In-ground‌ ‌vs‌ ‌Above‌ ‌Ground‌ ‌Hot‌ ‌Tubs‌ ‌–‌ ‌Comparison‌ ‌Guide‌ ‌


Getting a new hot tub is an exciting process. But, it can be kind of difficult to pick the best option since there are so many to choose from. Buyers often debate whether to get an in-ground or above the ground hot tub.
Unfortunately, there is no universal tub that can fit everyone’s needs. It all comes down to one’s preference. Both in-ground and above ground hot tubs have their unique benefits, but they also come with some disadvantages. In this article, we will talk about the pros and cons of each kind, making it easier to choose the right one.

In-Ground Hot Tub vs. Above Ground Hot Tub Pros and Cons

Both types of hot tubs can provide you with a relaxing experience. When picking the one for you, you should consider the budget, aesthetics, maintenance, and location among other things.

In-Ground Hot Tub Pros and Cons

  • Equipped with 5-15 jets
  • They are usually located near the pool which is typically far from the house entrance
  • Bench seating is available (able to fit most everyone)
  • Very aesthetically pleasing and has a great aesthetic potential
  • High maintenance (costs more than $30, including chemicals)
  • Typically comes with a 1-year warranty
  • Usually has to be preheated
  • Does not have a cover lifter
  • Price – $5k – $25k

Above Ground Hot Tub Pros and Cons

  • Comes with an ergonomic seating option which is suitable for every height
  • Usually comes with 30-70 jets
  • It does not have to be located near a pool. It is possible to place it very close to the house
  • Not high in maintenance
  • It costs around $20-$30 per month
  • Usually comes with a 3-5-year warranty
  • Does not need preheating and is always kept at the same temperature
  • Can be used with a cover lifter
  • Price – $2k – $12k

In-Ground Hot Tub vs Above Ground Hot Tub Comparison



Comfort is crucial when it comes to choosing the right hot tub. Being able to properly relax in the tub is what you should aim for. In-ground hot tubs generally have fewer jets than above-ground tubs. More jets means that the hot tub is more powerful. This, in turn, leads to a more powerful message. But, that does not mean that in-ground tubs cannot provide you with a relaxing session. Choosing the right one is totally up to you and your massage preference.


It is very important to consider the location of your hot tub when buying it. In-ground tubs are usually placed near the pool. This means they are usually far away from the entrance. On the other hand, above ground pools can be placed in many different locations. They can be placed closer to the house. If a hot tub is located closer, it means it will be used more often. 

This is particularly beneficial if you are living in a colder climate or intend to use the tub during winter. You don’t want to be walking across a cold patio to get to the tub. So, it turns out in-ground tubs are more functional in generally hotter states such as Florida, Texas, California, etc. 


Maintenance is another important feature you should consider before buying a hot tub. Above ground, tubs are generally better for you if you do not want a high maintenance product. Their mechanics are easy to access and are also protected from outside conditions, which improves their durability. They are typically made from materials such as acrylic, which is not as abrasive and is a lot easier to clean. 

On the other hand, in-ground hot tubs are made from textured surfaces, fiberglass, tile, and concrete. This means they can be a bit rough on swimsuits and skin. They are better for you if you do not have sensitive skin or skin-related problems.

An in-ground hot tub is slightly more expensive to maintain every month. The cost to run it can be above $30, while you will need to devote $20-$30 for an above ground hot tub every month. 


A hot tub can significantly improve the way an area looks. But, not every tub is suitable for every surrounding. In-ground tubs have more aesthetic potential than above-ground ones. They can be built in many different ways and they can look very luxurious. If they are placed next to a pool, they can go perfectly with the surroundings. Besides, they come in various shapes like oval, diamond, and irregular, for example.

On the other hand, an above ground hot tub has a smaller aesthetic potential. However, it can still look beautiful if it is placed correctly. Unlike in-ground hot tubs, above-ground ones do not have a wide variety of shapes. They are typically square-shaped, so in-ground tubs may be a better option for you if you like modern design. 


Considering the warranty is essential when it comes to buying anything for the house, especially if it is something that costs a lot of money. In-ground tubs generally come with a 1-year warranty for their parts. If you do not plan on using your in-ground hot tub all year round, this type of warranty may be a good option since the tub is less likely to need repair in that case.

On the other hand, you will get a 3-year or a 5-year warranty if you decide to get an above ground hot tub. Since these kinds of tubs can be placed near the house, it is more likely they will be used a lot more. So, getting a 3-5-year warranty makes sense because more usage means you are more likely to experience issues with the tub.

Energy Efficiency

Getting an energy-efficient hot tub is very important for people who want to save money. But, there is a big difference between in-ground and above-ground tubs considering this feature. In-ground tubs need to be preheated. Since they are not turned on all the time, it means you will have to spend more energy on heating the tub water. Also, they are not as convenient for everyday use because you will have to wait before every use.

Unlike in-ground tubs, above-ground tubs do not have to be heated before use. They are designed to be running all the time, which is, in fact, more cost-efficient. Keeping the tub water at the same temperature daily spends less energy than heating a tub with cold water. Besides, there is no delay so you can enjoy a relaxing bath whenever you feel like doing it. 

Cover Lifter

Being able to utilize a cover lifer can be essential to you if you are unable to lift heavy stuff. Hot tub covers are heavy so it might be difficult to remove them if you are suffering from any conditions, such as arthritis. Also, it may be a bit difficult to remove the cover if you are living alone or using the tub on your own. 

In-ground hot tubs do not come with a cover lifer. That is why it is very difficult to operate the in-ground tub cover. Generally, two people are required to move it so it is not suitable for those living alone or with certain conditions. 

On the other hand, above-ground tubs have a completely different cover system. They come with a lever which makes it much easier to remove the cover. This means everyone can operate it, so you do not have to worry if you are an elderly person or are suffering from certain conditions. 


Budget is one of the most important things for many buyers. So, choosing the right hot tub is totally up to your budget allowance. Above ground, tubs are generally less expensive. They range from $2000 to $12000. The price depends on the quality and premium ones are typically more expensive. Also, the price can vary according to the size, so 2-person hot tubs usually cost more. 

On the other hand, in-ground tubs can cost anywhere from $5000 to $25000. This means that its price can be more than double compared to the premium above-ground tubs. The price of an in-ground hot tub depends on its size, whether it is a 1-person hot tub or a larger one. 

Globo Surf Overview

Choosing the right hot tub can depend on many factors, such as the budget, aesthetics, maintenance, warranty, etc. When buying a hot tub, you should follow your needs and possibilities and choose the perfect one according to those factors. 

Choosing an in-ground or an above-ground hot tub can be a bit confusing. Taking into account both the pros and cons, it seems like above-ground tubs are more suitable for those who want to enjoy it all year round. On the other hand, if you are looking for a nice addition to your pool during the summer and you do not want to use the tub during the whole year, an in-ground tub seems like a better choice. 

More Hot Tub Reviews:


  1. In-ground vs Above Ground Hot Tubs,
Globo Surf
My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!