Hot Spring versus Hydropool: Which hot tub is right for you?

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

Chances are if you’re buying a hot tub, you’re not going to just walk into the first store you see and hand over your Visa and see what happens next.  For most people, a hot tub is the type of purchase where they realize that it pays to do a little research. In our experience, many people want to look at what brands are available near them and then consider which is best If you’re reading this article right now, you know that approach pays off, and you’ve narrowed your list down to a couple of brands: Hot Spring and Hydropool. You want to know how the hot tubs are alike and how they aren’t, and which characteristics will make the most sense for you. 


This is a common comparison for Hydropool retailers, as both businesses have been selling hot tubs for about the same timeframe.

  • Hot Spring has been around as long as Hydropool, with both companies starting in the late 1970s. 
  • Hot Spring is California-based and part of the Watkins Wellness group of companies, which includes hot tub companies like Caldera Spas, as well as Delta faucets and Behr paint.
  • Hydropool is part of a group of hot tub and swim spa companies that includes Jacuzzi, Sundance and Dimension 1. 


In this article, we’re going to look at both hot tub brands. It might seem strange to be reading Hydropool discussing another company’s hot tubs, but we have always understood we will compete with companies like Hot Spring. We also want people to know what they are getting with Hydropool and what they are not. 


Here’s what we’re going to compare:


  • What’s the hot tub lineup of each brand? 
  • Which hot tub looks best? 
  • Which hot tub’s massage is best? 
  • Which hot tub is easier to maintain? 
  • Which hot tub is less expensive? 


We hope this story helps you decide which is the right hot tub for you!


Hot Spring versus Hydropool: What’s the Hot Tub Lineup of Each Company?


Hot tub companies generally refer to product lineups as collections. Collections are groups of hot tubs which feature similarities, often in the shell and overall look, but still have varying features and sizes within each group.

Most companies have a good/better/best approach to hot tubs, which is easy to understand and logical for customers to consider.

  • Hot Spring does use this approach with its collections, featuring the Hot Spot, Limelight and Highlife collections.
  • Hydropool doesn’t have the lowest, focusing instead on the mid-priced selection in its Serenity line and a top-of-the-line collection with Signature.  

The best comparison is that the Hot Spot and Limelight match up roughly with the Serenity lineup.

The Hot Spring Highlife can compare with some upper-tier Serenity models at Hydropool, but it is mostly directly comparable to the Signature collection at Hydropool.

Hot Spring Versus Hydropool: Which Hot Tub Looks Best?


We know looks are subjective, but we readily declare that Hot Spring makes a good-looking hot tub. The cabinet across the company’s model is well-crafted and shows that way, with minimalist clean lines. The hot tubs are bright and feel modern with enough classic cues that they still feel approachable and welcoming. For unique elements, Hot Spring even has a floating remote control. We think that’s cool.

Hydropool does not do cool. It just isn’t trying for that. Hydropool’s looks are purposefully classic, built to blend into a backyard as opposed to stand out. Hydropool takes a traditional approach to design because we find most people are looking for a hot tub that fits in to what they already have rather than stands out.

But neither approach is wrong. Hot Spring has a distinctive look and design purpose and so does Hydropool – this is one where we’d encourage you to see both in a showroom to decide which is best for you.  

Hot Spring Verus Hydropool: Which Hot Tub is Better at Massage?


Hydropool’s lineup offers Zone Therapy so you can get a full body massage. The Signature models digitalize this so the hot tub even lets you know when to move from seat to seat so your body can receive the full body massage.

Hot Spring counters with one of the single best jets in the business. It is standard on the Highlife and it’s called the MotoMassage. It stands out because no other jet on the market even looks like it, and everyone who tries it says that it is awesome. We agree.

Hydropool takes the approach that it’s better not to focus specifically on any one single area. There is no one jet that is comparable to the MotoMassage in the Hydropool collection, as Hydropool takes an approach that is more focused on ensuring your entire body receives a quality massage.

The answer then comes down to what are you looking for? Whole body or specifically back massage? Whatever your choice here, if massage is important to you, there is no substitute for trying it out. We strongly urge you to try each hot tub if you’re comparing brands and make sure the one you select is right for you.

Hot Spring Versus Hydropool: Which Hot Tub is Easiest to Maintain?


When comparing most hot tubs, we’re not shy to admit this is where Hydropool usually stands out. Hydropool has a unique self-cleaning system on its Signature line, which is based on how commercial, or public pools work. It’s patented, so we know it’s unique and we know how well it works and we know it’s an industry leader.

