Often referred to by the brand name “Jacuzzi bathtubs”, whirlpool tubs are also made by other manufacturers, and are basically jetted tubs that mainly feature water jets and optional air jets for massaging and soothing tired muscles.
However, with the wide variety of these tubs that are available in the market, there are some that stand out from the rest due to their quality, style and many other beneficial features.
For this reason, this article looks at 5 of the best whirlpool tubs to make it easier for you to pick the most ideal choice for the best massage experience.
What to Check Before Buying Best Whirlpool Tub?
Before buying a whirlpool tub, there are a couple of things that you need to consider. These are:
Even if a whirlpool tub is the best of the best, it won’t be of any use if it does not fit in your bathroom. For this reason, it is important to check the tub’s dimensions, then compare that with the space that is available in your bathroom.
Normally, standard sized whirlpool tubs are the same size as standard bathtubs, measuring about 5 × 3 feet. However, large ones such as Symbolic Spas’ 052A White can be up to 6 × 5 feet in size, making them ideal for large bathrooms.
2. Air Jet vs. Water Jet
Whirlpool tubs can either have air and water jets combined or water jets only. Air jets are not very easy to control because air can go in any direction once it is released underwater. For this reason, such jets are ideal for soft tissue or lazy massage.
On the other hand, water jets are easier to control and thus, their direction and flow can be adjusted to target different muscles and hit with more force for a deeper massage.
Therefore, a whirlpool tub having the two types of jets such as Woodbridge’s BTS1606 is definitely better than the one with water jets only. Also, the more the number of jets, the better the therapy session that the tub will give you.
3. Ease of installation
Installation is a big factor to consider because some of these tubs come as ready to use units, featuring pre-installed faucets, pre-installed heaters and drilled drain holes. The only thing you have to do is connect it to the inlet and drain pipes, then power it.
However, there are others that are drop-in tubs, which means that they require a holding structure to place them in. A good example is American Standard 7236VC.020.
Some even do not have drilled holes for drain pipes or faucets and thus, require more prep work before you can start using them.
The benefit though is that you can fully customize the installation of such tubs, by placing the drain pipe and faucets exactly where you want them.
Buying Guide: Although the ready to use tubs like Woodbridge’s BTS1606 are generally more expensive, they are better to buy since they reduce the installation work.
However, if you prefer manual stuff, get Carver Tubs’ SKC5555 then hire a plumber or make it a DIY project to set up your tub for complete customization.
Most whirlpool tubs are made of fiberglass and acrylic. A fiberglass frame construction makes the tub to be very lightweight, but it can break easily. This is why acrylic is used as a coating to improve on their durability, and also give them a high-end, glossy finish.
For the high-end models, a stronger and more durable construction is used, featuring a metallic frame (usually stainless steel), which is reinforced using fiberglass, then coated with acrylic for a shiny finish.
Buying Guide: Fiberglass and acrylic tubs are generally good enough but if you have the money to spend, treat yourself with a high-end, high-quality built model such as Symbolic Spas’ 052A White.
Configuration generally looks at how the tub orientates in relation to your bathroom. If your bathroom is small, then you should buy a small, one-person, freestanding, standard size tub.
However, if you have a large bathroom, then your choices are almost limitless. You can opt for a corner tub, a drop in or even a larger freestanding unit that can fit more than one person.
6. Additional Features
These features may spike the price of the whirlpool tub, but they definitely improve the overall experience.
They include underwater LED lighting, which sets the mood, Bluetooth and FM radios, which form the entertainment system, and many others. If you want such extras, check out Ariel’s AM128JDCLZ.
5 Best Whirlpool Tubs of 2021 Reviewed
1. Woodbridge BTS1606 (Best Overall)
2. Carver Tubs SKC5555 (Best for the Money)
3. Symbolic Spas 052A White (High-End)
4. American Standard 7236VC.020 (Everclean Technology)
5. Ariel AM128JDCLZ (With Waterfall)
1. Woodbridge BTS1606 – Best Overall
- Dimensions: 67 × 31 × 23 inches
- Water capacity: 60 gallons
- Material: Acrylic, Fiberglass
Woodbridge’s BTS1606 is our pick as the best whirlpool tub because it has all the essential features that make a quality-and-effective tub for its price.
