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Hot Tub, Jacuzzi, Spa or Whirlpool

What are the similarities and differences? Let’s set the record straight.

Hot tub

The term hot tub is used to describe “a large tub filled with hot aerated water used by one or more people for recreation or physical therapy.”

Oxford English Dictionary Online


A spa on the other hand has a number of meanings. One is “a mineral spring considered to have health-giving properties”. Also “a place or resort with a mineral spring”. It can be “a commercial establishment offering health and beauty treatment through such means as steam baths, exercise equipment, and massage”. Finally, “a bath containing hot aerated water” is also one of the definitions.


A whirlpool is defined as “a quickly rotating mass of water in a river or sea into which objects may be drawn, typically caused by the meeting of conflicting currents”. Also it can be “a heated pool in which hot aerated water is continuously circulated.”

You can see why they all might be used to describe the same thing. They are all directing us to use natural water therapies and massage to aid healing and relaxation.

The words or phrases hot tub, spa and whirlpool are interchangeable, with the former two being most popular. We use them on a daily basis to describe a molded tub containing warm water and a jetting system. They can be used for hydrotherapy, relaxation and socialising.

There are many different brands of hot tub or spa available like Sundance Spas, Hotspring Spas and Jacuzzi. These are among the largest brands worldwide. So, Jacuzzi is a brand of hot tub much like a Hoover is a brand of vacuum cleaner.

How exactly hot tubs became popular?

The human race has been aware of the therapeutic and healing benefits of bathing in warm water for centuries. Greeks, Romans and Egyptians enjoyed the healing powers of water therapy. But it wasn’t until the 1950s that the real seed was planted to today’s hot tub.

Two brothers by the name Jacuzzi invented a pump capable of harnessing the power of water. The main purpose was to help alleviate the symptoms of arthritis. The pumps were then used to power small pools of warm water usually located at the end of a garden swimming pool.

A few years later

In 1979. Sundance Spas began making hot tubs. An acrylic molded spa with a water filtration system and jets designed to target specific muscles groups. It was called the AquaJet and provided hydrotherapy to patients who require rehabilitation following a trauma.

Sundance Spas have been leading the way in hot tub design and technology since then, with many industry first achievements. They still stand for the same 5 core values – Style, Comfort, Quality, Pure Water and Patented Hyrdrotherapy – 37 year on.

If you wish to find out more about the Sundance Spas hot tub models available visit our shop or call in for a chat.

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