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softub vs hot tub

If you’re in the process of researching hot tubs, then you may already have come across softubs. On the surface, these two types of hot tubs might look very similar, but there are a lot of features that set the two apart. 

So, when it comes to hot tubs vs softubs, what’s the difference?

Softub vs Hot Tub: The Basics

On a basic level, a softub and a hot tub are the same things. They’re both large tubs filled with hot water. They can both have strategically positioned jets and can be used for hydrotherapy, relaxation, and pleasure. 

The key difference between a softub hot tub and hot tub is the materials they’re made from.

We’re all familiar with a traditional hard-side hot tub. They’re generally made from stainless steel, cement, or fiberglass and weigh somewhere between 400-900 pounds. 

Soft tubs, on the other hand, are soft-sided hot tubs, typically made from an inner shell of Polybond foam and an outer lining of marine-grade vinyl. Both of these materials are lightweight meaning a softub weighs less than 80 pounds. 


Installing a hard-side hot tub can be a complicated operation. 

First, you’ve got to make sure your site is properly prepared, which can require the excavation and construction of a concrete pad. Your hot tub then has to be maneuvered into position, often using a crane, and the correct plumbing and electrics installed. 

softub vs hot tub - picture of a hot tub

The fact that a softub is super lightweight means it can easily be rolled into position and all it requires is a flat surface. As it connects to a regular household electrical outlet, all you’ve got to do is plug it in and it’s ready to go.

softub vs hot tub - people in a softub


One of the big differences of a softub vs a hot tub is portability. 

Once you’ve put a hot tub in place, you’re pretty much committed to it staying there. You can move it, but this means you’ve got to go through the whole setup process again, which can be expensive. 

As a softub hot tub weighs 80 pounds and only requires a flat surface, you can move it to almost anywhere. You can simply roll it on its side, bringing it in for the winter, moving it from the front yard to the back yard to chase the sun - it’s up to you. 

This means you can easily take your softub with you if you move house, and even take it with you on vacation.

Running Costs

There can also be a big difference between hard-sided hot tubs and soft-sided hot tubs when it comes to running costs. 

Hard-sided hot tubs use a lot of electricity which requires the installation of extra amperage to your house. The separate heating element can be expensive to operate, resulting in an approximate cost of between $40 and $75 a month. 

The modern technology in softubs makes them extremely efficient. In a climate with an average temperature of 65 degrees, it costs approximately $9.60 a month to keep your tub heated to 102 degrees.


Softubs might be more energy efficient but how does this affect performance?

One of the big questions people have with the softub vs hot tub debate is how does the performance compare?

The answer is, softubs perform exceptionally well here as well. The strategically placed, interchangeable jets are designed to offer maximum jet power, which compete with the most high-end hard-side hot tubs. 

With a padded outer shell, the seating is comfortable and allows for a variety of positions versus the molded plastic seats of a regular hot tub. 

High-level technology also means the soft tub hot tub isn’t just lightweight but durable as well, allowing you to enjoy its benefits for many years. 


A hot tub is a big investment. A traditional hard-side hot tub will generally cost you upwards of $7,500. 

In our assessment of softubs vs hot tubs, we’ve found softubs to be easier to set up, offer far greater flexibility, be more energy-efficient, and still offer the same level of performance. So, where’s the catch? Surely it has to be in the price. 

Happily, you’ll actually find that all our softub models come in at under $7,000. 

When you combine this with installation and running costs, this means you can make a big saving without compromising on a quality hot tub. 

Conclusion: Softub vs Hot Tub

When it comes to hot tubs vs softub, we are in the softub business for a reason. The statistics speak for themselves.

We’re passionate about the benefits of hot tubs - they’re great for health, relaxation, and much more. However, hard-side hot tubs are also extremely limiting. In virtually every area, softubs help to remove those limitations. 

With minimal setup, lower running costs, exceptional performance, and affordable pricing, softubs are an ideal option.