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Hot Tub Cover Buying Guide

Are you tired of cleaning your hot tub again and again? Want to protect the shine and glam of your fancy bathtub? Invest in some good quality hot tub covers to prevent any external damage from the debris and ensure longer life of the product.

Hot tub covers act like double trouble savers . These handy canvases allow you to maintain the spa's shine and quality and keep your tub ready to use whenever you need them. In winters, these covers aid you in maintaining the appropriate temperature of your spa.

Importance of reading a buying guide

Not everything that shines comes out to be pure gold. To select the appropriate cover, you need to understand different terminologies associated with the cover sheets. The buying guide provides you all the information under one roof so that you can easily understand all the terms and terminologies and evaluate the characteristics with your requirements.

So, let us now deem about different characteristics of the product.

What are the advantages of having good quality spa covers?

If you have a hot tub, you must keep it clean and safe. Buying a hot tub cover is the best decision you can take to maintain your hot tub. There are several reasons why people look for the hot tub covers:

  • Safe

A hot tub cover ensures the safety of the hot tub. It prevents accidental falling, which means it can protect your children and pets from slipping into the hot tub.

  • Damage-proof

A hot tub cover can stave off damage and protect the hot tub from poor weather conditions like a massive snowstorm or wind. As it is durable, it can increase the longevity of the tub.

  • Time and cost-efficient

The cover can hold the heat to keep the water warm so you can warm up the water in less time by reducing the electricity cost. Also, it helps the pump and heating system to last longer.

  • Cleanliness

It is the essential benefit of having a hot tub cover. Also, it does not allow dirt, debris, and leaves to seep. Thus, keep the water clean by reducing dust and bacteria.

Different types of covers

Usually, there are four types of hot tub covers available in the market.

  1. Hard-shell covers

Hard-shell covers are a very appropriate choice for your hot tubs, especially if you have children in your house. They are durable enough because aluminum, plastic, or molded fiberglass are used to make the covers. Besides, providing the maximum insulation with these covers prevent everything from falling into the tub.

  1. Soft covers

Soft covers for the hot tubs are cheaper than hard-shell covers. Some soft covers are designed with vinyl-covered insulated foams that increase the breathability. Otherwise, you can find a second layer of vinyl cover that fixes the hard-shell cover in a particular space. However, some soft covers designed with fiberglass panels come strong and sturdy.

  1. Seasonal covers

To maintain your tub correctly in a harsh weather condition, you must go for a seasonal cover. It adds an extra layer all around the tub for better insulation. So, it is an excellent choice to hold the heat in the coldest temperatures without much heating cost. Moreover, these covers enhance your tubs' longevity even after they are exposed to extreme winter weather.

  1. Solar covers

Solar covers can be a great alternative to heavily insulated tub covers. This cover is designed with plastic sheets, and the surface of the cover is filled with multiple bubbles. These bubbles are used to absorb the sunlight to warm up the water effectively.

Things to deem about while selecting the best Hot Tub Covers

Size and shape

When you are about to buy a hot tub cover, you must check the right size and shape to be well-fitted. Hard-shell hot tub covers can protect the surface area with the insulated foam and effectively reduces heat loss. On the other hand, both the seasonal and soft covers come with a bigger size and protect the tub's sidewalls. The right size of the covers prevents any kind of displacement, and thus they remain fixed in a particular place with the help of clamps and straps. You should never go for a smaller size that cannot slide over the entire tub easily.

Like the right size of the covers, you should choose the most appropriate shape so that it can fit with the shape of your hot tub without any hassles. Make sure the cover you are selecting for your hot tub is adjustable enough to meet with the specific dimension of the container. Some tubs come with headrests, control panels, and several other features. Therefore, you must consider all of these things before buying a cover to make sure it can work efficiently.

Tips for measuring the right size

Hot tubs have different shapes like rectangular, square, round, etc. with different dimensions. So, you need to measure the dimensions of your tub precisely. Also, you can take lip to lip measurements of the tub. You may use an old cover if you have any.

  1. Radius

You can measure the dimension of your hot tub by calculating the radius. Especially if you have a round-shaped hot tub, you can use a carpenter square to measure the boundary. It is probably the easiest way to know the right size of your container. In the case of a square container, you can fix an imaginary point and measure up to that point from bend. Always keep it in mind that a smaller radius is better than the larger one because the smaller radius implies that the corner of your hot tub cover will be squarer.

  1. Skirt

You will see a hanging flap at the bottom of the hot tub covers, and it is known as the skirt. Most of the covers have skirts for better appearance, but you should measure the dimensions correctly. A more extended cover can bunch the tub cover and push it up. If there is any wood rail, it will be better to measure the length between the wood rail and the acrylic spa. In case your tub does not have the wood rail, you will need to measure up to the lip bottom from the top of your tub. Finally, you have to add one inch both to the length and width. A shorter skirt is better to have to avoid bunching.

