Which Hot Tub is the Best at Muscle Recovery?

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

Published Apr 29, 2024

We get asked if hot tubs can help with recovery or how is the massage?” or “how does your massage compare to another company’s hot tub?” on a regular basis at Hydropool. 

We understand the questions. Many people buy hot tubs specifically for massage, as they get older, or if want to feel better after playing sports or to see if a hot tub massage can help with aches and pains.  

We also know that every hot tub company creates their massage differently. Some promise “jets, jets, jets!” in a bid to get you to believe that more jets equals a better massage and it’s as simple as that. 

Others have developed specific jets or target specific areas of the body. Every company has its own way of doing things.  

We want to help explain that. So in this article we will: 

  • Walk you through how hot tub massage works. It’s often called “hydrotherapy” in the industry, which means simply using water as a treatment in any way.  
  • Explain the history of hydrotherapy and hot tubs.  
  • Explain Hydropool’s hydrotherapy system.  
  • Go over major competitors and their approach to hydrotherapy in hot tubs.   

Hopefully, by the end, you’ll have a sense of what hydrotherapy means and what it can do for you.  



What is Hydrotherapy?  

Hydrotherapy is the use of water to provide a wellness treatment designed to help heal or relieve issues or pain. 

What are Examples of Hydrotherapy?  

Hydrotherapy can be physiotherapy underwater, help with burns, or used as therapy for pregnant women or the elderly, who benefit from the supportive buoyancy that water provides. 

Aquatic fitness or therapy classes, wet saunas, ice packs to reduce swelling and saltwater spas are also examples. It can be soaking in a hot tub for 20 minutes or taking a cold water shower for the same time to help boost circulation. 

Alternating your shower water in the morning from hot to cold (or changing the water pressure) would count as hydrotherapy for your muscle tissues. So would Epsom salt bombs and soaks in your home bathtub as post-workout recovery after an intense workout to try and ease muscle soreness. 

Massage from jets is hydrotherapy as well -- all of this is considered hydrotherapy. Working out in a gym and then receiving a hot tub massage for sore muscles is another example of hydrotherapy that uses a hot tub for muscle recovery.   


What Does Hydrotherapy Do?  

We want to be clear: We are not saying in this article that hot tubs or massage can heal you or cure you of anything. We don’t give medical advice at Hydropool, because we are hot tub experts, not medical experts. 

The Cleveland Clinic, one of the most respected healthcare providers in the United States, says in an article on hydrotherapy to “avoid any treatment that says it removes toxins or cures diseases.”   

We entirely agree with that. Hot tubs are not miracle cures. In the same article, The Cleveland Clinic also says:  

“Hydrotherapy can help people with these symptoms feel better: 

  • Pain. 
  • Stiffness. 
  • Bruising. 
  • Swelling. 
  • Muscle pain. 
  • Menstrual pain.” 

We agree with that too. A hot tub is not a health product, but a wellness product. 

What is the History of Hydrotherapy?  

Hydrotherapy using hot tubs has been practiced for centuries. The Romans had famous baths, as did the Chinese.   

When it comes specifically to hot tubs, the Jacuzzi family originated jets in bathtubs. Seven Jacuzzi brothers came to California from Italy in the early 1900s, where they settled and began inventing new products such as water pumps for orange groves.  

Eventually, the family invented a submersible pump, which allows water to be pumped from the ground. In the 1950s, 15-month-old Kenneth Jacuzzi – came down with rheumatoid arthritis. To try and help ease Kenneth’s pain, family members developed a portable hydrotherapy pump, which could fit into any bathtub. That’s where hydrotherapy in hot tubs as we know it today first began.    

What is Hydrotherapy in a Hot Tub?  

There are multiple wellness examples. Some people find soaking relaxing. Others like the action from the jets. Still others go further and use specific jets for specific parts of their body that become sore after exercise and find relief there.  

Different companies take different approaches to hydrotherapy in hot tubs. For each model here, feel free to click on the link, which will take you to a story that compares each company’s massages as part of an overall comparison. 

  • For example, Hot Springs features its MotoMassage, which features dual streams that run up and down each side of your back.  
  • Bullfrog has moveable Jet Paks, which allow you to change entire panels on your hot tub seat. 
  • Sundance has Fluidix jets, which have no moving parts and work off the principles of fluid dynamics, and function without using a bearing. 
  • Marquis allows you to remove each jet and swap them around in the hot tub if you choose (Hydropool does this too).  

How does Hydropool’s Hydrotherapy Options Work?  

Hydropool’s massage system is different from every other company’s. Its focus is on ensuring your entire body receives a massage.  

  • For an optimal massage, we recommend the water is at 99F to 100F, where you’re comfortable.  
  • You’re able to control the massage with the massage selector, which distributes the water to the seats in your hot tub. It’s often also called a diverter, because technically, that’s what it is doing, diverting the water.   
  • Jets are also individually controlled. You can turn up or turn down the intensity of each jet.  
  • Jets have different sprays, depending on their position in the hot tub.  
  • Another dial allows you to add air to the water, which creates a more powerful massage and that rollicking wave look at the top of your hot tub water that hot tubs are known for.  

Hydropool’s massage targets four zones in your body, and our program allows you to move from seat to seat to ensure coverage of the major zones in your body.   

  • The Core Zone 
  • The Full Body Zone 
  • The Upper Back 
  • The Reflexology Zone (your feet) 

While all Hydropool hot tubs offer this range of massage coverage, you can also opt for one that lights up in each seat, which lets you know when it’s time to move to the next seat to receive your optimum level of massage and to ensure your entire body receives a massage.  

How Can I Try Hot Tub Hydrotherapy?  

You likely already have, if you’ve read this article. But we encourage you to speak to a local retailer. Whether you buy from us or someone else, we always encourage people to try before they buy. Hot tubs sold by different companies offer different experiences, and at the prices they cost, you will want to ensure you’re getting one that works best for you. You can try a Hydropool hot tub in our retail stores.   

Which Hot Tub is the Best for Muscle Recovery?  

There’s no one answer, but there are many options for you. You might want full body massage or to focus on a specific part. You might want to worry about massage at all and just want the water frothed.  

You might have found your answer by reading this article, or you might know the next step you want to take toward finding the massage or hydrotherapy experience you’re looking for.  

We wrote this article because we frequently are asked about hydrotherapy and we wanted this article to answer the most prominent questions we get about hydrotherapy and hot tub massage. It’s an area for many people to consider as they are shopping for hot tubs.  

We know some companies put a premium on having lots of jets, and say, “the massage is great!” while other companies have developed specific jets or purposes for their hot tubs. 

We wrote this article to try and give a guide to what’s out there and what to look for in different hot tubs when it comes to massage and to explain why hot tub companies use the word “hydrotherapy” to hype what their hot tubs do.   

Remember, you can try a Hydropool hot tub in our retail stores. Find the one closest to you today!  

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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