Home renovations require a lot of forethought and planning. What’s going to look best, fit the budget, and last a long time? We understand the stress of trying to make all those decisions.
When it comes to your bathroom, take a moment to consider a whirlpool tub. What makes them stand out, and are they that much better than standard bathtubs? Choosing a the best whirlpool tub doesn’t have to be difficult, once you know what to look for.
Whirlpool vs. Soaking Tub
You may be wondering what the difference is between a traditional soaking bathtub and a whirlpool tub — they’re both made for relaxation, after all.
A soaking tub is pretty much what it says. These models are a popular go-to option because they’re typically budget-friendly. They’re contoured in shape and offer greater depth than an average bathtub, providing optimal space and comfort.
Some soaking tubs can offer additional features like the jets you’d find in a whirlpool model, but this is not common.
Whirlpool tubs, on the other hand, always have a self-contained jet system. It’s what makes them a “whirlpool”! The jets act as massagers, much like you’d find in a spa or therapy center.
They shoot jets of water and air at different speeds and in different locations throughout the tub. Depending on the unit, there’s usually a customization option to propel the jetted water in whichever direction you choose.
Why Should You Buy a Whirlpool Tub?
Some refer to whirlpool sessions as “hydrotherapy” because the sensation can offer you a deeply therapeutic experience (1). Don’t get confused here because this term is also used to describe actual physical therapy that takes place in water versus dry land.
Benefits of a whirlpool tub include:
- Enhances blood circulation: This is important for muscle recovery, treating arthritis, diabetes, and a slew of other conditions (2). It may also rejuvenate your skin, creating a brighter complexion and tone.
- Helps heal broken bones: Studies show that whirlpools have been used successfully in the rehabilitation of fractures (3).
- Mental wellbeing and stress: We haven’t talked to anyone who felt more stressed after leaving a whirlpool. Soaking in hot water, with the addition of jet propulsion, can help your body and mind let go for a while. In our busy day-to-day lives, this is a priceless benefit.
Choosing the Best Whirlpool Tub
Whirlpools come with more to consider than your standard bathtub, thanks to all the features they offer. Keep the following in mind on your shopping adventure:
- Location of the jets: If the jets aren’t where you need them most, then they’ll feel a bit pointless. For example, if you suffer from upper back pain, find a whirlpool with jets located near the top.
- Additional features: Things like mood lighting, speed customization, and grab bars are features to consider. For the latter, this is important if you or someone in your family is physically challenged and needs assistance in and out of the tub.
- Size of the tub: Most whirlpool tubs are substantially larger than a regular bathtub. Will it fit through the doorway of your existing bathroom? Do you have space? It may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised that this can often be an afterthought.
- Water supply: Will your water heater be able to supply the tub with an adequate amount of water? If so, how long will it take for the heater to recover, so other water supply points in your house will be available for use? You might need to purchase a separate water heater just for the whirlpool tub.
The Best Whirlpool Tubs of 2020
We spent hours researching and considering customer feedback to bring you the best whirlpool tubs. Our top 7 choices reflect our findings and are combined with expert opinion and advice. Your bathtub experience is about to enter a whole new level of tranquility.
1. American Standard Cadet Whirlpool
American Standard is a well-known brand when it comes to home appliances. They offer a variety of tubs, and this whirlpool bathtub is a superstar.
It’s an acrylic alcove model offering eight multi-directional jets you can position to your liking. Two are situated along the back portion with three down each side. A side-mounted switch allows you to turn them on and off with ease.
The form-fitting backrest and two molded-in arm areas provide additional support and comfort.
A dual-accessory deck area has enough space for bathing essentials. This means you’ll have room for a mini-speaker, candle or whatever items you prefer.
Why We Love It
The jets aren’t fixed in position, which means you can further customize their direction. This enhances your ability to ease muscular tension in specific areas of your body that may be hard to reach otherwise.
Backrest and Armrests
Have you ever hopped into a tub only to find out there’s no comfortable way to get settled? Not very relaxing!
With this whirlpool, the backrest and molded-in arm areas give you a go-to position that you can count on being best for relaxation. If you invite someone in with you, you might just be fighting over them, so watch out.
American Standard had installation in mind when they made this tub. A reversible drain outlet allows you to switch the drain handing by reversing the tub’s direction, meaning it can be to your left or right in the tub.
Furthermore, a pre-leveled tub bottom means it can rest on the floor as it is, no need to mess with your flooring in any way.
