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Soaking Tub Vs Jetted Tub: Pros and Cons

May 13, 2024

For those seeking relaxation and recuperation, a long soak in a hot bath can be incredibly satisfying. Soaking tubs and jetted tubs, which provide therapeutic benefits, are the most commonly selected options.

A soaking tub is designed similarly to a drop-in bathtub with the added benefit of being freestanding and deep enough to allow for a full-body soak. They typically feature ergonomic designs with high contoured backrests for a comfortable and extended soak. The most popular freestanding soaking tub styles are oval, round, and rectangular.

On the other hand, a jetted tub is a bathtub that uses whirlpool or air jets to gently massage the skin and muscles for relaxation. These types of tubs are often used to provide relief for aching joints and muscles. Whirlpool therapy is especially popular among athletes and physical therapy clinics given its proven ability to increase circulation, decrease swelling and inflammation, and promote wound healing.

Deciding between a soaking tub and a jetted tub can be a challenging task, particularly if you're looking for therapeutic benefits like reducing mental stress, enhancing circulation, or easing muscle pain.

To help make an informed decision, it's important to weigh the pros and cons of each option when looking to buy a new bathtub. Take the following factors into account.

Soaking Tub Pros

1. Easy to maintain and install

Maintaining a soaking tub is often more straightforward compared to a jetted tub. For instance, cleaning an acrylic soaking tub requires minimal effort - some baking soda and water will do the trick, and it will remain in pristine condition for years. Conversely, jetted tubs often have nooks and crannies which make cleaning more cumbersome and time-consuming.

Jetted tubs usually feature a more complicated design, which can make them more expensive and complicated to install than soaking tubs. Their complex plumbing and electrical systems can be particularly costly to repair in the event of a malfunction.

Therefore, if you're looking for a bathtub that requires minimal maintenance, is easy to install and will serve you for years, a soaking tub may be a better choice.

2. Require less water and energy than jetted bathtubs.

A major advantage of Soaking Tubs is their eco-friendly, low water usage. With increasing global water scarcity, reducing consumption is critical. Soaking Tubs use up to 80% less water than Jetted Tubs, making them an environmentally responsible option. The significant reduction in water also decreases energy for heating, providing energy and cost savings on utility bills when using a Soaking Tub. For those prioritizing sustainability and efficiency, Soaking Tubs are the superior choice.

However, Jetted Tubs offer targeted water jet massages for therapeutic benefits. The jets provide hydrotherapy, chronic pain relief, and muscle relaxation. Built-in heaters enable maintained warm temperatures for longer, more comforting soaking. While they use more water, Jetted Tubs give a spa-like experience at home.

Soaking Tubs are budget-friendly, low maintenance tubs for relaxation. Jetted Tubs provide customizable massages and heat for pain relief, but use more energy and water.

3. Provide aesthetic appeal and an affordable price

If you're considering selling your home in the next few years, investing in a soaking tub might be a more prudent decision than opting for a jetted tub. Soaking tubs tend to have a lower price point than their jetted counterparts and offer a sleek, minimalist look that's currently in vogue and pairs well with various design styles ranging from modern farmhouse to mid-century modern and contemporary.

The aesthetic appeal of soaking tubs is quite broad, making them an excellent addition to a bathroom. They come in various styles, sizes, and materials that can add a touch of elegance to your bathroom. The versatility in shape and size allows you to find a tub that complements your style and seamlessly blends with your bathroom's layout.

4. Provide Medicinal Benefits of Soaking

Soaking in a bath is a pleasurable method of achieving relaxation that can be particularly beneficial for individuals with high-stress lifestyles or situations. In addition to providing stress-relief, soaking in a hot water bath has medicinal benefits that can alleviate discomfort from stiff muscles or swollen joints. Although such relief is generally considered palliative, soaking in hot water can also provide medical advantages as part of a larger treatment plan for injuries that are minor in nature.

Soaking Tub Cons

1. Limited functionality

While soaking tubs are perfect for relaxation, they don’t offer the same level of functionality as jetted tubs. Jetted tubs have massaging water jets that can target specific areas of the body for ultimate muscle relief and relaxation. They can also have additional features like built-in heaters that can keep water warm for longer periods of time.

Furthermore, jetted tubs have various settings, such as low-pressure and high-pressure options, allowing users to customize their experience. Some models can even have built-in sound systems or special lighting features, providing a more immersive and relaxing experience.

2. Inadequate drainage

Because of their larger size, soaking tubs tend to hold more water, and as a result, can take longer to drain. This can lead to prolonged exposure of the tub surface to water, which can create a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. Regular and proper cleaning can go a long way in preventing the buildup of unwanted bacteria. Additionally, some soaking tub models come with built-in cleaning dispensers, which make cleaning the tub much more manageable.

To minimize potential problems associated with inadequate drainage, it's essential to ensure proper ventilation in your bathroom, especially after bathing. It's also crucial to use the right cleaning products that are designed specifically for use on soaking tubs to prevent damaging the surface material. Regular maintenance and cleaning of your soaking tub will ensure that it remains a relaxing and enjoyable addition to your home for years to come.

3. Extra Budget and Space

When selecting a bathtub, homeowners who primarily use their tubs for showering may want to avoid deep soaking tubs. While deep tubs offer an ideal experience for soaking, they may make showering uncomfortable due to their depth. Many homeowners solve this issue by adding a separate shower, but this can be an expensive addition that requires extra space.

Jetted Tubs Pros

1. Jetted Bathtub Can be Used for Hydrotherapy Purposes

Hydrotherapy, the use of water for pain relief and treatment, is often performed in jetted tubs. The whirlpool jets can help alleviate muscle tension, soreness, and stress, while also promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. In addition, these jets can enhance circulation and reduce inflammation, which makes jetted tubs particularly beneficial for athletes and individuals suffering from chronic pain, including joint pain and arthritis.

If you have chronic conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, or other similar ailments, purchasing a jetted tub could be an effective solution. By enabling the use of targeted hydrotherapy, a jetted tub can offer a range of benefits to help you alleviate the symptoms of your condition and improve your overall quality of life.

Jetted bathtubs can be a valuable component of your health or physical therapy program. If your doctor suggested this for you or a family member, upgrading to a jetted bathtub may be a good idea. If you're experiencing issues related to sore joints and muscles, restricted flexibility, or poor circulation, you can ask your doctor if hydrotherapy using a jetted bathtub could be beneficial.

2. Jetted tubs provide superior heat retention

You'll find that many jetted tub models incorporate an inline heater with a built-in thermostat, providing efficient temperature maintenance and superior heat retention. Suggested product 351 This allows for a longer, more comfortable bathing experience and enhances the therapeutic benefits of the massage jets.

3. Relaxation

There are several health benefits to using a jet bathtub. The warmth, weightlessness, and massage from the jets can be highly effective in reducing both physical and mental stress.

People with bone and joint conditions like tendinitis and arthritis can find great relief from using a jetted tub. The increased blood flow and muscle relaxation provided by the tub's warmth help decrease swelling and pain. The heat also lowers stress hormones and encourages better sleep. With improved rest and reduced inflammation, jetted tubs can enhance overall health and wellbeing for those with skeletal ailments. A more relaxed state of mind and body is achievable with routine use.

Jetted Tubs Cons

1. Increasing Utility Usage

Upon installing a jetted tub, it's important to note that your utility costs may increase, particularly if the tub is larger and requires more water to fill. Additionally, if the tub features a built-in heater and jets, energy consumption can further spike, resulting in an average increase of up to $50 per month, depending on the frequency of use.

2. Complicated Cleaning Process

Proper cleaning of a jetted tub involves a series of steps that aims to ensure that the jet system remains clean and free from buildup. Beginning with preventing air induction with the jets, the process continues by filling the tub with warm water up to two inches above the highest jet point; recent bathwater could be utilized as well.