For starters, the unit is a freestanding bathtub, which means that it does not need any form of fixing or complicated installation once you buy it. Additionally, it has hidden adjustable legs that are meant for perfect leveling, just in case your bathroom floor is uneven.
Installation is further simplified by a high-quality flexible drain tube, which makes it easier to attach it to your existing plumbing system, regardless of how you position the unit.
In terms of hydrotherapy and massage, the BTS1606 features 20 jets, in which 10 of them are adjustable body massage air jets while the other 10 are whirlpool bubble bath jets. Their effectiveness is amplified by an underwater mood lamp, which helps you to relax even further.
Design wise, this tub is wide and deep enough to fit a fully grown adult, and has a gentle slope going downwards for comfort.
On the structure, a full fiberglass construction makes the tub very lightweight and is coated using acrylic to improve on its durability and glossy finish.
The tub actually has a dual layer of acrylic, giving it two insulation layers that help in minimizing heat loss, keeping your water warmer for longer.
- Easy to install
- A total of 20 jets for massage and hydrotherapy
- Underwater mood lamp for further relaxation
- Lightweight fiberglass construction
- Dual acrylic layers for insulating the water against heat loss
- No sound/ entertainment system
- Small tub water capacity
2. Carver Tubs SKC5555 – Best for the Money
- Dimensions: 55 × 55 × 18.5 inches
- Water capacity: 70 gallons
- Material: Acrylic
If you are on a tight budget, then Carver Tubs’ SKC5555 is the best whirlpool tub to consider. This product is actually the top-rated whirlpool tub in this review, which can be attributed to its simple design, affordable price, and highly effective whirlpool system.
This system consists of 12 whirlpool jets that are supplied using a variable speed, quiet whirlpool motor, which gives you more than 4 different pressure jet settings to choose from.
These jets are ergonomically positioned to provide optimal therapy, and each can be turned on or off individually, or adjusted to target different individual muscles. For easy maintenance, each jet can be removed and washed in a dishwasher.
Other features include a durable acrylic construction and custom-made hard piping that follows a natural contour for good drainage.
However, there are no drain or faucets holes, which complicates the installation work because of the drilling and fitting. The unit is also a corner, drop-in tub that requires a structure to hold it in place.
- Variable speed and quiet whirlpool motor
- Ergonomically positioned jets, which can be turned off or adjusted individually
- Durable acrylic construction
- Hand made to follow a natural contour so that all the water drains out after use
- No LED lighting
- Difficult to install
3. Symbolic Spas 052A White – High-End
- Dimensions: 71 × 47 × 26 inches
- Material: Acrylic, Fiberglass, ABS, Stainless Steel
For the ultimate in luxury among whirlpool tubs, Symbolic Spas’ corner tub takes the top spot because it is fully featured with the essential and fancy features that make the ideal whirlpool tub.
Although very costly, this unit has an LCD control panel (with a wireless remote control) for controlling the underwater LED lighting system, Bluetooth and FM radio (with speakers).
This gives you a one-of-a-kind tub experience, with mood lighting and entertainment at the same time.
In addition to these, the tub comes with a heater pre-installed, a hand-held shower wand, a water level sensor and a thermostatic faucet with an ozone water cleaner, which purifies the water by getting rid of any fungus, toxins or contaminants.
This makes it a great investment to have for your home because it has everything you would need to make your whirlpool tub experience unique.
In terms of therapy, the unit has 13 air jets, 6 adjustable massage jets, and 6 back jets, giving you a total of 25. These are run using 2 different pumps, with a 250-watt pump running the air jets while the water jets are powered by a 750-watt pump.
This combination gives it superior massaging power, be it light tissue (from the air bubbles) or deep tissue (from the adjustable water jets).
Construction wise, the tub has a very strong structure that is made of a stainless-steel frame, ABS with 3 layers of fiberglass reinforcement and an acrylic outer cover for aesthetics and cleanliness purposes.
Other features include 2 soft padded waterproof headrests for comfort, a freestanding design for quick and easy installation and a capacity to hold 2 people inside.
