If you own a spa, or hot tub, you most likely don’t need to be told how expensive they can be to purchase and operate.
Between the high cost of the spa itself, the pricey chemicals, and the electricity required to keep the spa hot, it might feel like the luxury of owning a hot tub is costing you a fortune.
With all these costly expenses racking up each month, you might ask: do I need to spend a lot of money on a spa cover?
We can help answer that question. First of all, let’s start by clarifying that it is possible to purchase an affordable cover for your home spa. Secondly, we should explain that it’s incredibly important that you do purchase a cover for your spa.
Believe it or not, there are many hot tub owners that simply use a tarp or some other non-traditional cover when their spa isn’t in use. Compared to a purpose-made, fitted hot tub cover, a tarp won’t do the job properly and might actually end up costing more money in the long run.
To help you understand your options, we’ll go over some of the many reasons why hot tub owners need to use an appropriate cover. From there, we’ll review some of the best and most affordable spa covers available.
Why Do You Need a Spa Cover?
Before we review affordable spa covers, we should go over some of the reasons why you need one in the first place. This will help you understand their importance and make you feel better about spending money on a proper spa cover.
If you have children, or there are children in the area surrounding your home, it’s absolutely critical that you cover your spa when it’s not in use. At the end of the day, a hot tub is an open body of water just like a swimming pool, so it has potential as a drowning hazard for small children.
Unattended pets and children can get quite curious around hot tubs. Covering a hot tub with a tarp just increases the danger, as children and pets can try to walk on them and quickly become tangled.
Spas require a certain level of responsibility, so do yourself a favor as a spa or pool owner and invest in an appropriate, quality cover!
For Saving Energy
If you own a spa, or you’re looking into getting one, you’re probably aware of how expensive it can be to keep them hot. The electricity required to keep the water at a comfortable temperature almost always ends up being the most expensive part of maintaining a hot tub.
A properly fitted spa cover will keep your spa water insulated and create a barrier between the water and the colder air above. An uncovered spa, or one that doesn’t have an insulated cover, will lose an unnecessary amount of thermal energy, which will be reflected in your electricity bills.
Most people keep their spa water at around 102 degrees Fahrenheit, so you’ll save yourself a significant amount of money if you use less electricity to keep it near that temperature.
For Water Conservation and General Cleanliness
A quality hot tub cover will trap water and chemicals inside it. The less water you lose through evaporation, the less energy and chemicals you’ll need to keep your spa water at its optimal temperature and cleanliness.
The chemistry required to keep hot tub water safe and stable is fairly delicate. Spas are exposed to various contaminants on our bodies and in the air.
Hard hot tub covers will keep that chemical balance where it needs to be, and will also prevent debris from blowing into the water when the swim spa is not in use.
For Protecting Your Spa Against the Elements
Given that spas are almost always left outdoors, even during harsh weather conditions, it’s important to protect your investment with a quality cover.
A tarp will only keep your spa safe from lightweight objects, such as leaves. You can also lose these inappropriate covers during high winds.
An appropriate spa cover will be strong enough to keep your hot tub protected during nearly any weather conditions. It’ll also create a barrier between the delicate lining of your spa and the outside world.
Spa covers are designed to be so strong that your tub should remain undamaged even if it were to get hit by heavy objects, such as a falling tree branch.
Nobody wants to spend serious money on spa repairs because they decided to save money and not buy an appropriate cover.
The Best Affordable Spa Cover Reviews
Now that you understand some of the reasons why it’s worth investing in a cover for your spa, we can go over some covers that’ll get the job done, but won’t break the bank.
Remember, you invest so much money into owning and maintaining a spa that it’s well worth keeping that investment protected with a cover.
The Cover Guy – 5 Inch Deluxe Hot Tub Cover
This spa cover from The Cover Guy is one of the best covers we could find at this price point. The Cover Guy is a company with a good reputation in the spa industry, so it’s no surprise this cover features high-quality construction.
One of the best things about this cover, apart from the reasonable price, is the fact it’s designed for use in all climates and seasons.
Some of the cheaper covers are only appropriate for use in warm climates, but if you’re someone who must deal with cold winters, you’ll know there’s nothing better than climbing into a steaming hot spa on a frosty night.
This cover is capable of keeping your tub warm, even during snowy and icy conditions.
