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POLL: Pool or Hot Tub?

Emily H
7 years ago
Some people have both. Some have just one or the other. If you could only have one, which one would you choose and why?

VOTE and share your experience in the comments!

Comments (95)

  • charleee
    7 years ago
    Pool, pool, pool, pool, pool. Pool!
  • Jennifer DiSessa
    7 years ago
    depends on where you are. Pools are nice if you live in a climate where they aren't covered up for 2/3 (or more) of the year. I live in the Midwest and would much prefer a hot tub.
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  • PRO
    My Splash Pad
    7 years ago
    What about a residential splash pad? Less cost then a pool, less maintenance and completely safe with no standing water.
  • PRO
    Studio M Interior Design
    7 years ago
    Hot tubs are great for a bachelor pad or a small home, but a pool is perfect for entertaining or if you have a large family
  • Tina C
    7 years ago
    I love our small, 7x7, saltwater hot tub. A pool wouldn't fit in our small suburban yard, plus the Seattle climate means I'd only use it a small part of the year. We use the hot tub several times a week all year long and are planning to buy an umbrella cover to be able to use it more comfortably in the rain. The size is perfect for the two of us, the saltwater (Isis) system keeps the water clean without a lot of maintenance, and the Clearwater Spa construction is extremely well insulated. We've not seen a huge jump in electric bill -- and with our low hydroelectric rates, it's perfect.
  • torresld
    7 years ago
    I have always loved swimming and the beauty of a pool. Growing up in Southern California I had such fun. I no longer live in California and miss it. I would love to have a pool so I could swim again at my leisure. It would be a beautiful water feature taking center stage on my property but we have a lot of trees and wildlife that we would have to contend with. Fall in our area is a major event. Miss hanging out with family around the pool. The smell of pool chlorine, water sounds, the filter motor and suntan lotion brings back memories. Floating lazily on a raft and cooling off during the long hot summer; not to mention turning the pool area into a great gathering place. I could go on and on.
  • torresld
    7 years ago
    As far as a hot tub goes, I would go with a Jaccuzi that had great massage benefits. I have always thought it would be great to enjoy after a hard days work with a nice glass of wine and some relaxing music just before going to bed. Of course it would always be a available for the romance. I would want my pool or hot tub to have plenty of privacy.
  • torix200
    7 years ago
    I would gowith pool I would never say no a nice soothing soak but the pool can be used for multiple reasons and I love to swim so yea
  • jen046
    7 years ago
    I live near Seattle, so no pool for me! Hot tubs are very nice here, however.
  • mollythecollie
    7 years ago
    I would love to have a pool but like jen046 said it's a little too cool here. Our neighbors have one and only use it when their nieces and nephews visit in the summer.
  • Lynda
    7 years ago
    I've never been a fan of hot tubs, but I'd love an in ground pool (if we had the space plus budget to install and maintain it). I'm not much of a swimmer, but I love relaxing on a chaise by a pool and periodically taking a dip to cool off. We live in So Cal, so pools are usable most of the year.
  • amycarman
    7 years ago
    We are spa people. It is tucked away in the yard under a metal roofed structure. Nothing better than listening to the pouring rain in Dec. soaking in the spa.
  • frenchdecor
    7 years ago
    Not a chance. My dog is swimmer and swims until we pull him out half dead-tired if we can over-smart him; goes so far against waves, like ship, that we don't see his head anymore. Once we couldn't take him out from the lake for 6 hours. But otherwise I would have a pool, prefer activity to leisure.
  • Lynn Babin Fontaine
    7 years ago
    I have a hot tub and we use it all year long! A pool can only be used in the summer if its not indoors . A hot tub is so nice on chilly winter night!
  • Randy Walker
    7 years ago
    Most definitely pool! Hot tub is cute, but I would SO not use it that much.
  • lillybird
    7 years ago
    Hot tub definitely. I have failed back surgeries, arthritis, and autoimmune disease. Oh I wish I was in one right now.
  • cabingirl13
    7 years ago
    We used to have a hot tub (it came with the house we bought) and we used it a lot but over the years it started to leak- had issues with the heater not working and eventually we just let it sit (outdoors) not getting used. Then we had a massive hail storm one summer and it pretty much got destroyed. We finally got rid of it last summer and we do still miss it and talk about getting a new one someday. We have winter here 5 months year so a pool would not really be practical.
  • webwendyb
    7 years ago
    I could exercise in a pool so I'd like one for that alone.
  • PRO
    Mark Bischak, Architect
    7 years ago
    My write-in vote is for an Endless Pool. http://www.houzz.com/pro/endlesspools/endless-pools
  • brendaspaeth
    7 years ago
    I'd probably go for the pool but it would have to be indoor here in WI. However, my husband has a pinched nerve in his neck and he uses our hot tub every day, twice a day to keep his neck loose. So, because I love my husband, I voted for hot tub
  • Sydney Chandler
    7 years ago
