Your Hot Tub’s Temperature: How Hot is Hot Enough?

by Feb 8, 2017

A couple in a hot tub in winter

What’s the temperature of your hot tub right now? Don’t worry, you don’t have to look right at this moment. (Although, if you have an Arctic Spas hot tub integrated with Spa Boy® or our other online monitoring tools, you actually can check right now, no matter where you are.) Just like hot tub sizes, capacities, optional features and add-on accessories, the temperature is largely a personal preference. Some people prefer their water on the cooler side, less than 100⁰ F. But others enjoy a much warmer soak, at 104⁰F.

In the hot tub community, there’s an age-old debate about what the “right” hot tub temperature. Is there a single temperature that can help optimize energy efficiency? What is the correct water temperature for some of the health benefits that hot tubs and spas provide? And how do things like infrequent use and timetabling play a role in determining the “best” hot tub temperature?

The hot tub experts here at Arctic Spas have our own opinions on this subject, so keep reading to find out which temperature to set your hot tub at. The answers may surprise you!


The Acceptable Range for Hot Tub Temperatures

They’re not called lukewarm tubs, or cold tubs, or skin-scorching tubs. They’re called hot tubs. And “hot” suggests a Goldilocks principle: the desired temperature for hot tubs and portable spas shouldn’t be too cold, and certainly shouldn’t be hot enough to cause discomfort. It should be juuuuuust right, at least when your hot tub is in use.

So how hot should you keep your hot tub? The short answer: whatever you’re comfortable with. 100° F is optimal. For adults in need of a serious stress-melting soak, 104° F is acceptable. Again, it’s all a matter of personal preference, within reasonable limits.


Hot Tub Use, Timetabling and the Weather: How External Factors Influence Internal Temperature

Your hot tub’s average temperature can also be impacted by two other factors: frequency of use and “timetabling.” Let’s address usage first. For many people, their hot tub is a remote indulgence and not used on a year-round basis. Hot tubs at vacation homes or second homes are prime examples. As such, daily or even weekly temperature maintenance isn’t something that those hot tub owners should obsess about.

Timetabling refers to a practice that some hot tub owners employ to maximize energy efficiency, and minimize electricity costs. In a nutshell, here’s the basic premise of timetabling a hot tub:

  • During peak electricity usage times, a hot tub should run minimal pump and motor cycles. Theory: when electricity costs the most, the hot tub’s electrical components are used on a minimal basis.
  • During low electricity usage times, a hot tub should run regular pump and motor cycles. This can help bring the hot tub to optimum temperature. Theory: when electricity costs the least, the hot tub’s electrical components are used normally.

Where you live also plays an important role in how hot to keep your spa. For those hot tub owners that enjoy an outdoor soak in extremely cold weather, it’s not uncommon to pre-heat the water above 104⁰ F. Warm climates obviously don’t demand as much pump and motor activity to heat the water, so people in tropical or equatorial regions can keep their hot tub water temperature below 100⁰ F.


While You’re Away: Maintaining Your Hot Tub Water Temperature

There are two primary factors that can impact your hot tub water temperature, at least when you’re not in it: loss of ambient heat and lack of constant control.

  • Ambient heat loss

Heat is a precious commodity for a hot tub. Too often, it’s squandered or wasted. Arctic Spas’ innovative design and accessories – FreeHeat technology and Mylovac covers, just to name a few – keep your hot tub’s internal water temperature right where you want it. Every Arctic Spas hot tub optimizes heat generated from the pumps and motors, and our Mylovac cover keeps a cozy lid on everything. Heat eventually rises, so an insulated, weather-proof cover is the perfect way to maintain your hot tub water temperature.

  • Temperature monitoring

In order to maintain your preferred hot tub temperature – regardless of whether your hot tub is in-use or idle – constant attention is required. But time is a limited resource, and staying on top of hourly or daily temperature readings is nearly impossible. Or is it? Thanks to Arctic Spas’ powerful monitoring tools like Spa Boy® and OnSpa connected controls, remote temperature control is ultra-easy, whether you’re in the next room or in the next time zone.


There’s no single temperature setting for everyone, but keep that 100° F – 104° F range in mind as a general guideline. To learn more about Arctic Spas hot tub, or to check out our latest models, please visit your nearest Arctic Spas store. You can also call our hot tub experts at 800-309-1744.