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Traditional spa baths vs spa pools | HotSpring Spas

Traditional spa baths vs spa pools

Spa baths are a simple way to add real luxury to your home – you can light some candles, grab a book and a glass of wine, and melt into the warm, bubbling waters.

But traditional bathroom spa baths have their limitations. The need to fill the spa bath up before each session and drain it after makes a soak a costly and somewhat wasteful affair. It’s also an experience that can be uncomfortable, and in some cases impossible, to share… until now.

In many ways a Hot Spring spa pool represents the evolution of the spa bath. It offers an even more luxurious soak, cuts down on water waste, allows the experience to be shared, and offers a whole lot more fun and functionality.

Traditional spa baths vs spa pools

Which should you choose: a spa bath or a Hot Spring spa pool? If you’re simply looking for a nice place to have a cleansing bath, a spa bath is perfect. But if you’re looking for a more luxurious soak, one that brings a wealth of benefits and can be shared with family and friends, a spa pool is the better option.


A spa bath is a bathtub with jets – no more, no less. A Hot Spring spa pool, meanwhile, is an experience – a place for massage therapy, solo relaxation, romantic escapes, Friday night parties and more. With water that is continually cleaned and heated, hydromassage jets, interior and exterior lighting, water features and complete audio-visual systems, a Hot Spring spa pool can deliver whatever experience you might be looking for. 

At Hot Spring we allow you to immerse yourself in these experiences even before you make your spa pool investment – simply book in a test soak at your local dealer to try before you buy!

Health benefits

Spa baths offer health and wellness by facilitating personal hygiene. Spa pools offer something more. The ability to precisely control the heat of the water, combined with the expertly designed hydromassage jets, mean that Hot Spring spas offer an incredible range of health and wellness benefits. Studies have found that spa pools can offer relief to sufferers of arthritis, anxiety, fibromyalgia, chronic pain, migraines and more.


Installation and portability

As mentioned above, spa baths are complicated things to install, particularly if they are inset. And once they are ready to use, they become part of the house – you can just pick them up and take them with you if you choose to move. Hot Spring spa pools, being self-contained and portable, are a cinch to install, and can move wherever you do. They can also be surprisingly compact and are able to be installed both inside and out.

What size are our spa baths?

The standard size for a single-person spa bath in New Zealand is approximately 170cm long x 70cm wide, though those measurements can vary between 140-180cm long and 65-80cm wide. Multi-person spa baths are also an option – these tend to be triangular, designed to fit in a corner, and usually measure around 150cm on their longest sides.

While spa pools are usually found outside, they’re also installed indoors in places like sunrooms, because they can be surprisingly compact – a surprise to homeowners who assume that they will be too large.

The reality is that portable spa pools come in all shapes and sizes, designed to fit all types of spaces. Take the Mini – at 183 x 119cm it is similar in size to a traditional spa bath, but has room for two people to comfortably soak in. Then there’s the Tristar, a model similar in size and shape to a multi-person spa bath, with room for three.

What is the cost of a spa bath?

Be aware that the cost of a spa bath is more than what is shown on the sticker price. Most spa baths need to be installed by experts, particularly inset tubs, which may require a timber frame, a mortar bed and masonry around the exterior, along with all the complicated plumbing. Add in the cost of filling and draining the spa bath whenever you use it, and baths can ultimately end up costing you far more than you may have at first budgeted. Spa baths also aren’t easy to take with you if you choose to move.

Hot Spring spa pools offer far more functionality than spa baths. The hydromassage jets are expertly designed and strategically placed to maximise their massaging effects. Water isn’t constantly drained and refilled – in fact, our FreshWater Salt System can keep it clean and clear for up to a year. And these portable units can be easily installed, uninstalled and taken with you wherever you go or sold on the second-hand market.

Spa pools usually have a higher sticker price than spa baths, but when you consider things like installation, functionality, portability, water use and resale value, they can ultimately cost you less.

What is a spa bath?

The term ‘spa bath’ is usually used to describe a bathtub fitted with jets. They are usually installed indoors, but they can also be placed in private outdoor spaces, particularly in warmer climates. Spa baths, like normal bathtubs, must be filled and drained with every use, as they use fresh water and lack heating systems.

In recent times an ever-increasing number of Kiwis are choosing a slightly different option, upgrading from a spa bath to a spa pool. Spa pools retain and heat their water, using water care systems to keep it fresh and clean. They deliver an experience designed to be shared and feature a wealth of technologies that deliver a more fun and functional soak.

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