If you’re old enough to at least have watched That 70s show then you probably remember that hot tubs used to be made of wood. While that seems like a more eco-friendly option, modern hot tubs are made of insulated acrylic, or reinforced inflatable PVC. So how do wood hot tubs compare to the newer models? And are inflatable hot tubs any good?
Wood Tubs Compared To Acrylic
Despite what it may look like, acrylic hot tubs are actually much more energy efficient and thus they are more eco-friendly. Because they are significantly more insulated, there is a lot less heat loss, and so the heating mechanism does not need to spend so much energy heating the water to maintain a steady temperature. Wooden hot tubs provide some insulation, but it is definitely inferior to anything that a modern acrylic spa offers.
Additionally, acrylic spas usually come with contours to allow people to lie back and relax better, as well as powerful jets that provide a great massage. They are also far more durable, as they are not prone to rotting or other structural damage.
What About Inflatable Tubs?
These are the latest addition in spa technology, providing people with a portable, lightweight, and affordable option that does not require construction. The walls are generally made of reinforced PVC to give structure, but they can be deflated when not in use. They perform just as well as most fixed hot tubs made of acrylic or wood, whether they are inground or above ground. Although their jet system is different that of acrylic spas, they do have a ring of jets at the base of the tub. In terms of energy efficiency, they are comparable to acrylic hot tubs, and thus more efficient than wooden spas. This all makes them a better option than wooden hot tubs that were popular in the past.
Durability is also not an issue if inflatable hot tubs, especially if cared for properly. Contrary to popular belief, the walls are not susceptible to being punctured, unless intentionally stabbed with a sharp object. Even when stored improperly, the word is that mould may grow which can easily be cleaned. There is no structural damage from the mould, and the only permanent consequence may be some unsightly discoloration.
The Final Verdict
Regardless of whether you opt for an acrylic (fixed) hot tub or an inflatable (portable) one, both options are better than their wooden counterparts that were popular in decades past. Despite the superior aesthetic of a wooden hot tub, it simply does not compare in efficiency, durability, or even in the experience that is offered with modern hot tubs. The wooden tubs are also uncomfortable to sit in, because there is no way to lie back in them, and no option for tub cushions unless you can craft one on your own. Therefore, in our opinion, there is simply no comparison. The modern option wins here, and the phrase “They just don’t make em’ like they used to” is not applicable in this case.