As we know, cleaning the pipes of your whirlpool is essential to maintaining a proper working order. This whirlpool comes with EverClean anti-microbial pipes that initiate the process for you.
You’ll still need to give it a good clean now and again. However, this means the pipes are less likely to see biofilm build-up overtime.
Keep In Mind
Cost Difference in Colors
This tub comes in two different color choices, white or linen.
You’ll be stuck forking out over $200 if you go with the linen hue. That may not be a big deal for some. But, when you’re already investing in renovations, it could make or break the decision for you.
|Dimensions||42 inches by 72 inches by 20 inches|
|Materials||Acrylic and fiberglass|
|Color options||White or linen|
|Special features||Multi-directional jets, built-in arm and back area|
2. EAGO Whirlpool Bathtub For Two
This freestanding tub looks inviting and just screams luxury with its 20 powerful jets situated to each side and all along the bottom.
A front panel is made from tempered glass at 0.25 inches thick and adds a touch of serenity to the style. The backrests located at either end of the pool mean that two people get the chance to relax. Sounds like a bonus to us.
With both fiberglass and stainless steel reinforcing this acrylic tub, you know that durability shouldn’t be an issue (4) (5). It also has a high-gloss finish that’s extra smooth and scratch-resistant.
The inline heaters with a built-in thermometer take things a bit further, and ensure the temperature remains steady throughout your time in the tub.
Why We Love It
A Glass Wall? Yes, Please
We just can’t get over the beauty of this glass wall on the front side of this tub. It looks beautiful combined with the light’s reflection, and thick enough that you won’t worry about any cracks!
Just remember to clean it often to avoid any residue from building up.
Cool Gadgets Included
They should be, given the price. A Bluetooth stereo system provides the chance to sync up your favorite tunes or catch the news while you bathe.
It’s adjusted on the digital control panel, which is a convenient addition. You’ll find the temperature located there as well, and buttons to stop/start the jets, depending on your needs.
The LED lighting can be adjusted on this panel too; set it to automatic or manual whenever the mood strikes you.
Certified by WaterSense
WaterSense is a partnership program under the wings of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). It certifies a product as water-efficient and helps save water.
Keep In Mind
The Price Tag!
Costing at least double compared to many on our list, you’ve got to be a professional bath taker to spend this on a bathtub. If that’s the case, then more power to you.
For many, this could be a turn-off and understandably so. Do the features justify the price tag? That’s something you’ll have to decide, but many users love this whirlpool tub.
|Dimensions||71 inches by 35 inches by 25 inches|
|Materials||Acrylic, fiberglass, stainless steel|
|Special features||Two backrests, Bluetooth, temperature control, LED lighting|
3. MCP-Distributions Two Person Hydrotherapy Whirlpool
Are you and your partner adamant about enjoying bath time together? This two-person freestanding whirlpool tub allows you to do just that, side by side. No fighting over leg space or who gets what corner; all are equal here.
There are over 20 jets in this tub, evenly spread throughout, so no one gets the short end of the stick. Two soft and padded waterproof pillows rest beside each other on the back portion of the tub.
An inline water heater, Bluetooth radio with speaker, and LED lighting are all controlled by a panel located on the deck.
This tub is made from a mix of acrylic and ABS material and reinforced with three layers of fiberglass holding it in place. The frame’s construction is fiberglass.
Why We Love It
Perfect for Two
Speaking from experience, it’s disappointing to try and squeeze into the bathtub for a little bonding time, only to find there’s no space. It can leave you annoyed and more stressed than you were when you started.
This whirlpool is made to solve that exact problem. With side-by-side pillows and evenly distributed vents, there’s enough space to go around.
A full five-year warranty is included with this whirlpool, which covers any structural problems that may arise. Following that, a one-year warranty is in place for electrical problems.
It might be unlikely that you’d need to use the warranty, but it’s good to have nonetheless.
Included is a convenient showerhead located along the deck of the whirlpool. This may seem inconsequential, but imagine how you’ll feel after a nice, warm soak in the bath.
Relaxed, for sure, but getting off those soapy suds is easier with this gadget. Pull it up from its placement and press the button. It’s as easy as that.
Keep In Mind
Only Available in Black
It’s not a bad color, of course, but for a bathtub? Black not only looks dirty much more quickly, but it doesn’t have that calming vibe brought on by lighter hues.
