The thought of relaxing in a hot tub at the end of a long day is relaxing, but what if it’s not the right temperature? Suddenly, your time in the hot tub turns into a jarring and anything but relaxing experience. To avoid this, you must find the perfect hot tub temperature, one that’s not too hot or too cold.
Think of yourself as Goldilocks as you need to find a temperature that is just right. Whether you’re using an inflatable portable spa on the go or finding soothing relaxation time in your backyard it’s important to find the most comfortable temp for you.
Continue reading to find what makes the best hot tub temperature.
Basics of Heating a Hot Tub
Heating a hot tub is easy. You flip a switch and the heater starts. Some even work with a mobile app. This gives you enough lead time should you want to heat it up before you get home from work or while you’re away from home.
Most hot tub heaters need a couple of hours to get up to the ideal hot tub temperature so an app certainly comes in handy.
Keep in mind, hot tubs also have a maximum limit. According to the CDC, the recommended maximum temperature is 104 degrees Fahrenheit.
Why Is Hot Tub Temperature Important?
Hot tubs feel great to most people. The hot temperatures relax your muscles and melt away stress, but when the temperature is too hot, it may not be safe.
Water that’s too hot is a breeding ground for bacteria. The obvious point of a hot tub is to have hot water, but if the hot tub temperature is too hot, you’ll go through chlorine much faster and potentially make your hot tub unsanitary, aka unsafe.
Water that’s too hot also isn’t good for your overall health. Your body is naturally at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. If you sit in a hot tub that’s too hot for too long, your body temperature increases quickly. This puts you at risk of overheating or even suffering heat stroke.
Just as you don’t want the water to be too hot, you also don’t want it too cold. When the hot tub temperature is too cold it’s not relaxing or even comfortable. If you live in an area with cold winter temperatures, cold pipes may freeze and eventually burst, leaving you with a hot mess, literally.
What’s the Perfect Hot Tub Temperature?
The perfect hot tub temperature varies by preference. As we already stated, the CDC states that hot tub temperatures shouldn’t exceed 104 degrees Fahrenheit, but that doesn’t mean close to that is the right temperature.
On average, people prefer the temperature between 100 – 102 degrees F.
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We recommend starting at the lower end and working your way up to find the perfect hot tub temperature. See how it feels at first. If it’s too cold, turn the heat up. It may take a little while to get to your desired temperature, but it’s a lot easier to heat it up than cool it down.
Finding Your Ideal Hot Tub Temperature (Cheat Sheet)
The perfect hot tub temperature varies not only by preference, but also age, health condition, and outdoor temperatures. For some hot tub users they may find hot tub health benefits when using the right hot tub heating settings.
Before we get started we wanted to remind you to follow all guidelines and suggestions put out by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and operate your hot tub spa safely. Most importantly, never exceed 104°f 40°c and be sure to be a responsible hot tub owner and have proper spa hot tub care so things are always running correctly.
Kids are much more sensitive to hot temperatures which poses health risks when deciding on a temperature setting. The hot tub should never exceed 104 degrees when children use it. Instead, keep the temperature around 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Just like with adults, start low and work your way up, ensuring your child is safe.
Kids shouldn’t spend more than 10 – 15 minutes in the hot tub or in a sauna. If you make the temperature any hotter than 95 degrees, their time in the hot tub should be even shorter.
For Older Adults
Like children, older adults are sensitive to temperatures. In other words, they feel hot temperatures much more than the younger people do. Stick to hot tub temperatures of around 95 degrees when experimenting with older adults and hot tubs.
Those with arthritis, sore muscles or other aches can find that normal exercise paired with normal hot tub or spa usage can soothe their pain.
Older adults in good health may spend around 20 minutes in a hot tub at this temperature. Any older adults with underlying health conditions or concerns should consult his/her doctor before using a hot tub regularly, though.
Pregnant women should also seek the advice of their doctor before using a hot tub and they should never get in a hot tub that’s hotter than 100 degrees. Just like with children, start with a cooler hot tub, around 95 degrees, and see how it feels. If you want it slightly warmer, never go over 100 degrees.
