Hot Tub Cover Alternatives: Top 5 Best Options

As you probably already know, hot tub covers can get quite expensive. Depending on the type of cover you have, an average price is around $1,000. 

If your tub is in your backyard where it’s exposed to all sorts of elements – UV rays from the sun, rain and snow during winter, leaves dropping onto it from trees or even animals climbing into it at night or birds getting into its piping system – then replacing a broken cover can get costly very quickly.

Especially if you’re thinking of buying a fiberglass spa cover which some claim is worth more than its weight in gold. Well, not really but they are expensive nevertheless.

Here’s some good news for all those who don’t want to spend more on their faulty hot tub cover. There are actually a number of alternatives you can consider and we’ve categorized them into two: Outdoor and Indoor.

1) Outdoor Alternatives:

If you’re having trouble with the cover that’s protecting your spa outdoors, here are some ideas to take note of:

a). Fiberglass Replacement Covers – The best option if you want a tough cover at an affordable price. Made from fiberglass resin which is five times stronger than acrylics , these covers can last up to 10 years or even longer when it’s properly maintained and handled with care.

They’re also UV resistant so they won’t fade in color and warp out of shape in just a few months time like other covers do.

These replacement covers come either solid or glass-infused which has the advantage of creating less drag when it’s windy or during winter. It can also help retain heat in your spa better than other solid covers. 

These covers are pretty heavy though – up to 200 pounds – so you’re going to need some extra muscle (or a buddy) to lift it back onto your hot tub once you’ve removed it.

b). Acrylic Spa Cover Alternatives – If you want an alternative that’s lighter than fiberglass, consider getting one made from acrylic since these only weigh about 25-40 pounds . Temperature fluctuations won’t affect their shape either so they’ll last longer than most cheap plastic ones do.

 You can get them clear or opaque but if you choose the latter then just remember that algae have a tougher time growing on them so you’ll have to clean it more often.

c). Hot Tub Protective Cover Nets – Ideal for people who don’t want to spend a lot of money replacing a damaged cover yet still want to protect their hot tub from animals and debris, this is what you should consider. 

A net also allows water evaporation which can help keep the temperature down as well as save up on chemicals if you’re using your spa for therapeutic purposes as opposed to just relaxing or having fun in it.

d). Skimpy Covers – And lastly, another alternative worth noting are skimpy covers . These do not provide much insulation against changes in temperature but they give better protection from rain and snow.

They’re also easier to remove and replace which would come in handy if you’re moving your tub to another location.

2) Indoor Alternatives:

If the reason why you have to use a cover indoors is because of pets or kids then consider getting covers that can provide some shock resistance.

These are not as pricey as fiberglass ones but they are pretty hard so they won’t break easily even if it’s accidentally dropped on the floor or slammed against a wall. Some are soft enough for cats to jump onto them with no problem, though.

a). Vinyl Spa Covers – This is what most parents opt for since these are soft enough for children to climb on top of without hurting themselves but still tough enough that underneath will be damaged.

However, these covers will not last very long if you have pets in the house since they can be easily torn to shreds.

These are also easy to remove and reinstall which means that when it’s time for a thorough cleaning, you won’t strain yourself trying to lift it by hand.

b). Auto Cover Reels – This is another alternative perfect for homeowners who don’t want their pets and children accidentally falling into their hot tubs. They’re designed to make removal of the cover easier and prevent it from getting damaged even with frequent use,

The best part? It doesn’t require battery power at all! You just pull on a handle (or push on an electric button) and your heavy spa cover will slide off or slip back on like magic.

c). Portable Spa Covers – And lastly, there are portable spa covers . These are great for kids who love to make a splash every now and then but you know that if they accidentally fall on it, it will give way.

They’re also made from lightweight materials so they won’t be a pain to replace which is very important if you have stairs leading up to your deck.

