Bullfrog vs Hydropool Hot Tubs: Which is the Best Hot Tub Brand?
Maybe it happened at a party: You visited friends and tried their hot tub and asked, “what kind of hot tub is that?” Maybe you did research and read about top-ranked hot tub brands. Maybe you stopped by a local dealer and saw a sign, “We sell Hydropool hot tubs!”
However you heard of Hydropool and Bullfrog, you’re now down to considering which hot tub brand is best and you’re trying to figure out how to decide the one for you. It happens to many customers we see here at Hydropool, where they are considering our hot tubs against another brand they are interested in. We have been in business for more than 40 years, and we have always understood there will be competition. As a result there will always be customers trying to figure out exactly what are the differences between two hot tub brands.
We wrote this article so you would understand what’s unique between Hydropool and Bullfrog and the products that each company builds in the most unbiased way possible. We know it might be strange to read one company talking about another like this, and while we admit that we hope everyone wants to buy a Hydropool hot tub, we also understand there are at times and reasons for people to buy other products than ours. So in this article we will point out what Hydropool emphasizes and what Bullfrog does, so you can figure out which is best for you.
We will cover:
• Which hot tub models compare with which in each lineup?
• Which hot tub looks the best?
• Which hot tub is easiest to maintain?
• Which hot tub has the best massage?
• Which hot tub is the best price?
Let’s dive right in.
Bullfrog versus Hydropool: A Comparison of Bullfrog and Hydropool Hot Tub Models
Wouldn’t it be nice if every company had the same lines of hot tubs and comparing them was as easy as comparing two mid-sized four-door SUVs?
Well, the hot tub industry is close to that, but not quite. The most typical lineup for hot tubs is generally three lines, following a good/better/best approach, but neither Hydropool or Bullfrog is a typical hot tub company.
Each has a unique approach, with Bullfrog offering five collections and Hydropool two.
When it comes to comparing lineups, sometimes they blend, and sometimes there is no direct comparison. But roughly speaking, this is the best analogy we could make:
• Bullfrog has the X and R collection, which compares best with Hydropool’s Serenity lineup.
• Bullfrog has the A and M collection, as well as the modern STIL collection, which compare best with Hydropool’s Signature hot tub lineup, although there are elements of the M and STIL series which have no comparison to Hydropool.
Why such a unique approach by both hot tub brands? Both of these hot tub builders take similar approaches to the hot tub business, although with different focuses:
• Both are considered premium brands, creating high-end products.
• Both can point to unique innovations and patents that only they possess, such as Bullfrog’s JetPak system and Hydropool’s Self-Cleaning system.
• Bullfrog has been around since 1989, and is based in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.
• Hydropool was created in 1980 and is based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
But do the hot tubs look the same? No, they do not.
Bullfrog versus Hydropool: Which hot tub looks the best?
Perhaps no two hot tub companies offer as much visual contrast as Hydropool and Bullfrog. Bullfrog pushes into modern territory, with its STIL line the most obvious example of this, as it features straight angles and light colors, for dramatic presentations. Bullfrog has certainly taken a more dramatic approach to hot tub design, with an overall crisp appearance. Some of Bullfrog’s lines, especially the STIL line, are instantly recognizable as unique to the brand due to the modern styling.
Hydropool, in contrast, takes a classic approach. Although the two collections, Signature and Serenity, look different from each other, they are both designed to blend into traditional backyards, lining up well against fences, decks, siding and lawns (build your model here).
For any hot tub embedded in a deck, from the top, both show excellent fit and finish, with Bullfrog showcasing more sharp lines on some models and while Hydropool consistently emphasizes softer corners. There is no right or wrong answer here, just a preference on what you think looks best. Because they are so different though, we’d urge you to look at both to see what appeals best to you.
Bullfrog versus Hydropool: Which Hot Tub Is Easier to Maintain?
This is Hydropool’s strongest area, in that its Self-Cleaning Signature line of hot tubs puts a considerable focus on ensuring maintenance is easy. Bullfrog’s approach is closer to the industry standard as it uses technology that most quality hot tubs offer and that Hydropool itself uses in its Serenity line.
• Bullfrog uses two 25 square foot filters, while Hydropool has two 50 square foot filters. Hydropool also has a filter bag that sits inside the filters to catch larger pieces. Hydropool’s Self-Cleaning system includes a floor vacuum that is unique to Hydropool, ensuring that everything that falls to the bottom of the hot tub is filtered into a pressurized filter that cleans all of the water in the hot tub every 15 minutes.
