A hot tub is a big investment so it just makes sense to ensure that it’s always protected. This means buying a hot tub cover. Now, there are tons of those available in the market. But there are a variety of cover types along with different features to sort through. And these covers aren’t exactly cheap. You definitely don’t want to end up with the wrong cover and hundreds of dollars poorer. Fortunately, we’ve done hours of research and testing just to find out which are the best hot tub covers. Check out our top 5 below.
Top 5 Hot Tube Covers of 2018 Reviewed
- Top 5 Hot Tube Covers of 2018 Reviewed
- Hot Tub Cover Buying Guide
1. BeyondNice Hot Tub Cover and Spa CoverBest Hot Tub Cover For Snow
If you want maximum insulation for your hot tub due to neverending snow, you’ll want the Ultra hot tub cover from BeyondNice. The cover features a virgin EPS foam core that is 6 inches thick at the middle and 4 inches at the edges. The standard density of the foam is 1 pound but you can upgrade that to 1.5 or 2 pounds, depending on our preference. The central reinforcement is non-corrosive Galvalume metal C-channels. The vapor barrier is made of polyethylene. And the outer shell is 26 oz. Marine Grade, mildew resistant vinyl. The cover also comes with 2 nylon lifting handles 4 locking tie down straps, a 6-inch wide skirt, and steam stopper heat seals.
The manufacturer backs its cover with a 5-year standard warranty which includes waterlogging. What we love about this particular hot tub cover is the fact that you can customize it according to your preferred measurements and foam density. Ordering with your specific dimensions in mind is pretty easy. And the end product feels light enough that you may not want to include a lifter anymore. Overall, this is a great quality hot tub cover, especially for its price. However, there are slight issues. First, the vinyl feels thinner. Second, the production of the cover takes quite a while; it can take up to a month. And the warranty only covers the repair but you will need to pay for shipping back and forth.
- 6-inch thick foam
- Easy ordering process
- Vinyl feels thin
- Production and shipping delays
- Shipping costs for repair and return are on you
- “on” lights
2. The Cover Guy Deluxe Hot Tub Cover
The Cover Guy is one of the well-known manufacturers of hot tub covers so it’s not surprising one of its products landed on our list. The actual dimensions of the cover is customizable so you can ensure the perfect fit but the rest of the specs remain the same. The foam is 5-inch thick at the center, tapering down to 3 inches at the edges. The density of the closed cell foam is 1.5 pounds. The foam itself is wrapped in a vapor proof barrier and heat-sealed closed then covered with a 30 oz. marine-grade vinyl. There are 4 safety straps and 2 handles as well as a skirt that can be as long as 4 inches. The cover is available in 10 colors.
In case you’re wondering, this cover can hold up to 125 pounds so it can reasonably hold average-sized dogs or children should they decide to sit on top of it. The main drawback of this cover is the return policy. You’ll want to inspect every inch of it once the delivery guy takes it out of his truck. This way, you don’t have to pay for return shipping if there’s damage. Otherwise, you’re going to be paying for it. Same goes for having the cover repaired. You’ll be shouldering the shipping costs to and from the manufacturer.
- 30 oz. marine grade vinyl
- 1.5 pound high density closed cell foam
- Customizable dimensions
- shipping costs for return/repair shouldered by customer
3. CoverMates Hot Tub CoverBest Hot Tub Cover Cap
If your current hot tub cover is starting to get weather wear but still works pretty well, it might be time to start protecting it as well. The CoverMates Square Hot Tub Cover is not the regular type of hot tub cover. It’s actually a weather cover constructed out of thick 12-gauge commercial vinyl. It has an elastic hem to ensure proper fit and prevent it from getting blown away.
The polyester lining to make it more stable and durable. What truly makes this cover stand out is that it can take a beating – something that your actual hot tub cover may not. It can last for several years, prolonging its life. And if your cover happens to have cracks or gaps, then this CoverMates Classic will seal them and ensure that your tub stays completely insulated. Keep in mind that this is not a replacement for your actual cover. We do wish it was 100% waterproof; it’s just water resistant so this may not be ideal if you live in a rainy climate.
