There are many reasons why people decide to buy a hot tub. Some are looking to relax and unwind after a long day, others are looking to entertain and socialize with friends and family, while others are interested in relieving aches and pains using hydrotherapy.
All hot tubs are not well suited to each of these desired outcomes, however. For example, some are simply too small to be any good for entertaining, while others don’t provide a good enough massage experience to really work as a hydrotherapy hot tub.
How can you tell which hot tubs will work best for hydrotherapy? Today, we will explore the different components that go into a good hot tub massage and give you tips to help you properly identify which hot tubs provide the best hydrotherapy experience.
How Do You Define Good Hot Tub Hydrotherapy?
First off, how can we define a good hydrotherapy massage? In our opinion, the perfect hot tub massage has to be:
- Powerful. You need enough power coming out of the jets to properly massage the muscle.
- Balanced. All of the jets should have the same amount of power.
- Accurate. The jets should massage be properly placed so they’re hitting the right muscles.
- Customizable. You should be able to vary your massage based on your personal preferences.
Now that we have an idea of what we’re looking for. Let’s take a closer look at the various components of the hot tub hydrotherapy system to see why some hot tubs offer better hydrotherapy than others.
When it comes to hydrotherapy, it all starts with the massage pumps. Simply put, if the massage pumps aren’t strong enough, the jets won’t have enough power to provide a proper massage.
When determining the power of a massage pump, it is important to look at the flow rate, rather than the horsepower rating. This is because horsepower is a measurement of how much power the pump consumes, rather than how much water it moves. This is an important distinction as two pumps with identical horsepower ratings can have very different flow rates. For example, Hydropool’s 4 HP AquaFlo pumps generate a massage current of 180gpm (gallons per minute) while most other 4HP pumps can only get to around 140gpm. This can make a huge difference in the overall power of the massage that you experience.
While often overlooked, the layout of the plumbing can make a big difference in the quality of a massage; both in terms of power and balance. Basically, the longer the distance the water has to travel from the pumps to the jets, the less power they will have. Too many 90 degree elbows in the plumbing can also really negatively affect massage power.
Not only does inefficient plumbing cause your hot tub’s hydrotherapy system to lose power, it can also lead to varying power between jets with ones closer to the pumps being at full power and others that are further away left feeling noticeably weaker.
When looking at hot tubs, take a moment to look inside the cabinet. If you see a ton of 90-degree elbows and needlessly long plumbing runs, you can be pretty sure that that hot tub is not meant for hydrotherapy.
Probably the most critical component of a hot tub’s hydrotherapy experience is the jets. When looking at hot tub jets there are 3 things you should be considering.
1) The Number Of Jets
When looking at the number of jets in a hot tub, it is not always a case of more is better. While you definitely want to make sure that there are plenty of jets, if you have too many it can actually begin to affect the power of the massage.
Since there is a finite amount of water coming out of the jet pumps, for every jet you add you remove a bit of power from the others. What is the right number of jets then? Well, that depends on the number of massage pumps the hot tub has. Generally, you don’t want there to be more than 30 jets for every massage pump.
Another thing to consider is how many jets there are per seat. A small 2-3 person hot tub with 30 jets can outperform a larger 8 person hot tub with 45-50 because there are more jets in every seat.
2) The Placement Of The Jets
Simply put, if the jets don’t hit you in the right spots they’re not really doing much good. Look for jets that follow the natural curves of your body (wider at the shoulders, narrower down the back) rather than ones laid out in straight lines or diamond shapes. These other arrangements can look impressive, but don’t provide any real benefit.
3) The Size Of The Jets
Another important thing to consider is the size of the jets. The larger the muscle group a jet is targeting, the larger it should be. Jets targeting your neck, wrists, and legs should be smaller to ensure that they’re hitting the right spots. Jets targeting your back should be larger to ensure that they properly treat the whole muscle.
Everyone is different. That’s why it is crucial that you be able to customize your hot tub hydrotherapy experience to suit your taste. At a minimum, you should be able to vary the power of the massage in the hot tub. Hot tubs built specifically for hydrotherapy will also typically allow you to go further; offering several different jet types that can be easily removed and swapped out with other jets so that you can put your favourite jets in your favourite seat! They also will vary the heights of their seats so that people of all heights will be able to enjoy a targeted massage.
Which Hot Tub Provides The Best Hydrotherapy Experience?
Now that we’ve covered the various components that go into a perfect hydrotherapy hot tub, the question becomes which hot tubs provide the best hydrotherapy experience? For our money, no one provides a better massage than Hydropool Hot Tubs. There are a few reasons for this.
- Hydropool’s massage pumps the most powerful in their class; offering 28% more power than other similarly sized massage pumps.
- Their plumbing has been meticulously designed to be as efficient as possible. They use as little plumbing as possible and have also eliminated 90-degree elbows. This means your massage will have more power without needing to add a 2nd pump.
- Their hot tubs come standard with between 30-55 jets and 1-2 massage pumps depending on their size and configuration; enough to give you a proper massage, without losing power.
- Hydropool works with physiotherapists and sports therapists to ensure that their jets are properly sized and placed to treat the muscles they are targeting.
- Hydropool not only allows you to vary the power all the jets at once, they also allow you to vary the power of each jet individually.
- They have 8 different massage jet types; each that provides a unique massage experience. These different jet types can be easily swapped out with similarly sized jets of a different type, allowing you to customize your experience to suit your tastes.
- Their multi-level seating design ensures that people of all heights have a massage seat that fits them perfectly.
- Hydropool’s never-float lounger design resists your body’s natural tendency to float in water and keeps you in the seat so you can enjoy a full-body massage.
- Their industry-exclusive HydroTher wellness program. This program is a series of automated massages designed to relieve the most common conditions experienced by hot tub owners; from back pain and leg pain to headaches and stress. Simply pick your program and let the hot tub do the rest!