Now that we’ve covered the different things you need to look out for when buying replacement covers, let’s take a look at some of the most popular ones in the market today:

1)  Best Full Length Replacement Covers

If you decide to go with fiberglass or acrylic as your cover material, this one allows you to enjoy fiberglass’ superior insulation while enjoying acrylic’s ease of handling. With its stainless steel hinge and smooth operating gas cylinders, this is one cover that will never need to be replaced.

2) Best Heavy Duty Replacement Covers

This could be the best option if you want a cover for your hot tub but don’t want to spend too much on something that’s not even guaranteed to last . It has all the features you’ll find inexpensive options without any of the fluff which makes it great value for money.

3) Best Spa Cover Handles

If you want better insulation then why not try Velcro? You can easily attach it over your aluminum handles providing added warmth during those cold winter months.

Just make sure you store them properly to avoid them sticking to everything else when it’s time to remove it.

4) Best Spa Steps

These steps would be perfect if you’re looking for something that will support up to 350 pounds . It’s also slip-resistant and has a non-skid surface which means that even if your feet are slippery, the steps themselves won’t give way because of this.

Plus, they can be easily removed should you decide to move them somewhere else (like storage during winter months).

5) Best Foldable Spa Covers

If space is at a premium but you still need something sturdy enough to protect against harsh weather then this one could fit the bill.

You can set it up within minutes using its air pump system or opt for manual inflation if you are short on time. And when it’s time to remove it, simply fold the seat up and carry it away using your hands.

Hot tub cover alternatives: Guide

Build a frame:

If you have the means and inclination, and your hot tub is kept in an unheated garage or some other outbuilding where it won’t get too cold, then consider making a permanent wooden cover for it that can be covered with plywood.

It should fit tightly against the outside of the tub on all sides – you don’t want any cold drafts coming in under your insulation.

Use waterproof glue on all joints and screws to hold everything together securely. Add weather stripping around all edges if necessary, especially near where the cover meets the tub.

Cover with plywood sheeting, again using waterproof glue at all seams. You might also want to line it inside with foam board or styrofoam sheets to provide extra insulation.

Build a box:

You might also want to consider building your own box out of lumber. It doesn’t have to be fancy – it just needs to be something that will rest over the top of your hot tub, trapping air between it and the cover.

The more insulation you use, the better off you’ll be. But even cheap materials are better than no insulation at all. 

You can always cover this with plywood or waterproofing material too, if you want it to look nice for guests or whatever else, but remember that it’s actually doing its job if nobody ever sees what’s inside.

Cleaning your Hot Tub Covers

Hot tub covers are expensive! Make sure yours lasts as long as possible by keeping debris off of it.

Whenever you are removing the cover, make sure to brush off any leaves or sticks that may have landed on top of it – they can wreak havoc with your cover if they find their way underneath.

Make sure nothing is growing on top of your hot tub – mold and mildew love dark, moist, hidden spaces!

If necessary, use a pressurized stream from a garden hose to clean off your hot tub’s lid when you’re finished using it for the season.

Install automatic safety covers:

Invest in an automatic safety cover so nobody accidentally falls into the hot tub while you’re not around. This will also help prevent children from falling in as well as protecting them from leaving toys/swimsuits inside the spa where they can start to grow mold and mildew.

The cover should always be locked into place because even if you don’t plan on using it, you’re still taking a risk by leaving it uncovered.

Cover up your hot tub during the winter:

If you live in a climate where snow is common, make sure that you use something like a tarp or covering to protect your hot tub from snowfall and ice buildup.

This will prevent pressure from building up due to weight and will also keep water from seeping inside – which could cause damage not only to the cover but also the rest of the hot tub as well as those expensive repairs.

Properly maintaining your covers:

Even though we’ve gone over how important it is to keep debris off your hot tub cover, it’s also critical that you clean them thoroughly at least once a season to ensure no mold or mildew starts to grow.

This will help keep the chemicals in balance and prevent any dangerous slip-ups.

By investing in a quality cover for your hot tub, you’re protecting yourself from safety issues as well as many other problems that can arise during those months when they just sit around unused.