Furthermore, it’s not a common color found in most bathroom design schemes, which may make it difficult when it comes to matching. Despite this, customers still seem very happy with their purchase.
|Dimensions||72 inches by 47 inches by 26 inches|
|Capacity||Information not provided|
|Materials||Acrylic, ABS, fiberglass, stainless steel|
|Special features||Showerhead, control panel, Bluetooth and remote, LED lighting|
4. Woodbridge Whirlpool Freestanding Bathtub
Less is more for some, and that’s certainly the case with this bathtub from Woodbridge. That doesn’t mean the tub is lacking in quality or comfort, though.
This freestanding acrylic bathtub has 10 adjustable body massage jets and another 10 bubble bath jets for plenty of that whirlpool vibe. All are made from a stainless construction offering long-lasting durability.
An underwater mood lamp amps up the experience and can be turned on/off with the click of a button.
The anti-leak and anti-odor drain and pipe also ensure durability where the unseen parts are concerned.
Why We Love It
Woodbridge is known for understated luxury, and we appreciate that about the company. It doesn’t fall short with this whirlpool tub. The sleek lines and minimalist look allow you to focus on the task at hand: relaxation.
High-Quality Drainage System
The last thing you want after you install your whirlpool tub is for something to go wrong with the piping system. It can take some serious construction knowledge to figure it out.
Instead, Woodbridge offers an anti-leak and anti-odor pipe and drain to put your mind at rest. No funky smells will be building up, nor water seeping from where you least expect it.
Warranties and Certifications
Woodbridge offers a five-year warranty at a structural and surface level, and one-year warranty is included for any plumbing issues that may arise. You’ll want to keep a watchful eye over things to make sure all is working as it should, especially in the beginning.
With a UPC certification, this indicates the plumbing has been evaluated and surpasses regulations for durability. Furthermore, a CPA-certified product means the unit has undergone extensive testing and come out on top.
Overall, these points lend themselves to the credibility and reliability of both the unit and the company.
Keep In Mind
Space for One
Technically, two could fit if you’re sitting upright, but it might be difficult to relax that way. It seems this whirlpool tub was built for going solo, which could be a dealbreaker for you.
|Dimensions||67 inches by 32 inches by 23 inches|
|Materials||Acrylic, fiberglass, stainless steel|
|Special features||Lighting, anti-leak and anti-odor pipe and drain|
5. SD Recessed Tubs Whirlpool Corner Bathtub
Depending on the design of your bathroom, you might require a corner-fitting whirlpool. This unit provides you with that shape and features a few gadgets and comfort features to boot.
There are over 20 jets in total featuring air and massage centers. All are adjustable to suit your needs. It’s plenty big enough for two people and boasts two headrests on opposite corners.
An LCD control panel allows you to tune in via Bluetooth, operate the LED lighting, and radio. There’s even an RCA input, which allows you to receive an audio connection from elsewhere. A remote is included, so no need to move, well, aside from just a finger or two.
Why We Love It
Ozone Filtration on Waterfall Faucet
The waterfall faucet adds a nice touch of ambiance as the tub’s filling. You can also rest easy knowing that the water is in tip-top shape.
An ozone filter cleans out any residue or debris coming from your water source to ensure your hair and skin are treated with respect. Ozone gas is known for its purifying and disinfectant qualities (6).
Remote Controlled Panel
For the avid bath takers among us, having it all right at your fingertips is an excellent bonus. The control panel on this whirlpool tub allows for just that.
There’s no fumbling around to find your phone or computer to put on your favorite tunes. It all happens with a push of a button, either on the panel itself or from the remote. Choose between using Bluetooth or connecting your device via the RCA cable.
Made for Two
We love when a whirlpool is big enough for two. Enjoy it with your spouse or let the kids have fun during playtime.
The two distinct seating areas mean both people get to enjoy their own space, pillow and jets. No need for squabbling over who gets what.
Keep In Mind
Temperature Might Be a Problem
There is a water heater built into the faucet of this tub. However, that’s about as far as it goes. Meaning, the water doesn’t maintain its original temperature once you’re inside.
