No one wants to settle for less than the perfect hot tub, and they shouldn’t have to. But determining what makes the perfect hot tub requires you to pull out the magnifying glass and take a closer look at some of the finer details.

It’s not all about the size of the tub or the number of jets. It’s also about smaller aspects, like the style of your seating.

There’s a considerable amount of debate over whether lounge or open seating is the superior option. The truth is there’s no right answer — the seats that are best for someone else may not be the best for you. It will all depend on your particular needs and preferences.

With that in mind, here’s a comprehensive hot tub seating guide to help you get a better idea of what you should be looking for.

What Is Lounge Seating?

Lounge Seat | Seating Guide: Lounge vs. Open Seating | Great Bay Spa & Sauna

Lounge seating in a hot tub refers to seating that is designed to allow users to fully recline and relax while they are in the hot tub. This type of seating is typically a long, wide seat that is positioned at one end of the hot tub and is angled slightly downward. It is often accompanied by a number of jets that are positioned to massage the user’s back, neck, legs and other parts of the body while they are reclining. Some hot tubs with lounge seating may also have built-in headrests or other features that allow users to fully relax and unwind while they are in the hot tub. Lounge seating is a popular feature in hot tubs because it allows users to fully relax and soak in the hot water, which can be particularly soothing after a long day or a workout.

The Pros and Cons of Lounge Seating

Lounge seating in a hot tub is a popular option with comfortable cushions and built-in jets. It can also provide an unmatched luxurious and soothing experience. However, like any other feature, lounge seating also has some potential drawbacks to consider. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not lounge seating is the right choice will depend on your personal preferences and how you plan to use the hot tub. Understanding the potential benefits and drawbacks of lounge seating can help you make an informed decision. In this article we will explore the pros and cons of lounge seating in a hot tub to help you decide if this type of seating is right for you.

Pro: Lounge in Ultimate Luxury

The spacious design of lounge seats and comfortable cushions make them feel like a mini-oasis within the hot tub, and they provide a sense of indulgence and pampering that can make the hot tub experience even more enjoyable. Whether you are using the hot tub solo or with a partner, lounge seats can help to create a sense of relaxation and indulgence that is hard to match.

Con: Lounge Seats Limit Your Number of Guests

Lounge seats take up quite a bit more space than open seating, reducing the number of guests that can potentially fit in the spa. This can be a drawback if you are planning to use the hot tub with a group of friends or family and want everyone to be able to sit together comfortably. Lounge seats are often positioned parallel to the sides of the tub, which can make it difficult to face and interact with everyone.

Pro: Maximized Hydrotherapy with Targeted Jets

Lounge seating in a hot tub can be a great way to experience hydrotherapy because it allows you to fully recline and soak in the hot water while enjoying the benefits of built-in jets. The jets in the lounge seating area are typically well-positioned to provide a relaxing massage to your back, neck, legs and other parts of your body as well. This can help to improve circulation and alleviate muscle soreness, as well as provide a relaxing and soothing experience.

Con: One Size Does Not Fit All

One of the most reliable ways to tell that lounge seating isn’t for you is that you simply don’t fit into it. While being too small can make it difficult to get comfortable in your seat, being too large can be far more frustrating and uncomfortable. Depending on the size and design of the hot tub, you may find that your legs hang off the end of the seat, or that your head is too close to the top of the hot tub. This can make it difficult to relax and enjoy the hot tub experience. As a general rule of thumb, anyone over about 6’4” or under about 5’6” likely won’t fit comfortably into a lounge seat.  

Con: Inaccurate Seating Recommendations

It is important to note that seating recommendations for hot tubs may not always be accurate. The capacity of a hot tub is often based on the manufacturer’s recommendations and may not take into account the specific size and weight of the users. This can lead to overcrowding and discomfort in the hot tub if too many people are using it at once.

What Is Open Seating?

Open Seating | Seating Guide: Lounge vs. Open Seating | Great Bay Spa & Sauna

Open seating is a seating layout that only has upright seating and is not meant for reclining or stretching out like in a lounge seating layout. This type of seating arrangement is common in hot tubs that are designed to accommodate a larger number of people. It allows users to move around and find a comfortable spot to sit or stand, rather than being restricted to a specific seat. While lounge seats have the reputation of providing a full body massage, you can still find neck, back, and leg jets in a lot of open seating layouts.

The Pros and Cons of Open Seating

It may seem like you couldn’t go wrong with an open seating hot tub, and in most cases, you’d be right. With that being said, there are a few important preference factors that could potentially alter your experience and should be considered before making your final decision.

Pro: Perfect for Social Gatherings

One of the benefits of open seating in a hot tub is that it can accommodate a larger number of people at once. Because users are not restricted to any particular seat, they can move around and find a comfortable spot to sit or stand within the hot tub. This can be particularly useful if you are planning to use the hot tub with a large group of people, as it allows everyone to be in the hot tub at the same time and enjoy the experience together.

Con: Inaccurate Seating Recommendations

Inaccurate seating recommendations are an issue for open seating hot tubs as well. That is why it’s important to take into account the size and weight of the individuals who will be using it. This will ensure that the hot tub is safe and comfortable for everyone. Instead of relying solely on the manufacturer’s capacity estimates, base your decision on your specific needs.

Pro: A Variety of Hydrotherapy Options

Open seating hot tubs provide a unique massage experience in each seat. This means that by moving around and trying different seats, you can enjoy a variety of massages. Not many people know this, but moving from seat to seat is actually the best way to enjoy an open seating hot tub. Not only does the variety provide you with a depth of massage you can’t get from a single seat, but changing seats relatively frequently keeps the mood light,  while providing plenty of opportunity for fun conversation.

Con: Not Single User Focused

Open seating tubs spread the jets and massages equally to all the other seats. This means that while lounge seats are great for singles and couples who want to lay back and experience everything that hydrotherapy has to offer, it might not be a great fit for the person who wants their hot tub to be the social hot spot. Don’t think this means that open seating hot tubs provide an inferior massage. In fact, during a lot of wet tests many people prefer the massage in open seating tubs. It just isn’t as immersive as the massage of a lounge seat.

Make Sure You’re Sitting Pretty in Your New Hot Tub

Family Enjoying Sundance Hot Tub | Seating Guide: Lounge vs. Open Seating | Great Bay Spa & Sauna

There you have it. The pros and cons of lounge and open seating hot tubs. Let us be clear: both styles of tubs are wonderful and amazing in their own way. We don’t think you will be disappointed taking home either one, but a hot tub investment is a long one. We want to make sure that the tub you buy is not only good for you now, but will continue to be good for you long into the future. So, schedule a wet test and find out firsthand if you prefer a lounge or open seating in your hot tub!