Small hot tubs guide

Posted by Nick Clamp in Buying on 28th May 2021

If you are the owner of a home with a small garden space then you may feel daunted about trying to negotiate the hurdle of matching a suitable hot tub for this restrictive space.

Thankfully, as the hot tub market has matured in the UK during the past decade, there has been an increase in small and compact hot tubs aimed at prospective owners with restrictive garden space. 

In the below article we have provided a complete guide for buying a small hot tub. Three key elements of your research and the showroom consultation process should include:

  • Your available garden space
  • Number of hot tub seats
  • Garden access for the delivery and successful installation process.

Available garden space

To get the most health and wellness benefits from your hot tub you need to be able to use it as often as possible. Most owners make their hot tub the centre piece of their garden projects and even if you have the smallest garden space there are sufficient examples and options of compact hot tubs to suit extremely strict requirements.

Photo © Hot Tubs Hampshire

Rest assured, the smallest of unused courtyard areas can be transformed into a hydrotherapy haven retreat with the help of specialist hot tub showroom. So, always utilise this resource to obtain a hot tub whatever the size of your garden area or available space – even if it is on a dedicated rooftop garden area.

At this point in your research it is a good idea to view examples of small garden hot tub installations by professional hot tub dealers to get an idea of how you can maximise the space in your garden area. There may be areas that could be transformed with a little imagination and assistance from a professional hot tub dealership.

WhatSpa? Approved dealers with many years under their belt will have examples of how small hot tubs, round hot tubs, and even corner-shaped hot tubs can be delivered and installed effectively within small garden spaces.

Installation access

A key element of your purchasing research is the access availability considerations of your home premises, to ensure a professional supplier can safely deliver your hot tub to the designated garden area.

At this stage seek out WhatSpa? Best Buy Award-winning hot tub models that are already established in the UK market, which are being promoted as providing proven access flexibility to be transported through standard home doors and side gates. Also view our hot tub buying blog post to see our latest advice on buying your ideal hot tub.

These compact hot tub options should be going straight on your shortlist to ensure that you have a selection of hot tub models to choose from to then sit in and wet test at a professional hot tub dealership.

Photo © Hot Tub Village

Even if you have a very small garden with no side path access or entry availability through your home then there are other hot tub delivery processes to consider as part of your hot tub installation.

Professional hot tub dealers with many years of experience will have had to negotiate difficult access hurdles to ensure the safe delivery of a hot tub to a garden with extremely restrictive access. That is why it is so important to establish a relationship with a respected hot tub installation professional who can help to guide you through the whole project process, even if you have your own additional landscaper or electrician to conduct some of the additional essential elements of decking or electrical supply work.

Possible neighbour access

Quite often, hot tub dealers and their customers have to be flexible in their delivery process and it may require the permission of a neighbour to help to ensure the hot tub can be delivered to a small garden by lifting out a fence panel or using their land temporarily as part of the transportation process.

If this is the case, then it is advisable to plan for this eventuality well ahead and build up a good relationship with your neighbour, if you have not already done so, ahead of the delivery day. The last thing you want to do is to be begging for access from a disgruntled neighbour who you are having issues with. So, aim to be on good speaking terms that will allow you to ask for their permission and plan a suitable date and time that is favourable to their own schedule, as well as that of your supplier.

Using a crane

When there is no other alternative, it may be the case that your hot tub delivery and installation day must involve the hiring of a specialist hot tub crane hire service. Professional hot tub dealers will have suitable contacts that they regularly use or can call on and this is another reason to seek out a respected hot tub showroom supplier for your purchasing and installation requirements.

You should not be daunted by utilising the services of a crane company. By hiring a crane, you and your hot tub supplier will get the job done more effectively than struggling to negotiate tight spaces or restrictive access. Experienced crane companies will be able to ensure that your hot tub is lifted over your home without any damage to the property.

There have been numerous examples of kerbside delivered hot tubs that have been damaged by new owners trying to. So, this is not the route that we would recommend and instead you should always employ the services of professional hot tub suppliers that can ensure the safety of you, your property and neighbouring buildings,  and essentially your hot tub throughout the whole delivery process.

Number of seats

If you are utilising the services of a crane company to overcome access problems as part of your hot tub delivery services from your showroom supplier then you may not have to adhere to strict restrictions on the number seat options from your new hot tub purchase.

Thankfully, leading USA and Canadian hot tub manufacturers, as well as their international counterparts, have realised that the British hot tub market requires smaller hot tub designs that have multiple seat options but can still be accommodated comfortably into the restrictive spaces of small gardens.

