Best hydrotherapy jets for your spa pool in 2024 (Considerations, features, tips)

Are you shopping for a spa pool but not sure what hydrotherapy jets you need to look for? This article can help you understand how to choose hydrotherapy jets to best fit your needs so you can enjoy a soothing spa experience.

Best hydrotherapy jets

People buy spa pools for different reasons. Whether you want a space where you can relax and unwind or are looking to relieve sore or tired muscles, choosing a spa pool with great hydrotherapy jets enhances your overall spa experience.

What is a hydrotherapy jet?

Hydrotherapy jets are spa fittings designed to generate and blend air and water to create a vigorous stream of air-enriched water that gives a massage-like effect.

Hydrotherapy jets massage and target specific body parts where the pain is common, like the shoulder, neck, back, calves, and feet.

hydrotherapy jets

The water pressure of these jets can be adjusted by twisting the jets, adjusting the airflow or in some spas, by using the spa touchpad. The primary function of hydrotherapy jets is to help reduce discomfort from joint pain, arthritis, and injuries and help with muscle pain recovery after exercise.

To learn more about how hydrotherapy helps with pain relief and muscle recovery, please click the button below.

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How do hydrotherapy jets work in a spa pool?

The pump, filter, heater, and spa jet work together to provide hydrotherapy which can relieve aches and pains. The pump draws the water into the filters, then through the heater, and out of the jets – this process keeps the spa water clean and warm.

waterline illumination

The spa water valves are responsible for creating pressure by controlling the flow of water or air. Water valves come in different sizes which correspond to the responsibilities linked to the jets.

Larger valves control or redirect the water in different directions to provide various hydrotherapy experiences, while smaller valves, also known as “venturi” are designed to control airflow to supply to the jets.

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What is the difference between air jets and hydro jets?

If you pay attention to the details, you will notice that both bubble jets and hydro (water) jets offer different sensations.

Hydro jets come with high-pressure, deep massaging jets that can be used to target certain aching muscles or joints, for example, the shoulders and lower back.

Bubble jets, on the other hand, create massaging bubbles around the body. It is more gentle, but still highly relaxing.

Hydro jets

As water jets can massage away aches and pains when positioned correctly, they are a good choice for athletes or those with aching muscles after exercise.

If you prefer a gentler sensation in your spa pool, air jets still provide the rejuvenating bubbles, but not at such a high pressure as water jets.

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Watch: How to choose the best hydrotherapy jets for your spa pool

What are the different types of hydrotherapy jets?

The jets are what make the spa pool. Not all bodies are the same, which is why most spa pool models provide a wide variety of jet options.

Let’s look at the main types of hydrotherapy jets and the sensation they provide.

  1. Rotational Jets - The rotational jets, also known as rotary jets, moves the water in a circular motion and is usually used in loungers to target the neck and back.
  2. Directional Jets - Directional jets provide an intense pressure massage point and are particularly effective at treating knotted muscles in the back. They can also be adjusted to direct the water flow and target specific body parts. This jet type is typically found in most spa pools.
  3. Moving Jets - These spa jets move the water side to side and up and down, giving a wide massage coverage like the entire back.
  4. Footwell Jets - Footwell jets are directional jets placed in the footwell that massages and release tension to sore ankles and feet.
  5. Volcano jets - These jets can either be installed into the foot well to massage your feet or positioned in the middle of your spa to massage your lower back, hamstrings, glutes and even your abdominal area.
  6. Spinning jets - This single large spinner gives a rotating massage effect similar to a masseuse using their thumb in a kneading fashion. They provide a very effective back massage.
  7. Laminar jets - The laminar jets are typically not used as hydrotherapy jets but create streams of water for a soothing visual display. These jets can be backlit so they can turn your spa into an impressive light display in your backyard.
  8. Air Jets- As the name suggests, air jets emit a stream of air instead of a water stream. These are typically placed under the legs and buttocks to provide a relaxing soft tissue massage treatment.

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Watch: 5 reasons why Vortex™ jets stand out

Where should jets be placed in a spa?

If you’ve been looking at different spa models, you probably have noticed that they have different jet placements. Massage jets are placed at different positions to relieve aches and pain in different body parts.

It is important to understand that every hot tub model has different jet positions, so it will be easier for you to choose the model that is right for you.

Jet placement

Vortex Nitro™ Spa

Lumbar Jets - Many people suffer from back pain, especially those spending long hours standing at work. The lumbar area refers to the area at the centre and upper back of the spine. Lumbar jets are designed to alleviate back pain. This jet placement targets the muscles and tissues around the spine.

Shoulder and Neck Jets - The neck and shoulder jets are one of the must-haves when looking for the best model jets and are usually placed below the headrest. This jet placement reduces stiffness in the neck and relieves tension in the shoulder muscles. To provide a precise massage, some designs use smaller jets.

Hip Jets - Similar to lumbar jets, hip jets can help reduce swelling and provide comfort around your hips. Using jet massage treatments and soaking in hot water will help you become more flexible, even if you do not have hip pain.

