One of the age-old questions that we hear tossed around is: “What is the difference between a spa, hot tub, and Jacuzzi?” It may surprise you to hear that they are all the same, but different. Confusing, right?
When you think of a spa, a hot tub, or a Jacuzzi, guaranteed you’re imagining an experience that involves a calm atmosphere, warm water that relaxes your muscles, and bubbles galore. In this way, spas, hot tubs, and Jacuzzi’s are all the same! This is what makes these terms so interchangeable. They provide the same experience that we all picture. The connotation (the feeling or imagery) is the same, the denotation (or definition) is not.
Spas Vs. Hot Tubs Vs. Jacuzzis
You’ll notice that with each of these, the denotation is different, as are typical underlying expectations of what spas, hot tubs, and Jacuzzis are. Let’s take a look at the differences!
Depending on your lifestyle, you may think of a spa in the context of having a “spa day.” Mud baths, and essential oil-infused massages, meditation, and delicious cuisine all packed into one day. However, most people think of a spa as a calming experience in warm, healing, mineral waters (i.e. hydrotherapy). In fact, the definition of a spa is “a mineral spring considered to have health-giving properties.”
Spas are usually associated with health, whether that be physical health or mental health. A spa experience is known for being good for the body and the soul. The term, spa, gives the expectation of an experience.
When you think about a hot tub, you probably picture an experience you had at a hotel, gym, or at a friend’s house. The definition of a hot tub is “a large tub filled with hot aerated water used for recreation or physical therapy.”
Hot tubs are portable “spas;" that is, they are not built in and are able to be moved. They provide relaxing experiences through the warmth of the water and the accompanying muscle massage that the jets give. Hot tubs bring the spa experience to your home at a more affordable price. One day at a spa will cost you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars, whereas a hot tub can be used day after day for your personal enjoyment at a fraction of the price. This is why hot tubs are such a popular choice!
You might laugh at yourself if you don’t know this, but “Jacuzzi” is a brand name for certain portable spas! One of the greatest manufacturers to first start producing tubs was named “Jacuzzi.” They were the first company to come up with the idea of having a system of underwater jets in tubs to massage your sore muscles. Through the years, they’ve dealt with a lot of issues with people calling other branded tubs “Jacuzzi’s.” So next time you’re tempted to call a hot tub or spa a “Jacuzzi”, check the brand of what you’re referring to and make sure it was actually manufactured by Jacuzzi!