The Ultimate Hot Tub Cover Buying Guide – 4 Things to Have in Mind

Your hot tub is a big investment and can last you for nearly 20 years if it’s properly cared for.

Purchasing a high-quality hot tub cover is your first layer of defense, protecting your spa from the elements and keeping your energy bills low.

If this is your first hot tub, you may be wondering how to choose the right cover and what kinds of options you have.

This hot tub cover buying guide will tell you everything you need to know to feel confident you’ve chosen the right cover for your spa, ensuring you can enjoy your hot tub for years to come!

Why is Your Hot Tub Cover Important?

Before we explore the various hot tub cover styles and how to choose yours, it’s important to understand why covers are so important for your hot tub.

Your cover is important for five main reasons.

1. Keeps Your Water Clean

First and foremost, your hot tub cover protects your water, ensuring dust and debris can’t be blown in when it’s not being used. This minimizes the work you need to do to maintain your water and will help reduce the deterioration of your sanitizing products after treating your water.

2. Saves You Money

A well-fitting, quality hot tub cover also helps save you money by reducing the energy your spa uses to keep the water warm. The more your heater has to run to maintain the temperature of your water, the more energy it uses. This can quickly raise your electricity bills, leaving you with unexpected costs at the end of each month.

3. Maintains Your Water Temperature

If your hot tub cover isn’t properly fitted to your spa, heat will escape, cooling your water. This leads to long run times and your heater working overtime to keep up with the heat loss. If you invest in a cover that’s designed to fit your spa and has a thick layer of insulation, you can minimize heat loss and better maintain the temperature of your water.

4. Protects Your Spa From Damage

Your water isn’t the only thing your cover protects. Your cover will also cover the exposed section of your shell, ensuring it’s protected from the elements. This helps reduce any wear and tear that could occur from storms or extreme temperature changes.

5. Adds a Layer of Safety

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, your cover is a safety measure, protecting your loved ones and giving you peace of mind that your kids can’t climb into the water unattended.

Types of Hot Tub Covers

Standard Covers

Standard covers come in two distinct styles, each with its own benefits and unique qualities that suit different environments.

1. Hard Covers

Hard covers are the most common and are often the standard cover offered when you first purchase a hot tub.

These covers are designed to be durable, with high insulation rates, to maximize heat retention. Due to the heavy vinyl they’re made of, these covers are waterproof, making them ideal for hot tubs that are outdoors, and constantly exposed to the elements.

They often have a peaked top, giving them a gentle slope for rain and snow to run off, ensuring your cover isn’t supporting extra weight throughout the year.

One of the downsides of hardcovers is their weight. These covers are very heavy, and over time, they’ll accumulate water from the steam your spa produces, making them even more difficult to lift!

There are options to make them easier to open and close, such as cover lift systems that support the weight of your cover as you lift it, minimizing the work you have to do before and after your spa session.

If you’re purchasing a hardcover, we highly recommend including a lift system to pair with it. Don’t strain yourself before your evening soak or ruin your relaxation by struggling to put it back on after.

2. Soft Covers

These covers are best suited if your hot tub is indoors or you live in a consistently hot climate.

Designed to be durable and lightweight, these thin covers simply roll on and off the top of your hot tub, making them easy to use. Their lightweight nature, however, makes them susceptible to heat loss, minimizing their effectiveness at maintaining the heat of your water.

If you use these types of covers outside, you’ll be paying higher energy bills as your system constantly tries to keep up with the dropping temperature of your water.

These covers are an inexpensive option, making them desirable to those who have indoor hot tub installations.

Automatic Covers

Automatic covers have become a topic of conversation in recent years, in large part due to their longer lifespan and easy-to-use nature.

One of the most common automatic covers on the market is the Covana hot tub cover.

Typically, a standard hot tub cover lasts anywhere between five and six years. However, these covers are made of highly durable material that extends their expected lifespan, rivaling that of your spa.

These covers offer maximum protection for your hot tub and make opening and closing your cover as simple as turning a key, locking when closed, and maximizing heat retention.

If you want to maximize the safety your cover provides, these automatic styles can give you peace of mind. Feel confident in knowing your kids can’t lift it, and adventurous neighbors can’t enjoy a sneaky midnight soak in your spa.

How To Choose The Right Hot Tub Cover

With a range of hot tub covers on the market, knowing which one is best for you can be challenging. Knowing what things to look for as you explore your options can help you make a well-informed decision that makes protecting your spa easy.

Here are four things to consider before choosing your hot tub cover.

1. Your Climate

The climate you live in will have a significant impact on which hot tub cover is best for you.

If you live somewhere that experiences extreme temperature fluctuations, you will want to ensure your cover has a high insulation rate, with dense foam to keep heat in while it’s closed.

If you experience drops in temperature over the winter months and your hot tub is outside, you’ll want to consider a hard top cover and avoid a soft top.

2. Shape and Size

Your hot tub cover should be well-fitted to ensure it’s highly efficient at maintaining your water’s temperature. If your cover isn’t designed for your hot tub’s shape and size, it won’t be able to seal tightly, leaving gaps for heat to escape.

This will result in ineffective heat retention, making your system work harder to maintain the heat in your spa and begin raising your energy bills.

Some things to consider to help you find the right size cover is your hot tub: 

  • Corner radius
  • Width
  • Length

Not all hot tubs are perfectly square, and with so many sizes on the market, you want to double-check the cover you’re purchasing will be the perfect fit for your size hot tub. Properly measuring your cover’s corner radius, width and length will ensure a tight fit all around your spa, keeping your cover in place and ensuring it can easily maintain your water temperature.

3. Hot Tub Location

Where you install your hot tub will help determine which cover would be best suited for your spa.

If you have an indoor hot tub, you won’t need as much protection, and you’ll have better control over the room’s temperature, making it easy to maintain your water’s heat. This makes a soft cover a reasonable choice.

For outdoor hot tubs, you’ll need something that can properly maintain the heat of your water, minimizing any heat loss over time. This is especially important if you experience plummeting temperatures during winter. For these installations, you’ll want to consider a more substantial cover with higher insulation, such as a hard cover.

4. Your Needs

While your hot tub cover will be influenced by the above-mentioned factors, it’s important to invest in one that can easily meet your needs as well.

For example, if you struggle with chronic pain, especially in your upper body, you may not want to be fighting with a heavy cover each time you want to treat your aching muscles and joints.

This might leave you considering a cover lift system or an automatic cover, ensuring the support and healing benefits you experience while relaxing in your spa are maintained even after you get out of the water. The last thing you want is to make your daily soak stressful by worrying about lifting a heavy cover or fighting to close it after you’re finished your jet-powered massage.

Additionally, if you have young kids and worry about their safety, investing in a cover that locks, or is heavy enough that they can’t lift it on their own, will help give you peace of mind, knowing they can’t go in the spa without your permission.

Hot Tubs for Sale in North Carolina

If you’ve been in the market for a new hot tub to upgrade your backyard, our showroom is sure to have a model that’s perfect for you.

With two convenient locations, Mountain Leisure Hot Tubs supports the communities of Arden and Boone, providing the long-term benefits hot tubs bring to each of our customers.

Visit your local showroom, or contact us today to get started!

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