- Elastic hem
- Seals any gaps made by your actual hot tub cover
- Not an actual hot tub cover (no foam)
- Not waterproof, just water resistant
- Shipping fees are shouldered by the customer for returns
4. Classic Accessories Veranda Square Hot Tub Cover
Like the CoverMates Hot Tub Cover, this cover from Classic Accessories is also a weather cover. Something you can use to prolong the life of your insulating cover. This one from Classic Accessories is made from heavyweight Gardelle woven polyester fabric that has a protective water-repellent coating as well as water-resistant laminated backing to keep your actual hot tub cover dry.
There are air vents to reduce any condensation underneath as well as to prevent wind lofting. Taking this cover on and off is easy with the padded handles at the side. But what really makes this stand out among similar products is the adjustable hem. It has an elastic hem cord with toggles so you can adjust the fit and ensure it’s tight for proper insulation. Best of all, it has a 3-year warranty and Classic Accessories promises to replace your cover if it fails for any reason. However, it does stain easily and is not 100% waterproof.
- Elastic hem cord with toggles for a custom fit
- 3-year warranty
- Air Vents
- Not 100% waterproof
- Stains easily
- More expensive than our number 2 pick
5. Budge English Garden Square Hot Tub Cover
Budge also provides covers for your actual hot tub cover. The English Garden Square Hot Tub Cover is constructed from heavy-duty 600 denier Polyester. The cover is UV resistant. And its seams are ultrasonically welded to increase durability. It features vents for reducing condensation underneath the cover that may cause mold.
The elastic bottom ensures that the cover stays tight on top of your hot tub cover. However, it is not 100% waterproof as the manufacturer claims. Reviews from other customers talk about poor customer service, something we hadn’t experienced but you might be interested in noting. It is also more expensive than our other two weather covers. But if you live in a temperate climate, this cover is a good way to prolong your real cover’s lifetime, saving you hundreds of dollars over the years.
- UV resistant
- Air Vents
- Ultrasonically welded seams
- Not 100% waterproof
- Poor customer service
Hot Tub Cover Buying Guide
Your hot tub is your personal oasis, whatever the season may be. It’s where you can relax and take in a bit of time for yourself, with your partner, or with your friends. It’s the gateway to your happy place, your private retreat. And it friggin’ cost a lot to have it installed in your home. So it shouldn’t be such a giant leap to conclude that you’d want to ensure it remains that way. Enter the hot tub cover. It may cost you several hundred dollars but it will be worth it. If you’re in the market for a hot tub cover, you need to make sure that you buy the right one. It is expensive, after all. With so many options in the market, we decided to make things easier for you by writing this guide. It contains everything you need to know to make the right choice for your hot tub and for you.
What exactly does a hot tub cover do?
There are three things that a hot tub cover can do for you and your hot tub. One, it can protect it from debris, dirt, and bugs. You want a cover that will also protect your hot tub from the elements – rain, sun, wind, and snow.
The second function of a hot tub cover is to save energy. An open hot tub is subject to heat loss and evaporation. You’ll be wasting a lot of money on paying your energy bill in keeping the water hot. With a hot tub cover, heat will stay locked in. Three, it’s all about safety. Accidents do happen and you want to make sure your hot tub isn’t the location of those accidents. Children and animals may find their way into your hot tub if you leave it uncovered. A hot tub cover will be a physical barrier that will prevent tragic accidents from happening, including preventing you from dropping your phone or tablet into the water.
What is a hot tub made up of?
There are pieces that make up a hot tub cover. The outer shell is vinyl which encases a thick, solid piece of dense foam. The cover is typically made up of two sections with a hinge connecting them together. For outdoor covers, the foam is typically thicker from the center and tapers towards the edge. Inside the vinyl shell, the foam is wrapped in one or two layers of plastic which serves to protect the foam from getting wet. The cover also features handles and straps or locking mechanisms.
What factors should I consider when choosing a hot tub cover?
Any hot tub cover worth its salt should have 100% virgin closed-cell polystyrene foam. Never settle for anything less such as recycled foam (called “regrind”) because it easily deteriorates, soaks up water, and is not able to handle harsh weather conditions.
A good hot tub cover should be around 4-6 inches thick, depending on the type of climate you have. Keep in mind that one of the primary functions of the cover is heat retention. So, the thicker the foam, the more insulation it will provide which means less heat will escape. The thicker foam will also be able to carry more snow load. The BeyondNice Hot Tub Cover and Spa Cover, for example, has the thickest foam at 6 inches.
