There are few activities as relaxing as a soak in the bath, yet whirlpool tubs take this experience to the next level. Whirlpool tubs have underwater jets that propel streams of water. These luxurious bathtubs provide a soothing massage at the press of a button.
When shopping for a whirlpool tub, look for an option that’s the right style and size for your bathroom, has an attractive and comfortable design, and includes all the water and massage features you want to banish tension and welcome serenity. Read on to learn about important factors and features to keep in mind, and find out why the following models made our lineup of the best whirlpool tubs.
- BEST OVERALL: American Standard EverClean 60 x 32″ Whirlpool Tub
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: American Standard EverClean 60 x 32.75″ Whirlpool Tub
- BEST FREESTANDING: Woodbridge 71″ Whirlpool Freestanding Bathtub
- BEST CORNER: Empava 59″ Whirlpool LED Corner Bathtub
- BEST WALK-IN: Anzzi Walk-In Bathtub with 15 Whirlpool Jets
- BEST FOR TWO: Empava 71″ Acrylic Alcove Whirlpool Bathtub
- ALSO CONSIDER: Kohler Devonshire 60 x 32″ Alcove Whirlpool Bath
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Whirlpool Tub
Whirlpool tubs (sometimes known as Jacuzzis, for the name of the Italian manufacturer that pioneered them) bring the relaxation of an outdoor hot tub into the home. There are several primary factors as well as a host of extra features to consider when choosing the best jetted bathtub for your needs. When shopping for the best whirlpool tub, consider the tub type, jets, size, pump system, material, and assorted bells and whistles for comfort, safety, and convenience.
Whirlpool bathtubs come in various types, which refer to how they are installed. Consider the bathroom configuration when choosing from these common types:
- Alcove: This type of tub is installed in its own nook, adjacent to three walls. The front side of the tub is finished to be on display while the other three sides are unfinished and covered by the alcove walls.
- Freestanding: As a striking bathroom focal point, a freestanding tub can be placed anywhere that is close enough to plumbing lines. This type of tub stands alone rather than being reliant on walls and makes a dramatic style statement.
- Corner: These roomy tubs tend to have a triangular shape to fit neatly in the corner of the bathroom. Though relegated to a corner, they may be designed to accommodate two bathers comfortably.
- Drop-in: Also known as platform bathtubs, drop-in models are unfinished on all four sides since they are intended to drop into a prebuilt frame or platform. The frame has finished sides, which gives users more flexibility to design the tub platform to their liking.
- Walk-in: Walk-in tubs are designed especially for users with limited mobility. They are taller than most standard bathtubs and feature a door that allows users to enter the tub and a bench to allow bathing in a seated position.
In a whirlpool tub, the jets are located on the sides (including along the front and back) and sit under the intended waterline to prevent splashing. The number of jets in a whirlpool tub usually ranges from six to 10 or more. The more jets, the better the tub can offer a full-body massaging experience.
Besides the number of jets, also consider adjustability. Many tubs allow users to adjust the jet direction to target specific areas and pressure points. Some also have the option to adjust jet intensity, so users can choose between a gentle bubbling soak or a more vigorous massage.
Size and Capacity
Along with the bathtub type, size is one of the most important factors to consider. Measure the bathroom’s square footage and the area that can be devoted to a whirlpool tub prior to shopping for one. Also consider where the drain is located on the floor to ensure it will work with the tub’s drain configuration.
Capacity in a whirlpool tub refers to both water volume and the number of occupants. A larger bathtub will require more water to fill, and users will want to make sure that their water heater is up to the task. Tubs can vary in size from 25 to 150 gallons in capacity, so consider how the tub size will affect water heating and usage costs. Also consider if the bathtub will be used for one person at a time or for soaking with a partner.
Once the tub is filled with water and a bather, it will become very heavy. Consider the filled weight and verify that it will not compromise the structural condition of the home. In some cases, it may be necessary to reinforce bathroom structures to accommodate the bathtub.
In-Line Heater and Pump
The mechanics of whirlpool tubs include a pump system that circulates the water through the jets. To simplify installation, many whirlpool tubs have a pump that fits within the tub’s overall footprint, tucked against one of its sides. Some whirlpool tubs have separate pumps that can be placed away from the tub and hidden in a nearby closet or cabinet. It’s prudent to check the pump location to avoid buying a whirlpool tub that won’t fit into the intended space.
A whirlpool tub with a heater can make bathing even more luxurious. Whirlpool tub heaters maintain the water temperature, which means users don’t need to fill the tub with more hot water when it starts cooling off. Some whirlpool tubs come with built-in heat systems. Others have the option to add an in-line heater later on, which allows for more flexibility for those who want to upgrade their whirlpool tub down the line.