- LED lighting system
- Bluetooth and FM radio, with internal speakers
- Thermostatic faucet with an ozone water cleaner
- 25 jets for superior massaging capabilities
- Strong and durable frame construction
4. American Standard 7236VC.020 – Best Everclean
- Dimensions: 72 × 36 × 21.5 inches
- Water capacity: 111 gallons
- Material: Acrylic, Fiberglass
American Standard’s Evolution is also an affordable drop-in whirlpool tub that features an EverClean technology, which basically means that it has an antimicrobial additive (patented silver-ion additive) that protects its pipes from mold, mildew, algae and fungi growth.
This technology also keeps the hydro massage system free from such growth, while an acrylic tub construction with fiberglass reinforcement ensures that the tub remains very clean, with little maintenance.
For the hydro massage, 10 whirlpool jets are featured and are fed using a single speed pump or an air volume control, which is activated via a deck mounted air switch, having 2 air volume controls.
Of these 10 jets, 8 of them are flow adjustable comfort jets while the other 2 are high flow jets for deep tissue massage. This whole system comes equipped with a quick connect Safe-T heater connection, in which a Safe-T heater can be bought separately and attached to it.
Other features include a pre-leveled tub bottom and two molded-in armrests for comfort as you sit inside.
- Antimicrobial additive gives it ever clean pipes and hydromassage system
- 2 silent air volume controls
- Quick connect Safe-T heater connection
- 2 molded-in armrests for comfort
- Does not come with a heater
- Few jets
5. Ariel AM128JDCLZ – Best with Waterfall
- Dimensions: 71 × 37.4 × 27.5 inches
- Water capacity: 113 gallons
- Material: Acrylic, Fiberglass
If you are looking to have a whirlpool tub with a waterfall feature, then Ariel’s AM128JDCLZ has got you covered. The tub has a center placed waterfall faucet that creates a wide, yet slim water flow movement to create a waterfall effect.
Apart from this, the unit adds some sophistication to its design by featuring Bluetooth FM radio, which keeps you entertained as you enjoy your time in the water.
Chromotherapy LED lighting is also included for serenity, while a touch-sensitive LCD screen lets you have the convenience of an easily accessible control panel, giving you the latest in bath technology.
For hydro-massaging, the tub features 14 multi-directional whirlpool jets, which have 6 water flow settings for customizing their intensity to deliver light to deep massage to various pressure points in your body.
Structurally, the AM128JDCLZ has a fiberglass and acrylic construction, which makes it strong and durable, but with a shiny glossy finish for a more luxurious look.
In terms of design, it is a freestanding tub for easy installation and has sloping walls that make it very comfortable to rest in.
- Center placed waterfall faucet for creating a waterfall effect
- Bluetooth FM radio for entertainment
- Chromotherapy LED lighting
- Touch sensitive LCD control panel
- Freestanding design makes it easy to set up
- A small number of jets
- No air jets
How to Clean the Whirlpool Tub?
Water tends to make unsightly things grow, especially in the hidden crevices around the jets. Therefore, it is important to clean your tub regularly, and the following steps will help you clear out this dirt.
1. Fill the tub with water
Pour in hot water into the tub to about 4 inches above the highest water jet.
2. Close the air induction valve
Air circulation will slow down dirt removal in the pipes. Closing down the air intake will ensure only water flows through the pipes.
3. Add some dishwashing liquid and bleach to the water
Dishwashing liquid will quicken the dirt removal by cleaning the pipes, just like the way it works dirty dishes.
Some bleach would also be good for the stubborn stains, but some manufacturers don’t recommend it since it can dry out internal gaskets. A safer alternative for bleach would be white vinegar.
4. Run the jets for about 15 minutes
Run the jets at the highest pressure for about 10-15 minutes.
5. Drain the tub
Drain out all the dirty water. If you still think there is more filth left inside the pipes, repeat the steps above until you are satisfied.
Whirlpool tubs are worthy alternatives to regular bathtubs because of the massage therapy that they provide. However, if you are thinking about getting one for your bathroom, there are a number of things that you need to look for.
Generally though, Woodbridge’s BTS1606 stands out as the best whirlpool tub because it is reasonably priced and contains all the essential features, including being easy to install.
In this post:
- What to Check Before Buying Best Whirlpool Tub?
- 5 Best Whirlpool Tubs of 2021 Reviewed
- How to Clean the Whirlpool Tub?