    Can't stand hot tubs. There's just something about them that makes me feel icky. But I love pools and everywhere I've lived, since childhood, there's always been a pool. Great for pool parties, floating in it just relaxing...I think I'll go hop in mine now.
  • Laurel Ennis
    7 years ago
    The pool hands down. If you want to soak in the tub, you can use the bathtub but if you want to swim, ya gotta have a pool. As we age the pool would be good to keep us active even after our joints won't let us do other kinds of exercise.
  • designideas4me
    7 years ago
    The comment I just read by aubre was so gross..." floating in bodily fluids?" OMG.... You have some psychological issues. Clorineis used to disinfect a hot tub or hot pool. If the hot tub is yours and not at a hotel or rent by the hour motel...lol... than it can be kept as clean as youdecide to keep it. The only reason I didnt buy a hot tub yet is because of money and I want a new one thats about 8-10k. But I call my pool a japoozi because I like to keep it at 88-98 degrees all season.. which for me is may thru oct..............but god so I have not having hot water and jets to swim in from Nov til May...I just count the days.
  • makaloco
    7 years ago
    I live in a location with a hot summer climate, and the best thing I ever did was install a pool. It's small and easy to maintain myself (I'm almost 67), and I've used it almost every summer day for seven years. It's not heated, so when the water gets too cold in winter, I just turn the filter system off and cover it. In spring I take the cover off, skim out the dead leaves and bugs, vacuum, balance the chemicals, and voilà. My dog loves it, too. Fun and exercise for the whole family!! :-)
  • Susan
    7 years ago
    If I lived in a hot climate, I guess a pool would be nice. Otherwise, I have to say neither. I'd rather have living spaces and gardens in my yard. We do have a water feature in our back yard, but that's it.
  • PRO
    Urban Elements PDX
    7 years ago
    Hot tub for sure, I live in Portland and we use ours almost every night.
  • designideas4me
    7 years ago
    Makaloco... If your 67 and do it all yourself than I really nead to learn how and stop wasting money on a pool service. My pool is about 9 by 39 feet. How much do you think the chemicals alone would cost for that size pool? How did you learn to balance the chemicals? How often do you clean the filters? Thanks.
  • makaloco
    7 years ago
    Designideas4me, my pool is only about 2.5 by 5 meters plus the stairwell. I think that's something like 8x16 feet, so quite a bit smaller than yours. Chlorine tablets are expensive, maybe $25 for 4 kg. I go through a lot when the water gets really warm but don't keep track. Algicide is the other one that's bit pricey, but a bottle lasts 2-3 months. Chemicals to balance pH are cheaper. Sorry, I don't recall exact prices, and here in Mexico it varies from store to store. Most chemicals have instructions on them, and I've also learned from internet articles, at the pool stores, or from other people with pools. I have a little test kit to check chlorine and pH levels. My system has a sand filter, so there are no filters to change, but it needs to be backwashed every so often (running the filtration in reverse to clean the filter arms). The sand needs to be replaced every few years. Usually I clean the pool once a week or at most every two weeks, whenever it needs it. The day will probably come when I get a pool service, but so far I've managed on my own except for equipment repairs.
  • Denny Allen_Ide
    7 years ago
    I would love to have a pool. I can no longer walk well and have gained so much. No matter how little I eat without being able work out at all, everything just goes to fat. Swimming is the only thing I could do. A pool could save my life.
  • designideas4me
    7 years ago
    Thanks for the info. I spend $85 a month to have this man take care of the pool and was told it costs about $30 in chemicals monthly to keep it clean so I figured I pay his about $50 for the labor fee which I guess isnt bad. Mainly on hot summer days where its 100 degrees in the blazing sun it saves me from having to do it myself and since I have back pain I figured it less to worry about when the sides occationally need scrubing. He also seem to know when the solar isnt working how to fix it or when the filter housing craked how to replace that as well so I guess I need the help for the labor related stuff since I would have to do it with a bad back. I never heard of a sand filter.
  • keatherl
    7 years ago
    Pool and a sauna :) even living in a cooler climate I would love a pool in the summer months !
  • raesimmons
    7 years ago
    Between the two I would pick hot-tub. I live in a cooler region where a hot-tub is usable year round while a pool requires a little more upkeep and being outdoors would mean it would get little to no use between September to May. Hot tubs are also generally smaller leaving more room for dining space/ loungers in the warmer months and garden and green space year round. In my area it is much more convenient to drive out to the lake or community pool for actual swimming, but sitting out in the hot tub watching the stars year round with a drink- alone or with friends and family is so relaxing. Especially good for sore feet/knees/backs after a long day.
  • PRO
    DesRochers Backyard Pools, Inc.
    5 years ago

    Both are a good option, but a spa can be used year round so your not limited on the time you can use it.