Whirlpool tubs come in a range of materials, which can affect their price, durability, and ease of cleaning. The three main options are:
- Acrylic: Lightweight and relatively affordable, acrylic can be molded into pretty much any design, offering ample tub shape and color options. Acrylic tubs tend to be stronger than fiberglass, but they can scratch and stain.
- Fiberglass: This popular material used to create lightweight and affordable bathtubs is somewhat weaker than acrylic and more prone to cracks, scratches, and stains. Note that acrylic tubs are often made with fiberglass reinforcement for added strength.
- Cast iron: This old-school option is a premium material with a lovely finish. These tubs fuse iron and porcelain and are then covered with enamel to be highly durable and resistant to cracks and scratches. Cast-iron whirlpool tubs are pricey and can be very heavy, so we opted not to include them in our roundup. We focused instead on more affordable, easier-to-install acrylic and fiberglass tubs, which are more readily available as well.
A range of extra features can make a whirlpool tub even more appealing. Many are designed with molded back support and armrests to allow users to recline in comfort while bathing. Ambient lighting and aromatherapy features can create an even more tranquil atmosphere.
Some whirlpool bathtubs have air jets (or air channels) as well as water jets. These small jets blow air instead of water to create an effervescent, bubbling massage rather than the deeper, concentrated pressure of water jets.
In terms of safety, whirlpool tubs can include grab bars and textured, slip-resistant bottoms. For those with mobility concerns, walk-in whirlpool tubs are an option.
To keep the piping system clean, whirlpool tubs can include antimicrobial-coated piping and jets as well as automatic cleaning systems to prevent bacteria, algae, mildew, and mold buildup.
Our Top Picks
The best whirlpool tubs described ahead are comfortable and filled with features, ideal for turning bath time into a serene, luxurious, spa-style experience.
The American Standard EverClean 60 x 32″ Whirlpool Tub tops our list since it’s simple, attractive, and boasts eight whirlpool jets. Measuring 60 inches long by 32 inches wide by 21.5 inches deep, this alcove tub is a convenient option designed to fit into most bathroom alcoves.
This tub is made of acrylic with fiberglass reinforcement for excellent durability, which also keeps the tub relatively lightweight and budget friendly. Bathers can adjust the direction of the eight jets to target their tight spots. A form-fitted backrest and molded armrests offer relaxing support, and a side-mounted on-off control makes it easy to control the jets.
For peace of mind, this tub also features American Standard’s patented EverClean technology, an antimicrobial additive molded directly into the water system that inhibits mold and mildew growth for a cleaner whirlpool tub.
- Type: Alcove
- Dimensions: 60 inches long by 32 inches wide by 21.5 inches deep
- Number of jets: 8
- Sleek design and alcove type suits most bathrooms
- Direction-adjustable jets
- EverClean antimicrobial system
- Access panel may discolor over time
Get the American Standard 60 x 32″ whirlpool tub at The Home Depot.
The luxury of a whirlpool bathtub can be had at an affordable price with the American Standard EverClean 60 x 32.75″ Whirlpool Tub. This pared-down and budget-friendly option is made from acrylic with fiberglass reinforcement. It has a drop-in design and measures 60 inches long by 32.75 inches wide by 19.75 inches deep, making it suitable for many bathrooms. As a drop-in tub, it’s usable in a wide variety of platform styles.
While this tub has only six jets, they are adjustable and multidirectional. Plus, the tub is built for comfort and safety with molded-in arm rests, lumbar support, and a slip-resistant floor. This tub also features American Standard’s EverClean system, which means its pump system contains an antimicrobial additive that helps inhibit mold and mildew.
- Type: Drop-in
- Dimensions: 60 inches long by 32.75 inches wide by 19.75 inches deep
- Number of jets: 6
- Slip-resistant tub floor
- EverClean system
- Fewer jets than other models
Get the American Standard 60 x 32.75″ whirlpool tub at The Home Depot.
A freestanding tub will be a stylish statement maker in any bathroom that has enough space for it. With its simple, sleek design, the Woodbridge 71″ Whirlpool Freestanding model is an ideal choice for modern and contemporary homes. This elegant tub offers a luxurious experience, with both massaging water jets and soothing air jets. The tub features 16 combined total jets for a truly spalike soak, with six direction-adjustable whirlpool jets and 10 air channel jets that can be used together or separately. An underwater light adds to the premium feel.
