How to buy a hot tub cover
Durability, function and aesthetics are essential factors to consider if you want the best hot tub cover. Here’s what to look for:
- Look for a high-density foam core
Foam density is the weight of foam per cubic foot and provides insulation to your hot tub. A higher foam density means greater insulation. Experts suggest a density of 1 to 2 pounds, especially if you’re living in a colder climate.
- Know the weight of the vinyl covering
A higher weight per square yard indicates a stronger vinyl. A good hot tub cover is encased with a durable marine-grade vinyl and treated to withstand the brunt of sun, rain, snow, dirt, chemicals, UV rays and extreme temperatures that threaten the safety of your hot tub.
- Consider the hinge heat seal
Pay attention to how the two halves of the hot tub cover meet. The outer edge of each side of the cover hinge should be sealed to prevent heat loss. Ideally, the hinge heat seal should have an R-value of 12 to 13. (R-value is the capacity of an insulating material to resist heat flow, with a higher R-value having greater insulating power.)
- Decide if you need a hot tub cover lift
Even the best hot tub covers can be bulky. A hot tub cover lift helps you remove or attach your hot tub cover with ease. Below are the three standard styles of cover lifts:
- Shelf cover lift: This lift allows you to easily fold your hot tub cover, then slide it onto a shelf mounted at the back or on a side of your hot tub.
- Manual pivot cover lift: A long metal bar is fitted across the middle of your hot tub cover with each end of the bar mounted to the sides of the hot tub on a bracket that pivots. To remove the cover, fold the cover in half, lift it upwards and push it back to one end of the tub.
- Hydraulic cover lift: This works like a manual pivot cover lift but uses hydraulic pistons built into the arms of the lifter to carry all the weight of the hot tub cover for you.
- Avoid cheap hot tub covers
Popular stores like The Home Depot and online stores like Amazon and eBay sell hot tub covers between $50 and $300. Inexpensive or cheaply made hot tub covers are more likely to fall apart and can result in a less energy-efficient hot tub. Always be sure to confirm a cover is compatible with your hot tub’s make and model before purchasing.
Seasonal covers: Those in a colder climate might want to invest in a seasonal hot tub cover. These covers encase the entire hot tub, rather than just acting as a lid like soft- and hard-shell covers do. Seasonal covers are built to withstand freezing temperatures, snow and ice and help to prolong the life of your hot tub.
Thermal Insulating Blankets: Insulating hot tub covers are ideal for those concerned with energy efficiency and savings.