differences spas hot tubs jacuzzis

There are many settings or situations where terms that are actually slightly different are used interchangeably, and the realm of hot tubs is a good example. Both this term and others, such as “jacuzzi” and “spa,” will often be used to describe these items — most who do so are using the terms interchangeably to mean the same thing, but may not realize that technically speaking, these are different.

At Dolphin Pools & Spas, we’re happy to provide high-quality Bullfrog spa¬†products to clients throughout Salt Lake City, offering the very best luxury money can buy. We want to be clear: There’s nothing truly wrong with using these various terms interchangeably, and this is often done by both our clients and our own staff when describing this realm of products. At the same time, some of our clients want the exact technical definitions for any such items — here’s how these three terms technically differ.


Not to be confused with a separate location like a day spa, the “spa” term in this realm typically refers to an in-ground body of water built into the ground, similar to an in-ground pool. Spas can range in both size and features, and are generally heated to provide a warm experience.

Spas will also typically have a bench seat and built-in jets, which are dotted around the setup. They take slightly longer than other items to heat up, and will require some strong maintenance.

Hot Tub

While many people simply use “hot tub” and “spa” to mean the exact same thing, technical definitions separate them — hot tubs typically refer to above-ground options that are portable. They’re often made of acrylic, plastic or fiberglass and can be heated quickly.

With these items, all plumbing and electrical components are self-contained, meaning they’re easy to move. A hot tub can be filled with a garden hose at any time, and can be relocated if necessary.

In addition, hot tubs are great at holding temperature, which can be pre-selected and regulated. They can also be filled and drained rapidly, and are often smaller than a spa.


Technically, “Jacuzzi” is a brand, not a type — it’s the most popular brand in this realm of products, and they can be above or below-ground options that may or may not be portable. But like other popular brands that have become synonymous with actual products, such as Kleenex for tissues or Xerox for photocopiers, the Jacuzzi name is often used to describe any type of product in this realm.

For more on the technical definitions of terms like spa, hot tub and jacuzzi, or to learn about any of the quality Bullfrog Spa or other spa options we offer to SLC clients, contact the pros at Dolphin Pools & Spas today for more information.