A hot tub cover serves three different functions for a spa – first, and foremost, it keeps the hot tub hot by not allowing the heat to escape; second, covers keep out debris and cut down cleaning and maintenance; and finally, they provide safety for children, animals, etc. With all of this functionality, it’s easy to see why hot tub covers are so important and are a must-have for spa owners.
Now that we know why we need a cover for a spa, let’s take a closer look at the process of buying a hot tub cover. In this guide we’ll talk about some of the do’s and don’t's of purchasing a spa cover, as well as helping you know what to watch out for.
Where is the best place to buy a hot tub cover?
You can purchase a replacement cover from an online retailer or you can buy one from your local hot tub dealer.
Both options have their pros and cons.
In most cases, you will save money by ordering a spa cover online. They are currently as low as $269.00, shipped directly to your front door and the prices seem to be getting lower and lower. Buying from a local spa dealer may cost a little more, but you can see in-person, the quality of the cover you’d be buying and in many cases they may offer delivery as well. Some people are worried about getting the correct measurements of their hot tub, which is a costly mistake; so a dealer may also offer to come to your home and measure your hot tub for you. This often isn’t free, but at least you protect yourself from getting the wrong cover measurements, which is the number one problem when ordering replacement covers.
Warranty is also another big thing to think about when deciding to make a purchase online versus buying local. While hot tub parts and supplies are priced much lower online, usually the buyer is responsible for shipping costs when it comes to warranty or replacement. Retailers aren’t likely to ship out new products until they have inspected the defective item first. In the case of a defective hot tub cover, it would probably be shipped directly to the spa cover manufacturer and they would either fix it or replace it. Sometimes photos are good enough to assess the damage, but if they require you to send it back, you better get out your wallet. After boxing it up securely and paying to ship it back, you might be better off just buying a new cover. Don’t let me scare you away from buying online though – thousands of people purchase hot tub covers from online retailers every year and have absolutely no problem.
Step 1: Choosing the Correct Shape
Most retailers start out by asking you to choose the correct shape to match your spa. Square or rectangle is the most common spa shapes, but there are at least 12 different options such as round, octagon, and more.
Step 2: Measuring the Hot Tub’s Dimensions
Like I said, this is where most of the mistakes happen, so you need to be careful when taking the measurements of the spa.
IMPORTANT! DON’T MAKE THIS MISTAKE
Make sure you measure the actual hot tub and not your old cover that you are replacing. Covers can shrink or enlarge over time due to constant exposure to the elements, so be safe and measure the tub. Depending on the spa’s shape you may have to get some different types of measurements, but usually you need the length, width, and radius of the corners (if your spa has rounded corners). You should also measure the skirt length as well, which is the part that hangs down over the sides of your hot tub.
Step 3: Choosing a Cover Color
This step is simple. Pick whatever color matches your previous cover or GO CRAZY and try something new. Most retailers have at least 10 different colors to choose from, while others offer even more choices.
Step 4: Choosing the Hot Tub Cover Options
Spa covers are available in different foam thicknesses ranging from a tapered 4″-2″ thickness up to a 6″-4″ thickness. A cover also offers different foam density ranging from 1 pound to 2 pounds. The more dense and thick it is, the less heat that you would lose – this is commonly measured by the R-Value. Each of these options add quite a bit to the price and it mainly just depends on your climate and surrounding environment. The warranty, as we discussed earlier, also increases with each option ranging from one year up to five years.
There are also a few other little upgrades that you can do like a continuous center seal, double-wrapped foam core, additional handles or safety straps, and more. In many cases, you just have to decide what is important for you and how much you are willing to spend. A hot tub cover typically lasts from 5-10 years when your tub is located outside and exposed to the elements, so that may also factor into how much you are willing to spend to cover your hot tub.
You Are Now a Hot Tub Cover Genius
You should feel much more confident about buying your spa cover as well as the pros and cons of purchasing online or local. If you have any questions or comments about what options or upgrades are really worth your money, I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below (and so would other potential cover buyers).
photo by: aliwest44