This model measures 71 inches long by 31.5 inches wide by 29.125 inches deep for a spacious spa-style bath. To ensure durability, it’s made from high-gloss lucite acrylic that is reinforced with resin and fiberglass. The pump is hidden inside its freestanding design, simplifying installation.
- Type: Freestanding
- Dimensions: 71 inches long by 31.5 inches wide by 29.125 inches deep
- Number of jets: 16 (6 whirlpool and 10 air jets)
- Contemporary design
- Whirlpool jets and air bath channels
- Hidden pump
- Lacks side panel to access pump in case of repairs
Get the Woodbridge whirlpool tub at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Wayfair.
With 10 adjustable water jets, a contoured design, and underwater lighting, the Empava 59″ Whirlpool LED Corner Bathtub can create a couple’s oasis in the bath. It’s made of glossy acrylic with fiberglass reinforcement to be scratch-resistant and extra smooth. This tub for two has a pair of molded seats with lumbar jets and a cozy headrest. It measures 59 inches long by 59 inches wide and 28 inches deep. The generous length gives plenty of room to stretch out, while the 14.5-inch soaking depth should immerse most adults to the shoulder. When it’s time to rinse off, this tub boasts a built-in retractable showerhead.
- Type: Corner
- Dimensions: 59 inches long by 59 inches wide by 28 inches deep
- Number of jets: 10
- Built for 2
- Comfortable headrests
- Built-in showerhead
- Some users may not like the transparent front panel
Get the Empava 59″ whirlpool tub at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Wayfair.
Walk-in tubs make it safer and easier for anyone to bathe, particularly those with mobility issues. This comfortable Anzzi model combines a walk-in tub design with soothing whirlpool jets. It features 15 adjustable whirlpool jets, 115 air bubble channels, an in-line heater, and bath lighting to create a luxurious and therapeutic bathing experience. It measures 52.75 inches long by 26.37 inches wide by 37 inches deep for a thorough, relaxing soak.
Along with its walk-in design and luxurious whirlpool and air-jet features, the Anzzi Walk-In Bathtub is also durable and stylish. It’s made from white fiberglass with a triple-gel coat that gives it an attractive, glossy, easy-to-clean finish. An included quick-fill waterfall faucet and handheld showerhead adds to functionality. In terms of safety features, there’s a low step threshold, slip-resistant flooring, an ADA-compliant built-in seat, and a small grab bar.
- Type: Walk-in
- Dimensions: 52.75 inches long by 26.37 inches wide by 37 inches deep
- Number of jets: 130 (15 whirlpool and 115 air jets)
- Walk-in design
- Whirlpool and air jets
- Built-in inline heater
- Excellent safety features
- Relatively narrow entryway
Get the Anzzi whirlpool tub on Amazon.
Made for two to relax, the Empava 71″ Acrylic Alcove Whirlpool Bathtub is a quality choice for couples as well as individuals who like a little more space. This wide alcove tub is made from acrylic reinforced with fiberglass and measures 71 inches long by 47 inches wide by 27 inches tall. It has a double-walled reinforced design to help maintain desired water temperature longer.
With a generous length and width, this tub is designed for two people to relax side by side, with two headrests next to each other. Sixteen adjustable water jets, including three in each back region, provide a relaxing massage. This tub has a 16-inch soaking depth to immerse most users to the shoulder. Ergonomic control knobs and a built-in retractable showerhead add to the tub’s functionality.
- Type: Alcove
- Dimensions: 71 inches long by 47 inches wide by 27 inches deep
- Number of jets: 16
- Designed for 2
- Comfortable headrest cushions
- Generous length and width
- Large size may require a custom alcove
Get the Empava 71″ whirlpool tub on Amazon or at The Home Depot.
With a classic rounded interior, the Kohler Devonshire 60 x 32″ Alcove Whirlpool Bath combines traditional design with modern massaging water jets. Made of hard-wearing acrylic, it has a clean and simple look to suit a host of decor styles, and its alcove configuration should fit many popular bathroom layouts.
This whirlpool tub measures 60 inches long by 32 inches wide by 20 inches deep. It features molded armrest and lumbar supports as well as eight adjustable jets. The flow and direction can be controlled at each jet for a catered massage experience. A textured bottom surface makes it safer to get in and out of the tub.
- Type: Alcove
- Dimensions: 60 inches long by 32 inches wide by 20 inches deep
- Number of jets: 8
- Molded armrest and lumbar supports
- Textured tub bottom
- Adjustable jet flow and direction
- Rounded interior makes bathing space smaller
Get the Kohler whirlpool tub at The Home Depot or Lowe’s.