  • PRO
    Ronny Anderson
    5 years ago

    I live in Georgia and have a nice home but I don't have much space to install a pool. So I prefer to use Hot tub and really this is awesome. I can not carry out my regular routine without taking a dip in my hot tub. I also make my all efforts to keep it neat and clean by using chemicals, spa filter, spa cover etc. The cartridge filter is the best and my preferable choice for any spa or pool.

  • luvourhome
    5 years ago

    I don't like public hot tubs. Gross...too many things can grow in those temps. I manage just fine with a bath tub at home for a lot less ick factor. Hot tubs are a pain to maintain and expensive. So many people I know got rid of theirs.

    A hotsprings in the mountains is nice.

    I'd rather have a small lap pool about 10 feet deep. Deep enough to do flip turns in plus a safety buffer. My husband had several in-ground pools before we married. So far I can't bring him around to having one in our yard. It would cost us about 150-200k. He's lining up at the pool store right now...sigh.

    I'm looking forward to our new water feature. That will be awesome when it's done. I can pretend it's a pool. ;-)

  • Bev
    5 years ago

    Pool because you can get great exercise and it's not too hot like a hot tub!

  • PRO
    Pratt Guys
    5 years ago

    Pools and hot tubs are both great, but it might be a good idea to consult with a local realtor who can provide advice on which will add the most value to your property.

  • info8171
    5 years ago

    Both have their places in our life and it completely depends on your needs, time, space and budget. Where our business is in the Santa Cruz Ca. region, swim season is very short due to the weather. We have sold swim spas for years and they too have their place in aqua therapy.

    The main advantage of hot tubs is their smaller size, therapeutic jets and the healing power of hot water. You can turn them down to their low setting of 80 degrees in the summer if you live in hot regions with no detriment to them.

    Pools are a larger body of water and will require more product to maintain, but hey, we all love pools!

    Swim spas are a great alternative to anyone wanting the benefit of swimming but needing a smaller profile. Our manufacturer of the Hot Spring Spa line (Watkins Manufacturing) has acquired Endless Pools and will be releasing newly redesigned swim spas this June. Look for them in with your local Hot Spring Spa Dealers if you are interested in a high quality swim spa from the largest spa manufacturer in the world.

  • PRO
    Quality Pool Filter Cartridges
    5 years ago

    I recommend pool and hot tub both. Both have their own value you can not judge without knowing their benefits. The only advantage that makes hot tub different is portability. I am not saying pools are not portable but not as efficient as a hot tub.

  • Karla Kay Hull
    4 years ago

    I have wanted a pool my entire life, and it's still a dream. I have to drive one hour to find a pool in Idaho, so having an above the ground swimming pool would definitely be my choice. Both water aerobics and swimming are excellent exercise. It's so difficult to find a two person lap pool.

  • PRO
    Cameron's Design
    4 years ago

    A pool can be a showpiece for a home, and also the ideal place for family and friends to gather and socialize.

  • info8171
    4 years ago

    Karla, the answer for you is a swim spa or fitness pool.. if you look at my photo above you will see there are options. With a unit like the Endless pools offer, you can swim against a current which gives you the benefit of a pool but in a smaller footprint. Other options are lap pools which will also be more efficient than a regular large pool. If you are interested, go to the Endlesspools.com site and check out what they have to offer. If you put your zip code in the dealer locator, you will find a local company that might be able to help you get the product that fits your needs!

  • Karla Kay Hull
    4 years ago

    Thank you Hot Springs Spas. I've been looking at the Endless pools for over 10 years, but alas, where I live I would need to cover it as I have no garage or outside building to put it into, and it won't fit into our basement. Winters in Idaho are extremely harsh. The cost of an out building plus the endless pool is more than I could afford. Plus, I started swimming at age three, and I really love to swim fast and flip turn and I don't think the endless pool is long enough.


  • richard scholz
    3 years ago

    Like the hot tub for apres ski, soak out the kinks after a full day skiing.

    I wanted to put this out there since it was very hard to find what a hot tub should cost.

