Spa Bath V Spa Pool (Features, Prices, pros, cons & more)

What’s the difference between a spa bath and spa pool? Are they the same? In this article, we compare spa baths and spa pools, including their features, prices, pros and cons, & more.

So, you’ve been thinking about buying a spa and started looking for options but it seems that there are many terms used to describe a “spa” and we know it can sometimes be confusing.

Different terms like hot tub, spa, spa pool, spa bath, and Jacuzzi® may be used to describe machines that let you soak in bubbling water.

This article focuses on the differences between a spa bath and a spa pool.

If you want to learn more about what a hot tub is and its key differences from a spa pool, our detailed article below answers these questions.

What’s a spa bath?

Put simply, a spa bath, or “jetted bath” as they’re sometimes called, is an indoor tub with built-in jets. They also have a circulation pump and often an air blower.

Premium spa baths can come with a heater to keep the water hot. The average spa bath can hold up to 180 litres of water, although most people only fill it halfway – using around 100 litres.

They are typically placed indoors – inside bathrooms, bedrooms or other private spaces. You can use them just as a bath for soaking, bathing and relaxation; or add a shower overhead.

Spa baths can be used with or without the jets running and are filled and drained after each use. They usually don't require filters or covers as the water is replaced regularly.

How big is a spa bath?

Spa baths are generally designed for one to two people and measure 1.2m long and 0.80m wide to 1.9m long and 1.9m wide.

What shape is a spa bath?

Spa baths can come in a range of shapes. The most common is an oval bath. They can also be slipper, rectangular, round, and triangular shaped. They can be installed in-ground or above-ground.

What are spa baths made of?

Spa baths are typically made of marble, porcelain, engineered-stone, steel or cast iron, thermoformed acrylic or fibreglass-reinforced polyester.

How much does a spa bath cost?

As a broad guideline, spa baths in Australia typically range in price from $2,000 to $6,000. The cost can vary based on factors such as the size, materials used, and added features. You should also factor in installation costs including building, plumbing, and electrical wiring.

What’s a spa pool?

Spa pools, also referred to as hot tubs or Jacuzzis®, are hydrotherapy tubs with massage jets, smart controls, moulded seats, and more.

They are sometimes also referred to as an “outdoor spa bath”.

Spa pools are usually heated with electricity via the inbuilt electric spa heater or an external heat pump. Spa pools are typically placed outdoors and can be installed in-ground and above-ground.

Mid-market to high-end hydrotherapy spas have insulation for energy efficiency, smart controls, filtration systems for low maintenance, and are usually kept hot and ready to use 24/7.

Spa pools are typically made of acrylic or plastic shells. They are designed to be portable, allowing you to easily unplug and take them with you when you move.

Spa pools come in various shapes including square, rectangular, round, oval, and kidney. They have a seating capacity of up to 10 people and have dimensions ranging from 2m to 2.3m by 2m to 2.8m.

Spa pools can hold anywhere from 450 to 2,700 litres of water, depending on their size.

How much does a spa pool cost?

Spa pools can cost anywhere from $599 for an inflatable spa made of polyester mesh or PVC, to over $34,000 for a high-quality spa pool with an acrylic shell, moulded seating, hydrotherapy jets, water treatment system and more.

Prices vary depending on factors such as quality, size, insulation, and added features. You should also factor in installation costs such as the foundation you lay the spa on, landscaping, electrical wiring and more.

What is the difference between a spa bath and a spa pool?

Now that you have a better understanding of what spa baths and spa pools are, let’s take a closer look at their key differences.

First, the similarities:

  • Both are have jets for hydrotherapy massage, although while they both have jets – they can provide different experiences.
  • They are designed for relaxation and pleasure.

