Hot Tubs for Canada’s Climate
These are three quality manufacturers, each made in Canada, in alphabetical order: Arctic Spas, Beachcomber and Coast. We’ll go through them each in turn:
Arctic Spas: The company’s slogan is “Hot tubs engineered for the world’s harshest climates.” So right off the bat you can see they have targeted Canada and markets like Canada around the world as a focus. Arctic emphasizes its form of insulation, which is a perimeter-style insulation modelled after the way we insulate our homes, designed to trap the heat from the hot tub’s pumps in the cabinet of the tub, where it can be used to heat the tub’s water (Hydropool uses a similar technique, but we employ a thermo blanket for the same effect). The company also has a web-based sanitization system called “Spa Boy” that allows you to control your water sanitation with an app on your phone and eliminates the need for testing strips.
Arctic Spas is based in Edmonton, with its major production facility in nearby Thorsby, Alta. Relatively new in the market, it’s been around since 1994. From least expensive to most expensive, Arctic Spas makes hot tubs sold as Core, Classic and Custom. They also sell swim spas which they call “all weather pools,” where you can swim while tethered, with all the pools on offer being 14’ in length (this is a bit unusual: Hydropool offers a size range from 13’ to 19’ and most swim spa companies do the same). Relatively unique in the market is that the company offers a real wood cedar cabinet as an option. The Arctic published price range on the company website at the time of this writing was from $8500 – $28,250.
Beachcomber: This company has more history. Around since 1978 (the same time Hydropool was born), Beachcomber’s head office and production facilities are based in Surrey, B.C. It sells the 300 series, 500 series and 700 series, with a base, mid-range and premium line. It also features the LEEP portable model (LEEP stands for Leaders in Energy Efficient Portables). Beachcomber often emphasizes the longevity of its hot tubs – as an example, the company points out “we do not use pillows, metal rails, or pop-up speakers, prone to wear and tear” on its website.
On its multiple Hybrid product lines (LEEP tubs do not feature this), Beachcomber moves the plumbing and motor of the tub to underneath the steps leading into it, which allows for easier access for repairs over time and lets the company insulate all four walls of the tub the same way (Hydropool’s thermo blanket technique does the same thing: If you want to read more about the various types of hot tub insulation, click here). Its published price range on its website at the time of this writing is $8,299 to $23,000. There is no Beachcomber swim spa or pool line.
Coast Spas: A second-B.C.-based hot tub company, Coast operates out of Langley, B.C., just outside of Vancouver and has since 1994, the same time that Arctic Spas opened. The company has 20 models, with a Traditional, Curve and Infinity Collection, as well as a line of swim spas it bills as its Swim collection. The Traditional offers a patio series with a shorter height of 30” so that it can get into condos or tighter spaces. Many of the company’s hot tubs feature a sweeper jet at the bottom of each tub, which is intended to make sure debris doesn’t settle and is instead blasted up into the tub’s filter (Hydropool does this but offers a patented vacuum feature that works in tandem on its self-cleaning lines). The company also offers an “Infinity Edge” which is a lip around the tub that catches water and reduces any clutter around the top of the tub. The swim spa lineup features spas from 12 feet to 20 feet long. Coast Spas does not publish its hot tub pricing, at least what we could find when we wrote this article.
A Complete List of The Best Hot Tub Brands from the United States
In alphabetical order:
American Whirlpool: The brand may say “American”, but it actually has Canadian roots, being owned by MAAX, which is out of Quebec (although MAAX is owned by another U.S.-based company called American Bath Group). American Whirlpool has been around since 2018, but MAAX has existed since the 1960s.
Bullfrog Spas: A relative newcomer to the hot tub market, arriving in 1996, Bullfrog is based in Utah and is known for developing an innovative jet system that allows people to move jets from place to place in their hot tub.
Hot Springs: In business since 1977, today California-based Hot Springs is often recognized for its salt-water hot tubs and spas, although it started out with a portable model. Original developers were brothers Jeff and Jon Watkins, but the company today has evolved into the WatkinsWellness group of spas, which owns several hot tub companies as well as Hot Springs.
Jacuzzi: Jacuzzi is one of the largest luxury brands in the marketplace. It is the brand that started it all more than 100 years ago in California and one of the rare brands synonymous with its product: For many people, just like Kleenex is to tissue, Jacuzzi is to hot tub.
Marquis: A hot tub maker out of Independence, Oregon, Marquis has a wide range of hot tubs but doesn’t offer tiers, like most companies. It has been in business since 1980.
Master Spas: From Indiana, Master Spas features the Michael Phelps Signature line of swim spas among its lineup, which is named after the most awarded Olympian of all time. The company was formed in 1996.
Nordic Hot Tubs: Nordic emphasizes affordability for families and has been in business for more than 25 years. The value-oriented company with hand-built hot tubs is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Sundance Spas: Born in 1979 in Costa Mesa, California – an area with a lot of hot tubs! -- Sundance Spas is a higher-end brand with factories operating in Grimsby, Ontario in Canada and Lake Mary, Florida. It’s owned by Jacuzzi.
ThermoSpas Hot Tubs: Based in Connecticut, ThermoSpas has been in business since 1983. Operating without a dealer network, it sells spas directly to consumers and then provides digital customer support.
Viking Spas: The company began in the early 1970s and remains family-run three generations later. Known for its long warranties, Viking hot tubs are also made in Michigan.
What is the Best Hot Tub Brand In Canada?
We know it is unusual for a company to offer unbiased thoughts on the competition, but we know that in an absence of anyone else unbiased offering a credible take, we thought we would explain as best as we could what would help you as a consumer make up your mind on what you would like to buy. We think everyone in Canada should know what makes a good hot tub, what to look for when shopping around and who the best competitors are, so they can make good comparisons before deciding to purchase.
We have been in business for more than 40 years. We aren’t afraid of competition, and we understand it will always be there, in Canada and around the world. Our hot tubs compare well with any of the brands here, and we’re proud of each one we make. After all, Hydropool is a Canadian company too: In case you’re curious to read about one more Canadian hot tub company:
• If you’d like to learn more about Hydropool tubs, click here.
• Read our ultimate guide to buying a hot tub or a swim spa, click here.
• If you’re interested in speaking to a Hydropool dealer, click here.
Jon Filson is the senior content manager at Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas.