How to choose
All whirlpool tubs entail added cleaning and maintenance. You might also prefer a deep, non-whirlpool soaking tub if you like
your luxury without a massage. Those deep tubs lack a whirlpool’s complexity and start at about $300.
If you decide on a whirlpool, see Types
to determine the massage you want and the amount you’re willing to spend. Remember that extras such as colored underwater
lights, known as chromatherapy, can add up to $1,200 to the price. Then keep these points in mind:Think outside the suite.
Because suites don’t match tubs with other bath fixtures as closely as they do faucets with towel racks, whirlpools are an
appropriate place to mix and match.Consider the configuration.
Drop-in tubs like those we tested come without sides, allowing for a customized surround (about $1,000 or more). You can
also buy tubs that come with one, two, or three sides; look for removable sides that allow access to the pump and motor.Try before buying.
More showrooms have working whirlpools that let you immerse a hand or arm. But even a dry tub can tell you whether the length,
width, and depth fit your physique.Check the jets and controls.
Besides favoring center-mounted controls and a more vertical seating position, we also found that more air jets along the
sides, rather than at your back, tend to create a better, bubblier massage. Also look for handles and armrests, and, for water-jet
models, easily adjustable jets.Consider efficiency.
You’ll pay only about $17 per year in electricity for a water/air tub using both pumps, based on Department of Energy averages
for one 15-minute bath per day. But that doesn’t include heating the 70 gallons of water these tubs hold. At roughly 30 gallons
more per bath than regular tubs, water use could be an issue in drought areas.