This may not be an issue for some, but if you’re spending extended periods in the whirlpool, say, beyond 20 to 30 minutes, you might want to look elsewhere. In this case, go for a tub that has a heater option while in use. Our second choice EAGO whirlpool tub does this very well.
|Dimensions||59 inches by 59 inches by 27.5 inches|
|Capacity||Information not supplied|
|Materials||Acrylic, ABS, stainless steel, fiberglass|
|Special features||Showerhead, ozone filter, waterfall faucet, grab bar|
6. Empava Luxury Whirlpool Tub
This modern-day whirlpool tub is sleek and contemporary, but its shape also reminds us of more old-school styles. The small circular interior is clearly suited for one, but it’s not without its merits.
It’s designed for sitting upright, although shorter folk might be able to lounge more easily. If you’re on the tall side, say around 6 feet, the water should hit you around mid-chest.
Included is a showerhead with a 4-foot hose for easy rinsing off after your ritual is complete. An overflow unit and faucet are included with the package, which makes for straightforward installation.
There are 95 tiny pinholes for air massage located throughout the entirety of the tub, so your whole body should be covered — the parts underwater, at least.
Why We Love It
We know you can’t judge everything based on looks, but the design of this gorgeous tub is reminiscent of days gone by. At the same time, though, it’s also modern and inviting, with an understated luxury we really appreciate.
The sleek lines and shiny fixtures are complemented by a high-gloss finish on the tub. It’s quite pretty.
Important Bits Included
Not all tubs come with a faucet, much less a showerhead and overflow unit. We can’t be sure why this is the case, but it’s rather inconvenient at times.
But this unit from Empava has you covered because all of this is included with your whirlpool. No need to order them separately or suffer through the installation process more than once.
Certified By UL and UPC
When investing in a new whirlpool tub, it may put your mind at ease to know that the unit and company are backed by exterior organizations. This model has earned certifications for both its plumbing and the general workings of the tub.
This means it’s been made with high-quality materials and passes the foundational requirements needed to build such a unit.
Keep In Mind
Slow Customer Service
At least one reviewer mentioned that the customer service team was slow to respond, taking at least a few months to get back to the inquiry. This can make for a frustrating experience when you have difficulties with the unit itself or the installation procedure.
We can’t be sure this is the case across the board, but it’s worth mentioning anyway. If you lack patience in this arena, it’s something to keep in mind.
|Dimensions||47 inches by 31.5 inches by 31 inches|
|Materials||Acrylic, fiberglass, copper|
7. Ariel Whirlpool Bathtub with Hydro Massage
This whirlpool from Ariel is another corner unit for those that don’t have the space or layout necessary to host a freestanding unit.
At 119 gallons, it marks the highest capacity out of any tubs on our list. You’re sure to be covered here; we mean that literally.
It was definitely made for two with its separate seating areas marked by the cushioned pillows, backrests, and under-body jets.
The company has gone for comfort, and that’s clear given the customization options you can dial in on the control panel. This includes jet intensity, speakers for the radio/CD unit, and the underwater lights.
Why We Love It
With a capacity of 119 gallons, rest assured that all bathers’ bodies will be submerged. Often, tubs can fall a little short, and you end up freezing on your upper body and feeling overheated down below. Not the case with this unit!
All in the Details
We appreciate when attention is given to the details, and that’s certainly the case with this whirlpool. From the swiveling headrests to personalized jet streams directed to your liking, Ariel has the customer in mind.
Other important details include the showerhead feature and a 5mm tempered glass panel located on the front of the whirlpool. This looks inviting and helps create an atmosphere of relaxation.
Many whirlpools don’t come with a heat pump. Without these, once the water has left the faucet, it could be a matter of minutes before it cools off.
Luckily, the included heat pump maintains the temperature of the water throughout your soak. Once you’ve filled the tub, there’s no need to add more hot water to keep things nice and toasty.
Keep In Mind
Not So Reliable
One reviewer mentioned receiving the tub late, and another had a crack upon arrival. Lastly, one arrived with a default in the drain.
Furthermore, customer service is said to be slow. If this is the case, the company might be less reliable than we’d like when we’re looking to invest in a whirlpool tub.
Let’s be blunt here; it’s outdated! While other tubs come with a Bluetooth module or RCA hookup, this whirlpool offers something many of us don’t use anymore.