Just like thickness, the higher the density of the foam, the better it will prevent heat from escaping your tub. The three common foam densities are 1 pound, 1.5 pounds, and 2 pounds.
We’ve already mentioned that the foam inside the cover is thickest at the center, tapering down towards the edges. This is to ensure that rain, snow, and debris all slide off so that they will not place too much strain on the materials. When choosing the right hot tub cover, you need to make sure that the one you go with will be able to withstand the changing climate in your area.
If your hot tub is indoors, the foam should be 4 inches at its thickest and 2 inches at its thinnest. This kind of thickness is perfect for retaining heat as well as keeping dirt and debris out of the tub. This is the same goes for outdoor tubs in a temperate climate. If you constantly experience rain, you’ll want the foam to have the same thickness but higher density – 2 pounds.
For most other climates in North America, the recommended thickness is 5 inches at the center going down to 3 inches at the edge. This kind of thickness is ideal for hot and cold weather. The cover can handle a snow load on top or even the weight of a child, if necessary. If you experience more than 50 inches of snow a year, then you might want to go for something thicker – 6 inches to 4 inches. This amount of thickness should be able to handle anything that Mother Nature will throw at it.
The outer shell of your hot tub cover is the first line of defense. It should be resistant to constant water exposure which means choosing a cover that uses Marine Grade Vinyl. This material is also resistant to sun damage. The quality of this type of vinyl is measured by its weight per square yard. Typically, the range is from 26 ounces to 34 ounces. The higher that number is, the tougher the vinyl will be. Vinyl can also be pre-treated for UV and mildew resistance for increased durability. The Cover Guy Deluxe Hot Tub Cover has one of the best quality marine grade vinyl at 30 ounces.
High-quality foam is water resistant but you still need to ensure that small water vapor does not get absorbed. To do this, manufacturers wrap the foam in a layer or two of the thin plastic film which is called the vapor barrier. You need to make sure that this barrier is thick enough to prevent any water from getting into the foam. 6 mil clear or blue transparent plastic is recommended. Black plastic is not because it’s a cheaper material and doesn’t hold up well.
Manufacturers build safety locks (up to 4) in their covers to ensure that it will stay secured to the hot tub at all times. These locks could be zippers, cinches, elastics, plastic dials, and even a lock with a key. You’ll need to make sure that whatever locking mechanism you choose will not be easily blown away by heavy wind or opened by children.
The C Channel, also known as the center reinforcement, is made up of two pieces of metal inserted into each foam to reinforce the cover, keeping it strong and rigid. You’ll want a C Channel that’s made from 20 gauge galvanized steel to ensure durability. Cheap hot tub covers tend to use PVC material or aluminum to make their C Channel.
Most of the time, your hot tub will be covered so you need to choose the cover color carefully. There are a variety of colors for you to choose from so it shouldn’t be too hard. Just make sure that you choose something that will blend well with your decor and not irritate your eyes whenever you look at it.
Not all hut tub covers have the same dimensions. You need to make sure that there aren’t going to be any gaps when you place the cover on top of your spa. Any gaps will cause heat loss and higher energy bills. To get the dimensions for your hot tub cover, you can just measure the old cover using an L-shaped ruler. If not, you’ll need to measure the length, width, corner radius, and skirt length of the hot tub. You also need to take note where your digital control panels are so you can keep it in mind when looking at the fold direction of potential covers. You want to make sure that the cover folds away from the panels so that you can access them when you open the tub. If there are gaps, you can easily fix it by adding an additional cover for a fraction of the cost such as the CoverMates Hot Tub Cover.
Any accessories I should consider?
To prolong the life of your hot tub cover, it is recommended that you also get a hot tub cover lifter. Basically, lifters are hydraulic arms that will be attached to your cover and enable you to easily lift the cover off as well as put it back on. It also lessens the amount of strain placed on the cover when moving it.
also called hurricane straps, these are straps that anchor your cover to the spa cabinet, keeping it in place even during strong winds.
this is a thin, protective layer that is placed over your hot tub cover to protect it from the elements and UV rays. It also helps make cleaning your cover easier.
Yes, there are a lot of things to consider when choosing the hot tub cover that’s right for you. You’ll need to make sure to think carefully and look at each element of the cover to ensure quality. With the best hot tub cover, you’ll be able to protect a big investment and save both money and energy.