American Whirlpool vs Hydropool: Which makes the best hot tub?

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

American Whirlpool and Hydropool are both prominent hot tub builders and brands. And if you’re shopping around, it’s no surprise if you end up comparing the two when it comes time to select which hot tub you want to buy. 

But just like Coke and Pepsi make drinks differently, these two companies make hot tubs their own way. We wrote this article to make it clear just how they do. 

We have been in business for more than 40 years at Hydropool, and we have always understood that we will have competition. We make our hot tubs the way we do because we think they are best for customers and we know other companies have the same approach well. But we all take different roads to the same destination: Trying to make the best hot tub we can.  

So we have written this piece in the most unbiased way possible about our hot tubs and American Whirlpool’s, to explain what is different between the two brands. First, we are going to compare the models for each brand and then we will dive into:

  • Which hot tub looks the best?
  • Which hot tub is easier when it comes to maintenance?
  • Which hot tub costs less?
  • Which hot tub is better for massage?
  • Which tub is better on energy efficiency?


We know it might seem strange to read about one brand talking about another. But by the end of the article, we hope you’ll have a much better idea of which hot tub is right for you. 


American Whirlpool vs Hydropool: What is the best model-by-model comparison? 


Hydropool builds all of its hot tubs in Mississauga, Ontario, while American Whirlpool assembles theirs in Arizona. American Whirlpool is like most hot tub companies in that it has three lines, following a good/better/best approach. 

Hydropool does not follow this pattern, dropping the lower model to focus on its mid-range Serenity lineup and top-of-the-line Signature. 

That makes comparisons a bit tricky for anyone looking to shop both companies. To break it down:

  • American Whirlpool has a 100 and 200 series that have a “plug and play” or 110V series. Hydropool has no comparable model.
  • When you move to the 220V models in the 200s and the 400s at American Whirlpool, that’s where Serenity and Signature being to match up. The 200s are like the entry-model Serenities and the 400s align with higher-end Serenities and Signature lines.
  • American Whirlpool then goes to the 800s and 900s, which are directly comparable to Hydropool’s Signature models.


American Whirlpool vs Hydropool: Which hot tub looks the best?


Looks are subjective, so it’s always hard to give an out-and-out win to anyone. We will say with these two brands, it’s easy to point out the differences:

  • American Whirlpool has a unique, wide-board look down the sides of the outside cabinet. We think it is classy and elegant. Hydropool’s cabinet design takes a classic approach and overall, it is meant to blend into your backyard as much as possible.
  • Some American Whirlpool models have a foot dome, which does supply good massage for anyone using it, while Hydropool generally doesn’t have this feature (we find too many people complain of bumped feet since the bottom isn’t flat).
  • American Whirlpool often uses a collar on the top of its seats, which can provide a great massage that’s right on your neck and shoulders. These were most popular about a decade ago. Hydropool got out of them because we found they didn’t always work for people of varying heights – they are great if you happen to be the right height though!


American Whirlpool vs Hydropool: Which is easier to maintain? 


Hydropool’s Serenity line and American Whirlpool both use a very similar design to keep your water sanitized: 

  • Both use a pre-filter bag or membrane to capture oil and perfumes before a basket filter picks up everything else.
  • Both have ozone and AOP options to help sanitize water and lower chemical costs. Hydropool’s Signature collection has its AOP system as standard, while its optional at American Whirlpool
  • Hydropool has a floor vacuum on its model, as part of its patented self-cleaning system. Based on how public pools are kept clean, it sucks in anything that falls to the bottom of the pool, while the top skimmer picks up everything else.


American Whirlpool vs Hydropool: Which has the better price? 


This depends a lot on shipping and where you are shopping. We must use educated guesses here, because we couldn’t find pricing on the American Whirlpool website when we wrote this article (Hydropool is rare in the industry in that the pricing for each model we sell is on our web pages). 

But we believe American Whirlpool will be slightly less than us in the United States, especially on the West Coast where they are built. Serenities are close to being on par, while the Signature collection for Hydropool will be about 10 per cent more. This is due to shipping costs, considering we build our hot tubs in the East. In Canada, prices are comparable, again due to the shipping largely evening out. 


American Whirlpool vs Hydropool: Which is better at massage?


Hydropool’s Serenity and American Whirlpool are very similar in their approach to massage. 

  • What’s noteworthy about American Whirlpool is the company’s Comfort Collar, which focuses on neck and shoulders. In the company brochure, American Whirlpool notes that the X-series option can be had as well, with a deeper seat, so it can be customized to your size.
  • American Whirlpool also has a dome in the middle for foot massage, on models such as the 470.
  • Hydropool’s approach is to not focus on any one area, but to utilize a system that provides a massage for your entire body. We call it Zone Therapy (American Whirlpool also uses the name) and it involves a system in which you can move around from seat to seat in your hot tub to ensure you get a full-body massage.


American Whirlpool vs Hydropool: Which is more energy efficient? 


Both American Whirlpool and Hydropool offer systems designed to trap the residual heat from your pump motors within the cabinet. 

  • American Whirlpool insulates the walls of the cabinet with insulation it calls BlueMAAX, which in the company’s brochure they say “replaces the foam in “foam filled” hot tubs. An upgraded insulation with 3M Thinsulate is also available. The system has a reflective copper material, which reflects radiant heat back into the spa.
  • Hydropool achieves the same with a silver-colored thermal blanket, which functions like a triple-paned window within your hot tub cabinet, sealing in heat and reflecting it at your water. It also shrink-wraps the plumbing inside the hot tub, which adds so that it moves less while the pumps are working. We have found this reduces friction and leads to fewer leaks over time.


American Whirlpool vs Hydropool: Which is best? 


Hydropool vs American Whirlpool is a common conundrum for customers, as both are well-established brands. American Whirlpool was originally known as MAAX, having been rebranded about five years ago. So it should be no surprise that their hot tubs are of similar build and quality. 

It comes down to a few unique features that separate the two brands. Made in Arizona, American Whirlpool has a wider slat on its cabinets, collar massage and offers upgradeable insulation. Hydropool is made in Canada, and as a result has no upgrade on its insulation, as all of its hot tubs are made for Canadian winters. It has a patented self-cleaning system on its Signature line of hot tubs, and a full body focus with its massage.

Which hot tub is right for you?

  • If you’re interested in diving deeper into a Hydropool model, then try out our “build a hot tub” page.


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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