If music is an important part of your bathing ritual, this might be a make-or-break point for you. Some may not care, but it’s worth noting just in case.
|Dimensions||60 inches by 30 inches by 60 inches|
|Materials||Acrylic, stainless steel|
|Special features||Showerhead, radio/CD, glass panel, headrests|
Detailed Comparison Chart
|Product||Best||Dimensions||Capacity||Materials||Color options||Special features|
|American Standard Cadet||Rated||42″ x 72″ x 20″||60 gal.||Acrylic & fiberglass||White or linen||Multi-directional jets, built-in arm & back area|
|EAGO Whirlpool For Two||Luxurious Features||71″ x 35″ x 25″||95 gal.||Acrylic, fiberglass, stainless steel||White||Two backrests, Bluetooth, temperature control, LED lighting|
|MCP-Distributions Hydrotherapy||For Two||72″ x 47″ x 26″||Unknown||Acrylic, ABS, fiberglass, stainless steel||Black||Showerhead, control panel, Bluetooth & remote, LED lighting|
|Woodbridge Freestanding||For Simplicity||67″ x 32″ x 23″||60 gal.||Acrylic, fiberglass, stainless steel||White||Lighting, anti-leak & anti-odor pipe & drain|
|SD Recessed Corner Tub||For Corners||59″ x 59″ x 27.5″||Unknown||Acrylic, ABS, stainless steel, fiberglass||White||Showerhead, ozone filter, waterfall faucet, grab bar|
|Empava Luxury Whirlpool||Design||47″ x 31.5″ x 31″||55 gal.||Acrylic, fiberglass, copper||White||Showerhead|
|Ariel Hydro Massage||Capacity||60″ x 30″ x 60″||119 gal.||Acrylic, stainless steel||White||Showerhead, radio/CD, glass panel, headrests|
Cleaning Whirlpool Tubs
You probably deduced on your own that maintaining a whirlpool requires a bit more effort than a regular bathtub. This is due to the jets and the additional piping.
If these aren’t properly maintained, you could be left with unsightly biofilm or slimy gunk over time. This buildup is the perfect home for bacterial growth, which you don’t want lingering in your whirlpool system (7).
Tips for Surface Cleaning a Whirlpool Tub
- Stick with simple household ingredients: Like dish soap or vinegar. Use gentle sponges — nothing with a scratchy layer.
- When cleaning the surface: Always test clean a small spot before covering the tub with your solution. This way, you can see how the finish responds.
- Clean often to avoid residue: You’ll notice it building up on the surface. The more it accumulates, the harder it is to remove it.
Tips for Deep Cleaning a Whirlpool Tub
- Fill your tub with warm water: Approximately two inches above the highest jet.
- Add cleaning solution: Use something made specifically for whirlpools, like this cleaner from Oh Yuk!. Others are available as well.
- Run your jets: Keep them on for a minimum of one hour.
- You’ll notice residue: The biofilm will appear in the water as this process goes on… see why you needed to deep clean?
- Drain the tub: After an hour, go ahead and drain your tub.
- Rinse the tub: Clean off any remaining residue with a soft sponge and non-abrasive soap or vinegar solution.
- Gently unscrew the jets: Give them a good scrub as well using the same supplies as listed in the step above.
Whirlpool Tub FAQs
What’s the Difference Between a Whirlpool Tub and Jacuzzi Tub?
The main difference is that Jacuzzi is actually a brand name while whirlpool is generic. The Jacuzzi company specializes in whirlpools (8). In the 1950s, a man by the name of “Jacuzzi” invented what we know as a spa bath or a whirlpool.
So, there’s little to no difference between a jacuzzi and a whirlpool. They’re often used interchangeably to describe the oversized tub that’s attached to a pump system, which then propels water and air through the jets. This creates that “whirlpool effect” or massage experience.
Is a Whirlpool or an Air Bath Better?
Both offer jet massages while in the bath, but what are the main differences? Whirlpools mainly use jetted water. Air baths use jets that shoot air streams.
The former have fewer jets but a more intense sensation, while air baths have tiny little jets throughout that offer a lighter, more bubbly feel (9).
We prefer the heavier therapeutic feeling that whirlpools offer, but that’s not to say that air baths are without their merits. Many whirlpools will offer a mix of both air and water, so you get the best of both worlds. It really depends on personal preference.
It’s Whirlpool Time
There’s a lot to be said about a nice, long soak in a pool of bubbles. It can make everything feel right again. The best whirlpool tubs offer you that and are simply a step up from your standard soaking tub, helping help with stress, muscle tension, and more.
Whirlpool tubs come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and offer different features. Prior to purchase, consider the space you have available and the budget that you’re working with. Once you have your tub, keep it clean and enjoy it as much as possible!