Jacuzzi vs Hot Tub vs Spa: Is There A Difference?

Jacuzzi vs Hot Tub vs Spa

Time to take a seat our warm water friends, as we are about to take you through the different forms of hydrotherapy and what makes one different than the other.

There is obviously a bit of confusion when it comes to a jacuzzi vs hot tub vs spa, especially since we treat these words as synonyms.

This begs the question,

“When people talk about jacuzzis, hot tubs, or spas, are they referring to the same thing?”

There sure seem to be a lot of interchangeable phrases that may not be as interchangeable as you think!

Let’s go through what makes each of these unique so that you can have a better idea of what exactly you are looking for when you decide to make your hydrotherapy purchase!



Jacuzzi Logo

Jacuzzi is actually the name of one of the very first and most prominent spa manufacturers in the world. 

They became famous after they produced the world’s first air-jetted whirlpool tubs in the 1960s. 

The Jacuzzi brother owned a company in the 1950s that produced aircraft propellers. In 1968, one of the brothers used their methods to incorporate jets into tubs, resulting in the first Jacuzzi.

The name is kind of like the Kleenex brand, as many people use the brand name when they are talking about the entire range of products, rather than the single brand. It is also the same as when people refer to lip balm as chapstick or copiers as Xerox.

If you look up “in-room jacuzzis” on Google, you’ll notice how often hotels use the Jacuzzi brand to describe their amenities, rather than the word “spa”. The Jacuzzi brand has been trying to fight against this kind of brand dilution for many years, as they want to refrain from becoming generic. If your spa is a Jacuzzi brand spa, you can call it a Jacuzzi. If it is not a Jacuzzi brand spa, then just call it a spa. This will help to avoid brand confusion.


couple in hot tub

A hot tub is any small or large pool of warm, heated water that can be used for recreation or hydrotherapy.

Some hot tubs are also known as spas, as many of them have jets that are installed for the purpose of massaging.

With that said, a hot tub is definitely not a spa or a jacuzzi when compared in detail.

Hot tubs are traditionally made out of wood, while modern spas are made out of smooth acrylic material, and features a million different jets and entertainment features.

Typically, hot tubs are pretty simple in design. They look like round wooden tanks and use single bench seats with anywhere up to eight jets around the entirety. We like to think of traditional hot tubs as small, warm-water soak tanks. They don’t necessarily have high-pressure bubble systems or noisy electric equipment.

However, the most modern and best round hot tubs do offer the luxury features found in today's spa models.

If you are in the market for a hot tub, or just window shopping for price, you can compare pricing of top brands by clicking the button below for more details. Our service is completely free.


Spas are associated with water treatment and hydrotherapy, though many people refer to it as balneotherapy. Of course, when you look at the origin of the word spa, it refers to natural hot springs that were used as a form of hydrotherapy many years ago. People from ancient civilizations would travel many miles to take advantage of the restorative effects of these hot springs. Eventually, these hot springs were put into buildings, which acted as bathhouses. They became a source of cultural and social experiences for many, as well as a prominent form of entertainment.

To this day, people utilize the healing powers of mineral waters just as they did thousands of years ago. Spas as people knew them are still very popular in places throughout Europe and Japan.

Of course, the word “spa” is used by many Americans to describe hot tubs that are equipped with strong jet systems, which uses a mixture of air pressure and water to create a therapeutic experience. Spas are built either flush into the deck or foundation, or are portable in above-ground form. We like to think of the modern definition of spas as hot tubs with a more modern flare.


You’ve probably heard the Whirlpool name being thrown around. Whirlpool Bath is a trademarked name that is owned by the Jacuzzi brand, which is the umbrella above a type of jetted tub. These are meant to be used as indoor bathtubs for master bedrooms. They are drained after every use, unlike your typical jacuzzi, hot tub, or spa.



To break it down simply, hot tubs and Jacuzzis are not the same thing. Hot tubs are manufactured by many different brands, each of which utilizes different advanced features and components. Jacuzzi products are on the more affordable end of the hot tub and spa spectrum, offering people the chance to own them at very low costs. Jacuzzi may have been the first and most well-known hot tub and spa brand, though they are only a budget-friendly hot tub and spa brand.


Hot tubs and spas aren’t necessarily the same thing if you want to get into definitions, though many people refer to them as the same things. Let’s look back in history to see why.

The word hot tub didn’t come around until the 1970s, and this was when these hot tubs could only be made out of wood. This is why we refer to wooden tubs as hot tubs, as that is how they were originally defined. Of course, as we know, there are many manufacturers in the industry who create acrylic-based, jet-filled tubs and label them as “hot tubs”. Many of these hot tubs feature high-quality features, such as cascading waterfalls, LED lighting, electronic controls, and more!

The word “spa”, on the other hand, originates from a 17th-century Belgian town that was famous for having healing mineral springs. Nowadays, people in the U.S. refer to the tubs we just described above as “spas”. It almost comes down to whether or not you want to live by the original definitions or not. If you find that your hot tub has healing properties for you just like a spa would, then there is no reason why you can’t refer to it as a “spa”.


Jetted tubs are bathtubs, and are usually installed in master bathrooms. They have many jets that surround the entire tub, very similar to all of the things listed above, though they are fitted to the pumps in your home. Many luxurious models are fairly large hot tubs, and some include heaters to make sure that the tap water coming out is heated.

They can be filled up like normal bathtubs, and are drained when you are through using them. Many come with a few electronic controls to set the perfect temperature and jet settings.


We hope that this article has helped you to understand the difference between Jacuzzis, hot tubs, and spas. Jacuzzis, hot tubs, and spas have all come quite a long way since they first hit the market.

Of course, the next step is to acquire your own form of hydrotherapy for your backyard!

Whether you are looking to get a modern hot tub or spa, you can check out the Jacuzzi brand or a number of other high-quality brands!

next steps

Just be aware that it is important to know what hot tub brands to avoid, as well as inflatable hot tub brands to avoid. We can help you get quotes and compare hot tubs to make sure that you find the best one for your needs!

Though they may be different at heart, Jacuzzis, hot tubs, and spas all offer forms of relaxation, hydrotherapy, and entertainment. They are each great for the mind, body, and soul. Having one of them as part of your daily routine can help to make you a happier and healthier person overall!


About The Author

Meredith Kiley

Full-time staff writer at wyllz.com and stay-at-home mom.