Read more about How to Clean Jets in Bathtub

While some air-type jet tubs can be cleaned by running the jets after each use, it's crucial to exercise caution when cleaning other types of jetted tubs. Running the jets without sufficient water can cause significant damage, so it's better to be cautious or follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning the jetted tub. With regular and proper cleaning, you can ensure that you enjoy a clean and soothing experience every time you use your jet tub.

3. Professional Installation

The primary disadvantage of installing a jacuzzi-style tub is the cost, which can vary significantly depending on the model and features. While basic models can start at around $250, quality tubs can cost at least $1,500 or top $4,000, including custom designs.

Moreover, most manufacturers recommend hiring trained professionals for the installation process, meaning that additional costs may be necessary. For remodeling projects, it's advisable to allocate 10% of the budget towards a licensed general contractor, electrician, or plumber.

It's also crucial to note that installing a jacuzzi tub may not necessarily translate to an automatic boost in your home's resale value. While it may be a desirable feature for some potential buyers, it's not always considered a selling point. If the tub is the only update in the bathroom, it may not carry as much weight in terms of overall home value.

4. High Maintenance

Bathtubs with Jacuzzi-style features require more maintenance than regular tubs. Leading manufacturers usually recommend a full cleaning of the tub at least once a month (although some suggest weekly). While the tub may have drained completely, there could still be water left in the pipes, jets, and nozzles, which could lead to mold, algae, and bacteria growth.

It is also worth noting that, while most jetted tubs come with a manufacturer's warranty covering a certain period, it is possible that some parts may need replacement over time. Depending on the severity of the damage, replacement parts can be an additional expense.

A Jetted Tubs Are More Accessible Than Soaking Tubs.

Individuals with limited mobility may find walk-in jetted tubs more accessible than standard freestanding soaking tubs. For those who plan to age in place, opting for a walk-in jetted tub may be a sound investment over a soaking tub. Certain models, such as the Empava, even offer full accessibility.

Read more: Walk-in Bathtub Buyers' Guide

Consider Your Needs Carefully When Deciding Between a Soaking Tub and a Jetted Tub

For creating spa-like experience in the comfort of your own home, soaking tubs and jetted tubs are the two most commonly selected bathtub options.

Both of these tub styles have their own share of advantages and disadvantages. To choose a perfect bathtub that fits your needs, consider carefully what you desire. For instance, soaking tubs usually turn out to be more economical than jetted tubs; however, if you suffer from body pain, a jetted tub might be the ideal fit for you.

In general, To achieve complete mental and physical relaxation, soaking tubs are generally seen as the more budget-friendly choice. However, if you yearn for the inviting caress of water jets to get rid of your fatigue and aches, then jetted tubs might be the better choice for you!

Whether you prefer soft air bubbles or the powerful water stream, jetted tubs can provide a range of massage options that can help to soothe and ease chronic pain and tense muscles. Besides, jetted tubs help to enhance blood circulation, promote relaxation and reduce stress; these features can be particularly beneficial for people who work out often or suffer from physical discomfort.

Looking for Assistance in Choosing the Perfect Bathtub for Your Bathroom?

The bottom line is that both soaking tubs and jetted tubs have their own unique benefits. If you are looking for an affordable and relaxing bathing experience that requires little maintenance, then a freestanding soaking tub is probably your best bet. However, if you want to pamper yourself with jets that massage every inch of your body, then a jetted tub might be the better option for you.

For assistance with selecting the best soaking tub or jetted tub for your bathroom, contact our Empava Customer Service team by chat, email or phone.




Soaking tubs and jetted tubs are two of the most popular options chosen by people seeking relaxation and therapeutic benefits through a hot bath. While soaking tubs offer a full-body soak and ergonomic design, jetted tubs use air or whirlpool jets to provide gentle massages and relieve muscle or joint pain. The decision of choosing between the two may not be easy, especially when looking for specific therapeutic benefits. However, considering the pros and cons of each option is important to make an informed choice while investing in a new bathtub. Factors like cost, installation requirements, maintenance, and desired features should also be weighed to make an appropriate decision.

Read more: The Difference Between Jacuzzis, Air Tubs And Whirlpool Tubs

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