Small hot tubs are now being manufactured with intimate twin lounger seat designs that are perfect for couples who want to relax comfortably together in their hot tubs without the problem of alternating between a single lounger seat. These hot tubs, though, are not necessarily suitable for those wanting to accommodate other family members and friends.

Some of the round hot tubs have also gained significant popularity, due to their all-seater capability. All within a design that provides the required flexibility to transport it through a standard door if other access is limited or completely restricted.

Photo © Urban Cedar

These round hot tub designs are being manufactured to provide convenient seating to easily accommodate four members of a family all together, while other options have the capacity for six people to socialise together in the hot tub.

If you have the space then you may want to consider some of the smaller hot tub designs that combine a lounger seat with traditional hot tub seating specifications. These are perfect for those who are going to be requiring a solo soak session to relief the tensions or stress of the day, but also have the capacity to allow others to utilise the hot tub hydrotherapy at the same time.

Small hot tubs from the WhatSpa? Best Buy Awards

Below we have included a snapshot of small hot tubs that have achieved the prestigious WhatSpa? Best Buy Award. For the full list of Best Buy hot tubs and 50 leading hot tub reviews make sure you request your free copy of WhatSpa? below.

Fantasy Spas Drift

Fantasy Spas Drift

Seats 4

WhatSpa? Verdict

Roto-moulded 13-amp ‘plug & play’ hot tubs have grown in popularity over the last two decades due to their lightweight convenience, robust design, ease of installation and recyclable properties. The Drift by market-leading Watkins Wellness® brand Fantasy Spas® proved extremely popular in 2020 and 2021 and the supply chain remains solid via a market leading authorised network of dealers. The Drift’s compact hexagon-like shape is unique yet comfortably seats up to four adults, making it an ideal spa for small families. The build quality is fab and running costs are comparatively low. Great bang for your buck from a quality brand!

  • Dimensions 173 x 160 x 81cm
  • Water capacity 700 litres
  • Hydrotherapy Jets 17, Jet Types 2
British Hot Tubs Jubilee

British Hot Tubs Jubilee

Seats 4

WhatSpa? Verdict

The new all-seater Jubilee™ by British Hot Tubs is flying out of showroom doors as a compact family sized spa that is jam packed with goodies. Four spacious corner bucket seats plus higher cool down areas mean up to six bathers can experience a hydrotherapy massage from two high flow pumps, as well as enjoying beautiful colour-changing lighting around the water line and on the drinks holders and dual waterfalls. The filter housing is conveniently located out of the bather area making for easier and more hygienic filter changes. If it’s a ‘bang for your buck’ family spa that you’re after in the sub-£6k price bracket, the Jubilee™ takes some beating.

  • Dimensions 180 x 180 x 76cm
  • Water capacity 906 litres
  • Hydrotherapy Jets 40, Jet Types 4
Fisher Spas Fischer 3

British Hot Tubs Jubilee

Seats 3

WhatSpa? Verdict

The Fisher Spas brand hit UK shores for the first time in 2021 but is the sister brand to award-winning Australian manufacturer Vortex Spas, which boasts Olympic gold medallist Ian Thorpe as its brand ambassador. Whilst the Fisher 3 is a compact hot tub that conveniently fits smaller patios, you won’t need to compromise on comfort or performance. Like larger Fisher models, the Fisher 3 offers relaxing hydrotherapy and ergonomically designed seats, including a full-length lounger plus two bucket seats. 13-amp ‘plug & play’ convenience comes as standard along with a 24-hour circulation pump and ozone water treatment system, Great for couples.

  • Dimensions 207 x 157 x 82cm
  • Water capacity 880 litres
  • Hydrotherapy Jets 22, Jet Types 3

To assist prospective hot tub owners in choosing the best option when it comes to seating requirements. Within the WhatSpa? magazine the seating capacity is always indicated along with details on the type of seat as part of our Best Buy section.

These Best Buy Award-winning designs are an ideal starting point in your hot tub seating research. They will help you to consider the various options that are suitable for a small garden ahead of your compiling your final shortlist for showroom visits and hot tub wet testing.

About the author

Nick Clamp

I am the Editor-in-Chief at WhatSpa? Media Group and my job is to keep you informed about the very latest hot tubs on the UK market... the best job in the world! When I'm not being deluged with press releases and hot tub brochures I enjoy keeping fit and participating in endurance events including triathlons and distance running.

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