For many first-time hot tub buyers, one of the most basic questions is usually also one of the hardest; what size should their new hot tub be?

Most hot tub manufacturers offer hot tubs in a wide range of sizes; from 2-3 person all the way up to 10-12 person! How do you choose which size is right for your family? Today, we will look at 5 basic questions that will help you determine what size your hot tub should be. Before we get to that, however, we need to clear something up.

People vs Seats

One thing to understand about hot tub sizing is that the number of seats in a hot tub is not a true indication of how many people it will comfortably seat. This is not because the seats are too small, but rather that the footwell of the hot tub is too small. While you could realistically fit 5 people into a 5 seater hot tub, the footwell will likely be too small to keep people’s legs and feet from touching each other, which is uncomfortable for most people.

When looking to determine how many people you could comfortably fit in a hot tub, a good rule of thumb is to subtract 1-2 from the number of seats. For example, most 6 seat hot tubs will comfortably fit 4-5 adults.

1) How Big Is Your Family?

The first, and most basic, factor when deciding how big your new hot tub is how many people are in your household. You’ll want to buy a hot tub that has enough room to comfortably seat everyone. While this might seem pretty straightforward, there are a couple of additional factors to consider here.

Family Schedules

Is your weekly schedule busy with sports or other activities? Do you and your partner work at different times of the day? If so, you may not always use the hot tub at the same time. If that is the case, you can afford to get a hot tub that is slightly smaller than you otherwise might have. For example, if there are 4 people in your household but there will likely only ever be 3 people in it at any given time, you could save some money by getting a slightly smaller hot tub that is ideally sized for 3 people.


If you have small children, keep in mind that as they grow they will need more room. If your hot tub feels a little small now, it’s going to feel even smaller when your kids grow up and need more leg room!

2) How Tall Is Everyone?

Every hot tub will fit different people in different ways. A hot tub that is perfect for one person might be too small for someone else. The biggest contributor to this is the height of the person using the hot tub.

Tall people generally don’t fit well into small hot tubs. The reason for this is the size of the footwell. Most footwells in smaller hot tubs simply aren’t big enough to properly fit people with longer legs. The result is that the tall person ends up taking up the majority of the footwell, leaving little room for anyone else.

If you or someone else that will be using the hot tub is over 6 feet tall, have them sit in the hot tub before you buy it to make sure that there will be enough room.

3) Do You Want A Lounger?

Another factor to consider when deciding on what size your new hot tub should be is if you want a lounge seat (“lounger”) or not. A lounge seat is one that is built for you to use in a more reclined position with your feet up. Many people prefer lounge seats as they give you a full body massage and can be more relaxing to sit in.

There is a downside, however. Lounge seats take up a lot of room than traditional hot tub seats. To accommodate the extra room needed for the leg area of the seat, a hot tub with a lounge seat will generally have 1 less seat, and a smaller footwell, than a similarly sized hot tub without a lounger. If you plan on buying a hot tub with a lounger you should, therefore, consider getting one that is slightly bigger than you might otherwise have planned on buying.

For those that are looking for a full body, lounger-style massage but don’t want to buy a bigger hot tub, Hydropool recently introduced their Muskoka style seats. These seats allow for a full body massage while still placing you in a sitting position. This design not only lets you keep a seat that would otherwise be taken up by the lounger, it also frees up room in the footwell of the hot tub, allowing you to comfortably fit more people in the hot tub, without increasing its size.

Hydropool’s Muskoka chairs (bottom right) are an innovative design that allows for a full body massage, without giving up a seat.

4) Why Are You Buying A Hot Tub?

Another thing to keep in mind when determining hot tub size is why you’re buying a hot tub in the first place. Everyone that buys a hot tub is working within a budget and larger hot tubs cost more money than similarly equipped smaller hot tubs. If hydrotherapy is your #1 goal, you might be better off going with a smaller hot tub and spending that extra money on better hydrotherapy. If, on the other hand, you’re going to use the hot tub as a social gathering place for friends and family, a larger hot tub that will fit those people more comfortably will likely be a wiser use of your money.

5) Where Will The Hot Tub Be Located?

The last question to ask yourself when figuring out the size of your new hot tub is where the hot tub will be installed. Is that spot big enough to hold the hot tub that you want? Is there another spot that would fit it better?

If space might be an issue, be sure to measure your proposed install area prior to going hot tub shopping. Make sure that any hot tubs that you’re looking at can fit within your chosen space. Keep in mind that accessories like stairs and cover lifters will increase the footprint required by the hot tub. Cover lifters, for example, generally require 6″ of clearance on either side of the hot tub and 18″ of clearance on the backside of the hot tub to properly function. You’ll also want to keep around 2 feet clear in front of the hot tub for your entrance steps.

How To Decide What Size Your Hot Tub Will Be

With so many potential factors, how do you know what size of hot tub to purchase? Often times, the best way to find out is to simply get the family down to the showroom and sit in a couple of hot tubs. Once you think you’ve found the right size, try one larger and one smaller to make sure that you’ve chosen correctly.

Pay close attention to the size of the footwell and make sure that everyone’s legs fit comfortably in it without crowding. Remember that you will have this hot tub for many years. If you have young children, make sure that they will have room to use it as they grow.

Continue Reading: Hot Tub Buying Mistakes To Avoid


Main Takeaways

  • To quickly figure out how many adults will fit comfortably into a hot tub, add up the number of seats and subtract 1-2.
  • If you have small kids, keep in mind that they will need more space in the hot tub as they grow.
  • Lounge seats are great, but they take up a lot of room. Generally speaking, if you want a lounge seat you will need to buy a slightly bigger hot tub to ensure everyone is comfortable.
  • Before you start hot tub shopping, make sure that you know where you’ll be installing the hot tub. Measure that area to make sure that the hot tubs you look at can properly fit.
  • Before you purchase the hot tub, get everyone in the family to sit in it and make sure they’re comfortable. You can also try one size larger and one size smaller to double check that the size is right.

Orleans Hot Tubs & Pools

We specialize in the sale of Hydropool hot tubs & swim spas for Central/East Ottawa, specifically Orléans and parts of Eastern Ontario. We carry a variety of water care products and specialize in water testing.


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Orleans, ON
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