Hot tubs are made for relaxing, but there isn’t a specific temperature meant to relax you. Each person has different preferences. For example, for some 98 degrees is perfect and anything hotter feels uneasy. Others prefer the temperature as hot as possible, which should be no more than 104 degrees.
Play around with the temperatures to see what makes you feel the most at ease and always remember to limit your time in the hot tub to avoid overheating.
When Not in Use
It seems logical to turn the hot tub temperature down during the day or when not in use and back up when you’re ready to use it. This is only true if you don’t plan on using it for an extended period of time. The amount of energy required to bring a cold tub back up to a normal hot tub temperature could outweigh the costs to maintain its normal heat.
So take a look at your electric bill and determine how long the unit won’t be in use. If you use it frequently, you likely want to let it continue to run at a normal temperature.
Hot tubs thrive on consistency. Keeping it a steady temperature is easier on the unit, which leads to lower electric bills. When the unit has to work harder, it uses more electricity, leaving you with a higher than necessary electricity bill. Using good hot tub covers allows you to ensure the internal temperature is being maintained.
Winter Hot Tub Temperature
During the cold winter months, set your outdoor hot tub temperature slightly higher than you normally prefer. Most recommend setting to higher temperatures between 102 and 104 because the cold winter air makes it harder to stay at a comfortable temperature.
Summer Hot Tub Temperature
The hot summer temperature allows for cooler hot tub temperatures. You’ll have to play with it a little bit. Some people like the temperatures as low as 85 degrees, while others prefer it at their normal temperature, no matter how hot the weather is.
Temperature For Different Health Conditions
If you have any health conditions, especially heart disease or blood pressure problems, consult your doctor first. Many people with health conditions need the temperature around 95 degrees. Any higher temps and it could put their health at risk.
Temperature in Different Weather Conditions
As weather conditions change, play with the water temperature. If the hot tub helps you relax your muscles or de-stress, you may want to keep it at higher temps, closer to 100 – 104 degrees. If you want it more refreshing rather than relaxing, consider lowering the temperature or playing with various temperatures throughout the different weather conditions.
Low Hot Tub Temperature: Pros vs. Cons
Low hot tub temperatures aren’t necessarily cold temperatures. Any temperature around the normal body temp (98.6) is considered a low hot tub temp. Some people prefer lower temps; they feel more comfortable in it and even find it relaxing.
Low hot tub water temperatures have pros and cons.
Pros of Low Hot Tub Temperature
- Safer for ‘at risk’ individuals, including children and older adults
- Safer for anyone with health conditions, including pregnant women
- Save money on electricity bills
- Save money on repair and replacement of the heater
- May be more refreshing (depending on your preferences)
Cons of Low Hot Tub Temperature
- It takes a long time to heat up colder water (if you want it warmer)
- Your heater has to work harder to get the water up to a warmer temperature
- Some people find it more taxing than relaxing
7 Efficiency Tips to Keep Costs Down
Owning hot tubs and spas can become very expensive. Keeping your hot tub at a steady temperature helps reduce wear and tear and keeps your electricity bills down. Check out our best hot tub tips to keep things running efficiently.
- Insulate the hot tub’s sides and bottom
- Use a solar cover or other hot tub cover when not in use
- Set it at a comfortable temperature that isn’t too hot or too cold
- Don’t turn the temperature way down and then back up when you want to use it
- Clean your spa jets when doing routine spa maintenance
- Ensure you are using proper water testing procedures
- Frequently clean your filtration system, this helps with energy efficiency and keeps your spa water cleaner without the need for spa chemicals or sanitizer products
A consistent hot tub temperature is the perfect temperature. Play around with it slightly, starting on the low end and working your way up. Know the health and wellbeing of anyone using the hot tub regularly and adjust accordingly.
Keeping your jacuzzi efficient means keeping it at a steady temperature and taking steps to keep your costs down. A hot tub should be a place you relax and unwind after a long day and it can be when you make it safe, comfortable, and efficient.
For over 15 years, Sean Moore has been sharing his love and enthusiasm for swimming pools and hot tubs with everyone he knows. His goal is to help everyday people DIY their maintenance to save money by teaching how to properly take care of your equipment, safely and correctly balance chemicals, and extend the life of your water oasis.
Pricing on this page was last updated on 2022-11-26