Best Hot Tub Covers

Updated July 2020
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

24 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
330 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best hot tub covers

Last Updated July 2020

Taking a soak in a hot tub at the end of a long day is one of the best ways to unwind. But if you invest in a hot tub, you want it to last as long as possible. That’s why you need a high-quality hot tub cover to protect it from the elements.

A hot tub cover is essentially a lid for your hot tub. It keeps things like dirt, bugs, and leaves out of the water, but it also traps heat and prevents the water from evaporating. That means you won’t lose any of the chemicals you add to the water to sanitize it. When your hot tub’s chemical level isn’t balanced, the tub has to work harder to maintain the right temperature, so a cover helps it operate more efficiently. A cover also serves as a safety measure to prevent children and pets from falling into the water when you’re not around.

Our buying guide has all the tips you need to choose the best cover for your hot tub. We’ve also put together a shortlist of our favorites so you can start shopping right away.

Keep your hot tub cover in good shape by periodically applying a UV protectant spray to keep the sun from fading it.

Key considerations

Type

Hot tub covers come in several different types, which can all be effective depending on how you intend to use the cover.

Soft hot tub covers are the most affordable and easiest to use. Some are made of soft vinyl or canvas and pull across the top of the tub and are held in place with straps or clamps. These covers can easily be rolled up for storage, too. Others are a vinyl layer over an insulated foam core. In general, soft covers are best for indoor hot tubs or just keeping debris out of the tub.

Hard hot tub covers are the best option for outdoor hot tubs. They usually have a base made of aluminum, plastic, or fiberglass and provide excellent insulation for the tub. They’re incredibly durable but also fairly heavy, which makes handling them more difficult. Most have a hinge that makes using them easier, though you might still need someone to help you get it in place on your hot tub.

Solar hot tub covers improve your tub’s energy efficiency by using solar energy to maintain the water’s temperature even if the tub is off. These are typically made of plastic resin and have a series of bubbles across the surface to capture the sunlight. However, these covers aren’t very durable, and they may not stay in place in windy conditions.

Seasonal hot tub covers are best for hot tubs in colder locales. They cover the entire tub and are durable enough to hold up to the elements, even in extremely low temperatures. They can also withstand snow and ice, which allows them to extend the lifespan of your hot tub.

Size and shape

To be effective, a hot tub cover must fit your hot tub perfectly. That’s why it’s so important to choose an option that’s the right size and shape.

Measure the size of your tub before you start shopping so you know precisely how large a cover you need. When it comes to the shape, you should take into account any unique features like the control panel and headrests to make sure that a cover will extend over the entire top of your tub.

Foam

Density: The density of a hot tub cover’s foam determines how much insulation it provides. Foam density is measured in pounds per square inch, and you can usually find the covers in densities of 1 pound, 1.5 pounds, and 2 pounds. A higher density means that the cover is better able to maintain the water temperature in your hot tub, so opt for a cover with a density of 1.5 to 2 pounds.

Thickness: When it comes to the thickness of the foam, certain areas of the foam are thicker than others so that rain can run off it. You can find covers with a thickness that tapers from 4 to 2 inches, 5 to 3 inches, or 6 to 4 inches. Thicker foam more effectively retains heat and allows the cover to support more weight on top.

Vapor barrier

The hot tub cover’s foam should be wrapped in layers of plastic that help keep moisture out of the foam. This sealed covering is known as the vapor barrier. For the best performance, you want a hot tub cover with an extremely strong vapor barrier. Choose an option with a watertight, water-resistant vapor barrier that reduces the chances of moisture damage and mildew.

If you notice that your hot tub cover is starting to smell, it could mean that it’s developed mold. Treat the issue with a solution of water and bleach or vinegar in a ratio of 10:1. If the cover still smells afterward, the mold has likely gotten through to the foam and you need a new cover.

Features

Vinyl

Most hot tub covers have a vinyl outer covering. The quality of the vinyl is extremely important because it determines the durability of the cover. For a cover that holds up well in the elements, look for one made of marine-grade vinyl. It’s traditionally used for boat upholstery, so it’s water and UV resistant. Also pay attention to the weight per square yard of the vinyl. Most covers offer a rating of 26 to 34 ounces. Those with a higher rating are typically the most durable and UV resistant.

