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Hot Tubs: Ratings of Sources

Total of 12 Sources
1. SpaSearch.org
2013 Certified Brands
by Editors of Spasearch
Our AssessmentBilling itself as "your independent hot tub sourcebook" with "the only independent awards program in the hot tub industry," Spasearch magazine isn't owned or sponsored by any hot tub manufacturer. Endorsements are based on independent customer surveys, as analyzed by a team of third-party auditors. Thirteen manufacturers earn the magazine's certification for 2013; each gets a one-paragraph write-up along with contact information.
2. About.com
March 27, 2013
Best Hot Tub Spa 2013 : About.com Readers' Choice Awards
by Lisa Hallett Taylor
Our AssessmentEach year, the Pool & Patio page at About.com invites readers to name their favorite hot tub brands and manufacturers. Nomination criteria include the company's history, range of products, customer feedback, styling and features. The three 2013 finalists are Bullfrog Spas, Coast Spas and HotSpring Portable Spas, all manufacturers of above-ground acrylic hot tubs. Taylor writes a one-page review for each that highlights the brand's best features and lists available models.
3. Better Business Bureau
Not dated
Buying a Hot Tub or Spa
by Editors of Better Business Bureau
Our AssessmentThe Better Business Bureau serving eastern Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont offers a detailed buying guide to hot tubs. It covers such issues as materials, choosing a dealer, financing, selecting a site, water treatment methods and safety tips. Although the article doesn't recommend specific brands or models, it's a useful resource for starting the buying process.
4. Consumers Digest
March 2011
Ahhhh! Exceptional Values in Portable Spas
by Drew Vass
Our AssessmentConsumers Digest tests and rates a wide variety of products, including some like hot tubs that aren't covered in ConsumerReports.org. However, you need a subscription to view the magazine's Best Buy recommendations. The rest of this article, which is available to nonsubscribers, focuses on evolving hot tub technology, and how it can improve performance and energy efficiency.
5. HomeDepot.com
As of August 2013
Hot Tubs & Spas
by Contributors to HomeDepot.com
Our AssessmentHomeDepot.com sells more than 50 hot tubs as well as about a dozen portable models, but most of them receive few or no user reviews. There are only three models that get 4 stars out of 5 or better from at least 25 owners. Two are Lifesmart hot tubs and the third is from QCA Spas, both brands that aren't covered in our expert sources.
6. Amazon.com
As of August 2013
Hot Tubs
by Contributors to Amazon.com
Our AssessmentSeveral hot tubs are available at Amazon.com, either directly or through third parties. Inflatable models are the most common type here and a few receive quite a bit of user feedback, but most don't have particularly strong overall ratings. The only hot tub here to receive 4 stars out of 5 or better from at least 15 owners is the Lifesmart Luna, a molded above-ground tub.
Hot Tubs & Spas
by Editors of Pool & Spa Outdoor
Our AssessmentThe online-only version of Pool & Spa Outdoor is a lifestyle magazine for pool, spa and backyard enthusiasts. Although there are no actual reviews here, the site provides some good general articles on choosing a hot tub, as well as installation and maintenance issues. It includes numerous photos of fancy and less-fancy spas so consumers can get an idea of what's available.
8. What'sTheBest.com
As of August 2013
What's the Best Hot Tub?
by Editors of What's the Best
Our AssessmentThis site is run by What's the Best, a series of online guides for consumers contemplating major purchases. There's some good advice here, but most tips are short and very general. Owners can also rate their own hot tubs, but no brand or model receives more than a handful of reviews. A forum section covers issues such as repairs, special needs and maintenance.
9. Hot Tubs Directory
As of August 2013
Hot Tubs Research
by Contributors to HotTubsDirectory.com
Our AssessmentAbout 50 hot tub brands are rated here, based on votes from users, with each earning from 1 to 4 stars. There are no actual reviews to back up the ratings, however, so their usefulness is limited. The site includes some general information on hot tub benefits and how to shop.
10. HotTub SpaRatings.com
Not dated
Hot Tub & Spa Ratings, Consumers Buying Guide & Information
by Editors of HotTubSpaRatings.com
Our AssessmentDesigned as a resource for buyers trying to choose a hot tub, this site's name is somewhat misleading. There are currently no actual ratings here, although editors say a questionnaire is in progress. However, the site includes lots of comments from readers about specific brands and models, as well as a helpful buyer's guide that covers spa materials, jet types, maintenance and installation considerations.
11. Better Homes & Gardens
Not dated
Planning for a Spa
by Editors of Better Homes and Gardens
Our AssessmentThis article discusses several factors to consider when choosing a hot tub. It compares indoor and outdoor installation as well as portable and in-ground models, and gives estimated costs for each. Although this is a good starting point for hot tub buyers, the article doesn't recommend particular brands or discuss the shopping process.
12. Poolandspa.com
As of August 2013
Hot Tub Spa Buyer's Guide & Directory Listings
by Editors of PoolAndSpa.com
Our AssessmentThis retailer sells parts, chemicals and accessories for hot tubs, but not the tubs themselves. A buyer's guide section includes a list of hot tub manufacturers with ratings and articles about prices and maintenance, and there's a handy write-up on buying considerations. The site publishes its own top 10 list of spa manufacturers, but it's vague about the criteria and sources used to choose them.
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