Vinyl type

Vinyl is an essential component of the hot tub covers. So, if you do not pay attention to the quality of the vinyl, you may have to compromise with the sheets' work efficiency. You should always buy a cover that is made up of premium quality vinyl. There are several benefits to choosing high-quality vinyl. It has a strong resistance to Ultraviolet rays, humidity, and water. You can find Marine standard vinyl, which comes with a wide range of variety.

Before shopping for a hot tube cover, you should check that it has a coating of inhibitors to protect the tub from mold and fungus. You will also get a chance to pick up your favorite colors as the tub covers have a wide range of vinyl colors. You can easily match the color with the design of your outdoor furniture or backyard environment.

Thickness and density

If you do not want your tub covers to get tapered quickly, you should look for a thicker one. Your hot tub cover has to deal with snow, rain, and wind all the time, so a 4 inches thick cover gets tapered to 2 inches near the edges.

Moreover, the cover's thickness determines the load capacity, which means when you have a denser foam, it will be more compatible with heavier weight. A 4" x 2" cover is perfect for an indoor tub where a 6" x 2" cover can go well with a deck-level tub. However, a sheet with 5" x 3" thickness is ideal for all types of elements.

Density is necessary to determine the insulation as well as the load capacity of your hot tub cover. Most of the covers come within the density range of 1 lb to 2 lb. For lower density, the foam cells are open and have higher saturation with lower retention and lower capacity of weight.

All these three factors are essential to have a high performing hot tub. However, the higher density means lower operation cost. So, selecting a hot tub cover with an optimum density of 1.5 lb is wise.


Usually, high-quality vinyl is used to design hot tub covers. As we have already mentioned, the quality of the vinyl plays a vital role in the durability and longevity of the tub covers.

  1. Marine-Grade Vinyl

This type of vinyl is hugely used in constructing the tub covers because of their moisture-resistance feature. Therefore, it allows the cover to last long. Also, it comes thicker and sturdier, so it has more weight than C-CHANNEL. It weighs between 26 and 34 ounces. You can also find Marine grade vinyl that is resistant to mold and UV rays.

  1. C-Channel

C-CHANNEL is made up of galvanized steel, and the steel bar goes through the cover width for durable reinforcement. It can also protect the foam effectively.

Vapor barrier protection

Many hot tub covers are designed with foam cores. Usually, you will find hot air underneath the tub cover and cold air on top. Because of this difference in temperature, there can be a large amount of condensation capable of damaging the foam internally and thus affects the cover's longevity. In such cases, the vapor barrier works as a defense between the foam and water.

There is some standard quality foam available in the market that is waterproof. But when it absorbs the water, it will become trapped, which may lead to several difficulties. So, you should take proper precautions if the foams are not resistant to water and moisture. Commonly, the expensive tub covers are likely to have an in-built vapor barrier. They are very effective in preventing the covers from water and increasing its durability.

So, you can give thought to invest a little more money to get the best quality covers with barriers to ensure you do not have to spend much in the future.


You should choose a strong and sturdy handle to maintain your hot tub cover without much effort. There are different types of handles you can find in the market, and you can pick up one of them according to your comfort. Here are the two types of handles.

  1. Gazebo

The gazebo is found inside the cover, which helps to move the cover quickly. It is placed around the fold of the cover. Generally, they are for a smaller place. You can set up your hot tub with a gazebo setting.

  1. Rubber

To have a stronger grip, you can go for handles that are made of rubber. They are thicker and ensure extra grips for the users. Rubber handles are attached to the outside of the cover and provide more support to the regular handles.

Energy-saving features

The hot tub covers are very cost-effective because they are equipped with advanced energy-saving techniques. So, it not only reduces energy consumption but also helps you save your money and time. To have an environment-friendly hot water cover, you should search for the following features:

  1. Energy shield

You can see a material coating beneath the tub cover that can reflect heat quickly. It is called the energy shield, which helps the cover to deal with the increasing temperature. If the temperature starts to increase, it will be reflected in the shield without any dissipation.

  1. Vapor proof barrier seal

It is crucial for your hot tub cover as it prevents the cover from soaking up water. If the cover starts to absorb water, it will become heavier and cause trouble while moving. Also, it will reduce the insulating feature of the cover because of frequent water-logging. You should attach this vapor proof barrier seal to make sure your cover is dry from inside and is lightweight and insulating.

  1. Full hinge steam stops

To bridge the gap between several foam inserts, the full hinge steam is used. Therefore, it makes your tub cover perfect for colder temperatures.