C-channel

Hard hot tub covers usually have panels to make them easier to maneuver. These panels have a C-shaped piece of aluminum or galvanized steel along the crease that adds support to the cover and prohibits bending. Aluminum is usually more affordable, but galvanized steel is stronger and more durable.

Safety locks

Hot tub covers often have safety locks that ensure small children and pets are unable to get into the water. Some covers have two locks, while others have up to four. These locks can have a basic dial or require a key to open. If you have kids or small animals at home, locks with a key are the best option.

Accessories

Hot tub steps: Confer Plastics Handi-Step
You want to be able to safely get in and out of your hot tub, so some quality hot tub steps are a must. We like these from Confer Plastics because they’re made of durable, low-maintenance resin and can hold up to 300 pounds.

EXPERT TIP

It’s a good idea to trim any trees around your hot tub. If they’re too close to the tub, a branch could brush against the cover in the wind and puncture it.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If you live in an area that receives heavy snow in the winter, opt for a hot tub cover with a foam density of 2 pounds to ensure that it can withstand the weight.


Staff  | BestReviews

Hot tub cover prices

Hot tub covers vary in price based on the type, quality of the materials, and other features. Most cost between $32 and $619.

Inexpensive: The most affordable hot tub covers are soft covers. They either don’t contain any foam or have foam that’s less dense, so they’re best for keeping dirt and debris out of the tub. These covers typically cost between $32 and $100.

Mid-range: These hot tub covers are solar or hard options with a denser foam layer. They can keep dirt and other debris out of the tub as well as help retain heat. They may also have safety locks. These covers generally cost between $100 and $300.

Expensive: The most expensive hot tub covers are seasonal and hard covers with an extremely dense foam layer. They usually have safety locks and are incredibly durable. These covers typically cost between $300 and $619.

Tips

  • Measure your hot tub carefully before you buy a cover. Measure the length and width, taking into account the control panel and any headrests. 
  • Consider a cover lift. Hot tub covers can be pretty heavy, so a cover lift can come in handy. The lift folds the cover and slides it back onto a shelf to the side of the hot tub to make it easier to get it on and off.
  • Add locks to your cover. Cover locks don’t just keep kids and pets out of a hot tub, they can keep the cover on your tub in high winds, too. If your cover doesn’t come with locks, you might want to consider adding them for security.
  • Keep the water’s chemicals balanced. Poor water chemistry can break down a hot tub cover’s stitching and seals.
Don’t clean your hot tub cover with any product that contains alcohol, oil, or bleach because they can damage the vinyl.

FAQ

Q. Do I really need a hot tub cover?
A.
Even if a cover does nothing but keep dirt, leaves, and other debris out of your hot tub, it’s a worthwhile investment. A cover can also keep the heat inside the tub, which can help save you money on operating costs. It’s also necessary if you live in an area that gets heavy snow in the winter. It will prolong your hot tub’s useful life.
 

Q. How do I know when I need a new hot tub cover?
A.
A quality hot tub cover can last for five to eight years. You can usually tell when you need a new cover if it starts to feel extremely heavy. The foam in the cover absorbs water over time, so when it becomes fully waterlogged, it’s time for a new cover. Covers with a strong vapor barrier tend to last longer because they more effectively prevent water absorption.
 

Q. How often should I clean my hot tub cover?
A.
On a daily or weekly basis, you should remove any leaves, insects, sticks, or other debris that collect on top of it. During the winter, use a push broom to remove any snow accumulation as soon as possible. To keep mold from growing on the cover, you’ll need to do a deeper cleaning once or twice a month. Remove the cover from the tub and wipe it down with a vinyl cleaner.

Other Products We Considered
The BestReviews editorial team researches hundreds of products based on consumer reviews, brand quality, and value. We then choose a shorter list for in-depth research and testing before finalizing our top picks. These are the products we considered that ultimately didn't make our top 5.
The team that worked on this review
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    Digital Content Producer
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    Jennifer
    Writer
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    Web Producer

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