While the terms hot tub, Jacuzzi and spa are often used interchangeably, they are different things. A hot tub is an umbrella term for any tub with heated water while a Jacuzzi is a brand name and maker of hot tubs and spa products. Still confused? Let’s learn more about the difference between hot tubs, Jacuzzis and spas.
What Is a Hot Tub?
Hot tubs, which can also be referred to as spas, are large tubs of hot water equipped with a whirlpool device, where people can soak, relax and socialize. The word “hot tub” originated in the 1970s. Today hot tubs have evolved to include features like: sleek acrylic shells, massaging jets, LED lighting, surround sound and cascading waterfalls and spillways to name a few.
The term hot tub refers to any tub of heated water, whether it has jets, bubblers, or no features at all. Hot tubs are large in size and intended to be used by multiple people at once, unlike a bathtub. Typically they are placed above ground outdoors on patios or in backyards, though installing them indoors is possible.
Although the words “hot tub” and “spa” refer to the same thing in the U.S., many parts of the world use “spa” to refer to natural mineral springs. The word spa itself comes from Spa, a 17th-century Belgian town that was famous for its healing mineral springs. Centuries later with the advent of electricity, people no longer had to travel to a natural hot spring to enjoy a soak, so the term spa took on an additional meaning.
What is a Jacuzzi?
Sometimes a brand becomes so well known that it becomes the generic name we all call it, even if it comes from a different company. Similar to how people use the word “Kleenex” to refer to any type of tissue, some use the word “Jacuzzi” to refer to any type of hot tub or spa. Jacuzzi is in fact a trademarked brand name for jetted tubs and other spa equipment.
In the 1950s, the Jacuzzi brothers who owned a company that manufactured aircraft propellers, invented a portable hydrotherapy pump that moved air and could be used to relieve pain in arthritis patients. Their design allowed a regular bathtub to be turned into a jetted tub. In 1968 they incorporated jets into the sides of the tub. The resulting integrated whirlpool tub was then patented and became the world’s first Jacuzzi brand tub.
In just a few years’ time, Jacuzzi became a household name and was often used to refer to all hot tubs. Today there are many different brands that make hot tubs, they are simpler to install than the original whirlpool tub concept, easy to move from home to home and offer hydrotherapy benefits that you can enjoy at home on a daily basis.