With a minimalist design, eight adjustable jets, and a patented mold-inhibiting pipe system, the American Standard 60 x 32″ whirlpool tub is our choice as the best jetted tub for most bathrooms. Those looking for a more cost-friendly whirlpool tub should consider the American Standard EverClean 60 x 32.75″ whirlpool tub, which offers six whirlpool jets and an attractive design for a more affordable price.
How We Chose the Best Whirlpool Tubs
Purchasing and installing a whirlpool tub may be a big investment, so shoppers will want to choose the best fixture for their space. To suit different bathrooms, we selected a range of whirlpool-tub types, including a stylish freestanding tub, a roomy two-person version, and even a walk-in option for those with mobility issues.
Among all the different types, we looked for a few key features: attractive design; comfortable shape; and effective, adjustable jets. We also paid attention to materials, choosing durable options that should last upwards of a decade. For extra comfort and relaxation, we prioritized whirlpool tubs with additional features, like safer nonslip floors, ambient lighting, air bath jets, and extra-comfortable seating.
The Advantages of Owning a Whirlpool Tub
Whirlpool tubs share many of the same benefits as an outdoor hot tub. Soaking in warm water delivers a variety of physical and mental benefits, relaxing muscles while helping users unwind mentally for both tension and stress relief. The addition of massaging jets in a whirlpool tub greatly enhances the therapeutic experience. Reducing stress and muscle tension can have positive impacts down the line, including better sleep, improved exercise recovery, and pain relief.
The best jetted tub options bring all these benefits home, making it easy to access this relaxation from the coziness of the bathroom. This proximity is appealing for those who don’t have the space or resources to install an outdoor hot tub—or who simply prefer an indoor experience. Unlike a hot tub, a whirlpool tub doubles as a practical bathtub, making it an even more appealing choice. In short, a whirlpool tub can provide the following benefits:
- Muscle-tension relief
- Stress relief
- Easier access than a hot tub
- Practical and luxurious
Tips for Installing and Maintaining Whirlpool Tubs
Many whirlpool tubs are designed to fit in the same space as a standard tub, making them almost as easy as installing a standard tub. For homeowners looking to upgrade to a whirlpool tub, the procedure is similar. Start by taking accurate measurements of the bathroom, making sure to note the appropriate tub type, drain and plumbing location, and suitable electrical receptacle to power the pump. Consult a contractor, especially for heavier tubs, to ensure that the bathroom floor can support the weight of the new tub. Installing a whirlpool tub is usually a job best left to the professionals due to the plumbing and wiring expertise required.
Since they’re a jetted tub with an internal pipe system, whirlpool tubs require more maintenance than standard tubs. It’s important to clean the tub frequently to prevent mold and mildew in the pipes. Most times, the tub itself can be cleaned like a regular bathtub. Consult the manufacturer’s directions for the process and frequency for cleaning the jets and interior piping.
- Measure accurately and consider the suitable tub type.
- Ensure the bathroom structure can support the weight of a whirlpool tub.
- Professional installation is often recommended.
- Whirlpool tubs need frequent cleaning.
- Follow the maintenance schedule and process recommended by the manufacturer.
With so many options to consider and a range of important specifications to keep in mind, shopping for a whirlpool tub can be challenging. We’ve compiled some frequently asked questions and their answers to help with the research and decision-making process.
Q. How do I choose the proper size of a whirlpool tub?
To install into a pre-existing bathtub space, take careful measurements to determine the right tub size, paying attention to the drain location, proximity of electrical receptacles, and the tub’s pump configuration. For a brand-new tub installation space, consider the size of the bathroom and your preferred tub size and capacity.
Q. How much space should I save for a whirlpool tub pump?
It depends on the tub. Many whirlpool tubs have pumps that fit within the tub’s footprint, which means there’s no need to save any additional space for the pump. Some whirlpool tubs have a separate pump, which must be accounted for when planning.
Q. Are air or water jets more powerful?
Water jets are more powerful than air jets, offering a deeper massage.
Q. Is it hard to clean the jets of a whirlpool tub?
Not usually. While it is more work than cleaning a regular tub, simply stick to the manufacturer-recommended cleaning schedule and maintenance process, and it should not be difficult to clean the jets of a whirlpool tub.
Q. How long do whirlpool bathtubs last?
Whirlpool tubs should last upwards of 10 years, with some durable acrylic and cast-iron options made to last several decades.
Q. Do I need to consult a doctor before buying a whirlpool tub?
For healthy users, there’s no need to speak to a doctor before buying or using a whirlpool tub. However, those with pre-existing conditions that can be exacerbated by heat (such as pregnant individuals and those with heart conditions) should talk to a doctor before using a whirlpool tub.