Key Takeaways -

  • Hot tubs and whirlpool baths are often confused with one another, but there are some key differences between them.
  • Hot tubs are filled with either freshwater or saltwater and heated to a comfortable temperature.
  • Whirlpool baths are filled with heated water and feature powerful streams of water that stimulate circulation.
  • Hot tubs are generally larger than whirlpool baths, making them more suitable for outdoor use or a larger family.

Are you confused about the differences between hot tubs and whirlpool baths? It’s easy to understand why – they sound very similar and offer many of the same features.

But there are some key differences that you should be aware of before deciding which one is right for your home.

Hot tubs are larger and can be installed both indoors and outdoors. They feature built-in water heating, filtration, and sanitation systems that keep the water clean even when it’s not in use.

Whirlpool baths are much smaller than hot tubs and are generally installed indoors. They are only filled with water when you plan to use them, and your home’s in-home water heater heats them.

In this article, we’ll break down these two types of bathing systems so that you can make an informed decision when it comes time to choose one for yourself.

Hot Tubs VS Whirlpool Baths - What's The Difference

What Is A Whirlpool Bath?

A whirlpool bath is a type of BATHTUB that has been fitted with jets, which are operated by controls. These jets propel water, creating a swirling effect that can help to relax and massage muscles.

The jets can be powered by water or air, and the number of jets in a whirlpool bath can range from 6-8 to 24 or more. Whirlpool baths were initially designed for THERAPEUTIC purposes, but they have become increasingly popular as a way to create an at-home spa experience.

The swirling motion of the water helps to IMPROVE circulation and reduce muscle tension while providing an enjoyable and relaxing bathing experience.

In addition to the therapeutic benefits, whirlpool baths are also great for CLEANING and exfoliating the skin [1]. The swirling motion of the water helps to remove dirt and dead skin cells from the body, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after your bath.

What Is A Hot Tub?

A hot tub is a type of large, enclosed tub that is typically filled with heated water. Hot tubs are usually LARGER than whirlpool baths and can seat several people at once – making them perfect for relaxing with friends or family.

They feature built-in jets like whirlpool baths, but they also have built-in water HEATERS and filters that keep the water clean even when it’s not in use. Hot tubs can be installed indoors or outdoors, making them a great addition to any home.

The heated water helps to RELAX muscles and reduces stress, while the jets provide a gentle massage for aching muscles. Hot tubs are also great for entertaining and can be used to create an enjoyable, relaxing atmosphere for friends and family.

Pro Tip: Hot tubs need chlorine or other sanitisers to ensure the water stays clean and free from harmful bacteria.

What Is The Difference Between Hot Tubs & Whirlpool Baths?

In summary, hot tubs and whirlpool baths are great additions to any home. BOTH can be used to relax muscles, reduce stress and provide an enjoyable bathing experience.

However, there are some key DIFFERENCES between the two. Hot tubs are larger and feature built-in heating systems as well as filtration and sanitation systems, making them great for entertaining larger groups of people.

Whirlpool baths are SMALLER and are usually installed indoors, heated by the home’s in-home water heater. They feature jetted massages that provide a more targeted therapeutic effect than hot tubs.

In the end, it all comes down to PERSONAL preference. Hot tubs and whirlpool baths are both great options for relaxation, entertainment and therapeutic purposes – it just depends on what you’re looking for in a bathing experience. Choose one that best meets your needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is A Hot Tub And A Jacuzzi The Same Thing?

No, a hot tub and a Jacuzzi are not the same things. A Jacuzzi is a brand name for whirlpool baths and hot tubs; however, not all whirlpool baths and hot tubs are Jacuzzis.

Is A Hot Tub Or Whirlpool Bath Better For Relaxation?

The best option for relaxation really depends on personal preference. Hot tubs are great for entertaining and provide a larger area to relax in, while whirlpool baths offer more focused therapeutic massage effects [2].

Are Hot Tubs And Whirlpool Baths Dangerous?

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience, hot tubs and whirlpool baths should be used in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. It is essential that no more than 104°F (40°C) of water temperature is maintained to avoid any accident or injury due to scalding or burns.


Both hot tubs and whirlpool baths offer a great way to relax, unwind, and enjoy some therapeutic benefits for your body. It’s important to consider the size of your space, budget and desired features before making your final decision.

Knowing the key differences between hot tubs and whirlpool baths can help you make an informed decision on which one is right for you. With a bit of research and some careful consideration, you’ll be able to find the perfect bathing system for your home!

Sources -

  1. Colleen de Bellefonds. Is Thermal Water the Secret to Healthy, Hydrated Skin? Healthline. Published November 17, 2020. Accessed February 22, 2023.
  2. Beneficial and Therapeutic Effects of Whirlpool/Hydrotherapy. Published 2023. Accessed February 22, 2023.