    A Thermospas Chesapeake 200 with 22 jets, 1 pump, cover lifter 200, and steps.

    All in w/tax was $9,888.

    I found it very strange that an industry, can operate in this day without transparent pricing.

  • info8171
    3 years ago

    Richard, I understand the frustration about pricing. We have a huge obstacle when it comes to putting pricing on the internet. Most consumers know very little about hot tubs and what makes one sell for $3000 and another $13K. What they know is size, number of jets and maybe some features. Unlike cars or tvs, hot tubs just don't have a huge base of common knowledge.

    Manufacturers have confused this even further by touting 'we are the best' with really no objective data base to make that claim. Thermospas is one of the only companies who post pricing because they have never been sold through retail stores with service staff and knowledgable salespeople to help customers buy the product that fits their needs.

    I think you will see more price ranges on the web soon, but without talking to a trained professional, and until there is some 3rd party helping to define the industry better, your best option is to go on line and request a quote from a local dealer, with local service and support for the hot tub. Then go see the product, wet test if possible and find out what the unique features each manufacturer offers.

    If I told you I sell a spa with 2 jet pumps, water fall, multi colored lights fits 7 people delivered to your backyard for $6000 and also one for $13000, which would you choose? Which would be the best product for your lifestyle? Price is NOT the defining quality in this industry and we love to educate customers about the many options that are available.

  • richard scholz
    3 years ago

    If you told me the R value of the insulation, the jet BHP, the shell and support structure of each, the valve and clamp components of the tubing, the brand and model of the heater, I could make an informed decision as to which works for me. There is no list of components like that in this market. Yes a KIA is not a Mercedes but I can see the detailed differences of the specs clearly.

  • info8171
    3 years ago
    last modified: 3 years ago

    I would say the above components won’t really determine the experience you will have in different hot tubs. R value, sure. In California we use the CaEnergy Compliant measurement CEC as a indicator but I don’t know anyone who talks about the clamp and valves as a way to choose a hot tub. Jet pumps are rated by most all manufacturers and you can find BHP on specs + number of jets and shell material (90% are acrylic backed with either fiberglass or ABS).

    The reality is, there is nothing that compares to the experience of seeing, hearing and testing when it comes to hot tubs. Water quality, the noise of pumps, the filtration system, the ease of maintenance, the availability of support and parts, the actual feeling of the jets, the variety of therapeutic jets and the comfort of seating is crucial for customers. None of this can be determined by specs, only by in store exposure.

    Many parts are manufactured by the company making the spa so comparing heaters for instance wouldn’t help much. I strongly support the idea of local businesses as the only place to purchase these products. We deal with hundreds of customers every year who need additional handholding until they figure it all out. Something you only get with local stores.

    I’ve been in this industry since 1979 and I can tell you there re major differences between products. Sadly there just aren’t enough hot tubs sold to support alot of the consumer research that you can find on cars or appliances.

  • richard scholz
    3 years ago

    This industry still needs a TRUE Car for each manufacturer and model.

  • K Laurence
    3 years ago

    I’ve had both, once both of them. I agree with Bryce, like him, I too live in coastal So California, further south ( Newport Beach j where temperatures are in the 60’s & 70’s year around, a hot tub makes more sense. However, in the desert a pool is nice. One thing I absolutely hated about having a pool is when younger children were visiting, I watched them constantly to make sure they weren’t near the pool. Ours wasn’t gated off from the rest of the yard.

  • Cora
    6 months ago

    I want both and have both. I'm in Oklahoma and we have a relatively short pool season as compared to S Texas, Florida or S. California. But when it is hot here it is very hot and my whole family loves the pool. However often it is nice-spring, early summer and fall but not warm enough for getting in the pool. I can heat the spa and use it for water aerobics or running in place ( I have a lot of orthopedic problems and have to do joint sparing, low impact ). Or I can heat it more and relax. My little grandson can swim and play even when it is not warm enough to be in the pool itself. I use it into the fall. Winters are quite cold here and can be brutal on the prairie. If it is 40 and you are trying to heat it outdoors to 100 it will cost money.

    Some advice if you have options. An integrated spa which spills into the pool has advantages. It has a waterfall which cools your garden and makes a pleasant sound. Because the water is always circulating between the large pool and the small spa -except when the spa is in use and heated- you have good dilution and cleaning. Believe me if 4 or 5 people have been hanging out in the spa for hours you want to empty it into the larger pool and clean them both.

    Cheaper is not better. I see those cheap hot tubs often marooned in back yards and never used but difficult to remove. Spider heaven under the cover I'm sure.