Outdoor vs Indoor Hot Tubs: Which is Best?

By Jon Filson

Hydropool Hot Tubs and Swim Spas

Published May 15, 2024

Is it better to have a hot tub inside or outside?

It’s a great question and one we get at our Hydropool retailers regularly.

There are pros and cons to having a hot tub inside or outside. While both have advantages, the decision can largely come down to how much space you have inside or outside of your home.

People can assume that they must purchase either an indoor or an outdoor hot tub. The good news is that most models you can buy are designed to be used inside or outside. These can be installed in your basement, a large bathroom spa area, on your deck, in your backyard, above ground or below. Another benefit to modern hot tubs is that they can be moved after installation. So your indoor hot tub can be used outside down the road if you choose to move its location.

Now that the question of “Can an indoor hot tub be used outside?” has been answered, you need to begin to weigh the pros and cons of indoor versus outdoor hot tubs to decide where you will be installing yours.

What’s below is our best guide to the pros and cons of installing hot tubs inside or outside. We will cover:

  • Indoor hot tub pros
  • Indoor hot tub cons
  • Outdoor hot tub pros
  • Outdoor hot tub cons

And hopefully at the end of the article, you’ll have a good understanding of where you want to install your next hot tub.



What are the Indoor Hot Tub Advantages?

An indoor hot tub instantly brings cachet and class to a home. But there are other advantages as well:

  • Having your hot tub inside your home can provide more privacy compared to outdoor ones, especially if you have an open view between your lawn and your neighbors.
  • The hot tub is also completely accessible – no need to ever walk through any snow.
  • You can lock the door to the room with the hot tub, preventing kids or anyone else from using it for safety reasons.
  • The heat produced by the hot tub will help keep the room heated in the winter.
  • For those who dislike the cold and want to avoid trekking through the snow to take a soak, an indoor hot tub is ideal.
  • When inside your hot tub is in a climate-controlled environment. No need to soak in the rain, when it is windy, or when it is too hot or too cold outside.
  • An indoor hot tub will cost less to heat the water most of the year (and in most locations), as it will be in a warmed area already.
  • It may be a positive feature for you when it comes to sell the home.

What are the Indoor Hot Tub Disadvantages?

  • The cost of putting a hot tub indoors is significantly higher than outdoors.
  • The hassle of installing a hot tub indoors is significantly higher than outdoors.
  • You may not have a room large enough to accommodate an indoor hot tub and have to renovate or build an addition to your home.
  • Extra ventilation in the room where your hot tub is located is required. This can mean installing a ventilation system or at a minimum additional windows.
  • Humidity released into the air when the hot tub cover is removed can become a problem without proper ventilation.
  • Getting your hot tub delivered and into your desired location inside may be difficult.
  • The scent of the chemicals used in the hot tub may bother some people.
  • A room or large area in your house will be lost to the hot tub, without versatility.
  • Insurance costs may be higher.
  • It may affect who wants to buy your home, when it comes time to sell.
  • You may require special permits for an indoor hot tub, depending on where you live.

What are Outdoor Hot Tub Advantages?

  • This is the lowest-cost method of installation, as a hot tub just needs a strong, level surface to sit on.
  • The fresh air outside provides a perfectly well-ventilated area.
  • Can be installed anywhere in your yard, provided you have a sturdy, flat surface such as a concrete slab.
  • Outside provides different seasons and scenery to enjoy - a soft snowy day, under the stars, gazing at fall leaves.
  • More space to enjoy with family and friends at gatherings or BBQ’s.

What are Outdoor Hot Tub Issues?

  • Extreme weather such as heavy rain or lightning may limit when you can use your hot tub.
  • Can require more maintenance at times due to falling leaves, debris or dirt.
  • May feel exposed - can be less private in an open area where others may be able to see into your yard or overhear conversations.
  • It may be harder to convince yourself to use your hot tub in cold weather.

Indoor vs Outdoor Hot Tubs?

Is an indoor or outdoor hot tub best? In terms of which is best, an outdoor hot tub is easier and less expensive to install, fun to use year-round, while an indoor hot tub is easier to use year-round but more expensive to install. So in the end the choice is yours which is right for you.  

Indoor hot tubs are best built in situations where you can design the room around them, rather than trying to retrofit the room to it (especially important is providing access to the room, so the hot tub can get in there).

Outdoor hot tubs are comparatively easy to install, as you just need a hard, compact level surface, like pavers, a deck or a concrete pad.

We hope this article helped answer your questions about indoor versus outdoor hot tubs. If we didn’t though, please don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our Hydropool retailers, by clicking here.

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