  1. Double wrap foam core

With this double layer of foam, you can quickly reduce the saturation of the core. When the poly wrap gets damaged by the chemicals in the hot tubs, it will lead to congestion. It happens because the poly wrap surrounds the foam core. Simply put, two-layer protection works in an effective way to prevent foam saturation of the covers.


What is R value?

R-value refers to thermal resistance, which indicates insulation. It means you can measure the resistance to the flow of heat with R-value. So, higher R-value always shows higher effectiveness of insulation. In general, when heat flows through a solid object, the materials resist the conduction, and this resistance is known as R-value. The R-value of your hot tub shows the insulation on the floor and cover. If you have a tub with a higher R-value, it will pass less heat outside and hold the temperature significantly. Having a hot tub with a higher R-value makes sure you can save a lot of energy at ease.

How R value is affected by waterlogging?

Usually, the hot tub covers that are waterlogged do not have enough R-value. If you do not want to waste your money, be careful while buying a hot tub cover. A waterlogged cover can lose almost 75% of the real R-value.

Therefore, a thick water barrier is quite essential so that you can surround the foam to make it appropriately heat-sealed. Also, it does not allow the cover to soak up water, so it remains lightweight and works great for a more extended period. You can add extra layers to the barrier to keep the cover lightweight and easy maintenance.

A full-length seal upgrade is also very essential for reducing heat loss. You can have a custom tub cover according to your required specifications that help the cover to last longer and prevent water absorption from making sure your tub has a higher R-value. Moreover, You do not need much time and energy to warm up the water.


In the very beginning, we have discussed the safety of the tub covers. Here we will talk about the safety features in detail so that you will not be confused while looking for a hot tub cover. Also, till the end, you will be able to get a cover that meets up all your requirements.

Some prominent factors are important for the safety of your hot tub cover.

  1. First, you should check whether there is any safety lock for children or not. Consider this feature even if you do not have children in your house. It is because it will also save your beloved pets from slipping and falling into the hot tub accidentally.
  2. Also, you must check the hardware, and if they are not new, do not go for the cover.
  3. Usually, people buy covers with two locks, but it is recommended to have four lock covers to make sure it will not be raised aloft by the strong wind.
  4. Another vital thing is the quality of material that has a lot to do with the safety of your tub covers. You should always find the best quality and design instead of the poor standard of materials so that you can use the covers for a long time without any issues.


It is wise to check the pricing of the hot tub covers before making a purchase. Some manufacturers offer a very reasonable price for the covers. But always remember you should not choose the cheaper covers as they lack some essential features like vapor barriers and thicker foams. Also, they are not made of high standard materials. You should find out the covers that have a budget-friendly price range but fulfill all your requirements. It is a no-brainer that the covers having a lower price range, are also poor in quality and may damage your tub quickly.

You have to spend a lump sum amount of money to buy a good quality hot tub. But all those investments can go wrong if you do not buy the right cover for your hot tub. You must be careful while choosing the hot tub cover and buy according to the investment done for your hot tub. With a little more investment, you can save the money that you may need to maintain the covers in the future.


  1. After what time range should I change my spa cover?

There is no definite amount of time after which you should repurchase the cover. It all depends on the quality of the product. Typically, the cover will lose its properties after 5-6 years being subjected to harsh weather conditions. It might even start to cup with time. Keep a regular check on the handles and the canvas coating and replace the product after it's no longer able to protect your hot tub.

  1. What are the essential tips to ensure the long life of the product?

Here are some simple tips to follow and maintain your product:

  • While cleaning, don't use harsh napkins, sponges, or brushes.
  • Clean the cover once in a month with a mild soap water solution.
  • Keep the cover secure from any pointy objects and don't allow your kids to jump, stand, or sit on it.
  • Dry the cover properly once or twice a week.
  • Remove the tree sap stains with vegetable oil and mildew with a mild vinegar solution. Don't scratch.
  1. Should I opt for a variant with safety locks?

Adequate safety locks are essential on hot tub covers. These locks provide a strong back hold to your covers in fierce winds and storms. So, check the quality of the locks carefully before selecting a cover for your tub.

  1. How should I protect the foam of my tub cover?

You need to invest in a good quality vapor barrier to protect your foam from external damage. The vapor barrier acts as a shield around the foam, protecting it from soaking up water. Also, keep checking this plastic membrane regularly and repair any tear and holes to ensure a long life of the foam.

Summing Up

Get the most out of your spa and hot tubs by protecting them with suitable covers. The hot tub covers act as a protective shield and keep your containers safe from the harsh environmental factors trying to invade and deteriorate them.

We have listed out all the essential features in this buying guide to save your valuable time. Go through this guide and select an elite product. / - © Copyright 2020