Love your hot tub, but need a few accessories to really take your space to the next level?
Instead of simply installing a hot tub on a slab of concrete, there are a ton of products to consider adding to the mix that can make this experience pretty awesome for yourself, your family, or your guests.
In this post, I’ll break down a few of my favorite hot tub accessories you can add to your cart today.
1. Hot tub cover
At the very minimum, a hot tub cover and lock is one of the essentials you’ll want to pick up right off the bat. Your hot tub dealer can probably supply many of these items, but you do have online options as well to consider.
A quality hot tub cover will keep debris and people out of the spa when you are not using it, as well as prevent small children from entering when used in combination with a lock.
An insulated foam cover will also prevent water from evaporating and keep the heat in. Simply put..a good cover is worth the money.
Most covers should have latches to secure them in place, preferably ones that can be locked to prevent unauthorized guests from removing the cover and using the spa.
Soft vs hard hot tub covers
When it comes to hot tub covers, these come in both hard and soft varieties. Hard covers are ideal for maximizing energy efficiency, and really a must-have if you leave your hot tub on year-round and want to save energy.
Soft covers are the more economical option, and while they won’t trap heat, they will keep leaves and debris out.
Typically the best covers are custom-constructed from thick, dense foam, protected by a marine-grade vinyl skin weighing 24-36 oz/sq.yd.
Below are a couple of hot tub cover options I found when researching that I just wanted to share if you are in the market for one.
Soft covers are great for infrequent use, and many hot tub owners will use these in combination with their hard cover for added protection and efficiency. Always be sure to measure your hot tub before purchasing a cover.
2. Hot tub cover lock
Most jurisdictions have regulations restricting access because child safety is always an issue with pools and spas: fences and locking gates are usually required to secure the area.
You get an additional layer of security with a locking cover. Some covers you can buy come with a locking mechanism, I’ve also seen these sold separately as well.
You can also purchase wind straps as well as another method of security.
3. Hot tub cover lifter
Good, sturdy hot tub covers can be heavy and hard to maneuver off and on, especially by one person. This is why a hot tub cover lifter is a great idea.
Most hot tub cover lifters come in a couple of different varieties:
- Lift and Glide: When installed to the side of your hot tub, these enable you to slide and fold away the cover
- Upright: Instead of gliding, upright covers simply fold the cover, creating a privacy shield, and great for tight spaces
- Cover Cradle: These types are great for large hot tubs, and use gas pneumatic spring mechanism installed at the rear of your hot tub.
Below is a simple video to give you an illustration of these three types.
4. Spa or hot tub surround
If you decide to install a spa or configure your hot tub so that it is in-ground, adding a perimeter (called a surround) is a great idea.
In a general sense, this is essentially an area a foot or so wide that extends around the perimeter of the tub. This gives you a good place to step when getting into or out of the spa.
When it comes to surrounds, these come in a variety of formats. Some surrounds are essentially all steps surrounding the hot tub which is great for getting in and out.
Other surrounds may simply be concrete pavers or poured concrete surrounding the hot tub.
5. Hot tub deck
Decks can be built in as many configurations as your imagination can conjure, but most come in two different types:
- The hot tub is the central element the deck is built around
- The hot tub is one feature in an extensive deck that is part of the architecture of your home.
In building a hot tub deck, you’ll want to make sure you select a design that will allow for access to the panel of the hot tub for routine maintenance.
6. Hot tub bar
As alluded to earlier, a hot tub bar is a great addition if you intend to spend time around your hot tub often. These are great for large parties, where the TV is visible for those in the hot tub and those sitting around the perimeter.
These are typically custom-built, but a quick online search will show you what these look like. Some are incorporated into gazebos that I have found, while others are free-standing with columns on all four corners of your hot tub.
7. Hot tub gazebo
In conjunction with a deck, a gazebo is one of the more practical hot tub accessories to consider.
Although you may be able to find a ready-built gazebo to enclose your hot tub, most of these surrounds, decking, and enclosure options have to be custom-built.
Many of these gazebos especially designed for hot tubs also have swim-up bars with stools on the outside, perfect for taking turns in and out of the hot tub.
This one on Amazon is a good example of a more sophisticated model. While they can be on the pricey side, it definitely creates a certain vibe and perfect for parties.
8. Hot tub privacy screen
Privacy screens are a good idea if you are in a tight space, and most like the one pictured above I found on here on Amazon for a few hundred bucks.