• Bullfrog has a very good sanitation system, designed to purify your water. The company uses an innovative ozinator mixing chamber that controls the ozone and allows it to enter the hot tub water in a way that doesn’t do any damage to other parts of the hot tub. A carbon filter soaks up any residual gas from the ozone. It’s a very clever system, and one of the most effective ways to inject ozone into a hot tub. Hydropool also has a mixing chamber, but it doesn’t use a charcoal filter, which means some excess gas will come out from the water. The unique benefit of the Hydropool system is that it has the UV component, which Bullfrog does not. The UV element helps destroy any bacteria before it can begin to grow.
• Bullfrog has what’s called an Enduraframe, which is made out of ABS. Light, strong and impervious to rot, the frame is one of the best available. Hydropool has a steel frame on the Serenity and a wood frame on the Signature. Hydropool uses these two traditional methods because of the amount of heat generated in the hot tub – these two substances can stand up to that temperature without risking of warping.
• Bullfrog uses full foam, while Hydropool counters with thermal blanket insulation. Hydropool has vents on the side of its cabinets because its insulation is so effective the hot tubs can retain too much heat in the summer. This is on purpose, as in the winter, that residual heat is used to keep your hot tub’s water warm. Full foam is a good insulation system but can be difficult to service if leaks develop, which is why Hydropool switched to the thermal blanket approach.
• Bullfrog minimizes leaks by using minimal tubes to transport water, in another of its innovative ideas. In most of the company’s collections, it uses one plumbing line, so identifying leaks if they occur is easier than in most systems made by competitors.
Which is the right hot tub for you? This comes down to which innovation you value more. Hydropool has put the effort into ensuring your water is as clean as possible, while Bullfrog has been clever in figuring out how to build a hot tub with fewer parts, so less of them to ever break down.
Bullfrog versus Hydropool: Which Hot Tub Has Better Massage?
Bullfrog has put a lot of effort and innovation into massage. It calls the system Jet Paks. Unique among hot tubs, you are able to remove the seat of a given segment of the hot tub and swap it up for another one with different jets. You have a lot of choice when you buy a Bullfrog hot tub, and more than that, you have a lot of choice after you buy it, because of the ability to change and customize the jets as you like.
Because of the way the hot tub is plumbed – with one line – the seat closest to the motor will get the strongest flow and amount of water. The second will get less and third less and so on. The system helps Bullfrog when it comes to leaks but is less effective for even distribution of water pressure.
Hydropool approaches the same problem in a different way. Its hot tubs feature full body massage and have jets for every part of your body and you can move through the different seats to ensure your whole body is massaged. It also moves water through a manifold that evenly distributes the water to each set of jets, ensuring that each seat is as strong as the next and no part of your body is denied any massage strength. It is more complicated to build but designed to better distribute water pressure.
Your choice is clear: Do you want a full-body wellness approach that Hydropool offers? Do you want moveable Jet Paks where you can customize the massage you want with Bullfrog?
Hydropool versus Bullfrog: Which Hot Tub is Better on Price?
On pricing, what we found at the time of this publication is that the R and X line of Bullfrog will compare to Hydropool’s Serenity lineup. Both are higher than the bottom of the market, as none of the lines offered are intended to be a “basic” hot tub. Bullfrog’s A line is comparable to Hydropool’s Signature in price, while the M’s and STIL are intended to be elite, high-end products and positioned above anything Hydropool offers. When we wrote this article in 2023, in terms of finding pricing information, Hydropool shows pricing directly on its website, as does Bullfrog, if you build out the model you’re looking for.
Hydropool versus Bullfrog: Which Hot Tub is Better?
These two companies have committed to being different and committed to providing creative, engineered solutions for hot tub customers. You can see clearly how each company has built out its lineup, with different points of emphasis, both in bids to give customers what they want.
That makes the comparison quite clear. If you value:
• modern looks
• innovative moveable jets
• massage the way you want it
• a wide range of models to consider
Then Bullfrog may be your first call.
If you value:
• classic hot tub design
• massage programs designed for your whole body
• an easy-to-maintain hot tub
• a wide range of options allowing you to customize your hot tub
Then Hydropool is the company you might want to check out first
We hope you enjoyed this comparison. If you have anything you left out, or had other questions, then don’t hesitate to reach out to a Hydropool dealer near you for more.
Jon Filson is the senior content manager at Hydropool Swim Spas and Hot Tubs.
Disclaimer: In this article, we’ve used brand names not affiliated with Hydropool or Jacuzzi Brands LLC, the parent company of Hydropool. All information, including pricing and product details, was accurate at the time of writing and may change without notice.
Jon Filson is the Senior Content Manager at Hydropool Swim Spas and Hot Tubs.