Plunge Pool vs Hot Tub: Choosing the Perfect Relaxation Oasis

Robert Wimberly

plunge pool vs hot tub

So, you want to turn your backyard into a paradise of relaxation and fun? Plunge pools and hot tubs are the way to go! These bad boys are the ultimate splash-tastic additions to take home entertainment to the next level.

But what are the key differences between plunge pool vs hot tub? Which is more affordable? Which is more convenient to set up? Which is better for kids? We’ll answer these questions and more in this blog!

A Quick Comparison


Before we delve into the details, what exactly are a plunge pool and a hot tub?

A plunge pool is basically a small pool with a high-tech cold-hot feature, perfect for those who enjoy both invigorating icy dips and soothing warm baths. The standard size of a plunge pool ranges from 10 – 22 feet long and around 6.5 to 10 feet wide.

A hot tub (or jacuzzi), on the other hand, offers a more spa-like experience with its bubbling water and cozy warmth. Indeed, the standard measurements of a hot tub that accommodates 5 – 6 people are 6 feet 6 to 8 feet.

Here’s a brief overview of the difference between the two:

Plunge Pool Hot Tub
Size Length: 10 to 22 feet

Width: 6.5 to 10 feet

Depth: 4 to 8 feet

Length: 6.6 to 7.9 feet

Width: 6.4 to 7.9 feet

Depth: 2.5 to 3.5 feet

Location Usually outdoors Indoors and outdoors
Temperature 50°F – 104°F 85°F – 104°F
Health Benefits Has hydrotherapy option Has hydrotherapy option
Cost $10,000 to $25,000 $3,000 to $10,000

Plunge Pool vs Hot Tub: Key Similarities and Differences

1. Size and location


Regarding size, plunge pools are like the bigger, beefier cousins of hot tubs. They offer more space to stretch those swimming muscles and do your best in water acrobatics.

Meanwhile, hot tubs are more like cozy, shallow hot cocoons – perfect for some quality one-on-one time or a close-knit gathering of friends.

In terms of location, plunge pools are often found outdoors.

If you already have a beautiful backyard garden, adding an above ground plunge pool will give your home a more luxurious water park-like look. Meanwhile, a soaking tub can be placed outdoors or indoors in more sheltered spots, like a patio or a deck.

2. Water temperature


A plunge dipping pool is like a water wizard. Just when you thought you couldn’t handle any more coldness, it turns into a bubbling warm bath, like a magical potion that soothes your soul.

It can dip as low as 50°F (10°C) and soar up to a toasty 104°F (40°C), though the pool temperature range that’s recommended is only between 50°F (10°C) and 60°F (15°C).

Similar to a heated plunge pool, hot tubs can reach up to 104°F (40°C), but that’s it. Higher than that is basically illegal and can be fatal for excessive drinkers and pregnant women.

3. Health benefits


Most plunge pools and hot tubs offer an awesome hydrotherapy option – a water-powered superhero for your health. This therapeutic treatment involves pressurized water jets to aid muscle recovery and treat other health symptoms like joint pain and stress.

  • Warning: However, since plunge pools have a cold water option, it can increase the body’s antioxidant capacity and boost the immune system too! Just be cautious with cold dips if you have a heart condition, as it can cause a sudden increase in heart rate and drop in blood pressure.

If you want a wider range of exercise opportunities than a plunge pool with a spa and the benefits of a hot tub as a pool, try a swim spa!

4. Cost


Which is more affordable? Well, the short answer is: hot tubs. Plunge pools come with an average price tag of $10,000 to $25,000, while hot tubs have a more affordable range, averaging from $3,000 to $10,000.


Hot tubs’ smaller size means less material and labor are required during installation, which naturally lowers the cost of setting up. Plunge pools also require more intricate construction, like excavation, pool shell construction, and additional plumbing work, which also adds to the cost of plunge pool.

Moreover, plunge pools might need more extensive site preparation and landscaping to fit into your desired space, while hot tubs (especially portable ones) can just be placed on a level and stable surface with relatively less hassle.

Ongoing Expenses

In terms of ongoing expenses, hot tubs usually require weekly maintenance, water treatments, and electricity to power the heating and jets.

Plunge pools, on the other hand, may demand less pool maintenance but could come with extra expenses related to water circulation and heating.

If you use a plunge tool frequently, the running cost for a month can reach $30. Meanwhile, the total monthly operating cost of a hot tub can be around $50 and up to $100.


Ultimately the decision is up to you! Remember, plunge pools and hot tubs can add a luxurious and inviting feel to your living space and take your family gatherings and parties from a 7 to a solid 11 out of 10.

So, take your time, weigh the pros and cons of a plunge pool vs hot tub, and make sure to select the option that aligns best with your desired lifestyle.

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