There is no question though that Hot Spring also values this area a great deal when it designs and builds its hot tubs. The company’s approach is similar to Hydropool’s in that it wants to filter all of the water as often and as well as possible. As a result, Hot Spring has put major effort into water sanitation.

Here is a list of major points of differentiation on maintenance:

  • When it comes to filtration, Hydropool Serenity uses two 50 square feet filters, while Hot Spring has a single cartridge on the Hot Spot.
  • Hot Spring has a unique distribution of chemicals called the Frog Inline System across its models. It delivers chlorine on demand and a mineral that softens the water. While Serenity has a similar approach as an option, Hot Spring hot tubs have it standard.
  • The Limelight has two 50 square foot filters, which is the same as Serenity.
  • On the Highlife model at Hot Spring, the company makes it clear that they have a “no-bypass” filtration model – which means all of the water is pushed through the filter. The system features five active filters working all of the time.
  • As part of its self-cleaning Signature line, Hydropool has a unique floor filter. Material either floats on the surface or sinks to the bottom, and Hydropool is able to clean everything on the bottom. It also features non-bypass filtration.
  • Hot Spring uses ceramic filters, which last longer but cost more. Hydropool uses paper filters, which are industry standard.
  • You can order a saltwater system at Hot Spring. Hydropool counters with a Pure Water system that accomplishes the same thing. A major difference is that saltwater systems release chlorine into the water when a foreign substance is detected, while Hydropool’s Pure Water system is working all the time and works proactively, clearing substances before they occur, so you use less chlorine. We know this because we used to offer a saltwater option, but found the Pure Water system to be more effective for most people.

Hot Spring Verus Hydropool: Which Hot Tub is Most Efficient?   


The Serenity collections do have some differences from the Hot Spot and Limelight:

  • HotSpot and Limelight of Hot Spring both use wood construction, which works and is a good product. Serenity uses steel.

When comparing Hot Spring’s Highlife collection to Signature, the Hot Spring structure stands out:

  • The Highlife collection has a polymer base that will last a long time.
  • Signature uses a wood frame, which expands and retracts with heat or cold, but ultimately always keeps its form. It has a polymer base as well.

The two companies insulate differently:

  • Hot Spring uses fibrecore insulation, a wool-like fibre blown into the hot tub case – it’s a type of full-foam insulation that supplies good insulation value but can make access difficult if there is ever a leak.
  • Hydropool uses a thermal blanket that wraps around the inside of the hot tub, traps hot air in the cabinet like a triple-paned window and allows easy access for repairs.

And lastly, the two companies have a slightly different heater:

  • Across the board, Hot Spring has a standard titanium heater.
  • Hydropool’s heater is made out of an alloy product called Incoloy 825, which is mostly a nickel-iron-chronium alloy with additions of molybdenum, copper and titanium, which creates a product specifically designed not to rust underwater. 
    1. Hydropool used to use titanium heaters and at one point had Teflon-coated heaters, but found in both cases neither held up longer than any other in a hot tub, even though they cost more.   Hydropool has found that Incoloy 825 is best for water applications and others agree: Incoloy 825 is commonly used in sectors such as the off-shore oil and gas industry, as an example. 

Which hot tub is more efficient? Both are quality hot tubs here. Hydropool used to use full foam and switched to the thermal blanket, because we think it is a better model overall and allowed more access if issues occur.

Hot Spring Versus Hydropool: Which Hot Tub Is Better on Price?


When we looked, we couldn’t find Hot Spring’s pricing on its website. But in general, we have found that comparable models are usually five to 10 per cent more than Hydropool’s, including shipping, although that cost depends on where you live.

Hot Spring hot tubs are mostly made in Mexico and in the U.S., while Hydropool’s are made in Mississauga, Ont in Canada. Where hot tubs are made is important because of shipping costs, which can add up quickly depending on where you are in the world. Our best advice here is to comparison shop, and make sure you’re evaluating equivalent options.

Hot Spring versus Hydropool: Which is the Right Hot Tub for You?

Among comparable hot tub companies, Hot Spring and Hydropool have clear similarities and differences. Both value ease of maintenance, but take a separate approach to looks, insulation and massage, pricing and model lineup.

We wrote this article so you could see which hot tub in each lineup appeals to you more than the other. We know people will comparison shop. Like Hot Spring, we have been in the business for more than 40 years and we understand people will look around and consider their options when shopping.

We aren’t afraid of that competition, as we know our products have unique characteristics that appeal to people. We wrote this article to spell out what Hydropool’s characteristics are against Hot Springs, to help you decide on which was right for you.    

It's possible we didn’t answer all of your questions though and if not, we hope you’ll reach out to a Hydropool dealer for more answers. You can find the one closest to you here.



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.


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