Now, for the differences:

  • Size and capacity. A spa bath is typically a lot smaller than a spa pool – usually only fitting one or two people. They’re really best for individual use when you want some relaxing ‘me time’. Spa pools on the other hand, come in a range of sizes from small 1 to 2 person models to large entertainers spas that can fit up to 10 people or more. The larger size and capacity of spa pools make them ideal for socialising and enjoying hydrotherapy experience with friends and family.
  • Location. Spa baths are usually installed inside bathrooms, bedrooms and other private indoor spaces. Spa pools on the other hand, are mostly installed outdoors, such as in backyards, on decks, or patios. particularly in the backyard. While they can be installed indoors, you’ll need to ensure you have good ventilation and adequate drainage when it comes time to change the water.
  • Heating. Spa baths don’t typically have heaters so, just like a normal bath, you can’t regulate the temperature and the water will eventually cool down. Spa pools on the other hand, come with inbuilt electric spa heaters or can have an external heat pump to heat the water and maintain the temperature. They also have controls that allow you to adjust the temperature to your liking.
  • Maintenance. Because you usually drain the water in a spa bath after each soak, you don’t need chemicals or water treatments. Whereas spa pools are mostly designed to hold water for several months before draining and refilling. This means the water will need sanitising with chlorine or other treatments.
  • Running Cost. Spa baths are generally cheaper to run and maintain as they have few jets to clean and a smaller volume of water to heat. On the other hand, a spa pool tends to have higher running and maintenance costs due to more components, jets, and a larger water volume to heat.

What are the pros and cons of a Spa Bath?

Now you know the differences between spas and spa baths, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each option. First, spa baths.


  • Enhanced relaxation and stress relief due to the soothing jets and warm water.
  • Potential health benefits including, improved sleep, reduced muscle tension, and enhanced mental well-being.
  • Adds a luxurious and relaxing ambiance to the bathroom.
  • Ideal for individuals seeking alone time.
  • Cheaper alternative to spa pool.
  • Potential increase in property value.


  • Takes up more space in the bathroom, which may not be suitable for smaller bathrooms.
  • May not provide the same level of therapeutic benefits as a spa pool.
  • Since they are typically connected to the bathroom’s plumbing system, moving them may be challenging should you decide to relocate.
  • You need to refill and drain after every use.
  • The use of fresh water and heating it up (if equipped with heater) can result in higher water and electricity consumption.

What are the pros and cons of a Spa Pool?

If you’re leaning towards a spa pool, it helps to know the advantages and disadvantages of owning one.


  • Potential health benefits including reduced stress and anxiety, better and deeper sleep, improved cardiovascular health, and pain relief.
  • Creates a relaxing outdoor ambience.
  • Designed to be shared with family and friends.
  • You can use them all year round, anytime you want.
  • Portable and can easily take with you should you decide to move.
  • Potential increase in property value.
  • Often equipped with entertainment features such as LED lights, and sound system.
  • Greater hydrotherapy options.


  • High initial cost compared to spa baths.
  • Since the water is kept for months, you’ll need to maintain the water quality with sanitiser and other treatments.
  • With the heater and other components running 24/7, running costs are higher compared to a spa bath.

Click the button below to learn more about the pros and cons of owning a spa pool.

Which is better 一 a spa bath or a spa pool?

When it comes to the question of which is better between a spa bath and a spa pool, there is no right or wrong answer. Because it will always come down to what you want and what exactly you’re looking for.

If you value serene relaxation and a quiet and peaceful soak, a spa bath or a spa pool could both be good options.

But if you’re after better hydrotherapy, added features and enjoy socialising and entertaining guests, a spa pool might be a better option.

If money is not an issue, and you think a spa bath and a spa pool are worth the investment, better yet, get both!

A spa pool in your background to have quality time with your loved ones, and an indoor spa bath for a much-needed “me time”.

In Summary

We hope this article has helped you in your decision making, and of course, we encourage you to experience our spa pools firsthand by visiting any of our showrooms.

Most Spa World™ stores have dark rooms away from the main area where you can ‘wet test’ the spa you're interested in.

Do you have other questions about spa pools? Were’ help to help!

You can also download our Spa Buyer's Guide below.

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