What We Like About It
- 20 points of internal reinforcement
- High-quality marine grade vinyl construction
- Seamless waterproof coating and wrapping to eliminate water absorption
- Tear-free handles and reinforced folding hinge
- Insulation rating of R19
- Available in 10 color options to match your existing spa
- Reasonable price for the level of quality
Given that most spa covers tend to wear out along the seams and handles, it’s worth noting that the manufacturer ensures that both are reinforced for strength.
As with any high-quality spa cover, this particular cover is designed to insulate your spa water and trap the heat within. Using this cover, you’ll save plenty of money on your electricity bills by keeping the water at optimal temperatures between soaks.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about this cover, especially given the reasonable price, is the fact it will be custom made to seamlessly fit your specific spa.
Most affordable tub covers come in generic sizes, so it can be difficult finding one that fits your spa snugly.
All you have to do is submit your spa’s specific dimensions and The Cover Guy will send you a custom cover.
Lastly, the warranty on your cover is for 7 years.
Pool Spa Parts – Heavy Duty Outdoor Hot Tub Cover
The first thing you’ll notice about this spa cover is the extremely low price point. While you shouldn’t expect the same level of quality you would get when you order from The Cover Guy, this cover from Pool Spa Parts will still give your tub a respectable level of insulation and protection.
The cover features a TPU backing, which is much better than the standard PVC backing you would get with most affordable spa covers on the market.
It keeps your spa water warm, but you should keep in mind that it only has a weather rating of 5 degrees Celsius. So, if you’re one of those people that owns a spa in a particularly cold region, you might need to invest in a cover that has a higher weather rating.
With that being said, 5 degrees is quite impressive given the affordable price of the cover.
What We Like About It
- Durable TPU backing for added water proofing
- High level of temperature resistance
- Mold and UV ray resistant surface
- Adjustable wind belts to keep the cover secure
- Available in six different sizes
- Affordable price
The fact the cover offers 100% UV protection is a nice feature that you don’t often see with cheaper covers. Pool Spa Parts insists their covers will keep your spa protected from all the usual contaminants that can alter the chemistry of an unprotected outdoor spa.
This means it’ll keep your spa clear of dirt, dust, rain water, hail, snow, bird droppings, UV rays, mold spores, and other debris.
While the cover size won’t be customized to the exact dimensions of your tub, it’s available in 6 common spa sizes and comes with durable tie straps, so you’ll be able to secure it into place.
Another feature is the 3-year warranty, which is more than reasonable for a cover at this price point. Overall, if you need a cheap cover that gets the job done, then have a look at this one.
Classic Accessories Water Resistant Square Hot Tub Cover
This spa cover is intended to fit over larger tubs, but can be used with smaller-sized tubs due to its convenient toggle cords. You simply place the cover over your spa, then use the elastic hem cord and toggles to give it more of a custom fit.
It features water-repellant fabrics and a weatherproof exterior coating to keep your spa water insulated and debris free. When you choose this spa cover, you’re opting for a cover that lacks some of the thrills and visual appeal of more expensive covers, but you’re getting a product that will protect your spa.
What We Like About It
- Interior-bound seams and high-density stitching for added strength
- Comfortable and durable padded handles
- Large square shape fits over most spas with elastic hem cord and can be used to ensure a fit with smaller spas
- Designed to protect spas from cold exterior temperatures
- Affordable price
Most of the cheaper covers on the market won’t work well in colder conditions, so it’s impressive that this cover has been tested for use in winter weather.
Given its incredibly low price, it’s a good low-frills cover for anyone who wants to keep his or her spa protected and insulated without having to shell out on an elaborate cover.
You also get a 3-year warranty on this spa cover, so you know you’ll at least be able to get a few years of use out of it, even if you plan to upgrade to a more expensive cover in the future.
The spa covers we reviewed are all capable of performing the most important tasks you would expect from a spa cover—they keep spas insulated, protected from damage, and free from debris.
You don’t have to worry that a spa cover is going to cost a fortune. Just remember to measure your spa’s exact dimensions and find a cover that’ll work with it. Remember, even if a cover is larger than your spa, it’ll still work if it comes with the appropriate straps and hemming.
Personal taste also comes into play here. Choose a spa cover that you like the look of. After all, your spa will be covered up more often than it’s left open, so you’ll see quite a bit of the cover. We recommend choosing one that’s a similar color to the spa itself.