These may be movable or permanently installed, or you can simply use your hot tub cover as a privacy screen if your installed hot tub lifter allows.
Many gazebos come with what’s called a privacy wall as well which is nice. If you’re looking for something a little more temporary you can find folding screens as well, made of wicker and a variety of materials.
This is a relatively easy construction project if you have the time, and a must-have if your home is on a smaller lot.
9. Hot tub steps
While many hot tubs may come with the option to purchase steps, you may want to purchase steps and handrails either together or separately in order to choose a configuration that is right for you.
With any step you choose, it’s important that they are slip-proof and also be able to withstand whatever the weather has to offer throughout the year/
Most hot tub step sets you can find will have either 2 or 3 steps. Many models also contain built-in handrails which can definitely come in handy and make entry a lot less of a hassle.
10. Hot tub handrail
If purchasing steps, many models also contain built-in handrails which can definitely come in handy and make entry a lot less of a hassle.
You do have the option to install a free-standing handrail as illustrated in the image above. These will essentially slide under the base of your hot tub and screw into the hot tub itself.
Other affordable outdoor hot tub accessories
If you’re just looking for a couple of simple options on a budget, there are some more affordable options you can pick up right away for less than $100. Below are 8 basic ideas.
Your spa may have come with pillows that fit into specific places around its edge; perhaps they were an option. You can get a variety of additional cushions to help you lean back and relax in your spa, get comfortable in different positions, or maybe just position yourself to feel the stream from the jets better.
If you have small children or just need more support, you can pick up a non-slip hot tub booster seat like this one you can pick up for around $60.
Not only can it make your hot tub more comfortable, but it can also help keep long hair out of the water if that is something that matters to you.
11. Hot tub water clarifier
In combination with your cleaning regiment and products like bromine and chlorine, one product that you may want to pick up is a water clarifier product.
This product made by Outster you can find here on Amazon, basically helps to condition and clarify water when used regularly.
While not a replacement product for your standard hot tub cleaner, it can help dislodge hidden gunk and other substances that can cause your water to appear cloudy.
This is ideal for softening the water if you are looking for something that will be soft on your skin and provide a bit more clarity.
If you will be inviting guests to share the enjoyment of your hot tub or plan to rent out your hot tub to guests, consider posting a sign with the rules. This is a good idea to clarify what’s expected of your guests without having to go through the guidelines with them.
In conjunction with a sign, it’s also a good idea to purchase liability insurance if you intend to allow guests or renters to access your hot tub. A sign is a great reminder to keep guests aware of best practices, but may not absolve you of all liability.
11. Hot tub towel storage valet or towel tree
Do you want to have towels handy for you and your guests? A towel tree near the hot tub makes them accessible when you want them.
These come in a variety of shapes and designs, and you can usually find one that matches your decor style pretty easily.
Another option is to pick up a free-standing towel valet or storage rack. This is a good idea if you’d like a good place to place your keys, wallet, or other accessories in addition to having a place to actually store your towels.
Most of these intended for outdoor use are made of wicker or waterproof material.
12. Hot tub aromatherapy products
You can get quite a variety of fragrances designed for spas and hot tubs, from salts to essential oils.
These aromatic salts don’t affect the chemical balance in your tub, and most of these aromatherapy products come in either crystal or liquid form.
You’ll want to make sure that any product you choose is intended for hot tub use since you don’t want them altering the pH levels or water chemistry like other products can.
13. Oil-absorbing sponges
One of the realities of owning a hot tub is that oils, lotions, and other substances will float to the top and make things a bit unpleasant.
As a workaround, you can pick up an oil-absorbing sponge to remedy this problem. These inexpensive sponges soak it all up, and you can just discard them when finished.
14. Floating speakers
As a fun accessory, one popular device that I see quite often is a floating Bluetooth speaker designed for water use. These are perfect if you are entertaining, and usually can be found online for around $30.
Many of these illuminate as well, are obviously waterproof, and have all of the normal functions you would expect from an aftermarket Bluetooth speaker.
If you just bought one or are just looking to mix it up a bit, purchasing a few accessories like a cover lifter will make your experience that much better.
Depending on your budget, you can create an extremely luxurious environment with just a hot tub, and make your outdoor space a place you will want to live in year-round.
For more ideas like this for your Hot Tub or Pool, head on over to the Backyard Ideas section at Waterfront Central.