A round hot tub is usually made from wood, which means the first step in choosing the best round hot tub is choosing the right wood. Cedar and redwood are the two most commonly used woods for wooden hot tubs because of their resistance to mold and mildew, and because they are less porous than other woods. Choose one of these two woods for your round hot tub, as it will save you a significant amount of maintenance and hassle. The next step in choosing the best round hot tub for your needs is to decide what features you want or need, and how you want to heat your tub.
Unlike acrylic spas that are much larger but also shallower, a round hot tub can accommodate several people in a small amount of space. Round hot tubs are deeper than acrylic spas, and the walls of the tub are almost always straight. This means your hot tub experience will be very different from that of an acrylic spa, so you should choose your features accordingly. Seating in a round hot tub usually means a wooden bench rather than an ergonomic or padded seat like the ones in an acrylic spa. Choose benches that are comfortable but also made of the same wood as the spa walls to resist rot and mold.
Since you will be changing the water more frequently in your round hot tub than you would in an acrylic tub where chemicals take care of any bacteria in the water, choose a tub that features an easy-to-use drainage system. Valves at the bottom of the tub should be easy to operate and should drain the tub completely so you can effectively clean the walls and floor of the tub. If your round hot tub is being installed as an in-ground unit, be sure the drainage system will not damage any of the surrounding landscape or buildings.
Choosing how to heat your round tub is perhaps the most important consideration. Some round hot tubs feature wood-fired heating systems that feature a stove placed directly in the water. This will cut down on operating expenses, but it also takes up more room within the tub and it is not as easily adjusted as an electric heating system. Electric systems are much easier to use, but they are more expensive to operate and require a power outlet nearby. Gas heat can also be used to heat your tub, but this is also more expensive than a wood-fired tub and it requires a gas hook-up for proper operation.