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Hot Tub vs Spa Jacuzzi. Is There a Difference?


What is the difference between a Jacuzzi and a hot tub? The two may seem interchangeable, but there really is a difference. Originally, Jacuzzi was a brand that manufactured spas. That’s not “spa” as in the alternate label for the word “salon.” “Spa” in this case refers to the fiberglass, plastic, or stone versions of the hot tub.

You may be wondering why the spas were referred to as “versions” of hot tubs above, instead of just “fiberglass, plastic, or stone hot tubs.” “Spa” is just another word for “hot tub,” right? Wrong.What’s important to know here is that people didn’t always say “hot tub” when talking about what are actually spas, as is the common practice in conversations today. The first hot tubs, manufactured in the 1970’s, were made of wood. Typically, the hot tubs were circular, and the wood was in vertical planks forming the circle, which were held in place by tight, metal strips, or in rare cases, strong plastic strips. Hot tubs are always above ground or sit on top of the floor.

The hot tubs that are placed outside are often referred to as “garden hot tubs.” As the name implies, they are often in a private garden or yard.There are more recently some hot tubs that are not made of wood, but are inflatable. Because they are not made of wood, it seems very different from the original usage of the term “hot tub,” but because it sits above ground, it is more accurate to describe the inflatable hot tub as such (a hot tub) rather than as a spa.

Spas, of which Jacuzzi is a popular brand name, are very similar, but are not made of wood, and have more variances in shape. Unlike with hot tubs, it is possible for spas to be built into the ground, so the top is level with the ground or floor, or half way into the ground or floor. A case could be made for the argument that spas made of non-permeable materials are better than wooden hot tubs, as wood would wear down a lot faster, and possibly splinter or eventually mold.

In modern times, many people do not know about the difference, and some others who do know just don’t care, therefore it is now very common to say “hot tub” when talking about any kind of spa, whirlpool, or hot tub, whether it sits above the ground level or below, whether it is made of wood, fiberglass, plastic, stone, concrete, cement, or anything else, and regardless of what manufacturer it came from.

Jacuzzi is still a manufacturer of spas, but again, there are plenty of people who aren’t aware of this, which is why it is also a common thing to say “Jacuzzi” in reference to any of the above described hot tubs and spas. This is similar to how a lot of people call all adhesive bandages “band aids,” even when they are not made by the Band Aid brand, or all plastic food storage containers “tupperware,” even when they are not made by the Tupperware brand.

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