Wrist Jets - Another important jet placement to look for is the wrist jet. These jets are placed at the very end of the armrest. Wrist jets can be beneficial for people seeking relief for their hands and arms, specifically, if you spend long periods of time typing on a computer or often work with your hands.

Leg and Foot Jets - The legs and foot jets are typically placed on a lounge seat. The type of jets you can usually find here are the powerful ones as the muscles in our calves and thighs are bulky. If you seek comfort in the legs and foot, including the foot arch, these jets placements are a must-have.

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Are more jets really better in a spa pool?

If you're wondering how many jets to have in a spa pool, there is no right answer.

However, you should know that more jets are not necessarily better. In fact, quite often, if you have a lot of jets in a spa pool (for example over 50) it can make the overall hydrotherapy experience less powerful.

The exception would be if there are more jet pumps, meaning more water can forced through more jets.

Jets in a spa

A spa pool with hundreds of jets might look impressive, especially for first-time buyers. However, if it only has a single pump, jets may not be able to provide a good level of massage.

Why? Because the power of water from the jets depends entirely on the quality and number of pumps your spa has.

Pro Tip: To achieve a good hydrotherapy level, looking for a spa pool with a single dedicated massage pump for every twenty to thirty jets is recommended. Simply put, a family spa pool with 55 jets should have at least 2 massage pumps.

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Are spa jets universal?

Some spas offer interchangeable jets, so you can use different types of jets depending on your preference. For example, if a jet is positioned to massage your calves but you prefer to use it for your back, you can simply twist and remove the jet face to interchange them.

Universal jets

Spas with interchangeable or universal jets allow you to customise your massage options and target any part of your body. Some spa brands manufacture proprietary spa jets. A replacement jet will need to be purchased directly from the retailer or manufacturer if your spa jet wears out or breaks.

Vortex Spas® is one of the spa brands with interchangeable jets.

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Do jets make a spa pool or hot tub hotter?

You don't have to turn on the jets in order to heat the water, but keeping the jets running makes the water heat up faster and reach the desired temperature.

When the jets are on, the water in your spa heats up more quickly for two reasons.

First, the jets circulate heated water in your spa and eliminate cold pockets. Second, whenever water is forced through pipes at high speeds, friction warms the water and removes any cold air bubbles.

A spa cover can speed up the heating process. In addition to helping the water heat up faster, spa covers also reduce heat loss.

What to look for in a hydrotherapy jet?

When looking at the spa jets they may appear to be all the same. But there are some important factors to consider when choosing which spa pool has the best jets.

Vortex™ Single Spinning Jet

Vortex™ Single Spinning Jet

In this section, we’ll walk you through the essential features to look for in a hydrotherapy jet.

  1. Powerful jets - Powerful jets enable deep penetration into the joints and muscles. One of the known spa pool brands equipped with great hydrotherapy jets is Jacuzzi® spas. Most Jacuzzi® hot tubs feature PowerPro® jets that rotate and swirl to pamper, stimulate, and penetrate your muscles from neck to toe, providing the famous hydrotherapy experience only found in a Jacuzzi® Spa.
  2. Stainless steel jets - Jets with stainless steel faces add further comfort and relaxation to bathers. They are also corrosion-resistant and easy to maintain. Some of the leading spa brands using stainless steel jets are Vortex Spas™, Fisher Spas™, and Jacuzzi®.
  3. Jet placement - As mentioned earlier, jet placement plays an important role in enhancing your overall spa experience and most significantly in relieving pain in certain areas of the body. You may use the jet placement guide above when searching for a spa model that suits your needs.
  4. Customisation - It is important that you’ll be able to customise your hydrotherapy experience to suit your personal preferences. Hydrotherapy hot tubs usually come with interchangeable jets that can be swapped out with different jets, so you can enjoy your preferred jets in your preferred seat. They also typically have adjustable seat heights, so people of different heights can enjoy a targeted massage.
  5. Jet size - The size of the jets matters. Large hydrotherapy jets are used to target large muscle groups such as the back, arms, legs and shoulders. Large jets produce stronger hydrotherapy that penetrates deeper into your muscles and pulls more blood flow into the target area which enhances recovery. Smaller jets are more focused and typically used to massage the neck and wrists and other small muscles.
  6. Good warranty - A warranty is a guarantee provided by the retailer or manufacturer that ensures your jets will be repaired or replaced if anything goes wrong. The good warranty for jets should be 2 to 5 years at a minimum.

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In Summary

When choosing the best hydrotherapy jets for your spa pool, there are two things you need to keep in mind.

First, a spa pool with plenty of jets may not provide enough hydrotherapy if not supported by the appropriate number of pumps.

Second, look for a spa pool with a variety of jets you need. Not all bodies are the same, so make sure your spa pool is perfectly suited to your hydromassage needs.

Before buying a spa, it's best to actually jump in and try it out for yourself! This is the best way to tell if the spa is a good fit for you.

If you want to experience different types of hydrotherapy jets, Spa World™ have dark rooms for “wet test”.

As always, please contact us if you have any questions or want to learn more about buying a spa pool. Our Spa World™ experts are here to help!

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